Monday, March 27, 2017

Semana 54 - One year in the mission, amazing contacts & more craft projects

Hello Everyone! 

This week was a good one! I learned many things. :o) On Monday, P-day, we spent the day with the Alores Family. Their kids are both on missions right now. Hermana Ruth, the mom, made us breakfast and then helped us make brownies and taught us how to do a new type of embroidery. It uses tulle and thread, and it's very traditional for the typical dresses from Chiapas (vestidos Chiapanecos). They also took us out to eat at a fancy restaurant. I think they're the closest we have to parents here on the mish. After Pday ended, we visited a less active family that was also a reference. They received us well. Supposedly, the grandpa, who's not a member, had always chased the missionaries away from his home. Only 2 of his daughters are members, but they let us teach them and the grandpa not only listened, but accepted the invitation to be baptized. Whoa! 

On Tuesday we had a normal day. We are working with a few less active members who also come from part-member families and that effort is going well.

On Wednesday we saw a small miracle... we finally found the house of a couple we had contacted but never been able to visit because we could never find them. It has a door that leads to some rooms, and they live in one of the rooms. So, we were outside, pounding on the door when one of their neighbors came home and opened the door for us. He asked us if we were Mormons... we said yes. He asked us what he had to do to get his hands on one of our Bibles. Then he told us he'd already read the whole Book of Mormon. What?! 

I turned one year in the mission!! Everyone always says that time flies, and I have to admit that it's true... a year ago, I said goodbye to everyone, boarded a plane, and set off for the MTC. I had no clue what to expect or what I was getting myself into. :o) But, here I am and I can say I've survived a year in Chiapas, Mexico! In 12 months I've changed a lot and I've learned a LOT. I've learned a language. I've grown as a person. I've truly learned about what Christ's gospel is. I know what my priorities are. I can't imagine what my life would have been like if I didn't board the plane on March 23, 2016. Honestly, my mission has done more for me than I could ever have imagined, and I think I will forever be grateful for the experiences I've had. It's amazing how much someone can change in one year. The things that were once so weird and foreign now make sense and are part of my daily life. I honestly feel that it is very bittersweet to have gotten to this point. 

On Friday we had companion exchanges, and I got to be in Mactumatza with Hermana Banda. As we worked together, I was reminded of one of the primary songs about Pioneers that we put a little twist on. We sang, "Missionaries sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked..." All of our appointments fell through! It was rough! We call those types of days, "One of THOSE days." We did teach an investigator though who's been investigating the church for 4 years. We turned the tables on him and pretended to be investigators, and he had to teach US and answer OUR questions. It went surprisingly well. 

On Saturday we finished the companion exchanges. As we left, we convinced a taxi driver to let us put a mattress on top of the taxi to bring it home with us. Plus a less active member taught us how to crochet using plastic grocery bags. I get myself into a lot of fun artsy crafty projects here, but I never have time to finish anything. However, the goal is to crochet a scripture cover, so hopefully I'll finish soon. We also saw the General Women's Conference... it was amazing! If you missed it, you can go to and find it there. 

Sunday was a normal Sunday, full of missionary work, day. Yay!  I hope you all have a great week! 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl

 The start to my new scripture case that I'm crocheting out of plastic grocery bags.

The embroidery that Hermana Ruth taught us that is done for the typical dresses from Chiapas (vestidos chiapanecos).

 Companion exchanges with Hermanas Connolly and Banda.

 Our mattress adventure with the taxi.

 The sun after a hot day in Tuxtla. 


Monday, March 20, 2017

Semana 53 - Chiapas de Corzo Excursion, Teaching and Serving!

Hola! This week was BUSY, but good! I learned a lot of things, and we ran around sometimes like chickens with our heads cut off, but it's okay! We survived! Haha! 

