Monday, June 30, 2014

And the winner is...

Well kids, this week came and gone and with it...

And now in el 21 de Octubre we have been blessed to have the presence of Hermana Groll! And hermana Carias lived her dream of finally going to Choluteca with Hermana Flynn :)

Dats about Hermana Groll:
-from Northern Virginia
-studied at the BY
-is going to be a teacher of Mathematics
-is a lover of chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and fresh mangos
-patiently listens to all of my stories
-and served in MiraFlores with Hermana Zarate after I left :)

We are so happy to be together!
We came together to the mission, so we were already friends in the CCM and will be going home at the same time! 

In the short time we've been together we've managed to..
-say goodbye to President Hernandez. At changes we always have a big meeting so we had it this time and then when it ended everyone walked in and we were all singing and everyone had posters and other things for President and his wife. There were so many tears but also so much happiness that they were able to end on a good note. President Bowler flies in TODAY. Welcome to Honduras!
-learn how to make flour tortillas. We were walking and we asked an hermana if she needed help so we go in and it turns out that she works at a baleada restaurant that is SUUPER famous! Her only day off is on Thursday though, so we'll have to go back this Thursday so we can talk to her more! We had so much fun and now she says I'm all ready to teach my parents in Africa ;)
-We walked our entire area in the pouring rain. Some members came to pick us up to take us to their house for dinner and they just say, "hermanas, you got a little wet." We just laughed. Hermana Groll confided in me that she loves the rain and so we happily walked together smiling at everyone in our path.

Every day everyone sees how happy we are- happy because we are in the work of the Lord! There is so much to do every day, so many people to see, and it is oh, so exciting! I am so happy to be here, working where there are so many ready and willing to listen to us. It is such a great time to be alive, to be young, and to be a missionary in Honduras!

Love you all! :)

Monday, June 23, 2014

This week was crazy!

Before we start with how crazy this week was, we interrupt this e-mail with...


For those who don't know, Hermana Carias is my bilingual Guatemalan companion. This morning we were getting all ready to leave. As we are very occupied missionaries we often go to pray, then run to get something else, or say "shoot, I forgot that thing!" So this morning we are all ready to pray and I do the "tag check" (we tend to forget them on crazy mornings, like today because there was no water) and it seems like we are all good to go. But then we prayed and she says,
 "Gal darnnit hermana, I forgot something!"
 "What'd you forget?" "My Colgate smile!"
Haha I love her so much!

Wednesday is changes and there is a 50 percent chance that she is leaving. This will be her last change, but she has never been to the South, so we don't know if she will go there with Hermana Flynn, or end her mission here with me. It is always exciting and scary- we will see what happens!
This week was crazy for many reasons. We did divisions everyday and like always, with Hermana Carias and Hermana Snelson, crazy things happen!
Like how I went to a woman's house and she told us she was tired and her feet hurt so of course I said, "well, where is your lotion?" and then massaged her feet. We were just chatting when I said, "hermana, you should feel really special- I don't even do this to my mom!" That made her laugh :) She said I had to tell you I'll massage your feet, so you got yourself an official rain check :)
I also got really sick. It was horrible! It made me remember when I got sick 3 months ago. I felt terrible and could not leave my bed- so I did not for 2 days. The worst part was that I felt so bad for my companion. It was right after I came to Tegucigalpa so I felt so bad because when you get a new companion you just want to go out and get moving and I couldn't do anything!
I had called the nurse and she gave me a couple suggestions and told me to call her if I had any questions. So I took some medicine, and mostly rested.
Saturday night I was done-I wanted to go to church! I went out and got on my knees and said, "Heavenly Father, if it is thy will, please let this cup pass from me. I just want to take the sacrament so I can start this week over!"
The next day I woke up  and was totally fine. The nurse, Hermana Smart called me on Monday and said,
"hermana, how are you?" 
"I feel totally one hundred percent better!"
 "Oh good, I tried calling you Saturday night, but my phone didn't work so I just decided I'd pray for you! I'm glad you're so great!"
It was the most reassuring feeling! I know that I have more prayers than just those of Hermana Smart and I am grateful for each and every single one!
Anyway, this time I got sick wasn't nearly as bad as before. I just got a 24 hour flu and just had to rest. So I didn't work at all yesterday and just stayed at a members house. After my 2 hour nap  the 16 year old asked if she could paint my nails.  

  ​Goooo world cup!

Anyway, love you all, thanks for everything!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A day I'll never forget

On Saturday I woke up, looked outside to see if it was going to rain and then thought, 
"This will  probably be a day I'll never forget."

