Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 10

We were walking to Richie's baptism and I got stuck in a fence because my bag was too big. It was pretty funny.

Happy Halloween!

Wow today has been quite the day, because our whole schedule got switched around.  But yay for emailing!
So this week was AMAZING!

RICHIE WAS BAPTIZEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD YAY! It was such an amazing experience. President and Hermana Boucher surprised us and showed up as well so that was a delightful surprise. Richie was so happy. (he doesn't look like it in the pictures but I promise you he is) There really is no greater joy than seeing someone you care about IMMENSELY enter into the waters of baptism and open the door to receive all of these amazing blessings the gospel provides. It was truly something beautiful.
Words cannot describe my joy for Richie. The gospel is amazing.

I gave a talk on sunday on missionary work! That was cool. Kind of intimidating giving a talk in spanish but it went really well! 

So about two weeks ago, this member in our ward, Awilda, she told us to go visit her daughter and son in law who live in our neighborhood. Her son in law isn't a member, and her daughter is. So we stopped by a couple times with no answer, and then we went back a couple more times and were able to talk to her son in law, Alexis. We haven't been able to find a good time to set an appointment with them because he works alot and they just had a baby. But Awilda came up to Hermana Josie and I yesterday and told us that Alexis was talking to her and told her that when we were talking to him he could feel something good about our message and that we touched his heart. The last time we talked to him, he told Awilda that they were going to go out to dinner, but they decided not to, and then we knocked on the door and talked to him. He told Awilda that it wasn't coincidence that that happened, nor was it coincidence that they moved into that specific part of their neighborhood. It was SO COOL hearing that because we had no idea we made that big affect on him! So we're hoping that we see them tonight during our hour of work or tomorrow

Last thursday night, Hermana Josie and I were walking back to our neighborhood to go contacting and on our way there it starts POURING rain. We didn't have any umbrellas, and we had an hour walk ahead of us. Usually in this situation it would make someone angry, or sad even. But we just started laughing. It made us so happy for no reason. We walked that hour, happily in the pouring rain, singing and humming hymns, and it all caused me to reflect on one important thing: 
Perspective is what can make or break any situation. And it is one thing that is absolutely critical while being a missionary. We have trials and hard things we go through in our lives, and we really have two ways of looking at it.  We can do one of two things:

1. Reflect on this trial, dwell on the sadness it might have, or why it is unfair, or 

2. Look at the situation and say, "What can I learn from this and how can this help others?"

Being completely drenched with an hour walk after a long day and more to do really could've made me angry and upset, but instead, I chose to make it a wonderful memory that I can always look back on, and that can remind me of the idea of perspective.

I love you all very very much!
Be safe tonight!

All my love,
Hermana Verde.

This is Richie!
I asked him to wear this hat I bought here in the picture because he kept calling it a pancake.
Richie's Baptism!

 snippet of Kali's email to her Parents:

Hermana Green Sharing more about her first Baptism: Seriously it was so amazing. I felt like a proud mother watching my child get baptized. It made me so excited to see my own kids one day get baptized. There really is no greater feeling than seeing one of your investigators get baptized. All of the long walks to get to Richie's house, the heat, the patience, the time and effort we put into every lesson, all of it pays off. And you sit there, watching them be baptized, and you realize that you did nothing, and that it was all the spirit. Hermana Josie and I were just the mouthpieces. We truly are representatives of Christ.

Hermana Green Sharing about a spiritual moment: Sometimes walking around at night is a little sketchy. It scared me a little bit during my first couple weeks here because the houses are scary looking at night. But you can really feel safe because we know that we are getting help from angels on the other side of the veil. No doubt of it. I know it. We are so protected.

The mormon tabernacle choir christmas program with the muppets and Santino Fontana(the guy who plays hans in frozen) and I SAW CHRISTIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS DYING
Even in Puerto Rico they have a Love for Hamilton! Of Course
this is the home Of Lin Miranda's Parents!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 9


Today is my "birthday" in the mission (every month on the 24th) and it is my official two months in the mission today! Woo!
Hermana Josie, Hermana Bird and Hermana Guitierrez all made me a cute poster and gave me a flag of PR and put it on my wall, so that was a nice surprise.

