Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday again! Pictures!

It's crazy that it is already Monday again! This time I am going to get you the pictures so you can see who I have been talking about... The first is Levi, Veronica, and Angelina. Last night they made us dinner. The parents are both reading the Book of Mormon, and won't let us leave until we have set up a next appointment. Our challenge is getting them to church, and they need to get married. But they are an awesome family! Very humble and very eager to learn!

 The next is about half of the primary here, and the middle four are all the same family. We have a pretty cute primary :)

 The next is our Wednesday p-day with Hermana Babb! She was in a trio and one of her companions had cambios, so Hna. Babb came with us while her companions went to la reunion de cambios. Hna. Babb is awesome and from South Dakota! She's an amazing missionary who just loves everybody! 

The last is the view from our apartment. When we can see the mountains it's lovely. When we can't see the mountains it is going to rain. Hard. This week has really been pretty great, and I continue to learn a lot. Les quiero mucho! Hna. Thacker (ok, actually the next two will be coming in a separate email. I hope.)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Pure Joy and Sweetness That Is Attainable If We Seek Him Makes Everything Worth It

     This week is weird because of cambios on Wednesday. Today we have half of a P-day...just long enough to write a little bit and do some laundry. If neither I nor my companion gets transferred we will get the other half of our p-day. I don't think that we will change, but Hna. Tajiboy thinks she will. Tonight in the evening we find out. If nothing changes I will write more on Wednesday.

     The day that stands out the most this week was Thursday. In the morning we had a big meeting for all of the missionaries who are currently training and those who will be training the next transfer. Hna. Tajiboy and I were asked to fill in for the sister training leaders who were stuck on Roatan, and we talked about how to better use Preach My Gospel.

     The theme of the meeting was focused on how it all starts with the missionary. If the missionary doesn't take the time to learn the gospel, they can't teach it. If they can't teach the truth, the Spirit can't bear testimony of the truth. If the Spirit doesn't bear testimony of it, the faith of the listener can't grow. Without faith there is no repentance. No repentance, no baptism. So.. It all begins with the missionary. It reminded me of a devotional by Elder Holland that we watched in the MTC. He told us that the purpose of Preach My Gospel is to convert the missionary first. Once the missionary is truly converted they will have the words and understanding to teach and convert others. That's why it is important to study it even if you are not currently serving as a missionary. It is divinely inspired to strengthen your faith whatever stage you are at. I've really learned from personal experience how true this is!

     After the meeting we had interviews, and then President Klein accompanied us to visit a family that we are teaching (Levi and Veronica, Have I mentioned them?) It was such an amazing lesson filled with the Spirit! We talked about how obedience and seeking to live the way God wants us to live with faith patience and diligence the reward is so much greater than we can imagine. The pure joy and sweetness that is attainable if we seek Him makes everything worth it. The Spirit bore witness and we could see in their faces that they felt it too.

      Well, I need to go... I hope to write more on Wednesday!

To be continued...

  We don't have transfers, so Hna. Tajiboy and I get to stay here! I am so grateful! Hna. only has two transfers left and she's hoping she can finish her mission here. I'm hoping that means we can stay companions until she leaves, but we will see. I hope that we both get to stay here to see Levi, Veronica, and José Constantino baptized. They are all still progressing and studying the Book of Mormon. The other day we met with Veronica, and she told us that Levi doesn't go anywhere without his copy of the Book of Mormon and the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Feilding Smith book he got when he came to church. I love visiting them because I can see in their eyes how hungry they are to learn more and more and more. This is amazing to me. The Book of Mormon is really key and is so very true. Once investigators begin reading it they are sooooo much more willing to take any other required step. I love it!

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Mom, can we go to church?"

So the past couple of weeks I've been trying to keep a little sticky note to keep track of the things that I want to tell you in my letter. However when I got to about Thursday I realized I hadn't written anything down yet. So, if this is a little jumbled, bear with me...

     This week we waded rivers, rescued a kitten, had divisions, and have fantastic progressing investigators. Tuesday it POURED. We were drenched head to toe and through every layer. It was quite the adventure because the roads filled with water that was at least ankle deep and it was a constant struggle trying to decide how worth it, it was to fight with the wind for a small amount of protection from the umbrella. We tried to make visits until the point that we realized no one was going to let us in and sit on their couch in the condition that we were in...

