Monday, December 26, 2016

Semana 41 - Skyping on Christmas & Hump Day - 9 month mark

Merry Christmas!  Or Feliz Navidad!

This week had some ups and downs.  A huge up was getting to talk to my family on Sunday!  Downs would be that this week had some long hot days with a lot of appointments falling through and not a lot of support from the members.  It’s hard because there aren’t very many members but we are trying our best here in Mapa!  Highlights of the week: 
  1. We found root beer and it was amazing because I haven’t had root beer since before my mission. 
  2. We ate iguana!  It was totally not bad, though it had lots of little bones and still had its skin. :o)
  3. District meeting and zone meeting on Thursday.  In the district meeting we talked about the numbers behind time – in the scriptures it says that one day for God is like 1,000 years for us.  So,

God’s Time                  Our  Time
1 day               =          1,000 years
1 hour              =          +40 years
1 minute          =          +6 years

Which means my mission of 1.5 years is only 15 seconds for God.  It’s basically nothing!   Haha.  It was a really good meeting though and we talked a little bit about how the frustration we feel right now is teaching us a little bit about how God often feels with us when we disobey Him.  It’s a hard lesson to learn.  After the zone meeting we decorated a Christmas tree and got presents.  We laughed about how us missionaries have to stick together at Christmastime because we’re all people who don’t have our families with us, and only have each other. 

  1. On Friday I completed 9 months in the mission!  That means I’m halfway done. . . What?!  I feel that I’ve learned so much in these past 9 months.  I’ve heard the mission is like climbing a mountain, 9 to climb up and 9 to climb down, but the way down is always faster and just gains speed as it goes. 
  2. Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) and Navidad (Christmas)! Yay!  So awesome to celebrate with some members and also skype my family.  Also to be able to think about the true spirit of Christmas, which is of course, a Christmas centered on Christ. 

I hope you all had a great Christmas and that all is well with everyone.

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

 They received a gingerbread house from her aunt and uncle and they decorated it on Christmas Day.

 Christmas gathering with their zone on Thursday.  They decorated their Christmas tree.

 9 months in the mission!  Hump Day!  = 9 months pregnant.

 Hermana Kettley in Chile on her hump day! I must have been having labor pain! :o)

 A bone from the iguana.
Tamales de iguana

                                          Skyping with the family on Christmas Day! 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Semana 40 - Christmas and Baptisms

Buenos Dias!  

Hello all!  This was a great week. Last Sunday, our investigator, Rubi, was baptized!  Yah!  In a week on Sunday she’ll be confirmed and officially be a member.  

On Monday, December 12th, many here celebrated the Virgin of Guadalupe’s birthday.  During the celebration, they all get together with the shrine and offer a special prayer. Then afterwards they eat food and maybe crack open a piñata.  Our investigator Lupita threw one of these parties because it was also her daughter Lupita’s birthday.  Also because she was really likes the Virgin of Guadalupe, thus her name.  We got to come afterwards to just eat and we kind of hid in the corner with our tacos. 

On Tuesday we had members scheduled to go on visits with us and they canceled which was lame, but we watched “The Testaments,” with Rubi, which was good.  We don’t really watch TV so when we actually get to watch something, Hermana Renteria and I are glued.  

On Wednesday it rained!  It hasn’t rained in forever because the rainy season is over, so we were not very prepared.  In the afternoon we traveled to Arriaga and got to share a twin mattress that night which was super fun and comfortable obviously.  But worth it because bright and early on Thursday we all traveled to Tonala for a multi-zone Christmas activity!  Whoo!  Zone Tonala and Zone Chahuites got together with President and Hermana George, our Mission President and his wife, and it was great!   We did skits and a little talent show and we learned a ton of stuff plus sang a lot of Christmas songs.  It was super awesome!   It took all day but it was totally worth it.  Yay for Christmas!  

On Friday the whole world gave us food which was nice.  We were also really full the whole day.
There’s something about being a missionary that makes everyone think you’re starving even though you slowly but steadily gain weight your whole mission.  It’s very interesting.  

On Saturday, we visited Rubi like 10 times to get everything figured out for her baptism on Sunday.  She’s so ready!  Elder Xochicale, our district leader, told us after her interview that he has never seen a 12 year old who understands so clearly and simply the doctrine.  We’re stoked!  

On Sunday Hermana Renteria and I got surprised with talks . . . whoever was supposed to give the talk didn’t show up so of course Presidente Toledo throws it on over to us.  Haha.  . . but it’s okay because we all went to the river after church and Presidente Toledo baptized Rubi.  She’ll receive the Holy Ghost next Sunday.  It was super exciting!  We taught the primary kids the song, “I’m Trying To Be Like Jesus,” and we all sang it for the special number.  It was great!  I hope you all have a great week and a Merry Christmas this coming Sunday.  

Con mucho amor, 

Hermana Dangl

 Zone Christmas Activity!
 Angel and Mary!
 Angel and Devil! 
 Baptism of Rubi!
24 Creches I sent to Hermana Dangl and her companion to hand out to their investigators and ward members for Christmas.  It has the scripture in Spanish from Isaiah 9:6 that reads.  "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

Hermana Dangl

Monday, December 12, 2016

Semana 39 - Say yes, to use the word "so," instead of the word "but."

