Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 52 - It's Been a Week -- and Almost One Year!

Sorry, no pictures today.  :-(

Homecoming looks fun and Brie's dress was really cute. I'm jealous because Brie is way more prettier than I am and I'm happy that she's actually doing things in high school because I never did..well, I did but I never went to social events like that...
1.  How was church yesterday? Did you have any investigators there?  What did you learn in church?
We did have investigators there. Three new investigators came to church. I think that one really didn't like it so we shall see if she comes back. 
2.  How are things with S?

She is pilas and will get baptized. She couldn't come to church on Sunday, but she's planning on coming to conference.
3.  How is J doing? 
She came to church with her brother and she's so pilas too. Her aunt sent her the link to watch the Joseph Smith restoration video and she watched almost all of it before she ran out of internet and so she understands everything and had some good questions.  It's just really nice when people understand the lessons. She seemed to like church. I think that she could get baptized.
4.  How is Z doing? Why do you think people are willing to read but then not come to church?
She didn't come to church again. :-(  I think that it's easier to pick up a book in your house and read a page than to get yourself ready to go to church and go to a new place with new people on Sunday when you have other things to do. Reading you can do on your own time, and church is on someone else's time table. But who knows.... I really just want to see more people progressing.

5.  How is that less active family doing -- the ones you were going over and reading scriptures with?
She went to the temple! She made her goal!!!!! So she went on the ward temple trip and spent pretty much 2 days in the temple and she came back and was just glowing and she was soooo excited and so grateful that we took interest in her and her family. So we will be stopping by to see how they are this week, but I really feel like this is what she needed and that she will be the example for her spouse. They went to visit his family this Sunday but went to church out there becasue she couldn't bear not taking the sacrament. So it's nice to see that our work did some good.
6.  What did you do for P-Day today? 
An elder in the zone planned P-Day and so we played capture the flag and signs and Peter Peter again and we played Jeopardy and ate pizza.  And they did a three legged race but I just couldn't handle being blindfolded and being stuck to someone when everyone is sweaty (including me!).  Now we are here and we are going to go to the grocery store later.
7.  What miracles and tender mercies have you seen this week?  Answers to your prayers?
So we didn't have a noche de hogar (Family Home evening) on Monday and it made me really, really sad so we just had to have normal appointments and it was sooo lame! But when we got home, Hna Marcia invited us to her noche de hogar so we still got to go to one.  :)
8.  How has someone else blessed your life this week? 
Well, for our safety Familia M decided to put bars on our house, lol, so it looks like we live in prison now. It's super safe where we live, so they did it just for precautions and in case they sell the apartment in the future so our house is completely protected.
Oh, and we had normal interviews with President Dester. He told me that I'm doing a good job and that I should just finish strong here. I'm most likely going to have changes on the 15th. I just love getting to talk to President Dester!
9.  How have you blessed someone else’s life this week? 
I don't know...
 10.  What was the best thing that happened this week? 
We had an English class this week and it went really well, I think, for the first one. There was a HUGE difference in between the people in Copan and the people here, lol. In our class in Copan there was like no one who had any of the basics, and here they all have the basics and really just need to practice a lot. But it reminded me how much I love English, lol. and I really do enjoy teaching too.
11.  What was the funniest/funnest thing that happened this week?
Nothing really comes to mind
12.  What did you do for your district meeting and zone meeting this week?
We had a district meeting and Elder Scott taught part 2 of using scriptures from the Bible to help teach lesson 1. I really enjoyed it.
13.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?

