Friday, August 22, 2014
This week I am so full of gratetude, happiness, and humility. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me.
Let me talk to you all about this week of miracles.
SO Monday after the cyber we went home and made plans on how we were going to give everything we have and more to be able to see miracles in church. We planned to have more lessons with members, contact more people, and commit them really well to church. So we set out and got to work. :)
Tuesday though I was in the area of Hermana Cahan, she was in Matagalpa with me and reminds me A TON of Annie- Hahah seriously its crazy . So we were out looking for people and we saw this one lady sitting outside and I had this feeling to go talk to her. So we do and it starts pouring rain, so naturally she invites us inside (Thanks for that one Heavenly Father haha) And she starts asking the usual questions, you know, who are you? Where are you from? Is all your family white? haha. And then we start to talk to her about the church. She starts listening and doing a couple comments. Then offers us some spaggetti. (we had just eaten lunch) and so I didn't want to be rude so I said. Sure just a little. But she took that as YES PLEASE I AM STARVING ahhaa and brought out these huge plates of spaggetti and coke... (So much for that vow...) So as we were there trying to eat everything on our plates she started telling us how we could make a ton of money in Nicaragua. SO don't worry everyone I now know how I am going to live the rest of my life making tortillas and selling remote controls haha. But anyway then she told us that she wants to come to church and learn about the gospel. Which was fantastic but I was just worried about how I was going to get out of that chair. So when it comes time to leave I literally almost couldn't move... but don't worry i did eventually learn to walk again. HAha. I have never felt so full in my whole life. Then the rest of the week we just worked our brains out. Finding new people, dropping people that weren't progressing, visiting members, less actives, and recent converts. All preparing for Sunday. On Thursday we were talking to a teenager that always comes to church with her family. Her little brother is baptized but her parents are waiting for a divorce so they aren't baptized. So she told us she wanted to get baptized on Sunday.. WELL OK!!!! SO we were also preparing her all week. Funny story we were talking about the book of Mormon and teaching about how Jesus Christ came to the Americas, well the neighborhood we are in is called "the Americas" so when we were teaching it Celiy was like... wait... I don't believe that Christ came here... this neighborhood didn't even exist back then hahaha. Made me chuckle. Anyway Saturday.... we started a special fast because we knew that we can't do this work alone. All of it depends on the Lord. And as we passed by the families that we had committed to church one by one they started telling us that they couldn't go... As you can imagine my hope and faith was falling with every "no vamos a ir..." I had a moment of "ok Heavenly Father, what is going on??" And then I thought about Peter, how when we went to go take his steps out on the ocean with the first winds he started to doubt and sink. So I made up my mind that I would not let my faith fall. I knew that I had put in my part and that the Lord would bless us. So Saturday night I spent a long time on my knees praying fervently for the blessings and help from the Lord. Also thanking Him for the baptism of Celiy.
We woke up at 5:00 with high faith, left the house and picked up some members so that we could divide and conquer. I was feeling good, I was like ok, we did everything that President has told us to do to have success. We are not going to fail this week. But.... as we passed by each and every investigator, they either didn't answer, told us they would arrive alone, or lied straight to our faces with some excuse. So.... as I walked to the church with the little young woman that I was with, sweaty, exhausted, and defeated, I couldn't help but offer up a little prayer like this "Heavenly Father, where are you?" My companions later arrived all of us defeated, and with lowered faith. But in that moment, I thought about what happened next with Peter, as the Lord saved him He said "Oh man of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Those aren't the right words but I only know them in Spanish) So I said another little prayer "ok I am sorry that I am doubting but if you can't see all of the odds are kinda against us right now... I am grateful for the baptism we are going to have today but we need invesigators in church..." Well Sacarament meeting ended and nothing.. but I couldn't shake the feeling that we just needed to give it one more shot. SO we left Hermana Colado with the converts again and set out to bring people to church. As we walked around soaking wet again but this time in sweat it was strike outs in every house. So we sat there and said a prayer, praying with all our might as we went to one last house. In this last house is a single mother and her 5 children. (dinora, Ashlyn, Alison, Diana, y David) When we passed by in the morning they didnt answer but as we got there we said "alright get ready we are going to church!" You can imagine their surprise...hahahaha but to our surprise they were like "ok!" So we got them all ready and brought them to church. :) I said a prayer of gratitude. One of the most heartfelt prayers of the day. And I repented for doubting. God really did take care of us. He always does, He just needs to see that we are willing to trust Him and do our part. I have realized that I need to work like everything depends on me, but pray as if everything depends on Him.
