Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 60 -- The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up....a/k/a Singing in the Rain

Happy Thanksgiving! Well, theyy don't celebrate it here... so I hope you all enjoy it for me. 

About asking the elders to get baleadas for us last week....  The elders can stay out until 9 (or 9:30 if they are in a cita (an appointment)... but we have to be in at 8 (or 8:30 if we are in a cita). 

The person who made the black skirt did a good job.  I like how it turned out.  (See the pictures)

1.  Are the repairs on your house finally finished? 

NO! UGH! So he mostly finished the floor but still has to put down like 20 more tiles and has to grout and he has to fix the roof again and the shower again. So at least four more days right there in the house until 4 pm.

2.  Did the package with the umbrella get to you yet???  

YES!  Thanks!  It'sso cute! I also got one of the packages for Familia M-C and they already opened it. CHEATERS. LOL!!!!!  They couldn't wait and it's easier for me to just send them off than to bring them back in the bus.. so I sent it on to them and they loved it.  I did tell them that another package is coming. 

3.  How are D and her family doing?  Did they go to church yesterday?  

They are doing really well. They all came to church. They are just so cute and D said in reference to the church ´´our church´´ -- heehee -- they are going to get baptiz, but it's just about when they get married. They already pay tithing. 

4.  How is O doing?  Were you able to visit with him again? 

Yeah... this week we went to visit him. Hna P (one of the sister training leaders) and I went to see him (we went on divisions).  He still hasn't come to church so we might have to be really direct with him... and see what happens... . 

5.  How is P doing? 

She's doing really well. She keeps coming to the English classes and she came to church again and went to the classes without us having to tell her anything or accompany her. She's so cute! 

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

We had a really chill P-Day. We cleaned and studied... that's the new thing we have to do now. President Dester is enforcing the P-Day study rule. And then we went to visit an hermana who makes and sells jewelry and I bought a necklace and we kind of got lost but a tender mercy is that we followed the elders' directions to a colonia (neighborhood) that we have never been to before... well, it turns out that the bus dropped us off at the wrong spot. And we had no idea... but an hermano passed by on his bike and helped us out... we were like eight blocks away. 

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

Like I just said, the hermano found us in the street and helped us out a LOT. 

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

I don't know. 

9. How have you served someone else this week? 

We helped an hermana move this week. Last P-Day we got a call at like 6 pm and so we just went over and helped her move but the sad thing is that she moved into the area of the elders... so now we can't go visit her. :( 

10.  How did it go playing the piano for church yesterday? What were the hymns? 

It went alright. I played an easy version of The Ffirst Noel, and I don't remember the others.... Count Your Blessings and two others. It's going well. I'm learning to 

11.  How is Hna Archila doing?  Did she get transferred?  

We don't know if either of us has transfers this week. We are going to find out tonight. But we are no longer going to have our changes meetings.  :(  Before we always went to meet at a stake center and have a meeting together and then President Dester announced the changes. Well, this time we are going to get calls tonight that will tell us where we are going to go and with who and where we have to be at whatever hour... Sad!  But, yeah, she feels a bit better.  I don't think we will have changes.

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

It rained a lot but we had a good attitude about it. The street flooded and we got some cute pictures, lol, but it wasn't too bad and we actually had citas so we weren't just walking around aimlessly, lol.

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

I don't know that, either. It was a pretty chill week with not much going on and we didn't really do anything too fun.... 

14. What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

Going on divisions. I just felt a huge relief.  Being comp mayor (senior companion) I kind of have to do a lot.  It was really nice to be with Hna P because she takes initiative and so we talked to a ton of new people and it just felt really really good. I'm happier when I talk to more people. Also the ward this week divided up in groups and we went contacting in a street (like testigos, lol) and in an hour or so we were able to talk to a lot of new people which just made me see that really it's important to help out and do our part so that other people don't get stuck carrying the load. Really, talking to people is awesome. Everyone has a story and there are things that we can learn from them. 

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

I am reading Jesus the Christ and I am always finding new things that are really interesting and I am reading in the New Testament but in Spanish. It's really really interesting. I'm in Romans and Paul just kind of machetes them. I have read it before, but I am reading slower to understand and it actually makes sooo much more sense and I'm just learning lots of cool things but there is nothing like amazing that I would share with you all, lol.   

