Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Monday, December 29, 2014

You guys are seriously the best!

Yeah, not gonna lie, it was super nice to talk to you all and to know that you are all doing okay! Thanks for taking time to skype and call! I loved it! And to say the least, I am more motivated and content after seeing you guys, not so much trunky. I don't think I'm trunky, anyway. 

As for the rest of my week since Christmas, it's been good. The morning of Christmas, we opened our little secret sister gifts and our little goodie bags and it was really nice! My secret sister (it was my companion haha) gave me some new cute pjs!! I'll send you guys some pics when i can. But I love them and they are really comfortable. As for the others, i gave them some calenders from Hawaii ... and needless to say, they loved it! My companion loves flowers, so I gave her one calendar with flowers from Hawaii and Hermana Hernandez loves "aquamarine" beaches so I gave her a calendar with Aquamarine. All in all, it was a very nice christmas! And we had tons of food!

So just a short spiritual thought for  today: the book of mormon has power. A power like no other. What me and  my companion have been doing is caring around the BOMs in our hands so that people know who we are and we've given out a lot since then. At one point, we were visiting a lady and her friend, who is catholic, started asking us questions in a way that gave us the impression that she was trying to find a way to attack us. But our investigator opened her BOM and started sharing her small and simple testimony about the BOM and how it testifies of Christ. She didn't say much, but it was enough. We also gave her friend a BOM and she started reading various parts of it, looking through it, and she didn't attack us. In fact, I think she's actually going to read it! Anyway, to say the least, we have an appointment with her friend and we will see how that goes. But the BOm has a unique power that everyone recognizes, not matter who they are. It's really cool! This new year, i invite you guys to share the BOM. The BOM has basically all the doctrine of our church and if you read the introduction, there is an invitation and a promise for all who read it. I invite you guys to make a goal for this year to 1) read the entire book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true, or if you know that it is true, pray to more and 2) share a BOM with someone this year. I know that if you do this, the Lord will provide a way for you, to bless and strengthen you in your efforts. 

I love you guys so much and hope you all have an amazing new year! Thank you for your love and support, your examples, and for letting me serve a mission. Honestly, besides you guys, my mission means the world to me :D Love you all and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Love and aloha, siempre, 
Hermana Ho

P.S. if you can, pop some fireworks for me :D

Monday, December 22, 2014

We got pictures!!

This is the day of our baptism of the Family Sabino. We baptized the dad, the mom, and their 13 year old daughter. Now we just need to baptize their 2 other daughters and their son! lol

A picture of us in our house. There's hermana Hernandez (from Mexico) sitting down in the back and her companion, Hermana Nazaire (from the Bahamas) behind her. And then me and my companion, Hermana Maltos.

There are also pics of our other baptism, Breily! Sorry, the other baptisms we had I don't have any pictures because my camera was malfunctioning lol.

Feliz Navidad!

Ward Christmas Party

Feliz Navidad y prospero ano felicidad!

Hola and Feliz Navidad!

So, this past week was pretty good. Honestly, there wasn't anything too eventful. Oh, but I did recieve 2 packages!Thank you so much for them! I got one from you guys, then the 12 days of Christmas. Let's just say that we are so happy to actually have a Christmas tree in our house! Well, I was thrilled! Plus the ornaments and all! Thank you also for the snacks and goodies! We are all enjoying them here and I love sharing a little piece of Aloha with everyone. Oh, and as for the candy canes, there's one elder in my district who is from here, (he's our district leader) and he saw what the label on the package said: "Candy and regalos." he doesn't speak a ton of english, but he knew what the word "candy" meant lol so the candy canes may have been shared with my district ... plus our branch president who just "happened" to be there when I opened the package :D Anyway, thank you very much for everything!

As of right now, we don't have a lot of progressing investigators. This means people who are coming to church. We baptized all of the progressing ones from the last transfer so we need to find more people now! But I will tell you who we do have. 

First, a girl named Angelina. She's 19 and has an adorable little baby boy of about 5 months. She lives with her grandma and has no support from the baby daddy. But she is amazing and really cool. She hasn't come to church yet, but she has been reading the BOM every single night! She loves to read!

Also, we have Greichi, a 35 year old mom who has 3 kids I think. She is super chill and very calm about everything. She is reading the BOM and has been to church once now and we are so happy about that!

We also have Noelia. She is a very well-to-do woman  and is super cool and sweet. She is the sister of Hermana Sabino, the lady who we baptized a couple weeks ago with her family. Noelia has 3 or 4 kids and is very interested in the gospel. The only problem we have with her is that her husband (who we can never teach because he's never around) is a busy man with a schedule, so sometimes she can't come to church because she needs to do stuff around the house for him. But she has a baptismal date and we are going to try to keep working with her.

Oh, also, we had our baptism of Breily! He is 10 and it meant a lot to me to see the smile on his face throughout his baptism. He is very smart and always likes to hear about the gospel. And he is amazing :) 

That's all I'm going to write for now because I'm going to try and send some pics. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! and a Happy New Year! Thank you for all of your love and support and for the packages and letters :) I love you all and can't wait to talk to you soon! 

Love and aloha, con Feliz Navidad,
Hermana Ho

Friday, December 19, 2014

Impossible things are happening every day!

