Monday, March 23, 2015

On the upward climb

So this week was  lot better then the last. Although we did have to do quite a bit of traveling and there is still a lot more work to do here! But I am glad for that and praying that each week will be better and better and that we will find more and more people to teach and help to strengthen the branch here in Chichi!

Okay, so this week we went and taught a new family that we found while contacting last week. It is a big family of 11! And every time we see them I cant help but think how awesome it would be to see them all in white in the temple! 

So at the end of the lesson we ask them if it would be okay to close with a prayer. Of course they say that would be great, and i offer to say it. Well they call everyone in and tell them that we are going to pray. and then they all start like just falling to the floor and start praying. But it was actually more of crying, yelling and singing. I was so shocked at what had just happened so fast that i didn't know what to do. My companion and i just looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders, and started saying our own prayer, but in our heads. This finally ended after like 3 minutes and as soon as we left the house I couldn't help but laugh.. oh Guatemala!

So as i have mentioned in earlier emails we have been struggling a little bit lately here in the area with finding people to teach, people who truly have an interest in the message we are sharing.

And this week our entire district came to contact with us for an hour and a half. Which was really helpful. We all went to an area and contacted different streets. When all was said and done we now have 8 new investigators and have appointments with visit them this week! So I am excited to see what will happen with each of these new investigators!

This week we had a multizone conference in Huehuetenango, which meant that we had to wake up at 4:30am on Thursday! Supposedly the bus that we needed to be on was going to leave at 5:30 but what do you know, it didn't actually end up coming until 6. And the bus ride to get to Huehue that was supposed to be 2 and a half hours was only an hour and a half jajajaja so we got the the chapel way earlier and all I could think about was the sleep that I should have gotten but didn't because the genius elders don't know how to plan very well jajaja

But the multizone conference was really good! And we talked a lot about how to teach and introduce the message of the Restoration, and it was so helpful and helped a ton this week! 

The church is also starting a new initiative "Gracias a que El vive" of "Thanks that He lives" (Really I am not quite sure what it would be in English hahaha) But it is for the Easter season that is coming, but is really a video that we can share with others all throughout the year! I think that you guys will be able to watch it as it will be launched on the web this Saturday! So i would encourage you all to watch the video and share it with others!

The day after we had to travel to Huehue we also had to divisions with our Hermana leaders, And they live 2 hours from our area. Which means that we had to travel yet again! But I got to go back to my old zone and made me miss San Cristobal a little bit. 

But I love having divisions and always learn so much from my leaders!

Although, we also had some pretty interesting experiences while contacting. For one, we contacted this random house and this little old lady answers the door, and invites us in! What! Well that was a shocker in itself. We then begin to ask her questions about her religious background and she tells us that she is currently not attending a church but that before she attended "la iglesia mormona" we both just have to laugh and tell her that we are mormons! jajajaja she then proceeds to tells us that she was baptized by Joseph Smith and that she used to go to church with him jajajaja... umm, i don't think that actually happened. to funny..

We then continue to contact and what do you know! someone else lets us into their house! It was really quite a shocker. As we begin to talk with this brother and sister they tell us that there parents died at a really young age and that they were orphans for a really long time. We think, okay well obviously we are going to talk about the Plan of Salvation and begin starting to talk about this, when.. the brother interrupts and asks us if we have ever seen anyone die... it was really quite random and a really weird question to ask! 

Well I am hoping that this week will be better. That the references we received from contacting with the elders will pay off and that we can find the Lords chosen people here in Chichi! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I love you all more than you know!

Hermana Loo

Okay, so the catholic church has started with all of their activities for Easter. On Saturday they had like a huge parade and these "carpets" of flowers on the ground with different pictures and words...

p.s. sorry mom, still need to improve on taking pictures of me and my companion and the members jajaja but you know that i don't like pictures jajaja

Monday, March 16, 2015

Half way there!

To crazy to think that I am already half way done with my mission! Time really does just fly! But I am so grateful for each and everyone of you! Thank you so much for you prayers and support! It means the world to me that I have so many people who support me!

So this week we had lunch with a family, a miracle in itself! But as we are sitting there eating, I make the mistake in asking what the food is called. (note to self, never ask this question ever again!) Well they tell me that I am eating Panza... well what is Panza you might ask? 

Stomach... yeah I was eating stomach. And the truth is that it actually wasn't bad at all! I just could not get over the fact that I was eating stomach!

White People
So, I think that I mentioned this in my letter from last week, but every Tuesday evening we have an activity in the church. And this week the member who gave the short message decided the Plan of Salvation. As we are finishing the lesson someone raises their hand and asks a question...

