Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 69 -- I love the beach....and some gorgeous sunsets

1. How is Hna S doing?  

She is getting a better...She understands more. And I always try to speak to her in Spanish in the street and when we do planning... at nights I take pity on her, lol. But she understands everything that I say. She just needs to speak. We have had inventory and we talk about it and I think that it's getting better. I have started giving her more specific things to do and to study and that has helped. Like giving her the section on Joseph Smith in a lesson, or on Faith or something specific so she can prepare. And I give the lesson to her in all the lessons we teach with menos activos (less active members) pretty much because she feels more comfortable with them. 

2.  Have you received any more packages? 

Nope... this week I didn't get anything. 

3.  How are D and her family doing?  Is their son still in date to be baptized in early February? 

Yes... but the date is being moved because Hno F has a lot of work stuff and they want him to be really prepared which is a good thing. But they are both so sweet and they just love our visits and we love them. And they will get baptized, it's just a matter of time. I just pray that I will be here to see it. They are doing well though. 

4.  How was church?  Did you have many investigators and less active members there?  Did you learn anything new? 

We just had Familia M...(D's family). 

5.  How is Familia R? 

Their car broke down on Sunday on their way to church and so they couldn't come. They want to be baptized though but the hermano has to get divorced first and it costs a lot and they just don't have the money to do it... so it will be a long time before I think they will be able to get baptized... but I have the faith that they will make it happen. 

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

Today we went to the beach! We weren't going to go because of the weather but I really, really wanted to go so we went anyway, lol. Not the whole zone but most of the zone. We played soccer on the beach and then we ate at the yummy restaurant from the other day. It was fun but it stressed me out a little bit because I was essentially in charge of arranging the transportation, making sure everyone had a good time, planning, etc.

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

This week I was feeling a little bit crummy... I feel like I am doing everything but nothing at the same time. And then on Saturday when we had lunch with the elders they told me that they were in the house and they were outside and then an hermano passed by and was fixing shoes and they had shoes to be fixed and so they started talking to him and he said that he was taught by some hermanas and one had pretty eyes... well, it was Hno C and his wife is S... the really humble people who moved and we never found again! Well, they have been found again! And so I was so happy that the elders now know him and can visit him. And then on Sunday out of no where i heard HERMANA! and I turned around and it was S who just passsed by and wanted to say hi and it just reminded me that there really are people here who have been touched by my work and people who will remember me. It was a very special moment during a tough week. 

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

We went with Familia R and they are very humble but after one of our lessons this week they gave us dinner. It just made me feel so special, that these people just give us all that they have and I have seen it before in my mission, but it just makes me feel so blessed. 

9.  Describe a time this week when you felt the Spirit. 

I don't really know. 

10.  Have you spent more time with Familia G this week? 

Yeah!  Their son M went out with us twice this week and he is just so cute and he even teaches in the lessons!  Every Sunday we have dinner with them and it's always just a good time. We laugh and Hna S talks more and it just feels a little bit like home. 

11.  Did you have a favorite appointment or lesson this week, one that went really well and that you felt like the person you were teaching was really receptive to? 

Well, I really like going with Familia R because they appreciate us. I also love Fam M.  There are tons of great people here! I just love them all. 

12.  How are Hna M and her family doing?  

Well... not coming to church. The son is really just not interested in coming and he's a member. We visited them again and he says he doesn't want to come and his stepbrother is the one we are teaching and it is just not a good example... but we shall see. I have the feeling that we need to keep visiting them... 

13.  How have you served someone this week? 

Well... I cleaned the kitchen for Hna S and sweep just about every day... I don't know if that is service, though, since I do it more for me, haha.

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

Eh... due to the rain here it's been a little difficult... less people in the streets and such. But it's hard because I have to do all the contacts.... and it's not my favorite thing but we have to keep getting lessons and such and yeah. I will get better

15.  Did you e-mail Hna B?  

I did but she didnt email back so I don't know if she got it.

