Hi everyone! (Soon I’ll be saying it in person. . . )
This is my last letter. So I’ll start by thanking everyone who has read my letters and kept up with my mission-you guys are awesome! I have felt your love and your prayers.
Simply put, my mission has changed my life. I feel that I’ve become a better version of myself because I now understand what’s really important, what I believe, why I’m here, what God expects of me. . . (though what to major in college is still unknown).:o) I have felt more joy than in any other time of my life even though I also had more hardships than any other time in my life. I’ve been able to experience and put into practice what I’ve preached for the past year and a half in Chiapas, Mexico: Jesus Christ is my Savior and He atoned for my sins so that I could repent and return to his presence. The Book of Mormon is a true book written by ancient prophets who testified of Jesus Christ, and reading it gives me peace. The Gospel was restored and in these latter days God has put a prophet on the earth to guide us and help us keep the commandments. In the Holy Temple families can be sealed together for all eternity. God let me serve a mission so that I could know him and His Son, Jesus Christ. He let me get a glimpse of His mercy and His plan. I testify that miracles still happen and that His hand has guided me and guides all of his faithful missionaries all around the world. I have learned so many things, I can’t imagine how my life would have been if I had never served a mission – I am grateful for the opportunity that I’ve had and for the many, many blessings that my family has received in my absence.
If you’d like to read a recap of my mission or know what I’ve been doing these last 18 months, here it is – 13 transfers, 9 companions, and 2 mission presidents later:
I left my home in California on Wednesday, March 23, 2016. I remember crying as I said goodbye to everyone and thinking “What have I gotten myself into?!” I arrived in Mexico City that same day and started my 18 month journey.
1st Transfer - 3/23/16-5/1/16 – MTC. Companion – Hermana Nelson (American). I was overwhelmed by all the classes, studying, waking up early and suddenly being expected to understand Spanish. I thought it was pretty tough (I now know that the MTC is like daycare, haha). I got to go to the temple in Mexico City two times, which was awesome.
2nd Transfer – 5/2/16-6/12/16 Tonala 1 – Hermana Juarez (Michoacan, Mexico). In Tonala I thought I was going to die of heat stroke in basically every moment. It was SO hot and humid and I felt like everyone talked really fast. This was my hardest transfer in the mission . . . I understood little Spanish and I was sick a lot as my body tried to adapt to the different environment and I was covered with mosquito bites! It was not a very fun transfer, but I learned a lot! Humility, patience, and faith. We taught Susi and Gildardo, who were both baptized that transfer. With my first converts I learned about the joy that comes from inviting others to Christ and fulfilling my missionary purpose. I also got Chinkanguya and was sick. This was caused from all of the mosquitoes biting me. Luckily my companion and the members took care of me.
3rd Transfer Tonala 1 - Hermana Limon (Puebla, Mexico). In this part of my mission I learned how to talk to everyone! I also turned 20 years old. Tonala started growing on me and I started loving the place despite the heat and we worked with the members everyday.
4th Transfer - Mapastepec – Hermana Arellano (Ecuador). This area was super huge! We traveled a lot ,visiting places like Bonanza, Sesecapa, Jubileo, and La Vainilla. I learned how to teach a class on Gospel Principles. I learned how to teach on the fly, many times we were asked to give lessons or talks in church in the moment. Lulu was baptized and that was cool because the branch was super small, usually like 15 -20 people came each week. It rained a lot and it was always really hot outside.
5th Transfer - Mapastepec - Hermana Arellano (Ecuador). Some things that I appreciate about Mapa is that the members didn’t have much but they gave us what they could. There were very few of them so I really got to know them. They always gave us weird new fruits to try. We started working really hard together and saw many miracles.
6th Transfer - Mapastepec – Hermana Renteria (Mexico City). I trained! I was very scared to take charge, to call all the shots and train someone else. I had been out only like 7 months and I felt beyond inadequate, but I learned a lot! Training someone else prepared me for the rest of my mission. We worked with a lot of people who never got baptized, and as the senior companion I felt very responsible for the actions of our investigators –something I’ve since learned that I can’t control. Also, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) was super cool.
7th Transfer – Mapastepec – Hermana Renteria (Mexico City). I finished Hermana Renteria’s training and we worked really hard but with very few fruits. We finally had a baptism though, Rubi. I also learned a lot about how important members are in missionary work. We had very few members that could help us but they did what they could. We were also able to activate a less active sister, Gladys, after 6 months of visiting her almost every week. Mapa was a hard area – few members and little progress but with a lot of effort put in on our part. Also, Christmas! My first and only mission Christmas.