It all started with Personal Study. In the Liahona for this month (or New Era, if you speak English) there was an article about "what if I don't experience a burning in my bossum?" I personally have never experienced that, so of course I was curious. That led me to read, "It's a miracle" by Elder Anderson. If you have not read that talk, read it, it's great. But it led me to think about how different each mission where we are is. Elder Anderson talked about the faith of the saints in Mozambique, and I thought of all of the marvelous miracles that my parents see daily. But then I also thought of friend in Japan, and Germany, who maybe have miracles that are smaller, but just as grand blessings.

I told Hermana Carias, "Hermana, we are so selfish! We have to see all the blessings and miracles that are here in this area!" 

and so we did.

We looked over the plan for the day, and realized that we had no one to visit in the morning. Hermana Carias suggested that we contacted a joven who is friends with a ward member. We called him up, and he said of course we could come over! So we called the ward member and headed over.

So we start talking with Gabriel who is 19 and SOO nice when his mom walks in. She is really nice too so we were chatting with them when his dad and little brother walk in the door. We were so happy because we were able to visit the entire family and bear a powerful testimony of the Restoration.

All before lunch!

We went to contact another reference who was so excited to see us and excitedly asked when we can come back again. She says her family used to go to our church and believes they were baptized (sadly, so common here). She stopped going when she was 6 or 7 but she has wonderful memories of the primary and now wants her daughter to go.

Well, we visted some other lovely folks, and finally went to Kristian's.

Remember Kristian? He's 16, and his mom didn't want to give permission for his baptism. Long story short, we got it, and after his interview on Thursday he was positively beaming! He is so amazing. We had gone to visit him the day before, and were talking about the Holy Ghost and what a blessing it would be in his life. When we finished he said,
 "Hermanas, I was at school today and I saw some of my friends that I've stopped hanging out with because they do things that I know God wouldn't like. They were trying to get me to drink coffee and hermanas I was so stressed and I didn't know what to do! So I thought I should say a prayer. So I said a prayer and I just felt this feeling that I was choosing the right and I just felt filled with the Holy Ghost like God was saying "Good job." I'm so excited to have that always!"
So we stopped by his house to go to the church. It was starting to rain so we ran straight in the house. We noticed he was in basketball shorts.
 "Hey man, what are you doing? Go change!"
 He looked at us, "Hermanas, I'm not going to get baptized."


He explained that his dad didn't approve of him being baptized (his dad, who he hasn't seen for 8 years because he lives in the states and has another wife and family over there and his only relationship that he has with him is that he sends him money once a month.) And thus started the most stressful 20 minutes of my life. I have always been firm in that I always want my investigators to make their own decisions, so not wanting to pressure him into being baptized, we just explained our point of views. 
In the simplest form, we explained that he just had to choose which was more important, his dad, and the money that he sent or God. Kristian was just stressed. His mom signed the permission, but they all go to the Evangelical church. He was just worried about everything. But he just wasn't worrying about the important things- like the fact that he knows that this church is true and wants so badly to follow Christ's example. He had made that choice, but in the last minute Satan was fighting.
Finally he looked at us, and said,
 "Let's go Hermanas. I'm getting baptized!" 
He looked stressed, and nervous, but as soon as he came out of the water there was a huge smile on his face. And even more when he received the Holy Ghost. He turned around to me with a huge smile and gave me 2 thumbs up. 

That night we went to a deviontional. Kristian was sitting in between 2 investigators when one asked (miracle number 273: she was walking past the church and just walked in. A member found her and told her to come to the baptism. So that's how we met Perla :) ) what he had to do to be baptized. He was so animated as he explained, "Well, the hermanas come to your house and they teach you everything and they tell you to pray but you have to pray with faith and then you can know if it's true and when I prayed....." and Hermana Carias and I just smiled and when we came home we laid on our beds and said, "man, we are SO blessed!"

That's it for this week! Love you lots! :)

Monday, June 9, 2014

How do you know?‏

Hi everyone!

Anyone who has sent me letters.... I Haven't gotten them yet. Hopefully tomorrow at Zone Conference, we'll see! :)

Carol is 20 and is studying Math at the University. She is VERY Evangelical. We found her walking one day, she was outside washing clothes and we went over to start talking with her. We asked if we could come over, and she said sure!

I wasn't there the first lesson, but Hermana Carias found out that the missionaries visited her mom before. They never talked to Carol because she was always studying. We've been teaching her for a month and she would constantly say, 

"This is amazing, I never knew this before!" or "oh my gosh it says this in the bible?!"?!" 
She is so darling and so sweet. But every time we asked if she had prayed she said the same thing, "Oh Hermanas, I just haven't been able to pray with FAITH. I've been praying, but I know that if I want an answer, I have to truly ask him!"

Which is good, but she won't stop going to the Evangelical Church until she has her answer.

Last time we were there (Saturday) we asked if she got the answer. She got quiet, and looked at me. 
"Hermanas, I BELIEVE I got my answer, But I'm not 100 percent sure."
 We talked about Alma 32 (did I mention she is reading the Book of Mormon?) which she had just finished reading about how if we just have the smallest belief, God can help that to grow. I said that I still feel like my faith and testimony is a sapling, and I'm just trying to get it to be a great big tree.

