Monday, August 14, 2017

Semana 74 - Humidity, no water in the house, new companion/area & amazing FHE

Hi Everyone,

  • This week my life was turned upside down!  Tapachula is like the opposite of Comitan. 

  • It’s SUPER humid and gross out even though were not in the hot season and it rains a lot.  I’m jumping ahead, before getting to Tapachula, I had to leave Comitan and that was a complicated task.  We left at 8:30 am on Tuesday and 10 minutes later came back because the 3 highways to leave Comitan were all blocked by farmers and field laborers because they were boycotting something.  They told us we could leave at 6:30 pm but the time came and went.  It started to rain though so the farmers dispersed and we got out of there at 7:30 pm.  We traveled to Tuxtla and got there around 10:30 pm.  We stayed in Tuxtla for the night with the Sister Training Leaders in Terrazas. . . I slept in my old house! It was weird.

  • We left for Tapachula at noon and passed the bus stations in Tonala and Mapastepec . . . memories!  We got to Tapachula around 6:30 pm with lots of traveling.  When we got to the house, it turned out that we didn’t have any water. NO! It was the worst!  Water is literally life—you can’t do anything without water!  I learned that the hard way.  On Thursday we ended up calling for help and the zone leaders kind of fixed the problem . . . basically they carried up the stairs like 6 buckets of water into our house to use until we could find a real solution.  We had some interesting days and experiences living by bucket water. 

  • It rains A LOT here and when it rains, it pours!  The lightning and thunder was so strong that the lights went out like 3 times.

  • My companion, Hermana Maldonado, is from Bolivia!  She’s 19 and is in her 3rd transfer in the mission.  She’s great though, super obedient and is willing to work.  We are hoping to see lots of miracles here!  We are talking with everyone! 

  • On Sunday after church Hermana Maldonado had to leave for Tuxtla to fix some stuff with her green card, so I am staying with the Sister Training Leaders.  It was actually pretty fun and we had an awesome Family Home Evening!  We were thinking about what we wanted to teach and I remembered an object lesson that my mom did for a baptism one time.  We had a jar and put a peso in and shook it around and it was pretty loud – and it represented the Holy Ghost when we’re worthy of His presence.  Then we started piling some dirt in . . . representing our sins, doubts, fears, worldly ideas . . . until we could no longer hear the still small voice of the spirit, or in this case, the peso.  So we started removing the dirt little by little – repenting, praying, reading the scriptures, going to church, keeping the commandments  . . . but we still couldn’t get all of the dirt completely out.  We had to wash it with water!  Repentance is not complete until we are baptized by immersion for the remission of sins.  The lesson went really well and there were a lot of tears and the spirit was super strong.  Thanks for the idea Mom!  I hope you all have a great week!


Con mucho amor, Hermana Dangl


 Welcome sign to Hermana Dangl's new area - Tapachula!

 Family Home Evening with the Bishop's family my last night in COMITAN



Monday, August 7, 2017

Semana 73 - Transfer to Tapachula, Sick, Baptism, & Nametags

Hello friends, and family!

This week . . . was a hard one, really hard!  I felt very tried and tested, but everything turned out well in the end.  Yes . . . transfers are in!  President Doman has switched some things up.

  • First off, I got sick this week.  We spent Monday night to Thursday afternoon at the house because I had a super bad stomach infection.  Fun, right?  I got a lot of reading in and we told the sisters of the ward that I was sick and had some dietary restrictions so every single day this week I ate vegetable soup.

  • Zone Conference!  I really liked the part where we took off our nametags and reflected on the first time we put it on.  I remember taking it out of my envelope and thinking, “This is so weird!”  It was a surreal moment . . .and maybe that little piece of plastic bearing Christ’s name won’t be on my chest forever, but the conversion I’ve gone through means that it’ll always be on my heart.

  • Our investigator Jose Luis passed his baptismal interview so on Saturday we were at the church all day filling the font.  We had to heat the water in buckets with a metal rod thing and then dump it into the font.  The hour came . . and only one person was there. . . . and it wasn’t Jose Luis.  Ahh!  He couldn’t get out of his work . . but it’s a terrible feeling when someone doesn’t show up to their baptism.  Hermana Diaz and I were crying and it was really stressful because we had worked SO hard for that moment.  To be baptized we spend hours teaching people and helping them keep commitments and come to church. . . it’s a process in which the person has to change who they are so that they can be someone better.  It’s devastating when it’s all thrown away.  We went home and started a fast to find 5 people to baptize in the coming transfer. . .that night we found a family of 5.  I’ve said it before, the lows are low but the highs are high.

  • On Sunday we held the baptismal service at 10 am and then at 11 we started church and Jose Luis was confirmed.  Happy ending!  He even bore his testimony. It was a very special moment.  So why did everything have to turn out that way?  I don’t know, but I do know that if we don’t know what bitter is, we can never know what sweet is either.  I know that while Joseph Smith was imprisoned in Liberty Jail, the Lord told him, “If the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”  D & C 122:7.  I know that the Lord told Israel “for behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” 1 Nephi 20:10.  Sometimes the Lord needs to HUMBLE US and make us trust Him and in His plan. 

