Friday, October 17, 2014

¨The Father of us all, is divinely anxious to bless us this very moment.¨

WEEKS TURN INTO DAYS, DAYS TURN INTO HOURS, AND HOURS FEEL LIKE SECONDS.
What is happening to me? And how is it that we are in the middle of October?!? Time isn´t sometimes to fly like this!!

This week has been filled with great experiences!
The rain has started to pour here in Honduras, so the weather has dropped a little bit. It was funny though, the other day my companion and I were talking, and we realized we always come home wet. Either wet from sweat or wet from the rain. There is no winning in this country :) My companion was also laughing at me one day when we got drenched from the rain, and I was shivering, and she just reminded me that it wasn´t actually that cold! I think I am going to die when my time comes to go back to Utah. 

This week we had a great lesson with one of our investigators! We had an FHE with a family, and we watched the three videos from Elder Bednar about the light of Christ and revelation. She loved it! And it was very inspiring and beautiful. I love the way Elder Bednar teaches! Two days letter we went and taught her lesson one, and we gave the first vision. I think it was the most spiritual lesson one I have ever been in my entire mission. The Spirit filled the room, and she started asking what happened to Joseph Smith, how did he die, and all sorts of great questions. It was totally worth it going to the lesson, because we were seriously debating whether or not we should go. The rain was coming down hard, the streets were empty, and the area where she lives we don´t usually work in when it is later in the evening. But we decided we should go, and I am so grateful we did!
We also had another amazing lesson one with a girl who is 16, and her three younger siblings. I don´t know why, but that day we had like four lessons outside sitting on rocks. This was our last lesson for the night in the area, but we decided we would make it through another rock sitting lesson. And it was so worth it! The Spirit was also so strong. I don´t know if I am the one changing, and more in tune to the Spirit, or what is happening, but this week our lessons I have learned so much and been so inspiring! Sometimes I am listening to my lesson and I am just like ¨wow... that is really great stuff she is teaching!¨ I have started trying to pray more in our lessons, for my companion and the investigators, and I feel like it has made such a difference. It is crazy how sometimes it takes you, well, a year to figure something out that Preach my Gospel has always been saying! 
Also one of our investigators, Jose, went to a baptism of a little girl and to church! Jose is really very special. He is a great guy, and says the most interesting stuff sometimes! I have to say I have never quite met anyone like him. He has a ton of questions about what happens after this life. It has also got me thinking a lot too about what exactly happens. 
We are also teaching a cute girl who is 12. She loves the church! She is super great, and adorable. When we gave her a Book of Mormon she said ¨finally! I have been wanting one of these.¨ It was great!
We also finally got to have a lesson for someone we have known for a while. We talked to him one day when we were searching for the house of someone else. He told us to come back and visit him another day. We went back, and he was sleeping. We never found time to go back after that. One day we found him and he asked us why we had never come back. Then we found him one day in the street playing soccer with some kids, so we got to know him  a little better. And yesterday we finally had an amazing lesson with him! He is so great! And the craziest thing, he used to live in Campana and know Familia Huezo, who got baptized while I was there. Such a small world! 

This week I also read a lot about the atonement. I read three talks that are amazing. ¨O divine Redeemer¨ by Elder Maxwell, ¨The Purifying Power of Gethsemane¨ by Elder Bruce R. McConkie, and another one by Elder Holland ¨Look to God and Live¨¨. I encourage you all to read them.
Something that I loved was what Elder Holland said ¨The first and great commandment on earth is for us to love God with allour heart, might, mind, and strength (see D&C 59:5Matt. 22:37becausesurely the first and great promise iheaven is that he will alwaylove usthat way.

As I sat there, and realized that God only expected the same from me what he has already given to me, I started tearing up. As I thought of my God-- the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who has done many miracles, who parted the red sea, who raised lazarus the third day, and who did so much, has given everything for me. He has felt my pain, sicknesses, and sins even before I died. It is humbling and inspiring. 
Elder McConkie also said something that hit me,
Now, the atonement of Christ ithe most basic and fundamental doctrineof the gospel, and it is the least understood of all our revealed truths.

So I have made a new goal to study more and harder about the atonement. Because the atonement is the basis of all doctrine. It is the basis of the Plan of Salvation, and without it, none of us can return to God. It is the center of our message as missionaries. 
I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and all he has done for me. I know he died, and lived, for me, and for every one of us, so we too can live again and find ourselves on the right hand of God. 