Yups. So many things that I thought were impossible continue to happen every day. I'll explain more later. Can you guess the movie? :)

Btws, I did have a complete dream in Spanish the other night. ... it was one of those worry dreams, where you go to bed worrying about something and in your dream that something happens. Yeah ... but it was all in Spanish! And in the dream, after the worry part, I dreamed of having a lesson in spanish and it was really good! Just a side note, mom I had an AWESOME dream with you in it! We were talking at the beach and it was a beautiful day. Just the two of us, talking for hours :D I tend to dream a LOT about the beach ... either the beach or you guys or both in one. It depends haha

So, yes, impossible things. Impossible things are happening every day. Like waking up at 6:30am ... not really sure how I manage to do it. Or finding people to teach. That's a little rough sometimes. Or contacting random people in the streets. That's something I would've never done before the mission. But there are so many things that I would've never thought possible. Like speaking spanish. I gotta, say, I'm a lot better and a lot more secure. Not perfect and still don't understand things sometimes, but I know so much more than I did 2 months ago, that's for sure. A lot of it is thanks to my companion and her patience :) Speaking of more impossible things, we got transfers. And no one in my district is leaving! I'm so happy!! there are 8 of us in our district and we all got pretty tight. My district leader will now have spent his entire 7 months in the mission in the same area. for those of you who have served a mission, 4months is a lot, and to have 7 in the same area?! This is also his first area too. We thought he would leave and one of the sisters in my house, but merry christmas! we all get one more transfer together!

Sorry for the side track. Anyway, impossible things are happening every day. And here's what I've learned. well, first, I've been trying to write more about lessons learned in my journal, rather than every detail. So I'm writing lessons I've learned, special experiences and feelings, and weird random things. What I've learned about impossible things:
1) obedience. That brings a lot of impossible things. Rules are set, commandments are given, things are asked of us and when we are obedient, we don't always se the results right away. But looking back, my companion and I can see the fruits of our labors.
2) faith. I gotta admit, I didn't have much faith in "the gift" program when it first came out. I had doubts. but we talked about it in my house and my faith has changed. And with that, we had 3 investigators come to church after we shared la Dadiva with them and 2 of them have baptism dates! Faith, literally, in Christ, the gift, la Dadiva. 
3) Hard work. When we do our part, and it's good, and we do all we can to succeed, the Lord follows through. And you see the impossible come to pass. Contacting. it's not one of my favorite things to do, going from door to door, sharing the gospel with people who aren't interested or don't understand me when I try to speak spanish. But thanks to one of the elders in our district who contacted (this means shared the gospel with a person for a brief moment), we have an investigator with a lot of potential. 
4) the mission. It constently amazes me, the sacrifices of so many missionaries. If you think about it, for many, the mission creates many impossible challenges for people. money problems, time, family problems, language problems, spending 24/7 with a stranger you never knew, doubts, many many problems. You'd think the church would be a trainwreck after sending out 18, 19, and 20 year old youth to preach the gospel. But then the impossible happens. And somehow, things work out. Somehow finances aren't a problem, families are put together, you speak fluently and sometimes learn 2 languages instead of just 1, and you become brothers or sisters with your companion. And instead of a trainwreck for a church, you get a piece of the kingdom of God. 

This week, I encourage you guys to do something impossible. Take the leap of faith. This time of year is the easiest time to invite someone to come and adore Him, to accept the gift in their lives. Invite your paddling friend to church. invite your school friend to an activity. Talk to someone you've never talked to before. Go to an activity you've never been to before. Invite someone over for dinner. Idk, something you've never done before, do it with faith in Christ, obedience, hard work and with a mission purpose. And watch the impossible happen :)

Love you guys and I'll talk to you later! Sorry I didn't write some of you back, but I'll do better next time. Have a great week!

Love and mucho aloha,
Hermana Ho

Monday, December 8, 2014

Para siempre dios este con voz

So, this past week was fast. we have transfers the next week and so me and hermana maltos aren't really sure what is going to happen. We had our 2 baptisms this past saturday and that was awesome! the baptisms went really smoothly and nicely. And one thing that I discovered is that satan doesn't attack the baptisms for me and my companion. He's attacking us. After our first baptism together, stuff happened and the night wasn't so fun. But the baptism was good. After these baptisms, stuff happened to us AGAIN, but the baptisms were really good again and so were the members. It made me realize that sometimes, when Satan knows he can't do anything to change the mind of our investigators, he targets us, the missionaries. Plus, I think he's mad because we just baptized two future priesthood holders lol. So that's a problem for him. 

Other than that, me and my companion are doing really good. It's a lot of fun together and we have learned so much together. I know a lot more spanish now, but it's hard for me to understand people still. But I'm getting to know the work a lot more and how to do things. 

And stake conference! Man, that's one thing I like now is stake conference. It sounds like it was amazing! Wish I could've been there for that. And yeah, the work is progressing far faster than i imagined! And if there's one thing I regret, is not sharing the gospel more frequently with everyone. We have so many friends who don't know the gospel and thus have more opportunities opened to us to share the gospel. I wish I had done that more back home. So thank you guys for being examples and for doing missionary work right now! Especially with The Gift. We aren't having too much progress here right now with The Gift program, but the year is not over yet. Mom, great job with the choir! And dad, great job with conference. I'm sure it was great. And your wife can tell you all about it :) As for the example of the missionaries, that's what we do :) and I'm trying to work on smoothing it out ... we'll see how that goes haha. 

Thank you all for your examples! And for your emails and packages. I love it! And I'm looking forward to talking with you guys, hopefully face to face, if not, on the phone :) Love you all and take care! 

Love and aloha,
Hermana Ho

Monday, December 1, 2014

I'll Give You Allllll of Me!

