Tuesday, January 13, 2015
I am pleased to see that my last pleas of "HEY WRITE ME" got to some of you!! I recieved some of the best emails this week haha just to put a cherry on this cake!Tears fill my eyes as I sit to write this dreaded last letter haha. Truth be told is that I feel my heart torn into two pieces right now. Don't get me wrong yes I am excited to see you all... but I am not excited to leave this place. I have been thinking the passed couple of days what it is that I could write in this last email and truth is that the minute that I sat down to write it all left my head. Haha bear with me because honestly this is a hard letter to write. I am going to write some of the feelings that I have had in these last couple of weeks/days and what it is that I have learned here. Goodness I have so many thoughts in my head that they probably aren't going to come out right but here we go..
1. Jesus is the Christ. This is something that I will never doubt. I know that Jesus Christ lives, I know he died for every single one of us so that we can take advantage of the Atonement, repent, and start over. I have seen so many times how the Atonement has blessed the lives of so many people that I love here in Nicaragua. From helping someone change from being an acoholic to a worthy husband and Priesthood holder, to a teenage girl who was in the wrong path and wanted to come closer to Christ. The Atonement is real, I know that it doesn't matter what problem we are facing, the healing power of the atonement is accessible to all that look for it. Wether we are sad, hurt, frustrated, or even happy. He has felt it all. Every little thing, and He stands there with His arms outstreched waiting.
2. God is merciful. I have always been amazed at the trust God has put in teenagers to teach the gospel. It has always been something that amazes me seriously. Even more how it is that 18 months ago He trusted in someone so imperfect (named Breann) to put on a nametag that has the name of His son and walk into an unknown world without knowing the language to go and try to help people come unto Him. I know that I am still very far from perfect, but I also know that I am just a little bit closer to being like Christ than I was 18 months ago. Thanks to the tender mercies of a loving Heavenly Father.
3. Miracles exist, I know that because today the number of emails that I usually recieve doubled haha just kidding. But seriously, God is a God of miracles. And it is easy to see them. Just take a look around and I promise you will be able to see the miracles that God has worked in your life. Again, I am so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed me (a very imperfect person) see SO MANY countless miracles. I know that it was His way of saying "hey I know its hard, but I am still here."
4. Every prayer is heard and answered. I know that you all probably know that, but I have no doubt, not even one, that when a child of God, kneels in humble prayer, those prayers go straight to the ears of a Loving Heavenly Father. Yes it is true that not every prayer is answered how or when we want it to be. But YES they are answered and in time we realize that all of it was Gods plan not ours :)
5. THIS IS THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST- before the mission when I gave my testimony I kinda just followed that basic primary outline, I know the church is true, that Thomas S Monson is a prophet, etc etc. But now I know that THIS is the church that Jesus Christ Himself established. It isnt something new. It is organized in HIS way. With a Prophet of God just like in the olden times. I know that Thomas S Monson talks with God. I know that the 12 apostles help carry out the work of the Lord in preparation of His coming. I know that the priesthood power has been restored through a servant of the Lord named Jose Smith. I know I know I know that this is the church of JESUS CHRIST. And I cannot deny it.
6. I know that the Book of Mormon is a guide for us in these last days. The contents of this book have helped me have a better relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It is the way that we can know how to return to live with them. I know that Christ visited these beautiful lands of the Americas and I have been incredibly blessed to be able to serve here among people that I know are of the Lamanite race haha.
