This week has been really great. Every week is great.
gone from 2 to 7 progressing investigators in a week (They're
progressing when they're reading the BOM or going to church and other
ward activities). We're working hard and trying to really transform
ourselves into polished tools for the Lord's hands. (It's easy to
be just a regular tool :)) The mission is full of ''up's'' and
''down's.'' Por ejemplo, the family of our recent convert, Freddy, is
starting to progress again and read the Book of Mormon! They committed
to coming to church! But our precious investigating family, la familia
Garmendia, isn't answering their phone or recieving us. It's actually
really worrisome. Will you please pray for them? Today we're starting a
This Wednesday we had changes! It was SO fun to see
Elder Hamilton! I wanted to hug him so bad! He's grown at least 10
inches since the last time I saw him. I wish I could send a picture, but
this computer is really bad.
President changed the way we do
changes! Instead of knowing beforehand, all we know is whether or not we
have changes. So now everyone comes to the meeting without knowing
their new comp or new area and it's like a big ''harry potter sorting
hat'' kind of experience! It was really fun. The highlights are that
Jake Hamilton went to the South near the coast and our amazing AP is now
with another exAP and they're opening an area on an island called
Ampala!!! They're called to start up a branch! Basically the new
''Koli-pokis'' (Think Other Side of Heaven).
ended up spending a few hours in the ER with an Elder who is really
sick with Dengue. He'll be hospitalized for up to 4 days. It's always
nice to help out.
This morning, we woke up to a flooded
apartment. We have a problem with our pipes. So that took up a lot of
our Pday! But it's all cleaned up!
Speaking of our bathroom, a
guy came a while ago and fixed our shower, so I now have had hot water
in the shower for officially 1/15 months of my mission! Woot Woot!!
Okay, I love you! Special shoutout to Grandma for her 75th birthday!!!! I love her SOOOOO much!
So much to
say. These past couple of days have been so... I don't know the word. Inspiring
and overwhelming and happy and stressful and refining.
Duncan, the President of the Area 70, came to visit us for 3 days and he
instructed us in a multizone conference on Thursday and a leadership
''Consejo'' on Friday. How I wish he would have come at the start of my
mission! Man, he teaches with power and authority. I am so amazed at how our
leaders consecrate their lives and turn them over to God. We don't see half of
all they do. The church is SO organized.
learning more and more that this work is the Lord's business. It's not a warm,
fuzzy work! But it is powerful and demanding and gratifying and definitely
worth every effort! I just can't believe how I didn't know anything about
missionary work before the mission! I was ''sleeping during the restoration!''
(--Pres. Uchtdorf.) Are you all sleeping like I was? Why didn't we ever invite
our nonmember neighbors or less actives to our family home evenings? Why didn't
we always carry books of mormon on our vacations? (Mom was actually really good
feeling the hastening of the Lord's work. And I'm seeing His merciful and
powerful hand in my life and in the lives of all those who won't push it away.
We really are in the last days. I'm so grateful for the powerful preparation
that is coming from honorable missionary service that is going to bless this
upcoming generation. We need strong parents to help raise righteous children in
an incresingly wicked world.
We got to
go to the temple as ZL's and STL's with President and Hermana Bowler and it was
a great experience. Hermana Alegre and I sat in on 11 sealings and so we
practically got brainwashed with the promises God extends to all who willingly
and faithfully keep those powerful covenants. Wow, He really loves us.
the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to Diety, God has
asked us to address Him as Father.'' --La Primera Presidencia
remember that Christ has promised us ''all that the Father hath''! Let's get
moving and serve God with all our hearts, might, minds, and strength!
I love my
mission. President Bowler made Hermana Alegre and I chocolate chip cookies! I
did divisions with a sister named Hermana Chub from guatemala and her email
that the mission made her says ''chub.chub.'' I died when I saw that. Probably
just because I'm still immature. We made a couple trips to the hospital with
Hermana Bowler recently to check out my adorable comp's thyroid. We spoke at
Consejo about missionary health. We get to hear about everyones' chronic
diarrhea. Life's good.
currently listening to past conference sessions and I could not be more
grateful for the gospel. Seriously. This gospel is a no-brainer. Only pride can
keep someone from accepting it.
hearing from my baby brother in Italy! MIssionary work is honestly the best
thing that has ever happened to me! (And to the world!)
We have a
family home evening in half an hour at our stake president's house with our
family!! They are the Garmendia family and are so golden! I love them SO much.
