Monday, March 24, 2014

eat your vegetables.

This has been a good week. I got a new comp (my old comp was great too!) Hermana Henriquez! when I heard that I was going to get a new comp from puerto barrios zone, I was very happy. I've known hermana Henriquez since her first day in the field. She was companions with my good friend hermana Bender. So now Hermana Henriquez and I are mission partying it up (contacting, teaching, studying...the usual) and hermana bender has a two-person fan club in zacapa. 

Hermana Henriquez is from Honduras and is really tiny and thin. She tells me that she feels like "a sticker on a 100 pg notebook" when she hugs me. I also don't take offense when she tells me my calf is the size of her thigh. haha. yep. I have the response for why I am a "grandota" is because when I was a kid I ate my vegetables. Parents always say, "if you eat your vegetables, you will grow up to be big and strong" well, I guess it worked. Hermana Henriquez openly admits that she did not eat her vegetables as a child. Point proven. 

Hermana Henriquez is teaching me how to love like a latin. Latin friendliness is very different from american friendliness. My personality wants to fight it, but I'm doing some sould searching to approve of letting myself open my heart and change to love like a latin. We'll see... I think I should go for it. 

I love covenants. They are pretty much the coolest things ever. It's like a bunch of promises and promised blessings. I was thinking about how neat it is that we get the opportunity, through the power and blessing of the priesthood, to receive ordinances and covenants. I love that we can fully renew our baptismal covenant every Sunday in sacrament meeting. I was thinking about this the other day, and I had the thought that I want to do another ordinance. well, I've only got one left, and...well, it needs to wait for a bit. At least until I get back to America ;)

We had a ward talent show and I decided to draw a picture of christ in like 3minutes. now the whole ward wants me to draw for them. Yesterday Some menos activo needed help drawing a soccerball for her kid. My comp heard her asking her uncle or something, then my comp was like, "hey, my comp can help you!" So I drew it in like 4 minutes or so. They were very thankful, especially after trying so many times. yay! helping people with my talents! remember, ask the missionaries, they can help you!

the pictures are a drawing I did in hna. potrie's scriptures, and the other is hermana potrie and I

I am a representative of Jesus Christ

Changes. se va hermana Potrie. 
only six weeks with my companion, but it was a good 6 weeks. I learned a lot from her. She is super sweet and I know that she will have a lot of success in her life. I am grateful for the loving example she shows to me. She has a way of looking at everything with roses and happiness--something that hasn't been my strong point in life. I still don't think I want to view everything as my favorite, it makes for short boring conversations if EVERYTHING is your favorite/best. But she is super great. I am really glad that I got to know her better. 

We had a really neat multi zone conference with elder ochoa from the 70. He focused a lot on sharing our authority of being representatives of Jesus Christ. Explaining the NEED to do those things that we teach, as well as giving everybody an oportunity to accept the gospel. and being really BOLD. It was awesome and really spiritual, AND I got to see all of my missionary friends from outside of the capital. woohoo!

Meetings like these have helped me a lot. I am grateful for these opportunities. This is the only time I can walk around telling strangers to change their lives in the name of Jesus Christ. It is a large calling to fill. To represent Jesus Christ. it really helps to remember this calling and to do the right. Understanding who I am, " as a representative of Jesus Christ" changes the mission. If all missionaries would understand and act as a representative of Jesus Christ, I believe that there would be great miracles. However, as missionaries, we also need to let our investigators know this fact. That we ARE representatives of JESUS CHRIST. 

Also, every member has this special calling to take upon them the name of Christ. Really, we are ALL special representatives of Jesus Christ. 

This knowledge helps to always remember Him, keep His commandments, and to love others with HIS love. 

other fun things. Sometimes kids think I am 30 to 40 years old. like at least 5 have told me that. 
Other people tell me that I have hair of a doll, just because it is blonde. 

picture of us after soccer. and me and my comp standing out being unformal in our exercize clothes (my natural state of a t shirt and b ball shorts)

picture of my desk/table: my "tower of bable"'s my tower trying to get myself closer to God. 

Not your average service progect

We got a neat opportunity to make bricks this week. not your normal zone service progect I'd have to say. It's pretty much like when you were a kid. Dirt, Water, and since we are really legit, some weeds/straw. put it all in a big pile, mix it up, and put it in it's mold and let it cook in the sun. after you do that and make 800+ then you get to make a house. We all got some  good sunburns, this one guy called my comp moreno. which means brown-skinned. He really thought that she is like, totally different than me..whelp...we are both pretty white if you ask me. 

