Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Week 44

Intercambios with Hermana Zimmerman, Josie & Post


Well, I forgot to tell you last week that Hermana Post (my new companion) is from Safford, Arizona!  She only has a month on her mission, and is still in her training period.  We get along great and have lots of fun, but we work very hard as well.

Spiritual experience:  We were with Mayra and Anjomil last week, and she shared with us how we helped her decide to really ask God, if she should get baptized and she said she felt a lot of peace and just knew that she needed to be baptized. I am so grateful for the blessings of the Spirit and that we could be an instrumnet in the Lord's hand to bring them some joy, this made my heart happy!!!!

Nicole: She is kinda stuck in a rut right now.  She doesn't really have the desire to act. She knows everything is true, but right now she doesn't really have a desire to be baptized.
Mayra and Anjomil:  THEY'RE GETTING BAPTIZED THIS WEEKEND! The thing is, I don't really count them as "our investigators" because really, Elder Bradford and Elder Murillo taught them everything. Then transfers happened, they moved to Cabo Rojo 2, and so they became our investigators by default.  We taught them a couple of times and they're getting baptized!  So it's like shared converts, haha!  We are SO excited because they are so adorable and nice and they said we have helped them a lot, which makes me happy :)!  OKAY cute thing about Anjomil, he's 9.  After our first lesson, he riped out a ton of flowers and weeds from their yard and handed them to us, and I told him that I felt like a princess.  Ever since then, he's ripped out flowers and weeds after every lesson, because he, "likes that we feel like princesses".  HE IS THE CUTEST!!

Flowers from Anjomil!

Vilma:  So Hermana Zimmerman and I met a woman named Vilma a couple weeks before the transfer ended. Turns out she had been taught by Hermana Pichiule (one of my old companions) before!  She let us inside her house right away and we were able to teach her a little bit.  Everything was perfect until she told us she was moving.  A week later, she drove past us in the plaza and yelled, "HEY I MOVED COME VISIT ME, HERES MY ADDRESS",  it was so quick I didn't get the full address down.  So that was about 3 weeks ago, then we saw her again, she said the same thing. I got her number that time and we were able to get ahold of her last night and got her address and a return date to visit her!  So, we are excited about that!!
Leeandra:  We found her again, it was a miracle!!  We had been walking up to her house and she pulled up in a car and got out, the timing was perfect.  We talked to her and helped her carry some crab traps her and her boyfriend made into their house, and we were able to find a teenage girl (we actually prayed to find a joven that day and bam, there she was!), her name is Daimaryis.  Daimaryis, and Leeandra will both be taught tonight, at Leeandras house!  Fun Stuff!!!

To answer your question, Is it just as much work taking care of your new converts as it is teaching them and getting them baptized?  There is a lot less stress, but it is still a lot of work because once they're baptized it doesn't just stop. You have to reteach them all the lessons, AND 5 other lessons on the laws and ordinances of the church, and about temples an garments an family history, and all that jazz. It's hard to remember sometimes, haha, but it's great!!  We are going to have 8 recent converts after this weekend - go cabo rojo!!   What is the Prominent religion? CATOLICA - Catholic.  In every plaza in all of Puerto Rico, there is a GIANT Catholic Church, there are also a lot of Pentacostal Churches, but its mainly Catholic. 

To answewr your question, why last week was a tad rough?  To be honest, I can't even remember what all happened last week, haha!  We were so busy, but just haven't been able to find a lot of people with potential to teach, and that is nervewracking a little bit, but it's okay!  There are miracles happening in good ol' Cabo Rojo, and a ton more waiting to happen and we are grateful for that!! :)  Right now my focus is just getting Hermana Post used to the lessons and learning spanish, working hard, and finding more people to teach.

This week we have zone conference to say goodbye to President and Sister Boucher. They are so, so, so important to me and have done so much for this Mission, and me personally.  It is sad to say goodbye, but I am excited to meet our new Mission Presidents, the Smarts!

Hey random thoughts:  Hermana Post and I saved an iguana from a fence. Well, kind of... we watched a man save an iguana from a fence, haha!!!  Hermana Josie and Santos came to do intercambios with the other sisters so for a night it was a house of 6 and it was great fun.