We've challenged them to get married and baptized on the 20th of september.
PRAY FOR THEM!
I love you
all and hope you are inviting your friends to church activities and reading
I'm already out of time, but I can't let this
week pass by without telling you about one of the sweetest experiences of my
I held a baby monkey's hand.
No, I'm totally kidding. I honestly had such a
special experience on Wednesday morning. But I did hold a baby monkey's
I got to do divisions in La Joya, my first
area, on Tuesday and it was such a joy! I'll tell you all about it after the
mission. But here's the highlight:
On Tuesday, we ended our day so late and
weren't able to go see the Matamoros Family. They're the family I activated
with Hermana Vasquez and we baptized their granddaughters, Ambar and Monica.
Marcelino made me the breathtaking wooden ''quadro'' of Christ looking over
I couldn't bear to leave La Joya without
seeing them, so we went early in the morning to make the visit.
The way Marcelino looked at me that morning
was unlike any expression I've ever seen. It was this mix of surprise and
wonder and Christlike love. They didn't know I was coming. In fact, they didn't
know I'd gotten moved back to the city. According to them, I was 4 and a half
hours away in Choluteca.
We talked for a couple minutes with the family
and Marcelino told me he was going to church this Sunday. (They're less active
again.) He told me that he'd already made the decision because of an experience
he'd had this week, even though his son is coming home from the U.S. this
He turned to his wife and asked, ''Should I
She smiled and nodded.
He told me that the night before I came to La
Joya, he had a very vivid, very realistic dream. In his dream, I was sitting on
a bench outside. He came and sat with me on the bench and we talked about the
gospel for a long time. He didn't tell me what I said, but he said it left him
very impacted and very inspired and very full.
And then I told him that the very last bus was
coming, and that he had to decide whether or not to get on. He realized that he
had his entire family behind him, following him.
He's choosing to get on.
As he told me this, tears streamed down my
eyes for God'stiming.I know with all my
heart that I'm supposed to be here. I know that I needed to meet these people.
I know that I needed them to meet me. God's plan is so intricate and perfect
and I am eternally grateful.
When it comes to expressing my love for these
people and my gratitude towards God for letting me serve in Honduras and for
letting me come to be with all of you and be born under the covenant, both the
English and Spanish languages feel very limited. I couldn't ever let you all
know how much this all means to me. I know that Christ is the only one who
understands 100%. I hope He got to feel my highs as well as my lows when He
atoned for me. I love Him so much.
I loved seeing pictures and hearing about all that's going on in your worlds! I love you all very, very much. And I love Honduras!
This week was very full, spiritually and literally. We have a pretty packed schedule now with the office work and doing divisions with our 13 companionships during these 6 weeks. Sometimes we worry that we're neglecting our area too much, but we're juggling the best we can! And we're seeing a lot of miracles.
''God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called.''
On Tues, our AP's asked us to come to teach all the new missionaries in the Training Meeting. We came directly from finishing divisions with a really cool area in the mountains called Santa Lucia. We ate lunch there with Pres and Hna Bowler and then went with her to the hospital to help with the three sick missionaries. She was on the fifth floor handling the missionaries with more delicate problems and Hna Alegre and I were in the lab with another Elder who got Dengue this week. He's a trainer and his ''son'' in the mission was with Anziano Flynn in the MTC! That was fun! After the hospital, we went to the pharmacy to fill prescriptions and then to the office to get lots of meds ready to send to the South. Pres and Hna dropped us off in our area at 6pm. That's kinda how things have been! A little crazy! But I'm so happy!
This week is just another testament that when one door closes, another opens. We had a lesson with Hazel, who was going to get baptized today, but backed out. The spirit was so strong and I knew she felt it, but she told us no and wouldn't commit to another date. We were feeling really sad for her but then right after, we found a GOLDEN family! It's a 27 year old named Rigoberto and his 22 year old wife, Dayli. They have a 4 month old and seriously could not be more positive! Pray for them!! And pray for Hazel! She is so ready for baptism.
This week Hna Alegre hit her year mark!! I was able to do a special breakfast and we ate cake as a zone! She is such an amazing comp. I am seriously so blessed. I love her.
I hope you're all reading your scriptures and saying your morning prayers and keeping the sabbath day holy! Be modest and honest and kind! I love you!
