Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm grateful to be here in Tela, with the best companion ever!

 Today is officially my 2 month anniversary on the mission! Pretty crazy... This week has been full of all kinds of emotions! Today we went fishing out on the pier and only caught shrimp, but it was way fun and I always love going to the beach! This week a Hermana taught us how to make Baleadas and fed us dinner. I ate a fish! All of it, even its eyeball!! Also there are tons of crabs here and they are always scratching at our windows! We were walking one day and everything was normal, when we heard a strange banging noise 
slowly getting louder and louder. I was starting to freak out, then realized it was the rain on the tin roofs. We always have a 20 second warning when it's going to start raining. We had one lesson that was in a humble home and we were outside yelling trying to hear each other. It started thundering and lightning without any warning, a second between each other. You could feel the thunder in your chest and there we were sitting under a metal roof. What an adventure! We started laughing a couple times, but it's all worth it.

During sacrament meeting, I had to direct the music. The conductor normally sings the first line to give the right tone because we don't have a piano. Everything was all good until we had to sing a certain Sacrament song that I had no idea how it went. I definitely butchered it and everyone was all confused and giving me weird faces. The entire song was a disaster and I couldn't stop laughing. After Sacrament meeting everyone came up to me and shook my hand. The people here are so nice and understanding! Everyone was laughing with me and it was hilarious.

In the beginning of the week, my companion and I were super excited and ready to baptize everyone we came in contact with... well long story short, we had to drop 3 investigators cause they weren't progressing and felt like the Gospel isn't something they need. Not going to lie, there were a couple times when we walked away from a door in slow motion with our heads down and I sang the Charlie Brown song. One morning our companion study was all about faith in finding people and being directed by the spirit, we felt so much better. Afterward, we were trying to find a reference and his name is Fausto. So we were knocking on every door trying to find him and we started giving up and walking away when I saw a cute old man gardening and I waved and asked how he was. He immediately got up and started walking towards us and it turned out to be Fausto!!! OOOhhhh, it was glorious. Miracle of the week. He is awesome and loves to joke around and is really receptive to what we have been teaching him! 

One morning my companion told me that I was going to ask an investigator to be baptized and it was all me. I was getting so pumped, thinking and practicing what I was going to say and it got to our lesson and the timing was perfect, the Spirit was there, my heart was pounding and I asked her if she wanted to be baptized. She said,¨ Ohhhh, uuhhhh I was already baptized when I was 12.¨ I have no idea what my face looked liked, but my companion had a good laugh about it afterwards. It turns out that Gladis (is her name) was baptized really fast and only went to church for one week and was forgotten. She doesn't remember anything. but we have amazing discussions with her. We learned that our focus needs to be on reminding the nonactives the covenants they made and helping them feel the spirit again, it's not forcing them to come back to church. By helping them remember it will make them want to come back on their own. I also learned that I'm not here to baptize as many people as I can. Everyone needs time to truly convert and make the changes in their lives. 

I'm grateful to be here in Tela, with the best companion ever! I love this Gospel and I love learning about it more and more each day that I get the opportunity to study it. It truly is perfect. Thanks for your support and I love you all! The church is true!

Hermana Sherman

Monday, August 19, 2013

I couldn't be more blessed...

Oh man let me tell ya! I couldn't be more blessed. This week has been awesome. My companion and I are both new to this area so its been fun getting to know everyone and get comfortable. I can't even put in words how beautiful it is here, it's between a tropical jungle slash the hobbit.

One day, I was just in the bathroom minding my own business, when I met a new friend... He was living in my shampoo bag and decided to say hello. His name is Roberto. He's a scorpion :) Our friendship only lasted about 10 seconds when I had to sadly...end his life. May Roberto R.I.P.

The people here are incredible. Hilarious. We have a neighbor that we visit quite a bit and he has a bird named Tito. During our lessons, Tito likes to nibble on our neighbors ear or mouth the whole time, and sometimes I kinda lose control and can't stop laughing, but he thinks it's hilarious.

Uhhh for sure I'm not going to starve here. I eat Baleadas all day, everyday and I can't stop. They are sooo good, I crave them 100 percent of the time and I feel like it might be a problem. And Tres Leches. HEAVEN! Good thing we walk like 5 miles a day!

     For P day, we had it with 2 other zones! They all came up here to Tela and we went to the beach and had a feast with steak! I was in charge of cutting 10 onions and had a good laugh. My eyeballs were burning like no other, but soon passed. I don't think I can eat again for at least a couple weeks.
     Last week, we had a zone conference with Elder Ochoa! 4 of us missionaries sang and I don't know how I was randomly chosen, but it was a privilege! It didn't even hit me until after Elder Ochoa said he served as the Mission President for San Pedro Sula a couple years ago that it was Russell Ochoa's parents!! I got to talk to them a little more after our meeting and they were so nice!
     I got to teach the English class last week, which was pretty cool since there were only 3 of us including my companion haha, but it was fun. My talk on Sunday went well, I wasn't nervous, which was a blessing and the members said they could understand everything I said so that's a plus!
     Missionary work here is more about focusing on the inactive members and helping them endure to the end. It has been a blessing getting to know the people here. It hit me last night how many people there are in the world Haha. I was thinking about how the world evolved around me before and I had no idea how many good people there are, speaking different languages, but we all are still the same.
     Well life is good. I'm learning so much in how to teach according to peoples needs and how to adjust towards them. In order to bring investigators to where you are, you must first go to where they are. The Church is true!
Love you all!
Hermana Sherman

Monday, August 12, 2013

Life is fantastico!