Hello all,

This week was a tiring one, and I can’t say that it was particularly amazing either, but the good news is we have a baptism planned for this Sunday.  Whoo!  I’m hoping that announcing it won’t jinx it, but we're pretty stoked.  The people/investigators here who progress are the ones who "get" it, who understand the things we teach because they have open hearts.  I learned a lot this week from substituting the word, "but" with "so."  For example, "I should say my prayers. . ." is a sentence we can finish with "But I'm tired" or "SO I will," or "I should go to church" but "I don’t want to get out of bed" or "So I will."  There is great power in making good choices over and over because it forms a habit.  

Sometimes we really struggle with investigators who say, "I can’t" instead of "I can."  We help people learn how to pray and repent and sometimes it’s hard at first and there are always going to be a million excuses as to why NOT.  When we find the reasons within ourselves to do things, to say, "I should do___, so I will," is when real conversion happens.  In preach my gospel, it tells us the signs of true conversion is when we have desires to share the gospel with others, desires to choose the right, desires to be obedient.  So I challenge you all to look for the reasons to say yes, to use the word "so," instead of the word "but." Like I said, this week wasn't super eventful but on Thursday we went to Tonalá for a zone conference and it was super, super good!! Hope you all have a great week!  

Con mucho amor, Hermana Dangl

 New hymnbook cover- our zone had them made.

 Me with tacos de lengua :) 

 Hermana Dangl and Emperatriz

Zona Tonala

Monday, December 5, 2016

Semana 38 - Follow His Example

Buenos Dias,

This week was fine, a pretty normal week.  On Monday we visited R.  We are trying to get R prepared for baptism soon, which is exciting.  I think I’ve mentioned her, she’s 12, but super prepared, she understands everything and just needs to come to church a little more.  It’s kind of a miracle though that she’s so close because the missionaries had been visiting with her off and on for a while, but she only started to really pay attention about 2 months ago.   

On Tuesday the most exciting thing that happened is a member gifted us with large Cuban bananas.  It’s a wild species of banana that you have to fry or boil to eat, you can’t eat them “raw,”  like normal bananas.  

On Wednesday we visited J and had an awesome lesson with her.  J is a bit of an “eternigator,” (eternal investigator).  She’s super ready to be baptized and knows the church is true and cried during the lesson about how much her life has changed thanks to the gospel, but has never attended church.  Honestly it’s one of our biggest problems here, getting people to come to church.  

On Thursday, (first day of December! Yeah for Christmas!)  we prayed for a miracle that even though we didn’t have a member to accompany us on visits, we could have some lessons with members present.  By miracles of miracles, all the less actives we visited that day had non member friends over also visiting them that we were able to teach.  Whoo!   I think that the people who don’t feel like they see small miracles in their lives are the people who don’t ask for them.  When we are obedient, God promises us blessings, but we have to ask for them.  Ask for miracles and you will receive them! :o)  

On Friday our sister training leaders came down from Arriaga to do companion exchanges with us.  Our area is super far away though so when we do splits we all work in Mapastepec.  I got to work with Hermana Vargas which was cool!  The whole point of companion exchanges is to learn something new from the other Hermana.  They left on Saturday, and we visited C, a less active who lives by the cemetery.  I always thought I was super blessed that basically all of my extended family lives within 20 minutes from me, but C has me beat.  He bought a whole street of property and gifted it to his 12 kids so that they all live nearby.  It’s nice for us to because we get to focus on this one street jam packed with inactives and potential members. :o)  

On Sunday J came to church and I about died from happiness.  She’s the “eternigator,” I mentioned earlier.  We tried to watch a live stream of a conference that was happening in Tonala and it totally wasn’t working so we watched General Conference again.  After church we all piled into President Toledo’s truck to visit members that didn’t come and they weren’t there so we all ended up stopping by Hermana Ines’s house.  We did a kind of potluck thing and I got to try a nice little mix of cow heart and various other insides.  Which was a very interesting flavor for me haha.  On Saturday we ate quesadillas that were so good that it made me never want to leave Mexico and eat the subpar Mexican food that we have in the US.  So I guess it all evens out.  

In closing, I’d like to share something I’ve been learning recently: How important it is to truly follow the example of Jesus.  Granted, we can’t exactly atone for the sins of the world or raise the dead, but it starts with the little actions.  The things we do daily, our thoughts, and desires make us into who we are.  We can follow his example in serving others, comforting the broken hearted and listening to those who may be crying for help.  In withstanding temptation and quite literally thinking, “What would Jesus do?”  Well, I hope you all have a great week!  

Con amor, Hermana Dangl

Katelynne didn't upload any pictures this week so I added some that her Aunt Jennifer took before she left on her mission.  Beautiful! 

 Her mission call she received 13 months ago.
 Book of Mormon in Spanish and Mexican Flag!
 Called to Serve for 18 months! 

 Newport Beach Temple 
 Preach My Gospel Missionary Guide 
 The Holy Scriptures!