16.  What was the best thing happened this week? 

We went to the beach! I just love the beach. It's so relaxing to me and just really pretty.

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

We were walking home from Hna M's house... well, really to the bus or to another cita (appointment) and the streeet was muddy so we were walking very carefully and then Hna S stepped in a huge mud puddle and got mud all over her feet and then she climbed down into the gutter ditch thing so she could wash her feet and it was not so graceful in a skirt and it made me laugh, haha. 

18.  What have you learned about missionary work and being a missionary in the last few months? 

I have learned... more about following the Spirit. Since I'm kind of in charge...well, not really but I take the lead and I have really, really needed direction. A lot of times I don't even know what to do but someone comes to mind and so we just go and usually it turns out well. Hna A and Hna S have both said that I am good at following the Spirit and that whenever I say, hey, I think we should visit somebody, and we go it turns out well. I don't realize that I do that or that it's the Spirit, but I think that I have seen more the hand of God directing us, directing me in this work. I need to get better at it but I'm getting there. 

19.  How are J and N doing? 

Well they are doing alright... They didn't come to church yesterday because of the rain and J felt a little bad. I just really, really hope that they can come to church every Sunday!!!! And it makes me sad when they don't come.

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

I'm almost done with the Old Testament in Spanish and Jesus the Christ. But I'm rereading the conference talks again and I really like the one by Elder christofferson about being free to choose. It's pretty legit. 

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

Always. I love you, too. 

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

We were at the beach at sunset this week and took pictures and it was GORGEOUS! And I finally have a computer that reads my USB so i can send the pictures! 

23.  Did you have any unusual experiences this week? 

Yeah...well, we walked into a house and they were cooking iguana... who eats that! And this morning the dogs were barking loud and it turns out that they killed a possum... and it was really gross. We had to call the elders to come dispose of it... it was huge! 

24. What has been your biggest challenge this week? 

Feeling like the world is on my shoulders. I have to do everything and I can't. I just can't do it all. 

25.  What are your goals for this week? 

To give more responsibilities to Hna S and to help her speak more. 

26.  Is the cut on your finger healing? 

Yeah, it is already gone! 

27.  What's the most unusual thing you ate this week?  What was the best thing you ate this week?  What was the worst thing you ate this week? 

We ate a squid soup... it's quite popular here actually, lol. It wasn't my favorite. Squid just has a weird texture. The best thing...Hna Doris G cooks really, really well and she made us platanos fritos and they were realyl yummy... fried plaintains

Life is good. I'm still alive! 

Hermana Gisseman

The buses here are crazy....

It's the rainy season....

Our English Class

With Alexandra G

This is someone's house

Marquitos G -- he is so darn cute

Elder I -- he cracks us up

The possum that the dogs killed...gross!

At the beach with the children of Familia G

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 68 - 28 Lessons with Members Present!!!

It makes me a little sad, too, that the package you're getting ready to send to me is the last one.  We can send a package to Marcia when I get home. You can send Nutella and granola bars or whatever. But makeup is key right now because I dropped the one I had on the ground.... ugghhhhh.

1. How is Hna S doing?  How are the two of you getting along?  Are you feeling less stress about being a trainer and the responsibilities that entails?  

She's doing alright. We get along  well. She thinks that I have all the patience in the world... but I don't, LOL.  But I'm glad she thinks I'm patient. She struggles with Spanish..... I think that I am adjusting more to being a trainer, but it's still not easy at all... the Spanish thing is kind of hard. 

2.  How was your interview with Pres Dester? 

It went well. He says I'm doing great and to just finish strong. Nothing much... 

3.  Have you received any more packages? 

I got a package from Christelle (toys and stickers and two pairs of pajama pants) and from the Greene family (my favorite granola bars, chocolate and a few fun little Christmas things).  Thank you so much!!!!

4.  How are D and her family doing? 

They couldn't come to church because Hno F had a thing for work. And we couldn't visit them either because the day we were going to go they went to a birthday party in the ward. So... yeah, but they are so great! 

