Monday, February 23, 2015

New beginnings!

Okay, so I am in a new area, with a new companion, and I know that a lot of you have a lot of questions about where I am at and how things are. So I am going to do my best to try and answers all of your questions!

So my area is Chichicastenango, in Quiche Guatemala, and I am pretty sure that it is the farthest zone from the mission home jajajaja, I am an outcast and have been sent far away! In fact my area is 2 and a half to 3 hours from Xela! A very long bus ride! And very different from being only half an hour away in San Cris!

This area is gigantic! There are a ton of like little cities out in the middle of nowhere, like the farthers part of this area, is 45 minutes in a bus... so imagine how much time it would be if I had to walk everywhere! It is really different from San Cris in that there are a ton of hills, where San Cris was just flat. And it is way hotter here, SAn Cris got really cold at night, but here in Chichi I dont even have to walk around at night with a jacket on because it is nice and cool! 

I am in Souvenir heaven! All of the missionaries here sent me email asking me to buy things for them! jajaja and there are a ton of gringos here! because of this market. One of them even asked to take a picture with me and my comp because his friend was a missionary in Brazil! Look I am already famous here jajaja. So seriously if you want anything typical or some sort of souvenir let me know! Although I think that i am going to just buy a new suitcase and stuff it full of things to bring home. Which means that i am also probably going to be spending a lot of money here jajajaja. I know that my mom said that she wanted a Guatemalan nativity scene, which they sell in the market here! 

The apartment here is really nice, in fact i think that it is nicer then the one I was living in in San Cris. Although the bed that I sleep on is rock solid. Although not really a problem and night since I am hiking up and down hills all day! And the house sits litterally right on the main road. So I hear and feel every car and bus that pass by during the night. Which at first was a bit of a problem, but now doesnt bother me at all. Yes, we have electricity and running water, and water that for once is always hot! YAY!

The food is the same. Tortillas, beans, and rice. Dont think that I will be eating anything other than that for the rest of my mission jajaja

Everyone here could not figure out whether or not I was Latina... of course. What else is new. My zone leader was struggling a bit trying to figure out whether or not he could speak english to me jajaja. I had several people tell me that they thought I was from Columbia... nope! Also for once feel like my Spanish is really good, since everyone here complimented me on how good it was and asked if i spoke Spanish before the mission, which I think was in part why everyone was so shocked that I am a gringa! jajaja yes!

The people here seem to be a lot more closed off to hearing our message. I cant even count the number of times that a door was shut in my face this week, or the people that wouldnt even open the door for us jajaja oh well.. this is the mission life! It is taking awhile for me to get used to. Most of the time I have no idea where we are, so I do feel like I am being trained alll over again, only this time I can speak and understand Spanish! 

Everyone here speaks Kiche! or the Mayan language. The good thing though is that they also understand Spanish! But seriously this language, Kiche, is so cool! I dont even know how to explain what it sounds like. Although, it is really hard to learn anything. I only know a few words, but I am glad that I dont have to learn it and can just focus on my Spanish!

I dont know if the people here are any poorer then the people in San Cris... i dont know, I think that I have just gotten to used to being surrounded by so many people who only have enough money to just get by...

Hopefully I was able to answer your questions... if you have anymore digame!

My companion is Hermana Rodas. She is from Honduras, but lives in Peten Guatemala. She is a convert to the church along with her dad and sister, although she is the only active member in her family. She has 10 months out here on the mission, and i think goes home the transfer before i do.

Anyways, she is really cool and I am having a lot more fun with her as my companion. She is trying to learn english and so speaks to me a lot of the time in english but says really funny things at random times like "YOLO" or " come on man" jajajaja

Rama Chichi
Okay so the branch here is tiny! I think that the assistance is like 50 people every Sunday. The chapel is the tiniest chapel i have ever seen, like i think that the building as a whole is half the size of the sacrament meeting room in the chapel at home. There are really only 2 families here that are pilas! And not suprisingly, they fill all of the leadership positions.