I also know God wants to help and bless us. I know he is looking for ways to help us a long our path. I know what Elder Holland says is true,  ¨¨ the Father of us all, is divinely anxious to bless usthivery moment. Mercy is his mission, and love is his only labor¨

I love you all!! Have a great week.

CONFERENCE!

This week was the wonderful conference!! And what an amazing blessing it was to get to watch it in air conditioning (it is still blazing hot here). We also had the amazing blessing to get four people to come to conference!! And they were four brand new people that had never come to church with us. That made things a little complicated as we were trying to explain things to them and help them understand, so some of the talks I didn't get as much out of it as I would have liked to, but that is the missionary life :) 

This week we had the amazing opportunity to share with almost everyone about general conference! We shared our testimonies of the prophet and apostels, and about how general conference is the opportunity that we have to receive personal revelation from Christ. One day for companionship study we studied a talk all about general conference. What I loved is that Elder Hales talked about how the conference is truly Christ's conference, and it is his words. I know this to be true! This week I realized that this was the last time I would be able to get people pumped for Conference as a missionary. That made me so sad. We also made cute invitationes to hand out to people with the Tegucigalpa temple. A lot of people really liked the invites. 

So I too took the challenge and had three questions to ask God before the conference. All three were answered! Truly God speaks through his servants. I know President Monson is a prophet of God and leads and guides us so that we can follow the path of Christ. I also really liked that people got to speak in their native languages. It was really great getting to hear two people speaking Spanish! 

The talks that stuck out to me (other than all of them) .... 

I loved how the sister in Saturday evening talked about the sacrament, and how it is one of the most sacred things we do. I loved how she said that the deacon reaching out his arm to hand us the Sacrament is like the Savior reaching out his arm of mercy. SO POWERFUL! I also loved how President Monson talked about Christ, and how we shouldn't just walk where Jesus walked, we should also walk HOW he walked. Elder Holland's talk also got to me, how we need to help the poor, who are poor physically and spiritually. Conference was gorgeous! And I can't wait until I get to read and re read the talks when they come out in the Liahona. 

well I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! Hope everyone has the GREATEST WEEK EVER!!!!

And for the pictures... the first one we are all getting excited for the first 10:00 session Saturday! And the one with the kids is before Sunday session. Then me and my comp! 





Friday, October 3, 2014

Birthday, Boda, and Baptism!

So this week has been pretty crazy, but pretty awesome too.
On Wednesday we went to San Pedro to hear from Elder Alonso. Going to San Pedro is always a beautiful, painful adventure. The bus ride is horrible 3 and a half hours, but it is always super fun at the same time. There is always usually someone who throws up... luckily it has never been me! Elder Alonso was super awesome and talked about what we can do as missionaries. Something that I liked a lot was that we should be asking everyone if they have friends, family, or neighbours that we can visit to share more about Jesus Christ. I also liked a lot that he said very rarely will we baptize the reference, but in the mean time we will find someone else who is prepared while looking for them. 
My companion was sick so we were in the house (super boring) and in the night we had coorelacion (where you meet with the Mission Leader?) anyways it was literally raining cats and dogs so we went to search for a taxi. My companion told me, well Hermano *** isn´t at the church yet, so we are going to wait for him in the apartment of the other hermanas, since they live across the street from the church. So we went up to their apartment, and boom... fiesta!! Yes, they had thrown me a surprise  party, and I had no idea. But it was super great. We ate cake and chips and guacamole. Plus, there was candles (super surprise!!) so I actually got to make a wish! So it was all super great. And my package came!! So I got to eat black licorice and wear new shirts :D score!

