Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Monday, September 28, 2015

Oh oh oh it’s magic! You know, can you believe it’s not so!

This week has been great! Well, for me. My poor sister was super sick for a couple of days and weak, so we were forced to stay in the house for a little while ;) but she recuperated in time for Cifrida's baptism!!! The Noche Blanca, or White Baptism Night was a success!! We had a lot of non members come and a lot of the talks were focused on them. It was a very spiritually uplifting experience for those who were there. Wish you guys could've seen it!! It was like magic, because we didn't know if the other missionaries would invite nonmembers ... but they did and there were many!! And Cifrida is just a fireball hahaha she has a strong desire to share the gospel with everyone!! The only problem we have no is that she wasn't confirmed on Sunday ... she arrived a little late, and idk if the bishopric forgot or if they decided what to do later, but she will be confirmed later. Bishop wants to do it in a sacrament meeting ... which means in 2 weeks. But after two weeks of not being confirmed, I think they have to be baptized again, right? idk.... we'll see what's going to happen. 

But, as for Sahony, she's doing good! We have an FHE with her and the family tonight and are going to watch the restoration. We are hoping to strengthen her testimony before her baptism which will now be in October I believe. We'll see :D And dear sweet Mireya is just as awesome as ever! this past week, we asked her to not drink coffee all day on wednesday ... and she didn't drink a drop!! We were so happy!! She's willing to keep going, so we are slowly going to help her stop drinking coffee, day by day, with lots of prayers and patience. Btws, thanks for the prayers for her. I know it was hard for her, but with the extra prayers, I testify that she was able to do it! As for the Guzman family, we were going to take them to the temple, but the mom ended up getting really sick (the flu is going around here, i think; fever, headaches, feeling weak and tired, hurting body ... yeah, my comp had it all, plus another sister that lives with us) so we ended up not going. And for the record, there is no visitor center here. But there are beautiful gardens and it's amazing that, even without the visitor's center, how strong the spirit is in only the gardens :) One of their sons came to church this week (the other was sick) and he's doing great :D Being a great example for his family. 

So just thought that I would share, but yesterday, a couple gave talks in sacrament meeting. The wife spoke about how, even though there are a lot of bad things happening in the world today, we need to remember to look at all the good things that are happening. The majority of the time, the good outweighs the bad, but sometimes we focus too much on the bad instead of the good. Her husband then talked about being amazed. For example, little children are amazed at the smallest things in life: the strength a father has to break in half a cookie, the skills a mom has to decorate a cake. The first time someone hears the story of Joseph Smith, how do they feel? Amazed! When we truly come to understand the Atonement for the first time, how do we feel? Amazed! but as time goes on, sometimes it doesn't seem so amazing because we hear about it all the time. Sometimes we forget to put these things that used to amaze us as a priority in our lives. So, this man who spoke invited us remember to be amazed. "Amazed at the grace that so fully he offers me," to "stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me." Be amazed this week! There are so many amazing thingsthat go on around us that sometimes we ignore or don't try to think about. But we need to remember that God didn't make us so that we could be sad or unhappy. Rather, He created us, in His own image, so that we might have joy, happiness, peace, and love, in this life and in the life to come. And I testify of these things, that they are true. 

So, this week, all I ask, and all that our Heavenly Father asks, is to be amazed! Amazed at the big things and the small, the big miracles and the small ones that are almost a secret. "By small and simple things are great things come to past." Love you all and thank you for your emails, your prayers, and your love!! 

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, September 21, 2015

Brighter Than the Sun :D

Truly, it´s nice and hot and brighter than the sun! I'm burning up here and not even getting tanner ... not fair. But this past week truly has been a bright in the spiritual aspect as well and I'll tell you why. 

Well, update from the DR! Cifrida is strong and her baptism is this Saturday! We are just praying that her health can hold up. We have what's called a Noche Blanca or white night on saturday, where all the missionaries in our zone have tried and planned baptisms for this day to have together ... sadly, it's not many, but we are staying positive. Miracles happen! Mireya is also doing good ... she has a problem with coffee, but we are working with her on it. She's been drinking coffee every morning for 65 years!!! And its hard to stop, but she has the desire to change. We're praying a lot for her. Saohny is also doing good. She hasn't come to church in a while because she's obligated to take care of her grandma on Sundays ... so we are trying to talk to her mom about that. We are also teaching the Familia Guzman (the one where we contacted the boy and his parents followed) and they have a ton of potential. There are a couple of problems that they have, but we have been teaching about the importance of the family and plan on taking them to the temple this week Thursday. They are super great and the mom really liked the stake conference we had yesterday, which focused a lot on the family. I hope that now is their time. 

So, unfortunately, I can't write about all the spiritual experiences I've had or the revelations that I've received in this past week, but they haven't been few. My testimony of the family has strengthened and I'm realizing the importance of having a family and applying the principles and doctrines of the gospel in the family. It's been a great week. We had a leaders meeting last thursday, which was a big discussion of how we can take the things that we learn in these meetings and communicate them effectively to the rest of the missionaries in the mission. In my short time that i've been here, i've been blessed to see how much the mission has changed, especially in the focus of temples and families. This past stake conference weekend was really great too! Us 4 sisters were in the stake choir (it's a small group of us) and so we were able to go to both sessions of conference (btws, this is the first stake conference I've had in a year. every time my stake would announce one, i'd be transferred out before they had it lol). And it talked a lot about taking the teachings we learn and applying them not only every Sunday in our callings, but also in the walls of our own homes. It was super spiritual and the Spirit was truly there to testify that these things are true. 

