Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 65 - Christmas was Wonderful!

I can't believe that Coach Lub died. That's really sad. But he had had surgery when I was in his class.  :(   He was really funny. 

1.  Did you get any other Christmas packages/gifts this week? 

I didn't get anymore. We get mail on Tuesday and so I got the package from Melissa last week but you already knew that I got it. Thanks for everything that I got, though.  :) I loved it all and it all fits! 

2.  So how many more tamales did you end up eating for Christmas?  Did you enjoy the rest of your Christmas Day? 

Yeah, we went and visited some menos activos (less active members) and they gave us cake. We ended up with 10 tamales I think... We had them in the fridge until yesterday when we finished them off. But I think that we will get more for New Years, lol. 
3.  How is J doing? 

She's doing well! M came to visit me today and made me a cake and rolls and my favorite lunnch that I like of hers. She even brought me a gift. She bought me two shirts and they are really, really cute. I love her. And I got letters from A and her kids.  :) We lost some time this afternoon but it was so worth it to spend a while with Mami M. She even wore one of the shirts that you gave her and the Crocs.  :) She's so grateful for everything that you sent her and the note, too. She said you have good Spanish, hahaha.

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

They did. Well, she did with the kids. Hno F didn't go... but that's okay. We even went to the class with the young men because they talked about missionary work and D who is her son who got baptized participates and is really pilas. We still haven't been able to visit with them, though, because of all the holiday parties and such. 

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

Today we took pictures at the beach and went looking for a restaurant to eat at on the 1st as a zone to celebreate the new year. And then we went to clean our memories.. USBs. Hna A had viruses and then we waited for Marcia and we talked with her for a while and ate and it was fun.  :) And now we are here writing! And I don't have a lot of time so if I don't write back that's why! 

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

Well, this Christmas we actually got fed and felt love from the ward! Last Christmas we walked around in the cold rain and nobody gave us tamales! And this week J and N (two menos activos who are sisters) came to church! That just made me sooo happy. We have been working a lot with them and they finally came.  :) I was just so happy. We even went by at 7 am to wake them up, lol. And they came. And Marcia came to visit me. She has never gone to visit any of her missionaries. But she not only came to visit me way out here, she brought food and presents for me. I just love her. If anyone in this world knows how to serve with lal their heart it is her. And today wehen we were walking home a lady stopped us and told us to visit her. That doesn't hapen often... she contacted us! 

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

Marcia came.  :)  And Hna D made a Christmas dinner just for us! She had a party to go to and everything but her family made dinner for us because they knew we weren't going to have anything. 

8.  How is Hna M doing? 

She is doing well. Her husband gave us a ride on the highway this week so we didn't have to take the bus. He is still a little bit sick but he's getting better and so she is feeling more tranquila (peaceful).

9.  How have you served someone else this week?  How have you served your companion this week? 

We went as missionaries to sing in the hospital on Christmas. We went and painted a house on Christmas Eve and helped an old lady who is a menos activo to move her stuff into a shed. And my companion... well, we spent a good Christmas together. 

10.  Have you been able to talk to a lot of people this week? 

Yeah! We have talked to a ton of people this week even though it's been the holidays and usually the dats are low.  :)  We had good dats again which was awesome. But we really did find a lot of new people this week and talked to a ton! 

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

CHRISTMAS! And that Marcia came today.  :) 

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

I don't remember... and I don't have time to think right now.

13.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

I don't know.... we had a good cita with J and N and they came to church!  And there's another menos activo who we have wanted to talk about the palabra de sabiduria (Word of Wisdom) with and we just haven't found the right moment. Well, we went to see him on Christmas Eve and he began to tell us about his problems with alcohol in the past and everything and so we were able to finally talk about that with him and I think that he really could feel the Spirit and feel our support while at the same time recognize that he needs to change a few things

14.  So that guy who was excommunicated who is the son of a member – have you been able to see him again? 

Nope.. we pass by but he's working a lot right now with the holidays so hopefully in January. 

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

I really don't remember.... sorry, I just really don't have time right now.... 

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? 

Someone gave us a ticuco this week.. I normally like ticucos but thus one was terrible... it had whole garlic and it was HUGE and pretty much just masa.... but it was with a lot of love so that made it eatable. 

