Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 39 -- Thoughts on Faith and the Atonement...and a water balloon fight!

This week has been better. I promise that things are getting better. My companion is great and I really have been trying more to get to know her and to talk honestly and openly with her and really she's great. She's such a hard worker and last night we were both so tired and to me that's how I know I worked hard, when on Sundays I have absolutely nothing left.

1.  You said Elder Ochoa from the Seventy was coming.  How was that?  What did he talk about?  What did you learn?
It was really, really good. He talked about faith unto repentance. And all of us had to prepare a 5 minute talk and he called on 2 people to speak (Hna C, my former companion, and one of my former Zone Leaders both got called on). But in preparing my talk I realized that it all comes down to the atonement. Our faith in Jesus Christ and truly having faith that He suffered for us and that He paid the price for our sins leads us to repent, because without the atonement we wouldn't be able to. I just thought a lot about that and how truly important the atonement is in our lives. But he talked about pretty much the same thing, about how our faith leads us to repent. He said some other really great things but I don't really remember them because it was on Wednesday and it's been a while.... but it was simple and then he opened it up for questions. And so a few people asked questions and he got to talking and answering them. Our mission numbers have been going down.... so that's not so great. 

2.  How were your divisions with the sister training leaders?  Were you with Hna Z again?
I went with Hna M. She's really sweet and pretty funny. I think that I am such a bad luck charm in Los Castaños because all of our citas (appointments) fell through and we did a lot of walking... like my week with Hna Z, haha. But it was good and we talked a lot. And she told me that she can see that I really am a good missionary and that I know the things that missionaries need to do and that I can do them.  It was fun to be with her but weird because I slept in someone else's bed with someone else's pillow and that's not really my style, LOL.... 

3.  Did you end up making carne asada for the elders last week?  How did it turn out?
Hna Marcia put all the spices and saucy stuff on the meat and we ended up cooking it.... Well, the elders did some, too.... It was really, really yummy. 

4.  How was church yesterday?  Did you have any investigators there?
Church was pretty good... they have been reporting 125 people at church but we didn't think that was right so we counted was 96.  So we have some work to do because for a ward that's not too great. But I had an expereience at church that made me quite irritated... they asked if either one of us (me or my companion) could play the piano and my companion proceeds to volunteer my skills.... and I tell them that I really can only play a few hymns. So they asked me to play prelude and I get up there and, first of all, I have to ask for a hymn book. Then the fans are on super high so I can't see the pages because they are flying everywhere so a little girl comes up to help me and she put her elbows in the way (she didn't mean to, I'm sure) and I couldn't see a thing. Then the counselor comes over to me and is like, "No, pick one hymn to play and the bishop is going to announce it."  What?  So I tried to explain to him how I do prelude and no, they did not like my idea of what prelude is.... so I picked one hymn and then they told me that it wasn't reverent enough... Huh?  It's a hymn -- how can it not be reverent enough?  And so I picked a different one but by this time I was frustrated so of course I go to play it and I mess up a bunch and the fans are going and I can't see the page and it was rough... I don't think they will ask me to play again, LOL!
Also, last Monday a man found us in the street and started talking to us. He was from the circus and wanted to know more abuot the church. He started talking, though, that he wanted to crucify himself on the White House lawn.... right.... crazy bin..... So we invited him to church and everything but didn't think anything of it. He said that he would try to make it. So then halfway through Sacrament Meeting he came!!! And everyone stared at him because he's from the circus and all... but he came all the way from Tela ( don't know where that is) just to come to church.... but we can't teach him since he travels and doesn't have a house here or anything and was jut passing through but it was really cool. 

5.  What are the names of your investigators, and what are their needs so that we can pray specifically for them?

Hna K! She is going to get baptized this week (we hope) she's totally ready but there was a complication... all the members will be gone Saturday because of the ward temple trip which we didn't know about so we are hoping to have her baptism on Wednesday instead. She's the wife of a now active member and really so prepared. I feel like we haven't taught her anything because she's just so ready. She's great. 

