Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Week 56

Update on Hurricane Maria:

So quick update;  Well after a very sleepless night and many prayers, we received a phone call from Hermana Green at 10:30 am this morning (Wednesday) to tell us, that she and all of the missionaries were safe, protected and made it through the category 5 Hurricane Maria that made landfall on the Island of Puerto Rico at 2:00 am this morning. In preparation for this massive Hurricane directly hitting Puerto Rico, Hermana Green and all of the Sister Missionaries and Elders in Puerto Rico (approx. 157) were evacuated on Tuesday from their homes and areas, and the Sisters went to the Mission Home, and the Elders went to the Mission Office in Guaynabo under the Mission Presidents direction.  They were well prepared and united in faith to ride out the storm, although they still did not have power restored from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma.  Hermana Green said; they held devotionals and knelt and prayed together with President and Sister Smart, and were comforted by the Spirit and never felt afraid.  She said; that Hurricane Irma prepared, strengthened and united the missionaries and the people of Puerto Rico, that they can endure hard things and overcome trials with the Lord's help.  Hermana Green said; that this experience was one of the greatest spiritual experiences of her mission. Although they have not been outside yet, they could see the devastation around the Mission Home.  They have no thought for themselves, but just want to go serve and help the people of Puerto Rico.  Hermana Green said; the Lord has preserved and prepared them to now go and be a light to the people by helping them put their Island, homes and lives back together, and letting the people know that they can be comforted and find peace and happiness through Jesus Christ.  Sister Smart said; "your lives have been saved, now go save another."  They do not know when they can go back to their areas and homes, or when power will be restored, but their spirits are strong and they are ready to serve, although they are concerned about the flooding and mud slides that are already happening.  Hermana Green closed with; don't worry about me, and just pray for the people, because that is all that I am concerned about! 

It was the best phone call, and we are so grateful for the Lord's hand in protecting our daughter, the missionaries, and people of Puerto Rico.  We would like to thank all of our family and friends for your thoughts and prayers this week.  We invite you to continue to pray for the people of Puerto Rico in the coming days and weeks as they work through the devastation and damage that was caused!

This Weeks (Monday's) Letter from Kali pre Hurricane Maria:

Buenas a Todos (Hello everyone)!

One spiritual experience has kept happening over and over.  I have been really trying to put ALL of my studies into studying for our investigators, their needs, and what we can do to help them. Sometimes I feel impressions to study certain things without knowing why, or without it having any correlation with the lesson plan we have, but I follow the promptings anyways.  As I have done this, and put my all into these studies, I have seen the results paying off as the things I have studied, planned or not planned, have ALWAYS seemed to be the thing that someone needs to hear.  These experiences have been super cool!!  Effective studies brings MIRACLES.


Ludumar: LUDUMAR IS THE BEST.  So, Hermana Pearce and her old companion found this family of four who welcomed them in and gladly heard their message.  We had a lesson with Ludumar, the Mom (who is in her late 20's) last week on the Book of Mormon and how it can help lead and guide her and her family.  We had a member present (also a miracle) and the Spirit was so strong in the lesson.  She told us that before she met Hermana Pearce and Hermana Turner, she had been praying to God to send her guidance and strength for her and her family.  Then, the missionaries showed up at her door.  She said she knew that they/we are sent from God and that the message we share truly will help her.  It was a great lesson, but we didn't feel the Spirit telling us to invite her to be baptized, which happens, and is not necessarily a bad thing.  So, we are going to have a cita (appointment) with her tomorrow and we are super excited!

Derek: Derek I still haven't met, but Hermana Pearce says that he has had a super hard life.  He's 20 years old and has gone through quite a bit.  We have a lesson with him tonight and we are going to teach him the Restoration and invite him to be baptized!  He loves reading the Book of Mormon and just recently quit smoking, Woo hoo!

Joann: I also haven't met her yet but during our intercambios on Saturday, Hermana Pearce went and visited her with Hermana Brooks and she accepted a fecha, baptismal date!!!!

We have some more, but these are those who are progressing. :)

