Monday, July 29, 2013

The week of sprinkles and cherry on top!


So I´ve come to the conclusion that a mission is like an ice cream sundae. I once had an ice cream sundae with 10 different flavors of ice cream and 10 different toppings. A mission is like that. It is super huge and intimidating but you know it will be sweet if you just dive in and take a bite. Luckily for me, I have yet to experience anything that I wouldn´t like as much... like gummy worms. 

This week was full of sprinkles: the extra things that are thrown on top for no apparent reason other than  being so blessed!

Monday- after we finished e mailing Hna. C and I went shopping! Luckily for me, I have a companion that only wants to go to thrift stores. I had to buy a pillow, and got directed to another store so we were walking and I saw a store across the street with a cute skirt on display. Concoha said we could visit later so we went and the lady said it was 10 limpiras... .or 50 cents. What??? She said the whole store was only 10 limpiras and they get new stuff every week so we found our new favorite store!

Tuesday- We got up and were studying when I heard someone yelling my name outside. Confused we ventured outside to where our Zone leaders were and told us that we had a meeting that day. Because I´m off the transfer schedule, last Tuesday was when all the new kids arrived. So they had a huge greenies mission to pretty much explain everything I didn´t know my first confusing week here. Awesome. But It was really fun because I got to see the 10 ladies that were my friends in the CCM. It was so nice talking English all night, and answering all the questions the girls had. They all loved Hna. C and said they were so jealous that I had the best trainer ever. Well don´t I know it :)

Wednesday- Because it was changes, a bunch of missionaries were driving to the city from all of the different areas for changes. Hna C wanted to go to drop off a package for the south. So we went and who should I see but my one and only Hermana Torres! One of the two of the mischievous Mexican roommates in the CCM! We were so so so excited and there were many hugs, kisses, and pictures. After, we finally got to teach lessons- for the first time that week. I was surprised how much I missed it after only two days!

Thursday- of course we couldn´t have a normal day this week, so we went to the dentist. We were walking there following the directions from the ZL´s when we saw 6 other missionaries, so I´m like, oh cool, they´re here too. Then we got led to this room where there were about 40 missionaries. There was this organization, mostly made of people from Arizona, that was here for a week, and they chose this day to do missionaries. I got to see some more CCM friends, and just hang out and chat with missionaries. Some moments like that make me feel almost normal- just sitting around talking to people. Until you realize that you are looking up scriptures together and geez, you are now totally a white missionary. It´s cool, I´ve decided to embrace it :) But anyway, it was really cool because the place where the office is is in our area, right? And they teach english classes next door. The teachers are mormon, and were helping translating, and one of them was talking to me and said most of his class isn´t members and would I like to come and talk to them in english and share my testimony? You better believe I would! We haven´t had time to go yet, but were able to get a couple references so that was nice :) 

Friday- was our first normal day. But I mean, nothing is normal when you´re on your mission because you´re  a servant of the Lord. We got a new investigator, Norally, who was really accepting of the Restoration and our message. We are going over tonight to have FHE with her and her sisters and show them a movie. We´ll see how that goes :)

Saturday- we had a clothing drive! Some of the elders are serving in a poorer part of the city, so we asked ward members to donate clothes. Before that, we had english classes! Elder Preul (my DL) and I reviewed what he had taught on Tuesday, and then we taught everyone how to say how they were feeling. As people left they said I feel happy! So that was good. 
For the clothing drive we had people watch The Restoration before they were allowed in the room with the clothes and then we gave them Liahona´s and got their numbers after. It was pretty good for being put together last minute (nice one elders) and so we´re planning on doing one in August or September.

Sunday- Ignacio went to church! He is one of our investigators who is a security guard for our neighborhood. So we visit him while he´s at work and teach him about the book of mormon and the gospel. He is amazing because he works from 9 saturday night until 6 in the morning and he STILL went to church. He was worried about taking a shower, so a member said we could have him go over (at 7 in the morning) and he could hang out before he left to church. Thanks Hermana Margarhita! He loved being there and even wore a white button up shirt and black slacks, so that was awesome. We´re going to visit him at work, so we´ll get the whole opinion of how church was.

So it feels like I didn´t do much teaching this week, but the moments we were able to were awesome! I just feel so much love and happiness everyday and count my blessings everyday. ;) Even scrubbing our laundry by hand...that's fun!

