Monday, September 29, 2014

Miracles and Adversity

This week of course was amazing. How could it not be when you have three people that you have come to love decide to enter into the waters of baptism!

Baptisms and of course.. RAIN!
We had the baptism of Adonai Sapon, Brizna Aguilar Sapon, and Oscar Garcia. The baptism was supposed to start at two, but as usual with things here in Guatemala it started late. But that in part had to do with the RAIN. I think it was 5 minutes before two and it started to pour, and i mean really pour down rain. Like nothing that i have really ever seen before. And the rain droplets were huge. I dont think the rain that we had on Saturday is like anything i have ever seen in Oregon. Satan really was working hard for this baptism not to happen.

But they all came and soaking wet i might say. And even members made the trek through the rain to come and support these investigators in their decision. And the service was amazing, I cannot even begin to express what it is like to see your investigators enter into the waters of baptism and make that decision for themselves to change their lives forever. 

As we were taking pictures and everything was set up to start the baptism, my nose starting bleeding! Ahhh que molesta! I literally just looked down at my hand and there was blood and then my nose started to bleed, and by this time everyone was just waiting on my nose to stop bleeding so that we could start the baptism! But it eventually stopped and everything went according to plans with the baptisms and everything.

Oscar Garcia, is a member of the less active family that we reactived. And what was amazing to see what his dad be able to baptize him and have the prietshood power in his life and well as in the lives of his family. 

Adonai and Brizna was absolutely amazing as well. And when asking them how they fely after they both said they felt a peace that they have never felt before in their lives and that they really couldnt describe. They are both now preparing to enter into the temple to do baptisms, and Adonai is preparing to receive the Priesthood as well as serve a mission. Which is something that he has expressed a great desire to do.

Emmanuel (the brother of Adonai and Brizna) expressed in his prayer before the baptism how happy he was for the day and for his brother and sister who were making the decision to be baptized in the true church. Which literally made me smile from ear to ear, his testimony is so strong at just 10 years old. Their mom is now the only one of the family who is not a member. So please pray for her that she will have faith and not be afraid.

The baptism was amazing and now with literally almost all of our investigators baptized we are now needing to find new investigators. Which means street contacting and talking to everyone. Which suprisingly i have become quite comfortable with.

Cows and Dogs
A little side note. i almost died this week because i had both a cow and a dog literally charge at me hahah only in Guatemala! But in Guatemala there are always Cows on the street, and this cow started running at me. ahhh so scary, but now looking back is kind of funny.

This week was amazing and the Lord is really helping me to learn and to grow. I know that this church is true without a shadow of a doubt. And i know that the mission is exactly the place that i need to be right now. Their are constant blessings in our lives and the Lord will always bless us when we are doing the right thing, and the things that we shouldl.

I am so excited for conference this week and the opportunity to hear the prophet

I love you all so much. have a great week and always remember who you are!

La amo mucho
Hermana Loo

leave a legacy, be a legend

Oscar Garcia 
Yo y Brizna 
Yo, Brizna y Adonai 
Rope swinging like Tarzan

Monday, September 22, 2014

This week was amazing of course! How can it not be when you are out serving the Lord and seeing the gospel bless the lives of others!

Today for pday we went on ziplining which was amazing! And a ton of fun, only problem, we were up in the mountains without a way to get back to the city. Solution, hitch hike in the back of a big pepsi truck! hahaha a lot of fun and definitely something that we could not do in the States! Only in Guatemala!

Rain! Rain! Rain! Go away! 
Well it is the rainy season in Guatemala.., and this week definitely proved that! It poured down rain every day this week, and i mean poured! Nothing that we havent seen in Oregon, just isnt to much fun when you have to be out walking in it all day, and the streets that you are walking on are made of dirt. Which means that my legs were covered in dirt and filthy.. when i didnt have my boots on! But hey! That is the mission! Only thing that wasnt so awesome was that my scriptures got wet and so now they are a little bit ugly! But i guess that just means that i am putting them to good use right!?

Stake Conference
Stake conference was on Sunday and this week is general conference! What more could you ask for! But of course it was awesome to hear the messages that were shared during the meeting on Sunday and even more awesome that I can actually understand!