We had a really good zone conference this week. Our zone leaders shared with us some things from their special meeting with the mission predident ( I have no idea what it is called in english) They talked about the standard of excellence, goals, and reaching those goals, and not being hesitant to set higher goals and reach those. 

Another thing that really hit me was the dats that they told us about the hours of searching for new investigators, and the number of new investigators. Recently president watts set a goal as a mission that we could all find 20 new investigators in a particualr week. I don't think everyone found 20. but as a mission, we trippled the number of new investiators than what we normally do. That was neat to see happen. But then he made a comment after, "ok, was that an EVENT, or a CHANGE?" I think we can all apply this question in our lives. all of us are trying to improve and do good things. We try to be more patient, get good grades, loose weight, find new investigators (remember we should ALL be helping to find new investigators) and well, be more like Christ. After some good work and sacrifice, we may tend to look back, feel like we did a good job for that portion of time and then slip right back to where we were. 

I recently came across a hand out I received in mia maids and have kept all of these years. This lesson was impactful and on the back I wrote some goals of things that I need to improve, sadly, I still struggle in these same things. I have goals to really really change for the better, and well, perserverar hasta el fin. (endure to the end) 

That is what being a member of thet Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is all about. Becoming better people, and helping others do so as well. 

I know that this church is true.  I've gotten to the point where I have convinced myself (or  I suppose the spirit) that it isn't anyother way. I am in the Church of Jesus Christ, He is real, and THIS is His church. 

May we all continue building the kingdom of God on the earth (even if it is going to be built mud brick by mud brick)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tortialls, the key to a missionary's least in Guatemala

ok. This week. well, a highlight for me was this ADORABLE little guatemalan girl giving me a hug for like 5 minutes. she is probably 6 years old, and can definately make  better corn tortilla than I can. She was sooo cute. She was wearing her "tipico" clothing;I kinda want to snatch her up and take her home with me.

Speaking of tortialls, we learned how to make corn tortillas, These women were tortiando (translate that to  tortilling...yes, there is a verb for making tortialls) and we were telling them how we wanted to learn someday. They invited us then and there to work with them. We were there for like an hour and a half learning how to make tortialls. We found like 6 new investigators through making tortillas.

We had a big goal of 20 new investigators this week after the zone conference talking about the standard of excellence, and finding 12 new investigators. We put that goal because the mission put that goal, we prayed, looked,  and put in a good effort. we ended up finding 21! AAAnnnnd we learned how to make corn tortillas. 

 We also learned how to make flour tortialls. like the ones from cafe rio. I am excited to share that one  with my friends and family.

oh, here is a picture of our "armour of God" lesson we did with a couple of teenage girls. My comp is genious. 

Praying in specific and receiving blessings in specific is a real thing. The power of prayer with faith can make miracles happen. 
gotta go!
 love to all

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

ALL things testify there is a God.

So my comps family sends her stuff. which means.....I get stuff too. score. This week we were pleasantly suprised with delicious turkey jerky and jelly bellys, costco size. so good! we have very much so enjoyed planning sessions. especially our 3 our weekly planning. after eating jelly bellies for 3 hours we thought that we should probably stop. However, with our gift of jelly bellies, a note of warning calls to us. The dreadful COFFEE flavored brown one. which is really close to the root beer colored brown one. like, I can't tell the difference, and that's saying something if I can't tell a difference in color. well,   we have devised ways to avoid the coffee ones, did you know they actually have coffee in them? yeah, fun fact. ...#missionprobs. (yeah, I just used a "hash tag" sometimes I feel cool)

well, I am here to testify of Christ and His docterine. 
 Yesterday, we were talking with some recent converts who are teenagers, who we visited saturday night, but STILL didn't come to church. what?! well, talking to them sunday night, they were saying how they have all of their things to do and don't have time to go to church. But really, we all know that their time just wasn't organized correctly. If we put God first, the rest will work out. I am a witness of this. I'm not sure how, but it does. Just like the cute young womens example of putting the big rocks in the jar before the sand and little rocks, if we do the important things first, it works, if we don't, it doesn't all fit. I testify that this is true. That is it important to put important things first!

