Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Miracles from our Heavenly Father

Family!

Well, if I can tell our one thing, it is that God lives. We saw an absolute miracle this past week with our investigator Arroldo.

He was like an eternal investigator because although he had the desire to be baptized, he lived with the4 mom of his kids because he did not have work to be able to have money to move out. This past week we had tried everything everything everything, but really he did not have any place to live and said that he was just going to wait until his cousin came in January to go and live there. But we knew that he was ready and so we fasted and fasted and fasted and prayed non stop and knew that if it was the will of God that he would be baptized this week.

Well, Saturday came around and he still did not have a place to live or any sign of it at all. We decided to have his baptismal interview anyway and were just going on complete faith that by the next day a magical house would appear in his driveway. After his interview, our district leader told us that he was so ready to be baptized but that he had to move out and that we had three options. 1. we could wait until he found a house. 2. WE could find a member for him to live with 3. WE could build another entrance to his house and so it would count as two houses and so he wouldnt be living with his wife. So we said great, where are the tools! We will build a house right now... now take in mind that this was 9 at night on Saturday and his baptism was supposed to be the next day. Anyway, the Elder told us that we would just have to wait but we did not take this for an answer.

Sunday we decided to fast again and knew that we would see a miracle of miracles. Sunday we woke up verrrry early and went to about every ward member asking if they knew of a house or a yard or at tent or something that this man could live in. Literally everyone said no, but then we would tell them great, well pray for a miracle!
At 12 55, literally five minutes before the end of our meetings one of our recent converts came up to us and told us that he could LIVE WITH HIM!!!!!! It was the craziest and most grateful feeling I have ever had. and so we RAN to tell Aroldo.

Well, we got to Aroldo and he told us that he didnt know anymore and that he did not want to be an inconvenience on Melvin, the recent convert. He told us that he was going to go to the house of Melvin and talk to him, and that he would return. WE WERE DYING!!! we were praying and praying and praying that he would return. 

Well, we waited at the church for almost three hours when at 3 o’clock, he came walking into the church and told us that he was ready to be baptised!!! We called everyone that lived near to the church and got a baptism put together and then who walks in but President Brough himself to congragulate Arroldo. 

He was baptized and confirmed and really I have never felt so darn grateful in my life. I have such a huge testimony that obedience with exactness, diligence and faith are what bring miracles because really, we saw a pure miracle. I am just filled with such gratitude and I know there is nothing we can do in this life without God. 
Thank you for all of your prayers!! I love you all and hope you have the greatest new year!

Love, Ame

A Very Funky Christmas

Familia!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVE!!! Here in Guatemala, they celebrate everything on the 24th and no one does anything on the 25, so that is a little bit different. 

So I had some pretty humbling experiences this past week and really what it did was made me so darn grateful for every single thing that I have in my life.

First of all, with our investigator Roldolfo. This man, wow. He told us the story about how he lost his leg last year due to an accident he had and then how after that he lost his eyesight due to his diabetes. As he was telling us these stories he told us, ¨you know hermanas, never once did I feel sad or bad for myself. Because I am just so grateful for all that I do have. It doesn’t matter that I do not have a leg and that I cannot see, because there are people who do not have anything to eat or a house, and I have both. And now I have this chance from my Heavenly Father to change my life and  just feel happy.¨ Wow, what an an example that was for me. He absolutely loves to hear people read him the Book of Mormon and just loves the church.

Last night we had a reference from a member and so we went to visit this family with him. When we got there the lady told us that we could come in but she felt horrible because she had nothing to give us and she didn’t have anything in her house but she would love to have us enter. We sat down in her house and literally they had nothing, all they had in their cupboard was one piece of bread left and a packet of oatmeal type mush. We started talking and her daughter who was sitting there was not saying anything, the mom told us she was deaf but they did not have money for hearing aids. Anyway we kept talking and the daughter left. After some time she returned with three glasses  of mush and a plate in her hand. They had cut up their last slice of bread into four pieces and used their last packet of mush. Nothing in my life had ever meant more to me. This literally was the last food that they had and they gave it all to us. I have never felt so grateful and humbled in my whole life. 
We are doing better in this area! We are trying to get to know the area more, we have only gotten lost 7 times this week and have only gotten followed by drunk men twice, so hey that is a good and new record! I love it when people say, man, if I was going to steal, you two would be the first I would still from. Why thank you hermano, how comforting!

We might have a miracle baptism this week, de uno de our investigators, Arroldo! PLEASE PRAY for him! He wants so badly to get baptized but has to move from his house first  because he is living with a woman and find a job, but he doesn't have any money right now and I know we could see a miracle. 
I really this Christmas just feel so grateful. This experience here has made me realize the importance of gratitude. We really have no idea how blessed we are. 

I love you!
Ame




Thursday, December 19, 2013

Opening a new area

So let me just tell you what happened this week. There I was, sitting in change meetings when all of a sudden President Brough announced that my companion and I would be opening a new area.... I was completely shocked! So we were told thatt we would be opening the area de Villa Nueva 1, and so we found are zone leaders and they told us do not worry, they would take us to our house, show us around our area, and ya everything would be great!

So we get to our house and the Elders give us the keys to get inside and say, okay, see ya, good luck! And drive off in their Taxi!! Thank you Elders, how very very kind! and so then we went into our shack.. I mean house to were we opened our door, and let me just tell ya, I am definetly not in Antigua anymore, this is definetly the house of previous Elders!