Dad, I want you to know I really appreciate you, your spiritual thoughts you put into my emails, and for raising me the way you and mom did. :) 

I have 10 months in the mission now, Double-digits, WOW!!  Never thought this day would come, but it did!  I am forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me this opportunity to serve the people in here in Puerto Rico.  I love, love, love the mission.  It is crazy how much you learn about the gospel, about yourself, and about the things that truly matter in life.  I know that this gospel is true without a shadow of a doubt.  It doesn't matter if there are hard days, if people don't want to listen, if we are made fun of, etc.  What matters is that I am a servant of the Lord and I have no problem sharing what I know is true!  I am seeing blessings everyday of my mission and I am humbled and grateful for the many miracles that I continue to see.  I love wearing this name tag and I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to serve everyday. 

Thank you for all your prayers!  You are always in my heart,

Hermana Green

Hermana Green & Post.

Hermana Green, Josie, Santos, Post, Zimmerman and Hermana?

Hermana Zimmerman, Josie, Green & Post.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 43

My new Sweet Companion Hermana Post.

Hola Family & Friends,

My new companion. Hermana Post is so great!!  She's from Arizona and is so so awesome.  She is 20, almost 21 and is so fun to be around!  Living with us is Hermana Zimmerman and her new comp, Hermana Theline (pronounced tuh-leen) she is HILARIOUS.  And our house of four is killing my abs with laughter haha.  We have the best of times.  I have figured out that all three of them remind me of three very good friends of mine so that's really fun.

Spiritual experiences: So we were looking for this one less active lady who has 6 kids (all not baptized, but they all want to be baptized!) who the elders were visiting.  So we were walking to find her street and we saw to our right, two older women, so we decided to go talk to them before we went to try and find this less active lady's house.  We started talking and it turned out to be the mom of the less active lady - what, It was crazy!! Then, the less active lady comes and joins us with three of her daughters and it was so cool!  We shared our testimonies about how families can be together forever and sang the primary song, "Families Can Be Together Forever" and testified of the gospel and it was so cool seeing them all feel the Spirit.   After we ended our little chat and got a return date to visit Yahira (the less active lady) and her family, I overheard them as we were walking away say, "wow. that was a sign from God."  I was happy once again to witness another miracle from the Lord! 

Nicole: after she said last week she wants to be baptized, we are still trying to figure out what is impeding her from actually committing to a date to be baptized.  We are hoping to get a fecha (baptism date) with her this week, I will keep you posted.  Please continue to pray for her!

Leeandra: she is ignoring us ):, so we are going to drop her for a couple days to give her some space.  We are not really sure why this is happening, but we aren't too worried.  We feel strongly that all will work out!

Mayra y Anjomil: they are SO CUTE and perfect.  They were the Elder's old investigators who have a fecha (baptism date) for June 30th.  We are trying to help Mayra recognize answers to her prayers so she feels good about being baptized. We are going to see them tomorrow

Can you in your next package please send me a pink CTR ring for Alex's daughter Lexi? (we've become best friends with her). 

So, yesterday was Father's Day, I am so so grateful for my father.  My Dad is just the best!  There is no other way of putting it.  Ever since I was little, I have always looked up to my Dad as one of my greatest heroes.  He is such an incredible example of being a disciple of Christ and is one of the most hardworking, generous, and service-oriented people I know.  He is constantly thinking about others and seeing that over the years has always had an impression on me.  He has taught me some of life's greatest lessons and is constantly building me up, helping me achieve, "anything I put my mind to."  Despite the trials he's faced, he doesn't let them get in the way of his happiness as a road block.  He has taught me so many things, the list goes on and on.  But I am so grateful that he is my Dad, because no one else could ever fill that role.  I love you so much, Dad.  Thank you for everything and thank you for being you!! 

Have a wonderful week, and someone please give my Dad (and Mom) a hug from me! 

Love, Hermana Green

Picking Up Hermana Post from the Mission Home and got to see Hermana Josie.
At Church with Waddy & Hermana Post.

Our Ward had a Surprise Fathers Day Luncheon.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 42

Hermana Green, Ivette & Hermana Zimmerman. So Proud of Ivette for entering the waters of Baptism.