4.5 minutes to write this. First of all, I love each one of you. Secondly, I
just got an email from an elder who went home last week and I never want to
come home. I'm officially 14 months old and it's making me sad! I have lots of
dreams of training again and going to Danli, but with two changes left, I don't
know how possible it will be!
Hermana Alegre and I are doing great! This morning we had to wash our clothes
and we helped a 75 year old woman wash hers too. She workes washing clothes by
hand, getting paid 25 lempiras ($1.25) for every dozen. This woman is 75!! And
she can't stop working or she won't eat! I don't think we all realize how
blessed we are!
currently in downtown, downtown Teguc. It's super crowded and big and there's a
cool, huge cathedral and a Burger King that is 6 stories high!!
The work is
going well! We already had a baptism that the other sisters left us when they
closed the area! His name is Freddy and he's Mike's age. And we have 2 more
baptisms (possibly 3... pray!) next Saturday. It's pretty weird opening an
area, but I like it! lots of opportunities to talk to people and put the puzzle
already have an elder with Dengue from this past week so we got to go to the
hospital with him and stuff. And we've had another girl in the ER and lots of
called about diarrhea, fevers, and pains in general. But I haven't been stressed
out yet, so that's a miracle!
I'm in the
office Mon, Wed, and Fri and we do divisions with the sisters from the city on
Tues and Thurs. It's a tight schedule and there's lots to do so now we only get
Pday in the morning until lunchtime! But it doesn't phase me. I'm really happy
here! I love my mission!
It's such a
blessing to work so closely with President and Hermana Bowler. They are such
consecrated people and I love them so sincerely. We are so blessed to have
we got to help a Brazilian woman from the ward, Elza Jack, make Brazilian
treats for her son's birthday! They're called Begios (spelling?) It means
little kisses in Portugese. I'm totally making them for all the birthdays in
the flamilia for the rest of my life! She's the wife of an American embassador.
There are like 5 gringo embassador families in my ward!
I love you
all! Do me a favor and pray for Stephany, Gertrudis, Hazel, Juan, Suyapa,
Sarai, and Selina!
I forgot to
tell you some things last week: President Bowler authorized playing soccer and
basketball on Pdays and drinking coca cola! So basically this is the happiest
mission in the world right now. Everyone's going crazy with the coke. And my
comp got lice! But I'm pretty sure I'm clean!
even know where to start...
in the drastic cambio de clima we're experiencing? Or better yet, about my
adorable new compañera!! I am with the new STL, Hermana Alegre, from Lima,
Peru. I love Peru! I love her! This girl is a Saint. And she is unbelievably
beautiful! We were both in the same zone in the South, so we're both IN HEAVEN
here in Teguc. Today the high is about 81 degrees and the low is 64. That's
more than 15 degrees cooler than it is in Choluteca right now! Yesterday it was
sprinkling but the sun was out and a huge rainbow stretched across the entire
sky. It wasn't even of this Earth. It was heavenly. But anyway, Hermana Alegre
and I are getting along really well and trying to learn about our new responsibilities
I'm writing on a Saturday is because Hermana Bowler changed our Pday because
we'll be in the office all day on Mondays. All the office elders' Pdays are on
Saturday as well because Mondays get so crazy.
two days, we've been in the office from around 9am-4:30pm with Hermana Bowler
and our nurse, Hermana Smart, learning everything from what all the meds are
for to insurance guarantees to billing to protocol to emergency scenarios. We
saw some gnarly pictures of medical conditions from past missionaries here. My
favorites were definitely ''jungle rot'' on a foot and a bump behind an elder's
ear that turned out to be filled with tons of larva!! If you get curious you
can google that. And poor Hermana Alegre was sitting there for 7 hours, trying
to take notes of all this info in English! She understands a lot of English and
speaks pretty well, but medical terminology? Insurance forms? She is such a
champ! When I ask her if she's overwhelmed, she just says she likes the challenge.
I know that this experience will be preparing us for our futures--these skills
will serve us in our future studies, careers, and homes. I am really grateful.
I feel God's love and His trust so
strongly right now. It is very humbling.
I love Hermana
Bowler. She's been taking us out to lunch this week in our breaks from all this
training from the nurse (This is all new for Hna. Bowler, too) and she is just
adorable! I was walking with her and asked what makes her really mad. I asked
if she ever gets mad. She laughed and said, ''Oh yeah. I yelled at my son one
time!'' ''One time?'' I asked, and she answered, ''Well, I also yelled once at
my other son.'' This woman can count all the times she's yelled at her family
on one hand. I've yelled at you guys like 6.02x10^23 times! (Avogradro's number.) Can
you all forgive me?
