Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 18

Hermana Green is Staying in Ponce for Another Transfer!

FELIZ NAVIDAD well it passed but you know what I mean

I do hope everyone had a wonderful christmas! I had a wonderful one myself. Nothing better than being able to talk to family! It was so so so great. I love my family. (someone please give my family a hug for me. thanks)

Wow this week was great!
We had our zone christmas party on tuesday night, and Hermana Bird and I sang,"La Primera Navidad" for our zone, and President and Hermana Boucher. I accidently knocked a hymn book off their piano before we sang and the only thing I could say in that moment was,"Lo siento.. feliz navidad". Everyone laughed. I was embarrased but laughed at myself. (some things never change even during a mission) hahahaha.

Pres. & Sister Boucher at our Zone Christmas Party (I'm laughing cause Pres. Boucher said he feels tall standing next to me)
Hermana Nottingham, Elder Leon receiving Christmas Gifts from home (They were in the MTC with me!)

LEUNANNI GOT BAPTIZED! It was such a beautiful baptism. It seriously is so amazing to see this progress of people you learn and grow to love. We sang,"Families Can Be Together Forever" and the spirit was so strong. Leunanni is the youngest out of her family, and her mom, Awilda, is the only other member. And Awilda bore her testimony on how Heavenly Father is answering her prayers and having her children find joy in the gospel,and be baptized even if it starts out with the youngest one. It was so beautiful. So many tears of joy were shed that day. Alexis was able to come too! Such a beautiful day. 

Leunanni and her Son on Her Baptism Day!
Leunanni's Husband Son and Family

Leuannani got Baptized Christmas Eve!!!!

This week out in the field, we focused a lot of our contacting on Luke 2, the story of the birth of Christ. And we focused on the pastores. (shepherds) and how they came with "prisa" to see the Savior. (i think that means haste in english.) And how we too can "come with haste" to know the Savior. During this time of year we shift our minds more towards Christ and can feel the joy the gospel brings, and that He brings. But in reality, we can feel these same feelings all year round. It doesn't need to be Christmas in order to feel these feelings of happiness. If we serve others, read the scriptures, and try to focus our lives more on the Savior, we too can become like Him and feel his love and his light in our lives. I know this with all of my heart. 

Hermana Josie is getting transferred ): but she's off to do bigger and better things as a sister trainer in Mayaguez, this means I am getting a new companion! AH. And I am officially done with my training, (weird.) 

Hope everyone had a very merry christmas, and I love you all tons. 

-Hermana Verde

Snipit from Hermana Green's Letter to home:
Gary shared the following scripture with Kali; John1:4 - "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth." To know that you walk in truth and have such a strong and amazing testimony of the truth and your Savior is the greatest joy and gift we have ever received.  Kali's response to us; I love love love that scripture. I am excited to have my own family and teach my own children how to walk in the ways of the gospel. One of the most important converts on your mission(and your first) is yourself. That is one of my main goals throughout my whole mission is to be truly converted in the ways of the gospel. I know who I can become.. and slowly and slowly it's happening. And I couldn't be happier. Thank YOU TWO for being such shining examples in my life. Seriously.. couldn't survive the mission without all the things you both have taught me. So thank you.

Not super stressed about the transfer( yet.) I just have a perspective that in life there is always change, and a mission and transfers help with that. It was bound to happen sometime. But I am doing okay. 
I love you both with all my heart. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week 17

Feliz Navidad! (casi) (almost)

My lovely friends and family, I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season and enjoying the blessings our Heavenly Father has given us, like family, friends, and many more.

This week was so amazing! Gilberto got baptized! POR FIN! It was so cool, because in this baptismal service we actually had 3 people baptized! All from different wards in our stake. It was so cool! There really is no happier feeling than seeing Gilberto go under the water and come back up, smiling, and being grateful for the decision he made to be baptized. And you sit there, watching this happen, and realize, that this wasn't you at all. It was Heavenly Father, and we just were the instruments. What an honor.

This week is Leunani's baptism! AHHHHHHHHH we are beyond excited! It has been such an incredible journey with her and I am so grateful for this experience. She is so excited. Best Christmas present. Ever.

Tonight we have our zone Christmas Party and I am singing.  REAL FOOD!!    I also got to sing at our Zone Conference last weekend.