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

A sunset that I took a picture of for you but I think that I will have to upload it next week.... 

19.  Did you have any unusual experiences this week? 

Not really.... I don't know.

20.  What has been your biggest challenge this week? 

That no one is home or that they are all home and cooking with their families... and that just reminds us that we aren't home and we aren't with outr families. 

21.  What are you goals for this week? 

To find more people... I don't's our last week together so we are just going to work hard and have fun! 

22.  What do you love most about the people you are working with? 

That they appreciate our visits... I don't know...the few people we have who are true investigators who are coming to church and everything are few... but I like getting to know people. They all have different stories. Even if they reject us I think that there is something we can learn from each of them. 

23.  How does companion study work – does one of you decide what you’ll study that day?

I always decide because Hna A doesn't want to.  Usually we review or study something that we are going to teach that day or we read some of the attributes of Christ. We always read 3 pages in the mission manual and share what we learned and we share a lot with each other so we end up talking about a ton of things usually.

24.  What is the hardest thing you have done on your mission so far? 

I think that all of it, hahaha!  It's not easy being a missionary. 

25.  Do you have any goals for the rest of your mission? 

I want to keep working on this darn perfectionism... but its poco a poco (little by little) and I really have made a lot of progress. 

I'm so sorry that I don't have a lot of time to write. I did have a good Christmas and I loved getting to talk to you all!!!!!! I LOVE YOU! 

Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 64 -- It's Been a Great Week!

1.  Melissa wants to know what some traditional Christmas songs are in Honduras.  How do they decorate for Christmas?  Do they do a lot of outdoor decorations?  Do most people put up a Christmas tree?  Do people in Honduras open their gifts at midnight on Christmas like other Hispanic countries? 

Some people decorate for Christmas. In Copan hardly anyone decorated because they are poor... but here more people have money. So there are a few houses with lights, and one lady has a HUGE scene in Puerto Cortes... we need to take a picture of it still. And there are Christmas trees but not really big ones like in the States and they deck them out! They have ribbons and flowers and tinsel but lots of them are blue and I don't really know why.... and they are colorful. But pretty. Inside there aren't many decorations, though, other than the Christmas tree... and they don't do Christmas stockings here.  They open their gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve/Christmas morning so that's what we'll do.

2.  Have you heard from Josselyn yet? 

She sent me an email today but I haven't read it yet... 

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

They couldn't come because they had a work party that they went to instead... but they are doing well. Just busy with work right now. 

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

We had a zone P-Day. We had to get there early to fill up the water ballons.. We started off with capture the flag but most of them really didn't understand the game, lol. Then we had a water balloon fight. Hna A and I started it, hahahaha. It was really fun and we were all soaked!!! Then we had a baleada eating contest... I ate five but lost, lol. Then we broke a pinata. We went inside to play Jeopardy and then had a gift exchange and then we had to clean up our mess, hahaha. And now we are here writing and tonight we are goign to sing in the park!!!!  We won in Jeopardy even though I didn't know any of the answers...they were all Latin categories. Tonight we are going Christmas caroling in the park.

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

I don't really know... I think that these past few weeks I just really, really, really wanted dats (statistics) to show our hard work. And President Dester made our standards of excellence even higher and we weren't able to reach them even before... so it was just really hard for me. But this week we did see a miracle and we had 15 lessons with members and 23 other lessons and for us that is the highest that we have ever seen here... and the highest that the hermanas that have been here had had, too, and it felt really good to see that our hard work is paying off. I feel like we finally have a pool of people to visit and that we are talking with everyone and it was just a really good week and for me that was a miracle. 

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

We were able to serve Hna M... see the paragraph below.. but we were also able to reactivate an hermana. She stopped going to church a little bit before i got here and said it was because of some of the hermanas in the ward that offended her. Well, we kept visiting her and she kept not coming to church. And then all of the sudden we told her about a ward choir practice that we had and she said that she loved to sing. We invited her to the choir devotional and the first presidency devotional and she came to those and then we invited her to be in the choir... and she came to the practices and started coming to church. And now she has come three weeks in a row and looks so much happier. 

