Monday, December 30, 2013

Guatemalan Missionary-Christmas

Looking back, I realize it was Christmas this past week. 

People don't really do much for Christmas day, but we did get invited over to Lunch at the releif society president's house. 

Tomales and fireworks are the two biggest things about christmas here. At midnight, Christmas eve, people stay up to Eat dinner (tomales) and everyone sets off fireworks, and without any government regulations, it was a pretty sweet fire work show. We went out on our balcony and could see in almost a complete circle. There were fireworks going off for more than 15 minutes. Everywhere.

 I think I ate 5 tomales in 3 days. I'm pretty sure we have some more in the fridge, but probably the worst ones. The winner goes to my Land lady. 

But my favorite part of Christmas was in the evening when we went out and proselyted. We had prepared a Christmas message about Christ and the atonement. It was pretty good. Going out Christmas night, just like the angel proclaiming to the shepheards, we proclaimed of Jesus Christ and his divine mission. That, was a cool moment. We even got into a house that was big and decorated all beautifully. I really enjoyed their kindness and the opportunity to see one beautiful Christmas tree this year. 

I don't think I have any whitty or crazy moments for this week. I'm still alive, and so is my family. The famous missionary christmas call was made, however, most of the time was spent me talking about Guatemala. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

cristmas and tomales

Christmas in Guatemala is done a little bit differently. Apparently nothing really happens christmas day, rather, people will party it up on the 24th in the night. Also, christmas is celebrated with tamales. I don't think I have seen anything baked, given to neighbors, christmas presents, or full-sized decorated trees in peoples' houses. 

Our sweet land lady gave us tomales...they were yummy. 

We had a ward christmas party thing where they had a dinner and a little bit of talents which was singing, singing, and ....a couple of white girls playing a duet on recorders. haha. Hermana Edwards was convinced of how fun it is to play a recorder, so she bought herself one and I have been helping her to learn how to play her very first wind instrument. cute. 

We went to an orphanage this morning and the mission had these presents in a big zip lock bag for each child there. They had stuffed animals, toy cars, lip gloss, mirrors, toothbrushes, candies, suckers, notebooks, nail polish etc. there were about 20 kids, and they just loved us. (only 6 people of my district went to this) it actually felt like christmas. These kids were sweet and appreciative and were not shy to hang all over us and give us hugs. It was a special experience. I am very grateful for the familys, wards and individuals who donated items for this gift to these children. 

We had a christmas zone activity/conference this week. our district went with another zone to a retirement place and talked to/at/with/only listened to some old people. sand them some hymns. It was fun. It was good to make some people happy. ...including us missionaries. It was also neat to see how there are so many sisters. In this group, there was probably a little less than half of us were sisters. 

pictures are of my district, my tomale (apparently I will be receiving more) and....recorders. 

playing a recorder duet in front of an audience in guatemala......check. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Primary Program...Guatemala style

The primary program was so cute! They all had their parts and scriptures memorized, sang quite well, and even had coordinating red ties for the boys. It was so cute to see all of them up there in a row and to see them get so excited to give their parts. My little friend, Devora, rocked it out of the park. She was the last one to speak. she is 11 years old and gave like a 5 minute talk/speech. from memory (but I don't think it was scripted, just like, from her brain) of the restauracion (resteration, I don't know how to spell in english) with dates, back story, joseph smith, quoting scripture, quoting the first vision. pretty much lesson one from preach my gospel. The spirit was strong, she spoke with grace and eloquence. Hermana Edwards and I were about to hand over our mission tags at that point. That girl was fantastic! Maybe they used a cd for the music, maybe that one tiny boy has a voice of a man, maybe they have only been to primary twice in the past year, but they sure did blow that out of the water. Good job Puerto Barrios. 

This week has been an exciting week. 
We have worked really hard and had dats like never before, 12 lessons with a member present, 16 other lessons to investigators, 16 new investigators, 11 lessons to menos activos or recent converts. I invited people to baptism, 6 people said yes, 4 of them with a date. We were pretty excited. Finishing days with a new baptismal date is always fun, ....until it comes to sunday when only one investigator comes to church. yep. well, agency it is. We'll see what we can do to get these people to the chapel. 

also, Hermana Bender (from the CCM) is in my district now! It was so great to see her. She was with us for a part of a day and I got to go out and do divisions with her. So one of my mission dreams came true: to be companions with Hermana Bender. It was great. We taught this one family and I have never felt the spirit so strongly in one of my lessons. Good questions were asked and over all I just loved it. 

Being senor comp is still stressful, and it is still blazing hot especially in the late morning, /afternoons. Still doesn't feel like christmas, but that's OK. 

I am so appreciate for all of the support and prayers. When we were putting all of these baptismal dates I was asking my companion, "who do you think is praying for us?....they must be doing something right" 

We finally got our conference magazines! I read like 5 talks this morning. It was so good.

Well, here comes this time again when I have to leave and go back to the other world of Guatemala. Thank you all. and merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tis the season for Peace

This week has been long. 

first week as senior comp
first week training
first week without Hermana Ramirez
first baptism without hna Ceballos
first wedding I organized
first week of is coming, but it doesn't feel like it. 

Things are getting better. There is quite a bit of stress that comes with the things listed above, but there is also relief. 

Hna Edwards speaks english
I have a good district leader
I learn a bunch about training
Hna Ynjo is so sweet and positive
I saw the christmas English. How beautiful that was!

I really like what was said about Peace. The prince of peace, and receiving His peace. 
There has been a lot of stress this week, weddings, papers, teaching all of the lessons in four days. more papers. Finding members to come out with us, a baptism to plan. But it is okay. Not everything worked out exactly as hoped. And the more I learn about dats, the worse they tend to get. 

But there will be peace. 

I really liked what was said in the closing prayer of the devotional. I want to share this gospel like the good news it is. I want to share it with love, and with more than just my love, but the love of Christ. I strive to have the spirit with me so that it can carry this message I have as a representative of Jesus Christ to the hearts and souls of all who accept to hear. 

I don't have a miraculous story to share of how I was wooshed with peace, but I do have the tender mercies in my life that help me gain a new and stronger desire to be better. I get this peace in all different ways. letters from friends, letters from hna edwards' dad to her, vynl quotes on tuc tucs (pretty much golf carts) prayers, songs, devotional, comments, quotes etc. 

I hope to apply this peace more and more into my life. I would love to feel an overwhelming peace come into my heart.