Apparently, an elder that was in this area before, who supposedly knew a lot of doctrine, had told them that the whiter that your skin is the more obedient you were in the pre mortal world. Yeah! I couldn't help but laugh! I have no idea if this is true or not but what made it so funny was that before this guy said what his question was, he looked at one of the elders, who is from Utah and white, and asked him if he could answer his question jajajaja it was funny and also such a random question! 

Random contacts
Well, one night as we are walking home to our apartment, this random teenage kid just starts talking to us! It is always interesting when it is someone else who starts up a conversation with us and not us.

Anyway this kid starts talking about his job and where he works, how he works with a lot of americans and is learning english and wants to continue to learn. So my companion points to me and says she speaks english, you can practice with her. At first, this kid was a little shy and embarrassed and didn't want to do it. But he eventually started talking to me in english, and what is the first thing that he says.. "You are a beautiful lady".. okay yeah! Thats where we stop. adios! jajaja

On a more spiritual note...

We got to go to the temple on Thursday! Can I just say what a blessing that is! And what a blessing it is to be temple worthy! I just love the temple!

I felt so at peace in the temple and as i was sitting in the temple I couldn't help but think about how much our Heavenly Father loves us! How much He has blessed and given us! Temples really are the House of the Lord and His spirit and presence dwell within the temple walls!

I had to travel 2 hours to get to the temple, which just made me realize how blessed we are to have so many temples where we live and so close by! So take advantage of them! Do your family history work and get to the temple often! 

Nothing can compare to the spirit that is within the temple walls! And the peace and comfort we will feel when inside!

I know that a lot of you guys asked about how the area is doing and how we are doing with investigators..

This week quite honestly was a little rough. All of the appointments that we seemed to have with our new investigators seemed to fall through. No one seemed to be in their homes or everyone was just to busy with other activities. So that was a little hard. We have set new goals this week for contacts and how we are going to find new people to teach. But I know that there are prepared people here! WE may just have to work a little hard, and be more sensitive to the spirit to find them! And i am praying for this! 

It was a bit of a hard week but i am confident that this next week will be better! and I am hoping that we will be able to have more contact with the two new families that we had from the week before!

Thank you all again for all of your prayers and support! I love you all so much!

Hermana Loo
Temple! awkward pic because we are the only hermanas in the zone! jajaja 
If you dont know San Simon,
it has something to do with the devil and witchcraft and things like that...
When there are holidays or anything like that here
there are people here that dress up in these costumes
and then go out and dance in the street jajaja 

New vs Old = 9 months of walking in Guatemala!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Moving forward

This week was actually a pretty good week as we were able to find more people to teach!

Baby shower
Every Tuesday afternoon here we have an activity in the church, and the purpose is to just help the members, less actives, and investigators we have become more united, to get to know eachother better, and to build relationships.

This week we had a baby shower for a women in the ward who is pregnant with her 7th child. The challenge with her thought is that her husband recently passed away, she doesnt have a job, and so doesnt have any form of income.

But it was a really good activity and the members really came together to help this lady with her new baby. They were able to bring a lot of gifts and clothes for the baby, since the mom doesnt have any income coming in she also doesnt have anything for the baby. And i mean nothing! SO it was really nice to see! 

We also played games at the end which were just hilarious! One of the games consisted of 4 people, two on each team, and one person from each team had to be the parent, while the other was a baby. And the baby had to sit on the other persons lap and drink out of baby bottle! It was so funny to watch, especially because they were adult doing it! jajaja

fútbol tourney
On Saturday we, along with the elders here in Chichi, organized a soccer tournament. Where we invited four members to create teams. But with a condition, that there team had to consist of members, less actives, and non members. And it was actually a really good activity, and we had a ton of nonmember come and play. And at the end of it all they all asked when we were going to do it again! If anything else, it was good for these nonmembers to get to know where the chapel is and what it is like inside, and for them to realize that not all Mormons are weirdos jajaja

We have this one investigator, who quite honestly is a little rough around the edges and scares me a little bit jajaja

She is a member of the adventist church(?) and so she believes that the sabbath day is Saturday. 

But we went to go and visit her on Wednesday and she immediately told me that I am her favorite... jajajaja and only because i had asked her son earlier in the day how she was doing since she had been sick all last week.

But it was pretty funny because all throughout the entire lesson she only talked to me and asked me the questions... and at the end of the lesson only asked me if I wanted something to eat a drink. But she literally only looked and talked to me the entire lesson. I thought that it was pretty funny, especially because i was kind of freaked out the entire lesson and because she scares me a little bit jajaja

So I just have to write about Wednesday because it was such a good day for us! 

