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....

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