Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 60: Merry Christmas!

Hello!

Christmas on the mission is funny because you get all excited about a 40 minute video call that just ends up being an hour of google call/skype confusion, internet buffering, and if it´s my family 10 people trying to talk to you at once in spanish and english, and it all just being another reminder that all you really wanted was a hug and there´s no chance you´re getting that. I love you guys. I already lived this once last year so this time I decided that I would turn my thoughts to something a little more important...

On Christmas we celebrate the birth of the Savior, but the real question is what does this even mean? What affect on the world did Christ have at His coming, what would the world be like if He never came? If Christ never came, feelings like regret when you know you have messed up big, would have no escape from your conscience. The kinds of feelings like when you wish you could rewind and remove from your life moments of extreme frustration or anger, as seen in the "chew it over with a Twix" commercials. Feelings like when something you want so bad just seems to always be out of your reach could never be calmed. 

If Christ never came, the mind battle of just wanting to be happy when the satisfaction never seems to last would have no end. There would be a lack of purpose in what we do, I mean why work so hard to have a good life if WWIII is already coming up and we´ll all soon be turned to dust?

It is normal, to relate to one or more of these examples. However the regret, the frustration, the dissatisfaction, the lack of purpose, has an end, which end can only be determined by you. When Christ came He made it possible to be free from our natural weaknesses and incapabilities, and made possible the hope for change. He lived, died, and then lived again, opening doors to life after death, giving us a reason to use our time wisely here on Earth. He is a source of strength, relief, stability, and peace. However our access to His strength depends on our willingness to change our current habits and thoughts and consequentially we are allowed the peace of being free from the weight of past decisions and experiences. 

 This Christmas you´re invited to celebrate as if Christ really did come to Earth, take a moment to see what it is in your life that might be worth letting go of, and enjoy the hope of a brighter future full of better choices. 
 
Merry Christmas Eve! Love you all!

Also, my companion says Feliz Navidad... enjoy some photos from the Mission Christmas party and my lovely companion <3

Hermana Bernal





Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 59: Light the World


Hi!

It´s been a great week, and my new companion is really sweet, her name is Hermana Nuñez and she is also from Mexico! To get into the Christmas spirit a little bit we have been sharing these two short videos that are really awesome- watch them both! 

This is the Church´s link to the video "Lighting the World" https://www.mormon.org/spa/navidad/ilumina-el-mundo

Love,
Hermana Bernal


 Also here are a couple of photos from the day of transfers!


 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Week 58: A Broken Heart & Contrite Spirit


HI FAM AND FRIENDS,

This week was a fun week, we have recently been teaching this young teanager girl named Areli, and she has a heart of gold. Her learning rate is super slow, every concept that we teach about the gospel takes about 10 minutes for her to understand; but one thing that I have learned from Areli is what God means when he asks for "a broken heart and a contrite spirit". Since the day we started teaching Areli, she has showed up by herself to every church meeting and activity, and has anxiously been praying to know if what we teach is true. She has even started inviting her friends to get more involved in some of the service activities. Any good thing that she is asked to do, she does it. It just made me realize how it doesn't matter how much we know or understand, to be able to live with God again we must be able to live the basic principle of obedience. By no means does that mean that learning is unimportant. The glory of God is intelligence, and all the knowledge that we obtain in this life we can take with us after, but Areli has been example to me of what truly is a willing heart.

Have a great week!

Hermana Bernal

Friday, November 25, 2016

Week 57: "I'm going to be a mission nurse!"

I missed a week on October..probably because I was so exciting that Izzy was going to be a mission nurse. Here is Hermana Bernal's e-mail. -Adrianna

The past couple of weeks have been a wild ride. A couple special moments that have been very special to me these past couple of dayzzz...

We were teaching the parents of a little girl who was baptized, the Mom`s name is Alma, and up until receiving us had not had any experience with any church or anything. We left the pamphlet for them to read about the Restoration of the gospel, but we just left the first page as her little homework for the next visit. When we came back, we asked her what she thought, and she responded saying, "My favorite part is when it says... then skimming the page again she read "God is our loving Heavenly Father, He knows each one of us individually". It was as if she was reading a new scientific discovery, something she didn`t understand before and then all of a sudden it just clicked. It made me remember the small moments when I have felt that way, when I have just known for sure that God knows me personally and cares about who I am. Something so simple and something I often take for granted, it was a treat seeing somebody discover it for the first time.

In another occasion we taught this OLD OLD man named Asuncion, he is 80 years old, and we thought it would be a good idea to introduce him to another old man who is a member so that they can be cute old friends. It was another cool experience to hear Raul`s (the member of the church) testimony and wisdom from his 88 years of living. One thing that stuck with me from what he said was that the two most important things in life are to 1. Repent from ALL the bad that we do, no matter how big or small the mistakes are, if we change our ways we can become completely clean, and ultimately free. 2. We must ALWAYS forgive, even when other people have just been the worst to us, even when we have done nothing, when we forgive and PRAY for the people who have offended us, those feelings of anger and frustration are converted into peace. Cool huh? It sounded cooler coming from an 88 year old man, sorry guys.

This week was a really hard week. We talked to a lot of people, we visited a lot of members, we contacted a lot of references, and.... nothing was to be found. Even a member that we thought was super on it with going out on visits with us hadn`t been to church in three weeks. In Sacrament meeting I just felt super super low. But as the tray of bread passed by me, I looked up and saw that the young man that had passed it to me was an inactive that we had been visiting, and in that moment I just was hit with the feeling that even though I hadn`t felt like my energy was helping anyone, it helped someone. At least one joven.


Today we received cambios, and even though I have only had 6 weeks here, I have changes! I am going to be companions with the Mission doctor, so I will be a missionary nurse. I`m excited to learn a lot, I`m hoping my one year of nutrition will do some good. WOOHOO ALL OF THE MISSION TEGUCIGALPA IS GOING ON A DIET!


Have a great week! 
 
Hermana Bernal

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Week 56: Back to Tegucigalpa!

Hi family!

I don´t have too much time to write today but just a couple of details to get you caught up on what´s been going on with me the past couple of weeks:

-I am now actually in Tegucigalpa Honduras, our schedule of going back to our house has changed to be more safe, we usually have a member to walk us home. 

-Going from Southern Honduras where it is hot and sun all day, to the city where it is cold and more like Seattle weather, has caused my feet to shrink a full shoe size! I was confused before in the south when I thought my feet had grown, but they were just swollen, ha. Now we´re all back to my normal size 3 in kids no worries people!

-As the mission nurses I realize how lucky I am to have not gotten sick once in my whole mission. Sicknesses like Zika, Dengue, and Chikingua are all really common because of the mosquitos and bacteria or parasites are common when sometimes missionaries are too nice to reject water that isn´t purified. We help with the distribution of medication and guide them what to do with some symptoms. 
 
-In the South the cold shower water was actually really refreshing, but now we heat up our water just boiling it on the stove, most missionaries just handle the cold but its worth it for us to have hot pot water :)


Here are also some pictures from these weeks!

 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 55: "The love of God inspires us to be better people"

Hello!

My Preparation day has been changed to Saturdays, so now I will be emailing on Saturdays!

