Monday, August 14, 2017

Semana 74 - Humidity, no water in the house, new companion/area & amazing FHE

Hi Everyone,

  • This week my life was turned upside down!  Tapachula is like the opposite of Comitan. 

  • It’s SUPER humid and gross out even though were not in the hot season and it rains a lot.  I’m jumping ahead, before getting to Tapachula, I had to leave Comitan and that was a complicated task.  We left at 8:30 am on Tuesday and 10 minutes later came back because the 3 highways to leave Comitan were all blocked by farmers and field laborers because they were boycotting something.  They told us we could leave at 6:30 pm but the time came and went.  It started to rain though so the farmers dispersed and we got out of there at 7:30 pm.  We traveled to Tuxtla and got there around 10:30 pm.  We stayed in Tuxtla for the night with the Sister Training Leaders in Terrazas. . . I slept in my old house! It was weird.

  • We left for Tapachula at noon and passed the bus stations in Tonala and Mapastepec . . . memories!  We got to Tapachula around 6:30 pm with lots of traveling.  When we got to the house, it turned out that we didn’t have any water. NO! It was the worst!  Water is literally life—you can’t do anything without water!  I learned that the hard way.  On Thursday we ended up calling for help and the zone leaders kind of fixed the problem . . . basically they carried up the stairs like 6 buckets of water into our house to use until we could find a real solution.  We had some interesting days and experiences living by bucket water. 

  • It rains A LOT here and when it rains, it pours!  The lightning and thunder was so strong that the lights went out like 3 times.

  • My companion, Hermana Maldonado, is from Bolivia!  She’s 19 and is in her 3rd transfer in the mission.  She’s great though, super obedient and is willing to work.  We are hoping to see lots of miracles here!  We are talking with everyone! 

  • On Sunday after church Hermana Maldonado had to leave for Tuxtla to fix some stuff with her green card, so I am staying with the Sister Training Leaders.  It was actually pretty fun and we had an awesome Family Home Evening!  We were thinking about what we wanted to teach and I remembered an object lesson that my mom did for a baptism one time.  We had a jar and put a peso in and shook it around and it was pretty loud – and it represented the Holy Ghost when we’re worthy of His presence.  Then we started piling some dirt in . . . representing our sins, doubts, fears, worldly ideas . . . until we could no longer hear the still small voice of the spirit, or in this case, the peso.  So we started removing the dirt little by little – repenting, praying, reading the scriptures, going to church, keeping the commandments  . . . but we still couldn’t get all of the dirt completely out.  We had to wash it with water!  Repentance is not complete until we are baptized by immersion for the remission of sins.  The lesson went really well and there were a lot of tears and the spirit was super strong.  Thanks for the idea Mom!  I hope you all have a great week!

Con mucho amor, Hermana Dangl

 Welcome sign to Hermana Dangl's new area - Tapachula!

 Family Home Evening with the Bishop's family my last night in COMITAN

Monday, August 7, 2017

Semana 73 - Transfer to Tapachula, Sick, Baptism, & Nametags

Hello friends, and family!

This week . . . was a hard one, really hard!  I felt very tried and tested, but everything turned out well in the end.  Yes . . . transfers are in!  President Doman has switched some things up.

  • First off, I got sick this week.  We spent Monday night to Thursday afternoon at the house because I had a super bad stomach infection.  Fun, right?  I got a lot of reading in and we told the sisters of the ward that I was sick and had some dietary restrictions so every single day this week I ate vegetable soup.

  • Zone Conference!  I really liked the part where we took off our nametags and reflected on the first time we put it on.  I remember taking it out of my envelope and thinking, “This is so weird!”  It was a surreal moment . . .and maybe that little piece of plastic bearing Christ’s name won’t be on my chest forever, but the conversion I’ve gone through means that it’ll always be on my heart.

  • Our investigator Jose Luis passed his baptismal interview so on Saturday we were at the church all day filling the font.  We had to heat the water in buckets with a metal rod thing and then dump it into the font.  The hour came . . and only one person was there. . . . and it wasn’t Jose Luis.  Ahh!  He couldn’t get out of his work . . but it’s a terrible feeling when someone doesn’t show up to their baptism.  Hermana Diaz and I were crying and it was really stressful because we had worked SO hard for that moment.  To be baptized we spend hours teaching people and helping them keep commitments and come to church. . . it’s a process in which the person has to change who they are so that they can be someone better.  It’s devastating when it’s all thrown away.  We went home and started a fast to find 5 people to baptize in the coming transfer. . .that night we found a family of 5.  I’ve said it before, the lows are low but the highs are high.

  • On Sunday we held the baptismal service at 10 am and then at 11 we started church and Jose Luis was confirmed.  Happy ending!  He even bore his testimony. It was a very special moment.  So why did everything have to turn out that way?  I don’t know, but I do know that if we don’t know what bitter is, we can never know what sweet is either.  I know that while Joseph Smith was imprisoned in Liberty Jail, the Lord told him, “If the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”  D & C 122:7.  I know that the Lord told Israel “for behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” 1 Nephi 20:10.  Sometimes the Lord needs to HUMBLE US and make us trust Him and in His plan. 

  • Okay and now onto transfers!  Hermana Diaz is staying in Comitan and I am going to Tapachula!!  It ‘s the only place I haven’t been in and I’m going to Tapachula (Izapa-Laureles = zone-district).  My companion will be with Hermana Maldonado.  She’s fresh out of her training and Tapachula is HOT!  I’m going back to the heat and back to the coast.  Ahh!  I will have 5 areas and 9 companions at the end of it all.  Craziness! 

  • The truth is that today is the first day of my LAST transfer in the mission.  I’ll only be in Tapachula for 6 weeks and then I’ll be homeward bound.  I’m saying it now so that we can all be in a mutual agreement to not discuss it. :o)  I have plans to focus on Tapachula and the miracles that I’m going to see there, and not be reminded in every single moment that it’s all coming to an end.  It’s bitter sweet – I love the mission and the people here but I’m also very excited to see my family and friends.  So I’m going to take advantage of this time that I have left to work, love, and enjoy!

 Con amor, Hermana Dangl 

 La Iglesia de Santo Domingo

 Baptism of Jose Luis

 Sister Missionaries