Monday, January 15, 2018

Week 77: Hello Family!!!!!

Hello, Family!!!!!

This was a pretty awesome week! It was also a little interesting because Hna Cano and I both got sick of the stomach, and colds, but we were able to keep on keepin´ on :D

We had a zone conference wtih Pte. Doman, which I always like. He always has a very special spirit, and then we were able to go and visit with him. He talks with literally EVERYONE, he even stops his car and calls people over to the window and invites them to church and everything :D He´s a really awesome example.

We´ve been working a lot with Hno A and Hno V. We left Hno A a copy of the BoM this past week and told him to read it, and this last visit we had with him he told us that he had read Joseph Smith´s testimony, and that he really really liked it! He´s been working a lot to overcome a drinking problem, and he said that whenever he reads the BoM he forgets completely these things that normally take over.

We were able to watch Pte Monson´s funeral this Friday, and it sure was sweet. I will always remember the story that I think Elder Holland shared, of the time when they were in the airport and Pte. Monson was in his slippers because he´d given literally everything, even the shoes on his feet, to the people in need. I love that example he gives of service.

An awesome miracle we were able to see this weekend: we were looking for a less active we have in our list, but we knocked on the wrong door, and the lady was very nice and wanted to help us out a lot, so she said, "I don´t know about Max, but I think I know his family or something!" So she walked with us to another door in that same street, and said, "I think they live here." And then she left. So we knocked on the door, and a kid of about 13 years opened the door. "Hello, is Max here?" "No, no one lives here with that name." And so we were like, oh, okay, thank you, but then we felt that we had to keep chatting, and we found out.....that this kid wasn´t a member, but he had gone a lot of times to the church, because his brother and his mom had been baptized a while ago! While looking for one less active, we found another!!! It was pretty awesome how the Lord can guide us, even when we´re mistaken :)

In the zone conference, the people that are leaving always share their testimony, and it was a little crazy. It was just me and an elder, and I think we were both kind of like.....AHHH!!! But it was nice, I was glad to be able to do it.

I think what I´ve most been able to learn in these almost 18 months is that Jesus Christ really is my Savior. Like, before I knew that. I knew that He is real, but I guess I had never felt so clearly that the Atonement literally carries us. I think that´s what I am most grateful for from ALL of this, and it´s the most important. I sure love sharing the gospel!!!!

Have an awesome week!

Hermana Owens

High fashion in San Cristobal: Sweaters, shawls, legwarmers,
and slippers (or socks with sandals). It is very very cold :)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Week 76: Hello, Familia!!!!

Hello, Familia!!!!

 I feel like the weeks have never flown by SOO fast. But I´m enjoying EVERY MOMENT!!!!!

This was a super super awesome week. Hna Cano and I have been trying to think of a sacrifice that we could do to be able to see more miracles in our area. Like, we've been looking and looking for the people that are ready, but we just hadn´t been able to find them! We decided we needed to give up more to be able to see more, so we decided this Tuesday that we would wake up at 5:00 every morning, so that we could leave earlier to work. That night (meaning we had only written out what we would do, we hadn´t even woken up at 5 yet or anything) we were finally able to find a reference a brother had given us a while ago! He´s V, and he´s already read the first 30 pages of the BoM!!!! We taught him the Restoration and he LOVED it, and this Sunday he came with one of his daughters!! Also, that same night, we´ve been working with an hno, A, who drinks a lot and he doesn't want to come to church when he´s drunk because he doesn´t feel worthy and everything. But he came this Sunday!!! and he LOVED it. This Sunday, a whole bunch of people that we´d invited came to church, including a guy we contacted about three weeks ago (and honestly, we´d kind of forgotten about him because he wasn´t there when we went to the appointment we´d put with him)!!! I feel so happy that we're seeing these miracles, I KNOW that these people will be able to keep progressing and preparing to live the gospel :D .

I was reading John 17 this week, it´s the prayer Jesus offers when he´s in the Garden of Gethsemane. I was absolutely awestruck to read it. What MOST amazed me is that as I read it, I felt like I was reading the prayer of a missionary. Jesus says that he´s grateful for the children that God had given him, and then he says that even though he won´t be able to stay in this world, he would be forever with these children. I just couldn´t stop thinking about the fact that maybe I won´t be in this "world" of Chiapas, but I will be FOREVER thinking about the people that I´ve been able to know here. I sure am grateful that I've been able to be a part in inviting people to come unto Christ. I sure love it :) And love him :)

And love you all lots, too!

Hermana Owens

Our area :D

 Yay!


The view from our roof!


The view from our house (from the roof).
I feel like it looks like a photo from King Arthur´s time :D

A really pretty pine tree that someone had cut to have a star above.
But we´re covering it up....but it was cool :D

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Week 74: Feliz Navidad!

[We were able to Skype with Tess on Christmas Eve :) so she just sent us this short note on Tuesday.]