So, their are different callings/positions of leadership in a mission. The AP's (assistants to the President) are usually two seasoned elders who help President and Hermana Smart with EVERYTHING. They are great leaders and they help train and lead us.  Under them are Zone Leaders and Sister Trainer Leaders (What I just got called to for the Caguas zone).  There are 5 zones in Puerto Rico (Mayaguez, Ponce, Caguas, Toa Baja and San Juan).  So, in every zone, there are 2 Zone Leaders and 2 Sister Trainers, Hermana Pearce and I are the Sister Trainers of the Caguas Zone.  We work with the Zone leaders to plan and set goals for our zone according to what we learn in MLC (Missionary Leadership Conference).  Every transfer the zone leaders and sister trainers will go to President's house and learn and be instructed by President, Hermana Smart and the AP's, it's like a zone conference for the leadership.  So, some of the key responsibilities of a Sister Trainer Leaders are to look over the well-being, missionary work efforts and help lead and guide the Sisters in the zone by example and by our experiences.  These are usually Sisters that have a lot of time on the mission.  We also do intercambios (exchanges) with all the Sisters in our zone, and we will get to work with them either in their or our area, depending on who we believe needs to be with who for the 24 hours we do the intercambios (exchanges).  We work with the zone leaders to make plans for our zone, and for zone conferences.  President & Hermana Smart, the AP's will all speak, and the Zone Leaders and Sister Trainers will speak and focus on the goals as a zone and what we need to do spiritually, and physically in the work and in our work ethic to accomplish these goals.  We will do intercambios (exchanges) every week, and every Sunday night, Hermana Pearce and I make calls to check in on the girls, to talk about the numbers we send in weekly, how their investigators are doing, etc.  It is such an honor to be in this calling.  I have seen so may wonderful examples of Sister Trainers in my mission that have helped shape me into the person and missionary I am today, like Hermana Gutierrez, Hermana Bird, Hermana Josie, Hermana Larsen, and many more.  I am grateful for their example and I hope that I can do all I can, in order to help others feel that same love I felt.

MY NEW HOUSE IS AMAZING. It is seriously probably the nicest house on the island, haha!!  seriously, it's beautiful!!!  I live with Hermana Brooks and Hermana Mann. :)

My Companion Hermana Pearce

Hermana Pearce and I have the FUNNIEST and most interesting times together. This week has been crazy. I love it.

GUAYAMA IS BEAUTIFUL.  It's called, "Zion" and now I understand why.  It has TONS of hills, and the first couple of days I was dying, haha!  We can see the ocean from where we are and we live right next to a mall and WALMART, I love walmart. it's the closest thing we have to Target. I miss Target. 

The members are SO HELPFUL and we get fed every day.  Their goal is to, "help missionaries leave a dress size bigger from when they came", yeah that terrifies me a little bit, but Hermana Pearce is training for the Air Force so we are exercising a ton, and the hills and miles we walk every day (our area is pretty big) so, I am not too worried. 

There is a song that is forever written on my heart, it is a song by the church from The Nashville Tribute (Church Country Songs, that are amazing) and its called, "Apostles" by Jason Deere.  This is exactly how I feel about missionary work. Listen to it, and let me know what you think.

It's pretty hot here. I've noticed that I have been put in the hottest pueblos on the island, haha!!  In order of heat, it goes Ponce, then Guayama, then Cabo Rojo, WOOO!!

Mom and Dad, I loved last week's spiritual thought. Dad you shared Helaman 10:4 with me, and I loooooove that verse.  They focused on this verse a couple of Zone Conferences ago and it changed my perspective on missionary work and my personal efforts, so thank you for that! 

Love you all, I thank you for your support, prayers for our island, and for your love. 

Love always,
Hermana Green

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 55

Estoy Viva! (I’m alive!)

Okay, first off, I would like to thank everyone who has been sending prayers to my little island of Puerto Rico this last week.  It was an interesting week that I'll never forget!  I am completely 100% okay and I am grateful that no harm came to us.  I send my prayers and love out to those who lost everything in the islands really close to us and to the Hurricane survivors in Texas, as well as those who are still being affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida.  I pray that everything goes well for them.

