Sunday, June 29, 2014

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:

As 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!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

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! 

Here are some of the highlights of my week:

The 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. 

This Thursday, 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. 

We taught 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. 

This week 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.


Hermana Flynn

Here is a picture of my current district and some of my hermanas! 

I love 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.
This week 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!! 
We filled 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. 
Afterward, 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. 
Then 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. 
Oh, another 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 mark! 
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. 


Hermana Flynn

P.s. Hna. 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? 

This week flew by. I still LOVE my area and my companion. We live in a beautiful apartment building on the second floor right next to the other two misioneras that we share an area with: Hna. Blazzard, from Morgan, Utah and Hna. Morales, from northern Nicaragua. They are so great! This morning, we made a french toast and banana oatmeal smoothie breakfast together and ate it in my apartment. (I'll attach a picture.) 
I love how the Mormon ''Mundo'' is so small! I've met people here that served their missions with Nelson Johansen, Connor Johnson, and Sam Neff! It's so fun to hear about all their success (all three of those guys were AP's) and experiences. I love being a member of la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dìas. It's such a joy! 
We had a baptism this past Saturday and the Primary Presidency went over the top! We baptized Brithany, a DARLING 10 year old whose mom and brother are already new members. The sisters from Graneros A (We're Graneros B) also baptized two little girls. We were also helping a less active family baptize their 8 year old, but she cried and wouldn't do it because she was afraid of the water.. Here's a picture of the three dressed in white. (Brithany's the one in the middle.) A pre-mission teen did the ordinance, which was a mistake because he really struggled and had to repeat the baptism of the littlest girl 6 times. She was crying and the other missionaries had to convince her to stay in the font until he did it right! Oh my goodness, it was interesting. But what's done is done and the important thing is that they're baptized! We'll just trust that the Spirit will help everyone forget the painful attempts. 
Good news! Hna Flores and I are going to the temple tomorrow with our ward! We get to go watch a family from our area get sealed!!! There's a girl named Yadira, who served in our zone as a mini missionary for 6 weeks because Hna. Blazzard didn't have a comp. Her mom and siblings had been praying for her formarly alcoholic father to change and come back to church for years, and now they've been preparing for the temple and will be sealed tomorrow! She's so great! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be there in the sealing! 
Now for the sad part of this email. As you probably know, an elder from the mission passed away this week. Elder Martinez from El Savlador. On Thursday, they missed their mini bus to go to Distric Meeting, and decided to catch a ride because it was far away. Months ago, President had strictly banned riding in the bed of trucks, which is a difficult rule in many areas because of lack of public transportation and long distances. But they got into the bed of a truck with some other people and the truck got into an accident. Four passengers died on impact and the two elders survived and were taken to a clinic, where Elder Martinez died and Elder Lewis survived. The nurse tells me that Elder Lewis miraculously suffered the accident with no brain or spinal damage. She says his injury is pretty much all in the face. He lost all his front teeth and broke his cheek bone and I think he dislocated his jaw. They sent him to the U.S. 2 days ago. He had 5 months in the mission and wasn't in the South so I didn't know him. I'd only seen Elder Martinez once I think. He had 9 months. He was 27 years old and the only member in his family. Hna. Flores knew him and says that because he's a little older, he had to jump through a lot of hoops to come out in the mission. She says he was an excellent, consecrated missionary and served as branch president in one of his areas. The nurse tells me that his parents have also lost 2 of his sisters. Pray for his family. They don't understand that he's still serving as a missionary, only now in the Spirit World. 
It breaks my heart that this happened to President Hernandez in the last month of his mission. Especially because he's already instructed us not to ride in truck beds. And it's an elder from his own country. That poor man is going through Gethsemene right now. It breaks my heart. Pray for him. 
I am so grateful for God's perfect plan and for temples here to bind things in heaven. I love, love, love God and His gospel of joy! I know with all my heart that everything bears record of Him and that we have everything we need right now in this restored church. I love being a missionary. I can't wait for Jake to get out there and serve! And Michael and Jenny and Elizapo! What a great time to be on Earth! 
Hope, Hope Hope! 

Flynn Family Forever, 

Hermana Flynn

Here's a picture I took during a thunder storm one night this week. It's so cool because I took it right as lightning struck, so it looks like midday when it was totally black at 10pm. 

