Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 23

Hola family and friends,

I hit 5 months last monday in the mission! Party!

You have probably heard a lot of buzz about changes to mission rules, well we had a Worldwide missionary conference that was shown to all missions in the world.  Elder Bednar, Elder Oaks, Elder Neil L. Anderson and other cool general authority friends talked to us about a ton of stuff. But we only know about changes to our key indacators (numbers that we fill in every week) and schedule changes right now, until the leadership meeting next week the sister trainers, and zone leaders have with our Mission President.  So, we don't really know anything and nothing is in effect until our Mission President explains what's going down.  Today we have an Hermana Activity with all the sisters in our zone! Pictures will come soon.

So, on the spirtual front; I was watching this movie called,"The Testaments" and it's about this family and this guy Jacob who is trying to figure out who he is and if he believes the words of the prophets, all the while gaining power and hanging out with the judges and leaders in this time.  It's right around the time when Christ is crucified and then es recusitado (ah sorry) resurrected and then comes to the Americas.  Jacob and his family are living in a civilazation in the Americas where Christ comes too. Oh it is SO BEAUTIFUL. I cried so hard. it's really good. you guys should watch it. But as I was watching it, the best part is when Christ comes to the Americas and the people are just in awe, and I could just FEEL the Christlike love that was coming from him, and thought about how wonderful it's going to be when he comes again. So much love. Also, this morning I was reading the talk "O How Great is Our God" (that might be wrong) but it's President Uchtdorf's talk on the Plan of Salvation and it is so beautiful. So so incredible. I teach the plan of salvation all the time, but I had never experienced it like I did until this morning. It was as if I was remembering what had happened in the pre mortal life for just a glimpse. IT IS SO GOOD.  I loved your spiritual thought about,"Seeking Jesus" that you shared with the YSA Ward and sent me. It is so true that we need to be spiritually ready, in that mindset to recieve revelation, answers to prayers, or impressions from the spirit. If we arent in that mindset, we won't have the spirit with us, which causes a whole lot of confusion and trouble. It really is ALL about the basic, simple things the prophets have continually, since the beginning of time asked us to do. Pray, read your scriptures/feast on the words of Christ, obey the Word of Wisdom, go to the temple, and always be WORTHY of a temple reccommend. Above all ask the question,"What do I lack?" and seeing what we can do to better ourselves. When we do these things, I testify and promise we will find our way to eternal life.

As far as our investigators go, We found 11 THIS WEEK. (very very very rare that we get above 5 or 6) Berto has a fecha and the patriarch came with us. Powerful lesson. Excited to teach him again.
We taught a woman named carmen who is a little skeptical on the church, but we are teaching her Lesson 2 (plan of salvation) tonight! MOISES so we met this teenager moises on saturday, and he told us he wanted to come to church, and he did! (so did Alexis) and at the end of church he told us he wanted to be baptized!  Irma! We met this woman last monday named Irma, we were just contacting her and we got into talking and asked her how she was and she just BROKE down into my arms and started bawling, and told us about these sad things happening to her in her life, and she told us she needs God and that she knows we were sent to help her.  She is SO prepared, and we are going to see her tonight. We are so excited!  Woo! hmmm.. these are our investigators with promise right now. We're finally seeing the fruits of our labors.  Oh! Hector, so he is having a hard time finding his faith to believe in what we're saying and to take the action and the step to keep learning. It's confusing and sad.

Oh, I almost forgot, we fought off a pack of 10 wild dogs last night. That was fun ahaha. I am not hurt don't worry. We had another protector dog named Wilfred that was randomly walking with us and then these 3 dogs show up and tried to attack him so Hermana Pearce and I stepped in to help, and then they started barking and I kid you not, 7 other dogs came around the corner and surrounded us. It was crazy. But we got out safe and sound!

I love love love serving. Nothing makes me happier to be quite honest. So much joy comes from it!
Also, I am starting to wear my YW Medallion more. Reminds me of who I am and why I'm here and what my goal is.  I want to say thank you for each individual prayer you send my way.  I can feel the love and support and really couldn't handle the week without them!

