Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 8

(P-Day was postponed to Tuesday this week because of the nationwide elections in Honduras on Sunday.  All missionaries in the country were asked to stay home Saturday, Sunday and Monday for safety reasons and also to ensure that there was no appearance of church involvement in the elections.)

I'm super glad that you found out that our Pdays were going to be moved becasue of the elections because I definitely forgot to tell you that...but we stayed in for 3 days and now we are allowed out again. I did meet Elder D. We had a zone conference on Friday and he found me and said hi. He even said the opening prayer and it gives me hope that one day I will be able to speak Spanish! 

1. How do you get to Puerto on your P-Days?  Is it a lot bigger than Campana? 

We take a bus to Puerto. There are always buses traveling from San Pedro Sula. We flag them down and ride like the locals do. It's WAY bigger than Campana. Campana doesn't even have a grocery store. Puerto has several. Campana is more like a village in my opinion and Puerto is actually a city. 

2. Did they find your manila folder that you left at the church?  I hope so! 

Not yet. They looked and couldn't find it but apparently they will look again today because they forgot to check the one room where my suitcases were. I highly doubt that they will find it, though, which makes me super sad since my call booklet was in there and all the notes from my district in the CCM which I didn't even have the chance to read yet:( Hopefully one day they will return to me. 

3. You said the people that fix your lunch don’t eat with you.  Why is that?

It's a culture thing. They fix the meal and we eat. They eat separately and not at the same time as us either. 

4. Did you get a regular P-Day this week?  What did you do? 

Today is our P-Day and email is the first thing we are doing. We had study as usual and we will go have lunch at Wendy's again. Later we might watch Despicable Me 2. I need to fold laundy. P-Days are super chill. We have appointments tonight, too.

5. How was church on Sundays?  Did you have any investigators there? 

We had about half of the usual attendence because of the elections. Church was only an hour, too. Instead of 9 to 12, it was just 10-11. We usually get 170 and we had 95 attend. BUT one of our investigator families, la familia B., came to church!!!

6. What has been the most inspirational thing that happened this week? 

I really liked Zone Conference. It was all in Spanish and I could understand it! Pres Dester talked about how we can recieve revelation. But he also talked a lot about how leaders in the Book of Mormon had such great love for their people like Helaman and the 2000 stripling warriors. He compared that love to the Savior's love for us and how it is so much greater!! Also today I read in Alma about the stripling warriors and I really liked 58:11 which is when they are without provisions and they are kind of down and disheartened and they pray and the Lord blesses them with faith and hope. He didn't give them provisions, He didn't make the trial go away, but He gave them the faith and the hope to persevere. OH, and we totally had a miracle day this week. We set our weekly goals as if we were going to be out teaching everyday, but we got cut 2 days. On Tuesday we therefore had really high goals but we prayed that there would be a way for us to meet them and we did!!! And then the next day we met all of our goals again!!! It was a miracle for sure! We taught like 10 lessons each day and picked up 3 new investigators. It was amazing! 

7.  What has been the most difficult thing for you this week? 

Trying not to get annoyed with being with someone 24/7. I am so grateful for the hermanas in our casa, though.  Hna B is seriously just like me and we get along really well so someone can understand me. I just need to have patience and it's really hard. Also it is just very hard for me to have confidence in myself. I bet that's big shock to everyone out there, lol. I'm just such a perfectionist and I hate doing things I 'm not good at...like soccer last week. So it is just really hard for me to have the confidence to speak and to teach when I feel like I lack so much.  
8. What have you learned about being a missionary that you didn’t already know? 

It's really really hard for me to share things to people that I know. Like during companion study Hna P will just ask what did you learn and I just get super shy and don't want to share things. I knew that before, but I though I would be better at it on the mission and I'm not and I still really need to work on being able to open up to people. 

9.  What is the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week? Hermana G makes the most hilarious faces. Every time we are in the casa and she has a comment she raises her hand and waits to be called on to speak and it is just  super funny! She is the oldest one in the casa, but she is just super funny and acts like a little kid. 

