Monday, September 24, 2012

Hola de Hermana, 24/9/12

Hola mi familia increible!  

I love you tons!  THANK YOU so much for all your emails this week!  I'm so glad Hannah got to see those gorgeous colors in Logan Canyon!  I still haven't seen them at their peak and am jealous!  Here during cold season some plants just totally drop their leaves (still green)--there are no changing colors.  And then they sprout new leaves again in spring.  

I celebrated my year mark with rellenitos from Hna D.  :)

Random bits--is there a clothing fad in the states that includes boldly colored t shirts with Angry Bird faces, or Elmo from Sesame Street?  Those and sweat shirts?  I've wondered if that actually is cool right now at home or if it was a failed marketing venture so the rejects got shipped here to the "American Clothes" stores...  They are really popular here...  

We're struggling to find people to teach.  But the family of Marilu and Jelder are progressing.  We're grateful.  Please pray we'll be able to find new investigators to teach this week, especially men and families.

This week I let Hna V iron my hair.  It sounds little, but it means a lot.  Its interesting to me how sometimes we have to search for creative ways to connect with people.  And if a beauty stylist is tired of seeing someone in ponytail everyday and wants to do her hair, let her.  The girl with a ponytail is tired of it too... I'm hoping I can get another Aline cut today.  I still haven't let her do french tip things with my fingernails...  To me it sounds too much like Wyoming cowboys mixing with Texans...  :)

We just found out we're leaving right now to go visit ancient ruins that are near here.  They sound cool but I've heard it's actually a really small area.  Vamos a ver.  :)

I LOVE YOU FAMILY!  I'm so grateful the temple was dedicated and hope you go to the temple more often than you can!  We just found out we'll be able to go for the first time soon and I'm SO EXCITED!  I testify the temple is the house of the Lord and there we can feel His peace and love.  It is through the ordinances in the temple that we can be eternal families.  


Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hola de Hermana, 17-9-12

Hola mi familia increible!

Lots of good things are happening and also the devil works hard too.  I´m so grateful for your emails and animo.  Extended family and friends can email too (there was a question about this last week).  

Once Elder Brewer wrote he had a dead owl in the freezer of his apartment´s freezer.  There in the CCM I cracked up, and had the goal that I wanted to be able to say something as random as that at some point in my mission.  This text message we received thursday reminded me of that dead frozen owl.

Un volcan erupciono... no es nada alarmante, pero esperamos tengan precaución... cualquier anomalia pueden llamarnos y acudir a su obispo... feliz noche les apreciamos mucho... zonies

Well, the volcano erupted and this was all we knew or have heard about it.  No ash no nada.  But sweet Marilu, bless her heart, distressfully told Hna D that a mountain was spewing blood, and D had to explain that lava is like rocks turned into liquid fire, and that when it cools it becomes rock.  That made my day.  

Today what made my day was when we were leaving another area´s chapel with the two other hermanas in our zone, calmly walking to a bus stop.  We waved down the bus that was leaving, loaded, and turned around to see the 18 elders and two zone leaders RUNNING the couple hundred yards to catch the bus before it left.  About 15 gringos, 4 latinos, in white shirts and ties running down a dusty road...  The bus driver, us, and the other passengers were laughing, and I think that´s why the money collector only charged all the missionaries (and hermanas) Q2 instead of Q2.50....because they had provided such a good laugh.  

Shortly after getting into my first area I wrote I was combating a headcold with raw garlic and honey.  Well Griselda showed me how to make hot lemonade and I´ve been using it with honey to combat another one.  Much more pleasant AND it seems much more effective.  

Someone once told me they felt their purpose was to change me.  That memory helped me this week.  I´ve been working to see the good and remember that I am not here to change anyone.  But to live as Christ lives and to teach as He teaches, and when appropriate, invite people to live the gospel.  Because living the gospel of Christ is what changes our nature to become like the Holy One of Isreal.  And this invitation to change doesn´t come from Sister Ivy´s head but from principles from the Gospel.  What else matters other than those principles?  Certainly not if someone doesn´t wash the dishes or thinks too deeply about some things.  It does matter however to read the scriptures, pay tithing, and live the 10 commandments. Yesterday I had the thought that Christ only gets  MAD with people when they KNOW what they are doing is wrong and they do it anyway.  Other times, He understands that people are doing the best they can with what they have, and he patiently waits to show us how we can be better through the inspiration of the Spirit as we study the scriptures and pray.  As a representative of Christ I´m to teach people and invite them to change according to His gospel, but not to worry and stress about changing what isn´t important.  Good grief what a ramble.  We are trying to challenge people for baptism the first lesson.  That invitation matters.