As for the baptism.... hahaha so we were out bringing people that we had invited (Dinora and her family wanted to come) we asked the bishop to fill up the font. But when we get there... font is empty.... everyone was waiting... so I go to turn on the water... oh wait.... THERE WAS NO WATER!!!!! So you better believe that we went to our house that is like 2 blocks away, filled up garbage cans full of water and then carried them to the church... yes.. just us three and 2 priestoods. It was quite the sight and now my arms are KILLING me. But we FINALLY got it full enough and Celiy was baptized.
Then later that night we got a sad phone call. Emergency transfers. Hermana Behan will now be in another part of Managua as the new AP (Hna Raymond is going home this week) and I will be here training Hermana Colado and I am still TL. That was a really sad night as we packed up Hna Behans things. We passed through a lot of things together in the short 2 weeks that we spent. The thing that I have learned from this week is that the Lord gives us trials to test our faith and make us more grateful for what He gives us. I will not doubt. I will keep the faith. I will fight the fight.
I love you all!!!
ps- I have pictures of all of it but on Hermana Behans camera- next week I will get them to you.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Hey there family!!! I hope you are all doing well :) this week I am sending you this email from the raining but HOT Managua. I must say I am pleasantly surprised that I actually don't hate Managua as much as I thought I would. Ok this email is going to consist of a couple funny things that have happened this week that have made me grow even more as a missionary. And also that have made me laugh really hard.
So as you all know this is my first area that is city like, and well I have found out that you can't just walk in the middle of the street like I have done my whole mission. I have literally almost been hit by buses like 4 times... Luckily they always honk right before they hit me so that I can scream and jump out of the way hahahaha. I feel like tarzan a little bit, that I have lived in the jungle for so long and then I come to normal life and I am just so lost. It is now my turn to learn all the bus routes and bus cards and staying away from taxis that want to charge you an arm and a leg because you are white. But I enjoy it :) the thing that I do love about Managua is that the people are educated. When we teach about the restoration and the need for a prophet in these days the people UNDERSTAND!!!!
Being in a trio is also something different but I am enjoying it :) people ALWAYS ask hermana Behan and I if we are sisters, sometimes we say yes sometimes we say no and sometimes I tell them that Hermana Colado is actually my sister ha. I would send pictures... but I don't have a camera ha.
So one day this week we were getting ready and eating breakfast, there I was eating my corn flakes when all of a sudden I hear a loud CRUNCH and I feel something really hard in my mouth so I pulled it out and it was this white thing that was really hard so I was like... what the.. what is this.. Well ladies and gentleman, my tooth cracked. Luckily it is my very back molar so no one can see anything but it scared me... My teeth are falling out.... SO I made a vow not to buy as much coke... Anyway Mom you will have to let me know what you want me to do about that.
Ok but here is one of the best stories you will ever read. This week we were working like horses. That is one of the million things that I love about Hermana Behan is that she is just so ready to work. So we were giving it all we've got sweating from every pore- literally- and in the mission everything winds up to sunday, to see if your investigators come or not. So Sunday morning we got up at 5:00 studied and left the house at 7:00 to go look for all of our investigators/less actives/ and converts. As we passed by for all of the people we had committed to church they all started to come up with the most ridiculous excuses.. some of them yes were real, but others we just knew they were lying to our face. So we kept looking, inviting people on the street, everything we could do to try to get at least one family in the church. But as the time passed by we realized that it wasn't going to happen. As a missionary it is probably the worst feeling in the world to know that you have given all you could give, you have been obedient, and yet... still nothing... so we sat through sacrament meeting and at the end of it we decided that we were going to leave Hermana Colado in the church with our convert and go looking for more people to invite. So Hermana Behan and I headed out.. not 2 minutes after we left it started pouring rain... POURING haha so we were like ah don't worry this will just show the Lord that we are willing to do anything to bring people to church. So we passed by some of our other families... and nothing... now I want you all to picture something funny... hahaha two white girls showing up at your house SOAKING WET with make up running down their faces just BEGGING you to come to church. Hahahahahahaha oh my appearance scared me. But still the people had some sort of excuse. So there we were... in the middle of a street full of water that went to our mid calves.. soaking wet... and still no investigators. Nothing. We took a moment to just breathe as we stood in the pouring rain. Hermana Behan said "this sucks" and I said "we are in the same boat" so from that moment on we decided we were in the "suck boat". But don't worry, we got to talking and we realized that sometimes the Lord puts us in these kinds of situations so that we will be prepared for the miracles, so that we can show that we are willing to do what He asks us to do so that we can be worthy of His blessings. This story isn't going to end today with some amazing miracle that we saw later, but what it does end with is my testimony that I know the Lord sees our sacrifices and a lot of times we just need to be patient and wait for His timing. I know that I have so much to offer because I am HIS daughter. I am a daughter of God, and even though we have to go through hard times it just strengthens us to be who it is that He needs us to be. I am grateful for my trials because I know that is shows that the Lord trusts me.