10. What was it like washing your clothes in the pila?  How do you do that? 

It's not as bad as I thought it would be. You just put your clothes on the side with the washboard part and the other half is like a big basin of water. We use a bowl to pour water on the clothes and get them wet. The soap is like the same size as the inside of a toilet paper roll and its soap like body soap but for  your clothes. So then you roll the soap on your clothes and then use the fabric to wash the fabric because the cement pila eats clothes if you wash too hard. So you wash until they are good and soapy then rinse and hang them up to dry. It just takes FOREVER!!! The first day I did wash it took me an hour and a half. Yesterday I did laundry again and it didn't take as long. It's better when someone sits outside with you too so you aren't by yourself and there's someone to talk to. Hna B and I took turns wahsing some clothes and we just stayed out there for a few hours talking and doing laundry together. I don't feel like my clothes get very clean, but oh well. 

11. What is the weirdest thing you ate this week? 

Nothing too weird actually. They have these boiled banana things which I don't care for. 

12.  How is the language coming along? 

Eh. I think it would be better if Hna P spoke Spanish to me all the time and made me speak in Spanish, or gave me 2 seconds to say something during a lesson because she talks a lot! I can speak better than I think, though, if I would just speak. I can understand more and more every day. 

13. Do you know that I love you more than I can even begin to express? Yes:)

14. What is it like to teach people lessons?  Have you done more teaching this week? 

Yeah...just not as much as I know I need to be doing. It's easier to teach lessons than it is to teach fake investigators in the CCM. Most people are really receptive and don't usually have lots of questions or doubts. They are really open to hear our message. They just have problems reading or actually coming to church and keeping their commitments. 

15. Do you get a lot of referrals from members?  Are the members helpful and excited about missionary work?

We get about 8 a week. I don't really know what other people get, though. There are some members who come out and help us all the time and are really willing to help, but those kind of strong, committed members are few here. The ward is just so new here and the church I guess is so new as well. 

16.  What scripture passage have you read this week that meant a lot to you? 

Already answered above.

17. Do you do much cooking for yourselves? 

About half the time. Breakfast is alwasy on us and then about half the other meals. I have easy mac, sandwiches and eggs. Since we don't have an oven or really a big stove or a big fridge it is hard think of real meals to make for one person. AND the grocery stores obviously don't sell a ton or usual American food so it's been hard to think of things I can eat with the ingredients available. 

18. What clothing items do you want/need? 

I really don't need anything. I always want more athletic shirts (preferrably with a round neck since all of mine are v-neck, but I don't like super high cut ones so that might be hard to find.) Patterns are always good too. 

19.What have you learned about the Savior, or about your relationship with him, this week?  Or how has that relationship been strengthened this week?  

I don't know... The Savior loves us so much, but at the same time we have to be doing the right things to put ourselves in a position to feel that love. I have really just prayed a lot this week and really since my mission started to help me understand more and more in Spanish, to have more patience and charity and I see that I am able to make improvements all the time with HIs help. I'm still working on having a better relationship though, but I definitley think it's something I always need to remember that He loves me and He will help me in this work. It doesn't matter if I'm not perfect, the work will go on. 

In other things, I got a package from Grandma and Papa with my Christmas presents in it. I also got a letter from them:) I have not yet gotten a package from Mom, but we only get mail every Week at district meeting. If you did want to send me a binder and page protectors so I could work on putting that set of notes and lesson plans together that would be nice. If you wanted to send me a Honduran flag that would be great too! There was one Elder who got a flag for all of his companions to sign. I thought that that was a really cool idea. I do have that little banner thing, but a flag might be cooler. Also American mascara would be great. Hna P says the mascara here is terrible. My skin is also really bad here and I asked then nurse to check for more ampicillin for me. If you could send me a big t shirt from my shirts, or just a big t shirt. I always like colored pens. AND NUTELLA!!!! Sorry lol I realyl don't need these things, but if you are putting packages together they are things that I wouldn't mind having. I feel like I ask for so much, but seriously I am fine and don't need anything. 

We actually have a box with Liahona copies in it, so you don't need to send me any. I have access to some. 
The weather here actually reminds me of GA without air conditioning. There are tons of mosquitos too. Bleh. 
There are NO addresses here! Which is super weird and makes it difficutl for me to orient myself. 