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


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

I didn't really try anything new this week... 

18. What was the most beautiful thing you saw this week? 

The flooding in the street, LOL!  It was pretty funny but I hope that it doesn't happen again. 

19.  So changes are this week, right?  Do you think either you or Hna A will have changes?  (I think they need to Elder S to your area so he can keep following you around the mission, LOL!)

I think that Elder S will be coming to Puerto, hahaha, but I don't think that we will have changes... but we never know so anything is possible. I hope that we don't.  This change has gone by SOOOOO fast. I can't even believe it! 

20.  How are the English classes going that you teach?  Are you following a lesson plan/outline or doing more "free form" classes? 

It's going well. There is an hermana that is certified to teach English and so she teaches from a little booklet that she has.  If she doesn't come we just wing it and play games or review or teach something basic. But, yeah, it's very free form here... even the schol system here isn't too organized... it's really sad. 

I'm going to send a package in two weeks with the nativity set. I hope it gets there alright... I wrapped it up in shirts so be careful when you unwrap it! 

I'm a little short on money for sending so many packages, but I think I will be okay. 

I hope that you all have a very good Thanksgiving and that you can take the time to the Lord for all of the blessings that you have., Truly we are blessed to live in the States and all the privileges we have. We have running water everyday, and not just water but hot water. We don't have to go to the river to wash our clothes on a rock. Please really take the time to be grateful for the little things. People here truly work because if they don't work they die. They live day to day. Be grateful for what you have. 

Hermana Gisseman

From D's son's baptism last week

My hair is growing back in!

So it rained a little bit....

The black skirt I had made

With Hna P

My hair is getting long!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 59 -- A Really Great Week! A Baptism, Nine Investigator at Church, and a Neat Experience!


1.  So did all the repairs on your house get done?  How many days did you have to spend indoors this week because of the repairs? 

NO! Ugh! The guy works soooo slow! But this week his boss came over and watched him so he worked a lot faster. He will come again one day this week and let's all fast and pray that he finishes! This will be day 5 and the floor isn't even that big! I could have done it faster than he does it! We spent 2 days in the house this week... from the morning until 4 pm. 

2.  Did the package with the umbrella get to you yet???   Have you had any flooding in your area? 

Not yet... I did get four packages from you and Gramdma for Christmas, though, and I got the Crocs! I decided to take those out and wear them and WOW!  There is quite a difference with dry feet, lol. But I think that the umbrella is coming this week. The office people told me that they had received at least one more package for me. In our area it hasn't flooded yet. Only a little bit of standing water in the streets but it's not that bad. But in Puerto in the downtown area it flooded waist deep... ew. 

3.  Did D get baptized this weekend?  How is his Mom doing? 

D did get baptized this week!!! WOOHOO! The water was dirty and he had to get dunked twice, but he was baptized and he was so excited.  :) I played the piano. And it was just so great!  They are so pilas! The white pants we had didn't fit him so he went out and found other ones all by himself. And the whole family came to church again on Sunday to support him and they started paying tithing!  They aren't even members yet and are paying tithing already. They just need to get married... but we have to have patience with them I think and it will happen. She is ready, but her husband is the one waiting on the residency to the States, but he has talked with some people and they say it's no problem, he just has to do it. 
4.  How is O doing?  Is he still in the hospital?  Were you able to visit with him again? 

Yeah. We went to visit him and he's still a little sick but he's at home and doing a lot better. He is really great and reads the pamphlets and has great questions but hasn't come to church which makes me nervous... so I hope that really soon he will be able to come. 

5.  How is P, your new investigator? 

Great! This week we had 2 citas (appointments) with her that fell through. But she came looking for us in our English classes and stayed to learn and even brought a friend! She came to church on Sunday with her little brother. We happened to pass by where she lives on Saturday and had a lesson with her family. She's just so receptive and has come to the church three times this week-- two English classes and the Sunday meetings! And she already knows some of the members and jovenes (youth).

