Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Last email as Hermana Marìn‏


Everything is good.

I`m calm. I feel good. Reading some emails right now made me a little emotional, but still no tears.

I know I`ve done well. I know that the Lord loves me. I am grateful for this year and a half that my Father has given me to serve Him.

When looking at what I`ve done, just using reason, it doesn`t seem to look like enough, but I know that our Father`s love, mercy, and forgiveness towards us is incomprehensible. I`ve learned a lot about forgiveness, but still have moments of awe... wondering how in the world our perfect, just, and flawless Father who has given us everything can forgive us... always. The big and the small things. He requires exact obedience, but forgives us when we mess up. I know that this time, these efforts, my heart, and everything that has occurred in this year and a half will be acceptable to Him... and that is incredible.

Thank you, to everyone, for all that you have done for me. Your thoughts, prayers, letters, emails, and support in whichever and whatever way. I know that the Lord has and will bless you for supporting His servants.

I cannot believe it`s over... truly, I can`t wrap my mind around it, but it`s okay.

I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. I know that it`s the only church in the world that has the priesthood authority of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God to restore His true church. We have a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, to lead and guide us in these days. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and we must read it and live its teachings in order to be happy here and live with our loving Father in Heaven. Jesus is the Christ. He is our Savior and Redeemer. He did EVERYTHING, so we could have a chance to live again and be saved and exalted. He is the only way. He only asks, but a tiny bit in return, and He accepts it. We must be obedient. To every commandment. We must have faith, repent, be baptized by a worthy Priesthood holder, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure, endure with all our might, until He says, "The Work is done."

I love my Father in Heaven and only hope that all who read this can make the determination to serve our God every day and be better.

All my love,
Hermana Marìn

Friday, April 13, 2012

Semana Santa‏ (April 10th)

Well... when I had found out that I wouldn`t be in La Antigua for semana santa, I was kind of bummed out, but then I got to Tecpàn and learned that after Antigua, it`s basically the biggest celebrating spot for the Semana Santa in Guate... who knows... but it was pretty crazy!!! I`ll show pictures once I get back that you`ll all just love. The people here are so dedicated and talented.

Currently, I am companions with Hna Searle (who I was with for 9 weeks in the MTC and CCM), because President Brough is rocking awesome and let us do divisions for TWO days!! Hna Pacheco is in the capital with Hna Montgomery (Hna Searle`s comp that will be taking her place as nurse this next week). It`s awesome. It`s so so different to be with someone who has a ton of time in the mish.... way too much fun. She`s just incredible. She has become an absolutely excellent missionary. I`m learning lots... why didn`t we ever have divisions before!?! She`s freezing, but very happy. haha

We had an amazing activity last week with the members, to motivate them to work in the Work here in Tecpàn and they all promised to do so... and we will have a baptism this saturday that is an eternal investigator that finally is taking the lunge!!! The miracles and tender mercies of the Lord are happening here.

Thanks for all the emails!!

Love you all!!

Conferences‏ (April 3rd)

Well... Last tuesday - we had a women´s conference, this past weekend - General Conference, and yesterday we had (my last) zone conference with all the missionaries from the mountains. So, needless to say... it has been a great, uplifting week.

I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE. My faves were probably by:
- Donald L. Hallstrom
- Paul E. Koelliker
- Pres. Eyring
- Richard G. Scott
- E. Ballard
- Larry Wilson
- E. Andersen

Elder Hallstrom´s was probs my favorite favorite in that time... because it applies so much to our little branch here in Tecpán... the people have lost their love of the Gospel and are too caught up in "the Church." We are planning an activity (just Hna Pacheco and me) that we are hoping will be very spiritual and a good reminder for the members. We are currently involved in the 40 day fast, so we are hoping to take advantage of that and help everyone remember what is most important and get our spirits up!

I love that all of Anny´s investigators have the same names as our investigators here... haha.

In the zone conference, we were talking about how the Book of Mormon holds the answers to every "pregunta del alma"... Have I mentioned how incredible Pres. Brough is? Near the end, he gave us a few examples of some preguntas del alma that missionaries have. The last one was about enduring to the end on the mission... and he talked about Abinadi. I felt like that was MY answer... just for me. I don´t have issues with working hard until the end, but it helped me remember just HOW bold I need to be and that maybe I won´t see ANY fruits at all before I leave here, but Abinadi didn´t either, but the ONE fruit that he did have ended up saving and converting thousands (and millions if we include all those that have been converted by the words of Abinadi and Alma the father in our day). I love the scriptures.