Our 3 days in the house: We watched movies. We are allowed to watch Disney Movies. We watch Monsters Univ., Wreck it Ralph, Rise of the Guardians, Rio, Despicable Me. We cooked baleadas and tajadas which were super good! Hna P made chocolate arroz con leche which was really good. We did laundy and sat around and talked. It was a little boring sometimes but really fun at the same time. We made popcorn with cinnamon sugar on it and it was delicious. We also ordered pizza from Pizza Hut and that was super good!!! Obviously we still studied and such things like that. We had to call an exterminator becasue we woke up and there was a swarm of wasps on our porch and it was gross! We tried to spray them with bug spray but then some got in the house and we went on a rampage trying to kill them all. We cleaned our casa, too. 

Our investigators, if you would like to pray for them:
S. - the first investigator that got to be mine. She already feels that this message is true and we have taught her 2 times. She lives in Baracoa--by that bridge. She didn't come to church sunday but it was rainy and there were elections so we are hoping for next week. 

Familia B has a baptismal date. It is a husband and wife and two little kids. They are super sweet. She is way cute too and they are an upper class family here. 

Familia H is upper class too. It's family of 5 and the kids have come to church but the parents haven't.  Mostly becasue he is a politican and has been busy with elections. They know the gospel is true and they just need to come to church! 

Familia S...well she is 19 and he is like 60. But they hopefully will be able to get married next week. Weddings here are difficult for people because you need paperwork from the city you were born in, official papers that say you are single, you have to pay and most people don't have the money. You have to go to certain places to be married. It's a hassle, but we are helping them with that and weddings aren't like a big deal either. You go get married and go home like nothing changed. But they have 2 kids and they will get baptized after they get married. They are the ones who we have to go through the jungle to go see. 

We have 2 investigators-A and V- who will be baptized this week. A is scheduled to be baptized on Thanksgiving!  She was going to be baptized last week but couldn't because of some personal stuff.  They are both great!

Oh yeah,have a good Thanksgiving! We won't be doing anything exciting. Actually, hopefully A gets baptized!

Anyway, I survived another week!!!
les extraño mucho! Les Amo!
Hermana Gisseman

Washing clothes in the pila

The pila

My clothes hanging out to dry

A tarantula!!  I went outside to wash my Crocs and there it was!  (And I told her she needs to give me warning next time she decides to send a spider picture home!)

Tajados -- yummy!  (Fried plantains)

Our capilla (chapel)

Our beautiful Alyssa

A typical Honduran road

My tan lines -- already!

Hna P and me at church

The swarm of wasps outside

Killing the wasps (Those of you who know Alyssa know that she is absolutely terrified of bees -- so I consider it a miracle that she was able to kill a bunch of wasps without freaking out.  She said she didn't freak out because she thought they were flying ants.)

Alyssa and Hna P in their casa

Pizza Hut!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas is coming.....

And you know missionaries love to receive mail!  How about including Alyssa in your Christmas card list?  Her mailing address is on the right side of the blog.  :-)

Week 7

(Hna is the abbreviation for Hermana)

I just love you guys. This week was probably the hardest week of my life. 

1. What were your first impressions of Honduras?

When we were flying over the country all I could think was how beautiful it was and how even though I have never been here, it felt like home. It`s so green and pretty. There are lots of mountains--not really big ones where we are, but still mountains. We flew into San Pedro Sula and there were only 4 terminals at the airport...It really is a third world country. When we got to Campana (which is my area) and we started walking around I just about died. I was like ¨How am I going to live like this for 17 months?¨ It`s not so bad on day 5, but the people have nothing. Some houses are just wooden panels with a tin roof. The nice houses are the ones with floors. Most people only have lawn furniture. It`s so sad. In Campana there aren`t even roads. There is a main highway and the rest is dirt, although they are paving the street that our casa is off of. It feels like a big neighborhood and not like a town. It`s just house after house. There isn`t a grocery store here either, only small shops called pulperias that are like tiny gas station stores but in people`s houses. It`s just a completely different world.  

