Monday, February 24, 2014

Week 21 -- Hot weather -- love it!


I got your package from Valentines day this week:) I love the shirts that you sent and the rice!!! Everything was perfect:)

It was nice and toasty warm this week. I got a little sunburned:)

I got to clean that room of the temple! It is really big! 

Let the missionaries walk the dogs -- lol -- that would be fun for them  haha. 

The ruta is the mail route. We can send letters to missionaries, to our families, we receive our mail and any materials we asked for all through the ruta. The Johns are in charge of it and organize the mail system for all of us. 

Power has been fine. We still don't have phones... apparently there is a prison somewhere in the country and prisoners figured out how to call people from inside the prison so they are working on putting out a signal to cancel the signal in a one kilometer radius around this prison but they haven't been able to control it so Santa Rosa still doesn't have any signal. But about half the mission has service. I don't know if that story is right. That is just what we heard from a member. 

About the apartment we want to move's so nice! It's really close to our area and the church. There is water there 24/7 and it's secure.  There is an outside locked door and security cameras on the inside. If we ever get phone service I think that we will move. President Dester is really open to the idea, we just can't call Elder John to talk to him about it because we still dont have phones!!! AAAH

This week we had divisiones (splits) with the sister training leaders. I was with Hna E who is my "grandma" in the mission since shes Hna P's trainer. I was really scared actually because she has always seemed a little intimidating, but she was actually really fun to be with. She said that I teach in a very logical manner. I thought that was really funny since I am such a logical person. 

This week I dreamed like 4 nights about missionary work. I wake up and go to work, then I come home and dream about missionary work! Que barbaridad! (How crazy!) I just thought it was really funny. 

1.  How was church attendance yesterday?  Did you have some investigators there?  How about the woman with the two children that came to church last week when you didn’t expect her to?  

Asistencis (attendance) was 104 which is still pretty good for our rama (branch). We didn't have any investigators, though, which was really sad. I kind of wanted to cry. But we did have 4 of our menos activos (less active members) there. It just makes me so sad when people don't exercise their agency in a good way. Hna V said that it has really showed her how our Heavenly Father must feel when we don't exercise our agency in the way He would like us to. 

2.  What miracles and/or tender mercies have you seen this week? 

The other day we left in the morning to find 2 people we had contacted in the street and of course they weren't home. So we walked around looking for them and contacted other people for an hour but we still had an hour left and we really didn't know what to do. So a menos activo (less active member) lived really close so we just decided to go visit him. Well, he wasn't home, but his wife who is a counselor in the Relief Society presidency was home and when she answered the door we could tell she had been crying. She was having a really hard time. We shared a message that we had read in the morning to share with another family, but felt prompted that it was for her, too. I don't remember what talk it was...I think it was "will ye be made whole" or something like that. Anyway, after that visit we both felt the spirit really strongly but still didn't know where to go. Then I remembered that there was someone who lived in the house across the street who usually is never home, but she had said that she wanted to learn more. So we have passed by there like 5 times in the past with no luck. Well, we walked by and she was there! She was waiting for the water to come. But we shared a message with her and she offered the opening prayer and started crying, saying that she was at the point of forgetting that God existed in her life until we showed up at that moment. So that was really cool that we were led to people who really needed us. 

3.  What answers to your prayers have you seen/experienced this week? That we can be guided to the poeple who need us. Like the experience above, I really felt like we were guided to those people. 

4.  What did you do for P-Day this week? 

The same. We cleaned. We washed clothes. We printed out picutures for Hna V to send to her old investigators. Then we went shopping a little bit. We came back to the house and talked for a while. Wrote cards and I read in Jesus the Christ. And now we are here. 

5.  What was the best thing that happened this week? 

The hnas lideres (sister training leaders) came. We also had another baleadas night with a family in the ward and we got to make tortillas and I always like doing that, lol.

6.  How are your investigators doing?  What specifically could we pray for to help them?  How about that less active sister (family of familia M) that you went to see and felt such strong love for?  

Well...I think they are doing alright. C still seems to have a hard heart and doesnt want to be baptized. She and G both need help recognizing answers to their prayers. Y just needs to keep coming to church. I don't know what Hna M M needs...motivation maybe. She has really bad arthritis, so maybe for her health and that she can have the strength to come to church. 

7.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week? 

An investigator gave us popcorn and I dropped one down my shirt but I obviously couldn't stop in the middle of our lesson to get this piece of I meant to get it after the lesson except I forgot about it. So when we got home after I had changed into my pjs I remembered and it had been there ALL day! It was really funny. 

8.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

I really liked something that Hna M said to me about my character. I was saying that I feel bad sometimes because Hna V is SUPER obedient. Like if we are in the house of a member longer than an hour she starts to freak out and get antsy and like we have to go! And I was like that before with Hna P. I was feeling bad that I really didn't have that impatience or, I don't know, dying desire to be exactly on time like I did before. I don't know.  I felt like I had become lazy. But Hna M started talking about the Savior. He was perfect. He was patient. He had tons of people to visit, but did He ever rush through one person because perhaps he had a cita (appointment) at 5? No, He took the time necessary with each of the people He healed, He taught. He probably was never antsy teling His disciples that He had to go. It was probably His disciples who were telling Him, Hey now, maybe it's time we left. But He was still perfectly obedient. He was willing to spend time with the one. She said that I am just learning to recognize when people need that extra time. Not that we stay in appointments longer than we are supposed to or anything like that. We are obedient. But wilth certain menos activos (less active members) or investigators, sometimes they need a little more time for questions or to just talk to someone. I thought that that was really interesting and it helped me out a lot. Because really, could you picture the Savior saying to someone, okay, well, it's been an hour and I really need to go now? No. He always had time for the one. Also she was sharing how all of us need to seek our own spiritual gifts and not be overly modest about them. As people it's hard for us to pick out the things we do really well. The example of the Savior again: He was the Son of God and He knew it, but He didn't boast about it. We should all know who we are and what we are good at, not to boast but to use those gifts to help others. I don't was just a really neat experience to think about things and about the Savior in ways that I didn't before. 

