Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Final week!

I love you guys. Here are some photos from this week. This week Oscar was baptized, I don`t have time to write about it, but it was amazing. We also did a family home evening reenacting Lehi`s dream and other fun stuff. Still hasn`t sunk in that I am going home. See you Thursdaynight. I also saw someone from Connor`s mission!​

Hermana Bernal 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Week 71: What I want you to know before I come home

Hello!! Each week goes by so fast, AH!

This week I was asked to give a class on what I want the mission to know before I go home, and I wanted to share with you guys some of what I taught.

As missionaries we invite the people we teach to make changes in their lives. What kinds of changes? Some examples are to stop doing drugs, to pray daily, to read the scriptures, to live the law of chastity by getting married, we made a nice list. Then, we made a list of things that we do on the mission that we didn´t do before- Maybe we don´t have to stop doing drugs, but we learn to do exercise 30 minutes every morning. Maybe we don´t get married to live the law of chastity, but we do learn to live with a companion and discipline our thoughts. Maybe we read the scriptures and prayed before the mission, but we weren´t outside teaching it from 9am-9pm. So we arrive to the question, how we can we expect the investigators (people we teach) to make changes in their lives if we aren´t willing to make these changes ourselves?

And what is my reward for making all these changes?

¨And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good...Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame.. The one raised to happiness according to his desires of happiness, or good according to his desires of good; and the other to evil according to his desires of evil; for as he has desired to do evil all the day long even so shall he have his reward of evil when the night cometh... And so it is on the other hand. If he hath repented of his sins, and desired righteousness until the end of his days, even so he shall be rewarded unto righteousness... These are they that are redeemed of the Lord; yea, these are they that are taken out, that are delivered from that endless night of darkness; and thus they stand or fall; for behold, they are their own judges¨ (Alma 41)

So what does this mean? That according to our works and the DESIRES of our hearts, we will be rewarded. I then passed out a couple slips of paper that each had a question as follows:

Do I follow mission rules because I want people to know I am an ¨obedient till I die¨missionary, or because of my love for God?

Do I change my behavior for two years? Or I change my behavior for my life?

Do I aspire to be a good missionary? Or do I aspire to be a useful servant of God?

Each of these questions reveals two different kinds of desires- the desire to do good because other people are watching, or the desire to be good because it is what God wants. The next slips of paper read:

I get up everyday because I feel obligated to, or because I feel satisfaction in what I do?

Am I constantly counting the sacrifices I make for other people, or do I do it without counting the cost?

Do I feel happy when I see that other people are successful, or does it make me feel like less?

Do I measure my success comparing it with that of those around me, or do I compare myself to Jesus Christ?

Do I try to teach lessons that amaze people of how much doctrine I know, or do I teach for understanding?

Do I use my calling to help others, or to receive praise?

Am I sure that the way that I correct others, is how Jesus Christ would correct them if he were in my place?

According to what Alma said, each desire has it´s reward. So what reward are we hoping for? Are we searching for the recognition of men, or the recognition of God? Do we do things everyday because we have to, or because we want to?

The joy just doesn´t fit in my little 4 foot 9 inch body to be here for a little over 18 months. That´s all there is to it.

This week was Father´s day in Honduras, and we planned an activity, ¨Cerro Grande´s Strongest Dad¨. Enjoy the photos.

Hermana Bernal​



Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 70:"Don't count the days make the days count"

Hello family!

