Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Julia and Berenice's Baptism!

Hello everyone!!

So I am here in my internet cafe in Honduras and there is someone sitting next to me looking over every five minutes! I should be used to this by now... but it still freaks me out! One day I will get used to it :)

Well this week we had the baptism for Julia and Berenice! It was beautiful (and crazy stressful!) I would send you pictures but my card got wiped thanks to the sketch computers in Honduras :( I managed to salvage one picture though of Julia's baptism! Sadly Berenice is not in this picture, but I will take another picture with Berenice and send it so you can all see how adorable she is. The picture is in the bathroom because right before the baptism Berenice was so scared! We gave them their clothes and told them to go change, and it was taking awhile so I went to go check to make sure everything was alright. I went in and Julia was telling me that Berenice did not want to get baptized. I went over to talk to her, because the day before we had had a beautiful lesson just with Berenice and she felt so ready and was so excited. I asked her if she had faith in Jesus Christ, and she said yes, and then I asked her if she believed that this is the only Church of Jesus Christ in the earth. She said yes, but she said she did not want to today because of all the people that were there watching. She was so scared of all the people! I basically gave her a rundown of the talk "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence" by Jeffrey R. Holland. I told her that my first week in the mission (in the CCM), I wanted to go home and that I did not want to go on my mission. However, every time we are about to do something great, something amazing, Satan always comes to try and scare us. However, she was not convinced. So I went and got my District Leader to try to help me. So we came up with a plan, that Berenice and I would stand behind the door of the baptismal font, and that right before her baptism, he would go and ask everyone to leave. So Berenice and I stood behind the door of the baptismal font and said a prayer and read about when Jesus Christ was baptized while everyone was giving talks and singing for the baptism. Then right before her baptism, my District Leader came and said "Okay, your turn." She looked at him stubbornly and said... "No! You promised that the people would not be there." So he went and got everyone to leave. Berenice got baptized, and it was beautiful. 
It is official. There is no such thing as a baptism that is not stressful. My hair might be white when I come home. Thanks a lot Satan! 

Julia is so awesome though. At the beginning of this week she was telling me she needed to get baptized because she needed to pay tithing so she could receive the blessings. Julia has four kids and is living with her mom right now in a little one room house. She cooks tamales and sells them on the street and washes clothes to support her family, and she cannot wait to pay tithing. One day I will have faith like that!

Also in other news my companion had cambios :( But I have another gringa! Crazy right? She is from Idaho and things are going great. The other hermanas in our ward moved into our apartment (two hermanasa from Dominican Republic) and we got two Elders. So that is exciting. My new companion and I have been doing more let's go talk to this random person. So yesterday we went and talked to this lady and I got to drink coconut water from a coconut! We went over and started talking to her and she was definately not interested in our message, but I asked her about the coconut that she was drinking out of and I said I had never drunken coconut water like that. She asked if I wanted some and I was like "SI!!!!!!!!!!" and everyone started laughing. We also were talking to this lady who was washing her blanket, and I had an honest question about how to wash my blanket in the small pila, because last time I tried was an epic fail! Anyways she invited us in and told us she was an evangelical, forever and always. But we sang a song and had a prayer with her and shared a scripture in the Bible. At the end she said that she liked us a lot and there was a really good Spirit with us. So we are going to go back and try to get her to come to church this Sunday :)

I love this work and everything about it. Yesterday we went and taught someone for the first time, and I told him how beautiful this work is and how it changes lives. He looked at me and said really.. and I said yes. And I know that with every fiber of my being. This gospel changes lives, and it is beautiful. The other day I was reading in Helaman 12, about how great God is, and the nothingness of man (I will add it to the bottom). But in reality, the Lord is everything and he has the power to do everything. We, as missionaries, and as people, really are nothing: God is everything. If only we can submit our will to God and do as he would have us do, then we will see the miracles. We need to put everything on the altar of sacrifice and give everything to God, and then we can truly change (that is, of course, a lot easier said then done :).

Well I love you all and I hope you are all planning on having a lovely Valentine's Day :) 