2. How did you spend your first day or so in Honduras?

When we first arrived, we went to a big chapel for meetings and orientation and such. Then we went to the Desters' for dinner. They`re apartment is SO nice! It`s in a big building that looks like a hotel. There is like an art gallery in the lobby and they have the whole 20th floor to themselves. It was sooo pretty. That is where we spent the night, too. I took pictures, and it was gorgeous but very misleading. I had my last hot shower there lol. The next morning we went to get baleadas which are tortillas with beans and eggs, more or less. It was alright...and then we went to the cambios meeting and the newbies sang which was weird because latinos can`t carry a tune... There were only 6 of us gringos and like 10ish latinos from the Guatamala CCM. I got my companion. We went to the grocery store since there isn`t one in Campana and we headed off on our hour and a half bus ride out to Campana. I really like Pres Dester. He reminds me of Bishop Sybrowsky. And I felt like he knew me before he even met me which is just really awesome. Bro and Sis John were great. They seem really funny. I was SUPER bummed out becasue I left my manilla folder with my mission call packet in it in the church and my binder with ALL my CCM notes and my CCM packet, just things I really wanted to save...I left those at the church (or at least I am 90 percent sure that I did and I am hoping nobody threw them away and that they will find their way back to me.)  (Note:  We asked the zone leaders to talk to Bro and Sis John to see if someone picked them up and can send them to me.)

3.  Who is your companion?  What is she like?  Where is she from?  

Hna P. She is from Washington. She is a theatre person so she can be loud and fun which is good. She is short. Sometimes I feel like she really doesn´t understand how hard this whole talking to people thing is for me, especially in another language. She has only been here for 12 weeks though and just got finished being trained herself. I don`t know. She`s great though. She talks a lot during lessons and doesn`t make me say much which is nice but really not good for me at the same time. She loves Doctor Who lol. 

4.  Where are you serving?  What was it like getting there?

We are in the Choloma Zone, but I am serving in Campana. To get here we rode on a bus for an hour and a half... that was interesting. There are tons of buses here and you really just stick out your hand and a bus will stop for you. And they PACK the buses here. It was a pretty drive though, very green. It`s a really safe area. There are 3 sets of hermanas here and we actually live with one set of hermanas but both are gringas too. It`s really safe here which is why it`s just hermanas and no elders. Serisouly they said it`s one of the safest places here so don`t worry about that. There is a really big mountain right outside. There are lots of dogs that just roam the streets which is so sad. It`s HOT and HUMID for sure. Like a Georgia summer everday. It feels really nice when there are clouds though. Everything is just dirty. 

5.  What is your housing like?

The 4 of us hermans live in a duplex so we live in just half of the house which I think I forgot to take a pic of the outside, so I will do that. You walk into an open room with 2 large tables for our desks against the wall. Then there is a tiny kitchen which is actually nice for here because we have a little 2 burner heating thing, a microwave and a mini fridge!! People hardly refrigerate anything here... not even eggs which is weird but apparently you just don`t have to here. Then there are 2 bedrooms and a shared bathroom which gets really gross because you can`t flush toilet paper here... And the shower is always cold which is sad. But we have a tile floor which is super nice here. And there is a pila or a concrete washing structure for washing clothes and it has a basin that always has water in it. I need to take a pic of that, too, today when I wash my clothes for the first time...

6.  Have you eaten any weird foods yet?

Yeah, so yesterday we had fried fish. Hna P got the half with the fish head. But it was really strange looking and tasting. I had boiled bananas which were GROSS.  I guess it`s not really that weird though. At one house they made us really good nachos but there was a whole cut up tomato on top and I had to eat it... it wasn`t as bad as I thought but it was still icky. And then someone put ketchup on my rice and that was not good... but I had to eat it. I think most days someone makes us dinner or lunch. My first Honduran meal was rice and pasta. They are really big on carbs here. It`s different that the families cook for us but they don`t eat with us. 

7.  Are the bugs bad?

I don`t think they are any worse than Georgia. There are lots of ants and mosquitos at night, but the DEET bug spray works REALLY well. There aren`t any bugs in our house really which is good. 

8.  What has been the most inspirational thing that happened this week?

I don't know.  Pres Dester and Hna P reminded me that the Lord doesn`t expect us to be perfect so we shouldn`t expect ourselves to be perfect either. 

9.  What have you learned about yourself this week that you didn’t already know?

I really don`t like saying hello to people, which I knew, but I just feel weird. But here you have to say hello to everyone and their pet rock. And to greet someone or say goodbye you have to kiss them on their right cheek. I just really like my personal space. 

