Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Week 60: Cambios!!!! La Última AREA!!! (maybe)

​Hola, familia!

Well, we have transfers this week! These three months en la Salle have FLOWN by!! I can´t believe that I only have three transfers more in the mission!!! I´m going to....Comitán!!! It´s one of the coolest parts (temperature wise) of Chiapas, and I´m pretty excited to use my sweater for the first time in 14 months! :D

[Here is the Wikipedia page about it: Comitan,Chiapas,Mexico  ]

It was pretty sad saying goodbye to all the people I´ve met en la Salle, it´s a really really awesome ward. Especially Hno P! He´s my favorite person ever, I believe. [He is the ward mission leader there.]

It´s also pretty crazy that Hna Hernandez is going to be leading the area now! I keep thinking "Oh, no, I didn´t teach her this thing well enough," or "Oh, will she remember this?" But she´s a super super awesome person and is going to be just fine. I know that with her new companion they´re going to see a whole bunch of miracles :D

This week I was reading in Alma 26 and I LOVE what Alma says in verse 36: that God, and I also interpreted it as the gospel, is "his life, his light, his joy, and his salvation, and his redemption from eternal anguish." Through the gospel, we are HAPPY! We have the gospel for that one purpose! And we share it as we serve, and help other people. If we want to be happy, we share and serve with others :)

Love you lots!

Hermana Owens

We celebrated Mexican Independence Day! el día del grito! It was super fun. A whole bunch of members brought their non member friends and it was super super fun. One of their friends, E, is really interested and we have an appointment with him for Tuesday! (Well, my companion has an appointment... :D)

el Obispo (bishop) and his family!!!

hno P the rockstar mission leader

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 59 :El Sismo!

Well, before ANYTHING else, I`m just going to make sure everyone knows that we`re all good. It`s crazy: you hear that an earthquake was 8.2, and that just sounds TERRIBLE. But there really has not been very much damage here. Everyone explains that it`s because it was a vibrating earthquake, one that goes side to side, but the earthquakes that do a lot of damage (like the one in Mexico City in 1985) are the wave-type earthquakes. (I know that I took a lot of years in physical science and I should know the actual names of those two types of earthquakes but I`m just going to go with vibrating and wavy earthquakes :D) But the power came back later that night, I think it came back at about 7 or 8. When we came back, the power was back.

But anyway, we woke up to the world shaking at 11:50 (I checked my watch because I thought that it was the middle of the night, like 2 or 3, and I was surprised I`d only been asleep for about an hour). We ran out of the room, and opened the door, and we heard some people yelling on the other side. There were a lot of people that were yelling things like, "Forgive me!" and trying to repent I guess. It made me ask if we would hear things like that in the States, where people are generally less religious.

After the quake, that I guess lasted for about two minutes, honestly....I just wanted to go to bed. I think I need some practice with having fear towards earthquakes and stuff. After seeing movies and TV shows and everything of huge quakes that throw people around and destroy EVERYTHING, I guess maybe I just don`t feel the fear so much? But I`m also going to attribute it to the Spirit. Like, I felt the importance of running for the door, for leaving, but I just didn`t feel worried. Just peaceful.

So we went down and talked with everyone outside for a while (it`s part of the earthquake experience, sharing your earthquake experience). But then at about 2 Pres. Doman sent us a message that we all had to go to our stake building. Oh! And also, it started raining! And it was POURING! But we went there in case there were big replicas [aftershocks], but there weren`t, so then we went back to our house at about 7. We then went around visiting some members to check how was everyone, but apart from the power, there`s not much damage around here!

President Doman has counseled us since he arrived that we should ask special blessings for people, that as representatives of Jesus Christ, we have the special opportunity to ask a blessing for them. It`s been pretty incredible since we started doing it to see how much it really blesses the people we visit. After the quake, we went to eat with a sister, and she was pretty....frazzled? She was worried because she didn`t have power and her gas stove moved and so she didn`t want to turn it on in case it was leaking gas or something, and I think she just felt really bad that she couldn`t give us something a little bit fancier than a tuna salad and some leftovers. (But I had actually been praying that we could eat some vegetables, so the salad was the answer to a prayer :D) But anyway, in the end Hna Hernandez offered the prayer "as representatives of Jesus Christ" and as she said it, we all could feel the Spirit so strongly. As she finished the prayer, the hermana was crying and just said, "It`s so nice to hear a blessing from His representatives." Because there hasn`t been much damage, I thought a little that maybe we wouldn`t have many opportunities to serve, but it`s so not true! Maybe it won`t be in the normal manner, cleaning up houses and stuff, but we`ll be able to share with the people as they`re more open to the gospel.