I'm with Hermana Bowler I just smile because of all her obervations of
Honduras. It brings me back to my first days here. Everything is pretty
different. And I love it!
we're opening an area called el 21 de Octubre and it could not be more
different than Choluteca! It's so mountainous and steep! There are so many
stairs. You know when Smeegle takes Frodo and Sam up those really scary
mountain stairs? That's exactly what my area looks like! But it's really
beautiful and straight up in the city. There are tons of cars that whip around
corners and big buildings closeby and lots of people packed into small spaces!
Right now there's a drought, so sometimes we don't have water in the apartment
and the electricity usually goes out daily because the main power source comes
from a reservoir that's now dry. Let's start rain-dancing! It's so fresco here.
It feels delicious. My heat rash is almost completely gone!
out of time! Tell my baby brother Jacob that I love him and hope he likes his
today was a perfect day. We went to the beach (40 min away) with the zone and
spent the morning playing sand soccer and laying in hammocks and eating pescado
con chismol y tajaditas (fried fish and pico de gallo with fried green banana
chips and limes.) ¡QUE RICO! I LOVE the beach! What a great way to spend my
last Pday in the South!
I just got
news that I will be having changes (transfers?) on Wednesday, but I'll tell you
about that in a minute.
we went to Consejo and it was wonderful, as always! The night before, we
(hermana Carias and I) were able to visit La Joya, my first area! And exaclty
one year ago, Hermana Carias received me as a brand new missionary there! It
was so fun to surprise the members with our visits! They were all shocked with
the progress I've made in a year. We got to eat hot dogs with my old mission
leader again! He used to feed us hot dogs every friday night.
nights ago, my hammock was stolen! We had it tied out on the balcony for a
couple weeks. We thought because we live on the second floor and the apartments
have a gate that we'd be fine... But today I bought another one! Life is not as
beautiful without a Honduran hammock!! (Almost everyone here has one in the
front room--or only room--of their house!)
here's the big news. After 7 months in zone Porvenir in the South, I'm getting
moved! My AP just called and told me early that I will be having unusual
changes. From what President had told me, I thought I'd be training a new
misionera but it turns out that I'm not. But their closing my area (!!!) and
having 2 new STL's open it. And I will be opening the STL area (!!!) in Teguc!
And here's the craziest part. drumroll please...
I'm the new
mission nurse!!! ¿¿¿What??? Our mission nurse, Hermana Smart, goes home to
Hurrican, Utah in a week and they're not sending us a new one immediately. So
now I will be working in the mission office for 2 mornings of the week with all
the nurse's responsibilites. But my primary responsibility will apparently
still be as an STL, looking after the girls in Teguc. Me, with basically no
medical training!!!! I am NOT a nurse!!!! I'll be working a lot with Sister
Bowler, so I'm excited about that. I still don't know who my new comp will be,
but she'll be the new STL. So I'll be training her as an STL and opening an
area and becoming the nurse of the 250ish frequently sick missionaries in
Tegucigalpa. PRAY FOR ME!!!!
I was NOT expecting
this at all. It's going to be so hard to leave Graneros. I absolutely love it
here! The members are incredible and I wish I could've spent more time getting
to know them. Pero irè y harè.
is full of changes. Life is, too. I'm really grateful to feel God's hand so
presently in my life and for the strength He gives all of us to not only handle
our challenges, but to rise above them. I love Him.
I love all
of you. I'll be hitting my 14 month mark soon and it's STRESSING ME OUT! Where the
heck is the time going?? I didn't feel the month of July at all. And now
Hermana Carias is finishing her mission (tomorrow is her last day) and I'm
realizing how much I need to take advantage of the time I have left! I really,
really love the mission! And I really love each one of you!
morning, I washed about 50 articles of clothing by hand, including my sheets
and towel. I'm exhausted. The little Honduran women that do this every day are
made of hierro (iron.) Then we made a mango-maracuya-lime smoothie for
breakfast and went to get our eyebrows waxed at our neighbors house haha
was excellent. I studied Elder Holland's talk from this past conference about
the cost and the blessings of discipleship and finished Matthew and John in the
new testment. Elder Holland talks about how people want a cushy, comfortable
God, not a demanding one. And ironically enough, so many people paint Christ as
one! Christ, who taught us that if our eye offends us, we must pluck it out and
cast it in the fire and that anyone who even looks upon a woman to lust after her has already sinned in his
heart! Christ commands us to leave our nets and take up our cross.