If I had more time I could make a cool gospel connection to avoiding the coffee flavored jelly beans. there is always a gospel connections. as alma, or amulek says "all things testify that there is a grand creator" all things testify of God. even avoiding coffee flavored jeally beans. 

I am glad with the goodness that I get to witness and learn from. I am grateful for tender mercies.  I am grateful for good friends and parents, family, and others. I am also grateful for my socks that I rolled up in a ball and threw against a wall for my exercize in the morning....yes, I'm getting desperate, but creativity will make things work.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

life with the Latins

I had a fantastic couple of hours of conversation with my comp, elder swayer, and hno. Muñoz who used to be a bishop and now has like 4 callings, including one in the stake.  Him, and his young family are really sweet. We talked a lot about difficult, deep, or profound questions dealing with the gospel. It was a spiritual feast. It was so nice to be able to talk with people that understand,  have bright ideas and comments, and who like to know. I jotted down some notes after we finished talking. 

If we don't follow everything that God tells us, it is as if we are saying that we know more than God. 
 use my talents to bless others, or else it is nothing. 
living the law of consecration. 
 the importance and ability to live free spiritually and economically; otherwise, we become slaves or subject to debt, to temptation, to emotiones. 
with the more knowledge and intelligence that we have the stronger our resistance is to evil. 
The glory of God is intelligence. 
dicipline is what makes america so ....awesome. 
avoidance of addictions in any form. 
efforts to become like God. 

That was just some of what we talked about. It was so good and really refreshing. it was like a thrill or rush of the spirit. It was really neat to talk with someone with more life experience. with a family, with a testimony. 

Another highlight of the week was the relief society valentines day activity. Latins know how to party, aren't shy, bashful or self-conscious. Let's just say it was the first pagent I have been to at a church activity. It was really hilarious to watch my comp get elected to be "hermana amistad" to the cat walk, give a speach, and then be crowned hna. amistad 2014. I guess she needs to return next year to pass  along the title. Good stuff. a lot of fun and laughter. 

I have tried a new tactic for my mission. To decide that whatever I am doing, in that moment, is like my favorite thing to do. It's okay to be happy now. we don't alsways have to be waiting for a moment, event, or situation to have happiness. even if it is walking in a hot desert in a skirt and sweaty shoes. it's like the BEST!

I know this gospel is true. and the more I learn, the more I love it. The more I feel confident that I am where I need to be. study and learn. Knowledge and our families are what we get to take with us in the next life. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

mission, round 2.

Zacapa. My new area is pretty great. It is smaller than my old one, but a lot more hilly and ...still hot. I''m in for a treat when april rolls around. 

Sometimes it is hard to believe that it is winter here. We were eating lunch one day when we realized that the olympics were on. It really took me a minute to think if it is winter or summer olympics right now. Winter. but there is a  reason why winter olympics aren't held in guatemala. 

My new companion, Hermana Potrie, is great. She is from California in the same mission as my sister susan. My companion speaks pretty good spanish, especially for only having 5.5 months as a missionary. She has lot of love for people, and teaches with the spirit. I have been blessed with some of the charity that I have been praying for, and all of the prejudice that I shouldn't have ever had, is gone. It's a humbling experience to be in a new area as senior comp, but not knowing how to lead without knowing the area and how things work here. I'm learning a bunch of new names everyday, I sure hope they stick. All of the memebers and recent converts here love hermana Winward (the old comp of hna. potrie) I have a LOT to live up to and to get these people to accept me. Hna. winward is very different from me, but I hope to do a good work with my time here, in Zacapa. 

I had a good experience teaching the first half of the plan of salvation the other day. The woman and her children didn't know very much of anything with the gospel (at least that is what we understood) so I was explaining the purpose of this life. I talked about Christ and his atonement being center and key to this plan. How we need to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ, have faith in him, repent, be baptised, and endure to the end with the guide of the holy ghost. To have a family, teach them these things, get a body, and proove faithful to Jesus Christ. Afterward, my companion asked the investigator what she thought about what I said, the woman said that everything that I had said was beautiful. success! I was able to share something, docterine, beautifully, I hope with the spirit, and with enough spanish skill not to kill the beauty of the message.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Adios Barrios