10.  What has been the funnest/funniest/happiest thing that happened this week?

I don`t even know... nothing funny is popping out at the moment. Mostly it has just been a super stressful week. 

11.  How big is the church where you are serving – a ward or a branch?

There is a ward and a church building right across the high way from our house. There are usually about 170 members which is pretty big for here. 

12.  What was church like today?

Yesterday...it was church. It was in Spanish... They don`t know how to lead music. I don't know, it was like normal church. 

13.  How is the language coming along?

Yeah... it`s coming. I couldn`t understand anything my first day. They slur their words really bad here and sometimes don`t say ¨s¨at all! Yesterday I just tried to focus on understanding the words they were saying in Spanish instead of thinking about and translating into English and that helped a lot. 

14.  Do you know that I love you “to infinity and beyond”?  Do you know how proud we are of you?  


15. Have you had to do your own laundry yet?

No, I will do that today since I didn`t have laundry soap. 

16.  What have been your first impressions of the Honduran people?  

They seem very friendly. I haven`t met anyone that is mean. Most people are very receptive and are willing to talk about religion and are willing to listen to us. They seem really happy even though they don`t have much which is amazing to me. They are all very close it seems and very independent. I don`t think they like me very much, or at least I make them nervous but they make me nervous!! 

17.  What is the best part, so far, about being a missionary?

I don`t know. I like that here I actually feel more like a missionary than I did in the CCM. These are real people and not fake investigators. 

18.  What scripture passage have you read this week that meant a lot to you?

I have been reading in Alma about the sons of Mosiah and how they were just great missionaries. it gives me hope, I guess. They suffered through so much, yet had the most happiness. They found so much strength in the Lord on their missions and saw miracles because of the great faith that they had. I just hope I can be a fraction of that kind of missionary. 

19.  What has the weather been like?

HOT and humid. It has only rained like twice though, although apparently rainy season lasts until Feb. I already have a tan line. Super attractive.

20.  What can we do to help support you in your mission?

I don`t know. Keep sending me emails and love!!! 

Today for P-Day we had a zone activity and went and played soccer (well, I didn`t really play because I hate soccer and don`t know how) and other games like signs. Then we went to Wendy`s and now we are writing. So that has been fun. 

All of the guys here whistle or say things in English like "I love you baby" when we walk by which is super creepy but whatever. 

We have fantastic investigators. We have 4 with baptismal dates and one that will be baptized this coming Thursday. 

I just wish I could understand everybody and I wish I knew what to say. It`s weird to teach with Hna P because she teaches in her own way and it`s different than how we taught in the CCM so I have to learn how to teach with her and, I don't know, it`s just a lot... missions are hard work. We study in the morning and go out for an hour to teach and then we have lunch and language study but from 2 to 8 we are out teaching. Very long days... we don`t come home for dinner which really bothers me even though we get an hour for dinner. They just eat afterwards. I`m sure I will get used to it, it`s just a long schedule. 

I don`t know... it`s just very very different here. I am so grateful for everything we have in the US. 

I left my list of things to write about at home... so I don`t remember everything I wanted to say:(

le quiro mucho!

Hna Gisseman

Flying over Mexico City

Flying over Honduras -- it's so green!

Our kitchen

Our "stove"

We have a microwave and a mini fridge

Our desks.  Mine is on the left.

Our "closet"

They don't have mirrors in the bathroom

I thought the sky was really pretty

My first investigator form -- but you can't see my name on it (I *SO* love her smile in this picture -- she looks so excited)

On the way to an investigator's house

We had to walk through a jungle-type place to get to the investigator's house

Still walking....

We had to cross a small river....

Just dirt streets

We came across these stairs when we were out teaching

Honduran baleadas, rice, beans, and cream.  It was good.

A beautiful rainbow.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Arrival in Honduras

She's in Honduras!  I tracked her flight (as did other family members -- I'm not the only one like that!) and she arrived safely in Honduras yesterday afternoon.  Last night we received this e-mail and picture from her mission president....the smile on Alyssa's face brought made me so happy!

