Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Semana 67 - New Area - Comitan, Training, & Parable of the Fisherman

Hola, hola! This week literally flew by, and sadly my time here in Terrazas has come to a close. I really enjoyed this week and the past 6 months here!!! Here are some bullet points about the week:

  • We had Family Home Evening with a less active family, and it went really well. We told them about a modern parable, and here is how it goes: There once was a fisherman who was fishing with no success. So he decided to swim around to see if he could find any fish. Instead, he found a clam and he opened it and found a pearl, which he knew he could sell to buy food. He kept searching and found 6 more pearls for a total of 7. On his way home, a beggar asked him for food. The fisherman gave him 6 of the pearls, keeping only one for himself. He headed home, hid his pearl and then slept through the night. In the morning, he looked for his pearl so that he could go to the market to sell it for food. However, he couldn't find it. It turned out the beggar had followed him home and snuck in at night while the fisher was sleeping and had stolen the last pearl. How can we apply this story? God has given us something precious – 6 days every week to work, buy, and do many things. He only keeps one day for himself, and when we don't keep the Sabbath Day holy, we are like the thief in the night who snuck in to steal the last pearl because weren't satisfied with 6 and needed 7th. 
  • Rained a lot this week but only during our lessons lessons and not a lot as we walked in the streets. #little miracles.
  • N & F are progressing investigators who have a million questions, but that is great! They have been coming to church for the past 3 weeks now. (!!:o) and my testimony of working with the members has grown. Hermana Valencia and I struggle a little bit sometimes because we lack experience in things like marital issues and adult stuff. The members are so awesome and help us and the investigators out. 
  • This week we had to answer some hard questions, but God helped us (always!).
  • Companion Exchanges with Villaflores! I was with Hermana Tlachi in Villaflores, and it went well! Before we weren't allowed to knock on doors (I think they call it tracting), but now we can, so we gave it a shot, and it was... interesting. When you knock on a random door, you NEVER know what kind of people you're going to meet... it was fun. 
  • 15 months in the Mission!
  • We helped clean the church building and also helped with a mutual activity... the youth program here has grown, because we have recent converts who are young. Whoo!
  • We received TRANSFERS. I am leaving Terrazas and going to Comitan! Comitan is about 4 hours from Tuxtla and it's up in the mountains. That means... cold weather! What!? My trainer once told me that I would never go to a cold area until I learned to love the heat (because I always said I wanted to go up in the mountains) and I never believed her but it turned out to be true! I've heard that Comitan has a ton of beautiful lakes and lagoons and that it rains a lot. We will see! My companion is Hermana Diaz and I'll be training her. Another hija (daughter)!
  • Church was super awesome. Why? Because 3 of my converts passed the sacrament, one of whom did it for his first time. Another one of my converts gave a talk. I felt a very special spirit when someone who I had taught, taught me and the investigators and members who were present in the in meeting. The mission really is the best but saying goodbye is the hardest part. Terrazas has a very special place in my heart and I hope to never forget the people I've met and the experiences I've had here. 

Con amor,

Hermana Dangl 

They made their shirts.  First they bought the shirts, then Hermana Dangl made the design and then the store put it on the computer to make their personalized t-shirts. So cool! 

Hermana Marisol took them to Canyon del Sumidero

  Hermana Dangl and Hermana Valencia with Canyon del Sumidero in the background.

Family Home Evening with an object lesson about the importance of going to church, reading the scriptures, and praying daily. 

FHE (Family Home Evening) Game 

  Companion exchanges with Villaflores.

Investigators Hermana Dangl had to say goodbye to. 

 Hector accompanied them on their visits and was their  "security guard." haha!

 Hermana Dangl saying goodbye to members as she leaves her area after 6 months.

It is hard saying goodbye to the members.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Semana 66 - Temple, Las Mananitas, & Happy Birthday!

Hey Everyone,

I never know how to start these letters, so my companion told me that I should start by telling everyone how great she is... haha! It's true. I do have a great companion. Our transfer here has seriously flown by, and now we're starting the last week of the transfer. For those who might not know, a transfer is about 6 weeks long, and the mission (18 months for girls) is divided into 13 transfers. So, we are in the last week of my 11th transfer.

