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Hermana Sarah Gunderson

Retalhuleu, Guatemala Mission, September 2015-March 2017

Month

March 2016

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Happy Easter!

Easter was good! Here its an entire week and its a giant party. They have people on wednesday walking around as Judas with weird costumes and giant Judas dolls making noise and asking for money and then on saturday they burn the Judases. everything shuts down after wednesday. There are all these catholic processions throughout the week in the nights. they are these things where the people carry on their shoulders these GIANT statues on giant platforms on a route. Its supposed to clean you from sin. But they do those just about every night starting at like 8 and getting in at like 1 in the morning. I would look those up on the internet. Then on friday everyone leaves for the beach. LITERALLY EVERYONE: The city was so quiet. On sunday in sacrament we recited the living christ as missionaries. It was really powerful and the spirit was so strong. if you guys havent read the Living Christ I would read it. It is a special testimony of Jesus Christ written by the apostles and it is beautiful. READ IT. ALso if you havent seen the new Hallelujah video I would watch that also. Its amazing. So many good ways to strengthen your testimony in Christ and celebrate His resurection.
Eduardo, Janeth´s son got baptized on Saturday. It was so cool. He is really amazing. He came to church yesterday in a white shirt and tie and got the priesthood. In two weeks he´s going to pass the sacrament!!! its so exciting. He is a really cool kid. And im so excited that he got baptized. He is a miracle. In reality his whole family is a miracle. We ate dinner with them on thursday and I just love them so much. They have become like my family here. They are just some of the coolest, most genuine people that I have met and they have taught me so much. And i am so gald for the opportunity to teach them and to help them enter into the waters of baptism. They are on their way to the temple and an eternal family.
I know Jesus Christ lives and that he is our Savior. Through Him, we can start a new live, be free from sin, and have the power to become the people that we need to be.
Fun Things:
OUR SKIRTS AND DRESSES OF CORTE ARE FINISHED!!!!!! The skirts that we wore for the baptism and the dresses in the pictures i sent are made from corte. Corte is the typical fabric here. We bought it a couple weeks ago and then had an hermana in the stake make us skirts and dresses and they turned out so cute!!!
Embarassing Things:
I almost hugged one of my zone leaders. It gets really confusing when you are saying goodbye to all the sisters and you do the hug and kiss thing and its bascially a line and then your zone leader shows up and you almost go for the hug before you realize who it is. Basically im never living that one down.
CON MUCHO AMOR
Hermana Gunderson

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Change of heart (and purple water)

This week Janeth (i learned its actually spelled this way) and her son Lester got baptized, Saturday morning we called and she was sick and worried about being in the wáter and getting more sick. Her husband Eric was asking if we could do it another day. But we told her that we could try to heat the wáter and that she wouldnt be in the wáter for very long. She accepted and was baptized. The heating of the wáter really didnt do much, but it eased her fear and she went forward with faith. She wants all of her family to get baptized. Its so amazing and cute. She is such a special person. You can feel her testimony and her light shine. We asked her who she wanted to baptize her and she told us “I want Elder Solorio (our zone leader who did her baptismal interview) to baptize me because he saw the blackness of my soul and i want him to see me clean again.” I loved that. That is the atonement. No mattter how black our souls are we can become clean through repentance and baptism. She has taught me so much.
On sunday she came late to church and without Lester. We were like Where is Lester and she told us that he didnt want to come. We were like he needs to get confirmed! his baptism isnt complete yet. So during the last talk hna canty and i left and got Lester in a tuk tuk to get him confirmed. It was crazy but the important part is that he is confirmed.
This week we recieved a reference and we went to contact them. The hermanas told us that they were really positive and that they wanted to get baptized. When we went to contact them we realized that it was a family that we had already contacted and that they were not positive. So we went and taught them and were completely amazed. Even though they were the same people they were completely different. They want to get baptized. THey want to know more. They Lord changes hearts. And this is the greatest miracle of missionary work. The change of hearts.
FUN THINGS
Lester and Janeth were baptized in purple wáter. We tried to use this blue dye that the elders use to make the wáter pretty because the wáter was really dirty. But the elders messed up and bought PURPLE. And then they put it in. And it wasnt just purple a Little bit. It was REALLLY PURPLE. But its okay. It was funny. She thought it was blessing powder.
CON MUCHO AMOR
Hna Gunderson