The Women's Conference. We actually got to see it twice. We went to the stake center to watch it because our ward was at the temple but then they played it again on Sunday and so we went again. But it was sooo good. When it started they didn't have our room set up for English and I just felt so far away from home, but then the hermano came and opened up the room for us and put the channel on English so we got to watch it in English and it made me feel so much better. But I really loved that they talked about the temple, even though we can't to go it here during our missions. But I also really like Pres. Uchtdorf's talk and his analogy about blessings. And it's so true that we are the ones who put up umbrellas that prevent us from receiving all the blessings God is pouring upon us. It's interesting that last conference they talked about convenants and this time temples.... I had to laugh when the southern lady came on... Sister Neill something, lol. I just laughed and laughed and it reminded me so much of home. I miss southern people! And another blessing is that we weren't going to have any way to get home after the meeting, but another ward offered us seats on their bus so that was awesome! I also really like the story Sister Stevens (I think) shared about her Mom and the cute pictures of her. I think that the church needs tough people, people who are truly converted and willing to give everything that they have.
14.  What did you learn from your personal study this week? 

I finished the Old Testament!!!! Por fin!!!!! I realized that there are books in it that I really like, but to read the whole things cover to cover... wow...that's an accomplishment. But I read the story of Jonah which I just really really like. It's amazing to me that Jonah was more focused on justice than on the mercy that he was sharing with the people of Ninevah. But I study so much that I really don't remember anything specific when I get here.....
15.  Do you know that I love you and I miss you?
16.  What was the best thing and the worst thing you ate this week?
Well, the best thing is the chocolate chip cookies that I got in your big package!!!! They tasted like America! And I loved the whole package and I realized that I love giving things, too, but things that people will actually use. I love seeing my shoes on Marcia's feet, or Andrea wearing the clothes that I gave her to church. It just makes me happy. And they loved the Mio... The worst thing... a candy from a fruit called nance or something like that and it's just icky.
17.  You've sent home a few of your sweaters -- do you think you won't need them this winter?  Remember how cold you got last winter?  Speaking of winter, is it starting to cool off there at all yet?
I don't think that I will need them but that's because I was in Copan. But I kept the black sweater and the gray sweater and those go with everything and I still have my North Face jacket if I need it. But everywhere else is hot. It's just as hot as it's been the whole time here.  There are no seasons.
18.  What is the main industry/employer in your area?  How do people there make a living?

The Maquila. People work in factories here. So making clothes and working machines and they work 4 por 4, or 4 days on and 4 days off which is the most random schedule ever. So it's really annoying trying to help people come to church because most people work 4 por 4 and so they can't come to church for a month because of their work schedules. But other than that tons of people have their own little businesses...selling clothes or food from their house, some work in San Pedro... a little bit of everything. But it's interesting here that a business can be out of someone's house and in the States we never see that.
19.  Are there any sister missionary traditions for when you hit your one-year mark?

Nope... only the panza (pregnant) pic when we have 9 months.
20.  What have you done on your mission, or learned on your mission, etc., so far that you are most proud of?  How do you think you have changed as a result of your mission so far?

I think that I have changed even though I still feel like me. President Dester told me that I am changing and that I'm not worrying so much about myself anymore, but more about other people which is good and healthy. But he said that I really am making very good progress. So at least someone sees that I'm changing. But I think that that is true... I think that here especially I love the people more and it makes me think about them and not about myself and I just want to do what's best for them and whatever I can to help them. I think I was a lot more selfish before.
Anyway, it's been a week... 
Love you
Hermana Gisseman

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 51 -- The Castle and a Hermanas Meeting


1.  How was church yesterday? Did you have any investigators there?  What did you learn in church? 

Shuly and Santos came.  And this week we decided to visit a less active family every day to read scriptures with them and they came to church, too, so that made me really happy. They talked about the temple a lot at church since this Friday the whole ward is going. Which of  course made me miss the temple...but whatever... one day. 

2.  We are praying for things to work out for the best for Shuly and Santos, and praying that you will be able to find some new investigators.  How did things go this week with looking for new people to teach? 

Yeah.....well..... we walked A LOT this week. Like ridiculously a lot and we talked with more people than we have in our whole time together and came out with practically nothing. So that was really, really frustrating. So our mission leader is giving us antiguos (investigators?) from the elders. But we really just need some people! 

3.  How is J doing? 

J is doing well. She hasn't been home a ton this week.