Thank you all for your letters and love. I miss you. I love you :)
The soaking wet Hermana Willardson
Fight the fight, keep the faith!
Monday, August 4, 2014
August 4, 2014
Man oh man, I have so much to tell you guys I just don't even know where to begin...
Ok lets begin with last week, I didn't have much time to write because we did an activity as leaders in the whole mission for pday. We went to the zoo and played sports like kickball, soccer, basketball, volleyball and the coolest part is that all of the animals were right around us. It was quite fun if I do say. I got to see some good friends and we had a good time. I have realized something though... I still have horrible hand eye coordination... and my eye-foot coordination is worse. Soccer is NOT my sport haha. But after we all played we got certified to teach.. umm I am going to explain that.. President is doing this new program where you get certified in teaching the lessons. It is actually super awesome because if you are good at teaching, the people will understand why they need to get baptized. I had already been certified so I got to go certify other missionaries. I kinda felt some what important haha. Then on Tuesday we had our regular leaders meeting. The thing that I love about the mission is that things are always changing, things are progressing and the Lord is giving us the tools we need to do His work. :) WOOOOOOHHHHOOOO. Anyway then on Wednesday I was with Hermana Janzen in divisiones, it is always funny to be with another white girl because people always want to talk to you. For the record now if I ask people where they think I am from 78% of the time they say Spain, 10% the US and 2% Guatemala... haha I think that since I have had many companions from Guate I might have picked up a couple of words from there.
This week we found some AWESOME investigators. And here is how it all happened, we were looking for some Less Actives because a lot of our appointments had fallen through, well we went to like 4 different houses looking for them and nothing. I was a little bummed because I don't like it when people lie about where they live... so I was kinda just in a bummer mood. Anyway, we were walking around and I saw a woman sitting on the ground and I had the overwhelming feeling that I needed to talk to her.. but since I was being a punk I pushed away the feeling and kept walking. As we walked passed her I got this feeling AGAIN that we should contact her... but I didn't (I know you are all probably thinking right now that I am a bad missionary... sorry) But then I felt REALLY guilty and I repented. SO we went back to talk to her, Her name is Kelen and she lives alone with her 3 kids, she has passed through some hard times and was praying to God to give her a sign that He exists... when we walked passed her without saying anything she took it as a sign that He doesn't.. (Ya I felt really bad.. I promised to never push off a prompting again.) But then when we came back she felt His love through us. It never ceases to amaze me that even though a lot of times I am hard headed the Lord still allows me to be part of this work, to see the miracles and witness the changes in His children. Gosh I am so lucky :) Well I would tell you more about the investigators but I have some big news. I had transfers... I found out on Saturday and I was SUPER sad... I loved Matagalpa. I am now in Managua... I had forgotten how hot it is here... holy moses... Hahaha I am in a Trio. With Hermana Behan (we were together in Leon... if you read back on my letters I am sure you will find her name) And we are going to finish training a newbie Hermana Colado. Hermana Behan and I are the TLs here in Managua it will be interesting to see how it all works out. I have never been in a trio before or had a white companion. But they are AWESOME.. I don't know Hermana Colado muy bien but I am STOKED to work with Hermana Behan. WE are going to throw fire here in Managua. Literally because I am dying... I haven't sweat so much in a long time.. Just preparing me to return to Utah in January... hahaha. But as with every change that meant that I had to say some pretty hard goodbyes.. One of the hardest parts of the mission is telling someone that you have come to love like your own family that you wont be there to see them anymore. And leaving behind work, and a companion that you love.. Gahhh but with every change comes more things to be learned. I am excited :) and ready to just keep giving it my all. Yes I was really sad to leave Matagalpa, but just like every transfer I know that there are people here that I need to find. My new area is called Las Americas, so Dad if you wanna Google maps that you can. We live really close to the church. Oh also there is no one here to wash my clothes so it looks like this white girl is gonna learn some other talents. :) I will be washing all of my clothes by hand like in the olden days. I am gonna get some good arm muscles. :)
I am going to write you all my testimony in Spanish just because I haven't in awhile.
