Monday, February 27, 2017

Semana 50 - Mole Enchiladas & Street Theater Showing of Meet the Mormons

Hola, Hola, Hola!

Another week has passed me by, and once again I get to write you all :o). This week was fine. We had transfers this week, but I wasn't affected. I didn't change my area nor my companion, so it just kind of feels like a continuation of the last transfer. 

Monday is P-day! My Pdays or "preperation day" are usually always the same. I wash clothes, clean the house, write this letter, and sometimes go to Wal-mart. We did get free smoothies though! 

On Tuesday, we were in the OCC (it's the main bus station here) all day to welcome and send off new Hermanas to the zone. It means we wait a long time and talk to other missionaries a lot, which is strangely exhausting. We took a combi to go eat with a member, but we got super lost. So we took another combi, but that didn't help all that much. We ended up arriving for dinner instead of lunch. Haha. It was also randomly cold out, so we taught some investigators while sitting around a little fire they had made outside. Honestly, it was probably 60 degrees out. The "Chiapanecos" are really used to the heat, so just a little bit of cold weather makes them all freeze and get sick. 

On Wednesday we ate Tlayudas with the Bishop's family. It's a traditional dish from Oaxaca - it just looks like a huge taco. After teaching our English class, we taught a super less active member. While we washed her dishes, she basically collected stuff from her pantry and fridge that she supposedly no longer needed and ended up sending us off with a TON of food. I've said it before, but there's honestly something about being a missionary that makes people want to feed you. I'm totally not complaining :o). 

On Thursday I turned 11 months old in the mission! Whoa! We ate with the Stake President, and he asked me about which temple I go to at home and he hadn't realized there was a temple in Newport. I told him about how the church had bought the land but was going to lose it, so the members in our area and the 16 stakes in Orange County ended up making the necessary sacrifices to pay for our temple and have it built. It made me really proud to realize that the members back home realize the importance of temples and temple ordinances. He told me he wants me to tell the story in Stake Conference next week so that the members here can see the worth of a temple, but I'm low key hoping he doesn't make me speak... haha. We also taught some new investigators who had a lot of questions and had some serious potential. They totally cried during the hymn we sang to them. I'm a big believer in the power of hymns and the spirit they bring. Our hymnals get VERY well used here. 

On Friday we ate mole enchiladas and put up a "street theater," which was cool! We watched "Meet the Mormons" outside with the movie projected on the wall of a member's house. It turned out really well. We had a ton of recent converts come, as well as a few investigators. 

Saturday was one of "those" days. All of our appointments fell through, and everyone we contacted just wasn't interested. It was really hot out, and there wasn't any water, which has everyone freaking out. BUT we did have a good lesson with Marisol, Pedro, and Janeth, who are our recent converts. We're super stoked for them because they're really awesome and already seem like they've been members for years. 

On Sunday we went to church! First we stopped by to pick up an investigator. He really didn't want to wake up, and I wanted to do to him what my dad used to do to me when I was a kid – dump cold water on him. :o) haha. We went out with the Ward Missionaries after church in their "Missionary Mobile," to visit some investigators and less active members, and it was good. 

All in all, it's been a good week. I've been reading the Liahona (The Ensign, New Era, and Friend church magazines all in one in Spanish) with the General Conference talks as part of my personal study. Something I learned about it is the importance of sharing the gospel with others in 3 easy steps. 1. Pray and ask for the desire to share it. 2. Keep the commandments, and be an example to others. 3. Pray to receive inspiration about who we can share it with. Elder Dallin H. Oaks tells us we should never consider ourselves judges to determine who's prepared to receive the gospel and who isn't, only God knows our hearts and it's Him that will reveal His will so this week, I invite you all to follow the 3 steps! I am super grateful for all your prayers, but don't just pray for the missionaries to find success in sharing the gospel, pray so that you can find it too! 
Love you all! Con amor, Hermana Dangl

Here is the link to the talk if you would like to read or listen to it.

 Cine en la calle - Movie in the street 

 Hermana Dangl with Lili

 Hermana Arellano and I waiting at the OCC (bus station) for the new Hermanas.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Semana 49 - Hearts, Baptisms, Heat, & Mole

Hola, Hola, Hola!