These past two weeks have been super crazy. The mission call of my companion Hermana Lara says that she will serve as a full time missionary- part time proselyting and part time in charge of the missionaries' health. As her companion, we receive calls from sick missionaries, we give them prescriptions, we go with them to doctor appointments, and we travel to different meetings giving health presentations to help them take better care of themselves. The funny thing is she is going home in December, so these weeks have been crazy learning the whole nurse drill as well as learning the area. But, it is so so fun.

Every time I have a companion that is going home, it gives me an opportunity to reflect on how much I have changed since I started the mission. I used to think that being humble only meant that you avoided recognition, so much that it stopped me from doing good works and I tended to judge people for their desires to do "big things". I used to think that avoiding conflict was more important than speaking my opinion, so much that I didn't defend even people I cared about. I used to think that being accepting of others meant withholding my ideas of how they could improve. I used to withhold from explaining clearly tough things that I was going through, but I've realized that the faster we recognize our weaknesses, the faster we can get a move on making them better. For example, when the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, He, though being perfect, didn't judge her but DID tell her to change. Something important to note is that Christ didn't say, "It's okay to sin, carry on", which for me is a true example of unconditional love. The love of God is so big, it inspires us to be better people, it gives us a reason to change ourselves, to be better at self-monitoring. However, sometimes we don't realize certain things we need to change, we need someone to tell us with love STOP. Learning to receive this kind of correction as well as learning to give it, requires a BIG effort to do as Jesus did when he said, "Neither do I condemn thee, now go and sin no more". I am grateful for Christ's examples of humility and love found in the scriptures, because learning from other sources sometimes leads to confusion. Humility is not just avoiding recognition, conflict, or disagreements, it's accepting the fact that Christ expects us to start from where we are right now and to change to become more like Him.


Good luck this week in elections :)


Hermana Bernal

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Week: 54: General Conference is like Christmas!

Hi Everyone!


My brother Garret in an email told me that on his mission it really felt like Christmas on General Conference this weekend. That is true!

I figured no one wants to read another novel, so I decided to leave you the links to the very talks themselves. From what I understood of the talks, each speaker answered at least one question concerning our relationship to God. The following questions are not the titles of the talks, rather I made the questions so that you could select according to your own personal interest. 

P.S. My personal favorite was the one that is under "Am I Good Enough? Am I acceptable to God?"

Who Am I? Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_1_talk_3/5150993228001?lang=eng

How can the teachings of Jesus Christ bless my family?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_1_talk_5/5151000093001?lang=eng

What is Prayer?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_1_talk_6/5151025884001?lang=eng

Who is Joseph Smith? Why do we care?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_1_talk_8/5151305274001?lang=eng

How can I feel a more personal connection to God?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_1_talk_9/5151035179001?lang=eng

Am I good enough? Am I acceptable to God?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_1_talk_10/5151035222001?lang=eng

How can my guilt from not being a super-mega-member missionary turn into faith and hope?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_1_talk_12/5151072745001?lang=eng

What stumbling blocks might be stopping me from having a testimony of Christ?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_2_talk_4/5151163688001?lang=eng

What is the importance of the Book of Mormon?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_2_talk_5/5151163687001?lang=eng

What is God's love? What is the balance between justice and mercy?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_2_talk_7/5151170411001?lang=eng

How can I understand more about God?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_2_talk_8/5151166800001?lang=eng

How can I have patience in trials?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_2_talk_9/5151237405001?lang=eng

How can I be more satisfied with my efforts to share the gospel?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_2_talk_11/5151240426001?lang=eng

SUNDAY TALKS
THE PROPHET SPEAKS
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_4_talk_3/5151849353001?lang=eng

How can I have joy?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_4_talk_4/5151884835001?lang=eng

How can I make the sacrament a weekly spiritual checkpoint rather than a Sunday routine?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_4_talk_6/5151884839001?lang=eng

How can I be confident with my standing to the Lord?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_4_talk_7/5151885511001?lang=eng

Where can I go to stay on the path?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_4_talk_9/5151870518001?lang=eng

What does it mean to worship God?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_4_talk_10/5151885512001?lang=eng

What is righteous judgement? How can judging like Christ, help me parent my kids?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_4_talk_11/5151884859001?lang=eng

How can I be more thankful?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_4_talk_13/5151903031001?lang=eng

How can I really get to know God, instead of just "knowing about God"?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_5_talk_3/5152032337001?lang=eng

What is the gospel of Jesus Christ?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_5_talk_4/5152041108001?lang=eng

Why should I expand my church calling regardless of what it is?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_5_talk_5/5152056857001?lang=eng

What can we do when we are ready to throw in the towel and give up?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_5_talk_7/5152056848001?lang=eng

Why do bad things happen to good people?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_5_talk_8/5152056834001?lang=eng

What is the price, and what is the reward, of helping our children understand the gospel?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_5_talk_9/5152056858001?lang=eng

How can I turn pain and regret from past experiences into peace and relief?
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/media/session_5_talk_11/5152078688001?lang=eng


Love,
Hermana Bernal



Week 53: Women's General Conference


This week was especially great because of the General Women´s Conference that was transmitted to the whole world in all different languages! Something that really got me thinking was a story that Elder Uhtdorf mentioned- A little girl is walking, enjoying the beautiful sound of a bird´s hum, when she excitedly tells her grandma, ¨Listen! Listen" , without understanding that her grandmother can´t hear, becasuse she is deaf. After being told that "grandmother can´t hear very well", she gets up close to her grandmother´s face and says, "Listen harder!!". As silly as it sounds, Elder Uchtdorf reminds us that not being able to hear, does not mean that there is nothing to listen to.

This Saturday and Sunday in the morning and afternoon we get to hear General Conference, when all the face of the Earth is invited to hear a prophet of God (and many other inspired leaders- men and women) But I would like to touch briefly (haha no not briefly, this email turned out to be really long) on the question, Why prophets?

In the book of Amos in the Old Testament, God revealed to the prophet Amos "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth his secrets unto his servants the prophets". What does this mean? That God will do NOTHING without before telling His "secrets" to his prophets. What are His secrets?

Around 4000 B.C. God revealed to Noah that there was a BIG storm coming.. one that would even flood the Earth, but because in those days it barely rained, nobody except his family listened, and a bunch of wise animals that got on His ark. For me that is a pretty big secret, a foretelling of the future. The prophet Noah promised that all who got on the ark would be saved, but the people were free to choose for themselves.

Another example is Moses. A famous one for his big tablets he had when God revealed to him the 10 commandments, and we know he talked with God face to face (Exodus 33:11). We know that just like God promised blessings to the family of Noah on the ark for being obedient, there are promised blessings for obeying the commandments revealed to Moses.

But why does God call a prophet? The same reason a coach has a captain for His team. Just like the Soccer Coach can´t play on the field with his players, God uses the captain of the team (all the rest of us are the players) to keep the game plan in order, because obviously it gets pretty awkward and there is a lot of confusion if some players are not in agreement with what the coach has explained is the plan.

