Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Only the Beginning

Familia Funk,

You guys are too funny. And yes, I do realize that I come home in a little bit, but my companion and I made a covenant with God that we would not talk about home (because she goes home the same day I do,) while we are in the street, but when we are in the house that we can talk about it. And really, it has helped.

This week I ask for your prayers for Gaby. Her mom gave her permission to be baptized! Now we just have to make sure that it is completed.

This week was amazing. On Tuesday, I had my Final interview with President Markham, it was a true and real manifestation from the Holy Ghost that the Lord is pleased with the work I have done, and the work that I will continue to do, and that for that I will return home clean from sin, and come home having completed the measure of my creation on the mission. It truly hit me so hard, and was exactly what I needed to hear from my Heavenly Father. He is the only one that I need to have pleased with the work I am doing to here.

On Wednesday we went to the temple as a zone. I have never learned so much as I did this day in the temple. Inside, I felt pure and clean. And as I was sitting there praying in the celestial room, I did not want to stop praying and the thought and the voice so distinct came to me, ¨Amy, this is only the beginning.¨

Thursday, I think may have been the most special day on my mission. I went to the sealing of one of the converts I had a year ago in Antigua, Hermano Mauricio. When we first found him, he did NOT want to listen, and he was so rude to us. But then he changed and was converted. I have never felt as I did while seeing them in the sealing room together. And at the end, he said to me, ¨If it weren’t for you, I would not be here right now.¨ As I was leaving, with tears in my eyes, I realized, THIS is why we are here as missionaries.
I love you all, with ALL of my heart. And here, I have learned to Love my Savior. And like he told me in the temple, ¨this is only the beginning.¨

hermana Funk

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

In love with Guatemala

Okay Hello. I love you all, and sorry but I barely have time this week, but it is okay, the work of the Lord will continue!!! 

This week was awesome. I love my companion. And I love being back in Chimaltenango. Antonio is doing great, He is so ecited for his baptism this week!! Like I said last week, he carrys his Book of Mormon in the same bag as his machetti. Last week he put his machetti aside, pulled out his book of mormon and said, [Hermanas, this, this is my protection.[ It simply inpsired me. 

We had an absolute miracle of having 14 people come to church this week. Theybasically all came on their own, and really, it was a pure miracle... including like 5 people that want to get baptised, so its fine if they want too, I guess we will let them. 

Yesterday we were walking down the street and we did not have anyone to teach! So once again, we said a pray telling our heavenly Father that we wanted someone to teach that wanted to be baptised this 1 sunday in February. WEll we kept walking when we saw these ladies and this lady screamed and said, [Are you still getting married in 4 weeks??* (ITs because my companion tells that to EVERYONE), anywho, we kept walking with her to her house and when we got there, we found her sister who started crying and telling us that she felt like god had abandoned her and the he didnt exist. She said that she had been praying that God would send her a sign, and he sent us. Even though she was drunk in the moment, it was a truly huge miracle. The Lord answers the prayers, and I have learned that I need these people much more than they need me.

Mom, I had a you moment. We are trying to visit all the ward members to make sure they know that we love them, and when we do, we make them a bookmark that tells them an attirbute that they have. Anyway. I asked a family when we could visit them and asked them what their name was and everything, and so we made a bookmark for la Familia Rodriguez and went to their house. We said a prayer asking that God would bless the Rodriguez family, and I start and was saying, well this week, we have been thinking alot about an attribute of Jesus Christ that the Fmaily Rodriguez has, and all the stuff and I gave them the bookmark. The lady looks at me and said, [Well, Hermana this is really nice, but who is the Rodriguez Family?[ I looked at her and I was like,[well, Hermana, whats your last name?[ And it was the Tobillas Family! I used the excuse.. which was true.. that my ear had been clogged all day and barely couldnt hear anyone.. but poor things, they thought we had come to their house to tell them the attirbutes of their neighbors. Way to go hermana funk, way to go.

I love you all. I love Guate.
Hermana funk

The New Year

Hey there fam!

Well this week was a fabulous week. If you are wondering, no I was not up at 12 to welcome in the new year, but they sure did wake us up. They have this tradition of doing fireworks.. like every single person here in Guate.. and lighting them all off at the same time. It litterally sounded as if there were fireworks under my pillow and under my bed. I sure slept awesome that night... I love Guatemala. 

This week was yet another week of miracles. I will tell you two of them that have changed me as a person.

