Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 35 -- 8 Months Already!!

Happy 8 months to me!

Erin sent me a picture of Andrew. It's so weird that she was pregnant and had a baby all while I've been gone. Time is so fast and so slow at the same time and it's so weird. It's weird to think that people have lives because I feel like mine is just on hold.

Last week for P-Day we went to a regular grocery store...wel,l sort's tiny and called the mini market. I usually buy apples, yogurt, and snacks. Things that they don't sell in pulperias. 

Usually after district meetings we play Signs or we have been playing "I have mail" -- I don't know what it's called in English.... But you say I have mail for everyone who.... and then whatever you want so who is wearing black, who has been to Disney World, who is a missinoary. And all the people who fit that category have to get up and find another seat. So like the fruit basket turnover game, I guess, lol. 
I got a package from your friend Christelle -- she is so sweet!  She sent me a great Minnie Mouse drawing, Twistables (for coloring), a coloring book with old movie poster pictures (love it!), chocolate (yum!), Minnie Mouse stickers, and some little artsy things.  I loved it -- thank you so much, Christelle!!!
1. What did you do for P-Day this week?
NOTHING. "Again, freakin' again!" (That was a quote from "Ghost in the Stalls" if anyone else has seen it and finds it as hilarious as I do, lol)  But yeah... so I told our Zone Leader who pretty much plans stuff that we should do something because I need people and more specifically I need people that speak English!  So I think we were going to do something but he got dengue fever so he went to San Pedro and was in the we didn't do anything... I woke up and cleaned and then colored a little bit in the coloring book from Christelle.  The coloring book with old movie picture posters made me feel sophisticated and not like a little kid, haha. So I colored, cleaned, took a HOT bucket shower because I actually heated up the water and then watched the John Tanner video because I literally had nothing better to do. So at like 10 am or so we went out to shop and I decided that I needed some retail therapy! So I bought another Honduras soccer jersey but it's different than my other one and a better quality.  I bought a pair of super comfy pants that I will definitely wear in college.  They are are turquise linenish pants and they are just comfy and I bought a white tank top that everyone wears here and it like sucks you in so you look skinny, not that I'm fat, but I really like these tank tops actually. So yeah...dropped a whole 35 dollars.... 730-ish lempiras. On pretty much just crap, but it was crap that I really wanted to buy. Oh, and both of us boght this stuff called linasa that apparently is supposed to make your hair grow so I might try it just for funsies. Tthen we went to eat lunch and Hna C wanted tajadas so we found a cafeteria place and ate there and literally everyone stared at me when I walked in the door.... yeah, the perks of being white in a latin country. So we ate pollo con tajadas.... which is fried chicken with fried green bananas covered in some kind of sauce and cole slaw. It really good chicken actually but not the best tajadas I have had. And then... then we came here. 

2.  What song did your piano student pass off?  Do you find any time for YOU to play the piano?
She passed off "There is a Green Hill Far Away." I don't have any time for me to play the piano which is really sad because I would love to practice and get better at playing the hymns so that I actually could play in sacrament meeting but I dont have any time to practice so I cannot get better, but only worse. 

3.  How was church yesterday?  Did any of your less active members come to church?  I read on another missionary blog that there are often dogs in their Sunday church meetings…lol….have you seen that in any of your church meetings?  What interesting things have you seen/experienced at church there?
Church was pretty good. We are planning an activity like a mini CCM for this friday... hopefully people come. So we spent the last hour block just going around to announce to all the classes. But Gloria was at church, and another menos activo (less active member) but I don't remember his name. But a menos activo for years and years came to church for the first time yesterday!!! So that was really exciting. He has really been struggling in his family and they are members, too, but he came without them yesterday and so that was awesome. There is a dog that comes to church, haha, and there was one in Santa Rosa too, but they just wait outside which is good. At least they have good manners. But everyone calls him the Mormon dog and says he's already a member and has better attendance than anyone because he goes to seminary and all the meetings, too, haha. It's the dog of Jorge Eli who you met on Skype. That's about the only interesting thing that I have seen at church... And I know yesterday was Fast Sunday, but I have been sick and I tried to fast but then someone gave us bread in the church and my head hurt really bad and I wanted to take medicine so I ate the bread so that I could take meds... and because I wanted the bread, Just goes to show that the natural man is weak! And I came off of the last fast with such a great expereince... how quick we are to forget. But, yeah, that was nice though to eat bread, haha. 

4.  How is Gloria doing?  Hna Catalina, Kildre and Alfredo?  I keep praying that her understanding will improve and that her heart will be softened.  Who are some of the other people you are working with?  The guy who called out to you and Hna C when you were out walking last week, that had been an old investigator of the elders – did you go visit him again?  
So that guy said he would come to church so we could put a cita (schedule an appointment) because he wasn't home when we passed by there... but he didn't come to church so haven't havent visited him yet.  :( Gloria is doing well! It started pouring yesterday while we were out and we passed by her house and she took pity on us and let us help her make tortillas and then she fed us.  :) So we didn't have to be out in the rain. Hna Catalina and Kildre y Alfredo haven't been to church since my first Sunday in El Dorado... so that's really sad. I don't know that they will ever really come back. 

