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"


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

Hermana Bernal