Sunday, January 29, 2017

Week 64: Reflection of Gratitude Towards God

Hi Family!

This week was a good week! Seeing lots of progress in the area is the best! I now officially know that I will get home Thursday April 13th for those who wanted to know!

Something I have been learning this week is how my relationship with the people that surround me is a reflection of my gratitude towards God. Sometimes as human beings (or maybe it´s just me) we have this tunnel vision that only permits us to see the here and right now.. We get frustrated quickly, we criticize easily, and sometimes we call our complete withdrawal from conflict "patience" rather than proactively untangling the mess of misunderstandings. This change I have had multiple opportunities to learn from misunderstandings from my companion. And I have realized that after God has patiently and lovingly allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them overtime, I owe it to Him to allow the people I work with time and love as they work through their mistakes.

Something funny that happened last night was that right before entering a family´s house, the city´s power went out (when the power goes home at night we have to go straight home) and our house was a little far away so we were scared to leave, and the guy kindly offered us a machete for the walk home haha. We decided to save our machete skills for another day and call a member to accompany us home :)

At the weeks end I am happy, we are still safe even without machetes, and my body is in the process of converting into a life size frijol.

Sending love from Honduras!

Hermana Bernal

Week 63: "Righteous desires will be granted"

Hi all!

WOW these couple of weeks have been jam packed. At the Christmas celebration I casually won a prize for doing an 8:30 min plank (which let me tell you was pure adrenaline, I´ve never gotten past 4 minutes in my life), ate a BILLION torrejas (Honduran style french toast, a Christmas tradition), and nacatamales, traveled to district meetings to do the health presentations (the purpose being for them to be self sufficient in knowing what over the counter medication to take like Acetominophen or Tabcin instead of calling us to say that they have a cough haha) This calling has really helped me learn to listen carefully and attentively to what people are going through. In my life I have been blessed to have a very healthy body, I rarely get sick and minor discomforts usually go away quickly. However in the mission I have realized that not everyone has had the same opportunities or education of personal health and I need to be sensitive when someone calls to say "I have asthma and I have trouble breathing". I can´t just say, "Tough luck the mission is hard, drink some water and you´ll be fine" haha. On the other hand I have also learned to ask questions to understand if something is really as serious as someone describes.
There was also the week of transfers, and it was really fun teaching the newbies the basic "10 Health Commandments", things like always using pure water, not eating street food, etc. It´s always fun to interact with new missionaries, pobrecitos they have no idea what they are getting into. Just kidding the mission is the best. 
In the past 3 weeks a lot was happening in the Nursing end, but on the working in our area end I was starting to fall into a pit of frustration, oops. With limited time in the area, I feel an extra push to use our time effectively and take advantage of every moment we have to teach in hopes to find someone with the curiousity and humility to actually ask God if what we teach is true. One of my main goals that I have had on the mission is to help every person I meet understand what is UNIQUE about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. You would think this would be a simple task right? There are churches of all sorts Catholics, Protestant, Evangelicals, Jesus Te Quiere, Dios es amor, they are innumerable and all with their private interpretation of the scriptures. The most common belief is that all talk about God, therefore they are all the same. We are very scarcely denied entering a house because to all "whoever brings the word of God is welcome". It is a HUGE upside, because we are able to share the truth wherever we go, and it will be heard. Will it be understood? That´s a whole other story.. 

A couple examples: A member takes us to her neighbor´s house named Jorge. He is very kind, offers us a seat, and we ask about his family and beliefs, and then we share about how he can find the gospel as Jesus taught it, with no missing pieces or discrepancies. Jorge, are you willing to ask God to know if it´s true? He responds, Yes, I already know it´s true, I have my answer, I accepted Jesus into my life and that´s all I need to do. You said you´re from the United States right? Thanks Jorge. 
Another example, we watch the Restoration movie with a recent convert and her dad. After watching the video, he shares how he is moved by the truthfulness of the confusion of the millions of churches, and the need for a Restoration. The end result of this lesson was him saying that he doesn´t need to go with his daughter to Church because he already attends another group much closer to their house.
The church video, interactive examples, homemade puzzles of the church as Jesus Christ called his 12 apostles, giving them the power and authority to act in His name and receive revelation ...and at the end sometimes I am not sure if they are still confused whether I am a Jehovah´s witness or a Mormon. 
In a priesthood blessing I received before the mission, I was told that my heart would be broken when people did not accept the plan, but blessed to know that my heart would repair quickly. Recognizing that being ignored or disregarded was always a part of the mission, my companion and I came up with a phrase, "we may not have found any prepared people, but we sure prepared a lot of people". Maybe next time God offers them the truth they will recognize it.

I continually turned my frustration to the Lord, setting new goals and trying to apply what Dallin H Oaks taught when he visited our mission in November (oops ya that also happened, I was sitting in the first row!) that our personal goals should not be dependent on the agency of other people. I prayed for a long time asking to send us to someone who was willing to open their ears. "And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you" (3 Nephi 18:20) The promise is clear, whatever righteous desire will be granted. Timing always depends on what God sees fit for our spiritual progress, but if it is right, it will be granted.


New Mission Address!

The New Direction to the Mission Office is: 

Col. Palmira Av. Juan Lindo Fte Embajada

App: 556 o 3539

Tegucigalpa M.D.C ; Honduras