Saturday, August 23, 2014

Baptism with a font half full.

Well this week has been super crazy and exciting, as every week is here in Honduras. 

The exciting news of the week is that Fabiola got baptized!! Fabiola is so cute. She is 20 years old and is absolutely amazing. I am also in love with her son, Mario (shhh... don´t tell anyone!) He is sooo cute, he is three years old, and we (my companion and I) both want to keep him. Her baptism was a little crazy, and stressful. I have yet to truly see a baptism that goes absolutely smoothly. I feel like the adversary is always hard at work to try to make problems and cause a ruckus. The other sisters in our branch also had a baptism, so they went to the church in the afternoon to fill up the baptismal font. There is a problems with the drain in our church, and so half the water was gone by the time it was time for the baptism. So, we were going to put more water in the font when we realized that there was no more water in the church... or in all of Santa Rosa. 
Well, luckily for me I remembered a letter of Davis (Elder Lundberg!) where he talked about having a baptism where there was almost no water. So, with faith, we went on with the baptism. The person who was supposed to do the baptisms last minute told us he couldn´t, so we were running looking for someone to do the baptisms. One of the counselors of the branch president told us he could do it. So we had the baptism, and in the end, everything was beautiful. Nora and Jose, and their cute daughter, Fabiola also came to the baptism. Exciting news for them, today we finally put in all the papers for their wedding!! They should be getting married this 29th of August and getting baptized either the same day or the 30th. So yes, the work of the Lord is moving forward here in Santa Rosa! 
Last night I was putting the baptismal record in our binder for baptismal records. I started looking through all the different records, and I was shocked that there were so many people that I did not know. Truly Satan works hard on those who accept the gospel. The other day when we were at a members house, (Mama Veronica) she told us of a quote of a prophet that said Latter Day Saints will be tried harder than others because of the light that we have. We have to be strong, and true to our testimonies, in order to stand strong during the hardships of this life. She also told us that one of the greatest trials is those who have everything. Who have health, money, everything that they need to be happy. It is harder for those people to remember God and trust in Him. And oh how true it is! I cannot tell you how many stories I have heard here of complete faith. One of my favorites is of a member here in Santa Rosa that I visited when I was in the other area. She told us that her son was sick, and she did not have enough money for medicine. She prayed, and her son, the next day, was healed. This is just one of the dozens of stories I have heard. I love the faith of the people here, because so many of them do not have almost anything, but they have faith, and God truly manifests his hand in their lives. 

For other random news, today we went to see a castle in Gracias (which is about an hour away) It was super pretty and all white. Don´t get too excited when you hear castle... it is actually really very small. Spain built it as a lookout when they ruled here in Honduras. 

Well... that is all. I hope that you all have a great week! I hear a lot of people are starting school... that is crazy! I cannot believe how fast time flies. Love you all!!

"They clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts!"