1. Antonio. The last sunday, we were walking on the freeway.. dont worry mom, it is normal here. Anyway, I saw a man sitting down with his bike and even though we were trying to get to a lesson, the spirit told us that we needed to talk to him. So with all the sound you could possibly want from a freeway, we shared a scripture with him and told him we were going to visit him on Tuesday in the Church. He came and was just so willin gnad accepting of everything. The third visit he told us, ¨Hermanas, I need to tell you guys something. The day that you guys found me, in that exact moment, I was making a life decision. I was deciding if I was going to stop drinking or not. From that moment that you guys have found me, I have not drank again..¨ He is SO excited to get baptised on the 18th and absolutely loves his Book of Mormon. He carries it around in the same bag as his Machetti. Great combo. But really, the Lord places us in the exact spot in the exact moment.
2. Maria. We were running to a visit because we were SO LATE. anywho... as we were running we saw an old lady that was carrying plastics cans in a huge bag that was bigger than she was. The spirit told us to help her, but I just ignored it because we were late. but when we kept running, the impression came again and we turned around and carried the bag to her house with her. We didnt think anything about it and kept going after. Two days later we were walking and we hear a scream, ¨HERMANAS!!!!!!¨ and this old lady running towards us.. and I started running in the other direction because I got scared.. just like you did mom that one time that the old lady was crossing the street.. hahaha. Anywho, it was same hermana. She had remebered us, the next day came to church and will be getting baptised. 

So the clumsy moment of the week goes to me falling into a pot hole yesterday... I couldnt see it.. it was dark and I only almost broke one leg.. just call me hobbit for the day.
you would think that after a year in the mission your spanish would be pretty good, but Hermana Funk, well, I amstill learning. The word ¨to bury¨ like burying a person the word for when you admit someone to the hospital, are basically the same. Anywho, this ladywas telling us a really sad story about how her daughter had been admitted to the hospital but then had a miraculous recovery.. anywho, yours truly instead of asking when they had admitted her to the hospital, I asked them when they had buried her. Needless to say, she will never listen to us again.

The mission is a purifying process. And that is what I am here to do, come home pure and clean. 
I love you all.

A God of Miracles

BTW, we found out Amy gets home on February 5th!

I love you all. But this week I need to take the time to show the whole world that God is a God of miracles;  and that miracles do not always end up as baptisms. Here it goes.

1. The witness of an angel.
We have an investigator named Brenda that has been waiting for so long for the permission of her dad to be baptized. We have gone with him so many times and he still does not let her. The other night we were walking and we saw her dad sitting on the sidewalk. Sitting by him was a man with orange hair, freckles and a beard… something that you never see here in Guatemala. We sat right down on the ground and started to talk to him. The man with the orange hair said that he was not from there and that he came from really far away. He started to tell us a story that we were pretty sure was going to end up in him bashing on us but then he started to tell her dad, “Ya know, you really should let your daughter get baptized. It is something great that she is doing and it is better than anything that she could be doing on the street. These two young women are here so that she can have a better life and be baptized.” He then paused and said to the dad, “And it will help you prepare for you own baptism someday.” My companion and I were without words, we had no idea who he was or where he came from but we knew he was sent from on high. That night her dad gave her permission to be baptized and we know that this week we will have the permission of the mom.

2. Following the promptings of the spirit.
We were on divisions the other day and during my personal study I kept thinking about a family who is less active that I have visited like 2 or 3 times. I had no idea why I was thinking about them, but the thought kept coming into my head that there was someone in their family whose records were lost in the church or that wasn’t a member. We went with that family later in the day and we talked to every single one of the family members, asking them to see pictures of their baptisms, because here if they don’t have a photo, it is as if that baptism never happened. Anyway, we talked to everyone and everyone was a member and so we left. As we were leaving one of the daughters was walking and we contacted her and without us asking anything she said, “Ya know what? The bishop told me the other week that my records were lost in the church and that I need to be baptized again.” Once again, we were without words and felt an extreme gratitude.