I'll start with the good news: Transfers! Hermana Arellano and I are both staying here in Terrazas for one more transfer. Whoo! By the end of what is very likely to be our last transfer together, we will have been together for 6 months, but in 2 different areas. 

On Tuesday we walked for a good while in the HOT sun. We litterally walked around searching out for the tiniest slivers of shade. We may have to start using umbrellas because we're dying, and the hot season really hasn't even reached its peak yet. We ate with an Hermana who gave us mole (it's a chocolate meat sauce, very traditional), but with a lot of condiments with Tascalate. Everyone we talked to in the street rejected us all day. BUT on the bright side, we celebrated Valentine's Day - I heart attacked Hermana Arellano's wall! (see the pictures below.) Thank you all so MUCH for those of you who sent us notes. It meant a lot to me and it meant a lot to her as well. 

On Wednesday we had a district meeting! Yah! Then we ate nobal (cactus) tacos and taught our English classes. We also visited Marisol, Pedro, & Janeth and helping them get prepared for their baptism. They're super great!  

On Thursday we did companion exchanges with the Hermanas in Mactumatza. I was partnered with Hermana Connolly, who was actually my sister training leader when I was in Tonala and then Mapastepec. Now it's my turn to be her STL (Sister Training Leader), which feels really weird... On Friday Hermana Connolly and I taught a less active who doesn't come to church (in part) because her bishop forgot to do something he said he would do. It always makes me sad when I hear things like that. It makes me wonder if pride is more important to some people than their salvation. Maybe that sounds harsh, but when you realize that we go to church to renew our baptismal covenants and to worship God, it really doesn't matter who may offend us or what others may do to us because we can focus on what's really important. I love the scripture (that I shared) from Doctrine & Covenants 64:9-10 where it basically says the Lord can do and forgive whatever/whomever He wants but it's our duty as recipients of the Atonement to forgive all men. After we finished companion exchanges, President George and Elder Allen came over to the church to do the baptismal interviews. They all passed! Wahoo! President George accidentally told us about the upcoming transfers ahead of time as well... He asked us to do something for him, so he totally gave it away, but it made everything better because then I didn't have to stress about what was coming up. 

After our meeting, we went to search out for a new investigator, but we couldn't find him. So, we asked for directions and  ended up contacting the person who helped us out. It was a slightly older couple, and when their son and his wife realized that we were missionaries, they totally snuck off to go for a walk. During the time while they were on their walk, the couple invited us in to sing a hymn and get some water. When the son and his wife returned to see us teaching his parents, they were pretty surprised (haha) to see us inside of their house after they had so effectively evaded us... so they went on another walk haha. The parents were super receptive and awesome and it was totally a miracle contact! 

On Saturday - wow, what a day!!! Marisol, Pedro, and Janeth's baptism was amazing, spiritual and really special. Hermana Arellano and I have really come to love them. We sang, "If the Savior Stood Beside Me," as a special musical number, and it was super spiritual and Marisol was crying. Hermana George totally saved us though because she and President George ended up coming and she played the piano for us. I was going to do it, but it proved to be very difficult to sing the hymn in Spanish and play the piano at the same time. It all turned out well though. :o)  When they were baptized, Hermana Arellano and I started to cry a bit because it was such a beautiful and special moment. That day Elder Allen (our district leader) officially gave us the transfer information - very few people from the zone are leaving, and so we'll all be here together one more transfer.

Sunday wasn't all that eventful, but we did sing, "I Love to See the Temple," in sacrament meeting. It was pretty hot outside as well, but not as bad inside of people's houses. When we're out walking in the sun it's pretty killer. We helped an investigator clean her roof, and she gave us soy milk that her husband made from soy beans. At night while walking, a woman stopped us and asked us where the nearest church was. We ended up talking and we sang her the hymn, "I Stand All Amazed" in the street and she told us she felt something really special and asked us to visit her. Yeah! Another small miracle. Missionary work is full of them. It was a successful week, though a tiring one. I'm doing well. I'm adapting to my area and my new responsibilities. I am happy. 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl

A letter from Katelynne's companion,

Hi, Dangl Family
I'm sister Arellano A.K.A. Sister A :o) You are really special family, sometimes is easy to forget how our Heavenly Father loves us but you remember me, thank you for your prayers and love. Actually, I'm feeling better and I hope to finish healthy. Sister Dangl is always helping me. She is a great missionary and companion, we enjoy to learn together and serve the Lord our Savior! I'm so grateful for you and your heart attack. That was really nice. DyC 130:2 "And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy."