Friday, was the big day for the wedding and the baptism! Satan also knew what an important day it was.. because he put HUGE obstacles in our way. Luckily, we had God on our side to help us out. First off, our district leader had changes of emergency, and on Friday the Zone Leaders were in San Pedro... so there was literally no one to do the interview! ahhh. So after a bunch of phone calls the AP´s approve that another Elder could do the interview. Check. Well we went there and Jose had just left to get his haircut! Ahhhh noooooooooo... but we called him and he came back so that was good. Afterwards we went to lunch, and after lunch we went to the municipalidad for the wedding. Really, it was kinda boring in the municipalidad, but Nora looked absolutely beautiful and Jose looked super sharp as well. Afterwards we went to the church for cake and to play some games with the family before the baptism.
Well, then it was time for the baptism... and guess what... there wasn´t enough water again!!! So we were hauling in buckets of dirty water from outside for thirty minutes. Yep. It was pretty great. Also, the pants we had from the Elder were way too big for Jose! And we had no other pants... then somehow there was other pants. Then there weren´t witnesses. We were ready to use our mujerdocio (mujer= woman sacerdocio= priesthood. Mujerdocio = women priesthood), but then realized that was apostasy and we should really call someone to come be the witnesses. The Elders came... and then five minutes later two men finally showed up from the branch (which was good since the Elder had an activity). 
So, finally at 6:00 we were ready to start the baptism (an hour late...) The baptism was beautiful. Even in water that wasn´t quite clean... it was beautiful. Afterwards they both shared a few remarks that definately touched my heart. Fabiola also spoke. Fabiola and Nora and Jose thanked us in their talks.. and it made me realize how lucky I am to get to help people come unto Christ. Because really, I hadn´t done anything.. rather God had given me this grand opportunity to be his hands here in Santa Rosa, and how grateful I am for the opportunity. Sunday they were given the gift of the Holy Ghost... and I have to say there blessings were absolutely awesome. They are definately very special children of God. 

On Sunday, one of our investigators that we hadn´t expected to come showed up! His name is Elder, and he is super crazy awesome. He is so intelligent. He is the first investigator I have had (well, second, Marco Huezo was full of questions too!) that have had a ton of questions. He has been eating up all of our folletos and the Book of Mormon. We were walking home from church, and he hasked us, "How long do you think it would take me to learn everything that you both know?" So he is awesome. I am so glad we decided to contact his house!

So yes, this week has been full of craziness, blessings, and stress. 

Yesterday I got to talk in church again (I think this is my third time since being here?) But I shared this scripture that I read Saturday, that I love. In Mosiah 4:11

 11 And again say unto you ahave said before, that as ye havecome to the knowledge othe glory of God, or if ye have known ofhis goodness and have tasted of his love, and have received aremission of your sins, which causeth such exceedingly great joy inyour soulseven so would that ye should remember, and alwaysretain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your ownnothingness, and his goodness and longsuffering towards you,unworthy creatures, and humble yourselveeven in the depths ofhumilitycalling on the name of the Lord daily, and standingsteadfastly in the faith of that which is to come, which was spokenby the mouth of the angel.

I love this scripture, and I hope each one of us can remember the great joy we feel when we follow Christ, and that we can truly always remember him, calling on his name daily, and standing steadfast in the faith. 

Have a great week!!

The greenest city in the World

Well...

Another week has already come and gone!! It is crazy how times is literally FLYING. 

For exciting news this week, one of our contacts is AMAZING. She is the sweetest old lady in the entire world. She is about to turn 70, and she is great. Sometimes we just wander around in all these big houses trying to convince people to talk to us, and a lot of times no one wants to, but every once in a while God blesses us. Zoila is one of those blessings. She has read all of the lessons that we give her, and she understand everything. Even apostasy! No one understand that when they read it! She came to church yesterday and she accepted a baptismal date. She is absolutely great. The only downside is that we have to teach her through this huge gate, which is terrible in the hot scorching humid son of Honduras, but she is worth it. So, valle la pena. 
We also had an investigator come to the Women Broadcast! Also super great. Her name is Marilou. She is from Gracias, which is kinda by Copan. She is working here in this area in a house. Here people have more money and they often hire people from other areas to work in their houses. The people she work for are super sweet, but they always tell us they are Catholic, but they always offer us their worker. It is kinda funny, but good since they get her to come with us :)

This week we have been doing a lot of service and contacting. Here you have to be a little more suave with people to gain their confidence. The old branch president explained to us that a lot of people here are afraid and cautious of people because, well, San Pedro Sula is not the safest place in the world. So we have been trying to find other ways to talk to people. It was funny because we were helping this old man gather the grass and weeds that he had just macheted down into a plastic bag. The man who owned the house was staring at us... and we were like... hello and then he left. So we finished helping the old man and went on our way since he lives outside of our area and we cannot do much. We went to talk to his neighbor, then the man who was watching us was outside sweeping. So we went back to offer to help him. It was funny, since it looked like he had just gone outside to "sweep" just to see if we would come back to try and offer to help him. He invited us in, but right then some guests come, so we have to go back another day. But it was pretty hilarious. Yesterday we also got into some serious service of hauling a bunch of weeds and things into bags. Luckily, they ran out of bags. But, we promised to come back another day. Also we were helping another lady but her leaves in bags, and two men stopped and starting talking to us. Apparently they are jews, but they invited us to celebrate the Jewish New Year with them this past Thursday. So that was very sweet of them, but sadly it was out of our area, so no Jewish New Year parties for us. 

