I got your package this week! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I love getting mail and packages! It's like christmas! And the sandals work and they fit. I feel weird in them because they just aren't what I would ever wear at home, lol, but I'm on the mish (mission) so that doesn't matter too much, I guess. But I feel granola in them, hahaha. My companion said it's because I am just too classy, hahahaha.
1. How was attendance at conference? Do most people there go to the church to watch it or are they able to watch it on the internet in their homes? Do many people there have internet in their homes?
I don't actually know what the attendance was... It was really sad, though, because hardly anybody came to the other sessions of conference, but only Sunday morning. :( BUT there was a huge miscommunication, I guess you could say, and stuff happened so somebody was supposed to pass by for Jorge and they didn't or they did and couldn't find him. But he came ON FOOT! That man walked 30 minutes in the heat of the day to a place he had never been before just so he could come to this conference. I think that people could watch it on the internet but most people don't have internet or computers, so yeah, those are kind of important. And there was a room for us in English so we got to watch it in English. The power lowered a few times so there were patches of black here and there but we got the messages. Conference was just great!
2. How is Jorge doing? And Wendy? Did you talk to Jorge about the law of chastity? I’m surprised that is such an issue in Central America since I thought Catholocism was such a driving force, and the Catholic church is pretty strict on the law of chastity…or so I thought….? Is he still planning to get baptized on the 26th?
Yeah the law of chastity doesn't exist here. Its normal for 13 year olds to be pregnant and to live with their "spouse" and hardly anyone is really married. Jorge is doing just great! He is married to his wife, thank goodness! So we are good there! We talked to him about the Word of Wisdom yesterday and he drinks coffee but is willing to do what the Lord wants. He kept asking us, "well, what is it about coffee?" and saying "I just can't do that. But at the end he (well, maybe he was joking with us through the lesson) said that coffee was already dead to him. He always has lots of questions, but somehow we manage to answer them. He still wants to be baptized on the 26th! He was so cute because he took a picture with us this week to remember us!
3. What miracles and/or tender mercies have you seen this week?
We went to visit Hna Wendy, the menos activos (less active member), and we found her on the side of the road waiting for a taxi. She had been waiting for a while and I just felt like she was thirsty and I know she doesn't have much money so I bought her a bag of water that is like 2 lempiras. And I gave it to her and she was like, "How did you know I was thirsty?" And I really didn't know. I just felt like I should buy her the water. but she drank it up so fast and I just know that it was the Spirit that prompted me to buy it for her to satisfy her temporal needs. It was a tender mercy for me to be able to serve her. Also getting a package from home is always a tender mercy. :)
4. What answers to your prayers have you seen/experienced this week?
I was really worried that nobody would come to our English class. But we had 6 people there and it actually went really well! The power went out actually.... so we taught in the dark. Usually we go home when the power goes out, but we were two blocks from home and they locked us in the church building so nobody could do anything. But it was actually really fun and I loved it! I just love English though. LOL But it was a blessing that people actually came. We also prayed really hard that people would come to General Conference and we had 3 people there! We had to pass by for 2 people and Jorge came by himself!!!! But it was amazing because they could actually listen to the prophet!!
5. How has someone else blessed your life this week?
Well, I let Hna V trim my hair so that was a blessing. I was really afraid but she just trimmed the very, very most ends so really you can't even tell but I'm too afraid to go to a salon and I hardly wear my hair down anyway, but I figured at 6 months it was time. LOL
6. What did you do for P-Day this week? Did you play soccer again?
We went to the Copan Ruinas!!!! So we left at 5:30 am and got back at 3:45 pm but it was worth it and the whole time I was with Hna M and I just love her.
7. What was the best thing that happened this week?
CONFERENCE! And we went to Copan Ruinas again and it was way fun!
8. How are your investigators going? Find any new investigators this week? How about your less active members?
Yeah.... it's been super hard to find new investigators and to contact because as it gets hot there are less people in the street so there's legit NOBODY when we try to contact.... so that has been a struggle for the past 3 weeks now. But we will have to leave several more investigators... but we have two who are going to be baptized now. Jorge! And Wendy, who is 14 and works for a member in the ward. She wants to get baptized but she just wants a little more time. So we will see. Less actives, unfortunately, are less active still. But one of our less active members asked some questions and we think maybe she's going to start coming back to church.
9. What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
Just being with the zone for Copan Ruinas! I realized that I tend to get along better with guys. Most of my friends at home are guys and on the mish it's kind of the same. But our zone is just hilarious and so it was just fun to be with everyody and to go to Copan Ruinas probably for my last time. We even played frisbee in the ruins! And we paid extra so we could see the tunnels! Woohoo!
