Monday, October 27, 2014

Buscando.... Buscando.... Buscando!

First of all I want to wish a Happy Birthday to literally the most amazing, beautiful, kind, faithful, humble, and loving mom! How blessed I am to have such a wonderful example in my life, for the wonderful blessing it is to have her as my mom!

Noche de Talentos
Thursday we had an activity in the church that we as missionaries had planned. It was a night of talents where those who wanted to danced, sang, or acted. It was a lot of fun to see everyone show off their talents.

And would you believe it... I actually participated! jajajaja but only because Hna. Raquel wanted Hna. Canales and I to sing with her. And how could I say no.... how could I not let all the latinos here know that I basically sing like Beyonce jajaja

But i am still really in shock that i got up in front of people and actually sang. I felt like MomiLei! But seriously give mad props to MomiLei for her singing and being unafraid to do so and by herself! I was so nervous and scared. But I did it and I dont think that it was totally horrible hahaha

Well from my blog last week I was super excited as well are really shocked when Guisela said that she wanted to be baptized! And her baptismal date was for Saturday. But as I called her on Tuesday to talk with her about her baptism and start to plan things out for it, she told me that she wasnt going to be baptized on Saturday! ahhhh.... I was really dissapointed but really not at all shocked or suprised. 

She told me that baptism is a sacred thing, and that she could not be baptized into the church while she was still attending another church. That she needs to first leave her church and then she can be baptized. But that is really hard considering that she lives with her dad, who is a pastor or something in a differnt church, and that he has threatened her that she can not get baptized into our church. So please keep her in your prayers. That she will have the strength she needs to not have her fear control here but to have faith.

I know that it will take time with her. But we will continue to work with her and build her testimony in the church!

I will just say that we really need new people to teach! And so this week we did a ton of contacting! But really with no success! Almost all of the people that we contacted either lived in a different area, or were really just not interested at all. Also there is really never anyone on the street. And half of the people that are on the street start running away when they see us walking jajajajaja! ahhhh! we just want to share the gospel with you! 

But it was a little frustrating as well as my companion is really shy and doesnt like saying anything when we are contacting! But i understand that she is new and that it will come with time. Becuase when i first started my mission i didnt want to talk with anyone, let alone people who I have never met before in my life. So i am just trying to be patient and give her as many opportunities as i can to have her initiate the contact.

But this week was been really frustrating becuase of this, not finidng anyone to teach. And none of the member have references for us as well. Which is really hard to try and get them involved in the work. 

But although this week was challenging, I know that all of this is part of the mission. That there will be good times as well as harder times. But that is part of the mission and that every trial that i face is because I need to learn something. As well as the Lord knows that I am ready to learn and to grow, to try to become more like our savior.

I did find myself more on my knees this week and with a prayer constantly in my heart. More than i ever have in my entire life. And maybe that is the most important thing i learned this week, and why i had this trial. To learn to rely on the Lord, to realize that this is His work, His way. That i am but the instrument in His hands.

However, Sunday sitting in church I did come to the realization that the Lord had heard all of my prayers, and answered them! As I realized that we have a ton of potential investigators. We just need to visit with them and have more contact. And towards the end of this week we also recevied quite a bit of refrencias from a member! The Lord really had heard my prayers and has given us new people to contact this week and to teach! 

I read this quote this week and thought that it applied perfectly to the challenges that i had this week.

¨It is not our part to control all the storms of the sea, but to dilifgently and patiently man our vessel¨

We all face challenges, but when we are patient, diligent, and work through all of challenges, with the help of the Lord we will realize that all of our challenges come from Lord, we will realize that sooner than later the storm will pass, and we will find ourselves stronger, more diligent, more faithful servants of the Lord. 

I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve a mission! To serve the people here! To learn and to grow! To become more like my Savior!

I am so thankful for each and everyone of you and for you prayers! I love you all so much and am so thankful for all of your examples!

La quiero Mucho!