I Love You All!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Coquetar por bautizar!‏

Hello everyone!! :)

Just an FYI: My pday is always on Monday, so if you want to email me by Sunday night, then I will be able to read them! 
First, the title. So our Zone leader was at the house the other night checking up on us and was asking about our investigators. We explained how we were wanting more people to come to church and he says, ¨Hermana you gotta coquetar por bautizar¨ I was so confused so he turns to his companion to demonstrate. It was flirting! I think the best thing was just watching him acting like he was flirting. But anyway, now you know the spanish equivilant of flirt!:) 

My companion, Hermana C said it again when we were planning the other night. We did not have many appointments for the day and so we decided that we should just open our mouth. We are not allowed to knock doors- too dangerous. so we just talk to people in the street. I said yeah, and wrote it in my schedule. Then she asked how many besos I had gotten that day. Since I am white, random people will yell out anything they know in English: usually my love! or pretty lady! or blow kisses at me, and Hermana C said that we just have to talk to them! yeah... because that would go over well.....ha!

In other recent news, I got my first marriage proposal of the mission! He was actually pretty clever.... We invited him to church, and he said, ¨why don´t you come to my church with me? Maybe we can get married?¨ good one... The elders asked me how I responded but I had no clever spanish come back. Ah well :)

Now the serious stuff:

The other night Hermana C and I were doing companionship inventory which is where we can give compliments, and tell each other things each other needs to work on. I asked if there was anything I needed to improve and she said, ¨nope! You´re perfect!¨to which I laughed, then said, no, seriously, is there anything I need to do?
She got really quiet, and started crying. She and her companion before did not get along too well, and Hermana C said that it was so so frustrating for her. She found out the day before I came that her companion was going home and she was getting a new companion. She said she was praying that night and asking heavenly father to please send her someone who would work,  who loved the gospel and had the same goals as her, to share it with as many people as possible. She looked at me and said, ¨You are my answer. You´re here, and you´re the answer I´ve been waiting for.¨
Well, obviously at this point we´re both bawling and I told her that the Sunday before I came was fast Sunday. Per Chad´s suggestion I decided to fast for my trainer. As I prayed to open my fast I thought about the things that I wanted: patient, loving, a love for the gospel and a want to work hard. As I knelt there, I realized that having a trainer who spoke english just was not important to me. And you know, everything has worked out perfectly. I learn more and more of the language everyday because I´m forced to talk in it all of the time. and I learn so much from her. The Lord really does know what he is doing.

We had one investigator go to church yesterday! Her name is Francesca, about 60 and probably the most hilarious person I have ever met. The instant she found out my parents are in Africa and I won´t see them for a long time she said, Well, I´ll just be your abuelita! She has so many doubts and we try and try to ask her to pray but she just does nothing. We´ll have to drop her if nothing happens because the missionaries before us taught her. We´re going to teach her with our District leader on Tuesday and see what happens. 

I say it in my prayers, but I am so grateful for this unexpected opportunity to be sitting here in Honduras, writing to my parents in Africa and all my friends in all other parts of the world. I love you all so much and am grateful for every single one of your examples.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hello Honduras!

Hi everyone!
(Happy birthday to Matthew and Nicole! And belated to miss Danielle :)

 Hermana Concoha. I don´t remember what I told you already so we will start from the beginning. She is 21 (latina´s could serve at 20 before the change) and has been here for 11 months. She has only been in this area for 1 month, and opened it which means we have a lot of work to do. Which I love because It keeps us busy. :) She has 6 kids in her family, but only she, and her older brother are members. Oh, and her grandparents are dead. I can´t imagine the sacrifices that she has been through. First, being one of two memebers in her family, and the fact that her mom was diagnosed with Cancer right before she left. So much faith! But, miraculously, her mom went to an appointment a few months ago and they said all the tumors were all gone. Aaaand they´re still not members. I love her so much and she is so patient with me and I call her mom and she calls me her daughter and is always watching out for me. Like today! But that´s another story :) And she ALWAYS says ¨I love you¨ :)

Next: our house. We live in an apartment behind someone´s house. She isn´t a member and wants nothing to do with the church but is suuuper nice to us :) We have a pretty big kitchen with a hot plate and no chairs, an office with tables and chairs where we study, and our room with a bunk bed. My bed is actually broken, kind of in half so it´s shaped like a V, which hasn´t been a problem so far since I am so exhausted every night I just pass out anyway.

Our neighborhood and area is part of the richer part of Honduras, so Hermana C says that the people don´t think they need anything because they have everything. But I am so suprised by how open people are. We just walk up to someone and ask if we can share a folleto about Jesus and they all say yes. Then we ask to visit them and they for the most part say yes. It´s so funny to me becuase that would NEVER happen in the states. Oh! Haha, something else that would never happen at home- We were teaching a lesson to one of the security guards (they´re everywhere mom, don´t you fret, I´m safe!) and he was talking to 2 random guys and we ask if we can go up and sing a hymn and say a prayer and they´re all, yes yes please do! So there we stood in the middle of the street, singing I am a Child of God. You know, welcome to Honduras! :) 
Other thing- besos. It reminds me of Hawaii when I just hug and kiss everyone, but you know, welcome to South and Central America. Anyway, we go to teach this guy we had found on the street, and he goes into kiss my companion, Hermana. C and obviously she moves away. He looks at me so confused as to what he did wrong, and while I was laughing so hard I explained that it´s because we´re missionaries and it´s nothing personal, promise.