This Christmas will be a tad different considering I am away from home, but there is no place i'd rather be. I am honored that I have this opportunity in my life to share the gospel with everyone I meet. Every day is a day to look forward to here in the mission. No gift compares to the gift that is Our Savior. Thanks to him, we have the opportunity to live again, live with our families, and find the most happiness possible in this life. He is our grand example and if we strive everyday, little by little, doing acts of kindness and service, loving our fellow men, and following his example, we are going to feel the joy of Christmas all year round.

Have a merry Christmas!

Hermana Green

Snip it From Our Letter:
I really have felt peace while being here during christmas. I thought it would be worse but I am really just doing my best to lose myself in the work. And I am seeing the fruits of our labor as we have two baptism in a row! Leunani's baptism is this weekend and I am beyond ecstatic. I am really feeling the spirit of christmas here, puerto ricans know how to celebrate christmas. But also, more important than that, I am here, where i need to be, spreading the gospel, and"glad tidings of great joy" to these lovely people. I am overjoyed.
Sometimes it doesn't feel like I've changed, but looking back at these last four months, my whole perspective on life has changed. Every aspect of my life. It's incredible what the mission does. I am doing my best to honor our family name, and the name of the Savior.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 16

Going on Contacts with Brother Raul Pacheco Love this man!!

This week has truly been a week of miracles! Let's jump in!

WE HAVE TWO BAPTISMS! We are so lucky and beyond grateful for our Heavenly Father working through Hermana Josie and I as instruments in the Lord's hands to bring two more of his children to him! Do you remember Gilberto? Long story short, he's been taking the lessons for 4 months. And he had an original baptismal date set, but then he never showed up, and it was a mess. But then out of the blue he called us and started going to church again, taking the lessons from us again, and last week we had a lesson with him, and we talked about the atonement. We explained how we can become clean through the repentance process, but that there is something more that he could do to become even more clean. He responded with baptism, and Hermana Josie and I both bore our testimonies on how we knew with all of our hearts that he was ready. And so we extended the baptismal invitation and he said no, and said that he wanted to learn everything there was to learn about the church and then get baptized. But we explained how we were only 8 years old when we made the decision to get baptized. Obviously we didn't know everything, but we DID know and feel that this church was true. And then Hermana Josie was inspired and shared the story in Acts 8 of how Phillip wanted to be baptized but he didn't understand the scriptures, but the one thing he DID know was that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. And by his faith in this one truth, he was baptized. We bore our testimonies again, extended the baptismal date again, and he said YES. It's truly amazing to see how the Spirit can touch the hearts of those who are ready and prepared to receive the gospel.

This is Gilberto

Our second baptism is with.. LEUNANIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are sososososoSO happy! Her baptism is for Christmas Eve! What an amazing Christmas present for her, her family, and us! (and christmas eve is the same day that I have four months officially in the mission!) We had a lesson with her last tuesday and had asked her to read 3 Nefi 11 before the next time we saw her. And so we asked her if she read it and she said no, so we read it with her, and she was marking her favorite scriptures she liked during the lesson and the Spirit was so strong and really touched her heart. We asked her the same question, what more can you do to follow Christ, and she responded,"Baptism. I've actually been thinking about it, and I knew I for sure wanted to be baptized when we last met but I wanted to wait and tell you. And then this morning and all throughout this lesson, that's the one thing I've been thinking about. I know this chapter is God speaking to me and I know this is what I need to do."
After she said that, we all hugged and bore our testimonies. It was a night I will never forget.

This is Leunani.

We have our Christmas stake concert this saturday! I am super excited. 

Also, I am sure you all have heard of it already, but the Church project #iluminaelmundo (light the world in english) is happening world wide! It's a project that everyday until Christmas there is some type of service we can do as humans everyday to help make someone else's day brighter! By doing this, we are becoming more and more like our Savior. We truly can change the world, and "light" the world with these small and simple acts of service. 

