Led by a Little Girl – February 2, 2015

Last week I basically explained nothing, so sorry for that!

MAZATE ROCKS. The zone of missionaries is fun, the members are loving and willing to work, there are prepared people, and theres SUBWAY and other cool American restaurants… Tomorrow we start our morning runs, thats for sure.

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We did a fun Zone activity in the forest playing CAPTURE THE FLAG, and barbequing hawaiian hamburgers. It was awesome – but geez the heat is a killer. I was a spy for my team, so I got to sneakily hide in bushes pretend to be an explorer. Yeah…

merica flag!

‘merica flag!

We have been finding a lot of families who are prepared to hear the gospel, and we had a cool experience this week that I wrote in my journal. About 2 weeks ago a woman and her kid on a motorcycle passed by and said “Buenas!” super cheerfully, but we had no idea who they were. So we just kept walking and as we came upon a door that opened up to a huge property, the girl from the moto yelled at us, “I live here!” So we talked with her and her mom walked up. We invited them to church and she said, “We dont have anything to do Sunday… yeah, we will go!” Unfortunately when we passed by on Sunday they didnt hear our knocking, because it wasnt actually their property. So we decided that there must be another entrance to there house… One day Hna Rosas saw a little entrance with a metal door that led to more houses, and she said, “I think they live here.” So we entered and came upon a house, and once again, the little girl came out to greet us! As we talked with her parents, we could feel that they were really prepared to hear the gospel, and thanks to elders 12 years ago, they already have an idea of who we are. In the moms prayer, she mentioned that we are angels led by Sofia (the little girl) to their home to bring them the gospel. They are incredible and the mom (claudia) already came to church! Now we are just focusing on the dad so they can all be baptized together. I love families!

Also we had an incredible conference with Elder Ochoa from the Area 70, who talked to us a lot about how the investigadores can have faith to achieve repentance. He really is an inspired messenger of God, we learned many principles and are going to apply everything!

Alright!
Hermana Page

View from our shack-house of the third floor apartment.

View from our shack-house of the third floor apartment.

There was a pile of broken TV's by the river.

There was a pile of broken TV’s by the river.

Hna Rosas and I in the zone activity.

Hna Rosas and I in the zone activity.

Read the Book of Mormon! – January 19, 2015

Queridos amigos,

I am pretty sure I will be leaving my area this Wednesday, which is a lot sadder than I thought it would be. After 6 months of working alongside these incredible members and converts, I will be leaving them. The bishop wanted to ask President to have me stay another transfer, but we will just have to see where the Lord sends me to die. (it’s mission slang, “to die” means to end a mission)

Today for P-day we did a cool scavenger hunt all over Tecun. They didn’t tell us to bring P-day clothing so I was running around crazy in a skirt and flats! My feet hurt, man. The good thing is our group won! One of the things we had to do was take a 10-second video of us dancing the “Chikungunya” in front of a church. It’s not to disrespect or anything, but it was hilarious! I wish I had the video to show y’all. After that I played a good round of ping-pong and then we went to eat Chicken Milanesa in the park! Good P-day. That’s what happens in TECUN.

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In terms of our investigators, there are only a couple that are progressing because many have difficult situations that we can’t resolve as missionaries. There’s a 10-year-old kid named Christian who is super cool and really wants to get baptized. Every time we drop by on Sunday to go to church, he is all ready with his white shirt and slacks. The only problem is his mom, who says he’s too young to make big decisions like baptism. We’re going to keep working with he and his family.

A couple weeks ago I finished reading the Book of Mormon (in Spanish) in depth. I had read it previously for an activity we did as missionaries, but it wasn’t the same as taking it verse-by-verse, learning from every concept mentioned. It really is a powerful book with many eternal truths and can provide divine guidance. When I read it, I feel like gold-mining through unexplored caves and areas that are filled with precious jewels. As I come upon a new chapter, I enter a new cave, with great anticipation that I’ll “take home a good haul” and find new principles/concepts that I can apply to myself and to my investigators. The Book of Mormon is a rich source of truth that is available to all, replenishes us and is never depleted of its eternal value.

It’s my personal testimony that the Book of Mormon is true and can change lives. One must read, ponder, and pray about it to receive the same special witness. Read a little bit every day and you’ll find more blessings in your lives and more time to do everything else!

Still swimming,

Hermana Page

Hna. Granados and I after a district meeting.  She's great!

Hna. Granados and I after a district meeting. She’s great!

Pic – Hna Granados and I after a district meeting. She’s great!

