Monday, October 27, 2014

His ways are not our ways...

Haaaalo!

Last week

Tuesday: We gave an orientation in our Zone meeting on 5 goals the whole mission is working at accomplishing:
1. Wake up at 6:30am every day
2. 1 hour of personal study EVERY DAY
3. 1 hour of companionship study every day
4. 1 hour of language study every day
5. Teach 35 lessons a week.

As we do these 5 things we will see miracles. 

We taught A__ and E__about prayer and the spirit was so strong. During the lesson E__ grabbed her chest and we knew she had felt the spirit too. 

Wednesday: Divisions in Olanchito! I was able to work with Hna V__ and it was such a good day! She is an amazing missionary and wants to become the best missionary she can be. Her parents were baptized when she was only 6 years old and they immediately became inactive so she started going to church by herself at age 6. She said her Dad started using as a punishment, her not being able to go to church. One Saturday morning, her Dad told her she had to clean out a huge closet by Sunday or she wouldnt be able to go to church. So there was this 6 year old working all day cleaning out her closet and didnt finish until 9pm Saturday night so she could go to church on Sunday. When she turned 8, she begged and begged her parents to let her be baptized and finally got their permission. She continued to go to church by herself until her teens when she started taking her 3 younger siblings. She had a lot of trials before her mission and the day her parents dropped her off at the airport was the same day they went to court to get divorced. She said both her parents have started attending church separately, and she is now seeing blessings from her mission flow onto her family. She is a true angel sent to her family.

Thursday: We left Olanchito pretty early to catch a bus to get to the Stake center in Ceiba for our presentation in the trainer meeting at 9am with all the missionaries training and all those about to train. All of the buses here are a little sketchy, but this one was especially sketchy. The bus was making weird noises the whole time and would die every time we went uphill until it broke down half way to Ceiba. We were stuck there for an hour with everyone freaking out about appointments until we said a pray in our hearts and they got the bus to work again. We made it to the Stake center at 9:05am and were able to give our presentation. We also got it out of President Klein if we have transfers this week. He said,"Do you really want to open your present before Christmas?" We eventually got it out that I have transfers :/ My last transfer in a new area with a new companion, but President confirmed that it is the Lords will and I trust in the Lord and in President Klein with these transfers. Right after the meeting we went over to the other side of Ceiba because a sister had been sick with a weird virus where you get these little boils on the bottom of your feet, palms of your hands, and back of your throat... I really am so blessed not to have had anything like that.

Friday: We left early again to travel to Trujillo!! I did divisions with Hermana G___, a mini missionary where she is a missionary only until her visa comes then she will be going to the MTC in Brazil. She was a little frustrated because she didnt have all of the principles of the lessons down.  I helped remind her that shes only been out for 3 weeks and she hasnt even gone to the MTC yet.. She reminded me a lot of myself when I first came here and how frustrated i was from not knowing the language in a week. You really learn patience with yourself as you serve a mission. We heard that there was a hurricane coming in and we started getting kind of nervous because our 72 hour kits were in Ceiba. At night, the whole sky was a blood red and it POURED rain for hours with lightning and thunder literally so close to us. You could feel the thunder in your chest. The storm continued all night and we left early the next morning when it was calmer. As we rode the 4 hour bus ride back to Ceiba we just followed the storm here. It picked up quite a bit and there was water EVERYWHERE. It has been raining ever since then, but the good thing is that i dont have to sleep with a fan on anymore. 

Sunday: Ward conference. We sang in the ward choir and it was pure comedy. Hermana Bennett played the keyboard for us and we sang our hearts out. Derian blessed the Sacrament and did awesome. That was a proud missionary moment to have worked so hard with him and be able to see the fruits of our labors. We eat lunch with our ward mission leader every Sunday and something they eat here in every single meal are "Gineos" They are boiled green bananas. They arent the best flavored and I havent met a single missionary who likes them. Here they put it with everything and especially in soup :P As Hermana Bennett was doing her personal prayer on her food, I tried sneaking my gineo on her plate, but the stinking gineo would come off my fork. At the exact same time, the sister who cooked walked into the room and i was caught right in the act. I quickly slid the gineo off of my fork and acted like nothing happened. The next week, everyone was served gineos except me.

This week was so crazy, but we tried to enjoy it at the same time. We are learning to do things for ourselves, so we dont get burnt out. Its crazy to think that I only have one more transfer left and it will be with a new companion and new area, but i would rather have it that way to keep me busy. The other day A__ and E__ were talking about how little time i have left and  I literally felt a pit in my stomach. I already feel sad about leaving this area and cant even imagine what its going to be like leaving Honduras. Good thing i dont have to think about it yet. I love being a missionary and being set apart from the world. I have learned so much stuff not only for myself, but for future generations to come. I know that the Lord is the head of this great work and that His ways are not our ways. 