Jesus Christ came to clear up all confusion- "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets, I am not come to destroy, but the fulfill" (Matthew 5:17). or when He also explained to the people in the Americas "Behold I am Jesus Christ, whom the prophets have testified shall come into the world" (3 Nephi 11:10). From the beginning the prophets explained a Savior would come the world, and He did. And just as they exaplined He would be rejected and crucified, He was. Luckily the Bible was preserved to give us access to many of "God´s secrets" from the beginnning to years after Christ´s death. But Christ came over 2000 YEARS AGO. That´s a long, long, time. What has happened in those 2000 years? Is all crystal-clear as it was 2000 years ago? Is everyone still on the same page about who is God, if He´s a spirit, a being of flesh and bone, is He, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost all one or are they 3 separate? Have the differences in climate, technology advances, home and family issues of the world today caused a change in the "game plan"? If so, what´s the coach saying to the captain? or was God just kidding when He said "Surely the God will do NOTHING but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants, the prophets". What kind of future events might we need to be prepared for that we aren´t currently prepared for?

An example. When I was living in Marcovia in Honduras, I lived in a colonia called "Renacer" (reborn), right next to "CARE", "Los Españoles", "La Paz", and "Cruz Roja". Around 20 years ago Hurricane Mitch had swept away homes and families. Shortly before that, Gordon B. Hinckley, the prophet at the time spoke in General Conference about the necessity of Home Food Storage. Those who followed that counsel here, were saved.

Before my misson someone asked me, "Do you follow the teachings of Joseph Smith?". To that I responded, "I follow the teachings of Jesus Christ". I feel it injust to talk about prophets of today without explaining a little bit about Joseph Smith. He lived in 1820 and as his age increased, so did the number of existing churches. The conflicts of doctrine were puzzling as he read in the Bible that "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ephesians 4:5). But with more churches than McDonalds on the Earth how could it be possible? Could God have multiple doctrines?

Joseph Smith took it upon himself to investigate further, and after reading in James 1:5 he learnedv that if anyone has a question for God, and is willing to ask in faith, God will respond, and will respond liberally!!

When Joseph Smith asked in prayer which of the existing churches was true, He didn´t get an answer from his mom, from his friend, from his pastor, God responded. God, with Jesus Christ on His right side appeared to him and began to explain the game plan that had gotten so confused over 2000 years.
A question I have pondered a lot on my mission is why Joseph Smith? Why did God have to appear to him when Christianity already existed? When we already had the Bible? The easy answer is- because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He called prophets from the beginning, so of course He will call a prophet to make the next move. But another answer that has helped me understand is found in 2 Peter 1:20-21. When the Apostle Peter has just explained that he was an eyewitness of the moment when God from Heaven said "This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". In verses 20-21 he explains that "no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but Holy Men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost". Up until Joseph Smith was called as a ´prophet, the people were left alone as far as interpretation of the scriptures. Without an eyewitness, someone who can speak face to face with God like Noah, like Moses, like Peter, the Bible was left to private interpretation.

Do we Mormons "believe in Joseph Smith"? We believe he was a prophet of God, but his purpose and the purpose of each prophet since then has been to help us be better believers in Jesus Christ. Prophets are not perfect people, because they are not Gods, they are humans- they make mistakes. We cannot base our faith on the faithfulness of other people. I feel a little sliver of their pain when I feel the frustration of hearing about someone who has stopped going to church because of a mistake or comment a missionary has made. I feel a fraction of a sliver of the dissapointment of rejection when someone (this week) ripped a pass along card of Jesus Christ yelling, "BUSQUEN A DIOS BUSQUEN A DIOS, NO A JOSE SMITH" (look for God, look for God, not for Jose Smith). I can´t imagine that it would be like to fulfill the task of not making one mistake, and receiving all the rejection Christ encountered. I´m grateful for a family who followed the prophet´s counsel of nightly family prayers, family scripture study, weekly family night. I am so eternally grateful to see the examples of my parents who offered me a safe home, who taught me the game plan as crystal clear as they could, to what the coach has revealed to His captain. I´m doing my best to be updated on what the challenges foreseen are today, and I invite you to listen carefully to what ways God has updated His game plan to his servants.

I love you all! IT WAS ALSO SO EXCITING TO SEE LINDY ELGGREN IN THE MTC CHOIR AHH!!!!! LINDY YOU ROCK

Till next week!



Also, here´s a bunch of pictures!! the couple in pajamas are Ivis and Josue! and the last two pictures are of my new companion and I, Hermana Gomez and us when we went to the beach today! Woo!





Saturday, September 17, 2016

Week 52: Story of Ivis & Josue

Hello family!

This was a fun week, in Honduras they celebrated "Dia de niños" and it was so cute to see all the kids with their piñatas and candy in the streets! Not to mention some precious moments when little kids offer candy to US! So precious!

Today we found out that I am saying goodbye to Danli, Honduras, and I will be shipped back to Southern Honduras. To shut close this chapter of my mission I want to share with you guys the story of the greatest family investigating the church, named Ivis and Josue.

Story of Ivis and Josue

We were doing visits with the Relief Society President named Igdalina on a nice day in Danli, when all of a sudden we run into an old neighbor named Ivis. Igdalina offers a visit from the missionaries to Ivis, and with no problem she invites us over and we get to meet Josue, her humble-tattooed-athletic looking boyfriend and their three little girls. As we being to converse with them they tell us that what they want most right now in this time in their life is just more unity in their family. We begin to teach them more and more and invite them to church, and they didn´t seem too promising because they didn´t show up a couple weeks until Ivis showed up one Sunday, with just her and one of the baby girls. Excited to see them show some interest, we begin to teach with them one of the most important commandments for having a united family, marriage. Josue was startled, but after getting their with Igdalina and sharing her story of how she and her husband got married before getting baptized as well... That Sunday they all showed up at church with their three daughters and the rest can be captured in a few marking moments...

The young women in the ward happen to need a basketball coach for a tournament that they were starting up, and Josue offers to be their trainer, showing up every night in the church building to train...

They finally put a wedding date with the huge help of another young couple that shared some of the same marriage stresses that they had...

Josue goes to church by himself when Ivis woke up too late to go to church and begins to commit himself more to getting straight home after work on weekdays...

We teach the Word of Wisdom, and Ivis responds "I heard you guys don´t drink coffee so I already stopped two week ago." Josue smokes and struggles to put a goal to quit.

Josue tells us that at work a bunch of people criticize him for going to the Mormon church "where they praise Joseph Smith" and he defends the church.

Ivis´s Mom as well tells her she is going to the church of the devil, and knowing it is not true stays strong to what she has seen with her own eyes.

In a class in church Josue passes by the baptismal font and says to me "ahh one day.."

Josue and Ivis have a struggle committing to the commandment of Tithing, but by the end of the lesson Josue responds "I know I need more peace, and definitely more blessings. I will."...

Then we get through a rough week. My companion and I don´t find anyone, and we hadn´t seen very much progress. In that Sunday Josue bore his testimony, and said "I know that the missionaries were sent from God, and I used to go out drinking and now I don´t have the desire anymore, I know this church is true and I´m so happy for the change I am seeing in my life"....

Later the storm hit, and when Josue´s brother´s house fell apart, he brought him to church and got to share with his family about the gospel.

Then, Josue starts getting nervous about baptism, we share how the blessings of repentance, and encounter that his Mom too wants to be baptized but doesn´t feel ready. Josue, himself, testifies to his mom how no one has to be perfect to be baptized...

Ivis becomes impatient because Josue hasn´t improved his smoking habits, we set some new goals...

SO MANY ISSUES with the papers to get married, not to mention the fundraisers and food sales that we did...

