Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Elder Cook

This week was really great and amazing. There are a  lot of things happening here and I am striving to increase the faith that I have.  Surprisingly when we really try hard to reach all of the standards of excellence, we can.   All we have to do is have faith and act upon it. 

This Monday was actually a little sad to start because I lost my wallet.   I am not entirely sure how I lost it or if I did but it is nowhere. The saddest part about that is that it only had Q5 , less than a dollar and my temple recommend. Luckily I had interviews this week so I have a new recommend but it isn´t the same.  

On Monday I talked to Carlos a convert about how much the members care for him and truly look up to him.  He was so touched and it was amazing to see how much a small  thing helps others to feel the love that others and especially Christ has for them.  

Tuesday I also was so impressed by one of our investigators.  He really began to understand the atonement of Christ and began to cry.  He told us that he wants to be baptized but he needs to truly repent first. We taught him how and it was a powerful lesson. He really wants to do his best and prepare for the covenant he will make.  
Seeing some of my Best Friends in other Missions is awesome.

Wednesday we woke up at 3 am so we could be on the bus to the capital at 4 am. We went to hear from Elder Cook who is an apostle. I loved being there and being able to see some of my friends from the MTC. There were people from 3 of the 6 missions in Guatemala.  When Elder Cook gave his talk, he spoke a lot about Love and how much Love can bless our lives. We also heard from the area Presidency. We learned a lot about prayer and also what it means to be a representative of Christ.  They said it is like a power of Attorney we should think, act, say and do all that he does. 

Getting ready for Interviews
Hearing that really helped me out later in the week. I was contacting with my companion and after I finished a contact there was no one else in the street and I was a little tired so I decided to sit down for a second. As soon as I did I thought to myself, would Christ do that?  I immediately stood up and knocked on the door closest to me. No one answered but at least I tried and I felt good.

Thursday I had interviews with President and Sister Stay. I always love talking with them and we talked a lot about goals and how we can improve in our lessons. I really loved what President Stay said,"we aren´t trying to get people knowledgeable on information, we are trying to help them have a spiritual experience."  What he said is so true and I hope I can help them with that. I will ask more questions so the spirit can testify to the truths they say.  
Hmna Stay liked my Hair and my Conversion Story 

Yesterday was a great day of faith as well. For some reason I have not been reaching the standard of excellence for contacting. I am not sure why but it seemed hard. I decided yesterday that I wanted to and we were short 63 contacts. I decided to do it and ask my companion for help. Surprisingly we met and surpassed our goal. It was amazing and really not that hard. I know I can do it now and I will continue to increase the number of people I speak with everyday!!!! I love working hard and serving the Lord. 
Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Hair Cut of Love

Well HELLO!!!!!! 
I am really excited to have this time to write this week. I feel like a lot of things have changed this week and the biggest thing is my hair.  I know my mom may not be happy but I cut my hair which had grown very long in the year that I have been here.  I am going to donate it to to kids with cancer, I am sure my mom will like that idea.  I really loved my long hair and I am kind of sad that it is short but I also know it was for a good cause and it will grow fast.  We are in Zon Jalapa now and that is really close to El Salvador.  There are two districts in my zone and each has 8 people. We also all go to branches so it is a little different but it will be great.  

Tuesday we did have our zone meeting and I am so excited to be with my old zone leader. He really has inspired us so much and is still working hard.  I know he will do the same with the missionaries here. I also received my mail that I had not received for about a month which really made me happy. 

Wednesday we had an activity in our ward.  I love how we are all one big family and work together here. The Family Interiano and our investigators really made a difference there and made it a lot more fun. We had a game with frosting and I got a little messy. At the fire we had a lot of fun and talked about goals. Our investigators shared that their goal is to get baptized this year. It was really cool and our recent convert family had to the goal to go to the temple. 

That same day as well I really liked a lesson we had. It was at a members house and I was teaching her niece. To make things easier for her we taught a little in English which was awesome but also kind of hard to remember certain words.  I really liked teaching her and I felt I could relate a lot more to her and her life. 

Thursday we had a great lesson with our investigator Carlos. He really opened up and told us about a lot of things that had happened in his life. He said he knows this is true and wants to be baptized. I love moments like this as a missionary.  I was smiling really big and he asked why.  I was able to express my testimony of the joy I have in the gospel and how excited  I am for him to make this decision as well. 