I sure love the gospel! I`m so happy to be serving here right now, and I`m so glad I have the opportunity to share the gospel with everyone here! I know that Heavenly Father loves us and that only His will can be done. I love you all LOTS.

Hermana Owens

We also had intercambios this week! I was with Hna Larsen! 2 gringas together! ha ha :D
Zone activity!

Note: While Tess was emailing us, she felt another aftershock. She wrote: 

They`ve been happening quite a bit, but just a few that are stronger. You feel it more when you`re sitting than when you`re standing. Every time it happens we all just kind of look at each other to see if it`s suddenly going to get worse and we have to get running. And yeah, there`s always just kind of this feeling like, "What if something happens right now!" It rains a lot and sometimes you hear thunder and you`re not sure if it`s thunder or if it`s the earth moving. It`s really weird.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Week 58 Update: The Earthquake

Dear friends and family of Tess, 

A dangerous earthquake occurred last night off the coast of the state of Chiapas, Mexico, where Tess is serving her mission. We have been worried about her (I admit I didn't sleep all night), but were relieved to receive an email this morning from her Mission President and wanted to share his message with you: 

EACH ONE of the missionaries who are currently serving in this mission is safe and each is with companion(s) --- and all missionaries are now located in safe locations and areas.

We have had contact with each of the areas and with each missionary throughout the mission, and are in contact principally with the coastal zones (Tonalá, Arriaga, Zapata, Chahuites, Zanatepec, Ixhuatan) to make sure that each missionary is safe. We are hoping to travel there today with supplies.

So far, other than damage to structures, there have been no reported injuries or major problems with any of the missionaries, nor any major incidents, all are well and we are aware of all issues related to making sure that all missionaries are safe and have sufficient food and water and supplies.

Thank you for your prayers!

Presidente Kevin V. Doman

The Church also put out a statement about the earthquake:


We are so grateful that our daughter is safe, but also know that many are suffering through unimaginable hardships right now and our thoughts and prayers are with all those who are facing such incredible challenges in Mexico, Texas, the Caribbean, Florida, and others.

A little later in the day we received this update from Tess: 

The Earthquake!

We have permission to write our families quick to let everyone know that we´re okay. It was pretty crazy but we´re okay, nothing even broke in our house! Just shook everything a lot. We don´t have electricity right now, and there isn´t electricity in a lot of neighborhoods by here, but we´re okay. Don´t worry!

We´re visiting a lot of people, trying to see how we can help, and I know that everything will be okay! I know that the Lord hears every one of our prayers. Last night, as we were going to bed, I felt that it was really important that we pray as companions very specifically for our families, that they can have comfort, and then came the earthquake! I know that the Lord knows the why and when for everything, don´t worry about us!

Love you lots!

Hermana Owens

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 56: Hola Familia!

Hola, Familia!

This week was really good, we´re planning with a couple other wards a talent show that´s going to be the first day of classes in Hogwarts! (September 1)

But we´re working super hard here, and seeing some pretty awesome miracles! L came for the first time to church, the wife of C, and she LOVED it. Now for the next week we just hope C comes, too :)

We´ve been working a lot with less actives, trying to help them remember why they were baptized, and I found this in the Liahona for this month: "Every time that a doubt or a question has come up, I've been able to remember the promise I made, and have based my important decisions in my life on that commitment." I just really liked that maybe we´ll see a lot of things in our life that maybe don't line up with how we think things should be, but if we focus on the things we promised by baptism 1) remember Christ 2) keep His commandments and 3) take upon us His name, our decisions will be easy to make because the Lord´s will will always be that we follow Him. So let´s keep the commandments! Woo! :)

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens ​

A really awkward picture
because we thought it was funny that we have very similar pajamas. 
The hermanas in our district! Hernandez, Nuñez, Zamora, Larsen, Rivera, and Owens :)
The district!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 55: The Fireside....more or less :D


