Happy 3 months to me! For real this time, I am one sixth through my mission. LOL
COPAN RUINAS!!! They were SUPER cool! Super maciso as they would say here but I don't know how to spell it. I took lots of pictures and tried to take good ones of me with stuff and some with Hna M! There are some stylus things, death altars, pyramids and I don't know what else! A giant tree! I actually lost my camera case and my SD card reader and I was FREAKING out...But Hna M came with me and we looked for it and it turns out one of the lawn workers found it and so I have it and everything is okay. It was way cool though! Amazing that we were able to climb all over stuff and just walk to the top of the pyramids and everything. I feel like in the US that never would be allowed. Things weren't really tall, but the whole complex was really big and just so cool! Hna M and I just wanted to stay there all day...while our companions went and sat at the entrance waiting to leave. LOL I bought a t-shirt there for my quilt and I bought a belt that's really neat. It was a lot of walking and climbing stairs but really fun and worth the waking up at 4 in the morning, 15 minute taxi ride to the bus terminal, hour bus ride to Entrada, two and a half hour bus ride squished against the window to the point that I lost feeling in my left leg while having to go to the bathroom, to Copan Ruinas! It was just super awesome and I am glad that I got to spend it with Hna M. She has become my best friend here and I really will cry when we have to leave each other.
Hna A and I stayed in the house for 2 days again this week... she has a pain in her leg that hurts her when she walks which sucks because our area is a long walk from our house and then our area is huge! But the Hermana Leaders came this week! Apparently they weren't planning on coming until next week, but Pres Dester told them that they should come early... so they came and it was awesome. Hna A couldn't walk that day so she stayed at a member's house and I went out with Hna McC. She is American but spoke Spanish to me all day which I appreciated! She is just super awesome and talks to everyone and we got 3 new investigators and she was able to find things out about our investigators that Hna A and I hadn't been able to or just didn't ask. So that was awesome. Hna McC says I'm a great example though and such a hard worker. So at least someone can recognize that I am trying really hard.
I am glad that you had the missionaries over! They always need someone. I love that one of the hermanas in our Ward, Hna V who is the Relief Society president (NOTE: Relief Society is the women's auxiliary organization in the LDS Church), says that missionaries are here to look out for othes, but who looks out for us? She always tries to be a mom to the missionaries so they feel like they have someone that is looking out for them. And good job at reading the scriptures!!!
1. What did you do for New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day?
New Years was quite uneventful... we went to bed early. Hna A was sick and went to bed at like 6. We had to be in early at 6 pm... so then Hna M and I watched a movie--Rio, I think-- and then got tired and went to bed... so I didn't stay up for the fireworks. I went to bed at like 11 pm but could hear the fireworks. So then I woke up and it was 2014 and I feel SUPER old!!!! Then our district wanted to play soccer...but it wasn't P-Day and Hna M and I had already showered and gotten dressed so we decided to have our own companion study together while they played soccer with people from the ward. We studied the section on Christ-like attributes and it helped me so much to see the things that I can improve on and to really understand better how all of the characteristics are linked together. To truly master one, you have to have some of the others. Like patience, for example, you need to have charity to love those around you and you also need faith in the Lord to know that really everything will be okay. It was just awesome and I really hope one day Hna M and I can be companions so that we can work hard like that together. We are both here for each other and we study the language together, we cooked together this week and had a picnic. She's just great. But, yeah, we studied those attributes to see what we can improve this year as people and as missionaries. I encourage everyone to truly read this section in Preach My Gospel and to not be prideful. I think before my mission I would hear people give talks or lessons on how to improve on a certain attribute and I would just brush it off like I didn't need to work on anything, or that that was only for other people. But even in the diligence section--I thought I was pretty dilligent because I am such a hard worker, but there is WAY more to it! And there is a ton that I can improve. So anyway...after that our companions didn't want to leave the house because they claimed no one would be home. So we cleaned our gross house and did laundry.
2. What was the best thing that happened this week?
Being able to go out and teach with Hna McC. I really want to be a missinoary just like her!
3. What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
Going to Copan Ruinas today with everybody in the zone! Oh, there were sunny days this week, too, so I just went on the roof and studied. I got a little sunburnt, lol, but I will take that any day over cold and cloudy!
4. What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
Studying with Hna M. Really there are so many things that we can improve. None of us are perfect, and when we think we are we have too much pride. AND one of our investigators, K, commited to be baptized on the 25th! She is 16 and has a baby. She is super religious and can quote the Bible! She always has great questions and she truly wants to learn more. She came to church and really liked it. She realizes that she needs to be baptized in the church to receive the Holy Ghost. She wants that blessing in her life. I really hope that she will be able to come to church so that she can be baptized on that date.