3. Angels do the work that we cannot do.

On Sunday, all the people who were going to be baptized ended up having some challenge or something that prevented them from being baptized. We didn’t know why we were in a certain colony, but we just felt like we should go there and decided that we needed to say a prayer. In the prayer we said, “Help us to contact someone on the street that will say yes to being baptized today.” We then had to call someone and so we were standing there when this lady wheeling her daughter in a wheelchair walked by. I said to my companion, “Contact her!” Without hesitating, my companion crossed the street and said, “Hermana, my companion and I are representatives of Jesus Christ, and we are here to help you become clean of your sins in the name of Jesus Christ, will you be baptized.. today?” Without hesitating and with a humility that I have never seen in any other person, she responded, “Yes. I will.” We then just paused there, we did not know what to say. We sat down with her and started asking her about the commandments, and she was obeying each and every one. She then told us that two elders had been visiting and teaching her…but there are only hermanas (sisters) in our area. At that moment we knew that her two elders that had taught and prepared her were my grandpa and the dad of my companion. We called president to tell him what had happened, and he said, "Hermanas, baptize her. Today." It had simply been a contact in the street. And we told her that she would have to go to an interview with an elder and she responded, "Lets go. I will wheel my daughter all the way there." At the moment we got to the church she completed changed, her face was full of the spirit and nothing was said but while we waited we went in the sacrament meeting room and I played the piano and sang. The elder came and did the interview and came out and said, "Hermanas, she is ready. I don’t know how but she is ready." But then he had the feeling that we needed to wait until she had come to church. I have never seen more faith in all of my life than I saw from rosemary. Her faith, her humility and her obedience has completely changed my life. Our angels prepared her.

I know that God is a God of miracles. I know that angels do the work that we cannot do and I know that we are personal representatives of Jesus Christ and I love him with all of my heart.

Miracles exist. Look for them.
Hermana Funk

Waking up on the coast, falling asleep in the mountains.

Hey there fam!

Well... suprise... I am no longer in the coast. I am in the mountains.... in CHIMALTENGANO AGAIN! On Friday morning, President called and said, Hermana Funk, can you do me a favor? Can you pack your bags? There was an hermana training leader who had just been called, but then she had a siezure and they sent her home. I feel absolutely heartbroken for her.. but they sent me here to chimaltenango again and I am happy to do it for the Lord. And so last week as I was writing you, I was absoultely sweating, but this week I am shivering. Funny how things happen huh?? But I know the Lord has a special work for me and I am being obedient and dilligent to find out what it is. and right now I am on divisions in an even colder part of Guate, so hip hip hooray that I left all of my jackets at home.. smart one amy.

My companion is awesome. Her name is hermana Arguelles and I just love her. Thanks to her and her example, I have come t o realize just how imperfect I am and I LOVE it. She is who I want to become, and I am learning a ton. We both go home on the same day, so I am not sure what they are going to do with our area... only time will tell. 

I need to share with you guys an absolutley amazing miracle that came from one potent prayer. We were in a place called Socobal looking for someone to teach, and my companion said, [We should say a prayer.[ So I said it and I said please help us to find a mom, a dad, and kids that will listen to us and that will come to church tomorrow and that will be baptised on the fourth of January. We ended the prayer and knocked the door. First, left a little boy who told us that his mom was busy.. so we told him to go tell her that we were going to help her. She let us in and out came two more of her kids.. and then she said... And my husband is on his way home! We taught the whole family, they came to church on Sunday and now we KNOW they will be baptised on the 4th. Prayer works. I just felt so grateful.

Yesterday we knocked a door and out left a 90 year old woman who let us in.. but she did not talk at all. We told her that we were going to sing her a Christmas song and so we started singing and she left running. We kept on singing in hope that someone else would listen to us. Well she came back, with a dried corn husk in her hand and gave it to me. Then she left again and brought back aother one for my companion. Then we said the prayer and she left running in the middle of the prayer and came back with dried bean pods. It was absolutely all she had and she gave it to us. Someday I hope to be exactly like that. 

There is no where else in the whole world that I Would rather be than here. I love my Savior and I KNOW that I am a worthy represenative of him. He knew I had to come here to be able to know him. ANd more than any other year, I know this year the he lives. 
I love you all more than you know.ñ
Hermana Funk

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's not hot here...oh wait, that's a lie!

Hello fam.

Well, yes, I am here in a place called Patutul, Tiquisate.. mom, I cannot wait to hear you pronouce that one day. And yes... it is SO HOT. Like litterally, you get out of the shower and you start to sweat. I have not slept for a full week because the fan only shoots out hot air, but the people here ROCK. Anyone will listen! I have realized something.. God knows with what things you will suffer and he gives you a reason to smile with other things. I really am just trying my best and will choose to put the smile on my face no matter what. You know, the smile is the first message that we give to anyone.

Here we have found about 7 miracles just in the past week. 3 kids whose parents are members, but they hadnt been baptised yet and they are all 9 years old, a family who has come to church for like a month but were attending in a different ward,a nd are ready to get baptised and another family who is ready to change their lives. I know that the reason that I came here is because I needed them and I needed to know them to know how I can be a better person. But really, I am learning here how to really trust in my Savior and leave it ALL to him.