Anyway, so we open the Area Book to see where uor area is and all we have is like a picture from google maps and no directions or anything of that sort! The previous Elders had not been marking who they had been teaching, so really we did not have anything! So we decided to just go outside and start contacting becuase also we did not have any phone numbers, so this was just turning out to be real neat.

Anyway, the next day we found the number of our relief society president who came to our rescue and showed us the way to our cooks house, who lives about 2 miles away! This area is so huge! SO HUGE! But anyway, we met some of the ward members and they were all so great!

But you know what is the best part? They have not had Hermanas in this area for 23 years and so everyone was calling us ¨Elderas¨ When we walked into Sacrament Meeting, everyone was litterally shocked to see us, but all so anxious to help us, so that has been great!

There is definitely a reason that Hermanas have not been in this area, and it is because it is pretty dangerous, but do not worry mom, I can run really fast! 

We also have an amazing ward mission leader who has helped us more than I can even say. Although we do not have a lot of records of people, converts, or anything, our ward mission leader has helped us to find almost everyone!

We have this one investigator named Roldofo. He is in a wheelchair and has lost most of his vision but has one of the strongest testimonies of Joseph Smith of anyone I have ever seen. OUr ward mission leader gave him the stories of the scriptures and Joseph Smith on a disc and he has just loved those. He feels like he wants to get baptized but feels like he has to wait until he can pay back every sin in his life, poor man, but he has such a strong testimony. WE are so blessed to have him.
If I have learned one thing about opening an area, it is that it is one of the hardest but yet rewarding experiences. I have never had to rely so much on the Lord for so much help and I have seen the Lords hand like never before. We are praying more fervently, working more dillengently and loving more sincerely, and truly I have seen a difference. We are praying so hard that we can see a baptism this weekend and also one in the weekend to come. I have realized that without the Lord´s help, that there in litterally nothing we could do in this work. I am so grateful for all of the small tender mercies that we have seen!

I saw morg, and it was one of the greatest things ever. She is doing so well and has one of the best trainers! I am so so happy for her!

Even though the living conditions are hard, no one really wants to talk to us here, we have gotten lost at least 75 times and we do not usually have time to eat, sleep, or breathe, I am giving my all to this work. I know for a fact that we will see the blessings!

I love you all, thank you for everything!
Ame

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Joker and his brother Evil

Well hello Funk Family!

I was greeted with many emails this week and felt oh so loved! Thank you so much!

Well, in news for this week... I am leaving Antigua! I AM SO SAD! We were not expecting this at all and saying goodbye to the people here was like the saddest thing ever. But you know, I realized something and that is that I did all I needed to here in Antigua and that Heavenly Father is pleased and he needs my work somewhere else. I am so so nervous, because we have so many that are progressing so well right now, but at the same time, I am excited to start a new adventure... with yet another new companion.. that I am pretty darn sad about! I sent pictures of me saying bye to many people, the one is Enio and is fam and the other is the Familia Palacios and then the other is a baptism of a little girl that we had this week of a recent convert family! It was so neat!!

Well, this week was pretty cool! Actually... some parts. Let me start out with Wednesday. We got a reference for a man named the Joker... yes.. the Joker. Anywho, we went to visit him when we were greeted by his brother, Evil. Yes, his name is Evil. We began talking to them and then they started talking to us in English, telling us about how they had been deported to Guatemala from LA because they were in a gang and had killed too many people to stay in the US so now they had to be here and that their names were no longer Joker and Evil, but Eric and George.... not too close to their nicknames, huh?

Well, anyway, we started to talk to the Joker, excuse me, I mean George and he told me that he needed to go do something and then he would return. Did I mention that we were teaching him outside of one of the biggest catholic churches in Guate? So, that looked really good, us just sitting outside of this catholic church waiting for the Joker. Anyway he came back, and he had to go because he had to smoke weed really fast. He came back smelling so strongly of weed and I was sitting next to him and so I was practically inhaling the smoke.

Anywho, I went through that day sicker than sick, feeling like I was going to faint or throw up at any second. I finally made it through the night and we were at our mission correlation meeting when I just couldnt hold it in, ran to the boys bathroom (don’t ask me why I ran to the boys bathroom) and threw up! That was sure neat. I threw up because of the second hand smoke of the Jokers weed. What a story huh? Yea, I know!
But we had a pretty cool miracle this week, also. This guy came into church and we didn’t know who he was but after the meetings he told us that he lived in our area and that he wanted to be baptized as soon as possible because the missionaries had taught him before but he never accepted! and so we set up an appointment with him and are teaching him and he will be baptized the 22. What a miracle!! I have realized that usually when you fast and pray for someone, a miracle happens with someone else. It was truly a miraculous blessing!

I am doing well and will see Morg tomorrow! I am so stoked but also scared because this means that I will be changing my area tomorrow. Saying goodbye to an area is the worst, but my investigators were crying, so it makes you feel good that you actually mean something to them! And even though I do not get to stay to see their baptisms, I know that the fruits of our labors will be seen in this next change!

I love you all!
Ame





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Our Jewish Friend Pulled Through!





Hello familia!

Man, Thanksgiving. That is one thing that I missed this year! But our Jewish friend pulled through! Thursday night at about 9 30 we heard a knock at our door and sure enough, there he was, with thanksgiving dinner left over from his dinner he had with our mission president. He told us that the old people were stingy, but that he gathered us all he could! We three North Americans that live in the house ate the whole thing... and did not even feel ashamed! I do not even like pie but I ate almost the whole thing, you just got to role with it I think. 

Speaking of food, it is like our saving grace here. WE always say to ourselves, we just have to contact 10 more people and then we can go to the nearest panderia and eat a donut. And we get right to work! sad, but the truth. Oh well, you guys will never really know what I actually look like here... right? 