Hermana Loo

Noche de Talentos 
A lot of the people here dont have water in there houses to bathe and to wash there clothes.
So there are several of these called ¨tanques¨.
Where they come to shower and wash there clothes.
And unlike me in my house, the water is actually hot!
The Catholic church... 
Hna. Raquel and I ... 
I am a little sad becuase she left to Guate this week and will be gone for three months... 
so she wont be able to go with us to teach...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Nueva Companera
So i got "mi hija" on Tuesday afternoon! Her name is Hermana Canales and she is 20 years old and from Peru. I was really nervous the entire day about being a trainer and everyone kept coming up to me and congratulating me but I really was so nervous that I really had no idea what to say!

But being a trainer really is hard! And i got to bed exhausted everyday! I guess that I am just trying to think of all the things that we need to do, making sure that we are using our time effectively, and that I am being a good example. President Smith emphasized again that the success of the mission lies in our hands, that we need to set the example for how to work and be obedient.

But i have really stepped out of my comfort zone because i am a trainer. And the Lord has really helped me with what I need to say and do. I am so thankful that I am not doing this work alone, but have the Holy Ghost as my constant companion, and the Lord to help me every step of the way.

We don't have a lot of investigators right now, so we are doing a lot of contacting to find new people to teach! And since Hermana Canales is new she is really nervous about contacting and doesnt really speak up very much. But this has really come to push me out of my comfort zone, as now i literally will go up to anyone and start talking to them! Weird, right? SOmething that I would have never done before. But something that the Lord has really helped me with!

Hermana Canales and I are learning together. It is really true what everyone says here, that when you are a trainer you learn what it really is like to be a missionary! Because you really have to do everything, as your companion is new and doesnt know what it is like to be a missionary out in the field.

I do miss Hermana Pena, she got sent off to Huehuetenango! Which is like 3 hours aways! But i am so thankful for her example and all the things that she had taught me. It makes being a trainer a little bit easier!

Wednesday night we had a lesson with Guisela The lesson we had seriously brought the spirit so strongly. And I knew that it was the perfect opportunity to ask her to be baptized.... and gues what!? She finally committed to be baptized! Seriously from the first time that she was contacted until now it has been 5 months! 5 months! And she finally accepted!

I must admit that when she first said yes i was absolutely shocked! And really didnt believe that it was real. When she left the room to go and get food for us to eat, i asked her kids if she was serious. And they said that she has been praying a lot about what she needs to do! But Satan has really been working hard in making sure that this baptism doesnt happen as almost everyday this week they have had members from the church of God over at there house and having some sort of activity! 

So we will continue to prepare her for her baptism. But please keep her in your prayers that she will stic with her baptsim date for this Saturday! I know Satan is really working on her but I also know that the strength of the Lord always overpowers that of Satan!

Umm... Que?
So this week while we were visiting with the familia Garcia there was a knock on the door. One of the kids went to answer it and later came back saying that whoever was at the door wanted to talk with us.... what!? So weird that someone came searching for us...

Anyways, it was a lady who wanted us to come and visit her house and meet her son. She wants us to go with her at that same moment so that we can know exactly which house is hers, for us to come later that week and teach them. So we go with her to know her house and meet her son. But her son looks and seems like he is half drunk, and on top of that has a ton of tattoos. We also seem him looking through the window as we are walking up to the house, and when get to the house the mom walks inside, calls him, and asks him if he was sleeping, to which he replies yes. Even though we know he wasnt becuase we saw him looking, waiting for us in the house.

The whole thing was really weird and we just shared with them a pamphlet about the Plan of Salvation and told them that we would come back later that week to teach them. But when we returned and started walking to the house, we heard laughing and talking and realld just didnt feel right, so we decided that it would be better if we let the elders teach them.

The whole situation was just really werid. But i am really thankful for the Holy Ghost and for His promptings and warnings!

Como Esta?
So we have this new investigator family that we are just starting to get to know and teach. We went on Thursday to go and teach them but they werent home, as we are walking back to go to another home we see them walking, returning home. We stop to talk to them and the conversation went something like this:
"come esta" 
"un poco mal"
To which i ask, "porque?"
"por que mi papa murio."

It is safe to say that i was speechless! Those were not the words that i was expecting to hear come out of her mouth! But we were able to call the elders to give them blessings as well as talk a little bit about the plan that God has for us. And although a really sad time for them in there lives, there isnt a better time to teach them about the gospel and how it can bless there lives. But please pray for them, familia Chay Morales, from them to feel peace and comfort!