     We had divisions with the Sister Training Leaders this week, and to be honest I wasn't all that excited. It turned out to be exactly what I needed though, and I learned lots. This week ended fantastically. All of a sudden we have felt much more support from the members and awesome investigators that are progressing. I think last week I told you about the hermano who is all the way through first Nephi. Besides him we have a super pilas family and another hermana who is reading the Book of Mormon. We have been teaching the dad of the family the longest, but he didn't really start progressing nearly as much until we started teaching him and his wife together. Our appointments with them have really fallen into place with just the right member accompanying us and lessons that fill their needs.
     The Lord has been guiding every part of our work with them and it has been amazing to see. Their daughter is a month away from turning 3 and she's probably the reason the dad came to church with us yesterday. Last week her mom told us that Angeline kept saying, "Mom, are we going to go to church?" "Mom, can we go to church?" This week Levi (the dad) came to church and brought Angeline. Every time we come to visit them Angeline is so excited to see us and makes sure her chair is ready so she can listen too. She has even started imitating us. The other day during the lesson she got up and ran across the room to grab a pamphlet we had left in another visit and a purse to put it in. Then she went and sat in her little chair, folded her arms, bowed her head, and acted like she was praying. Next she pulled out her pamphlet and flipped through it while talking about the pages. I realized watching her that our visits have really made an impact whether or not they get baptized.

     This week really was one of the best ones I've had so far. We have been even more obedient and more united, and as a result we have seen even more miracles. I learned through study and application this week that it requires faith to be obedient, and if faith is required for miracles, when we are obedient we will see miracles.

Well, Until next week!

 Hna. Thacker

Monday, January 6, 2014

'Tengo que morir de algo.'' --I have to die of something

¡Hola! ¡Feliz año nuevo!

     Biggest news of the week: We moved! My companion has been talking about moving since I got here. I didn't like the idea becuase I felt like where we were was sufficient and seemed to be nice and new. Last week she arranged for us to look at an apartment and when I finally realized how serious my companion was I panicked and prayed. I certainly didn't have the words to be able to express my concerns and questions to Hna. Tajiboy, but once I prayed I felt at peace with it and was able to communicate with her. This Thursday we moved and it has turned out to be a much better deal. We more than doubled the amount of windows which means a whole lot more light and plenty of fresh air! We also learned that there is a lot of mold we left behind in the old apartment that Hna. Tajiboy was having some sort of allergic reaction to.

     Food stories for the week: I tried sugar cane. The son of the woman we were visiting left the house with a machete and when he came back he had a loooong stick of something that he started cutting into sections for his daughters. When they found out I had never had raw sugar cane before he broke off a huge chunk. I didn't honestly care for it. As we left I tried to share it with my companion. She told me she would rather wait until she could wash it first. Red Flag. She asked if I had any water, and when I replied that I did not she took the chunk of sugar cane from me and said, ''Tengo que morir de alto.'' --I have to die of something--Comforting words coming from a Latina companion.

     I also tried cow liver. Hoping that I don't have to eat that again...

    Biggest miracles of the week:  I bore my testimony in Sacrament Meeting, in Spanish. Here in this ward the whole family goes together to bear their testimonies. Mom, dad, and kids of all ages stand around the microphone and take turns sharing their individual testimonies. Somewhere in the middle of the meeting my companion turned to me and asked when we were going up. Next thing I know we are up on the stand waiting our turn. Here was the freak-out moment. Sitting on the stand looking out on the congregation I was seriously worried that as soon as I stood up I was going to forget any and all Spanish I had ever learned in my entire life. So, I said a prayer, took a deep breath, and trusted. I probably only spoke for about thirty seconds and I am sure my Spanish wasn't anywhere near flawless, but I was able to share my testimony!

     In the weeks that I have been here, our area really hasn't had any real progressing investigators until this week. This was the biggest miracle of all. We found a man who has totally been prepared. Last week we taught him once and he seemed to be pretty attentive so we left him a Book of Mormon and asked if he would read it. This week we went back to visit him and he had already read through  1 Nephi 14 and understood what he read. Next thing we knew he was telling us Lehi's dream and what it all meant. We invited him to church, and he was actually ready when we showed up to pick him up. He enjoyed the meetings and we've invited him and his daughters to a Family Home Evening at the Patriarch's house.

     I know that this is truly Heavenly Father's work and the more I trust Him, the more I will be able to be an instrument in His hands! Until next week!

Con cariño,
Hna. Thacker