Spanish- pretty good! Having a companion that only speaks spanish definitely helps. The way that most lessons work is I explain a principle in my limited abilities, then she fills in the gaps. It gets better everyday, and my investigators notice and are so excited and proud of me. It´s so great :)

Current Investigators: Adonai and Miriam. So we taught them and discovered that they had taken the discussions before. At first, Adonai just talked. But then we realized that it was Miriam who really wanted the gospel. The other day we went over and she was making tamales in the kitchen. When we asked how she was she said she was sad because Adonai and her had gotten in a fight and he had stormed out and left. We asked if we could sing to her, and sang a couple hymns. We met her little granddaughter Angela, who volunteered Miriam to say the prayer. It was beautiful, not being able to completely understand everything, but she said she was so grateful for the Jovens in her home, and feel of such a sweet, peaceful spirit. The best part was that you knew she was feeling it too because there were tears in her eyes. We didn´t really have a lesson planned when we left, but it was perfect because she just needed friends and someone to listen to her and love her. She wasn´t able to come to church this week, but hopefully she can next week so her baptism can be the first week of August.

Mardan? Shoots I need to learn how to spell her name. She is about 13 and is Catholic and works for another family in the ward. She is super sweet, but so so shy so the lesson we taught her she hardly said a word which is frustrating because that´s the only way I can teach. But you know, the church is still true. She went to church on Sunday so we are hoping we can prepare her for baptism on the 27th. We´ll see. :) 

Those are the only investigators with a date, we´ll see how the others progress.

This is the fewest investigators Hna. C has had her whole mission because she served in the south where it´s super poor and super humble. But I feel like the poeple are more humble than the states, even though we´re in the richer part. 

Today was awesome! My whole zone went on a hike and I felt like I was in Hawaii the entire time.

 So many waterfalls, and it was so beautiful. There are 14 of us. I was surprised how nice it was to speak English! Everyone is super nice but there are changes next week, so we will see who goes and who stays.

We also went shopping and I bought a skirt and a purse.

 She was super super good with bartering, mom better than you! Haha. 

Life is good! I am in shock most days that this is my life and that I am so blessed, I love it so so much.

And  you guys. I love you all so much :)

-Hermana Snelson

Friday, July 12, 2013

Welcome to Honduras!

Hi everyone I´m here and well!
 Sorry I couldn't e mail yesterday, there was just no time! President was going to let me call the states, but I don´t have Chad or Brooke´s number memorized... sorry kids. But I am here and am loving it! My companion is adorable, Hermana Concoha from Guatemala and probably... about 4´8¨mas o menos.

 I love you all so much and am so grateful for all of you. 
 Hmm... what things should I tell you with my short time? Well first of all, I flew first class. Crazy, yeah? I don´t even know how that happened but I am not complaining. I felt pretty bad because I got on first for both flights. We first flew to El Salvador, then Honduras, and the rest of the sisters just walked past me. Probably the most awesome and awkward moment of my life. But it was great. I got plenty of sleep on both 45 minute flights.

 They originally were going to keep me in the CCM for 2 weeks because I´m off the transfer schedule which is in 2 weeks when the other ladies come. Sorry, the people I flew with are going to Comyaguela. Anyway, President Nicholyasen, the CCM pres wanted to keep me in the CCM for 2 weeks, but my mission president, President Hernandez, said eh, send her. It ended out working out perfectly because Heavenly Father knows what he is doing and Hermana Concoha´s old companion got sick and left the day I came. I´m the first norte she had ever trained and she hardly speaks English. But, its all good! I feel like I understand a lot. 
Yesterday I went on an exchange with Hermana Bitter, who is a Norte and after each lesson I would make sure I understood everything she said.  It was so amazing. I was sitting there and was like shoots, I´m totally going to have to bear my testimony, and then Hermana Bitter asked me too. And you know, the Lord truly does provide in our times of need. It was so great. I talked a lot at our last lesson, and today when Hermana Concoha and I went out. We only visited 2 people, and the first one goes to another church and has been going there for 28 years and doesn´t want to change. But! she wants to learn English, so we´ll definitely be using that to our advantage. The second house we were going to visit for just a bit because we had to come here to the church but the hermano, we taught him and his wife, was telling us how he had visited with the elders almost 20 years ago, had read the book of mormon and knows it is true. Hermana Concoha and I decided he needs faith, and we are going to fast for him. 