So, on Tuesday, we were asked to be in our house by 5:00 pm, and to not come out until we were told it was safe.  President and Hermana Smart did a wonderful, amazing job at updating us, helping us stay safe and calm, and helping us to be prepared.  They are wonderful and I am so grateful for them.  We were at Mayra and Anjomil's house saying goodbye to them when we got a bunch of texts with instructions and details of what was going to happen and what we needed to do. I thought, "okay that's doable" it was like 4:00 pm, and I was like, Okay, hey Mayra can you give us a ride home?  She said yes, then not even like 5 minutes later we get a call from the Zone Leaders and they're like, yeah Sister Green you have to take all your sisters, pack the car, you're going to stay in San German for a couple days with the sisters over there.  Keep in mind we have to be in their house at 5:00 pm, and we are not by our house, and it takes about 15-20 minutes to get to San German, plus getting our stuff in the car and shutting all the lights and windows, it was probably one of the most stressful 40 minutes of my LIFE, ha-ha!!  But all went well, and after two hours of being there, getting dinner made, we were told to go back to Cabo Rojo, so we packed the car again and went home – it was a busy few hours!  After getting back to Cabo Rojo, we were in the house for 46 hours straight.  It was very interesting, ha-ha!!  We definitely felt the effects of the hurricane, but it wasn't as bad as we all expected it to be.  Not much sleeping happened, ha-ha!!  And we had to close all of our windows and doors until they told us we could open them, and so our house quickly became a tiny oven, ha-ha!!  But we did have good fun as well.  One funny thing that happened; so Hermana Post was like, "I wonder if any thing is going to happen soon,” and right as she says that, a GIANT gust of wind and rain came and we all screamed and Hermana Post starts SCREAMING and freaking out and Hermana Peter (from Papa, New Guinea) in her cute English yells at the window, "GO AWAY" ha-ha!!  Although we had no power or running water for three days, we kept ourselves entertained and we all slept out in the living room.  We were so hot, but at one point we figured out that if we just didn't move, we didn't sweat, ha-ha!!  We ate saltine crackers, tuna and peanut butter for like 4 days, ha-ha!! There were a couple times where it was pretty frightening, but nothing that a prayer couldn't solve.  Cabo Rojo was probably one of the safest cities to be in during this Hurricane.  The only real damage that happened was this giant tree fell over by a school near our house and a street sign flew off somewhere.  Now, the other side of the island, like by San Juan, where the mission office is, it got bad damage, because the eye of the Hurricane passed 50 miles from San Juan.  I honestly didn't understand the severity of how huge Hurricane Irma was until Giselle showed us a picture, and I now understand why my Mom was freaking out so much, ha-ha!!  But I loved being able to call Mom and Dad and let them know that I was okay.  I feel so incredibly blessed. We are so, so, so, lucky.  Thank you for all the prayers. One thing that stuck with me was a text Hermana Smart sent.  On Thursday, we did service all day helping anyone that was in need.  On Friday, was a regular working day, and Hermana Smart sent a text that said, "Your life was saved, now go save another.”  We are so blessed; Heavenly Father truly does answer prayers. 

Me using a Head Flashlight to see in our "DARK" house. (No Power and water for 3 days)
This was in the afternoon showing how dark it was during the day in our house.

A spiritual experience, well, there was one point during the hurricane where it was so hard to sleep because it was raining and storming so much.  I didn't feel any fear, but my anxiety was kind of like throwing my body off and so I just prayed, and prayed, and prayed, that everything would be okay, and that I would be able to sleep.  Shortly after, I was able to fall asleep. It was a tiny little miracle in the midst of so much craziness, but I loved the peace and comfort that came to me from it.

I leave Cabo Rojo today at 2:30. Then I'll drop off my stuff at Guayama in my house, and then we are going straight to Guaynabo, where the new missionaries meet their trainers.  I honestly still am in shock that I was called to be a Sister Trainer Leader, but I am so humbled and excited for this opportunity!  All the Sister Trainers and Zone Leaders, and President and Hermana Smart all meet in Guaynabo every transfer to welcome the NEW Missionaries and help drive them to their zones.  WHICH is really exciting because when Mallory comes to the island, I'll see her!!  I am so stoked for that!  So, I'll be driving around the island all day today.  ALSO, exciting thing is that Hermana Zimmerman is in my zone, and she's training!  So I get to see her tonight! :)   And Hermana Pearce has been in Guayama for a transfer.  I am stoked to be companions with her again!  She is the bomb!!

This week before leaving Cabo Rojo, we found Zoraida again!  We went to go visit her, but we thought she was ignoring us and so we tried contacting other old investigators in her complex, no luck either.  So, we decided to leave and go find someone else on the way out, while we were contacting this man, Zoraida was coming up the hill (in order to get to her complex there is a big hill that is kind of hard to climb sometimes, ha-ha!!) and she was pulling a cart full of groceries.  She almost screamed when she saw us!  After we finished talking with the man, we went and asked her if she needed help carrying her groceries up the hill, and she said yes, so we helped her.  When we got in her house she said that she had been praying for help and we showed up.  We were able to have a small lesson with her and she invited us over to her house yesterday to have some lunch and to teach her.  She cried when she found out I was leaving.  It was cute and sad at the same time.  But she is wonderful.  Hermana Post will have to let me know what ends up happening with her. 

With regards to leaving Cabo Rojo today, yesterday was a hard day.  Having to say goodbye to my family here in Cabo Rojo was reaaaaaally hard.  I have learned many things from the Lord and the people of Cabo Rojo, I have grown spiritually, witnessed miracles, shared experiences, memories, laughs, cries, smiles, and have personally changed forever, for the things that happened here in Cabo Rojo with these members.  I will forever be grateful for the privilege to have served here and these wonderful people.  I will forever, thank Heavenly Father every day for blessing me with this mission, with these people, for serving in Cabo Rojo for almost 8 months, and leaving me a changed person.  But now, off to a new adventure to Guayama.  I have no doubt that I will have similar experiences there, and will change even more.  I am excited and I know that Hermana Post is going to continue doing great things here in Cabo Rojo.
Last time Serving as a Companionship in Cabo Rojo.
Mayra and Hermana Post will always have a special place in my heart.