7.  How have you served someone else this week?  How have you served your companion this week? 

Well, we helped paint a house this week. Hna M's (a menos activo -- a less active member). My arms are still sore, haha. And we helped dish out the plates and everything for the ward dinner. 

8.  Did the ward choir sing the Christmas songs you’ve been working on in church yesterday?  How did it go? 

It went fairly well. I messed up on the piano but whatever. It went well. We had the ward talent show and dinner on Saturday and there were other acts. I had to play the piano and it really didn't go well... but was last minute and I was practically sightreading... but oh well. And there were some dances...  

9.  Have you been able to talk to a lot of people this week? 

YES!!! We even went on divisions with the hermanas lideres (sister training leaders) and it went really, really well!  We found a lot of people to talk to and our numbers reflected it, too, so that made me feel soooo good.  :)

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

I'm going to say painting the house just because it was something out of the ordinary for us and the ward talent show because we could just relax and chill and there may have been some wordly music there that we got to enjoy, hahaha. 

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

There's a little kid that danced for us and it was hilarious. Also there was a kind of drunk man that came to us today asking for money and we were seated waiting and you can't just get up and walk away without a purpose or a place to go or something so Hna A secretly called our phone from our own phone like a self call and had a fake conversation in front of the guy so that we could get away.

12.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

I don't know. We went on divisions, too, with young women in the ward and I went out with one of them and we were just able to talk and it was really nice to see that after all of our efforts the members are opening up to us and now we have a ton of people who want to go out with us. That's not really spiritual, though...  

13.  So that guy who was excommunicated who is the son of a member – have you been able to see him again? 

We haven't had the time actually. He can only meet with us at night and all of our nights have been full... but we are going to try to visit him this week!!!! 

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

I'm reading the talks from General Conference and I LOVE the talk from Pres Uchtdorf that he gave in the priesthood session, "Lord is it I?"  It is soooo good. And the talk that is about our spiritual confidence before God and how would we feel if we had an interview with Christ like right now. You should go read those talks again everybody! They are really good... and a little bit of a machete.

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 had to eat chicken liver, and heart and necks... it was not my favorite thing to eat. And there were tajadas, too, but I just could not get over the texture of those chicken things... bleh. I even had a chicken foot but i just couldn't eat it and so luckily a little kid in the family came up to me and asked me for a piece of chicken so I was able to get rid of it, hahaha. But with the same family I ate masapan for the first time. I took pictures of it, too. It's weird... but it's kind of like a tajada. It was really, really yummy, actually! I would eat it at home but I dont think that they sell it. 

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

The SUN!!!! All this week it was sunny and I'm getting sunburned again, lol, because I had lost my tan!  It feels sooo good to be in the sun again.  :) I love hot weather. 

18.  Did you have any unusual experiences this week? 

Not really... I don't think so. Things don't really strike me as unusual anymore, hahaha. 

19.  When you teach the English classes do you also teach about American culture? Have you talked with your class about how Christmas is celebrated in the States? 

I have not done that... but maybe I will. I actually haven't shared anything about American culture but I think that that would be a good element to include in my classes. We have kind of been on pause for choir practices and Christmas stuff. 

20,.  What day/time will you be able to Skype for Christmas? 

The plan is the 25th at 2ish in the afternoon... but if it's 2:30 don't worry. I promise that i will get on!!!!  I can't believe it's the last time we'll get to Skype and then I'll be home soon!

Do you remember Jorge?  His daughter got baptized this week.  :-)  And E. (the guy that my companion and I turned over to the elders to teach) also got baptized this week.

I received a package from the Swansons this week, and a letter from Amanda Kersey.  She was here in Puerto like seven years ago but I know some of the people she mentioned in her email.  I don't know if you know her but I met her at camp one year... and Grandma knows her she said.  Cool beans!
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and that you can all feel our Savior's love. I hope that you eat a lot of turkey or ham or whatever because I probably won't! :P Enjoy being with your families and just love every minute of the holiday season. Love you! 

Hermana Gisseman


Ready to paint...

At the Ward Christmas party

Decorating for Christmas

Ready for our water balloon fight

With our pinata