Saturday, January 31, 2015

Let the blessings of Heaven rain down!

Well! Another week has rolled by. This week was filled with lots of craziness, miracles, and everything else.

The most exciting news this week is that the lovely Mercedes was baptized! The baptism was absolutely beautiful! Just that we had some water problems beforehand haha and flooded the church. We started filling up the baptismal font, and an investigator came to the church so that we could teach him. While we were teaching him the font filled up too far. So for an hour we were pushing water out of the church. Luckily there is no such thing as carpets in Honduras =) After pushing out all the water we had the baptism. At the end Mercedes shared such a beautiful, strong testimony, and yesterday left to visit with us! Score. Awesome new members!

We also contatced a bus this week. We had divisions in Choloma, and we were coming home, and when we finally made it back to San Pedro, we realized we had left the phone in Choloma. We had a baptism and Sunday coming up, so there was no way we were going to be able to live without a phone. So we made the trek back. In the morning we prayed so that Go could help us have courage to contact a bus, because it is something we have wanted to do forever. Well, we made it back to San Pedro without being brave enough, so we decided it was God´s way to help fulfill our goals. On the way back we got up in front of the bus, introduced who we were and shared cards with everyone. It was pretty awesome. 

Also, yesterday was dia de la mujer (Women´s Day) here in Honduras, so the ward gave each women a rose. It was super beautiful and awesome. We also had a crazy experience walking down the road, and a man shouted out to us, ¨Elderes!! Come here¨ And we were like what?So we went over and found a man super crazy but super awesome, and we are super excited, and a little nervous to teach him. 

Today for P day we hiked up the mountain to the Coca Cola. Here in San Pedro there are big letters on the mountain that say ¨Cocal Cola¨ kinda like the Hollywood sign in California. Honduras is awesome because going in the mountains is basically like walking into a jungle. Afterwards we went and had lunch with Family Gomez with the other hermanas, and we brought a piñata to celebrate the birthday of their baby, who turns one years old this year. He is named Angel, but everyone calls him Rungita. He is hilarious too because he is completely racist. This baby totally likes gringas more than others. We also bought a piñata, and it was completely adorable watching all the kids hit the piñata. 

This week my companion and I were studying a little bit from the article ¨living the gospel joyful¨ by Elder Uchtdorf. I love what he says that sometimes we block the blessings of God. We put up an umbrella and stop the rain of the blessings of Heaven. And it is so true! Sometimes we walk and act as if we don´t want to be obedient to certain commandments of God, and while we are doing so, we block the blessings of God. I testify that if we live the commandments, if we are obedient, he will rain down more blessings upon us. 

I love what he says
Part of our challenge is, think, that we imagine that God has all of Hisblessings locked in huge cloud up in heaven, refusing to give them to usunless we comply with some strict, paternalistic requirements He has setup. But the commandments aren’t like that at all. In reality, HeavenlyFather is constantly raining blessings upon us. It is our fear, doubt, andsin that, like an umbrellablock these blessings from reaching us.
His commandments are the lovininstructions and the divine help for usto close the umbrella so we can receive the showeof heavenly blessings.
We need to accept that the commandments of God aren’t just a long list ofgood ideas. They aren’t “life hacks” from an Internet blog or motivationalquotes from Pinterest board. They are divine counsel, based oeternaltruths, given to brin“peace in this world, and eternal life in the world tocome.”6
So we have choice. On the onhand, there is the opinion othe worldwith its ever-changing theories and questionable motives. On the otherhandthere is God’s word to His children—His eternal wisdom, Hicertainpromises, and His loving instructions for returning to His presence inglory, loveand majesty.
The choice is yours!
Have a great week!!!

First full week in Los Castaños!