5.  How was church?  Did you have many investigators and less active members there?  Did you learn anything new? 

We didn't have any investigators at church this week. They are all sick...but it was good. There was a really good Relief Society lesson on prayer. I like that here in Relief Society they talk a lot and Latinas cry a lot, lol.

6.  How is Familia R? 

Their son was sick. So they couldn't come this week. But we had a family home evening sort of with Familia G and we all went over there and talked about families and it was really, really fun. The spirit was really strong and I think that it really helped Familia R. 

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

We went and ate Chinese food. We cleaned the house and didn't do much... it's raining here and I hate it! So we were going to go to the beach but we couldn't... so Chinese food it was and then we went to American stores. I found other blankets!!!! I got them way cheaper, too, and so I was soooo happy. I got three.... another blue, a green, and a yellow and red one... or at least I think they will be for them... They were 500 for all three so it was a really, really good deal! I was so happy! But finding more tortilla towels is a little harder.. I haven't been able to find identical ones. Oh well. 

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

That members went out with us for visits and that our appointments haven't really fallen through this week!

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

A lot of members went out for visits with us this week! Gabriela, a menos activa (less active member), and Alexandra who used to be menos activa, and our mission leader, and Marquitos Galeas. It was a huge blessing! 

10.  Describe a time this week when you felt the Spirit. 

We went to visit Familia R with Familia G and they just talked about families and how much the gospel has blessed them. And all the kids shared something, too, and the spirit was really strong but it just made me miss home and my family.

11.  Did you have a favorite appointment or lesson this week, one that went really well and that you felt like the person you were teaching was really receptive to?

Well, last Sunday we read with Jane from Alma 36 and she looked a lot happier and more hopeful after that, like she really can be forgiven and come back.

12.  How are Hna M and her family doing?  Did her son go out with you like he was going to? 

He did go out with us... but it didn't go really well.  Hna M went out of town... so we haven't seen her this week... they didn't come to church this week but they came last week.  

13.  How have you served someone this week?  Made any tortillas lately or painted anything? 

We made tortillas with Hna D last night. 

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

We have been able to talk to more people... but that's always the struggle for me, to start talking to new people. But we are getting there.

15.  Did you e-mail Hna Butikofer yet?  

I didn't yet but I will right now.  Hno G wants to e-mail her but he's thinking really, really hard about what he is going to say.

16.  How did Hno G respond when you told him you had tracked down Hna Butikofer?  

He was way excited!

17.  What was the best thing happened this week? 

Getting 28 lessons with members present!!!!  For real, that was amazing! I feel so blessed. 

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

Well, Hna S says some pretty funny things when she speaks in Spanish... so we have had some funny moments laughing together at her Spanish, lol.

19.  How are J and N doing? 

J was sick and that's why she couldn't come to church but she is doing well. We went last night to see her. But I really hope that she can come to church this Sunday. 

20.  What was the spiritual highlight of your week? 

Getting to go to the noche de hogar (Family Home Evening) with Familia R and Familia G. I want to be with my famlily para siempre (forever). 

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

I was really into reading the Liahona this week and it talks a lot about marriage... I'm still nowhere near ready for that, lol. 

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


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

Well, it was reainy and gross this week so I really didn't appreciate wasnt very pretty. It was very muddy.

24.  Did you have any unusual experiences this week?

I ate a Honduran hot dog and I liked it.  Right now at the internet cafe they're playing "Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns and Roses and I'm thinking about Daddy.

25. What has been your biggest challenge this week? 

Teaching Hna S Spanish.  We're working really hard at it.

26.  What are your goals for this week?

To continue to help Hna S with her Spanish... 

Is my BYU scholarship application finished? Do I need to do anything?

Just a question... do you and Daddy ever fight? I can't think of time that you ever fight so I was just wondering. 

I also got letters from Grace Clark and Jan Speroni and our family Christmas card.

