Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Another week in Guatemala

This Volcano has been puffing lots of smoke this past week!
First of all some shout outs.  BRANDON!!!! Congrats on your mission call!  Portugal is way lucky.  I'm so stoked for you.  And Sadie and Chase, I got your letters!  Thanks so much!  I'm glad you're both doing good.  And thanks for the dear Elder, Mom!  Ah!  Thanks for all the support guys!

I feel like there are still some questions that I got in dear elders that I haven't answered.  Sorry!  I'll try to answer them really quick...

I don't give out a ton of my stickers actually.  Because if I give one then the kids want them every time and I just don't want to be the sticker lady.

Church is really interesting.  Our branch is small and fairly new.  So people are still getting the hang of how to handle callings and such.  It's hard to coordinate things at times and the responsibilities fall on us a lot.  But it's fine.  We like to help out!  

And it's really not that bad having dinner at 9:30.  Sometimes between lunch and dinner we stop and get some bread from a bakery really fast or something.  But otherwise it's just normal now to eat late.

It's still super nice here!  It feels like perfect May weather.  Some people think it's cold.  But it's not when you're from Colorado.
This weekend our stake had it's very first stake conference!  They split the area a few months ago.  But it was cool to be a part of.  They watched a broadcast with President Eyring and Elder Scott.  They spoke to all the stakes in Guatemala.  How exciting!

Ah!  I'm so sorry!  This day has been kinda stressful so I can't really think of much to write about.  Boring...I know.  It's stressful having people's salvation in your hands.  But every good lesson we have, every hard working investigator, every investigator we have at church, every person we baptize is worth all the other moments of stress and hard work.  Heavenly Father always gives us miracles and He let's me be happy despite of all the little difficulties.  So that's good.  
Love you all!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

¿Que es la verdad?

Alexis said she loves these giant leaves and gets so excited when she sees them.

It's been yet another really awesome week!

One morning we got a call saying that no matter what our plans were we had to teach two recently baptized people and sing the hymn 'Que es la verdad' and teach them about the Family A Proclamation to the world.  So we started our first lesson with a convert and it became apparent very quickly that we had no idea how the hymn went.  We asked everyone in the house and no one knew.  We tried to sight read it (for me this means just guess the notes and hope you're sounding how everyone else sounds)  but we failed at that.  Later we tried to sing it to the tune of I am A Child of God.  Genius idea right!?  Almost.  The words went with the tune perfectly, until we got to the last line.  We had to squish in like 4 words on the last note because it didn't match up!  It was horrible!  We were like what are the odds that none of us know this hymn!  The lady we were teaching was very unimpressed and told us we really should study and practice the hymns first.  But we were just cracking up. So now we sing the words 'que es la verdad' to every tune possible.  We think we're hilarious.  (I, Jenn,  google translated the title of the song and  it translates to "What is the Truth"  So maybe it might be "Oh Say What is Truth" is our hymn book?)

So almost every Monday we go to this place called the paca.  Its basically the mall of all thrift stores and its awesome!  We get really good stuff so cheap!  Yesterday I bought 2 shirts for 1 quet, which is like 15 cents in the US.  So that was fun!  At the paca we always find hilarious stuff.  Yesterday I found a bib that said 'Happy Hanukah'.  I was sooo close to buying it.  How random!  If you want a Hanukah bib, come to Guatemala.

We had a baptism this weekend!  It was so awesome!  He is just a sweet little old man.  He has such a strong desire to do whats right and follow Christ.  He's one of the brothers that is so fun to teach because he's like a little kid.  It was so exciting to see him get baptized because last week was rough with him and one lesson he got really mad and said he didn't want more.  But he realized that wasn't how it really was.  Now he is just so happy!  He was wiping away tears when he got confirmed on Sunday.  It was so sweet!  He's going to be a faithful, hard working member.  He's awesome!  That was incredible.

This week we really saw how Heavenly Father help´s us meet our goals when we're working hard.  There were a few days where we were walking a lot more than we were teaching.  We'd only have 3 or 4 lessons in one day which is really low for us!  Then we had days like Saturday where we found 18 new people to teach in just a few hours! It was incredible!  Some days are a little rough, but then we have days full of miracles.  It's so good to know that when we're working hard, we can have the assurance that Heavenly Father will help us get done what He needs.  I'm so thankful to have this experience.  If Heavenly Father really needed to, He could convert everyone without missionaries.  He could send angels and make everyone have an Alma conversion.  But no.  He let's us as missionaries have the privilege of helping people.  And through this we get to learn and grow too.  Its just so humbling to think about.  I love this!

Thanks so much for everything!
Love you all!

Hermana Haymond

I asked Alexis to send pictures of the inside of their apartment so here is a picture of their beds, the bucket shower, and her desk.  She said the beds are messy because they were washing the bedding.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

It's that time again!