I love you all more than you know!
-Hermana Green

snippet from our Letter-
I love your spiritual thoughts, and it is something that I have grown to love is the scriptures. I can really feel my realtionship growing with my Savior and Heavenly Father through reading them everyday. I love love love the new family motto. (Joshua 24:15)

I am so beyond grateful for the opportunity I have to be here, serving a mission. Yes it's hard. Yes at times I just want to give up and cry and take like a 7 hour nap. But meeting people everyday, sharing the gospel, and being a disciple of Christ is a happiness that is indescribable. Truly an honor. AND what's cool, is that with every calling we are asked to do, it was PREORDAINED in the premortal life. Heavenly Father and I knew I was going to do this. I love it. I love being a missionary.

Brother Rivera Cales

Spa time with Hermana Josie

We decorated our house with Christmas Lights

My Zone

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Week 15


Hello Family & Friends,

This week was a little more difficult, we had a hard time with references and with member presence as well, but that happens.  Like President Boucher says, "Control only what you can Control".  So that's what we do.  We are excited for a new week, a new month, and new miracles.  None of our investigators came to church yesterday ):  All of them had something come up, but we are not giving up!  I am grateful to be here, and grateful to have such incredible examples placed in my path to help to me along the way.

 I did the hardest fast in my life and my Spanish is slowly getting better. We had a district acvitivy and went bowling today.  We had pizza at Leunanis house on Saturday, and don't I don't have enough time to write a ton today. 

RAUL PACHECO, I LOVE THAT MAN! He is one of our less active members we are trying to help reactive. He is super cool.The picture was from our ward party we had on friday! but I love you very much! Also the other lady in the picture is sylvia our other menos activo.

Raul Pacheco in the back with other members at a ward activity

Sylvia, Hermana Josie, Green & SantamarĂ­a

I played for a family home evening on thanksgiving at Lohary's house. OKAY ALSO FUN FACT SO ON THE 16TH WE ARE HAVING THIS HUGE CHRISTMAS CONCERT FOR OUR STAKE AND IT IS GONNA BE BROADCASTED ON THE INTERNET SO YOU CAN WATCH IT.   I got to lead a sectional at the rehearsal last night (you should tell tison that lol) 

A Snip it from Kali's Letter to her Family:
There is a statistic that is in the church, that says that it takes 7 encounters with the church for someone to be interested/take the lessons.  So when people run away (yes people literally run in their houses and hide from us. Hahahaha) Slam the door, say, "NO ME GUSTA", or just don't even talk to us, I just remind myself that we are number something of the seven.  All that matters is that an invitation is extended.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 14

Hermana Josie & Hermana Green

Hello everyone!

This week was great. Thanksgiving was wonderful! I hope you all had a great week as well. 

On P-day we made our own Thanksgiving dinner! It was great. It got us excited for actual thanksgiving. Hermana Santamaria was excited to try," a true american thanksgiving" haha. 

I had my first zone conference this week! Elder and Hermana Gonzalez ( Elder Gonzales is from the 70) came and visited us and talked to us about how we can be more effective in missionary work and gave us amazing advice. The sisters from our zone sang,"Asombro Me Da" (I Stand All Amazed) for the conference as well so that was cool too. Elder Gonzalez talked about how The Book Of Mormon is the most effective tool for missionary work and went into detail about that. It was a great day.

Zone Conference with Elder & Hermana Gonzalez

I officially have three months in the mission! It was the same day as Thanksgiving! Fun fun fun. We ate at three members houses and I have NEVER been so full in my entire life. But the food is wonderful! Sooooo good. One of the highlights is flan de calabasa. (Pumpkin pie flavored flan.) 

Thanksgiving night, we went over to a members house to eat. We ate at Lohary's and after we had dessert with them, we had a little Noche De Hogar(family home evening) with their family. Orlando, her husband, isn't a member, but he knows a lot about the church. We had our lesson ( I even got to play piano for it!), and we went around the table sharing three things we were grateful for. The lesson was filled with tons of laughter and love for the gospel and the blessings we had because of it. At the end of the lesson we bore our testimonies, and when it came to me, I remember looking at Orlando and was just pleading in my mind that he would feel something. I remember being so grateful for everything I had. After the lesson, Lohary drove us home, and as she was driving she talked about something changed in Orlando tonight, and Hermana Bird asked her at what point did she see that change in him happen, and Lohary said," During Hermana Green's testimony. His whole countenance changed. He was tearing up and he turned and looked at me and I knew that he knew it was true." I was shocked. I was the person who knew the least amount of spanish in the room, and yet, I moved him the most. The minute we got inside our house I immidiately went into our room, knelt down, and said a prayer of gratitude. I was so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the opportunity I have to be here in Puerto Rico. It was a very humbling experience that I'll never forget. 