Hna D is the mother of a little girl who always comes to church. We just started teaching her but she accepted a baptismal date and only only needs to come to church one more time and finish the discussions. She wants to change and knows she needs to get baptized...

We have other investigators but they aren't really progressing... 

Brother I plays the guitar and he played for us this week! I got to hear some Adele, haha, and he has lots of questions. He is really smart and I think that he will get baptized with time, when he learns to rely on his faith. 

Other than that we have been visiting a family the familia F and the dad has an eye infection that impedes him from really doing anything. He's been going to doctors but nothing has really changed. I really don't think that the family will do anything until he starts to get better.... but we are hoping that they will come around. But that's about it... we need more investigators.... 

6.  What miracles and tender mercies have you seen this week?  Answers to your prayers?
I really don't know off the top of my head. I guess one is that I am doing better.... I really do write down tender mercies form each day in my journal but when I get here to e-mail I don't remember them.

7.  How has someone else blessed your life this week?  How have YOU blessed someone else's life this week?
I got a letter from Jorge this week. It was so sweet. Hna V says that he always speaks so highly of me. He says that we changed his life and that I spoke words of power, but I know that I hardly spoke at all because Jorge talked the whole time, LOL, but it was so nice to get a letter from him!  And I got to see Hna M and talk to her for a while and it was just nice to get to talk to my best friend in the mission. I don't know how I blessed someone else this week.... I taught my companion English this week. We had language study together and she was so excited because she's never had a gringa companion so I got to teach her and she was just so excited. 

8.  What was the best thing that happened this week?  
We had a Family Home Evening with the family who lives below us... the sister of Hna Marcia. She has 4 kids and her little girl always gives me hugs and she's so cute!  We had Family Home Evening with her and her family and made cookies and gave a little lesson and watched "The Other Side of Heaven". And it was just so great! I got homemade cookies! I ate like 15 of them, for real, because it has been so long since I ate real cookies and to just be in their home and feel the Spirit with them was so nice. It makes me wonder if you are still doing your Family Home Evenings.... DO THEM! They are important!  This week I have felt a lot of love for that family! 

9.  What have you been grateful for this week?
The conference issue of the Liahona magazine. I love reading conference talks and I am so grateful that we have a living prohpet and apostles who guide us in these times and I love that I can read and reread their talks. I love underlining things and analyzing how they write (haha, I'm such a nerd even on the mission!). 

10.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
The guerra de agua (water fight) that we had today! It was so funny! People were sliding all over the place and it was chaos but it was super fun and about the closest thing we get on the mission to swimming! And someone pulled a prank on me so bad! They told me to go to the girls bathroom to fill up more balloons so I went with one of the other hermanas and we walk in the bathroom and an elder was in there wearing this scary mask and he ran out and yelled and I screamed, LOL! Tthey recorded it and it's super funny!  I was soaked -- all the elders ganged up on the hermanas, and there are only four of us hermanas!

11.  What did you do for your district meeting and zone meeting this week?  What is the game "Noah's Ark" like?
Noah's Ark... animals are written on pieces of paper and there are 2 of each animal and somebody throws the papers up in the air and you have to grab one and start acting like that animal without saying what you are. So you have to make the sounds of that animal and you haveto  find the other animal like you and there are pairs of chairs set up but one pair short and once you find your pair you run and sit down together. The last ones left don't have chairs and so they are out and you keep playing, throwing the papers and getting an animal and running and so on until a pair wins. Does that make sense?

In our district meeting this week we talked about how to work with ward leaders. 

12.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 
We had a cita with Hna Marcia and because I love her so much the words just came. I focused on what she was saying and the words came and I didn't feel nervous about what i would say which happens sometimes. I really just loved her and listened and it was great. And I really want to work harder to have more lessons like that. She talked about not having the desire to do some things in her life, she doesn't have the desire to progress right now becasue of some hard things that she is going through. She was super excited and now she's just not... and I could totally relate! I knew exactly how she feels. And I could share a little bit with her and I really felt like I could connect with her and that there is a reason that I felt the way that I did and it wasn't just to help me grow but to help me to be able to help other people. 

