Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Hola de Hermana, 27/3/12

Hola mi familia asombrosa!!!  :)

Mom, Way to go for figuring out how to do the upside down spanish ! and other keyboard stuff!  I still don't have the patience to add all the symbols and am still lacking comfort on the spanish keyboard...  Kudos for your work!  :)

This week was interesting.  My first Bible Bashing lesson with a neighbor of Lui, and I really didn't like it.  The Spirit wasn't there, and I totally lost my patience and was not the best representative of the Lord.  I was so eager to leave the lesson that I practically leaped out of my chair to leave, and then Carlos (smuggly) asked "Shouldn't we close with a prayer?"  Oooooo...  I was not pleased with myself.  I apologized the next day to Carlos for losing my patience and he was pretty pleased to accept it.  I felt so bad that Lui had asked us to teach Carlos, and that we weren't able to achieve anything of significance.  But we're grateful Lui is standing up for his testimony, with what little of the gospel he does know, and that's he's working to learn more.  We found him teaching about the Atonement to some other much more receptive neighbors a night or two later.  :)  I hope he gets his mission call while I'm still here. 

Today is the first day of the next cambio.  I'm still here with Hermana M and I'm grateful.  I want to write a scripture list to give to our investigators about the Plan of Salvation for Easter.  :) 

Sunday afternoon we got a call that Guatemala is changing some laws and some of the newer missionaries needed to go yesterday to the capital to "sign something".  So yesterday we left Xela at 4 am for a 4 hour bus ride to Guate, and then spent about 6 hours sitting in some sort of legal office.  Every one of the 30 missionaries just had to have a foto taken and some of them sign something.  It was a pretty funny way to spend a pday.  :)  But highlights included being fed Big Macs from a local McDonalds, and later getting a tiny chocolate frosty from Wendys.  They tasted pretty good.  :)  :)

But the best part was the four hour bus ride back to Xela.  It was the first meditative car ride I've had since from the CCM to Xela five months ago.  And I thought a lot about those awesome rides to the ranch.  While Molly wasn't fogging up the window with her doggy breath, I did see the bus driver wipe his window with a towel.  While I wasn't able to talk with Dad, I was able to receive personal revelation I needed from the Spirit and the scriptures.  While we weren't driving through Ogden Canyon, we did wind that huge tour bus through Xela's mountains with the occasional near stall.  Rounded Xela hills replaced WY's plateaus.  Sweet rain and exhaust replaced WY sagebrush.  An ancient pickup truck with men sitting in the back under a tarp replaced commercial haulers.  But I can still see some of the same constellations (Orion, pleides).  And somehow we can still see the same moon.  Oh, and spanish radio replaced Fleetwood Mac and Lucinda Ronstadt's spanish trills.  :) 

What I am so grateful for is that those reflections don't make me homesick like I would have been a month ago.  I feel appreciative.  I'm focusing on the people, and that has made a world of difference.  And the realization that I only have a year left has left me hopping.  Time flies so fast.  It is precious.

And my all time favorite quote resurfaced this week in Spanish. 

"El reino de Dios o nada."  --Pres John Taylor

I testify Jesus Christ LIVES!  He is our Lord and Savior, and we are preparing for His glorious return.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


--Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hola de Hermana, 19/3/12

Hola mi familia!  

A very good week.  :) I'm grateful for our companionship and that we're continually working to be better.  Little tender mercies every day, like 11 year old Andres running up behind me yesterday, "BOO!" and I let out a great big Ivy yelp of surprise and laughter.  :)   Estoy agradecida por ustedes y su amor.  I received your birthday package and my brother's letter on Tuesday.  :)  :)  :)  Thank you!!!  I hope we can find some beautiful earth to put those work gloves to work, and I'm excited for the whiteboard for estudio del idioma.  I LOVED the sticky notes.  THANK YOU!  And the chocolate tastes great...  Thank you thank you thank you!  and thank you for the birthday emails!!!

Our zone actually had interviews with Pres Bautista on my birthday, and that's when I asked for permission to send a happy birthday test message.  :)  Hermana M asked for permission that we could eat at an Indian restaurant in our area, and so I actually got to eat saag paneer...  Oh it tasted marvelous!  And that night the familia Villatoro cooked the box cake mix you sent.  They are one of my "families" here in Xela.  I'm so grateful for them.  And Hermana M gave me one of the most creative candy cards I've seen.  :)

Lui was baptized!!!  I'm going to send copies of my journal entry to you.  Alex Villatoro, his neighbor who introduced us, baptized him.  I LOVED the moment right after "the dunk" when Lui gave Alex a great big bear hug.  


Jesus Christ Lives!  He knows and Loves us!  And it is when we are doing His work striving to be like Him that we are most happy and succesful. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hola de Hermana, 12/3/12

Hola mi familia!!!  

Gracias por los wishes de cumpleanos!  :) :)  :)  

It's also time to plant seeds!  Tomatoes and peppers 6-8 weeks before planting, all the melons 4-6 weeks before.  While the weather here is a little warmer, and I've even spotted DANDELIONS, I can totally picture Utah spring and those cute baby calfies...  