Dear Missionary Families,

We just wanted you to know that your missionary is safe and sound with us tonight in our home.  We already love them and can't wait to get to know them better.  They will be going to a transfer meeting tomorrow where they will meet their new companion and then leave for their assigned area.  Thank you for all your prayers and love.  We are so grateful that you sent them to us.

With love,
President and Sister Dester

Monday, November 11, 2013

Week 6

(Beginning this week, Alyssa's P-Day (and thus e-mail day) will change to Monday, so look for blog updates on Mondays or Tuesdays instead of Thursdays.  This was also Alyssa's last week in the Mexico CCM (Missionary Training Center) -- she flies to Honduras tomorrow!!)

Okay, I did get the package with the card reader in it, but I didn´t get the package that you sent on Monday...I don´t know why you sent it so soon, lol. Hopefully they will forward it or send it back so you can send it again. I don´t know...I also got the package with socks and candy on Friday (but from how you talked it seemed like the color remover one was a separate package)

1.       What will you miss the most about the MTC? I will miss being with my district. I have become such close friends with them--especially the hermanas and Hermana B. Today was weird because not all of us were in class. It just seems like we were all meant to be a family here. 

2.       What are you most looking forward to in Honduras? Just being able to actually experience a different culture. The CCM still feels like America since we all pretty much speak English. 

3.       What is your absolute favorite MTC memory? I don´t know... There are too many good ones. I won´t forget our elders playing invisible ball or how Hermana B everything on her imaginary friend Victoria. Like the door shuts by itself--Geez Victoria! I don't know... it´s really funny. I have really enjoyed devotionals, too.

4.       What do you think was the biggest thing you learned in the MTC that will help you the most on your mission? Being able to see the things that I am not good at. Also Hermana V showed us a binder from her mission and she went through every point in each lesson and wrote scripies (scripture verses) and inspired questions, pictures and analogies in a chart so she had everything super organized and ready-made lesson templates, I guess, and I really want to do that on my mission to and keep an ongoing project and add to it.

5.       What has been the spiritual highlight of your week? We had an awesome devotional on Sunday from the director of the CCM about how we shouldn´t look back like Lot´s wife. It was so good. He talked about how we need to have faith in the future and never look back. 

6.       What has been the funniest thing that happened this week? Hermana H can do a lot of different voices and last night for our last district meeting she whipped one out and the elders had never heard her do them before. Elder J just about died. It reminded me of when mom and grandma and everybody gets going and starts crying and everybody laughs and nobody can stop. It was so funny. 

7.       What have you learned about yourself this week that you didn’t know before? I really just need to have more faith that the Lord will give me things to say.

8.       How have you seen the Lord bless you this week? Hermana W has been sick for the whole past week now and I´ve been praying that I won´t get sick and I´m still not:)

9.       If you could give any piece of advice to an incoming missionary, what would it be? SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE! Our district didn´t and I don´t feel like my Spanish improved much at all. 

10.   How many SD cards do you have? I can´t upload to Shutterfly on these computers because it´s blocked, but I probably will be able to in Honduras. I think I only have one other SD card. If you want to send me another you can, or I can buy one.

11.   Do you remember that your camera also takes video?  (hint, hint…..lol) I actually took a video of all of us missionaries singing "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again" on Sunday in the comedor--cafeteria--because it´s a tradition. 

12.   How is your reading in "Jesus the Christ" coming along? FINISHED! It´s so good and especially the end made me just really want to be alive for the Second Coming. 

13.   Who is your favorite character in the scriptures right now? Today, it´s Amulek. That´s where I am in the scriptures right now and he is just pretty awesome. 

14.   How did things end up with your investigators? Luis has a baptismal date. He is still trying to live the Word of Wisdom. And Juana... well, she´s less grumpy. But in real life she never got baptized. 

15.   Did you lose weight, gain weight, or stay the same in the MTC? I don´t have a scale, but I don´t know. I don´t think I gained weight unless it was muscle since we worked out every day. I can do 2 sets of 30 push ups now and I´m pretty impressed. 

16.   What talent or skill have you discovered that you didn’t already know you had? I have a higher tolerance to eat weird food than I thought I did.