23 For we labor diligently to write, to
persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be
reconciled to God; for weknow
that it is by grace that we are saved, afterallwecando.
·I love what Brad Wilcox says
about this scripture!
oWe had a really special lesson yesterday with a man we found
named Eric. We ran into 3 really rebelious teens from the ward in the street
and they surprised us by saying that they wanted to come to our next lesson to
teach with us. Turns out that Eric talked about how he was in a gang and did
drugs and stuff and it was exactly what these kids needed to hear. They were
able to share their testimonies and this man, Eric, accepted the baptismal
challenge for the 16 of August. Tender mercies.
oHey, I forgot to tell you guys this, but I had interviews
with the President a couple weeks ago. In the middle of our conversation, he
told me, ''I know this is going to surprise you, but I want to give you a
promotion... I want you to be a trainer.'' I sat there for a couple minutes
thinking, ''Doesn't he know I'm already a training leader? There isn't a
promotion available!'' And then it hit me: he wants me to train a new missionary
again. I started to cry!! Because my training experience was the Gethsemane of
my mission--really hard. But he assured me that he's choosing the strongest
missionaries to receive the new ones and that this is a huge compliment. I love
my President. So I don't know what will happen next wednesday in transfers.
I'll let you know!
oPlease pray for Eric, Julissa, Eduardo Rivera, Eduardo
Romero, Onida, Karen, Sofia, Angela, Melba, Paola, all the people of
oI love you all!
P.s. we found a turtle in the road
and brought it in as a pet.
remembered playing BANG with Jord and the fam! ''There's a new sheriff in
town!'' I love you all!
So the 3
amigas are now a normal companionship--just me and Hermana Carìas! On Monday,
we received a special invitation from President to be at Hermana Flores' last
dinner in his house (really uncommon. it's usually strictly for missionaries
headed for home.) It was so special! Hermana Bowler made breakfast for
dinner--german pancakes and quieche--and then we got to hear their consejos
(counsels) for life at home. We dropped her off at the airport the next day. I
got to read her letter just barely and hear about all her first impressions! It
all just makes me grateful for the time I have left in the mission. Taking off
my nametag will take out my heart.
I got to go
to the temple yet again with my zone this week!! I've been learning so much
about our covenants. It's amazing how you can learn somthing new with each
visit. I am beginning to understand why the pioneers were willing to leave
everything behind in England and die in attempts to be able to make temple
divisions a couple days ago and was able to visit by old area!! It was such a JOY.
None of my converts knew I was coming so it was an extra special surprise!
Melissa cried when she saw me. I got to be there for the weekly Noche de
Hermanamiento they do in my old ward and I was filled when I
watched my convert, Henry, direct the meeting and another, Edinson, give the
opening prayer. Henry excitedly pulled out a copy of Preach my Gospel and
Adapting to Missionary life to show me!! He carries them around everywhere!
He's preparing to leave on his mission in March. Joy! Joy! Joy!
our first counselor in the ward talked about Abinidi and how he died before
knowing that Alma was converted. But Alma went on to establish Christ's church
among the people and baptize thousands! I'm so grateful that I get to see the
fruits of my labors! I know that missionary work has such a ripple effect and
that every effort we make truly MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
As I was
walking in my area, a truck full of kids from my old ward in San Luis passed by
and I've never felt more famous in my life! I was such a celebrity as a chorus
of high-pitched ''FLEEN, FLEEN, FLEEN!!!!!!!!'' filled the whole street.
I couldn't love these people more. I can't believe how blessed I am.
the scriptures. I love the bible. I love the book of mormon. I love D&C. I
love the Pearl of Great Price. ''And I love you, random citizen!'' --Megamind
was amazing. Every week is amazing. I am in so love with my mission. I don't
like to think about who I'd be if I hadn't come out here.
we organized an all girls Pday, which was really special and fun! I love all
the hermanas that we look after!
we went to the temple with the ward!
Wednesday, we were able to go to San Lorenzo (45 min away) to celebrate Hermana
Molina's birthday in the morning! We had a surprise lunch and bought her a
cake! We also had some beautiful lessons.
