Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 24 -- What I've Learned So Far


First off this week was a lot better and thank you for all of your emails of support and encouragement.

1. How was church attendance yesterday? Did you have some investigators and less active members there? Did Gerardo come to church again? What about those two sisters who showed up that you had contacted in the street a few weeks ago?

We actually had district conference so church was different. Instead of being in our chapel, it was in the chapel in the valley which is like 5-10 minutes in taxi and about 20-30 walking. So unfortunately our investigators did not want to pay the money or spend the time to come. We did have one investigator there and she is 12 and the friend of a member and so the member brought her, but at least we had one there! We had a lot of menos activos (less active members) at the meeting which made me really happy. The attendence for the 2 branches was 277 which is fairly good but I don't know how many were from our branch -- the other branch is a lot stronger than ours is. But the conference was really good and President and SIster Dester came! I just love getting to see them! On Saturday he spoke but on Sunday we had a broadcast from Salt Lake and thank goodness there was a room set up so we could watch in English! We did watch Elder Scott in Spanish, though, because he gave his talk in spanish! It was really awesome.

2. What miracles and/or tender mercies have you seen this week?
We were reading Enos (in the Book of Mormon) with a menos activo and we got to the part where the Lord tells Enos that his sins are forgiven him and I just got this overwhelming feeling that everything is OK and that the Lord really is pleased with my work. I'm not perfect. I'm not Hna V. I'm just me and He is happy for that. I don't need to try and be someone that I am not, just a better me. But I just felt like I am doing alright and that the Lord is proud of me for my efforts and for just being here and working. So that was a really great experience after a really hard week.

3. What answers to your prayers have you seen/experienced this week?
We had an investigator at the conference!!! And we have investigators that are progressing... very slowly but they are progressing so hopefully we will be able to see some more progress and fruits of our labor coming up.

4. What did you do for P-Day this week?
Well, we woke up and washed laundry and cleaned. We were supposed to play frisbee and basketball as a district but when we got there and when the elders finally showed up we played a little bit of soccer and I made a pretty legit goal and then we played frisbee. I enjoyed frisbee much more. Then we all went to Pizza Hut. Then we bought groceries, showered, and then we came here to email. I just like getting to hang out with the district. We have some pretty awesome elders who are just funny and really fun to talk to.

5. Last week when I asked you what kinds of groceries you buy for yourself, you said that you don’t really buy anything but applies, cheese, and eggs because you have so much food left still. What is the food left from? Have you felt better this week?
Yeah, I'm fine. You sent me rice and Easy Mac, I have canned chicken from Grandma and I have stuff like oatmeal, cereal, pancake mix, granola, etc, that I haven't finished yet. But don't worry, I am fine.

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

I don't know...probably district conference and getting to see President Dester. He said Hna V and I look good. LOL. And that we probably don't have changes this week. So that means we will be together another 6 weeks.

7. How are your investigators doing? How about that old man who read up to Chapter 11 in the Book of Mormon? And the man who got offended years ago?
The man who got offended years ago we haven't talked to again yet. But supposedly he has 2 wives and is not a nice person.... the old man is in 2 Nephi 6 as of the other day so who knows where he is now! There was a baptism for the other hermanas this week and we invited J (the old man) and he was so excited to come. Then last minute we found out that the baptism wasn't in our we had to call him and tell him it was in the other one and I don't know if there was a miscommunication or what.... but he ended up going to our chapel at 6:00 thinking that someone was going to be there to take him down to the other chapel so we felt really bad about that. But he is going to come to church on Sunday!!!!
We are teaching and teaching and teaching but it just doesn't seem like many people are progressing. People are reading sometimes and maybe they have come to church once but there doesn't seem to be much progress.

Oh, we did talk to one lady this week who came to church but when we went to talk to her later she was really closed off an apparently had gotten anti-Mormon material from her pastor... LAME! So we just asked her to try the Book of Mormon so we will see..... that was really frustrating.
8. What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
The lights went out like three times this week. Apparently there is light rationing here during the hot months.... so the lights go out at like 6:30 or something really randomly and don't come back on until who knows when... so that's interesting and we aren't allowed to be out when there's not light because it's obviously dangerous.... so we have to go back home, but then we wash our clothes in the dark (with flashlights). This week we tried to make shadows on the walls, LOL. At first when the lights started going out I freaked out but now it's one of those things that I just think are funny and just part of life in Honduras.

9. What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
I really loved the conference yesterday. Elder Martino from the Seventy spoke about strengthening the home and how it's important for families to have personal and family scripture study and prayer. Bonnie Oscarson, General YW President, spoke about service and having love for those around us and how that is a great way to share the gospel. Richard G Scott gave his talk in Spanish about the atonement and how each of us should strive more to use the atonement in our lives and to feel the strengthining power that comes from it. He talked about the things that Christ must have felt and how He felt great responsibility for each one of our souls. He was literally carrying the key to our eternal salvation. He felt all of our sins and sorrows. And at one point He felt all alone. In order for Him to completely and fully complete the atonement He could not have his Father's help, but how blessed are we to have Their help in every moment. Dallin H Oaks gave an awesome talk!! It was focused to Central America,. but he said one thing that I really liked. "When the Lord asks us something of us, it is because He is warning us." I thought that that was really interesting. We really are in the last days. The Lord is asking us to pick up the slack and to really push ourselves to do more missinoary work! I think that He really is warning us that the last days are here and that the Second coming is not so far away.