La Vida
I came across this scripture during my personal study this week and for some reason it really stuck with me. It is found in Mosiah 1:17

"Therefore, as they were unfaithful they did not prosper nor progress in their journey, but were driven back, and incurred the displeasure of God upon them..."

This is life! When we have faith and follow the things that God commands, we are blessed, we grow, and progress in life. When we are disobedient, do our will instead of the Lords, we are driven back. We no longer have the help of the Lord and do not progress or grow.

Always remeber that without God we are nothiing, we need Him in our life! But also remeber that He is always here for us, He is on our side, willing to help, lead, and guide us in our journey of life!

I love and miss you all so much! You are always in my thoughts and prayers! Always remember to stand in high and holy places. A quote from conference, cant remember who said it but ask yourself daily,

" Which way do you face"

La amo mucho!

Hermana Loo
Hermana Canales y yo
   Ashley with her name tag hahaha "Talaitupu".
Anyone who asks her what her name is she replies Talaitupu 
Hermana Pena, yo y Hermana Canales
supposedly the waters of Mormon! The photo does not do it justice

Hermanas in la zona Totinicapan 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Cambios and training!?
I finish my training tomorrow and i cannot believe how fast these three months with Hermana Peña have gone by. I could not have asked for a better trainer as she truly has helped me to learn and to grow. I will defintely miss her!

Thursday morning i received a phone call from the AP who told me that i will be A TRAINER! To say I was shocked would be a bit of an understament. There is only one Hermana coming into the field this transfer so i definitely thought that i would not be the one training! But as it turns out I am. Out of all the Hermanas in the field i will be the only one training. I do feel really inadequate and worry about my Spanish and if I know enough to do this and to train. But I know that with the help of the Lord I will be able to o this.

There is a quote from the last confernece in April, and i cannot remember who said it but it is amazing and said something like.

¨Alone we are amazing, tiogether with the Lord we are unstoppable¨

I know that as i put my trust in the Lord he will help me be an example and the trainer i need to be. That I will also grow and learn the things that will help me both on my mission and as well as after!

We had a training meeting on Friday with President Smith and his wife. It was both really amazing and also nerve wracking as president Smith told all of us trainers that the success of the mission was in our hands and that this calling to be a trainer is more important than any other calling in the mission! ahhh! As if i wasnt nervous enough already.

But it was really cute because both President and Hermana Smith were really concerned with me and making sure that i was comfortable and always wanted to know how i was feeling, I guess that is what happens when you are the only Hermana surrounded by 21Elders!

But President Smith told me not to worry because I was called by the Lord to do this and that i would be great! Which made me feel a little bit better. But I just want to know who my new companion is going to be and if she is going to be American or Latina. I am hoping for Latina so that she can help me with my Spanish!

Thought that I would just share some random thoughts about Guatemala;

- My area San Cristobal is really famous here in Guatemala, but only becuase it is a big area for witchcraft. I have met quite a few people who say that there husbands, or mothers or whatever are witches. Which is kind of creepy

- I sent a picture of cows walking in the street, becuase they are literally everywhere. One day Hermana Peña and i decided to count how many we saw in one day and it was a number around 30!

- The culture here in Xela is really man based. And what I mean is that the men here think that they rule everything, which means that they dont really do much of the work. They are free to really do whatever they want without any real punishment

- there is a market here in San Cristobal every Sunday and it is huge! Which makes it really hard to walk in the street on Sunday and also to get investigators to church as they are almost all working in the market on Sunday, where they get most of their money for the week

- The women here dress in traditional clothing called ¨corte¨ and carry things on their heads.

- San Cristobal is a really poor area, a lot of the people here dont have much money and barely have enough to get them through the week

- You eat tortillas or tamalitos with nearly every meal. The tradition food here in San Cristobal is like yellow rice and like chicken in sauce, dont really know how to explain that.

- THere are dogs and cats everywhere! And some of them, if not most of them bite! So you really have to be cautious of them while walking in the street!