Thursday, Hermana Flores had her last District Meeting and we all ate at
Wendy's. We also found a couple new families with potential!
we had a noche cultural (cultural night) with traditional dances and skits and
everything! I LOVE my ward. They are hilarious and amazing people.
Saturday, we surpised Hermana Flores with a zone surprise party! We told her we
were going to clean the capilla for our baptisms and the whole zone was waiting
with a cake and balloons and everything! And then they all smashed a dozen eggs
on her head and showered her with flour!! It's the Honduras tradition. And I'm not
even going home and my ZL smashed an egg on my head too. Me llenò con ira. That
night, we had our baptisms!
when I told you about the dad and his daughter who approached us after we'd
finished our double fast and he told us that he'd read a ton of the triple and
already had a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith? His name is Aracil
Rodriguez and he got baptized with his adorable daughter, Kirsten!! He is the
biggest miracle of my mission.
also got baptized, which is nothing short of a miracle! She had so many doubts
and problems with the church. But we were able to help her so much and I want
to tell you about some really cool experiences she had. Many missionaries had
visited her before, but one day we decided to give her a try and meet her. When
I got there, the first thing she told me was that she'd dreamt a couple weeks
back that a gringa missionary had come to her house to braid her hair and take
her to the church. Before her baptism, I braided her hair and reminded her of
her dream. (It's a really good thing I know how to braid!)
the morning of her baptism, she asked God that if she was supposed to get
baptized, He'd send her a sign. She asked Him to make it rain. There was not a
cloud in the sky all day until less than an hour before the service when it
mysteriously poured out of nowhere exactly over her house and the church. She
told God that she couldn't walk her kids to the church if it was pouring, so
she asked Him to stop the water if she was really supposed to be baptized. It
stopped within 5 minutes. She was astonished. So were we. Our old bishop grows
corn and said he was taking Celinda with him to water his crop.
It was the
most special and spiritual baptism that I've ever had. I am so grateful.
I wish I could
express all the miracles that I'm seeing here. They are so real and God is so
Hermana Carias and I baked Hermana Flores a goodbye cake (she goes home today.
We're dropping her off in Teguc in 20 minutes.) and we had a mug made with our
picture on it! Here's a poem our friend wrote to present her the mug jajaja
como ya te
vas para tu casa,
regalar esta taza,
algun dìa aluien no te abraza,
encontrar amor en esta taza.
I love you
guys. I love life. I hope you're all remembering what's important and doing all
we need to in order to qualify for God's blessings and spirit.
start with my new mission presidents, President and Hermana Bowler
(pronounced boler, not like irritable bowel.) We had Consejo this past
week so we went up to Teguc and slept over with them in President's
house! When our taxi pulled up, Hermana Bowler was waiting outside for
us and greeted us with big hugs saying, ''My daughters, my daughters!''
She is adorable. She actually reminds me a lot of mom! (Hair, voice,
etc.) She hardly speaks a word of Spanish and is experiencing some
serious culture shock. She kept apologizing because the downstairs
bathroom didn't have the little bar to put the toilet paper on. I
thought it was hilarious! She'll die when she starts using public
restrooms here. President Bowler is a Weasley (red head) and he served
in Argentina like Dad! His Spanish sounds a lot like Dad's Spanish, so
we'll pray for the gift of tongues. They are cattle ranchers from
Nevada, but Hermana grew up in Salt Lake. They are so humble and so
willing to serve. Their MTC experience lasted 5 days and in that short
time, they were able to hear from all 15 members of the quorum of the 12
apostles and the prophet's presidency. They brought the most pure and
beautiful and powerful spirit with them.
In Consejo, I translated for Hermana Bowler!! It was
the first message we heard from her and it touched my heart and made me
cry. She told us about their Sacrament meeting in the MTC with the
other 129 couples. They announced that there would only be one speaker
after the sacrament... President Thomas S. Monson. A few new Elders
preparing to go out into the field had the privilege of blessing and
passing the sacrament. Hermana Bowler said that she realized that the
prophet wasn't only there to fill the future Mission Presidents, but
also to send his special spirit with them for all of us. I know it's
true. I felt such a powerful testimony of our living prophet, seer, and
revelator. She shared 3 Nephi 18:3-4 and talked about how the Nephites
were filled with the sacrament. She asked us what we need to do to fill our lives. I love her.