Meet the Mormons – January 12, 2015

Meet the Mormons

Today I read some emails of missionaries that are just about to go home, namely my best friend JESSICA SMITH (shoutout). It’s so weird how just 18 months ago we were sitting in her backyard talking about going on missions. I remember asking her after feeling like I should go on a mission, “Do you think it’s a sin to not follow an impression from the Spirit?” I forgot exactly what she said in response but it was something like “It’s better to follow the impressions of the Holy Ghost, and you won’t regret it.” Something like that. The point is, I’m really grateful that she helped inspire me to make the decision to go. Weird to think in three months I’ll be where she’s at!

I had some trials this week that have helped me to see the bigger picture. I’ve been glad to have helped my comp in her trials to help her become a better person, and in doing that, I’ve been molded into a better person as well! Service helps everyone.

I don’t really have anything new to report because nothing noteworthy happened. However today we had the privilege of seeing “Meet the Mormons” which is an awesome missionary tool and is spreading across the globe! Soon it will be available in Guatemala theaters (not that there are many theaters here). I invite all of you to check it out! It’s interesting, funny, informative, and inspiring.

Talk to y’all next week!
Hermana Page

2015 and Still Living – January 5, 2015

Happy 2015!

I spent New Years Eve just like I did last year, except this time with members! There’s a little patio that separates the Barrientos house and ours, so they put a little party there (sorry my English sucks). It’s a tradition here to smash a piñata of an old man that has a sign saying “2014”, so they demolished that and we were up until 1 am.  I was exhausted and wanted to sleep, but in Guatemala that’s not an option. After a 10-minute round of endless fireworks, all the neighbors go around hugging each other and crying. I’m not sure why they see it as a sad moment, but everyone perceives time and traditions differently.

It’s also a good opportunity to make new goals, but not just ideas or dreams; a goal is an objective that you are determined to accomplish, even if it requires making goals to complete a goal. It’s all for our eternal progression!

Emilio was supposed to be baptized last week, but got sick. Thankfully he was fine this week to be able to get baptized! The baptismal services here in Ayutla ward are really special, and I think its because we have more support from the members and the converts are more faithful. I’ll be sad to leave the area/ward on the 21st.

Emilio!  It's obvious Latino's don't like photos...just Elder Vences and I are smiling.

Emilio! It’s obvious Latino’s don’t like photos…just Elder Vences and I are smiling.

I’ve had some great experiences in my personal study lately, as I’ve delved in the Book of Mormon I’ve discovered many treasures that apply to my individual circumstances and help clarify the purpose of my trials. The brother of Jared is an excellent example of being guided by the Holy Spirit. When the Lord gave him the commandment to construct ships and cross the sea, he not only followed through, he made them EXACTLY as the Lord had instructed. They were PREPARED (Ether 6:7). As they were tossed through the gigantic waves, there were many times where their perfectly-built ships submerged deep into the ocean. This doesn’t mean there were defects in the ships, neither was it punishment. They were moments that tried their faith. All part of the plan. Not ONCE were they not guided by the Lord – He used those instances to allow their faith to perform miracles. As they cried to the Lord, He brought them out from the depths of the sea. The trials and “depths” we face may not be a result of our faults or errors. Everything we face is for our eternal progression and is part of the divine plan of a loving Heavenly Father. He just requires us to trust Him and call His name when we need Him most.

Love,

Hermana Page

Lilian and Genaros baptism!

Lilian and Genaros baptism!

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Christmas Presences – December 29, 2014

What a strangely incredible week!

First off, Christmas was ´aight. We spent the Eve passing out Él es la Dádiva cards in the park and other busy places. The member family we live with had a little get together with friends and family, and of course we were invited. After eating tamales and ponche (hot nasty, fruit drink) they brought out the piñatas and at 12am sharp the fireworks began! I was absolutely exhausted but no one can sleep here on Christmas Eve so we watched a couple fireworks then hit the sack.

The next morning I woke up with CHINCUGUNYA, but I made it through the wonderful skype session with my family before I died on the bed.
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM A MOSQUITO!!
Don’t worry, I was only 3 days in bed, but they tell me I’ll forever remain with joint pain and swollen feet… FOREVER… (MOM NOTE: In my research I found that the joint pain can last for several months.  Very rare for a lifetime of joint pain, but please pray for her!!  Also, we had NO IDEA she was sick when we Skyped on Christmas morning. I did notice she was scratching her arms occasionally but other than that she hid it well!)

