Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 40

Hermana Zimmerman, Green & Medina.
Buenas a todos!

Spiritual experiences.... So we were contacting last week in this area called Betances, its SUPER big and we were in the middle of it.  All of a sudden, it starts POURING rain and we didn't think at all that it was going to rain that day because it was so hot (welcome to puerto rico).  So we were contacting in the pouring rain and having a good ol' time and after about an hour we were having no success, well that whole time really, until we hit this one street we had never been on and decided to take a look.  Most people here hate the rain and will not come out of their houses when its raining, so contacting in the rain is sometimes very difficult.  However, we knew that someone was going to let us in, so we kept on pushing forward.  We yelled at this one house and no answer, but we heard a woman yell, "no one lives there!"  So we moved forward and thought to ourselves, "no one lives there but you live right next to this empty house, so we're going to talk to you."  As we got to her house she goes, "hey, are you missionaries?" and we said yes, and she goes, "come in, come in!" and Hermana Zimmerman and I look at each other in shock and we walked into her house.  It turns out that this woman is a less active who got baptized in the Domincan Republic.  Her kids got baptized too, but her husband belongs to an Adventist Congregation, for the last 38 years.  We got into talking with her and asked if we could sing her a song.  As we sang "Hark All Ye Nations", she started crying.  After the song she told us how appreciative she was and how much she needed it.  At the end of our spiritual thought, she left the room for a second, and brought us back a papaya!  It was really, really amazing to see how when we keep the faith, the Lord will always bless us (not with the papaya, but with the less active who was just so cute, but a papaya is a cool blessing too! haha.)

Investigators....Ivette and Nicole: so.... we aren't really sure what happened, but they kind of dropped us last week.  For the last three weeks they had cancelled on all of our scheduled lessons with them, and Ivette was always hesitant on having us come by to try and see them on a different day of the week, and they didn't come to church yesterday.  We are pretty sad about it all, it's just all so confusing.  So we are going to give them there space for a couple of weeks and see if things get better.  Leeandra....she's great!  She's finally keeping her commitments and reading the Book of Mormon.  Her boyfriend is willing to get married to her so she will be able to get baptized (and to be married to her of course).  She told us that she wants to get baptized so she can be clean, and learn more about God, so that was really cool.

Okay, funny story Hermana Zimmerman and I were talking last week about how our parents met and I remembered that this week was your Anniversary and I am stoked that I remembered!  So in honor of your Anniversary, I am going to sing (well type) the annual tradition anniversary song.  Ahem, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HAAAAAPPY ANNIVERSARY, HAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPYHAPPY, you're welcome. HAHA

Today we had a district activity and it was SO FUN.  We went to these caves in Cabo Rojo (not in our area of cabo rojo though) and it was SO COOL!  You know the entrance into Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland where you're in the caves?  That was literally what it was like, with real bats though - ON MY GOSH!!  I felt like we were in a real life Indiana Jones adventure, a.k.a. my dream, it was so cool!!!

The Hermana's in my District.  Rodriguez, Medina, Zimmerman and Green.
Our District at the Cabo Rojo Caves.
Our District.
My Companion Hermana Zimmerman.
Cabo Rojo Caves (Indiana Jones for sure)

Dad, thank you for the lovely comments in your spiritual thought and for the scriptures. This week I have discovered I think my all time favorite scripture, that describes perfectly how I feel as a missionary. It is found in Alma 29:9-10, "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not  glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. And behold, when I see many of my brethern truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my souI filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."  I really, really, really love being a missionary.  I am grateful for all of you and for my dear family. 

Have a wonderful week. Love always,

Hermana Green

Beautiful Puerto Rico!!!!
Hermana Zimmerman made me pancakes to celebrate my 9 months of service.  She is so cute!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 39

Loving my P-day in Rincon.
Dearest Family, all good in the hood!

Man this week was chalk full of spiritual experiences. So I'll talk a little bit more about this later on, but after President came and told me the news about Grandpa passing, we went home and ate lunch, did our studies, then went out and got to work.  The best recipe for anything is service!  All of Tuesday was just incredible because I was amazed again and again about how mindful Heavenly Father is of each of His children, and wants us to know that.  On Tuesday, as we were working, people just seemed... nicer to us.  It was weird, haha!  Like usually when we want to cross the street people glare at us or look angry, but on Tuesday, people were willingly letting us go first with a smile on their face, people were actually responding to us when we would say hi, and at one point, I had a lot on my mind and just kinda started to cry a little bit on the side of the road.  Hermana Zimmerman started hugging me and we stood there for 5 seconds when we heard someone yell, "Hermanas!" we turned, and it was one of our investigators Shalimar.  She called us over to ask if we were okay and we got to bear our testimonies on the Plan of Salvation with her after I told her the news about Grandpa.  We only talked to her for a couple minutes then kept walking because she was at work.  But then we walked for maybe another 30 seconds and we hear a car honk and hear, "Hermanas adonde van?" (where are you going) I turned, and it was Hermana Luz, the Bishop's wife, asking if we wanted a ride. I started crying tears of joy because of all these little blessings I had been given from Heavenly Father to comfort us, and make my day a little brighter.  It is a day I will never forget!!