President Bowler is so great. They have 3 boys and one adopted son
with some problems and have had many foster children, including new
borns. Basically, they're angels. I miss President Hernandez, but I
could not be more blessed to have this new leadership!
I've been learning a lot lately. A lot about God's
laws and about His plan. For example, the star that appeared when Jesus
was born didn't just magically appear out of nowhere. From the
foundation of the world, God organized it all so that a certain
star would shine brighter than ever before on that special night.
Everything is perfectly orchestrated.
When I learn here, I feel like Lehi in his dream when he partakes
of the fruit (the love of God) and immediately searches out his family
to share it with them. I wish you could all be here, learning and loving
and experiencing with me. It is so rich and refining.
Here is a poem that speaks to my soul. Aly Carter sent it to me.
Disturb us, Lord, when We are too pleased with ourselves, When our dreams have come true Because we dreamed too little, When we arrived safely Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess We have lost our thirst For the waters of life; Having fallen in love with life, We have ceased to dream of eternity And in our efforts to build a new earth, We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, To venture on wilder seas Where storms will show Your mastery; Where losing sight of land, We shall find the stars.
We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes; And to push back the future In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain, Who is Jesus Christ.
Sir Francis Drake 1577
could never thank you all enough for all that you've taught me and for
all the ways you've served me. Just trust me when I say that every
sacrifice and every extra mile we go to obey God's commandments and
progress spiritually is worth it.
So far we haven't had a single baptism this month. If we don't
baptize this Saturday, then it will be the first time in over 7 months
without a baptism. I'm in an area with a lot of potential and support
from the members, so we have all the resources to bring people into
God's fold. We have 4 possibilities for this Saturday, but none of them
is certain. Please pray for me and my area! Pray for Celinda, Isabel,
Jose, Dorian, Kirsten, Aracil, Eduardo, Jorge and Julissa! Even though
at times it makes me ask myself ''What am I doing wrong?'' I'm grateful
that the work has been a little harder lately because it makes me more
humble and is teaching me to keep the ''animo'' even when we don't see
the results we're hoping for!
Here are some recent experiences that I don't want to forget:
I prepared to offer the closing prayer during a lesson, I asked if
there was anything special Celinda wanted me to ask God for. She
answered, ''Pray for rain.'' because she didn't have water to bathe
herself or to pour in her toilet.
Our friend, Alba, was crying outside her house
yesterday. Her husband had said he was going to go sell their TV to buy
food for their family. He ended up selling the TV and his bike, which is
the bike he uses to go sell vegetables to provide for the family--his
only source of income, and used all the money to drink. His children went hungry. He's now abandoning them and going to live in San Pedro Sula.
We are so blessed. I wish I could
tell you all that I've seen and experienced here. I promise you that
your problems are small in comparison to what the people suffer here.
Here's a picture of what it looks like outside right now.
The power just went out after a HUGE boom of thunder but it came back
within 5 minutes. I'm grateful that gmail automatically saves drafts.
here's a picture of a live bat outside my apartment!
I love you
all very, very much. More than I could ever tell. And I want to send a very
special shoutout to my Pop for Father's Day! I love you, Dad!
some of the highlights of my week:
divisions continue, and I love them! God is helping me to be both humble and a
more confident leader. I feel His merciful hand in my life.
we had our last Zone Conference with Pres! It's a big meeting with all the
zones of the south. Hermana Flores and I gave a 20 min presentation that
President and Hermana Hernandez loved! It went really smoothly and I felt so
grateful because I was nervous! I also sang at the conference with a sister
named Hermana Blazzard. She was a Brighton Beehive Camp counselor so we sang a
song called ''I Heard Him Come,'' from the camp songbook! The whole thing was
inspiring and uplifting and I felt so happy afterward! Here's the link to our
presentation if you want to check it out.
our first lesson with Hermana Aracil, the man I told you about last week that
has studied so much of Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price and
the BOM. It was such an incredible lesson. When we arrived, he had his
scriptures ready on the table and gave his precious 12 year old daughter a clip
board to take notes for him! He is so pilas! Teaching him is incredible. There
are no limits. We can use any scripture or modern day revelation, because he
comprehends and accepts all of them. We went in with plans to teach lesson 1, The
Restoration, but we ended up teaching The Plan of Salvation instead. We talked
about the war in heaven and about Adam and Eve and we talked about God's
expectations and about the Spirit World and temple ordances. We were there for
more than 2 hours. It was so amazing and I've NEVER felt the spirit so strong
in a lesson because I've never been able to share so much light and knowledge
with an investigator. This man is like a message from God saying, ''Sarah, I
trust you with this child of mine, your brother. I've prepared him for you and
now I just want you to teach him the truth.'' It is a remarkable feeling.
we've felt a lot of rejection and have had to drop some investigators, but we
feel so much strength and such a strong confirmation each day that this is
God's church and His work and He's moving it along through His clumsy, young
servants. My testimony is undeniable. I know that all of this is true. There's
not a single doubt about it.