On a good note the greatest Christmas miracle in my life happened on Christmas Eve. As we were passing out the cards in the park, we received a call from Lilian and Genaro (I talked about them a couple months ago, shes Evangelial he’s Catholic) saying they had something for us at 6pm. So we hurried over to their house at 6 because we thought they were going to feed us… as we arrived Genaro pulled up on his motorcyle, and we entered the house with him. We all sat down and then Genaro began to speak. “Well…. we called you over because I was thinking and reading the Book of Mormon today, and I felt something I couldn’t describe that has motivated me to want to be baptized. We want to get baptized this Saturday at 7pm” I could barely control my freakishly huge smile, the happiness almost exploded from my face. “Wow,” I said, “I dont know what do say except how incredibly happy we are for you two…”
And THAT’S why I wasn’t too mad when I got the chincugunya, I thought to myself, “God, I will gladly have this disease if they can get baptized” I’m not trying to imply I was some kind of martyr but the MIRACLE God gave us made me able to suffer the trial well. I’ll send pictures next week.

That is the power of the Holy Ghost! Genaro had the hardest Catholic heart I had ever seen. He had denied the Book of Mormon and the reality of Joseph Smith being a prophet. Now, he is a baptized member of the only true Church, along with his wife Lilian. I love this family and like all missionaries, my greatest desire is to see them sealed in the temple.

Love,
Hermana Page

Skype session on Christmas morning!  It was so fun.

Skype session on Christmas morning! It was so fun.

Tecun Uman Zone

Tecun Uman Zone

Merry Christmas – December 22, 2014

Here in Guatemala I’ll be celebrating Christmas on Wednesday, since they have it all mixed up here.  Ha, kidding.

The Lord is blessing us for our months of finding and dropping people. We are seeing progress, finally!  I did divisions on Friday, and when I reunited with my companion she excitedly told me “Emilio is getting baptized on the 27th!!”

Emilio is a 36 year-old guy we contacted who is actually from the captial but is living with his mom and sister, who are members!  From the very first time we contacted him, he told us he wanted to change his life and be cleansed from his sins.  A week later he went to church with us, but still didn’t accept baptism.  Friday morning before we did divisions, I suggested that our zone leader do a pre-interview to see what was up.  I suppose it went well because now he’s all on board for baptism!  I see a notable change in his way of being and I know its because he more fully understands the power of the Atonement.  He may have made some pretty bad mistakes but baptism cleans that right up with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.  Its the best Christmas present he or we could have!

It was cool being able to do divisions with Hna Granados (who has the same amount of time in the mission as my daughter).  We did a spontaneous service activity which included climbing up a sketchy wooden ladder to scrape old paint off the roof.  It was pretty dangerous, and the lady had to lend us pants so we didnt show the world everything… good times!

Welp, tengan todos una feliz navidad, y recuerden dar servicio a los demás! Hay otros que necesitan nuestra ayuda. (Have a Merry Christmas and remember to give service to others. . There are others that need our help.)

Hermana Page

Hna. Granados & I  scraping paintIMG_0826

Humble Valleys – December 15, 2015

Good Afternoon ya’ll, I’m Hermana Page and I’m gonna be in the same area for 6 months…

To be honest I was pretty disappointed not to leave, but the Lord has other plans for me and my companion. We are still together (for better or for worse, ha) and we are both learning tons! Our district leader had changes, and Hermana Parker went home, so the dynamic of our district has changed quite a bit. We are all hoping to improve as we undertake the month of December with the new video “He is the Gift”, or in Spanish, “Ël es la Dádiva”. Part of this awesome project is handing out milliones of tarjetitas (sorry, I don’t know the English translation), putting together ward Christmas activities, and working more with the members! We hope to see many fruits of this wonderful Spirit-filled season. CHRISTMAS IS GREAT!

Since many of the Sister Training Leaders left this past transfer, they appointed me as leader of Tecún Umán and Pajapita. I don’t really know what I’ll be doing but I hope to be told something soon.

I was thinking about the struggles and trials that I’ve had while training and being here in Ayutla, and wondering what I could learn from it all. An elder shared a quote with me that really rang true, “Mountaintops are for views and inspiration, but fruit is grown in the valleys.” I feel like my time in Pajapita and the first few months with Hna Cárcamo were the mountaintops I experienced, and now I’m in the valley. Now I realize that being in a valley isn’t bad as long as I recognize the fruit being grown there. I just need to be humble and let the Farmer work!

Its so weird to read your journal entries from the past and view them as if someone else had written them. I know I’ve changed a lot in the mission, but its SHOCKING to see the difference in writing, and to really notice how the Lord has shaped me to be the person He wants me to be. I still have a long way to go with the many, many flaws I have, but I can be guided by Him if I’m humble to accept correction and trust in His ways. How grateful I am for the Atonement and the ability to change! Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, is the Gift!