I love you all so much and am so greatful for this Gospel and the joy that can be found in it´s truths.

Hermana Marin

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Life`s good‏

Well, we`re writing early, because tomorrow we are having a sisters conference :) We can`t call it an hermana`s activity anymore, because we have to go and actually make sure it`s uplifting and edyfing and not just a bunch of young women hanging out and having fun... haha. It will be great. I`ll be able to see Hermana Garcia and know how she and everyone in San Pedro is doing.

Hermana Pacheco contacted her first bus (with LOTS of encouragement on my part) on Friday!!! She did great. We had a training meeting, so she contacted the bus on the way there and I did it on the way back. It was perfect on the way back, because it was PACKED... there were at least 65 people on there. I love this work.

We still have not seen very many fruits at all. Not one investigator or less active showed up yesterday. It was a little disappointing, but I just kept thinking about what Pres Brough is always telling us about hope... I thought,"Algo bueno va a pasar... algo bueno va a pasar...." And it did. Earlier that morning, while we were passing by everyone`s houses to get them to go to church, we passed by the house of a recent convert (a VERY active member... he`s the young men`s president), because he had told us that he wouldn`t be going because of relationship issues (he just started dating the young women`s president... haha... gotta love it), so we stopped by and I talked to him real bluntly, but he said that he still wouldn`t be going... but he showed up at 9:30 :D

Something that Hermana Pacheco has helped me realize is how bold I have become... but it`s easy to see, because she is very timid. She calls me a "preguntona" all the time (meaning that I ask a lot of questions), especially with the investigators. We have been challenged to invite people to baptism (including an actual date) in the contacts that we do with random people. I love it. I feel like I am just now getting the hang of and understanding this whole missionary purpose thing. With God, there is no fear or shame. I feel like I can relate a little bit to the apostles of the primitive church and the missionaries of the Book of Mormon. I think a lot of it is thanks to President Brough... he has changed so much... the way we think, the way we act, how we do things, our faith, etc. He challenges us SO much. He puts goals so very high, and helps us realize that we can actually reach and exceed them.

When we heard about the new expectation of contacting at least 25 people a day, we all thought that it was impossible... now... it`s normal. The other day, we contacted 76 people. Two weeks ago our zone leaders contacted 631 people in one week. It is helping us build our faith and lose fear, by opening our mouths like the scriptures say. I don`t want to lose all these things that the Lord has blessed us with.. I want to have the faith necessary to share the gospel with the same vigor when I return... Of course, as members, we aren`t expected to stop people in the street and start preaching to them, but if we truly love our Father in Heaven, love his children, and are grateful for the sacrifice of His Son, we will share our testimonies and help others be brought into the true fold of God.

Hermana Pacheco is doing great. She is lots more quiet and timid with the people than I am, even though she talks pretty openly with me, but she is slowly but surely losing her fear and is doing great at talking with the people. She reminds me a lot of how I was when I entered, she gets down on herself for little things. The other day the people didn`t react so great when she challenged them to be baptized, so she thought it was her fault. I feel like I can really relate to her, because I know exactly how she must be feeling, so we`re helping each other out.

We`ll be going to Santiago, Atitlàn the last pday of the change (the 16th of April)... so the real last requests for cosas tìpicas will be needed by the tuesday before (the 10th of April).

I love you all very much and hope all is well!!

Hermana Marìn

Sunday, March 25, 2012

As I type... my fingers are real cold...‏

In La Gomera, my hands would be sweating as I typed... haha. Did I mention, that according to the majority of missionaries, I have officially been in the coldest area and the hottest area in the mission :) But don`t worry, I wasn`t even in La Gomera for the hottest time of the year, and I`m not here for the coldest part of the year, so we`re good :)

Well... life is great. Hermana Pacheco is wonderful, I have probably never had so much peace between a companionship as I do with her. I`m not saying that I fought all the time with my other comps, it`s just that that`s how calm, accepting, humble, and laid-back this girl is. It is very different working with her than Hermana Garcia. With Hna G, I hardly ever felt like I was training her... she was confident, strong, fearless, and outgoing from the first day. Hna P doesn`t have quite as much confidence, she can do it all, too, she just doesn`t know it. I`ll probs be spending lots more time motivating, encouraging, and forcing her to do things :) than I ever had to do with Hna G.