But we introduced our little latina companions to Thanksgiving, we had dominos pizza, tortillas and goldfish crackers, oh and the chocolates that our Jewish friend had given us from Hannakuah.. what a champ huh? It was quite funny and they all loved it!

This week for our Pday we did a white elephant gift exchange with our district, man was that the hardest thing to explain to the latinos because elephante blanco just does not mean the same thing. That was pretty darn funny. 

Enio is going to receive the priesthood next week and his cousin Alan told us last night that he wants to be baptized!! WOOOO. So we will baptize him, and I am hoping la familia Palacios on the 15 of December.. stoked for this day. STOKED. 

I have one more week and then I am done with my training! Wow, I have made it four months in the mission, I feel pretty accomplished if I do say so myself. 

We are fasting and praying this week that Rosas mom will let her be baptized! I am hoping with all my heart and I know for a fact that we will be able to see miracles. It is amazing really how much Gods miracles are based off of our faith and diligence. 

I am sorry that I do not have more to report this week but next week I get to see Morgan Oliphant! SO EXCITED!! wooooo!

I am working hard, trying to be patient and enjoying the time I have left with my companion. I feel so grateful and blessed to be with her! She is so awesome and such a good and faithful missionary.

Love you all!
Ame






Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving at Dominos

Familia!!

Man, it is Thanksgiving in two days! I am so sad, they do not even have a Thankgiving here.  I decided to express my feelings of sadness to our Jewish convert, and he told me that he was going to find a plate of thanksgiving dinner and bring it to me. So that is neat.. or we had another idea that since it is 2 for 1 at Dominos every Thursday, that could work out grand just as well. The possibilities truly are endless here in this town of Antigua!

So sad news, Rosa was not baptized this Sunday. We were devastated! We had fasted 3 times that week, prayed more fervently than ever before, had her baptism interview, had the baptism clothes, and the cake,  and then sunday morning she called us to tell us that her mom said that she couldn’t be baptized because all of her family is Catholic and that it was probably better if Rosa never returned to Church. But we didn't feel sad because we felt sad for ourselves, we felt sad because Rosa wanted this more than anything! BUT we are most definitely not giving up the faith and I know without a doubt  that she will be baptized soon!

Enio is doing great, he loves to come and visit people with us, so that has been so awesome! He will receive the priesthoodthis Sunday, too!

We have a family that we are teaching, the Familia Palacios that has their baptism date for this 8 de December. I am really hoping this all works out, they are such an awesome family and they LOVE to have family home evening. We have family home evening with them almost 3 times every week with different ward members so that has been awesome! Please pray for them and I know we can see a miracle!

Funny moments of the week... man... this week was a good one.

1. Yesterday we had Pday de Zona and we went to some ancient ruins, which was way awesome, but the elders decided that they wanted to hike down a steep steep, and I mean steep hill to try and see a waterfall. Well, everyone else wanted to go and so I decided I would follow the crowd... it may or may not have ended up in me sliding down the rock mountain and almost breaking not one but both of my legs, my rear end and my right arm. And since the elders can’t touch the hermanas, they took no thought into helping me as I was tumbling down. All they did was look at me and say, “Wow, hermana Funk, I saw all of that happen, that must have hurt, you must really hurt right now.” Yes, thank you Elders, I am alright. It was so embarrassing!

2. We were knocking doors when we encountered this lady who was in quite a hurry. I started talking to her and she told me something about how she had a baby and that she was changing her baby’s diaper and if we had a paper or something that she could just read instead. Well, I did not understand and I thought she had told us that she had a baby and that she needed toilet paper to change her baby’s diaper. I began to search in my backpack when my companion looked at me very confused. After I found out that that is not what she was asking for...shining moment Hermana Funk, shining moment! 

I hope you all just have the best time at Thanksgiving, please take a lot of pictures and send them and have an awesome time.

I love you all! Thank you for all of your support and love!  Ame


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Everyone thinks my first name is Funk...that's neat.

Familia!

Thank you for all of your letters, I was laughing out loud and just felt really loved so thank you so much!
AS the title says, yes, yes it is true, the second coming is surely here! Would you like to know why? IT is because of this man right here! He is a real live Jewish person, directly from the lineage of Levi, and he was just baptized and confirmed this Sunday by the other hermanas that live with us. He read the book of Mormon in 2 days and 6 times in 2 weeks in 3 different languages and was truly converted.

Do you know what this means? When he gets his patriarchal blessing, if it says that he is from the lineage of Levi spiritually as well, he has to be called as a 70 in less than a year, and they have presiding authority.. cool huh? Ya, I know. I told him that I would like to be his friend if that was okay with him and he told me that yes indeed we could be friends and that maybe one time I could come to his house to see his Grammy award that he won, or maybe his records from when he was a spy in Israel or perhaps we could go over the 10 different languages he knows, just to name a few. He is so cool!

Well, in other news, Enio was confirmed and the bishop told us that he was the most popular kid at scout camp. WOOOT. Also, we took him to go visit personas with us, but we also made the mistake of inviting some of the young women... goollllly gee whiz. I felt like we were babysitting. Those girls love him! And he knows it, and he knows that we know it! I felt like a protective mother that didn't want any girl to talk to my little son. haha, but he was bien pilas at the lessons, at contacting and with everything so that was awesome!
We have another little girl that could be baptized this week so if you could ´please pray for Rosita. All we need is her moms permission and then she can be baptized! With the prayers and fasting, I know she will be.
We were so blessed to have 7 investigators at church Sunday! It was truly a miracle and half of them were the family of Enio that we are now teaching so that has been an awesome experience. I really just feel so so blessed.