Love,

Hermana Page

Today's p-day - Everyone made food from their own country!

Today’s p-day – Everyone made food from their own country!

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Sharing the Gift with Maria.

Hermana Page

Xetulul Christmas – December 8, 2014

I feel like Christmas has come and passed already; our Christmas luncheon was on Thursday in a theme park, I already received my Christmas package, and I’m bored of my Christmas music.  I don’t mean to be a downer, its just weird experiencing Christmas in the mission – especially the second Christmas.  But I’m still excited for the best part .. SKYPE.

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Christmas came Early! (Love her excitement!)

 

 

 

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Christmas Luncheon

On Thursday we went to Xetulul again, which was cool but I always get sick!  So after a couple rides I was walking around lightheaded like usual. My comp vomited on the first ride so that was pretty funny.  She’s a champ though – after walking out of the bathroom pale-faced she said, “Let’s keep going!”

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All Smiles. . . until after the ride.

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Today we made lasagna!  It wasn’t American quality, but it was really good.

This Wednesday are changes, so we will see what happens!  I hope to have changes and they are likely… but you all will find out NEXT WEEK.

Hermana Page

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Andrea found a new love. . . Wall-rock Climbing

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks-eating – December 1, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! You can be sure we didn’t celebrate it like ya’ll in the States, but it was definitely celebrated!

Hermana Parker had the idea that we could buy a bunch of Guatemalan food and pig out… so that’s what we did! We had crazy corn (corn with ketchup, hot sauce, and mayonnaise), quesadillas, pupusas, magdalena, bread, and ice cream! Yes, we all woke up with mad boo but who cares? IT’S THANKSGIVING YALL!!

Hna, Tumax - a minimisionera that was here for 2 weeks!  Thanksgiving party.

Hna, Tumax – a minimisionera that was here for 2 weeks! Thanksgiving party.

This week we have had a lot of learning experiences about true intent. The gift of discernment is REQUIRED to find out if people are really interested in the gospel, or if they really want to change their lives. A couple guys we had been teaching came to church and all, but they weren’t praying and don’t accept baptism. Although they are progressing in one sense, they aren’t showing God they really want to change. Prayer is essential! In my personal study a couple weeks ago, I noted the following, “Prayer is so crucially important to be able to receive the guidance of the Holy Ghost. Before my study, I began with a sincere prayer to have the Spirit guide me in my study and allow me to feel the DESIRE to know more. God answered and I have felt today the DESIRE to read the Book of Mormon and Preach my Gospel. I can tell the difference when I don’t start my personal study with a sincere prayer – I usually don’t focus as well or I keep looking at the clock. It’s my personal testimony that prayer is the only mode of communication that ties our will to be righteous, with the will or our Heavenly Father.”

Yep,

Hermana Page

Birthday caaaakkke!  (from a week ago)

Birthday caaaakkke! (from a week ago)

Temple photo from a while ago.

Temple photo from a while ago.

Photo of the Ocos Zone

Photo of the Ocos Zone

Cake Face – November 17, 2014

Gotta love birthdays in the mission… not gonna lie, it was harder than the one I had in the CCM; however for the circumstances it was pretty good. It was stake conference so we boarded a sketchy bus and headed off to Malacatan! One of our investigators named Angel (he’s a guy) went and was announcing his baptism on the 29th to everyone! He is a pretty pilas guy who really wants to become a member of the church and has an astounding knowledge of the Bible. He is already in love with the Book of Mormon and is doing great! His only struggle is prayer – the embarrassment consumes him and he wont pray out loud with us! Little by little he will learn to do it. I trust in the Spirit to guide him and encourage him.

We had a mini-party last night with our district and the family we live with. The tradition here is that after you blow out the candle, you have to bite the cake BEFORE someone smashes your face in it. The time came and I blew out the candle, and I could see that Hermana Parker was getting closer, so I lunged at the cake like a lizard and got my bite. Fooled them all! It was good, but it’s nothing like being with the fam.. (baggy) Okay so yeah we ate cake, had a good time, and all that shnauzz. Good birthday. Now I’m 21, and all the elders try to make us sisters feel old! Immaturity…

It's my birthday!!

It’s my birthday!!

Even though we have had difficulties with our investigators, the Lord is blessing us with more positive families that actually want to learn and are looking for the truth! Now the hard part is just finding time to teach them all – considering the trips we’ve had to take to Reu, area attacks, and conferences. I just want time to teach!! I want to help facilitate as many spiritual experiences as I can in the short time I have left! I’m not sure how much I’ve actually changed, but I figure the more, the better.

Loving life, and living it up!

Hermana Page