Friday, October 31, 2014

Back To The Coast!

     Thank you! I will be watching for the packages. They really do arrive in country within two or three weeks. It does matter on how often the secretaries send the mail to us... Here it arrives really fast, but I have cambios and I am not sure where I will be when they arrive. Wednesday I will email again to let you know where I am and who I am with. I am kind of nervous for these cambios. I was really hoping to stay just a little bit longer, but with 3 cambios with Hna. de Leon I knew it was coming. 

    The flooding was all last week. Progreso flooded and parts of Lima, but it never got bad enough to close off anything for us. We're safe.

    We have hit the rainy season though and it has gotten surprisingly cold... Sunday I didn't want to get out of bed I was so cold. And to think of having to get into a frigid shower... I'll attach a picture of that one. My companion got a kick out of it. She kept saying, ''You're cold!? It snows where you live and you think this is cold!''

     That is so true about having an attitude of gratitude. Sometimes it can be hard, but attitude really is a choice, and when I look at the difficulties that come up as opportunities to grow I am able to get a LOT more out of the experience. And I am happier. I've le3arned that it helps me ''Look unto Him in every thought.'' It makes all the difference.

     Well, I will write more Wednesday.

 Complete with fuzzy socks Great Grandma Thacker mailed me. :) My companion couldn't stop laughing...

Wednesday-- Back to the coast and back to the city. Monday I will share more, but I just wanted to let you know where I am at.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Nothing Brings More Peace Than Prayer

News for the week:

 -We did divisions three times. Once with the sister training leaders and twice with members later in the week. I'm not usually a fan of divisions, but I learned a lot from doing them.

 -My companion completed one year since she left home. (that's awkwardly phrased, but you get the idea)

-Every house we visited had the news on and they are either talking about serious flooding in other parts of Honduras or Ebola in the United States.

 --Because of that the High Councilman in his talk Sunday read almost all of 3 Nephi 8 and called everyone to repentance... I prefer D&C 61:36-38

 36 And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say unto one I say unto all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you;

37 And inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours.
38 Gird up your loins and be watchful and be sober, looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man, for he cometh in an hour you think not.

 -We tried to teach a lady who told us she was a predicadora in her day. Those experiences are always exciting.

 -My companion learned how to play Uno and now she wins almost every time...

     If I had to pick the biggest thing I learned this week it would have to be that ''a man never stands taller than when he is upon his knees.'' The lessons about the power of prayer are never lacking. They always help me to rely more fully on my Heavenly Father. This week has been filled with crazy experiences (nothing really out of the ordinary). But being able to kneel down and express how I feel, my fears, doubts, and struggles makes all the difference. My testimony has been strengthened that God lives and that He loves us. I know He hears and answers prayers and that ''praying rests the weary'' and ''changes night to day.'' So that's the invitation. There is nothing that brings more peace than being completely honest with Heavenly Father and praying with real intent.

     Well, I guess that's where I will leave off for this week.

Hasta la próxima,
Hermana Thacker

Monday, October 13, 2014

Excerpts From My Journal

     You know, usually there is one single fantastic experience that I want to share. Other weeks I think and I think and I think and have to flip through my journal to see what I should/could share with you.

      This is one of those weeks. We just had lots of neat little experiences that I am not sure how to compile it all... So, here you have ç... plus a picture or two.

      ''We got to answer questions about polygamy, birth control, worshiping Joseph Smith, and burning in hell all in the same day.''--That was an adventure! Sometimes I really love the questions people ask :)

     ''I honestly wasn't sure what I was getting myself into... It's a shaved ice/snow cone but instead of a fruity sugary syrup to give it color and flavor its lemon juice, pepitorio(seasoning salt/chile that only exists in Guatemala and El Salvador), Worcestershire sauce, V8 juice, salt(lots), oh and crushed up spicy chips. Not going to lie, it's a weird combination...but it wasn't bad.'' '

    'It's like the classic math problem about the inch worm that climbs 3 cm in the day but in the night slides back 2 cm. How long will it take for him to reach the top of the hill? At least he is making progress.'' --That's how I felt about working with one of our families. They are making progress. It is at their own pace, but the good news is that they are progressing.

      ''We could see our entire area from there.''--we went to exercise with a member family and they took us a lot farther than we thought we were going to go, but the view was beautiful!