Ivette and Nicole: they keep attending church and activities and mutual and all that jazz, but we didn't get to see them last week because we feel like they don't want us over.... we asked them if we could come by a couple times this week and they said only once, and that we would see them at church.. ): we have a cita (appointment) with them on Thursday though, so we are going to try and help them keep all their commitments to make sure they are growing their testimony.

Leeandra: she's been super sick all week, so we didn't get to see her either. ):

Ariana and her sister: they are new investigators who we met this week!  They are 16 and 15 and were taught by elders 2 years ago.  They went to church and took the lessons for like 5 months and they were really happy when we passed by.  They have a Book of Mormon and we invited them to read the intro.  We are going to see them tonight and we are so, so, so excited!  We are going to try and place a fecha (baptism date) with them tonight!!!

How sweet is Clark Matthews, he is the best.  How wonderful that he gave Aunt Gayle his Eagle Scout Mentor pin in honor of Uncle Bob helping him get through Scouts.  I was praying a lot for our family this week.  I am so grateful for the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation because without it, being away from family during a family death would have been a lot harder.  But, instead of dwelling on the sadness of a situation like this, I decided that I would pray extra hard for experiences to share my testimony on the Plan of Salvation for someone that needs to know these things, and that happened so many times this week!!   I am grateful for the peace this plan brings us all in times like these.  I am grateful for the chance Grandpa has to learn about the gospel and accept it, and I have no doubt that he will accept it.  I know he is watching over me now along with Nena and Uncle Bob, (and Saphire, just like Jade mentioned).  I love my family so much, and I am grateful for this trial that has strengthened me and that will help strengthen others.  My Grandpa was a wonderful man who has forever made a mark in my life.  He was the one who taught me how to tie my shoes.  I remember how he did it too.  He got a pole, and a piece of ribbon, and taught me how and kept helping me until I got it.  I remember playing croquet in Grandma and Grandpa's backyard and every Christmas when he would use his special knife to open the presents that I couldn't open.  His work ethic was incredible and made an everlasting impression upon me.  I love him so much and I am so grateful that families can be together forever.

This Wednesday I'll have 9 months in the mission. That is so beyond crazy to me!  Time has flown by,  and it feels like it's only getting faster.  I am so grateful for these last nine months, because they have changed my life.  I am so grateful that I get to be here, as a missionary and that I have 9 more months to share my testimony and to serve the people of Puerto Rico, while becoming the person Heavenly Father knows I can become.  I am grateful for the person He has helped me become thus far and I know it wouldn't have been possible without my mission.  I love, love, love the mission.  I love what I am doing.  I am so happy here.  Yes, there are hard days, but it doesn't matter.  The good far outweighs the bad by a long shot.  I am grateful for the gospel and the joy it has brought to my life.  How grateful I am to belong to an eternal family that is also enjoying the strength and comfort of the gospel.  I am grateful that every day I get to share this comfort and knowledge with all who is willing to hear.  I love this work.  It is the most important work that is happening right now on this earth!!  This gospel has been restored because God loves us and wants us to be happy, eternally, with our families.  I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who paid the price for all of us so we can become clean and free from pain and sin.  He is the Great Mediator, and as we choose everyday to follow Him and His example, we will be so much happier than we would have ever imagined.  I am honored that I get to wear His name and my family name on my plaque everyday.  I know this gospel is true with all of my heart.

I am grateful for all those who have supported me in this calling and for those that continue to strengthen me.

I love you all,
Hermana Green.

Me and Hermana Zimmerman at our All Sister Activity.

Hermana Green & Hermana Josie.

I love Rincon, Puerto Rico!

Hermana Green & Zimmerman

Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 38

Reunited with Hermana Josie On Intercambios.

Happy Day after Mother's Day! 

There are no words in the English or Spanish vocabulary that describes the joy I had talking to you all yesterday. It made my heart really happy. Las Familias pueden ser eternas.