Now funny moment of the week.

1. We were teaching a 80 or something year old women and I knew her sister had been sick, and so I asked her how her sister was doing. She told me something that I did not understand, and so I took it that her sister was feeling better. So I said, Oh, this is so great that your sister is getting better. My companion tapped me on the knee and said Hermana Funk... she told us her sister died. And then turned to the lady and said, I am sorry my companion is still learning spanish.... Well, shining moment number one, hermana funk.

I am doing well and only have three weeks left of training! I feel so blessed to have all of your support and love and I just love you all so much. My love grows each day for all of you!

Hermana Funk

Ps. everyone here thinks that my first name is funk. that is neat.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Power of Prayers

Well, I can definitely tell you that all of your prayers paid off! Enio was baptized this week! And by the lick of a skim! I will recount the experience..

So we had the whole baptism planned, everything was great, he was so happy, all of this. Literally five minutes before the baptism, his aunt who is a non member came to the church and told him that his parents, who Enio does not even know, did not want him to be baptized and that he could do it. Literally five minutes before. WE went out there to see what was going on and just the look on his face told us everything. WE knew that we could not do anything about it except pray. So we went into the room that had the baptismal font and prayed. The second we came out Enio told his Aunt that it didn't matter to him, he wanted to be baptized and he was going to do it no matter what! And with that, he was baptized! The service was beautiful and right now he is at scout camp with all of the young men. It truly was a miracle. Truly, truly, truly.

The picture of his baptism I sent in the other message so I hope you guys enjoy that! And our little boy that we baptized last month was finally confirmed, and it was the primary program, so it was a great day.

Now the other pictures, that was my joys at MCDonalds two Pdays in a row... so that is really neat!
Our other investigator Jose doesn't want to talk to us anymore because his girlfriend doesn’t want us to talk to him, but we are not giving up on him so do not worry!

I had quite funny experiences this week, here they go!

1. We were coming out of a lesson and I saw and old man carrying an old lady who was probably 90 years old up the stairs. I asked if he needed help and he said of course, took her feet and gave me the whole rest of her body to carry up the stairs. And I am just saying, this lady was by no means skinny, and you know what.. it wasn't just one flight of stairs we had to walk up, it was six. And so with my arms completely numb and with this frail 90 year old body completely in my arms because he only had the part of her feet, we walked up 6 flights of stairs. My arms were numb for 45 minutes after that!

2. We met a french guy last night who is here trying to learn spanish. HE started talking to us and everything was going great, and then all of a sudden he said, Well, to tell you the truth you two probably won’t be proseliting tonight, and if you do it will not be with me... Well... isn't that nice.
I am very happy with my new companion. We just get along great and have some of the funniest experiences together!

Many have asked me what the living conditions are like, and I would take pictures, but my camera would be stolen if I did. Most the people live in a one roomed tin roofed house with 1 or 2 mattresses, where the whole family sleeps and if they are lucky they have a stove or a fridge, but most have a fire pit outside of their house. If they live by other families, they usually share one bathroom with them. So humble, but at the same time, they do not really need more. It has just made me so grateful and amazed at all we have at home.

Our living conditions are great, except we have fleas in our beds and I wake up with at least 6 new bites every morning, so that is really fun! And we have to hang our laundry on the roof to dry and 3 pieces of my garments are currently on the neighbors roof... apparently the wind in pretty strong..

I am praying for those missionaries in the Philippines, how scary! But if they are obedient, they will not be harmed!

I love you all and thank you for all of your prayers!!

Ame





Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week of Miracles

WELL. I have a new companion! Her name is.... Hermana Satterthwaite and GUESS WHAT! she is from  Hunstsville, UTAH! What a blessing, huh? Oh, I just love her! WE get along really well, and even though she speaks english too.. we have a goal to only speak spanish when we are outside of the house, and so far it has worked out pretty well, but really she is so awesome and I feel so blessed to have her!

WE have seen a lot of miracles this week. One in particular with Enio, our baptismal font proposal! HE IS SO GREAT! We had been working so hard with him all week, and then on Saturday he decided to go on the temple trip with all the young men and young women and had an awesome experience! But then on Sunday, we were waiting for him at church.. and waiting.. and waiting.. and he wasnt coming. And we were praying so hard becuase if he didnt come, he couldnt be baptised tihs sunday.

But then when they opened the doors after the Sacrament, he came in! All by himself! He had walked the whole way without his aunt or anyone to come to church! AND THEN! he bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting, and it was absolutely beautiful. Man, it was so awesome. And he has his baptismal date for this Sunday! So please pray that he will be able to be baptised this sunday. He is so great.. and he is 17... Em, I am just saying... he even took out his earrings for church and doesnt wear his white wife beater very often anymore... just saying em, just saying!

We also have another 17 year old boy named Jose that is a son of an inactive member in our ward! He really has a desire to change his life and we have been teaching him and it has been going great. But we didnt know that he has a 3 month year old baby... ya this might be good information to know.. BUT he has talked to his girlfriend and we are teaching him the law of chastity today, so we might see a miracle baptism with him this next week! With all of your prayers I know that this will happen!

Speaking of the law of chastity, my companion and I love to contact people using the law of chastity. We go into the parks at night and of couse there are probably about 27 couples making out in the park and we just go right up to them, try our best to get their attention and start teaching them the law of chastity. and I mean everything about the law of chastity. Their reactions are hilarious! But we actually got an appointment with a couple, so I am just saying, this thing works.