The President of the branch here is a bit of a bafoon. As he is trying to do the least amount of work as possible here. In fact, he has apparently told the missionaries before that he doesnt want to increase the attendance during sacrament meeting because he doesnt want to have more work to do. PUCHICA!

Like I said before there are only 50 people that come to sacrament meeting each sunday, and about half of them leave after the first hour, and i think that there is something like 200 inactive members. So, needless to say there is a lot of work to do! IN helping the ward leaders, strengthening the members, and finding new people to teach!

So, I dont know if you guys remember anything about this but here in latin america they celebrate Carnaval, which I am really not sure what its purpose is but they celebrate by throwing flour, eggs, and confetti on people during these days of carnaval. and I mean like a ton of flour, eggs and confetti, people are litteraly bathed in flour!

SO my first day here in Chichi just so happened to be the last day of carnaval, when people just go crazy! And as we are walking at night to a members home, and bus drives by and boom! I find my arm covered in flour jajajaja it was my welcome to Chichi and I am just glad that it wasnt an egg!

Had the real welcome to Chichi though when we were walking and passed by these three drunk old men, and one of them tried to touch me. The good thing was that I was quick enough to turn my body so that he didnt! Oh! The joys of being in Guatemala! Creepy drunk old men!

Gringos (as)
So everyone here in Guatemala, and I am sure everywhere in central america has this idea of how the states are and how the people are. Everyone thinks that all gringos have blond hair and blue eyes. Which I think is why, in part, people have a hard time thinking that I am from the states, although my height often times gives it away!

Also the people here have this idea that all the people from the states are just loaded with money! My companion I think twice this week made some sort of comment like, " well your a gringa so obviously you have money" jajajaja

Well thats all i got for you all this week! Hope I was able to answer some of your questions! Have a great week! Now that I love you guys so much and think of you often!

Always remember who you are and whose you are!

Los quiero mucho!

Hermana Loo

This cool site we found, where all the people here go to do there weird Mayan things. each one of these statues represents a different god or something like that, and they go and burn things in front of these statues when they are asking or in need of something... so weird! 

The church building here in Chichi! so small!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Ya me voy!

After 7 months in my first area, I will finally be leaving as I am getting transfered. I have no idea where I am going or who my companion will be, which makes me a little nervous.Well until tomorrow when I will find out early in the morning!

This week I feel like just flew by! I really have no idea where the time went! And for some reason I really cant remember what happened. It was all just a blur. But maybe thats because I was just so excited for Sunday to find out whether or not I would be leaving San Cris!

So some random things that happened this week as well as some of the things that I came to realize that are normal here in Guatemala that are just not normal in the states:

1. Someone this week thought that I was from Columbia hahaha

2. The lights here ALWAYS go out. On Tuesday they went out at 7 in the morning and didnt come back until 6 at night! Which meant a cold shower and nothing to eat for lunch since our kitchen is electric. The lights ALWAYS go out! Which can be quite annoying at times.

3. Dead dogs on the side of the roads. Guatemala is kind of like Samoa in this aspect. That there are a ton of street dogs! And I think like everyday Hermana Canales and I find a dead one on the side of the road, where other animals are eating the dead body.... eww!

4. There are so many flies here everywhere! and maybe that has something to do with the fact that there are also a ton of cows here in San Cristobal. 

5. It is a normal thing for the people here to go days or even weeks without showering. SO almost always the kids here, especially if they dont have money, to be just visible dirty all of the time. I feel for them a lot, but it is what they are used to and really dont know anything else.

Moving on...
I had to give a last minute talk in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. I must say that I am suprising myself in the fact that I can actually give a talk in Spanish without having everything written out! 

But I was thinking about Ohi Sunday morning, and during my talk. How she was having to give a talk on Sunday to and in Spanish for her first time! But I know that she killed it! jajaja

Thought that I would share a little bit about our new investigator that we have. HIs name is Mario, and his wife is a less active member. ANd he is actually the brother-in-law of our ward mission leader. He was catholic but then one day afer reading in the bible he decided that the sabbath day is actually Saturday. And we sat with him one day in a lesson for a think more then an hour trying to explain to him using scriptures that the sabbath is in fact on Sunday. At the end of the lesson he still didnt really believe the sabbath to be on Sunday, so we just ended up inviting hjim to come to church with his family Sunday and to feel of the spirit that is in the building. And to sincerily pray and ask the Lord what day is His day. So please pray for him as well that you can come to church and understand!