17.   Did you have to speak on your last Sunday in the MTC?  (If not, lucky duck!) YES!!! And President Pratt was there. Lucky me. I had to give a talk on the subject, "The Book of Mormon testifies of Christ". It was only like 5 minutes but still. And we sang. Hna C had the music for "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", so we sang that but with the words to "Joseph Smith´s First Prayer" but in Spanish and on the a capella section, we hummed and she recited the first vision...I don't know if that´s allowed, but we did it. it was really pretty:)

18.   How is the language coming along? Eh...I can speak more than I think I can, like I said though, our district hasn´t spoken the language much so I don't know.

19.   Do you know that I love you and I am SO proud of you?  Do you know that you’re in every prayer that is said in our home?  Aw:) You are in all of mine

20.   Who did your devotional this week and what was the subject?  What did you learn from it? Hey--I already talked about it!! It was way good though. He said Lot´s wife had more longing for the past than faith in the future and I really liked it. I think his name is Brother Kates. He talked a lot about giving up the little things, like songs in your head or, I don't know, whatever thing pulls you away from the work. Because this is the Lord´s time and it is so important to jump into the work with everything you have and to just let it carry you to places you could never imagine. 

Sorry that my grammar was so bad in this one...and it´s really short.  I feel like I don´t have much time. Next week I will be in HONDURAS!

Oh and we can´t call from the airport. In Provo you can, but Pres. Pratt said that we can´t. Sorry. I was quite looking forward to that. Oh and thanks for forwarding Johnny´s letter in my last package.

les quiero mucho!

Hermana Gisseman

We had in field training this week, too, which was just a bunch of workshops, but there was one meeting in Spanish and they gave all the English people headsets.  LOL

I'm going to Honduras!!!

Our District


 Our District with our teacher, Hermano H

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Week 5

To answer questions in the email: I didn´t get up and bear my testimony in Spanish. They don´t actually make you. And we did go to the temple today and they had the new video! So we were able to see both of them in Spanish during our time here at the CCM which is really cool!

1.  How has the weather been?
The weather hasn´t been bad. The mornings and nights are cool and the days usually warm up if the sun is out. It hasn´t rained though, but it does look more cloudy today. I wouldn´t be suprised if it rained. It´s way too dry here for my liking. My skin gets dry, but oh well. At least it isn´t snowing. 

2.  What has been the most inspirational thing that has happened this week?
I don´t know. Tons of inspirational things happen all the time. We had a live devotional with a member of the Seventy this week and he asked us to ask God 5 things: 1) Do you really exist? 2) Do you have a body? 3) Do you know I exist? 4) Do you know me? 5) Do you love me? He promised that if we did this that we would receive an answer we would never forget. So I did. And I just kept thinking, I already know all of this. Then a prompting came that said if I was able to fall asleep and stay asleep without my sleep mask that those things were all true and God was there. And sure enough, even with a streetlight outside our window, I fell asleep without it. Maybe that sounds really silly, but it´s a small miracle only I could understand--or people that know me because I really can´t sleep without my sleep mask. 

3.  What is the funniest/funnest thing that has happened this week?
Our Elders keep playing this game where they throw an invisible ball to each other and catch it and sometimes they do it in slow motion, but Elder Erickson fell out of his seat the other day catching the ball and then he just stands up and says "Está bien." It was super funny. 

4.  What do you do during your personal study time?  What kinds of things do you study?
I usually read a chapter from Jesus the Christ and they read in my scriptures. Depending on if we are teaching I may study specific topics, but right now I just want to get through the Book of Mormon again for me so I can mark good scriptures and have some basis of knowledge to draw from. 

5.  How are things going with your investigators?  In your last e-mail you said one was about to commit to a baptism date -- did that happen?  How is "Amanda"?

I should probably talk about our investigators. 

Luis: Luis has lots of questions. His friend is a member of the church and got him interested. He likes to know everything, and didn´t really want to put in the work to gain his own faith. He drinks coffee and smokes sometimes and likes to party. He asks random questions. We taught him the Word of Wisdom and read the scriptures that contain the blessings and he asked if the knowledge of hidden treasures (or whatever it says) was like piratesm lol. He has a baptismal date. 

Juana: Juana wants a relationship with God, but she feels like He doesn´t love her and doesn´t answer her prayers. As a child she was sexually abused and prayed that God would protect her. She is always just grumpy and not the funnest to teach. She gives us like 10 minutes, she never wants to answer questions. But we have made slow progress. She prays while we are there now and sometimes on her own. She went to church. We invited her to be baptized but she still needs to work on not being angry with God. 

