Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Miracles from our Heavenly Father


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


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!

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!

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!

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!