Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 28 -- "Don't freak out, but....."

I just love you mom:) 

Happy birthday Grandma!!!! 

I hit 200 days in the mission this week! WHAT?!

This week was eventful and at the same time uneventful. I had interviews with President Dester and unlike the other interviews I have had, I didn't feel as awesome afterward. And I was thinking about it and I think that it is because the other times, I needed them. And this time I really didn't. I'm doing alright. And that is what he told me, that I am doing a good job and that he's not worried about me at all. Something interesting that he did say, though, was that the people who will be my companions on the mission will widen my perspective to help me to serve others for the rest of my life. That I will gain experiences here on the mission and I will learn from my companions things that I never would have otherwise. So I liked that and it's true -- I have definitely seen different sides of the missionary spectrum. But yeah, it was a pretty uneventful interview. LOL  But I always love seeing President Dester:)

1.  How was church this week?  Did you have testimony meeting this week or did you have it before conference?
We had testimony meeting. It was pretty good. It started really late, though, which kind of ticked me off because we had one investigator come for the first time but she brought her 2 year old son who doesn't handle being in new places or sitting still for a long time very well and so they sat there for 20 minutes before the meeting started and it wore out his patience so she had to leave early because he was that was sad. 

2.  How is Jorge doing? And Wendy?  And the other people you are working with?  Is Jorge still planning on being baptized this month?
Jorge is awesome. He finished the Book of Mormon. He told us that after we asked him to stop drinking coffee, he prayed about it and the next morning when he usually drank coffee, he had no desire at all to drink it. So that was awesome!!!! He came to a baptism abajo this week and (it started late which ticked him off) but he enjoyed it. But he came to church on Sunday and said that he can't be baptized because his wife is really Catholic and doesn't want him to... so I cried in church yesterday but we visited him later in the afternoon and we asked if we should still keep the 26th as his date or if he was really serious and he seems pretty set on getting baptized! So I hope so! A recent convert who knew him said that the fact that he is even in church shows his huge commitment to get baptized. Apparently he has changed a ton to even get him to this point, but we obviously didn't know him before. Just shows that the Lord really is preparing people. Wendy.... well, she is going to move again and we don't know where to so we will see if we can even keep visiting her.  :(  We have another investigator named Wendy who is 14 and works for a family in the ward and she will get baptized but probably not while I am here... she wants time so whatevs. And that's about all the solid investigators we's been hard to find new people and no one seems to be progressing but whatever -- the work moves on. 

3.  What miracles and/or tender mercies have you seen this week? Answers to your prayers?
WELL, I have a really good one for this week but don't freak out... so usually on Saturdays we meet with this one family but we scheduled another appointment on Saturday at the same hour so we couldn't visit this family. So we are sitting in this lesson which is at someone's pulperia or home store and so we had to sit outside. So we are trying to teach the Book of Mormon and 3 gunshots went off and that's not uncommon... there are fireworks and gunshots all the time here especially this week since its Semana Santa. And then all of the sudden the husband gets a call and says something really fast and bolts out. We asked the wife what happened because we though he said something about la luz and she said, "Well no, a man who my husband worked with named Lucho just got murdered. Did you hear those gunshots? Yeah, they killed him."  And she says this way too casually...and then we look up on the mountain like a block away and a ton of people are running to go see this dead man. And a guy from our cita (appointment) walks over there and comes back 5 minutes later and said, "Yeah, he's dead. I saw him."  And we are freaking out! So we closed the lesson and left. And then in Honduras when stuff like that happens people go and look or they just stand in the street and try and listen for the gossip, lol, and there are no police lines or anything. So the whole street was full of people just watching. Turns out that he got shot like 3 houses down from where we normally had our cita on Saturday.... and it would have been at that time.... so it was a huge tender mercy that even though we were still only a block away and were close, we weren't right next door. So yeah.... that was interesting. But we are okay and it's apparently the first murder that they have had in years and he was a really bad guy who was dealing something.  I don't know....but yeah, it was pretty legit! 

 Also when we came back from Copan last week we did have a little more time to write but no time to clean or to do laundry.  Well, as soon as I sent my email that said i was getting off the computer, the lights went out! So it was nice that i got to finish my emails and that we could use that time to wash our clothes. lol

4.  How was your English class this week?
It was good. We had more people this week but it was a little less organized because we wrote our notes on the board in a bad order...but it was still fine. People say that they really like our classes. And Bayron has asked us to come visit him during the week to practice English so we get to do that, too, but just for this week and next week because after that he is leaving. 

5.  How has someone else blessed your life this week?
I am not a touchy feely perseon, but when we were in church I started crying.  Hna V. put her arm around me and rubbed my back a little bit and played with my hair and it made me feel better.

6.  What did you do for P-Day this week?  Did you play soccer again?
Yeah, we were supposed to play frisbee but no, soccer again. But I am starting to enjoy it more. It wasn't as fun as last time when more people from the zone came, LOL, but it was still fun. Then we just hung out and ate lunch and now we are here. 

7. What was the best thing that happened this week?
Jorge came to a baptism and even though it started late he was there! And I got to play the piano for it even if it was really bad! I had to play standing up and there wasn't a music stand part on the keyboard so it was hard to see the music but whatevs. 

8.  How are your investigators going?  Find any new investigators this week?  How about your less active members?
Yeah, not going to lie....this week sucked and was not too great. We had to leave more people.... We didn't really find anyone new because everyone is inside when it's hot and there's literally no one in the street. Not many are progressing. But we do have several who are doing well in their Book of Mormon reading so if they continue to read it it can change their lives and they will come to church eventually, right?

