Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hola todos! Como estan?
Funny experience this week... we were doing visits with a member in our branch and as we passed a teenager calling out to a turkey and the turkey gobbling back. We couldn´t help but laughing... it sounded so funny and so... turkish.

We found a woman named Daisy this week and as we testified of the love of our Savior for her a breeze began to blow and hard. She invited us to her house and we walked her home and met her 5 adorable boys (ha ha... all under the age of 14, don´t worry). She was very nice and listened to our message but didn´t come to church when we were there to bring her on Sunday. Things are kind of stagnant here... but I know that we are planting seeds for other missionaries.

This week we had a big storm and I felt so grateful that we have such a firm house. We have a tin roof and it was pretty hard to sleep with the rain pounding on it. Probably the loudest thing I´ve ever heard. We felt sad for those who don´t have firm houses who suffered the effects of the rain and wind.

President Cruz wants every missionary to have an emergency backpack with food and a change of clothes etc. Hermana Gutierrez and I are prepared! Today we went to San Francisco (I´m using an internet cafe there... it´s probably 30 minutes away in the car) to go to the police station and ask for a map of the area, but they didn´t have any. We´re using the internet here because yesterday all the power went out in Riolindo (not uncommon). Sometimes it´s crazy to live in this poor poor country.

The thing I love, however, is seeing the members and how much love they have for the gospel. Jennifer Benditez, who went on divisions with us last week was just called as the primary president and she´s 18. I´m learning that in places like this where the church is so small, it´s so important to serve with all the energy of heart and do it for the love of the gospel and for the Lord. Our Branch President hasn´t had work for 3 months and just heard of a job in Guatemala. He´s still praying about the decision but would rather find something, anything here, in order to stay and serve in the branch.

There are so many things I don´t understand, but I know that the church is true and I know that there is a purpose for me to be here. I love you all! XOXOXOXOXOX

Hermana Francis

Oh, one more experience!

This week we watched the Testaments with the Varela family (our Branch Pres. and his sons) and Jonny (an investigator). The TV which always is in color for some reason only worked in black and white. I was thinking it was such a pity that the vibrant colors weren´t able to be seen, but it turned out to be an amazing Spirit there. Jonny said that the only other time he´s felt that way was when his son was born. I was grateful and happy to see how the Spirit can touch our hearts and how we can feel the love of God through the Spirit.

Over and out!

Hermana Francis

Thursday, April 15, 2010

xoxoxoxoxoxox from your favorite Hermana

Dear family

What a week! We had a zone conference on Wednesday and I had the chance to sing Brightly Beams with 3 other “gringas”, Hermana Meese from San Francisco area, Hermana Caldwell who worked with me at Platinum Protection, and Hermana Fairbrother who went to BYU and also happened to do a study abroad in Guadalajara. They are all very nice and it’s amazing how we’re instantly friends because we come from the same culture. I also get to see Hermana Story (my companion from the MTC) every time we have zone conference because she’s the mission nurse. I love seeing her and hearing her Spanish getting better all the time.

We were able to do divisions in Yohoa and I went with an 18 year old, Jennifer, who has a great testimony and so much love for the gospel. I’ve been so impressed with the sacrifices the Saints are willing to make in this area. They were so happy that we would come for a day to bring enthusiasm to many less active members there. And it was great to see some of them there on church on Sunday. The branch is very small.. we have about 50 in attendance for sacrament meeting.

Investigators are few right now, but we’re working hard and searching almost under the rocks to find them. We found a woman named Tania this week who was taught by the missionaries about 6 months ago and had almost all the ‘discussions’. We’ve been visiting with her but she didn’t accept our invitation to church on Sunday. We’re also teaching a man named Jonny whose wife is a member and I was able to help him with his English this week, which was fun.

I’m learning that a lack of confidence is a lack of faith, and we must press forward diligently, it doesn’t matter how much the members are involved or how many people we have the chance to teach, what matters is really acting as a representative of Jesus Christ, having faith in Him, and seeking to do His will.

I love you all so very much! Take care and I’ll write you in a week!

Love, XOXOXOX Hermana Francis

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hola familia!

Wow... how amazing was General Conference, eh? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do so well in the Conference Bowl... I didn't really understand as much as I would have liked. But it was great to hear many of the speakers giving their talks in Spanish(which they had pre-recorded). I thought that was neat, how much love they had for the Spanish speakers of the world to share their message in their native tongue. What I did understand, due to much concentration and help from the Spirit, was exactly what I needed to know and learn. I especially loved Elder Martino's talk. Since he spoke to us in the CCM Guatemala and also here in the field, and since I know his neice serving in Argentina, I think I'll always be excited to hear him speak for the rest of my life. I'm excited for the Conference addresses to come out and to read all the talks in English.

It's been quite an adjustment working with my companion, Hermana Gutierrez. She is quite sensitive and we're working on improving our communication and working well together. I pray that I can become who the Lord wishes me to become and develop charity and patience... and fast! Ha ha... that's patience, for ya, right? But I'm realizing that in the mission I'll have the opportunity to work with every different type of person and that as I do, I learn more and more about myself and how I need to improve.

Well, I know this is super short, but it's time to go. Know that I'm alright but need prayers of faith that Hermana Francis can develop more faith and confidence.

I love you all! I'm fine! Better email next week, I promise.
Hermana Francis.