Well I am excited for what is going to happen this next week, with a new area and everything! Who knows what will happen. But i am confident that wherever I get sent is the place where the Lord wants and needs me to be! I am so excited for what is to come!

Los quiero mucho! 

Hermana Loo
MY zone... try to see if you can find me, i didnt want to take pictures hahaha 
Try to find the bolo (passed out drunk guy)! jajaja 
goodbye San Cris! 

Monday, February 9, 2015


Random thing that I just wanted to share with you guys because it just made me laugh. But this week as we were eating lunch with a member he asks me if i am half mexican.. uh no! Like what how long have I been here in San Cristobal and this entire time he has been thinking that I am part Mexican jajajaja yeah... that would be a no :)

So we had divisions this week I for the first time in like 4 months I acutally stayed in my area! But I did have divisions with Hermana Busk who is from Utah. Which means that we spoke a ton in English, especially because we both have Latina companions.

But it was so much fun! And I think that we were laughing the entire time! I actually was so sad when we had to return to our actualy companions. Really made me realize that the time I spend with Hermana Canles is not all that fun and I really am never laughing. Something that I realized that I need to change, that we need to have more fun together! And it also helps make the days pass by so fast!

But it was good and I learned a lot from Hermana Busk. I think that we also spent like 2 hours talking about grace, mercy, justice and what all of that means. Like the scriptures say that we are saved by grace after all we can do. But what is all that we can do? hahahaha I think that we ended up confusing ourselves more and being more worried then we were before if we were doing enough out here on the mission! hahahaha it was really fun to talk with her though.. even though she kept making fun of me for still being in my first area! Puchica! maybe this change this next week will be the one where i finally leave!

Saturday was for whatever reason just such a great day! We met with Juan Andres again and talked more about the Book of Mormon, and why it is so special to us. We were also able to answer all of his questions that he had about the church and what we believe! He is so receptive to the message we have and just wants to learn more and more! Although he is really catholic.. but hey that can change :)

Anyways, when we met to meet with him we asked him if he had the chance to read part of the Book of Mormon, he said that he was in the 10th chapter of the Book of Mormon and had even read the introduction, the testimonies of the 3 and 8 witnesses and the testimony of Jospeh Smith! It was so amazing! And I know that as he continues to pray to know the truth that the spirit will touch his heart. He wasnt able to come to church with us on Sunday but he did promise us that he would come this week! So we shall see!

There was also a baptism this Saturday! It was the elders from San Andres, who are in our branch! But the baptism was so special as it was 3 siblings getting baptized, and their other brother had been baptized 2 or 3 weeks before! And so he was able to baptize his little sister! The Spirit was so strong and it was so awesome to see Jose (the recent convert) baptize his little sister!

As we were leaving the lesson we had with Juan Andres to go to the baptize of these three siblings I just realized how true this church is! The Spirit just hit me so strong and I knew that without a doubt that this church and its doctrine are the truth! That being out here in the mission is exactly where I am supposed to be!

D&C 6: 33 - 34
33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
 34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
I read this during my scripture study and it just hit me so hard! because I know that it is so true! There is a consequence to everything that we do! Whether that be good or bad! Eventually we will always reap a reward for that which we do, and it may be immediate or it may come after some time, but it always comes! And can be a blessing or a curse! But i love what it says in verse 34, we really have no need to fear if we are living in righteousness. Nothing that Satan can throw at us will cause us to tremble or fear. Because we will know the foundation that we are built upon. We know who we are, and whose we are! 

I love you all so much! i love this gospel! I love my Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, my savior and redeemer! I know that they are always right by our side. I know that they are always pushing us, cheering us on, rooting for us to overcome the powers and temptations of the adversary. And that when we are steadfast, immovable, and firmly planted in this gospel nothing will ever have the power to destroy us! And that doesnt meet that we wont have trials and problems, it just means that we will have the strength sufficient enough to ALWAYS overcome them. Because we know where we stand!
Have a great week! know that my thoughts and prayers are always with you!

