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!

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