Monday, April 27, 2015

We are progressing!

Okay, so random thought or experience. While walking with the elders this week to a dinner appointment they were asking us what it was like to walk in the street at night. No sooner did they ask this when a car passed by us making yelling at us and making kissing noises calling us "mi amor" and things like this. The elders just started laughing and thought it was so funny... we just had to tell them welcome to our lives. I am glad that they thought it was funny because for us it is just disgusting. anyway...

Grateful for service
Monday night we provided service for a less active family in the branch who are just starting to get reactivated. They were moving houses so we went to help them back up their stuff and move it to the other house. Which is really more of just a room with four walls and half of a roof... not much of a house at all.

But the sad thing was that this family of 8 could fit all of their belongings in the back of a small pick up. It made me realize just how blessed we are with everything that we have! Made me especially grateful for my dad and all of his hard work, everything he does to provide for our family.

We are so blessed to have what we have! The food we have, the clothes, the cleanliness! And the safety and security. I cant tell you how many times I have heard stories of the police being drunk in the street... we really have been given so much!

Mi Sueño
So I had a dream this week about a less active member and her family who I have only met once. Her name is Adriana de Leon and she is inactive, although her parents and siblings are all very active in the church. 

Anyway, without knowing their family at all one night I had a dream where my companion and I were with her family in the church. I woke up the next morning thinking about her and her family and ran into her like 3 to 4 times on the street. Which is out of the ordinary.

So I told my companion about my dream and we went to visit and talk to her, more then anything to invite her to come back to church and bring her husband, who is a non member. As I was talking to her I felt the spirit so strongly guiding my words. However, after all was said and done she said that her and her husband are fine where they are. I was a little disappointed, especially because i could tell in her eyes that she wasn't truly happy. But i couldn't do anything about it, just invite her to come back and hope that one day she will realize what she is missing out on.

Jose David
Jose David is an old investigator that I taught with Hermana Rodas my first couple of weeks here. He works 7 hours away from here and only comes to ChiChi every 15 days. But he called us this week letting us know that he was in town, so we scheduled an appointment to go and visit him. We decided that although he has had all of the lessons, that we would talk about the Restoration with him again. and you know what! He told us flat out that he knows the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the church is true! It was so exciting to hear and the spirit could be felt so strongly!

Although, of course the challenge is that he is not here during the weekend. But yet another miracle that happened this week that helped us with the solution to this problem, is that a member in the branch has a friend who lives in the place that Jose David works who is a member! And so we are going to get in contact with him so that he can invite Jose David to church! The Lord always provides a way!!!

Last but not least, good ol tomas! I told you guys in my last letter that he has a smoking problem, but has the desire and intention to stop! He understands that he needs to do it and why it is important to do so!

We talked with him more about it this week and the elders came with us and gave him a blessing so that he would receive the strength that he needs to leave the cigarette behind. 

And on Sunday, even though he had told us that he wasn't going to be able to make it to church, he surprised us all and came! And without and cigarette´s in his pockets or the smell of smoke on his shirt! It was so exciting and just a testament to me of the power of the priesthood!

Please continue to pray for him that he will be able to stop and will continue to have the desire to be baptized!

Each week the work here in Chichi gets better and better, and as a result I get more and more exhausted jajajaja but the reward is always so worth the effort!

Thank you for you continued prayers and support!

Los quiero mucho!

Hermana Loo

Okay, something that I realized is so normal to me now but will probably be so disgusting to you guys... these are the places where everyone buys there meat... there are always a ton of flies and the meat is just out in the open all day! mmmmm que rico! jajaja

Monday, April 20, 2015

Finding and Challenging!

SO this week my companion and I have really focused on finding people that are going to progress and accept our invitation to be baptized! and you know what! We did find people! In fact, we now have 2 investigators who are preparing for baptism and are prepared to be baptized if they receive and answer from the Lord!

17 Miracles
On Friday we planned an activity in the branch, and it was just to have a movie night outside of the church! Which was a lot of fun, unfortunately not very many people came. It is really hard to motivate the families in the ward here. There is really only 2 families that want and our willing to help us out. But we did have some investigators come and watch the movie with us which was nice!

We had planned to make tacos.. which arent really tacos like what you guys would think but really like tostados or something think like.. jajaja whatever. They took a long time to make but were really good! 

So Kariely is one of our new investigators, she is the sister of a less active member and her dad is ex communicated... but she has a strong desire to be baptized and so went to her dad to ask him and you know what.. he just completely ignored her! ugh! so frustrating! So my companion and I went and visited him in his mechanic shop because we figured that he could not just ignore us.

So we went and asked him for permission and quite easily he said yes! Which got us really excited. Knowing that we could start working with her to prepare her for her baptism. But on Sunday, she didnt come to church, only her brother.. and when we asked him why he said that the dad didnt give her permission to come! and only a day after he had givien us permission! What the heck! I really dont understand there dad, who is a returned missionary but now wants nothing to do with the church and treats his family like trash!