Until finally this week we see that Josue has now improved from smoking a pack a week to one cigarrete every other day, and their papers to be married will be turned in within these two weeks.

Their progress continues and the miracles keep coming... I am so crushed that I won´t be there to see their wedding day or baptism but I am so grateful for having been played a part in their efforts to unite their family for eternities.

Many photos to come next week!!

I love you all!

Hermana Bernal

Week 51: "We can be sure that we will live again"

Heyy!! 

This was a really fun week!! I don`t have too much time today but just to keep you updated on our star couple, after one hamburger sale and two tamale sales they now have the funds to start taking out the papers to get married and be baptized!! Woo!!

This week I also found out that one of my Aunts had passed away, and I was reading a scripture found something that really gave me peace for her future.. A prophet in the Americas about 150 years before the first coming of Christ said:

 "6 And now if Christ had not come into the world,speaking of things to come as though they had alreadycome, there could have been no redemption.

7 And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or havebroken the bands of death that the grave should have novictory, and that death should have no sting, there couldhave been no resurrection.

8 But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath novictory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. (Mosiah 16)

I really didn`t understand this in the beginning of my mission, and I certainly don`t feel like I will ever be able to understand perfectly what Christ did for us, but one thing for sure is that because Christ came to the Earth, died, and lived again, we can be sure that we too will be able to live again after we die.

Love you guys, here are some more photos from this week!


  


Monday, September 5, 2016

Week 50: The stormy season has begun!


Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes! You guys are so awesome, I felt especially loved!!!

This was a great week, I mentioned that the stormy season has begun and it has REALLY begun. This week three bridges by our house fell down overnight and many houses have been destroyed. In all of the commotion, an investigator named Benigna had a HUGE miracle happen to her. Benigna had a huge pile of sand stored near her house that she was planning to sell, and as the river water rose flowing by her line of houses she prayed literally all night that the flood wouldn`t sweep away her sand pile. Her faith and prayers were recognized, and in the morning ALL of the property around where the sand was washed completely away, but not one grand of sand was taken up! Here is a picture of Benigna attached :)


Every night it has poured, except one night when it began pouring as we were walking past the bridge to get to Ivis and Josue`s house (the star couple in the process of getting married) and we realized it wouldn`t be wise to cross because of the chance we would have no way of turning back. We waited a couple moments, with a prayer in mind thinking of what we should do, and all of a sudden the rain stopped completely, just like that. We raced to thier house to take advantage of the time, and when we arrived they shared with us a challenge that they had been experiencing, and it was so clearly divine that they needed us in that exact moment, and it could not have waited not even one more day. After arriving safely across the bridge, the rain started again. Cool huh? As if it was God protecting us or something.. :)


We also hiked up to "La Cruz!!" Enjoy the photos. 



 
   

Hermana Bernal

Week 49: Last week we saw 323 people!

Hey family and friends!! 


These two weeks have been the two weeks with some of the highest ups, and some of the lowest downs. Starting with last week- in this mission we have a goal as a companionshpi to contact 24 new people everyday in the streets. This means that in one week, we talk to at least 150 people, in the hopes of finding people wanting to make a change in their lives. Usually we have a lot of success, we get to talk to a lot of interesting people, we probably talk to lots of murderers without knowing it (hehe sorry Mom) and we are always invited in homes to share a little more, or to at least plan another appointment with them. 

 These last two weeks we talked to a total of 323 people (outside of normal visits) and found 3 new promising people to teach. 3 is a pretty low number, but hey that`s okay! 3 new souls, right? But at the same time we lost 5 different people that were making huge steps.... Not so great, out of the 323, we got negative 2. Although it was a pretty hard blow considering how much we`ve been trying to do our best, I thought it would be fun to make a list of the funniest rejections that we heard in these past two weeks-

- *little girl comes out to meet us at the door* "My mom says she`s not here"
- "Sorry, I`m never here at home" "Oh are you working?" "No...Actually I don`t live here"
-*Turns TV and lights off to make it seem like they`re not home*
-"Sorry I can`t, my baby just got the sickness that`s called "Eye". Us: "Oh, pink eye?" Them "No, it`s a sickness where if a baby starts laughing when they look in the eyes of a sweating man, that means they got the virus" Oh...

Ya... lots of fun stuff. Don`t worry, the next week I will give a report of what we`ve been doing differently so we can get more support from members again and find some more great people!

Some other things that have been just such "Only In Honduras" Moments of this week have been

-We have a ton of little geckos that just crawl around our house, and as I was tying my shoe to leave, one fell from the ceiling on the back of my neck! Ha!
-My awesome companion cleaned our pila (the water source for washing clothes, bathing, and washing dishes, I`ll send the photo so you can see) and we realized after that the water wouldn`t come for another three days so we were left with maybe three gallons of water to shower with that week. Ya! BUT this week now we have running water!!! HURRAY
-I ate an extra mini banana, here they are called "minimos", cute huh? featured in photo as well
-A member gave us "Albocoque", I think that`s what it`s called, and as we cut it we realized it must be star fruit because it makes the shape of stars!
- We are now in the season where in the morning it is SUPER hot, and then about mid day out of nowhere it will always POUR rain. so this week has been full of unplanned slipnslides.

I`m so greatful for this gospel, and I`m so grateful that I know that it`s true because if it weren`t, I would probably be depressed talking to 323 people that don`t care about it, or maybe dead from a stranger I talk to. Hahaaaa



Love,
Hermana Bernal

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 48: The Spirit doesn´t speak to us with a voice of thunder, rather than with simple thoughts, what feels good and what feels right

This week was such a good week!

First of all we had changes!! I was so happy to stay for my third change here in this ward named The Conce, and I have a new companion!! And she´s my first gringa companion! Haha her name is Hermana Jones, and she went to BYU before the mission, is really cool and also did cross country so we´ve been going on runs in the morning in our exercise time. It has been funny because I have realized that I am now at the point where it feels more comfortable talking just speaking in Spanish, and so this week has been full of some good spanglish conversations. The first day it was hilarious because we were talking in English and then passed by the house of a member and I talked for about 30 seconds in English to the member without realizing it and that she was just like ummmm.... ey don andurstan...

This week I really began to learn about the importance of the spirit. As missionaries there is no goal to force information or convince people that what we believe is correct, rather to help them understand God´s eternal truths. The spirit gives us feelings of is comfort, gives us feelings of assurance of what is correct or incorrect, and gives us the desire to change who we are and we are doing. God´s eternal truths can only be understood by listening to the Spirit, so if I as a missionary am not listening to what the Spirit guides me to do or say, I can have no success.

