Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Letters to Dad and Mom April 29,2014

April 29, 2014

Hi daddy!

I love you!

Tiquisate is the Zone in the mission - sorry, I should have clarified that.

Hermana Johnson (from Arizona) said that it was the first scorpion that was in the house. But we had the pleasure of having one fall on her skirt in a lesson last night (it was about an inch long, if that. We promptly hit it to the ground and killed it).

We definitely drink water here - we drink about 2 bottles before we leave in the morning and buy lots of bags of water while we´re out proselyting.

It´s really cloudy here and I´ve only seen Volcano Atitlan one time, but yes, they´re the same volcanoes that we could see in Sololá.

This week I realized how much I appreciate going to the Temple on a regular basis (which we don´t do here in the mission).

Every transfer I think, "This transfer can´t go faster than the last one," but every time, it goes faster. I don´t know how, but it does. The days are flying by, the weeks are disintegrating, and I feel like it´s going by so fast. 

We´re teaching the grandson of a convert and he´s still really positive.  We´re helping him prepare to be baptized on the 11 of May. We couldn´t find him last week and we texted him, "Hey, we´re leaving your house, but to be baptized on the 11th, you have to come to church tomorrow." He came with his grandma. It was good.

We´re looking for less actives in our branch (it´s a branch and apparently, there are about 500 less actives in Patulul), and we´ve found a couple.   It´s sad to see them now without the Gospel as a big part of their lives. BUT a family came to church on Sunday - it was amazing. He hasn´t come in 2 years (about) and he and his wife came Sunday.   Amazing.

I love teaching the First Vision. It´s so powerful - a 14 year old boy prayed to get an answer and got one. He saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. It´s proof that God and Jesus Christ are two different people. that God listens to and answers our prayers. That He loves us. That He extended His hand again and restored the Gospel and the Church of Christ in the earth again. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. There´s a reason we teach this first so that the investigators can understand the importance of praying with faith and that God loves us and that He lives and exists. 

I love you, dad! I pray for you and mom and our family every day. I hope you´re well and that your back is doing better.

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Pumpkin Conover

April 29, 2014

Hi momma!

I love you!

The scorpions are a "once in a long while" thing in our house [In California], but they’re here [constantly] in Patulul. We were teaching a family home evening and I found a tiny scorpion on the skirt of Hermana Johnson (who´s from Arizona) and we promptly killed it. It was about an inch long (if that). So we killed it pretty quick. And we have Raid in the house (the one that kills everything).
We email from Internet cafes.  There´s a church in Patulul. There´s only one branch, but we share it with the District Leader and his companion. There are 6 missionaries in our district.

The rainy season has started and we´re on the first floor (our house is only one floor).

I usually just eat cereal and oatmeal and eggs. We drink bottled water and water from bags (I don´t know how else to explain bagged water - it´s like a little bag that´s sealed and it´s 50 centavos).
We have a shower and thankfully, it´s cold water. At first, it was a little hard to take a cold shower (after Sololá), but now I´m very grateful for cold showers.

People speak Spanish, but some are from other places, but they speak Spanish, as well.

Yeah, those "pictures" are actually flowers - think like Rose Parade, but on the ground. [If you Google Patulul images, you will see street long pictures. Mom asked what medium was used to create them.  Mom also commented about a YouTube video of a parade in Patulul.]
 And the "parade" is a Procession for the Semana Santa (Holy Week)-- it was HUGE. There were so many people here in the street, it was slightly ridiculous. But the procession was a huge float with the Virgin Mary (Maria, here) on it and the music was really sad, like a dirge. But, it was interesting. The Catholic presence is REALLY big here.

We taught the Ten Commandments with hand signals - like one finger, only one God. I´ll teach them when I get home (or on Mother´s Day, one of the two). 

I really like Doctrine and Covenants 122:7-9. President Brough and Hermana Brough taught in the last Zone conference about these scriptures. They said, "Instead of the word -if-, put the word -when-." Especially in the mission, all of these things will happen. -When- Satan will try his hardest to destroy you. -When- the whirlwinds will be against you. -When- the dogs start to chase you down to bite you. -When- the investigators drop you. -When- people reject you in the street and shout cuss words at you. -When- your investigator is drunk and you realize it mid-lesson. -When- it´s pouring rain and your umbrella breaks and you´re soaking wet. -When- all of these things happen, know that they are for your good and will help you progress and learn and become better. I know that this life is hard and that the mission life is hard, but worth it. Completely worth it. I´ve learned so much here on the mission and I´m grateful that I had the courage to make this decision - I´m not bragging, I´m just grateful that the Spirit got me to make that decision. I´m grateful that we can progress. That Jesus Christ fulfilled his purpose as our Redeemer and Savior. That we can become better everyday, if we lean on Christ and His merits and mercy to help us.

I love you, mom. I pray for you, and dad, and every one in our family every day. I hope all will be well and that you have the strength to do all the amazing things you do.

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana bug Conover

 Mom was able to catch Michelle during her emailing session, so she asked her about "texting"
their investigator.  She also noted Michelle's sign off Hermana"BUG" Conover--see above  Pretty funny since her letter started with the scorpion story, and mom mentioned that scorpions have "espinas"(spines)  So this is Michelle's response to mom's very quick email.

Hi momma!

We have a cell phone (we got them two changes ago) [changes=transfers] and we can send text messages if they´re pertinent to missionary work. And inviting someone to church counts.
And yes, that is why we promptly killed the scorpion. We didn´t want to get stung by it´s lovely stinger.

I love you!

Hermana Conover

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