This week was super genial (great.) Some fun things happened! A bird pooped on my head. And I found cat-sized paw prints on my bed a couple nights ago...? Also, 

I GOT TRANSFERRED!! And guess where to? To a place 5 minutes from my area!
Yes, I am still in the South and I'm so happy! I'm in the same Stake, in the same zone, in the same district. The reason for the transfer is that I got made a Sister Training Leader. So now I'm in the STL area and I absolutely love it. I am with Hermana Flores, a beautiful 24 year old from El Salvador that has about 5 weeks left in her mission! So I'm going to kill her, which is the mission way of saying that I'm her last companion! She is going to train me as an ''Hermana AP'' and then go home. I already love her so much. She is a wonderful missionary. And she is also the niece of President and Hermana Hernandez, who are also going home in 5 weeks! Crazy! So I'll welcome in a Greenie Gringo President next transfer. Lots of excited changes in the mission! 
This transfer has been an enormous blessing in my life. I was able to feel God's love so strongly through all of it. And this new calling is a little bit intimidating, but I'm going to repent more frequently and place myself in God's hands to shape me and stretch me and ''make weak things become strong.'' 

''The Lord doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called.''

My new area is called Graneros and we go to church in the Stake Center, which has air conditioning in the chapel (!!!) and the nice benches and we only live 4 blocks away. It's so great to be so closeby because I get to see my ''hija'', Hermana Cortes, at least twice a week and all the members and my converts from San Luis in the stake activities! This week was the ''Week of the Family'' so I got to see them a lot! It's the biggest tender mercy from the Lord. 
I love Graneros. The members are honestly incredible. This is a zion society. They see us in the street and ask when they can make visits with us and what they can do to help with the work. They help bring our investigators to church and walk with us all day. I've already met incredible people and I'm working with lots of families, which should be our focus as missionaries! 
I'm a little nervous because I'm going to have to recieve and likely train a new STL next transfer and because I'm going to start divisions soon. The STL's do divisions with all the hermanas in their area (My area is the south, in Choluteca) to see how they are and to help them with tough investigators. I definitely feel very average, so it's a huge compliment that President trusts me to do this. Pray for me. 
So we had a Stake Cultural Night on Saturday that was so fun! The Young Women danced with the Young Men in their big traditional dresses and different wards did skits and the whole thing was beautiful! 
Well, that's all I have time for, but I hope you all know that Heavenly Father is giving me the most beautiful experiences here in Honduras. I don't believe that there is a missionary more blessed than I am. I love Him. And I love you all. 

Flynn Family Forever, 

Hermana Flynn

P.S. Last week I was in one of my ''retentions'' with my recent convert, Javier, who had 4 strokes and lost his ability to talk well and walk well. We had just finished the lesson and were enjoying the spirit after our closing prayer when he looks over at my companion, Hermana Cortes, and out of nowhere says ''You have a mustache.'' I was dying. 

P.P.S. In my last lesson with my new convert, Edinson, he gave me a little jar of luciernagas (fireflies) because he knows how much I love them. Here's a picture of them in the light because my camera didn't do well with taking a picture of them shining in the dark. But they glowed in my little room and it made me so happy. 