8th Transfer - Terrazas (Tuxtla, Gutierrez) – Hermana Arellano (Ecuador). I was with my old companion again! We went to a lot of therapies and doctors for her back problems and we walked pretty slowly but we had a lot of success! It was a huge adjustment though. The weather was a lot nicer, less humid. I had to get used to a lot of things. I wrote in my journal, “It’s SO DIFFERENT here, there are cars, TV’s, people wear normal clothes, and there aren’t any tricycles (mode of transportation where someone on a bike pushes you) or barefoot people . . . I’ll never adjust.” I ended up loving Tuxtla. I was a Sister Training Leader and we had 4 companionships of sisters in our zone that we did exchanges with and looked out for. We had a lot of responsibilities, but thanks to that I learned how to teach groups of people and not be afraid. Our miracle of the transfer –- that Marisol, Pedro, and Janeth were baptized. They were super awesome and it was amazing to teach them, see them grow and then see them baptized! It was one of the best moments on my mission.
9th Transfer - Terrazas (Tuxtla, Gutierrez) – Hermana Arellano (Ecuador). This transfer Marisol, Pedro, and Janeth entered the temple and that was an amazing experience as well. We started teaching Fabian a lot, a youth who had a ton of recent convert friends. I hit my one year mark in the mission and I truly felt very happy in the mission. I was loving the work, the members, Tuxtla, my companion, being a Sister Training Leader—I was feeling good. Then Abril was baptized, she had been baptized as a child but was inactive for most of her life and her records were lost. We were able to see changes in her and we taught her all the lessons. Then she was able to help her less active family start coming back to church.
10th Transfer – Terrazas, (Tuxtla, Gutierrez) – Hermana Arellano (Ecuador). I was with Hermana Arellano for 5 transfers, on the mission that’s like an eternity but I learned a lot from her and she helped me be a better missionary. We taught Julisa a lot and she progressed, though never was baptized. We worked a lot with the members though and thanks to that, we were able to see two miracles – Fabian and Marcos were baptized. They had friends and brothers who were members –within like 6 months the ward went from having two deacons to having ten, it was super awesome! In this time in my mission I feel like we were always preparing lessons and trainings and things to teach to other missionaries. I also got to do companion exchanges with my MTC Companion.
11th Transfer - Terrazas (Tuxtla, Gutierrez) – Hermana Valencia (Baja California). This transfer we worked with a ton of referrals and with that were able to see a lot of miracles. We worked with Andrea, Nora, Fernando, and Gretel but they all had some things holding them back. Also I turned 21! By this point I had grown to really love and appreciate the members and the ward there. My last Sunday was the best. I sat there during sacrament and felt an immense love. I saw 3 of my converts passing the sacrament and then another gave a talk on repentance. I had flashbacks to when Hermana Arellano and I taught her about repentance before her baptism and now she was teaching an entire congregation about it. It was a special moment.
12th Transfer – Comitan 2 – Hermana Diaz (Guatemala). I finished Hermana Diaz’s training and we both learned a lot. I started playing the piano in sacrament meeting and we walked a LOT always BUT the weather was a lot nicer and the scenery was beautiful. Also it was President Doman’s first transfer and we met him. We read the whole Book of Mormon in a month and our miracle was Jose Luis, who talked to us in the street and was baptized 4 weeks later. We sang in a multi-religious choir. We worked a lot with Jorge and Enrique and they both progressed a lot but still had a few challenges. Andres, was our best friend because he always went out with us to visit people and would always buy us Coke and food.
13th Transfer (last) - Laureles (Tapachula) Hermana Maldonado (Bolivia). Last transfer, last area. I returned to the heat, to the coast. The ward started working and we were able to reactivate some less actives and also baptize Juan and Oliver. Also I was able to go to the temple and see lots of miracles. We worked a lot with less actives and my testimony of how important it is to be strong in the gospel grew. I finish my mission with a lot of love and appreciation in my heart for each one of my areas, companions, converts, and God.
Leaving – Leaving Chiapas is harder than leaving California 18 months ago. I have grown to love the people, the culture, and serving my fellowman and God. Well my time is up, and I’ll see you all soon!
Con much amor,
Photo taken before Hermana Dangl left to Mexico with the Mexican Flag. During these past 18 months she has loved her time spent among the people of Mexico.
Missionary Countdown Chain until Hermana Dangl comes home by Dexter, her cousin.
Sept. 27th is almost here!
Come and hear Hermana Dangl speak in church about her mission
Sunday, October 15, 2017
801 Dover Dr. NB
Lunch afterwards at 2:30 pm at the Kettley Home
On Monday Jeff and I are going to fly to Mexico to be with Katelynne as she finishes her mission. We will be traveling around to the different areas that she served in, so we can meet the people that she has loved for the last year and half of her life.
I have really enjoyed doing this blog for Hermana Dangl every Monday 79 times. Thank you for diligently reading her letters every week and for your prayers and support. This week's letter is early because she sent it last week and we are leaving tonight.
Sherrilynne, Missionary Momma