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 HondureƱan 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