I forgot to mention that a couple weeks back, I had a dream that I was being released from my calling as a missionary (in the house in OH by Brother Rick Reed). In the dream, during the blessing, I started BAWLING... I woke up at one point (it was in the middle of the night sometime) and I was actually crying. It was terrible and actually hurts a little bit to share...

I love this area. It`s tough. I know that it will be my toughest area, but I am happy with the challenges that we have and we will have to face. We received some good chicote this morning from our zone leaders telling us that our faith has faltered, so we are very much more motivated. I only have 4 more weeks to give everything that I am capable of... to be able to show a fraction of the gratitude for all the ways that the Lord has blessed me. I have felt the Spirit so much in these past couple weeks... and know that this will be the greatest finishing touches to the changes that have been made on myself, on others, etc. on my mission because of my Savior.

This has been an amazing new, fresh start. I have been able to be who I want, how I want, and work in the work the way that I want... better said... the way that the Lord wants... diligent and obedient and faithful. We always hear about things that the elders before us did... we get called flechonas de vez en cuando, because we actually follow a lot of rules that the elders didn`t. The members see how full our daily planners are and they get excited and say "¡Me llega!"

We are going to do the forty day fast that the OH 2nd ward did. Each member/family/couple will be assigned one day to fast, for forty consecutive days. This place needs it. The difference between this branch and others, is that the majority actually have a LONG time of being members, but it hasn`t turned into a ward, because the growth and retention of the church here is so slow and minimal. Missionaries have been here for more than 40 years I think. They say that they haven`t had sister missionaries here for more than 33 years. There`s lots to do. The problem, we think, is that the members are just not very motivated because they have lost a lot of faith that the Gospel can spread here in Tecpàn. There`s lots to do.

I love you all so much and hope everyone is doing great,
Hermana Marin

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Too much to tell...‏

9779 - Hermana Garcia
9836 - My new comp, Hermana Pacheco and this is Hermana Pacheco`s first area... lucky, awesome girl.

Well.... are you ready?

I am in Tecpàn, Guatemala.

I`m in the legit mountains. It`s freezing. Tecpàn is pretty famous for the mayan ruins that are found there... We haven`t gone yet, but you`d better believe that they`re in our plans.

I`m in my fourth branch. The only ward that I have been in was my first area in La Mariposa. As far as I know, of the 15 areas that have sisters, only 3 are branches. I have been in every single one. The Lord must know that I don`t work well in wards or something... haha.

I am with Hermana Pacheco. She is from Honduras and is WONDERFUL. She is the complete, complete opposite of Hermana Garcia, but I love them both and we get along great.

Tecpàn has been a famously tough area. The elders that were here before did not help us out AT ALL. They only left us with one investigator and they were great about breaking rules, so we`re here making LOTS of changes.

I have seen the Lord`s hand SOOOO incredibly much in this past week. Not for one moment, have I felt nervous or discouraged. I feel so comfortable here. I know it`s where I`m supposed to be. President Brough was talking to us yesterday about how he makes the changes by what the Spirit tells him, then he talked specifically about me, using me as an example... he said that HE didn`t want to put me in a different area for my last change, but that the Lord wanted otherwise.

Our faith and hope are very high right now and I trust in the Lord. I have felt so incredibly good in these days and I know that he loves us and knows what He`s doing.

I love you all!
Hermana Marìn

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A few changes...‏

First of all... please forgive me for not writing very much in these past couple of weeks. I´ll try to do better now....

Well.... I´m out of San Pedro. Changes are tomorrow. I´ll be in a different area for my very last change (6 weeks). Oh... and I might also be opening an area and training again.... President Brough REALLY does not want me getting baggy. This will probably be my hardest working change yet...

Normally, we would have found out about changes yesterday in the morning, but because of the way they are doing things now, all missionaries that will be training find out the Tuesday before (more than a week before the actual changes). I´ve known, but couldn´t get the nerve up to tell anyone in our branch. I´m actually incredibly calm about everything. I adore my area and my comp, but I know that they both need someone else, someone better.

Hermana Garcia will do an amazing job leading the area. I have had an absolute blast with her. We do so great together, but she´ll just see how much better she can and will be without me. I don´t know how much better I will do without her... but here goes. She is happy to be staying in San Pedro though (more than anything, because of her giant bed, haha).

I have no idea where I´ll be off to... could be the coast, mountains, or capital... I´ll let you know in about 7 days ;)

Love you all!