We fasted again this a couple days ago, praying that we might be able to set a baptismal date with our investigators and that our menos activos would come to church. Sylvia, one of our menos activos, came to sacrament meeting, and last night we had a lesson with Leunani. We taught her about the restoration, and she was amazed with the gospel. We surprised with a Book of Mormon for her and Alexis and she was SO HAPPY. We had written our testimonies in it and Hermana Josie's little brother, Easton had written one in it too, and sent it to her to give as a gift. Hermana Josie also included a picture of a temple from California, and one from Utah(since she's from utah and I'm from california). Leunani was so happy. She was so excited to start reading. Then the time felt right,Hermana Josie looked at me, and I extended the baptismal invitation... and SHE SAID YES! WE HAVE A BAPTISM FOR HER SET ON CHRISTMAS EVE! (which is the same day I'll have four months in the mission) She quickly responded, saying," I've actually been thinking about that a lot, and was thinking about that the whole time during our lesson. I remember my mom reading the Book of Mormon, and she shared with us experiences on how she would always pray about a decision she needed to make in her life and how she always found it there. I remember my mom's baptism too, and I remember thinking it was so beautiful and I wanted the same thing. I would love to get baptized" I thought my heart was going to explode out of happiness. Best Christmas present I will have ever received. 

Thank you for all your love and support, it really means the world. 
Love you all!
-Hermana Green

snippet from Herman Green's letter to her Mom & Dad

I wrote all of my exciting news in the group email. But it was a great week. I met a couple of girls this week that reminded me of my cute 3 nieces. Miss them. I put up their pictures in my room that they drew me. so cute. 
heres a cool spiritual experience for ya: So one day last week after the zone conference I just got so overwhelmed and didn't feel like I was doing all i could as a missionary. I just started crying to Hermana Josie and she gave me some advice and asked me to ask Heavenly Father how he sees me, so I did. The next night, right after Lohary told me that it was because of ME that Orlando's heart changed, I immediately  heard the words as if it was spoken directly from Heavenly Father in my head," THIS is who you are. You are my daughter. This is who you're becoming, and this is why you're here."  My heart was so full. I LOVE being a missionary. At times it's not easy, and when you have bad days, it feels like your whole world is falling apart. But then I remember the little things, and I just get right back to work. 

How fun to hear about all your experienes this week. Thank you for the great advice. Feed the elders whenever you can! It is so nice when members are nice and do that. It makes our day. 
I have to go, but thank you for everything. 

I love you both very very much!

Loharis Family
Our Investigator Gilberto

Hermana's Green, Santamaria, Josie & Bird with Cute Kashlean
(New Converts that had these Hermana's for Thanksgiving)

Kayshla, Kashlean, Hermana Bird & Hermana Green
Kayshlean and Hermana Green
Hermana's with Kayshlean

OH A BATA! do you know what those are? They are like little old lady dresses to sleep in. We LOVE THEM.

Hermana's and their new Batas for Thanksgiving Dinner!

We Love our Batas!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 13

Hermana Josie & Hermana Green

Holaaaaaa from Puerto Ricoooo,

So this week is Thanksgiving! Woo! Puerto Ricans go HAM for Thanksgiving. We have three appointments set to eat on Thanksgiving and I am slightly nervous because Puerto Ricans like to feed you a TON of food in general, and we'll be getting even BIGGER portions that day too. So that'll be fun. But we are having our traditional "American" thanksgiving tonight, because food for Thanksgiving is a bit different here, so it's the best of both worlds!

This week was good! A bit rough, but it's all good. Blessings come. 
We didn't get to see Alexis y Leonanni this week because Leonanni and their son Adiel were both sick, but she texted us last night and wants to see us on Wednesday! So that'll be fun. 