Well! This week has been full of craziness but it has been super beautiful.
The most exciting news is that Kenth got baptized last Saturday!! And it was absolutely beautiful. I have to say that we did a bunch for this baptism! Cleaned the church, made a collage of pictures and a big banner with his name, and a huge card for everyone to sign. Haha my new companion does a lot for baptisms, and since we are both perfectionists, It means we spend a lot of time making sure everything is good.
The baptism was super beautiful, but we are super sad because yesterday, after Kenth received the holy ghost, he left for Tegucigalpa where he will be living and studying. Such a bummer!!!!
We also had an awesome experience with Family Gomez. They are super awesome. They make about 1,000 tortillas every day to sell.... yes... 1,000 tortillas. Imagine that! The hermano told us though that a lot of people have been coming to pay him visits every since his kids got baptized. (His two kids got baptized three weeks ago, but we are waiting for them to get married so they can get baptized). But he has been doing a lot of standing up for the church! He told us that a pastor came over to visit him, and the pastor was super mad that he is visiting the church. Also that another friend told him that he should stop going to this church for a million reasons. He told him that he likes the church because we never criticize other churches, and we use our time instead of criticizing preaching about Christ. Basically this family is super legit, and we are trying to help the hermana decide to get married! I am not sure what it is here, but everyone wants to get baptized but no one wants to get married. Asi es Honduras.
We also stayed up late Saturday night making awesome invitations for this Saturday for Mercedes. Mercedes is the younger sister of a member who is going to get baptized, and we are super excited. The invitations were also super awesome. 
This week I got to go to La Victoria on divisions. It was super awesome. We contacted a million people, and then at night we ate delicious baleadas at a members house. At night there was no water in their house, so we had to bring up water in buckets from the pila #HondurasLife I also got to see my awesome friend Elder Rodriguez since he is in that area! It is great getting to see people again.
This morning we also did some serious studying on how to receive personal revelation, because many of our investigators are having problems receiving personal revelation. We came up with a list of things to do to receive revelation:
-think it out
-think on other experiences you have already had, maybe God has already answered you
-read the scriptures
-be humble and willing to accept God´s will

We also made a huge list of blessings of baptism. It was pretty extensive. We made a banner and gave to a family so they can start preparing for their baptismal date. I have to say, there are a million blessings of baptism, and I am so grateful I get to have the blessings of baptism in my life.
Today we were in the bus, and a man came and sat down by me. He said he has just been deported from Mexico, and started telling me all his problems. I realized he had so many problems, and was sacrificing so much, but all in the wrong areas. He needed to put his priorities straight. He needed to put God first, and everything would work out. I told him that. Hopefully he will listen. It sounded like he was going to try to go back to Mexico. I realized really, if we put God first in our lives, everything else will be okay. Everything else will work out. Matthew 6:33 says it all  33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Have a great week!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Giving our life to God, and loving him above all else

I hit my last changes. 
I am in my last area, with my probably pen ultimate change. So sad.
My new area is all of five minute bus ride from my old area! Crazy right? I get to go grocery shopping at the same place and sometimes see the same people. Now I am just closer to the city and closer to the danger... bum bum bum. No it really is quite calm here :)
My new companion is super awesome. She is from Dominic Republic and she came to the country with me! We have the same time in the field, just that I will go home a change earlier for my time in the mtc. 
I am super excited though because I get to go on divisions and I get to go back to my old areas of El Bosque and Campana! Just Santa Rosa will be left out. But I am super stoked. 
Yesterday was super weird as I entered the sacrament meeting and it was chuck full of people! I have to say 9 months in branches gets you shell shocked seeing a real ward. Our area is also HUGE! Gigantic. So that is super great. We have the richest of the rich and the poorest of the poor in our area. In one part there are the biggest houses in Honduras, and in the other part is the bordo, which is where the people that have nothing live. I will have to send you a picture. It is pretty crazy this area. 
We also live with another companionship, so it is super fun getting to live with two more missionaries! I have also been called, and set apart, as official hair stylist of buns and braids in the house haha. 

This week has been full of meeting new people. We have met some pretty awesome people. We are also teaching a bunch of great people so we are super happy. 