4.  How is Z. doing? 

Z is doing well, too, but she also didn't come to church. She is very cute and very receptive in our lessons. She was reading in the Book of Mormon but we have to get her to come to church.

5.  What did you do for P-Day today? Did you make root beer floats last week with the ingredients you bought at the grocery store? 

Today we went to Omoa again the castillo (the castle) so I went there like a year ago in Camapa but we went again! So this time was fun because and I actually knew people and we hung out in a group and took a bunch of pictures so you can thank Elder Cuarte for being our photographer because you are getting like 60 pics today, lol.  We went to the castle and I bought 2 more shirts that can go in my blanket. Well, actually only one for my blanket, the other one I think I want to wear. So I will take pics of them or just send them home soon. We ended up not making root beer floats because we were full last week. So sometime this week we will, in fact, make root beer floats. We ate at Wendy's and now we are here! 

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

Like I said, we were visiting this less active family and the father is a returned missionary and they are sealed in the temple and they have a cute little boy but he just doesn't want anything.  It's like everytime we go he is just blank. But we had a good cita (appointment) with them on Sunday and I said that we were willing to do anything to help them, even read scriptures with them every night of the week. I don't know...I just felt prompted to do that. And surprisingly they said sure! So we went with them every day of the week to read and it was like slowly he was getting more excited and opening up and on Sunday they did come to church and it was nice. He really did seem more excited. And they gave us dinner to thank us which was sweet. 

And also I got a (probably not allowed) call from Hna M this week!  It has been so long since I had been able to talk to her, but she called and we got to talk for a little bit and I got to see her this week at the reunion for sisters that we had. But she's just so cute and I love her so much and she's definitely one of those people who will be my best friend for life. 

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

We decided to make a recipe that Hna N has for a coconut cake. So we taught Marcia how to make it and it was DELICIOUS! So that was a big blessing because during a hard hard week you have to look for fun things to do to lift your spirits, so making a really yummy cake or cookies or something. So Marcia shared her kitchen with us and we made coconut cake and drank Pepsi and it was just really nice. 
8.  How have you blessed someone else’s life this week? 

I don't know... I don't know that I bless peoples lives that often. But I think that Shuly and Santos really appreciate us and the gospel that we are teaching them. They always make food for us and in a food centered culture it's a big sign of thanks that they are just giving and giving to us and they are just so cute so I think visiting them is blessing their lives. 
9.  What was the best thing that happened this week? 

We had a sisters' meeting in President Dester's house. It's such a nice house! Oh my goodness!  And it's been almost a year since I was there but it is soooo nice! I can't get over it, lol. But the hermana training leaders spoke and President spoke and the nurse spoke and it was nice. It was weird to be around just hermanas but whatever. LOL  I was so excited to see Hna V and Hna M.  :)  But it was realyl nice that they did somethin just for the sisters and we ate Quiznos sandwiches and real cake and it was sooo good!   I just felt nice to be in President Dester's house. 

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

I don't really remember.. it was a hard week. 

11.  What did you do for your district meeting and zone meeting this week? 

The Traveling APs (assistants to the mission president) came to our zone and gave a capacitacion (lesson) on studying and how we can study more effectively. It was really really good. We had an activity and as a district we brainstormed together on how to answer questions that investigators might have only using the scriptures and I wish we did more of that because i really need to learn my Bible better, but I'm working on that.  It was really good. 

13.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

The sisters meeting. 

14.  Have you seen anything unusual this week? 

Always...the problem is that its not unusual to me anymore. 

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

Well, I finally finished Ezekiel so one day I will finish the Old Testament!  I like the story of Martha and Mary in the New Testament where Martha was cleaning and Mary was jsut listening to Christ. I think that it really shows us what should be our main priority in life. It doesn't matter if the house isn't perfectly organized, what matters is if we are doing the things to bring us closer to Christ like prayers and scripture study and familoy home evening and such. But its a good example of how we really should put our priorities straight. 

16.  Do you know that I love you and I miss you? 


17.  You said the guy that makes the scripture covers brought a new kind of scripture cover that's really pretty -- what does it look like? 