Spiritual experiences: So, I went on intercambios this week with Hermana Josie (#teamjeenbackagain) and we were going to visit this one investigators house in Hermana Josie's area in Mayaguez.  She wasn't there, so Hermana Josie decided that we should go check up on this less active mother with two kids.  We went and she was home, and when we came, she was in tears.  She and her boyfriend had been fighting and I guess things didn't turn out too well.  We shared a song and a little spiritual thought found in Mosiah 24, where the Lord visits Alma and his people in their trials and comforts them, and gives them the strength to carry the burdens "happily and with ease."  After the lesson she told us that every time her and her boyfriend have a fight, the missionaries always end up coming to her house unnanounced.  She realized that it was a sign that God loves her and is mindful of her and her needs.  It was quite beautiful seeing how it all turned out.

Intercambios with Hermana Josie, Zimmerman, Green.

Enjoying Lunch with Hermana Josie.

Investigadores: Bueno we have Ivette and Nicole and we had a lesson with them on Friday and we were able to set a fecha with Ivette for the 27th!  She was still hesitant and we asked what was impeding her from being baptized.  She said she still hasn't felt that she had received an answer to be baptized, but she knows everything is true.  So we asked her if she had asked Heavenly Father what He thinks, and she said no, and we explained that an answer will never come if we sit around and wait for it.  We must act and do our part, and only after that will Heavenly Father give us an answer in His time.  She agreed and wants to work toward this goal.  We are excited for her and Nicole.  Nicole was very supportive and knows that they will both get baptized.

Leeandrea Kuhns, we placed a fecha for the 10th of June with her this week!  She has a desire to be baptized, but we have to help her dejar de fumar (stop smoking), beber (drink liquor), and get married to her boyfriend.  I know It sounds like a lot of work to do by the 10th, and it is, but with the Lord's help anything is impossible!!!

I thanked Obispo Cruz for allowing me to skype from his house many many many times.  But don't worry, we'll plan on saying it more haha.  He told me yesterday he watched the video of me opening my call and my video of me waiting for my call rolling on the ground on the street and called me crazy, hahaha!!

In my personal study this morning I came across a quote I really like from our dear Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He says; "The Saviors example provides a framework for everything that we do, and His words provide an unfailing guide. His path will take us safely home."  I loved the simplicity of this concept.  As a missionary we are literal representatives of the Savior.  We are to learn of Him, and become more like Him, but this isn't just for full-time missionaries, this should be applied to all!  Anyone who is looking for a change in their life, come to know the Savior by reading the scriptures and I promise you, that if you pray and ask to become more like Him, you will see changes you never thought were possible happen right before your eyes.

I am also so grateful for the technology that makes it possible for me to be able to talk to my family, regardless of where I am in the world.  I am most grateful for my Mother.  She is a beacon of light in my life and I am grateful for her example of Christ-like love and service to me and others in her life.  She is my best friend.  She is absolutely amazing and I am so grateful everyday that I am apart of this family.  I don't know how I got so lucky to end up in this family, you are my biggest blessing, and my pride and joy. I love you all. 

-Hermana Green

ps. I love all the pictures from yesterday. MOM  you look so good and beautiful. 

Hermana Jose and I found a Shopping Cart so we took funny Pictures. Unfortunately I got Stuck!

Hermana Zimmerman and I anxiously waiting to Skype our Families.
Waiting PATIENTLY to Mom and have my Mother's Day question/story list !

Friday, May 12, 2017

Week 37

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are no words to express my excitement when I get to talk to you on p-days!! So I just put exclamation marks! I love you Mom and Dad!

Spiritual experiences... Well, this transfer, our mission has a goal of getting 50 baptisms. Elder Andersen had us make a goal for 40 last month, and 50 for May. Now these are some pretty hefty goals considering our mission isn't known for being a baptizing mission (yet.) So we have had to work SUPER hard. Last month we got 32 and we were so close to 40! But I know without a doubt that the Lord wants at least 50 this month. Never in my entire life have I ever wanted to accomplish this goal, and I can feel how close we are. I know that this is a big goal but I know that through our faith and trust in the Lord, and working super hard everyday, we will see that. We did a fast for these 50 baptism this last Sunday and it is thrilling being able to share the faith with an island of missionaries to help make history here in Puerto Rico. It hasn't been done yet, but I KNOW we can get there. We also have a zone goal of 27 baptisms and a district goal of 10 to help us buckle down and do our part of the 50. So, we have to work SO hard, but I have felt time and time again the Spirit confirming that not only is this what the Lord wants and needs, but how close we are. In times of discouragement I have felt that comfort and know that this goal is of God.

