Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Our Miracle

Hello there fam!!

This week was just wild. WILD I tell you. This is only a four week change and so we have changes tomorrow.. they called us and told us that we didn’t have changes and we were crying we were so darn happy. Then at like 6 in the morning on Monday they called us and told us that President had revelation and that my companion was needed in a different area. And so.. well.. she is leaving me. I AM SO SAD. She has become one of my very best friends and together we have really given it all, but I know that it is for a reason and so I will just start praying now to have the same love for my new companion. I would appreciate your prayers as well.... woohoo. Just keepin my attitude high!

So, update from last week. We went to absolutely every single person on that list that I gave to you guys last week. It was seriously like the hunger games, with a divine help from God and from my Guardian Angels. It was incredible because when we would go to someone they would say, ¨If you are here to baptize me, I am not going to be baptized in your church.¨ When before they had just been so iffy about everything. But the Lord was guiding us out of the goats to be able to find the sheep. As we eliminated... which sounds really bad, but I do not mean it in a bad way... the only ones left on that list were the Family Beliz. On Friday we had a lesson with the dad and told him basically that the Salvation of his family was upon his shoulders, and that if he did not make this decision that the condemnation was also going to fall upon his head... I know it was a little strong, but this man needed it.

He said he would pray and that if God told him that he was to be baptized, that he would do it the following day. The next day, we went with him five times. Not one of the times was he there or available. My companion and I had no idea what the Lord wanted us to do. We went to a member’s house, kneeled down and offered a prayer. At the moment that we left, President and Hermana Markham drove by on their way to a stake conference. We called him to ask what they were doing. President ended with the words, ¨Hermanas, when we saw you, we saw you walking with determination and faces of dedication. If it is the Lord´s will, you will baptize.¨ We went with the fam beliz again, and they were not there. We left a note saying, ¨your baptism is prepared for tomorrow and we will wait for you there.¨ Well, they did not come. And when we went with them after they told us that they were not going to be baptized. We were only sad for .2 seconds, and then we got back up and worked even harder.

And then... it happened. NOT what we were waiting for, but exactly what God wanted us to do. We looked on the Church action plan for people to visit, and found a lady who had been baptized in 1999 and never got confirmed. No one knew anything about her, but we were determined to find her. She didn’t have an address, but we picked someone with the same last name… and everyone has the same last name here.. and went with them. WE FOUND THEM. A whole family that was sealed in the temple, with three kids who have not been baptized. They had not been to church in three years, and are now going to come back. We looked at each other and said, ¨this is our miracle.¨

Although we did not baptize this month, I can honestly say that we were obedient with exactness and diligent in every moment, and when we weren’t, we repented and kept going. Now we have a goal for 7 baptisms this month… I know we will do it. Actually, not us, the Lord will do it. The bigger the trial, the bigger the blessings that follow it.

Funny... As you all know, I sleep talk. I woke my companion up and I guess I was shaking my bed and just screaming, ow ow ow ow ow. She asked me what was going on and I told her that I had glass shards in my bed and that they were cutting me. okayyy.... Hermana funk. Winning.

A lady asked for our address in the states so that she can get to the US for free and can work for my parents. So I told her... yes. She will be arriving on Monday. Ha ha! jk. But really, she was just pleading with us and then after sang us a song to try and convince us of all of her talents that she could offer.

I love you all. Happy Halloween.

Hermana funk

We Can't Choose Our Own Miracles From God

Dearest Family,

The title of my email just describes this past week. It is incredible the times you can feel like you are falling down in just a day, but there is always time to get back up! 

Eric was SET to get baptized! Like set. We had an awesome lesson with him on Friday, and he was set for Saturday. But then when we called him to come to his interview on Sat, he wasn’t here, but we were just going to do it Sunday. Well, Sunday came and he didn’t come to church. We decided that we were just going to go to his house to drag him... to his own baptism… after church, so we went there to find him sitting in his house. We entered and I said, ¨Hermano, we have something for you.¨ and I pulled out his baptismal clothes from my bag. He screamed ¨NOOOO! I cant I cant I cant.¨ We were so confused. But then he explained how he had drunk the night before... at the same time he was supposed to be in his interview... we were so sad, not that we weren’t going to have a baptism, but just so sad for him. But he reaccepted his date for the 2 of November. Just pray for him. He learned his lesson. 
Edgar was also SET to be baptized this next weekend, and came to church, and everything, but then Sunday night as we were going to teach him.. we saw him.. drinking a beer. THE SAME DAY AS ERIC! WE were distraught. We just love them with all of our hearts. But he accepted a new date for the 2 of November too. 
Let me just top it all off with me losing my wallet... with EVERYTHING in it, and also the bird that pooped on my companion. ALL IN THE SAME DAY! But you know what we have decided, the harder the trial, the bigger the miracle will be at the end of the trial, so are going to be patient and grateful, and I know we will see the miracle.