After the meeting on the way back to San Cristobal, Fer ( who was baptized the other Saturday) and Brizna (who is getting baptized this saturday) were talking about their missions! And how they are both going to serve in the same missions and be companions! But it always is so exciting to hear investigators talk about the church and missions! What more could you ask for! They both have such strong testimonies of the gospel at such a young age! It is amazing to see how the spirit works and changes lives!

Garcia Family
This is the less active family that we reactivated and are now preparing to enter into the temple to be sealed. Well we were talking about this the other day and temples and they all said that they want Hermana Peña and I there in the temple when they are sealed! Which of course made me so happy. they were then asking a million questions about who they need to talk to and what they need to do to make sure that we are there! I have really grown to love this family so much!

Family Photos
Side note... any time i show anyone a picture of the fam they always point to Nica and think that she is me! hahaha and then they ask what is everyones name and of course are so suprised every time hahaha! One of the members here even asked if we are mad at our parents for our names? hahaha umm no! They are awesome duh!

another side note.. In Guatemala they have huge protests that block the street and stop traffic, making it impossible to travel anywhere! 

Anyways this week we have three baptisms! And i am so excited for that and for the decisions that they have all made to follow Christ! What great examples they are to me in their faith and desire!

Love you all! Have a great week and know that you are always in my prayers! Always be an example to all those around us! There are always people watching!

La amo mucho!
Hermana Loo

Leave a legacy, be a legend

My zone today at the zipline place! 

Yo, Sarai (who leaves for her mission to Mexico this coming Monday), y Hermana Peña
Yo y Megumi!
Seriously she is the cutest thing ever!
Highly considering putting her in my suitcase and bringing her with me wherever my next area is!
Hitch hiking back to the city in the back of a Pepsi truck!
Animals in a zoo? or our ride back to the city?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hastening The Work!

The Lord is really hastening his work and preparing the hearts of the people here to receive the message of the restored gospel! I am so blessed to be able to be a missionary during this time! There is nothing better than this work. And although tiring and exhausting there is nothing more rewarding then seeing the people that you have come to have such a deep love for enter into the waters of baptism and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost!

Juarez Mejia familia
Fernanda, Sandra and Sebastian were baptized! THese are the kids that we got permission for last week by their dad to be baptized! And saturday was the day! It was so special and amazing! And they were all so excited, they have been waiting for this day for i think about a month now! 

The baptism was at 2 on Saturday and by the time 2 o´clock rolled around there was absolutely no one in the chapel, besides the missionaries. Only one family showed up for the baptism and a couple of others. But really there wasnt any one there. Which was really frustrating especiall becuase we had passes out invitations, Sandra personally invited a ton of the members, and announced it in sacrament meeting and throught the various activites throughout the week. But still there was no one there! Even one to the people that we had assigned to give a talk didnt end up showing up till 50 minutes after the time that it was supposed to start! But the activities never start on time here, so the members are used to things not starting on time. So it was like 3 when members started slowly straggling in. And by that time we were basically done with the service!

But never the less it was a special and beautiful service and they were all so excited! After they were baptized, Fernanda, who is 14 years old, told her mom that she better enjoy these next 5 years with her because when she turns 19 she is going on a mission! And in the conformations on Sunday of Fernanda and Sebastian both of their blessings talked about their missions! AMAZING! 

Baptismal Interview
I am always so shocked and amazed everytime we do a pre baptismal interview with our investigators. Half the time that we teach I feel like they really are not paying attention to what we are saying or really ever remember what we taught. But then we do the interview and i am in awe. They remember everything we had taught them and more! They truly are prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel. even if they are only 10, 12, or 14 years old!

La Casa del Senor
We had the opportunity to go to the temple Saturday morning with the Sapon family before the baptism of the Juarez Mejia kids.And it was amazing, even if i did have to wake up at 5 in the morning!

