Monday, January 19, 2015

I Love Being a Missionary!

Well, this week flew by faster than fast...

    We did all of the normal missionary stuff... walked a lot, contacted a lot, taught a lot of lessons, and things like that.

     There is not one big experience to share this week, just a bunch of little ones that make up some of my favorite parts of being a missionary. I love it when...

 --someone we are teaching feels Heavenly Father's love for them and the spirit testifies that they are a child of God. We had a lesson this week with an inactive member. We sang I am a Child of God and after Elder Webb testified that she really was a child of God. She felt the spirit and started to cry. We all were on the verge of tears and it was a beautiful experience.

 --people have good questions. It usually means that the message is getting to them and they are making their best effort to truly understand. We've met a few people who have been asking good questions.

 --people truly accept the invitations to act. That's when they begin to develop their own testimony and their lives change.

I love being a missionary!

Hermana Thacker

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Miracles Make The Hard Moments Worth It

This week in a nutshell...

     It rained.

     We walked. (More than normal).

     Zulma braided our hair. It was a little adventure. And she's teaching us Garifuna. So far I've only got, ''Vuiti Binafi'' It means ''Good morning.'' She also macheted us. (machete--means to call to repentance sharply. Best done with a scripture.) She called us out for showing up late to church sometimes. We tried to explain that we had to stop by and pick up investigators, but she didn't want to hear excuses. The good news is that we made it early this Sunday. :)

     I had to stop my companion from jumping a fence. (In her defense it did look like the only way to get to the door... but luckily we found the gate before that got too awkward.)

     We struggled finding people who wanted to listen to us, but when they did we had some neat lessons.

     One of those lessons we talked about Pres. Monson's talk from the last General Conference. The spirit was definitely there as we talked about walking as Jesus walked, but my favorite part was when the hermana allowed us to put it into practice and help her out.

     Sunday was a day of miracles. The whole week we fell into a little rut, feeling unsuccessful and not knowing what to do about it. We didn't have anyone to pick up Sunday so I was a bit worried our investigators would make it. Then in route we passed by the house of a couple of investigators and they were already up and getting ready. When we arrived Elder Webb came running out to tell us that a inactive couple that we visited with them Thursday had made it. Right behind us came another less active hermana and her son. We still started Sacrament Meeting without investigators, but by the end more than we ever dreamed had shown up. My favorite was when Leslie, an inactive member, showed up hauling her kids, niece, and neighbor with her. The kids, niece, and neighbor were all new investigators that we needed, and Leslie was so happy and excited to be there. She had come because we visited her Saturday with a sister from the branch. This sister knew her well and had all of the words she needed to help animate Leslie to come to church.

      It was amazing how all of the miracles Sunday made all of the hard moments in the week worth it. Well, In the end we had a pretty great week. How was yours?

Hna. Thacker

Excerpt from letter to parents:

     Things were a crazy this week, but in the end I enjoyed it. Even though there were hard moments every day, we also had little funny moments, and spiritual experiences. One that made me laugh was when we were walking down the road I accidentally hit myself in the face with my umbrella. My companion laughed so hard she stopped walking for a minute. But Karma is my friend because no more than five minutes later she did the same thing. This time we both had to stop walking for a minute to laugh.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Honduran Snowman (or Sandman???)

We shared these pictures of an Iowa snow storm and she sent us this.

      Wow! I don't really remember what it's like when it gets cold enough to snow! None of my companions have ever seen snow.

     We were looking at the little forecast for this week in our missionary portal and it says it's going to be cold this Wednesday--25C or :) My companion says, ''Now that is COLD!'' It hardly drops below zero (Celcius-32 F) in Guatemala. Or Honduras.

It's pretty nice here. :) We went and played at the beach today and 
I even got a little sun burned, but I did want to build a snowman.

Happy New Year!!!

     Happy New Year!!! Here New Year's was a lot happier and more exciting than Christmas. Talking to my companion we came to the conclusion that Christmas is a hard holiday because of all of the family that they have lost in the year. It's easier to not get together and be reminded who is missing. On the other hand, New Year brings a hope that this year will be different than the last. That's something to celebrate. It was fun even though we missed out on the majority of the tamales. 

      Yesterday we had a baptism! Zulma got baptised! She is Garifuna and pretty cool. It was so exciting because of her deep desire to be baptised. She told us that she looked and looked and looked for ways to leave her past behind to truly repent and feel forgiven. As she began to receive the gospel her life changed, and after her baptism she said she felt at peace. I am so grateful we had the opportunity to teach her. I have learned so much about how much Heavenly Father loves every one of His children and how the gospel can change lives.

      This picture is a picture of our zone and a zone from Ceiba. It is taken from a really cool tower on the beach. New favorite place.

      Well, love you lots, and best of luck setting goals for who you want to be this year!

Hermana Thacker

This was part of another letter where she answered some questions.

     The husband of the family didn't make it this week, but we think he is in Progreso in the hospital with his 100 yr old grandmother. She's the one who raised him and when she got sick early this week he took off to take care of her. We still have hope, and we were able to talk to his wife this week and she explained what parts of the gospel he doesn't understand or agree with yet. That helps us so much.

     The Baptism went well. A little crazy because it was set for 7am Sunday before church. We had a little scare just before it started, but everything came together. Seeing her joy made everything worth it. :)

     From the point of view of a missionary, it makes me so happy to see members of the ward show up. When they show up I have a lot more hope that our new convert isn't going to be left alone once we leave the area. As me, I love the spirit that is there, too. It strengthens my testimony and desires to share the gospel. Just watching the person who is going to be baptised I want to help everyone I can feel that same joy that that person is experiencing. I love it!

     The Dey family came for the wedding of a foreign exchange student who lived with them, I think? They took advantage of the trip to be able to do something for the two branches. They don't have any connections in the branches as far as I know.

     I felt overwhelmed thinking about resolutions this year too. I think that's why in Preach my Gospel it talks about how to set goals and make plans to reach them. To start with a ''In a year I want to...'' complemented with this week/month/transfer I am going to do ________. But that is still hard. My challenge is remembering the goals I have set. I need a way to post them where I can remember, but where it's not so public either. The other day I did find a paper where I had written goals, and even though I had forgotten about the paper and the goals I could see how I had grown in these areas.

    Well I am rambling....

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Heavenly Father Has a Plan For Each Of Us

Well... This week has been pretty maciza and full of little adventures. Delivering gifts that the Dey family left for the children of the branch took us to the farthest reaches of our area. It was neat to see what was there. More people than I was expecting these last few days let us in to talk with them, and we finished the week with a whole bunch of new investigators.

Sunday was full of lots of little miracles and firsts.

-A recent convert who baptized his best friend the first Saturday of the month blessed the sacrament together.
-Our recent convert who got baptized the same day passed the sacrament with his brother for the first time.
-One family where the husband isn't a member came to church all together for the second time. He also participated more than just a little bit in the Gospel Principles class, and stayed all three hours.
-One investigator came to church with us, and ended up staying all three hours because she found an old friend.
-And, we were able talk through what to expect in the baptismal interview with another investigator who is planning on getting baptized Saturday. She is so excited and has expressed such a great desire to change her life around. She has her challenges, but she is a very neat lady. She has taught me a very important lesson on seeing people like Heavenly Father sees them. People have a lot more potential when you look at them that way.

I just continue learning that Heavenly Father loves every one of His children and has a specific plan and work for them to do. He knows us and knows what we are capable of. I am so grateful Heavenly Father loves me enough to help me learn that lesson and is patient as I take my own sweet time learning it. I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and that your New Year's is just as wonderful!

Hasta la proxima!

Love, Hermana Thacker