9.  Were you able to teach more lessons this week?  Find any new investigators?  Do any service? 

We taught more! Our goal for lessons is 30 as a zone and we taught 33! And that doesn't include our lessons with menos activos (less active members)! So we worked hard this week! We also had divisiones (splits) so we were both working the same day and have double for one day, but still. We found some new people but I don't know who will progress out of the pool of people we have found. We did some service on the side of the road. A kid dropped a bag of dried corn and we helped him pick up the kernels. 

10.  How is your personal study going?  What are you studying, and what stuck out to you this week? 

I am trying to get through the New Testament but I'm only in Luke and it's a lot about the life of Christ. I feel like I have read the parables and stories like 50 times, lol, so my progress in there is slow. I love reading them, just not back to back while reading Jesus the Christ at the same time. Hopefully my progress there will pick up after John. I have been reading conference talks and they are all so great! Like every one of them is really good! I liked the one you shared about the good samaritan. All of us in the church have tons of things to do and lots of responsibility but we should always be willing to help and do what we can. Something that stood out to me as a theme from the talks I was reading is that we have to LIVE the gospel. It is not enough to just know the gospel, we must live it. To be converted we must live the principles that we learn. If we don't live it, we will inevitably fall away. 

11.  What kinds of interesting foods have you cooked or eaten this week?  Have you used your comals?  Are you going to bring it home so you can make good tortillas for us? 

Of course I will bring the comal home. I ate lentils this week. Hna V made some for lunch with marinara sauce and they were actually really good. Other than that I haven't eaten anything weird. I did make myself water with oatmeal in it... I am becoming catracho! (Thats what Hondurans call themselves) I haven't used my comal yet but Hna V used hers. I haven't had the time yet! 

12.  Did you see anything unusual this week? 

Nope. But a dog almost bit me again. Like legit. We were walking down these stairs and a dog started barking just at me and then he ran at me and so I started to run and scream and Hna V turned around and yelled at the dog and she said that he had his jaws open ready to bite me and he was SUPER close to my leg. I could feel his breath on my calf. So that was pretty scary. All the dogs here hate me and I don't know why. 

13. What have you learned about yourself this week? 

That I really am a very logical person.  LOL

14.  In what area do you think you’ve improved this week? 

Hna V and I are trying to develop Christlike attributes and so this week we were working to grow our faith (see picture) and it's interesting because faith affects everything we do. So try to look for miracles during the day. We try to stay positive. We just have to trust that we will be able to find new people and that will be able to communicate with our limited Spanish. I don't know, we are still working on it, but it has helped me see that I really have more faith that I think that I do. 

15.  Have you found it easier to enjoy yourself and be happy this week? What was your happiest moment this week? 

Mas o menos. (More or less)  When the sister training leaders were here it was really fun because they are just fun people. But at the same time, it make me sad because I just want to be a kind of person like them. But I still have such a long way to go. So I got a little discouraged, but in some of the conference talks it says that you just have to keep trying and eventually your efforts will help you become who you want to be. So I have to remember that I can only do what I can and try everyday.

16.  Do you know that I love you SO much and I miss you? 


17.  What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week? 

My package from you:)

18.  How has the weather been this week? 

Nice and hot!!! 

19.  What ways have you found to serve your companion and others this week? 

Hna V and I always have this competition to see who finishes dishes first so the other one can wash them. She always buys a ton of groceries, too, so I help her carry them to the house. But we really haven't been able to do much service. People always say "No, we don't need any help"

20.  What did you learn in your district meeting or zone meeting this week? 

We had a district meeting and Elder P was talking about how all of us have the same calling and that none of us is greater than the other. Senior companions are no better than junior companions, they just have more experience. It's always good for me to remember. I tend to reflect too much on the title that I have, when really we are working TOGETHER in this work and titles don't matter. 

21.  Are you and your companion asking for more help from the branch?  What other families in your branch are helpful to the missionaries besides Hna Veronica, Hna Amanda, and familia Miranda? 

Honestly, right now nobody. Everyone else helps the other hermanas because almost nobody lives in our area. It should get easier when we have phones so we can call people, but as of right now we don't have much support at all.  And we still don't have a ward mission leader so that makes it harder to communicate.

I am still so tired, but we are working hard. I love my companion! I really could not think of a better companion for me right now than her! I learn so much from her and she's such a great example!  :) 

Are you still going to send me sandals? I think somehting like Teva would be the best. But really I just want some sandals. 

I love you all! Keep supporting the missionaries in any way you can!

les queiro mucho!

Hermana Gisseman


Our notes/reminder on faith ("fe")

We got an interesting text message this week....

My desk....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 20 -- Never been so happy to be so tired

Hola!  Hope you guys had a good Valentines Day! 