Yo sè que Jesucristo vive, que nos conoce y nos ama. Sè que El es mi Salvador y que por medio de su expiacion podemos ser limpios de nuestras pecados. Estoy tan agradecida por la oportunidad que he tenido a ser una misionera. Se que El Señor me ha bendecido bastante y siempre serè agradecida. Yo se sin ninguna duda que El Libro de Mormon es verdadero y que junto con La Biblia contiene la plenitud del Evangelio de Jesucristo. Doy gracias a mi Padre Celestial por el tiempo que me ha dado a estar tan cerca a su Espiritu. Se que esta es la Iglesia verdadera y que las familias pueden ser eternas.
I love you all :) Have a great week!!!
p.s Dave thanks for writing me.
Hermana Willy Willy.
sorry but I only have 10 minutes to write today. We are having a super pday as leaders and there is only 4 computers and all of us leaders.. Sorry but just know I am great, happy, and smiling as usual. I love you all!
SO what is up?? How is your summer going? Thank you to the 4 people that wrote me today. That was a good surprise, in fact I am going to name them off. Thank you to Mom Dad Alyssa and Amy (for the picture) You guys rock! Hahaha. This week all was pretty calm, nothing too crazy to report. Except that this week in Nicaragua they were celebrating being free from war for 19 years (I believe..) And the people went CRAZY!!!! My heavens. I will explain it all. But if I don't go in order I will forget haha so lets start with Tuesday, Tuesday we went to Managua for a leaders meeting. All of the District Leaders, Zone Leaders, and Sister training leaders. I always enjoy these meetings because whenever I am with President I learn a whole bunch.
Wednesday we went to go visit one of our recent converts. And bless her soul she loves us so much that she just wants to give us everything she has. I mean the womans house is 4 posts with plastic walls and a tin roof and she still finds a way to give us things. So this week she gave us dresses. Bless her heart.. hahah... I will be sending pictures of these dresses.
Then it was just normal work, we have been leaving our area for a couple hours to go work in the areas of the other hermanas so really I feel like we are never in our own area. Luckily the Lord protects our area... seriously. He knows that in order to do the work that we do sometimes we have to leave the area abandoned. But He has blessed us with awesome investigators and a couple awesome members that will visit them when we aren't here. The work is hastening and everyone can be a part of it. I have gotten to know a good chunk of Matagalpa and Esteli because I have the privelege of being a leader here and with that I have gotten to know a ton of amazing people. The Nicaraguans are one of a kind I tell you. From the old ladies without teeth to the kids running around without clothes they are some of the most selfless people I have ever known. Even when they barely have enough to eat themselves they always offer us some rice and beans. They are so special. I love the nicaraguenses.
Anyway getting to Saturday... SO everyone left to go to managua because the buses were free... so ALL of the buses from Matagalpa had to go to take people. The busses were SO FULL that people were riding on top. (pictures will follow) This was horrible for 2 reasons.. 1. NO one was home... or in the streets. It was awful. 2. because there were no busses we had to walk to our area which is an hour walk, then go back to the church for a baptism, then go back to our area. 3 hours wasted of just straight walking. Sure we talked to people on the way but it was a bad day. Haha. I didn't enjoy it very much. BUT that is ok because the rest of the week was awesome.
Anyway that is about all!!! I hope you know that I love you all and 6 months from tomorrow I will be there with you, freezing my buns off :) I am excited but extremely sad with how the time is passing. But now is just time to work until I can't work anymore.
I love you!!! Be good, say your prayers, read your scriptures, and brush your teeth!
Love Hermana Willardson-
June 30, 2014
Hi family!! this is Sister González I'm the Willy's companion as you may know haha.. I'm sorry because my english is not perfect.
But I'll try to write my fellings for your daughter.
Sister Willardson is a huge blessing in my life, actually she is my favorite companion. She had thaught me a lot!!! and I'm glad that she is with me now!
And I want you to know why I'm saying that she is THE BEST
Here you have a few reasons... (cuz I don't have the time, and the words are not enough to describe exactly how she had blessed my life)
1.She's an EXTRAORDINARY missionary!!
2.She's my BEST FRIEND
3.She's a GREAT example for me and for our investigators
4.She makes me laugh ALL DAY LONG!!!
5.She helps me to feel the SPIRIT daily :)
6.I Love her blue eyes!! hahaha
7.We have seen the blessings and MIRACLES together, and how the Lord prepares the people for us!!
8.She trust me a lot! so I feel the responsibility to improve myself EVERYDAY!!