7. I know that Heavenly Father has a special plan for each one of His children. Our job is to live worthy enough that He can guide us. I have been guided every single day of the mission and I know it. To find people to teach or even to have a conversation with a stranger that has impacted my life. Part of me thinks that Heavenly Father didn't send me here to teach the people, He sent me here so that the people could teach me. :)
Estoy tan agradecida con mi Padre Celestial por la oportunidad que me dio a poder servir junto con este pueblo de Nicaragua. He aprendido tantas cosas que no puedo escribirles todo en una sola carta. Pero lo que si quiero compartir es que yo se que el Señor ama a todos por igual. Si es cierto que aquí tal vez la iglesia no es lo mismo que allá, todavía van aprendiendo pero si se que el Señor ama este pueblo tanto como a mi propia familia. Yo he tenido la oportunidad a servir adentro de un pueblo tan humilde y escogido. La pobreza material de Nicaragua si es grande, pero ellos son ricos de corazón. He aprendido que significa la palabra humildad. No siempre son las personas que son pobres, pero son las personas que pueden reconocer y dar todo el honor a Dios. Las personas aquí me han enseñado que no tenemos que pensar tanto hacer lo bueno. Cuando sabemos que algo es bueno hay que hacer lo. Sin pensar dos veces jaja. Es difícil a despedirme de las personas que ahora aunque son morenos, son mi familia. Probablemente es la cosa mas difícil que he tenido que hacer en toda mi vida. Pero en lugar de estar triste, estoy completamente agradecida. Se que mi Padre Celestial me conoce, y que es por eso que me mando aquí. Cada una de las personas que he tenido la oportunidad a enseñar me han enseñado algo. Que dicha es que yo podría aprender mas que pensé posible cuando yo debía de ser la maestra. haha. Ahora el momento de ir vino, y estoy tratando a aprender como aceptarlo jaja pero ahí vamos. Creo que nunca voy a poder explicar el amor que tengo por los Nicaragüenses pero lo mas cerca que podría explicarlo es que son mi familia. Amo cada uno de ellos que me han permitido ayudarles a cercarse a Dios y Jesucristo. No puedo creer que el tiempo ya se acabo pero ni modo jaja ahora tengo muchas cosas mas que hacer. Pero si, sepan que estoy muy muy muy agradecida por cada dia que pase aqui en la tierra santa de Nicaragua.
Thank you all so much for the love and support that you have given me these last 18 months. They have been the best 18 months for my life and I know now that there is still much more work to do, even in Utah the Mormon factory. :)
I love you all and I can't wait to see you!!!
Everyone is invited to my homecoming on Sunday the 25th!
With lots of love,
Monday, January 5, 2015
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALYSSA!!! Olddie....Wow that felt like a long time without talking to you guys hhahaha I was convienced that I was going to sign on and have emails saying that amy had the babay, Good news I didn't revieve that email haha. So this week was a really good one.. honestly one of the most bitter sweet weeks of the misión.. its really really hard for me to see it all come to an end but at the same time there are a lot of rewarding things that I got to see this week. But lets start with Sunday, Remember how i told you all about Luis?? The one that the missionaries had been teaching for 4 years but went to church for the first time with us... anyway last Sunday he was baptized :) all of his family was there and it was one of my most Spiritual baptisms. I loved it.