Well, I have changes....just as I thought I would. Finishing up 5.5 months in Puerto Barrios has been good. wow. five and a half months, in my first week, I probably wouldn't beleive that 5.5 months would ever actually come. Now that it has, I'm scared to leave.
I am going to Zacapa. Out side of the captial...still. Not very many people have two areas outside of the cap. But I'm not too many people. It's gonna be hot, but it's dry there from what I hear.
my comp. She is from america, has 5.5 months as a missionary (including the 6 weeks from the MTC) aaaaaaaaaand I'm gonna, I guess, pretend that I can understand spanish all of the way. I think we will live, but I'll probably do something wrong, "not listen" to someone, and probably offend somebody. but It'll be okay.
The primary was super sweet and gave me and hna. Zuniga (she is done with her mission) a necklace and a ring and wrote their names on a card and sang us a song and took a picture with us. They were pretty cute all giving us hugs and kisses. I love these kids, I hope someday I'll get to work in the primary (probably just cursed myself....that's okay).
apparently I'm a pretty good catch. There was this old man and his wife that we contacted and were talking to, and by the end of the conversation he was telling me that I needed to choose wisely a good husband ...." you have beautiful hair, your eyes are beautiful, you body is perfect; what more could someone ask!? " I said thank that awkward, thanks old man, I'm glad you think I'm super pretty, try telling that to the boys back in Provo. There was also this other woman who couldn't stop staring at my eyes, it was kinda weird, but I understand, I'M not even sure what color my eyes are.
funny story. My comp, hna Ynjo, and I were laying in the hammock together (feet to head) one night, after planning, and then we heard the rope break a bit, we looked at eachother with scared faces, and about a second later, the whole rope broke and we fell to the floor. I was pretty scared to hit my head or something, but the both of us were fine. Good stories like falling from a hammock are always fun.
The Liahona is AMAZING I understand why hna. Ramirez would spend hours reading the liahona in her spare time. I read almost all of the issue for january in one sitting. The messages from God to his children are real and continuing. We have a profet today that helps leads the church of Jesus Christ. He receives revelation, as well as the other general authorities which are pertinate to our day. I am grateful to have so many wonderful resources learn from and build my faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ.
the pictures are of me and the primary (and their leaders) and on a pretty sketchy bridge that needs new wood almost every time it rains. I get scared to cross that bridge, that day wasn't too bad at all.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

wow, what a week!

Last week, I finished the week of with some good interviews. 
this week. 

monday p day
tuesday mission meeting in the capital, so good to see everyone. There was some really neat things said and some testimony built. 

wednesday tri-mission meeting in the capital with elder cook (of the 12) and other general authorities. 

What was said in that conference was just what I needed. Seriously. It seems to me like the interviews I had saturday, and the meeting tuesday was to prepare me to receive what I needed to on wednesday in this conference. 
It was litterally life-changing / mission changing. 
The next day I got home and wrote down some lines that I really liked and put them on a card so I can review them fequently. some of the things I can remember off of the top of my head right now:

I am a representative of Jesus Christ
As a disciple of Christ, I do what He would do if He were here. 

Now is the time to be kind. 
love the people
eliminate making fun of others actions, even if it is in good fun
love your mission president and his wife. 

if you think this is a sacrifice, you will be sorry for yourself
if you think this is a privelidege, you will feel joy, every day

this is where you ought to be

Those are just a few of the thoughts I had written down, hopefully I will get some more for next week. 
I enjoy reading the letters from my missionary friends. I have some really inspiring people in my life. I know some of the comments they make help them, their families, their friends, and others. 

I also had a great privelidge of going with hermana Ynjo to get her patriarchal blessing. It was a really sweet experience. I am really glad that I got to be with her for that. 

We also had a baptism this week. Christofer is 13 and is a great example for his less active parents, the mom is reactivating and the little sister wants to get baptised soon too. There are great blessings to see a family reuniting in the gospel. 

We ALSO did this big mission activity for the ward. We set up the rooms in the chapel to be parts of the plan of salvation. Members participated, investigators came, the spirit was strong. Especially in the "celestial room" with the Ramirez family. When the people came in, they began to "thank us" for the good that we had done, how we were faithful, how we were baptised, how we went to church everyweek, did FHE everyweek, read scriptures, said prayers, did service and so much more. it was really really beautiful. I will hopefully send some more pictures so you guys can see more. It was pretty legit for our guatie opportunities. 