Con Amor Hermana Green

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 22 -

Hola Hola Pepsi Cola,

So we had this old investigator named Hector. He is super awkward and thinks i am hilarious and i dont understand why. But we were trying to call this other investigator hector, but instead we accidentaly called awkward hector, and we ended up scheduling a lesson with him for yesterday! So we went. he's been taught by missionaries before, but he just wasn't really looking for the truth, nor had the desire to, and he told us he didnt want to waste our time, (that was in november). But we came back yesterday, and again had no idea what the heck we were going to talk about.(you'd be surprised how much that happens. we kinda just follow the spirit and wing it) and thats what we did! We ended up talking about our potential as hijos de dios(children of God) and we did this cool thing where we wrote down the things that hector thinks he should become in his life, and then in the other column wrote down what God knows he can become.  It was SUPER COOL. And at one point, we were talking about how we can overcome weaknesses and at the SAME EXACT TIME hermana pearce and I said," i have a scripture that I'd like to share" and we both were thinking of Ether 12:27. We were like,"WOAHHHH" and after Hector read the verse he was like,"how did you guys do that? how did you guys know that was EXACTLY what I needed to hear?" and I replied with,"it's not us, hector. It's the spirit." and we testified that as missionaries we are just representatives of Christ, and how He speaks through us and what He and Heavenly Father wants him to hear.  So that was super cool.

One of our investigators, Norma, passed away this week. Norma is Gilberto's mom and she passed away last tuesday. It was a huge shock.What was a cool thing to think about though, was that the last thing we taught her was the Plan of Salvation, and she told us that she found great comfort in it. Although death will always be something hard to deal with, I know without a shadow of a doubt that we will see our families and loved ones again. 

Last week we had some trouble finding people to teach, but we kept working. We kept going, and we kept the faith. Sometimes we don't know when the trial of our faith will end, but there are always blessing promised to the faithful. And we saw those blessings and miracles!

New investigators.... We don't have too many. But! We are starting to teach Giselle, Rafa(our ward mission leader and best friend)'s daughter and her son! It was CRAZY. Because we were at Rafa's planning for some ward activties with the missionaries, and we were about to leave, and then all of a sudden Giselle walks in with her son. He didn't know she was coming over, and we had never met her before. We had been trying for the last 3 weeks to try and see her but she was never home. We ended up getting a lesson with her and it was a HUGE miracle.

Hermana Pearce and I were talking to a man and I told him I was from California. He told us that he used to work in LA and he says,"girls, michael jackson is NOT dead." We didn't really know what to say but then we continued on with the lesson.

So, I am playing piano in church now! Thank you Colby Wihongi and Sister Holbrook for the piano lessons!

Much Love,
Hermana Green

Tidbidts from our Letter:


Here are some of my spiritual thoughts I wanted to share with you two this week: So the newer bible videos are super cool and it made me want to start reading the new testament so that's what I am doing! I am reading it side by side with Jesus the Christ and it BLOWS MY MIND. So cool. I am also reading Daughters in my Kingdom and I am trying to work on the type of woman I want to be. And there is a quote about Emma Smith, saying that she was this amazing example of a service oriented woman (my goals).  Also, have you ever thought about the fact that the Savior in that one Bible verse, John 10:17-18 talks about how The Savior has the ability to give and take His life and that no man is taking his life, but that he is WILLINGLY giving it for us all. He had the power to so easily break those chains He was bound in, and save Himself, but He didn't because of His profound love for us - Crazy!  Also I really liked this quote from Wilford Woodruff; "In any and every age of the world when God has called or commanded a man or a people to perform a certain work, they, through determination and perserverance, and faith in Him, have been able to accomplish it" Cool right?

Oh! I just thought I'd let you know, that I actually find joy in cleaning. (I know what you're thinking, who are you and what have you done with our daughter) but, I actually do! When I am stressed, happy, sad, I clean. I think I got that from you two. So don't worry, I wont be lazy when I get home, I promise!

much love!

Feasting with my Hermanas

Hermana Green, Raul Pacheco and Hermana Pearce

Hermana Pearce & Green

Watch out Puerto Rico!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 21

Hermana Green, Bird, Santa Maria & Pearce 

Como estan ustedes? 
I hope you all have had a great week.

This week we were able to place two fechas (baptismal dates)! exciting things! woo!
Hermana Pearce and I work super hard everyday to find new people and new opportunities to share our testimony of the gospel. We can honestly look back on each day with no regrets. It's such an amazing feeling.

