Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Week 53: Satz!

This was a really awesome week!

We were able to meet with C and L this week, and they´re REALLY interested in the church. They weren´t able to go to church this week because they had something already planned, but they promised for the next Sunday! I´m SUUUUPER excited for them. They have two sons who, as of right now, haven´t listened to us, but we hope that little by little we´ll gain their confidence.

This week was pretty crazy, because Hna Hndz and I planned my first (and her first) mission activity! Like, it´s a ward activity but we´re planning it. We´re doing a fireside, with fire and marshmallows and everything, and it´s going to be about service, but as preparation we assigned each family in the ward another family or two that they would have to serve. And then we´ll celebrate Friday 11 August with the fireside. So pray that everyone does their act of service this week! We had to write these "invitations" 40 times!! Our hands were pretty tired. But we´re SUPER excited for the activity. Pray lots so that it´s a success!

Workin´ hard or hardly workin?
The assignments!
In my study this week I was studying a lot about spiritual gifts, and I really liked this quote from Heber J. Grant (I´m translating it from Spanish, so if it´s not exactly right, sorry): "Whatever thing in which we persevere becomes easier to do, not because its nature has changed, but because our ability to do it has increased." I loved this, because I feel like I´ve really been able to see that in the mission. Gospel Principles shared the story of Shelly Mann, who had polio but then kept working and working until she won the olympic gold medal. It was really really cool to see how God really does make our weaknesses become strengths. During the mission, I´ve been making a list of scriptures that I find that back up Ether 12:27, that the Lord will make our weaknesses strengths. It´s INCREDIBLE to see all the scriptures I´ve found. God´s work and his glory is our progress in this life, and it´s awesome to see that He helps us to do it if we turn to Him. If you feel like something is hard right now, just keep working and ask for help from Him! And read 1 Nephi 17:50!

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

 I tried....satz! Or.....caterpillar!

Ah............but the truth is, it´s not even that bad!
They told us how you clean it so that you´re not eating poop.....
You break off the ends of the caterpillar and then you basically milk it.
The description of the process did not make the caterpillar that much more appetizing.
But in the end, it was actually pretty tasty!
Everything´s better with a little chili! :D​

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Week 52: ONE YEAR.

How crazy!!!!

I seriously can´t believe that in two days I´ll have been in the mission, in Mexico, waking up at 6:30 and going to bed at 10:30, talking with EVERYONE, for ONE YEAR!!! The time literally FLIES. I just got a message that I have to go to immigration tomorrow so that I can renew my green card! Ah! 

This week was really awesome. We´ve been visitng O, and it´s super awesome because this Friday there was a Young Single Adult dance and so some of the YSAs from the ward invited O to go, and he loved it!!! Yay for friendshipping in the church!!

We ate with a really nice family this Sunday, that we don´t know super well. But as we were sharing the message, I feel like we were able to really gain their confidence. and they gave us the names of three family members and their families that they want us to visit! It was like......"AHHHHH!!!!!" we were pretty excited.

This week I´ve been studying the sacrament a lot, but studying that this week also included reading about His death, and His resurrection. It was pretty incredible reading the three different accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and then just thinking about how EVERYTHING He did was for love. We can really overcome any sadness, any trial, anything thanks to Him. I will forever love Alma 7, when it talks about Him taking upon Him our sicknesses. I was also reading about how the Savior can heal anything. It talked about a Japanese man that had to deal with a lot of racism because of WW2, but that as he shared his testimony of our Savior, he was able to help other people see that hate is NOT the answer. I liked a quote from Pres. Monson: "Mother Teresa spoke this profound truth: "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." The Savior admonished, "This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you." I ask, can we love one another, as the Savior commanded, if we judge each other? And I answer, with Mother Teresa: No, we cannot." Love is so important! Charity, the pure love of Christ, is so powerful.

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

A girl from the Grijalva! [Her first area.]
She´s the girlfriend of a guy in this ward! 

The Tuxtla night skyline :D


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Week 51: Semana de Milagros Numero ____ (however many weeks I have in the mission. I guess almost 52? :D)

Hola!

To clarify some questions that some people asked me (but as we all know, as Mummy asked me): 

There were missionaries in this área before. Just this last transfer the área was closed, but we´re reopening the área.

[I asked her why she called us “papas” when Google Translate said that means “potatoes.”] 

No, "papas" is potatoes. Papás is parents 😀 With the accent, you put the emphasis on that syllable. So, potatoes would be PApas. But parents is paPAS.

[I also asked her: Scale of 1 to 100: How would you rate your Spanish speaking? And what do you still need to work on?]

90? 85? An A minus? There are still a LOT of words that people just use sometimes. Like, my vocabulary is pretty good, it´s just that in each part of Mexico there are a hundred different words for each thing. So you´re always learning new words for things. Also, there are some things that I still might not say right. Like, I say it more in a manner english-ish than spanish-ish, but it´s generally pretty good.