Hola family and friends!

HEY, THIS WAS, PROBABLY THE BEST WEEK OF MY MISSION!  Sorry for the all caps I am just PUMPED to write you today!

Ivette and Nicole: I’ll tell you towards the end of the letter… :)
Leandra: We had a hard time trying to see her this week, but we have a cita (appointment) with her this Wednesday!
Joaquin: JOAQUIN I love this man.  He is a very humble man who has so much potential!  He is an older gent, but a great man.  We had a lesson with him and he loves reading the Book of Mormon and is excited to talk about it with us tomorrow!
Maria: We had a lesson with her and she almost came to church, but she didn’t feel ready yet.  She's already feeling the Spirit and she told us that she knew that God sent us.  We are excited to see where this all leads with her.  Her son, Jabdriel, is almost 2 and he's adopted!  She told me that when I mentioned to her that I was adopted, and that was a confirmation for her that she was doing the right thing as a Mother, and that this wasn't coincidence that we met.

TRANSFERS: TRANSFER CALLS WERE CRAZY!  Hermana Zimmerman and I are staying, in a way... she is getting moved to the other Ward and area in Cabo Rojo with a new companion. The Elders that were in our Ward are ALSO moving to the other Cabo Rojo Ward.  I am staying in Cabo Rojo, the same Ward, AND I AM TRAINING AGAIN.  I almost had a heart attack when I heard that ha-ha!!!!  And what makes it even more crazy is, there are only 4 Sister Missionaries coming in this new transfer, and the Lord has decided to have me be a trainer once again.  I am very, very, amazed, but humbled and grateful for the opportunity to help other Missionaries discover our purpose as the Lord's servants.  I am so, so, so, excited!!  Tomorrow I will go drive across the island once again to meet my new companion and have a little training meeting with President Boucher right before.  House of 4 again woo, woo!!!

Zone conference was amazing last week, as always.  We actually had to change from "Armies of Helaman to "Choose the Right" and it sounded really good, I think!

We witnessed several miracles and tender mercies from the Lord, that reassured us that He was aware of us and was taking care of us.  So, this all starts last Tuesday.  We had a cita (appointment) with Ivette and Nicole, and the Spirit was SO strong.  It hadn't been that strong in so long.  In the last Zone Conference, the AP's taught us about how the Spirit will tell you when the moment is right to invite someone to be baptized.  We had fasted the week before that Ivette and Nicole would recognize and have a desire to be baptized and keep their commitments (praying together, reading the Book of Mormon, etc.).  They told us that they had been doing those things and everything just clicked for them and we had no doubts that they were prepared.  I was honestly a bit scared to invite them to be baptized because each time we tried in the past, it hadn't ended to well.  At the end of the lesson, we asked them to pray and ask Heavenly Father if they should get baptized this week.  I asked them, "if you receive an answer, will you prepare to be baptized this Sunday?" and they both agreed - MIRACLE #1.

Wednesday, we decided that we needed to fast to really show Heavenly Father that we had the faith that Ivette and Nicole could be baptized.  So, we started our fast on Wednesday afternoon. We were contacting in this neighborhood far away.  We sat down for a second to drink some water, because it was super-hot.  I drank the little water I had left, I was out of water.  I shook my water bottle and said to Hermana Zimmerman, "I am out" she had finished hers too, so we were hot and thirsty and had no water.  RIGHT AT THAT MOMENT, a truck pulls up right next to us, rolls down the window, and a man hands us two FREEZING cold water bottles, and drives away - MIRACLE #2.

I was BLOWN away, that precisely when we needed some water, it was provided for us!!  Later that day, I noticed that my bag was a little heavier than normal.  I look in my bag, to discover that I had Ivette's Book of Mormon in my bag.  I have NO idea how it got in there.  Seriously, I am so baffeled.  So, we went to their house to go drop it off before we went to our Correlation Meeting.  We only had about 10 minutes so we couldn't teach a lesson. They invited us in and Nicole runs to the other room and yells, "wait right there, don’t leave yet!"  She comes back with two little bags with earrings, lipstick, and Chapstick as a, thank you for all we have done, and she hoped that we wouldn’t be transferred and leave.  Hermana Zimmerman and I were so shocked it was so cute!  After we thanked them and gave them hugs, we invited them to the FHE we were going to have the next night at Hermano Valverde's house with all the recent converts and George, the man who had a baptism planned that Friday, and a couple other members from our Ward.  They agreed to go and asked us to come by so we could all go together - MIRACLE #3.