5.  What miracles and tender mercies have you seen this week?  Answers to your prayers?
I have actually seen quite a few this week.  This week I feel like I really saw sings that God is aware of my situation and  what I need and that He really does love me.  I had several very specific prayers answered almost immediately and it was amazing and I could just see that Heavenly Father really does want me to be here and He wants me to be ok. No, more than ok -- happy.  For example, I got sick this week (just with a cold so don't worry, and I'm almost better).  I really didn't feel like eating anything at all but I knew that I needed to eat. So we were at a pulperia buying a drink and I told Hna C that I really should eat something but nothing sounded good except maybe bread.   A minute later a woman passed by selling bread, and any of my companions can tell you that I absolutely LOVE bread.  So I was very grateful that I could buy something to eat, the only thing that I actually would have eaten.  And that happened twice this week when I needed to eat but only bread sounded good and there was bread.  Usually we don't run into anyone selling bread so the fact that these women just happened to be there when we were is a small miracle.  Another example, I really didn't want to walk around in the hot sun not feeling well and t was really hot and sunny so I prayed that a cloud would cover up the sun and no joke, two minutes later a huge cloud covered up the sun!  It was amazing.  Just a lot of little experiences like that which are probably superficial and I should probably ask for strength the endure the challenges rather than asking to change the circumstances but I truly am grateful that I have a Father in Heaven who is looking out for me all the time. 

6.  How has someone else blessed your life this week?
Well, like I said I was sick this week and still am a little bit, but I went to bed early one day (well, everyday pretty much) but when I woke up Hna C had drawn a really cute drawing of me as a princess and wrote a little note so that was sweet. 

7.  Tell me about some of the families/people who have you over for meals?
We had dinner with the district Relief Society president. She's really nice. We actually stopped by the house of the rama (branch?) Relief Society president and she gave us a baleada and asked us why no one fed us....  Really not that many people feed us. We never have appointments to eat. But sometimes when we visit people they will give us something, but it's not like the elders who practically have every meal given to them. I don't like this discrimination towards the sisters! 

8.  Have you spoken in your ward yet?  Or led the music, or taught a class, or anything like that?
Nope, haha. I haven't spoken but I have been asked to lead the music a few times in Relief Society which is no big deal. 

9.  Do you have members who go out with you to your visits/appointments?
Ummmm....not really.... we have tried to get some members to go out with us but they have stood us up... which sucks... We're having a hard time with some of the branch leadership.  There isn't much support for this activity we're planning and we're pretty much doing everything by ourselves.

10.  What was the best thing that happened this week?
After our district meeting I got to speak in English. I really love my language and not just because I know it, but because it's just so great! I was studying English before the mission and even now I have a greater appreciation for it. There is only me and the District Leader and the Zone Leader who are gringos and both of them are in the other branch... so yeah, I haven't been able to speak English all week except for ONE day! When we have our district meeting and I really miss it but we just chilled and talked for like an hour and a half which was just like breathing in fresh air. 

11.  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?
I really hope we have changes, and I want her to have changes because she's so unhappy here.  I want her to be able to be somewhere that she can be more happy. She has more time than me here so it makes sense that she would be changed and not her.  But I really don't think we'll have changes.  Changes are on the 11th so we will see what happens.  The most logical is that we stay together for two changes.  The most probable is that president takes pity on us since we are both unhappy and one of us has changes.  It will probably be Hna C because she has the most time here.
12.  What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?

 Sorry, but it hasn't been a fun week.

13.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
Well, Hna C went to bed really early one night and I didn't want to go to bed yet, so I decided to watch the Joseph Smith Restoration video (even though it's only in Spanish) and afterward I was just thinking about how Joseph Smith really was a prophet! I just love that video because after everytime I see it I just know he was. I think a lot of people think we Mormons are crazy and that we worship him or that we are brainwashed into believing stuff. But I am quite an inteligent person. I don't take crap from anyone and people who know me know that! I would be here living in a third world country without my family and friends, living a crazy schedule, speaking in a different language and etc, if I didn't really know that all of this was true. But it is true and I know it and that's why I am here. Because I know that this knowledge can bless people's lives. 

