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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Week 12


Sorry we didnt write AGAIN, i was very bummed but here i am today!

Hope you all are doing well.. Considering it hasn't been a week since I've written not too much has gone on but some more miracles! yay miracles!

Leonanni and Alexis: Remember how we were supposed to have a lesson with them on Thursday night? Well, that didn't happen and we were sad but it turns out the Adiel, their two month old baby had gotten super sick, and they couldn't pay for their phone bill because they had to pay for all the hospital and emergency room bills, it was so sad. But he's doing better! But everyday we tried to go, and on Saturday night, we decided to walk by, and it was a miracle! Both Leonani and Alexis were home and we were able to teach them BOTH. It. was. amazing. We talked about our purpose as missionaries, and how we are here to help people come unto christ, and how that leads to baptism. As we were sharing our testimonies at different points during the lesson, Alexis was tearing up and getting emotional, and I could tell that we were sharing really impacted him. He later told us that we were different. He said," You two are different. For a long time I never opened the door to strangers because I knew that they were people from religions trying to convert us, and they would yell at us telling us how we needed to change. But you guys walk everywhere. And you kept coming back, and got to know our family, and I knew there was a reason why. You made us feel something different, and you bring hope" I could've died right there. My heart was so full. And we extended the baptismal invitation to them, and I think Leonanni was about to say yes right then and there, but Alexis said that he would definitely try, but he wants to be sure that if he commits that he won't leave, and if he's all in, he's all in. That actually comforted us a lot. And they both really love what the gospel brings to their home and family. They also told us that we have a piece of their hearts! I AM EXPLODING FROM JOY. And he's also learning how to pray so that's good. and then if life couldn't get any better, LEONANNI CAME TO CHURCH WITH US AND ADIEL AND SHE WAS CRYING FROM FEELING THE SPIRIT! And Alexis is coming next week! I LOVE THE GOSPEL. 
We were actually able to go over to their house today before we came here and helped her by doing service for her and all that jazz. It was great. We took a picture with her. We also got into talking about christmas with them, and Puerto Ricans put their Christmas lights up starting before Halloween. And there are more and more houses putting lights up so we asked them if they were, and they said that they didn't have enough money to provide their small family christmas this year, and that broke my heart. SO what Hermana Josie and I decided to do, is that we're going to bring Christmas to them! We are thinking of some things we can do for them, like buying them cute decorations and a cute little christmas tree. We will keep updating you on that. But I can feel the Savior's love for this family. It warms my heart. I love them so much.
Leonanni & Adiel

Hermana Josie and I get almost attacked by TONS of dogs, and sometimes chickens. And on Sunday night, we were walking back to our house, and this HUGE DOG JUST STARTS RUNNING FULL SPEED, and he's not on a leash and we have no where to hide, so we both start screaming and all I could think was,"this is it. this is where I die. I am going to die" and then somehow in one swift motion, Hermana Josie and I both tried to protect eachother but Hermana Josie shoved me into the fence and ripped her bag off her body and starts SWINGING it to protect me. The owner said,"the dog wasn't going to do anything, you're fine" WHAT. Crazy. But Hermana Josie saved my life haha. She's the best.

Hermana Green & Hermana Josie


Homemade Nugs with Hermana Josie.

Hermana Josie, Hermana Bird and Hermana Green

Oh! We're singing in our Stake choir for our Stake Christmas Program and I am SO happy! Our ward is doing two songs, and we're doing one big one as a stake. I feel just at home performing and it's such a blessing that I have the opportunity to sing here. They love music so much. I am so excited!

The Hermana's and Elders
Hermana Gutierrez, Hermana Josie, Hermana Green & Hermana Bird

This morning in my personal study I came across a quote that I really liked that I felt impressed to share:
"No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, God will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character to do so. He will always stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor over-whelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer from them"
 -George Q. Cannon

I absolutely love this. This is what I live by. Life is hard. But, we have a loving Heavenly Father who has prepared a way out of every single trial we face. I know this to be true. He won't ever leave us. Call out to Him. Cry out to Him. Let your guard and pride down and ask for help. I promise you you will receive this divine help. He loves you. 

I love you as well! Thank you for the never ending support.

Love always, 
Hermana Green

Snipits from our Letter we wanted to share:

Today during Doce Semanas, (our hour of new missionary training hermana josie and i do every day), we were reading about the book of mormon. And you wanna know something cool? If you gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, EVERYTHING else HAS to make sense. Becasue when you gain a testimony of the Book Of Mormon and you know it's true, that also means that Joseph Smith IS a true prophet, and that modern-day revelation is true. and if THAT's true, then that means that there IS a God who is mindful of his children in today's day, and not only in the old ancient times. Which means that he's listening to our prayers. And it has so many more conncetions. Its so cool. Ahh.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Week 11

Sisters for eternity

P-Day in Ponce

SURPRISE! So today was the only day we could email, we had a zone activity Monday AND all libraries were closed because Puerto Rico had their elections. Speaking of.. who won ours?! I heard it was trump?

Hola Family and Friends! It's Thursday and not p-day haha. Today was the first day in the week we could write because there was elections going on here and nothing was open. But we had a zone activity monday so that was fun!  but boy oh boy do I have some crazy stories for you!