Thank you again family and friends, for your love and prayers. 

Love always,

Hermana Green

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 54

Hello, Family and Friends,

Lately I have been reading and growing in the theme of how we need opposition in all things.  Well, the last couple of weeks I have been feeling that opposition, haha!!   All is well, but as usual, trials come and go, so I asked for a blessing about a week ago from our district leader, Elder Diaz.  I had expressed some worries and frustrations to Hermana Post, but there were some other things that I had been worrying or frustrated about that I just kept to myself.  As I was getting the blessing I was overwhelmed at how everything I had been worried about was addressed in the blessing, EVERY SINGLE THING!!!  All my worries immediately went away and I felt peace in my mind and heart.  Let me tell you, the power of the Priesthood is very real and SUCH a blessing in my life.
To be quite honest, our investigator pool is very low, and none are really progressing, BUT sometimes that happens.  However, like always if we keep our faith and trust the Lord, he will guide us to those that need us. In this last week we were able to find 2 really cool people, Alana and Felix.

Alana: we found her walking along the street and contacted her.  She was nice and said she wanted to come to church and just wants the best for her and her son in a world that isn't getting any better.  Hermana Post will follow up with her this week.

Felix: we were contacting by Mayda's house yesterday and we found this man after 2 and a half hours of contacting.  He was the only person that talked to us, but he was super cool and we gave him a Book of Mormon and he took a selfie with us and the Book of Mormon and said, " No one has ever given me something like this,  let's take a picture"  haha!!  It made our day. 

SOOOOO, what you've been waiting for...TRANSFERS.  So, I received a call from President Smart last night and I have been called to be a Sister Trainer Leader (Zone Leader for Sisters) in the CAGUAS ZONE!  I'm going to be serving in Guayama, so I'm going to the Southeast side of the island right on the coast, AND I am going to be serving with HERMANA PEARCE AGAIN!  Round 2 with Hermana Pearce!  I was companions with her after my training in Ponce, and now we are going to be Sister Trainers together!  I feel so grateful for this opportunity to serve the missionaries in Caguas and the wonderful people there.  Words cannot express the gratitude and love I have for my family in Cabo Rojo.  I have been forever changed by the memories, experiences, and people there.  I am sad to say goodbye, but it's not for forever.  It will be very very hard, but "ire y hare" (I will go, I will do) what the Lord asks of me.  I am humbled and excited for this new opportunity and adventure, but mostly just excited to serve. :)

HURRICANE IRMA:  So, yeah this has been quite the week!  People had been mentioning the storm and this Hurricane, but we didn't think it was actually going to happen, but hey there's always a first for everything, right?  So, we woke up Saturday morning and went over all the safety procedures and everything is under control.  I am not worried or freaking out, so don't worry Mom!!  I know that you will still worry, but just know that I am calm.  President Smart has prepared us and we've got everything under control.  From what it looks like, we are probably going to get hit by something, but we won't know what until later today or tomorrow.  When we do know, we were told that we would be given orders on whether to stay at home, or if they are going to evacuate us.  We are being updated by text.  All we can do now, is pray that everything will be okay and that the Island and people of Puerto Rico will be okay - Prayers are appreciated! :)  I am confident that the Lord has a plan, and whatever that is, I am willing to trust Him, and I take comfort in the Plan of Salvation, that I will be okay! :)  But don't you worry, I am already one step ahead! *finger guns* The Hurricane bag is all packed with my stuff, which, yes Mom,  it includes my meds in a ziploc. :)

I will miss Hermana Post, but I know she is going to do great things still in Cabo Rojo!  She has been such a blessing in my life these last three months and I am excited to see how she blossoms into an even greater missionary!  Thanks for letting me meet her, Stephanie! (Hermana Post's mom. hello Hermana Post's mom).  This has been quite the week, with transfers and prepping for Hurricane Irma, one could definitely feel stressed.  But, I feel extremely calm. I am grateful for the power of prayer and the comfort that we can seek from the Holy Ghost.  Sometimes, we pass through unexpected personal "Hurricanes" that may do lots of damage in our own personal lives.  Sometimes we are prepared for these storms, and sometimes we are not.  But, we can always be prepared to endure these storms and trials as we hold and strengthen our lives on Jesus Christ and His gospel.  It is what will bring us safety and peace in times of need.  "Sweet is the peace the gospel brings" is a line from one of my favorite hymns.  I am reminded of how blessed and grateful I am for these experiences and these trials.  As we learn to lean upon the Lord, we will be comforted in even the most unexpected of storms.  I testify of the blessings that come from living the gospel and doing everything we can to strengthen our self.  I know that as we pray with faith, we act on what we receive, we read the scriptures, we love one another, and we choose to be like Christ, our lives will be filled with joy and lasting happiness!!!