Love,
Hermana Sherman
B__ has a baptismal date for next month
 

The Sanchez family! They are the best! Our ward mission leader is on the right.
Investigators Hermana A__ and her family

Monday, October 20, 2014

Satan works the hardest before and after a spiritual experience

Hi!

Another blurry week, dont remember half of it.

We traveled to La Paz once again for the Leadership meeting and learned from President Klein. We are going back to the basics on the priorities of us missionaries. Investigators. Lessons. Baptisms. Retention and church attendance. One thing i love about President Klein is that he only wants good quality baptisms. In the past, the missionaries have baptized as many people as they could for the numbers and now we are finishing their work in reactivating everyone. Most of the wards here consists of 500 members and only 100 are active in the church. Work of Salvation only begins at baptism. I also like how the rules have changed where missionaries now have the responsibility of working closely with recent converts a year after their baptism, just so they dont get lost. Satan works the hardest before and after a Spiritual experience.

We went to Roatan once again and once again it was as beautiful as ever! I worked in a trio with Hermana M_ and Hermana M_. It was a blast! Two more sisters from the ward went out to visit with us. so we were a group of 5 that went around visiting everyone. So fun! 

We have been working with a couple every since my first transfer here in Ceiba. Their names are A_ and E_. They have accepted to be baptized. but just have to get married. E_ is from Columbia and couldnt get her papers from there, so they have to go through a long process here in Honduras where they have to go to Tegucigalpa to personally get her papers. They both showed up to D_ baptism and A_ has showed up to church and conference all by himself. The spirit is so strong every time we teach them. We even cleared up about polygamy and how we dont practice it in the church these days, but we explained the history of it and the spirit was still so strong. Ive never taught that before and have the spirit be so strong. A_ is future Stake President material. 

The inactive we found named S_ and his two children came to church! S_ hasnt been to church for over 10 plus years! His son G_ was participating more than anyone in his Sunday school class and was helping the other young men in his class. Everyone was so welcoming which makes everything 100 times better. 

Our little grandpa were teaching named O_ also showed up to church again and we were finally able to teach him. He is pumped to learn more and has a great desire to grow in his faith in Christ.

My daughter Hermana Tamani has been fighting hard with her knees. We got a call one morning that she needed to pack her bags and travel to San Pedro Sula the same day to go home the next. It was so sad. She had given her ALL. I have realized how great of a blessing it is just to finish your mission, especially for the sisters here because it's such a physically demanding mission. I am so blessed to have health and strength my entire mission. 

I think this week I've definitely learned patience and to be flexible. So many things popped up where we immediately had to change our plans. We are learning how to do the Lords will and not ours in having 3 different callings. Sister Training Leaders, Mission Nurse (Hermana Bennett), and full time missionaries. Sometimes we get a little frustrated when we cant give our area as much time as we would like, but we have learned as we pray to do the Lords will, we'll always have enough time. 

Love,
Hermana Sherman
Leadership meeting

A dock in Ceiba

Last day with Hermana Tamani
An awesome painting I want in my house some day
There was a rainbow around the sun! Ive never seen that before. I heard it happens when it start to get cold
We have to cook on the floor cause there isnt enough counter space    

Monday, October 13, 2014

This week was the craziest/best week ever!!!


MIRACLE:
We have been working SO HARD with D., the young man weve been teaching forever. He has attended seminary at 5 in the morning almost the entire year. Has over 20 attendances in church and received his answer that he needed to be baptized. We had our zone leaders go over and teach him because hes been having a couple challenges with keeping the commandments and has overcome those challenges. During conference, we fasted with him for his baptismal date.Tuesday night, we were with him and had an awesome lesson with him. He had expressed how he was nervous to be baptized because he was too afraid to sin after. We explained that he didnt need to be perfect in order to be baptized, but worthy and with a real intention to follow all of the commandments of God. He said he had felt a calm feeling during the lesson. He then said,"Alright call the Elders to do the examine! Right now!" and we were like,"You mean your interview?" and he said,"Yes that thing!" It was 8:30pm and we were calling the ZLs to come over to give D. his interview, but their cell phone is broken and doesnt vibrate or make any noise so you cant tell if someone is calling. We told D. we could do it the next day, but he said,"No! If i dont do it now, ill probably never do it cause i know myself." So, we said a prayer to end the lesson and to pray that the Elders would answer their cell phone so D. could have his interview that night. Right as we were closing the prayer, the phone started ringing and it was the ZLs! They went over that night and gave D. his baptismal interview! MIRACLE! So, D. was baptized on Saturday and gave such an amazing testimony, there wasnt a dry eye in the room. He then was confirmed yesterday and received the Holy Ghost and spent his first night as a member of the church bringing a group of his non-member friends to our ward mission leaders house. BAM!