So please pray for them. Pray that the dads heart may be able to be softened. that he can see the desire of his daughter to be baptized and allow her to come to church!

Tomas Giron
So this is the investigator that I have been talking a lot about. Who is an older guy but who loves the lessons we have with him and is progressing.

This week, we decided that we needed to read the Book of Mormon with Him, as he will never progress if he never reads! SO we went and read 1 Nephi with him. And he absolutely loved it! And said that the Book of Mormon is full of "Beautiful things" but in Spanish of course jajaja

We had another lesson with him this week and talked about the word of Wisdom! becuase he has a smoking problem. He had a drinking problem before but stopped drinking and turned to smoking instead... so we thought that it would be time to talk with him about this...

And after the lesson we challenged him to stop smoking and he said that he would be baptized if he receives an answer that Jospeh Smith really was a prophet of God and that he really received this commandment from God... the unfortunate thing was that he came to church on Sunday with cigarette breath.

But I know that it is a process and just ask that you guys can also pray for him, that he will recognize his answer and come to know that this is the truth and that he will also have the strength to stop smoking.

The work here is really moving forward and I am so excited to see what these next few weeks will bring! Thank you for all of your prayers!

Les amo mucho!

Hermana Loo
Making tacos... 

This is how they make and where they cook all the tortillas! 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tender Mercies!

This week was really great! We worked really well in using our time wisely and constantly looking for opportunities to teach and serve others! It seems to get hotter and hotter here as the days go by, and combining that heat with how tired I have been doesn't really mix very well jajaja some days it is a real struggle to ge out of bed or to just want to walk outside in the hot sun all day!

Wednesday we had interviews with President Smith. Which always gets me so nervous and a little afraid jajaja but of course everything went just fine!

Funny thing was that in both my interview with President Smith as well as with Hermana Smith they both commented on how small my companion is and how giant I am jajajaja for some reason everyone seems to be obsessed with our height difference! Even though Hna. Aguilars last companion was taller then me! jajaja

On a more spiritual note in the morning before the interview I was reading my scriptures and came across this scripture in Mormon 9:21,

 21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

As I was reading this scripture I realized that doubting nothing includes doubting our own unworthiness to receive answers from God, doubting that God is listening and hearing our prayers. When I shared this with President Smith he taught me even more saying that one we need to make sure that we are worthy. Two, that to realize how the Lord has answered our prayers we need to look back on past experiences and come to realize that indeed He is listening and answering. And that finally we need to have sufficient faith to accept the answer no. 

Well this week was fast sunday so we had the wonderful blessing to be able to fast and pray for answers or things that we need!

Hermana Aguilar and I had a really spiritual experience with our fast this week, in fact it really was a tender mercy and a miracle! 

As we started our fast after lunch and headed out for the day we went to an appointment that we had that unfortunately fell through. But as we were walking back Hermana Aguilar at almost the same turned around and saw this house that was like half hidden and decided that we need to go and contact them. Well, what did we find! A family! Who has a ton of potential! less then an hour after we had prayed to find a family! It really was such a blessing!

We had just a small lesson with them and talked about prophets and the message that we have, the message of the restoration. I could feel the spirit so strongly and it was so cool to see their eyes just light up when we started talking about prophets! They were so interested in our message. And as soon as we left they started reading the pamphlet and Book of Mormon that we had left them! I am excited to see what will happen with them this week!

The Lord really is preparing people to receive His gospel in all parts of the world! The time for the coming of the Lord is closer then anyone of us know! Are you ready? Are the people around you ready?

Love you all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! Although I am far away from all of you I can always feel of your love!

Los quiero mucho!
Hermana Loo

The bridge here in ChiChi! 
Had planned to play soccer this morning but the chicas who had the soccer ball didnt come... tear!

Monday, April 6, 2015

10 months!

Well time really flies by here on the mission! Really I dont know where it goes. But I am so blessed to be able to be a missionary and an instrument in the hands of the Lord. Really there is nothing better then this and nothing else that I would want to be doing. But I just want to thank all of you for your love, prayers, and support. It means the world to me and I am so blessed and grateful to have each and everyone of you in my life! 

Nueva compañera!
Okay, so the moment that you have all been waiting for jajajaja my new companion! 

Her name is Hermana Aguilar and she has 5 months here on the mission! She is from Honduras, tegucigalpa. Her parents converted to the church when she was like 6 years old, so she has basically grown up in the gospel. She is 24 years old, and i have realized that all of my companions have been significantly older then me jajaja. 

Anyways, she is great! We have such a good time together just laughing and joking around when we are not in lessons or talking to people on the street. I can really just tell such a huge difference with her in comparison to my last companion! Even on the first day that we were together there was a huge difference, just so much more unity between the two of us! So i am really excited to see what we can do here together in Chichi!

