Friday, December 25, 2015

Week 15: Feliz Navidad

Familia y friends!!!

Merry Christmas Eve!! Wow, a lot happened this week The days leading up to Christmas have been so great. People gear up with lights, tamales, fireworks every night, and there is a tradition where on each street they make whats called a "viejo" which looks like a scarecrow, made of explosive material which they blow up the night of New Years Eve and I´m psyched to see it!

This week the mission was so kind to us and planned a mini Christmas program for all the missionaries in this mission. We had a special Christmas message given by the President, each zone sang a song, and then we got a couple of hours to enjoy ourselves with some free time to play random games and eat a bomb Hondureñan lunch. It was so fun to get to spend time with other missionaries, our days are usually so busy so free time is treasured.

Every day I am more and more surprised by how giving people are. This week especially because in the area I'm in as we walk passed houses, little kids will literally run out and attack us with hugs. Without knowing us! The other day we started chatting with a girl who in moments invited us to her home for the 24th as well as offered us the food in her hands. And we had never met her! Talking with a couple other kids as they were making rubber band bracelets, I just said how cool they looked and without a second thought they offered me one! People just love to give whatever they have to offer! It´s really humbling.

It's really hot here, and though that is no excuse, last week in church I started to fall asleep a little and an investigator had to nudge me awake and it was really embarrassing so this week I had a goal to be super engaged the whole time. Five minutes before Sacrament meeting started I was asked to give a talk. Yupp that was enough to wake me up!! I silently freaked out searching in my Bible and Book of Mormon something to say, found a couple of thoughts but honestly as the speaker before me was finishing I still didn't really have a clue haha. But to my surprise after I began introducing myself, the message I shared seemed to flow more fluidly (or shall I say less awkwardly) than I expected. I talked about how this being my first Christmas without family, it has given me the opportunity to focus on the significance that Christ's birth really has on me. I read in the Book of Mormon Alma 7:7 "For behold there be many things to come and and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than all, for behold the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people." And 83 years later, as we know, the Savior came as it was written by the ancient prophets in the Americas and Europe. They knew it and wrote it so that we may know and come to understand what is of most importance. I am so grateful for the opportunity that we have through Jesus Christ to be strengthened, to be comforted, and greatest of all to be clean. Love you all!

Hermana Bernal

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Week 14: Poco a poco


This week was really crazy, a lot changed! First of all, normally new missionaries have the same trainer for their first 12 weeks in the field, but after only 4 weeks we had cambios (transfers) and my trainer companion and my area changed!!

My new companion`s name is Hermana Vicente, she is from Guatemala, and our area is in the middle of nowhere- in the whole mission there are three main regions- the south, the city, and the west. Santa Lucia, where I was, was part of the city region and now I`m in the South and it is HOT. Just so you can picture a little bit of my life here, we live in a little house like the rest of people here just steps away from the next house, and everyone here owns either pigs, chickens, horses, dogs, or all the above. Little kids run around the dirt roads partially clothed, and the other day I showered for the first time using buckets of water from something called a pila- a cement tub outside that is used for washing dishes, clothing, etc. Quite the life here!!

This week I have been thinking about something Elder Bernal wrote in his last email- we are only as happy as we are grateful. The past month adjusting to a new area, and now again has not been easy, but I am just barely starting to see more clearly that although it is difficult to see my progress at times, I have already learned so much. I am working on seeing every difficulty as an invitation to learn, because really everything that happens has an inspired purpose- to prepare us for what is to come. Though at times my antisocial self gets exhausted after only 3 hours of getting to know and spending time with people I can´t yet fully understand, I know that "poco a poco" (little by little) like my companion always says, spanish will come more naturally, I will love the people more easily, and I will be able to share the message of the Restored gospel with more clarity and power.

Love you all!!
Hermana Bernal

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 13: "I feel so grateful that I get to share this season with the people I´m with right now"


This week was really different because my companion Hermana Nunez had to have her wisdom teeth taken out!! She is such a trooper though, because by the end of the second day we were back at it, out and about teaching! The more I get to know my companion, the more I cherish how hard she works and the genuine love she has for others. Though currently personal conversation with people here is a struggle sometimes, I have felt so blessed to be in an area with so many loving members who are willing to offer their homes, food, service, and love. Though the Christmas spirit is reminding me quite a bit of home, I feel so grateful that I get to share this season with the people I´m with right now.

Enjoy a couple of photos, one in a park where there are a bunch of Christmas lights and we´ve been able to meet a lot of families taking photos, as well as a photo of my new best friend Enrique who is a recent convert and who has been such a joy to teach! Love you all!

Hermana Bernal

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Week 12: "I am astounded by the sacrifices people make"

Hola Hola!!

Reporting to you from Tegucigalpa! For our P-day (every week we have one day to spend our time as we wish exploring the city, getting groceries, running errands, etc to prepare for the week) today the missionaries in our zone, about 15 of us, got together to play baseball and it was really fun to have some free time to just be outside! Please enjoy the pictures attached of the group, taking note of my crazy companion from the DR, she´s the bomb.