You don't know how much talking to you guys meant to me yesterday! It was such a joy. I really love you all. 
We have a weekly ward FHE on Fridays for the obra misional and this week's message was given by Jairo, 2nd counselor of the Bishopric. We watched a Mormon Message and he talked about love. He talked about how we don't tell people we love them as often as we should. He was asking individuals when was the last time they told their moms they loved her and they couldn't even remember. But then in front of everyone he said, ''I bet Hermana Flynn says it every day because in her family they always yell 'Flynn Family for all eternity!''' I'd completely forgotten that I'd told him about our ''Flynn Family Forever'' like 2 months ago! It made me laugh. 
Well, I'll tell you a bit about our birthday and our baptisms! On the morning of May 10th, I woke up at like 5-something a.m. to sing La Mañanitas to my comp and then went back to bed (because I'd gone to bed at 1am decorating and getting her present ready.) Then I awoke to her singing me the mañanitas with paper confetti raining on me! Later that day I mentioned singing her the mañanitas and she didn't believe that I did it because she didn't remember it at all!! It was hilarious! But I made banana pancakes in the morning and added honduran m&m's to them. And we ate them with peanut butter!! Then we went and did a mini service project in a member's house, coloring mother's day cards for the primary to give away. There, we found a wild turtle that had wandered into the house (I'll send you a picture.) And the hermanas that share our area surprised us with peanut butter as our birthday present! We got fed lunch there and then went to eat yet another lunch with Hermana Magdalena. We pretty much just got things ready for the baptisms from there on out and it went so smoothly, which was the Lord's blessing to us. Afterwards, we went to straighten a less active mom's hair for mother's day while her kids climbed all over me! We got home late and tired, but happy!! I learned that you don't need cake or anything special to have an awesome birthday! 
One of the people we baptized is 21 years old and named Edinson (almost like Thomas Edison) and I love teaching him because we sit under his orange and mango trees, outside his house made of mud and branches as the sun sets and the fireflies come out. I'd never seen real life fireflies before I came and they're gorgeous! Honduras is heavenly. 
If I go in this transfer, I'll miss the South. Even though it's so hot and I have countless bug bites, I'll miss this place. I really love it here. 
Breaking news: I think my comp is in the first stages of Chicken Pox! Ahhhhh no. Please pray for her because it's so un-fun to be around her when she's sick! Poor girl. 
Well, I hope you're all succeeding in all that you're involved in. And I hope you're all succeeding in the Lord's eyes (with the things that matter most.) 
I love you more than I could ever tell. I pray for you always. You are my life. 


Hermana Flynn

P.S. There's a horrible tradition to break raw eggs on people's heads on their birthdays. So in our district meeting, our district got us good. We reiked!!!! 

First off, thank you so much for the birthday package! I'm saving the letters until my actual birthday, but I love all the stuff you sent me! I especially love the darling notebook and I've already started writing the tender mercies I see each day here in Honduras. Thank you! 
I cannot wait to see you all on Sunday at 5pm! My recent convert, Carolina, is lending us her laptop so pray that the connection will be good! 
Life is wonderful here. I had a really hard day with my companion and we were able to humble ourselves and fix things before going to the temple the next day. I've had almost all Latin comps and I admit that it's not always easy to work with them. Their culture is much more dramatic, I've found, which can make life a little bit more difficult. But I'm grateful for these companion trials because I know they're preparing me to be a more patient and kind wife and mother. 
The temple was such a blessing. Henry, my convert from March, paid his ticket before anyone else and went to do baptisms. He is so pilas! He's the one sitting by us in the picture. He's preparing for his mission next year. And we also brought Maria Celeste, the girl we're baptizing this Saturday. I attached a picture of us on the busride home. She loves me... I'm so normal...
I was able to do a session with my companion and sit by the dear friend who cooks us lunch every day and washes our clothes by hand. Her name is Hermana Magdalena (like Magdeline) and I love her SO much. She is my mom here. She's about 4'11 and weighs less than 100 pounds. We pay her $25 every 15 days to feed us each lunch (which is the main meal of the day) and to wash our clothes once a week. So we spend lots of time in her house and she is one of the most special women of my mission. 
Anyway, we woke up at 2am to go to the temple as a ward on a yellow school bus. It's about a 4 hour drive. I'm so touched by the sacrifices of the members here. They had to pay 100 lemps each ($5), which is a sacrifice for them!! We got home around 8 pm and were exhausted, but so spiritually enriched. I LOVE THE TEGUC TEMPLE! I have such a testimony of the holy temple. 
I love God. Our president asked us to study the atonement this month and gave us lots of homework. I am loving it! This week I have been softened and shaped by the Lord. I'm also trying to meet my high goal of finishing the BOM before next Wednesday...I'm in Alma 15... We'll see how that goes! I just love the scriptures. I really love Jesus Christ. 
Here's your family home evening homework: each one of you take the quiz at the end of chapter 6 in Preach my Gospel about the attributes of Jesus Christ!
I love Honduras. The winter is already starting here, meaning there are now insane thunder storms. Lightning and thunder like I've never experienced before. It's startling. 
Here are a couple things I haven't told you guys:
We take a 45 min bus in order to go to the stake center that's 10 min away in taxi in order to save 8 lemps each way ($0.40). If not, we run out of money. 
We can't flush paper in central america. No one flushes paper. There are always garbage cans by the toilets to throw your paper away. 
When the people have a toothache, they go to the public hospital to get their teeth pulled for 20 lempiras ($1)... without anesthetic. I love all the toothless smiles! They warm my heart. 
The men in the street are ridiculously disrespectful about women. And incredibly verbal. A man polishing shoes just barely yelled after me, ''I'll marry you this instant! I'm loving your little skirt!'' Haha my little skirt that hits me mid-calf! These men are crazy. 