It rains here, but generally not as much [as in her last area] and not every day. But that brings me to one miracle! We were in a part of our área pretty far from our house, so we have to take a combi [bus] to return to the part more central of our área. And we THOUGHT that we had to go to this one street to wait for the combi, but after we had walked there and waited for a bit we realized that, because it was late, the combi didn´t pass by there! So we had to walk about 15 blocks to go to this OTHER part of the área where the combi would pass. But when we arrived, not a single combi passed! We were getting pretty frantic, it was, like, 8:50, and all this time I was thinking, "Don´t worry, Heavenly Father, I´m praying in my heart, we just don´t have the time to do a real prayer! But I´m praying in my heart for a combi!" But then, it started to RAIN. When it started I was just like, "Nooo, this is the salt in the wound, PLEASE don´t let it rain." But then I just heard that little voice, but SO CLEARLY: "Say a prayer." So I closed my eyes and just thought, "Please, Father, let the combi pass right now." I opened my eyes, and 10 seconds later there was the combi! We got on, and then it just started to POUR!!! As we drove, I felt like we were more in a boat than in a combi! It was a pretty awesome miracle, but I also felt a little bad for not having really prayed BEFORE.

Another miracle we saw: yesterday we met a guy, C! We were asking how to find an address (and contacting while doing so) so we asked him if he´d ever spoken to missionaries. And WOW. He said that he had spoken to elders a few years ago, but that he wasn´t that interested then. But then he was diagnosed with diabetes, and ever since then he´s been looking and looking for a church, to get closer to God! He´s gone to all different types of churches, but then he asked us if the church has the power of healing. It was really really awesome to be able to explain that the same power and authority that Jesús Christ had, and has, is here on earth. We couldn´t promise that he would be healed, because we don´t know if it´s the will of God, but that we could promise him peace and tranquility, even WITH the sickness. We have an appointment for tomorrow, so pray lots for him! He said he would invite his wife and kids, too!!! (So, pray even more :D)

We went this Thursday to talk with the boyfriend who came to church, O, but nobody was home! We were pretty sad, but then this Saturday we felt that we should go visit him. He lives WAY up a hill and there aren´t very many other people to visit if we would go and he wasn´t there. But we were with hno P, our líder missional [mission leader], and we decided to go for it! And he was there! It was worth it :D It was our first official visit with him, and he accepted a baptismal date for August 12! It´ll be a lot of work, but he´s super excited! He mentioned that he wanted to ask permission to have his rest day as ALWAYS Sunday...without us even mentioning it!

I´m so excited to keep seeing the miracles la Salle has prepared for us!

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

CHIAPAS <3

"Todo lo puedo en Cristo, que me fortalece."
[I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.]
The sister training leaders gave us this!









Monday Movie Day!
Featuring "On the Way home"
30 minutes about a family that lost their daughter,
but then a good friend shares the góspel with them.
A message of hope and inspiration.
And "The Testaments" with sign language in English
because we couldn´t figure out how to change it.
We only watched a little. It was pretty fun to watch
because the signer was VERY expressive.
Hna Hernández was embarrassed
because she hadn´t bathed yet, but ah well.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Week 50: Hola Familia!

Hola!

This was a super awesome week! We had a conference with President Doman and interviews, and it was super awesome talking to him!

We had a huge miracle in the church this Sunday. All of the investigators that were planning on going ended up not being able to go, but we prayed that we would be able to see a miracle and that investigators would be able to come. And then when we arrived there, a family that we had visited this week came to church, and the daughter brought her boyfriend! And he loved going to church! It was awesome, we have an appointment with him for this Thursday, so pray that everything goes well!

We had interviews with Pres Doman, and he sure is a sweet man. He´s very different from Pres George, but his energy is catching! I´m super excited to work with him. he says that he wants to come out into the field, go on visits and everything! I´m pretty excited for that :D 

Well, love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

The compañerismo!

The familia! They helped us out a LOT here.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week 49: I still don´t have a new camera....but next week! :D

[We’ve been noticing for a while that all her pictures are out of focus, so we have been begging her every week to get a new camera!]

Hola!

I didn´t notice how bad the pictures were until I saw a bigger image the last week. They´re more or less clear when I´m looking at them in the camera, but they´re obviously REALLY not in focus when they´re big. I will buy a new camera next week. And it´s not that I don´t WANT to or that I don´t want good photos, it´s just that there´s no TIME!!!! NONE AT ALL!!! But it´s okay. We´re going to hope for good pictures next week.

Presidente George left this Friday, and that very same day President Doman [the new Mission President] came to get to know all the missionaries here! He had two conferences Friday, to get to know the missionaries here in Tuxtla and in Comitán, and then two conferences Saturday, to get to know the missionaries from Tapachula and Chauhites. He´s COMPLETELY different from Pres George. Pres George was very calm, a very, well, CALM person. But Pres Doman is like, "YEAH let´s go to WORK!" It´s a little different but I´m also really excited to learn from him! I guess the football coach is coming out... Also, his wife is like that, too. I think she´s even more enthusiastic than him!