I love you all so very very much and I am grateful for the support you show me!
Always praying for you,

Hermana Green

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 53

Hola Famila y Amigos,

Spiritual experiences.. So I have mentioned the Valle family from time to time, but they are a less active family who I have become very close with. This includes Hermana Valle (she is blind), her daughter Giselle, Omar, and Giselle's two kids, Jomar and Leuhani. They LOVE to feed us anytime we come over and we had a lesson with them last Tuesday and were able to teach them a cool Restauracion lesson with these cool cups Hermana Thelin made us.  It literally builds a pyramid, making The Church of Jesus Christ, and it has the 12 Apostoles, the gospel of Jesus Christ (fe, arrepentimiento, el bautismo, la recepcion el don del espiritu santo, y perserverando hasta el fin- (I just realized I wrote that all in Spanish not meaning to, haha), other commandments, priesthood and revelation, then Christ at the top! It was very cool. They really liked it. We invited them to church and invited them to start reading the Book of Mormon as a family.  After the lesson, Giselle took us home, and she always talks to us for 5 minutes after she drops us off.  I don't know how it happened, but she ended up talking to us about her conversion story, and how she took the lessons, and got a very spiritual confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true.  She testified of it and it was the COOLEST thing to see.  They also said that they were going to try and come to sacrament meeting, and that she wants to come.  It was everything we have been trying to help them with ever since I got here and it is finally unfolding.  We expressed our love and gratitude for her and her family. She paused for a second and said, "I am going to start reading the Book of Mormon again, like you guys said. You have inspired me and now whenever I start reading it, I can remember all the times you guys have came over, and taught us, and shared with us. "My heart felt very happy".  That family means so much to me and we have got such a good relationship with them. I am planning on giving Leuhani (Giselle's four year old daughter)  the CTR necklace President Ward gave me when I got set apart as a missionary.  He handed it to me and told me that when the time was right, that I needed to give it to someone.  I have been wondering when I was going to meet that person, and now, a week before transfers, I am planning on giving it to her.  We see them tomorrow so I am really excited to see their reaction, it's a surprise, and I love surprising people.  Pictures will come next week about that!


Dolores: She still hasn't come to church yet. :/   We are not sure how much of a desire there is for her to go.. but we aren't giving up!  She is keeping all her other commitments like praying, reading the Book of Mormon and any other thing we give her.  So we will see what happens this week.

Luis: our joven (teenager) friend we met last week DECIDED TO APPEAR AND COME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY.  It was NUTS!!!  I was warming up on the piano, and the Elders just say, "Hermana Green", and I turn around, and LUIS IS THERE. We hadn't been able to get a hold of him for like 5 days and we haven't been able to teach him either. So him coming to church was a miracle!!   He has to do a project where he goes to a church, and learns about it and visits it, meets the Bishop, and writes a report on it.  I don't think it's coincidence that we met him when we did.  It might be that the Lord is helping him learn about the church in this way and helping him understand the gospel through a project.  He was very attentive in church and was going to take notes, but Hermana Post and I kept peeking over and he wasn't writing any notes, he was glued on the speakers. We know he felt something, and he said he is going to come back this Sunday!  We have a lesson with him this Sunday as well.  We are excited to see where this goes. 

Rosa y Jessa: we met Rosa, an older woman and her granddaughter Jessa, a couple days ago while contacting in this small urb (apartment complex). Rosa has a daughter who is a member and we asked her, "have you ever met missionaries from our church before", and she said no.  We were able to share the Restoration with her and really focused on Eternal Families.  We were able to establish a really good relationship with them right off the bat, It was great!!  We even got a musical performance from Jessa singing a song in English, It was grand!!