10. What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
11. What were the main themes that you picked out at General Conference?
I noticed especially in the first session of conference that there were several talks or themes that pointed to the Second Coming and that it isn't that far away. There was a lot about true discipleship and how we need to strengthen our testimonies now and stand firm because times are going to be hard, if they aren't already. We can't afford to be fencesitters. We have to be willing and able to stand up for what we believe, and alone if necessary. There was also alot about love and how we need to be more loving towards others and that love can help change us and the world. We need to develop this charity. A few things I noticed that we should be doing more or better is family history and indexing (like always) and reading Preach My Gospel. But I absolutely loved Elder Holland's talk, and Pres. Uchtdorf's and Pres. Eyring's and Elder Bednar's! Well, I loved them all, lol! I just loved how Pres. Uchtdorf talked about how gratitude isn't just counting your blessings but really having this spirit of being grateful at all times! I think that that is definitely something that I need to do better. I loved Elder Bednar's talk about the load. We all need a load to push us forward and carry us in this life. Without the loads of trials we cannot move forward and progress. But we have to be careful not to carry unnecessary loads in our lives. I don't know, I just need to focus on the things that are most important. It was weird to think, though, that I have already had 2 of the 3 conferences that I will have in my mission... because if the transfers line up the way they are now, I'm set to come home the week before the next April conference! That's just crazy!
12. Were you able to teach more lessons this week? Do any service? Go out with any members this week?
Not really because of conference... but Bayron came back for 2 weeks so we will get to have him go out on visits with us and he wants us to help him practice his English, too.
13. What are you on in your personal study right now, and what stood out to you this week?
I am reading more in the Old Testament. But I also started over Preach My Gospel and I decided to read a little bit each day and to do the activities for personal study as they come up... honestly it reminds me of doing Personal Progress or something, lol, but it has been good for me to think about what I am reading and to try to apply the principles in the book. In the Old Testament I am amazed at just how harsh punishments were... like you didn't come to church today? DIE. Oh, you were murmuring against the Lord? DIE. You brought the wrong kind of sacrifice? DIE. I know that the Lord is just and that the people were wicked, it just amazes me! I really like though how in Numbers (I don't know what verse) Moses talks about how he can't do the work alone, and it's true! We cannot do this work alone. We don't have enough strenth or talent or intellect or love. Only through the Spirit and the help of the Lord can we do anything! I am also in Helaman now in my Spanish reading of the Book of Mormon.
14. Now that you’ve been out on your mission for six months, what tips and suggestions do you have for missionaries who are preparing to leave on their missions?
KNOW SCRIPTURE MASTERY VERSES! They really do help so much... I regret not knowing them now. They will help you to have something to pull from when investigators ask you crazy questions or when you just don't
know what to say.
15. What have you learned about yourself this week?
I'm still really impatient. I love teaching English.
16. In what area do you think you’ve improved this week?
I realized how much I love conference. I don't know if that's something I improved on just this week, but for a while now I guess, lol. I am proud that you actually watched the Saturday sessions. :) But I just love conference!
17. What was your happiest moment this week?
Being with Hna M. That sounds so terrible, lol, but she really is my best friend here on the mission and I miss living with her so whenever we can be together and just talk, I just love it!
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 loved seeing the ruins again and getting to see the mountains on the bus ride.
20. What did you learn in your district meeting or zone meeting this week?
I honestly don't remember...
21. Describe a typical lesson to me – you said you sing a song? What else do you do in a lesson?
We open with a hymn. Then we say a prayer. We follow up on our commitments. And then we teach... then we give more commitments and we say a prayer. I don't know...you just teach....
I read Alma 56:17 and I thought of Mom.
I got sick this week which kind of sucked. But just with a cold so nobody worry! Everbody has colds right now so that's fun.
Sorrry that this email isn't the best of emails....
We will have the Sister Training Leaders come tommorrow for divisions (exchanges).... awesome. We didn't have any heads up and we don't really have enough people to plan double schedules so it will be interesting... We also have interviews with Pres. Dester tommorrow. :) So that makes me really happy!
This is what Pres. Dester said to me this week and I absolutely loved it:
Sister Gisseman, I always look forward to your letters. We are going to have a chance to visit in an interview this Tuesday, but I wanted to respond to one thing in your letter before I forget. You mention that you wonder why the Lord asked you to come on a mission, when you haven't had any baptisms "or done anything." I need to correct you. You have borne your testimony so many times and in so many ways to so many people. If baptisms were the only measure of the success of a missionary, I suppose most of us would be complete failures. Abinidi would certainly have qualified as a failure. But you are doing so much more on your mission. You will never actually realize, at least not in this life, all the good you are doing on your mission. But I promise you that there are lives you have blessed, people you have lifted, and probably a lot of people who will yet come into the kingdom as a result of your work. So all I am saying is that you have been doing a lot! And you are learning so much too. So don't feel bad. You are doing a lot of good, and the Lord loves you deeply for all you are giving of yourself. Anyway, I hope you can feel what I am trying to say. See you Tuesday!!! Pres. Dester
I bought some fun leggings...
We got a new home phone!
We paid extra at the Copan Ruinas today so we could go down into the tunnels
On the way back from the ruins