We had a pretty funny experience this week! Our Zone leader sent us a message that told us that he had a reference for us of a person who for sure would be bpatized and he was so stoked about it and told us that we had to contact him! So with that, we called this reference right away. His name was Jeff and he was a north american living in Guatemala. We started talking to him and told him how he had talked to the elders and all of this and asked him when we could visit him. He told us that they had church services at four on sunday and that would be just fine.

We were confused and asked him what he meant. He said that he had a list of 67 questions that he needed us to come answer in front of a group of 500 people from his church. The questions consisted of things like this, Why did Joseph Smith say that a man could live on the moon for 1000 years and not die?¨ Well, okay. And so with that,  we told him that we didn't think we could make it. hahaha I was dying!

Life here truly is hilarious. Especially now with 2 north Americans... well.. we stop traffic. Literally, because we have to contact the people. But really, it is yes a little scary sometimes and we have to be a little more careful, but for the most part, it is just fine!

To celebrate halloween, which no one really does here... how sad I know! But we bought fake chocolate at the little sotre next to our house and said happy halloween to each other as we choked it down. What a neat halloween, huh?

Ame


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baptismal Font Proposal

Familia!

COMMMO ESTANN! Man, I feel so important every time I get on the computer and have an email from each of the people that I just love so much in my life. Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I hope you know that this is what keeps me going throughout my week and I am just so grateful for all of you. Really, thank you so much.

1. My companion is leaving me tomorrow... how rude. and my district leader.. emily's future husband. So basically my world is crumbling down tomorrow. You know what this means? It means that a new trainer is coming into my area with me and I have to remember where every single person lives and what bus to take to where and just the whole 9 yards, so you know what this means? WE are going to be finding a whole bunch of new investigators if you know what I mean! But I think it will be good for me to have to take the initiative and do these things for myself! I will give you all the deets next semana.

2. Now, we have had some FUNNY experiences this week, and so I think I will just tell you all about them. They hil'hair'ious.

1. The PORK. Now, it is a rule in this mission that we cannot eat pork. I am not sure why, but it is just a rule. a big rule. Anyway, we were teaching this  new family who makes tortillas in their house. and while we were teaching, they were making tortillas the whole time. Anywayyyy, after we were done, the husband insisted that we eat tortillas, I kindly obliged. Anyway, they gave us tortillas, tomatoes and some sort of meat that looked like chicken. Hma. Marroquin asked what it was and they told us oh, do not worry it is food. Well, okay. So I started eating and I chewed for a second and I was like... ohhhh dear. This is not chicken. This is pork. I did not know what to do and so I thought it was a good idea to stick the chunk of meat that I had on my plate in my backpack.. very slyly.. without offending the family. Anyway, my chunk o meat was hidden away when I noticed that my comp was still just enjoying hers more than ever. She got to her last bite and asked again what kind of meat it was. The lady replied, pork. I have never seen someone make the face that my comp made at this moment. it was to die for. After, we ran out of the house and threw my chunk o meat to a dog and called our DL to repent. What a day, what a day.

2. Now for the romantic part of my week. WE were at the church waiting for a member to come with us for a couple of visits. Well, she didn't come and it started raining.. well nothing new there, but ya know. Anyway, one of the other ward members came because she had to do something in the church. She had her nephew with her who is not a member and we talked to them and asked if we could teach him a short lesson inside. We went in the room where the baptismal font is and we gave him the first lesson, which is a really awesome lesson. Anywho, WE decided to give him a tour of the church and start with the baptismal font. We were standing by the baptismal font and I knew I had to ask him to be baptized, I was to nervous, but I did it anyway. AND GUESS WHAT! HE SAID YES! WE will be baptised on 10 de noviembre. SOunds like an engagement story huh? ya, romantic. But really, please pray for him! His name is Enio and he is bien pilas. Pray pray pray.

3. This week we had 27 new investigators! That was just great! And even though we did not have any baptisms, I feel great because I know we are giving our all to this work!

Well, I love you all and pray for you constantly, thank you for all of your prayers!!!

Hna Funk

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Miraamy makes an appearance

FAMILIA!

So A lot of you have been saying, Miraamy, please so us what it is like to have Hermana Marroquin as your companion, so I am going to tell you! But she might only be my companion for one more week because we have cambios next month... which means I am half way done with my training hoooorayyyy!

Now Hermana Marroquin, she is from El Salvador and is a very intense person. She loves loves loves to talk and for this reason our lessons are almost an hour every time. She knows how to teach and she knows how to talk. She is a really good missionary and we have the same desires for our investigators. She has helped me alot and we get along. Sometimes she is a little intense for me, and lacks a little faith, but I just talk to her, we work through it and then everything is just fine. She comes from a family of non members and doesn’t know he dad, but she is very close to her grandma and her brother. She is a really good missionary who knows her stuff!
Today though, I have divisions with the leader of training. I am so scared, especially because she just told me that they have really really important appointments today, well isnt that comforting, let me just speak with my incredible Spanish and wow the crowd. I am a little scared, but at the same time, I have faith that I can do this!

SO this place is a roller coaster, and last week again was on the down hill part of the roller coaster. Our investigator Oscar, who quit his work for this church and is completing all of his commitments and has a testimony, told us that he does not feel that he should be baptized  He has been assisting another church, because he has a ¨friend¨ who invited him... okay his girlfriend and he says that he feels the spirit the same. We had one of the most powerful lessons with him Friday night and we were sure that he would tell us Saturday that he wanted to be baptized. We had fasted 3 times that week for him and prayed our hearts out every day. We went on Saturday and he told us that he needed more time. 