Sorry this is short... I cut my finger this morning and it really hurts.  And no pictures this week -- this computer doesn't have a USB.  :-(

Love you! 

Hermana Gisseman

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 67 - Being a Trainer is Humbling

1. So you know the big question of the week is this – who is your new companion?  Where is she from?  How do you two get along?  How is she adjusting so far? 

My hija is Hermana S. She is from Utah... She is really tall! I'm not used to being around someone taller than me lol., We get along really well.  I think that this whole training thing is going to be interesting. She's doing well... she doesn't speak much Spanish, but she's learning which is the good thing. she is a positive person which is really good.  I'm just not used to doing everything so it was kind of a big adjustment... She is very athletic and has lots of energy and is excited to be here. 

2.  How has your first week of training been? 

It's been a very humbling experience and has brought lots of old memories back. I feel kind of like what I imagine a real mom feels like, lol. Like it's a different relationship training than it is to just have a normal companionship, I think. It's been a load for me because I have to do all the talking in the lessons and all the planning, and I can do it, I just was so used to sharing everything. So it's kind of like double the work and I have to teach Spanish and I don't even know where to start with that. But I guess I just need to have patience with myself and with her and we will be fine. I mean, I couldn't do everything at first either so I can't expect her to be able to. Its just been weird, a change but a good one. 

3.  Where did Hna A get transferred to?  Did any missionaries you know get transferred to Puerto? 

She got transferred back to Copan but to Florida and she is with a companion that she has had before, too. One elder that I met before I got transferred here but we got three new missionaries... fun stuff. But there are mostly gringos in the zone now, haha.

4.  Have you received any more packages? 

No, but the secretary told me that he thought that I had another one in the office. 

5.  How are D and her family doing?  Does their other son still have a baptism date in early February? 

Yeah. They are doing really well. Hna D shared in Gospel Principles that she is so grateful for our visits and she can see that she is reaching her goals and changing her family poco a poco (little by little) and she got all teary eyed and so did Hno F and then so did I, lol. They are just such a great family. and their son is going to get baptized on Feb. 7. They all came to church and their son (who got baptized already) passed the sacrament for the first time thie Sunday! 

6.  How was church yesterday?  Did you learn anything new?  Did you have any investigators or less active members there? 

It was really, really good. We had the most people there that I have seen in my whole time here... 157! WOOHOO! And Familia M came (D and F) and our new family Familia R came for the second Sunday and they are so pilas, too! But they need to get married, too...  

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

Today we cleaned like usual and we bought some things for Hna S -- a backpack and sandals so she can work more comfortably. And we ate at Pizza Hut as a zone and now we are writing! Woohoo.

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

This week we were able to achieve a miracle! The mission standard for lessons with members present is 17... and I used to say that was impossible... until we got 15 and then I saw some hope... well, this week we were able to have 18! I think that the members took pity on me and went out with us, lol, but it felt really, really good and we had a lot of new investigators, too! It was a great week and we even lost a day because we had to go to San Pedro for a training for the new gringos. It was for real a miracle for me... It was just a very good week and really showed me that the Lord is aware of my efforts. 

9.  How was the transfer meeting? 

We don't have transfer meetings anymore... but we at least got to go to the same chapel as a meeting point so that I could say bye to Hna P and Hna V!!! I can't believe that they are already home! What the heck! I don't believe that at all... 

10.  Were you able to see that woman who contacted you again? 

Yeah... but she sent us a message this week and dropped us, lol, she said that the hermanas from the church she visits were now visiting her... whatever. 

11.  How has someone blessed your life this week? 

Hna S shares her food with me. And Familia Galeas is just so sweet!  They are trying to help Hna S learn Spanish and they are just great. 