 O how great is the anothingness of the children of men; yea, even they are bless than the dust of the earth.
 For behold, the dust of the earth moveth hither and thither, to the dividing asunder, at the command of our great and everlasting God.
 Yea, behold at his avoice do the hills and the mountains tremble and bquake.
 10 And by the apower of his voice they are broken up, and become smooth, yea, even like unto a valley.
 11 Yea, by the power of his voice doth the awhole earth shake;
 12 Yea, by the power of his voice, do the foundations rock, even to the very center.
 13 Yea, and if he say unto the earth—Move—it is moved.
 14 Yea, if he say unto the aearth—Thou shalt bgo back, that itclengthen out the day for many hours—it is done;
 15 And thus, according to his word the aearth goeth back, and it appeareth unto man that the bsun standeth still; yea, and behold, this is so; for surely it is the earth that moveth and not the sun.
 16 And behold, also, if he say unto the awaters of the great deep—bBe thou dried up—it is done.
 17 Behold, if he say unto this mountain—Be thou raised up, andacome over and fall upon that city, that it be buried up—behold it is done.
 18 And behold, if a man ahide up a treasure in the earth, and the Lord shall say—Let it be baccursed, because of the iniquity of him who hath hid it up—behold, it shall be accursed.
 19 And if the Lord shall say—Be thou accursed, that no man shall find thee from this time henceforth and forever—behold, no man getteth it henceforth and forever.
 20 And behold, if the Lord shall say unto a man—Because of thine iniquities, thou shalt be accursed aforever—it shall be done.
 21 And if the Lord shall say—Because of thine iniquities thou shalt be acut off from my presence—he will cause that it shall be so.
 22 And wo unto him to whom he shall say this, for it shall be unto him that will do iniquity, and he cannot be asaved; therefore, for this cause, that men might be saved, hath repentance been declared.
 23 Therefore, blessed are they who will repent and hearken unto the voice of the Lord their God; for these are they that shall be saved.

I promise I will send a picture with Berenice later :) 

Mi Alma Canta, a mi Señor y Dios, Grande Eres Tu!

Happy February!

I was very shocked as I realized yesterday that it is now February. I was reading in people's emails that yesterday was the Superbowl! That is exciting, I had no idea haha. I feel pretty shut off from America sometimes :) But it is okay because I love the work that I am doing, and the mission is the greatest experience. I now understand all those chapters in Alma where they talk about how great was their suffering, yet how sweet was their joy. The people here are such great examples to me, and every day they amaze me in some way or another. I have realized how truly blessed I am, and that my whole life I have never taken the opportunity to thank the Lord for everything that I have. 

So we are pretty sure this is the last week that my companera and I get together. She has been in our area for five months, so we are pretty sure that there is a change coming :( Since we were pretty sure we had a change coming, this past week we decided to set our goals high. So we got 60 lessons in this week! Last night we were running home to make it home before curfew as we were finishing up our 60th lesson for the week. Every person was staring at us as we were running home, because no one runs here. They were all like "Crazy white girls..." haha. 

This week I have realized how great the Lord is, and how important it is that we do what he wants us to do. Yesterday we were in a lesson and we were singing How Great Thou Art and I totally started tearing up (life problems!). The Lord has such great plans for us and he is always taking care of us. The Lord is turning us into a beautiful masterpiece every second of every day. He has given everything for us, and he asks that we do the same and give everything for him so that he can change us and bless us with everything he has promised. Every day we get to change into something better, and every day we have the opportunity to give our hearts to him. 

I love you all, and Honduras is as beautiful as ever :) I am working on my tan and the sun is shining brightly :) 

Also below I am putting a picture of Isabel and Ronan. They are the cutest kids ever! 

Love you all! 

Invite Someone to Come to Church this Week!!

Hello all!!

Well we had another great week here in Campana. Familia Huezo got baptized! It was a beautiful service. We had a ton of rain that morning, so when we filled up the font it was a little off colored, and very cold. It was amazing to watch each one of them go in the font and be baptized. On Sunday they got confirmed. We went and had a lesson with them Sunday afternoon, and Marcito told us that he had an amazing feeling afterwards, and that he has never felt that way before. He even used the word maziso (I think that is how you spell it...) which means really awesome. It was beautiful. We told them we are expecting a letter in a year about their sealing in the Tegucigalpa Temple :)

I realized after their baptism that the luckiest people in this entire process is the missionaries. We get to watch this amazing change in people´s lives. We get to see them change and watch as the Spirit changes their lives; and it is the most beautiful thing in the entire world. I was thinking about how our Father in Heaven feels as he watches us change and grow, and how it is probably the most amazing thing for him as a father to watch us. He knew us long before we knew ourselves, and he gets to watch us every step of the way. We just have to let ourselves change, and let the Spirit change our lives.

We also had another miracle. We have an investigator named Joanna. My companion was teaching her before I came, and when I first came she was not very interested, and we were about to drop her. However, out of the blue she came to church, and she has been coming to church for the last month. She has completely changed. However, her esposo is not so interested and is in the calle (street) drinking a lot. Two Saturdays ago we taught them and we told him it was time to change and come to church. Joanna told him if not she was going to find another place to live. He promised and we found him Sunday morning in the street drunk as can be. Last Saturday we went back and found him sober! We had another "come to Jesus" talk and told them their baptismal date is for Febuary 15, so he has three weeks to change. Joanna talked about how beautiful the lesson was last week about families, and how she wanted that. Yesterday, to our amazement, he came to church! We were so surprised and so happy. We were talking to Joanna in Relief Society and she was telling us how she was surprised too. I pray that they can have all the happiness in the world and that he will continue to change! 

Also we have cambios in a week and a half, which puts us in danger for a transfer. Ahhhh!!!