Querida familia Dangl ustedes tienen un lugar muy especial en mi corazon, siempre! 

Con amor, Hermana Arellano 

 Heart Attack on Hermana Arellano's Window!

 Hermana Connolly and Hermana Dangl in Mactumatza on companion exchanges.

 Marisol, Pedro, and Janeth's baptism.

 Look at me! 

 Aaroncito and Morony 

 Cabeza (head) Maya with Hermana Arellano 

 Hermanas Banda, Arellano, Connolly, and Dangl 

 Cooling off with yummy smoothies. 

They are now members of the church! 

Letter written to the Dangl Family from Hermana Arellano 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Semana 48 - Texas Toast & Tzotzil Language

Happy Monday!

Last week of the transfer!  I feel like, seriously, it was just yesterday that Hermana Arellano was waiting for me at the bus station to bring me to the area, and now a whole transfer has gone by. 

Monday was P-day with our new schedule. I finished washing my clothes and cleaning the house by 10 am. Usually we're still studying at that time, but I'm not complaining!  It was great!  There's a Walmart here, and it's the best thing ever because they have some stuff from the states that I've really missed.

Tuesday – Hermana Arellano wasn't feeling super well, so we stayed home in the morning. I didn't really do much - I organized stuff, got caught up on some scripture study, and wandered around our apartment.  In the afternoon we headed out and had a good lesson with A, who is a new investigator. Afterwards Hermana Arellano mentioned that she liked something I had said, but I had absolutely no recollection of saying that thing, which is a big indicator that it wasn't my idea but the Holy Spirit's idea.  It's really cool getting to be an instrument in the hands of God so that He can bless His children.  We started preparing the baptismal service of Marisol, Janeth, and Pedor.  They're going to be baptized on the 18th. It has been super cool to watch the changes happen within them throughout the transfer, and we're pretty stoked. 

On Wednesday, we had to rest again a bit. It's also starting to get a lot hotter out here (though not as hot as it'll be in March-June/July.)  That's when we start to feel like we are in a REAL oven.  We're getting there, and the sun is pretty strong.  We taught English classes as well, which is good.  It's a huge blessing that Hermana Arellano knows some English as well because we usually split up the class in 2 groups, and she teaches the beginners, while I get to go with the people who know a bit.  It's actually pretty fun.  I've learned a lot about the English language. I had never even realized why we say things in the way we say them.  Then we ate dinner with a member who always makes us fancy meats.  I've mentioned before that my mom makes a garlic cheese bread that I really like (Texas Toast).  Well, she doesn't actually make it, she just buys it and then puts it in the oven... but I kind of left that part out. This super awesome member, Ruth, wanted to make me something from home, so she bought the bread and asked me about which cheese my mom used and how much garlic to add and everything.  So, we ended up making it, and they were all looking to me as the expert in the making of garlic cheese bread even though I actually had no clue and was just guessing about everything.  My compa was laughing pretty hard during it all. 

On Thursday we visited lots of viejitas (little old ladies) and taught the Plan of Salvation to Marisol, Pedro, and Janeth.  I think the Plan of Salvation is one of my favorite lessons to teach because it helps us understand what we're doing here on this earth and where we came from and where we're going after we die.

On Friday we went to a doctor's appointment along with the secretaries from the mission office because they had to pay for it, so they brought me my package!  Whooo! I was stoked!  Thank you to those who sent me Christmas cards and Valentine notes as well.  You guys are the best!  :o)  After we headed on out to Real del Bosque to do companion exchanges.  I got to stay in Real with Hermana Feiloiaga!  She's from Samoa and was a nurse before her mission.  Plus she has a ton of energy because there are a ton of hills in her area and no shade.  I don't think there are actually any downhills, just uphills. :o)  I was low key dying but she seemed to be fine.  We also sang, "Come, Come Ye Saints," in Samoan, and she braided my hair in a ton of super tight braids, which was super cool.

