Hermana Sarah Gunderson

Retalhuleu, Guatemala Mission, September 2015-March 2017


December 2015

Missionary Christmas

We are surrounded by miracles here. A week ago, we were walking down the street and this guy stopped us and asked us where the church building was. His name is alejandro and was baptized last year in Xela. He came to church that sunday and brought his little sister, who lives here in esperanza and who is not a member. We started teaching her this week and she is getting baptized this saturday. She literally just fell into our hands.
Our other miracle this week is with D. We had a lesson with her Wednesday and taught her the restoration in full. She didnt want any of it. She didnt want to be baptized and she didnt want to continue meeting with us. the next day we had a zone meeting where we had a gift exchange. One of our zone leaders was given a barbie as a joke and Hna C had the impression to ask for the barbie and go bring it to D for christmas. So we did that. We found her washing dishes and we helped her finish. She told us she didnt think that we were coming back. We sang a christmas song with her and talked about the importance of our savior. The miracle was that she was changed. She asked us who else is getting baptized on the 9th and told us that she is reading and understanding the Book of Mormon. It was a complete 180. She was so grateful for the barbie and that we came back. I have a testimony of the spirit. I am so glad Hna Cabrera listened to the promptings of the spirit. I know God is a God of miracles and the He prepares people to hear His gospel. Its His timing.
Another miracle was with J. J is one of our investigators. He has a desire to be baptized and knows that what we have taught is true its just that he works and studies all the time and hasnt been to church yet. He went to the christmas devotional but not to sunday meetings. He came this sunday to church.
Christmas here was fun. its different Christmas as a missionary but my testimony of the Savior has grown this month as our focus has been on the Savior.
Yo se que él vive. Yo se que yo puedo ser limpio de mis pecados a través él. Yo se que yo puedo vivir con mi Padre Celestial otra vez porque Jesucristo vive. Yo se que él es mi Salvador y que me ama y les ama cada una de ustedes. Tenemos esperanza y luz porque tenemos un Salvador Jesucristo. Todos cosas son posibles porque nos ha nacido un salvador.
Feliz Navidad y Nuevo año!!
Hermana Gunderson


Feliz Navidad!

This week was super fun. Monday night the hermanas in our zone slept over at our house because we had the christmas devotional in the mountains the next morning and had to be in the stake center at 4 in the morning. With the hermanas, we went to our ward mission leaders house and made valeadas which are a food from honduras. They are super good. Basically I’m gonna come home and be able to cook like a latina. Hopefully.
The christmas devotional was super amazing. Despite the early and long busride. Both presidente and hermana Ruiz gave talks that really helped me and inspired me to become a better missionary and excited me more in the work. We performed a little talent for the talent show which was super funny because we really didnt practice what we were going to do before. but presidente was laughing and it was fun so it was a good performance. we also had our activity in the park tuesday after the devotional but we were going to arrive late. As we got close, it started to downpour and we had to move our activity to the church building and completely make up a plan B. but it was a miracle. We organized our activity in about 30 minutes and it turned out really well. The spirit was there. It was really a small miracle.
This friday we fasted for the investigators of our district. I can testify that prayer and fasting works. During the fast and after the fast we found many new positive investigators. One of them is named D. D is 13 and i have never seen a 13 year old know more about the bible than she does. She truly wants to know if the book of Mormon is true. She came to church with us yesterday and liked it. She is a special girl and I see a lot of potential in her. Saturday we put a goal of 2 investigators in sacrament meeting for sunday. we only had plans to bring Dina but we moved forward with faith. And the Lord provided. The sister of a member came to church yesterday and we are going to visit her this week. We also meant a woman while we were contacting that told us a lot of her life story and then without us saying anything set up another appointment with us. Its amazing.
We had two big christmas events this week. We sent off 100 lanterns friday night in the park with investigators. Yesterday was the annual Christmas Choir in Coatepeque put on by the church. We got a ton of references from that activity. For both of the activites Hna C and I were in charge of taking down everyones address and contact information. It was difficult for me because of spanish and times and others because though i love the Chapines (Guatemalans)their way of giving their address is very unspecific. Walk straight until you hit the river and then ask there for maria. then turn right and walk until you come to a tienda. I live by the tienda. Its really like that. its quite funny!
I love being a missionary and I love sharing the gospel. This month I have gained such a testimony of the Savior. it is truly amazing the love that he has for us and all the things that are possible because we have a savior. I know He lives.
Hermana Gunderson



Early morning zumba!
Making valeadas
Sunrise in the mountains
We found a hammock!
Back to school!
1 week as companions


New Record, New Companion










Pictures with the Elders


Breaking the record


New Companion
Birthday Party
This week we had transfers! And SURPRISE! the Lord decided that He needs Hna A in R. So I have a new companion, Hna C.  She is awesome! She is from Honduras (WOO) and has 15 months in the mission. She is a lot of fun and a great missionary. I’m definitely going to learn a lot from her. I love that I get to learn from two trainers. I was a little nervous about transfers because I only have a month in E and I need to teach Hna C the area and show her all of our investigators. But the Lord qualifies those whom He calls and I have felt myself grow this week with my new responsibility. I have felt the enabling and strengthening power of the atonement as I strive to do the work that I need to do.