Well family and friends this week has been another exciting week here in the beautiful land of Santa Rosa. So the rainy season has started, and every night around 6 we start getting a downpour. The other day we were walking peacefully when boooom came the rain. Luckily we were close to a members house and ran in for safety, when suddenly the rain started to come in from the door and from other areas of the house! Yesterday the same thing happened, and we ran to a members house, only to realize that the rain was coming in from the roof. Basically, if it rains her... you get wet. Which makes things quite exciting. The funny thing is is that almost everyone here is afraid of the rain. Completely afraid of it! I am not sure why. They refuse to leave when it rains. The good thing is that it is easier to find people in their houses to teach them, the bad thing is that they do not want to come to church! But it definitely keeps things interesting. 
Also this week we had a miracle. We were walking when there was a horse that was in our path. Yes, I know... a little ridiculous. But there was no getting around this horse nor her rope without her, or us moving. Well, we had things to do so we decided she was going to move. Well we started to coerce her and finally she got a move a long to let the missionaries go about teaching. We went to look for a family, and they were not home. My companion had been feeling sick all day, and she finally told me that she felt like she could not walk anymore. So we were making our way back a long the path to our apartment, when suddenly my companion looked at me "and the phone?!?¨ So we have a system in this companionship. My job is the keys, and her job is the phone. Well...I had no clue so we decided the best option was to pray, especially because here in Honduras, if you misplace something, it is gone. Especially a phone (not important that our new phones are about as ghetto as you get). So we said a prayer, we kept looking in the field where our horse had been, and within seconds my companion found the phone in the field. Truly, a miracle, that first, no one had found the phone and stolen it, and second, that we had found the phone in this field, and third, that the instant that we we were close to where the phone was my companion thought that she needed to look for it.
For exciting news Fabiola has plans to be baptized this week! We are working on getting Nora and Jose married so they can get baptized. Hopefully I will get to see their baptism! Also a less active who has not come to church in FOREVER finally came this week. Yah! In other news, this week has been a little crazy, as we have decided that it is time for a new cycle of people. So we kind of go through cycles. When my companion came we pretty much stopped visiting everyone we were teaching, and searched for new people. After a while you build up lots of investigators and people, and then after a certain time it is time to seperate the wheat from the tares, and we drop a bunch of people and start looking for new people. So we are in a searching cycle again. This means a lot of contacting... which is always exciting because we always meet the craziest, weirdest people.I do not even know where some of these people come from! But it is good because lots of people know who we are, and even if they do not want to listen us, at least we have a bunch of friends in the streets, and a bunch of children to give us hugs and bring us flowers... which is always the BEST. I do not know why, but a child with huge brown eyes and super tan skin who is super dirty from playing all day-- when they go search for flowers to bring you-- it is the most beautiful thing in the entire world. And you just want to take them all home and give them lots of hugs and kisses and yeah. But then you are a missionary and realize that you cannot do almost any of these things. Anyways... missionary problems.

So this week we also read Mosiah 18 twice with different people. I love this chapter! It is so beautiful. I also love it when I get to hear others thoughts. Yesterday we read this chapter wtih a less active family, and they were saying a bunch of things that I had never noticed before. That first, these people probably had to walk a long ways to get to the waters of Mormon to hear Alma. They sacrificed to go there, and then they had to give up a lot of the nice things that they had living in the city with King Noah. They also knew that they were going against the desires of the King, yet they were willing to do it. And Alma, as a missionary, had some serious success. My companion and I were having a little contention the other day about how many people he baptized... well we were both right. First, he baptized 204 people, and later they were 450 souls. What has always impressed me is that Abinadi had no clue that he had a conversion. He died thinking that no one believed in his message. However, he did have a conversion, and that conversion, Alma, became one of the greatest prophets in the Book of Mormon, who later had a son who went on a mission for 14 years and converted King Lamoni and his kingdom. How awesome are the stories in the Book of Mormon?!?!

Anyways, that´s all for now, but I hope that you all have a beautiful week and remember to pray, read your scriptures, and go to church. The primary things, but the things that are the most important!! 

And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye aredesirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand aswitnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
 10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you?
 11 And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.
Today we got to go to the ruines again! Which is exciting as always. 
Last Saturday we had a baptism! Wilmer was baptized at 5:30 instead of 4, as we had it planned, because things here in Honduras always start late! But it was still a beautiful baptism, and yesterday he was confirmed. His blessing for his confirmation was awesome!! And yesterday he sent us a message saying that he had had a dream where he was serving a mission like us. So legit. I have to say it is nice to have a baptism after three changes in an area with almost nothing! But I know God blesses us and helps us as we pray with faith, and as we fast acting for specific blessings. Valeria and Fabiola are also on track to be baptized this month! And we are trying to find ways to help Nora and Jose so that they can get married. 
This past week we also had multi zone reunion with the President (but because we are in Copan, it is just us :) At the end President Dester talked about our Father in Heaven. It was absolutelty beautiful, as he talked about the love he has for us, and the possibility we have to return to him. How lucky we are to know about God, our loving Father! Truly the Spirit bears witness to every person of the Love of God. I cannot imagine anything more beautiful than to enjoy the love of God every minute of every day, and to feel the Spirit in every moment. Truly this is eternal life, to enjoy so fully of this happiness and joy! 
I was also reading Mark (Mark 6:1-6) this week, and there was another story of Jesus. It talked about how he went to an area, and how he was not able to do as many miracles in this area because the people did not have as much faith. They did not believe that the son of a Carpenter could have such great power. They were filled with unbelief. Therefore, the power that Christ has to work miracles in our lives is proportionate to the amount of faith we are willing to show. If we demonstrate more faith, he will work more miracles in our lives-- but it is truly our choice whether we will be filled with faith, or unbelief. Do we want these miracles? We can choose. I testify that Jesus is the Christ, and that he has the power to work amazing miracles in our lives if we are willing to let him in, and have faith in his divine power.
Mormon 9--
 18 And who shall say that Jesus Christ did not do many mighty miracles? And there were many mighty miracles wrought by the hands of the apostles.
 19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; ifso he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.
 20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God inwhom they should trust.
 21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promiseis unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Six more weeks in Santa Rosa