  • Okay and now onto transfers!  Hermana Diaz is staying in Comitan and I am going to Tapachula!!  It ‘s the only place I haven’t been in and I’m going to Tapachula (Izapa-Laureles = zone-district).  My companion will be with Hermana Maldonado.  She’s fresh out of her training and Tapachula is HOT!  I’m going back to the heat and back to the coast.  Ahh!  I will have 5 areas and 9 companions at the end of it all.  Craziness! 

  • The truth is that today is the first day of my LAST transfer in the mission.  I’ll only be in Tapachula for 6 weeks and then I’ll be homeward bound.  I’m saying it now so that we can all be in a mutual agreement to not discuss it. :o)  I have plans to focus on Tapachula and the miracles that I’m going to see there, and not be reminded in every single moment that it’s all coming to an end.  It’s bitter sweet – I love the mission and the people here but I’m also very excited to see my family and friends.  So I’m going to take advantage of this time that I have left to work, love, and enjoy!

 Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

 La Iglesia de Santo Domingo



 Baptism of Jose Luis



 Sister Missionaries


Monday, July 31, 2017

Semana 72 - Making Pozol, Singing in the choir, & the Holy Spirit

Hola, hola everyone!

  • To start, thank you to all my friends, family and ward family who sent me things for my birthday.  I finally got the package (note from mom: I used DHL and sent it on a Friday and it arrived at the district office in Tuxtla on Tuesday, but the missionaries have to wait for them to bring it to their area, hence the wait.  I also put some astronaut ice cream inside the care package for her birthday, and this was her last package as a missionary.)

  • This week we had an awesome Monday!  The 3 sister companionships in Comitan all went to Hermana Basual’s hosue and she taught us how to make pozol.  It’s a chocolate corn drink that is very typical in Chiapas.  It has a loooong process because you have to boil the corn for 2 hours and then grind it.  Meanwhile, you have to toast the cocoa seeds, take off their outer layer and then grind it many times as well.  In the end we put it all together with water and sugar and it turned out AMAZING!  She also taught us how to make chocolate. It’s so much better when it’s homemade than store bought.

  • English classes and afterwards we ate cake for the Ward Mission Leader’s Birthday.  We smashed his face in of course! :o)

  • We sang in the church choir for an event about religious freedom.  After we sang, Elder Martinez, an Area Seventy talked for like an hour.  It reminded me a lot of Article of Faith #11 that says, “We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.”  We ALL deserve the right to worship as we please.  Afterwards they asked us to sing again but we weren’t prepared . . . but we sang anyway! 

  • We focused a lot on visiting the less active members this week – especially focusing on the Armor of God!  In Ephesians it says “Of all the things we have to protect us, we only have ONE weapon, the Holy Spirit.”  When we are baptized and then every Sunday after that we worthily partake of the sacrament.  So when we don’t go to church, it is harder to have the spirit with us as a constant companion and we can’t fight against Satan’s fiery darts. 

  • On Sunday a member sister gave us chicken that she cooked in Coke. . . it turned out to be pretty good!  Who would’ve thought?

  • We are already in the last week of the transfer, craziness!  Times flies when you’re at the service of God.  Love you all! 


Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

 My name written in the pozol!

Making pozol! 

 Boiling the corn

 Shelling the toasted cacao

 Grinding the chocolate.




 Grinding the corn.

The finished product! POZOL


 Happy sisters making chocolate! 

 Chocolate!! It's soft and with time hardens up. 





 Hermana Dangl and Hermana Diaz with soft chocolate = D2

 The chocolate making group.

 Hermana Diaz and Hermana Dangl with the Lorena Family.

  Cake with our Ward Mission Leader


The choir in the Multi Religious event. (2nd from the left) 



 It rained super hard and even hailed for a little bit on Sunday! 


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Semana 71 - Love, Work, Enjoy!

Happy Monday!

This week we had a lot of days, that weren’t long enough. . . as in, we have so much to do and there isn’t enough time in the day.  Time is running out for me in many ways.  I am trying to take President Doman’s motto to heart though: “Love, Work, Enjoy!”  I think it’s a great life motto honestly. 

On Monday (P-day) we had a zone party for one of the Elder’s birthday.  He bought us all pizza (with you guessed it, Coke) and we sang and the Elders smashed his face into basically the whole cake.  We’ve been dealing with a lot of investigators who believe what we teach but for whatever reason, don’t want to keep their commitments.  It stinks!  Something that it says in Preach My Gospel is that when we apply or “liken” the doctrine to ourselves, we create a mental bridge between understanding the doctrine and living the doctrine. page 110.  It’s true!  For example, we all know that it’s bad to steal – yet robbery is a common crime.  The mental bridge has to happen for all people.  

A member treated us to Gringas, they are tortillas with carne al pastor, pineapple, onion, peppers, and lots of good stuff.  It was super good.  Hermana Diaz and I are playing a game so that we contact more people in the street.  I give her a random word and she has to work it into the conversation.  If she does it successfully, it’s my turn! 