This last week, I finished reading the Book of Mormon for the second time in my life. The first time I read in two days when I was 13, so I will honestly say I didn't remember a ton of the stories. But reading it, almost 7 years later, it has had such a profound influence for me, especially during my mission. Everytime I read, I never wanted to stop. I can say that I have,"feasted upon the words of Christ", and it was as if the scriptures just came alive. I can testify that this book is the most correct book in this world. It is a guide for OUR DAY. It testifies that Christ lives. That he is the Savior of the world and that with these teachings, we can feel his presence and the presence of our Heavenly Father more abundantly and personally in our lives. I know this to be true. I know without any doubt in my mind, and heart that this book can and will change your life. Accept Moroni's invitation to read this book. To read it with an open heart and the Holy Ghost will testify of its truthfulness. For anyone that has doubts, or is looking for truth, start reading the Book of Mormon with a question in mind. The more specific the question, the better. Then, start to read. Listen for the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Be aware of your feelings, which could be of peace, comfort, and joy, That's the spirit speaking to you. Read the book. Open your mind and heart to it's godliness and virtue and I PROMISE you too will receive a witness. I will forever be grateful for the Book of Mormon. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week!
-Hermana Green

Snip it from Our letter:

So Hermana Pearce and I went to Leunannis house one night to see if she was home (our phone wasnt working so we just decided to take our chances and walk) and Alexis was there! (crazy bc he is always working and never there). Leunanni has started working and so it's harder to get them at a good time. But anyways, we talked to him for a bit and he let us in the house and we talked to Leunanni and we asked if we could sing, pray and share a short scripture (which I was in charge of). So we sang, and Hermana Pearce started praying. While she's praying I am PLEADING with Heavenly Father to help me know what they needed to hear. I had NO IDEA what I was going to share and I had about 30 seconds to figure it out. We had just sang,"donde hallo el solaz" or for you english learners, "where can I turn for peace", and I just got the thought," 3 Nefi 17. connect it to the hymn you just sang", and I was like, "what" but then I figured it out within the prayer. Plus I didn't have the verses specifically marked in this chapter, and I only relied on my knowledge of spanish to find the scriptures I needed to share. Thank goodness for the gift of tongues. Their family rarely has any time together, especially now that both Leunanni and Alexis work, they are constantly busy trying to provide for their cute little family. They come home exhausted, with little time to enjoy together, which breaks their hearts because their family is everything to them. So with this in mind, I introduced the chapter, about how In this moment, it's the,"behold your little ones" verses, where the Savior invites all the children to come to him and He blesses each one of them. And then it talks about how they were encircled about by fire and that angels came and attended to them. And I asked them after reading these verses,"what can we learn about the savior's love for little children?" and they answered that he loves them enough to bless "cada uno de ellos". And I said, "like these children, our Heavenly Father and Savior know each one of us." And Hermana Pearce started sharing about the concept of "One by One" and then I explained that sometimes we can also feel like we too are enciricled about by fire, and that life seems impossible to bear with its challenges at times. But we also, like this verse, have angels constantly attending to us and our needs because Heavenly Father knows and loves each one of us. They both were crying by the end of the lesson. It was so so so powerful. It was cool to see how the Spirit literally worked through hermana Pearce and I as a mouth piece.

We Shared with Kali Elder Hollands remarks from Stake Conference and the YSA Devotional: Elder Holland came from a good, but inactive family and the gospel means everything to him. He went on to say; that his decision to serve a mission changed who he is and how he lives his life, and it has become the foundation and cornerstone of his marriage, career, family and church service. Elder Holland told the YSA's that happiness is the object and design of our pursuit in this life, and it can and will be our reward if we are faithful and trust the Lord! Nephi stated; that after enduring a 1000 years of conflict, sorrow and suffering, "we lived after the manner of happiness." That did not mean they had great happiness all the time, but they sought after (their PURSUIT) those things that would bring them eternal happiness, and they NEVER gave up hope and trust in the Lord that he would deliver them into a state of eternal happiness! Elder Holland reminded us that; our pursuit requires effort on our part, it is not a free ride - "Happiness is the consequence of our effort." 

Kali's reply was," Woah. I never knew that about Elder Holland. That's really cool! It reminds me of my own experiences of serving a mission. I completely 100 percent agree with him, that happiness requires action on our part! It is all about perspective, fe and action! (spanglish is happening lol) We actually talked about this in our district meeting today. Life is full of heartbreak, but as long as we strive to keep the commandments and our convenants, Heavenly Father will ALWAYS keep his side and bless us. I love that,"Happiness is the consequence of our effort". That describes the mission right there.

