Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 25 -- Tender Mercies and Service

This week was día del padre here! So Happy Father's Day! 

There were transfers last week and now Elder Scott (from my CCM district) is in my district!  I love that I already know him and we can talk since we have common ground and most of our district is gringos!!!!! We only have 2 Latinos out of 8 people. Well, one of the gringos is actually from New Zealand but close enough -- he speaks English. But one of the Latinos understands English really well and can speak it so, yeah...we peobably spoke way too much English when we were together today. But it's just fun to feel like I know and am friends with the people in my district. Hna V and I didn't have changes so we are still here.  It's a little weird not to have been at changes because it was my first one that I didn't  go to... and this is my first companion to last for two changes.... 

I am so excited for Paula and Robert! I pray for everyday! They are so great, and Paula is so sweet!!!! I just love her!:)

1.  How was church attendance yesterday?  Did you have some investigators and less active members there?

We had one investigator at church! J (the old man who pretty much found us on the street and who was reading at least up to 2 Nephi 6 last week) --he restarted his reading so he could really study it better--he came to church and talked to us about how he has to get baptized. He always calls us his hermanitas or princesas, lol, and says we are his spiritual guides. He even brought a camera and said he had to take a picture with us before we leave even though we have another 6 weeks here, haha. He is so awesome and definitely one of those people that the Lord has prepared. I am so excited for him!!!!! We did have quite a few menos activos (less active members) in church too which was great! 

2.  Are you going to get to watch General Conference in English or in Spanish? 

We should be able to watch it in English!!!! 

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

This week was kind of hard. There were several days that all of our appointments fell through and the backups weren't home either and we walked for like 2 hours before finding anything. But at the end of the week when we took out our numbers, we still ended up teaching 45 lessons in total. It just showed me that even if it doesn't feel like we are teaching many lessons day by day, it all adds up and we are working so hard! So it was just really nice to see that even though it was hard to get lessons this week, in the end the Lord helped us out. 

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

We had lunch with Hna Vero this Saturday and the power went out in the morning for like 2 hours. So we got to her house in time and she was like, Oh, I'm so sorry but we are going to have lunch late because the power went out. This day we had a ton of citas (appointments)! We had already moved our language study time to the morning so we could get in all of our appointments in the afternoon. So then lunch went longer than the allotted hour we had and we were a good 40 minutes from our area. So when we left Hna Vero's house, usually it takes about 5 minutes of walking just to get to a place to find a taxi, so I said a little prayer that we would walk out and a taxi would be there. We walked outside and a taxi was practically waiting for us right in front of the door so we didn't lose any time! It was great!!!! And just shows that the Lord cares and listens to even the littlest of things and that He wants to help us in anyway He can to acomplish this great work.

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

We played soccer as a district. It was actually more fun. Every week it gets a little more bearable even if I don't play that much. But I did make several goals. I don't know if they count, though, because I practically stood in the goal, haha. But whatevs. Then we went to lunch together and then we went to the grocery store. We were both SUPER tired so Hna V tok a nap and I laid in my bed but I can't take naps so I didn't sleep. I finished the rug that I started forever ago and it's pretty tiny, lol. But that's okay. Now we are here. 

6.  The sister who makes your lunch – how often is that, and what kinds of foods does she fix for you? 

She makes food on Wednesday and Friday. She cooks whatever we ask her to but usually with a Honduran spin. She made lasagna, pizza, sometimes chicken and rice. It's just nice to not have to cook for ourselves all the time since we don't have the time or the kitchen to do so. 

7.  You haven’t mentioned the RS President lately – Hna Vero?  Do you still go over to her house regularly?  How is she doing? 

We visit her every Saturday for lunch. Sometimes she isn't there but her housekeeper cooks for us so we still have lunch. She is doing well though. 

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

J came to church!!!!! He had to rearrange his travel plans and everything to come, but he came!!! 

9.  How are your investigators doing?  How about that old man who read up to 2 Nephi 6 as of last week? 

He (J) is great! I talked about him in question number 1. We really don't have very many that are progressing right now. And we had to give one away to the elders because she moved which was sad. We have 3 couples right now and they live together (not all three living together!) and aren't married and in each couple, one of them is still married to someone else... we have talked with the couples and they are going to pray and talk together about getting divorced from their other spouses and then getting married.... so we will see how that goes. 

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

We were walking down the sidewalk and this taxi started driving next to us really slow and the taxista stuck his head out to stare at us and I was kind of glaring at him and then I tripped... and not just a little trip, like I almost fell on my face so he stops the taxi and makes sure that we are okay before driving off but it was just really funny. There are so many creepers here. Also a drunk guy followed us up a really huge hill and was kind of staggering his way up trying to speak English to us so that was funny. 

11.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

We were walking one day and we just happened to walk by this woman sitting on the side of the road and we just started talking to her. Turns out she is a member! She has been inactive for a while. She just started unloading everything on us about her life and how she feels like she really needs God in her life right now and she wants to change and start coming back to church because only in the church can we find happiness. She lives in a very humble one room apartment but she invited us over for lunch which was rice and tortillas, which was all she had! It was so humbling. And then she saw that we had mosquito bites so she took out her rubbing alchohol or something like that and rubbed it on our bug bites. I just started thinking about the Savior and how He washed His disciples' feet.  It was just very humbling and I could see that we really were led to her. We never would have found her apartment had she not been outside! And we feel like she truly is ready to come back to church. 

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

We taught the same number of lessons, 45. But it was a little disappointing because we don't have nearly enough lessons with members and this week we actually made a really big effort to leave with members and 3 nights when we had members scheduled to come with us, the members forgot and weren't home. So that was frustrating.... so yeah. But we still had lots of lessons. 