It´s sometimes hard to know if what I am saying are really my words or the words of the Spirit, but this week I had an experience where I learned pretty clearly what it meant to be guided, or not be guided. A girl was asking a bunch of doctrinal questions, in the mission it is called "Bible bashing" because she was pulling out a bunch of things out of context to contend with the Restoration of Jesus Christ. I mistakenly thought that if I tried to convince her with other scriptures I could convince her that she was wrong, and was teaching just from my personal knowledge and getting heated up as I explained, I was contending too!! She then asked me a question that really stumped me. I had no idea what the answer was, and my mind just went blank. How weird I thought, normally the answer just pops in my head I´m able to teach cleary and simply. But then it all came down on me that I had no answer because the Spirit had left me, and luckily my companion saved it and gave the most simple and pure response that the Spirit was able to testify to her more powerfully than anything I could ever said. Let me remind you that my companion can´t roll her Rs, and what she said wasn´t anything magnificent but what it did was it brought the Spirit. It was a huge lesson to me that the Spirit doesn´t speak to us with a voice of thunder, rather than with simple thoughts that come to our head about what feels good, what feels right. After that lesson I felt horrible, and from that moment I vowed to never do anything like that again! Libre soyyy! Let it gooo, let it gooo

Also something funny that happened this week was that it started POURING rain, like serious thunderstorm and we needed to catch a bus that was just leaving and didn´t see us so we ran through mini-lake puddles literally sprinting until it stopped to drop people off and we thought oh Good it will wait for us, and then it started leaving again so you can just imagine two little gringa americans in dresses in the pouring rain running for our lives for this bus. And then I tripped and fell in the mud. And it never stopped. Good times!

I love you all!! Have a good week!





Hermana Bernal

Week 47: God Wins

This week was a really good week, a couple of highlights 

Firstly we have been seeing some MAJOR progress in the family of Ivis and Josue, as I think I explained before they have been making some huges changes within their family. This week we were able to teach about the Law of Tithing, which before Josue had commented to his wife that their savings would be too tight if they payed tithing, as we taught and read the promised blessings that we can receive from Malachias, when we challenged Josue to pay his tithing he said "I`ll pay, because I need more peace in my home, and more blessings". It is so awesome to see people understanding that in return for our faith to God, he is obligated to bless us (DC 82:10).

We had a baptism this Saturday and it was crazy because the pila water was running BLACK and last minute we had to change church buildings, and that was a huge mess because changing buildings meant we had to find transportation for everyone that was to arrive and make sure that there are clean rooms available and in the end it turned out to be huge miracle, and so many people showed up! And Ivis and Josue showed up without anyone picking them up to drive them there we still dont know how they arrived they are so awesome!!! And then Sunday we found out that the pila water had started runnning clear again... All part of Satan`s failed to plan to prevent the baptisms but God wins!! Ya!!

Then Sunday we were passing by the house of Ivis and Josue, and we were surprised to see only Ivis there, and she then told us that she had said that she didn`t want to go (and she was kidding) and Josue just responded "eso es tu rollo" or in other words "you do your thing" and then Josue and two of the little girls had already left walking to church!!!!! You guys don`t understand every week I am amazed at the change that is going on with them they are so so awesome and they are selling hamburgers this week to pay for their wedding!!! AH!!

..and then not to mention that the sacrament talks were about how to gain a personal testimony, tithing, and fasting. Everything is so inspired. I love God.

A couple of different things that I realized this week.

Before when I would read the Book of Mormon, whenever I got to chapters that talked about the doctrine of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I feel like I didn`t really understand what I was reading and would end up missing out on really beautiful points of doctrine. This week we taught to a women who feels really weighed down by a lot of sin and like she can never receive the forgiveness of God, we shared in Alma 7:14 that says " 14 Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be bornagain; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannotinherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and bebaptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed fromyour sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, whotaketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to saveand to cleanse from all unrighteousness.". It is such a blessing to know that no matter what we have done or how unclean we may feel, Jesus Christ is powerful to clean and purify ALL INIQUITY.

I love you!!!! have a good week!!


Hermana Bernal

Week 46: "How can I be a better leader?"

This week was super awesome, I don´t have too much time today but here is the letter that I wrote to our mission President

This week we did divisions with the Hermanas Hermana Posso and Hermana Nuñez, as well as Hermana Gomez and Hermana Moreno. I was with Hermana Nuñez, and I was really astounded by her determination and spirit that she brought. As I asked her about how she has been feeling, what goals are and things she would like to improve, she explained to me that she feels that her progress is really slow, and that at times she feels un-useful as a missionary. This astounded me because though she is timid, I loved to see how she really taught from her heart in lessons. It reminded me of the beginning of the mission when I just felt like there were so many things to focus on that I felt the same way too. But I see Hermana Nuñez as being a great leader, she right now being very humbled but I see that she will progress quickly because she wants to improve.

I really enjoyed doing divisions with Hermana Gomez. She is fearless and full of love- we talked with everyone in the street, and there was no sort of hesitation of "who will speak, who will teach" that sort of thing. That morning I had been preparing for an investigator that we were going to teach the restauration, and while I prepared the thought came to mind that we should share Hebrews 5:4 from the beginning. Before teaching that lesson with Hermana Gomez, I explained that we will focus a lot on the authority of God, but didn´t mention anything about the scripture. But, as we taught, turns out she received the same impression, and while teaching prophets she shared that same scripture! After we were both super happy to have felt the guidance of the Spirit. Hermana Gomez seems to be ready for more responsibilities. It is obvious from her studies that her spirit is hungry to learn and improve as well.

A lot of great things happened this week- we are having some difficulties with the family of the two youth that will be baptized this Saturday, but we know that it is just Satan trying to get in the way!! And we are also seeing the BEAUTIFUL progress of Josue and Ibis, they will be married in September, possibly before!!

I love the mission woo!!

Ivis and Josue are the couple that we are going to marry!!! I am so excited! And they are so prepared it´s not even funny, when we taught the word of wisdom they said that they had already stopped drinking coffee because they heard that Mormons don’t drink coffee, when we taught about Diezmos they told us they had already gotten used to obeying that law in another church, when we told them we were planning to help them out with money for the wedding they explained they already planned to start selling clothes. This week we decided to test their faith and didn´t pick them up to go to church, and they arrived. I am so excited for them.

The week before we organized a talent show in the ward, it´s kinda funny here because all of the activities in the US like the Halloween activity and Christmas, are things that we just know are coming but here we are trying to get the ward in a routine of doing monthly activities. It was such a good turn out, 70 people came and new people showed up!! But I couldn´t take any pictures....................... :P

Oh and about the Hermana Nunez that I did divisions with (she is starting out her mission, not the same hermana Nunez that was my companion) it was awesome because I remember first doing division with the hermana training leaders and they just made me feel worse because she didn’t comfort me whatsoever haha, but it felt good to be able to help out Hermana Nunez by giving her ideas to always write down her accomplishments though they might feel small, and making sure to communicate with her companion.

We went to the temple last week and before going to the temple I came with the question "how can I be a better leader?" and I learned about how in the video, Christ gives us the example of doing everything as the Father says, and reporting quickly and exactly. I realized to be a better leader, I just need to think more about doing what God asks.

I also had a light bulb moment when we were teaching the Dia de Reposo (Sabbath Day). Our Manual says: "Our conduct on the Day of Rest reflects our commitment to God". Made me reflect, what does what I´m doing the Sabbath day say about my commitment to God?

Love you all tons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD

Hermana Bernal

Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 45: "Our conduct on the Day of rest reflects our commitment to God"

Hello!! 

This email is probably best just for you guys cuz I dont know if every body else wants to know these details,

This week was super awesome, I don´t have too much time today but here is the letter that I wrote to our mission President

This week we did divisions with the Hermanas Hermana Posso and Hermana Nuñez, as well as Hermana Gomez and Hermana Moreno. I was with Hermana Nuñez, and I was really astounded by her determination and spirit that she brought. As I asked her about how she has been feeling, what goals are and things she would like to improve, she explained to me that she feels that her progress is really slow, and that at times she feels unuseful as a missionary. This astounded me because though she is timid, I loved to see how she really taught from her heart in lessons. It reminded me of the beginning of the mission when I just felt like there were so many things to focus on that I felt the some way too. But I see Hermana Nuñez as being a great leader, she right now being very humbled but I see that she will progress quickly because she wants to improve. 