In my talk in church last Sunday I was asked to talk about missionary work again. I didn't want to repeat anything that I had said before but I did reuse some scriptures. There is one in Mosiah that talks about the sons of Mosiah and how when they even thought that some of their brethren didn't know of the truth, they trembled. All of us need this desire. I think too often we are casual about the whole missionary work thing. These are our brothers and sisters and salvation is on the line. We (myself included) need to develop this great love and this great desire to share with others. And I also said somehting about how we always say that we should follow Christ and try to be like Him. Well, during His life what did He do? He taught the people and brought them to the truth of the gospel. We need to follow not only His example as far as attributes--He was loving and kind and patient and long suffering--but we need to follow His example of teaching and sharing the gospel. That was part of His mission and it should be part of ours. We cannot say that we are truly following Christ until we are willing to share with others and are wiling to participate in the same work that He did. 

For church we use the hymn CDs. I dont know if Melissa Merrill has gotten the package yet or not... I haven't gotten anymore packages but we didn't get the ruta this week so maybe next week. 

Contacting here is talking with people on the street. So we stop to talk to people and we share a little something and ask if we can visit them in their homes another day. Sometimes we come to a house and ask them if they know where somebody lives and then contact them which is pretty sneaky because usually we just name a person who we already know lives close, heehee. 

The phones are still down....there was talk that we wouldn't get water for 20 days here in Santa Rosa but apparently the government paid what they were supposed to and now we have our regular water system. 

The four of us hermanas in our house actually just sat around and talked, all four of us, the other night just talking about funny things. It was fun.  I would prefer to move to a different house, even though it would mean leaving Hna M, because our house is SO FAR from our area... 

1.  Do you have someone who plays the piano for your church meetings, or do you guys use the hymns on CD?  How often do you lead the music for church? 

Like I said we have CDs. Apparently when another hermana was here she played the piano, but when she left they just went to the CDs. Its funny because with the CDs they sing all the verses that are written and they don't stop the CDs so we, too, sing every verse written. I only led the music the one Sunday because the chorister wasn't at church. 

2.  What miracles and/or tender mercies have you seen this week? 

We contacted an hermana in the street the other day and we passed by her house to visit her and she wasn't home, but we left a note. We went back on Saturday because our other appointment fell through and she was in her house! We taught her and really it was not the best lesson we have had. I was super tired and, I don't know, my Spanish wasn't coming as easily as it usually does when we are teaching Lesson 1 and there were some distractions because she has a toddler and a baby. But at the end of the lesson both of us felt the prompting to invite her to church. So we invited her and she was like, Yeah, I will go! And then on Sunday after the sacrament she walked in with her 2 kids and sat with us! It was amazing. We literally have only taught her one time. We didn't pass by her house Sunday morning or anything. She came of her own free will and motivation even though it had to have been hard to come alone (she's a single mom) and to a place she had never been before. It was certainly a tender mercy .We had walked 30 minutes to an investigator's house and then she told us she couldn't come because she had errands....then we walked 30 minutes to the church and it was literally uphill both ways. We were so tired and at the start of the meeting we didn't have anyone there. I amost cried during sacrament because I just wanted somebody to come! And then after the sacrament in she came! It was amazing! And she said that next time she will come more prepared for her baby. She had to leave before Relief Society...but shes going to come again!!! 

3.  What answers to your prayers have you seen/experienced this week? 

The water came on Friday but it came during the night and it wasn't strong enough to fill up our tank of water and it left pretty early in the morning. Because the tank is on the roof so gravity can help out the plumbing.... but the water wasn't strong enough to reach the roof so I was super worried that we weren't going to have water. And at this time there were still rumors that the water wasn't going to come for 20 days. I prayed so hard in the morning that by some miracle we would be able to fill up the tank. When we came home at night we had water again!  It was strong enough and lasted just long enough to fill up our tank and then it left again. But it was certainly an answer to prayer and a miracle because the water never comes twice in the same day! It never comes back and it did this time just long enough to fill our tank. 

4.  What did you do for P-Day this week? 

We cleaned, did grocery shopping. We bought comals which are pans to cook tortillas! Hna V took a nap and I read since I can't take naps... We had study time since we are trying to be more obedient. And now we are here writing. 

5.  What was the best thing that happened this week? 

People came to church! Asistencia (attendance) was the highest it has been in all my time here in Santa Rosa! We had 112 people at church and we usually have 80 or 90! And there were menos activos (less actives) there and our 2 investigators (Y and G came, too!) and it was just great! I felt like some of our hard work was paying off.  
6.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week? 

I think I told the story of the people who were having like a prayer war with each other... well, we went back there to visit the hermana and she prayed again and she just shouts and both of us peeked at her and she was like shaking her hands like she was having some kind of fit and then when she finished she like wiped off her face and said "Que Rico!!" And it was super funny. Now we have an inside joke. But this story is not nearly as funny as it is when it is in person. I can't demonstrate what she did through the internet... 

7.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

We visited a menos activo --the family of familia M--and she opened up to us and was just talking and she is super pilas (???) and knows that she can only be happy in the iglesia (church).  But we both just feel the spirit so strongly in her house. I just felt like I was at home and I just love her. I can't say that I have really loved an investigator or a person here but I just love this hermana. She fed us dinner and just talked and, I don't know, I almost cried like 3 times with her, lol, and I never cry. It was just a very powerful experience to feel this love for her. This week I have been able to feel the Savior's love for the people, but this was me loving this hermana. 

8.  How are your investigators doing?  

Well, we had to drop K. She stopped coming to church. We passed by her house twice and ran into her mom like 4 times and she wasn't there and then her mom told us that she moved and we don't know where exactly she moved to and we don't have a number and her family uis about to move too and yeah... so it's sad, but it wasn't her time and she really wasn't progressing since she wasn't coming to church... C was on vacation in Tegucigalpa the past 2 weeks so we haven't seen her. But we have an appointment tommorrow to visit them. G is doing well. He came to church., He even had questions in Sunday School. He pays attention really well. He stayed for all 3 hours of church. He told us that he does want to get baptized or that he knows that he should, he just wants time. Which is reasonable.