If you remember the Sapon family we have been working with them for some time, emmanuel was baptized in August. But we made breakfast at the temple and while eating Adonai, who is 18 and we have only been teaching for about 2 weeks, anyways his phone rang and he left to answer it. Not soon after his mom left to go find him. About 5 minutes later they both returned and their mom, Guisela, says ¨i think that the next baptism is going to be Adonai¨ and Adonai replies, ¨yes! the 27th right?¨ and Hermana Peña and I are just shocked and say yes! the 27th and then Brizna, the younger sister who is 13 jumps in and says me too! the 27th! And Hermana Peña and I are just shocked becuase we have no idea what happened in the 5 minutes that they had left to answer the phone!

But Adonai and Brizna now have dates to be baptized on the 27th! And while at the Juarez Mejia baptism were inviting everyone to their baptism as well! And so now we are all just working on their mom to be baptized on the 27th as well!

Also Adonai wants to go to SOY which is EFY in central American, and has a really strong to serve a mission and prepare himself to do so! He has truly been prepared by the Lord and just soaks everything in! I am constantly amazed by him and his desire. When his family cant come to church or activites he comes by himself and reads the Book of Mormon daily and just constantly wants to learn more!

But the 27th of this month is the day! And i could not be more grateful for the Lord and for the Spirit in helping change the hearts of our investigators and planting within them a desire to be baptized!

Familia Garcia
This is a less active family that we reactivated! They are come to church every sunday even though they have to walk 20 minutes to get there which is amazing! But they are working with the President of the branch right now and are preapring themselves to be sealed as a family in the temple in December! Also their son Oscar, who is 8, has a date to be baptized on the 27th of this month as well! and so we are teaching him and preparing him for that!

El Libro de Mormon
I would challenge all of you to read the Book of Mormon every day for 10 days straight. And while reading record your thoughts that you have and the impressions of the spirit. and after you finish reading pray about what you have just read and ask our Father in Heaven if the things which you have just read are true. And see how much you grown in those ten days. I have seen miracles as we have done this with our investigators. and how quickly they gain their own testimony of the Book of Mormon! and therefore their attitude towards everything in life, and the gospel changes! it truly is amazing, and so i challenge all of you to do this, read the book of Mormon for 10 days staright! and ssee how much you learn and grow!

Also i have a new motto that i though i woud share with you,


Hermana Loo
WIth the Juarez Mejia family and the elders that baptized them.
Elder Perez y Elder Peña 
Fernanda Juarez Mejia.
14 years old and wants to serve a mission!
Sandra Juarex Mejia, 10 years old 
Fernanda, Sandra, yo, Sebastian 
Sebastian Juarez Mejia, 12 years old!.
yo y Talaitupu jajaja...
so weird to hear her say that and hear other people call her by my name!
yo, Raquel y Ashley Alexandra Talaitupu Navarro! 
Everytime I look at my feet I think of Kaohi
and am reminded of her feet during golf season
jajajaja although right now they arent as bad as hers jajajaja 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Rain, Rain Go Away!...

This week the weather really has been awful! It is so nice in the mornings and then in a blink of an eye it just starts pouring down rain! And does not ever stop! But i guess that is just the joy of being in Guatemala... got to love it!

Monday night we finally got permisson from the dad of the Juarez Mejia family to baptize their three kids this coming Saturday! THere names are Fernanda, Sebastian, and Sandra and they are 14, 12, and 10 years old! Byt they are so exctied to be baptized and we have waited for this permission for about a month! SO needless to say there is a lot of excitment!

Familia Sapon
This is the family of Emmanuel who was baptized before, and on Sunday night we set a baptismal date for them again for the end of the month. But they are still all so scared of the grandpa whose threats have gotten more and more stronger! And who continues to tell them no to their question of baptism! So please pray for them as well as for the heart of the grandpa to be softened. and for them to replace their fear with faith!

Just thought that I would share that this week I ate corn. But this was not like any usual corn. This was the corn that is eaten in Nacho Libre. and all I wanted to do was reinact the part in the movie where Nacho says `get that carn out of my face` hahaha but I will say that the corn wasnt all that good! 