9.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
I love P-day and any time that I have to be with Hna M. But also we have been teaching English to Bayron or practicing English with him and that's just fun since he's really funny, lol.  But don't worry -- he's totally in love with Hna Miller so no one has to worry (dad).

10.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
Meeting with Pres Dester. 

11.  Were you able to teach more lessons this week?  Do any service?  Go out with any members this week?
We taught 42 lessons this week. I played the piano for the baptism and we did leave with a different member. Hno Mario! He is so legit! He was inactive for like 20 years and I have gotten to see the change in him! When I got here he didn't really want anything and we have been reading the Book of Mormon with him and enouraging him and he is back! He comes to church every Sunday now and he is helping us some in the work and it's awesome. But we went out on visits this week with him and Bayron. 

12.  What are you on in your personal study right now, and what stood out to you this week?  
I am still in Deuteronomy...its a summary of the first 4 books! But it did stand out to me that the Israelites wore the same clothes for 40 years!!! WOW I can't complain then about wearing the same clothes for 18 months, haha. But something that I really liked from church this week was that in the church we have two fundamental truths of which we must have a testimony: That Christ is our Savior and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We have no religion without both of these. I never really thought about that. Without Christ we are nothing and so no one has religion. But without Joseph Smith we are just like any other Christian religion. I just thought that was really interesting, that we really have to have a strong testimony of both of those facts in order to know that this church is true. We don't have one without the other and, yeah, I don't know, it was just something that i realized this week. I also liked Deut. 18:20 because sometimes people ask questions like, what if the prohet leads you astray or how do you know if he's really called of God?  But it says there that if the prophet goes against what God wants him to say, God will kill him... so yeah, I feel pretty good about that. The Lord won't let us be led astray and the prophet won't either, and if by chance he does, God will take him out. 

13.  What have you learned about yourself this week?
My Spanish really has gotten a ton better! I can understand everything that Bayron says now and, I don't know, it really has improved. 

14.  In what area do you think you’ve improved this week?
I spoke with the Hermana Training Leaders so that was awesome and I didn't let my shyness get in my way! 

15.  What was your happiest moment this week?
When Jorge came to the baptism.  :) He almost didn't come but he rearranged his schedule so he could come.  :)

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?
I still vote for the mountains. We went up to Santo Eduviges in the morning for like the second time ever because we always go at night and we got to see the city from even higher up and it was really pretty! 

18.  Did anything unusual happen this week?
Nope (except for that murder...)

19.  What did you learn in your district meeting or zone meeting this week?
I really don't remember because we got pulled out to have our interviews with Pres. Dester.  We went to La Entrada which is an hour away to do them. They gave us donuts and an apple and water.  :) That was yummy! And they reviewed our area book and they said that we have the best one. HA!
20.  Have you recovered from your cold yet?  
Mas o menos (mor eor less). I still have a semi stuffy nose, but I don't have to take medicine now and my voice has recovered so I'm fine. But with weird weather changes and stuff EVERYONE has been sick here. Bleh!  But, yeah I'm good.

21.  How did your divisions go with the Hermana Training Leaders this week?
They went suprisingly well. I was with Hna M. She is from Guatemala. She is really fun and really nice. She was impressed with how good my spanish is and how clearly I can explain things.  :) So that made me really happy because I really want to have good Spanish! But it's always good to see how other peopel teach. But I set the goal to speak and to not be intimidated by her because the other times I have been intimidated and I hardly spoke, but I SPOKE! So I was so proud of myself! And I started our lessons and so I was really proud of myself for that. But I realized that I like divisions because they are different.  I like doing different things! 

Oh, one thing that I learned this week, too, is the importance of members fellowshipping new converts! A lot of converts here only converted to the gospel for the missionaries and then after that the members didn't fellowship them so when the missionaries left, the recent converts became inactives. As members we HAVE to do our part to visit and befriend the menos activos (less actives) and the recent converts. It's just hard to see people leave the church because they feel like nobody cared. Find out who the menos activos and recent converts are and visit them. Bake them bread.  Do  something to show them that we care about them.

Oh, so something about our mission if anyone is thinking that I should be training soon... .well, there is a limit of hermanas for the mission and we are at that limit so we can only get as many hermanas coming in as are going out. The problem is is that since they split the mission we don't have many older hermanas. So like all the hermanas came in with Hna Pickett and the group after and then my group and after me it has been one, two and one again and this change no hermanas are going home.... so no hermanas will be coming in unless a new nurse comes in to be trained. So I will not be training any time soon.... at least for another two changes when some hermanas go home and new ones come in. Which means I will continue to be comp menor (junior companion) until we get more hermanas... and, not that I am power hungry, but anyone who knows me knows that I kind of like to be in charge of things.... so yeah. Just to let you know so you don't all assume that I will train or anything. I will stay the same and such is the problem of our mission right now. 

My pics for this week. we had two days where we really just neeed to eat one is our pancake and mashed potato dinner and the other is me eating pancakes with peanut butter and cake batter on top...don't judge -- LOL -- it was just one of those days. There are 2 with Hna M (Hermana Training Leader)....and some of Hna McC (other Hermana Training Leader).
Hope you all enjoy your Easter!

Hermana Gisseman

With Hna M, hermana training leader
Pancakes and mashed potatoes for dinner.  It was that kind of day.
Pancakes with peanut butter and cake batter
This is cathedral here.  It's a big tourist spot.

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