We also had a big meeting with our mission and the San Pedro Sula East mission. It was pretty awesome Elder Soares of the area presidency talked to us about being dedicated missionaries and working hard. We also got a special blessing for safety, so nobody needs to worry that San Pedro is the second most dangerous city in the world :) 

The work of Salvation is truly the most amazing work in the world. The hardest and most painful as people are uninterested, as you are rejected, and as you watch people make wrong decisions. However, as Alma explains, "How great was our pain, but how much greater and sweeter was our joy!" I know that the Lord is hastening his work for the second coming, and he wants every person to join the ranks. Even if you do not know anyone who is not a member or who you want to share the gospel with, there is lots of less actives that need a warm hug and an invitation to come to church this Sunday.

I love you all so much!

P.S... this fruit is zapote and is super delicious. It is in the avocado family. One of our investigators shared it with us... you could say that I will love her forever for sharing with me this amazingness :) 

The Gospel Shall Roll Forth... as a Stone Cut out of a Mountain Until it has Filled the Whole Earth

Well everyone it has been another great week. I hope the pictures actually work this week! The computers here, are... interesting sometimes.

This week we had 24 investigators coming to church! The other week we had the most investigators come to church in the whole mission! The AP called us, and we were super nervous because the other two times he has called us it has been to tell us that there are emergency cambios and that I need the rabies shots. However, this time it was happy news :) I asked him if he could get us some worldwide stats but he is still working on that one... Maybe oneday!

We had some exciting drama happen this week. Well... not drama but we were searching for one of our investigators, Julia. She lives with her mom, and we saw her mom near her house carrying a bunch of wood. So we ran over to ask if she needed help, she said no, and then asked us if we were looking for Julia. We were like yes, and she told us she had moved. So we asked where she had moved, and she was all, she moved to the colony over and she lives in the second entrance near the calatera in a green house. We were like okay, time to go search for her. We found some other lovely people, but no Julia, and no green house. Later we found out that Julia still lived there and her mom had lied to us! Apparently the Evangelicals here really do not like us, and they talk bad about us a lot. Which is funny because I barely even know who they are. It is all good, because we have decided it is better if  we have our lessons in the church with her.

Also, for all you who remember Lucy, she has been working a lot but her two kids came to church yesterday! Mabia, her daughter, is the reason why we are teaching her because she had asked us to come teach her family (actually lots of kids ask us to come teach their family... but most of the time the parents are pretty uninterested). But her brother Arnold also came, and after church we went and visited them. Lucy told us that when Arnold, her son came home, he told her that he thinks he wants to be Mormon. Great news! 

My two ninos, Isabel and Ronan also came. I adore Isabel. She is eleven years old. We found them one day a little after Christmas while we were walking. We passed them and then I remembered I had candy canes from my package that I was supposed to give out to kids. So I ran back over to them and wished them a feliz navidad and gave them the candy canes and we went on in our merry way. A few days later we were walking and this little girl tells me thank you for the candy it was super good. Then I remembered who she was. She told us where she lived so we went and visited her. Her family had gotten the discussions before. Well, actually she lives with her aunt and cousins and some other cousins. But her tia (aunt) had before. They told us we were welcome to come back but did not seem super interested. We have another investigator who lives farther up that we have to visit so I convinced my companera a few times to pass by for Isabel to invite her to church. Anyways yesterday was her second time coming which means we can teach her. Isabel is one of the specialist girls in the whole wide world. Before whenever I would see her she always looked like she was about to cry, but now she is looking a lot less sad. Ronan is her cousin, and I think he is like 12. He is cool too :) 

This week I have been thinking a lot about the atonement. I feel like it is something that is so deep and so large that it is hard to every truly understand. Many people, when we ask them if they have heard the word atonement (expiacion en espanol) they have not. Most people have no clue what it is, and often our five, or ten minute explanation does not even start to explain what it is. I do not think I truly understand the immensity of the atonement. I have been thinking about how the atonement is what saves us from physical death, and how if we let it it can also save us from spiritual death. Only in and through the atonement can we live with God again. We cannot even begin to grasp what the Savior suffered in the Garden and on the Cross. Yet he chose to do it for us. God had set up this plan of the atonement before the world began. Why do we choose not to use it? Why do we not let the Savior ease our burdens and take our yoke? Why do we let our pride and stubborness get in the way of our own happiness? The atonement is not just for our sins, but for our pains, for our sicknesses, for our loneliness. Christ understands when I am here on my mission sad, homesick, and cold from the rain. He also understands the pain of the 88 year old woman I am talking to who has lived her whole live in Honduras, and whose children never called her for her birthday two months ago.The atonement is such a gift, and it is our choice to use it. 
Christ has promised us:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me... and ye shall find rest to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light"

I love you all!!! And I hope every one chooses to use the atonement in some way this week. If it is only a prayer to receive comfort, or if it is to change, Christ is just waiting for you to make the decision. He already made the sacrifice-- He has nail marks in his hands and feet to prove it. For us it is our choice whether or not we will accept his sacrifice.

Hugs and kisses.