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

Today we went to downtown Puerto (el Centro) and I bought a nativity set!!! I wanted to find one made out of Barro... it's like a typical material here... typical in the sense of like traditional stuff.  I don't know how to describe it, lol. And we found one!!!! And we found a really, really good souvenir shop... I might need more money if I'm expected to bring home souvenirs for everyone.... by the way, the nativity was 25 dollars (500 lmps).  And then we went and bought fabric because I'm going to have someone make me a good black skirt. I only have one black skirt now and it's the knit high low. The other one stretched out and the pencil skirts are just hard to wear and climb mountains in, so yeah... but they are going to make me a skirt for like 10 dollars. Then we went and ate at Pizza Hut. And now we are here... We cleaned and washed clothes and studied a bit in the morning. 

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

We had the most investigators that I have ever had at church yesterday! We had 9!!!! I was sooo happy! And we are finding some new pilas people which is really, really good because we really, really need more people. I think that it's my fault because we haven't been good at talking to people and I should be the example... but I'm working on it.  

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

Well, the hermanas (sisters) from the Relief Society went out to visit menos activos (less active members) yesterday so we went on divisions to do visits and I like that they are trying to reach out to the menos activos and it makes it easier for us when other hermanas can fellowship and love them.

9. How have you served someone else this week? 

I made a birthday card for Brandon this week. I think I put up a picutre of it. It's like a transforming card and I have a video of it too and it's really cute. 

10.  How did it go playing the piano for church yesterday? What were the hymns?  Do you want me to mail you the simplified hymn book? 

No, don't send the simplified book. I need to learn the hymns anyways. It went alright. I make a lot of mistakes, but at least I play and here no one plays so it's better than nothing. We sang Joy to the World, There is a Green Hill Far Away, Lead Kindly Light, and I don't know what the other one is called

11.  How is Hna A doing?  This week was good because we had a baptism and lots of good things happened for us... so we really weren't out a whole lot with rejection or walking and walking and appointments falling through. 

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

We had a really, really awesome experience. We had passed a house in a colonia Cieneguita a bunch of times and usually there are 2 senoras sitting outside. I have said to my companion 2 times that I wanted to contact that house. So occasionally we had walked by and they weren't there. Or they were there and we crossed the street to talk to them and other people walked up and talked to them instead. But this week only one lady was outside and I told my companion that I wanted to talk to her por fin (finally)! So we went over there and started talking to her and she was really nice. And then Hna A noticed that she had a pass-along card. So Hna A asked her about the picture of Christ that she had. So she told us that her husband had brought it to her 10 minutes earlier from the beach (they live like 2 minutes walking to the beach). She really liked it because it was of Christ. We had been to that same beach the day before (P-Day) as a bunch of missionaries. And one elder built a sandcastle and put the passalong card on top and left it there. I imagine that he didn't think anything of it. Well, this lady's husband found it and brought it to her right before we walked by. So it turns out that she thought the card was from a funeral or somthing and that the elders' names were of the people who died and the card is in English but it was funny. And she remembered things that she had seen from our church on the TV and things like that and shes was just super receptive. Unfortunately a relative fell sick in her family and she had to travel and so we are going to try and find her this week. But it was so amazing how the Lord worked to bring that passalong card to her and then guide us to her. Really there was a moment that we had to find her. We couldn't have talked to her the week before or even half an hour before. It just showed us that the Lord has His time for all things. I hope we can visit her again. But it really validated everything that we are doing and showed us that this is the Lord's work. 

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

This week was pretty funny in general. Last Monday we got home at 8:30 pm and we were both really hungry for baleadas but we couldn't leave the house. So we were debating calling the elders since they owed me money so they could bring us baleadas... while we were thinking about this the other set of elders walked by our house taking their laundry to an hermana in the ward. So I got really excited and started calling to them. ELDERS! ELDERS! And my companion was saying "llameles" which is like, "call them". But I thought she was telling me to like call them as in continue to yell and scream louder.  I didn't see the phone in her hand as it was dark. So I continued to yell after them and they were walking away! NO NO! ELDERS! So then they heard me and came running, hahaha, and were all concerned. "What, what happened?" and I just died laughing. It was really funny because nothing had happened and we just wanted baleadas. But I think you had to be there... in the end they went and bought us really yummy baleadas. 