On Saturday the sleep over ended (haha), and we returned to Terrazas in a hot and crowded combi (yah!).  We ate and then headed home to drop off the stuff, then went over to the stake center for a meeting with the zone leaders, which we had totally forgotten about until they called us asking where we were.  We ran over, held the meeting, and then went to a baptism of the hermanas from the area Aeropuerto.  We sang with them for a special musical number.  It was cool because I had previously met the man who was baptized, Sergio, on a companion exchange while in Aeropuerto, and he totally remembered me.  I felt famous.  Then we grabbed quesadillas to eat, and the worker ended up being a less active recent convert... I feel that the Lord often guides us to people through my stomach.  We got home, and our neighbor who always calls us her "Chulitas" (cuties) made us smoothies. Wahoo!

On Sunday Hermana Arellano gave a talk, and we visited with the ward missionaries, and we taught a lesson with R, who started speaking to her cousin in Tzotzil, and I understood nothing.  Tzotzil is a language spoken by the indigenous Tzotzil Maya people in the state of Chiapas.  It was kind of cool though.  All in all, it was a good week. It's getting hot out here, and I'm doing well. 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

In our stake conference yesterday, Rachel was asked to speak about her sister serving a mission, the blessings we have received and about her experience thus far.  Below the pictures is a copy of her talk for those who would like to read it.  Katelynne had written the Young Men and Young Women of our ward a letter and some of the parts are from the letter.  

 "La caridad nunca deja de ser." - Charity Never Faileth - for the Relief Society Women's Class 

 Cross stitch of Jesus 
 Trying to keep cool with my compa (companion) Hermana Arellano
 On exchanges with Hermana Feiloaiga from Samoa.
 No pants, that is okay, I wear a skirt everyday! 
 Delicious smoothie! 

Rachel's Stake Conference Talk  2-12-17

In Doctrine and covenants section 4 verses 2 and 3 it reads, "Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work." 

My sister Katelynne is currently serving in the Mexico, Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission which is located in the southernmost part of Mexico, right by the border of Guatemala.  By her willingness to serve, I have seen how my family and I have been blessed in many ways. 

Our family prays together for her so she can find people to teach, learn the language and be able to communicate with the members and investigators. She has sent home names of investigators so we can pray that their hearts can be softened so they can be ready to hear and accept the gospel.  I never thought I would say this but now I actually look forward to Mondays because I get to hear from my sister.  We put her letters and pictures on a blog so we are able to share them with family and friends, many who are not members. Many people have told our family how much they enjoy reading her letters and hearing about the progress she is making and seeing her testimony grow.

At my mom's missionary homecoming, my grandma said "We are in Heavenly Father's debt for the blessings he has showered upon our family in her absence."  I know that we are also receiving blessings for her service in the mission field.  

A couple weeks ago some people from our stake had the opportunity to go to a Mini MTC activity.  We were taught by past mission presidents and we were able to better understand how a mission can help us grow spiritually and can help touch other's lives.  We were able to practice teaching the missionary discussions and it helped me realize that when we are in tune with the spirit and keeping the commandments, the spirit will be there to help and guide us.

How my sister has grown from serving a mission has really impacted me because she is such a great role model and her example has helped me to strengthen my testimony.  Her willingness to devote 18 months of her life to carry out the Lord's work and exercise faith in difficult times is so inspiring to me that I want to strengthen my relationship and increase my faith in Heavenly Father.  In a letter Katelynne wrote she said:

"Before I left, one of my uncles told me that the lows would be really low, but that the highs would be really, really high. I didn't get that until I was in my first area, and I went through some if the hardest months of my life. I felt a lot of low points. I was so, so, so hot and sweaty always. And I couldn't sleep well because of the heat, so I felt totally exhausted. I understood very little of what was said to me, and I'm not sure that anyone else really understood all that I said either. I was super sick and had a lot of stomach pain – I was actually miserable. I wanted to come home and forget about it all. So why didn't I? Well, I learned a few things. First, I had trust in the Lord and I knew that He had inspired those who I sustain as prophets and apostles to send me to Chiapas, Mexico.

The highs are really high. It would be impossible to express the supreme joy I've felt in my heart and how strongly I have felt the spirit guide me. I have seen a true conversion happen within myself and also in the lives of the people I've had the opportunity to help come unto Christ. I've learned what patience is, humility, and charity. I've cried with those who cry, mourned with those who mourn, and comforted those that stood in need of comfort. Going on a mission is so, so, so worth it. The blessings are so much greater and abundant than the trials; the highs far outweigh the number of lows you may experience, and you will form a close and personal relationship with your Savior and Redeemer. 

