Monday, August 4, 2014
I remember when I opened my call- the happiness I felt. That evening when we were sitting around talking, I expressed how content I felt. Mom told me to figuratively bottle up some of that joy and open that jar when times were hard. I didn’t really understand at the time. I said something along the lines of "I know it will be hard but I'm going to love my mission." Time and time again I have had to open my jar.
In so many ways the mission is a metaphor of life. In the book of Job it says we shouted for joy when we knew the plan of God would go forth and we would have the opportunity to come to earth. God had warned us of the risks, pain, heartache that were awaiting us. However, we chose to follow him and accept his plan because the opportunity outweighed the risk. Now that we are here in our mortal state, we often feels overwhelmed and heavy laden. Our perhaps it is underwhelmed and without meaning and purpose. Regardless, one has to be patient, look for daily meaning, and continually learning to love.
I don't regret one bit my decision to serve a mission. It has been such an adventure to be on this little island; to talk to anyone and everyone about their relationship with God; to buy fresh fruit of the streets everyday; to sweat from every pore; to strengthen my faith; to be bold and to be brave; to find my way around the country, crammed into buses and taxis; to shout "saludos" in thousands of doors; to anxiously read your emails every Monday; to walk until there were holes in my shoes; to learn to trust in my God.
I will never forget the past 18 months or the people I have met. Thank you for the support you have given me- financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I am so excited to see you all next Tuesday. I don't think I will let you out of my sight. (I am going to make a bed on mom and dad's floor next to Owen's).
"You are the books you read, the films you watch, the music you listen to, the people you meet, the dreams you have, the conversations you engage in. you are what you take from these. you are a collective of every experience you have had in your life. You are every single second of every single day. So drown yourself in a sea of knowledge and existence. Let the words run through your veins and let the colors fill your mind." - Jac Vanek
"Blood, toil, tears, and sweat. The best things are always worth finishing; as long and laborious as the effort may seem. Please keep shaping and setting the stones that will make your accomplishment a grand and imposing spectacle. Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and grow. Dream dreams and see visions. Work towards their realization. Wait patiently when you have no other choice. Lean on your sword and rest a while, but get up and fight again. Perhaps you will not see the full meaning of your effort in your lifetime. But your children will, or your children's children will."
- Jeffrey R Holland
|Meg & Her Trainer|
Monday, July 28, 2014
HEY hey!!! I can’t believe that this is my second to last p-day!!! Everyone keeps asking me how I’m feeling. i feel normal because nothing has changed yet; just doing the same thing I've been doing for the past 18 months. I do feel like I am starting to get kicked out because missionaries keep asking me to leave them my stuff.
I got a call this past week from my trainer hermana Arce. She went home a year ago but is on the island visiting and wanted to get together. She hung out with us today since it was our pday. It was so fun to see her and reminisce about all of our adventures.
One of the biggest bonuses of being in this area is the hermanas that I live with. I have gotten so close to them. We love chatting and always gather at night to laugh and tell stories.
One of the biggest cons of our area is all the creepers. We have to plan our routes to avoid certain streets. The interesting thing is that most of the men that give us problems are older men. The teenage boys just hiss or cat call and then leave us alone. It is the 40 year old men that give us problems.
This transfer has been really challenging but the biggest joy has been working with the less actives. Many are now going to church and it has been so fun getting to know some of their families.
I am getting excited to see you all!!! Thank you for your letters:)
I am getting excited to see you all!!! Thank you for your letters:)
con mucho amor,
This quote has helped me keep pushing through:
"Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. it means staying with something and doing all that we can- working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well. "
- President Uchtdorf
Friday, July 25, 2014
Hey, hey! It looks like the wedding plans are coming along nicely. I am so excited for Meish and Sam. And cute Cate looks like she is having a good time in the motherland.
It has been a very challenging transfer. The chickungunya left me weaker and I feel tired all the time. Maybe it’s just because my body knows the end is near and is starting to break down. On top of that, the area has its challenges. We are still working hard and are always laughing and joking but it hasn’t been easy; I have definitely had to learn a lot about perseverance. I want to finish strong and not falter and trip at the finish line.
Every day we teach the gospel and the last point is enduring to the end - to keep pushing and digging deep. My favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon is Lehi's vision. Elder Bednar classified the people in the vision into three different groups. Those who never take hold of it, those who grasp it and then let it go, those who hold tight until they reach the tree; The last group eventually falls to their knees and partakes of the fruit.
We had a woman this week who realized that the Mormon Church is also called the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. She said she used to watch a TV show of old men in suits giving their testimonies and it always said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. She was pretty excited to hear our message.
My favorite investigator right now is a doctor. She has one little girl. She is so intelligent and personable. She works on Sundays but is reading a ton in the Book of Mormon.
Hope you have a great week. hugs and kisses
"The harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheeply, we esteem to lightly." - Thomas Paine
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But it takes courage and persistence to make all the rest. - Chip Cooper
Monday, July 14, 2014
We had interviews with the new president, President Corbitt. He is incredible. He is very intelligent, loving and funny. I really enjoyed the interview; it felt like a warm-up exit interview. He has already made quite a few changes in the mission and is transferring missionaries even though we are in the middle of a transfer. It is interesting to see how smoothly things transition even though he has his own take. The work moves forward.