9.She loves EVERYONE!!
10.She REPRESENTS JESUSCHRIST in every moment.
I just want you to know that you all are lucky to have such a GREAT daughter, MISSIONARY, and FRIEND in your family.
I LOVE HER VERY MUCH!!!
I'm glad that God blessed me with this AMAZING COMPANION!!!
I hope I'll have the pleasure to meet you some day!!
Have a great week!!
HERMANA GONZALEZ :)
July 14, 2014
Hahaha I hope you all enjoyed the subject of this email. Don't worry I will explain. This week was a pretty good one, I definitely can't complain :). I just want to start off letting you all know that the mission is awesome. If you are thinking about going or not.. GO. I love it. Hahaha anyway I am going to fill you all in on what is going on here in good old Nicaragua. Yes it is still rainy, but there are days were it is super super super hot and then days where I am shivering haha reminds me of Utah a little bit. Bipolar weather. Anyway everyone here this week was hyped up about the world cup and all so it was a little hard to get in to teach but we still managed.. I dont even want to imagine how it was for Annie... I thought about that a bit this week. I hope you all enjoyed your time in California, jealous but at the same time... not too much haha.
So I am going to fill you all in on this week. Well basically I am going to tell you some stories from this week because I don't remember what days happened what. hahaha... oops... anyway here are some highlights from the week.
I went to Esteli to work with Hermana Ewing, she is one of my favorites because I started the mission one transfer after her but we were in Chinandega together. We always have a good time when we are in divisions. Anyway we got into one lesson where the lady just started yelling at us and we had brought a member and so the member and investigator just started yelling back and forth... uggggg. Those lessons leave you feeling kinda awful and I still haven't learned how to control what I say very well.. So I told her when her heart is more open to give us a call.. haha I know I shouldn't be so sassy but I don't like it when people say stupid things and think they are right... Anyway, haha moving on. At the end of the day the Zone Leaders called because the... whats it called... uhh... mission couple? sure thats what we call them.. haha.. Well they were in the area installing fire alarms in all of the houses of the missionaries because no one has one. So we had to go to the house to let them in and I was a little bummed because I didn't want to end the day early but then the Barkers told us that they were going to take us out to eat at BURGUR KING!!!! Oh how I have missed a good burger.
This week I also got stung by a bee... ya go figure that one.. hahaha turns out I also have a small alergy.. I didn't spell that right... anyway.. haha. My WHOLE ARM swole up so big I was so embarrassed. I had forgotten what a bee sting feels like. SO I will explain the story. I was walking with my companion and we were talking and laughing like always and all of a sudden my arm started hurting super bad! I was like what in the world is going on... I looked down and saw the bee and I was like are you kidding me.. haha. Then my whole arm went to sleep it was the weirdest feeling. It HURT but it was like asleep... I dunno how to explain it.. So we dug around my arm to get the stingger out and I put my jacket on and we went to go teach. At the end of the night I took my jacket off and my arm was huge and I was like... what the... hahha so I called the nurse up and she told me to buy some allergy medicine. Don't worry now we are all good. It is still slightly swollen but eh what do you do :)
Lets see, then on Friday I was in divisions with Hermana Janzen (that is why it was a week of white girls divisions with two gringas) Apparently we look a lot a like because everyone asked us if we are sisters. Sometimes we said yes. Haha but we were teaching one lesson and I sat in a little kids rocking chair to teach the lesson and I was quite comfortable but when I got up to hand them by Book of Mormon the chair was stuck on my butt hahahahaha I laughed so hard. We all had a good laugh that day. Also I have a convert that at night he guards some fruits in a fruit stand so we were passing by and he was like hey hermanas lets switch, you guys guard here and I am going to go out and talk to people about the gospel. So just to play along I was like ya ok. So I went and sat in his chair and he left... well turns out he wasn't joking all that much.. hahaha. He seriously left for 10 minutes. I didn't know what to do. So I sold fruit for 10 minutes of the mission :)
Man even though I love to tell you guys funny stories of the mission I hope you know that I am also having a ton of spiritual experiences.. sometimes they are just a little harder for me to share. But I will share with you that I know that the Lord protects His children ESPECIALLY as missionaries. Even though sometimes things happen, I have felt His protection. I know that if I am obedient He will save me from danger. I am grateful that I have had this time here in Nicaragua and I wouldn't change it for the world. I have learned so much and I am a different person, well, I am a better person now. I love the Gospel and I love you all as well.
Be good, say your prayers, and maybe pray for the safety of the missionaries :)
I love you