      ''I was immediately filled with fear and felt like there was no possible way that I could do it. However I was blessed with help seeing it as an opportunity to put my faith in action and I started praying. It was hard, it was awkward, and I still have a ways to go...but with His help I did it.'' --I was pushed out of my comfort zone again. I prayed and Heavenly Father told me that I needed another little shove to get out of my comfort zone and He gave me an opportunity to practice. I am really glad He loves me enough to do that to me.

     ''Exciting stuff: Marlon came to church because he wanted to. He stayed for all three meetings and participated. He's a lot more of an oveja than I thought."   Marlon is a member of this family we've been working with. He was the only one who hadn't been to church yet and it was a miracle that he came yesterday of his own accord.

 Really this week has been a good one. I've learned a lot and finishing the week left me excited to start another one and work even harder. I love it when that happens!

Hna. Thacker

Sunday, October 12, 2014

General Conference is the Best!

     I can't lie to you. General Conference was by far my favorite part of the week. To be able to learn and feel my testimony strengthened it was very helpful. I have been able to set goals and am excited to work on them. But the part that was even better was who came to watch it with us.

     There is a family that we have been working with for a little while. The parents are actually married (that doesn't just happen here) and there are seven of them in total. They've shared with us the challenges that they face as a family and expressed a desire to become more united and happy. All of them are quick to recieve us and dedicate a little time to listen to us, but up until this week only the kids were truly receptive because they are the only ones who have taken action test the messages we've left. They have been able to recognise the blessings and the potential that the gospel brings their family. Then we have the parents. They haven't been so quick to come to church or accept an invitation to pray.

     Until this week.

     Sunday, with the help of a member who was willing to pick them up for conference and the kids, they were able to talk the dad in to going to the morning session. Later in the afternoon the mom accepted the invitation to attend a session as well. The talks in their respective sessions seemed to be perfectly selected to answer their individual concerns. It was incredible.

     Al final they still have progress to make, but ''the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.'' It is so exciting!

     General Conference is the best. It always brings miracles, answers to prayers, and opportunities to grow.

     I hope you have a wonderful week, and are able to start working on putting in practice what you learned from conference!

Hna. Thacker

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finding Ovejas

It's been a week for finding ovejas.

     Our mission president bluntly told us that we are here to look for ovejas not mulas(sheep not mules). This week we have been able to see the difference.

     We met a new one this week. Every lesson we've had with her the spirit has been strong and she has been receptive. We invited her to be baptized and she told us that she has always wanted to be baptized but never had the opportunity. Oh, and that her mom wants to listen to us too and is willing to support her. That doesn't happen every day.

     Another investigator called us over to share with us a special experience she had resolving a conflict with her mother-in-law. She hugged us and began to cry. ''I wanted to tell you becuase, well, you told me you were like my sisters.'' It was a neat experience to see her trust in us.
     Another investigator we were worried about because she had a problem with drinking coffee. We taught the Word of Wisdom and this week she told us she's been able to stop drinking it completely. Looking her in the eyes I could see the changes that she's made and the desire she has to progress. 

     Another two investigators showed up on their own for the Women's Conference Saturday. I cried. 

     But the most incredible story is that of another investigator, the mom of Jonathan. In Sacrament meeting I was up on the stand leading the opening hymn when she walked in wearing her skirt and looking like she belonged. We made eye contact, she smiled, waved and found a seat with Hna. Eblin. My eyes filled with tears and I had to stop singing for a minute. It is one of the most incredible feelings of joy when and investigator we have been working with for so very long makes it to church for the very first time. To see her show up unexpectedly on her own marks a huge step in her progress. Four months ago she hid when we showed up. Now she comes looking for us. Three months ago she struggled accepting invitations to act. Now she finally made it to church. She got to see her son who got baptized a month ago pass the sacrament for the first time. At the end of the meeting when we finally had the chance to go talk to her she told us, ''Hermanas, I am going to start coming to church. Every one of the messages I heard really touched my heart.'' She was all teary-eyed, and so were we.

     We have had an incredible week and an incredible cambio. We have seen changes that I never thought possible in ourselves and in the area.

     NEWS FLASH: We just got the text message to tell us who in the zone has cambios. HNA DE LEON AND I GET TO STAY!!!! I do not have words to express how happy that makes me!

     This week has been one of my favorite weeks of my mission. And General Conference is coming this week. And hopefully baptisms of some of our ovejas soon after.

     I love being a missionary.

Hasta la próxima!
Hermana Thacker