14. What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

Last week we had left the challenge with a few of the inactives we visit to say a prayer with a candy in their mouth like a Jolly Rancher or a mint, and say the prayer until the candy melts. And we went to verify this challenge with them and 2 of them told us that they really felt something. They felt the Spirit really strongly and were so grateful that we had asked them to do that. It was just so great so see that really they had had a spiritual experience. As they described what they felt, we were able to feel the Holy Ghost assuring us that we are doing good work here and that even if we don't have a lot of baptisms, we are helping people to develop and strengthen their relationships with God.

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

No answer....

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


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

This week I tried atol. It's a drink that's really thick and served hot and it's made form corn. It essentially tastes like cornbread or sweet corn but in a drink. It wasn't bad. It was actually pretty good at first, but there is only so much corn that I can drink... but I finally tried it! 

18. What was the most beautiful thing you saw this week? 

I don't know... 

19.  Do you still think Hna A will have changes?  When are changes? 

I honestly have no idea if she will have changes. But they are on the day before Thanksgiving... the 25th or something like that. 

20.  Have you thought about teaching English classes there in your new area? 

We already are. We teach Tuesdays and Thursdays. A lady in the ward is certified to teach but she is only there half the time so sometimes we have to improvise lessons. But yeah, we have a good turnout too, 15ish! 

I cant believe how fast the time has passed... WOW. 

Love you all! 

Hermana Gisseman

The birthday card I made

At D's baptism


Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 58 -- Sunshine, Floor Repairs, and I Scored a Goal!


So this week was interesting.  Our house needed some repairs... the floor tiles were cracking and lifting up and it turns out that they have to replace the whole floor... so we were in the house two days until 4:00 while they were fixing it and it looks like two more days this week. Fun stuff. But such is life.

1.  You said Pres Dester came to your district meeting last week...what did he have to say? 

He came to talk to us about love and kind words. There have been lots of problems with companionships and not speaking kind words to other missionaries. So he talked about how we have to love as the Savior loved and how we really need to watch what we say.

2.  How has the weather been this week?  is it still raining?  Did you get any flooding in your area? 

It has been a lot nicer this week. And really sunny.  :)  So that made me really happy. At night it is a little bit cooler which is really nice to sleep in. But I'm sure that rain will come inevitably.

3.  How is D doing?  And her son D?  

They are doing well. They gave us pizza the other day which was really sweet. All of them came to church on Sunday which was awesoem and all the talks were great and so was the class. So it was just perfect. Her son D really wants to get baptized and he has his fecha (baptismal date) for this Saturday so if all goes well we will have a baptism!!! WOOHOO!  And we will keep working with the family so that they can get married... that's the only thing thats holding D back.

4.  Tell me about some of the people you contacted/taught/worked with this week.  

Well, this week we didn't work with a lot of people because we were in the house for two days... but we did visit an investigator, O, in the hospital... oh my goodness.... I am so grateful that I live in the States and that we have good healthcare. This hospital was like an old school building with broken windows and it was dirty and wet and they were all crowded in old beds and it was sooo sad. But we went to visit him and he's doing better now. But that was so sad. We have visited a lot of menos activos (less active members) this week because it's been hard to find people and the citas (appointments) we had fell through. But some of them actually came to church which was good!

5.  Have you done more exploring and contacting in the mountains? 

This week no... but we will this week because we have a new investigator, P, up there.

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

We went to the beach again but a different one, one in my area, and played soccer in the sand.  :)  It was way fun and I even scored a goal!!!  It was so nice to just hear the waves and watch the water and put my feet in, lol, and it was hot with a nice breeze and it was just perfect. We ate at Burger King and now we are writing. Very exciting stuff.

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

They sent someone to fix the house very quickly, and I paid 530 lmps (about $25) to put in a new hot shower so now we have hot showers.  :)  It's pretty great!!!

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

My companion is a blessing.  She is my friend.  People don't really pay attention to us missionaries here which sucks.

9. How have you served someone else this week?  

We made a box for D and her family with scriptures in it so that even if they can't read a chapter, they can study the scriptures. So we will see if that helps them read. But we made it all pretty while we were in the house. We made a birthday card for an hermana in the ward. We wrote to Santa Rosa. We did help an hermana wash clothes this week form Familia C..even though they told us that they aren't going to go to church.  :(  I don't like washing other people's clothes and they all make fun of me because I'm a gringa... whatever... it was service and it was fun.