I am in a branch right now and it is so different. Last week we started Sacrament meeting with about 5 people in the congregation and I played the piano, and the missionaries gave the talks. hahaha it is so different, but it is so little and cute that we will have the priveledge of knowing everyone. 

i will leave you with a couple of moments of the week.

So in the mornings while we study, we have to keep the door open because if you dont you will sufficate. Anywho, our neighbors have chickens, and about 15 minutes of our studies each day are spent chasing the chickens out of our house time and time again. But one of the chickens tail was burned off and so he cant run very well.. poor thing.  We also have pet ants and spiders and geckos... and no mom, none of them are named twinkle toes. 

Last night we were in a Family home evening, and we were ending and the dad of the family had bought orange juice for the treat. So they were serving it when all of a sudden my companion passes me a note that said, [Orange juice gives me dirrarea.[ I had no idea what she wanted me to do.. tell her sorry.. drink it for her... tell the hermano... I had no idea but I was laughing so hard!! 

I am okay. I will do it. I will not suffer, I will choose to be happy. 
I love you all. Merry christmas pues.
Hermana funk

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Another adventure

This week has just been awesome.

And when I say awesome, I also mean that I am very destroyed. WE ARE BOTH LEAVING OUR AREA! There just aren’t enough hermanas here in the capital to keep it open as a Hermana training leader area, so they are moving us... but you must listen... I might be going to the hottest part of the mission.. named Tiqisate. The HOTTEST part. But you know what?? I am so darn excited at the same time because it will be an adventure and it is where the Lord needs me right now for my last change in my mission.. here goes nothing. But I do ask for your prayers that I will be able to handle the heat, and will be able to sleep and that I will not get two sicknesses that right now are all over the coast, named chincucuna and dengue.. wooooot!

But I am really sad to be leaving this area, but I know that it is what the Lord wants of me and that he needs other hermanas here in Prados. But he sure blessed us this past week. Austin was baptized!!! And so was axel. These people are so special, and for that I want to tell you about each one.

Axel comes from a really really poor inactive family, and might just be my favorite little boy that I have ever met. The other day we were teaching them, and we asked him if there was something that he wanted us to ask in the prayer for him and he said, ¨Will you just ask Heavenly Father that he can give me more faith?¨
 At the end of the lesson, I found a Hershey cookies and cream chocolate bar.. the small kind, the kind you were disappointed about if someone put it in your trick or treat bag.... and so I decided to split the small bar up into four pieces to give to him and his brothers. When I put it in his hand he looked at it and just lighted up and said, ¨This is the kind I have seen on TV! It has pieces of broken cookie AND chocolate!¨ Then he took a small bite of it and said, ¨AND IT HAS MILK!¨ and the his mom looked at me and said, ¨He has only ever seen this chocolate on TV.¨ It just made me realize how ungrateful I have been my whole life and that really it is the smallest things that make the difference.

Well, the day of the baptism came of them both and what would you know, the elders forgot to bring the baptismal clothes for them.. typical eldesr. Anywho, we asked them if they could go back to their house to be able to bring the clothes... and well about 1 hour later they came back. And we realized something... WE FORGOT TO TELL THEM the size of the people who were to be baptized. We then proceeded to take out the clothes they brought and we find two of those jumpsuits that you use in the temple to do baptisms for the dead.. but what would you know.. they were both the size ¨´Extra Small¨.. for a 60 year old man and a 8 year old little boy.. let me just say that if there was a flood, the pantsuit of Axel would have been the first one to get wet, and Austins the last. You just have to see the pictures. I have such bad luck with baptismal clothes.

We also asked a couple of yard members to bring a cake because that was the only thing that Axel wanted in his baptism. Well, we did not know how many people were going to stay. We had two small cakes for about 70 people. But before we cut the cake, we said a prayer that this could be an experience like Jesus had when they was enough bread and fish for everyone. And then we realized.. we did not have a knife or anything to cut it with.. but we did have a pass along card for the movie ¨He is the gift.¨ With faith, we decided to cut the cake with the pass along card.. do not tell anyone that who ate the cake.. and incredibly there was enough for everyone, and more to spare. I was literally shocked.

I love you all. I have put a goal to every day put a note in my agenda that says ¨One thing that I am going to do better today¨ to be able to become the person that God wants me to be at the end of my mission. I really love the people here, but I love my Heavenly Father more than ever before in my life.

Hermana Funk