 I'm alive!! Wooohoooo LIFE IS FANTÁSTICO! This week has been awesome. Everyone was telling me how bad they had culture shock when they first went out in the mission and it honestly hasn't hit me yet, which I'm truly thankful for. The people are amazing and so warm. 

We have the biggest district in the mission with 5 companionships and every companionship has a newbie!! My district leader is the only one that speaks English. My companion knows a couple words in English and I have been teaching her everyday. She is the BEST! I have been praying for her ever since I've entered the MTC and I'm so glad I finally know her! She is so patient and upbeat. She truly serves her companions and I'm learning so much from her. She is a great teacher and a hard worker, I feel so spoiled to have her as my first companion.

The ward here is so cute! Every Wednesday we have a movie night at the church with popcorn and us missionaries give a quick thought afterward. We teach an English class every Saturday. My district leader and I are the only ones that know English so it's fun teaching vocab. I had to pray in English and it was so weird! I almost couldn't do it! On Sunday we only have 2 speakers for Sacrament meeting and next week I'm speaking! I'm not too worried about it, but I just need to get used to being out of my comfort zone. We have a Sunday school class just for investigators and 4 showed up! In Relief Society there were only 6 sisters there, the ward is a little family and I love it!

We've had a cook and she has the cutest family! She lets us dish our own food, which I have been so grateful for. I like beans now! Who would have thunk! And the tortillas here are to die for, I can eat 50 plain they are so good. We normally have beans, eggs, rice and cheese. The cheese is a little different here and I was way intimidated to eat it at first, but it's not that bad now and I'm starting to enjoy it. I haven't had any problems so life is great! (knock on wood). I'm getting use to bucket showers and kissing EVERYONE on the cheek. 

The other day we took a back road to town and it was in the jungle.... we saw a couple of snakes and other weird animals, but then we ran into a security guard with a gun who turned out to be way nice and was our guard for a while. We actually got his contact info and the Elders are going to teach him!

Spanish is coming along. I can understand the basic gist of everything, but it's just the speaking that is a little difficult. I haven't had a headache since Ive been here so that's good! My companion lets me talk in our lessons, which I'm so grateful for because I'm improving every time with expressing my feelings. Whenever I don't know what's going on, I can just pay attention to how I feel and every thing's great. We have been teaching a Grandma named Melgar' Her two grandkids are members, a 10 year old boy and an 11 year old girl. They were taught and baptized by missionaries before us and go to church by themselves, they are incredible. In our lesson yesterday, their Mom showed up and the kids bore their testimonies and how they felt after they were baptized. WOW! I'm so grateful to be here in TELA! It's the cutest little town with the beach and some parts look like the movie the Hobbit! It's so green in Honduras and beautiful! I love being a missionary, I love the people, I love my companion and I love this gospel! The church is true!!

Hermana Sherman

The boy is name is Osmin! He spent a whole day with us showing us where everyone lived and also went to all of our lessons. We eat at his families house everyday for lunch and they are all so sweet and welcoming!

Home Sweet Home

Some lizard iguana thing on a house


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Arrived in Honduras

What a day! Im officially in my first area! I arrived in Honduras at 6 am yesterday and we all went to a chapel to have orientations. We met up with the Elders from Provo and it turns out one of them is twin brothers with an Elder that was in my district at the CCM! It was so weird seeing him cause they look, talk, and have the exact same mannerisms, so it was a little tender mercy that made it just a little bit easier. They shipped us to a market in Lima and we got to do some contacting! It was awesome and got me so excited to start working. Everyone was so friendly and was willing to listen to what you have to say. During orientations it was kind of a struggle to sit in a chair all day with 2 hours of sleep, but I learned a ton and got to know the Hermanas more. We had interviews with my Mission President and he is seriously so AWESOME! He has so much energy and you can tell how much he puts us missionaries first. At night, all the Hermanas went to a house and slept in a room with 3 bunkbeds together, it was a huge sleepover! I had to sleep in my skirt and blouse because the airport lost both of my bags but I got them back today :)

Today has been quite the day!! Everyone met at a chapel this morning where all us newbies had to introduce ourselves and we got to hear the testimonies of the missionaries leaving. Our mission President makes everyone do it in Spanish first, then English. A lot of the North Americans couldn't speak English anymore! They announced the changes and areas everyone is serving. My companion is Hermana Barrios! She is a cute latina that has danced her whole life. She is upbeat and has a lot of energy, which I need right now. After we rode a bus to our area, I was up against the window trying to sleep and now I have a weird shaped sunburn on my face haha. It was pretty loco and quite the journey. Our house is next door to the chapel so that's awesome and I'm lucky we get to write today! I was a little overwhelmed with the Spanish and what bathroom to go into when it says Dallas and Caballeros or when I keep forgetting to throw toilet paper in a bucket next to the toilet, but I know it will come and I need to put the gospel first! I have a stong testimony of this gospel and I know that it will bless these families for eternity. The church is true! I love you all!