Investigators: so we are constantly finding and dropping because Hermana Boucher (Mission Presidents Wife) in our zone conference talked about finding those that are truly, "seekers of truth" and those who aren't. That is basically what we have to do, in order to find those who are prepared. So that means a lot of contacting and a lot of rejection and a lot of miracles!  As of right now we have Ivette and Nicole, and Leeandra, an investigator of Hermana Cortes and Hermana Antonio.

Ivette and Nicole: we had a lesson with them on Saturday and had this lesson PERFECTLY planned, and we even got Alex to come with us. We had it planned to talk with them about what our purpose is on earth and what we have to do in order to obtain eternal life and the blessings of the Celestial Kingdom. While in the lesson, it was super hard to keep the topic on track because Alex and Ivette and Nicole were getting distracted and it was hard to maintain the spirit of the lesson. We didn't feel the Spirit prompt us to invite them to be baptized, so after the lesson we were pretty discouraged. They didn't go to church yesterday so we were even more discouraged. I was just wanting to burst into tears because I was so stuck on how to help them. We decided to pass by just to say hello because we were contacting by their house. To our surprise, they let us in, (they don't like when we randomly show up without calling so for them to let us in was a miracle in itself) and we just stayed for 10 minutes, and while we were there Nicole says, "Hey! I have a question. So what happens after I get baptized?" We were shocked. But we ended up telling them about how they only have one lesson left before they are able to get baptized, (there's this thing called Mind the Gap where it shows the investigators what they need to learn and commit to before they are baptized and it helps them see how prepared they are) and we showed them on their Mind the Gap and pointed out that they only had a lesson left. Then we kinda explained about how baptism works and how the thing that changes after baptism is that they have the Holy Ghost and that they would keep going to church and keep learning. Nicole says, "Oh, okay, well mom, if you want to get baptized then you can get baptized and when I am ready I'll get baptized after you, because we need to look for God."  We were so shocked! But we are so, so, so, so BEYOND excited because they mentioned baptism before we did!  We have an appointment on Friday and we are going to invite them to be baptized on the 27th! 

Leeandra: she has a lot going on in her life and we were able to get to know her more. We read her a scripture in the Book of Mormon and gave her one to read, and she said she wanted to go to church (she went once) and Sunday morning came and we went with a member to go pick her up and she wasn't there. :\

Random things: there are FIREFLIES HERE! I have never seen fireflies in real life and they are everywhere and it is so magical. I feel like I am in Princess and The Frog in Puerto Rico, Lol.  Some of my girl mission friends and old companions have discovered that I am in the embark video and have watched it and I am still just as embarrassed now as I was then, hahahaha.

I have made a list of things to share with you when we Skype on Mothers Day!  I am excited to share all these funny stories. And for you to meet Obispo. I love him so much. So we have two elders in our ward now, and four out of the five companionship's in my district are all training, craziness.  At our correlation meeting the missionaries have with Obispo, he told us how we are like his kids. We have a great relationship with him. 

I am SO excited to see you both and Tubba and Cam and the girls this Sunday! Seriously SO STOKED! I am grateful for all of my experiences on the mission and I love that I am constantly being challenged to become something more, to challenge myself more, to be a better Disciple of Christ and to constantly improve myself. I have a lot of weaknesses but I know that my weak things can become stronger, and that one day I will be perfected in Christ like Moroni talks about in the end of the Book of Mormon. I love you all.

-Hermana Green

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Week 36

Hermana Cortes is Going Home.  Last Sunday Serving Together.
Hermana's Forever


Wow, okay I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission on Saturday.  So this last month of April, the mission had a goal to get 40 baptisms, and our zone set the goal of 22.  We were working really, really, hard as a zone and mission to get these baptisms.  It was Saturday afternoon, we had just finished doing a service project and were eating lunch when we got a call from the Hermanas Entrenadoras/Trainers (Hermana Josie and Hermana Larsen), they told us they had been thinking about all the investigators they knew about in our zone who they felt could be ready to be baptized the very last day of April, and they thought of Ivette and Nicole.  They then asked us if we thought they could be baptized the next day.  I was taken by surprise but we told them we would pray about it and tell them what answer we received.  Hermana Zimmerman and I prayed, and after we were done, we just both started crying.  My heart was POUNDING out of my chest and I immediately knew that this was a strong confirmation from the Spirit saying that they are prepared and ready to be baptized.  We decided to walk over to their house, there was a thunderstorm going on and we were walking right into it.  We got to their house, not knowing if they'd be there or not.  They were there, but Ivette felt super sick and we practically begged her to see if we could share this experience with them and invite them to be baptized, but she felt super sick, so we couldn't.  Normally, after a situation like this, I would've cried and been very disappointed.  But, one of the biggest things I have learned this last transfer is how to handle adversities and Heavenly Father's timing with a smile, and with faith.  We followed one of the biggest promptings we had ever received, and even though it didn't have the result we wanted, I still felt successful knowing that we followed the Spirit.