Well, it rained the day of the activity, so there was no fireside....but there was still a really fun activity :D yay! :D

What we ended up doing was play some games (the human knot and then they had to give a cup of water (see Matthew 10, the last verse) but all the cups had holes in them so they had to figure out how to get the water to the last cup, which was whole. It was fun, but the biggest hit was that in the beginning we had everyone write their name on a little slip of paper, and then for this activity, to show how well we knew everyone in the ward, everyone would give hints about one person, and then the person who was "it" had to guess about whom we were talking. I had thought we would just do a couple people, but in the end we used up ALL the slips, EVERYONE in the activity! They really liked it, because it showed what sorts of things the people actually knew about one person. Obviously, they couldn´t say, "They´re the dad of such and such!" it had to be clues about what things they liked to do, things special about them. And it was just super awesome, I think it made everyone feel good about themselves, like the ward really cared. And an inactive family arrived, and one of the daughters (who isn´t baptized, we´re working with her right now) invited a friend to come! It was super awesome. But the theme of the night was basically "Light the World" like they did in Christmas, so we gave everyone a little sun, a little lamp, or flashlight, or some little piece of paper to remind them to light the world with service. In the end we didn´t share experiences, but a couple people mentioned to us this week that someone passed by to do something for them, and one hermana just smiled as she talked about it, so we hope that it was able to help more people! :D But it makes me super excited to do more activities! If you have any ideas for something we could do.... :D

But it was really pretty awesome doing the activity. I was SUPER nervous, obviously, and it started off a little shaky, but then we got going and it ended up being super super awesome. It really helped me see that as we stretch ourselves the Lord helps us to grow from our experiences. I would NEVER do something like this before the mission, but I know that it´s helping me so much to be able to keep progressing :D I sure love serving here! It´s incredible to see the ward growing closer and working together!

I was reading "A Consecrated Missionary" and I LOVED this one part I read: "Our all is a small part to give for His all." I´m not entirely sure how to translate that better, I don´t remember the word for "reembolso" but it´s talking about how if we give everything of ourselves, it´s only a little bit of EVERYTHING Christ paid in the Atonement. Really, our everything is only a tiny thing, but He works with what we have so we can see miracles! I love the gospel!

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

Hna Hernandez, Cruz, Romina, and me :D
I don´t remember if I told you about her, but Hna E is a lady that we were walking by her house, and we greeted her as we passed but then we felt like we HAD to return and talk to her. She invited us in, and told us that she was baptized about 10 years ago in a different part of Chiapas, but then stopped going, and came to Tuxtla. But since we found her, she hasn´t missed a Sunday, and she feeds us about twice every week! She´s super awesome and everyone in the ward keeps asking from where she came, because she´s super animated to work and help out. It´s pretty awesome how the gospel works in people, to help them feel peace and tranquility in their lives.
B! She´s a recent convert, and super sweet. :)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 54: Another Transfer GONE!!!


Sorry, I don`t think I`m going to have much time for this email today! But it was a super super awesome week, we had six investigators in church this week, and each one of them is progressing super well! M is working for 19 agosto, and there`s another guy, K, that`s working and progressing super well.

There are a lot of members that we`re excited to comment about their service to us! One hermana went up to share her testimony, about how the service really helped her when the person came to visit her. It was pretty nice, we`re really really excited for the activity :)

I just got an email from Hna Gutierrez, and she said that H is going to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and that he`s a counselor in the elder`s quorum!!!! And that a cousin of R is preparing for baptism! 5 de Febrero is flourishing, and it`s incredible to see that la salle is, too!

This week I was studying about the Holy Ghost, and I liked a quote from Joseph Smith: "If you listen to the first whispering, you will be in the right 9 out of every 10 times." It was pretty incredible. We have the gift of the holy Ghost, this RIGHT to have a member of the Godhead with us always. So, we should listen to that first thought, because the second will always be the adversary, trying to make us NOT do what we should. We have the Holy Ghost with us if we`re living worthily, and if we have the Holy Ghost, we can do everything that God requires of us! I know if we listen to EVERY whispering, every single one, we`ll do what God wants us to.

Love you lots!

Hermana Owens

Me corté el cabello!

I cut my hair!

A photo of a bunch of kids dressed up like undersea creatures
that I thought was pretty funny.

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​