On Monday we went to Chiapa de Corzo, it's a little tourist town in Chiapas, and it has the best pozol. We went with the ward missionaries and my Terrazas grandparents (in their "Missionary Mobile, which is their truck.) Chiapa de Corzo was very cool. There is a TON of stuff to buy that is all typical of this area. Some of the things you can buy include flowered and embroidered shirts, all the traditional clothing, amber, things for Chiapanecas (it's a girl with the traditional black flower embroidered dress) and the Parachico (it's a man with a mask and a poufy helmet and he is seen in parades once a year.) All in all Chiapa de Corzo was awesome. :o) 

On Tuesday we had our district meeting! Hermana Arellano and I taught about the power of the spirit in the conversion of people, and it was great! Honestly, the missionary is not the teacher, the Holy Spirit is the teacher, and we're just instruments. If the spirit isn't present in the lesson, we will never be able to reach the heart of the investigator. After the meeting we ate and started a companion exchange. I was with Hermana Aguilera in Terrazas and Hermana Arellano went to Villaflores with Hermana Behymer. I was a little skeptical about being in Terrazas alone because I was sure I was going to get us lost (anyone who's been in a car with me knows I am super bad with directions), but I didn't! Backstory: We had visited a couple a few times but due to an extended game of phone tag we were kind of ready to give up. Reality: We knocked on their door, they let us in, and the lesson was great and now I have a lot of hope. They told us that when we started teaching them that the husband's depression kind of went away and for that she'll never forget the day she met us!!! 

On Wednesday we took a taxi to Villaflores (it's about 2 hours away) to end the companion exchange and Hermana Arellano and I returned to Terrazas. We taught our English class. Even though only one student showed up, God totally had a plan in this because she's been going through a rough patch and we were able to help her. 

On Thursday we taught the couple, E and J again, but this time we brought the big guns... the Relief Society President and Stake President's wife. The lesson was amazing! You could cut the spirit with a knife and it was so strong and they totally opened their hearts. We left from that lesson feeling like we had just fought a spiritual battle, seriously. 

On Friday we went to Immigration! Why? Because very soon I'll be turning one year old in the mission, and we had to renew my green card. I'll talk very nostalgically about being out for a year next week.

On Saturday we visited S. I might have mentioned that we met her when we helped her put out a small fire in front of her house. Anyway, she told us she just wants to find the answers to her prayers and be a part of the true church. :o) We also went to a Relief Society Activity for the 175th Anniversary. Plus we did a street theater again and watched "The Testaments." 

On Sunday Bishop Ruiz told us that the stint last week where we taught Gospel Principles was actually going to be a 7 week long thing. We talked about the gathering of Israel, a topic I know a little about, but not enough to fill an hour long class... but somehow we made it out alive. After church there was a missionary activity for the youth and they announced during it that the full time missionaries were going to sing the EFY Medley. No one thought to tell us beforehand, so we were singing it in the moment and there wasn't piano music so one of the Hermanas was winging that as well and it was the WORST. It turned out like it was our first time practicing it, because it was, and the Stake President was definitely holding back laughter. Sometimes the members trust in us a little too much and think we know everything and then things like that end up happening, but it's all good! It's a moment I won't forget... anyways, that's all for now.  Have a good week! 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

 The Book of Mormon in Spanish.

 My planner with my family and my companion.

 The Young Women's Theme in Spanish that I made in my free time.

 Relief Society is 175 years old!  Happy Birthday!  Sociedad de Soccoro

The members are so good to us!  They treated us to breakfast and lunch today, helped us make brownies and paid for our food for the week.  Then they taught us a new embroidery. 

 Making brownies with some members.

 Some members treated us to lunch. 

The corner with all the burnt stuff- someone randomly decided to light all the trash on fire and all the neighbors where putting it out and when it was all out the "Fire Department" came. 

Hermana Arellano and her hija, Hermana Gomez who is a Capacitadora in Tapachula, and then me with Hermana Ilizarbe, my Capacitadora (Sister Training Leader) from when I was in Mapastepec. This was taken at a Leadership Council.

Us with a part member family, the dad  (the only member) received the Melchizedek Priesthood.

With some ward members at Stake Conference. 