No, I haven't gotten the most recent package. There could be a few reasons for that. First, i live far from the capital, where the mission office is, and where the package goes to. And it costs a lot to travel from there to here, in my area. But at the most, i should get it at the next zone meeting which is ... next week? i think ... or this thursday. We'll see :) 

Also, for uncle John, I am in Hato Mayor. it's a new area for hermanas. i am one of the first and my companion was the first in this area for hermanas. it's been about ... 30 years since there were hermanas here I think. So I'm blessed, to say the least.

By the way, do you mind sending me a simple easy recipe for Haupia? i now it's simple and easy to make, and it doesn't need much, so we are going to have like a potluck thing in our district and everyone is going to make something from their own country. So it would be cool to make Haupia :) 

And last, there is a program that is called "La Dadiva" or I believe in english it's "The Gift" or something like that. Anyway, it's a world wide church program and us missionaries are supposed to ask the members in the area to view a video and share it with everyone through the media. it's a beautiful video. Then, the members are supposed to try and bring friends and family (nonmembers) to church every sunday until Christmas (at least) not only to celebrate Christmas, but to invite others to come unto Christ and worship Him. So, a challenge for you, my family and friends. I think it's on the church website, but watch the video, "La Dadiva" or "The Gift," share it in social media, and invite someone, every week, to accompany you to church to celebrate la dadiva. The goal is to have more investigators in the church and to invite others to come unto Christ in this simple way, through christmas. And why not? this is probably the most easiest time to share the gospel because everyone knows about christmas. this is also a great way for members and missionaries to work together. 

So as for the title of this. "I'll give you all of me." Okay, yeah, i know it's a love song by john legend, but let me relate it to missionary work :) i'm learning here in the mission just how hard it is sometimes to focus on the work. Mentally especially. My companion and I are working on focusing our thoughts more in the work, but it's so hard. like, for example, we think of home sometimes, or songs, or family, or friends, or movies. Stuff that isn't bad. In fact, it's very good. good stuff to think about. but in 1 Nephi, Nephi talks about how there are so many things to write about, but he will only focus on the things that are of the lord and of the most importance because he doesn't have enough space in the plates to write every detail. In the mission, I have. Or, in life, we have plates. We have things to focus on. everything is good and everything is important. Don't get me wrong. But our plates are limited. What are we going to focus on? What will we fill our plates with? TV? service? family time? in the mission, my plates are limited. so me and hermana maltos are trying to focus our thoughts on the things that are most important in the mission. and that is the work. and trying to do that is so hard .... sooooo hard. lol. but, we are trying. So, as for the title, i'm trying to give my all to christ and his work. 

So, the work here is progressing. A lot! And quite quickly too. I'm learning that english is so hard to learn. goodness, who made all the rules? i'm trying to help my companion learn english and wow, we have so many rules. This upcoming week, we have 2 baptisms. we have Moises, 18, and henry, who will be 21 on the 5 of Dec. we are so excited and stoked! Maybe I'll write you the story of what happened with Henry. It was quite a miracle and a witness that the Holy Ghost testifies and that the Lord works in his own time. the work is rough and yet easy all in one. I can't really describe too much of the mission life. you'll have to do it yourself to figure out what i mean lol but I can honestly say that I don't regret a moment. 

As for now, let me answer a few questions and say a few things. Ammon, congrats on finishing your college application! how was that? Good I hope :) can you send me your email please so that i can try and email you? Or mom, can you do it lol. Alliyah, perfectionist, great job in school! keep up the good work and many opportunities will be opened for you. but don't forget to play and to have fun too! And try not to worry too much. Alana, wow, you keep singing ... maybe one day, you can be in the drama club :) lol nah, I miss singing with you! When I get home, we are going to have a jam sesh. Mom, bien hecho con Hermana Nozawa! Good job with sister Nozawa! or ms. haha it's natural to say Hermana. But she's ending teaching? What?! And tell Justin and Charlene congrats for me and i wish I could hold their baby! Or maybe you can hold the baby for me? here it's interesting. Neighbors and family both help take care of the baby. We could be teaching a lesson to a lady with a baby and this random guy walks up and takes the baby and plays with him. When we ask if he's her brother, she just says no it's my neighbor ... honestly, it's a kakou thing. Always. And dad. Yes i actually have a microwave that works! woo hoo! So i can pop popcorn (which I have been doing, :) and the biggest university is in the city, which is about 2-3 hours away from here. So yes, people travel there and back every day. And it's not cheap either. But there are other smaller colleges, but I've had people tell me that sometimes the professors don't show up or don't teach anything. So it's hard for people to go to college and work at the same time. As for bikes, I'd rather not chance the roads. There aren't really traffic rules and there are tons of motorcycles. Those are the taxis here. But i'm pretty sure that Dominicans are some of the most talented and vigilent drivers ever. that, i have no doubt. but they are also the most craziest drivers lol. And for those reasons, we walk everywhere :) 

As for the language, I speak a lot better than I did on day one, thanks to my companion and time here. It's a little rought because with hermana maltos and Hermana fletcher, both are ... fair skinned. So with each, always, siempre siempre siempre, people will come up to me and start talking to me in spanish and talk to them in english (if they can). So i get where Jarom comes from. It's hard. But, I know I'll speak better every month if i work on it and trust in the gift of tongues. 

That's about all for now. Thank you for your emails, love, and support! love you all and thank you so much for the opportunity for me to be a member my entire life. didn't realize what a blessing that is. Thanks mom and dad. And thanks siblings for helping me to stay in the church and helping me get to where i am today. i couldn't have done it without all of you! love you all and be safe! And don't forget la dadiva and the true meaning of christmas this month :)

Love y aloha,
Hermana Ho

Monday, November 24, 2014

Merry Christmas.... toooooo you!