I haven't gotten them yet so I will take a picture when I do.  They will be a soft, light leather 

18.  I'm so sad that Marcia's puppy died.  :-(  Do you think they'll get another one? 

I think so. Most peope have dogs here to protect their houses. 

19.  Do the people there have a good sense of humor?  Do they like to tell jokes?  Have you heard any good jokes there? 

Some of them do... mostly their sense of humor is making fun of I really haven't heard many good jokes.... 

20.  How did the meeting for the hermanas go at the Desters' house?  Were you able to go early and help Sister Dester prepare for it? 

It was really good. They talked about modestly and how we should not be so hard on ourselves. They did an activity thing where everyone has their eyes closed and they played the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" on the piano and they read a script that talks about Christ.  We went early but she already had everything ready so she just explained to us how we were going to put the chairs up for lunch and that was it. 

21.  What was the best thing and the worst thing you ate this week? 

Quiznos sandwich and coconut cake! 

22.  Now that Grandma and Papa are officially missionaries, what advice do you have for them?  (I think they have already mastered the part about "loving your companion", LOL!) 

Well, their mission is completely different than mine, haha, so I have no idea and they are way wiser than me anyways...but just love your mission and don't take any day for granted because one day you will wake up and almost have a year!!!! 

I got a package from Christelle with a great coloring book and stuff -- thank you SO much!  

So for christmas, you could send me a dachshund stuffed animal and really I need mascara again and I want you to send a package to Marcia and Andrea.  They love kitchen things and Andrea's kids love toys.  I  just would rather give things to them than keep things for myself.

Sorry this email is absolutely terrible, but I got nothing exciting to tell...

Hermana Gisseman

With Sister Dester

With Hna M

Lovely tan lines....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 50 -- We Came, We Saw, We Painted....and lots of pictures!

HOLA! And happy Honduran Independence Day.

I'm glad that you guys are doing well at reading the scriptures. And I totally want to see these pictures for homecoming dresses that Brie likes!!!! 

I'm not mad at you for emailing President Dester (Mom's note:  We contacted her mission president last week because we were concerned about her health)... that's just you and I just laughed. But it was really, really nice to get to talk to him. I just love President and Sister Dester and I think, like Bishop Sybrowsky was the perfect bishop for me freshman year, that President Dester is the prefect mission president for my mission. The Lord knows me. 

1.  Who are you teaching?  What specifically can we pray for for your investigators?

Well, we are still really, really just looking for investigators. We are still teaching S and her "husband", but they need to get married and they want some time to work things out between them, save up money, etc. I know that S will get baptized one day,,,I just am starting to think that it won't be while I am here which is really, really sad. We are teaching a few teenagers who are references of E. And one, J, seems to be interested and her aunt and uncle are members, too, so she already has a background...but we will see. Teaching youth is always tough. Really just pray that things can work out between S and her "husband" and that they can make the decision to get married soon. And that we can find some new people. 

2.  Your Noche de Cine sounds like it was really fun and went really well -- how often do you plan activities like that for your ward?
Well, this was the first one that we planned. They have a goal to do an activity like that once every so many weeks (I forgot how many).
3.  How is S doing?  How about Z?  And Hermano E? We gave Hermano E over to the Elders. And, yeah, that is really strange that he sent you a Facebook request, but he probably just thought that it was me... but whatever. S is doing well. We ate dinner with them 2 times this week because she is just so cute! We had a cita (appointment) with her on Wednesday or Thursday and it went long and we brought a member and we had to leave, but we wanted to talk to them about the temple and just weren't able to. So afterwards we had a cita but we both felt like we should go back to see S again, so we did and she had made dinner for us and was bummed that we had to leave so fast but then was all excited because we felt like we should go back and she had dinner stuff prepared for us.  :)  So it was cute! And we talked to them and they are planning to get baptized and go to the temple and all of that... just with time. Which is understandable but still makes me a little sad. Z is cute.  We keep just finding her in the street, lol, she sits outside a lot in the shade and so we take that as a sign that we should help her out. She is cute and said her first prayer in front of us yesterday although she didn't make it to church. 