So there´s 4 missionaries in this ward. Us and another set of sister missionaries (one of them is my daughter, who I trained - Hermana Tamani) We live next door to each other in an apartment building. Last Tuesday, we went with them to the doctors because Hna Tamani has been having problems with her legs, which is normal for the sisters that work in that area because it's on the top of a mountain... A lot of sisters have been having issues with their legs from having to hike all day, every day so we finally talked to the President that same day. We brainstormed with him and our Zone Leaders and early the next morning we found out the sisters were going to be pulled out and the Zone Leaders put in. We spent all day looking for an apartment for the Elders. They switched areas because the area of the Elders is a lot flatter and safer at night. Before we knew it, i was doing divisions with Hermana G with the Elders and we had to learn the area of the ZLs in one day. The next day we found 2 new apartments, one for the sisters and one for the Elders and we had to move 4 companionships in one day. We ended up moving in the apartment of the sisters and helped them move in their new apartment. Sooooo long story short, we now have the Zone leaders in our ward!

We also were contacting this old man and we invited him to conference the next day. He ended up going all by himself! We invited him to church yesterday and he showed up again! He said hes been attending so many different churches, but is old now and just wants to join one. Golden!

We also visited the inactive Hno S. and his 14 year old son G. again. We asked G. if he read his pamphlet of the restoration and he said he did and taught us all that was in it. We asked if he believed it was true. He said he still didnt know if Joseph smith was a prophet, but he believed the Book of Mormon to be true because every time he read in the bible he felt in his heart a part was missing... WHAT?!! We explained that by through the Book of Mormon he can know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet because he translated it by the power of God. We explained the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph and he was like," Oh i understand! The Book of Mormon is the stick of Joseph and the Bible is the stick of Judah and when they are together they are a stronger testimony of Christ" OUR MINDS WERE BLOWN. This 14 year old kid knows more than i do. 

Anyway, this week was a week filled with miracles and I'm so grateful to have a loving Heavenly Father who has blessed me with so many tender mercies. THE CHURCH IS TRUE!

Love,
Hermana Sherman
When we found a house for the sisters, they have the best view and its 10 steps from the ocean!


D.'s baptism
Apartment hunting with the Zone Leaders
As I was studying, I looked out the door and was just grateful for how beautiful it is here.
In the grocery store we found these things...I dont even want to know what they are. (note from Lani's mom:  I looked up what "Criadillas" were...they are Honduras' version of "Rocky Mountain Oysters".  I don't think she will be trying these :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference!!!

We didnt have transfers!! One more transfer with Hermana Bennett in La Ceiba!

CONFERENCE!!! Was amazing. I loved the talks of Lynn G Robbins, Carloa Godoy, David Bednar and Todd Christofferson.

Couple notes:
-Are we fearing man more than God?
-Instead of bringing God to where you are, go to where He is.
-Take responsibility of your spiritual being
-Take responsibility of your physical being
-The revelation of a parent has a lasting effect on the personal revelation of  the child.
-Decisions determines destiny.

We fasted with D... for his first time to see what date would be right for him to be baptized. He has had such a change of heart in the past couple weeks. Hes not taking baptism lightly, but takes in account every covenant he will be making with Heavenly Father. 

We contacted a reference from the Elders when we did the super contact last week. As we were in the lesson a man walked in and immediately greeted us. He told us he was a member and a District President in Colon, but was tempted by satan and fell. Hes been ashamed ever since and never returned to church. He visited other churches, but said they didnt even compare. He said as he was the District president there were only 5 active members. He had a dream that he was in the chapel and saw the chapel full of members dressed in white and took it upon himself to fill the chapel. In just a short time the attendance went from 5 to 70... all from one man and his vision. As he was bearing his testimony and talking about his spiritual experiences hes had, (Hermana Bennett and I found out later that we were both praying that the Spirit would touch his heart and he would be able to express himself) He then paused for a while and started weeping. We were able to bear testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that it doesnt matter how many times we fall, but how many times we pick ourselves up. I know Heavenly Father put him in our path and we are so privileged as missionaries, to have been a witness of His tender mercies and that He trusts us with His child. 

I love my mission!  Im grateful for a modern day Prophet who holds all the the priesthood keys to this dispensation and for continual revelation, especially with the gift of the Holy Ghost. The church is true! 

Love,
Hermana Sherman
Our District taking a "catracha" The Hondurans dont smile when they take pictures

With our Zone Leaders
Sister Trainer Leaders & Hermana Klein

We had a nice storm and lightning struck 3 feet in front of me... and we got it on film!
We live on the 3rd level of the red apartments
Hermana Cheman
This baby reminds me of Boston when I left.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Week of tender mercies...