Just want to share a scripture that I found during my study this week that i just absolutely loved. It is in 1 Nephi 22:25 and says,

¨And he gatherth his children from the four quarters of the earth, and he numbereth his sheep, and they know him,and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. and he shall feed his sheep, and in him they shall find pasture¨

and also a quote from Neil A. Maxwell

¨Indeed when we are unduly impatient with an omniscient Gods timing we really are suggesting that we know what is best... strange isnt it- we who wear wristwatches seek to council Him who oversees cosmic clocks and calendars...

May we always remember that we are children of God and that he knows us! And that he also knows what is best for us and when we need to be patient and receive the blessings that he has prepared for us!

I love you all so much and thank you for your testimonies and prayers as I continue this journey of being on a mission! This is the best decision that I have ever made! and I absolutely love being here! although I do miss you all like crazy!

la amo mucho!
Hermana Loo

Familia Juarez Mejia, the three kids that are getting baptized on Saturday! 
Hermana Peña and I 
Hermana Peña, Hermana Arredondo and I.
Hermana Arredondo was with us for two days,
 as the elders were looking for a new place for her and her companion to live!
Familia Sapon
get that carn out of my face!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Work, Work, Work...

Well as usual this week was really busy and i felt like there was not enough hours in the day to get done what we needed! Everyday we have 2 back up plans and about 5 people that we need to contact! And there is just never enough time in the day ahhhh! But i do enjoy being busy and find that everyday it does get better, not exactly easier, but better! And as my Spanish comes along more and more everyday i find that i am losing myself in this work!

Pagar la Luz?
On Friday around 6:30pm all the lights in San Cris went out! And so the streets and everything were completely dark! You could not see very far in front of you, and if i didnt have my flashlight i would not have seen anything! So thank goodness for that!

But since it was so dark out it wasnt very safe for us to be outside, so we lost about 2 hours of time to work! Which i really didnt like! Especially when we have so many people to visit and teach!

So literally every month, if not more there is an earthquake. and they are always really strong! and you can totally feel everything  moving. There was one tuesday night at it was so strong that it woke me up!

But i always think that it is so cool to feel them! and you always can!

Family Juarez Mejia - the three kids in this family are ready to be baptized but we need the pérmission of the dad in order to baptize them. The pnly problem is that he is always imposible to find. Everytime we visit or set an appointment with him he is always busy or sleeping. Which is frustrating sometimes, becuase there kids want to be baptized so badly!

Family Sapon - Ahhh familia Sapon! They are literally members because they go to all the activites! They just need to be baptized! But are to afraid of the dad who is a pastor of another church! and now the uncle who is helping to pay for their school tuition is threatening that if they leave the church that he goes to he wont help them out! So we are going to set another date for them to be baptized and if they dont accept we are going to have to stop visiting them, and hope that maybe down the road at a different time they will be ready

Laman and Lemuel
I have been studying in 1 Nephi for the past week or two and Laman and Lemuel and their attitudes have really stuck with me. everytime i read i cant help but think, here we go again, when Reading about them. And one thing that has really stuck out to me with regards to them is their lack of faith and hope.

We all know that when we have faith, we hope for things that we cant see but that we know to be true!

Laman and Lemuel only humble themselves and repent before the Lord after they see His blessings in their lives. And whenever they have a trial or afflicition they immediately forget their Lord and murmur and hearden their hearts! and then they see the blessings of the Lord and then repent! ahhh so frustrating!

For example they only believe that God instructred Nephi to build a boat after they saw the finished Project and realized how great of workmanship the ship was. Or when traveling to the promised land and binding Nephi becuase he was trying to help them. It was only after they saw that they were about to be swallowed up in the sea that they loosed the bands of Nephi and cried for repentance!

I hope and pray that we are not like Laman and Lemuel. But instead that we all have faith and hope and realize that our trials and afflictions are for us to learn and to grow!

I love a quote that Hermana Peña shared with me this week by our prophet Thomas S. Monson:

´´In order for us to make the correct decisions, courage is needed... the courage to do the right thing because it is right!´´

I love you all and hope that we all remember this week the covenants we have made with our Heavenly Father! That we may always let our lights shine forth and always remember taht we are representatives of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesús Christ!

La amo Mucho!

Hermana Loo
My zone after the water fight today!
Zona Nahaula!