Amanda exists no more. Hermana Valdez stopped being our teacher because she had to go teach another district and now Hno Hernandez teaches us at night. But Hna Valdez comes in during the afternoon for us to teach her as her. 

We taught a REAL investigator last night which was super scary. I´m pretty sure we confused her but then our Elders went and taught her after us and cleared it all up. They just didn´t give us any time so it was rough and, yeah...it was rough. 

6.  Do you know that we love you and are SO proud of you?  :-)  (I love you mostest.....)

7.  Do you want me to send you copies of some of your pictures from the MTC so you can put them in your little photo album?
I would love that! But I might need another photo album, too...I can´t remember if I brought an empty one. 

8.  What has been your favorite MTC experience this week?

I´ve just really loved being with my district this week. I feel like we are all really close now and it´s just so great! 

9.  What has been the spiritual highlight of your week?
Getting to go to the temple (probably for the last time on my mission) and getting to see the new video in Spanish.

10.  What have you learned about yourself this week?
I am terrible at asking people questions and getting to know them and what they need. I still don´t have enough patience. We went to the book store at the temple today and for our whole time here we were told we couldn´t go until our last time to the temple and then here come ALL the newbies to the store with us and it really bothered me because we waited so long. I was quite irritated for a while. But oh well. 

11.  Have you done any more silly putty sculpting?  I thought your dachshund was quite good. 
:-) lol not this week! I need to though. lol

12.  What has been the hardest thing to get adjusted to on your mission so far?
Being with a companion all the time. I am such an independent person and it´s weird to have to be with someone else all the time. Like there is always a shadow standing next to me and I don´t really like it. In the field though, I will probably be really grateful for my companion. 

13.  What are you looking forward to most about Honduras?
The fact that on P-Day I can actually go do things and see things! 

14.  What foods and snacks do you miss the most?
Chocolate. And normal sandwiches. 

15.  What kind of exercise routines do you want us to send to you?  I'm going to put Brie in charge of being your physical fitness advisor.  (Speaking of which, she has basketball tryouts next week so wish her luck!)
GOOD LUCK! I am really fine with whatever. I would like more arms and glutes workouts. I have a lot of abs, but you could send more of those, too. lol

16.  Do you know that Sadie and Abby love you and miss you?
aw:( I miss them too!!!! 

17.  Do you think I should go ahead and get a Christmas tree for the basement this year?
Yes. Unless you think that you will be moving out of that house before next Christmas because then you will have only used it for one year. But I think it would be nice to have a tree downstairs. 

18.  Do you have any advice for us on being good member missionaries?
Just invite people to do things--come to church, activites, I don't know, whatever--if you don´t invite people to do anything, chances are they will never do it! 

20.  Which general authority gave your devotional this week and what did they talk about? Richard G Scott on Sunday and I honestly don´t remember... which is terrible. I took notes though, I just don´t remember. 

In other news....

You still haven´t told me how much you will take out of my account per month. If you want to send me a sock or a sock bun thing so I can do a sock bun, that would be cool. No rush though. 

I was reading and I liked Mosiah 28:6-7 It just made me think about what parents go through when they send their kids out on missions. 

(Mosiah 28:6-7 says:  6 And king Mosiah went and ainquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to preach the word.  7 And the Lord said unto Mosiah: Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will adeliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.) 

I don´t know if the package you sent on Monday will get here before I leave... I did get donuts this week:) Thanks Mom! I also got more pictures from the Stylers! I love getting mail! 

OH This is important! I will be able to email before I leave, I don't know what day yet though. BUT if I can call from the airport, what number do you want me to call? I will have my flight plans by the time I email you again. 

I feel like I am not an inspirational email person. Sorry everybody lol. I love getting emails from you all! You are just so great!

Te quiero mucho!

Hna Gisseman

Our district in the classroom

Our district at the temple

Our district and the MTC bus

I got a sunburn playing volleyball last week -- but it turned into a tan the next day

 We got a goodie bag from our branch president for Day of the Dead

Thanks for the Krispy Kremes, Mom!