Hermana Sarah Gunderson

Retalhuleu, Guatemala Mission, September 2015-March 2017


May 2016

“Don’t mess with chiles”

i know i told the story of Oliver but i dont think i told how much of a miracle it was. we found Karen and Anai last saturday while tracting. We were fasting and we were heading back to lunch to break our fast. we were hungry but we decided to knock one more house and that house was Karen and Anai. then we went to bring them to church the next morning and we brought Oliver too. then we went to visit them this week and we found their sisters who came to church with us this week seemed like everytime we went back to the house we found someone new who had a desire to be baptized. they all want to be baptized and i know they all will in June. they are pure miracles that we found. As we continue to get to know them we realize how prepared they are. They are really cool jovenes. Really cool. When we found the sisters Angela and Jenifer we taught them the restauration. Angela started out differemtly but as we taught i could see the spirit touch her heart and that she was feeling the spirit. I could literally see the gospel changing her. The gospel changes lives. Theres a song that i have that says “they say the gospel supposed to heal you and its done much healing” or something to that effect. And its true. The gospel changes lives and heals us.
I got to do divisions with HnaAcosta my “mom” on friday. it was cool to be with her again. We taught Marisol and resolved all the rest of her doubbts and confusions that she had. And we figured out more of why she wont get baptized yet (she isan eternal investigator. She is basically a member). But after that lesson and talking with her and helping her I really feel like she is the closest to baptism that i have seen her. We keep praying and fasting for her and I think she will do it. we need a miracle and God is a God of miracles.
we went tracting and we knocked this door and it opened and we looked inside and saw the biggest virgin marys made out of cardboard that we have ever seen in ever. the lady wassuper nice and we taught her and then hna Chajchalac asked if all of the family went to the catholic church and she was like oh we stopped going for some reasons. it was a small miracle because they looked like the most faithful catholics but they turned out to be someone new to teach. We never know who is prepared.
FUN THINGS (this week was a good one)
little did i know that there were little assasin chiles in a tamale that a member gave me. I found one when i bit into it and i almost died. but i had to act like i was perfectly fine. My mouth didnt go back to normal until 30 min. DONT MESS WITH CHILES
we went to visit an investigator with a joven named lester. while we were walking he was like “have you guys ever fought anyone?” i was like well ive punched my sister accidentally but thats about it…it wasreally funny
I fell one night off the sidewalk. then some guy in a car was like “cuidado gringita”… great. thanks. ill try.
there was a HUGE soccer game on saturday and we had to wait for it to finish to teach anyone. But it was really funny to see }. we got to the house of Oliver and Co when the game was finishing and they were like are you guys real or athletica (the teams) and Iwas like real because if not you guys are going to kick me out of your house (huge REAL fans). but Real won so its all good.
Hna Gunderson


p.s also for the month of may we have baptized 254 people. we have seen so many miracles as a mission




Cold and cold and cold

Well, ive had quite a week. it started out all nice and WARM and animated. Then on Tuesday after lunch we were tracting and the phone starts ringing and i look at it and its the assitants. I was like OH NO. The assitants dont just call to chat. I answered and E´Kahl answered and was like “hi Hna Gunderson how are you? well im calling to tell you that you have changes tomorrow!” I was so surprised. I had to get my mind straight and then figure out how to say goodbye to everyone in the afternoon and then pack in the night.
So the next morning i leave and we start on our road to Reu and we cant get to the church because of a manifestation (strike) so we have to get off the bus and walk through the people with all of our bags to get to where a taxi could take us to the church. So we finally get there and i learn I am going to San Marcos or better known as the Mountains or Tierras Frias. Yeah. I am now in the coldest part of the mission and they arent exaggerating. ITS COLD. Im freezing. Because of the manifestations we couldnt leave until thrusday in the morning and after the 4 hour bus ride (i wanted to throw up) we finally arrived in San Marcos. My new comp is my mission Grandma* Hna Chajchalac. She is from Guate and she is great. We have the whole family up here because Hna Acosta is in the other zone as Hna Leader.
The mountains are great. Its freezing and thats hard but its beautiful. The people here and the life here is SO different from the coast. But i really like it. I have to learn how to adjust because i have to teach differently because they are different people. Im also going to get the best looking legs ever from all the hills that im climbing. And that winter that i was missing well yeah ive got it now.
We are teaching some really cool people. Marisol and her daughter Jakelin are amazing. They both read and study the Book of Mormon and have amazing questions. They took a step of faith and went to church when her husband was home (she usually went when he wasnt home because she didnt want to ask permission) and are super cool. Jakelin gave a talk in primary on sunday.
We saw miracles on Saturday contacting when we were let into so many houses and found a lot of new investigators. Im really excited to work here in the mountains and i feel like im going to grow and learn alot.
I live in a house that looks like a tree house
i bought a ton of sweaters in the guatemalan equivalent of Goodwill. Oh yes mom. I have sweaters 🙂
Our bathroom door got locked somehow and we had to call our landlord to come and open it. We were without a bathroom until like 11:30 this morning.
they still eat tortillas here but more its tamalitos
Hna Gunderson
(dont worry about the cold, ill be fine)


*Mission lingo: The missionary that trains you is your “parent”

Love the work and the people!


