Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 26...Machetied.

Feliz Cumpleaños to Mom and Dad and Nicholas! 

I really cant believe that I will hit 6 months on Wednesday... the time really has gone so dang fast! 

This week was just kind of weird and really hard but we made it through and hopefully this week will be better. We pretty much got machetied (I don't know if that's a word but like the verb of machete) a bunch which kind of made me feel like crap. Everyone wants a baptism. The new Zone Leader cracked the whip about working with members even though we are really trying to do that... so our Zone Leader gave us a huge lecture (it was really good, don't get me wrong) about how we are going to change things in Copan by working with members.... yeah, well, we try to do that and it's stinkin' hard! Then we got a provisional but hopefully permanent lider misional (district mission leader) and he cracked the whip on us, too, about how we need to ask for references and how we should be having activities. We are going to start teaching an English class on Wednesday nights so we will see how that goes.... Our schedule was just weird this week because our district leader had to go to San Pedro. So we had the meeting on Thursday instead of Tuesday and it was just weird. We had way too many days where we literally walked around for hours trying to find people to teach or something and couldn't find anything so that was sad, but at the end of the week we still ended up with 41 lessons taught this week which really isn't too bad at all. It was just a very weird week. 

And I have decided to try to explain the layout of Santa Rosa so you guys can know the geography mas o menos (more or less).... Okay, Santa Rosa is kind of like a baseball field. Home plate is Hermana Veronica's house. First base is the house we used to live in. Second base is where we live now. Our area is the outfield! Left field is Diaz Valenzuela. Center field is the Loma Linda and Right field is the Cuchilla and if there were stadium seats behind right field that would be Santo Eduviges. I hope that makes some sense, lol.... The infield would be the centro or the area of the other hermanas where all the stores and stuff are. We get the mountains. 

1. How was church attendance yesterday?  Did you have some investigators and less active members there?  What were the talks about?  Do you usually go to Gospel Doctrine or Gospel Principles?  How was Relief Society? 

Church attendance was good this week, 106! And J came to church and another investigator, W, who is 14 and the friend of a family in the ward. Both of them are planning on getting baptized on the 26th of Abril! So hopefully I will get to see at least one baptism before I leave Santa Rosa! We did have lots of menos activos (less actives) there. Before church we walked up the mountain to the highest part of our area to get an investigator to come with us and we had even called the night before and we get there and she's like, no, I really don't want to go today. AAAAH! Then we went to get a menos activo, W, the super nice one from last week who we found on the side of the road, and she was almost ready to go! but it was 8:50 and we had to be at church for J because he doesn't like it when we aren't there with him so we told her to meet us at the church... well, she never came and we still don't know why.  All of church was about family history. I guess they redid the whole Family Search stuff and are really pushing for people to do their family history so all of the talks were on that and Sunday School and for the third hour we were all together and they passed out materials to help people.  I don't know if you guys already got all that in English, probably, but I don't know. We usually attend the Gospel Principles class with the investigators if we have any or to support the other hermanas because they always have them. 

2.  How is J doing? 

J is great. He wants to be baptized and we shared the baptismal interveiw questions with him already because he really wants to prepare. After church on Sunday we watched the new Restauración (Restoration) video with him and he brought 3 little kids....turns out one of them was his. We thought we asked if he had a spouse and he said no...but now we are second guessing ourselves and the law of chastity could potentially be a problem. We just thought that all the little kids were his grandchildren.... But he has the desire to be baptized and that is the most important thing. 

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

We got to watch the Restauracion video and I could understand it all!  WHAT?!  It's like I speak Spanish or something!  LOL

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

I just really felt like, well darn, I could have and should have been doing more here in Copan after our machetes from this week and I just wanted to know that God is pleased with my efforts. I know that I am working hard and doing what I can but then other people talk and it makes me feel like there's so much more I should be doing. And then we don't have baptisms and we don't really have expereiences like i hear from other missionaries where their investigators pray or read and just know that the church is true and is that a fault on our part?  I don't know. But during the women's conference something that stood out to me was that (I don't know who even said it) we can know that Heavenly Father is pleased with us. Every time that we even try to do the right thing He is pleased. So I just thought that was an answer for me. I try to do the best I can and I try to be the kind of missionary that He wants me to be. Does than mean I will be perfect? HECK NO! But as long as I am trying, the Lord is pleased. So I liked that a lot. But that conference made me a little baggy (homesick) because I really missed you, Mom. But I figured that you were watching it, too, so that made it a little better. It was funny though because the elders came and watched it with us because apparently they were supposed to have an investigator there but she didn't show up but during the video part with the acts of service and stuff with the hands theme, when the couple got married the elders shouted BAGGY! at all of us sisters because all the sister missionaries talk about how they are going to get married when they get home....umm not mem but thanks...LOL...I'm going to need some time, lol, but it was funny 