Yesterday we had one of our past investigators, Gilberto, come to church with us! Hermana Josie and her last companion had taught him practically everything in September and has gone to church a lot, the members know him, and apparently he even asked if he could bear his testimony(on a sundaythat wasn't fast and testimony meeting) and invited the whole ward to his baptism! But the problem that he has is that his mom is kind of unsure of him being baptized, so he wasn't able to get her permission and be baptized.  But last week he ran into the other sisters, said he was going to come to church with us, and he did. We went over to his house a couple hours after church and read 3 Nephi 11 with him and his mom. His mom has been in the hospital up until yesterday, and it was nice having them both be in the lesson. After we read through the chapter, the spirit was SO strong and we extended the baptism invitation to him again, and his mom was hesitant again. But after bearing our testimonies and after she saw how much it meant to him, she softened up a little, but she still doesn't think he's prepared. It was hard leaving that lesson without a baptismal date set for him, but we arent giving up. I know it'll happen. It's just all in the Lord's timing. 

We sat a baptism with one of our investigators Sandra! WOOOOOOO! She also gave us this Puerto Rican dessert called Timbleke (not sure if that was correct spelling) and it's like this coconut pudding. It's really good! And her grandchildren were with her during our lesson and they drew us pictures. It was so cute.

With Thanksgiving being this week, I've been doing a lot of reflecting and I realized a took a lot of things for granted before my mission. I also remembered the things that I have been very lucky to be blessed with. Being on a mission really helps you see what's truly important to you. I have been blessed with an amazing family, wonderful friends and leaders and teachers who have impacted my life, and to have been blessed with a house, food, and a church and temple close to where I grew up. A lot of people here don't have majority of the things I listed. And yet, these people are stll so humble, and they are grateful for the things they do have. I want to thank all of you for the impact you all have made in my life. And don't forget to serve others this week, hug your family (and someone please hug mine for me this week!), be grateful for all the things that are in your life!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

-Hermana Green

Check out my Missionary tan!

Love Hermana Santamaria and Hermana Bird. Yay Disneyland!

Snippet from Kali's Letter to her Parents:
So we have set Thanksgiving with 3 different people. Carmen and Ediebierto this old couple who are super sassy and sarcastic and they give us a ride to church every week. Then we have one scheduled with Alfredo, a menos activo(less active member) who is like a pro chef so that's exciting. And then we have dinner with Kayshla and Jose, Kayshla is the new convert of Hermana Bird and Hermana Guti (rip she left last week and i miss her so much ugh) and she LOVES ME. She always sees me and gives me this huge hug and calls me Green. Her daughter Kayshlean is ADORABLE. She has to be like 1 or 2. They're excited to have us.

Hermana Bird from Missouri, Hermana Josie from Utah, Hermana Santamaria from Mexico
& Hermana Green from California

I really really miss the temple. That's one thing I really miss. The people here need to keep the commandments better, and then they can have a temple. Not even joking that is one of the reasons why we dont have a temple. for stake conference Elder Gamiette (SUCH A COOL GUY I MET HIM HES ONE OF THE 70) spoke and pointed that out. Awkward. Incase you don't already, you guys should set aside one day (at least) everyday and go to the temple and do work. I wish i had that opportunity. So you both should do it!  Sorry I scared you with those stories but i only said it to show that the Lord keeps us safe!!!  I hope we can put a fecha for alexis and leonanni this week!

I love love love love the book of mormon. It seriously is just coming to life. I have really felt the change in my life of taking the time to study it and read it everyday. Seriously does wonders. I love the Book of Mormon.

Also random things:
Dad remember how you always used to honk at missionaries when we were in the car together? and how i said that it would scare them and you didnt believe me? IT TOTALLY DOES SCARE MISSIONARIES. We get honked at everyday and it scares me so bad hahahahaha. 
Hermana Josie and i were talking about family christmas traditions and got reminded of the many times we would all watch home alone 1 and 2 and dad would always sing "MERRY CHRISTMAS MERRY CHRISTMAS" during the credits of Home Alone 2. I was dying.
-A couple days ago Hermana Josie and i went up to this contact that we set a cita with, and we yelled a couple times saying hello, and all of a sudden we will rock you starts playing and no one comes outside. it was so funny. 

Oh! and before I go, that bag that you said you didnt remember buying? I got that personally made for me in the mtc! This guy was making and selling them. Super cool.

Love You,
Hermana Verde