I LOVE YOU FAMILY!  I testify our Lord and Savior lives.  Through Him our natures can be changed to be like Him.  We literally are spirit sons and daughters of God living in mortal bodies fighting a war against the Adversary.  With the goal that we can return to live with God and be like Him.  And thank goodness that in that day we will have ALL our memory and bodies of gods.  I am so grateful.  This life really is very very short.  And there is such a huge magnificent future and exaltation to work for!


Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hola de Hermana, 10-9-12

Hola mi familia increible! 

Fotos Missionaries with Luva after her baptism.  A photo of Hna Coni´s paca (miniDI shop).  And the last photo I´ll explain later.

Random bits from this week.  The filters here aren´t really efficient, and so we have to poke a needle in the shower head to unplug the holes.   I didn´t do this, and the thing was so plugged that the hotwaterregulatorthing overloaded and so we haven´t had hot water for a week.  Bummer that our landlord is the Bishop’s father and rather a strong character, because I haven´t felt comfortable hounding him to fix it (not that we haven’t tried talking to him, he just doesn´t answer the phone.  Sidenote, Bishop is incredible and we love him).  Rather than taking cold showers, I´ve been heating a pot of boiling water on the stove in the mornings to have warm bucket baths.  I haven´t complained because I´ve heated the water on an electric stove rather than over a wood fire, and I haven’t had to bathe in a river.  both of which I´ve heard of elders doing.  Hehe.  

We do things differently here.  Sometimes I´m not sure if it´s inline with the rules.  One is that Hna V has my full support sending text messages to the wife of a convert, who seems timid.  So Hna V exchanges texts chatting, and her husband says she likes it.  And Hna D sent us a text message that I thought was funny and I´ll share with you

Te mando un HELADO de VAINILLA para que hoy todo te salga de MARAVILLA, uno de COCO para que te anime POCO a POCO, uno de MELOCOTON para que sonrias un MONTON, uno de LIMON para que alegre tu CORAZON, y uno de MANI para que sepas LO ESPECIAL QUE ERES PARA MI.  

Isn´t it cute?  

We have mixed feelings about NOT having changes.  I think Hna V almost was crying last night.  I have this funny inner dilemna about knowing I can´t just let some problems left unfixed like I was somewhat hoping, because we have six more weeks together...  But I also cant do a hardline fix because that isn´t loving or how the Savior would do it and it wouldn´t work...  Have I mentioned how good missions are for personal development?  As much as I´ve been trying to love her in her language, last night I understood I need to up my effort and do it even better.  With real love.  I don´t know how yet.  But that´s what personal inspiration is for, right?  I have six more weeks to learn and change and apply.  So that when we DO have changes, we both cry because we´re friends.  

When I sent home all those letters from the mission, I kept a few back to read and reread.  One of them is from Aunt Jane that I received in the MTC.  She wrote that cousin Hazel asked her, ¨Why did Satan not want Ivy to serve a mission?¨ And every time I read that quote I get chills.  I used to think it was because I would baptize thousands and save thousands of lives.  I think after a year in the mission, I finally understand one of the biggest reasons my Savior would have me understand.  Satan didn´t want me to serve a mission because he knew it would save MY life.  That I would learn how to love.  That I would learn how to seek to understand, comprehend, love, and serve others as Christ would.  And that this short time here will bless me and those around me for ALL of eternity.  Time without end.  All those blessings for a short period of 18 months of service.  THAT is one reason  Satan didn´t want me to serve a mission.  I declare the same words that allowed the Holy Ghost to testify to me to get me on the mission after those dark six months of believing Satan.  GO SERVE A MISSION!  IT WILL BLESS YOUR LIFE!  

This week I received the leather agenda folder I asked Bradly in Calvario to make for me.  I translated and added a bit to the awesome motto Dad gave me before I entered the MTC.  I designed the folder and am as pleased as punch with what Bradly (in Calvario) created.  