That is all i can think of right now! But as i remember more i will write about them so you all can know a little bit more!

Two quotes that i heard this week that I absolutely loved!

¨We are not obedient becuase we are blind, we are obedient because we can see,¨  - Boyd K, Packer

¨I made this rule; when the Lord commands, DO IT!¨    - Joseph Smith

Love you all and hope that you have an amazing week! Share the gospel with everyone and anyone, it is something that the Lord has commanded us to do! We are so blessed to have this gospel in our lives! Be unafraid to open your mouth and share it!

La amo mucho!

Hermana Loo

Keren y Rebeca
yo. Hermana Peña y Hermana Marcheschi  
Noche de Hogar con la familai Sapon y Juarez Flores 
yo y Hermana Peña, nuestro ultimo domingo.... que triste! 
Yes... cows just walking in the street.
I think this has become a normal thing for me.
To the point where if I dont see a cow walking on the street then that isnt normal!
Hermana Peña bought me a cake to celebrate my four months
of being out on the mission field as well as being called to be a trainer.
Side note Hermana Peña got called to be a hermana leader also!
Had a stake activity to celebrate dia de los niños,
which is like fathers or mothers day but for niños.
Ashley (Talaitupu) was a cow for the musical number my branch was going to preform! 
Yo, Hermana Raquel y Hermana Peña

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Living Prophet on the Earth today!

I had divisions this week with the Hermana Leaders, which i was really nervous about. Especially becuase I was going to stay in San Cris! Which means that I would be leading and guiding the work and i was the only one who knew the area, so i literally had to do everything.

But of course the Lord helped me and it was a real testimony builder for me to realize that i can do this work and be a missionary!

Tender Mercies
I have really begun to notice the tender mercies that the Lord gives me so graciously in my day to day life! Seriosuly it is amazing, every day at the end of the day I look back and am just amazed! Before my mision i dont think that I ever really understood what a tender mercy of the Lord was, or if they even existed in my life.

But i know that they do and have really come to a knowledge of this while being out here in the field. I have grown such a strong testimony of how much my Father in Heaven loves me and knows me, and how everyday he expresses his love and helps me along my journey here on the earth as well as on my mission!

This week as i reflected on all the tender mercies of the Lord, i was reminded of a scripture in 1 Nephi 1:20,

"But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

Temple Trip
How awesome that Ohi and I were able to go to the temple this week! But a new rule in the mission field allows for is to go to the temple and through a session every 6 months.

I have really missed going to the temple and so it was absolutely amazing to be able to enter! 

We went Friday afternoon with my zone! And the peace that i immediately felt and felt throughout my entire time there was like no other. There is no other place on Earth that is quite like a temple. We are literally in the Lords house. I like a song about temples that says something like temples are a little piece of Heaven on Earth! And how true that is!

I entered into the temple and immediately felt at home, like i was returning home after a long trip away. At one point during the session I even forgot that I was in Guatemala! The peace i felt was exactly what i needed, and the fact that i could feel at home, even though thousands of miles away really hit me hard! The spirit is amazing!

Like was talked about in conference GO TO THE TEMPLE! Take advatange of the fact they we all have one so close by to our homes. What a blessing it is to be worthy enough to enter into the house to the Lord! May we always remain worthy and always take time every week to visit the Lords holy house.

Conference weekend is always the best! It came and went way to fast!

I hope that you all were able to watch every session, and if not i would encourage you to make sure to take time to go go back and listen to every talk! They truly are inspired messages from God and things that we all need to hear.

And of course what a blessing it is to have a prophet on the earth today, as well as aposotles and prophets! I have really come to appreciate conference, for the fact that we get to hear all of these disciples of Christ speak, and help us along the path to eternal life!

How blessed we are! And so i hope that you all take the time to go back and read or listen to the talks again. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time just listening! I hope that you all enjoyed it just as much as i did!

Hermana Loo

Hermana Peña and I.
Familia Garcia! I think that you should all thank this family,
becuase of them I have now gotten used to people hugging and kissing me
Megumi! Dont ask me why but for some reason she loves to grab and pinch my nose!
Hermana Pena and I at the temple. 
My zone at the temple.