9.  Were you able to teach more lessons this week?  Find any new investigators?  Do any service? 

We helped clean peoples houses and wash some dishes but that's about it. If the missionaries ever ask if there's anything they can do just let them do the dishes or sweep the floor because, really, doing service is fun and most people just say no, lol. We met most of our goals this week! We taught a ton more lessons. We are contacting tons of people but for now only a few have become new investigators, but we will continue to work!

10.  How is your personal study going?  What are you studying, and what stuck out to you this week? 

I finished Our Search for Happiness and Our Heritage. I love the example of the early members of the church and pioneers. Its amazing how much they went through. It makes my 30 minute walk uphill both ways look pretty easy. I liked Our Search for Happiness but I didn't love the style of the book so it made it a little harder to enjoy. I did like how he said that faith is like an anchor. It is seemingly small but sumamente importante (extremely important)! It keeps us strong and anchors us to the gospel. But I am still trying to work my way through the New Testament. I am almost done with Mark. I think it's funny because Mark is the shortest gospel writer and it's the same name as Daddy and Daddy is concise, too. I just think that all of us really should think a little more about the sacrifices of others instead of dwelling on our own problems. The saints suffered so much! It was a great reminder to me that even though times are hard, it is a blessing to get to serve and I will cherish these moments in my mission.  

11.  What kinds of new foods have you cooked or eaten this week? 

Nothing new sadly. Same old same old. We did try to cook our own tortillas this week and they didn't turn out so great, lol.  I think it was because the pan wasn't hot enough though and for this we bought our comals (pan for cooking tortillaws?). Vamos a ver (we will see)...

12.  Did you see anything unusual this week? 

Nope. Last week we walked by somebody who was taking a shower outside... that's always lovely. 

13. What have you learned about yourself this week? 

That I really still have a long way to go with patience, lol. Our challenge from our district meeting was to be more patient. So as a companionship we prayed for patience.... yeah, everyone says don't do it... don' t do it! All of our appointments fell through and we walked from colonia to colonia (neighborhood to neighborhood?) and, yeah, we just talked with the people we could but it was hard! So don't pray for patience, lol. But also I really can speak to people for the most part in Spanish and it still amazes me. I don't have to translate what they are saying into English, it's just Spanish and for the most part it all makes sense.

14.  In what area do you think you’ve improved this week? 

Having faith. With us having to just look for new people pretty much all week and being drop dead tired about every day I have really had to rely on my faith and hope that the Lord will lead us to the people who are prepared. And He has. We found a handful of menos activos (less active members) this week who are all men who could be leaders, priesthood holders that this branch needs! We have been praying to be able to help the branch and we were led to these people who don't really need much to come back, just a little suport. But it's amazing to see the hand of the Lord in this work.

15.  Have you found it easier to enjoy yourself and be happy this week? What was your happiest moment this week? 

Yeah and no. I was pretty discouraged this week in the moments when we couldn't find anybody and didn't have any apointments because it's hard. Someone asked me when we were going to have a baptism and it just really bothered me. But then I was able to see all the good things! And people came to church and being with some of our menos activos (less active members) and investigadores (investigators) just makes me happy. So it's been a mixed bag this week.

16.  Do you know that I love you SO much and I miss you? 


17.  What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week? 

Water in our pila.  

18.  How has the weather been this week? 

Pretty warm:) We did have two cold days where I have had to layer and wear a sweater but it was nothing like it was in January!

19.  What ways have you found to serve your companion and others this week? 

We both race to finish our food so we can wash each other's dishes. I swept the bathroom for her since that was her job this week. In the house I swept it all and mopped and I cleaned the kitchen counter even though it's the responsibility of other people, too... 

20.  What did you learn in your district meeting or zone meeting this week? 

To be more patient, lol, but we had to practice teaching the first lesson in 5 minutes and it was really hard. So I need to get better at simplifying it! 

21.  Are you and your companion asking for more help from the branch?  What other families in your branch are helpful to the missionaries besides Hna V, Hna A, and familia M? 

No, since we have no phones still... but we will when we have phones. Familia O is an old couple who are just great and always have references and their kids are grown with kids of their own and were menos activo (less active members) but we are working with them and they have acompanied us twice this week and another time tonight.

22.  How do you think your relationship with the Savior has grown since you’ve been out on your mission? 

I have been able to trust Him more and feel His love for not only me but for others. 

23. Any advice for Amy Eubanks as she prepares to leave on her mission?

Advice for Amy.... The mission will be hard. It won't necessarily be hard in ways that you would think. You won't be able to be exactly obedient at all times. You will miss your family. There will be some weeks when you just cant wait for P-Day. But when you really focus on the people you are teaching, everything else goes away and you just go to work. It will be scary to be in a new place with different people and a different culture, but there will always be people to help you. The Lord will always be there, every minute. Don't worry. Try to have as much fun as you can and don't be embarrased to just speak because you will learn so much faster! The time really goes so fast! It seems like a long time but I really can't believe its been almost 5 months! I don't know, lol, the misison is a once in a lifetime experience. Give your all to the Lord and He will bless you in ways you can't even imagine and He will shape you into the person you are meant to become if you let Him. 

The lights went out this week too...but they came back on so no worries lol. 

I'm pretty sure Erin had a birthday.... Happy Birthday! 