13.  What did you learn from your personal study this week?  Where are you at in the Old Testament?  What else are you studying right now?  
I haven't had a ton of time to study since I've been here... but I'm in Mosiah in the Book of Mormon and in Isaiah in the Old Testament... Mostly I have really been studying the conference talks. Did you remember that we were challenged to read Preach my Gospel... are you doing that? But I really love the talk by Pres Uchtdorf about choosing to be grateful no matter our circumstances. I think that it was quite appropriate for me this week. But I had forgotten about it (how quick we are to forget) and it was just what I needed. So I encourage you all to be more grateful and to have an attitude of graitude even when times are difficult. 
14.  Do you know that I love you SO much and I miss you?


15.  What has been the most beautiful thing you've seen this week?  
Homemade cookes with sprinkles on top  :-)

16.   Did anything unusual or strange happen this week?
Honduras played again in the World Cup so we had to stay in the house... but it wasn't really unusual. 

17.  How long did you end up being without water last week?
Four days... it was not fun. But now we have water and I hope it lasts!!!!! I hate bucket showers and I hate bringing up water from the pila. 

18.  What did you do for P-Day this week?
We had a guerra de agua... a water balloon fight or a water in whatever kind of container you can find fight. It was way fun and I'm sunburned and soaked but it was fun. And after we ate pizza! 

19.  What are you looking forward to this week?  
Hopefully a baptism... 

20.  Do you still have a baptism planned for the 5th of July?
Like I said above, there's a temple trip on that date so the date is up in the air right now. 

I cannot believe that I am going to hit 9 months. I really don't feel like I have that much time... it's kind of crazy. And June is almost gone now, too.... wow, I really can't believe it. And this change is almost half way through.... wow.... 

I didn't get anything in the ruta (mail delivery) this week. 
I love you a lot and just know that things are getting better.  And President Dester...well, he's worried about me, too, but we should have interviews this Thursday with him and he wants me to be happy, too, and not just endure my mission but enjoy it like the article said that you sent me.  I love you! 
Love you all and thanks for all your support. 

Hermana Gisseman
Our area

Cooking on P-Day....

Watching a World Cup game

With Hna M

Water balloon fight!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 38 -- Outrunning a Dog, the World Cup, and Things are Looking Up!

I got a letter from Bishop Sybrowsky this week and a letter from Hna A that was really sweet!  She's doing really well.  She thanked me for being her companion and one of the best that she's had and she said that she misses me.

1.  In the zone picture you sent last week if looked like there was another American hermana standing next to you -- but you said that you are the first American sister to be sent there.  So where is that other sister from, or did I just not look closely enough?
There is another American hermana in the zone, but I was refering to my area specifically. She works in a different area. I am here in La Victoria and since they opened it up for hermanas when I got to Honduras they have only had Latinas. So for 9 months now they haven't seen a single gringa, and before that they didn't even have hermanas. But it's a little scary to be honest to be the first gringa that they have had... 

2.  Does your companion speak English?
Not really. Sometimes she will surprise me and break out some Wnglish phrases, lol, but I think she's shy. She knows a lot, but doesn't speak at all so we will work on that. 

3.  You said the person who owns the house you live in fixes meals for you.  How often?  Do you have your own entrance to the house or do you use the same entrance the family uses?  What is the family like?
Hna Marcia is the mom and she has 2 kids, J and F and a cousin lives with them, S. J was supposed to leave for her mission a while ago now but something happened with her visa and so she's still here. Hna Marcia cooks for us (we pay her) everyday of the week except for P-Day because we are out doing stuff. So she cooks 6 days a week for us and her food is really really good! She is like our neighbor and we live on the second floor above where Marcia's mom and sister live. So we share the gated entrance with them but have a seperate staircase and everything to get up to our house. 