Los quiero mucho!
Hermana Loo
Celestina who was baptized on Saturday!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Long, Hard, Exhausting but Rewarding week

It seems like the more time that I have out here in on the mission the faster the days, weeks, and months pass by! And the more and more exhausted I am! jajaja 

Okay this week, food wise was amazing! For the first time in what seems like forever I had really good food! And not just eggs, beans, and tortillas hahahaha! Like this week I had something that was so similar to cocoa rice! I thought that I might die and then I also had steak! Oh! It was so good! And now I find myself thinking about how much I would love to eat one of dad hamburgers and some cinnamon rolls jajajaja!

Also we have a new mission rule, we are no longer allowed to go to Walmart the first pday of every month! Which means that the amount of food that I can cook and eat just got a whole lot smaller! Oh well! Looks like that means more "forced dieting" jajaja President Smith has really changed a lot of the rules on Pday, to where really now we cant do much with our days! Which kind of sucks, but it is revelation he received as the mission president and something that I have to and will follow!

New burst of energy!
This week I found myself with a new burst of energy! A newfound dedication to this work! I just have this new burning desire to share this gospel with everyone that we come and contact with! And as a result this week we found new investigators! New families! ... side note, our ward mission leader has decided that we will no longer call investigators, investigators but visitors. Apparently an apostle gave a talk on this in one of the conferences where he pointed out that on the sign that is on the wall of the enterance in every church it says "Visitors welcome" and not " Investigators welcome". My ward mission leader is hoping that this will help in having less of a seperation between the members and the "visitors".

Anyway... this week we found two new families! The first family we found is the familia Chuc! We found them knocking on doors and had the spirit really guide us in leading us to knock on this families door! Anyway, the mom of the family, Thelma, is the one who answers the door and begins to tell us that she had meet with the missionaries before and that her kids really remember them and how kind they were. She then goes on to tell us that she knows a lot of members and really admires them and how they live their lives. How they actually live what they preach! Just another example of the importance of examples and how we as members, always have people watching us, whether we know it or not! The funny thing about this family as well is that one day I was looking through our area book and found her and her families name, and felt inspired that we should visit them. Although the address that was given was phony so we never got the chance! But this week we found them! And it was amazing!

We also found another family... the familia Torres! We also found them knocking on doors! And we actually contacted the kids of the family. We knocked on their door and after some time no one answered, so we left but as we were walking away we turn around and find these two little kids chasing after us asking if we were the ones who knocked on their door! We reply yes, and since they were so little i didnt think much about it and just handed them a pamphlet about The Plan of Salvation and we went our seperate ways. Then one day when we were planning Hermana Canales and I both had the impression that we should go back and visit them. When we went back we were able to talk with the dad, Juan Andres, who had read the pamphlet we left, had a ton of questions about it, and even asked about the Book of Mormon and if he could read it! What! Of course we said that we could and left him a copy with a return visit set up to talk with him a little more about it!

I really felt the Lord´s hand in my life this week! As i have realized how much he has blessed and given me! In fact I even started keeping a seperate journal/notebook with all of the tender mercies and miracles that I see throughout the day! And it is amazing what i can find! And has really helped me to increase my testimony and faith! I know that we are all children of God, and that He is our Heavenly Father! I know that He wants, is willing, and is always blessing our lives! 

Los quiero mucho!

Hermana Loo

It was Emma´s birthday Monday!
We went and celebrated with him and his family!
He is so excited that next year he will turn 12,
be able to receive the priesthood and enter into the temple!

Playing Hide and seek with Sandra and Sebastian!
I think Sebas ran into the fridge like 3 times jajaja

Corte... this is the typical shirts that the people here wear,
and to make them they have to sit and stitch the entire pattern!
Takes so long! But looks amazing when all is said and done! 

The name of this bar just made me laugh
"Cantina donde lloran los valientes" or "bar where the brave cry" jajaja