So like three weeks ago, we were walking down the trail we walk everyday to get into the city, and along the way we always see iguanas. As we were walking, we saw this huge one that was stuck in this fence! We thought it was dead at first but then we saw it breathing. I had my umbrella, and Hermana Josie tried holding the fence sideways so we could maybe help it out. 20 minutes later and we still had no luck. So we decided to pray for help! (I know it sounds silly, praying for an iguana, but we felt really bad for it). Not even 30 seconds after we prayed, this man walks by and sees what we're trying to accomplish and he gets it out within a minute! Apparently he had done this a lot before so he was able to help us and then he left. It was a cool lesson to learn, that sometimes we think we can do things on our own, and there comes a point where we can't do it alone. When we turn to Heavenly Father, he'll help us, and know HOW to help us everytime. Even if it's to help an iguana out of a fence. (:

Halloween was really fun! We only worked for an hour, because it can get a tad dangerous at night so we came back in and "dressed up" and had a cute little photoshoot of all of our costumes, Hermana Josie made pumpkin cookies, and we played games. Hermana Josie was a witch, I was a bear, and Grandma Bird and Grandma Gutteriz ( we call them our grandmas) dressed up as grandmas! We had a lot of fun. 

Okay so this was one of the biggest miracles I've had so far on my mission. Mom, don't get scared okay! This has a great ending. 

So last week, Hermana Josie and I on the same night had a dream that we were being kidnapped. (Mom don't freak out) We thought that that was super weird, but didn't think much of it. Two days later, we were walking home from a far neighborhood called Caobos. It takes about an hour and a half to walk back from there and it was already dark outside. Along the way we saw this dog. And usually stray dogs here are scary and they usually chase us or try to attack us but it just stared at us and didn't bark and it was in our way so we just stood there for about 30 seconds and then after decided to go around it. As we made our start to head home, this dog started to follow us. We thought that it was funny because that never happens and joked about how funny it would be if it followed us all the way home. Well, it did. The WHOLE WAY. And we decided to name him Gary. (like the name, Dad?) And he was super cute and was just walking with us, and at one point we saw a man in front of us and Hermana Josie and I, as always, said,"Hola, Buenas" and he didn't say anything and walked right past us. We thought that was kinda weird too but we kept going. We got to our neighborhood, and continued working the rest of the night, Gary still was following us. Hermana Josie and I sat down on a curb to take a break, and Gary sat with us, and she told me that the man we passed looked EXACTLY like the man she saw in her dream, in the same place, at the same time in the dream. We both quickly realized that it wasn't a coincidence at all that Gary, our little miracle dog, had been a protection for us. We know that we were protected that night, and we gave thanks that we were kept safe. Heavenly Father really does protect his missionaries.

Gary the Miracle Dog!

Our Protector Gary!

Another crazy miracle! So Last week I mentioned the reference we got from Awilda, a member in our ward. She asked us to go visit her Daughter, Leonani, and Her son in law, Alexis. So ever since Awilda told us that Alexis knew we were special and that our message touched his heart, we went back almost everyday last week. Well, we tried to. We would have it planned and then either, they wouldn't be home, or we would meet people along the way to their house who we talked to, whatever it was, Satan was making it really hard for us to get there. On Sunday we were about to turn the corner to go visit them and try again. We had had a pretty hard week and we decided that we would pray and ask that they would be there. We said a prayer, turned the corner and AWILDA AND LEONANI HAD JUST GOTTEN TO THEIR HOUSE AND WERE PARKING IN THE DRIVEWAY. We immdiately started tearing up, because this truly was a miracle. We were able to have a lesson with Awilda and Leonani( Alexis was working) and we have a lesson with them tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. We taught about the importance of families and she absolutely LOVED it. She's super cute and has a little baby boy that's two months old named Adiel. She's young too, and she is excited to learn more and WANTS Alexis to be able to get work off and work around his schedule so he can be in the lessons too. Hermana Josie and I have been praying this entire transfer for a family that could be baptized. And I really hope that this is our family. 

Miracles happen every day in the mission, as well as everyday in our lives. You dont have to be on a mission to recognize Heavenly Father's hand in your life. But when you do see them, don't forget to say a prayer of gratitude. 

Your prayers are felt everyday. I am so grateful for all of you.

Till Next week!
All my love, 
Hermana Green.

A Snip it of Our Letter to Share:

 I have really come to love my ward here. They are absolutely amazing. Rafa (my ward mission leader) is MY FAVORITE. He is so funny and is hardworking and wants to throw us all going away parties when we leave. We had a family home evening a couple days ago at Lohari's house and it was also a goodbye party for Hermana Guttierz because shes going back to mexico next week and i am so sad because i am going to miss her a TON. She's so incredible and it was so cool because everyone that came were all the poeple in our ward who we're close to. The Quirindungo's a family of converts who are young and so hilarious. Great people. They have an 18 year old daughter named cassidy, and a 12 year old boy and i forgot his name but Carlos and Jennifer the husband and wife are SO COOL. They do crossfit together and they speak spanish and english. Jafet and Ziomarra are in their late 20s and also speak english and spanish and they are hilarious. Rafa came, and then the four of us, and Lohari's huge family. It was so amazing and I LOVE these people so so so so much. i cant wait for you to meet them.

But seriously I love the mission. I love Ponce. Even though it is ridiculously hot here, the ward is amazing. Please continue praying for Alexis y Leonani, my spanish, and the help of the members. Weve been fed by the members twice here so thats cool.

I will email you on Monday! LOVE YOU

Hermana Green