4.  How was church yesterday?  Are you in a ward or a branch?  Were there many investigators at church?
We are in a ward. There werent many people at church yesterday but we did have 4 investigators... sort of. One is a real investigator, the other was an investigator of the elders who we are going to start teaching because apparently she was flirting with the elders and the other two were kids so they don't really count.... But the chapel is new and super nice! It even has benches like in the states! 

5.  What miracles and tender mercies have you seen this week?  Answers to your prayers?
Well... we went looking for some meos activos (less active members) that live on this little hill and they weren't home so we decided to go up the hill and look for other menos activos.... we didn't really want to go up the hill but we did it anyway... there was no path and we just kind of walked up throught the weeds and such... so we got to the top and there was a dog... a mean dog. And he started growling at us and my companion told me to run so I ran!!!! I wasn't about to stand there and let the dog get me! So the dog came at us and we were both running down this hill... but it's a hill, right, and there's no path so it's all just dirt and weeds and we were running fast. So as you can imagine I fell down a few times... but the good thing is that the dog didn't get us. And we ended up finding the menos activos and they gave us water to wash ourselves off. Good times. 

6.  How has someone else blessed your life this week?
Hna Marcia made us baleadas and today she went and bought the meat that we are supposed to cook for an activity today so that we wouldn't have to go do it ourselves. She's sweet. 

7.  What was the best thing that happened this week?
I just got an email from Hna V and she said that Jorge is is doing great and that he even came to church in a white shirt! She said that a menos activo family that we had worked with started coming to church and that their daughter has a baptismal date! She said that she was ready to give up on them and didn't want to visit them (I didn't know that ) but that I always said we should visit them because they just needed a little love and a push to get them going to church again and she kept visiting them after I left and now they are really doing well and progressing! She told me that I helped her have faith in those people! I thought that was a very nice compliment and helped me see that I really am helping people. It just makes me happy to hear that people are doing well in Santa Rosa. I think that for the rest of my mission, Santa Rosa will be my most memorable area, where I learned how to be a missionary. 

8.  What have you been grateful for this week?
I have been grateful that another investigator found us in the street! And really that the Lord is guiding us and guiding others to us. We were just walking in the street and she started talking to us and took us to her house and we talked with her. The elders visited her a long time ago but then she moved and she had always seen the missionaries but had never said anything until she saw us. She is so sweet and we have visited her two times now. She was going to come to church but went to vistit her sister instead, but hey, there is hope for this week. But I just love moments like that when I can see that this really is the Lord's work. 

9.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
Since Honduras played this week in the mundial (World Cup) we had to be in the house in the evenings so we went to Hna Marcia's and watched church movies and made baleadas. Really we should have been in our house, but since she's our neighbor and lives like 5 steps from our house we just went over there, lol.... 

10.  What did you do for your district meeting and zone meeting this week?
We got kicked out of our chapel where apparently we have been meeting for forever so we went to the stake center which is like 10 minutes away and they have air conditioning in one of the rooms so we enjoyed that while we were waiting, haha. But in our district meeting our District Leader, Elder L, talked about the voices in the world and how we need to make sure that we as missionaries are listening to the right voices and then voices that could be impeding our investigators and how we can overcome thsoe voices, or help them to follow the voice of the Spirit instead. And after we played a game called Noah's Ark.

11.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
I don't know if it's really a highlight... but I have realized this week that Satan really knows how to push our buttons. I think everyone may have realized that it's been a tough two months or so for me. I just felt like it was trial after trial after trial and then when I thought that things were going to get better along came another stinkin' trial. And I just realized that Satan knows when we are down and he will do everything in his power to keep us down. But happiness is a choice. And so even if all this crap happens to us, we can choose to be happy. I have been choosing to be unhappy and to just sit here and kind of wallow a litte bit and say woe is me. But we shouldn't do that. The Lord will never tempt us more than we can bear. He will intervene at the last moment, when we feel like we really can't do it anymore, He will give us the strength but we have to do all we can and we have to try. I don't know. I feel like the storm is passing, or at least I can see a little ray of sunshine. I recognize now the tactics that Satan has been using against me and I'm really going to try to be happy and to just enjoy this experience because I'm coming up on the halfway mark and I really want a happy second half. 