Monday we had the Christmas party, first off thank you Grandma and Grandpa for your christmas package :) it was so nice of you guys to send me something!! Also I got Nates wedding invite!!!!! They look just like Pocohantas and John Smith!!!!! Sweeeeeeetttttt!!!!!! hahahah anyway normally all of the mission gets together to have the party but we are too far away to go so President just comes here and we party. We had to come up with talents to do as a district and one as a companionship. SO for our talent as a district we made a video similar to the one on youtube called "how animals eat their food." Anyway it is hilarious. I will have to show it to you guys when I get there. And then haha for our talent as a companionship we had made a horse suit and we danced in our horse suit :) that is also a video that I will have to show you. Haha But it was cool because Hermana Behan came for the weekend to work wih us!!! She is so awesome and I took her to get to know a little bit of my piece of heaven. Sunday morning I climbed the tree and got down coconuts to eat for breakfast, and I made her take water out of the well haha. It was funny. Lets see, Tuesday was a normal day, working and getting things ready to go because on Wednesday I went to Managua. The leaders meeting was on Friday but due to the whole world celebrating Alyssas birthday we had to leave early. SO we flew out of Puerto in a TINY TINY plane with only 10 people. Ya it was pretty sweet I wont lie. I was sitting right behind the pilot and I asked him annoying questions the whole way such as "what does THAT button do" hahaha it was fun. The Zone leaders laughed at me. It was however slightly uncomfortable because I had to travel alone with 2 elders and the nurse forgot that she needed to come pick me up from the airport so I had to stick around with the elders hhaha. Weird... anyway I got in to managua at about 6:00pm New Years eve and I went and got to work a little with Hermana Alan and her companion. That night I kneeled down and Thanked my Heavenly Father for letting me pass the whole year of 2014 in Nicaragua...working in HIS work, being HIS instrument and becoming the person HE wants me to be. I am so so grateful for the year of 2014.. It was the BEST year of and for my life. It one of those prayers of solid gratitude. I have been so incredibly blessed this year. I can not get my heart to understand that it is ending because everytime I think about it my little heart breaks a little more ha.. anyway I did buy sparklers but we never lit them haha. I was very tired. But then Thursday I got to work all day with just hermana Alan :) for the first time in a year we were able to work together again. It was seriously awesome for me to see how much she has grown :`) seriously she is an incredible missionary and as her trainer I felt very proud...It was a very tender moment because working with her let me know that the mission is in good hands. I love her so much. :) Then Friday... my last leaders meeting... at the end of it President invited me to give my last testimony... I have been a leader my whole mission and it was strange for me to think that I wont be in the next meeting haha. When they said the closing prayer I cried haha. I cant get a grip on my emotions, its embarrassing haha.But Friday night I got to go back to my old area in Managua and work with Hermana Palencia :D both of my daughters in one week. When she saw me she yelled "MOM" and burst into tears.. it was tender. :) So I got to go see some of my converts and the people that she has baptized since I left. The very last family we contacted together got baptized :) I am so proud of her too. She is awesome. Then Saturday morning I flew back to puerto and we had the wedding and baptism of Jahkalina and Alfredo (they are a family that Ricardo, my convert, introduced us to 3 weeks ago.) They had gone to church every week since we met them and reading the BOM their wedding and baptism was super tender as well!! She was really nervous but we talked her through it and they were super happy. I am so so so grateful that God is merciful and even though I am not perfect He trusts me to do His work and He helps me do it His way. That is why the mission is incredible. Because its nothing that I do.. its all about what the Lord lets me do :)
I hope you all passed a good new year!!! Next week will be the last time I write... so all of you that havent written in about 18 months should at least send one for next week hahaha. I love you all!!! Until next week!
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Ok family, well this email is going to be short because I want to be able to save my stories for when we talk on Thursday. But don't worry becauase in 1 month I will have you all bored with my stories anyway. I do however want to tell you all that I am so grateful to be a missionary in this time of the year, being able to talk to everyone about Jesus Christ, how He was born, lived, and died for every single one of us. That is the best present that I have ever heard of. So this year try not to get too wrapped up (that is punny) with all of the christmas worldly stuff. Read the story of Christmas and think about what gift you can give back to Him this season. I love you all and I will talk to you thursday :)
Monday, December 15, 2014
Can I just first start off saying that I love the mission, I love it with my whole heart and its the best thing I have ever done in my life. :) I love Puerto Cabezas, I love the gospel, I love these people, I love spanish, I love miskitu, I love drinking from coconuts, I love being a missionary!!!!
This week to start off the transfer we had a big bonfire on the beach with the whole zone :) it gave me animo to go and start my last change and we are starting off with a bang.SO remember last week when I told you all about the super awesome family of Anastacia? Well I dont' remember exactly what I told you all but I am going to explain again so taht you are all caught up to the story ;) ok so there is one little house and in this house live 6 people. Anastacia (mom) her son juan and his girlfriend maria izabela (at first I thought she was anastacias daughter but we found out this week that she is actually the girlfriend haha.) Sulema and her husband Josue and their two kids and Jenifer (daughter of Anastacia.) And they are the cutest family in the whole world. They are so so so receptive of the gospel seriously it blows my mind. Anyway the original plan was to baptize anastacia and Jenifer this saturday and the rest of them on sunday. But then we decided it would be more special to have all of them be baptized on Sunday. So we called the lawyer and paid him in advance for the 2 weddings so that we wouldn't be paying on sunday.. hahaha... and got everything ready for sunday.