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

I am reading the Old Testament... I just got into Exodus. I love the story of Joseph and how he never doubted the Lord. He was put in terrible conditions and in my mind had every right to be angry with his brothers and other people for his circumstances, but he was so humble! He just did the best he could wherever he was and due to his diligence and honesty people respected him and put him into positions of authority. It's just a really good example of trusting that all things will really be for our benefit and not getting angry with God because of things that happen, and also of integrity. Joseph never compromised his standards and he just kept living how he should have and with time he was blessed for it. 

15.  Did you see anything interesting this week? 

Nope... everything is still pretty normal.

16. What have you learned about yourself this week? 

I really am not patient when people don't get things. I need to do better at that... Not everyone learns or picks up on things as fast as I do and pretty much for most of my life and my classes in school I have been with other smart people so it's been hard for me to be more patient when people just don't learn as fast as I do. 

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

I don't know...I remembered to pray more before my meals...I always forget.  LOL

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

I just love getting to spend time with the district and Hna M. I just love being with everyone and having a good time! I even had a good time playing soccer. 

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


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

S (she is a member who has been going through a hard time--her husband left her and took all of their stuff with him and she doesn't have a job to support herself) -- she bought us woven bracelets so we would always remember her even when we left. I just love her and I know it was a true sacrifice to buy us even something as tiny as a woven bracelet. 

21.  How has the weather been this week? 

It’s been HOT! But it's dry heat so I don't actually sweat that much. I am working on my tan though, lol. 

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

We still wash dishes. I make her bed sometimes. We helped some people carry their groceries up the hill the other day. I saw lots of ways that others served me this week. Iv (a member and our provisionary mission leader as of yesterday) fixed a leak in our kitchen and brought us watermelon. O (another member) made us dinner and then walked us home because it was dark and bought us cookies so we could have dessert. S always lets us use her bathroom and will give us any food she has in the house. I don't know...just lots of little things that I saw this week.

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

We had a zone meeting this week. So everyone that was leaving bore their testimonies and we only had a short district spiritual thought beforehand

24.  Any weird or new foods this week? 
Nope.... I did eat straight coconut and I tried some of the juice... I have tried that before but it's not sweet enough for me. 
25.  Tell me about one of your typical days this week – what did you do? Where did you go?  Who did you talk to?  How much did you walk? 
Well, I wake up at 6:30 and I am SUPER tired. So Hna V and I muster up the energy to get our of our beds.  We have a companionship prayer and then individual prayer and then we exercise. I generally do an ab workout or something that I can do laying on the floor because I am so dang tired. I hardly ever do cardio because I am so tired! But we exercize and then shower. I make breakfast which is usually yogurt with granola or cereal with an apple. Then at 8:00 we have personal study and I read something out of Preach My Gospel or a general conference talk or the Liahona until 8:30 and then I read in the scriptures... right now the Old Testament. Then at 9 we have companionship study. So we read the missionary handbook and then share what we learned and read something or practice something for our day. At 10 we leave and usually go to the colonias (neighborhoods) that are closest. Mornings are the hardest because there is hardly anyone outside and the people take their kids to school so no one is home either and yeah...mornings aren't fun. So we visit menos activos or try to contact. At 12 we come back home. It's only like a 5-10 minute walk. We eat lunch and then at 1 we have language study. I study some grammar for 30 minutes and then read the Book of Mormon in Spanish for 30 minutes. I am in Alma 42!  Then at 2 we leave again for appointments. There is A LOT of walking here and a lot of walking uphill. My area is literally the hilliest in the whole mission. Everywhere we go has hills... so there's a lot of walking and for that I am tired all the time. Then we come back home at 8- 8:30 and plan then we get ready for bed, maybe read a little more, eat a little something and go to bed! How exciting the day of a missionary, lol. We try to talk to everyone that we can who is outside of their house or has their front door open. We try to stay in colonias that are close to each other so we don't have to walk so much so in La Loma Linda and Diaz Valenzeula or en La Cuchilla and Santo Eduviges. But sometimes we have to walk to all of the colonias which kind of sucks but that's okay!
We also have appointments already planned and days already full from last week! Which is so awesome that we already have things ready to go! I have realized that we went through a time of teaching Lesson 1 all the time and now it's Lesson 2 all the time, lol. And a lot of the peopel we visit get visited by Jehovah's Witnesses.... 
If you have time can you email me a picture of me with really long hair to show hna vance? 
Also can you make me a card to leave with people--like people put their names, their church email, home email and facebook name on a picture and give it to people when they leave so i would love it if you made me a cute one and sent it to me so i can save it on my camera and print out copies. Just pick out a picture that you like of me that's cute!  Use a cute picture from my mission, but find a cute one.  Here I don't wear makeup....I only wear foundation and mascara unless it's zone conference or a transfer meeting, and I hardly ever do my hair (I just put it up because it's so hot), so I want a picture that looks nice. It's nice to remember that at some point I was pretty.  Hahahaha.... 
I feel like this email is long! The work here is hard. The people are open to listen but they don't want to do anything about it. The culture is so different.  It's hard to teach the law of chastity to people who don't understand it and appreciate it's importance... We teach and teach and teach and we are just now starting to see a little progress. But such is the life of the missionary. I love being here and the time is going way too fast! I can't believe that I almost have 6 months!!!! It's crazy! Love you all!

Hermana Gisseman
Sorry -- only a few pictures this week.  I'll send more next week.
A Crocs phone cover!!
Cute pottery that I bought
I made a new cover for my agenda

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