Semana Santa
Well Ihope that you all had a great Easter. But most of all that you were able to watch conference and able to remember the death and resurecction of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, But perhaps most importantly that you were able to remember that He LIVES! HE LIVES! 

Easter weekend here is very interesting. there is so much going on and everyone leaves to go to the coast, so really no one was home. We had a really hard time finding people in there homes to teach or just people to teach in general. As everyone this week seemed to be Catholic, even though just a week earlier they werent jajaja. So it was a bit of a struggle!

There was a huge procession Friday, that started at 3 in the afternoon and went until one in the morning! These people are crazy! jajaja There is also a huge tradition here where the people make Judas Iscariot out of old clothes and like stuff him full of newspaper, and then Friday night in front of the catholic church or their homes they burn Judas! Apparently it gets really rowdy and a ton of people end up in jail for the night, and there was like 100 times more drunk men on the street too! They also made those huge flower carpets on the streets, that are pretty cool but a lot of work! 

Semana Santa here also consisted of us receiveing a ton of bread from members! Like a ton of bread and they were huge pieces as well jajajaja! it is safe to say that we have a lot of bread in our house right now jajaja

this week was a liitle difficult with all of the activites that were going on because of Easter, but I am excited for this week to see what Hermana Aguilar and I can get done!

Tomas Giron
Tomas is one of our investigators here in Chichi. He is a old dude who just loves to talk with us and occasionally flirt jajaja

but on Sunday he came to conference! He was even waiting outside of his house ready to go at the time we told hime we would pass by! It was so exciting! He loved conference and said that all of the messages were great and so spiritual!

We have challenged him to be baptized on the 25th of this month and he said that if he receives and answer that he would! And I know that he will! so please pray for him that he can receive and recognize the answer to his prayers!

The work here is really coming along here in Chichi and I am so excited to see what my new companion and I can accomplish here! I know that there are people here just waiting to receive the gospel and I am so eager to share it with them!

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and continual support! You all mean the world to me and I love you so very much!

Les amo mucho!

Hermana Loo

Adios Hermana Rodas! 
Crying and struggling because no one was at home Friday!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Continuing in Growth

Wild Ride
I know that my family was talking about there adventures at Wet n Wild, so I thought that I would share about my wild ride...

Every Tuesday we have to travel to Quiche to have our distrct meetings, which is about half an hour in bus. But the bus ride is a ton of curves, that are like super windy and so really dangerous! 

Anyway, on Tuesday we litteraly made the drive in like 15 minutes! The bus driver drove like mad man! Everyone was sliding around in their seats and I couldnt even stay in my seat! Thought that I might die at one point to jajaja

Spanish Abuela?
I cant remember why, but this week I told someone that my family was currently on a cruise to Mexico. And when this memebr asked me why one of the elders jumped in and said that it was because they were going to visit my Mexican grandma jajaja but this lady totally believed it without even thinking twice! jajaja she even said "oh.. now i understand why you speak Spanish so well" jajajaja... yeah, thats actually not even true!

So with Easter coming up on us the Catholics here have really gone crazy! Everyday there is some kind of festivity with them and a lot of like Parade type things going on. 

During one of their parades or processions that they had this week, they literally stopped right in front of us! And they all just dropped to their knees and started praying. Yeah, it was a little uncomfortable jajajaja and really akward!

On thursday my companion and I had a really good talk. As we put a lot of feelings on the table and were able to talk through our challenges and the things that we needed to change. It was really good for us and helped us out a ton! Talking about specifically how we can work better in unity. As a result of this talk there was a big difference in our week and we had a lot more sucess! Although, tomorrow we will no longer be companions I am glad that are going to finish on good terms!

Church Initiative
I mentioned this in my last email to you guys so I hope that you were able to watch the video that the church has put out about Easter and the resurrection of Christ!

We have been able to find a ton of new investigators through this initiative! So I invite you all to share it with everyone that you can!

In fact, through this initiative we had an investigator accpet the invitation to be baptized if he receives an answer from God and he even came to the baptism that the elders had and said that he felt something different inside of him as he watched the baptism. Of course we had to explain that it was a witness of the Spirit!

Less active
This was definately the miracle and tender mercy of this week, with a less actives whose name is Israel Rojas. As we were planning for the day in the morning we both just had the feeling that we needed to go and visit this less active member. So later in the day we went and watched the church initiative video with him, shared a short message about the video and of course invited him to church. The next day at church he shares that he was at the point of not coming to church, at inactivating himself... when in that exact moment when he thought about this, we knocked on his door!

It really was a testimony to me that the Lord puts us in the exact places we are needed in the exact moment we are needed as well! 

I hope that you all have a great week and continue to share the message of the gospel with all of those around you, whether with words or through your examples. I truly know that we demonstrate, through how we live, that the message of the gospel is joy, peace, and happiness!

Los quiero mucho!

Hermana Loo

The market here.. a whole lot of vegetables! 

This is how they do funerals here.
A whole bunch of people just walking in the middle of the street, following the casket...