Thanksgiving?! Who needs thanksgiving when the people here have been celebrating Christmas since October?! hahaha jk jk yeah I'm gonna miss thanksgiving, but I'm seriously enjoying the Christmas stuff here :) Seriously, decorations have been up since October and the owner of our house has decorated it beautifully with a ton of lights! Do enjoy the stuffing and turkey for me though please :) 

So I'm really sorry that I totally forgot to tell you guys ... but this past week we had a baptism! And my camera functioned beautifully for that! As long as it functions for these activities, I'll be okay :) But it was so awesome. It was the baptism of a family :) or part, I should say. But the mom, dad, and their 13 year old daughter. I'm not sure if I wrote about them and their family, but this is the family Sabino. The mom reminds me of you mom; fun, outgoing, and so into everything she does! (which is a good thing, btw). But yeah, they were all baptized and the branch did so much for the baptism. I was kinda surprised because I wasn't sure whether or not to expect a lot of support or not too much (my last area, hardly anyone showed up to baptisms; we were lucky to have someone from the bishopric there for ours!). Yeah, at least half the branch showed up which is great! (like ... 30 people?) And the family looked so happy :) We were so happy. This was my companion's first baptism and our first baptism of a family! Yay!!

The work here is going so fast! When I think of the fact that i have almost 5 months here, it's not a lot. But when I think of the fact that I go home in 13 ... it scares me cause that's not a lot of time!! Coming up, we have 4 more baptisms! One is of Moises, an 18 yearold guy who is super intelligent, but super busy in the university the whole week. But he's ready to be baptized. Last night, we had an appointment with him and he bore his testimony to us. You know, testimonies don't need to be long and elegant. Just the simple statement  "I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ lives" is a testimony.

We also have Henry, who is 20, and he has the same baptism date as Moises (December 6). He is the only nonmember in his family and is soooo ready for baptism. I've only visited him 3 times so far and each time I feel as though he is ready, and he is. He, also, is very smart. And his sister is super cool :) She's a returned missionary and helps us out so much!

Our other baptism is of a 20 something year old woman,Andreina, who is super cool, but we aren't quite sure if she's gonna get baptized on her date, only because we can never teach her! She's never in her house cause she goes to the university. That and if we want to teach her, we need to walk 30 minutes to get to her house ... and although that's not much time, as missionaries, well, time is of the essence and we can't walk back and forth everywhere. 

our other baptism is a 10 year-old boy, Breily, who is adorable! He's super smart and his family are members. They are awesome too. And one of the sons is the boyfriend of Angelina. The daughter, Angela, helps us out a lot. She returned home early from her mission because of back problems, but she helps us out a lot as well. Breily's baptism is on December 10 i believe (it's a Wednesday) because that is one of the few days that his dad will be home from work. 

Alright, so that's who we are preparing for baptism. Guys, our area is HUGE! And when I say huge, I mean my comp and I have not seen all of it. It consists of like 3-5 different towns and so far, i've only seen 3 I think. Some of the members walk 30-50 minutes to the chapel for church in the hot sun and with health problems. others drive back and forth on their motorcycles, picking up and dropping people off. Their sacrifice constantly amazes me and makes me love them more and more each time I see them in church. 

And mom, what you said about blessings (btws, great work! Last minute notice and all! hahaha no worries, I'll bet they loved you! Oh, and the lesson too, of course). But yeah, I can testify that some blessings come immediately and some slower than others and some waaayyy later. I can see now so many blessings and privileges that I've had that I couldn't see before or in the moment. It's hard to teach investigators that, But with every commandment the Lord gives us, there is a promise. We just need to be patient. 

And dad, I thought a lot about what you asked me last week and yes, missionaries need a testimony. They don't need to have to know every little thing about the church. They don't have to be perfect. They don't need to know the language. This past week has testified of that to me. They need a testimony. I asked the missionaries who I live with what they thought too and they agreed with me. Future missionaries need to know their Savior and to have a testimony of Him and his restored gospel and church. And it's really good that the mission president doesn't allow food drop offs anymore cause it's a great way for missionaries and ward members to work together! Last week, it was confirmed in our zone meeting that we are absolutely not allowed to eat or drink the food or drinks in anyone's house. For us, that's difficult cause we walk pretty far for some people and plus, it's a natural part of the culture for people to just give us food. Like, FOOD, food meals and stuff. But President wants to change the rule, so they are looking into it. but yeah, feeding the missionaries has so many benefits for members and missionaries. 

Well, that's all for this week. Have a wonderful thanksgiving and know that I love you guys! And that the Lord loves you all too! As cliche as that is, it's true. Love you and merry christmas! I mean, happy thanksgiving! :D

Love and aloha, 
Hermana Ho

Monday, November 17, 2014

Feliz cumpleanos a ti!

Before i even start my letter ....


I know it´s a little early, but I'm still trying to figure out if i should wish people happy birthday a little early or a little late ... BUT thanks for being amazing. just read your email and thank you for worrying for me. Trust me, there are a lot of things to worry about when it comes to health, but then again, there is only so much I can do. But thank you for your love :) I appreciate it and love you! thank you for being an amazing father for us kids and for always being there for us ... even through 3 hikes in one day. I appreciate it! And I miss say, sometimes I miss things in the mission (sorry, it's normal, but I'm trying to get better) and one of the things I miss is your hugs. Never thought such a small thing could be so big in my life, but thanks for your hugs. Continue to give them freely!!

So, since this week is your birthday, i'm gonna focus this email mainly on your questions for me. Ready?