Also Friday night we got a call from a number we didn't know, and it was an hermana that only spoke miskitu, So I was listening and the only thing I understood was "two daughters baptism." and the dirrection to their house. So we went to see what was up. When we got there all these little kids came running out and gave us huge hugs, you can imagine our surprise haha. So when we got talking to the mom we were both like... ok laikra we don't speak miskitu, is there someone here that speaks spanish? and her daughter that is 10 told us she could translate. Turns out that this family had just moved from panama and were members there but they were less active for about 2-3 years and when they moved here they really wanted to return to the church and baptized their two daughters. So we told them that the two daughters could be baptized on sunday :)
So sunday comes and we go in divisions to bring everyone to church. I went to go help anastacia and her family. So we get there and they are all getting ready, bathing and everything so I was like sweet I am going to let you guys finish getting ready and I am going to pass by for a couple more investigators. So I leave and hit up some other houses. check. Get them ready waiting for the bus. Then I returned back with anastacia and Sulema was really pale looking and I asked her if she was ok. She told me that she didn't feel good but that she knew that it was just a trail that Satan was putting in her path. SO I was like "ya hermana just trust in God, He will help you through!" haha. So we get them all ready and head out to the bus stop. In the way Sulema had to take a break because she was feeling dissy so I gave her the crackers that I had packed for my lunch. So then we were waiting for the bus and it was 20 minutes late :( but it finally came and I was incharge of telling the muchacho where he needed to go. So there I was hanging halfway out the door of the bus yelling directions in spanish hahaha it was a good moment. Anyway we stopped to get people on the bus and Anastacia comes up to me and she was like "hey sulema doesn't feel good i don't think we should go" and me being the annoying missionary said "no hermana these are just trials don't worry just trust in God" so she was super cute and said "you're right we are going to keep going!" So then we go to pick up another group of people and the bus gets stuck in the mud...... freak... so there I am with one of the elders because they were also in divisions and a whole bunch of angry members because it was hot and the bus was stuck in the mud. So we start trying to push the bus.... ok... me and like 10 other men start pushing the bus hahaha picture that one. One white girl in a dress and 10 latinos pushing a bus. hahaha... anyway everyone had gotten off the bus and I didn't see sulema so I got on to see if she was there and there she was with anastacia and I saw that she was sleeping... so I go up to them and asked if she was ok. to which anastacia said "hermana, she fainted..." WHAT??!?!?!?!? I was shocked because she told me super calmly hahaha so I was like freak ok I am going to go get a taxi. So I grabbed the teenager that was with me and we went running to find a taxi and of course there wasn't any... haha so we ran for about a mile, in rain boots, and dresses- we finally found one and I sent sulema her husband and her mom to the hospital... I even took her off the bus in my arms ahaha. So then we could see that the bus was not going to move and the branch president called us and said "pay for everyone to go in taxi." So then we had to go looking AGAIN for taxis haha. We FINALLY got everyone to the church and juan and maria izabel, jenifer, juslady, and amy were all baptized :) through the trials came the miracles. The elders also baptized 2 muchachos and it was super awesome. This is why I love puerto.
Anyway this morning we went to go check up on Sulema (yes we work on pdays :) ) and she is feeling better, the doctors don't know what she has but she was super cute she said "the minute I feel better we are going to the church and I am getting baptized. I love that family... seriuosly they are incredible.
So that was the miracle of the week!!!!!
I hope you all know I love you :)
Love hermana Willy