I love you both,
Hermana Green

Hermana Green & Santa Maria

Hermana Green and her Companion Hermana Pearce (She's so tall)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Week 20

Buenas, family and friends,

This week has been wonderful. I have learned so much from my new companion Hermana Pearce! She is so great and is a great addition here in Ponce!

Exciting thing: I can speak and understand and read in Spanish! The gift of tongues is so so so so so real and powerful.

This week in my personal studies I was reflecting a lot on what it means to be a successful missionary. There is a talk called,"The Fourth Missionary" (i forgot who it's by, I am sorry) that I was reading and it mentions that a successful missionary is one who,"strives to be a servant of Christ, rather than be the "best" missionary". I thought that was interesting and reflected upon my own actions,desires, and thoughts and it helped me want to focus more on being a better disciple of Christ. I am not striving to be the best missionary, but I AM striving to align my will with The Lord's. To give my all everyday to this work, because it is the most important work that is taking place in this day and age. Today in our zone meeting we also talked about this, and our purpose. And at one point we were asked to take off our tag and look at it and think to ourselves who we are representing. Not only am I representing myself and my family, but I am a representative of Christ himself. I realized how important it is (missionary, non missionary, member or non-member) to be an example. 
I hope that along this journey of mine here in Puerto Rico, I can strive to become a true disciple of Christ, and that when I do come home, I can continue this same journey to become more like Him.

Sorry this is so short, 
I love you all dearly, and I am constantly filled with joy and love for each and every one of you. 

Snipit from our Letter.
Dad! Your spiritual thought lined up with things we've been teaching our investigators! I love how that works out. You know what I have learned a lot about here? That the atonement is literally the key to our salvation. It is only through the savior and his atonement that we can become more like him, changing our hearts and desires and actions, to become as he is. The atonement provides hope, and love, and all good things. I love love love the atonement.

Today we had a zone meeting, and these elders came up to me asking if I could play the piano for them for the special musical number. and i did! It was," we are as the army of helaman" and i actually could play it! I have been playing the piano a little in church but i think i might get to start playing in sacrament and relief society! How exciting! (just incase i forget, will you tell sister holbrook a huge THANKYOU for helping me learn piano?) 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Week 19

Hermana Green with her new Companion Hermana Pearce and Raul Pacheco

Happy New Year! 

I hope everyone had a safe and fun new year's. 

This week has been great. Full of finding new people to share the gospel with. 

Some highlights:
My new companion, Hermana Pearce is great. We make a good team and we work hard together. We were walking down the street this week and someone honked at us, so we turned and saw a man in a full on santa costume waving at us. Very random but it made my day hahaha. 

One of our investigators, Victoria, is a woman who is trying to give up smoking and is trying to find more happiness in her life. this week we're going to start helping her quit smoking and we're hoping she accepts a fecha. ( baptism date) 

Lately we have really been focusing on working with Gilberto to help teach his mom, Norma. She participates in all the lessons and loves when we come over. We taught her the plan of salvation yesterday and she mentioned to us how this plan of happiness has really helped her feel more calm and peaceful about her family being together for time and all eternity, and she was tearing up. We extended a fecha with her but she is a little nervous about saying yes. But she's so close and so prepared, so hopefully she will feel the spirit telling her yes!

I was reflecting a lot in this last week about this last year, and really, my entire life. Reflecting on the decisions I had made that has lead me to be here. It's so surreal, realizing that I am meant to be here to help spread the gospel. I feel so grateful everyday for this calling and this work. 
With the new year being here, I love that we can focus ourselves in becoming better. Usually everyone puts it off at the beginning of the year, but I want to challenge you all,(myself included) to remember that if you want to change your life, you don't have to wait for the beginning of a year to do it. You are in full control. What better opportunity to focus our lives on the things that mean the most, family, serving others, and refocusing our lives on the Savior.
I can promise you that by doing these things we will find so much happiness.

Love you all!
-Hermana Green

Hermana Green full of emotion cause she received Flamin Hot Cheetos for Christmas

Portrait of Hermana Green drawn by Rivera Caliz a member of the Ponce Ward

Sylvia One of Hermana Greens Favorite Members