But anyway some bullet points about the week:

  • It was rainy and gloomy but still hot. :o)
  • We got to an appointment with a less active member who sings opera. She was practicing. While we were outside listening, we had a TV moment because someone called us and she then realized we were there. Oops. 
  • We ate Ninguijute (not sure I spelled it right) a traditional meat dish from Zoque (not sure where that is)
  • English Classes
  • We served a less active member, who has a newborn baby, by washing all her windows. 
  • We met President Pieper, the Mexico Area President. We focused on Jacob 5 from the Book of Mormon. The Book of Jacob talks a bit about a parable about trees in a vineyard. We focused on the roots of the trees. If a tree is not properly rooted, it becomes top heavy and can be blown over in the wind and gets uprooted. When the roots are long, strong, and numerous, the tree will be that way as well and will be able to give forth fruit. The roots for missionaries (and members) are hard work and discipline, obedience, companionship, and love for the Lord. If these things are in check the mission will always be manageable and successful. 
  • We got to go to the temple, and it was AWESOME! It was packed though. We got there at like 6:40 am, and there was only 1 slot open for the 9 am session. By a miracle we got another slot for my companion. The temple is the BEST because it's literally God's house on earth and prayerful questions really get answered there. 
  • I bought myself a hammock for my birthday, and it was one of the best decisions I've ever made. 
  • I turned 21! My companion sang to me first thing in the morning "Las Mananitas." Then at church some members sang to me. Afterwards when we ate with the Bishop's family, they brought out a cake and sang to me as well. It was a good day! :o) 
  • Another note about the temple... the members here have the goal to go every week, and they do it! It impresses me. Honestly, I want to be more like them. Every Thursday is the ward's afternoon to go and they take advantage of it!
  • We have some investigators that are progressing. Our biggest problem is that many aren't married but live together, so they can't be baptized. Whyyyy?! Satan will always put as many obstacles as possible to impede people from doing the right thing. The saddest thing is when the parents impede the children. This week a mom told us not to come because her 11 and 12 year old sons are a different religion and will never change. I respect the authority that parents have, but all we do is teach people how to pray, love God, and make good decisions. 
  • On Sunday I asked God to send all our investigators to church for my birthday, and He did. Woo! :o)

Thank you to all who sent me birthday wishes for my birthday. I really appreciate it! 
Have a great week everyone! 

Con much amor, Hermana Dangl 

The  Bishop and his wife made her a cake!  21 years old on Father's Day! 

They all chanted and told her to bite the cake so she did.  Haha! 

 Birthday Hammock 

Zone Mactumatzà 

 District Suchiapa

Birthday Breakfast 

21 years ago, on June 18th, Hermana Dangl made her dad a Father.  6-18-17 was on Father's Day this year and she is now 21.  Such an precious baby that has grown into an amazing young women and servant of the Lord. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Semana 65 - "Serving a mission is not a sacrifice, it’s an honor."

Hola! This week was good though not all that interesting, so I'll just give the highlights...

Monday: On P'day we went to Plaza Cristal, which is a mall. It was great, because it made me feel like I was back home for like 2 seconds. 

Tuesday: MOLE which was actually pretty good.  

Miercoles: We ate Rabbit! A member gave it to us, and it was actually pretty good. We had interviews with President George and he talked to us about marriage. We also made brownies with Hermana George. 

Thursday: Hermana Alicia gave us a blender: Woo!!! The members here are pretty great. Plus, it's no longer a rule that we can't knock on doors, so we had the opportunity to knock on our first door... and it was a success! Woo! 

Friday: We had a lesson with an investigator we've been working with for a while now. We actually saw some progress, which was a great feeling. Things start to click in their (the investigator's) brains and everything about why we do the things that we do as a religion makes sense. It only happens when they start praying and reading the Book of Mormon, because God starts to help them and they start to listen to his counsel. We had companion exchanges with the Mactumatza Sisters. Hermana Banda was here with me in Terrazas. 

Saturday: An investigator gave us like 10 mangos! :o) We also taught a new investigator who's from the US but lives in Tuxtla. It was weird haha.

Sunday: We gave talks in church. I talked about love, loving God, and loving our neighbor. We learn in the Bible that the way to show God that we love Him is by keeping his commandments. It's as plan and simple as that!  We can love our neighbors when we share the gospel with them. Like Lehi and the Tree of Life, he tried the fruit and found it to be so good that he had to share it with his friends and family. Is it not the same? Is the gospel and Atonement of Jesus Christ not the most desirable fruit to be had?