I was completely devastated. I really have never felt so sad before. And it was not for me, but for him. He had given up so much an didn't recognize his testimony. But at the same time, I felt peace. I felt peace because I knew that we had given our all to this and that it was not in vain. That he would come around and that he would be baptized, maybe not now, but I have no doubt in my mind about later. I am not giving up on him!
And about Christina, well, she did not come to church and this means that she cant be baptized on Sunday, which breaks my heart too, but we are going to visit her today and I know that she will come around.

IT is kind of hard because they focus on numbers a lot here. And this week that was all my mind was focused on. Because we have a goal as a zone to have 27 baptisms this month and we had not been contributing and I just felt really bad. But then I realized something. IF we are focused on the numbers, we are only desiring the praising of man. But when we truly focus on wanting a true convert, even if it is just one, we are focused on the praises of God. This has helped me a lot this week. I know that I am being obedient and that it after times of trial that we will see miracles. I am praying for miracles! Thank you for all your prayers for our investigators and I KNOW that they are going to help them , and it will be this week!

Now for some funny moments of the week...

So remember how I am famous for sleep talking? well, every single night this past week I have woken up in the middle of the night, sitting up, giving a lesson in Spanish. Do not ask me why and do not ask me how but I do it, every single night. Ya know, my mind just doesn't need a rest I guess. It really is hilarious!

Also this week contacting has been hilarious. I am not sure why, but I really think it is the funniest thing this world has to offer. we were contacting this family and the guy told me well, you can come... but I will not pay one speck of attention. Well, alright Mr. honesty.  Also, people just love to touch you on the shoulder as if you are some Holy being that will bless them by touch. I is really neat especially when the old men do it.. hmm.. ya. 

In the package that I got I received the PICTURES! I have been showing them to every ward member, and just anyone who will look at them. Man, have I received some compliments on our family. I love showing you all off!!
Thank you for your letters, packages, prayers, and everything. I could not do this without you all. I know things have to go down before they can come back up and I pray every night that Grandpa can witness to my investigators the truthfulness of this message!
I love you all!

Ame

     

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Heyyy Babbby

Familia!

 I promised I would send pictures, so here is one of me and my companion and then Amy´s creeper photo of the week, I hope you enjoy them... and I am so glad to hear that Grandpas funeral was so beautiful, I was thinking about that all week long and how I could not be there, but I could truly feel the spirit of grandpa with me and I just had to plead with the Lord to be there for me because I couldn't.

I had to go on divisions with a girl from our ward, ALL BY MYSELF. With no trainer, in an area that I did not know my way around... I literally thought that I was going to die. But I did it! I did it! and I got 4 new investigators and I taught 4 lessons, I did it all with the help of the Lord. But the girl I was with is 18, but she looks like she is probably 12 and so man..... the men in this area called San felipe.. man. There were a lot of drunks and they just really love people from different countries. I was walking and there was this one and kept calling, ¨HEYYyyyyyyy babbbbay!¨´ and I just put my head down and ran. And then one those same divisions I contacted the same lady 3 times without knowing it.. and so that was just real neat.

I had to give a lesson in english this week to this family who knows spanish but foer some reasons wanted it in english.. do not ask me why. Oh my goodness, you would have thought that I have never spoken english in my whole life. I struggled to find words for so long and it was hilarious. I literally could not give the lessons in english! And at the end, I was saying goodbye to the family and I shook the hand of the 24 year old son and before I could do anything, he pulled me in so fast and kissed me on the cheek. I ran out of the house and just could not even breathe. It was not funny at the time, but now that I look back.. hmm.. weird things happen in this place.

We also were coming to give a family a lesson on sacrifice, and share a video with them on sacrifice. The girls of the family were outside playing with a group of kids and so we told them to come in so we could share a message with them. We had to go and get a member to come with us and when we came back, we walked in the houise and all 11 children were in their awaiting the lesson. It was so funny! They all wanted to pray, they clapped and clapped when the movie about sacrifice was over and just loved it. And when it was over they all chanted, ¨otra! otra! otra!¨ so we might have 11 baptisms of children here pretty soon...

So our investigador Oscar is doing well, but he has a lot of doubts and it does not help that his girlfriend is evangelico and invites him every sunday. He has a testimony, but his friend is also giving him anti mormon literature, which is not helping either. WE have a goal to baptize him this sunday, and I know with your prayers that we and the Lord can answer his doubts and he will be baptized this week!

We also have a girl named Crisitna who is 17 years old and comes from a really rough family. But she has the desire to change and be baptized. So we need your prayers that we can find her family in order to get the papers signed and she can be baaptized on the 27 of October.

I know that with your prayers and help we can do this, and now especially with the help of Grandpa, there is nothing that we cannot do! Thank you and I miss you all more than words can say. HOnestly and truly. I love you all!

Ame

As I promised, a creeper Amy picture

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Still alive and still running...everywhere

Family!

I have made it another week! I have done it. This has been a crazy and busy week, but I have done it. It is true that this time is like the longest weeks of your l;life, but I am trying my best and trying to keep my head up! Your emails and advice help me more than you guys know. Every day I pray for each one of you and I know without a doubt that your prayers are helping me so much! So thank you!

