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

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