Spiritual stuff and giant spiders

This week was great. We had another lesson with Eric and Yaneth. They were the couple that we taught on Sunday where we challenged them to baptism and he talked for an hour. We taught a really powerful lesson about the book of mormon. Eric loves the Bible and its really hard for him to accept that there is another book that is the word of God. He thinks that we are trying to replace the Bible with the Book of Mormon. But we read Moroni 10:3-5 with them and challenged them to really read the book of mormon and study it like they study the Bible. They both committed to do it. This was a small miracle in itself, that Eric is going to read it and that he opened his heart just a little bit. then we went and visited Yaneth on saturday and asked her how her reading went. She was like “Hermanas, I read the part that you left me. and i prayed and asked God if it was true. And its absolutely true. It is the word of God. Its not replacing the Bible. It has so much of the Bible in it. I not only read what you left me, i read more. i know its true” It was amazing. We could feel the strength of her testimony hit us. We were literally speechless from joy. I KNOW THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE. It is powerful. If we read it, study it, and ask God if it is true in prayer, HE WILL ANSWER US. We will feel that it is true. It changes people. I have seen that in my mission so much already. It answers doubts and questions and strengthens our testimony of Jesus Christ. IT IS TRUE.
Yaneth also came to church on sunday, even though she went to the emergency room in the middle of the night and still felt bad. She and her son are getting baptised this saturday.
on a much less spiritual note, we encountered possibly the BIGGEST SPIDER i have ever seen IN MY LIFE, IN OUR ROOM. it was terrible. We left and then came back and we couldnt find it, which was terrifying. Then thankfully we found it and it took on very brave Hermana eaton to kill it and the rest of us screaming and watching us kill it.
I also fell into drainage hole while we were walking to a lesson with Yaneth and Eric one night. I cannot describe to you how suprised i was to suddenly be in water up to my knees. I also cannot describe how DISGUSTING that water is. Needless to say, i came home and showered and washed my clothes. We still laugh about it. And shudder a little too.
CON MUCHO AMOR
Hermana Gunderson

 

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Tortillas!

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“Us being weird with our skirts after lunch.”
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Hermana Eaton killing the spider
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Skating on prep day!

Pictures

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“Don’t drink the water, we have a cockroach.”

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A week of miracles

This week was a week of miracles. Monday night we went to talk to hno Jimmy who had a baptism date for this satruday. We werent sure if he was actually going to get baptized but when we got there he was like “so this saturday right hermanas?” Yeah! so then we got excited. His wife mildred still didnt want to get baptized. She wanted more time and to know for sure that she was doing it just for her and not for Jimmy. The next morning we get a call from Jimmy and he told us to call mildred because she had something to tell us. so we call her and she tells us ” im going to get baptized this satruday too” we literally jumped around like little girls we were so excited. They are amazing. We hadnt taught them a lesson in over two weeks because they were never home, but the Lord worked a miracle and resolved the doubts and fears that Hna Mildred had. There were more obstacles for the baptism- their interview and right before the baptism they got in a little car accident- but they were baptized and Hno Jimmy told us that he knows that it was Satan trying to oppose them and that solidified even more that they needed to get baptized. Its when i get to know people like them that you see so many of the blessings of being a missionary. When you see the little changes that the gospel makes in the lives of the people we teach. when you see them doing their best to be better. It wasnt much, but they showed up sunday to church in church clothes and they got to the church before us. Jimmy in a white shirt and tie and mildred in a cute shirt and skirt. it was just the coolest feeling to see that they could feel the importance of baptism and the step that they took. It was a miralce that we recieved after we worked hard all month and did “all that we could” and the Lord did the rest.
We taught a guy that when we challenged him to baptism rejected us and preached to us for an hour. Then we testified of the importance of the Book of Mormon and we could feel the spirit really strong and we know that he felt the truth of our message. His wife Yaneth felt it and understood it but he rejected it and continued to fight with us basically. its really sad when that happens but its where agency comes into play. We teach and testify and the investigators can feel the spirit. But they have the choice to accecpt it or reject it. But we can more at peace with this sadness because we did our part and testified of the restored gospel.
I also went on Divisiones with Hna Campos our hermana leader this thurday and friday. It was cool to learn from her and see how she works and to get to know her more. there were also tender mercies because every person that we planned for was there and i didnt have to think of plan bs. And that i was able to find houses without getting too lost.
Fun things
a cockroach got into our agua pura…
i almost got cheek kissed by a 12 year old boy… i might have given him a complex because i flat out rejected him in front of all of his friends
i have 5 months today!
CON MUCHO AMOR
Hermana Gunderson

 

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Riding in a tuk tuk

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