Yesterday we had the best relief society lesson in the world! It was so so great. I do not know if all you had lesson one out of the new Ezra Taft Benson manual but it is amazing. It is called "The Great Commandment, love the Lord" I even read it last night before falling asleep and I re read it this morning. It is so great! It talks about how the most important thing that we will ever do is serve the Lord. We should always put him in first priority. We should put him before work, school, husband, or children. We should put him before everyone and everything in our lives. 
In the manual it gives the example of Jospeh of Egypt, and how he gave up everything for God. He gave up his job, his status... everything to be obedient to God and not be with Potipher's wife. I love it because it asks us the questions how much do we really love God? Do we really put him first in our lives? What are we willing to sacrifice for him? 
Because if we give our all to God, he will do amazing things with our lives. 
I love at the end President Benson gives this quote>  

Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life.

I think President Benson sums it all up beautifully. God can do more with our lives than we can ever do with our lives. Why not give it all to him?

The great test of life is obedience to God.
The great task of life is to learn the will of the Lord and then do it.
The great commandment of life is, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 12:30).
We also had an awesome meeting with President Dester, and he talked about how we should study more of Chapter 6 in Preach my Gospel in the attributes of Christ, because if we truly want to be disciples of Jesus Christ, we need to have his attributes. There is also an awesome quote in preach my gospel that says becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ is action for action, decision for decision. Becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ, and putting him above all else, is our quest for our entire lives. 

I love you all so much! 

PHOTO Hermana Lopez and I. We both had big buns yesterday! Just that you can't see my big bun. 

Have a great week! 

Be not weary in well doing!

Well...This week has been awesome. We have been meeting a ton of new people since we decided to drop almost all of our investigators! It is has been quite interesting meeting all sorts of new people. 
Yesterday was absolutely beautiful in Fast and Testimony meeting. Marielos and Katie both went up to bear their testimonies. Marielos told her conversion story, and it was quite interesting hearing it from her side haha. She talked about how we first starting visiting her in October, and how she had an evangelical friend that told her not to get confused by all the things the Mormons always say, and most importantly not to read the book that we had given her (the Book of Mormon). Luckily, when her friend told her all those things, Marielos was even more curious and wanted to know why her friend would say all those things. She talked about how she had a lot of questions, however she felt really good at the church, and that she was really happy that she had chosen to be baptized. It was so beautiful hearing her testimony! She also talked about how when we went to her house, and talked about eternal families it touched her heart because as a child her old brother had died, and a year ago her father died. How beautiful it is to know that we will be able to see our families again through the gospel of Jesus Christ! Katie, who was baptized two months ago, also bore her testimony. She said she had two new goals: To read the book of Mormon every day to prepare to go on a mission and to go to church every Sunday. It was awesoming hearing both of them bear their testimony. 
In Principles of the Gospel our awesome teacher, Katherine, taught about the Holy Ghost. The Spirit was SO strong, and she talked about different experiences she had had with the Holy Ghost. She shared a story that one day she got on the bus with her sister, and they were late getting to school, and so they got in the first bus they saw. Here there are these small buses called rapiditos. The coveted spot in the rapiditos are the front two seats with the driver, because if your are up front it means that you are not squished in the back with all the other people. Katherine said this day she was really upset and frustrated, and had forgotten to say her morning prayer. Her sister, all of the sudden, told the attendent that they were going to get off. Katherine was super mad and upset because they were going to be late for class, and she had no idea why they were getting off the bus. They got off, and they got another bus. As they got on the other bus and were driving, they saw the rapidito they were in in an accident. Later on they heard that everyone in the rapidito had survived, except for the two in front, who had both died. She said how grateful she was that her sister had said her prayer in the morning, and was calm and could hear the Holy Ghost. We also talked about how the Holy Ghost could be a subtle feeling, and how after we are confirmed, we can have it with us always to guide and help us. Katherine also mentioned how the Holy Ghost had been a Spirit like us in the council in Heaven, and that he had chosen to sacrifice his opportunity to come to Earth to help his brothers and sister. It is interesting that Jesus Christ sacrificed his life to redeem us, and that the Holy Ghost sacrificed his opportunity to come to Earth to guide us. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, truly have sacrificed everything that they can to help us. 
In Relief Society we also made our new years resolution goals. It was awesome that we did it in Relief Society, because I have been meaning to do my new years goals forever, and have never had time. One of my resolutions was to keep the Spirit of the mission after the mission, and to always put God before other things. Here in the mission it is awesome and beautiful because we have so much time to come closer to Christ and to serve him, however in life outside the mission it can be so much harder. My goal is to make the exercise of my faith my first priority as Elder Scott said! Because, at the end of the day, when we die, the only thing that will truly matter will be what we did in this life to come closer to God. So, new year, new goals, and new expectations :)
I have also been eating up the new testament! I am finishing up 1st Timothy. This is my first time through the entire New Testament, and I have to say, Paul is official my hero. He is the best missionary/convert/disciple of Christ EVER. I love that he is the perfect example that people can change, and what they can become. He gave everything for the church, and served a million missions. Haha maybe I will just have to follow his lead and make my way throughout the world serving missions haha :) However, I think one verse sums up almost everything he says and does ¨ 13 But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing.¨
And let us not every be weary in well doing! But continue on, doing good to all those around us :) 