It's that time again.  Time for the Tee Shirts of the week!!!
-On a 3 year old little boy ..."Future President" with an American flag
-"Bingo Tuesdays!"
-And a purple shirt on a grown man..."Put on Your Big Girl Pants.!"

On that note...this week had it's surprises, but was still good.  Yesterday was really fun!  We played futbol with one of our recent convert families.  We played with kids and their moms on this huge dirt field.  They all got so into it!  Moms were pushing and kids were so serious!  Our team won.  Ah!  It was like indescribable.  Playing soccer on a dirt field in Guatemala...I felt pura chapina!

So I've been thinking a lot lately about the things that feel normal that wouldn't feel normal if I wasn't a missionary in Guatemala.  For example...
-Talking to old men with machetes
-Talking to strangers in general
-Seeing the sun set behind a volcano every day
-Showering in a bucket
-kissing people on the cheek (that's how everyone greets each other here)
-wearing a skirt (someone asked us if we've worn skirts all our lives.  they were surprised that we actually wear jeans in real life)
-Waking up at 5 am and going to bed at 10:30 pm
-Eating tortillas with everything

But there are somethings that I don't think I'm ever going to get used to.  Like the fact that I'm actually in Guatemala.  At least once a day it hits me how lucky I am!

Being a missionary has really made me love obedience.  I LOVE all the rules we have.  That sounds really weird.  I know.  I never thought I'd say that, but it's true! Of course we have to obey the commandments, and we have the rules in the missionary hand book.  But we also have lots of other rules that President has set as a mission.  A lot of them are little things that might not make sense to a lot of people, like not eating during studies.  Sometimes we have rules for safety or to have the Spirit.  But more than anything they bring miracles.  When we obey the commandments we obligate God to bless us.  It's the same with all our rules.  The more rules we have, the more we obligate God to bless us with miracles.  This work is hard and I need all the miracles I can get.  I could never bring myself to break a rule, no matter how small.  I can't rob myself, my family, and my investigators of those blessings.  It's hard to put into words.  But my testimony of obedience has grown so much!  I'm so thankful to have learned what I have.  I know that all that I've experienced and learned will help me for the rest of my life.  I'm so blessed to be here and have these experiences.

Thanks for everything!
Hermana Haymond
Alexis loves the children there

Playing futbol with the Familia H

She looks so tall next to these Guatemalan women!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chicote con Satanas!

Alexis received a USB converter for her SD card in her camera thanks to her CCM companions Mom so Alexis sent us lots of pictures this week!  Thank you Susie for getting that for her and to her, your awesome!

Hermana Haymond in the Capitol

Alexis with her comps and the other sisters in their apartment

Halloween was just a normal day here.  I only saw one person in a costume.  The big day here is the day after Halloween, Day of the Dead.  It's kinda the same idea as memorial day.  Everyone buys these little kites and flies them.  So that was really cool to see!  We bought some little ones just for one quet for the memories.

This week President Brough is having us do a 'Semana Perfecta'.  This means that every missionary in the mission meets our goals of exelency.  And each day there are different things to focus on.  Like last night we tried to have as many lessons in the house of a recent convert.  Today is to contact as many families as possible.  There are different challenges and goals every day.  And every companionship in the mission HAS to baptize.  Otherwise it would not be a semana perfecta!  We have two baptisms on Sunday.  They are awesome!  They're two guys in their 50's or 60's.  We started teaching them separately but then we found out they're brothers!  How funny is that!  They are soo fun to teach.  They're both so excited to learn about the gospel.  It's seriously like teaching Primary kids every time.  We have to keep them on topic and make sure they're understanding.  It's so precious!  We were explaining how this week before their baptism Satan is going to attack and try to make them not get baptized because they're so strong.  And one of them said 'CHICOTE CON SATANAS!'  Which basically means I'm going to show Satan what's up!  Idk how to explain chicote in English but it's a good word to use.  It was so funny though!  This little old chapin guy.  Ah!  I love teaching them.

So being in a companionship of 3 white girls, we get a lot of interesting comments.  A lot times the men try to yell things in English to us...Or at least they think they're speaking English.  The funniest attempt at a pick up line we've heard yet was this one guy yelling 'Do you espeak inglish?  Good good!  Lady!  INFORMATION!'  And he just kept yelling 'Good good! Information!'  Out of all the words in English to yell you pick 'information'?  Gosh. The people here make me laugh.

Sorry this email is a little shorter.  But hopefully the pictures make up for it.  I'm still happy.  I know I always say that but I really do mean it!  It's so cool to feel just a teeny bit of the love Heavenly Father has for His children.  Sometimes I'm so focused on how much He loves everyone in Guatemala, I forget that He feels the same way about me.  It's just such a powerful thing to think about.  I just wish everyone could feel just for a second how much He loves us. It changes lives.  I'm so blessed and can see the miracles every single day!  Thanks for all your prayers!