I really enjoyed doing divisions with HErmana Gomez. She is fearless and full of love- we talked with everyone in the street, and there was no sort of hesitation of "who will speak, who will teach" that sort of thing. That morning I had been preparing for an investigator that we were going to teach the restauration, and while I prepared the thought came to mind that we should share Hebrews 5:4 from the beginning. Before teaching that lesson with Hermana Gomez, I explained that we will focus a lot on the authority of God, but didn´t mention anything about the scripture. But, as we taught, turns out she received the same impression, and while teaching prophets she shared that same scripture! After we were both super happy to have felt the guidance of the Spirit. Hermana Gomez seems to be ready for more responsibilities. It is obvious from her studies that her spirit is hungry to learn and improve as well.

Alot of great things happened this week- we are having some difficulties with the family of the two youth that will be baptized this Saturday, but we know that it is just Satan trying to get in the way!! And we are also seeing the BEAUTIFUL progress of Josue and Ibis, they will be married in September, possibly before!!

I love the mission woo!!

A couple questions that I was thinking about- there may not be an answer, and the answer may be as simple as the fact that everything is so that all man can be saved, but why are some people born in times of Apostasy, never having the chance to hear of the gospel here on Earth?
Other questions is Why does God permit that some people don´t feel anything when they sin? Because it seems that there are some people that just stop feeling... maybe it´s because I can´t read their minds...

Ivis and Josue are the couple that we are going to marry!!! I am so excited! And they are so prepared it´s not even funny, when we taught the word of wisdom they said that they had already stopped drinking coffee because they heard that Mormons dont drink coffee, when we taught about Diezmos they told us they had already gotten used to obeying that law in another church, when we told them we were planning to help them out with money for the wedding they explained they already planned to start selling clothes. This week we decided to test their faith and didn´t pick them up to go to church, and they arrived. I am so excited for them.

The week before we organized a talent show in the ward, it´s kinda funny here because all of the activities in the US like the Halloween activity and Christmas, are things that we just know are coming but here we are trying to get the ward in a routine of doing monthly activities. It was such a good turn out, 70 people came and new people showed up!! But I couldn´t take any pictures....................... :P

Oh and about the Hermana Nunez that I did divisions with (she is starting out her mission, not the same hermana nunez that was my companion) it was awesome because I remember first doing division with the hermana training leaders and they just made me feel worse because she didnt comfort me whatsoever haha, but it felt good to be able to help out Hermana Nunez by giving her ideas to always write down her accomplishments though they might feel small, and making sure to communicate with her companion.

We went to the temple last week and before going to the temple I came with the question "how can I be a better leader?" and I learned about how in the video, Christ gives us the example of doing everything as the Father says, and reporting quickly and exactly. I realized to be a better leader, I just need to think more about doing what God asks.

I also had a lightbulb moment when we were teaching the Dia de reposo, PMG says "Our conduct on the Day of rest reflects our commitment to God". Made me reflect, what does what I´m doing the Sabbath day say about my commitment to God?


Love you all tons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD


Hermana Bernal

Week 44: A lot of times people need to be heard first, before they can listen.

Hello!!

How are you guys? Congratulations to Jaime`s brother for getting married!! That`s so so exciting!!

With my companion we started writing on our big calendars miracles that have happened to us every day, and it`s amazing how the more we write down, the more we see!

This email is a bit of a continuation of the last, and some of this week`s events. This week was so so great, every week of the mission I always think to myself ¨this week has been the best week of my mission¨. We have been teaching a family of a couple and three kids, and these past weeks they have taken some HUGE STEPS!!! It has been so so exciting! From the first day meeting them they explained to us that all they wanted was for the family to be more united and to be ¨good with God¨. The parents were timid at the beginning, but these past couple of weeks we have seen them change from only the Mom going to church, to them all going together as a family, to them reading the scriptures and praying as a family, to them now setting a date to get married! All of these steps have been thanks to a ton of help from a star couple that has been there almost every step of the way encouraging them and always testifying of the importance of the gospel in a happy family. They are not married, and Josue was primarily against the idea, but this week they told us about how they are seeing changes in their relationship and in their home. As a missionary hearing this it just makes us want to jump up and scream YES THATS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT!!
 
Anyways this week in our prep to teach about marriage and family we read something in Preach my gospel that said ^It`s much more possible toachieve happiness in family life when it is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and when the family occupies the highest priority for parents^ It was funny because as I was reading this I all of a sudden got choken up thinking about how greatful I am for the family I have and how greatful I am that my parents were so succesful in making us feel like we were the highest priority for them. It`s funny here on the mission, as I learn more about the gospel I learn about how undeservingly spoiled with blessings I have been thanks to the family that I have. My companion was just like "it`s ok, you can cry.."... hahah Just made me think about my sister and brother who are starting their own families, I know that if you trust in this principle you will have the same blessings!! 
 
Another thing that I have been learning this past couple of weeks is how to be a better listener, and to ask better questions. Here alot of people that we meet at times just repeat what they hear, and also expect us to just choke them with information about "some other church".To resolve this problem we have been starting to ask more personal questions from the beginning, like "what changes would you like to see in your life? Instead of Do you believe in God, Why do you believe in God? Or How do you know God knows you? It helps us a lot more to figure out what type of spiritual experiences they have had, and then work from there. Right now I`m just thinking about how how my first week in Honduras that was the first thing that AMAZED me about the culture here, it doesn`t matter who talk to, people are so willing to get down and personal in a few moments of getting to know eachother. I love Honduras.

I was able to put that a little bit in practice when were doing divisions this past week with other hermana missionaries. Right now as an Hermeana Lider Trainer, our calling is to help the hermanas fulfill the potential as missionaries, we do divisions with them (we divide up in companionships) to find out how they are doing, and help resolve conflict. We did divisions with two companionships and I was with one who before I was honestly afraid of her because she is super controlling and their companionship was struggling a ton, but after asking a lot of questions and hearing what she had to say about what was going on, she later thanked me because she felt like she had actually learned something from divisions. Made me super happy and also made me realize that a lot of times people need to be heard first, before they can listen.

It was funny because I was called to serve as Hermana training leader with only 7 months in the mission, and I doubted myself a ton at first, but as I was reading my Patriarchal blessing it told me that I would serve as a leader, and then then in Principles of the gospel it sayd ¨All our given talents and opportunities to serve in callings, but we are always given the choice to deny offering service" after reading that I loled and decided I shouldnt doubdoubt myself because it is really just a calling to serve others haha

Other awesome things that we are seeing is a joven named Alvaro who before, he even said it himself, was super lost, is now setting goals to clean himself up, cut his hair, arrive at church on time, get a job, and go to seminary so that he can go on a mission. I think that is the best thing I get to see in the mission, seeing people make little changes. For small and simple things, are great things brought to pass... (Alma 37:6) We have been reading the Book of Mormon daily with him. He is super cool

Adrianna needs to record for me a song that me the song I am His Daughter by Nicole Sheahan beacause it is my jam and every time I hear it I hear Adrianna`s voice.