4.  What did you do for P-Day today?
We went to Fesi and played games -- Signs and another one called Peter Peter which was fun... I think it's kind of like Big Booty but I don't rememebr how to play that one really well..and we played slaughterball. We went to Wendy's, too...Pizza Hut was WAY crowded because today is Honduras' Independence Day and everyone is out of work and school. And we took out money...which is funny because one of the elders played a joke on Elder Scott and told him that we didn't have money today... hahaha. And we went to the big grocery store and bought root beer to make root beer floats!!!!!  And I bought more movies.... heehee

5.  Have you started painting Hermana M's house?  What color paint did you buy?
We painted on Saturday and it looks soooo good.  :) It was a greenish gray neutral color. We painted her living room and her hallway. There was a part that was just cement (because the houses here are made out of cement blocks and don't have sheet rock) so that got painted, too, and now her house looks more like a home. And the paint I bought was a really good quality paint with a little bit of sheen in it so it brightens up her living room and it's easy to clean and maintain and it should last. She was so happy.  :) And I loved painting. They all thought I was an expert because they had never painted before. We had no paint rolling container thing though so we had to improvise.... shoebox wrapped in plasic for the paint tray and a plastic sheet to roll the roller in, lol, but whatevs. And I used a cut open Pepsi bottle and a fat paint brush to cut in everything. It was so fun though and very relaxing . It reminded me of painting with Daddy. 

6.  What miracles and tender mercies have you seen this week?  Answers to your prayers?
So for a really long time I have wanted to buy a tipico blanket that they sell from time to time from Guatemala. It seems like just about everyone here has one. And on Saturday we ran into a guy selling them from Guatemala who only passes through here like twice a year. And we just happened to not have a cita and since we hadn't had study time from the morning due to painting we were going to go back and get some study in so it was perfect and I could buy a blanket that I can bring home with me! So it was a very tender mercy because it was something that I really wanted to buy and the timing was perfect! 

7.  How has someone else blessed your life this week?
President Dester coming to talk with me. It's nice to know that he really does know me and that he cares a lot about how I'm doing. 

8.  How have you blessed someone else’s life this week?
I think that painting Hermana M's house meant a LOT to her so that made me really, really happy.  :)

9.  What was the best thing that happened this week?  
I thoroughly enjoyed painting! 

10.  What was the funniest/funnest thing that happened this week?
I don't really know... it was a tiring week. 

12.  How was church yesterday?  What did you learn?  What stood out to you that was taught/talked about?
We had some Family Search people come into the ward and give a big capacitacion (lesson) on how to open an account, how to navigate Family Search and send names to the temple so we were in the Sacrament Meeting room for all 3 hours of church... It is true that we really do need to be doing the work for our own family. 

13.  What did you do for your district meeting and zone meeting this week?
Elder Scott prepared a really good lesson and really specifically for us hermanas. Since Hermano I had had a change of heart and only wanted to read the Bible ....Elder Scott helped us find and look for ways to teach lesson one with scriptures from the Bible. But we had the lesson on couches and nobody but us was paying attention and I felt really bad for him. Because it was a really good lesson and we could tell that he put a lot of work into it and nobody else cared. But it was good and WE learned a lot. 

14.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
Getting to talk to president Dester. I just love him. And he always says the perfect things.  :) 

15.  What did you learn from your personal study this week?
The New Testament is better in Spanish, lol...or maybe not, maybe it's that I really have the desire to read it and study it now more. I liked something that I read in Alma... well, the conversion of Zeezrom is really interesting because its a complete 180. He was contending with Alma and Amulek and then he was healed and baptized and went to preach himself. And I love the last verse in whatever chapter that is that said that Alma took Amulek to his house and comforted him in his afflictions or something like that (I don't remember really well) but it was after they broke free of the carcel (???) and I imagine that after seeing people suffering so much that that had to have some effect on the both of them. So I really like that Alma took the time to comfort and help his companion. That's why we have companions, to help and strengthen each other. 