At Correlation Meeting that night, it was Bishop, us, the Elders, (and actually Elder Willes, our District Leader, was doing intercambios with Elder Bradford, so he was there too).  Hermano Irizarry our Ward Mission Leader, and Hermano Rivera were all there talking about George's baptism and planning it all.  It was set in stone with speakers and everything.  We mentioned to Bishop that we might be having two baptisms on Sunday.  They talked about how Sunday might not be the best day, and I got a little sad. Then, Bishop says, "why not have them baptized on Friday?   We are already having George’s baptism so why not?  We all kind of laughed about it because of how crazy it sounded, and then we all kind of realized how genius it was.  I, personally, was like, "okay yeah, great idea, but how the heck is Ivette and Nicole going to agree to this?  They already were hesitant on SUNDAY let alone telling them that they have less than 24 hours to receive a confirmation and then have the baptismal interview?"  I was nervous to talk to them, but we all decided we would pray about it.  Hermana Zimmerman and I were talking about how great that would be, and that we would go a little early to Ivette and Nicole's house before the FHE and talk to them about it.
Hermano Irizarry(Ward Mission Leader) Hermana Green & Zimmerman
Thursday, we ended our fast, and the time came to go to Ivette and Nicole's house to pick them up for FHE and to present this idea of them about getting baptized on Friday.  In my head, I had no idea how to smoothly ask them so we kind of just went for it and asked, "hey, Ivette so have you been praying to receive an answer?" and she said, "yes... I had a dream last night. You guys left the house last night, and Nicole and I were just so happy to see you, we were so happy.  In the dream, I was talking to someone, I couldn't see who, but I asked, "is this God, and should I get baptized? is this what you want me to do?" and she said the answer was, YES, you have nothing to lose!"  So, you can imagine my face when she said that.  So, then we told her about our idea we had... and I said, "so... would you like to be baptized tomorrow night?"  She looked at me with a smile on her face, and said, "That could work, YES."  I LOST IT.   I cannot describe the joy that I felt in that moment. Nicole and Ivette hugged, and told each other how much they loved each other.  Hermana Zimmerman hugged Ivette, and I just dropped to the ground and started crying happy tears.  It was happening.  Somehow our crazy idea happened to work out - MIRACLE #4.

We headed over to the FHE and told the Elders, they were super happy too!  Cindy, Waddy, Mayda, us, the Elders, George, Ivette, and Nicole and the Valverdes all were there.  We watched “Only a Stonecutter" video and ended up talking about Temples.  Hermano Valverde asked me to share an experience about a Temple and someone had mentioned the LA temple.  I explained that that's where I had the privilege of getting sealed to my family and how it will always have a special place in my heart. After I shared my thought, Hermano Valverde says, "I always love hearing what Hermana Green has to say.  She has such a strong testimony."  I started tearing up again.  George and Ivette shared their conversion stories.  Ivette explained her dream, and her answer she got, and opened up about the death of her husband and how right before he died, he said to her, "you need to look for God."  She started crying about how she had been through so much pain but that she finally received her answer, and she turned and said to me, "thank you" and when she was done, she just came and hugged me, and was bawling.  I cried again.  After FHE, Elder Willes gave Ivette the baptismal interview and she passed! - MIRACLE #5.  IT was official. She was going to get baptized!!!