Like the pictures said, I had my first baptism! It was a really neat experience! But I had an ever better experience this week! I will tell you about it! Oscar is a friend of a man who recently came back to the church. Oscar is 28 years old, and lives with his family here in Antigua Guatemala. Never in my life have I met a man with more faith then Oscar. We have had several lessons with him, one of which was about sacrifice. The sacrifice of Abraham and how sometimes in our lives we are required to give sacrifices ourselves. The spirit was very strong, but little did we know the impression the spirit had made on Oscar's heart.  Oscar has a job that has committed him to work every Sunday during the hours that we have church. He has attended one time, and had the desire to be baptized, but did not think it was possible because with his work he cannot attend.

This past Saturday night we called him and asked if he thought it was possible that he could come to church that next day. He said there was absolutely no way, and that he would try to come the week after.
Sunday, we decided to pray and fast for Oscar and for his work to change. At the beginning of Sacrament Meeting, Oscar walked in! We were amazed! We were overjoyed that somehow he had gotten off work to come to church. At the end of the meeting, we talked with Oscar and he told us that his work schedule did not change, he decided to quit his job. he said that God was more important then money, and that he needed to sacrifice this for the Lord. Never have I met someone with such great faith. barbecue of his decision and faith, Oscar will be baptized this Sunday.

This has taught me something this week, this time is a sacrifice, and if I am not willing to make sacrifices for this work, there is not way that Heavenly Father is going to help my investigators to make sacrifices. The thing that has been most difficult for me has definitely been sleep. Because we normally wake up and 5 or 5 30 and it is truly really hard. but I made Heavenly Father a promise this past week that sleep was something of the world and I was willing to give it up. I just prayed for the strength and the health that I need. But I realize that when we make sacrifices, we are blessed and out investigators are blessed.
SOOOO news from this week.

Let me see, OH we moved houses. Thank goodness because we were literally living in an apartment for 2 and we had 5 girls in there. But here is the fun part. WE live up a really really steep hill and we had to carry all of our beds, closets, and everything else... so that was really fun and also it is really fun when the hermanos from your ward say they are going to come help you and no one shows up.. good thing I am really strong though, huh!

The men here... they just really like notre americano chicas.. and it is quite hilarious. Especially on the buses because after you contact the whole bus, you have to pass through seat through to obtain their address and so the men think that you just really love them and want to sit by them, and so they always give me their address, which is great but I think they think I am using it for something else other then preaching the gospel.. so that is just really fun!

I am still alive, I am still running... everywhere, still contacting 40 personas a day, still have the goal for 3 baptisms, still wet all the time, but for the most part I am happy! Which is a great thing! I love you all and am so grateful for each of you!!!

Amy

My first baptism! 
This picture speaks for itself...
I had my first baptism this week! This photo is of the family of the little boy who was baptized! It was a great experience!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

In the mission field

Wow, so much has happened this past week I cannot even believe it. I am going to try and share a few things, in what order, I do not know. But PLEASE I am so sorry if I do not respond personally to emails this week, I am trying my best!

First of all, THANK YOU. This week has been pretty darn hard, and all of your emails just made me so happy so thank you, really I could not feel more blessed! And also, thank you for sending a package, we do not get them until like once every six weeks so I probably wont get it for a while )if it makes it here, but thank you. I really feel so loved!! 

Okay..... here goes nothing!

I am here in Antigua Guatemala. It rains so hard ALL DAY. And it makes contacting hilarious! HILARIOUS! Because we are trying to run and catch people in the rain, anyway hilarious. And also, it is pretty darn cold, believe it or not! So if you ever want to send me like a sweater.... I am not holding you back! 

My companions name is Hermana Marroquien and surprise... she does not speak English! You are probably thinking, oh what a blessing, you will learn espanol! And yes, she is a blessing, but my Spanish is worse than it has ever ever been! It is quite funny actually, but you know I am just having faith that the gift of tongues will come in my package in six weeks! But she is a good trainer, so it is just fine!
The mission qualifications and standards here are pretty crazy! We have to have 3 baptisms a month, 8 investigators attend church every week, 11 lessons con a miembro, 11 other lessons, 12 new investigators every week and 35 contacts every day, with 10 of them being families. WOW. ya, I know! 
So the best place to contact here is on buses. Now you are probably thinking, oh a bus, just go talk to a couple people, how sweet. NO. What we have to do is stand up in front of the bus and contact the whole bus, which is HILARIOUS because there are no traffic rules here in Guatemala and so you are being tossed to and fro while trying to invite all of these people to church in a language that you do not know! AND THEN you pass through each seat and ask for directions to their home to share this message, AND THEN you don't understand any of the information they give you and so you have to have them write it down and then the bus makes a sharp turn so next thing you know, you are sitting on their lap, how special huh? IT is pretty hilarious, but effective because then you get a lot of contacts!

The other day, it was pouring rain... and I am mean pouring rain. But we needed 7 new investigators, which means that you have had a 1st lesson with them and they accept a second. So we prayed and got to work. Oh and did I mention, they do not walk here... THEY RUN. Literally, I am going to win the award for the greatest calves when I come home. But anyway, we were able to teach 7 new people in the pouring rain, so I am grateful that the lord provided!

OH. Alright, 6 30 is a lie. I am thrilled if I get to sleep past 5 oclock in the morning.... it is really neat!
But our mission president told us that he wants us to suffer, so I guess I am doing what he wants. I mean, I am not really suffering, it is just the hardest adjustment I have ever had to make, but I know I can do this!
Another thing is that we do not eat dinner here. WE eat breakfast before we leave, have lunch with our cook around 2 and then do not eat again until after planning at 9 30. It is actually pretty effective because then people are home around the hours that you would be eating!

