To address the email first, so yeah, apparently I just can't do math anymore. I would love to say I jut hit the wrong key, lol, but I meant 1-9th. Sorry, this keyboard doesn't have punctuation... Hna P has been fine from the shot. I got the box with Christmas presents and the gingerbread house but I don't remember a vinyl tree...I will look through the box again though. Always DVDs if you want to send Disney movies. We're allowed to watch those.
I got a package from Angie this week! THANKS!!!!! I love the scarf, too, and the candied almonds are SOOO good! Oma and Opa sent me a really cute dachshund necklace -- I didn't know it was a Christmas preent so I opened it early. Sorry! But I love it! People down here ask me what it is because they've never seen a dachshund before. LOL
I did get the stress book the church put out and it does have good advice. A lot of it is stuff that I already know or already try to do, but it's still helpful. That makes me laugh that Brie likes to compete with my gingerbread house. I deinitely feel weird not being at home for Christmas. Especially since it feels like summer here and not even Christmasy but its great.
Pres Dester had good advice, but very direct advice which is good and what I need. This is what he said, Sister Gisseman, I have only a couple of thoughts for you. You say you feel frustrated that you have been here three weeks and haven't progressed. First, you have probably progressed more than you think. Many new missionaries feel just what you describe. It takes time (more than three weeks) to learn the language and to figure out how to be a missionary. It also takes patience. Second, I promise you that if you forget about yourself (how much you are learning, how much fun you are having, etc.) and focus on supporting and learning every little thing you can, the Lord will bless you for it, and He will magnify you so that you can help your companionship accomplish His work. On the other hand, if you choose to dwell on everything that you wish were different, you won't accomplish or contirbute a thing, and the Lord will not bless you for it. Remember to count your blessings. I know that this will become easier with every week, and if you stop thinking about what you need and try to think about what everyone else around you needs, you will find yourself a very happy missionary. It's about "losing yourself" to "find yourself." I apologize if this sounds too direct, but with limited time, I have to make these e-mails honest and helpful in as few words as possible. Have a great week! Pres. Dester
So yeah, that was a slap on the wrist, but it's good and I know that I really do need to be less selfish. We have transfers Wednesday and we will find out sometime today who is going.
I doubt that we will get iPods or be able to use Facebook because no one here has internet so there is no point! I'm glad you got to spend time with Paula. I miss her! I just love how sassy she is!! She always makes me laugh lol and she's so thoughtful! I will be fine with any type of sandal, TEVA, Crocs whatever. But people say to send shoes in 2 packages, but it hasn't looked like my other packages had been opened or messed with at all, which reminds me we have separate mailing address for packages and I don't know if you have gotten it. The package from Angie had the right address but it's Mission Honduras San Pedro Sula Oeste, Apartado Postal 1956, San Pedro Sula Cortes Honduras CA. No, we don't get reimbursed for things like that but that's okay, since I'm so stingy I always have a lot of leftover money.
1. What was the highlight of your week?
Familia B said in our last lesson with them that they were going to be baptized! They wanted a little more time, but they said they are going to get baptized on the 28th because they want to follow the Lord and walk in His path. It was awesome and definitely a very exciting moment for us. They are just so sweet! Hna D(the mom) invited us to go to the beach with them on a Pday and she has made us dinner and they gave us cake and juice. They are just always so thoughful and looking out for us.
2. What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
Hna B and I stayed up talking... bad example. I should have been exactly obedient, but we assume she is leaving this week and we just started talking and then it was like 12... oops. But she is so great and we are so similar! We would be best friends in real life, LOL, not that this is fake life but you know what I mean. It was just nice to be able to talk to someone and I just love her!
3. What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
I was reading in my scriptures. I was having a really hard time in the beginning of the week and then I read 2 scriptures: 3 Nephi 5:13 and 11:41 and they were just a huge boost! Because I have been called to declare the word and I felt like these scriptures were just for me.
4. I love the story you told about E, your miracle investigator. I especially love that you had the inspiration to go see if he was home one more time – because that was definitely inspiration. How are things going with him? How are things going with A and V? Familia B? S? Familia H? And your other investigators? Who can we pray for and what specifically should we pray for for them?
A and V are both baptized and V got the priesthood this past sunday. A is struggling financially and one of her daughters was sick so this week was hard for her. But this week we are going to have her teach us how to make a Honduran dish so that will be fun and will give her extra food. S, we found out, is on an excursion with her school and won't be back until January 1st...so that's unfortunate. But when she returns we will pick up where we left off. Familia H is having a hard time coming to church. the 2 daughters, O and J, have come for 4 weeks in a row. Just this week Hno J, the dad, came with them. BUT they ALL came to the Christmas devotional and brought 2 other neighbors with them and they have asked us to teach their extended family when they come over for Christmas. I think that the daughters and the father will definitely be baptized and will set a good example for the mother and the son who aren't as ready. We are teaching a young man named J and they had been visiting him for a while, but only just now did he come to church. We are hoping that he will keep coming. He has a great desire to follow Christ and do what's right, he just needs to be sure that this is right for him. Another investigator, C, is super great and is so receptive, but doesn't want to come to church. She had a bad experience 2 years ago when she went once and some of the youth were laughing and she thought they were laughing at her and she swore to never go back to our church and we found out that she is pregnant and so that's going to make the law of chastity lesson kind of awkward...but they are all great. Those are our main investigators as of now. We are struggling with having progressing investigators. We teach a lot of lessons every week, this week we taught like 50, but we only have a handful who are actually progressing.