Saturday was really crazy. I fell down which never happens. There was a crazy wild cow in the street and I didn´t want it to come after me so I was moving out of the way and fell down a stair.  The cow was bigger than a car. We also had a lesson with a new family. We found them looking for someone else but we just decided to teach them instead. As we were talking the little girl who was 4 left. Then she came back with something. I couldn´t see it very well but it was a book of Mormon. I thought maybe my companion gave it to her but she didn't. Finally she came out with the book and I was able to ask. The parents didn´t know what it was or where it came from. It was from 1999. It was so cool that the little girl was prompted by the Spirit to bring the book out. I bore my testimony of its importance.  They are new investigators and before we left they started reading the book. 

Sunday we had a lesson in Primary. We kind of have a new calling there helping our recent convert. It  was awesome and we helped teach about tithing. I really love kids and teaching them. It is a lot of fun and teaches me a lot. I am excited for this week to come and I love working here. Have a great week and thank you for your support. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Zona Jutiapa

Right now I am writing from an internet Cafe in Jutiapa. I am still in Monjas but we had a change of zones. It is crazy because now we travel farther every week and there is not a stake center here just two branches. I am excited to be in this zone though because one of my old zone leaders is the zone leader and I learned a lot from him and always felt really inspired.  The zone may be a little farther but I really do know that it will be great. 


Last Monday we actually had time to play some sports. It was a lot of fun because we played soccer which we haven't done for a long time. I forgot a lot but I wasn´t so bad. There were other people who started playing where we were and we were getting in each others ways, but then I thought that we could just share the court.  I suggested the idea and then we asked them. It was a lot of fun and more competitive as well.  


Tuesday we found out that we are in a new zone and that everything was changing here. We will be getting a new mission President in July so there are a lot of things that are changing. I think they opened 2 or 3 new zones and many new areas.  There were also a lot of new missionaries but I think we are still at 250 missionaries here. 


This week we tried really hard to have members in all of our lessons. We planned it really well and then we made all of the calls. Then as it came time for the lessons things fell through, either the member couldn´t anymore or they weren't there. We made the best of it and still had a great week. The funny thing is that on Sunday we didn´t plan like the days before and every lesson was with a member present and 2 in the house of a member. I think that is pretty funny.  


We got some new investigators this week and one of them plays soccer professionally here in Guatemala. We were so excited about her and the lesson we had but then we saw her later in the week and she ignored us. Being kind of sad we went to her house because my companion left her sweater there and to our surprise she was there.  It turned out her sister looks just like her, it was her we had seen,  and our investigator was really excited to see us.  


I have a really strong testimony of service here in missionary work. It really opens doors and helps people to know that we really do care for them and want the best for them. Time and time again people who are totally against us have their hearts open to the message because of service. I also try to make people laugh or smile because this life is to be enjoyed. Why should we not be happy with the knowledge we have?

The two little kids who were going to be baptized before are still progressing well. One of their problems was coffee but now they and their families are drinking cafe de maiz. It is great and I love how the family is supporting them more and progressing as well.  


There are many interesting experiences we have here in the mission especially with how people think of us. We were teaching this one family when the husband came home. He didn´t like us being there and told us he didn´t like people who come in the name of Mormon, only Jesus Christ.  My companion sat there not knowing what to do and I started talking to him.  I took off my nametag and gave it to him. I asked him if he saw the name Mormon on there and he said there was only Jesus Christ. I bore testimony that we are representatives of Christ and come in his name and then we left. 


I really love it here in my area and in the mission. I am always striving to listen to the spirit and I think I am getting better at that everyday. As we do the Lord´s work we really do become more like him. I know I am more humble and I try to recognize all of my faults and change for the better. As well if there is anything you think I should work on, please let me know. I love your advice and support. Adios. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Helping Others Use The Atonement

I feel like this week for some reason was really long. Sometimes it feels like that because so many things happen and it seems so long ago. To be honest though I feel like I have changed the most this week more than in any other in my mission. I love the opportunity we have in this life to learn more and improve. I guess something I really lerned this week was how to use the atonement. Not just for me but using it for others. I think that is just as important as using it for ourselves. So many problems can arise because we do not have a testimony of the Atonement in the life of others . 


Last Monday as we were coming to write, everyone on the bus must have thought I was pretty weird. Kids here do not really have any rights and are just an possession people have. In a bus or other place they cannot sit if it is full. I was sitting there though and saw how hard it was for this little kid to be standing on this crazy bus so I got up from where I was sitting. Had the person on my side scoot over and I gave my seat to a little boy. People were confused but I felt good. It also gave me the chance to serve another lady who was holding her daughter and couldn´t hold on in the seat. I made sure she didn´t fall. To me I love those little acts of service that most people do not think of. They make some of the biggest differences.  