So, this area is amazing! I love it! Yes, we walk a lot, but it's after we walk for like 20 minutes that you can really see the green that is here and the beauty. And it also gives you time to appreciate the beauty around you. Yes, there are mosquitos, and I still get bit even if i use my repellent. To say the least, yes, i'm praying every night for my health. but my body seems to be functioning normally up til now. The only pains I get can be fixed when i stretch every morning and night. Just the pains you would get if you ran a 6miles and forgot to stretch after, if even that. So yeah, it's not to bad :) 

And yes, having an amazing latina companion really makes a difference in your spanish! It's only been 2 weeks and my spanish has improved a ton. She even said so herself! Yay! But i'm teaching her english too .... which is a little hard. I realize how hard english is for other people to learn. It's really difficult, even for me! But I tell her "You know, I don't know the specific grammatical stuff, but I know how to speak English and I can help you with that." She's amazing. Sometimes when I find out a person is a convert, I'm just blown away! The Lord works miracles through converts. And I think the Lord knew I needed some miracles, so He gave me a convert, a latina, a sister :) I'm pretty sure we are sisters though because we are sooo alike, it's kinda scary! like the same things, similar personalities .... all! Yups, so sorry to tell you this last minute, but you have another daughter here ... idk how she was born in Mexico, but yeah!! lol 

As for the branch, they are really small, but strong. Our ward correlation consisted of the presidencia and this other guy I didn't know and us 4 missionaries. .... idk if that helps. But it was more like missionary council cause we talked about our investigators. Idk if we even have correlation ... 

now, about the missionary efforts. I was told by one of the other hermanas that is about to go home that the missionaries that are coming in keep coming in stronger and stronger in their desires to serve. Honestly, the iPad thing, it would be nice to have. Trust me, a lot of us missionaries here envy those in the states. But with that comes a ton more problems. You know. But we can live without them. Mormon messages would be nice to share with people on iPads, but it's not necessary. 

As for preparing missionaries, I think it's a process that needs to be done as early as possible. Starting with the Primary. Future missionaries need testimonies. And if they have that testimony, that light of Christ in them, they can go out. I know one elder who has been a member for 1 year ... basically the year that he had to wait to enter the temple. But he has a strong testimony and that is why he is here. My companion has 2 or 3 years in the church and she's here because she loves the BOM and has seen how it has blessed her life and the life of her family. They were just sealed a year ago. For me, personally, I have a testimony of the gospel and I have seen how it has blessed my life, our family's life, and the lives of other people. And for that, I'm here to share the happiness of the gospel with others, the Love of Christ and our Heavenly Father with others. Times get rough in the mission: learning the language, dates falling, other missionaries, stuff and I'm not gonna lie, it sucks sometimes. But then I remember why I'm here. 1Nephi 6:4. I also look in my journal to the day when I opened my call and review my thoughts of that moment and the moment I arrived in the MTC. I also look at the good moments that I've had in the mission, and there have been many, big and small. And I remember why I'm here. I'm not sharing this to brag or to make people think highly of me. that's not what I want. Honestly dad, the best way to prepare missionaries is to have THEM come unto Christ, to have a testimony. The missionary purpose is "To invite others to come unto Christ ... through the Atonement, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy ghost, and to endure to the end." The church IS a mission. I realize that now (sorry, a little late). We are all working on converting ourselves and each other. But honestly, do missionary work for the youth, the children, and the members. Prepare missionaries by inviting them to come unto Christ and being perfected in him. There's a saying that Hermana Fletcher's friend shared with her. It's this: if the church wasn't true, missionaries would've destroyed it a long time ago." lol, but seriously. Invite them to come unto Christ. you were and are a missionary :) You know how :D 

So, with that being said, I hope that answers your question. If not, ask me again next week :) I hope that you have a great birthday! Thanks for being an example for me! Oh, examples are also good for missionaries. It's a way for them to learn and to watch how things are done. No ones perfect, but I'm pretty sure you and mom were pretty close to perfect parents:) thanks dad :) love you so much and hope you have a great birthday!!

the best oldest daughter,
most wonderful person ever
and awesomest,
(who you are blessed to have lol ... maybe stressed to have, but count your blessings!!! hahaha :)

Hermana Ho

Monday, November 10, 2014

Now Let Us Rejoice!

There are so many things to rejoice about right now! 

Alrighties, so yes, now I am in the country, or el campo, as we call it. It's as campo as the sisters can get in this mission. And I love it! The house that I live in is big and has a gorgeous view of the mountains. We actually have greenery here! It's beautiful! There's parts that remind me of Hawaii. like in Laie roads, when you drive down a road with greenery on both sides, except there is only a rocky dirt road. And there's plenty of houses, but there's little smidgets of memories of Hawaii here and there. I love it! 

It was a little hard to get adjusted to the schedule here. Me and my comp are both new to the missionary life. Oh, my comp!!! okay, i'm pretty sure I have the cutest, sweetest, most loving comp ever!!! She's adorable! A doll! When i send a picture, you can see. her name is Hermana Maltos and she's been a member since 17, but she's known the church since she was a child. Her family was sealed about a year ago I believe. oh, and she's from Mexico. She's amazing! We left the MTC at the same time, and we both just finished our training. So right now, we are trying to figure out how to live the mission life without a trainer together. Also, I feel as though my spanish has grown so much. it's one thing to speak spanish, but it's another to speak it 24/7. She's amazing. Oh, and i'm teaching her english. She knows a lot, but putting together sentences and understanding is difficult. got any tips? 

