Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Week 35: A Mexican Museum!

Hola, Familia!!!!

A lot happened this week ahhh!!!!! (stressed typing because a lot happened)

First of all, we went to Hitler's house!!! (yaaaayyy......) There's a house here in Chiapas, in Santo Domingo, where a lot of generals of the German army would come and relax. But in the beginning of WWII, they all got kicked out by the Mexicans. But now it's a museum, and we went with both zones in Tapachula with Presidente George!!! It was fun, and pretty nice to relax.

Zona Tapachula MΓ©xico!

Santo Domingo!
I took some photos of the exhibits in the museum because they made me laugh....
in mexico you can touch the exhibits! and they're on the floor sometimes!
And they are even labeled by handwritten pieces of paper sometimes :D

We also had a baptism in the ward (of a member, an 8-year-old) but we arrived and the font was EMPTY. Completely empty. But then one of the counselors arrived, and said that they had filled it, but they must have forgotten to put a stop in, so they lost all the water. But then they started it again, and in about fifteen minutes it was ready! It was a miracle that it filled so quickly. I was REALLY grateful.

This morning I was reading in the November Conference Liahona [Church magazine], and wow. First, I was reading "Is it I?" (for some reason that doesn´t sound like correct English but I think it is), from Pres Uchtdorf, and it was really powerful, that I have to humble myself and really consider how I have to change. I really liked "If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths. Ironically, our blindness toward our human weaknesses will also make us blind to the divine potential that our father yearns to nurture within each of us." It's a really powerful talk that makes you want to change.

But then after was the talk from Pres Eyring, "the Preparatory Priesthood." And this was powerful in a completely different way. He didn't really say anything in it really new or striking; it was about having trust and showing it in the people that you teach. But it was less what he said, but just reading it, I could just FEEL love. I'm not even sure why it touched me so much, I don't think I've been looking for an answer that I discovered in this talk or something. But I just really felt the love of God for me, and that He really has this trust for us.

Reading these talks made me SUPER excited for conference this weekend. After spending so much time here talking about prophets, and who they are, and what they do, and just talking about EVERYTHING about them, I've gained a lot more appreciation for Conference.

[Tess also answered a few of my questions.] Do a lot of people have dogs there?

Yes. Mostly Chihuahuas.

Did you get to see Women’s Conference? [The choir that sang in Conference was the same choir that Tess participated in her freshman year at BYU.]

I knew, like, half the choir! Maybe that´s a bit of an exaggeration, but I knew a LOT of people. There was a part of me that thought, "Wow. If I was at home, I could be singing in CONFERENCE right now." And maybe a little part was like "noooo" but well I'm a representative of Jesus Christ and I can sing anytime I want. πŸ˜€ Seriously, it was just kind of surreal.

But it´s also Mango season! We have two bags filled with mangos that some people have given us, and mango JAM homemade that is super delicious and would be really good as mango cobbler.


Hermana Owens

I finally got the plug out of the sink
 (it has never drained well, and I kind of lost patience
and spent about a half hour working with this thing.
Stabbing it with a knife worked surprisingly well!)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Week 34: The Recuperated Dynamic Duo!!!!

Hola, familia!

I'm happy to report that everything's good! Hna Tovar feels really good, and we've been able to leave to work again πŸ˜ƒ We started leaving Saturday afternoon and I felt like the air was cleaner, the sun was brighter, EVERYTHING. It's really good to look for people to teach and to have lessons.

Things slowed down a little bit, and now we have to look for the people again to put appointments with them, so these last couple days still weren't quite the same, but I feel like we've established the work again, so we're going to just be able to teach and do all the normal missionary things this week!

I don't have much time to write, sorry, but I'll just share a really nice experience we had this week. A member that just came here from Honduras came to church last week, and he invited his friend, too! So, we went to visit him, and his friend is SUPER interested to learn more, he really liked the church when he went. It was just pretty neat to hear how much this guy has been through, but the FIRST thing that he did was look for the church, and GO. It really showed how important the church was for him, that he would seek it out even though he had to leave literally EVERYTHING behind.

Sorry for the short email, but the dynamic duo is back in 5 de Febrero! Yay!

Hermana Owens

Talking to our district leader
Cleaning the clothes
... sorry, we just didn't really take pictures this week
so you get the chores pictures

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Week 33: The Week a Little Interesting

Note: This week Tess didn’t write until Tuesday because she had been with her companion at the hospital on Sunday and Monday. The doctor determined her companion had salmonella poisoning.


I wanted to apologize for maybe being a little light about being sick last don't really know how bad or long it was, so you probably thought the worst....sorry.

Well, we didn't know what we had, but the doctor THOUGHT it was dengue. Bu it ended up being that we both had salmonella. I'm all better, but Hna Tovar still has to rest inside for another week, and she has to stay away from the sun. The sun still hurts Hna Tovar's head, and if she's outside much the fever's going to return. So we're in the house, resting. Today we're doing our P-day, so we're not worrying about looking for an hna to accompany us so we can do divisions, but later in the week we'll be doing them. [Tess will pair off with another companion so she can do some work.] The doctor gave her some injections that she has to take over the next few days and some tablets that she has to take after every meal.