This week was a bit fuerte (hard).  Our numbers were very, very, very, low and I got sick at one point, but I was just trying to push through and do my best.  Even then, we didn't have a successful week.  But, one thing I re-learned, is that, not every week in the mission will be perfect.  In fact, NO week in the mission will be perfect.  One thing that I must keep reminding myself is that I am NOT a perfect person and that no one expects me to be a perfect missionary.  I remember one time, in an interview with President Boucher, I was telling him that I didn't feel like I was balancing being a good trainer, and that I felt the need to do all these things, and he cuts me off and goes, "Sister Green. There is no such thing as a perfect missionary", and he carried on, giving me advice (love that man. Also President Smart. They are the BEST).  I started to laugh a little this week but also got a bit of comfort from a phrase that Mom and Dad constantly told me, " Honey, you are too hard on yourself, cut yourself some slack".  I thought about that a lot yesterday.  I may have trials, I may disappoint myself, but, I am not perfect, and that's okay.  I am okay with that concept, and I am continually being shaped and molded, and that's okay too!!  Because, we may not see numbers, but I know that as we strive to do our best, the Lord will fill in the rest.  After all, we are the INSTRUMENTS, and not the Director in this grand orchestra that is missionary work. I loved Dad's spiritual thought, about how there needs to be opposition in all things, and I need to remember that too. This week was full of learning moments, and I will forever be grateful for that.

I just want to say how much I love and adore Hermana Post.  She is such a great companion and her Spanish is coming along great!  She does A HILARIOUS Christopher Walken impression of the "I need more cowbell" skit.  I love her.
My Present to Hermana Post (A Spanish Hymn Book) She was a Little Excited!

So every Wednesday we have correlation, a meeting with the missionaries (the Elders and Hermana Post and I), and Obispo.  This last meeting we had was AMAZING.  We set up a game plan to work with the leaders and set callings, and visiting and home teachers for each recent convert.  It was exhilarating.  I know it doesn't sound like it but I was FIRED UP!  The work really is moving along here in good ol' Puerto Rico. 

Last Monday, we walked into Papa's Pizza to grab a pizza and we didn't know what to get yet, and this man comes up to us and says, " you guys are missionaries right?" we nodded, yes. He said, " you know, you guys are doing a great work here, and we want to buy you a pizza what do you want", my jaw dropped to the floor and I was in shock.  Hermana Post and Thelin quickly answered while I was still in shock.  I was able to get a quick picture with them before they left.  I love nice people :)

Hermana Green, Peter, Post & Thelin with the Nice People.

For my one year mark, Hermana Thelin bought all of us cute little cakes and postres from a local panaderia. She got me monkey bread and it reminded me of Aunt Kelley's monkey bread she makes :)

My One Year Mark Celebration Monkey Bread!

SHOUT OUT TO THE MSP WARD YOUNG WOMEN! They sent me the CUTEST birthday package!  Thank you girls so much! I love you! 

We had a zone activity today and it was so fun!  We had a barbecue, played capture the flag and soccer (I scored a goal, I felt really cool) and ate and shared and spent time together.  I love being part of this zone.  We just are like a little family and it is so cool to think that missionaries, all over the world, are doing the Lord's work together. What a cool concept!!!

Zone Activity with the Hermanas!

Transfers are next week...... I have been in Cabo Rojo for 7 months.  I am scared I am going to leave.  It also doesn't feel like I am going to leave.... we'll see what happens!

Family and friends, I love you all dearly.  Thank you for being in my life.

All my love,

Hermana Green

Hermana Vaszuez is A HOMIE and made us empanadillas (she makes the Best emapandillas) and brought them to church! I Love this Woman!
Jolee & Elder Henroid (Hermana Greens District Leader in Ponce) made a returned visit to Puerto Rico and took out the Hermanas and Elders for Lunch.  Thank You Jolee & Elder Henroid!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Week 52 - One Year

Hola Family & Friends,

Well this week we were able to put together a very small Family Home Evening and the only people that came were Cindy and this less active family, the Valle family.  I have known this family since I got here in Cabo Rojo and they have a very special place in my heart.  We were planning on watching a DVD that was an hour long, but we decided to watch the DVD we brought, which was 20 minutes long, about the Atoning Sacrifice Christ did for us.  It was very fuerte (strong) and was very descriptive, but at the end, it has the hope and peace that Christ rose from the dead, and fulfilled the mission He came to do.  After wards we all shared our testimonies, including their two kids, Jamar and Leoanis (9, and 4) and Giselle, their mom.  It was a very special FHE filled with an amazing Spirit and this dear family was very touched and felt the Spirit as well.  I love how the Spirit testifies of Christ, and all we have to do is follow the promptings, show up and open our mouths, the Savior and the Holy Ghost do all the rest.  It is amazing to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.


Dolores: So we went with Hermana Vasquez (one of my favorite people I have ever met) to a cita (appointment) with Dolores and we read through 3 Nephi 11.  It is just so amazing to see the progress and testimony that she already has.  Hermana Vasquez bore a wonderful testimony and we are going to see Dolores tomorrow.  She didn't come to church, so hopefully we can help her go this week.  She always talks about the peace that we bring into her home.  She has to take care of her sister who has Alzheimer's and it is really hard for them to get along at times, but she said that every time we come over, there is just peace in their home.  I love hearing how the Spirit brings peace and comfort to the people we visit, it makes me happy!!