As of right now, we are in a branch. Oh my gosh, it's so tiny. the classes, the chapel, everything. But there's a special spirit here that the members bring. you can feel the unity and their desire for the gospel. Our branch president is cool too and the guy works so hard in the branch. 

Right now, we are working with amazing people. When i came, Hermana Maltos had 3 families and wow, they are incredible! one is the Diez family, a couple who has 3 kids. The husband is so ready to be baptized (you can see it in his actions and words, even though he doesn't speak much. But when he does talk, he's got the light of christ in his eyes and an excitement to learn more about the gospel). his wife has so much faith and so many miracles in her life. She knows the BOM is true and the church is true, but she wants to make sure she knows knows ... which is hard for me and my comp, because we know she knows. She has so many miracles and evidences in her life, but she wants more. But it's okay. in time. 

We also have the Sabino family who are just cool. They remind me of polys, even though they aren't polys, but they look like them. the parents are ready for baptism, as well as their 13 year old daughter (who is amazing, by the way. She started her personal progress 1month ago and is already done with the faith section. Reminds me of Alliyah :) They have another daughter who is hardly around, and an other who said she needs more time. But if all goes well, the first three have a baptism date for the 22 of this month :) 

This past week was swell. Sometimes our appointments are a 45 minute walk (our area is HUGE), sometimes just down the road. But it's amazing. The work is going forward and the members here are always willing to help us out in any way. I hope this isn't too much to ask, but can you guys please help the missionaries in the ward? References, dinners, even just giving them water, or going out with them to the homes is a huge help. And the members can do so much more than the missionaries. We only have a slot of time in the areas we serve. But the members have way more time and experience in the area, with the people, in those situations. And it's great for investigators to have friends. don't be afraid to share the gospel! 

Anyway, there's my gospel shpill for you guys lol. Love you all and keep being amazing. The work is moving forward rapidly!! 

Hermana Ho

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I came to win, to fight, to conquer, to survive" ... and serve the Lord

Song with Rihanna in it. But that's basically been this past week. Anyway, first things first: 

THanks for the emails! Love you all so much! And everyone else too :) Congrats on getting through October! You made it! now breath :) I loved looking at the pictures and seeing everything that's going on! That's soo cool! congrats on all your work, from sports, to school, to halloween, to band! I'm realizing right now just home much you all are involved in everything! Haha as for things that I need, I think I'm pretty good right now. I'm not in dire need of anything. Except maybe an AC unit. but that's all :) 

So this past week was crazy. In every possible way. Thus, the title. So, on Tuesday we moved. It's about a 10 minute drive, but me and my companion moved there while the other two sisters moved into another house with other hermanas. It was a crazy day to say the least and a stressful one. I just felt sorry for the elders that had to take apart our bunkbed. It's dominican made, aka it only fits one way. ... so the elders put it together and took it apart 3 times before it finally fit. It's not the same as before, but I didn't have the heart to tell the sweaty guys that. I'm just glad they helped us move. 

The next day, my comp was really sick, to the point where she went to the clinic with another hermana who could speak spanish (all the medical terms). The next day she was still sick and recovering, so for those two days, we didn't really leave the house. But get this: I had to take a test. She had amibas (a parasite), which means that it can spread, so I had to take a test ... my results came back: no amibas! Yay!!! 

Also, transfers are tomorrow and i'm moving to a different area and getting a latina companion! Excited and nervous all at the same time. I just hope I can communicate with her ... well, next week I'll let you all know how it's going. but yeah. The work here is thriving. The area I'm going to was opened pretty recently for sisters, so I'm sure there's lots to be done there. It's also out in "el campo," as we say, which basically is the boonies, kinda sorta. I'm not sure what to expect. But Hermana Fife, my old companion, was there these past 2 transfers I believe and she said there's trees and green there! So I'm looking forward to that. Oh, btws, still working on trying to send pics. I still don't know when that's gonna heppen. But pray for my camera, as it is going a little whack right now. Like, it'll charge, but when I unplug it, it says low battery and turns off ... so yeah. We'll see what happens with that. 

Anyway, As for the ward I'm in now, I'm gonna miss them. They really are a great ward, especially when it comes to missionary work. Tonight I'm gonna be going to see some people to say goodbye, like Alex and Frankelli. Pray that I don't cry at Frankeli and his family's home! They want me to come back and visit. And it's not like I don't want to, it's just that I don't know when... But, I'll keep in touch with them. 

Anyway, I love you guys! Keep being amazing! And keep sharing the gospel with others, whether it's through your example or words or whatever it may be, it's easier than you might think. love you all and take care :)

Hermana Ho

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cause I'm Almost There

Hola mi familia! 

I'm so glad to hear from all of you about your activities! 

Dad, Thanks for your advice with Enercy. Yeah, she didn't get baptized cause her parents think she's immature and not ready and that it's a big sin if she gets baptized then falls away from the church (which it kinda is, but they look at it like it's as bad as killing someone or something), and so she's not ready for that responsibility. But now she's kinda giving up and hasnt been to church in a while. We don't really know what to do. We're gonna keep visiting her and talking with her parents and helping her talk with her parents cause her mom said she doesn't know what Enercy does in the church. ... so yeah, we'll see. 