10. Were you able to teach more lessons this week? Find any new investigators? Do any service?
YES!!! We taught a total of 45 lessons this week! And that is with all of the lights going out and going home early and with the baptism and taking time out for the conference!!! WHAT?! We are working so hard. :) We didn't do any service though.

11. How is your personal study going? What are you studying, and what stuck out to you this week?
I finished the New Testament this week and I really love James! It just had a ton of good stuff in it! I really like that in James 4:7 it said ¨submit yourselves¨to God's will" or something like that because it went along with what I had been thinking about last week about giving all. I can't read my handwriting about what I wrote down as other things to share from there, but I really really like James. I think in there it talked about how we have to be doers of the word. We have to act. We can't say that we believe in Christ and not act on it. The difference between us as Saints and Satan or evil spirits or whatever is, is that our actions show that we follow Christ. Even the devils in the Bible can regonize Christ, and believe in Him in this sense that He exists, but our responsibility is so much greater. To believe is not just a passive verb in this case, it must be active. We have to be doing something, following the gospel that He taught, living it to be true believers of Christ. I also started the Old Testament this week and it is certainly interesting. I have honestly never read it cover to cover so it's nice to read it for once and see how all of the stories fit together. Sometimes I had felt bad because the Book of Mormon is a big story and the New Testament is very segmented so I thought that it was really different as far as formatting from the Bible, but it really isn't compared to the Old Testament because the Old Testament is a story, too!

12. Did you see anything interesting this week?
The moon casts shadows! I did not know that until all the lights went out and we were on our way home. Don't worry -- usually we take a taxi but this time we were almost home so we just walked. But there was a legit shadow from the moon! Like a shadow even when there was no light!

13. What have you learned about yourself this week?
I love patterns. I have had my notes about patterns in the scriptures and I reviewed them this week and I have a lot! And I love the patterns that I am finding that link the Bible and the Book ofMmormon and I love seeing how really each person has a different voice when they write. I love seeing the patterns in speech in Spanish and the grammar and stuff like that haha. I just love patterns!!

14. In what area do you think you’ve improved this week?
I think that I have been more laid back and less uptight about things that I can't control. Like the fact the the baptism wasn't in our chapel or that the lights kept going out. Things just happen and we have to learn how to deal with them in the moment and move on.

15. Have you found it easier to enjoy yourself and be happy this week? What was your happiest moment this week?
Yeah....more than last week. My happiest moments are when I can just talk in English. Whether that be with the district or when Hna V decides to speak in English. I just love my language.

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?
We walked down to the valley to go to Pizza Hut today and I got to see the view of the city again and I just love it! It's so pretty here! I did see a commercial for Disney World playing on a tv.... Oh, and the cover of the Liahona magazine this month is the Tegucigalpa temple!!! Si hombre! Speaking of which, you should read the talk from Elder Bednar in the Lliahona for this month.

18. How has the weather been this week?
HOT! It's not unbearable or anything, lol, and I don't even sweat that much, it's just the not having air conditioning part that gets me, lol.

19. What ways have you found to serve your companion and others this week?
I tried to make pancakes for Hna V the other morning, but the pan didn't want to cook pancakes, lol. So they didn't turn out terribly great, but they were edible. And she ran out of food so I cooked us dinner one night and doing dishes as usual.

20. What did you learn in your district meeting or zone meeting this week?
Our meeting was about charity... I found that as I tried to have more charity this week, the harder it was. Charity is so hard.... it really includes every Christ-like attribute and it's just hard. But it's something that we all need to have.

21. Any weird or new foods this week?
What do you think has been the spiritual highlight of your mission so far?
I really don't know. Just being able to see that I have changed at least some. At first, I couldn't wait to just get to P-Day. I couldn't wait to just finish the day and go back in the house. Even last change when we were in the hosue a lot, I felt like my life was in the house. And now it's like everything has changed. I don't count down the days to the next P-Day. I don't find myself looking at my watch all the time wondering when we will get to go home. My life is with the people. It's outside. I enjoy my time at night to rest and study a little more, but my life here is walking through the cobblestone streets and talking to everyone we can find, climbing up the same hills over and over, trying not to cough from the dust in the air when the cars go by. It's outside. It's been interesting to see that when I'm working I really do lose track of what day it is, what month it is. I already almost have 6 months!!! WHAT?! It's crazy. I don't know if that is a spiritual highlight or if it even makes sense at all. LOL
So yeah, this week has been better. I got a letter from Jan Speroni and Grace Clark! Thank you!!!

FELIZ CUMPLEANOS to Oma!!! I hope you had a great day!
Love you all!

que le vaya bien!
Hermana Gisseman

The view of the city
Entertaining ourselves with shadow puppets on the wall during a power outtage
My notes about charity -- the attribute I'm working on this week
Our district at the soccer complex today
On the walk to the soccer complex...I love the view of the city....
We saw this sad residence on our walk to the soccer complex. We should be so grateful for the nice housing that we have in the States!

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