Feliz Navidad!

All the cibers were closed yesterday so we have permission to write quick quick quick to make sure that you all know I´m still alive after so much time without seeing you :D

It was really awesome to talk to everyone! A little weird, thinking that today I have 17 months in the mission and a month from today I´ll be released! But don´t worry, I´ll be EXTRA diligent, EXTRA obedient, and EXTRA hard-working :D

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

p.s. Mother and Daddy: Yes, they really don´t have heating in their homes. Apart from a little room heater that we have to sleep with, during our studies in the morning I usually see my breath :)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Week 73: Hello!!!!!! Merry Almost Christmas!!!

Hola, Familia!!!!!

This was an absolutely awesome awesome week!

Sorry that I couldn´t write the last week, I had to go to Tuxtla to go get my new trainee! Hna Cano is AWESOME. I think she´s one of my favorite people in all the world :D She´s super funny. We had a bunch of things that happened in our first days together (when we arrived at the house the first night, with all of her luggage and everything, I realized I didn´t have the keys because Hna Banda had left them with the elders, so we had to wait outside in the cold for about an hour, and that night I started feeling SUPER sick so we couldn´t go out to work until about 1 o´clock the next day, her first day in the field and she had to wait on her sick companion!) but even with EVERYTHING she's SUPER happy and excited and hardworking. She´s LOVING being in the mission. She´s from Yucatan, where it´s super hot and the cold´s been a little hard but she just keeps at it :D I love her a lot, I know we´re going to see a lot of miracles!

A 3 generation photo!!!
Hna Gonzalez: Abuela. Hna Owens: Mamá. Hna Cano: Hija :D
Something awesome....this week we got hot running water! Before we had to take bucket showers with hot water but it´s just not the same. It´s really chilly bathing that way, actually. But we got hot water this week! So we´ve been enjoying that a LOT :D

We had a Christmas party with Pte Doman, and it was super fun!

Christmas party gift exchange!!! I got a sweet leather bag :D
I´m going to enjoy Christmas here, because it´s actually going to get chilly! :D

I´m super excited to see everyone this Sunday, when we talk! It´s pretty crazy thinking that I´ll see you in person just a month later! Wow :D

Love you lots!

Hermana Owens

We went to the Center of San Cristobal as a district (like, stake district,
not mission district) and we had an activity singing carols!!!
It was SUPER awesome. Hna Cano and I were in charge of the program,
and we printed off 300 and we ran out way before we finished!!
It was awesome :D
 I MET ANOTHER SOUTH DAKOTAN.
AND SHE´S NAMED SISTER KRUM. LIKE VICTOR KRUM.
SHE´S BASICALLY A COMBINATION OF ALL MY FAVORITE THINGS. :D
[Victor Krum is a character from Harry Potter.] 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Week 71: The Cold of San Cris is REAL

When Hna Gonzalez got transferred to San Cris a year ago and everyone was preparing her for the cold with coats and everything, I didn´t believe them....but now I do. It´s FREEZING here! I think the difference between here and SD is that at least in SD we have heating in the houses, but here it´s just always cold!!! But it´s okay, I´m hoping it helps me out a lot to adapt at home :D

It´s pretty cool here, because I´m learning a little bit of Tzotzil! [One of the native languages.] Not much, but I´ve learned that "coloval" is thank you, and "jechuk" is amen. We hear quite a few prayers in Tzotzil here, and it´s pretty awesome. It´s a little funny, because a lot of times they use Spanish words so I´ll understand a LITTLE of what they´re saying. Like, I heard two guys talking and I just heard, "tzotzil tzotzil tzotzil two weeks tzotzil tzotzil" and so I guess I understood a little :D It´s pretty incredible to hear, because it makes me think a lot about the Book of Mormon.

We were talking with our district leader last night for the verifications, and he´s going home the same time as me! So we were talking about how we´re almost at our last transfer, and so he asked me what I would like to do for my last transfer, how I would like to work totally differently this last one than my whole mission. SO I would like to ask you for ideas!!! Anything that you think would be something different to do in Chiapas, I´m ready to do it!!!

This Saturday (we´re doing Ilumina el Mundo) we gave away tea and bread outside of the church which was SUPER fun. We had more than sixty contacts in about two hours!!! And quite a few people entered to have a little tour of the church! It was really really great :D

Keep lighting the world!

Love you lots!

Hermana Owens

I didn´t have any gloves, but my hands were FREEZING my first day here,
so I used some socks for my hands :D
I don´t have any more photos in my amera, I´ll pass them next week! :D

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Week 70: I take back what I said a couple of weeks ago. THIS was the craziest week of my mission.

Hola!

[I told her a friend wanted to know if she dreams in Spanish.] People are always asking me if I dream in Spanish, but I honestly am not quite sure. I think I dream in Spanglish.