Rainy season

This week was a good and busy week. The rains have started so about everyday i have come home soaking wet. Its quite fun walking through the streets that are basically rivers. water is super powerful.
we went to the temple on my birthday and it was amazing!!!! I love the temple and it was the best way to spend my birthday. I just felt the spirit and the love of God so strongly. I also realized how much i have missed the temple. It is literally the house of God and you can feel that.
We had a baptism this saturday. His name is Otto and he is 18. He is super amazing. He was really impressed with his teacher Hno Vladimir and how Hno Vladimir has never drank in his life (Hno Vladimir is a member and he was the one to invite Otto to church in the first place) and he said that he wants to be the same. He came to church and liked it and he wanted to get baptized. Otto is really cool. He reads and really understands the things that we teach and he wants to learn more and become a better man. He is someone that is prepared to hear the gospel and accept it.
We are also teaching this guy named Alex. Alex is 19. He is going to get baptized the 21 of May. He loves to learn and whenever we teach him he tells us all the things he learned in church and in the pamphlets and in the Book of Mormon. He told us that he uses the blank pages in the back of the Book of Mormon to write down the important things in the pamphlets that he read and the date that he read them. He is a super cool guy to teach.
Teaching Otto and Alex has made me realize that there really are people that are ready and willing to be baptized. they are the elect, the ones that we just teach and help them take the step of baptism. We dont have to force them or persuade them (not that we do that anyway) but they recognize the truth of the gospel and they accept it. D&C 4 talks about how the field is white and ready to harvest and these are the people that are “white.” they are the ones that listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ and recognize it as truth.
The gospel is true. Jesus Christ lives and is our Savior.
Fun things
ive almost lost my shoes several times in the water while working. thankfully i caught them before they got too far away. we were walking to visit Otto one time when it happened and now he always makes fun of it
we went with the assistants to interview some of our investigators and we stumbled upon a waterfall. the assitants also got lost on a straight road coming to pick us up in the car. But they brought us mcflurries so its okay.
It may have been our fault that we couldnt have a zone activity last pday because of our dirty house. Everyone had to stay home and clean. BUT ITS CLEAN NOW.
Hna Gunderson Soakin

The rainy season has begun…


This week the rain officially began. I have never seen so much rain in my life. I have never been so wet. And then it gets cold. I now know to ALWAYS carry my rain jacket with me. ALWAYS. We had to walk to this one investigators house in the s and it was pouring and the water was up to my mid shin. It was a little river. the chapines always tell us that we are getting wet like we dont already know. The chapines also dont leave their house when it rains so they dont expect us to come either and are really surprised when we show up at their houses. Its really funny. The great thing is its going to rain until November so i will have a lot of experience with rain. I dont think you guys understand how much it rains here.
D got confirmed this week!!!!! It is a miracle. They werent sure if he was going to have to work and if he was going to work he wasnt going to go to church. But he didnt have to work and we took hime to church and he got confirmed. Thank goodness. God is a God of miracles.
We met this really cool guy  last sunday as a reference from a member that went to general conference. We taught him like a two hour lesson this week. he has a ton of questions and he wants to learn. He is super cool. He went to church and in gospel principles he recounted the story of the first vision perfectly. It was really funny because our ward mission leader challenged him to baptism like twice in the class. We were sitting in the back almost laughing and thinking “wow. alan (our ward mission leader) is super cool. He just challenged him to baptism” Our district leader came to interview him and he accepted to be baptized this saturday. He told us “im ready to take this step in my life” He is really one of those chosen people that Heavenly Father has prepared.
C and G are going to get baptised this weekend as well. We also have a 15-year-old kid named C that wants to get baptized too. We just need to get permission from his mom which may prove to be an adventure/difficult because she works in a bar. The Lord is preparing people for us. And we can see that in the people that we are teaching and that are going to get baptized.
We had interviews with President this week. It was fun to talk to him.
we deep cleaned our apartment this week because we failed to clean it monday and it was a GIANT MESS. We may have also had surprise inspections and it was the WORST possible day to do it. We were all so embarrassed and horrified that we cleaned in the night. ITS SPOTLESS RIGHT NOW so dont worry.
I lost my shoe twice in the rain
a nice investigator gave us blankets because we were soaking wet and cold
I completed 7 months on saturday
I turn 20 TOMORROW. what. Im old.

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