We are determined to baptize this weekend, so we went and searched in our area book for all of the people who have attended church in the past 2 months and who could possibly be baptized. Here are our options.. we don’t know them yet.. but we will. PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM. WE WILL see a miracle. 
Familia Beliz
One or more is the chosen one. We know it. 
I am so grateful to be a missionary... no matter what happens. Even if my Jack o lantern that we carved a week ago molded up with black fuzz in two days, it is okay. haha

I love you all!!
Hermana Funk

Some awesome "only happens in Guatemala" moments

So sorry... surprise that I am writing today, but a man is coming to our house tomorrow to put in a fire alarm so we have to have Pday tomorrow... sorry... but at least we won't die of a fire anytime soon! Blessing, right?

Well this week was so awesome! I love my companion and she loves being exactly obedient and dilligent and so we are doing so well. We work as a team so that we can have the spirit as a team. I would send you pictures of us two, but I am pretty darn sure that the Bishop of this ward has sent you 5000. He literally is the best.

This weekend a man named Eric will be baptized. IT IS A MIRACLE! He has been an eternal investigator for like 500 years, and we had a very powerful lesson with him. While my companion was challenging him to be baptized, I pleaded so hard to Heavenly Father that he would allow andsend Grandpa to testify to him....  and he accepted to be baptized! GRANDPA IS THE BEST MISSIONARY I KNOW. Eric doesn't want anyone to know, he wants it to just be us him and the pèrson that will baptize him, but really, it is a miracle. But please PLEASE pray for him this week. I know Satan will try hard with him, but that the power of God is more powerful.

If you could also put in your prayers for Edgar. He is a 23 year old guy who has decided to completely change his life. He used to smoke 10 cigarrettes a day, and when we taught him about the Word of Wisdom, he said, ¨Today, today, I will stop smoking.¨ And you want to know something? He has not smoked a cigarrette since. He is so pilas and will be baptized on the 26th. He is a miracle from God.

This week I went back to Villa Nueva to do divisions. I saw Hermana Sonia and La Familia Luna! We all started crying, it was so special. And it made me think that that is a little bit what the celestial kingdom is going to feel like, and that I will never have to say goodbye to them. That is why I work and never give up every single day.

And now let me just share some ¨only happens in guate¨ moments.
1. Out of all the places to fall, a cockroach fell from the ceiling and landed on my head and started to crawl down my neck. It was the size of a small hotdog. It was awful.
2.I made a rookie mistake by leaving my shoes outside to dry during the night, what I didn't know, was that our ant friends were looking for a place to make their  next ant hill, and my shoes won the chosen place. Yes, ant bites hurt just as bad as they did in Villa Nueva.
3. Good news. The dog that bit me doesnt have rabies. Blessing. And yes, the wound is healing up.

We just keep going every day with energy and help we find from the Lord. I am a representative of Jesus Christ, I know he lives and loves you.

Obey with exactness, it is the only way to kill the natural man inside of us.

I love you all more than you know.

General Conference

Hey Fam!

Yes I did watch General Conference. Yes I watched it in English. Yes I ran to the Chapel when they were speaking in Spanish so we could hear it and yes I loved it with all of my heart!

Here I am. I got transferred... if that is how you say it in English..not sure. But I am in a place called Villa Hermosa! I am still Hermana training leader and I am so stoked because know I will do divisions with all the girls here in the capital.. including VILLA NUEVA! I am so excited. My companions name is Hermana Brewster, and she is from Idaho and we have the same time in the mission, and so it has been really fun. Sometimes we just get a little jumpy when we hear the 510,000 airplanes that pass above our house everyday but really we are just doing so well. She is so obedient and diligent and we both are just so tired and both our bodies are giving out on us, so we are just helping one another out.