Well, that's about it for now! But I encourage you all to take what you learn during church and apply it into every day of your life, not just on Sundays. Make every moment count! Love you all and thank you for your love, support and prayers. Take care and have a good week!

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Sorry guys....some things never change

Us and Sis. Corbitt

Us and our Zone Leaders

Us and 2 friends who invited themselves into the pic

Monday, September 14, 2015

This Girl is on FIRE!!

Good to know that some island is getting rain!! Cause we aren't getting any!! It's dry, down to the palms of my hands!! Yes, dad, if you can believe it, my hands have been super dry lately ...kinda freaks me out but we seriously haven't been getting any rain. As for my ankle, I realize now how much of a miracle it was that I got up and walked 3 days after I sprained my ankle or whatever it was ..It still bothers me sometimes, but it truly is a miracle that I'm all good, and getting better every day. I don't feel fatigue .. I don't think ... but I'm dealing really good now with being tired ... at least I think so. i found a solution. Mom always said fake it til you feel it. And so ... I smile! And in the end, I really do feel energized from smiling and laughing ... so that makes the work a little easier :D 

Anyway, this was a great and crazy week! We had a zone conference with President Corbitt and his wife and it was super good and indepth! I can't really explain everything that happened, but we studied Isaiah 3 and how it related to us missionaries and the work we are doing to help  rescue these people from these things that are happening right now.. It was a super deep subject and I liked it a lot. Maybe we can study it when I get back. it was super good and I got to see a lot of friends. Also, me and Hermana Maltos presented an english program in the conference. We had been working on it for the past couple of months and she presented in English (her first time speaking in English in front of a whole bunch of people!! I was so proud of her!!) and I in Spanish. So we're hoping to see a lot of success from this program. It's to help those who don't speak english to learn english in the course of their time here in the mission. Also, BYU Idaho's pathway program has accepted this program and test to be able to qualify to enter into the program. So .., we'll see how it goes :)

It's a crazy week and another crazy one to come as we prepare for our baptisms. Everything is still the same status, although with Saohny, we might need to change her baptism date. But she is still doing good. And Cifrida has changed. She has been an amazing example to me! This past week we went to her house and she had two friends over sot that we could share with them too! (whether they wanted to hear us out or not is a good question, but this woman is firm!) Then, we saw her walking to church on Sunday (even though its difficult for her because of her knees), alone, in the rain, because she wanted to pass by her friend's house to take her to church. Cifrida didn't want to wait for her husband to pick her up because she knew he would be late. And he was. And then she shared the gospel with a friend she saw in the street. She truly has the light of christ shining within her and I hope that her husband can see that she is changing. I love her. I love all the people we have here and the members and the people that we are meeting every day. I hate to say this, but I really don't want to go home ... hahahaha sorry mom and dad. But I know that one day I'll have to ... and I can only hope that my work has been good for the Lord. 

Love you all and take care!! Thank you for the emails and prayers. Please "mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort," serve all those around you with love and don't be afraid to express it openly. Love you all and take care!

Love, aloha, y amor,
Hermana Ho

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Lord is my Shepherd, in Whom Shall I Fear?

Things are doing good here. Times are getting stressful, but what can I say? its the mission :) This past week has been pretty stuffed! We've been working hard and a key part to the work this week was the members. We've had a lot of the young women want to come out and leave with us, so that's been really nice. Idk if anyone said something to them or if they have just decided on their own, but I'm not complaining! It's really great to have their testimonies in the lessons with us and I think they feel good about what they are doing :D 

On Thursday, we had a zone conference with 2 other zones and there were a lot of good talks. It was a nice spiritual upliftment I think and we talked a lot about the mission and our purpose here. President Corbitt seriously is an amazing man and I'm excited for you guys to meet him one day! Also, on Friday we went to the temple! Yay! That was also something nice that I think I needed. It's rough when you can't just go to the temple when you want to, and that's something I'm going to take advantage of in the future years.

But, some experiences I've had here this week have been with families. Our mission has been working really hard on finding families, and with our big focus on that, we've been blessed to be able to find a family every week! Maybe that's not a lot, but for us it is! Yesterday, we found a great family, and it turns out that the mom of the mom was a member of the church! But they are a family of four, mom dad, and two sons and they are amazing! They have based their family basically on the principles that are in the Family Proclamation and all they are missing is the church and baptism! But they are so prepared and ready to receive the gospel and I hope to see a temple picture of them in the near future :D

Really, a lot of people we are finding now have been prepared to receive the gospel ...idk if it's something we are doing or if it's something that the Lord is placing in our paths in this moment. But the majority of the people we have found have been ready to receive the gospel in their lives and have just been waiting. The Shepherd really does look after his flock and his sheep. i guess it's a big lesson on how sometimes, we just have to look or just have to open our mouths. We found that family because Hermana Maltos invited the little boy to come to church one day .. and now he's been coming to church for 4 weeks on his own! And his mom was impressed and invited us to come to their home. It's been a great blessing and a good lesson to me to open my mouth at every opportunity, even if I'm scared about speaking spanish or if they'll judge me or if they'll reject. Im not perfect. I'm not going to come home the perfect missionary or the perfect person so don't expect that. But I can promise you I will come home a better person than I was 18 months before and I can promise you that I will come home being a different member of the true church than I was 18 months before. I'm still learning every day on what I can do better and how I can do it better. And I hope that you all can accept that I'm nowhere near perfect, but I'm trying. 

Well, that's about it for this week. Thank you all for your love and support and for the prayers. Have a great week and love you all!

Love, aloha, y amor,

Hermana Ho