Also we were in a meeting this week and the branch president was chewing out the mission leader which was dumb because the mission leader does more than anyone to help us but anyway, the misison leaders started talking about how for a time in his life he was just a mediocre Mormon and he didn't read his scriptures everyday, but he did go to church. He didn't really do anything above and beyond for his callings, but he had one. He said that one day he decided that he really needed more and that he didn't want to be mediocre, but wanted to enjoy all the blessings that the gospel has to offer us. So he started to read everyday, and to have Family Home Evening with his daughters and to help them study.  He got a different calling and he tried to do everything he could to fulfill his responsibilities. It just made me think that for a long time I was a mediocre Mormon. And it's easy, but it's not how we should live. If we are truly converted to the gospel we will do all of those things,pray, read, do Family Home Evening, go to church, etc., not because we want to please other people, to make them think we are super pilas, but because we really want the blessings and we want to do what's right, do what God wants us to do. That doesn't mean that we will strive to be branch president or Relief Society president, but I don't want to be just a mediocre Mormon, I want to be more that that so that I can enjoy all the blessing that God has for me. I guess that applies to a mediocre missionary, too.

14.  What service have you done for others?  What service have others done for you this week?

We helped Gloria make tortillas and another menos activo, Ana Luz. I'm getting pretty good if I do say so myself! 

15.  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 am in Psalms... and it's really not my favorite and I can't say that I have really learned much from it and it's super long... yeah, I still have 40 more of them to go.... I am in the Book of Mormon again and I just finished 2 Nephi. I really like reading all of the prophesies that are in the Book of Mormon and later completed. So Nephi talks about having seen his people and the destruction and when Christ comes and all of that and it's so interesting to compare his account and his visions with what actually happened and it's the same! But I guess that's why he was a prophet. But I really like seeing things like that in the Book of Mormon because it testifies to me that it really is true! 

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 don't know... 

18.  Did anything unusual or strange happen this week? 
YES! We got attacked by bugs this week! It was super rainy a few days this week and it brought out all the bugs! We had 2 HUGE spiders in our house... those were fun to try to kill because we were both screaming, hahaha. The power went out and so I put on the head lamp that Grandma and Papa sent me which is great and I look super cool when I wear it (LOL)and a dragonfly came in the house and hit me in the head like 3 times trying to get the light and then I swatted it with a broom and killed it. And there were swarms of bugs like love bugs but with bigger wings and not flying together and I don't know what they are called, palomillas or something like that, and they are just annoying.... so that wasn't fun but today has been pretty normal. Oh and there was a giant slug that crawled out of the drain that was in our shower.... third world problems. 

19.  What are you looking forward to this week?
Getting to speak English (hopefully) tomorrow after our district meeting but I don't know since the Zone Leaders are in San Pedro... 
20.  What did Pres Dester have to say this week?  Do you ever talk to Sis Dester?  What is she like? 
This is what he said:  With his great faith and trust in God, Joseph had an insurmountable optimism. He knew the truth, and the truth made him free – free from fear, free from doubt, and free from pessimism. He said, “If I were sunk in the lowest pit of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains piled on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top.”  Now, think of how this attitude of optimism could apply to you. When you face challenges and are tempted to be discouraged, think about this attitude of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and try to learn why he was so positive and optimistic even when he confronted serious problems, probably more serious than the ones that you or I are facing now. May the Lord bless you always to remember your blessings and to recognize that He is with you! And may that knowledge strengthen you and cause you to be happy! We love you!

This was from a mass message because he didn't have time to answer us all individually... but I still thought that it was really good. And nom I didn't ever talk to Sis Dester. She's really cute:) 

21.  How do you feel you’ve done this week in being a better Consecrated Missionary and “the Fourth Missionary”?  I think you’re right that there is something about that place that just wears people down…hopefully you’ll be transferred soon.  But there is a reason Heavenly Father has you there right now….have you prayed about finding that reason?
Yeah, but a while ago so i probably should do that again... I really feel like just being here I've taken a huge step backward and that I am in no part the 4th missionary but only the 3rd. So I don't know what I can do... I really just need changes. 

I also got a letter from Aliscea this week, and last week from Alexa and Moriah.Thank you so much!  And again thank you to Christelle.  The package was perfect for real and I have loved coloring in the coloring book.  :)  I have colored almost everyday and so ideas for more packages -- sophisticated coloring books!

Had a kind of sucky experience this week... We were walking right after a huge rainstorm and it was still really wet and sprinkling. We were walking in some dirty roads and there was a mini river of water that we had to cross. I took the time to clean my feet off because my sandals were pretty dirty and Hna C crossed. A man approached us from the opposite direction and without saying anything jumped in the puddle to purposefully get me all wet. I didn't even do anything to him and I was really sad. I had water and dirt all over my face and my clothes and yeah, it was not fun. 

As far as birthday ideas, I really don't know what I want for my birthday... ranola bars, chocolate, trail mix and such. Coloring books... Christelle just sent me stickers so I really don't need more stickers yet. I really don't need much....

sigan adelante (keep going forward)

Hna Gisseman

New hairstyle this week...

Spiders -- EWWWWWWW!!!!
Just goofing off....

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