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 know...it'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.
(these pictures are from last week -- they wouldn't upload last week so she sent them this week...no pictures from this week)
Awesome tan lines....
Apparently this is what your leg looks like when you fall down running away from a dog?