This week I had a really special experience. I was actually supposed to train this change (to my surprise) but then they said that sister missionary was sick and that she needed to go home. Her name was Hermana Caballero from Honduras. President told me and my companion that she would be working with us for a couple of days while they figured out her flight arrangements. When we first went into the room to meet her, she would not even look up at us. She was crying and did not want to talk. We decided that we were going to love her up and make her have the best experience while we could.

She had to go home for anxiety problems that she was suffering. It was so hard for her to face that fact, but even with this knowledge that she would be leaving to go home. In one of our last lessons that we had with her, she looked up at a guy and said ¨If I did not know this was the truth, I would not be here in these few moments to represent my Savior.¨ The night before she left, and even coming from a poor family, she left all of the money she had so that we could buy shoes for one of our little converts who doesn’t have any. And she wrote one of the most heartfelt letters to a person we had only visited once. Like my companion said when she left, ¨I will never take another day of my mission for granted”. That is the motto I am living by now. Hermana Caballero, even though I only knew her for 2 days, changed my whole mission and life.

I am loving this area. The members are awesome and there are not AS MANY mosquitoes. When I say not as many, I mean that I only get bit 4 or 5 times a night. So that is really a privilege. I promise I will send you pictures next week mom, don’t you worry my fair mother.

I will leave you with something that President Markham has asked us to do. At the end of every single lesson, we say five things, and truly they have changed the whole spirit of the mission.
1. We are representatives of Jesus Christ. We testify that he lives.
2. The Lord loves you and wants you to be baptized by someone who has his power and authority.
3. We testify that this power and this church was restored the prophet that God chose, The prophet Joseph Smith.
4- Will you pray... read... etc.
5. When you know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that this is the Lord restored his power to baptize... will you be baptized.. etc.
We say it in every single lesson, and we have the goal to have a baptism every single week.

Being a missionary has truly gone from being in my head, to being in my heart.
I love Grandpa and thank him for being my constant companion in this last year. I could not have done it without him.
I love you all!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Many Changes + Video of Amy Singing

You will never believe it!!

I HAVE CHANGES! I am leaving Chimaltenango... and leaving Hermana Merrell... after only 6 weeks! Yesterday they told us and we thought that they were kidding, but then we noticed that no one else was laughing.. and we started to hug each other and ball our eyes out, we were destroyed. Hermana Merrell finishes the mission in 4 weeks and we were positive that I was going to be here with her, but the Lord has other plans. I just have no idea where he wants me. But I will do it. You know the feeling where you just hope that you have accomplished all the Lord has sent you to an area to do? I just want to be able to feel that, not that I made a huge difference, just that I completed what the Lord wanted me to do.

I am extremely sad to leave Chimal because I love this place so much. Elena got baptised! And she was so happy. She has a son who lives in Utah who just completed a year as a member... yes mom, you can invite him over to your family home evening.. no I do not know if he speaks English... But she had asked the bishop if he would baptize her, but he decided that it would be better if this young man who is leaving for the mission did it. At her baptismal service, he got up and said. ¨I knew I had to give the chance to Billy to baptize you because I wanted him to represent your son. He would have done it if he were here.¨ It was so special!!

Our investigador Jussef... yes Jussef and not joseph.. yes I laugh almost every time I say his name... is doing so darn well. He is such a chosen person of our Heavenly Father and he will be baptized this weekend, I am completely bummed that I will not be here, but it is okay. I am just so grateful for him!
I am so grateful to be a missionary. It is definitely the hardest thing I have ever done, but I would never ever remake this decision.

I will leave you with a couple of funny moments. Here we go.

1. We were in a Noche de Hogar and I was sitting on a plastic bench thing, I have no idea what happened but I moved it and I fell over backwards and broke the chair.. I definitely broke the spirit as my skirt flew up and my head went crashing into the floor.. sorry
2. I have also distracted from the spirit in this week as I have received 9 mosquito bites on the bottoms of my feet and in my armpits. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW THEY BITE ME IN THESE PLACES. But man.. they are the worst.

I love you all. I truly do. really.

Hermana Funk

Here's a video of Amy and her companion singing: