Monday, May 29, 2017

Semana 63 - Listening, no electricity, & Mormon Standard Time

Helllooo!! This week was good, if not a little busy. We have been working to find some new people to teach. Our goal each week is to find 15 new investigators and it's actually pretty hard, but we're trying. :o) On Monday we had a normal P-day, plus a zone activity. We arrived late, but just in time for the pizza. We also tried to reach N., a new investigator who lived like 30 streets from where we were. We had never been to her house before, and she wasn't picking up her phone, so we didn't even know if she was would still waiting for us and if it was worth it to go. We figured out which bus to take, and by a small miracle, arrived and had a great lesson! She had been taught by other missionaries in another state and had already been to church many times. After our lesson, she drove us home, which was another small miracle, because it was really late, and we were far away. 

On Tuesday we had Leadership Council! It was President George's last one. Ahh! Hermana and President George go home in a month... they taught us a lot though, and I learned many new things. We also contacted a gringa... haha what? It was so weird. She lives here but is from the United States. 
On Wednesday in the morning we taught a 12 year old, and we asked her, "What would you ask God if He were here?" She said, "Why He sent his son to suffer?" 12 year olds are pretty great sometimes. It made me think of the Primary Song "He Sent His Son," Heavenly Father sent His son because it was the only way. He was the only one who was perfect enough and worthy enough to make an atoning sacrifice for the whole world. He was sent to satisfy the demands of justice with mercy. We also taught V. who's like 70 something years old... better late than never, right? Also there was a 5.7 earthquake last week, and we had a meeting with our Ward Mission Leader. I haven't met with a Ward Mission Leader since my time in Tonala, which was about a year ago. Yay for Ward Mission Leaders! We also taught A, who was a referred to us by her mom who's a member in Tapachula. 

On Thursday we had a day full of listening. We taught N again. As she drove us home, she spilled the beans about a lot of things for a long time. It was really late, but like I said, we had a day full of listening. 

On Friday we had a district meeting and we talked about Christlike attributes. Between my companion and I, we thought of more than 80 christlike attributes! We talked about maturity, consecration, and obedience. Afterwards, we learned from our district leader and also taught a little bit. It also rained, and we got soaked.

On Saturday, the bishop asked us to do a baptismal program and sing a special number for a child's baptism. It was a struggle to get things done because the cyber we were in closed while we were doing the program, so we had to find another one. Unfortunatley, we were late because everything closes on Saturday afternoons for some reason, and that still remains a mystery to me. In the end everything turned out fine. In the evening Hermana Marisol visited A. with us, and it was amazing. She's so great! Honestly, hearing her testimony about how her life has changed thanks to the gospel strengthens my testimony. When we got home we didn't have electricity, maybe because of the rain, but who knows. I ended up showering with the light from a cellphone. It was all good. It was raining and usually we can't sleep without fans at night. 

On Sunday all our investigators flaked out on us and didn't come to church, which was really sad... but that sometimes happens. We visited some people and it was good. I liked the talks in church about reverence, punctuality, and personal revelation.  They're all interconnected. Sometimes we fall into "Mormon Standard Time," which means arriving late but when we arrive on time to church we can mediate and ponder and it's a time to receive personal revelation. It's something I'll try to be better at when I'm home, and I challenge you all to do it as well! :o) I hope you all have a good week! 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

 Hermana Dangl turned 14 months in the mission last Tuesday.

 The Sister Training Leaders in the mission Mexico, Tuxtla Gutierrez! :)

Hermana Valencia and Hermana Dangl at Leadership Council with President & Hermana George

  Hermana Dangl and Hermana Valencia at Leadership Council.

President George, Hermana Valencia, Dangl, and George. These two people are like her parents away from home while she is there in Mexico.  They were called to serve for 3 years as Mission President and wife and will go home to Wyoming in July.

The sisters in the District "Suchiapa."

 Hermana Valencia and Hermana Dangl in front of the "Barbie house." 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Semana 62 - New companion, new fruit called "Non," and empty your backpack!

Happy Monday! The first week of the transfer is said and done, and it actually went really well! My new companion is Hermana Valencia. She's from Mexicali, Baja California and has been out in the mission for 6 months. She's super sweet and diligent, and I think we're going to work well together. To back track a little bit, on Monday we were a mess of cleaning, washing, and packing and at night we had the big goodbye... Hermana Arellano said goodbye to all her youth converts. I've never seen 13 year old boys cry so much, and I as well was possibly crying a bit. They gave us wooden boxes that they had made. The wooden boxes had a picture of us all in front. It was really sweet but also super sad. 

On Tuesday, we said goodbye to some more people and then waited for my new companion at the bus station. It was the weirdest feeling as I said goodbye to Hermana Arellano and brought the Hermana Valencia to Terrazas. I'm getting accustomed to a new rhythm, but it's good. 

On Wednesday we taught English class, and I didn't get us lost around town which was good. 

On Thursday we visited J and had a good lesson about the Plan of Salvation, which is seriously my favorite lesson. Also, we ate fresh mango ice cream. :o) 

On Friday we contacted a golden referral, and we were super stoked. We are seriously hoping she progresses. The members here like to show their love towards us by giving us in food. We're not complaining! They gave us mangos, farm fresh eggs, and tamales. Terrazas is the best! :o) 

On Saturday – Earthquake!!! It was in the state of Chiapas, but west of where we live, with a 5.7 magnitude on the Richter scale. We visited another referral that has a potential as well. I think referrals are the best thing ever, honestly. Also, we made water out of a really weird fruit called "Non," that supposedly cures cancer. It is a hard yellow fruit but when it's ripe it's like a white-green color and feels like a soft worm. Plus it smells SUPER bad. Seriously the whole house reeked because of 3 little fruits. The water we made as well smelled badly but it didn't taste too bad. We also visited some new investigators and are trying to get rid of those who aren't progressing and find people who will. We also went to a Young Single Adult Activity that was super awesome. I liked a quote I read by Roosevelt: "Whenever someone asks you if you can do something always say that you can, then get to work to figure out how it's done." (translated from Spanish, so it may not be exact). I felt like it applies a LOT with missionary work. 

On Sunday, we went to church and had a normal day. This week was really calm because we didn't have anything going on the 1st week of the transfer. Something I did learn from my studies this week was about the concept of a backpack full of rocks... I was thinking about in Parent Trap how the twin sisters put rocks in their dad's girlfriend's backpack during a hike and every time they sit down to rest and drink water they load it up with another rock. Then they stand up again and each time her backpack is heavier and heavier and the twins are laughing away. I compared it to John Bytheway's talk "What's in your backpack?" in which he compares the rocks we put in our backpack to the sins that we don't repent of. Every time we sin, we add more and more rocks to our spiritual backback and it's when we rest, lose our guard and stop paying attention that Satan can trick us into carrying more than we should. Then when we don't repent, we keep carrying around a weight that gets heavier and harder to carry with time. BUT when we go to church and partake of the sacrament, we can take out the rocks and put them at Jesus's feet. It really is wonderful. Anyway, I hope you all have a great week and unload your spiritual rocks this Sunday!

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

New Companion - Hermana Valencia from Mexicali, Baja California 
A new fruit they tried called "Non." It is a hard yellow fruit but when it’s ripe it’s like a white-green color and feels like a soft worm.  Plus it smells SUPER badly.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Semana 61 - Transfers, Mother's Day Skype & Mission Devotional a success!

Happy Mother's Day! To all moms, but especially to my super awesome mom. I love you mom. Thank you for all you do! 

Last Monday I didn't write a lot because we went to San Cristobal and Teopisca, which was way cool! We traveled about 40 minutes to get to San Cristobal, and then we just wandered around. There are a lot of indigenous people who live there, and they have really cool traditional clothing. They sell everything; the best and cheapest souvenirs can be found there. Then we took a combi for about 40 minutes more to get to Teopisca. This was Hermana Arellano's first area. It was super cool! She was one of the first missionaries to be in that area, so the members love her and gave us food and cried a lot. Plus, I got to see their "Prayer House," that the family group leader constructed in his backyard. Super cool! 

On Tuesday we had our last district meeting of the transfer and then did companion exchanges with the Hermanas in Villaflores. It's about 2 hours away, so I went with Hermana Castillo. 

On Wednesday, Mexico celebrated Mother's Day, which is always on May 10th, so that meant that everyone was occupied and no one was in the streets. Holidays are hard days for missionary work. 

On Thursday, we had our 32nd and last weekly planning session together. There were lots of tears shed during companion inventory. Then we ate with the Stake President and his family. We were both full, and then they brought out dessert. We left their house like we were both pregnant. Haha. 

On Friday Elder Calderon, our district leader, came to Terrazas to do some baptismal interviews. We were trying to give him directions because he was close by, but couldn't find us. He told us that a little kid was talking to him, telling him he'd guide him. The Elder said, "Hermanas just a second, nino, what's your name?" And we both heard the kid say "Abel." It was a member who is like 9 years old and was listening to us give instructions to the Elders on the phone, so he left on his bike to go find the investigators and help the Elders out! So cute!  The good news is that our investigators passed their interviews. 

On Saturday, we got to the church bright and early for the baptism. However, the bishop told us there wasn't any more water in the building. The font was filled maybe a foot high... the bishop asked us what we thought would be the best solution... So, we went across the street to a mechanic and asked if we could have some water, and they said yes. We told the bishop and he sent all the Young Men out to help us. We all carried buckets of water from across the street to the font and filled it maybe another foot or so more. So Marco and Fabian were baptized in water that was only up to their knees. :o) It all turned out well and fine. The service was really nice. 

We visited an investigator who gave one (just me, not my companion, or the member with us) iguana in mole and it was really chewy this time and basically the last thing I wanted to eat at that moment. Another investigator gave us tamales de chipilin, which is delicious. So, all's well that ends well. 

We received transfers... Hermana Arellano... is going home! I'll remain here in Terrazas for another transfer with Hermana Valencia. 

On Sunday... I got to skype my family. Woo! Afterwards we ran over to the Mission Devotional we'd planned with the ward. I was very busy this week trying to coordinate with the members and trying to make sure the going away party would go well. It was so hard to do without Hermana Arellano's knowledge, but I did it! We made a slideshow of the members, but in the end I coordinated to have pictures of her come on the slideshow too, plus a few other things. It turned out to be a huge surprise for her! I don't know how, but it all worked out. I feel like I can now breathe a little easier because this stressful week is now over. However, I also have a lot of responsibility now with leading the area and teaching my new companion everything about being a Sister Training Leader. It'll all be good! I'm excited for this next transfer! I know that Heavenly Father looks out for and blesses his missionaries. Thank you all for everything, until next week! 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

Water is essential for a baptism!

 Carrying over water to the font from the mechanic across the street.

 The Young Men helping fill the font. 

 Marco and Fabian's baptism!!

Recent Converts

Janeth, Hermana Dangl, Hermana Arellano and Pedro.

 In Teopisca with members from the family group. 

Hermana Dangl in the Prayer House. 

This is in the backyard of the family group leader.

Member in Teopisca


 Hermana Arrelano has completed her mission and is now going home!  

 District Meeting, our district, Suchiapa

 Companion exchanges with Hermana Dangl, Villaflores, Castillo and Tlachi.

Hermana Arellano, Hermana Florecita, and Hermana Dangl 

 With Hermana Eva and her friend.

Teaching the youth.

 Missionary activity.  We did part of it. 

  Missionary activity poster that Hermana Dangl made. 

Shirts from OXCHUC (pronounced like osh-chook) they were a gift from Hermana Rosi.

 Hermana Dangl's shirt from Oxchuc.

Hermana Dangl wearing a shirt from Choholò

Two more traditional clothing sets, these are commonly seen en "Los Altos" and San Cristobal where the indigenous people live.  When they come down to Tuxtla they wear their traditional clothing as well but I don't know how because it is super hot!! 

 The shirt is hand stitch cross point.

 The skirts are realllyyy big and that's why you have to wear the belt thing. haha.

Haha we both fit in the skirt... but that's how they are!  You have to fold it and use a special belt.

Hermana Dangl dressed in the typical clothing from Ecuador, which Hermana Arellano gifted her because she is the BEST EVER! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Semana 60 - Why is this so hard?

Hola, hola! 

I hope everyone's doing super well. Today (Monday), we are going to San Cristobal, so I don't actually have a lot of time to write; my letter may be short this week. This week, we continued to face a lot of rejection. We had a little more success this week than last, but honestly it's rough. Jeffrey R. Holland once said in a talk addressed to missionaries, "Why is this so hard?" I've asked myself that same question many times. Elder Holland also gave us the answer as well: "Because salvation is not a cheap experience." Maybe sometimes it's hard, but it will be worth it. I'll give some highlights of the week. 

On Thursday, we had our multi-zone conference. Our district leaders told us to come hungry because there would be breakfast, so we did. Unfortunately, there wasn't breakfast. :o) The conference was good, and we learned about all the promises that God has in store for us as part of the House of Israel. It rained! Chamoyadas! Hermano Aram's specialty. It's a lime/watermelon drink with Chamoy. Last Friday we celebrated Cinco de Mayo or Battalla de Puebla! No one had school that day, but no one really actually celebrates anything for this holiday either. 

Companion exchanges with the Hermanas in "La Salle." I was with Hermana Nelson here in Terrazas, and it went well. She was my MTC companion, so to be with her again after more than a year was really cool. We've both grown a lot since our time together in the MTC! We worked well though, and I learned some new things being with her. Pedro went on a few visits with us, and it was cool because he has only been a member for like 2 months, but his testimony is so strong.  On Saturday we taught Fabian and some of the other young men recent converts about Priesthood authority, and it went well. Fabian is all ready for his baptism this Saturday. We're stoked! :o) Those are the highlights. 

This week that starts today is the last week of the transfer. Aka my companion's last week in the mission! What?! It doesn't feel real and hasn't actually hit me yet, honestly. To close I'd like to share something that I really like that I learned from Elder James B. Martino of the Seventy. He talked about how Nephi, a prophet from the Book of Mormon, went through many of the same experiences that his brothers, Laman and Lemuel went through. They all went through hard times and had many hardships, yet Laman and Lemuel rebelled against their Father and God and fell into iniquity whereas Nephi was made stronger and more faithful in spite of (and because of) his hardships. The difference? The personal faith and trust he had in God coupled with strong spiritual habits that steered him towards obedience to God's commandments. That's the secret. I hope we can all try to be more like Nephi and put God's will above our own. I love you all, have a great week! 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

Hermana Dangl, Nayeli (member), and Hermana Nelson.

 Janeth, Hermana Arellano, and Hermana Dangl. The members were accompanying them on visits this week. 

Companion exchanges with Hermana Nelson, Pedro y Hermano Aram.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Semana 59 - Charity never stops being - Service Project & Best Ever Tostadas!

Happy Monday! I can barely remember what happened this week, but it definitely was a week with a lot of ups and downs. Honestly, I think God is really testing our diligence and (I hope) preparing us for miracles. 