5. Were you able to have more personal study this week? What stuck out to you this week in your personal study?
Yeah. I made a goal for myself that if we didn't have study in the morning, I would take the time to study personally. I finished up Mormon this morning so I am almost finished. But over and over in the scriptures is the example of just one person making a great impact. Abinadi who was the one who preached to the wicked and Alma, the only one who listened to him. But at the same time, there is on the other hand the one wicked person who can persuade people to fall away. I just thought it was very interesting the great effect even one can have on the rest.
6. How often do you have district meeting and zone meeting? What are those meetings like?
We have district meeting every Tuesday, but our whole zone meets in the same building so we usually have a zone game or spiritual thought after. We just show up and talk about our investigators with baptismal dates. We usually focus on a section out of Preach My Gospel and do some practices.
7. How has the weather been this week?
HOT! It's hot again which I appreciate.
8. What has been the strangest food you’ve eaten this week?
I haven't really eaten anything strange. We had jamaica which is a drink made from flowers. It kind of tastes like cranberry juice. But it was really good
9. What has been the most unusual thing you’ve seen this week? Your biggest “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore” moment of the week?
Well, in sacrament meeting yesterday a dog just walked in and I was like WHAT in the world! So that was pretty funny and really weird. But also we will just walk by peoples houses and they will burn their trash in the street and that's really weird, too, since there isn't a public trash system out here,
10. What have you learned about yourself this week?
I get really intimidated when we teach couples. I am fine when we teach just a woman, but when men are there it really intimidates me.
11. In what area do you think you’ve improved this week?
We got a little better at sharing while we teach.
12. Where do you think Amy will end up going on her mission?
I'm feeling Japan. That's so exciting that she's going! She's going to be great!
13. Do you know we love you to the moon and beyond? And we are so proud of you? And we miss you?
14. What new investigators do you have this week? How many lessons did you teach this week?
51 lessons and 21 new investigators...but they aren't promising... everyone wants to hear the word of God here but no one will act on it. But yeah, nobody golden this week, unfortunately.
15. Any more water outages this week?
Nope, the water is back and the rain is gone. Thank goodness!
16. What did you do for P-Day this week?
We went over to the other Hermanas, there are 3 sets of hermanas in our ward, and watched the movie Charly. We went to Wendy's for lunch and later we will probably nap and I will finish my laundry. Fun stuff.
17. How often do you get to see/meet with Pres Dester? Do you e-mail him weekly? Does he reply to your e-mails?
I only saw him at zone conference. As far as I know he doesn't come to anything else. But we email him every week and he always replies.
18. Any idea when you’ll know how you’re going to call home for Christmas?
I have no idea...
19. How are your clothes holding up to washing them in the pila?
Just fine! I'm a pro at washing clothes by hand now. lol
20. Are there any interesting Christmas traditions in Honduras?
All I know of is making tamales for the holidays.
Hna P and I had a great companionship inventory and now things are a lot better. We are trying to share lessons more and just be better friends. We were able to laugh and just keep planning and were super productive and we exceeded all of our goals this week. But yeah, in case anyone was wondering missionaries are not perfect and I am still me. lol.
In other news, a dog ate one of the straps on my brown athletic Crocs, But I just cut off the strap and now they are Croc flats instead of Mary Janes and everything is fine and I don't leave my shoes on the porch anymore. My Downeast Basics skirt from Easter bled! I was super bummed! It still looks fine, though. It was just weird since it has been washed and everything. The pila just does strange things I guess. So yeah, color remover would be great.
Oh another spiritual moment, I was reading in the Liahona and Elder Holland said something to the translation of God doesn't laugh at us. We are never the end of a malicious joke becasue God is God and He is just and loving. Sometimes I'm just like, I wonder if He is laughing at me right now, but NO because He loves us and wouldn't do that to us. He refers to Alma 42 when Alma talks to Corianton and he teaches that God is 1, JUST and 2, merciful. The fact that He is merciful is the ultimate expression of His love for us. Because He is just and we cannot return to His presence because we are imperfect, He provided mercy because He loves us. I just never thought about it in that way before, if that makes any sense.
I got a letter from Grace Clark. She asked that you call her if I would like to keep getting mail from her. I think she is a fried of Grandma Cherril's and is related to us somehow. But her number is (deleted) if you want to call and tell her I really enjoyed getting her letter!
AND MIRACLE OF THE WEEK.....I GOT MY STUFF BACK (packet of information from the MTC that I lost the first day in Honduras)!!!! It was actually during our planning after I was in a bad mood, my stuff arrived. It was really cool, too, because the night before I jsut was feeling so terrible. I just asked that I would be able to see some sign of His love to let me know I could do it and the next day my stuff came! It was awesome!
Anyway, love you all
At A's baptism last week
At V's baptism last week
Thanks for the cute necklace, Oma and Opa! I love it!
Last week I had a colorful meal...this meal this week wasn't as colorful -- eggs and tajadas (fried green bananas or plantains)
I put a mud mask on my face yesterday
It was so hazy outside this morning!