Well this week has been a week of miracles!
The first amazing thing happened yesterday when we had 11 people in sacrament meeting!!! Such a miracle. I was on the stand leading the music (Luckily this time there was power so we had the CD to give the tune´s of all the songs :) and I was in awe as more and more came in! I wanted to make an excited face at my companion, but sadly she is super small and I couldn´t see her with all the other heads in the congregation. Ahhh missionary problems. But I want to tell you all about our amazing people. 
Nora and Jose are awesome! They are a couple and they have an adorable daughter named Fabiola who is three years old. Fabiola has finally started warming up to us and will finally give us a hug, and sometimes a kiss if we are extra lucky :) They are the cutest family in the entire world. Jose is the brother in law of a less active who has started coming to church. I am seriously in love with them. Our first lesson we gave them a Family Proclamation for the World, and they loved it. 
Maria is a mother of four kids. Her husband is a little crazy, which is normal. She has been really confused lately, but we told her she had to try it, she had to come to church, she had to come see what it was like. The week before two of her kids came, one who is ten years old and the other who is six years old on their own (I know, crazy awesome right?) We have not talked to her yet about how it went, but we were super happy she came. Hopefully she can feel better and feel that this is truly where she belongs.
We also have a trio of single adults we are trying to get baptized. Wilmer is awesome and we are hoping for this Saturday! Fabiola is also super adorable, and my companion and I both love her to death. She has been coming to church for over a month now but doesn´t know if she is ready. We are also teaching Valeria, she is super cute as weel, but she too does not know if she is ready. 
We also are teaching someone who I cannot ever remember his name, but I always call him Senor de la Savana (Man of the Savanna) because he lives in the Savanna and he is old. We have only taught him once but he wants to get baptized in a river, which I think would be super crazy awesome since I have always wanted to have a baptism in a river. Hopefully I will get to be here when it happens! 
I am super happy though because we are seeing results of all of our crazy work :) Sometimes it is super rough though as we have to say goodbye to families and people we are in love with because they are not progressing. It is THE WORST, because you fall in love with them only to tell them you cannot visit them anymore because they are not fulfilling their end of the bargain. Ahh. Also, this week we were jumping up and down because neither of us had changes!!! Yeah! Six more weeks to work here in Santa Rosa! The other sisters in our branch had changes, which I was sad about, but then super happy because Hermana Gardner, who was my companion for 15 days in a trio, came to Santa Rosa. She was also the companion of my companion, so we are all super happy. This week I also finished the Pearl of Great Price, so I have officially finished the triple in Spanish! Now to try to get down the Bible in Spanish. This is a whole nother quest, but hopefully with faith it will happen :) 

A principal of the gospel that I have learned more about this week is the power of the fast! Truly when we fast we can find miracles. My companion and I were reading in Alma about how they prayed and fasted, and afterwards they were blessed with success. I know this is true! I was also reading in the Bible and someone came to the apostles to perform a miracle, and they couldn´t. So they went and asked Jesus to help them. He told them that this type of miracle could only be accomplished with much fasting and prayer (Matthew 17:14-21). I know when we fast we call down the powers of Heaven to help and bless us. If we feel we are stuck, or that we cannot move anymore, it is time to pray and fast. Maybe we will not receive what we want, but we will receive what we need.
Well I love you all! Have a great week.