This week has been pretty crazy!
-So I am not entirely sure what's going on with the Hurricane, but last week we felt the effects of it, BIGTIME. I have never seen it rain so hard in my entire life than here. The power was out for about 3 days and left us with no AC one night, but all is well. It was an adventure that's for sure. I learned that people here are really superstitious about the rain and thunder and lightening, and it sometimes makes contacting hard because no one wants to let you in because you're wet, or because they are scared of the lightning. But what's the update with the hurricane? As a missionary I have no idea what's going on in the world hahaha.
-Our investigators:
So I don't remember how much I told you all about Richie, but he is like 80 years old, he was in the marines his entire life, and has tons of tattoos and is one of the funniest people I have ever met. He truly is one of a kind. We've been teaching him ever since I got here and he loves coming to church. ( He came again yesterday!)  We had bit of an experience with him last week, because we would schedule a lesson and a time to go to his house, but we would arrive at his house and he wouldn't be there, and he doesn't have a phone so we always kind of hope he is there. But every day he was gone, so that was really hard. We kept praying and praying and praying that we would find him and each day was unsuccessful.
Saturday was a really rough day because two of our investigators told us they didn't want to be taught anymore, we contacted for hours, and didn't sit down at all until later in the day, and every person we contacted didn't want to hear what we had to say, and we had a lesson with Saydee scheduled, and she cancelled, and all the lessons we had planned with members this week didn't work out. Hermana Josie and I sat down on this curb and both of us we're kind of down, and I prayed that something could lift our spirits and that we could have the courage to keep going. 30 seconds later, this old man comes out of his house and says," Hey! do you guys want some soda?!" I started laughing and almost started crying because Heavenly Father knows us and our needs and knows what we're going through. It was crazy. But things like that happen every day. 
After we drank our soda, we prayed that Richie would be in his house, so we walked to his house and his door was open and there he was! I was so happy to see him. His baptism is this Saturday and I am SO excited.
-Saydee is 25 and she is married with two kids. Her kids are THE CUTEST things. We've been teaching her as long as I've been here as well, and she is one of the best investigators I've ever met so far. She loves reading the book of mormon and always asks us to give her another chapter to read. She's really receptive to the spirit and loves learning about the gospel. I have faith that she'll get baptized! we're working on getting her to church and for her husband to start taking the lessons with her. We went to their house last week and we taught her, and then they offered to have us stay for dinner! We had lasagna and it was amazing. Her husband cooked it and we were able to really bond with him and talk to him. I am really hoping she'll come to church on Sunday. Her little boy Alex, who is 9, loves to pray. And so does her daughter Shaydalis who is 3. Prayers from little kids are the cutest things. Especially in spanish. I am so teaching my children spanish.

Other things:
- I was asked to give a talk on sunday about missionary work in my ward! AHHHH. Crazy.
-people here are still so confused about my race haha. Also Puerto Ricans have a ton of their own lingo and they pronounce their R's like french R's. 

But I am going to try and see if I can send pictures! AH i am sorry it is so confusing.
But one more thing!
If you have any time PLEASE help the missionaries in your wards by going to their lessons with them!

Love you all!
Hermana Verde

Hermana Green's Apartment

My Study Desk

At the Dominican Republic MTC

View from the Dominican Republic Mission Training Center

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 8

This was Hermana Green's Last Day at the Dominica Republic MTC

So for starters, I am SO sorry for not emailing these last couple of weeks, it's been crazy, but this is the start of my third week in Puerto Rico! I love it here. 
Here are some cool things about Puerto Rico!

The island is SO beautiful. There is never a dull day here, that is for sure. Right now, I am in Ponce (sounds like pown-say) and it is the hottest part of the island. (thumbs up). I thought I was able to get pretty tan before my mission... I was so wrong. I am getting darker and darker every day haha. A couple of days ago Hermana Josie (my companion) and I were walking and it felt a little hotter than usual that day. The next day a member told us that it was 111 DEGREES. WHAT. Yeah that was crazy. But in this case, it is much better not knowing exactly how hot it is, and just to keep walking. (:

HERMANA JOSIE! She is my trainer and my "mom" and she is absolutely amazing. She's from Lehi, Utah and is the cutest thing. She's incredibly helpful and so kind. Could totally be a disney princess. She's been out 8 months.  The people here are so incredibly kind and friendly. They are incredibly humble. They love to talk. They will talk for hours if you give them the chance. To greet you, they give you hug and a kiss on the cheek and they call you cute names like," mi amor" "mi vida" "mi hija" ( my love, my life, my child ). They love missionaries here. Of course there are people that want nothing to do with us, but it's okay! It's funny, because whenever I introduce myself, I say,"Soy Hermana Green" and they'll look at my tag, make a confused face when they see ,"Green" and they ask," If Green is your last name, why are you brown?" It's hilarious. But I explain that I am adopted, and sometimes they still are confused, so then I tell them that my Dad is white and it all comes together. Most people expect me to already know spanish, and they assume that I am from Mexico (Hermana Josie thought I was from Mexico hahaha), or they think I am Puerto Rican. There are TONS of iguanas! We walk down the same path everyday to get to the city, and there are always so many, and they are huge.  Sometimes people will just leave horses everywhere, so you'll randomly see horses eating grass on the side of the road. It's entertaining. We have really big centipedes here too! They're cool, but apparently they bite. Speaking of bite, I am getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes here! I have 17 bug bites. There are also a lot of chickens and roosters here. Our neighbor has chickens and we wake up a lot in the middle of the night hearing them. It's kinda funny. 