Hermana Sherman

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Last email from Mission Training Center!

This is the last time writing from the CCM! I can't even believe it. I won't be able to write for two weeks, but the next time you hear from me, I'll be in HONDURAS!! A third of the CCM left last week and we only received 6 new Norte (American) Hermanas! We received 4 new districts of Latinos and 20 of them are going to Honduras with me! I was so happy when I got to meet all of them. It's a little intimidating being the only Norte, but I feel privileged!  We had splits on Sunday and I was with 2 Hermanas also going to San Pedro Sula. We were hugging and laughing the whole time cause we were so excited. I love it! 

Last Pday the CCM President took us to a park and a market. It was a blast and I took a ton of pictures, but they took our cameras away right when we got back, so I'll have to email them to you when I'm in the field.  The park we went to had a huge map of Guatemala and every type of tree here in Guatemala. The market was crazy. Not as crazy as the one in Mexico cause they gave us our space, but it was 3 stories and the bottom level had handmade baskets and pottery that was way cool. The middle level was all food. Everyone was yelling and it was a little crazy. There were pig heads and nice slabs of meat hanging out, which I don't know how sanitary that is, but it was interesting. The top level was all the clothes, shoes, and paintings. I could spend weeks in there looking at everything, but I only got a headband cause I wanted to wait until Honduras. After the market, we ate by a huge waterfall and watched all the kids play with the pigeons. It was a glorious day. My companion and I brought a Book of Mormon to give out so after lunch we prayed to find someone who needed it. Right after we prayed, I noticed a woman sitting by herself and she looked really sad. We went up to her and I don't even know what I was saying, but it was in Spanish and she understood everything. We explained the book and the promise that she will receive an answer if she prayed about it. She said she wanted to know more so we got her contact info and gave it to the missionaries in her area. What a rush! I was so excited after and I realized  I'm just going to be bearing my testimony for the next 17 months and its a lot easier when I know this church is true. I LOVE THIS GOSPEL!

Last week our teacher told us we are going to have a competition within our district. Every person starts out with 5 straws and we have to speak Spanish for a whole week straight. Whenever you hear someone else speaking English, you get to take one of their straws and the person with the most straws at the end gets a jar of peanut butter and a huge bar of chocolate. I wannna wiiiiin! haha. Everyone got super competitive and claws came out. After the 3 day people were dropping like flies and there were only 5 of us left. The funniest part is during Deportes you can tell who is in my district because  everyone is making weird espanol noises cause no one knows the actual words. During volleyball, I had my teacher teach me trash talk so now i know how to say, "You're the scum between my toes and stuff''.  A couple days ago they switched the rules to companionships, so we have to work as a team now. Me and my companion are dominating!  We have 15 straws now and I can already taste that peanut butter and chocolate!

Deportes has been switched to night times now so everyone has a bunch of energy to let out, it's so hilarious. The other night I was punch dancing and my name tag scratched up half of my face so I look pretty cool. Sometimes the Elders in my district have scripture battles and it gets pretty intense... only missionaries... 

I picked up a new investigator and we teach "missionary to missionary" 4 times a week. It's where we have to teach by ourselves with another missionary in our zone for 25 minutes at a time. It's a little harder without a companion, but my new investigator name is Kalvin who is pretty prepared and has a baptismal date for August 30th. Pretty stoked. Haha I play an investigator named Joni Sherman and she's dating a member of the church and wants to know more about the gospel ;)

Last Sunday was awesome! Sundays are my favorite because we get to watch movies and devotionals all day. We have two Relief Society meetings, a Sunday School meeting, a district meeting, Sacrament meeting and a couple Devotionals and movies. All of the meetings are so awesome because everyone has such good comments and I feel so uplifted. In Sacrament meeting I felt like I was going to be called on to give a talk (solo espanol) and it turned out that I was. I am grateful I was prepared! It was quite the rush though, felt like I was going to pass out for a little bit. but it turned out well and the Spirit helped me out a lot! 

My district sang at the devotional, the first verse was just me and my companion trying to harmonize. I was a little worried, but when the Spirit is there, it makes up for everything else. I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and I love learning about the different ways it specifically speaks to me. Without the Spirit, there's no use in being a missionary cause the Holy Ghost is what converts the people. 

We had an amazing devotional with Elder Bednar, he explained the importance of doctrine, principles and applications. We need to be focusing on the doctrine of Christ because that's what truly changes the hearts of people. We learn a lot about how we can apply principles to our lives. but we need to focus more on the doctrine and principles. 

It was another crazy week and I have learned so much! I am constantly being uplifted and am so grateful to be here at the CCM. I love the People, I love my teachers, I love the food and oh man I love the weather here! I love all of you guys and the church is true!

Hermana Sherman

My new mission home address is AP 1970 San Pedro Sula, Honduras CA. This is where you can send letters!