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

17.  What was the most beautiful thing you saw this week?
The guy that makes the carved leather scripture covers here brought a new kind of scripture cover that was so pretty! So I went ahead and bought a cover for my English quad... but if you haven't already bought some for when I get home for my Spanish scriptures, I think that I am going to buy from him. They are soft leather and really pretty. So yeah... 

18.  What ended up happening with Marcia's new puppy?  (That made me soooooo sad!)
It just got sick. And when we got home last Saturday it had died.... but I did get to take one picture of him sleeping from the week before... he was so dang cute but I think they took him away from his mom too soon.  :/

19.  Did anything unusual or strange happen this week?
Well, the random interview with Pres. Dester but it was good. It was really hard to find citas this week. Like REALLY hard. The 10th was Dia Del Nino here and so eveyrone was giving candy to the little kids. And then today is Independence Day so everyone really takes these days as vacation... so that sucked. Hopefully this week is better. 

20.  What are you looking forward to this week?
We are going to have a meeting or something as hermanas only in the Desters' house on Wednesday and we are going to go early to help out Sister Dester so that should be fun!
21.  What was the best thing and the worst thing you ate this week?

I put up a picture of Honduran enchiladas... they are a fried tortilla on the bottom, ground beef, lettuce or coleslaw (repollo), hard boiled egg and tomato (or some chimol/chismol which is like pico de gallo) and some cheese. We ate those twice this week and they are pretty good...but really messy to eat, lol. 

22.  What have you learned about yourself in the last few months?  Have you discovered new strengths and talents, or rediscovered some you may have forgotten about or didn't know you had?
I think that I have learned a lot about myself as far as my perfectionism... and how it's really not always a good thing. I think that in life I really excelled in everything and I never had to do things that were hard for me. So being a perfectionist wasn't such a bad thing. It was good because it helped me to excel and to do well...but in things of real life I think it really hinders me. But I'm getting better I think. I don't have to be perfect. It's impossible to be perfect and life would be too boring anyway. And yeah.... talents... I don't really know or strengths either. I will have to think about that. 

Other things... I have done Zumba 2 times this week!  I got a packages from Angie and Oma and Opa with a skirt and an athletic shirt and that skirt is seriously sooo cute and comfy!  Thank you SO much!

How is Diana doing?  My camera got another virus but the Bishop fixed it.  Thanks for sending the recipes for Hermana A -- I'm sure she will love them.
Oh, for Christmas you could send me a book of everyone's favorite conference talks! 

Love you! 

Hermana Gisseman

Our district


Me with Elder Guerrero before transfers....
Our district at this week's district meeting.  Elder Scott gave a really good lesson. Elders Rodriguez, Woodland, Nunez, Palma, Figueroa (zone leader) and he and Hna N, with Elder Stutzman in the back.  Elder Scott took thepicture.

Cute sandals that I bought....
And a cute ring that I bought....

This is picos -- they are like bread with chicken in the middle from Nicaragua
We had a birthday party for Hna M's daughter J....
Sometimes I'm just goofy....
Hna A's sweet little girl....
This is the poor little puppy a few days before it died.  It was so sweet and cute.
Gotta do our beauty treatments....
This dog was in the church... they just walk in.... 
LOVE this skirt so much -- thanks!
Getting ready to paint....
Sometimes you just gotta improvise....
Our paint job

That is the public washing area... there is a well and people wash clothes on rocks... 
This is a grapefruit soda that's really good
tEnchiladas Honduran style and yes, I ate the whole plate! 
There was a parade for Honduran Independence Day
We were painting when the parade came... and yes, we went out in those clothes but everyone was in pjs, haha
Hna N and I put aloe in our hair to see if it would help with the hair
 Hna A's daughter J

Hna M's Mom, J, and Hna A's son B.

Hna S....

These are boxes that Hna N and I are sending home!