Here I learned that New Years is the same as Christmas in the way they celebrate it. I think there were more fireworks on Christmas but I was asleep at 10:30 New Years so who knows.  We did get woken up at midnight though again.  That day we did a lot of service and I got to kill a chicken and then later a rooster. It is good to know how to do those things and suprisingly isnt messy at all. Then as we went to the house of an investigator later we helped them and killed a rooster. There was a lot of death that day. 


Wednesday we ended up killing 3 mice that were in our house. They always eat our food and run around when we are there so we decided to take care of the problem. It was actaully really funny and included lots of screaming. Hopefully it won´t be  a problem anymore. I realized that I really do like New Years though because you can reflect more on things you want to change for the New Year. I am excited for all that will happen in 2014. I can´t believe it all but I am excited to recieve all of the blessings. More than that I am excited to help others receive countless blessings as well. 


We started having lessons in the house of the Interiano family this week. It is so amazing to hear them bare testimony and share the gospel with others as well. That is what I want to do with all who get baptized is help them to strenghen and share their testimonies.  I know that helping others learn about the gospel is what helped me the most.  


Thursday there was an activity in a pack that a Baptist Church was having. We asked if they needed help becasue they were just going to be giving out food. They said yes but then ended up not needing us. The weirdest part of that was speaking English in the park. I am not sure how I will get used to that. They were from Arkansas.


Friday I went on divisions in Sanarate with Hna. Ellingson. She is an amazing missionary who is actually going home this week. I have looked up to her since the beginging of my misison and always wanted to work with her. I am so glad I had the opportunity. She is always doing something and using her time. The funny thing is that what I learned from her and what she learned from me was the same. We have time for everything. We don´t have to rush. 


Saturday coming back to my area I found out that they had found several new families that the former missionaries were teaching and who are very promising. I am excited to teach them and learn from them.


Sunday was great as well as we were suprised to see one of our investigators in the church. Once again the testimony meeting here was so strong.  I love this little branch and I feel like we are moving forward.  The attitude of people make a huge difference. That being said, we should always be positive, don´t you think?  Well, I hope you have a great week. Thankyou for your love and support. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

The Family Aquilar
It is so suprising to me that this week we will enter into 2014. I am so excited for this year and all that it will bring. I fell like 2013 was the fastest year of my life. Truly it has almost been a year since I started my mission and that is almost impossible to believe. I feel like I have grown so much in my time here and I have learned so many different things that I know will be a blessing to me throughout my whole life. I also would just like to say that I have one of the best families in the world and I am so grateful for all of the love and support they give to me. Families are truly a blessing from God. 
Photo: My Kids - Christmas 2013
Talking with my Family - Love to all!

This week was a little crazy and also a little long but it was so great. On Monday some members bought us some snacks to have a little missionary Christmas Party. I like food so I definately enjoyed it. 

Our Tree 2013

Our Dog Elder - He follows us when we are out working and sits in front of the homes waiting for us.

Tuesday was the big day here in Guatemala.  They celebrate the day before christmas and it is like a big party. I prefer the nice family time that we have in the states but here Christmas is like New Year´s and the Fourth of July. Maybe just New Years in Time Square. In the street all the kids light fire works and throw them with out looking. We had to be careful but it was a great adventure. We actually had the opportunity to stay out until midnight but I wanted my sleep so we came home early. I actually couldn´t sleep until one with all the noise but at midnight it was so cool. Everyone had huge fireworks and I was actually wondering if our house would fall down.  We also ate a lot of tamales and ponche which was good I love ponche which is a hot fruit drink. 


Before those celebrations that night we had an activity at a nursing home. We went there to sing and it was so great. I loved being there and feeling the spirit of Christmas. When we had to go everyone was sad. I promised that we would come back and I hope to plan Branch activities so we can go there and help them out more. 


Wednesday was actually Christmas day. The best part was getting to talk to my family who I love so very much. Really it felt like just another day to me and not Christmas but I am sure to those at home it was a little strange not to have me there. 

In Front of our House

This week my companion and I also took some time to look at the stars. I feel like for the last few weeks I have seen a ton of shooting stars. I have always thought that the sky in the winter was so much prettier and there were so many more stars but here we can look at them comfortably (without being cold) because the weather is so nice.  
Baptism for the Family Interiano :)


To end this great week of family and blessings, the Interiano family was baptized and the dad was even given the Priesthood. They are amazing and after the Baptism he wanted to bear his testimony and invite others to be baptized as well. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ and it changes lives.

Another little thing that happened this week is that these little boys saw us and asked if they could have a librito. I Said sure and they said they wanted one with Jesus Christ on it. I gave them each a pamphlet and they were so happy. Who knows what will come of it. Small things turn into big miracles. Have a great and

Happy New Year and know that you are all loved. Adios.