But here is my most important part of this email.  I am going to be 100% honest with you all, my first full week here was the hardest week of my life. In every aspect of my life, I was challenged. Last monday, I told my Mission President that I wanted to go home. Yep. You read that right. I had decided and I told them to start the process and I was set on coming home. I didn't think I could handle it. After hours of thinking whether or not I made the right choice, I told my Mission President to wait, and that I would make the final decision Tuesday night. Later Monday evening, I received a Priesthood blessing from the Stake Patriarch. It truly was a miracle. Because of him, my companions and other hermanas that are living with us, the love and support from my friends and family I talked with last week, and my Mission President, I stayed. But the person I can give the most credit to is The Savior. Because of Him and His Atonement I was able to receive divine strength to carry on. To keep walking. To keep trying. To remember why I came out.  The next day, one of our investigators, Richie, committed to being baptized on October 29th. Throughout this last week, I have seen miracle after miracle every day. Every day Heavenly Father is mindful of us and knows us personally. He knows what our struggles are, as well as our dreams and hopes and desires in life.   I am so grateful I stayed because I have truly felt the love for the people here. And NOTHING brings me more joy than bringing the gospel, something that has blessed me and continues to bless me to people and families here. There is no greater joy than seeing a person's eyes change with understanding while talking about The First Vision, or someone understanding that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can feel hope. I could go on for hours.  But I thank you all for your love and support. 

Hermana Green

This is a snipit of the email Kali sent to Gary and I regarding her priesthood blessing.  We felt inspired to share it with all of you.

THE BLESSING FROM THE PATRIARCH. It changed my life. No one told him why I needed a blessing and he wasn't aware of what was going on.  Here's what he said in the blessing.  He Blessed me that i would be protected from temptations of satan. He talked about my health and how I would be able to handle a mission physically, and emotionally and that my cells would work with my mind and I would be able to calm my nerves.  He blessed me that i would be able to share the love of the gospel through charity and that i'd be able to make good decisions for my family and future family. (he said that twice)  He started crying, as well as the rest of us, at this part. He blessed me that i would be able to serve a full time mission of 18 months and that after, I would be married to a righteous priesthood holder in the temple and that together we would be able to raise a family. I was blessed with patience and strength (3x) that I would have angels helping me and my family throughout my entire mission and that when i missed my family or vice versa that we would be blessed.  It was incredible. One of the most spiritual experiences I have ever been in. I KNOW that that was Heavenly Father. What's even MORE CRAZY was that I was worried about every thing he had said, but i never mentioned it out loud and he CONFIRMED all my hopes in one blessing. 

October 2, 2016 Crazy Picture on our Last Day in the MTC

Last Day in the Dominican Republic MTC October 2, 2016 Picture was taken by Sister Romney

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Week 7

Hermana Green has completed her first week in Puerto Rico not without some challenges.  Kali didn't have much time to write being the first week but here is a snippet of what she shared with her family.  Like any new missionary going into a new area and adjusting to a new environment it was a bit of a struggle and her faith was tested.  She received a Priesthood blessing from President Boucher her mission president.  After some words of encouragement from him and her family she is doing good now. She is immersed in the work and grateful for the many prayers and support on her behalf.  Kali is grateful for the trials that she is experiencing and the ability she has to grow and learn from them. We are looking forward to Monday and hearing more details to where she is serving and the faith building experiences she is having.

Please continue to write to Hermana Green.  She loves hearing from family and friends and uplifts her every day knowing that she has the support of everyone back at home.

Early Morning Testimony Meeting with all the Missionaries

Pictures are from Sister Boucher the Mission Presidents Wife she said, "It was amazing to hear the testimonies about personal revelation from their missionaries.  It was fun to be all together."

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Week 6

Hermana Green Has Arrived in Puerto Rico

Hello Friends, 

Hermana Green has finished her Training at the Dominican Republic MTC and traveled to Puerto Rico today.  As you can see from the pictures and letter below, provided by her Mission President and wife, she arrived safely and appears to be happy and anxious to begin serving the people of Puerto Rico. We cant believe 6 weeks have already passed, but we are so grateful for the many spirtual experiences and growth she has demonstrated to date. There will be no letter from Kali this week, as her new P-day is now Monday. Thank you for your love, prayers, support and letters, we are grateful to you all and love you very much!

Dear Green Family,

We are so grateful to have your daughter in the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission. We know it is a sacrifice for her and for you also. We know as she works hard and is obedient, she will be blessed.  Those blessings will extend to her family as well. We already love your daughter and look forward to getting to know her better. You should hear from her on Monday, which is her regular p-day.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

 Please be sure all letters and packages for your missionary are sent to the Mission Office.

Urb. Jardines de Caparra
500 Calle Marginal Norte
Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Much love, President & Sister Boucher