Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 33 -- The Lord Asks For Our All

I got a letter from Grace Clark this week -- thank you!

Now that I've finished the Book of Mormon in Spanish, I am going to read it in Engish again, but I am going to read the Doctirne & Covenants in Spanish. 

I teach a piano lesson roughly every 4 to 5 days to a young woman in the ward named Rosillo. I think she's like 12 years old. She already know how to read music and I am just teaching her how to play hymns out of the easy hymnbook but it's actually hard just because I have no idea what the Spanish vocabulary is for piano stuff...but she has some kind of theory book that I have been using to pick up's coming along. 

I LOVED watching the movie 17 Miracles! It was actually super good!  Maybe that just means that I have been on the mission for too long and dont remember what real movies are like, lol. But I just feel so cool to have a relative that was so legit! (Our family is related to Levi Savage through Alyssa's Grandma Cherril). But really, it made me think a lot. Those people (the pioneers) literally died just to go to church, just for the opportunity to be close to the temple and to be with the Saints. They gave up everything. I was thinking that the Lord, today, doesn't ask us to walk thousands of miles. He doesn't ask us to walk through the snow wiith a handcart. He doesn't ask us to bury our children along the trail. But He is still asking for our ALL, and if we aren't giving that then we are failing and we, to be frank, need to do a little better. Is it too much, really? 

1.  How was church yesterday?  Did any of your investigators or less active members attend?  Did you learn anything neat at church yesterday?
We literally don't have any investigators right now.... so that sucks and we need to do something about that. We did, however, have 2 menos activos (less active members) at church which made us super happy! But unfortunately others couldn't come. I liked how one of the speakers at church talked about integrity and he gave an example of a young man who went to some party or something and the guys there were trying to make him drink and he said that he wouldn't. Then a quite large guy came up and said that everyone was going to drink and that if he wouldn't drink the beer, he would leaving wearing it on his coat. And the young man said, well I have already told you that I won't drink it. I have come in here with a clean conscience and a clean jacket. I am willing to walk out with a dirty jacket, but I will not walk out with a dirtied conscience. I really like that. Integrity really should be part of who we really are! 

2.  Are you getting to know your investigators and less actives better?  How are K and A doing?  And how about G?  Are there specific things we can pray for for your investigators and less active members?
Well....we went to visit K and A and their rmom has kind of returned to her apostacy because she doesn't undestand doing work for the dead and we tried to explain but she's doesn't undertand and she can't read and she has been Catholic for a while now and so that was hard. She told us that she won't let her kids get baptized now.... so we have to keep working with her more so she can understand. G is the sweetest lady! She is very humble...they don't even have electricity in her house. She is just happy all the time and last night she made baleadas for us and we got to help her tortillar (make tortillas) which was fun and I am really improving on my tortilla making skills! I think you can just pray that we will find people or that the menos activos we have will be touched by the Sprit to change. 

3.  What miracles and tender mercies have you seen this week?  Answers to your prayers?  

I don't know this week...I write them down in my journal every day but right now I can't remember. 

4.  How has someone else blessed your life this week?
In our district meetnig this week Elder Bryce gave some capacitation (lesson) about the Book of Mormon and he gave us 30 seconds to just think about our own conversion story with the Book of Mormon. How we came to know it was true. The moment, perhaps, that God answered our prayers and told us that it was true. I really took those 30 seconds to heart which maybe sounds lame but as I was just thinking about my experiences with the Book of Mormon I just felt again that the Book of Mormon is true! I encourage you all to take a few minutes to really think about your experiences with the Book of Mormon (and if you aren't members, well.... think about your experiences with the Bible or -- even better -- you could try reading the Book of Mormon!) and pay attentino to what you feel. It was just really nice because it's not often I guess that in our meetings they really ask us to ponder or think about stuff..... which maybe is bad, lol, but really in the moments of silent pondering, we can feel the Spirit testify the truth of these things to us. 

5.  How were the Copan Ruinas today?  Did you buy your machete?  Did the elders make it fun?
I did buy my machete! It was fun. I got to hang out with Hna P and Hna Miller and it was so fun! We have all been before so we just went around and had fun and were crazy and took funny pictures, haha!  But Hna P takes really good pictures. It was just a really fun day. And of course the elders made it fun and I refer to this also in number 7. Elders are just way funner than it's just the truth. 

6.  What was the best thing that happened this week?
Probably Zone Conference becasue we got to see everyone and they fed us lunch and there were cake bars that tasted like America! And President Dester showed us that video from Easter that you told me to watch and it was sooo gooood!