Afterwards, we sang a song called, "In the Hollow of They Hand," and it went okay - we had a few technical difficulties, the sheet music fell a few times because the pianist was playing a little too vigorously, but it was fine. Honestly, it was a good week but a little tiring... though something I really like that I saw from this quote, "Serving a mission is not a sacrifice, it's an honor." Sometimes it's easy to fall into a routine of thinking that the mission is hard – teaching, speaking in another language, being far away from home and it is hard, but more than that, it's an honor and a privilege and I'm grateful for it. Thank you all for supporting me! :o)

Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

Hermana Dangl in front of the Tuxtla, Gutierrez Temple.

Hermana Valencia is fine!!! Since we had to go do some tests, and they insisted on putting her in a wheelchair.  Haha!

 Conejo! (rabbit)

With the Hermanas in Mactumatzà.

 Hermana Dangl, Hermana Valencia, and President George.

A present from a member, just because she loves us.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Semana 64 - Rain, Noku, & I am thankful

Hi Everybody! 

This week was pretty good, like always. Something an investigator told us this week is that it seems like we missionaries live more in Heaven than on the Earth. Haha! I guess it's because on the mission, you literally breathe, eat, and sleep the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Here are some highlights from the week:

Monday – The weather was rainy and gloomy but not cold... We had to hang all of our washed clothes inside the house and use fans to dry it all. Normally, we would hang and try to dry everything on the roof. We cleaned and organized our house all day. 

Tuesday – We took a member, Ruth, with us on a lesson with our progressing investigator, A. This week we taught a lot of lessons about the Book of Mormon, which is awesome because it's the best. 

Wednesday – I felt like a robot with cotton balls for a brain, because I was so tired, but sometimes we have days like that. We taught J with 2 members present for the lesson. (Woo!) It was really good! Initally we planned to teach her a lesson, but we ended up changing it midway through. Honestly, I never regret listening to promptings from the spirit, because everything always turns out way better when you follow the spirit. We also taught our English classes. Afterwards, a member gave us Noku, which looks like a HUGE ant with wings. I was told that it's Mexican Caviar."... it tastes a bit like burnt popcorn. Yes, we ate it! :o) 

Thursday – Multi-Zone Conference! This was President George's last one. He showed us a slideshow of pictures from his 3 years they were here in the mission. Hermana Valencia & I taught a small part about how to invite someone to be baptized. Plus I met John Heder's parents (Napoleon Dynamite) because they are missionary doctors and came to teach us about eating healthy. It rained (poured) just as we left the Stake Center to go home, and the streets were flooding hard core! There was a lot of traffic and it was not fun! 

Friday - we did companion exchanges with the Hermanas in Aeropuerto. We gave the taxi driver the wrong address, so it took forever to finally get there, but we made it. Hermana Hernandez was in Terrazas with me. We had a lot of appointments that fell through, but it was a good day. 

On Saturday, a member told us we could visit 2 of her neighbors. Her 7 year old son showed us where they lived and then directed the hymns in the lessons. It was awesome!  For one of the referrals, we got there in a moment when they really needed help and we sang, "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." The spirit was present and they accepted the invitation for us to come visit them again. After, when we told the member, she said we were supposed to visit the people who lived on the 2nd story, not the 1st story because the people who live on the first story, the people we visited, are usually really closed off and don't like to listen... but God always prepares a way! We had another lesson with A and as well it was really spiritual and Hermana Marisol, a recent convert, shared her super powerful testimony and it was awesome. We read a little bit in 2 Nephi 2 about how without opposition, we could not be happy and how things cease to exist. We can't have peace if we've never had disturbance and we can't be happy if we've never known sadness. To know the sweet you must also know bitter. My favorite part is when it says that we can't have sin without righteousness nor righteousness without happiness.

Sunday was good. While we ate with some members of the church, they put on the movie, "Ephraim's Rescue," which is about the pioneers. As we watched, we realized we couldn't complain about anything because the pioneers were walking in the snow without shoes after not eating for a week and crossing frozen rivers and boiling leather to make "soup." My companion and I were basically crying as we ate our chicken and watched. We never watch TV, so we were GLUED. It's always amazing to see the sacrifices people are willing to make for the things and causes they believe in. We also taught G, who's 9 about prophets by bribing her with sugar chile powder so she'd answer our questions. Haha! It worked though! All in all it was a good week and I am doing well! 

Con amor, Hermana Dangl

The box that their recent converts made them and they gave it to Hermana Dangl when Hermana Arellano left.

English Classes for free! 

They really ate it! 

 A type of bug called Noku offered to them to eat at a member's house. 

 Hermana Dangl & Hermana Valencia 

 With the Hermanas from Mactumatzà

 Leaving her area! haha! 

Our boundary line!