12.  Describe a time this week when you felt the Spirit. 

Well, we were prepping to go to the training for the gringos in San Pedro and Hna S asked me what she should bring and so I told her what I thought we would need and then when we were going to go out the door I saw my mission handbook and just got the feeling that I should bring it with me and so we brought them and then when we got there my trainer's meeting was all about the handbook and we read from it and it was neat because I definitely didn't remember it on my own.  The training was the new missionary training because the new missionaries missed it (they missed their flight because of weather) so we had to go back for the training.  Oh, we got to see Pres Dester and we have interviews this week!

13.  Describe a lesson you taught this week or a visit you had with one of your investigators or a less active member. 

Well... we sat down. and we sang a hymn.... and then I asked questions and taught the lesson and my companion listenend.  LOL.  I don't know what else you want me to say about a lesosn this week, lol.... 

14.  How are Hna M and her family doing? 

She's doing well.... She came to church this Sunday but her spouse still didn't... but we will visit them tomorrow and her son is going to go out with us to do some visits. 

15.  How have you served someone else this week? 

I think that training is a 24 hour service... 

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

Not as many. It's hard to do everything... I have to do all the contacts this week and so yeah... we didn't do as many as I would have liked. 

17.  Are there some members of your ward who go out with you pretty regularly? 

Well, our mission leader goes out with us more than anyone and one of the young men and his little sister (the sons of Hno Galeas who Hna Butikofer baptized) goes out with us every Sunday and then at night they give us dinner. 

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

We met the goal for lessons with members present!!!! And we got Quiznos on Friday when we went to San Pedro for training for the gringos. 

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

We were talking with Familia Galeas last night and we were talking about weird words in Spanish and Hna S heard us wrong and though we were saying that I was calling one of my other companions a sinner, haha, and it was really funny. And we were in a cita and a little girl started imitating her gringa accent and was saying Spanish words with an accent and we were all laughing so hard. We couldn't even finish the hymn. 

20.  How are J and N doing? 

They are doing well... they didn't come to church this week.  :(  J had to work. We went to visit them with the second counselor in the stake presidency because she has a ton of respect for him and I think that it went well. It wasn't a very well planned lesson due to lots of stress I had going on ... but I think she heard what she needed to hear from him. 

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

I really liked the talk "Stay in the Boat" from Elder Ballard... so go read it... and stay in the boat. I think that it is very applicable to our times... And I was reading in Jesus the Christ and a phrase stood out to me... "Paradise is the place where dwell righteous and repentant spirits between bodily death and resurrection" (you can explain the spirit world for no mormon folk).  But I guess I always thought that perfect people went to paradise or that we stopped progressing or something. On the mission i think that I have come to understand that we keep progressing all the time! And that we will have the opportunity to repent and to be better even in the spirit world if it is our desire. I guess I just liked the word "repentant"... we don't have to be perfect, but we have to want to be better and to try to be better all the time. But just like those in prison, those in paradise progress, too. 

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


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

I don't know... it rained a little bit this week so I suppose the sun. But the weather has been really, really nice. 

24.  Did you have any unusual experiences this week? 

We went looking for a little pathway shortcut to the mountain yesterday and we got lost a little bit and a big dog came out and almost bit us, hahaha, but it was way funny and really fun at the same time. An adventure. My English is really bad too... Like I can't read out loud in English, lol, it sounds so bad, hahaha.  I love Spanish so much!!!!  When I get home I want to go to the Spanish Group and go out with the Spanish sister missionaries.  I hope they give me a calling in the Spanish Group.  I want to keep up my Spanish before I go back to BYU.  I might do a Spanish minor or maybe a double major.

25.  What has been your biggest challenge this week? 

TRAINING and teaching Spanish! 

I don't know why but I was thinking about Christopher this week. How is he doing?

I'm SOOOO excited that you could find Hna Butikofer. Hno Juan Carlos is going to be SO excited!!!!! Thanks!!!!! 


Hermana Gisseman

Don't worry -- I wasn't really sad.  I was cutting onions.

We do a lot of painting service projects...

The Ward Christmas Party

Christmas caroling

This is the storm we saw blowing in over the ocean last week