Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Mon, Dec 23, 2013

Hola famila and friends!! Merry Christmas!!

Christmas tree and homemade ornaments from home
I really cannot believe that it is already Christmas. The fact that it is 90 degrees and blazing hot doesn't help much to add to the holiday feeling.... haha I keep forgetting it's Christmas and keep trying to make visits with people and I just get blank stares and then "uh.... no but you can come Thursday!" haha Here they celebrate Christmas on the 24th, and so today everyone is busy buzzing around with last minute preparations for tomorrow. A holiday tradition here is to make homemade tamales, which I am sure we will try as we will be working normally, contacting and teaching like every other day. I am super excited to call home and get to see your faces and hear your voices - I think that will be my favorite gift this Christmas. I feel like it's come at just the right time to give me the boost I need to keep my chin up and keep on keeping on! 
This week was much different than the last, yet still stressful in it's own way. I feel like I have a lot on my mind and sometimes I struggle keeping it straight. For example, I have lost our keys or locked them in the house 3 times in the past 2 weeks. THREE TIMES!!!!!!!! It's a little funny to think back on our adventures on trying to get inside our locked house. I'm actually quite impressed with our improvising skills. I think I will write a book when I get home - The Many Ways To Break In to Your Own Home: A guide for the scatterbrained.... 

It includes sticking your head through the bars of your windows to see better, 101 ways to utilize a curtain bar (including trying to reach the padlock around the corner, inching the keys closer when you leave them on your desk, etc), cheerleading missionaries over the back wall of your house to get in through the backdoor which you just so happened to leave unlocked, and special instructions on how approach the dueño (owner) of your apartments to come rescue you yet again. I think I will sale many copies... Oh the memories. And the battle scars. (I have a huge bruise on my right arm from trying to unlock the padlock with the curtain bar)...

But in all seriousness I really need to work on getting my head on straight! I think I just have lots and lots of things on my mind. Investigators, recent converts, mi hija and training her well, all the enfermos (sick), AND trying to find new people to teach. I know that I can do it with the Lord's help. I just need a little extra faith and little by little things are looking up :)

One of the challenges that I have found in this transfer is talking with people and finding new people to teach. As the trainee I got accustomed to already having investigators to teach and being super busy that trying to find new people wasn't something I thought about a lot. Now that I'm the trainer and the numbers of our investigators are starting to dwindle, I feel the pressure of talking to people and contacting all the more. One weakness that me and my companion have come to find that we share, is opening our mouths and talking with everyone. Talking with people I don't know has always been a weakness I've had and coming on the mission doesn't make these weaknesses magically go away. I remember that it was something that I struggled with in nursing as well, having to talk to people I don't know for 12 hours straight! Though it's a weakness that I have, and it is extremely frustrating, I continue to try and try and I'm getting better. I've prayed more in these past two weeks than ever before. Some days are better than others, but the good thing is that there is improvement. One morning when I was particularly frustrated with myself, I opened up my scriptures and read D&C 68:1-12. I've read them several times since and they bring me a lot of comfort. Also D&C 60:2-3 helps to motivate me (the hard way). As I have put forth more of an effort, I see more and more miracles every day. One day in particular one of our appointments fell through, so I said to my companion, "Alright Hermana... We're finding someone new to teach right now!" We entered the gates of a family that was painting their house and we started helping them, skirt and all. I've found that it's better to just do now and think later :) It turned out to be a really incredible experience. A family of 10 people lived in that house! Most are Catholics but admitted that they don't really practice. The family was warm and welcome and willing to listen. The grandpa kept asking us what he could do to increase his faith in Christ. One of the daughter's even came to church with us on Sunday! I feel the spirit so strong in their house and when we teach them. If we hadn't opened our mouths, we would have missed out on finding this family. It helps to motivate me to keep trying, even if it's hard. 

I almost forgot to mention the baptism of little Mirnita!!!! She got baptized Saturday with 2 others from the ward. President Klein baptized them. It was very beautiful and I was grateful to be a part of it! These niños are super special :)

 Baptism of little Mirnita!

I sure love you all :) The holidays are an incredible time of year to think about what matters most. As I have been away from home and seen the way life can be, I am more and more grateful for the life I have been given. For the family and friends that have blessed my life and continue to bless it every day. Have the Merriest of Christmases!!! Sending lots of loves (and "warm" wishes.... literally) from here in Honduras. Until next week!

Hermana Bennett

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