But anyway, this week was absolutely INSANE. First of all...right now I´m writing from San Cristobal de las Casas! We had special transfers in all the mission, and I´m not going to lie I was really really sad to leave Comitán, but I know it´ll be for good! Yesterday I went to visit Hno N and his family to say goodbye and we sang Angels we Have Heard on High and I started thinking about when Hna Montaño and I first met Hno N, and how great of a change he and his family have had, and I started crying pretty hard. I sure LOVE this family. Which brings me to one piece of crazy news............

Hna N was baptized this week! [Hno N's daughter-in-law. His wife was baptized last week.] 

And so here comes the story. This last Sunday, we were talking (the trio) and we had a feeling that Hna N was READY to be baptized. We had put her baptismal date for 15 December, but we all, individually, had the feeling that she was READY. So this Monday, we went to visit them, but before we entered, we did a specific prayer, that N could accept baptism this Saturday, the 25. So then we knocked on the door, and began the lesson. When we mentioned that she would be ready for this Saturday, N kind of drew back in her chair. and then she said "Wow, don´t be offended.....but today, I was cleaning the house when my mom called and said that maybe I should go back to Guadalajara, and when she said that, I thought about my baptism, and I thought, "I would like to get baptized this Saturday!" But it was just a passing thought." When she said that, I felt the Spirit hit me like a ton of bricks. We (the trio) all turned to look at each other and each one of us was just CRYING. Sometimes I have a feeling that maybe we want to put a baptismal date with someone just because it´s what WE want, but it was something so powerful and special to have this assurance that this date we had put was something that Heavenly Father had placed in our minds and in our hearts of us as companions and Hna N. Really, it was the LORD´s time. It was super special. And N told us that her husband  told her that he´s going to go to a Mormon Church and that if he likes it he´s going to get baptized (he works in the military so he doesn´t live with them).

Something that I´ve felt with this family is that we were great friends in the preexistence, so we practiced as a zone "I´ll Find you My Friend" and we sang it for Hna N´s baptism. I´m going to try to share it with you, because it was pretty powerful. If not, we can watch it in a couple months when I get back :D

Missionaries of Comitán :D

Tuesday, we had a meeting with Pres. Doman [her Mission President], and he went with us to visit an investigator, J, who´s been going to the church for about 5 years. But Pres. Doman was what J needed. He accepted to be baptized this weekend, too, at the same time as Hna N!

Pres. Doman with Natali and Jorge [It looks like her Mission President baptized Jorge]

And we´ve been teaching a little girl, too, M, and she was baptized this weekend as well!

M´s baptism (the little girl in white) 

 Also, at the reunion with Pte Doman and Sister Doman this week we watched the Light the World video and I realized how special it is to be able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in this time when we´re celebrating his birth, when everyone´s a little more open. Last year, I was hoping that I would feel this "Christmas is so special in the mission!" but I was looking for that feeling as I thought about how it would affect ME. But this week I understood that it´s the best because it´s a time when I can really focus on the PURPOSE of Christmas, and why it´s so special.

Also, with the special transfers, don´t worry. The whole mission was changed up this weekend. Pres Doman loves changing it up. So, it was a crazy week! Awesome, but also sad, but I guess just another week in the mission!

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

Our Branch Council!
Missionaries of Balun Canan Branch!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Week 69: E!

Hola!

This was a super super awesome week! I´m super super happy to say that Hna E got baptized this week! It was super cool because Hno N [her husband] was able to perform the ordinance, and it was super super special to see them getting into the water. He´s 77, and she's 72, so they had to enter the water really carefully, but it was just really incredible to see them entering together. After church, we were talking with them, and they said that they want to get sealed! And they were married 20 November, so if they enter the temple one year from now they'll be sealed on their anniversary! I LOVE this family so much! And N [their daughter-in-law] and A [their grandson] said the prayers, and both of them prayed that THEIR baptisms could be as soon as possible! :D

E´s baptism!!!
We also had a crazy week because we had a leadership council but in Tapachula! It was an 11-hour ride from Comitán to Tapachula, and we arrived Friday night at about 7, and so I took advantage of the two hours and I went to visit some people in 5 de Febrero! I saw Hno H [who she taught], and he's doing SO SO SO well! He went to a YSA covention in Tuxtla and loved it and he has some names that he's going to bring to the temple very very soon!!!! I don´t remember if I mentioned Hna R but she´s one of my favorite people in all the world, she´s really humble and sweet and she had two daughters that were on the mission! But they came home, one of them the day after I left Tapachula! I was super sad because I didn´t get to meet her, but then I met both of them on Friday! It was super super super awesome I feel like we are best friends from the preexistence :D

I also visited Hna C and her family. It was super awesome seeing them but it also made me a little sad, because I probably won´t see them again, at least in the mission! But we can hope :)

Familia C!!! :D