We received a referral this past week of someone named Louis. I called him and set up an appointment. He sounded young on the phone. He lives in a part of our area that is really poor and far; we had to take a bus to get there. We live in a rich area so it was a bit of a shock for my companion. It was my first time in this area so we had to ask everyone for directions. We were given wrong directions and were searching on the wrong street but found the right house number. It just so happens that the man that lived there was also named Louis. He was about 80 and didn’t have any teeth. When we saw him, I just thought, what a reference. We shared with him and the whole time he smiled his toothless smile at us- he was the cutest old man. When we were leaving I asked him if we were on street #11 and he said we were not. We left his house laughing and the Louis search continued. Everyone tried to point us in the right direction even if they didn’t know where it actually was. They would send their kids to show us. Then the kid's friends would see us and join our little mob. We accumulated quite a lot of kids. We finally found him and had a wonderful lesson about the plan of salvation. His mom had just died a month earlier from Chickungunya.
So you know that awkward moment when someone is walking towards you and you both try to step the same way and then the other way and do that weird side to side dance? Well that keeps happening to me and the stray dogs. We keep doing the awkward trying-to-pass dance. It has now happened three times. It gives my companion so much joy and laughter.
Our only progressing investigator has disappeared off the face of the earth. I really have no idea where he went. It has been a little bit of a frustrating week because of all the tracting we have had to do and then no one went to church. The work is really challenging in this area and I am exhausted but still enjoying it.
It is avocado season and I am in heaven!!!! I eat an avocado every morning with my toast.
I’m sorry, I don’t know why but my pictures aren't sending. Love you all so much. Have an amazing week! Thank you for your updates.
You will never have a greater or lesser dominion than over yourself... the height of a man's success is gauged by his self mastery, the depth of his failure by his self abandonment... he who cannot establish dominion over himself will have no dominion over others.
- leonardo da vinci
Monday, July 7, 2014
Hey hey!! Looks like you had a good 4th! Happy Birthday America. We were going to do something special but it ended up just being a normal day. It hasn't been too long since I last wrote. I did indeed write last Wednesday because we were trapped in the house for 4-5 days due to the virus. It was sooo hard to be trapped in the house so long.
Every transfer has its trials and challenges. I would say that this transfer I am learning a lot about communicating. I think communication is one of my weaknesses. my companion and I were at each others’ throats after a week of being trapped in the house for so long. We were having problems with miscommunication, differing expectations, and personality differences. One afternoon we talked for over an hour about why we were clashing so much; we now talk every night after we plan about how well we communicated and taught together.I am grateful because I have learned and can say that I really do love my companion.
It is so important to get along with your companion. We often are very critical of other's weaknesses but expect others to be merciful to our flaws. I think the key to getting along with someone is trying to see through their eyes; understand why they do the things they do and say the things they say. But it can be miserable if you don't get along because we are together 24/7 and it is nearly impossible to teach effectively when there is tension.
We are teaching the most darling family. I just absolutely adore them. When we go to their house the kids run out and hug us. It’s the most awesome feeling- to feel loved by the people you teach. The mom is a single mom and the message just really clicks with her. She is so loving and hilarious.
A high point of the week was that three inactives went to church! yay, we were super excited.
I can’t believe how fast time is flying by. I still feel pretty focused but my companion remind me how much time I have left. She keeps telling me about things I need to do and what it’s going to be like when I go home.
Thank you for all the pictures and updates! Have a great week.
"When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom and ascend step by step until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel. You must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil (died) before you have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.
- Joseph Smith
"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."
- Proverbs 16;32
"The people we serve don't care how much we know until they know how much we care about them."
Jeffrey R. Holland
Jeffrey R. Holland
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Well, the bad news is that we caught Chickungunya. It was horrible! On Thursday, I noticed the rash and just about died knowing what was coming. Sure enough, the fever and bone pain followed; even my teeth hurt. On Saturday I started to feel better and then my companion got it. I think she had it even worse than I did. From what I've heard, the virus stays in the body from for about a year but is dormant. I am getting the rash again so I hope I don't repeat.
We only were able to go to 20 minutes of church and then decided to leave because Hermana Gingell's fever was too high. I have now missed two Sundays due to Chickungunya. I feel like an inactive missionary!
It was rough not getting to email you all on Monday. I don't know how you survived the mission back in the day - without email!
This week we had a Mission President switch. I have loved the Hernandez's and am going to miss them. It will be interesting to see the changes that happen due to a new president.
I apologize that I write about Chickungunya every week but it is really disrupting the work.
I am printing out your emails and am super excited to read them. I hope you have a great week. love you so much
LOVE YOU xoxox
What In The World Is Chikungunya?
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reporting a rise in U.S. cases of a painful new virus.
Chikungunya (which is pronounced chick-en-gun-ye) triggers a very painful but seldom fatal illness, and is already common in central and southern Africa, southern Asia and has recently spread to 17 countries in the Caribbean. Cases have also been reported in Italy and France.
As of June 17, 80 cases have been reported in 13 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico, the CDC says. Puerto Rico has 23 locally-transmitted cases; all of the others are travel-associated, in people returning from the Caribbean or Asia. Health departments in Tennessee and Georgia have also reported cases.
“We do anticipate that there could be local transmission of the virus, particularly now as we are coming into summer when mosquitoes are active,” said Dr. Erin Staples, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. She said that few people in the United States have been exposed to chikungunya, “so no one is really immune.”
The virus is spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which pick up the virus by biting an infected person. Someone infected outside the United States who brings the virus back will likely, at some point, be bitten by a mosquito and then the virus will be passed on to the next person that mosquito bites.
The chikungunya virus causes high fevers, joint pain and swelling, headaches and a rash – people often first associate the symptoms as being flu-like. For some people, the sometimes-debilitating pain can last even after other symptoms disappear. Doctors say that a high percentage of those infected become sick – over 90% of those bitten will develop symptoms.
Those most at risk of a severe infection include newborns, adults 65 and older, and people with chronic medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
As of yet, there are no special treatments available. Typically, fever-reducing medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen are given to help alleviate pain.