Miriam: So we are not sure how much interest she actually has.... but we are going over to her house tomorrow to teach her the plan of Salvation!  We are excited and we are not giving up!

Luis: LUIS was such a miracle.  So Hermana Post and I decided to pray and to find a joven (teenager) who is 16 and that would want to go on a mission.  So we decided we were going to go to this one place that I haven't visited for 6 months.  So we went, and we actually got there an hour later than we planned.  The only way to get in this apartment complex is if someone has a code.  We walked up and right at that moment, we saw someone on a bike ride up, and punch a code in.  He turned around and asked, "you guys going in?" and we replied, yes and once we were in we offered him a tarjeta (pass-along card) and he stopped and asked us what we did. That led to an hour long contact with him and he just was SO open and had so many questions and asked us if he could come to church with us, yeah, I was SHOCKED.  Then he told us he was 16 and my jaw almost dropped to the floor.  He is so cool and so prepared.  We are so excited to see him again and start teaching him!  I continue to be amazed at the Lord's miracles we witness each day, it is so humbling, but awesome at the same time!!!

My lovely family and friends, I am just so, so, so, grateful for all of you.  I know I say that every week, but I pray for you all every night, and I am grateful for the role each one of you has had in my life.  This email is very special because this week I have one year in the mission.  Words can't describe the joy and blessings I have seen in this last year.  A year ago yesterday I was giving my farewell talk.  A year ago today I was set apart, and a year ago tomorrow is when I began this crazy, wonderful, journey.  A year sure does fly!!!  I think about good ol' DP (Daniel Parker) who just got back home from his mission.  What a wonderful example he has been to me and I know he served his mission well!  Go you, DP!  Those two years flew by too! 

I often think of something my sweet mother said to me during a rough point in my mission.  She said, "The Lord did not send you to Puerto Rico to fail".  Ever since that moment, those words have been etched in my heart. There are times of my mission where I did not think I could last another second, and then I would remember those words and like the Puerto Ricans say, "seguir pa'lante" (press forward).  In this last year, I have seen so many miracles.  I have seen lives change.  I have learned a language I never thought I could learn.  I have met people who have filled in holes in my heart I didn't know were there.  I have seen the power of the Atonement help someone understand that it is NEVER too late to change.  I have seen families healed.  I have walked QUITE A LOT.  I have prayed harder than I ever have in my life.  I have found a love for studying the scriptures, and I know without a doubt that the message I have the privilege of sharing is TRUE.  I know that Christ established His gospel while he was on the earth, complete with a prophet, his 12 apostles, the Priesthood authority to work these miracles, to baptize, and interpret the scriptures, and receive revelation directly from God to us.  I know that after the death of Christ and His apostles NO ONE had that authority for years and years and years, until God called a prophet to restore that same church and authority Christ himself established.  I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he truly saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees.  I know that only through the power and authority of God he was able to translate the Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ.  I have felt my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father and The Savior grow immensely, unlike anything I have ever experienced, while reading the Book of Mormon.  Every single page testifies of Christ and that He truly is the Savior and Redeemer of the world.  I know that the Book of Mormon truly does contain the fullness of the gospel and that if ANYONE reads it with an open heart, really, truly meditating in the things they read, and pray and ask God if these things are true, they will get an answer.  I know because I asked, and I RECEIVED MY ANSWER.  I know that Heavenly Father is truly mindful of us and knows us so much more than we think.  He answers our prayers.  He has set a perfect plan that allows each and every one of us to return to him to live as families in His presence once again, for time and all eternity.  I know that having the TEMPLE IS A PRIVILEGE that allows us to have that happiness, and that even when we have family and loved ones who have passed on, it isn't too late for them either.  I know that Christ died and suffered for everything we would ever experience in this life, every pain and heartache, why?  Because of His love that He has for each one of us.  He is the Great Mediator, who will be our constant example if we just follow His invitation to, "follow and trust him".  I know that these things are true, and I will continue sharing this message that will help our world become a better place until the day I have to take this tag off, but I will not stop then, I will continue to share this message for the rest of my life and throughout eternity.  I love this gospel and I love my family and friends.  I love being a missionary and a disciple of Christ.  I love the person I have become through my trials and experiences, but mostly through the Savior's love for me.  I love what I still can become through continuing to seek His will for me, and through this His Great Plan of Happiness.

Love always,

Hermana Green

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Week 51

Hola mis queridas personas,

I just wanted to thank you all for the Birthday wishes and love! I feel so loved and grateful to know each and every single one of you!