Okay, so questions to answer: I'm doing okay. We are moving houses this week (even though transfers are next week). We were supposed to move on Friday, so I had everything planned out what to do this week. Then we got a call literally at 2pm today saying that we are moving out tomorrow at 9am. Yeah ... So i'm really sorry if this email sounds like I'm stressed out ... cause I kinda am. Thus, the title of my email is from The Princess and the Frog 1) cause it was playing in 2 houses on tv the other day and 2) cause I'm almost to the end of the transfer. Then lots of questions will be resolved, hopefully haha. The weather here for some reason is sooooo humid. I thought it was supposed to cool down! But no. Yesterday, there was no electricity in the chapel until the last hour. So after walking to a less active's home and her not being there, then walking all the way to the hot chapel, I was quite literally swimming in my own sweat. It was nasty. But oh well. If there's one thing I've learned out in the field so far, it's to get over it. I won't go into details about that though lol. My wardrobe is all good, thank you mom :)  I'm not desperate for anything though. I'm all good! 

And dad, Maria and Ignacio are the couple that still need to get married. For them, it costs a lot more to get married cause they're from Haiti. Normally, it's 1,400 pesos to get married, plus 500 for every kid you already have. It's not a lot of US money, but here, it's a lot and the people here don't have that kind of money. So that's why the law of chastity is a problem; many can't afford to get married, so they just move in together and stay together. Divorce is even more expensive, so some don't even want to get married because there's that possibilty that divorce could happen. It's really sad. But it's not uncommon for people to have 7 siblings, 3 from their mom and 4 from their dad, etc. But yeah, so Maria and Ignacio are loved by the ward, but they don't exactly have the money to get baptized. And maria needs her papers still, so she's still looking for them. 

So we didn't have too much happen this past week. So I'll talk more about some stuff and people here. I have a friend named Johan Guzman who is in the ward.  Not sure if I talked about him yet. But he's leaving for Georgia on Thursday, if all goes well. He's like ... well, basically we're bffs. hahaha simply put. He's about 30 and has an adorable 7 year old son, no wife. But he does have a girlfriend! He's a recent convert of about 8 months I think and strong. he's so involved with everything and always is trying to help us out with missionary work. We (me and him) have like these jokes that go on between us and we're always laughing! I have a pic with him and I gave him a couple leis cause he's leaving (he was jealous he didn't get some at the baptisms). But I'm gonna miss him a lot.

I also have another friend, Diego. I think he's a recent convert of 4 months? He's 19 and when he told us that after he was baptized "people came up to me and asked me when I was going to serve a mission. Being baptized just isn't enough for you people is it?!" hahaha I love the guy! But yeah, we got jokes between us. He speaks pretty good english, so the other day I called him a crack-up (like a person who just cracks me up all the time, cause he seriously does!), but he didn't get it and so the closest word to that in spanish is "tonto." ... I don't think it's the best word to use, cause I think he got offended ... so I gots to fix things with that ... but he's so cool and he's like Johan; willing to come with us to anything. Oh and he's the YW 1st counselor. He's great! 

I live with 2 other hermanas in my house (well, until tomorrow). Hermana Cox and Hermana Chan. Hermana Cox is from Nebraska and is just awesome! They are the sister training leaders in our zone and are amazing! She's been here for a while in this area and is going home after the next transfer. But I've learned so much from her! She's literally someone you can be around and just feel that she's a great missionary. Then there's Hermana Chan who is just adorable! I believe she's from the city Chiuaua in Mexico. She doesn't speak much English, so I'm helping her with that and she's helping me with my Spanish. I wish I could talk to her about EVERYTHING cause we have so much in common! But I just don't have the vocab down yet lol. But she likes going to the beach, she likes dancing (bachata, merengue, salsa), she likes the color blue, and she loves to eat! Anything, pretty much. We're basically sisters. After all, we are a part of the Lamanite generation :)

I love my companion! I've learned so much from her these past months and I think I'm ready to face the future, whether or not we are companions next week. She's seriously amazing and has gone through so much, especially physically. But she is a great example to me in so many aspects. 

I've discovered a lot of the sisters here get sick or pains in their bodies, so I'm trying to do all I can to avoid that. I'm doing good so far, but please pray for me :) I'd rather be walking and melting in the hot sun than melting in the house, not being able to go out. 

We found 2 families this past week who could have a lot of potential. One is a family of 4 and the dad contacted us ... sort of. It's a long story how we met. It might have included his friend proposing to Hermana Flethcher and wanting to move to the states with her ... and so he was embarassed by his friend. But he waved us over a couple days later to talk to us and so we are going to work with him and see how that goes :) Another family, the dad happened to be at a recent convert's home when we came over and he had questions about life after death. So we visited his home another day and his wife also asked if her family that has passed will have a chance to hear the gospel. She's adventista (not sure what the english word for that religion is, sorry), but they have 4 kids and they said we could come back. So yeah!

That's about all for this week. Sorry that it's a little stressful sounding. But don't worry, I'm doing okay! Still smiling, still laughing, still learning spanish. And don't worry mom, I still can't really understand Frankelly still ... he's hard to understand. The language is getting easier. And the gift of tongues exists. It's kinda like medicine: just takes time and effort to kick in. But it's coming :) I understand a lot more than I did on day 1! Thanks for all your prayers, all your love and support. I think it really does help my days. Cause I don't know what it is that I'm doing, but the days are getting easier and somewhat faster. So thank you! Love you all and keep moving forward!! Talk to you guys next week :)

Love and aloha and saludos,
Hermana Ho

Monday, October 20, 2014

This Week...

Sorry, couldn't think of anything for the title this week. But I do have a few things to say.