Earlier this week we visited a sister in our ward named Olga, who has three children of her own and 4 of their cousins to look after all living in this little house wayy up in the mountains. My companion and I as well as two other sisters missionaries and some youth from the ward came to join the party. It was quite the trek to get to her house, taking us over an hour! Honestly before I arrived, I wasn´t sure if I had yet met this family because in these past couple of weeks I have met and talked to a gazillion people and it´s a struggle to keep everyone straight, but when I arrived I could not believe my eyes! I recognized Olga from church the week before, and in that moment I realized how much she must have had to sacrifice to arrive at church at 9amso far from her house, and she was early even! To think of the the effort put in to round up, suit up, and feed her 7 kids, walk over an hour to church and back every Sunday made me feel so ashamed of all the days that I showed up late to church living just across the street on Mercer Island... Every day I am more and more astounded by the sacrifices people make here for things that I take for granted so easily at home. Every day I am more grateful for the family that I have, resources I have available to me, and most of all the knowledge I have of a loving Heavenly Father who offered his own son to pay the price so that by our obedience all of us may live with our families for eternity. I love you all and am thinking of you at the start of the Christmas season!!


Hermana Bernal

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Info for packages and letters


Colonia Florencia Norte, Contiguo a SEARS

Entre boulevar Suyapa y PriceSmart

Edificio Plaza America, 3er Piso

Apartado Postal 556 o 3539

Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Francisco Morazán



Colonia Florencia Norte, Contiguo a SEARS

Entre boulevar Suyapa y PriceSmart

Edificio Plaza America, 3er Piso

Apartado Postal 556 o 3539

Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Francisco Morazán


Thanks and love you all!
Hermana Bernal

Week 11: "I feel like I'm an explorer"


Briefly reporting to you after my second week here! Still in the lovely awkward transition phase of learning the language, but things are going well! My companion is just the best, I learn so much from her! I am starting to get to know everyone in this little town of Santa Lucia, everywhere we go we are talking to people who pass by and everyone is so friendly and open, I love it!

Sometimes I feel like I´m an explorer because we are also walking every day through trees and little paths of all sorts. Love you all and hope you´ve had a great week!

Hermana Bernal

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 10: "Thrive in ambiguity"

From Izzy,

Hello friends and family!!! Every week I am so bummed that I don´t have more time to share with you more of my experiences here!! But I am now officially in Tegucigalpa! I arrived this Wednesday and it has been a really great week. My trainer (my first companion for 12 weeks) Hermana Nunez is pretty much the greatest human! She is from Dominican Republic, and is an incredible missionary. Not only is she a really fun person, but she has challenged me to abrir mi boca and talk to everyone that we pass by! Right now we are in an area named Santa Lucia, it is so amazingly beautiful here and I am starting to live and love the culture. I am so thankful to be in Santa Lucia for my first area because it isn't too hot! Ok but really this whole week was great, I have a lot of trouble remembering people´s names and I have no clue of my way around, but I´m hoping it will come. I´m exhausted by the end of every day after trying to be engaged in conversations of a new language, all is well and I am trying to be patient. Life is good! One thing that I am trying to work on is the wise advice from one of my friends from the MTC to "thrive in ambiguity." There is so much new to absorb everyday, and I am trying to decide ahead of time that no matter what challenges come by, no matter how shocking certain aspects of life here are, and no matter how discouraged I may feel at times, one day I am going to look back at this year and a half and wish that I could do it all over again. I have 18 months to be a full time servant of the Lord and all of eternity to ponder if I gave it all I could. It reminds me of how much of a speck our Earth life is, in comparison to what is come to come... When it is all over will will be at peace with the work we have done, in whom we´ve trusted, in the person we have become?

Love you all!
Hermana Bernal

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 9: Hola from Tegucigalpa,

Hola from Tegucigalpa,
We are happy to tell you that Hermana ­­­­­­­­­­­­Bernal has arrived safely in Tegucigalpa. We love her already and look so forward to serving with her for the next 18 months. We have attached a picture of her taken with us on the day of her arrival.
She has been assigned a missionary companion who has been selected to serve as a trainer because of her experience and diligence as a missionary. We know your missionary will grow to love her and learn a great deal from her.
We want to assure you that we will be in close contact with your missionary during the coming weeks and months. Our greatest responsibility is to dutifully care for each young person with which the Lord has entrusted us. If there are ever any concerns for her well-being we will be in immediate contact with you and/or her local priesthood leaders.
Thank you for all you have done to prepare your missionary for this wonderful opportunity to serve. We know your family will be greatly blessed as you support her from home.

If questions or concerns should arise at home during your missionary’s service, please feel free to contact us or call the mission office at 504-2239-5587. We also have a blog for parents. The blog address is There is also a Facebook page which was started by a few missionary moms. The group’s name is Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission.
President and Sister Bowler
Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 6: 6 days until Honduras!

Hi Everyone,

Reporting to you from the Guatemala MTC, only 6 dys remaining till I'm shipped out to Tegucigalpa. This week I learned a ton. My companion and i have been working really hard on our spanish, and especially working on how to be better teachers by being better listeners. In the MTC we are constantly reminded that to be an effective missionary, we must always be in tune with the genuine needs of the people we teach. Because really, who wants to listen to someone spit out information about God if they don't see how it directly applies to their life, when that is maybe the most important point to get across!

