Monday, August 28, 2017

Semana 76 - More rain, new house, & talk on personal apostasy

Hi Everyone,

  • What a week . . .I feel like the time is speeding by but at the same time, last week feels like it was forever ago.  I’m sorry my letter got sent out late, we didn’t have internet in the whole state of Chiapas!  I’m not sure how things like that happen but apparently they do.

  • This week . . . it rained a lot.  Like torrential downpour end of the world type rain.  It makes it cooler outside so it’s actually kind of nice.  It’s rough because everyone goes inside and there’s no one in the streets for us to talk to.

  • Zone Conference!  We learned lots of good stuff, but I liked when we talked about consecration—The Lord asks for everything, not just a little bit, but every bit.  When we hand it all over to Him (ourselves included) we start to enjoy the blessings that come from consecration and understand our purpose on the earth.

  • I turned 17 meses (months) in the mission!  It doesn’t seem real, I am trying to enjoy every moment.

  • Also, we’re moving! We have been trying to find a house but with no luck . . . until we said a prayer and that same day we found the house.

  • We are still visiting the less actives and if I’ve learned something, it’s that Gordon B. Hinckley hit it right on the nose when he said that every new member needs an assignment, a friend, and to be nourished by the word of God.  I think it applies to all members.

  • Hermana Maldonado got sick this week, so we helped a member make empanadas! 

  • We taught someone whose daughter has some really hard health problems and she’s had to stay at home with her and take care of her for more than 20 years.  So she asked us . . . “Why do I have to suffer?”  There are many reasons.  In the Book of Mormon it talks about how Alma and Amulek had to watch scriptures and people be burned for their beliefs, but God didn’t let them intervene because the wicked needed to be punished.  It also says in the Bible that when we suffer with patience, our sufferings will not even compare to the eternal weight of glory that we will receive.  I think suffering is just part of the human existence, and is part of our time of probation.

  • I gave a talk on Sunday about personal apostasy and how it happens.  Apostasy is when we turn away from the truth and from the teachings of the prophets.  Like the great apostasy after the death of Jesus Christ.  We too fall into a state of apostasy when we stop reading the scriptures, going to church and praying. 

Have a great week and always choose the right!

Con mucho amor, Hermana Dangl

 Hermana's last planner! 

 What they do when there isn't any water in the house! 
They live out of buckets. 

 Last week Hermana Dangl visited the original Izapa Stela 5 on her P-day.   Above is a picture of a mosaic that was built in the mid 1970's at our church building on Dover in Newport Beach on the back patio.  Sadly it was taken down a number of years ago, but here is a beautiful picture of it.  

The front page of our Stake newspaper.

 The key of what everything stands for.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Semana 75 - English Classes, Izapa, More Miracles, & FHE

I apologize that Hermana Dangl’s letter is late, there was no internet in all of Chiapas yesterday so she couldn’t email us until today, Tuesday.  
Mama Dangl - The Blogger of Hermana Dangl Mexico Blog

Hola, hola!  Happy Monday!  This week was a bit loco (crazy), we had lots of things going on! 

  • Hermana Maldonado got back from Tuxtla on Monday night so I spent the day with the Sister Training Leaders.  It was basically like a sleepover, honestly, haha!

  • English Classes have started up in Tapachula!  I’ve gotten to teach English throughout my whole mission, and Tapachula is no exception.

  • Zone Conference and interviews with President Doman!  Hermana Doman talked to us as well and she told us about 3 attitudes we can have (it comes from an awesome talk by John Bytheway).  1.  How bad can I be?  2. How good do I have to be? and 3. What is the best that I can be?  Our attitude determines everything.  I love the Mormonad that shows a teenager tipping his chair watching TV on the edge of a cliff . . . out attitude determines how we live and we should never even think about approaching the line or the edge of the cliff because it’s so easy to fall off.

  • Multi-zone Activity!  We went to Izapa and saw the tree of life!  It’s a stone that indigenous people here found a long time ago and preserved, and it has a carving of the tree of life.  The elements have worn it away a bit (a lot) but it was cool to see!  If you’d like to know about the tree of life you can read 1 Nephi Chapter 8 in the Book of Mormon.  We got to see some ruins as well!

  • We have a new investigator who is atheist and it’s proving to be a challenge.  Like Alma, I as well feel that “all things denote there is a God; yea even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and it’s motion, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a “supreme creator.”   Alma 30:44

  • Small miracle – we set out to search for less actives with very few directions and found them!  Then even better, we found their non-member families and one of them (the grandson of a less active) came to church on Sunday and wants to be baptized. :o)

  • We had an FHE (Family Home Evening) with less actives, actives, and investigators and it was awesome!  I feel bad for always fighting my parents on participating in Family Home Evening because now I realize that it’s fundamental.  I think the mission has made me realize that my parents and leaders were right about a lot of things basically my whole life. 

  • We had a night this week where the fire alarm went off basically all night every 1-2 hours and it was the worst night ever.

  • Miracle on Sunday!  We were planning for the day and had no clue who to teach or visit. . . but we finally decided to look for a referral we had received.  In that moment a member pulled up and we asked for a ride.  We told them who we were looking for but that we didn’t have the direction, just the neighborhood.  They happened to know him and while we were with them, they saw the referral walking in the street and we were able to contact him! We never would have found him nor his house but the Lord provided a way, just like always! 
That’s all for this week!
Con mucho amor, Hermana Dangl 

 Jumping at the ruins! 

 Hermana Maldonado & Hermana Dangl 

(stone) Piedra de Izapa Stela 5 - Tree of Life 

Book of Mormon, Missionary Nametag, & Izapa Stela 5 Stone

Mission President Doman is on the far right.

 Below:  Our zone on Pday at the ruins! 

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