First, thanks for inviting Frank Kelly! Hahaha it's funny because you are talking with him mom and I feel like Alex is talking with dad. Oh which reminds me dad that Alex says "Saludos Kyle para mi!" aka "Tell Kyle hi for me!" So yeah, you guys are pretty popular here in the DR. But Frankeli always likes to update me on when he's talked to you hahaha 

Second, congrats on your calling! or your one less calling :) That's awesome! plus, i think it'll go hand in hand with the school choir. Idk why you're worrying so much, i'm sure you're doing great. If it makes you feel better, here in the DR, everyone and I mean EVERYONE likes to sing! The only thing is that most don't really know how... if you know what I mean, but they'll sing anyway. So we can't really do parts in our ward choir. I guess what makes it so special is the desire that they have to sing and that they sing with their whole souls! In the end, don't worry about how it'll turn out. For the school choir, the kids will bring something special with each number, in pitch or not :) They have that spirit with them every time they sing. And in the ward choir, the spirit is in every song. And those people want to be there too, they aren't obligated (unless maybe, it's your family hahaha jk jk) but because of their desire, and their soul that they put into it, it'll be fine. 

As for mission prep...The more practice you get in before hand, the better! it's not fun all the time, but then again the question is, is mission prep for you? or is mission prep for those the Lord is and has prepared for you? :) I've discovered this week that the Lord has great plans for each of us. For example, Frankeli. We've seen him a lot since his baptism and each time, he's different. In a good way. In the way where me and Hermana Fletcher look at him and just FEEL his potential that he has in the church. Even his semi-less active mom said that he has a lot of potential. We don't know what the Lord has in store for him, but Frankeli's only one example that the Lord has great plans for each of us.

As for everything else in Hawaii, wow! That's so awesome! And thanks for the pics! Everyone is sooo .... grown up! Except dad. hahaha I feel like dad just gets more and more hilarious every time! hahaha love ya dad! And thanks for doing the name! If you can, can you please do the initiatory? because I think we only do sessions. We only have time for that much. 

So, there weren't any life-threatening events that happened this week, so i'll take this time to tell you guys more about the people we see.

Enercy is getting baptized hopefully! Since she is only 13, we need permission from her parents. When we went to talk to her mom, her stepdad was there ... and we asked her mom if she could get baptized and her stepdad said no ... thing is, I don't think there's a solid relationship between Enercy and her stepdad ... and there was a heated discussion between Hermana Fletcher and him about it (not to the point of shouting or anything, but both sides were ... yeah.) Then there's me ... oh hey, i'll pretend I understand every word. lol, but she got her interview, so we need to talk to her mom this week. Since the stepdad was there, her mom was VERY hesitant to sign the paper, when any other day, she probably would've just signed it. There's more to the story than we know, but if all goes well, we're baptizing her this saturday!

Gladys: she is about 45 years old and is menos activo. less active. Sorry, spanglish is kicking in. But she joined the church when she was 15 and then went less active after she got married. But then she had a really traumatic accident in her brain, to the point that she forgot2 years of her life. she had to relearn how to eat too. But slowly, she started getting her memory back. And this is a miracle because that just doesn't happen after what she had. So her son has been trying to force her to come to the Evangelico church, but she told him that when she goes to church, she's going to go to the right one and she knows that this church is the right one. The only issue we have with her is her health. She lives a long ways away from the church and wants to walk, but her health is sketchy. But she has that testimony and strong desire to go to church! So we're trying to get a member to drive her to church every sunday.

Arlette: She is a 13 year old girl who's dad died a month ago. her mom works basically from 5am-6pm or so and she lives with her 2 sisters. She wants to come to church, but she has so many needs right now. She's sweet, even though she has some sass and attitude sometimes, but we know that she is hurting from her dad's passing. So we are trying to work with her.

Willy, Argeni, Angelina, Manuel: This is a family. Willy is the dad who isn't working ... I think he has some family that pays for things for him. His wife, who he just married (legally), left for Spain to work. So his sons, Argeni and Manuel, and his daughter Angelina are very interested in the church and they each have a BOM because they want to read it. They love reading it and showing us how much they read! We're trying to work with Willy to stay in lessons with us cause sometimes he's there or sometimes he goes and does something else, despite the fact that we are teaching him too ... So we'll see what happens :)

Samir: He is 20 with a 1.5 year old daughter, who is just adorable! He's a less active. His mom is the 1st counselor in the relief society and his brothers, Michael and Vicito,are so sweet. His mom, Samirka, is a single mom and she raised these boys soooo well. All three of them are really good guys and has so much potential. Michael taught me the right way to iron a white collared shirt the other night and in turn, I gave him a preach my gospel book in spanish. Anyway, Samir wants to come back to church, but he's in the university full time and has a full-time job and his only days off are sundays. Plus he has his daughter. He's a great guy and the good news is that he came to church yesterday! oh, and fun fact about him: His nickname is "chiquito" which translates to "tiny." Everyone calls him that. But let me tell you, the guy is huge. he's tall and fit. everything BUT chiquito! so it's a joke between me an my companion :)

That's about all for now. We are currently looking for new investigators. Oh and btws, yesterday, Alex and Frankelly got the priesthood yesterday!! Yay! I didn't get to go and see it cause I had an emergency exchange (one of the hermanas in my house is sick and since our chapel is closer, she went there while I went to hers). But yay! This week, I have a challenge for you all: Think of someone you know, family, friend, teacher, coworker, anyone, that you are having a hard time getting along with, and find a way to serve them. Serve them with all your heart might mind and strength. Then let me know the outcome :) 

Love you all! Keep being involved and don't give up on anything! Remember, the Lord is with you, even when you feel alone or when you feel down about something. Love you all! 

Love, and Aloha, and saludos,
Hermana Ho

Monday, October 13, 2014

We got pictures!

Kamalei is unable to download her pictures, but one of the investigators that got baptized found me on facebook and sent me these pictures!  Yay!