We have had more meal appointments this week. Mostly because now we have a member cook lunch for us every Wednesday and Friday so we don't have to walk so far from our area back to the house and she cooks really well so that's been nice.  We just buy the groceries that she needs for our meals. So far we have had vegetable rice with a beef and potato sauce, we had spaghetti and the other day I don't remember... but it was good!  She really wants a Children's Songbook in English -- can you send one for me to give to her?

I am so tired all the time this week but it has been worth it. I just don't know how long I will be tired.... 14 more months of tired is a long time, lol. But the tired has finally hit me... I really hope that we can move into a new apartment so we dont have to walk so far... 

Anyway, les quiero muchisimo!

Hermana Gisseman

(Only a couple of pictures this week.....)

Last week on P-Day Hna V and I passed by an ice cream shop and both of us were in the mood for something sweet so we got ice cream!

Silly Putty sculpting has become a holiday is my Valentine's Day sculpture....

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week 19 -- Cambios!


Okay to start off with Cambios!!!! My new companion is Hna V! She is a freakin' rockstar! Like she is awesome! She is from Utah and she is super obedient and a very hard worker. By the end of this transfer, I want to be a missionary just like her. She has 7 months in her mission. Her Spanish isn't perfect, but neither is mine, but miraculously we have been able to understand pretty much everybody! It's amazing how the Lord blesses us! I can understand even more than I could last week when I had a Latina companion! But really though, I am so glad to have her as my new companion. She made me realize how many rules Hna A and I were breaking. I wanted to be and I tried my hardest to do my part, but at the end of the day, the bottom line is that we were not obedient. I am so grateful for Hna V. She is willing to call people out. She called out some other missionaries for being late and for something else. She knows the rules and she is not afraid to stand up for them. I knew the rules, but I didn't stand up for them like I probably should have. I would like to think it was because I was the junionr companion in training and blah blah blah, but really I should have stood up for the rules more and I hope that by the end of this change I will be able to stand up to any of my future companions and defend the rules like Hermana V can. She works so hard. We literally had no appointments the past 3 days together but we worked and we contacted. Guess how many people we contacted my last change.... ONE! One person in two months. I am ashamed to say that! But in the past few days with Hna V we have talked with at least 40 different people and it's great! I never thought I would enjoy talking to strangers so much, lol. I am so grateful that the Lord has blessed me with her as a companion. I feel more energy to do this work, I am excited to do this work and I think that it will really prepare me to become the kind of missionary that I want to be. 

Okay, in other news. I was going to use the doTERRA Past Tense because I had an ache in my chest for about a week. Like the muscles when I took deep breaths hurt me, but I'm fine now. Now I will probably just use it for sore muscles I will have from working so dang hard!

Elder and Sister John were ar our multizone conference...but I didn't have my camera so I didn't take a picture with them... They are so great though:)

1.  What miracles and/or tender mercies have you seen this week?
Getting Hna V as my companion. I really was praying that I would get a companion that would help me work and help me be better and I definitely have that! I think it is a miracle that two gringas are together! And that we can understand what people are saying. Also in church on Sunday I got asked to give a talk literally 2 seconds before the meeting started. And I got to lead the music so I couldn't use that time to prep. So I pretty much got up and talked and I hope it turned out okay, lol, but I wasn't really nervous or anything. And it was in SPANISH!!! 

2.  What answers to your prayers have you seen/experienced this week?
Hermana V for sure, lol. The Lord knows exactly what we need and I honestly had lost hope for my next cambios. We were sitting in cambios and I was really worried and really upset that things weren't going to get better. I prayed for hope. As soon as I saw Hna V I was just filled with the greatest feeling of hope and excitement and that hasn't gone away. Everytime we go out and work I am just so excited. 

3.  What did you do for P-Day this week?
Today we deep cleaned the house. Hna Vance is super clean, too, and we cleaned the dang mold off the kitchen walls (in our zone conference the Johns showed the picture of my food next to the modly was pretty bad) and we cleaned our bathroom and everything that never got done before, lol. Then we went out and bought groceries. Did laundry. We read a talk to prep for our 2 noches de hogar (Family Home Evening) tonight and yeah, mostly cleaned and it was disgusting. Now we are here! 

4.  What was the best thing that happened this week?

5.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
Well its not funny at all, but its a story, lol. So last Monday (still with Hna A) we had a noche de hogar and we were late. Then we had a dinner appointment. So we got there at 8:45 when we are supposed to be in our house at 8:30... so the other hermanas were there and Hna C was apparently in a lot of pain so they had called a doctor to come over. The doctor said she needed to go to the hospital... so instead of just their companionship going, Hna A wanted to go, too. So we ended up going to the hospital at 10 pm with the other hermanas. Then we called our Zone Leaders since our District Leader wasn't in his house yet.... they were at a party. But the Zone Leaders just assumed that we were with them breaking the rules doing bad things.... awesome. So then it was like 11:30 pm... I was freaking out because we were supposed to be in OUR house at 8 30! And we still weren't and there was really no reason for us to be at the hospital. Then President Dester called the other hermanas and he also asked that we stay with them. I was kind of devastated that he didn't send us home. But then I was talking to Hna A and I felt like Nephi. Like how you shared in your email this week, I felt like Nephi. There are rules, like be in your house at 8:30, but there are higher laws and when president tells you not to go back to your house although it is past curfew, you better listen to him! So I thought that was really interesting that you shared that story this week, because I felt like I lived it in a missionary way, lol. Hna C ended up being fine. It was acid reflux. 