Here is a
picture of my current district and some of my hermanas!
hearing about all the exciting changes in the family! Congrats to Jake for
graduating and getting ordained an Elder! I hope you're all enjoying your summer
vacation and making good choices.
was incredible. On wednesday, I had my first ''consejo,'' or monthly meeting
with President and Hermana Hernandez, the AP's, ZL's, and STL'S. We rode the 4
hour bus up to Teguc on Tuesday and slept over with Hna. Snelson and Hna.
Carias, my trainer! (Sidenote: of the 7 other STL's, I've been comps with 4
already! Not including Snelson, who was in my zone for my first 10 months!) The
meeting was so great. We talked about all the mission dats and goals and received
instruction from the AP's and President and his wife. It was their very last
Consejo, so it was extra special. We ate lunch there in the church and then
President surprised us with a trip to the temple!!
up an entire session! But first I got to do initiatory with Hermana Flores for
the first time in the mission! The session was so, so special, but the most
special was at the end. When I entered the celestial room, President and
Hermana were there waiting for me. I hugged Hermana and then looked at
President as he smiled and said, ''This is an exception,'' and held out his
arms for a hug. Needless to say, I started crying and kept crying as I sat and
watched all the missionaries enter one by one and embrace President. As I sat
there, I pulled out my Patriarchal Blessing and found a line that jumped out at
me: ''You will feel that Heavenly Father is close and will marvel at His love and goodness and be ever-grateful for the
gospel.'' I do marvel. He is so good to me.
we all ate together at Pizza Hut, where someone knocked over their big glass of
horchata all over me and my backpack and then I accidentally dumped an entire
bottle of chile flakes on my pizza. It was hilarious! I was sitting right next
to President and I think he was second thinking His decision.
Hermana Flores and I decided that we needed to do a double fast to see miracles
in our area. So we fasted 24 hours and then ate lunch and then immediately
started another 24 hour fast. And we are seriously seeing the results!! Por
ejemplo, last night we were walking to our dinner appointment and passed a man
and his 12 year old daughter standing on the sidewalk, looking up at the moon.
I just said ''buenas noches,'' as we passed and he started talking to us about
how Joseph Smith saw a pillar of light and about how the moon reminds him of
the first vision. He excitedly started talking to us about the Book of Mormon
and church history and the Pearl of Great Price and Doctrine and Covenants. He
said that he works with some Mormons and noticed that even the way they talk is
different from the rest. So he asked for a Book of Mormon and someone gave him
a triple. He has read SO MUCH! And kept saying that what calls his attention is
that the invitation is to read and then to pray directly to God to ask if it's
true! He kept saying ''I feel restless. I just have to keep reading!'' This man
is hungry to hear God's word (amos 8:12.) He has never even talked to
missionaries before! And he lives in our area! We're going to visit him on Wednesday.
He seriously talked for 20 minutes straight, practically bearing his testimony
on Joseph Smith and all the holy scriptures!! We were stunned. Completely
shocked. Pray for him!
I did more
divisions this week with a 28 year old sister who's a lawyer from Guatemala who
got baptized 2 years ago! It was awesome. On our way back, our bus broke down
and we got stranded in the middle of nowhere! But a really nice Evangelist guy
picked us up and took us into town. God looks out for us.
thing! When we slept in Teguc on Tuesday, we ate dinner with a recent convert
of Hermana Flores and he bought Hna. Snelson and me a delicious cake for our
one year anniversary!! It was adorable because I didn't even eat cake for my
birthday and this complete stranger shared his with me for hitting the year
I love the
mission. Seriously love it. It's the best decision I've ever made in my whole
life. Every challenge is so worth it. Every day is such a blessing.
Flores and I bought fabric in the market and paid a lady in our ward 100 lemps
($5) to make us the dresses we wore to the temple! They're cool, huh?