Love you!!!! all!!!! You guys are all so awesome!!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 43: 9 MONTHS!

HEY FAMILY!!!!!

HOY SI voy a escribirles de miedo. (translation: ok for real I will write to everyone a ton!! haha)

Love you all dearly. Okay..

First of all, now in the mission I have been in every part of the mission Tegcugialpa- In the City in my first area called Santa Lucia where it was pretty much like a mini Honduras version of Mercer Island- the people had a fair a mount of bills, were a lot more educated, and asked us a lot of doctrinal questions which always freaked me out because starting my mission I didn`t know squat let alone in Spanish

Next phase of my mission I was in Marcovia- in Southern Honduras which is STRAIGHT UP HONDURAS where it`s suuuper hot, there are always naked kids running around in the dirt little roads, and the closest market is a 20 minute bus ride away. There I really really grew in my testimony of the Restauration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I learned to teach in a simpler way, and I had some of my hardest times teaching the Restauration, and learned a lot about how blessed we are with how developed the church is in the United States because in that branch the missionaries do EVERYTHING. Nobody shows up to give a talk? the missionaries. Nobody shows up to give the sunday school class? The missionaries. 3 hermanas showed up in relief society? yay!! the missionaries are hermanas, they can do it!!

Next phase was when I went to Mongollanos, one change after finishing my training, and I became trainer! That was when I really started to fall in love with the people here, with this work, with being a missionary, everything. Mongollanos reminds me kind of of Marysville, a little townish like place. That ward was full of love, a ton of youth got involved with misisonary work, and one of those we baptized I like to picture as Dad when he was 16, this guys was golden, andreparing to serve his mission.

Just after one change they moved me to here in La Concepcion in Danli, Honduras. Danli is East of Tegucigalpa, it`s ^the cold part of Honduras^^ and here it rains a lot and its my first area that is closest to being city-like. However, walking 10 minutes in one direction you will find people in some of the most humble homes, like the picture I sent a couple weeks ago. To help you picture it there are about five people with cars in the Ward. So its a pretty wide spread of education and wealth.

In my mission I have gone through some pretty funny phases but I have developed in a couple of areas in specific

Learning to be myself- In the beginning of my mission, I took a little too seriously the title of "being a representative of Jesus Christ" in my efforts to do that I thought I had to leave behind my personality and be all holy 100% of the time and not speak about things that dont pertain to the church, I had a companion that was super disobedient (my second trainer) and I was shocked that not all missionaries are angels like I had always thought they were. In this process and especially training Hermana Posso, I realized that there is no ONE type of good missionary, there is no perfect missionary, there is no perfect ward, there is no perfect nothing. I came to realize that I could have success as long as I strived to develop my personal talents, and help my companions see the blessings of being obedient. That was my mistake from before- I would take note of what my senior companion would do and assumed that knowing more than me, what she did is the best way to do things. But more and more on my mission, I realize the only example that we can ever use to strive to become is Jesus Christ. Very often those who seem like angels in the mission, are not... and vice versa.

I have learned and grown a ton in my testimony of the Restauration. Before the mission my only testimony of the Restauration has been from what I have read in the Book of Mormon, but I have come to realize that the true message of the Restauration is that God is the same God yesterday, today, and forever, and that His order has always been given through his prophets that help us see in a world that is so blind. I have had some great moments, seeing as other people have come to know of the truth of this plan.

I have also learned a lot about how to stand up for what is right. This week especially was a huge step for me, as in this ward the bishop has worked some major mischief (as the church is starting to develop here, not everything is beautifully neat and in order all the time). Recently the bishopric has been using sacrament talks as a way to lecture the members of the ward for things that they are doing wrong. The moment most depressing was when there was a talk about the responsibility of fulfilling responsibilities with the church cleaning. I seriously was so depressed to hear this talk, at the thought that the most sacred meeting of Sunday was used in this way. In Correlation my companion and I spoke with love but with truth that the sacrament meeting is to talk about the welfare of our souls as it is said in Moroni, to talk about how we can better follow the example of Jesus Christ. As we stand at the pulpit we speak to what we believe Jesus Christ would say in that moment, not about things like the aseo of the capilla.... Anyways he understood, and we are moving forward. A lot of people here just aren`t sure how to fulfull their callings really.

Well thats all for today, I love you all tons, I actually promise with all my heart I will write good emails from now on,

I just ask one thing........... money for a good camera for my birthday?? I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Hermana Bernal

Week 42: Un Cambio de Corazon

Hey family! 

I completely forget about July 4th until my companion (who is from El Salvador) reminded! So Happy Independence day!!

This week was full of miracles and although I don`t have time to share all of them I found a video that takes place in Honduras that I wanted to share!

‪1Un cambio de corazon.wmv


Sending my love!


Hermana Bernal

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Week 41: RAIN!


Hi!

Here are a couple photos from this week, Right now the weather is crazy and can be super hot one moment and then thundering rain the next! One moment that reminded me of how grateful I am to have a comfortable home was as we were teaching in a little house this week, the rain started pouring down and their aluminum roof started shaking, rising up at each big gust of wind. We closed the doors to keep water from coming in, and using shirts to fill in holes in the wall we were able to stay dry. Then water from outside the door creeped in from the space under the door, but luckily after about 15 minutes the rain calmed down. Just a thought for the day to keep us all grateful for safe homes and carpeted floors :)

More news next week!







Love you!
Hermana Bernal

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Week 40: Photos from 6 weeks in Danli!


Hi Family!

Here are some photos from these 6 weeks here in Danli- a couple are from when we hiked up a mountain to see monkeys and a waterfall, and the photo of the bridge is from a storm that pretty much flooded the town and carried a bunch of garbage and random stuff (I even saw a wheelchair that it carried) over this little bridge! We are also teaching a family of four- only the wife is featured but her husband had been in jail up until 7 years ago and now is trying to turn his life around!

Love you all, and....

HAPPY FATHER`S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

These 8 months have stretched my eyes open to how grateful I am to have the family that I have, and for the blessing it has been to have Dallas and my Dad in my life. Always sending my love through prayers to you guys!!!















Love,

Hermana Bernal

Week 39: Hermana Maria

Hello my wonderful friends and family who I love so much, the past couple weeks have been super great, we have found three families that are progressing and one even came to a baptism that we had this Saturday!!

A couple things that have been funny that have happened the past couple of weeks-

-We helped a really cute old man finishing build a side of wall in his house- made of mud..

-We found a cute old woman hauling wood, helped her out, she gave us like 8 mangos from her mango tree, and now her daughters our listening to the lessons

-A not so cute parakeet pooped on my arm

-It poured down raining out of no where, and then my companion got attacked by ants (here the ants bite!!)

In our ward there is an hermana named Maria who is a recent convert of gold, she always asks to accompany us for visits and when sharing her testimony often mentions that from the beginning of when she began to learn about the gospel, she began to feel complete, like part of her that she didn`t realize was missing, was filling up inside of her. This week I thought a lot about what that word even means, what does it mean to feel ¨complete¨ and what are obstacles from feeling that way. When we feel complete, it`s a a quiet assurance inside that gives us a sense that not only we are pleased with who we are, but that God is pleased as well. Despite our many perfections, we feel assured that God is pleased with our progress. This is important, because without feeling complete, you can do a lot of good for the world, can do a lot of good for your family, and a lot of good for your friends, but until you find what makes you complete you are just filling your life with activities that give you brief moments of peace that soon leave you, like trying to fill a bucket of water with holes in its base.