5.  How has someone else blessed your life this week? 

There is this man in the mercado (store) and everytime we walk through there (which is like everyday) he has alwasys shouted Doctrina y convenios (Doctrine and Covenants), perla de gran precio (Pearl of Great Price), mormonas (Mormons) and we just thought he was some weirdo making fun of us. But the other day we stopped to talk to him to ask him how he knew so much about the church. He said he had a friend in the church in San Salvador and learned a lot from him. But then he went on for like 15 minutes about how much he really respects us and how much he admires our work. Then he bought us arroz con leche. Then he had bananas for us the next day when we passed by and yesterday he gave us bread. He is just so sweet and he went from being someone super weird who really annoyed us to someone really amazing who appreciates what we do even if he isn't willing to come to church right now. He has a ton of knowledge in his mind and not in his heart about the church but I really feel like one day, when the circumstances are right, he will join the church. But, I don't know, it was just a blessing to see that there are lots of people who appreciate our work and then that he gave us food just makes me so happy because I love food! 

6.  What did you do for P-Day this week?  Did you play soccer again?  The missionaries here only are able to do P-Day stuff between 10 am and 6 pm.  Is it like that for you guys, too? 

Yup...and I really wish it was longer.... but we actually leave in the morning because we usually have an activity at 9 so we clean and do all of that before 9 so really from when we wake up to 6 pm. But we played soccer again and it was SO FUN! Our zone leaders came and 4 other missionaries from Entrada which is an hour away. and it was so dang fun! Like the funnest time I have had playing soccer yet! Our new Zone Leader, Elder Shuga, who cracked the whip on us, is super funny and pretty awesome. But it got everybody playing and I even hit the ball with my head and went after the ball so that's improvement. Then we all went out to eat again and then we went home and took a rest...since I don't sleep, lol. I bought some black and white leggings:) and now we are here! 

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

Okay, well the women's conference. BUT I want to tell a story! We were in la Cuchilla walking home one night this week at like 7 45 and we stopped to contact this lady and a drunk man came up and was like what are you doing with these girls! And then the power went out and we were on top`of this mountian and it was pitch black. There was no moon, no light, no NOTHING! It was so scary so we bolted.  We started running away from this drunk man!  And then Hna V whipped out her flashlight which usually is super bright and it was so dark that it was not really that bright. So we walked super fast back to the house but this guy started like howling, and laughing and cackling and it was sthe scariest thing I have ever heard. And we were walking with this light and it was like we were in some scary movie where people just pop out of nowhere because it was so dark we couldn't see very far and without the light we couldn't see anything AT ALL, like not even my own hand! We linked arms, too, and it was so dang scary. Legit, the scariest experience of my life. But then like 5 minutes later the lights came back on and we were fine but it was so funny afterwards. But I am getting better at handling situations like that. Hahaha

8.  What are you most looking forward to at General Conference this weekend?  Will you be able to watch all four sessions this weekend?  Do you go to the church to watch them? 

We will go to the chapel. So it's like our district conference before. We will get to go to all of the sessions. 

9.  How are your investigators going?  Find any new investigators this week?  How about your less active members? 

Yeah, not so well. We have been teaching a good handful of people now for about a month or so and they still aren't coming to church and that's a problem so we have had to drop some of them which is always sad. They just aren't progressing and not keeping their compromisos (promises). So yeah... and we didn't really find all that many new ones either. We looked and looked but we haven't had that much success this week. And our less active members.... well they continue to be less active despite our efforts, althogh one family all 5 of them were at church this Sunday which made me really happy. 

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

Okay, I have a good one this week. So we were walking up in Santo Eduviges, in parte alto.  So the part that is really high, the highest part of our area that we actually go to. So they are putting in another water line up there so that people can have water...right now nobody has running water there which sucks. Anyway, it was dark and we were walking down the hill and all the dirt is really loose because they just dug it up. Out of nowhere these 4 kids came up to us and started talking to me in "English" Hello, how are you. They were asking me what their names were in English and they they were telling me that I was going to fall. "No hombre, no voy a caerme," (No man, I will not fall) I told them. Then like 2 seconds later I slipped like a classic fall, feet in the air and everything. So I fall in the dirt and the little kids immediately take my arms and "help" me up. Then they take it upon themselves to begin to wipe all the dust and dirt off of I had 8 little hands all over my butt dusting off the dirt.  Hahaha It was super funny. 