Tuesday: We had our district meeting where we did practices of teaching investigators with profound doctrinal questions which is very common. I think a lot of times we get caught up in profound doctrine and it even takes a toll on our testimony. One question we can always ask is," If i know the answer to this question, will it help me reach salvation?" As missionaries we dont have to answer all of our investigators questions, just the ones that will benefit them to reach the ultimate goal of exaltation. 

Wednesday: Exchanges with El Im├ín. I went and worked in El Iman with Hermana Tito, this is her first transfer in the mission. She is so motivated and wants so badly to share the gospel with EVERYONE. She also soaked up everything and wanted to learn everything that she could. We found a lady who turned out to be an inactive member of the church. Her name is S. and it was a miracle  we found her. We quickly passed by her and if we hadnt taken the time to get to know her, we wouldnt have known she was a member to help her. We had a really good lesson with her and the Spirit was strong. I felt a special connection with her, as if I knew her before this life. One day we will find out.

Thursday: We met back with our companions at a training conference where the STLs always have to give an orientation. We have a ton of new missionaries from last transfer probably because they all just graduated high school.  Next transfer we'll be getting almost 30 more!

Friday. TRUJILLO. We took a bus bright and early to Trujillo and did exchanges with the sisters out there. Trujillo is the area farthest out in the mission and we have two sisters out there. I always have enjoyed doing exchanges in Trujillo because its so pretty. They have the beach, mountains and the cutest little town. We worked hard and taught 9 lessons and were able to find a lot of new investigators for them. They have a huge area, probably 10X the size of our area. It was a nice work out.

Saturday. We got up at 4:30 am to catch an early bus to Ceiba, but couldnt get out of the gate that was locked. We tried calling the neighbors so we could get the keys to open the gate, but they were dead asleep, (obviously). We decided to wait until it was a little lighter outside anyways because Honduras in the dark isnt the safest place on the planet. We went back to bed for an hour then finally got the keys from waking up the poor man. Here in Honduras there are no doorbells and they always have barbed-wired fences so you cant even get to the door to knock on it. You just yell,"BUENAS!" As we were yelling at the neighbors there were a ton of parrots around us yelling "Buenas!" at the same time. We were laughing. We got back to Ceiba and had 20 minutes to recuperate and  then we went out to do a SUPER CONTACT with our entire zone. Theres about 24 missionaries in our zone and we all worked in our area and the area of the other Hermanas that are up in the mountains. We all contacted and covered everywhere. It was so awesome! You could just feel the spirit of missionary work. We worked in the area of the other sisters and contacted an entire street when we realized we missed a house. We contacted it and a man came out in slacks and a nice collared shirt. We were thinking oh shoot, a pastor. He immediately told us he was a member of the church and works in Trujillo, but only comes to Ceiba to be with his wife and 4 kids on Saturdays. His wife and kids arent members, but he still goes to church in Trujillo. All of a sudden a woman runs out and grabs me and asked if i remembered her. I felt so bad because i didnt, it turned out she is the owner of the house that the sisters live in in Trujillo!!!S he isnt a member either, but we told her we were at her house that very morning yelling at her husband for the keys to open the gate. ISNT THAT NUTS?!?!?! What are the chances?! We were in shock.

Later that night we went to the Stake center to watch the Women's conference! We were praying that we would be able to watch it in English, but when we went to the secretaries office it was closed. We were so sad, when all of a sudden a sister passed by with her computer and said,"im going to try and watch conference in English with you guys!!" Her name was Emily and she had served a mission in Provo Utah. She said she normally watches conference at her house because she lives so far out, but decided to go to the Stake center and watch it after institute. She was scared she was going to have to watch it alone. Such a tender mercy!!! She was awesome and we talked all about her mission and the blessings of serving missions. She also reminded us of the culture difference from here and the U.S. She made us really grateful to be here in Honduras haha. Its so true what Elder Uchtdorf said in his talk about Heavenly Father not loving us for how perfect our hair, skin, and nails are, but who we are. I feel like the culture here focuses a lot more on that. The problems are also so different when its the end of the world if you dont get a lot of likes on a internet post, and here people are worrying about what they are going to eat for dinner. I pray i wont ever be blinded again.

Sunday: Literally every Sunday we run around trying to get all of our investigators to go to church and more often then not, it all falls apart last minute. We had planned to have 10 investigators go to church and they all promised they would and ALL fell through at the last minute. We were pretty annoyed and ended up walking to church late when we walked into Sacrament meeting to see A. one of our investigators who is planning on getting married to E. and than get baptized sitting there. This was the first time he had shown up to church and he came all by himself... another tender mercy. We didnt reflect on all the others not showing up to church at that time. This pretty much sums up the entire mission. Just one good investigator makes up for a hundred falling through. Ive definitely been learning how to reflect on the positive or else there is no way you could be a happy missionary. 

This was my week. All in all im happy. Happy to be here in Honduras, happy for my time to serve, happy with my Heavenly Father who has given me so much.

Love,
Hermana Sherman