Also we had a lesson with this family. We are teaching the grandma and her granddaughter. They are both hilarious. We were teaching about the Sabbath Day to try and inspire them to come to church. The granddaughter is 11, and I asked her "What do you think we should do on the sabbath?" She sat there thinking for a few moments, and then she said "I think I would plant a tree." We all just stared at her for a minute, and my companion and I were holding back our laughter when the grandmother, a Peruvian black woman was all like "girl! What are you thinking? Plant a tree?? How many trees do you want to plant? Are you planning on planting a whole grove or something?" And my companion and I were just dying. Where did she even get that from? Plant a tree on Sunday :D so funny. 

Today I also officially went to center of San Pedro with a member. It was pretty exciting. It was weird being in city city city. I heard that is where it is super dangerous, but it was super great and beautiful and I really liked it. I think I have decided that San Pedro was rated as one of the most dangerous cities because there are so many deaths. Which is true, a lot of people die, but it is usually the people who are doing bad things. Most other people live their lives happy and calm. And I got to buy a super cute skirt as my late birthday present/one year present, so that was GREAT! First time shopping in.... more than a year (well... for things other than food haha). Great, wonderful perks of being in the city! 

I also loved the women conference! It was so great. I loved how President Uchtdorf said many times we are stopping our own blessings from coming. We put our umbrellas up and act as if we don´t want the blessings! Which is so lame! We should let the rain and blessings of heaven pour down upon us through our obedience. It was very beautiful! And all the kids singing I am a Child of God in Korean was super cute. I am in love with them. 

And for the picture... Honduras is the greenest place... in the entire world #HondurasWin! 
We took this picture at the President´s condo (He lives in one of the tallest buildings of San Pedro Sula... because there aren´t really tall building haha).

Happy October!!

"I did raise my voice that it did reach the Heavens"

Well it has been another REALLY SWEATY HOT week here in San Pedro Sula. But a great week too.
 
For exciting news we finally had investigators in Sacrament meeting!!! wooohhoooo. That was really great.
 
This past week we had a meeting, and the APs came to talk about how we could make our hour personal study more effective. They told us one of the best ways to study is by themes. That was really interesting to me, since I have always just read for books. I decided I would start for the different themes in the lessons, and I started  lesson 3 (The Gospel of Jesus Christ) because it is personally my favorite. I had planned one day I would study, through Christ we can be cleansed from sin and Faith the same day... but that didn't really happen, I barely made it through through Christ we can be cleansed from sin! And by the time I made it to Repentance, that was a two day process. I was really grateful that the APs had challenged us to study this way, since this Sunday we got an on the spot call to teach Principles of the Gospel, and we decided to teach about the atonement and repentance.
Some of my favorite things was that God is just, and perfect. God must be paid in some way or another for the sins we commit. However, God is also merciful. He also wants to help us, so he sent his son to pay the price of Justice if we are willing to do our part and repent. But if we are not willing to repent, we must pay, and suffer even as Christ did. In the end, what is the easier path? Is it easier to wait and never repent and one day have to pay even as Christ, or to do all we can to repent so we can use Christ's atonement as payment for our sins?
Also I loved that it talked about true repentance changes our very natures. It changes us physically and spiritually. As we repent, we find ourselves more and more closer to Christ,a nd we feel of his love and joy.
In this life there are truly two roads that we can take: that of joy- of repentance, of trying to change every day, or that of pain- where we choose to do what we want to do, rather than what God wants us to do. If we choose to follow God, we will find greater joy and happiness than we have ever experienced before.
 14 And behold, this is the whole meaning of the law, every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice; and that great and last sacrifice will be the Son of God, yea, infiniteand eternal.
 15 And thus he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; this being the intent of this last sacrifice, to bring about the bowels of mercy, whichoverpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance.
 16 And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole lawof the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of redemption.
 17 Therefore may God grant unto you, my brethren, that ye may begin to exercise your faith unto repentance, that ye begin to call upon his holy name, that he would havemercy upon you;

Have we worked out our salvation with God? Have we done all to come unto him? I love the story of Enos, that he cried unto the Lord for an entire day to receive a remission of his sins.
 4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry untohim; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
 5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
 6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
 7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?
 8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in theflesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.
I hope we all take time to think more of the Savior, and to cry unto him to find our remission of our sins. To do all we can to repent so that we can be made clean, and one day live with him again. I know that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and when we do all we can to repent, he will truly make up the rest. I know God lives and loves us! And I know that he wants to listen to us and to hear us.
 