11.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

I really loved the women's conference. It was awesome that it was the first one with everyone! We got to watch it in English which I loved!!!! I liked that they had the song "I am a Child of God" in all the different languages. We even sang in Spanish when they had us all sing:) I like that song better in Spanish. Which reminds me, it was really weird to sing in English! I like singing hymns better in Spanish, I think. But I really saw the emphasis that they put on our covenants. We have made promises that we need to keep! 

12.  Were you able to teach more lessons this week?  Do any service?  Go out with any members this week?

We didn't teach as many total lessons, 41. BUT we did have more lessons with members and that's better than having more lessons in general. So that was alright. And we did help Hermana W, the menos active who we found last week, move. Thankfully she moved to a house that is still in our area so we can keep visiting her! But it was so sad because really all she had fit into a pick up truck. All we did was move the bags out of her old one roomed apartment. now she has a house that's still really sad, but it's better than what she had which is good. We go out with the same members all the time which is sad and we feel really bad because we always ask them, but they are the only ones who will actually go out with us. 

13.  What are you on in your personal study right now, and what stood out to you this week? 

I am reading in Leviticus.... I think I got out of all the chapters about the tabernacle and sacrifices... those were quite exciting... But I really liked how the punishment for breaking the Sabbath Day was death! The Sabbath really should be kept sacred. It's important. But so many people today don't honor that commandment which is really sad. Especially when way back then the punishment was so severe. It just shows that the world really has fallen so much. I encourage everyone to look at how they treat the Sabbath day and the kinds of things that they do on the Lord's day. But yeah, I guess out of all the tabernacle chapters I realized that, just like how Nephi built the boat acording to the Lord's way, the tabernacle, too, was built in the Lord's way. I liked that connection and just the fact that everything we do in our lives should be done in the Lord's way and not in the ways of men. But there was so much specific detail in how the tabernacle would be built, how the sacrifices would be done and I like that God really is a God of order in all things. I have also been rereading conference talks and reading out of Preach My Gospel and I just love the conference talks. 

14.  How has your testimony changed/grown in the last couple of months? 

I guess more than anything I have really seen how everything makes so much sense! I love to analyze things and I like things to fit together and just be logical.  And the gospel just makes sense. Everything just makes so much sense. In my mind there is no way that this gospel can't be true. It just is. And I think that I see that I can have questions and that's okay and I can find answers and they all just seem to fit into the gospel. And I have seen that really we don't have to be perfect, we just have to try. It doesn't matter if I'm not as whatever as somebody else because I'm just me and I'm not supposed to be like somebody else, I'm just supposed to try to be like Christ. And as long as I am trying to do that then that's good enough. I just always think too much about how I have to do more, that I have to be perfect, and that's not it. We just have to be beter than what we were before and keep trying. When we stop trying is when we aren't really living the gospel anymore. And I can see how the gospel and the scriptures have blessed my life. I love that my knowledge of the scriptures has grown so that I can recognize scripture verses and that I can make connections between the Bible and the Book of Mormon that just continue to show me that it's all true!!!  There's no way that it isn't. I don't know if that makes sense or if that's the kind of answer that you wanted, but this whole experience has just helped me really cement that knowledge. 

15.  What have you learned about yourself this week? 

I still don't like it when people call me out on things. I am still really stubborn and can still hold a grudge. But then we went to church and I repented of those things that I did wrong in that vein this week and everything is fine again. I feel like some people here don't understand how impatient I really am. During my life I have always done things at my pace and at my level.  I am trying to be patient and it's really hard for me sometimes. But yeahm I still don't handle peopple calling me out on things very well and I should change that..... 

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

Not freaking out so much and just trying to have fun! I did have a lot more fun this week! 

17.  What was your happiest moment this week? 

Suprisingly enough, it was when we played soccer today! And the women's conference and our district meeting because we all got to be together, lol. 

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


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

I love the view from the parte alto de Santo eduviges, although it's certainly a climb! It was so pretty to see the view in the morning since we usually only see it at night! 

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

That we need to work with the members better. The trend in Copan is that there are a few really pilas (awesome) members and they always go out on visits with the missinoaries and the rest of the members don't.... so we need to try to change that and work with more members and just be patient. Things won't happen overnight, but they will happen eventually! 

Oh and I saw a fight this week... it was legit. And really scary at the same time. 

We had a lesson by candle light because one family couldn't pay their light bill. 

Someone told me I've gotten fat but whatevs because the food is good!  We had a lesson and a bunch of chickens just walked in while we were singing and i just busted out laughing and we couldn't finish the hymn, lol.... 

We have a ton to do but we will just keep working... 

Love you all! 
que le vaya bien!

Hermana Gisseman

My hair is getting long again!

With our district today

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