It's pretty hard because we really were working hard and getting things done, but I guess we're going to try to take advantage of this week to put some plans into work, and finish doing our tree of references here, and some things that we want to do with the youth here. We're going to work as much as possible as we can this week, even if we can't leave the house!

Honestly, I'm doing well for not being able to work. I think it helps a lot that Hna Tovar and I get along REALLY WELL, and so we've been able to kind of keep each other laughing and happy during this time.

We both received a blessing from Pres Juan [the Stake President who lives by them] last Monday, and it was really nice because he said that we would learn from this time of trial, and that we would see the blessings of our work and the trials. I think that's also why I'm not DYING that I can't go out and work. I feel like there's still a lot I can do. Also, we had a really neat experience with a youth here, during our time in the hospital, that makes me feel like we can still work even though we're locked in πŸ˜€

So even though we didn´t have the opportunity to leave to work much this week, we were able to see some awesome miracles! We contacted this young man from El Salvador, and he told us a pretty sad story about his family because the situation in El Salvador is pretty terrible. But he and his brother came here as refugees, and when we talked about the gospel with him, he was like, "yeah, I want Jesus in my life again." I just really feel like this young man really needs the hope of an eternal family in his life.

Also, since this week we had to stay in all week we were a little worried about our investigators, so we were trying to decide what we should do when we thought of Ricardo, a joven (youth) in the ward that has accompanied us with one of these investigators. So we called him and asked him if he would be willing to go alone to visit this investigator, invite them to church, and maybe just chat a little. He was super willing, and thanked us that we thought of him. Hna Tovar and I think that maybe we got sick just to realize that maybe this is a way we can use the members more, show that we trust them with their own personal missions that they can fulfill. Sunday, Ricardo called US to tell us about his experience, about how it all went, and then asked if we wanted him to do anything else. It was just pretty cool that people are so willing to help. I think just sometimes we need a little push, and then we'll do anything!

I guess we just need to remember that we can see miracles ANYTIME. I've been remembering the definition of patience that I love, that it's keeping a positive attitude during all these things, and I feel like by trying to focus on the good things that happen, I've felt more patient. I just feel like if you try to see the positive of something you're going to find it, and you're going to be able to bear anything.

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

ps. Other miracle of the hospital is that it had hot water!!!!!!!! I spent a lot of time in the shower these last couple days. Maybe my hair got super dried out but it is a MIRACLE to have hot water that you don't have to dump on yourself. :D

Hna L! We had a lot of support from the members the last couple days.
I felt a little bad, because they would bring me food
(the bishop even brought me breakfast Saturday),
and so I was eating super well, but Hna Tovar had to stick with her hospital food...
But Hna L gave me bread, jam, and a knife
(covered in aluminum foil to protect it during the trip :D)

A bad selfie
Making tortillas de harina (flour tortillas) with hna E, Thursday,
the one day when we didn´t feel so terrible! :D
 The sicky with Hna L and Hna B

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Week 32: Hola :D

Note: In a separate email, Tess sent me this: 

Hna Tovar and I are both sick so we have to stay in the house. Yesterday our bodies ached, and today we have fevers pretty strong, so we went to the doctor and he says it´s POSSIBLE we have dengue [a mosquito-borne illness related to West Nile]. For now it´s just bed rest, but if we still feel bad tomorrow we have to return for blood tests and stuff. So we're just lying in bed. And then we get up to eat a little bit. We live below the Stake President so we asked him for blessings and his wife gave us some food and watermelon πŸ˜€ We also have permission to use their computers so that we don´t have to leave the house. But we have to rest for today and tomorrow. But we´re fine! I think it´s a little better when you get sick together... πŸ˜€

 Hola :D

Sorry, this is going to be a little short because I´m trying to focus on writing everyone, but this was a really awesome week!!!

We´ve been visiting a family each day, besides when we go to eat, and it´s been INCREDIBLE the changes we´ve seen in the ward [congregation]. We´re committing each family to do something like to read their scriptures and do their prayers, or something that they think of themselves, and it´s INCREDIBLE. I think as missionaries sometimes we forget that just because a member goes to church doesn´t mean that they´re not struggling. It´s been pretty cool to see how important a visit is from a member, from a missionary, to a person.

We had our stake conference this week, which was AWESOME. Presidente George came to talk, which made it even better :D The theme was families, and the temple president talked a lot about family history, and it made me really excited to do it. Pres George said that we have permission during language study to go to an internet cafe and do family history, and I think we´re going to do it!

We´re seeing a lot of miracles here!

Love you lots!

Hermana Owens

 Groupie with Natali and Lizzeth, two members of the children´s choir!!!

 La Tovar and me.