Here's one that is funny:  We went to this house and asked to start with a prayer and so the hermana asks her friend who was there to say the prayer and so they start going on with Señor Jesus, gracias Señor, gracias Padre, espiritu santo, blah blah, and then she starts praying super loud like shouting over him and it became like a prayer battle between the two and it went on for like 5 minutes. Hna V started laughing and I just lost it and started laughing too and it was hilarious. Luckily they didn't notice that we were laughing because they were so loud.

6.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
I loved Zone Conference. President Dester went over the rules and how important obedience is. We talked about the talk "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" and I love that talk! But I always love getting to see President Dester and Sister Dester. I feel super excited to just follow the rules. But yesterday we went and visited a Menos Activo (less active member) who was offended 25 years ago by people in the church. He is starting to come back now and it is his goal to make covenants with the Lord in the temple. I was thinking about him a lot the other day and when we got to his house and started talking I saw a picture of the temple on the wall and I just got the overwhelming assurance from the spirit that this hermano can and will one day go to the temple to make those covenants. I could feel a part of the love that the Lord has for him and it was a wonderful experience. 

7.  How are your investigators doing?  K? C and G?
I dont know. None of them came to church again. G talked with his brother about baptism and he said that while his brother was being baptized he felt like it was him. We talked with him about how that an answer from the Lord and that it was the Spirit telling him that baptism is for him! He accepted the date the 22nd but then he didn't come to church so I don't know what happened... C was out of town. K just didn't come. I am really sad that no one came again. 

8.  Were you able to teach more lessons this week?  Find any new investigators?  Do any service?
YEAH, WE DID !!!!! We had 2 less days in the week (really almost 3) because of changes and our zone conference and we still managed to teach the same number of lessons that I would have taught in a normal week before. We talked with EVERYBODY that we could this week and we are finding people...slow and steady. Because really we have nothing. Nothing has been done the past 6 months in this area. Hna A and I did practically nothing. And it just about kills me. So we have contaced a ton and met so many new people! But there have been some people who seem very prepared to receive the gospel. We will see what happens. 

9.  How is your personal study going?  What are you studying, and what stuck out to you this week?
I didn't get much personal study in this week becasue of all the traveling we had to do, but I finished Matthew. I was reading in Our Search forHhappiness and I am almost finished with that. I read a talk that Hermana Veronica gave us and I don't know what it is called in English, but it talked about how a lot of times we expect our prayers to be answered in a certain way and the Lord has His own plan. We need to conform out will, our thoughts, our prayers to His will. We need to have a positive attitude in our trials tambien (always) so that we can learn. All trials have a purpose and we may not see what that purpose is in the moment, but everything is done in the will of the Lord and we need to have the trust in Him, the faith in Him to know that what we are going through is what we need to grow. I really liked that having come out of a really difficult transfer. 

10.  What kinds of new foods have you cooked or eaten this week?
Not much. We had a ton of people cook for us this week. I haven't cooked much... I would like more Nutella, though, if anyone wants to send that.  Haha You guys can always send me beef jerky, candy, mashed potatoes, Minute Rice, Nutella etc... Now that we are working hard I don't have the ganas (???) to cook stuff... 

11.  Did you see anything unusual this week?
Not really. Everything was pretty chill and normal as it could be for this week in Honduras.

12. What have you learned about yourself this week?
I had become complacent. I think that's terrible. We can never become complacent or satisfied with where we are at. We need to always work to be better! Hna V has helped me see all the rules that I just let us break and it's because I just stopped trying. I became complacent. We can't do that. As a church, as people in general, we always need to work harder and be better or we will never become anything, we will simply become what we always were. 

13.  In what area do you think you’ve improved this week?
Talking with everyone. I honestly never contacted people before. Before this I talked to one person and her name was Carolina.  With Hna V we talked with everyone and it's really not as hard as I thought it was!!! 

14.  Have you found it easier to enjoy yourself and be happy this week? What was your happiest moment this week?
Yes. It is so much easier to be happy when we are obedient. I love the scripture in Mosiah 2:41 that says the obedient are happy and blessed and it is so true! I have been so much happier this week simply because we have been obedient.

15.  Do you know that I love you SO much and I miss you?

16.  What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week?
I always love the trip to San Pedro because it is through the mountains and everything is green and it's just beautiful. 

17.  How has the weather been this week?
Warm:) It has been sunny with scattered clouds. The nights still get chilly when the sun sets but during the day it is nice and toasty. 

18.  What ways have you found to serve your companion and others this week?
I have done dishes, I have helped clean. I wrote a nice note to Hna V to tell her how awesome she is. I am trying to share my food and my things....but that's really hard for me, lol. 

19.  What did you learn in your district meeting or zone meeting this week?
I don't remember, to be honest. I don't remember the capacitacion (lesson) from the meeting... It was really short and I'm sure they talked about how each one of us should work harder to be better this next change, lol, but so much has happened this week that I just don't remember. 

20.  Are you and your companion asking for more help from the branch?  What other families in your branch are helpful to the missionaries besides Hna Veronica, Hna Amanda, and familia Miranda?
YES! We are trying to figure out still who can come with us and help but we will definitely be making an effort to ask for help and find members who will come with us. The problem this week is that the phone companies are having problems. Apparently a law got changed and the phone company has to change its signal so we can't call anyone...and nobody can call us... so that's a problem when we are trying to get members to come out with us. 

21.  What suggestions do you have for us to improve our member missionary efforts?
Always be willing to go out with the missionaries. PLEASE befirend their investigators. Every new investigator needs to feel comfortable in the church and they need friends. Sit with them, talk to them, welcome them, invite them over for dinner.  They need support from the ward. 