5. Were you able to teach more lessons this week? Find any new investigators? Do any service?
Not really. We had about the smae number of lessons, in fact a little more since we had divisions so numbers apparently count for both missionaries... Hna McC and I found new investigators!
6. How is your personal study going? What are you studying, and what stuck out to you this week?
Still Doctrine and Covenants and all of it is like missionary work! And just how we are all called to this work and we all have something to do! I liked that. Somewhere it says we need to read the Book of Mormon sincerely, I think in Moroni 10, and that means we need to be willing to act on what we learn, act on the doctrine and incorporate it into our lives. If we don't we are just reading words. So anyone struggling with a testimony of this book, read it and act upon it and I know that if you do that you will come to know that it is true. I have done it and so many others have as well and I know it's true. Also I reflected on the question, what are we doing to show the Lord that we love Him? He has done everything for us, what are we doing to show Him our thanks?
7. What has been the strangest food you’ve eaten this week?
It's not strange but I had canteloupe juice again! It was actually really good. Oh, and I made green beans! Something healthy finally. And Hna M and I made pasta soup which was way good! Who needs recipes? Just throw stuff in a pot and it will all work out.
8. Did you see anything unusual this week?
The Copan Ruinas is all.
9. What have you learned about yourself this week?
I learned that I teach according to a plan and an outline. So I teach by the pamphlets. I can still teach to people's needs since we teach people not lessons, but I am very ordered. Hna A is different...she just talks. Hna C is like me which is why we were able to teach so well together. It's not that I didn't know that about myself; I just never really realized it.
10. In what area do you think you’ve improved this week?
I think I have been able to recognize my weaknesses a lot more this week. Not in a bad way at all, just to see where I can improve.
11. Do you know that I love you SO much and I miss you?
12. What advice would you give Austin who is just going out to Texas this week to start his work in the mission field, and to Amy as she prepares for her mission?
Follow the rules as exactly as you can and work hard. You should work so hard that you just want to sleep when you get home. OK, well, if you don't feel like that everyday it doesn't mean you are a terrible missionary, but work hard so that you know there is nothing more you could have done and that you truly put it all on the table for the Lord. Be dilligent in all things, even the small rules that don't seem like they matter and ALWAYS love your companion.
13. What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week?
Copan Ruinas and the drive home through the mountains. I just love the mountains here and they are so green!
14. What ways have you found to serve Hna A this week? To serve others?
I try to be sensitive to how she is feeling and if she's sick I try and make sure she has water and that the fan is on if she wants it and stuff like than instead of just letting her do all that for herself. I don't know. I just try to be there as best I can for Hna M and help her in what she is feeling, too, since I am only a month ahead of her. I don't know that I really help her out but she always says how grateful she is for me.
15. What is your favorite hymn right now? Are there any hymns you’ve sung there from the Spanish hymnbook that aren’t in the regular hymnbook?
There is a New Years hymn in the Spanish hymn book that we dont have in English...and I don't have a favorite hymn at the moment. Probably "There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today" since I need to work on being happy.
16. Have you had more opportunities to sing, lead the music, speak, or play the piano?
17. What did you learn in your district meeting or zone meeting this week?
That I cannot practice teach in fron of our district. Oh yeah! We had the APs, ZLs and president come to our meeting! President Dester did interviews again so I got to meet with him twice! But yeah, they wanted us to practice teaching the Book of Mormon in front of everyone and I just couldn't do it and I didn't say anything. We were supposed to teach the APs (assistants to the mission president) and I just shut down and got really nervous so then they taught us instead....so that's really embarassing but I just couldn't. I feel quite inadequate sometimes and especially in our crazy district I just think they judge me. I need to stop judging them, though. President Dester reminds me of my Bishop from BYU. He just talked about stories from his life and it was nice. He said that I will be like a butterfly and one day I will just realize that I have wings.
I got a card from Grandma and Papa! I love how it danced, hahahaha! Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
Oh, so another water story.... our water tank ran out of water. Hna A or Hna C just forgot to open the valve or something and so it ran out and we couldn't shower for 4 days... so I showered with a bucket AGAIN! UGH But then the water came and we filled up the tank. So then we filled up the pila...I went to bed and the water was still running and I asked if they would make sure to close the valve to the pila before they went to bed...yeah, I woke up and the pila was overflowing because it had been on all night! Our water bill will be really high this month.
If you could send me a flash drive and if you could put music on it, Spanish hymns, songs, I don't care because our DVD players read flash drives, and a new memory card in case mine gets full.... and Past Tense doTERRA stuff. I hope to get a package tomorrow!
Love you all! Hope you had a great new year!
A cute dog in a cute sweater...
For New Year's, they make these big life-sized dolls and put fireworks inside and then blow them up to symbolize killing the old year!
Hna M and I made soup and had a picnic on the roof
Hna M and me
It's so hilly here, but so beautiful
The biggest tree I've ever seen!