 
 

 
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And for pictures of our adventures to the fort in Omoa!
 

The flowers here are PRETTY gorgeous.


They used those things underneath our feet to cook.

This was the room that was their "church room" the voice was awesome and super echoey. Our tour guide gave a demonstration of how they used to "sing" to call people to come to church. We decided we needed to study as well in the church :D
 

The canons they used to use


Happy Honduras Independence Day!!!

So.... today is super especial because it is Independence day here in Honduras!! It isn't quite as cool as America with fireworks and all... but hey, it is still pretty cool :) We are all proud catratchos with our Honduras shirts! 

Yesterday, was Sunday! Sunday has turned into my favorite day of the week, because it is when I get to go to church and take the Sacrament. I have really been trying to change how I see the Sacrament, and truly use it as a time to renovate my covenants with God. Yesterday we sang "Jesus, Once of Humble Birth" As we sang the third verse the Spirit hit me so strongly... as we sang "Once, he groaned in blood and tears; Now in glory he appears. Once rejected by his own, Now their King he shall be known." Well, we sang it in Spanish so it was a little different. I like the meaning in Spanish a little better, it says more a long the lines of "He who suffered the pain, shall come in splendor, He who was rejected, now shall be the King of the World."
This week had its ups and downs, and as I sat there thinking of these words, I suddenly realized something. If it wasn't for the hard times, for the rejections, I would never come to know my Savior. He who was greatest of all had to be rejected by his own, and who am I to think it will be no less for me? He suffered EVERYTHING for us, he paid the price so that he could feel everything we go through. What a great example we have, what a hero. I am so grateful for my Savior, for Jesus Christ, and for everything he did, and does, for me. I know he lives, and I know he led a perfect life filled with many thorns and hardships, and he did it all for me, and for you. He has his arms filled with love for us because he is the only one who truly knows. 
God also blessed us with a few miracles this week! We were walking a long, and we were searching for someone so we asked a lady on the street. Then we saw someone inside painting, so we asked to help, and we painted for about 2.5 seconds, but it was super fun while it lasted haha. Then we started talking, and we found out the man inside was a member. His wife was the one we had been talking to. They also offered us part of their house/business so that we can do an English class on Saturdays. It was such a blessing and a miracle that we found them!

We were also walking along yesterday, and someone stopped to offer us a ride. Well, it is against the rules for us to get in the car with just anyone so we thanked him but told him we couldn't. Well, he started driving away and somebody started talking about me, and joking I said "No! Soy de Mexico por favor no soy gringa" (No! I am from Mexico, I am not a gringa) and the man in the car started laughing and said of course you are from America! Then he stopped his car to talk to us, and told us that he doesn't have a religion, but he feels like he needs to search more for God. He told us he is like a man who is thirsty searching for water. We were super confused about where he lives, so he told us that he would come down so we could visit him in the house of his sister. This was quite a miracle, because we had been contacting, and contacting, and contacting... and almost nothing. Truly when we work and work God will throw us a bone :D

Yesterday we also watched the move about President Monson called "On the Lord's Errand." It was absolutely beautiful!! I loved all of the stories and how President Monson has always been so willing to do whatever the Lord wants and give his all. As I listened to the last part, he said "I want the Lord to know, if he needs an errand run, Tommy Monson will run it." I started thinking, I hope God thinks the same about me, I hope he knows that if he needs an errand run Hermana Harmon is willing to go and do it! Because there is nothing more important in this life than doing what the Lord wants, and helping his children. 

We also visited a super special family yesterday. They are less active, but they are super awesome as well. We were talking and she told us that one time she was at church and the President of the Branch told them that if you times anything by 0... well you get 0. It is the same with the Lord. If we give him 0, well... we will have 0. We have to give him something and then he can give us something. If we give him 5, well he can times that by 5 and give us 25. But first, we need to put in the effort and do all that we can. We have to give him something to make something. Then my companion gave the story of the brother of Jared, how he had to go and search for the stones and ask God to touch the stones. It is the same in our lives, we have to give something and plan something so that the Lord can do the rest. 

Well I know God lives and loves us. I know we are his precious children. I know the church is true, and when we do all we can, God will bless us.

Have a great week!