Sunday, October 27, 2013

I didn't move in cambios (changes) so I get to stay in hermosa La Joya! I love my first area! The members are incredible and I think it's so beautiful and I'm making so many friendships. 

This past cambio has really helped me grow. The first two months of my mission were really hard for me in every way. I missed you guys a lot and I missed my culture and I really missed speaking English and I was constantly frustrated because I couldn't be effective without knowing Spanish. But the language is coming really well and I my personality is coming through more and more. I was humbled to the dust in the start and the Lord is helping build me back up. It's true that you learn to have more patience in the mission. 

Honduras played Jamaica and won! The streets are crazy during soccer games and we keep score from our house by counting the number of times it sounds like World War III has suddenly begun--an abrupt chorus of screaming, gunfire, and cannons that slowly wanes until the next goal is scored. I'm pretty sure we qualified for the World Cup next year?? The games are such a big deal here that all school is cancelled gameday and all government paid jobs as well. 

A couple days ago, we met a family in the street who said we could come teach them so we went to their house. The Dad is bien Evangelico and as it turns out, didn't want to listen to our message but wanted to try to teach us his own. With great emotion, he repeatedly slammed us with false doctrine, the motif being that not everyone is a son of God (but he was, of course) and that we didn't have to do anything to be saved. I listened to him for about 40 minutes and showed him 'Faith without works is dead...' but there was nothing we could do because this man wanted to contend. So my comp just bore her testimony and I gave him a Book of Mormon and asked if the cute wife would bring their two little kids over so we could sing a hymn and say a prayer before leaving. We sang I am a Child of God and the dad chose me to pray. It was a really beautiful experience because of the change in the room when we sang together and prayed. The difference in feelings from his rant and when we started talking was comical. There was a really sweet, strong spirit that ended things on a really good note. 
And guess what? They ended up calling us about an hour later and inviting us back for dinner! We were fasting so we couldn't, but we're going to go back sometime! It was a faith building experience that made me SO GRATEFUL to have the knowledge I have! To know that I'm a daughter of the Eternal King. I'm so grateful to know the fundamentals. 

Thank you so much for being the most incredible support imaginable. I love each one of you more than I could ever tell. I love my mission and I don't want to come home. Good thing I have 14 more fast sundays to enjoy here! 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

This past month has been incredible! I´m going to tell you about it, but first I want to tell you that I don´t play soccer here and I don´t drink coke. Those were two things I thought I´d be doing but we´re not allowed! Just for your information.
Last week I forgot to tell you about some really cool experiences because I was too excited about conference!
One of them was that we were having a ward movie night to raise money for a lady with serious cancer here. Three of our investigators were going to come and we were setting up and everything when the power went out--not only in the church, but in all of La Joya. And it was completely dark. I was with 5 other girls from the ward and we were all so sad because the activity wasn´t possible and because my comp and I would have to end the day early because it´s a rule that we can´t be out when there aren´t lights in the street. So I suggested we say a prayer so we all knelt together and held hands in the dark and I prayed and within 5 minutes, the lights came on in La Joya. All the girls were yelling and hugging me like I was responsible for the power grid here and some were even crying! I was getting ready to go do something when my comp reminded me that we had to pray and thank God. It was so cool! And then later my comp and I offered another prayer of gratitude together. It was one of those primary-style mini-miracles that makes you know God cares. And by the way I got to watch Despicable Me 2 with my investigators!
This Saturday, we had two baptisms!!!! My first start-to-finish baptisms here in the mission! My first two weeks here we had 2, but they weren´t mine, ya know? Ambar is 17 and reminds me of Jenny and Monica is 9. They live with their grandparents who were baptized about 20 years ago but have long since been inactive. So we´re reactivating their family and it is incredible. Such a tender mercy!
We´re working closely with some other investigators who look promising and we´re taking an investgator temple trip this week! They´ll have a family night with our phenomenal Stake Pres. and tour the grounds and stuff. The work is great in La Joya!
I´m finishing my training this Wednesday and praying I won´t get moved in cambios (changes.) I´ll keep you posted.
I´m so grateful and so happy! I´m used to living here and I don´t know what it will be like to have carpet or a dryer or a shower or an oven or a dishwasher when I get home! Or to have reliable water in the faucets. We only get it for a few hours every other day. But that is so normal to me now.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Conference was absolutely incredible. I got to watch it all in ENGLISH! with all the Gringos in the zones next to mine. And we hung an American flag under the TV for all four sessions. HashtagPatriotism. Conference was pure power. Jefferey R. Holland's testimony caused me to physically shake, it was so strong. I wish I could go through and talk about all of the points and highlights that changed my mission and my life, but I just never have enough time! We are instructed to make conference our 'walk and talk' for the next 6 months, so I hope you all REMEMBER and APPLY all of the messages. I'll try my best to do the same. Before this conference, I read all of conference from April and it was amazing. I LOVE the words of our prophets and apostles! What a blessing in our lives.
Here are some quotes I love from April conference that you might've forgotten (I had):
I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief. There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayer of a righteous mother...Teach yourself and teach your families about the gift of the Holy Ghost and the atonement of Jesus Christ. You will do no greater eternal work than within the walls of your own home. --Boyd K. Packer