12.  What did you learn from your personal study this week?  Where are you at in the Old Testament?  What else are you studying right now?
I just got into Isaiah.... I am a little scared, lol, I won't lie. But we will see. We got the conference editions of the Liahona and so I have been reading one or two talks out of that and it really hit me again how much they talked about how we need to be true disciples of Christ and there are tons of things that we can do to be better. I have been working on my lesson plans still. And I am Enos in the Book of Mormon. I really think that Enos is my favorite book in the Book of Mormon because there are so many little details and the language is so great and...I don't's just an amazing story so go read it!  LOL  Will you do that? Will you read Enos? I hate missionary language in emails and getting people to do stuff...haha. 

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?
There was a huge thunderstorm and the clouds were really dark and kind of scary but they were really cool too! Since we live on the second story we could see them really well. 

15.   Did anything unusual or strange happen this week?
Well, we have been out of water for 3 days now. And it's a little ridiculous. We share the tank with Hna Marcia's family and they had visitors this week and so the water went super fast and we have been without for 3 days now.... so i have to go fetch water from the freaking pila and bring it all the way upstairs and use that to flush the toilet, wash my hands, shower and it's not very clean water.... so that has been fun. It's been longer than we went without water in Copan, I think.... 

16.  What did you do for P-Day this week?
We went to the grocery store in the morning and in the afternoon we are going to watch a partido de futbol (soccer match), Mexico and Croatia I think. And the elders want the sisters to cook carne asada so I think that I will end up standing in the kitchen while all the Latinas cook, LOL, but I don't know...we will see what happens. but right now we are emailing. 

17.  What are you looking forward to this week?
Elder Ochoa from the Quorum of the Seventy will be coming on Wednesday so we will get to go to San Pedro for that. And we have divisions with the sister training leaders and I think I will have another day with Hna Zelada! So we will see. 

18.  What is your favorite hymn right now?  Why?
Be Still My Soul, I think. President Desterused it in his email to us this week and I really liked it. But Count Your Many Blessings, too, because we were visiting a family and I just felt impressed that we should sing that hymn. They are passing through hard times because the husband has an eye infection and they are going to operate to take out his eye but they don't have the money, so yeah... And we sang that hymn with them and the next time we visited the mom asked us to sing that hymn again because she liked it so much and we heard her singing it a little bit while she was cooking dinner. 

19.  How do you feel you’ve done this week in being a better Consecrated Missionary and “the Fourth Missionary”?
I am still the "Third MIssionary."  I think that I may be the third missionary exactly word for word which is pretty darn sad. But I have talked with my companion more and she's talked to me to try and help me and I think that one day I will be able to get there. I'm just going to try to enjoy the ride. All the crazy things that happen and all the memories like not having water...well, they suck in the moment. Like I really hate those times when I'm living them, but then in the end they are hilarious and they just make me smile. So I think I need to try to enjoy them more in the moment. I don't know.... but we will see. I need to change my attitude... So yeah, we will see what happens this week. 

20.  I'm working on keeping a gratitude journal, and you said that you write down things in your journal for every day that you are grateful for, or tender mercies.  What are some of the things you've been grateful for this week?
That I saw a dachshund (the first one I've seen since I've been here!), that the mean dog didn't bite me, that someone gave us baleadas last night, a member came with us to all of our appointments yesterday...little things like that.

21.  Are there any hump day traditions there for sister missionaries?  I know some elders burn a tie -- what do the sisters do?  You'll hit your halfway point next week -- can you believe it?????
Yeah, the sisters take a pregnant picture, lol, and I can't believe it.... I feel new. I don't feel like I have 9 months... maybe because I'm still a junior companion... but whatever. President Dester gave a big talk at changes about how we should just lift where we stand and how titles don't matter.... I think I'm still too prideful. 

