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!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Survived an earthquake!


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.


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

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hurrah for Espanol


I know I know, I am writing on a Monday again! But it is because new missioneros are coming in this week and we are going on a field trip to.... WALMART. I have never been this excited or thought I would be this excited to go to Walmart in my whole life! But yes, the older missioneros are leaving, so you know what that means? We are going to be the oldest kids here is the CCM. Anyway, yes we are going to be the oldest and then we leave in two weeks! WHAT! so if you are sending any more letters, I would start sending them to the mission home. Also, with this next group of missionaries we are getting, we are getting only 8 Norte elderes, no new hermanas and 70 LATINOS. yes. I am actually really excited because I love latinos. Speaking of Latinos, actually, not speaking of Latinos, pero are you getting my letters I am sending? I have sent ones each pday.. I think. anyway, I have received a couple of your letters and I LOVE THEM! They make my whole day. They take about two weeks, and them sometimes they are very scattered! Anyway. I love your letters and I love you all!

Okay okay news from this week, not to much to tell but I will try my best to give you something!
Me and mi companera taught the plan of salvation to our invesigador this week. It was a really special lesson because I was able to use a picture of our family to tell about personal families. It added so much more to it and made me so grateful that our family can be together forever. 

We have learned a LOT of vocab this week, like ALOT. I have no idea how I am going to be able to remember it all, but I am just really trying my best! I try to use the things I learn in my conversation and so we will see, it is getting better and I know that it will just take time!

I have been also trying to strengthen my own testimony because I know that it is very important to do that in order to have the power you need for conversion. It has been a good experience and I know that it will pay off when I am teaching out in the field. I also had the thought this week, what if I have a trainer who speaks NO english?! ya, I am kinda scared. HURRAH FOR ESPANOL.

I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday in espanol.. that was pretty exciting. Also.. fast sundays at the MTC... MAN ARE THEY LONG! From 5 saturday night to 5:45 sunday... Ya.. hm. BUT I did it, and that is all that matters.

Okay.. now for the funny moments of the week!
1. our teacher has taught us that when our investigator tells us he or she has not been reading el libro de mormon, that we needed to be and act devastated. So We were teaching our investigator (our teacher) and I asked him if he had been reading his LDM, and he said that he was too busy. So then I proceeded to be devastated, just like he had told us too. It was kind of funny, but hey he commited to read cada noche :)

2. The girls here love love love to talk about home and about their future weddings with their prince charming at home. The other day at lunch, that was all they were talking about, about what wedding colors, etc.. and so me and my companion, trying not to get distracted from the work on the subject of boys, started talking about our funerals, like what colors we wanted and stuff. hahaha it was hilarious!

3. Latinos do not understand American phrases. THEY DO NOT. it is hilarious. A girl in my distrito asked our teacher if she "got a kick out of being an investigator" and our teacher was like, " well.. no, I do not know who is supposed to be kicking me." hahaha to good. these things happen every day.

That really is all from this week! I am just trying to learn espanol, strengthen my testimony and put everything into this! I hope that you all know that I pray each night for you and just love you with all my heart!!!

Hermana Funk