This week my companion and I got the opportunity to serve as Hermana leaders! It has been really fun to use this job to get to know all of the newbies better, I am so inspired by the girls here and their desires to serve God! One thing hilarious that happened though is that our fire alarm went off during the day one day, and then again the middle of the night that night, and NONE of the girls on our floor got up!!! The next day everyone talked about how we were literally all awake but just layed in bed to wait it out to hear if it was real or not. Sooooo good thing it was a false alarm!!

Sorry I have no time!!! Love you all!!
Hermana Bernal

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Week 4: Almost ready to leave the MTC!


I have now finished my fourth week here at the MTC and I´m starting to get really pumped to leave this place! Haha I´m learning so so much here, have gotten really close with the people here, and am realizing more and more everyday how lucky my life is. I think the biggest transition to mission life has been the concept of being productive in some way every second. It is amazing how much you can accomplish when your whole day is planned out! I don´t have very much time to email today, but I am thinking about you!

Love and miss you!
Hermana Bernal

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 2: Are you fired up!?

Hi everyone,

This week flu by! Because I got the flu last Friday, ha. To be honest I´m still not back to 100%, pero esta bien. I bet my body could use some extra antibodies for when I get out into Tegucigalpa anyway. 

Every week we have one or two devotionals (speeches) given by the Mission President of the MTC and his wife. President Cox is the most enthusiastic man I´ve ever met. You can just tell he lives every second of his life to the fullest. Anyways his devotionals pump us up like no other to work hard and be the best missionaries we can be. At our most recent one, he told us how when his kids were in school, he would make them stare at themselves in the mirror and yell ¨I´M FIRED UP!¨ and then proceeded to invite shy-looking kids up in front and yell it at everyone and it was hilarious. So now Ï´ve been yelling at all our roommates when we wake up at 6:30, ¨YOU FIRED UP OR WHAT???¨

The other day it was really funny because me and the three other sisters in my district (150 missionaries here are split up in districts of about 16 missionaries who we share a schedule with) got back from a class break and we were singing the song ¨Ä Child´s Prayer¨ with the two overlapping verses, and as the elders filed in the class they joined in and it was like a movie it sounded so good! And then we got all excited and wanted to practice it more so we could do it for the rest of the MTC at a meeting or something, but after that one time we realized that when they actually tried to sing for real they all turned tone deaf so we´re not doing that anymore...

Overall, this week has been pretty amazing to see how my health has responded to the power of the peaceful spirit that I feel when I am practicing teaching a lesson with my companion, or listening to someone bear their testimony. I´m not saying it has been like a light switch difference or anything sudden, but when I focus on the message of the many tools Heavenly Father has given us to prepare for our futures in this life and the next, I forget about all of the aches and discomforts that have lingered a few days from the flu.


Hermana Bernal

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Guatemala MTC

Hello everybody!!

So happy to be writing to you all right now!!! I'm sorry if this is email is super scatter brained!! Ok so right now, I am currently in the Guatemala MTC (Missionary Training Center) which is where missionaries who are going to any of the Central American missions go! Missionaries come here from between 2-8 weeks to study the language, and to adjust to missionary life! You guys I'm in heaven this place is awesome. Everyday we go to classes with our districts (groups of like 10), learning how to teach the gospel in Spanish! One of my favorite parts about this place is that many of the teachers are converts to the church. It is so special to be taught by people who care so much about what we are doing, because it is so personal to them. They are all latinos, and they are just such fun, great people!! Also, so far I've been feeling very prepared as far as spanish goes, but every time I get confident I usually try to remind myself how rough my week in Mexico was so that I don't get lazy in my studiez haha. There are about 150 missionaries altogether here, and probably 100 are latinos! Mi compañera is Hermana Gundersen and she is so so sweet! She lived in my dorm building at BYU and I never met her till here!! Crazy huh??

The food here is delicious (I figure that's the next thing you all want to know) and GUESS WHAT GUYS PAPAYA IS ACTUALLY REALLY GOOD. In the US I always thought papaya was really gross but it's delicious here!! For every meal we get to delicious latin food I can't start getting into more detail or else I will never stop so sorry

Last Saturday and Sunday I felt especially close to home watching General Conference! For anyone who is wondering what that is, General Conference is when we get to hear the leaders of our church speak to the world (literally) through live broadcasts two times a year. I thought about all you at home watching it on the couch with your little notebooks and remembered when Dad used to give me a dollar for every page of notes from Conference that I wrote... haha. I especially loved the talk from Neil F Marriot. She spoke about how as we recognize difficult situations in our lives as opportunities for learning, we can be sure that bad things that happen will always work together with the good things, for our benefit. It made me think about the scripture, ¨¨for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth all to come unto him and partake of his goodness;¨(2 nephi 26:33) Everday we have the choice to partake of goodness in whatever form...

Love you all and I am thinking about you!!

PS sorry this turned out to be a novel pictures coming next week!!