22.  You said in your last e-mail that you had a baptism coming up.  Did that happen?  Who was it?
We have a baptism planned for the 5th of July. It's the wife of a member who I think was menos activo for a while but has come back now. He will receive the priesthood this week, I think, and will be able to baptize her! Apparently the missionaries had visited her for a long time and she almost got baptized but didn't, so I hope that this time is different. She seems to really have this desire so we are excited! 

OK, whew!  Finished! Well, just so you all know in my mission we have 218 missionaries right now! WOW! If you would like to look for small Spanish books like 1001 Pitfalls in Spanish (by Barron, I think...I saw another hermana with it) I would really like more things to study for language study. 

Oh and this week I went to immigration. So  I went back to Los Castaños where I was for a week and pretty much just took a picture and scanned my fingerprients but I am one step closer to being catracha! And I got to see and talk with Elder Scott and Hna Harmon from Copan! So that was nice.

I love you all and thank you for your love and support. I really think that things are looking up for me now and that this week will be good. 

 Hna Gisseman

(these pictures are from last week -- they wouldn't upload last week so she sent them this pictures from this week)

Awesome tan lines....
Apparently this is what your leg looks like when you fall down running away from a dog?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 37 -- Changes, Sick, Zoo, and Beach

A new nurse came to the mission and she's really nice and, in fact, we had to call her this week because I got a little sick from some stomach virus but don't worry. I'm all better, nothing grave. All is well.

So I had changes (obviously) and now I am in the zone Fesitranh and my area is La Victoria and my companion is Hna U from Nicaragua. We are about 20 minutes out of San Pedro Sula.  

1.  What are your first impressions of your new area?
Well, I have been a little bit sick, like I said, and yesterday since Honduras played in the mundial (World Cup Soccer game), we couldn't leave the house, so from what I have actually seen of this area, it's really nice. I'm a little scared, though, because everyone tells me that I'm the first American sister to get sent here so that worries me a little bit, but whatever. The people are definitely different than in Copan. They can read, they have fridges and stoves and ovens and curtains and houses and...i don't's all different. There are no paved roads except for the carretera or the highway. It's about 20ish minutes from Campana. We live in a house on the second story and the member who owns it feeds us every day. 
2.  What did you do for P-Day this week?
We went to a zoo and beach in Omoa (if you remember I went there a looooong time ago while I was in Campana) but, yeah, we went there then ate in Wendy's and now we are here. It was actually really, really sad the state of the animals there.... I'm amazed at how much we do as a zone here! We do stuff for every P-Day, we meet in the same building every Tuesday for district meetings and we plan together on Thursdays! I am coming from Copan where everything is too far away to do anything! And I haven't met hardly anyone...haha...only the peeps in Copan and now I am getting to know some folks so that's cool. 

3.  How was church yesterday?  Are you in a ward or a branch?  Were there many investigators at church?
We didn't make it to church because of mondial.... so the elders brought us the sacrament and it was lovely. 

4.  How many investigators do you have?  Are you working with investigators or with inactive members in your new area?
We have real investigators... I don't know how many since I was sick.

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

I am feeling better after being sick with a stomach virus.  And it's so nice to have someone cook for us every day! 

6.  How has someone else blessed your life this week?
My new companion, Hna U, has been really good to me.  She washed all my clothes. she took care of me, like brought me food and water, and cleaned the house and everything while I was sick. There is the member who feeds us, Hna Marcia, and we went to her house, too, to to have a change of scenery and she was sweet, too. Actually the other elders in the area, too. They bought me groceries to have things to eat while I was sick. 

7.  What was the best thing that happened this week?
Changes. After spending a week being "district-less" in San Pedro Sula, I finally got an area and people and a zone and district and house and everything! 

8.  What have you been grateful for this week?
The fact that I have been surrounded by people who don't even know me, but who already care about me, enough to give me their couch to sleep on, or to wash my clothes, or to buy me food, or to call to see how I am. 

9.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
We had a zone meeting on Thursday and this zone is way funny and so pretty much we were just laughing at each other for an hour and it was great. 