Okay in other words, for exercise we left one morning to run and I am working my way through the ab and pushup month challenge... it's getting hard... I'm at 40 pushups and 80 situps and 140 crunches... lol.  But we get tons of exercise walking so I'm not too concerned. For right now I am good with exercises. 

I got letters from Tania, Oma and Opa, Grace Clark, Bro Peterson with a bulletin from the ward in GA, I got pics from Mom, the book from Erin with her darling children, and a box from the Stylers with food!!!! It was a pretty good mail week:)

I feel so weird becasue I finished my training now and I am like a real missionary and it's so weird! We actually leave in the mornings now (we were supposed to leave at 11 before but we didn't and now we have to leave at 10 and we actually do!). I feel like I am participating more in the work which is awesome. And Hna V and I have shared the lessons really well! I am surprised at everything that I have to say now.

I love you all and thank you for all of your support. Keep praying for all of the missionaries around the world! We need all the help we can get.

les quiero mucho

Hermana Gisseman
See?  Grandma's kitchen rug!!!

More of those cute little colored chicks....

This is the view of part of our area.

Gotta stay hydrated!

Hna C and Hna M made cupcakes for us!

We stopped at a little pulperia (store in someone's home) and the lady there gave us corn on the cob.

My roll of hot pink duct tape came in handy when I had to fix the shower...

Hna V and me!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 18 -- Happy Four Months to Me!

Happy 4 months to me!!!! 

I got letters fron Tania, Jan Speroni, the stake christmas letter, Martha and Wandal, and the Ogdens!!!  Thank you all!

I think that signing Brie up for EFY is a great idea! I meant to write that in my email from last week because a ton of the youth went to EFY (it's called SOY here). 

I have been sick this week.... Hna C caught a cold and then passed it on to the rest of us. Don't worry, though, because I am fine. I have been taking my Sudafed and Ibuprofen and for the most part it's almost gone. My voice just sounds really weird right now.

1.  How did the FHE go with Bayron?
It went better than I thought. Bayron is just great so the parts I said, he made sound so much better. And he gave me the time to talk instead of just dominating the whole time. I think that the family was really receptive but we will see.... they are all a little stubborn so I doubt they will continue FHE on their own. 

2.  Last week you said you helped Hna A pack – why was she packing so much in advance of transfers?
She wanted to pack up so she wouldnt have to worry about doing it this week...every day this week we have stopped somewhere so she could give out her photo with her info on it people. We have visited and revisited people so she can say bye. But lots of people want to feed us before she leaves so that's a plus. 

3.  What did you do for P-Day this week?
We played futbol since its Hna A's last P-Day and that's what she wanted to do...  I scored two goals!  Then we had lunch with familia M. Bayron taught Hna M and I Spanish grammar and I loved it! Now we are here.  

4.  What was the best thing that happened this week?
In our reunion de distrito (District Meeting) we all had to do a practice. We had to practice como comenzar a enseñar (how to begin teaching) when we knock on doors...which we don't do, but that was the practice. And I have not yet done a practice in our reuniones...and the Zone Leaders were there and they were pretending to be the investigators and I did it. Well, more like we did it since both of us had to participate. The goal was to say like one sentence each so one person wasn't monopolizing the time. But I did it and it wasn't terrible. I just hate everyone watching me and judging me... but oh well. It wasn't the best thing that happened this week...I don't know what was the best, but it was my major accomplishment. 

5.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
I found out that Hna M has seen the YouTube video "ghost in the stalls" (haha) so we were quoting it to each other... don't watch it Mom, you wn't like it (haha) but it's hilarious. 

6.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
We went to have lunch at Hna Veronica's house (the Relief Society president) and before lunch she gave us all a sheet of pink paper and asked us to write a letter to Christ. It was a little weird at first and I am sure before my mission I would have just though it was ridiculous and I wouldn't have done it but I did and it was actually a really good experience. As I wrote more I felt like He was really there listening to me. I kept wanting the words to be just perfect, being the writer/editor kind of person that I am, but they weren't. It's not about the words we have to say, it's about what we feel. While writing didn't allow me to adequately express what I feel it helped me ponder about how exactly I feel about my Savior. I didn't know how to end the letter and it just felt incomplete, but Hna Veronica asked us to share a little bit of what we each experienced and the other missionaries talked about how they wrote how much they love Him and I realized that not once in my letter did I write that or express that and then I felt really bad, but it was a great opportunity to learn. I think that a lot of us can say that we love Him or that we follow Him, but they are just words. How do we really feel about the Savior? I obviously love Him or I wouldn't be here, but it's not something I was focusing on, but it really should be the focus and the drive of everything we do. So it really opened my eyes to the fact that while I may know about Him and think a lot about Him in my head, heck, I talk about Him all day! I really need to focus on what I feel in my heart and how I am showing and developing my love for Him. I encourage everyone to sit down and write a letter to Christ. It was a great experience, really. It is so different to try to just write to talk to Him just to talk. I don't know if that made any sense.