Here we are, taking every day on the mission one day at a time. This week I heard one of the most exciting news as I was on divisions with our Hermana Training leaders. The hermana leader I was with (also named Hermana Bernal, she´s from Mexico) told me about a couple that I had taught in Graneros, an area in the South, named Alma and Eric. I wrote to you guys about the experience when Alma (the mom) told us she has read the pamphlet and thought that out of all that she read the greatest part was when she felt the reality of how ¨God is our Heavenly Father, he loves us, and has prepared a plan for us to return back to him¨. We continued to work with Alma and Eric for my whole transfer because their daughter Tatiana was going to church by herself but Alma and Eric had never made it on Sunday and had many doubts about marriage and baptism. I worked a lot on my patience with them, because in the time that I was there, they never went to church all together as a family. BUT.... this week Hermana Bernal told me that they are getting married on the 1st of April and baptized the week after!!!!!!!
That whole day I was just going crazy happy and thought about my purpose as a missionary- We are here to invite others to Christ and receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Throughout my mission, I have focused on this as being my personal motivation to get up everyday and keep going. This week I realized that with many, maybe my part in their progress is just to help them have faith. Maybe for others I will help them make changes in their life through repentance, maybe to others I will lead them to the step of baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, and to many others just enduring to the end. It is interesting how when we plant a seed, God makes something so small, so unexpecting, into something much bigger and grander than we could imagine, even a tree. My excitement was not contained to hear that a seed that I had helped plant in the lives of Alma and Eric was soon turning into a tree.

Cerro Grande is seriously the most supportive branch I have ever been in. We do three Family Home Evenings a week, that are not just for individual families, but families will literally voluntary their homes to host FHEs for the whole branch! They are all so active it is awesome! Throughout my whole mission I have prayed for priesthood to find and baptized, the church being very young in Honduras is in need of worthy priesthood holders. God has blessed us so much with 3 future priesthood holders all found in these past two weeks. It is just unbelievable how much God is making this last transfer literally heaven for me.

I´m excited to see you all in a couple weeks, but don´t any of you think I feel ready to go home because my time is still not up. An old fellow once told me, ¨don´t count the days, make the days count¨ (Connor Bernal) hehe


Hermana Bernal

Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 69: Cerro Grande!


Cerro Grande is so much fun, like I mentioned the area is HUGE so we spend a lot of time walking. This week was funny because after spending so much money on mototaxis to save time between appointments (mototaxis are like gocarts that are commonly used for transportation, so fun) we were seriously running into a financial crisis and at night we saw how God answered our prayers and left 40 lempiras left on the ground on our walk home! 

My companion continues to amaze me with her humility. This week one time we were really hungry and all we had packed for lunch (we didn`t buy food for the same reason) was a little sandwich one for each of us, and as we were eating a little girl came up to us and started talking. My companion then parted her sandwich, giving her basically a whole half of it, and knowing how hungry she was and how hungry I was, my jaw literally just dropped and I just said to her, "you are one Christ-like soul." She laughed, a little uncomfortable that I had pointed out something so kind that she did, but I was seriously just amazed.

Enjoy the photos! Love you all
Hermana Bernal


Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 68: I got bit by a scorpion!


Ohh my goodness. This week was such a breath of fresh air, my new companion is Hermana Fifita, her family is from Tonga and I have not laughed as hard as I have had with her for way too long. Our area is called "Cerro Grande", and yes, it is quite grande. To get from one appointment to the next we walk a minimum of 30 minutes, it is a huge adjustment from being in the city! I also got bit by a scorpion in the middle of the night my second day, at 3 am I wake up to what I thought was a cockroach or something yanking off my finger and as I turn on the lights, there I find the creature in my blanket. Luckily scorpions here are not poisonous, but it HURT. I decided to have charity towards the creature, and so using a cup I threw it outside. Stupid scorpion.

My favorite experience from this week was helping a recent convert build her kitchen. From the street to her house on the side of the mountain 20 minutes away we (my companion and other members) carried bags of bricks and blocks of mud. It was pretty intense, and it was so cool to see so many people so freely offering their service with nothing in return.