Cristo Vive
Permanezco con dignidad.  Enseño con poder y autoridad.
Renazco de las senizas en el gozo resplandeciente del servicio.

And if ashes is supposed to read cenizas, I´m going to laugh hard.  Bradly, 100% Guatemalteca, proofread this for me.  

Family, I LOVE YOU!  You are doing a great work!  I´m so proud of you.  I pray for you.  And thank you for praying for me.  I do feel your prayers.  I testify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ lives, and that this is HIS work and HIS glory.   I LOVE YOU TONS!!!  

Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, September 3, 2012

Hola de Hermana, 3-9-12

Hola mi familia asombrosa!  

Context for right now.  Hermana V volunteered my help to help Hna D open her email account without telling me.  So for the past half hour off and on I’ve been trying to help her open account in this internet cafe with some of the employees laughing in the background.  So what if I shouted for joy when gmail finally accepted her input dats? Story for the diary for sure.  Last week I said I have a crazy comp.  Well, it’s true.  I’m sure she thinks the same of me.  I’m just grateful I’m finally having some perception changes so that it is and I can appreciate your craziness with cariño and not just a good grief.  

Dad you told me about Science Olympiad.  Well, I should be getting home that week.  Cambios should be Tues April 9.  Have I told you how fast time is flying?  I asked our mission leader if he ever felt like a good missionary, and he told me no.  Our bishop told us he felt like he became a missionary when he had 8 months.  And his baptims after stayed.  So I’m still struggling to learn patience, faith and hope.  Someday Ill get this.  

Surprise!  We changed Luva’s wedding and baptism from this coming Saturday to last Friday.  Great fun.  Craziness trying to find a key to open the chapel, finding out last minute we had to change the set up from the assembly hall to the primary room, people talking and their child wandering, and not having enough food or drink...  A sister in our ward once said a missionary told her that none of his spiritual baptismal services stayed in the church, and that hers, which was a disaster of a service, she stayed in the church.  Well this family needs all the help temporal and spiritual they can get, so I hope having a less'than'powerful service means they’ll stay in the church.  I’ve been remembering what you told me Bryce said about his mission motto of No-one gets left behind, and that’s helped me feel better about this family.  Other cool detail': our bishop is a lawyer and he performed the wedding, and he invited me and Hna V to sign as witnesses of the wedding.  So I have my signature on a wedding document in a random office in HueHue Guatemala.  Cool.  

We also received the miraculous blessing of a microwave a couple weeks ago.  I tried making one of those rice warming bags, but didn’t have rice so I used oatmeal.  Which worked, but then I put it in the microwave for three whole blasted minutes, and was startled to find that I had set off my first fire in a microwave.  I took the burning pillow case to the bathroom sink to cool the little flameitos.  Yeah, Sister Ivy is crazy too.  

Other random bits: waking up in the mornings hearing the ladies next door slapping their tortillas to sell, a clapping sound.  Praying to find new rooms for Hna D and Marilu to live (we{d appreciate your prayers here too, we need a miracle).  Feeling peace during the sacrament.  Hearing the testimony of a young single mother who would give anything to be a stay at home mother with her kids but has to work, and has to visit her kids who live with their grandparents.  Stopping at tiendas (little stores) to buy minutes.  Drue, you would go crazy.  We don’t have monthly plans, but need to buy minutes.  And it’s better to buy them when it’s a Triple Day, when we get three times as many minutes as we pay for.  

I was touched this week by the thought Dont Count the Cost.  Dont count the cost of serving a mission.  Dont count the cost of buying food for your companion.  Dont count the cost of taking the leap of faith to marry when neither of the two have any money.  Dont count the cost of fulfilling your church calling even when there is homework to do or dinner to cook.  Dont count the cost of going to church when you havent gone for a long time and youre scared of what people will say.  Dont count the cost of swallowing your pride.  Just trust that youre doing the work of the Lord, and that you do it because you love Him and your brothers and sisters.  And that He is pleased with you.  And that is what matters.

I love you my family!  You are all amazing!  Thank you for your love and trust and your support and encouragement!  You are children of God and are doing His work, and as you seek and act on personal revelation you will change lives and become like Him.  You will be happy.


Hermana Ivy [-]