With the new video about Christmas that the church has put out, our district has activities this week and last week to show the videos and find new people to teach. Its a really powerful thing to watch the videos and testify of Christ. Each companionship chooses a video to show and gives a small message after the video. The spirit in every one of these activities has been so strong. I love Christmas and the time that we have to celebrate Christ. Tomorrow Hna C and I are having our activity in the Park by our house. We put together a ward choir and they are going to sing in between the videos and we are going to have a nativity that people can take pictures with like Santa. I’m really excited about it. Pray that it goes well!

This week we decided to contact in a place that I have never contacted before. There are public pools where people can wash their clothes in a párt of our area. Behind these pools was a páth to houses. We decided to take it one day and many people that we talked to were willling to listen to us and meet with us again. I know that the Lord is in charge of His work and that there are people prepared to hear the gospel from Hna C and I and He will help us find them. Our goal as a mission is to break our record of baptisms in January and baptize over 200 people. We are relying on the Lord to help us accomplish this miracle and moving forward with faith and working hard. My zone accomplished a miracle in November breaking the monthly record of 27/5 people baptized (the five represents families) to 42/5. We can continue to accomplish it in December and January.

I’m memorizing The Living Christ as a way to celebrate Christmas. It is a beautiful testimony of Christ from living Apostles and prophets. I know He lives and He is my Savior and that because He was born, all things are possible.


Hermana Gunderson

Christmas parade and temple trip

Elders from the Midwest
I found corn!
Temple trip with ward members
Two beautiful hermanas!
With a new member


Nauvoo in Guatemala?
Lunch with an investigator
Making tortillas
Christmas parade
Enter a caption

Hola and Merry Christmas

I got my package!!!! I have exercised a lot of constraint and only opened the package that had the skirt. And the candy of course. The Reeses are wonderful!!!

 This week I learned how to make tortillas by hand with Hna A. She is so good at it and her tortillas always turn out perfect. Making tortillas is harder than it looks. Mine always fell apart or were really ugly. It was funny. But it doesnt matter as long as they taste good. Hna A wants so badly to be baptized. She told us that she has seen the change in her life in the weeks that she has been meeting with us. But she needs to get married to be baptized and her esposo doesnt want to get married quickly. we are hoping to teach a lesson with the family and that he will change his mind. Hna A´s sister B is preparing to get baptized this Sunday which is really exciting. We just have to teach her a lot this week and help her prepare
for her baptism.
This week Hna and I saw miracles while tracting. We knocked every door in one street and hand positive contacts and(or) found new investigators in every door. The Lord answers prayers. While tracting, we found the family that thought I was Brazilian from last week. We taught them almost every lesson while just talking to them and answering questions. We gave them a Book of Mormon and they are reading and studying it. They are an amazing family and are really genuine people. And their little girl is super cute.
We also tracted in a guy named Ml. He talked to us for a while and was really impressed with our purpose as missionaries. We invited him to church and he showed up to church this sunday and stayed all 3 hours. It was awesome. Unfortunately he is only working and studying here for December. But he told us that he wants to continue to come to church. He liked church a lot which is a big deal because he doesnt like churches but he believes in God.
Friday we had an activity in the church. During the activity we went with our district leaders to interview an Hno for baptism. Unfortunately he wasnt there. But by his house a woman was selling fireworks (fire works are a huge deal here. like almost every day i hear fireworks) and the elders and hna A and i stopped and looked at them and talked to the hna and her daughter. We ended up bringing the daughter back to the activity with us and she agreed to come to church with us sometime!
I had the amazing opportunity to go to the temple on Saturday!! It was amazing. And my spanish was decent so that was good. We brought our recent convert and she is amazing. She wants to start family history. On the way home from the temple we stopped at this bread store and bought bread and donuts. I guess anywhere in the world a temple trip isnt complete without food. I slept on the busride home and woke up and two of the brothers of the ward were making fun of me because I guess my mouth was open. One said he took a picture but Im not sure if he was joking.
I didnt think I could feel cold in Guatemala but the mountains are cold. The temple is in the mountains and it was cold.
I had my first experience with chili this week. They asked me if i eat chili and were laughing. I said yeah and took a huge piece of cauliflower which apparently had the chili on it and ate it. WOW WAS IT HOT. Chilis here are not the same. They pack a huge punch. Never again.
Hermana Gunderson


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