My companion has had one transfer in the mission and started the mission out knowing zero of spanish. She reminds me so much of me when I started out, the awkward laughs when you don`t know what`s going on, getting frustrated with communication issues, wishing you could express yourself better, the beginning of the mission is hard. But the one thing that I have loved is seeing how in lessons, she says everything so passionately. Although she may not speak very much for now, the little that she says is often exactly what investigators need to hear, nothing more and nothing less. My goal for this transfer is to build her confidence because unfortunately her first trainer was a little impatient... the good thing is the mistakes that are made don`t phase me, a huge part of the mission for me has been learning to continually forgive and forget in companionship and only serve.

Have a great week!
Hermana Bernal


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Week 67: Transferred for my last 6 weeks!

Hello family and friends!

This next week that comes up I will be transferred to a new area, and unfortunately have to say goodbye to the "Girasoles" area on Wednesday. It has been a blast serving as Hermana Enfermera and in the capital of Honduras, and I´m excited to see what adventures lie ahead for my last 6 weeks! Also I will go back to writing on Mondays.

Some ups and downs from these past couple of weeks:

On Valentines day I almost got a smootch from a creepy homeless man, the other day I ALMOST got bit by a stray dog (my companion said that it literally was about to sink it´s teeth into my leg and then just turned its head as if it didn´t feel like it anymore, seriously a miracle), this week I felt proud of myself because I helped someone with their math homework and realized that not all of my knowledge of rationalizing denominators has diminished, a couple missionaries stayed in our house to go to hospital appointments, all in all, a great month!

Out of all of the ups and downs in these two transfers that Hermana Nuñez and I have had in our area, the highest up was seeing the change in our recent convert´s mom, named Clarissa. In the beginning when we first found Arely (her daughter, the convert), Clarissa had shown indifference to our visits, when she was there she would listen, but she told us about how the missionaries had taught her 10 years ago when Arely was 4 years old and she wasn´t married, and though she received them for awhile, very quickly lost interest. The missionaries stopped visiting, and she decided to join the Jehova´s witness congregation...

10 years later we find her daughter, Clarissa always giving her daughter the freedom to choose what church to attend, but as for herself she never entered into a church building until the day of Arely´s baptism. When Arely was baptized, we played the Restoration video, and she began to ask so many questions, and we were so excited to see a spark of interest in her. It was funny the first time that we taught the Plan of Salvation, and how we will live in the celestial, terrestrial, or telestial kingdom after judgement (1 corinthians 15:40), we asked the classic question, "In what kingdom would you like to live in?" To our surprise, she answered, "Right now, the Terestrial kingdom". Although it was a shock to hear that answer, we knew from that moment that she began to understand what really was required of her to live again with God. Little by little we taught her the blessings and restored truths of the gospel, and she always told us that she wanted to have a perfect knowledge before making any big decisions of going to church or anything, but little by little she would have moments where she just told us out of the blue "I am really starting to like this, I´m thinking that that must mean it is true". It was so cool to see her recognize with little help the way that the Spirit offers answers to our prayers- simple changes in our desires and thoughts, little "aHA" moments, or when you just feel like something makes sense.. Three times she put a goal to be baptized and three times that baptismal date fell through, each time she would say "I just don´t feel ready, I want to be more sure"..

This week after deciding for sure to be baptized, she told us that what made the difference this time was that as she saw the truths of the gospel line up between the Bible and the Book of Mormon, she began to know for herself that it was really true. And, apparently the Elders that taught her 10 years ago had unfortunately told her "we don´t use the Bible" (yikes, completely false).. I remember when I first felt the same way, comparing the footnotes of the Book of Mormon and Bible, and seeing how all of the pieces of the gospel fit together so perfectly, there is nothing that I love more than feeling like I understand a little more about what God expects from me.

I know I´m definitely gonna miss the area Gira Soles so much, and I´m sure I´ll miss the missionary phone calls of "I have diarrhea, what do I do??", even more.
Photos will be sent next weeeeeek!!

Love you all!
Hermana Bernal

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week 65: Mission Blog Link

Hermana Bernal has been busy these past few weeks but you can also learn more about her mission through her the Mission President's blog!