 A Chiapaneca and Parachico that Hermana Arellano surprised me with. 

Me with the Parachico headgear

Me with a tiger helmet.

Shopping in Chiapas de Corzo

An old catholic church in Chiapa de Corzo.

 Pozol with Hermano Dominguez
In the "corona" (crown) of Chiapa de Corzo

Us with Hermana Dominguez in Chiapa de Corzo.

 Driving in the Missionary Mobile with our Terrazas Grandparents.

The Chiapaneca at the entrance to Chiapa de Corzo.

Canyon Sumidero

Monday, March 13, 2017

Semana 52 - Temple, Missionary Activity, Joy, and Choose to be Happy!

Hey everybody! Happy Monday! I don't have a ton of time to write this week, because we went to Chiapa de Corzo today. I'll just share a recap of what we did this week and some of the things I learned. 

On Monday, I cleaned our nasty moldy bathroom, and we wandered around Wal-mart for probably 3 hours. It's very calming to not always have to be in a rush.

On Tuesday, it was a weird and long day, we visited some viejitas (little old ladies).

On Wednesday, we searched out a reference in the morning, which usually isn't a good idea because there's always a TON of sun and they can be hard to find. So, we ended up walking around a lot in the sun, but it's all good! 

On Thursday, we had a great day... we got to go to the temple with Marisol, Pedro, and Janeth for their first time! They had the chance to do the work for their own ancestors too... it was so amazing to see, honestly. We got to sit in the temple for a bit, and I received some answers to some questions I'd had about things, but also about what to do with an investigator. It was really cool and sacred experience!

On Friday, we searched out another reference in the sun, but this time an old lady gave us free soda. I've said it before, but honestly everyone gives missionaries food even people who don't know us. Plus, we went to a stake missionary activity! We got assigned a young woman and she was our companion for 24 hours. It was so cool. She was 17 and totally reminded of my little sister. We felt the spirit in the lessons we taught. We also visited a less active member right at the moment when she said she needed us the most. The hand of the Lord is in all things. 

On Saturday, we had some really good lessons and then dropped off our "jovencita" (Young Woman) at the stake center to finish off the activity. It was a good experience for all of us. 

On Sunday, we went to church and taught the Gospel Principles class, which is something we hadn't done since the good ole' days in Mapastepec. We had a good lesson with a youth who's friends were all baptized about 2 months ago. Now he wants to be next :o), and it's cool to watch him change and he learns more about the gospel. You can always see it in their prayers. The things they ask for, the way they address God, their comfort levels with praying in front of people – it's a process for people who are still learning. Before when we asked him if he prayed, he kind of scoffed and said no. Now he proudly tells us about how he prays morning and night. . . success!!

Something I learned this week though was about happiness. I love the General Conference talk by Russell M. Nelson that's called "Joy and Spiritual Survival," (see that tells us that the "joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances in our lives and a lot to do with the FOCUS of our lives." It's so true! President Thomas S. Monson also taught that even though we can't control the winds of life, we can adjust the sails . . . also so true! When we make Christ the focus of our lives, when we depend on Him 100% , things are seen with a new light. Sometime we tend to ask "Why me? " or "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Honestly, I don't know, but I do know that God loves His children and knows what will humble them and help them grow. His point of view is infinitely larger than ours, and we must trust that He knows what He's doing and that we chose to come to earth and be tried and tested. Embrace it! Choose to be happy! Make Christ the real focus of your life and you'll see changes... I promise!  I hope you all have a great week! 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl

 Chiapa de Corzo 

 Hermana Dangl, Hermana Arellano & Dominguez Family 

Catholic Church


 Shopping in Chiapa de Corzo 

 Teaching English Classes 
 Delicious fruit 

 The Sisters at the Tuxtla, Gutierrez Temple 

On March 4th 25 years ago I was released as missionary from the Chile, Santiago South Mission. It is hard to believe that 25 years later my daughter would be on a mission in Mexico, nearing her one year month on the 23rd of March.  

Hermana Kettley  - 1992