Then she looked at us,
 "But Hermana, you were born in the church right? You've gone to the same church your entire life. How can you say this? How do you know that it's true?"

I sat there. Then quickly remembered. 

When we had gone to the temple just days before I sat in the temple. I sat there crying, overwhelmed with gratitude and just pure happiness. "Heavenly Father," I said, "I know that this church is true. I am so grateful for this knowledge and I will NEVER DENY IT. I don't care what happens, I know that this is true, and I will stop at nothing to share this truth."

This was the moment. I knew that I had to speak to Carol with the spirit so I said a silent prayer then said,
"Carol, I know that this is hard for you. I know that you have gone to your church for 10 years and that it has helped and guided you for you. I'm grateful that God put you in the Evangelical church! But now is the time. God wants you to be able to be in His true church. And what we are saying is that this is the only one. The only doctrine that will teach you the things you need to be saved. And the only way that you can truly be baptized. I know it, because everytime I share my testimony I can feel the Holy Ghost and I just know, without a doubt that these things are true. I am so happy that you believe, and I know that if you keep praying and reading the Book of Mormon, then you will be able to know."

I just love this work :)

-Hermana Snelson
(my pictures aren't working for some reason, sorry! But just imagine me smiling enthusiastically, and loving Honduras :D )

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mis queridos amigos y familia!‏

Hey there!
I got letters! Thanks to:
-Elder Baird
-Elder Benfell
-the Riverside Ward
-and my homegirl Brooke Michele! 

Thanks everyone!

Alright now, I have had this written in my agenda for weeks and am finally getting around to tell you...


(as told by her companion slash best friend Hermana Snelson)

-she LOVES lemons. Seriously though, this is how it goes like everyday

"wow, I'm really craving any fruit, veggie, or just... anything"

"yeah, that sounds so good! with a little lemon..."

It's hilarious. As a result, I have tried:

-cucumber -tomato -papaya -mango -carrots -chips -rice -beans and well, you get the point.

She loves lemons so much that her parents planted a lemon tree at her house. I love it!

-She loves chips! If we go to the pulperia I mix it up, sometimes cookies, or sweet bread, or a banana. But Hermana Carias. Chips. Everytime. And the hotter the better. She loves hot cheetos, but you can only get them in the states.

-Her older brothers served missions, and her little brother is serving right now. A family full of missionaries! 

-At night, she is usually in bed before I am. I'll be in the bathroom, then forget something so then I run to hurry and write it down and then I just get distracted. But EVERY NIGHT she makes me shut the bathroom door. I finally asked her why, and she said, "hermana Snelson, MONSTERS" "what?" "you know, like in monsters inc?" "dude, I know what you're talking about... but you're scared of monsters?" "you never know!" "I'm sorry Hermana, but if Sully walks out of our bathroom door, I'd be STOKED"

Well, there you go :) 

Yesterday, we went to church. We were planning to have more people at church, but only one came. I was in sacrament meeting sitting there meditating and thinking about everything I had done and accomplished. I just felt this warm happiness as the speaker stood up to give their talk. I don't remember what they talked about- but I do know that it was the same doctrine that Christ taught- that we are truly in the same church that Christ established and that I was chosen to come here!

My Dad brought up an interesting point- I wasn't planning on this. I mean, I was always planning on serving a mission. But never in a million years had I planned on serving when I did, going to the temple when I did, or coming to Honduras. But I know this is where I need to be, when I need to be, and I have to exercise that calling to the very best of my abilities! I am so grateful to be here, and to have all of the love and the support that I am blessed to have!

Love you kids! Keep up the work!

-Hermanita eSnelson

Funny story: Latinos can't say Snelson. Well, they can after a little practice. But when I meet people for the first time, I always say, "Mi nombre es Hermana Esnelson" so they can pronounce it. Well, yesterday this woman just wasn't getting it, so she finally said, "oh! Miss Nelson!" I just smiled and said, "eh, close enough" haha :)

OTHER funny story: we got home yesterday and after a good Honduran rainstorm, naturally we needed some hot brownies. So I was mixing up the batter when we got a text message. It was from the assistants. Hermana Carias starts reading it outloud. They were reminding us about mission council (I think that's what it's called in English....) which is a meeting with all the leaders in the mission, at 9 and then it said that we would enter in a session at 2 pm. 

"Wait, Hermana, what did you just say?" "it says right after council we'll go to the temple."
We stood there in shocked silence. Then we just looked at each other and smiled and I was jumping and then I was just on the floor so happy. I promptly stood up and said, "Hug me hermana!" so then we were just hugging and jumping so happily.

So we'll be at the temple on Wednesday :)

Okay, love you bye!