We were going to teach Cindy last Friday, but she wasn't at home, so we thought she was probably in the plaza.  So we walked to the plaza and she was there!  She was talking to these three people from New York, and we stood there talking about the Church for almost 45 minutes.  I immediately bonded with one of the ladies named Maria.  She was super nice.  We were about to leave, and I saw she had a tattoo of a semicolon on her body.  I immediately knew what that tattoo meant (Side note:  A couple years ago there was a message that went around in social media saying that those who had been affected by any mental illness would write a little semicolon on their wrist, I recognized that, and she had the semicolon tattooed on her wrist and shoulder).  So I said, "Your tattoo is a semicolon, right?  I know what that means, Stay strong.”  She started crying, and asked how I knew what it meant.  I told her that I have dealt with anxieties before as well, and that I had to learn to overcome it.  She then asked, "how did you overcome it?" and I answered, with tears in my eyes, and bore my testimony of Jesus Christ and His Atonement and the wonderful Plan of Salvation.  So by chance, I just happened to have an English folleto/pamphlet of the Plan of Salvation in my bag, and I gave it to her.  She gave me this HUGE hug and had me write down my email and my name so we could stay in contact.  Once we were about to leave she said, "I am never going to forget you, you are amazing, thanks for what you're doing."  It's miracles like these that help me recognize, that everyone needs to know they are loved, and a child of God.

Ivette and Nicole: Nicole went to a youth activity for the church on Friday and really liked it!  They came to church and we are going to see them this Thursday and invite them to be baptized.  Woo, I’m so excited to share our amazing Spiritual experience with them!

Thomas and Claribelle Ruiz: We met Thomas (a father) and his Mom, last week contacting this one street by our house.  He had been taught by missionaries before in Wisconsin.  He loves the Joseph Smith Story and we had a lesson with him and his Mom on Saturday night.  We could tell that they were prepared, so we invited them to be baptized.  They want to be baptized but they want to check and see if they can do it on the 20th of May.  Thomas right after asks, " Is it okay if I fast about it to get my answer from God?" and I was so shocked but said, " Of course!"  We're excited to see where this leads.

Zone conference last week was AMAZING.  It was so, so, so, incredible.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I sang a solo and it went well!  I sang, "Yo se que me ama al Salvador". ( I Know My Father Lives)  It's really pretty, and a primary song!  I'll sing it for you when we skype on Mother’s day.  TWO WEEKS WOOOOO! We are skyping at Obispo's house and I am so STOKED for you to talk to him.  He is hilarious and helps us a lot. 

Zone Conference in Ponce my First Area
Reunion with Hermana Josie
Reunion With Hermana Pearce
Reunion with Hermana Holton Waters & Guevara

I GOT YOUR HAND WRITTEN LETTER MOM IN THE MAIL AND I LOVED IT!  9 pages, wow I am impressed!  It seriously made my week.  It came exactly when I needed it and it was absolutely perfect.  I just love you, mom. Your letter meant the world to me. Hermana Zimmerman and I loved the cute colored hearts you sent in the letter. 


Celebrating 8 months of Service!

TRANSFERS ARE TOMORROW! I am staying with Hermana Zimmerman in Cabo Rojo and Hermana Antonio is LEAVING AND WE ARE SO SAD!!   She is going to Carolina, in a trio.  Hermana Cortes is done with her mission and goes home this week.  This little house of four has become some of my best friends, and what is so hard about the mission, you make these amazing Amistades with people from different countries, but then you never know when you're going to see them again, but I know that they are meant to be in my life forever.  I love them so much.

Wow, Dad I am tearing up just reading your Spiritual thought and the amazing updates about Neno, and the Spiritual experiences (tender mercies of the Lord) you all have had.  I am grateful that the video my investigator sent of me singing in one of our lessons was able to help Neno and Mom when they were feeling down.  I love being part of the Green/Gubernick family, and take great joy that I am sealed to this crazy, loving family of ours for all eternity.  I know the Lord is watching over Neno and our family, and that brings me great peace and comfort. 

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who watches over us all.  I am grateful for the love I have felt from family and friends these past eight months.  I love this Gospel and know it's true without a shadow of a doubt. 

Till next week,
Hermana Green

I Love this Place!

Faro Los Morrillos de Cabo Rojo