10.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

Not sure. 

11.  What service have you done for others?  What service have others done for you this week?
Everyone gave service to me this week and, well, I'm very independent but I let them, lol. 
12.  What did you learn from your personal study this week?  Where are you at in the Old Testament?  What else are you studying right now?

I'm going to be honest... I haven't studied once this week...and not becasue I'm a planch (loser/lazy person) -- I've been sick! 

13.  You said you have been working on your lesson plans.  What are you doing with those, and how is that project coming along?
I am still working on those. I'm in Lesson 2 but I'm almost done and then I will work on lesson 3. 

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

15.  What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week?  
The beach!!!! Even though we couldn't swim in it.

16.  Did anything unusual or strange happen this week?
I got sick again!!! FREAKIN AGAIN! 

17.  What are you looking forward to this week?
To leaving the house and preaching the gospel! 

18.  What did Pres Dester have to say this week? 

He started writing mass emails, which makes more sense than tons of individual ones. He shared an experience from when he was leaving on his mission and the words of a hymn, "How Gentle God's Commands," brought him great peace.  He talked about how the Savior understands how we feel when we are discouraged and He will help us.  He shared Matthew 11:28-30, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart...and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
These are the words of the hymn:

How gentle God's commands!
How kind his precepts are!
Come, cast your burdens on the Lord
And trust his constant care.

Why should this anxious load
Press down your weary mind?
Haste to your Heavenly Father's throne
And sweet refreshment find.

His goodness stands approved,
Unchanged from day to day;
I'll drop my burden at his feet
And bear a song away.

19.  How do you feel you’ve done this week in being a better Consecrated Missionary and “the Fourth Missionary”?
I haven't worked this week so I haven't done anything... 

20.  Now that you've been there a while (can you believe you're almost halfway through????), what are some Honduran customs that you have come to like or appreciate? What is your favorite food that you've eaten on your mission so far?  What is your favorite memory/experience from your mission so far?  

I think that my favorite food is tajadas still... I really like tajadas and baleadas and fried platanoes. My favorite experience is everything that happened with Jorge. I think that that will be one of my most prized memories for my whole life. As far as customs.... I can really only think of customs that I don't like, haha. I dont like kissing everyone on the cheek, I don't like how women just feed their babies and grown children right in front of me without anything to cover them up, I don't like how the hombres whistle or try to speak to me in English.... but the people are nice. 

21.  How often do you write in your journal?  Do you need a new journal yet?

I write in my journal every night! But I am only halfway through this one that I have right now so I'm still good for a few more months. 

Okay, this email is really crappy sorry. I just don't feel very well and am quite baggy (homesick) today. I'm sure after a week of hard work and a baptism (because, yumm, yeah, we are already going to have a baptism!) that I will feel much better. 

I love you all.  Please don't remind me about my birthday because I don't want to turn 20. Prayers would be appreciated. 

Hna Gisseman
Zone Fesitranh
Where I live now

Can't go swimmning, but this is a nice pool!
See the (fake) animals?
With Hna U
At the zoo
Our zone at the beach

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 36 -- An Interesting Week

My Zone Leader is not sick with dengue fever anymore. I haven't used the linasa, but Hna C did and it is a little weird so I am going to hold off on using it for a little while.
I am over my cold now... I just freaking hurt all over from walking (NO JOKE) a total of 12 hours the past two days.... I will explain. 

So I don't know that I will be able to answer all of your emails or even all the questions in this email because, well, something unexpected happened this week. We had emergency transfers. I don't really understand all the details. From what I understand there was a problem with the rent. We had to fill out some new forms for our house and the rent and I guess there were some complications and some members in the ward were complaining that the house we lived in was dangerous anyway, but whatever. But we got a call from our Zone Leaders and they pretty much just told us that President Dester was going to be picking us up the next day and that we needed to be packed. So on Wednesday morning President and Sister Dester came and picked us up and brought us to San Pedro. We have been staying with the Hermana Training Leaders (Hnas M and Z) and the mission nurses (Hnas B and R). It's been kind of weird to not be in my area, in a different house, and yeah, we are pretty much just chilling out and going on divisions every day until Wednesday when we have changes for real and we get assigned new areas, but it is for sure that Hna C and I will not be together after this. That's why I am on e-mail so early because we have to do whatever they do and they wanted to come in the morning and we only have an hour for e-mail today...   Sorry, no pictures today.  It's been a crazy week.