Well, that's all for now, but I'll see you soon! I'll send more pics of the wedding. 

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!! You are the BEST mom I've ever had, and I mean that. haha
Seriously though, I've never been more grateful to you than I am right now. I love you dearly. 

Hermana Flynn

So, it's happened! Mauricio and Melissa were married and baptized in the church on Saturday! And the wedding was stressful, but very beautiful and successful. God has blessed us more than I can tell! They are so grateful and happy to be members and will be going to the temple to do baptisms this Thursday! And guess what? We're going with them! We're going to do a session while they're in the font! I am seriously so excited. 
The temple is such a treat for me! We're going to leave at 3:15am and we're also going with Henry, the teenager we baptized in March, and a 12 year old investigator named Maria Celeste, who's on date for May 10th! I love to see the sacrifices of the members here. They have to pay 100 lempiras for the bus ($5) and pay for breakfast and lunch there and it's a significant sacrifice for them. I cannot express how grateful I am to have been born in the United States into the covenant. I love my country and I love this gospel. 
Henry and a lot of other youth went to Teguc this week to go see a gringo dentist who came to do their mission appointments for free and take out their wisdom teeth. It's so interesting to be on the recieving ends of these services here in Honduras! I was so grateful for the dentist who gave my comp a free root cannal. If I go into medicine, I want to come back to do humanitarian work. These people need so much help! This is such a poor country! 
I always have to comment (complain) on the weather here. This week it hit 112 degrees and I have heat rash all over my body to prove it! Ahhhh. I don't understand how people can live here! But despite it all, I'm happy! 
Missions are so great. So hard. I think only RM's can understand what I'm talking about. But only RM's can understand the blessings and joy that comes from this work. This is a gospel of JOY! I love teaching it. I love feeling God's patience with me as I struggle to worthily represent Him. I love His mercy. I love His goodness. 
And I love all of you! 

Have a great week and send me lots of pictures! I'll see you in a couple weeks!
Hermana Flynn

First off, loved the Easter pictures!! I feel a little ripped off because they don't celebrate it here. They just eat fish soup the whole week. But it was good fish soup! 

Wow, we are feeling very blessed here. Especially because this weekend, we will be baptizing our very first FAMILY!! Mauricio and Melissa are getting MARRIED and BAPTIZED this Saturday!!! Thank you for all your prayers on their behalf. And mine! We have one week to get everything planned for the ''boda.'' But today, we went with Mitch and Jossela (a gringo who served here about 2 years ago who came back and married a darling Honduran girl) to get all the paperwork done! Weddings are so expensive for the missionaries because almost everything comes out of our personal mission money. But we are feeling a lot of support from the ward and from our zone. We want to make it as beautiful as possible for them! At 5pm they're going to do the civil marriage, at 6pm the baptism, and at 7pm the reception! Her colors are light blue and silver and we're going to have the party outide on the church cement basketball court (elegant, I know.) We're working to gather decorations and scraping to buy a cake! The relief society are working to provide chicken sandwiches and soda. Most of the party is a surprise for the couple, who are so humble and never thought they'd be able to have something nice like this! We're so excited. A sister offered to lend us her wedding dress and when we pulled Melissa out of her house and took her to try it on, the surprise made her cry! She just said ''I never thought I'd be able to have a white dress!'' Organizing all this really makes me feel like a fairy godmother to a Cinderella because Melissa is such a sweet, hard-working, loving girl who deserves so much! The gratitude of the people here is so inspiring, especially when compared to our culture, who has so much and is grateful for so little. 
I'll send you photos of the wedding! 

Lots more has happened, but I'm out of time! 

So much love!!