We have a couple of investigators right now, and if you could pray for them that would be so awesome!! One is named Crisitan. He is 12 years old and is a cousin to a family recently baptized. His parents wont let him be baptized, and so we need all the prayers. Another is JOse, he is 21 and needs the inspirationa and the testimony and faith to be baptized. The other is Oscar, he has work on Sundays so he ant come to church and therefore cannot be baptized. But, I know that if we pray he will be able to find a new job!

One thing I have learned here is just how lucky we are. We are so lucky. These people have literally nothing. Each house is a tin roofed, cement floor room .With one or two beds for the whole family to share, no light except for if the door is open and it they are lucky they have a stove. But if not, they cook on a fire outside of their houses. They literally have nothing, and it has just made me so grateful and has truly humbled me. 
I know without a doubt that this is the Lord´s work. So many times I have prayed for little things and my prayers have been answered right away. Other times, he lets me suffer. But I know that it is only through my suffering that I am going to grow and become closed to my Savior. 

This is truly the hardest thing I have ever done, you really cannot prepare for a mission, it is something you just have to experience. There are times when i just cry, and just want to come home, but I know that this will  eventually end and right now I need to give all that I can to this. I just have to try my best. 

Our mission is the highest baptizing mission in central America because we believe in EXACT obedience, which is hard sometimes, but I know that it is going to bring miracles.

I can do this, with your prayers, I know that this is something that I will be able to do! Thank you so much! I pray for each of you cada noche, and don't know how I would do this without my family. I wish I could be there for so many things, and I just hope you all don't forget the girl over here in Antigua Guatemala who cant speak the language and has blister the size of who knows what mountain and looks like a tornado just hit me at all times, but who is trying her best to give it all to this work!

I LOVE YOU ALL! 


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Survived an earthquake!

Familia!!!

Oh how I love your letters. I am so sorry if I don't get back to all this week, because I just wanted to take the time to read them all thoroughly this week. Really, thank you so so much! So many exciting things. WOW! I was thinking about how much I think about home, not in a bad or a distracting way, but I think it is because I love and miss you all so much! So I have figured out that I think air mail is the fastest, dear elders sometimes work but I don't get them for a couple of weeks. 

Alright, this week was pretty wild. here is the RUN DOWN:

1. I survived my first earth quake! did you hear about that? It was a 5.9, but the worst of it was not felt here. But man, the whole room was shaking and it was pretty scary! and yes, if you do not remember an earthquake is indeed my childhood fear, so well isn't that fun. So after, they evacuated us, they told us about how there would probably be an after shock.. as if I wasn't already traumatized enough. And they said it would probably happen while we were sleeping... equally as comforting. So they said that if it did happen, we needed to get underneath our beds. I asked if he thought that they would collapse, and he said "well, if they did, you would never know." OKAY. So that night after searching for places I would hide in case, and finding there were none.. I just decided that I probably should not sleep that night.. but good news, there wasn't an aftershock! 

2. I placed my first real Book of Mormon! there is this guy who serves us food and I had just been having a feeling that I needed to talk to him about the church, but I had been to afraid. So I told my companion that I was going to do it on Sunday. So Sunday came and he happened to be the only one in the serving line, and so I figured that this was my chance. I went up to him, more nervous then I had ever been and asked if he was a member. He said no and I asked why not. He said he didn't really know about the church so I asked if he would like to learn more! he said YES! so I got him a Book of Mormon and brought it to him at dinner and he just looked and grabbed the book and said, "oh oh oh, this is so precious. thank you so much!" It was awesome, I don't know if he will ever read it but I knew I had to follow the prompting!

3. So in our leader meeting the other day, president told us that the general young womens president and relief society president were touring central american and wanted to come to the CCM that night for dinner. He asked me and the other hermana leader to pick 15 hermanas to have dinner with them. So we were all excited! And then we got there and my companera and I were at a table of the young womens general president and Latinas. They told us that we would be translating... um alright... four weeks of spanish. Yep, so that was really exciting, trying to translate. Actually it was quite hilarious really, but hey we tried our best and it turned out to be a really neat experience! We took a picture with them, so maybe they will show it is GC? jk :)

4. I leave the CCM on Tuesday! I AM SO SCARED! But hey, I am just praying really hard, and even if my trainer does not know English, which she probably will not, I know that somehow I will be able to do this. SOMEHOW. hahaha My Spanish is actually a lot better, especially during lessons. I am just so grateful for the spirit and help that it brings! But with me leaving on Tuesday, I don't think I will be able to email that whole week so I am so sorry! But I will be fine, and will have the help I need to make it though my first week in the field :)

5. I have realized this week that people are going to start caring about the gospel when they know that you care about them. You must prepare a lesson, always with their needs in mind but then the spirit might direct you in a different path. More times then not, we have taught a different lesson then we had planned. It is amazing how the spirit works.

6. This week we had to give an impromptu lesson about the Law of Chastity to a Latino distrito... that was fun. You never realize how little spanish you know until you are asked to give an impromptu lesson about the Law of chastity.

All in all, I am doing well, I am not sick anymore, and I know that is all thanks to your prayers and the Lords help. It truly was a miracle how fast I was healed, I am so grateful for it! The next time I email you I will be out in the field!! WOOT! I could use all the prayers I could get, but I know I can do this! I love you all and pray for you constantly.

Amy

Since Amy will be leaving the CCM next week, until we know more, the address to the mission home is:
 
Sister Amy Elizabeth Funk
Guatemala Guatemala City Central Mission
Apartado 921-A Zona 9
01009 Guatemala City
Guatemala
Guatemala