I love you all! 

Attached are photos of us doing an activity of origami, me in the grove tree part of our area, and the other picture is because yesterday Gabby, Marielos, Hermana Roca, Katherine and I all came in black and mint--because we are awesome like that! 

muah! Feliz nuevo año!

Friday, January 2, 2015


Well the Christmas week was filled with fireworks, tamales, and sandwich! 
The day before Christmas we went to make tamales with Yuber´s family. We helped them cut and cook the leaves to make the tamales, and then we put all the different things together, wrapped it all up, and put it in a big pot. I have to say my tamale skills have definately improved since last Christmas! We also shot off some fireworks in the daytime (here, the traditional thing to do is shoot off a bunch of fireworks) and definately enjoyed ourselves. 
Christmas eve we decided to go out on our balcony to see some of the fireworks being shot off, and we left our phone inside on silent. Apparently the entire mission and branch thought we were out partying... because we had 27 missed calls. Haha lucky for them we are good little obedient missionaries that just forget to take out our cell phone at night because no one ever calls us ;)
We also went around contacting and singing people Christmas hymns. We were in an area that is a little richer, and it is sometimes a little difficult to get anyone to leave their house to talk to us. Well, we saw a ahouse with lights on so we decided to try them. At first an old lady came out, and couldn´t hear us becaus ethe dog was barking. Then came out another old lady. In the end, both of them came out to listen to us. We sang for them, shared about the Christmas, and then asked if we could say a prayer with them. They said yes, and my companion prayed. As we were leaving one of the old ladys said¨¨Read Matthew 6:9" We were about a block away and dying of curiosity so we pulled out our bibles and started laughing as we read "And after this manner pray ye: Our father which are in Heaven..." And started laughing more. Only when we are out contacting do we have these funny experiences. 
Yesterday Mariellos received the holy ghost, and it was super beautiful! She is now officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Whooo. She said as she was in front, she doesn't know if it was from a car or something else, she saw a bright light and felt super good, like it was a sign. So we are super happy for her :) And praying that her sister will soon follow her example! 
Other than that, everything is pretty normal here :D

This week I read a general conference talk that was awesome! It was by Elder Richard G. Scott . I love it because he says that we need to do make the exercise of our faith our first priority, and not let other things get in the way. He outlines four things to help us: Prayer, Scripture Study, Family Home Evening, and Temple Attendance. I love what he says that many times we let other things come first before our faith. We let other distractions come first, however we should try to eliminate these things and put God first. I love the Christmas season because it is when we can refocuse our lives and remember why we are here. We can remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We can re align our lives, and put Christ at the center of our lives again. So many times we let work, studies, or other things come before God. All these things are good things, but as Elder Oaks said, we always need to choose between good, better, and best. The best will always be the things of God. 

Love you all.