Indeed our heaven is little more than a projection of our homes into eternity. --L. Tom Perry
Isn't that the truth? If nothing else, the realization of how much I love my family makes this mission more than worth it!
I challenge each of you to read 'Your Wonderful Journey Home,' by President Uchtdorf. It is beautiful. I love learning and talking about the pre existence because it speaks to my sould and yes, I am homesick for heaven.
check out these scriptures:

 Matthew 24:46 Blessed is that aservant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.

Matthew 7:24 ¶Therefore whosoever aheareth these sayings of mine, and bdoeth them, cI will liken him unto adwise man, which ebuilt his house upon fa rock:
We know that faith without works is dead. How important it is for us who have such great knowledge to be DOING something with it! Remember that we should repent for all the things we're not doing and should be. 
I just watched Mom's 50 video! (Finally got it working.) I love the family so much!
I'm learning patience here and I'm learning how to get along with my comp and I'm learning how much a person can sweat in a single day (3.5 cups, I measured. Just kidding that's weird and gross and impossible.)
We're reading the Libro de Mormon as a mission before Christmas and circling all the synonyms of Jesucristo, highlighting all the attributes of Christ in light blue, all the missionary passages in green, and everything else we like in red. It's so awesome to read it that way! (Especially in Spanish.)
I played volleyball with some Elders in my zone and I killed it. I challenge anyone to a game when I'm back.
I LOVE YOU! You all better enjoy eating cookie dough icecream and drying your clothes in a dryer and walking around barefoot. And vegetables. Those are things I really miss.
I bought a cookie sheet and made chocolate chip cookies today for my zone. That was really cool. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

I'm learning and growing here in La Joya!  The weeks are moving faster and it makes me want to try even harder not to waste a minute of the Lord's sacred time. 

I've been teaching a lot of Spanish lately. I teach a class in the church every Thursday and this week I had 12 people there! 5 of which were investigators! And I taught two other separate classes to investigators who couldn't make it. It's pretty cool and makes me so grateful to speak English as my first language. Seriously. 

We taught a really cool lesson about the Plan of Salvation and answered some of the questions of a 26 year old's soul. He was deported from Miami and speaks a lot of English which is awesome because I can teach in Spanglish with a lot of power. He asked lots of pressing questions that caused my comp, a convert, and I to stand up for what we know and we felt the spirit testify of truth in a very real way. The convert and my comp cried during the lesson! 
We had another really awesome lesson with the same member present to a 17 year old girl and my Spanish was perfect and she was so receptive. She accepted our baptism challenge for the 12th of Oct. 

Teaching awesome lessons is better than baptizing. 

We brought 4 investigators to church this week! It was awesome. Seriously a blessing from God. And I played the piano for the 4 hymns in sacrament! I suck at piano. 

Mom, last night the members fed me a hot dog with avacado, tomato, onions, mayo, ketchup, 2 kinds of mustard, and jalapeƱos. You would've died and gone to heaven. 

There is an old man in a shack up a huge hill above our house and we teach his daughter and grandaughter. He came up behind my comp in a lesson and started playing with her ponytail and grabbing her shoulders and petting her head until all the hair came out of her elastic and I was crying! And then he came over to me and did the same! I got carressed by his arthretic hands! And he said in his Spanish old man voice that we'd have to repent and confess now! It was so funny!