From my experience three major things have been obstacles from feeling this way: The first is shame. When we see other people progressing spiritually or temporally, or maybe we see that someone has done 5 service projects in one week and I have only done 4 service projects that week (exaggerating) we begin to compàre ourselves to other people, most often we are comparing our weaknesses to other people`s strengths, and we feel that what we have done is little compared to the rest. The second is guilt- it`s similar, because in both guilt and shame we realize that we are falling short, but with guilt sometimes it is a little harder to recognize the source. Our Heavenly Father has made a perfect plan, in which we chose to come to this Earth, live His commandments, and walk by faith rather by sight. When we do not follow His plan, we sin, which furthers us from God. Guilt is the little bird on our shoulder that tells us we are doing something wrong, we need to change something.

The last obstacle is false hope- This is my favorite because it`s possibly Satan`s most deceptive tool that he uses that we must all be aware of. It`s the expectation that you can find this feeling of completeness, or in other words peace and joy, in what the world has to offer rather than what God has to offer- in activites, in our friends, in hobbies- all could be good things- but do not offer true peace and joy. The question is, where are putting our faith? In the hope that the things of the world will make us happy? Or are we putting our faith in Christ? The only sure thing that there is in this world?

I invite you all to self-evaluate where you are putting your faith. God doesn`t expect us to be perfect, but he does expect that we strive for perfection. It`s time that we fill up the holes in the bucket so that we can be filled with this spirit of peace and joy.

Love you!

Hermana Bernal





Sunday, June 5, 2016

Week 38: Choose Your Own Adventure

Hello Beloved Family and Friends!

Wow so happy to be emailing you all right now! These past couple of weeks have been really great, incredibly humbling. I`m realizing that the mission is teaching me above all humility and patience! Anyways right now I`m in a really awesome area, where kids roam on the backs of horses, dog`s leashes are chains, their bath is a river, and their washing machine room is a well! Kinda crazy how the barrier between ¨inside the house¨ and ¨¨outside the house¨ doesn`t exist for some people. But, I am incredibly blessed to have my very own bucket don`t you worry!

Ok. This week was fun because my companion and I got to know a couple new areas, getting to know new people that we had contacted and meeting the members of the ward because my companion is fairly new to the ward as well. I was thinking about how our life here on Earth is kind of like the ¨Choose your own adventure¨ books, we have a variety of options that we can choose that will lead us to different paths, some that are good, bad, better, and best. In Honduras there are so many people here without a clue to where they've come from, the paths that they choose are based on what they hope will make them happy, when the only way to true happiness is by living a life according to the path that God has already prepared for us.

The people we are teaching remind me daily how blessed I am to understand this plan and to be able to share it with every human I meet. Because we are all children of God, all equal to him and all precious in his sight. As said by a prophet from the Americas,

  ¨For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; 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 them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come untohim, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.¨¨ (2 Nephi 26:33)

Hermana Bernal

Week 37: DANLI HONDURAS

Hello family!!

I am now in DANLI HONDURAS, with my first companion Hermana Nuñez!!! That almost never happens so I am super excited to be here!! In Danli there is a city called Paradise, the weather is a lot cooler, and we are living in a little apartment right next to some really kind members! My area is a lot more city-like, and I am officially in my first ward!


Love you all, hope everything is alright back at home!
Hermana Bernal

Week 36: Leaving San Lorenzo

Hey well today we heard about Cambios and I will now be leaving my beloved San Lorenzo, off to a different part of Honduras, East of Tegucigalpa. Really sad to be leaving the people here, 6 weeks goes by so fast, but I´m excited to serve and love the people in Danli and my new district. Here are some photos of this cambio´s events! Here are some photos from an activity for Mother´s day that we planned for the branch!

Love you all, getting to talk to my family for mother´s day was so special!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Week 35: "God responded quickly!"

Wow, I am still in shock of happiness from the news from last week that I am officially an Aunt! Congratulations to Garret and Cami, you two will be the best team in raising the newest member of the Bernal fam!!

This week was really great, we had a conference with all of the missionaries in our Zone and we had a pretty cool experience. Recently in Honduras there have been some strong rain storms and the electricity has been going in and out pretty frequently. For this conference, there was going to be a powerpoint presentation, but without the light, things weren´t looking so ¨bright¨, haha. The President of our Mission , President Bowler got up and reminded us that as missionaries, we testify that when we ask Heavenly Father for what we need in prayer, if it is just, He will give it to us. In this moment all 70 of us got on our knees to pray together so that we would be able to receive the direction of our leaders to learn to become better missionaries. God responded quickly! Through those that were working on solving the issue, they found the solution and we were able to carry on the conference as planned. Again we knelt down together to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the miracle that he had shown us! God works miracles, according to our faith!

Today for P-day we went to an island called Ama Pala in Honduras, here are some pictures!



Week 34: "What are those things called? Tacos?¨

Hi Family,

A lot of interesting stuff happened this week!! Someone´s cow fell over and the Elders had to help lift it up, we were given free ice cream because the vender said ¨he just felt he should give it to us¨, I tried some new fruits that I didn´t know existed (jocote and tamarindo, yum) and I just realized that also someone gave us a free watermelon. Lots of exciting things related to food, what´s changed right?

The food set aside, the most exciting part of this week when we taught a couple named Ismael and Carin, Carin has a baby on the way with one month pregnant! They have a portable little shack that they set up next to the hospital where they sell clothes. Awhile back we had met them in our everday contacting hour, we joked around that while they were offering clothes for sale, we as missionaries offer the gospel of Jesus Christ, but completely free! We set an appointment with them for this week and the day we showed up they told us that from the day we met they had been impatiently looking forward to the day of our next visit. As we began to teach about who we are and what we know to be true, Ismael asked us pulling out a necklace with the cross of Jesus around his neck, ¨¨I just have one question, in your church are you against the wearing of the cross of Jesus? My Mom gave me this necklace when I was younger, and I was planning to pass it down to my child as well. But if it´s not okay I can take it off,¨¨. We quickly assured him that it wasn´t prohibited to wear a cross necklace, rather that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints we prefer to focus on the living image of Jesus, as we know that the third day he was resurrected, and continues to work miracles and direct his church in the world today. However all this time I was dumbfounded at his willingness to so freely give up a family heirloom, in hopes to put his life more in line with what he believed was God´s will. He taught me a great lesson of faith, and courage that no matter what we have been taught from our parents, or what traditions have been passed from generations back, our salvation depends on our willingness to give up our will for the will of God.

Also inspiring quote from my Mama that she wrote me today and I am going to put on my wall because she is wise and an all around wonderful human

¨¨do the harder right, not the easier (comfort) wrong.

the enabling power of the atonement makes the harder right easier¨¨

Here are some pictures of the family we have been teaching at this week´s District meeting and I will make sure to send photos of Ismael and Carin next week!

..and a picture of me eating a big taco

Also fun fact: In Peru they don´t eat tacos, or even tortillas! All of their dishes have rice. My compañion from the computer next to me just asked ¨what are those things called? tacos?¨ 






Love you, till next week!