Saturday, August 23, 2014

Buenas tardes Flamilia, 

I've got 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! 

Well, 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! 

We're 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 pieces together. 

We've 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 them. 

Yesterday, 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! 


Hermana Flynn

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!

I don't even know where to start... 
How about 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 together. 

The reason 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. 

These past 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? 
When 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!

Well, 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! 

Well, out of time! Tell my baby brother Jacob that I love him and hope he likes his trainer! 


hermana Flynn

There is so much to say. 

Fist off, 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. 

This week, 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. 

A couple 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!) 

Okay, 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. 

The mission 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! 

Have a wonderful, peaceful week, 

Hermana Flynn

This Pday 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

This week 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. 

·       2 Nephi 25:23
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, after all we can do.
·       I love what Brad Wilcox says about this scripture!
o   We 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. 
o   Hey, 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!  
o   Please pray for Eric, Julissa, Eduardo Rivera, Eduardo Romero, Onida, Karen, Sofia, Angela, Melba, Paola, all the people of Graneros. 
o   I love you all!
o    F.F.F.,
·       Hermana Flynn
P.s. we found a turtle in the road and brought it in as a pet. 


I just 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 covenants. 

I had 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! 

On Sunday, 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. 

Please read 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

Have the best week! 

Hola todos, 

This week 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. 
Here are some highlights: 
On Monday, we organized an all girls Pday, which was really special and fun! I love all the hermanas that we look after! 
On Tuesday, we went to the temple with the ward! 
On 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. 
On Thursday, Hermana Flores had her last District Meeting and we all ate at Wendy's. We also found a couple new families with potential! 
On Friday, we had a noche cultural (cultural night) with traditional dances and skits and everything! I LOVE my ward. They are hilarious and amazing people. 
On 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! 

So remember 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. 
Celinda 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!) 
Also, on 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 good! 
Last night, 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

hermanaza, hermanaza, 
como ya te vas para tu casa, 
te queremos regalar esta taza, 
por si algun dìa aluien no te abraza, 
podràs 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. 

¡tengan una semana muy buena!