Wow, so the biggest Spiritual experience this past week that stood out to me was, meeting a woman named Miriam.  We met her last Wednesday as we were contacting different houses.  We yelled at their house and she immediately let us inside, and let us teach her and her husband Jaime.  They are so wonderful, an older couple, but they are hilarious.  They liked what we shared and Miriam told us we could come back on Friday and share more with her, and she would feed us dinner!  Friday comes and we were at Zone Conference all day, and then we came back to our apartment and checked our phone to see if she had left us a voicemail reminding us to come by, WHICH NEVER HAPPENS, and she didn't leave us a message.  So we decided to just go to her house.   We got there and she was so happy to see us, and she fed us a BOMB dinner.  After dinner we shared the Restoration with her.  In the middle of the lesson we felt prompted to ask her how her family had been blessed by God.  She answered and was telling us all these wonderful things and then she started getting really emotional and told us how one of her children had passed away 16 years ago.  I KNEW right then that was a confirmation from the Spirit telling us what the Lord had prompted us to look for last week, remember, He prompted us to look for a couple who had lost their child!  He lead us to Miriam, and she shared that we were an answer to her prayers.  I was in such awe to see how the Lord's hand worked and really, truly, used us as instruments.  We continue to witness these mighty miracles as we put our faith and trust in the Lord, lose ourselves in the service of others, an FOLLOW the promptings of the Spirit, even when we do not understand!!

Dolores: She is GOLDEN. We went by and taught her last Saturday and she always tells us how she knows that God sent us to her and we have helped her so much already.  We asked her if she had read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and she told us that she did, and she received an answer that it was true!!!  She said that she really was wondering if it was true, so much that she couldn't sleep, so she prayed on 3 different occasions to see if it was true.  On one occasion she had a dream that a man was speaking to her, with a soft voice, telling her to, "open the blue book", so she woke up and started reading and prayed for the third time asking if it was true, and she got a confirmation and an overwhelming sense of peace that it was true!!!  I was in awe and got a confirmation once again that the Book of Mormon truly does contain the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Zoraida: She is still reading in the Book of Mormon and we were going to teach her yesterday, but her friend was in the hospital so we are teaching her the plan of salvation soon, hopefully later this week! :)
Miriam and Jaime: Jaime has a lot of health problems, but he thinks it's hilarious when he calls me, "Hermana Verde", it makes me happy to see him smile.  We saw Miriam yesterday and she told us, that she knows we were sent to her as representatives of Christ.  We are helping her understand the purpose of the Book of Mormon a little more and we are going to see her this Wednesday!  Love, Love Love them!!!

I was so, so, so, surprised at Mayda and Waddy's surprise Birthday Party they did for me on Saturday!  Tears were shed, and we had so much cake left over we decided to share with our neighbors, they gladly accepted. :)  It's so weird because I knew it was my Birthday, but it also felt like a normal day, haha!!   Sunday, I woke up to a text from President and Hermana smart wishing me a Happy Birthday too.  I opened my Birthday box before going to church, and I LOVED IT.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!  Those handmade journals are GORGEOUS.  We had Stake Conference on Sunday, so I got to see the Missionaries in my Zone.  All the Sister Missionaries sang Happy Birthday to me,  Cindy and her friends and people we have met every Saturday helping at the swap meet gave us cake too, haha!!  Alex gave me a present (I'll attach a picture) and I got Tubba and Cam's box too. Tara also sent me a cute package!  I received tons of e-mail notes today from family and friends,  and Hermana Thelin surprised me and got the Chick-Fil-A recipes and made Chick-Fil-A chicken and sauce, and homemade lemonade, it was SOOOO GOOD!  Hermana Post, Thelin and Peter decorated the house and made it all cute. It was a great B-Day. :)  Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone for everything!! :)  I am just so grateful for all the people I have in my life, the fact that I was adopted into our family and enjoy the blessings of the gospel, to have made great friends before and after the mission and to have had experiences that have helped me throughout my life.  I don't need presents or worldly things to make me happy, because what truly does make me the happiest is getting to serve one another and getting to enjoy the simple things in life.  


We were able to meet Elder Zivic and his wife last Friday at Zone Conference. He is in the Area Seventy Presidency over all the Caribbean, he is so cool!  Zone Conference really inspired me to keep going the extra mile and to always strive to be a "Preach My Gospel Missionary".  I have continually seen the Lord's hand in our finding efforts and I know we can work even harder!  I have seen the Book of Mormon change lives and have felt such a strong love of it.

There really is nothing better than being a missionary, I mean that!!   Weird to think that next week I'll hit a year mark, but we won't talk about that yet, haha.  Thank you so much for everything.  I feel pretty lucky to be apart of this family.  Thank you again for all your prayers, love and support.

All my love,

Hermana Green