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

I sat around and took a shower and now I am here. 

2.  What song is your piano student working on now?  

I haven't taught her all week because of the emergency transfer

3.  How did your mini CCM activity go on Friday?

I was not there for the activity because of the emergency transfer

4.  How was church yesterday?  Did any of your less active members come to church?   

Church was really, really weird because we were in a new ward, what a WARD! And we felt like visitors... but there really weren't that many more people than there are in El Dorado which suprised me since its a ward. 

5.  How is Gloria doing?  Who else are you working with? 

Again, I dont know. 

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

Well, I had been struggling with well still being in Copan and and then all of the sudden everything changed. So I know that the Lord is aware of each of us and that He knows what we need. Someone also gave me ice cream -- real ice cream -- here in San Pedro and I almost cried!  It's crazy that the houses are almost like real houses. There are some mansions, too, that are in this area but I was so happy to just have running water and little things like that which were really tender mercies after being in Copan for so long. 

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

I have been going on divisions with Hna Z from Guatemala and she is so cute. All of our citas (appointments) have fallen through and that's why we have walked and walked and walked more than I ever have in my life, but it's been so fun! She is so cute and just so nice. We just laugh and talk and it's been really, really nice to just feel like I can be me. 

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

Well, it's also the worst... but we got to come to San Pedro. 

9.  You have sounded discouraged lately….have you had more moments of happiness or joy this week?  Do you think that you and/or Hna C will be transferred? 

Eh, this week has been a lot of self reflection and seeing what I can do and I think I know how I can be happy the rest of my mission but this week really has just been awkward since we are just floating around without a district, an area, investigators or anything... but we will definitely have changes this week on Wednesday.  As for how I can be happy the rest of my mission -- after a lot of self-reflection I realized that I need to focus on gratitude and being grateful for my blessings, for my mission, and for whatever position I am in and to do my best in whatever position I am in.

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

I got to go running for like 3 days in a row! I only ran for like 15 minutes and I was sore, haha, and I didn't even run fast! That's so sad.... I'm so out of shape. 

12.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?

See #6

13.  What service have you done for others?  What service have others done for you this week? 
Well, all the hermanas in the house had to get everything ready for us to come to San Pedro so we have beds and a fridge and a table. I just try to wash dishes... I really don't know what to do with myself at the moment. 
14.  What did you learn from your personal study this week?  Where are you at in the Old Testament?  What else are you studying right now? 

In the Old Testament I finished Psalms and so I am in Proverbs. I have been working more on my lesson plans. 

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


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

In our drive with President Dester he pointed out some fences that were from green wood and so now there are trees growing out of the fence posts and it was really neat. 

17.  Did anything unusual or strange happen this week? 


18.  What are you looking forward to this week? 

Changes so that I can go back to having a real area. 

19.  What did President Dester have to say this week? 

That I will have changes and that he's sorry that we had to get pulled out of El Dorado.

20.  How do you feel you’ve done this week in being a better Consecrated Missionary and “the Fourth Missionary”? 

I will let you know when I got back to being a real missionary.

21.  Now that you've been there a while (can you believe you're almost halfway through????), what are some Honduran customs that you have come to like or appreciate? What is your favorite food that you've eaten on your mission so far?  What is your favorite memory/experience from your mission so far? 

I don't have time to answer.... please repeat next week. 

This is a terrible email but really I have no time...we only have an hour for e-mail today.  Please tell everyone I'm sorry I couldn't respond to their e-mails.  No pictures this week, too.  Sorry!  

Hna Gisseman