Monthly Archives: February 2015

February 23rd Letter

Dear Family and friends,
Winter in Missouri is beautiful. One thing I am grateful for is the drastic season changes in Missouri. In Lima we have hot hot hot, hot hot, cold, and that’s it. It’s horrible! You know me, I always love the winter more!  Yesterday our ward fasted because this next week is our stake conference. I will be in the choir!!! In the testimony meeting, a young man who is about to leave for his mission shared a thought about fasting. If we read the scriptures while fasting we will feel the spirit so much stronger. Answers to prayers and doubts will be answered because we are making a sacrifice to put the Lord above all.  Fasting has helped me lots in the mission.  As missionaries we use it as a tool to receive answers to prayers and to help those we are teaching. I have a strong testimony of the fast when we do it in sincere prayer and intention.
We are so blessed to have a beautiful huge heated and air conditioned house and cars and money. I am very grateful that we live in America because here it is bad. People have very little here and have to deal with and live in conditions that are very bad. We are so lucky. Its our responsibility to share what we have with others that need it, because we have lots. It’s such a blessing to live among these people and see how willing they are to share food or things that they have with others even when they don’t have much.
This week we moved apartments. We now live with a less active lady and her daughter. We hope to help them to get active in the church again! We had to repaint our apartment to get the guarantee money back from our landlord. It was fun because the bishop and elders helped us and afterwards we dumped water and paint on them hahah.  Our investigator didn’t come to church yesterday so his baptism date fell. We were very sad but continue to work with him and encourage him to choose the right. I can’t understand what he’s going through because his friends and almost all his family have abandoned him but trusting that the Lord with help him helps keep my faith hope up for him. He is a good man and needs the Gospel more than ever in his life.
We should never take the Gospel for granted. The family we have within the ward and church is one of our greatest blessings. I have come to love and rely on the leaders in this ward because I can see that they truly care about the people here.
There are many new changes coming to our mission. They are going to open a new mission in Peru, we can’t wear backpacks anymore, elders and sisters can’t share a ward now, and the whole mission isn’t going to gather together for transfers anymore. It’s a little sad but we will be obedient! I am looking forward to another camibio here in La Marina I really love this ward!
Have a great week!
Love,
Hanna

February 9th Letter

Dear family and friends,
This week I reached halfway point of my mission but I was talking with my friend Hermana Santillana (who came with me to the MTC) and its seems like a couple months have past. It’s crazy to have been here 9 months. It has its challenges but it is a time I will never regret or forget because it has turned me into a different person. I know so much more and feel like I know what my duty to the Lord as a member of his church is. Being able to have my eyes opened and have gained such a testimony has saved my life.
This week was fun and stressful, but most of all HOT!!!! I’m dying in the heat and humidity mixture here. Its got to be at least 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity here. The sun is stronger here so I get burned more easily, but don’t worry, I put sunscreen and cream on everyday! People usually shower 3 or 4 times a day because you get so sweaty.  It’s impossible to stay fresh and clean…ugh you know how I hate the heat. I want winter again!!
It has been a good week. Renzo is progressing but our Bishop thinks he has to talk to the mission president before he is able to get baptized. It seems his history is pretty bad and he still has to battle his smoking addiction. It is hard for him everyday because his whole past wants to come back and haunt him and Satan is constantly trying to get him to give in and do the things he used to do. But we try and help him and to be there for him when we can. He is a really special guy.
Our other investigators are doing so so but we are teaching a lot of them!! I think it’s really great experience to be able to meet and teach investigators. My companion is doing really well and getting used to the language and the culture. She is a great sport and always encourages me to be positive and do the right thing. I love her. She is a very humble and caring person. She gives me a bear hug at least once a day.
Hope you have a great week and I will leave you with my testimony that I know this is the true church. I know it is directed by God and that the Book of Mormon is true. Through reading it we can come to know the truth of this church. We can come to receive a simple but powerful answer that God IS there and that He does listen to our prayers. I know it and I love it. ¡Ser mormón, ser feliz!
Love,
Hanna

February 2nd Letter

Dear family and friends,
My companion is always smiling. She likes cartoons and Disney. Loves to draw and paint, anything with art. She wears hearing aids and has trouble hearing. I have to speak louder. She is tall but doesn’t reach me. Her brother is serving in Chile right now. She is the oldest and all of her family are members. She has a great desire to serve and focuses on the work.
Our investigators are doing great. 5 came to church yesterday. I was in heaven!!! 3 of them have a baptismal date for February. Renzo, the one that had all the problems and wants to change his life, came with us and asked lots of questions. Renzo is going to have an interview with my district leader to set goals to get prepared for baptism. He and another investigator met with the Bishop after church and the bishop told them he wanted to think of the members here as their friends and family. A couple days ago Renzo told us he had no money to even buy food for himself to eat. He said he hadn’t eaten for a whole day and that he went to a friend’s house to ask for food but the friend said no.  Then the friend said he was going to get a beer and said he would pay for Renzo if he wanted a beer. He said no and walked away. What a lousy friend. The next day we talked with the Bishop asking what we could do to help him to get food. Right after we told the bishop the situation he said well let´s go and get him some food then. He drove us to the supermarket and started to buy rice, milk, eggs and all the stuff he would need to eat for at least a week. We couldn’t believe it. The cost was more than 80 dollars and came out of the Bishop’s pocket. Then we dropped the food off at a member’s house and they took it to Renzo that night. He hadn’t eaten anything in 2 days. What a blessing our Bishop has been for us and the people here. He is very willing and helpful with this work. He said he thinks of us as his own daughters.  He is the best!
The other investigators are progressing and participating. I was so happy. I get that feeling everytime something like that happens. The spirit testifies to me that this church is true and that the work we do is called of God. I know it. And I do the best I can to live the gospel and learn everyday from the experiences I have.
The highlight of the week was of course getting to buy food for Renzo and when all the investigators came to church. What makes me laugh? When people try to speak to us in English or when men try to give us a kiss because that’s like shaking hands down here. Its funny when we jump away from them because as missionaries we aren’t allowed to do it.
We are doing well. I miss you all and look forward to your faithful letters and encouragement. I know that the more we strive to keep the commandments of God, the more we with be able to see the blessings and enjoy them in our lives. I love being a missionary!
Love,
Hannie Bananie