The gospel is so true, and there is no way I can ever, in a miilion years deny it and the blessings it had been in my life. I love you all so so much. I don´t think I say it enough. You are all so wonderful!
 p.s. thanks to Matthew and Nick for my letters at the CCM, and to my miss Bee for my card the moment I arrived in Honduras. I promise there will be more information and pictures next week, but for now feel free to send your questions!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hello hello from CCM!

Hello hello hello! Shoutouts: -to Aaron Weaver and Heidi Pops for their adorable letters! -to another DearElder from Mother Anderson. -to my dear Tynan who enters the MTC TODAY! -and to Justin Anderson who is companions with Timpview's own Austin Fullmer! It's a small mormon world after all!! Last p-day we went to the Mercado!

 It was tons of fun and really good Spanish practice! :) I taught all the girls how to haggle before we left (thanks mom) and I was so proud to see their skills!!! I managed to get myself a cute Guatemalan dress and beautiful woven headband... not too many things because I want to just get more in Honduras, but it was an incredible experience and everyone in my district agreed that it just made us a ton more excited for the field! Yes mom, I got myself a kangaroo pack and I love it!! It is beautiful and had my name and my mission on it and I already use it a ton.

 Hermana Butler and I and our entire district ship out the same day. That's how they assign districts. Some of them are staying here in Guatemala so they take the van but for the rest of us, we get to get up at 2 am next Tuesday and all go the airport together. There are a lot of sisters going to Comayaguela, and one Latina going to TEG, so we will all be flying together which will be so much fun. It's crazy that my time is already ending at the CCM but I am so so so excited to go out to the field. The new group only had 4 sisters in it! So small, but still good. :) Last week we were in class at a church by the temple when we see 2 pairs of eyes and little hands outside the window. We said hi, but they of course were extremely shy because everyone acts like we are white gods, or something. We talked to them and you know, it is sooo much easier talking to kids because they talk slow and use big words, and have no problem correcting you or helping you find the right word. We asked their names, ages, (6 and 8) asked them if they liked primary, and if they wanted to be missionaries too. They love primary and love to sing and told us they want to be like their cousins and teach the gospel. They had to go because their cousin was calling to them. Later we were walking back to the chapel after lunch when they ran up yelling "misionarias misionarias!!!" We ran up, hugged, and kissed them (there were 2 more now) and talked to them for a little bit. One of the girls asked if she could take a picture, so we took a picture with all the hermanas in my district and then all the little girls took pictures with each of us. It was adorable! One of the senior missionaries from the CCM took a picture as well... so Hopefully I should be able to get that... eventually. So! on Sunday We got up and got all prepared. The way it works is everyone prepares a lesson with their companion for Sunday school and a talk for sacrament meeting and they randomly get called on. So we go to Sunday school to see that Branch President is there (usually its the CCM 1st counselor, Brother Johnson, who was sick) so of course he picks on me because we are best friends ever since Butler and I sang in sacrament meeting. So that punk picked me and we did fine. The key is to ask a lot of questions and just follow up after (si, es verdad! o, oh si, es me favorito parte!) So the lesson went great. :) We get to sacrament meeting where they call one person from every district. the first speaker was elder halling from my district who has really been struggling with the language. He was nervous, but did great. My district did the musical number (we should be sending that as well....) and it was amazing. President stands up to announce the last 2 speakers... Hermana Larson... and me. Seriously presidente?? when I got up there I said (in spanish) "i would like to thank president for the opportunity to talk so much today! First in Sunday school, then to sing, and now I get to speak to you." Then I turned around and said gracias. Well... long story short I wasn't prepared.... good one Aubs. One of the most humbling experiences... just when I thought I was off the hook. The topic was enduring to the end and I talked about my parents and how they have been examples of doing the Lords will. First how my Dad gained his testimony of the Book of Mormon, then decided to serve a mission, and then his willingness to serve a mission again. I spoke of how my parents are great examples to me of enduring to the end and knowing that we often have to choose Gods will, and not our own. Did I mention it was all in Spanish? President thanked me after, but I told him I better be off the hook next Sunday. Oooh and I gave the closing prayer in a meeting, so at snack time that night a bunch of the other kids were joking that this entire place would have fallen apart on Sunday if it weren't for me. Ha. This will be my last e mail for about 2 weeks because I won't be able to e mail next week. Thank you to everyone for all of your support. I feel so much power and comfort going out in the field knowing that I have my own royal army behind me all the way. Love you all! hermana Snelson