Our family first had the opportunity to Skype her last Mother's Day when she had only been out 2 months.  She was exhausted and we could tell that she was struggling with the learning the language, mosquitoes, exotic food, and heat.  When we skyped her 7 months later at Christmas, she started talking and I thought to myself, who is this Mexican woman and what has she done with my sister? She was a different person.  She explained to us that she had decided to embrace the mission and immerse herself in the language, culture and gospel.  
Then Katelynne said, "I imagine that it would be like living in total darkness without ever being able to turn on a light. Imagine being in darkness until one day when two young men with ties and name tags show up at your front door. Their simple message that Jesus Christ made it possible for you to be saved from sin and death provides you with a flicker of hope and light. Now imagine that the young man (or woman) knocking at the doors is YOU. The name of Jesus Christ is written on your chest and you now have the opportunity to teach the things that can put a new glow in the lives of others. You can help them recognize the role of Christ in their lives so they can repent and be baptized. You can help them find a new purpose and an understanding about why they're here on the earth and what their Creator wants them to do or be. And as you help someone else to do those things, it will happen to you as well. You will find a new purpose, gain a new understanding, and gain invaluable experiences that will shape you as a person for the rest of your life.  

By having Katelynne serving a mission it has changed how I see missionaries.  I watched her change from being just my sister and a college student to an amazing missionary and I know this is because she has the spirit in her life helping her.  This is an example to me that if I strive to have the spirit in my life that I can be a missionary to others. I can be a better person and I can let the light of the gospel shine through me.  I can be the person Heavenly Father wants me to be.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Semana 47 - Time Flies & Mango Obsession


This week honestly flew by. Honestly, the whole transfer is flying by and I don’t know what to do about that.  I think it's the fastest going transfer of my mission and that probably is because it's one of the best – I really like my area, I have a great companion, the members are nice, the other Hermanas in the zone are great as well.  I'm worried about jinxing something!

On Monday we enjoyed our extra hours of P-day which was nice and had a meeting with the zone leaders to plan the district meetings for Tuesday.  Afterwards we went to Family Home Evening with M and her 2 kids and the bishop's family.   It was great!   Partly because they gave us atole and partly because we learned about the importance of recognizing our identities as children-sons and daughters of God.  When Moses sees all the creation that is and the future of what will pass and walks with God, he is confronted by Satan directly after Satan tells him to adore him, and he asks, "Who art thou? For behold, I am the Son of God, in the similitude of His only Begotten."  There is great power in knowing your purpose and divine worth as a Child of God.  

On Tuesday we had the district meeting!  That means the zone leaders and my companion and I taught the district leaders and then they taught their districts what we had taught them.  It was good!  We did companion exchanges, so I went to Villaflores with Hermana Behymer.  She's from California as well.  I like exchanges because I get to see other areas and how other people work, and I can learn a lot from that.  Plus we get to help the other Hermanas with their personal needs and anything that might impede the work. 

On Wednesday we taught English Classes and a lesson with M that was hard because we had to end up moving her baptism date to the 18th, but it's fine because there was a valuable lesson to be learned on her part.  

On Thursday we rested a bit because my companion wasn’t feeling good, but I’m not complaining because I got to sleep.  

On Friday we found mango-pinas, and we both just about died.  (!!!)  My mango obsession is becoming very real which is okay because the season is just about to start and it's going to rain mangos on all of Chiapas.  

On Saturday, it was hot out, and we got a little glimpse of what will be coming really soon – the hot, hot, humid heat.  For now it’s not too bad, but soon Chiapas will be an oven.  We watched the Restoration Movie with M, and it was really good.  It always amazes me to see how much the early members suffered, and it also makes me pretty sad.  

On Sunday we had a normal day but ended up coming home a bit early so Hermana Arellano could rest.  I think I mentioned it in a past letter, but she really needs your prayers.  She's still suffering quite a bit from back pain.  All in all though, it was a good week!  Very normal.  Not a lot of interesting things happened, but that's fine. 

Con amor,

Hermana Dangl 

 Obsession with Mangos 

(Cross) Cruz de Copoya