7.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?  
We went to Copan Ruinas and the bus rides are always funny because I get to talk to Elder Scott and the other elders who are just so dang funny and then I got to spend the day with Hna M and Hna P and we were just goofy so that was way fun! 

8.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?  
We had a Zone Conference this week so President Dester came and the Assistants to the President. It was really, really, good, but I always love when I get to see President Dester. I noticed a few themes that they talked about, namely faith and goal setting. I really realized that I have faith in God (obviously or I wouldn't be here) but I think that after being in Copan for so long, I have lost faith in the people and maybe in the Lord's  power to change people. I just haven't seen (or maybe I haven't looked hard enough) true change in people due to the gospel which is terrible on my part.... I just haven't had that opportunity like other people have. And I really think that I need to work more on my faith. And especially that people can and will change and that I really am here for a reason. Also they talked about goals and meeting them. Like a goal doesn't mean anything if there isn't a plan to follow through with it. So we can say all day that we are going to contact people or that we will have 10 lessons con miembro (with members present) or that we want to focus on being more happy, but until we have concrete plans to meet these goals, nothing will happen. I honestly think that I was better at goal setting before the mission which is a little sad... but I need to focus on doing better at that. He shared with us the vision for the mission, too, and that was cool to see how we are progressing as a mission! 

9.  Were you able to do any service this week?  
We helped make baleadas but then we ate them so I don't know if that counts as service. 

10.  What did you learn from your personal study this week? 

You asked this question twice.... 

11.  Tell me about one of the lessons you taught this week. 

Well... we have been working with menos activos a lot... so we generally get there and share either a Mormon Message with them or a passage from the scriptures. We really try to listen to the people and help them.12. What was your happiest moment this week?
Copan Ruinas with Hnas M and P.

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

14. What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week?
The new ruins! Or at least the ruins that I haven't seen before even thought they were tiny. We (Hna M, Hna P and I) felt cool because we were the only ones to find them so we felt really hipster. 

15.  Did anything unusual or strange happen this week?  What kinds of things happen that we might think are unusual that have become ordinary to you? 

I am used to seeing animals in the street, I'm used to seeing mud houses without lights and unpaved roads... I don't's just normal to me now. I'm used to not eating witha fact, it's easier to eat with my hands, haha! I'm used to bugs and dirty water.... 

16.  What are you most looking forward to this coming week? 

I really don't know to be honest.... Elder B goes home this week which really bums me out because he is so funny. But I think I am just excited to have baleadas with a family this week! So that will be fun. 
17. What did Pres Dester have to say this week?
He asked if there were things we did differently in Santa Rosa that we aren't doing here, or if we had a different focus. He asked me to look at the things we are perhaps not doing or doing differently to help me see where I might be getting discouraged. I don't know if that makes made sense in the email. But to just think about really why this change is different.... I don't know, I still dont know that I feel that much better but such is life. 

18. How much does it rain in an average day?
It really hasnt rained that much this week which is good. But it has sprinkled  a little bit but it really hasn't been too bad. 

19. What are you on in your personal study right now, and what stood out to you this week?  
I am reading 2 Chronicles.  There was a part that I read yesterday and the people donated everything they had with a willing heart to the temple. And Solomon asked them if they were willing to consecrate themselves to the work (or something like that) and I really liked that since Pres Dester asked us to read "The Consecrated Missionary" again before our conference and just that we really do need to give everything we have to the Lord and we need to do it wil a willing heart or it doesn't mean anything. 

20.  Have you heard how J and any of your investigators from your last area are doing? J is doing great!!! He was going to go on a vacation to Nicaragua and Hna V was really scared actually, or worried for him, but then he said the Spirit told him not to go! And so he didn't! And he's super pilas still and going to church every week.  :) And yeah, I don't know about any others but Sandra wrote me a note this week and I felt really loved! 

Can you send me some Epiduo if you an find it? And Mio.... 

And some things that I would like if you could look for them for after the mission is leather cases for my Spanish scriptures and a Honduran cookbook.... 

I ate a ton of food this week.... we had 3 food appointments yesterday. I ate soooo much food!!!! I can eat like a man! 

Pres Dester told me that Hna Dester reads my blog so shuotout to Hna Dester!!!! 

Love you all! Thank you so much for all of the love and support you give me! 

Hna Gisseman

For some reason, one of our doors has two doorknobs and you have to use both of them to open the door.

At the ruins today
With Hna P at the ruins
Goofing off with Hna M at the ruins
The ruins we discovered that we hadn't seen before
Just being goofy...
Leafcutter ants
These are not real bones....
Not real bones again

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