District meeting!  We got lost though and couldn’t find the combi but in the end arrived.  When we got there, we found a tree loaded with mandarins and couldn’t believe it so everyone picked one to eat. . . and then we found out why there were so many, they were  basically lemons!  Super sour!  The meeting went well, I taught a small part about leadership and shared a quote I really like by President Uchtdorf that says (basically) that leadership in the church isn’t as much about “leading” others and is more about being led by God.  It’s so true!  We watched some inspirational videos and then our Sister Training Leaders washed our feet . . . it was actually a super cool and different experience.

Companion Exchanges!  Hermana Marrero was in my area, Comitan 2, with me and it went really well!  We totally saw a miracle . . .while we were walking, we contacted a man whose wife and kids are members, but we had no clue.  So he didn’t really want anything to do with us, and later on an appointment fell through so we decided to visit a less active and we only knew that she lived in a certain neighborhood with a white gate.  We knocked on the first one we found and the same guy we had contacted before answered the door.  What?!  This time he couldn’t deny God’s hand in all things. 

We taught J, one of our investigators who has never accepted the baptismal invitation, and we went over the Restoration again even though he’d already learned it.  My testimony of the importance of this lesson, the Restoration, grew because when people actually understand, they can make their mental bridge of application.  At the end of the lesson for the first time ever, he accepted to be baptized. 

16 months in the mission!  My companion asked me how I felt . . “Viejita” (old) haha, but really, it’s crazy and I try not to think about it.  I think it’s harder to leave the mission than to come.  I hope you all have a great week, don’t forget to love, work, and enjoy! 


Con amor, Hermana Dangl

So many HILLS!

 The gringa with her gringa... :) 

Gringa!!! Tortillas with carne al pastor, pineapple, onion, & peppers.

  Hermana Dangl & Hermana Diaz

Comitan

  16 months in the mission! 


Monday, July 17, 2017

Semana 70 - Karaoke Fun, Miracles, and Goals

Hi Everyone,

This week was so busy, and we had a lot going on! Honestly I have no clue how we get through the week sometimes and suddenly it’s Monday and it all starts over again.  Recap of the week! 

  • We’ve been working a lot with E, but it has been super hard because he really wants to be baptized, but is battling a lot of addictions.  Addictions stink, it’s so much better to not even start with those things because I’ve seen how it ruins people’s lives and causes so much suffering.  We are doing all we can to help though. 

  • English classes have started here in Comitan!  It was great and afterwards, our Ward Mission Leader bought us pizza and Coke . . now that we can drink Coke everyone wants to give it to us. 

  • We had interviews with President Dorman!  We were there all day because they taught us a lot of things and we had interviews for the whole zone.  It went super well though and I learned a lot. 

  • We taught one of our investigators who always has a million deep question, but we love it because we learn as well as we answer them. 

  • We looked for a referral we received but instead we found his mom . . she received us well and after we left we went to eat with a member.  Then 5 minutes later she showed up as well.  What?!  God’s hand is in all things. 

  • Missionary Activity!  We did karaoke and had members, investigators, and less actives come.  It turned out well but I’m learning that Mormon Standard Time is a huge issue here and everyone arrived like an hour late.  It was fun and the food was good, we prepared it, and our investigators who came, all sang!  There were a lot of Spanish love songs sung and it was quite an experience. 
  • You know you live in Mexico when you eat tacos de cabeza de cerdo for Sunday dinner (pig head tacos) haha. I asked after I ate it just exactly what in it.. I was told that it was a fun mix of ear, snout, head and eyes. It was pretty good though so I can't complain... 

  • We continue singing in the choir, It turns out that the Multi Religious is actually a pretty big deal so more people came this week than last week. Haha
  • We left to look for a new investigator that we are teaching, but it was kind of dark and we were having trouble finding his house.  We stopped to contact someone instead of continuing to walk and thanks to that, we were there in that spot for the exact time that the investigator took to leave his house. We would have walked right by the house and kept walking!  Afterwards, we were waiting for a bus so we could get back home and a taxi driver who is a member of the other branch gave us a lift! Talk about good timing . . . small miracles!
  • This week was actually a bit rough - we have set the goal to baptize 32 people this month as a zone. ahh!!! The second we set the goal, Satan started working sooooo hard against us, seriously.  The whole zone started having all kinds of problems with investigators and companionships and everything. Whyyyyy?  We have been facing a lot of opposition here in Comitan.... but I know that the Lord is preparing something big for this city and for all the people who live here. Miracles are real and still happen! WE CAN DO THIS! 
  • I am doing well and am excited for everything that my mission still has in store for me!! 
Con amor, Hermana Dangl

 SUPER COOL the sun!!! Did you see this back home?

 Lunch with our Zone.

  Lunch with Pres. and Srs. Doman.

 Las Hermanas with Srs. Doman.

 Getting ready for our conference. 

Preparing for the Ward Activity.

 Karoake



 Hermana Dangl with a child at the activity.

Hermana Diaz, Hermana Dangl, and Hermana Lopez