I can feel a real difference. This week has helped a lot. I hope to be a much better person than who I was when I left for my mission. I have a lot to learn, but my eyes are being opened. Thank you for the prayers! 

Love to all! 
Hermana Deb Hutchins

Cook in the Capital

This week we had interviews with the Mission president, his wife, and the Assistants to the presidents (AP's). And tomorrow we have a mission meeting in the capital, and then on wednesday, we have a tri-mission meeting with Elder Cook (like the one in the quorum of the twelve....not just some random missionary). We are all looking forward to that. 

The interviews were helpful. I was asked questions that got me thinking in a different way. I was able to feel the spirit clearly and receive some personal revelation as to what I need to do to continue improving. I am grateful for the wise cousel of my leaders, and their inspiriation. I could tell that Presidente Watts was receiving revelation as to what to say through the spirit that was felt, what he said, and how he said it. It was a neat experience. 

I had a good moment with the AP when he was asking how we are doing with certain goals of the mission. It was really neat to say that we have actually been focusing on those areas in specific and have seen some good progress. He was also impressed when we had a sheet in our area book that we record which recent converts are coming to church and how many people are in the chapel for sacrament meeting. He said that we were the only companionship who had made a sheet without being asked specifically to do so. It was on the mission plan list, so we did it, just turned out to be good. they really liked the layout of it and hope to design one of the computer. 

Not everyweek is a high dat week, hopefully this week will be better...but we are going to the capital for two days.....well, we have a baptsim (actually two) planned for friday this week. and a big activity planned for the ward to help with missionary work this saturday. We are looking forward to it. I hope it turns out well. 

Reading Ether 12:27 (the scripture about weak things becoming strong) seems to be really applicable to me, right now. I definately have some big faults that make a lot of this difficult, but I think that this message, to be humble and have faith and then see how the weak things can become strong will be really good. 

Extra bonus. We have plans to get hermana Ynjo's patriarchal blessing when we are in the capital. I was explaining to her what it is and such (she is a convert) she is really looking forward to it and so am I. This girl is incredible. I am so blessed to have this great companion to help me learn.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

there are fruits!

This week we got to see some fruit!

fasting really does bring miracles. The last two months, when we fast, we find a person that is super ready to be baptised that same sunday. It's pretty neat. 

One of the less active families that we had been working pretty hard with has come to church 3 times now, and the mother was just called to be the first counselor in the Relief Society. She is super cool and is now willing to help us out with the missionary work. I wonder what happened? Maybe they finally read Alma 5 like we had left them with...That chapter is powerful, I would suggest it to all. 

We hit some really great numbers this week, which felt really good. We are excited for some of these families who could be some potentially really great investigators and member families. wow. There was one night we were with this family who had received missionaries about 2 years ago. They are a really sweet family, but they only had gone to church once. We went searching in "antiguos investigadores" ...ancient investigators.... in our area book to see what info we could find about them. at first we couldn't find their sheet. but then hna ynjo remembered that we had divided the area, and they used to live in the other half, so maybe the paper would be in the other stack. it was! we found them, what the elders had put, and on the top of the page they had written "LOOK FOR THEM!" the last comment they had was that they have some really good potiential, but maybe it was just the work for some future missionaries. and here we are! We had a really neat night with them. I could feel some great spirit. I hope this all goes well. 

haha. We were teaching the investigator sunday school class this sunday, and I was making a comment after my companion and I said ( in spanish) "I testify what my companion, Hermana Ramirez said...."   yeah.. hermana Ramirez USED to be my companion. she is still giving me a hard time about that. 

I enjoyed some cereal today in the mall. I brought my own spoon, bowl, and milk. that was fun. 

I got my package from my family! thank you for everything! It was so perfect. My companion really liked the picture of me when I was like 1 years old in the white dress with blue polka dots...she made a copy of it at the kodax store. 

My companion has been helping me with my pronunciation. I read the book of mormon to her...well, el libro de mormon, and she helps me to improve with words and how to prounouce certain letters that are similar, but different. She says that sometimes I sound native. NATIVE! yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. now, if I could just sound that good all of the time. and then If I could learn like a few hundred more words, I'll be set..oh, and all of the rules too. yeah. languages. 

I am happy for my little sister in the ccm....mtc, in provo. She's rockin it. 

Thank you thank you for all of the support, prayers, letters...especially letters. and love. wow. thank you!