Monday, March 17, 2014

A Visit to San Pedro - where part of her heart will always be

An amazing, amazing week. On Sunday, M was baptized and it was one of the best days of my mission. We organized a musical number and many people stayed after church to be able to see the baptism. Her best friend was able to talk and it was hard for her to hold back tears talking about the trials in M's life and the changes she had made to be able to make this step. When the bishop got up, he talked about how M's great grandfather was one of the 6 people who organized the church here in Chimaltenango (nobody knew this fact, including her) and then he talked about how every single person in the room had come into the church through these first "pioneers". All of the families were related in one way or another with their conversions or marriages or missionary work. It felt like a huge family welcoming her back in and it was really special to see how Heavenly Father works to guide his children back in, we are all included in His plan.
M - Baptism
One of my favorite parts this week was being able to work in San Pedro with Hermana G.(one of Saras :twins)
Forever Friends - Sara and G
Two companions together again in San Pedro!
 on divisions and we were able to take G to accompany us for a few appointments!!! I asked her how she was and she just thought for a moment and then said, "My life changed when I was baptized...but it hasn´t stopped changing. I feel more peace every day and my very thoughts have changed...and A (her husband) changed his whole life to get baptized, but he also keeps changing. We´re just...truly happy." And then when I saw A later, he told me, "Well, I´m reading the Book of Mormon every day but every time I read it, I feel a little bad...I love it and I love reading it, but I feel bad because it always points out things that I need to do better. And I keep changing to become better, but there´s always something more." We aren´t just changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are always changing because of it. And in his prayers, he is still asking for the strength to move forward to be able to become a forever family.

Sara with the family she loves - G and A and kids (the two in green shirts are part of the extended family - all were baptized when Sara served in San Pedro - this is inside their home. They are sitting on the family bed where they all sleep.

 I also saw J and we had a lesson with his friend in his house (he is introduing the missionaries to all of his friends and family). His friend accepted a baptism date for this 30 of March and J just has an amazing testimony. HIs mom said that because of the dramatic changes in Jorge´s life, there must be something good about this message haha. She was prepared and quickly followed in his footsteps, and other family members are listening. I love San Pedro!!
I also love my companion sooo much, she reminds me so much of Kim Hansen. She told me that there was an atheist on the bus who started to talk to her about how there is no God. She said, "I just told him that there has to be a God because of all the every day miracles. I just said ¨Just look at the orange, it has a perfectly peel to protect it and then when we open it up, there are perfectly packaged, bite-sized pieces. Isn´t that evidence? I didn´t even get started talking about my mangos...¨" Haha she is so funny and I am so excited for these next couple weeks I have with her. The work is going along in this area and we are seeing miracles every day. Like Gl and A, I´m just truly happy and it increases the more time I have to share this message.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy week

I hope I still have friends left when I get back because EVERYBODY is getting engaged! But I´m happy for all of you :)
Thank you so much Aaron Cooper, Dallas, President Hixson, Wyatt, Leticia and Terri Lamp for the letters. And the DearElders of Paige, Alexa, Cole, Michelle, Dallas and Adrian. And the packages from the Hillsdale Ward bishopric, the Garry family and Cristina and Sean! I can feel your love from afar, the mail system isn´t the best and the postcards I sent back in October never arrived...but I am very thankful for all of the support.

And ALL of your prayers have been answered concerning my new companion and my health...because my new companion was the mission nurse!!! Hahaha. We received a new nurse for the mission and my companion, Hermana C, extended a change more and was released as being the nurse so that she could be a training sister with me her last change. We have been friends the whole mission and this past week has been such a blessing, the blessings really do come after the trials!
Baptism on Sunday - Darling little girl "J"
Other good news...N was a man that I helped baptize in my first area and all of his family was baptized! Also, S and her daughters were baptized in Santa Lucia the weekend that I left. Annnnnddddd, J BAPTIZED HIS MOM ON SUNDAY. Seriously, this week has been full of miracles. We had a baptism on Sunday, a little girl of 9 years and her story is a miracle but also really funny, it´s one that I´ll have to tell when I get back.

M reminds me so, so much of my best friend at home. Her best friend here in Guatemala is a returned missionary and she has helped us out a lot teaching her. She has had a LOT of trials in her life and she talked to our mission president yesterday. We weren´t sure when she would be able to be baptized and were waiting anxiously outside of the room with her best friend. After their interview, he came out and said, "Hermanas, baptize her as soon as you can. She is ready to be baptized and is strong." She had tears streaming down her eyes and she told us, "When he told me that he feels I have repented and that I am ready to be baptized, I just felt such a peace and I have never been more excited in my life." It was a beautiful experience and her baptism will be held this weekend. Her returned missionary friend reminds me surprisingly of myself and I hope I can also be an example and help bring this change in people´s lives when I return.

Sara teaching new friends (M and M ) how to make 'rollyups' 

We are also teaching the mother of a missionary serving in Panama. She has been very hard these last couple weeks and has refused to read or pray or attend church...but we saw a miracle on Sunday as she walked into the chapel with her other children. We are still helping her make little steps and her sister, the Aunt of the missionary, was overjoyed to write her son and inform him that the mother is now starting to attend church.

And I also love this ward...we have been giving a watermelon to two families every week for the past couple weeks. With the watermelon, they have the responsibilidad to eat it with their family but also invite somebody they know to come and enjoy it with them (and we are also there with a message ready to share it with him). We have been able to have so many lessons in the houses of the members and they are getting more and more excited to introduce us to the people they know that need this message. We are seeing miracle after miracle and have 7 progressing investigators, I love this area and my companion and I am so thankful for the lessons I learned last change, they really prepared me for this time.

I am happy I am a Hansen and I am happy I am a missionary. UNtil next week

The missionaries "cook" and her family of 8 daughters.

Sara treated her "cook" to an ice cream cone. I THINK she is happy about it :)

(you may notice some fun gramatical errors - I am leaving them because I think it s fun to see her Spanish take over the English in her speech and writing. Kathy)