10.  How did it go playing the piano for church yesterday? 

It went alright. I made it thourgh all the hymns... the first two were hard for me but the other two were alright. But it still makes me nervous to play... and I play with the soft pedal because I don't want people to hear me mess up.  LOL

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

I'm not going to lie.. I enjoyed our time in the house. Hna A has been having a hard time this week and struggling with a lot of this same things that I have gone through in the mission and so it was good for us to just have some chill time. Time in the house doesn't happen often so you have to enjoy it. I'm not lazy -- I swear -- but it was nice.

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

I don't know... lots of funny things happen but I don't remember them, lol. I think it's funny that here I have a ton of people that flirt with me... it's quite ridiculous. I have never had so many people hit on me in my life.

13. What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

Church was so good yesterday. Like all the talks and the class and Relief Society was all really, really good. They talked about missionary work in Relief Society and how to support the missionaries and I was almost crying just thinking about really how much we sacrifice and do during this time and I guess I didn't really think about that before but it just hit me while they were all talking about us.

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

We only have 3 days that we have personal study due to the amount of time we have to travel so my personal studies have decreased... but I have started reading Jesus the Christ again and I'm reading slow and not just to finish and I have been noticing a lot more details. That book is just so good!

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?  

I tried a frita de maiz which is essentially a pancake made out of corn and it was really, really good! I didn't try anything this week that I didn't like, thank goodness!

17. What was the most beautiful thing you saw this week?

The beach!!!! I love it but it makes me want to swim, hahaha.

18.  How was church yesterday?

Like I said it was really good and Familia M (D and her son D) came and realyl the talks were things that they needed to hear and it was really good and we had the highest attendence that I have seen. 126 so that was exciting!

19. What is the main employer in the area you are in now?  What do most people do for a living?  Are there more "regular" stores and shops there? 

I don't really know... a lot of people go to Choloma to work in the machilas like they did in Fesitranh, a lot of people work on ships and so they leave for 6 or 8 months at a time to work. Some even travel to San Pedro to work. And there are lots of little shops to work in, too. There is a Marine base here so that brings jobs but everyone talks about how hard it is to find a job in this country...

20.  Have you been able to be in touch with any people from your previous areas?  Like Jorge?  Or Amanda?  How are they doing? 
Not really... Older people don't have email... but I have kept in touch with B.M.  He practices his English and writes to me, lol, but we wrote notes to people in Santa Rosa this week while we were in the house.  As far as maintaining contct... not really. It's hard here. 
Can you please buy me some of the nice Ann Taylor leggings while they are in the store... like 2 pairs of the black ones, please.
Can you send me an easy Christmas song for the really easy...
I gave away all of my Crocs... I only have the cream and black ones left. I never wore them in the heat, but now....  Hna A actually has a pair of mine that I left in Santa Rosa that she's been using her whole mission and they just now got a tiny hole in them. If it rains a lot the next month or two I would like the athletic Crocs that are the Mary Jane style because they don't have holes in them for mud or water but yeah... I should be fine...maybe.  I think we will sing Christmas carols in the park again this year. :)  Woohooo!
This week was pretty boring, lol.  We still have  no investigators... I think that my companion might have changes coming up. She's having a hard time, but I really love her. We are like the same person.  I'm just enjoying the time that we have together.
I heard from Hna N this week and she said everybody misses me.  :)

Mom, make sure that you do something nice for the missionaries for Christmas. Buy them a little stocking or something and invite them over to eat. Even if it's during the day that they can come over for lunch or something. I was remembering my last Christmas here and how we just walked around and no one was home and we just went to Hna V's house and I was so happy that someone let us in. So if they don't have plans invite them over!  I think it's going to be hard for me for the holidays this year because this area is hard and I'm getting closer to going home.

I love you. I didn't get anything in the ruta this week, though. I hope I get something tomorrow!

Hermana Gisseman

Our house

The owners' dogs

My next agenda cover

The little box of scripture verses we made for D and her family

Our floor being replaced

We don't have any curtains so we're improvising with old clothes that were here from previous tenants....

My hair is getting longer and a little bit thicker

We made a "10 Commandments" for our wall....