Great news this week from our president: we are going to be able to go to the temple one time before the end of our mission! I'm excited!  The photos I've attached were taken by a member family in our ward.  The temple is gorgeous.  :)

Tuesday night devotional was funny and good.  A menos activo named Edgar showed up dressed in his best church clothes and drunk.  He has the most incredible radio or opera voice I've ever heard in my life.  And he didn't remember or act on his desires to put his life in order by coming to church yesterday...  We've decided it might be more effective to just put up a sign with our Sunday meeting times instead of hoping for people to show up...  But Lui and a friend of his came and that was good.

A personal growth realization this week.  In Dec Hma S and I taught an abuelo named Carlos, and I could hardly understand a thing he said.  This week Hma M and I went and sang some hymns for him, and I understood nearly EVERYTHING he said!  It was so cool!

So grateful to be learning from RMs in the barrio.  After a lesson, Maco told us how in Honduras on his mission they not only contacted 15 people in the streets every day but EXTENDED THE BAPTISMAL INVITATION to those same people!  He looked around, saw a lady on the other side of the street, and said, "Go contact her now!"  And Hma M started to go and nearly got hit  by a car.  "Pero hay carros!"  His reply, "Pero hay una alma!"  Hma M, "Pero soy una alma tambien!" And we went and Hma M started talking with her.  I LOVED how she asked her, Nilsa, what she knew about the gospel of Jesus Christ and showed her a photo of John baptizing Christ, and she extended the baptismal invite, and Nilsa accepted on the condition when she knows our message is true!  SO COOL!  Hma M and I were just tickled pink, and this is something we're going to keep striving to do.

I love you all so much!  I testify Jesus Christ lives and loves us!  He lived his life as the perfect example for us, and has asked and commanded us to Follow Him.  Through Him we can live with Him and our families for eternity, and BECOME LIKE HIM TOO!  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


--Hermana Ivy [-], grateful for amazing people and examples and you.  :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hola de Hermana, 5/3/12

Hola mi familia fantastica!  

I´m so grateful for your emails and to know you´re continuing to bless so many lives and learn so much!  And thank you for including news from the ward and what you´ve learned about the gospel.  That meant so much to me!  

We´re continuing to work hard.  Sometimes I feel frustrated because I know there is a TON of potential here (two companionships in a TINY area), but that we´re not realizing that potential in baptisms.  It has been easy to let myself feel down and wonder what and how I need to change.  I’m grateful for Hma M and that she is so good at staying positive and helping me to not stress.  

So we´re continuing to try new things, This last week we started doing a spin off of the ¨service scavenger hunts¨ which seem to be a fairly common campus activity in Utah.  Only here, we typed up a list of things we can do to serve people, and have asked people what we could do to serve them, then also who else they know that we could serve (a pretty awesome way to get to know new people without the `people stressing about ¨missionaries¨.  Another great idea of Hma M.  :)  And tomorrow we´re having a devotional in the chapel about the Restauration.  I thought our chapel is in such a visible area and people here are actually looking for truth but don´t know where to find it, why not adverstise a devotional welcoming everybody?  We´ll see how it goes.  We´re asking members to do most of the teaching, and I´m hoping that way they´ll bring their neighbors.  

We´ve been teaching 20yr old Lui for about two weeks, and have a baptismal feche for the 17th, but will probably move it to the 16th because apparently the 17th is a big birthday for Relief Society...  Lui soaks in all the lessons like a sponge.  When we taught him the first few lessons he would ask tons of questions but also explain what he understood so clearly, without having been taught before, that blew me away.  I started telling him, ¨Sabe todo, Lui!¨ The problem of the past few days is that we´haven´t explained our ¨no touching rule¨between us and guys, and he has been getting more and more touchy friendly...  We´re grateful a RM in the ward has been sitting with him and offered to explain the ¨rules¨¨.  We also arranged for five members of the consejo de barrio to agree to call Lui one weeknight each to verify that Lui read his assignment in the Book of Mormon and answer any of his questions.  Lui´s father is a widower, and Lui has four brothers.  They live with their tio and abuelos, and we´re praying that their hearts will be opened that we can enter their house.  Lui still hasn´t told his dad he is going to be baptized.  His family is very Catholic.  

We taught a lesson with 21 people on Jueves.  :)  A grandmother who converted from Evangelism about 5 years ago invited us to have a family night with all her daughters and their kids.  We taught the Restoration.  It was cool, but parts of it reminded me of a salesman-like pitch.  Probably because we hadn´t planned on how or if we would extend commitment invitations, and I didn´t feel like it was as powerful as it could have been.  Another problem was that not one of the spouses of all those women were there...  

I testify that Jesus Christ lives and He is our Savior and Redeemer!  Through the power of His Atonement we can change.  When we want to change, He will help us through the power of the Holy Ghost.  And we have the right and power to rise above darkness, and it is our choice to do so.  In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen.

--I love you LOTS!

Hermana Ivy [-]