On Wednesday, we went on visits with a returned missionary, who has only been home from her mission for 4 months. So she still was somewhat in missionary mode!

The great thing was that with her we were able to contact a bunch of her references! And from these references were able to find 2 families! One of which has 11 people! 

But from all of this i really just gained a testimony of the power that members have. And what a difference it makes to work with them! All of the past baptisms here have been references from members, and truthfully it is the best way to do mission work! 

The work here in Chichi is slowly but surely starting to increase! and we are finding more and more people to teach. The challenge still is with the members who have word of wisdom and chastity problems. But thses are big problems that i know are not overnight changes. But I am excited for this week to see what happens with these new people that we have found. Excited to see this branch continue to grow and to continue to be a part of inviting and helping people come unto Christ!

Los quiero mucho

Hermana Loo

Monday, March 2, 2015

La unica Hermana Loo!

WEll... Kaohi is officially home, which means that I am now the only Hermana Loo... tear. It was such a cool experience to be serving a mission as the same time as my older sister! And I am so thankful for her example in her missionary service, and for her testimony, and the huge impact that she has had in my life, for returning home with honor! I hope that you are all now enjoying having her home!

Drunk ol´ lady
This week while walking in the street we had a drunk old lady come up and start talking to us! It was oh so very clear that she was beyond drunk!

She started complementing us, talking about how much she liked our butterfly earrings, even though they were clearly hearts jajaja and then proceeded to ask us to give them to her! jajajaja to funny, at this point she steps off the curb and says something like, oops i fell and then walks away jajaja. Oh Guatemala! GO to love it!

Okay so here in ChiChi, nearly everyone speaks Kiche. THe good thing is that they almost all speak Spanish. But just walking down the street everything is in Kiche, and apparently you cant find a job here if you dont speak kiche! 

We had a lesson this week with a less active that neither of us has ever met before, and the lesson was entirely in kiche! I understood absolutely nothing! The good thing was that we had a member with us who speaks kiche so she was able to translate for us! Felt like being in my training again! I took a video of them talking so hopefully i will be able to send it. YOu have to listen really closely, so hopefully you can hear what it sounds like!

Okay, so in this area we have to do a ton of contacting, since we dont have a lot of members. Although the best way to work here is through the references of members. Since the last 10 baptisms or so have all been references! But in order to do that we need to build a stronger realtionship with the members, because they all just love the elders! Quite honestly, it is a lot of work to do since the Hermanas before didnt do a very good job of this, and just tried doing it all on their own. WHich doesnt work at all let me tell you..

This week we had a funny experience knocking on doors. For instance, we contacted the house of this older couple and when we started talking to them about who we are and the message we have, the husband says that his back is hurting and that he is going to go and rest in his bed, so they cant talk with us right now. We say that taht is okay, but as soon as we turn our backs to leave, the husband starts walking back to the chair he was sitting in before. Yeah, so much for resting! jajaja

I have heard so many excuses that people just make up on the spot because they dont want to talk to us jajajaja but the funniest ones are always when we the kids answer the door, and when they go to get there mom they ALWAYS come back saying,  "my mom says that shes not here" jajajaja to funny...

Like i said in earlier on of the problems i am faced with right now is trying to gain the confidence of the members, but there are also many other problems.

For example, almost all the men here, members or non members have problems with the law of chastity. There are a ton of people here who are not married but are just living with there partners but have like 6 children!  In fact this week we visited an investigator, whose husband is a member and returned missioanry, but wants nothing to do with the church. In fact, his wife, although they arent married, knows that he is always sleeping around with other women, and their kids have even seen him with other women! IT is actually really sad and this poor lady is struggling so much!

On the other hand, the women here have problems with the word of wisdom, namely alcohol problems. I cant tell you how many times we have passed by bars here and happen to catch a glimpse inside to see branch members drinking.. agh!

Needeless to say, there is a lot of work to do here in this area! Both with finding members to teach as well as reactivating members, and focusing on teaching the word of wisdom and law of chastity to everyone! I heard this week that here in Chichi there are the most bars then in anyother city in Xela jajajaja awesome... but hey! THere is work to be done and i am more then happy to do it!

Hope that you all have a great week! Never forget to be an example, and a disciple of Christ at all times! We have such a legacy to leave!

Los quiero muchisimo!ç

Hermana Loo
Some sort of governement thing that was going on where there was litterally
like thousands of Guatemala women outside of our house jajaja