On Tuesday, we had a district meeting, and it went well. Right now I'm in a district called "Suchiapa." We talked a bit about Charity, which is a topic I love because, as it says in the scriptures, "Charity never faileth." However, the direct translation from Spanish is actually, "Charity never stops being," as in, it lasts forever. We will stop existing before charity does because it's the pure love of Christ (Moroni 7:45-48 or 1 Corinthians 13.) That's pretty cool! We visited an investigator who gave us some handmade baked tortillas (tostadas) from Teopisca (a little town in the mountains) which was amazing. They were the best tostadas I've eaten in my whole life. Plus she gave us earrings of the tree of life. So cool!

On Wednesday, Hermana Cristina went on visits with us, which was awesome. Plus, we organized a service activity for one of the older ladies in Relief Society to help clean her house. It went well! The women in the Terrazas Ward Relief Society are seriously the best. They supported us a lot this week and left with us to go on visits. 

On Thursday, we had our weekly planning session and then ate lunch in a taxi, as we traveled to Real del Bosque for intercambios (exchanges). I think I've mentioned before that this area has a series of hills set on a hill and that there is actually no shade. I was dying, but it's all good! I was with Hermana Feiloaiga, and we had a lot of appointments that fall through, but it all turned out okay. 

On Friday, we finished intercambios and visited around. 

On Saturday, we had a rough day... it all started with us realizing that we hadn't paid the electric bill and that they were going to cut the electricity. The thing is it's a literal cut. As in you have to buy new wires or whatever after because they quite literally cut off your electricity. But, we set out and taught Morony division, who is a 10 year old recent convert, and pushed the problem to the afternoon.  We ate with a member who has 2 twin daughters, and they asked us if we were also twins...  haha.  We then had to find a place to pay our bill. A lot of things were going wrong, and then they asked for more money than my bill stated, and the whole thing was a mess. 

Afterwards, we helped a less active member hang up her clothes to dry and then tried to contact people. Literally everyone we tried to contact rejected us. Everyone! We did find a less-active member of like 20 years. I don't know how many times we've walked past him without talking to him, but we were talking with EVERYONE this night. When we came home we didn't have electricity, but it wasn't our fault. The light was out for the whole street. We were dying of heat and sitting in the dark with light from the mini dvd player and our cell phone. It eventually came back on though right before we went to sleep. 

On Sunday we had another rejection filled day... we walked around contacting people for actually 4 hours, and no one wanted anything to do with us, or they lived far away. Some wanted to teach US "the truth." Ugh! We were super thirsty though, and it was Sunday, so we couldn't buy water, and so I prayed for someone to offer us water. Within, like 5 minutes we contacted someone who rejected our message but did offer us water. Small miracles are wonderful! We contacted a super less active member that we didn't know about and he gave us bread. We also went out with the Dominguez's (Ward Missionaries) and that went well. As I said, we had lots of ups and downs this week! But, it's necessary. I told Hermana Arellano that I wanted to take a nap but that I also wanted to see miracles. She asked me which one I wanted more because I could only choose one. It's true! Missionary work requires sacrifice, but it's worth it. Honestly, the lows are very low but the highs are so high! :o) Thank you all back home who support me and the other missionaries in the field. I really appreciate it! 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

 Handmade tostadas from Teopisca (soooooo good)

DISTRITO SUCHIAPA. They are missing one companionship of sisters that was sick. We have some serious girl power in our zone!

 Hermana Arellano trying to knock some fruit down from a tree for a snack.

 The Relief Society crew at the service project.

 Hermana Arellano, Hermana Silvia, and Hermana Dangl 

 Hermana Arellano, Hermana Ruth, and Hermana Dangl 

 Hermana Arellano, Hermana Cristina, and Hermana Dangl 

Hermana Arellano, Hermana Alicia, and Hermana Dangl. (We cleaned her house for the service project.)

 Sweeping and mopping! 

 Service Project

 In the car with Hermana Cristina when she went out with us on visits.

Tree of life earring that an investigator gave to Hermana Dangl.