7.  How are your investigators doing?  Was K able to come to church? How are C and G doing?  
G's  brother and his family were baptized on Friday but they are the investigators of the elders so they aren't in our branch but we got to go to the baptism since G went. C wouldn't go and we don't know why yet. But G seemed to enjoy it and we encouraged him to ask his brother why they all got baptized (it was like 6 people!) so hopefully he will talk to his brother and will be able to progress more. Nobody came to church even though they said they would and the weather was nice! They had ne excuses, but nobody came which is really frustrating to to be waiting for people who never show up.   :( 

8.  Were you able to teach more lessons this week?  Find any new investigators?  Do any service?
We did have higher numbers for lessons this week but we didnt really teach more... we cleaned a little in the houses of a few members so we ended up with a lot more other lessons since service counts. But we still didn't meet our goals... We did find one new investigator in the house of one of our investigators so we will see what happens with her. It is just frustrating because we teach the same people and none of them are progressing...
9.  How is your personal study going?  What are you studying, and what stuck out to you this week?
I studied more in Matthew and read Jesus the Christ at the same time to compare. I realized that I like to read the Book of Mormon more because it really is like a story with lots of details and cool stuff and the New T Testament (at least in the first four gospels) is super short and concise. So I liked reading the larger narration in Jesus the Christ and then the account in the scriptures. I can't think of anything in particular that stood out to me though... for my 12 weeks of training we had to watch "The District" videos again that I had to watch before my mission and I loved them now whereas before I thought they were dumb... lol... but on the mission with nothing to watch anymore I loved them and I just want to be an awesome missionary like they were.

10.  What kinds of new foods have you cooked or eaten this week?  How much money do you get for food every two weeks, and how much do you usually spend of that?  What happens with the money you don’t spend?
I tried lots of new food this week, actually. I had watermelon juice which was way good, I ate leftover fries which were not... I had atol de piña which is like apple cider made out of pineapple and a little thicker and it was way good. Someone gave us arroz con leche and pinol and there was tree bark in it!!! Just kidding -- it was cinnamon bark. I tried a filipina which is something related to the banana, and I ate lime with salt and pepper on it. Apparently the people of Central America LOVE IT! It's like candy to them. I almost gagged and I couldn't swallow for like a minute, lol, and it was so sour and it hurt my jaw, lol. We get around 2200 lempira every 2 weeks which is like 100 dollars. We take out all of the money we can so we always have cash since not many places accept cards. I usually spend 500 to 700 lempiras on groceries. The rest is usually on taxis, internet, when we play soccer, snacks, if we have to take a bus to San Pedro or to entranda for zone stuff, etc and at the end of the 2 weeks I usually have 500 lempira leftover. We are supposed to give the extra money back through the ruta but nobody does because most of the missionaries spend most, if not all, they have. I keep the leftoever and then I can buy more expensive groceries when I need to but at the end of my mission I assume it will have accumulated so I will give it back at the end. 

11.  Did you see anything unusual this week?
I saw a horse eating tortillas in the street, lol.

12. What have you learned about yourself this week?
I really love to decorate things. We decorated the elder's building for the wedding and baptism of G's family and it was so fun. I ended up blowing up almost all the balloons by myself.

13.  In what area do you think you’ve improved this week?
I don't know this week... I really don't. I did realize that I could tell a story in Spanish for the most part without help and it made sense. I remember when I was with Hna P and she asked me to tell a story I couldn't even find the words. So that was good since I have been wanting to see progress. 

14.  Have you found it easier to enjoy yourself and be happy this week? What was your happiest moment this week?
Yeah... it hasn't been too hard since everybody is giving us food, lol. I think when G showed up to the baptism was the happiest moment. 

15.  Do you know that I love you SO much and I miss you?

16.  What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week?
I remembered one from last week. When we went to San Pedro Sula we drove through the mountains and the clouds were just sitting in the valleys and it was so pretty and I wish I had a picture but I dont.

17.  How has the weather been this week?
Warm and sunny and perfect! 

18.  What ways have you found to serve Hna A this week?  To serve others?
We have cleaned some houses. We always try to wash dishes. With her I have tried to be patient since she is leaving and it's really hard for her. 

19.  What did you learn in your district meeting or zone meeting this week?
That I can practice! 

20.  What other families in your branch are helpful to the missionaries besides the RS President (sorry, can’t remember her name) and familia Miranda?
Um.... well lots help the other hermanas because they ask for help. No one else really helps us because Hna A doesn't ask anyone. There is one hermana who always comes with us to visit her friend, Hna Amanda. 

21.  How can we better support and encourage you?
Always write me letters and such, but other than that nothing else that I can think of.

SO we went to a menos activos (less active member's) house and they had Grandma's kitchen rug in there! We are going back today and I will take a picture with it, heehee.

Also I got a new mattress this week!!!! My old mattress sucked and I realized that it smelled super bad! But now I have a brand new one that is great and smells nice.   :)

So that reminds me...while i was in San Pedro we stopped to use the bathroom at a gas station... we had to pay 3 lempiras to use the bathroom but that price apparently didn't include toilet paper...and there was none in the bathroom.... until one hermana found a roll under the sink. It was a little damp and a little pinkish...but you use what you have. So that was interesting...LOL, oh Honduras. 

Oh and a dog kind of bit me. It didn't draw any blood, I just have a bruise, but yeah, that wasn't fun. That's about all, folks. 

I love you all!

Hermana Gisseman

I made a new cover for my next planner....
Doing face masks with the other hermanas
Ready to head to the bi-mission conference last week
The start of the rag rug I'm making
This is a handheld fried pie with potatoes in it and a type of coleslaw on the top.  The coleslaw is really acidic but I like it.
A bag of that coleslaw with pickled vegetables.  I don't like the pickled vegetables -- just the coleslaw.
Mold on our walls...can't figure out how to get rid of it.
My nasty old mattress...
My beautiful clean, new mattress....
The bruise from the dog bite....but don't worry, it didn't break the skin.

Our decorations for the wedding.  Weddings aren't a really big deal here, in terms of decorating.

Hna A and me.

WIth C and her family

Hna A wrote on her arm

WIth our district

Just goofing off

Isn't this the cutest puppy????