So, my companion! She´s Hna Hernandez, from Hidalgo!!! [Hidalgo is just north of Mexico City.] It´s pretty awesome working with her, because she´s way more prepared for the mission than I was! Like, she already knows about a lot of the things we do as missionaries, it's more just explaining ways to teach, ways to contact, etc. It´s pretty fun working with her :) It´s funny, because Hna Gutierrez, my last companion, is training the companion from the CCM [Missionary Training Center] of my companion. (I feel like I didn´t explain that very well. Hna Gutierrez and I were companions. Hna Hernandez and Hna Moreno were companions. Now Hernandez and Owens are companions, and Moreno and Gutierrez are companions.)

All of the companions! The great cambio!
Opening the area is pretty crazy. Our area is HUGE. It has about 8 different colonies (like, suburb areas? I´m not exactly sure how to define how big they are but they´re big, and 8 of them is a LOT).

The house en la salle
The view from our house in Tuxtla!
This week I´ve been really trying to listen to the Spirit even MORE because it´s a little crazy opening an area, and it´s pretty awesome! We´ve found a family that we´re going to be teaching. I´m most excited to work here because we have the most incredible mission leader here. [Each congregation has someone who is assigned to work with the missionaries.] He was baptized three years ago but he has a HUGE desire to do everything really really well. We´re working hard with his son right now to help him get baptized.

Love you all lots! Pray for us so that I have time to buy a camera to send nice pictures!

Hermana Owens


 "What comes from the heart is worth gold
and tastes like chocolate."
We ate with an hermana this week that has a fruit bouquet store.
We enjoyed eating there a lot :D

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Week 48: AHHHH!!!! the scariest transfer ever!!!!

Hola!

Well, I didn´t write until now because we were traveling from Tapachula to Tuxtla: I´m going to be serving in La Salle, Tuxtla Mactumatza stake!!!! And I will be opening an area! And I'll be training!!!
 
AHHHH!!!!! Needless to say, I´m a LITTLE nervous. My battle cry these last two days has been "Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies." Basically, opening an area means that they drop you blind in an area and you have to figure out what you do by a lot of prayers. I´m a little scared, but I feel like I¨m going to be able to do it.

I´m just writing quick to let you guys know that I'm alive, and that I´ll be enjoying this week a lot! And I'll be requiring a lot of prayers this week :D Pray for us ALL THE TIME, and I know we´ll see a lot of miracles.

I´ll miss Tapachula a lot, but I´m SOOOO excited to see what La Salle brings!!!!

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

Making empanadas de platano!





Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Week 47: Feliz Día de los Padres!!!!

Hola!

I´m not actually sure if Father´s Day is the same there as it is here, but if not...Well, happy Mexican Father´s Day!

First of all, the worldly news: There was an earthquake here! 7.7, so it wasn´t that strong and didn´t cause any damage, but I felt my first earthquake in my life! [I looked online and the news said it was a 6.9 magnitude.] It was at 2:30 am, and I didn´t know what to do! It was crazy. I can now die in peace, because I know how it feels for the very EARTH beneath you to shake. It´s pretty crazy.

Also, I tried the long-awaited cicin! Or in other words......ANTS!!!!! They´re crunchy, and HUGE, and taste like peanuts. I also ate them with hot chocolate and cookies....an interesting mix.

Cicin!
Cicin! These ants are HUGE.
 Anyways, this was a pretty cool week! H blessed the sacrament again, and then afterwards we saw him paying his tithing! That was pretty AWESOME. And then after church yesterday he went to Guatemala to visit his family, especially so that he could visit the graves of his grandparents to investigate his family history!!! YAAYYY!!!

We saw a bunch of miracles this week, and I felt like the Spirit was really just guiding us. We have been looking for a LONG time for this one family: the mom is a member and her husband and two kids aren´t members. We had planned to visit them one day at about 7, but they weren´t there. They live pretty far out in our area, so we were pretty disappointed. So we went to visit the bishop and talk about some stuff, and after that we passed the house of the family (family P) and they still weren´t there. So we were leaving, heading out for the main street to take the combi back to the house, when I realized that I had forgotten my umbrella in the house of the bishop! We thought briefly about leaving it there, but not having an umbrella right now in Tapachula is like leaving a lung behind. So we went back for it. When we were going to the house of the bishop, the family was still not there. We asked for the umbrella, and left, and completely forgot to even check if the family was there! But then I heard, like, whistling or something, and we turn around to see that the P family was there, arriving JUST as we were leaving the house of the bishop!!!!! I mean, the timing was PERFECT!!! So then we talked with the family, and they are SUPER excited to get baptized, especially the kids! I´m SO excited for this family! It was pretty cool to see how the Lord works in mysterious ways, even with a forgotten umbrella :D

Look for the Lord´s hand in everything! It makes any day miraculous! :D

Love you lots!

Hermana Owens

This one lady has an alligator hung up on her wall. It´s pretty intense.
Zonas Tapachula México (mine) and Tapachula Izapa (not mine)!