Family Home Evening with The Valverdes, Ivette, Nicole and Hermana Green & Zimmerman.
FHE The Valverdes, Ivette, Nicole, Elder Willes & Bradford, Hermana Zimmerman & Green.
Mayda, Waddy and Hermana Green.
Friday, we had Zone Conference, and we got to the Church to start making programs and preparing everything and Jose, one of the Elder's investigators (who actually was taught originally by Hermana Antonio y Cortes before they left) came.  The elders had been trying to help him see how prepared he was, but he never could commit to a date. He was talking to Bishop, and Bishop pulled me aside and told me how he was talking with Jose, saying that he could get baptized too, and Jose said, YES AND WANTED TO TELL THE ELDERS THAT HE GOT AN ANSWER.  Right at that moment, the Elders came with George and Hermano Valverde and we ran to the car telling them the news.  Once again, Elder Willes RAN to the Church and gave him the interview and he PASSED.  So, a baptism planned just for George, turned out to be 3 baptisms in Cabo Rojo in one night.  It was so beautiful to see all of it unfold and I learned a valuable lesson in how patience, diligence, prayer and fasting truly does work out for our good and that everything falls into place on the Lord’s timetable.  It was one of the best days of my life!!  We had so much support from the members and being able to see how happy these three new members are with their decision to be baptized was unlike anything else.  I was just beaming from ear to ear with the biggest smile I could give.  I couldn't sleep for days because of how happy I was.  All of my struggles, trials, tears of sadness from trying to help Ivette and Nicole these last four months turned into never ending smiles, tears of joy, and a baptism!!!
Hermana Green, Zimmerman, Ivette, Jose, George, Obispo Cruz, Edler Willes & Bradford.
Three Baptisms in one Day! 
So Happy to See Ivette Baptized and share this special moment with Hermana Zimmerman.
What a Beautiful Baptism of Ivette.
So, my Dear Friends and Family, miracles never stop ceasing in the work of the Lord.  Thank you for all the prayers on their behalf.  Now, we are going to work with Nicole to get baptized!  All things are possible!
Hermana Green, Nicole (Ivettes Daughter) and Hermana Zimmerman.

Have a great week.
Love always,
Hermana Green

Sunday with Jose, Ivette, Obispo Cruz, Alex, Hermana Green & Zimmerman.
Sunday with Mayda, Waddy and Hermana Green.
Last time serving with Hermana Zimmerman and Elders Willes and Bradford as they are being transfered to Cabo Rojo 2 Ward.
My Favorite Picture of Waddy, Obispo Cruz and Alex!!!
I Love Mayda!
Just Because! 
One last Celebration Facial Mask with Hermana Zimmerman before we say goodbye. 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 41

We Love Service Opportunities!


Chacho (that means, Oh Man in Spanish, well.. Puerto Rican Spanish at least, haha.).  So to start, this week, I had been kinda burdened with the idea that I wasn't rising up to my potential as a missionary and as a trainer and it was really weighing me down.  When I started my fast, I prayed and asked Heavenly Father if He would let me know if I was doing the job He wanted me to do in Cabo Rojo, and if I wasn't, then let me know what I need to fix. After that prayer, I had one of my most spiritual Sacrament Meetings ever!!  As you know, it was Fast Sunday yesterday, and we had a miracle of 3 of our investigators come to church!  The Elders in our Ward brought another 4 investigators and we were all just beaming with happiness before church even started.  I love walking into the church and just saying hello to all the people I love so, so, so much here in Cabo Rojo.  Then, when the bearing of testimonies started, my heart was just pounding out of my chest because I felt the spirit so strong, and I had the strongest impression to share my testimony on the experience with Grandpa and how that has strengthened my testimony on the Plan of Salvation.  I bore my testimony and felt really, really loved from my Heavenly Father after that.  THEN IT GETS BETTER, ALEX stands up and starts walking up to the pulpit (Note: he has never born his testimony until this point) he starts bearing his testimony about his conversion, and said, "then... God sent two angels my way so they could show me the truth, and the way to happiness."  Then, he turns to me, and says over the pulpit, "I know it's hard to lose your Grandpa and not be with your family, but God sent you here because I needed you!"  I LOST IT, I was crying like a baby because of how grateful I was for this answer to my prayer, this confirmation that Heavenly Father is SO AWARE of us, and that He truly has a plan for all of His children.

Ivette and Nicole, what a MIRACLE!   So we went last Wednesday to help Cindy do a service project at her Grandpa's house.  We met Carmen (a new investigator) on the way to the service project at her work, and we got finished with Carmen 10 minutes before we were supposed to be at Cindy's Grandpa's house, which will take us about an hour to walk there.  Frantically, I am calling members to see if any of them can give us a ride, no luck.  Then, a thought popped into my head, "call Ivette", "what?!", I thought.  No way, shes totally been ignoring us, the last thing she wants to do is give us a ride somewhere, but we called anyway.  And to our surprise, she was down to give us a ride!  it was CRAZY!!  When we got to Cindy's Grandpa's house, we set up an appointment with Ivette for that Friday.  We went on Friday, and taught them about tithing, and that was the last thing they needed before they could get baptized.  They came to church, but only for the first hour because they had a funeral to go to, but we have a cita (appointment) with them on Tuesday and we are going to invite them to be baptized. Wish us luck!!

Leeandra:  SHE CAME TO CHURCH and she FINALLY PRAYED OUT LOUD!  The miracles of fasting!!!  We are going to start helping her cut down on smoking this week.

So Happy to See Leeandra At Church!

Maria:  She's new!  We met her yesterday while contacting in a new part of the city, and she has been taught by missionaries before!  We got into talking and told her how I am adopted and the little boy she was holding (her son) happens to be adopted too!  Her husband doesn't like a lot of religious things, but she was so kind and so receptive and we have a cita (appointment)  with them on Miercoles (Wednesday), so we're super excited for that!

We had a CRAZY storm last week, seriously one of the loudest (if not THE loudest) thunder storms I have ever heard before in my life!!  OH MY GOSH IT WAS THE BEST getting to see Hermana Larsen and her family last week, as they came back to Puerto Rico to visit, since she returned home from her mission in April. I just love her so much, and I am so glad we're all friends.  Also, I really like how they came back like a month or two after Hermana Larsen left, we should do that (if we have the dinero of course).

Transfers are next week and I am DYING to know what happens.  I honestly have no idea.  I would love, love, love to stay in Cabo Rojo because I feel like we are on FIRE (well quite literally because its so HOT HERE!!) right now with missionary work.  I dont feel like my work here is done yet.  I would love to see a baptism with Hermana Zimmerman, and I am not ready to leave my Ward and the people here.  I may or may not have cried a couple times thinking that one day I will have to leave Cabo Rojo.  But, just like Nephi, "Ire y hare" (I will go and do) whatever the Lords wants me to do!!  As much as I want to stay, it's not my mission, it's the Lord's.  He knows where I am needed and whatever happens I will be okay with it. 

This week is going to be so, so, so exciting!  We have Zone Conference on Friday and the Elders have a Baptism Friday night with GEORGE!  I just love George.  We've been asked as a District to sing at Zone Conference and my District Leader, Elder Willes texted us asking what ideas we had for a song.  So we are singing Armies of Helaman.  I just read about it in the Book of Mormon, so I am stoked.  OK, back to George.  I love this man.  He is an example of true conversion, no matter what the cost is.  He is just so great.  I have taught Gospel Principles the last couple of weeks and he came up to me and said, "You are a natural born teacher."  I knew these things, but your teachings have ingrained them in my heart, thank you so much.  He is from New York and so he said that in english, I died, he is so kind.  He told us yesterday in church that there was only "136 more hours till my baptism!".  Love him.

We are going to help Cindy some more tomorrow with some service. I love service. 
We have gotten SUPER close with a lot of the members and we are having a lot of family home evenings and the Ward is really bonding. I just love it here.

Dad, Your spiritual thoughts are always BOMB. I'm glad you liked the scripture I sent you in Alma.  I loved how you related MCO music to the gospel.  It reminds me of that one conference talk Elder Holland gave in the last conference and how he related it all to CHOIR, I WAS DYING.  Also the Les Mis reference that Elder Renlund did was amazing as well.  This week I have really been focusing on trying not to sweat the small stuff. 

OKAY DALLIN GOT HIS BRACES OFF????????? AND DALLIN, PENELOPE AND CLARK LOOK SO GOOD AT THE BROADWAY CONCERT, I CANT HANDLE IT!!!  I screamed when I saw the picture of Tison and Aunt Kelley at the Broadway Concert. I love them all!

I sure do love being a Missionary! For those that are thinking of whether or not to go, GO. You will not regret it. 

I love you all,

Hermana Green

Visiting with Hermana Cruz!
One of our Members Backyards.  Puerto Rico is so Beautiful!