Monday, November 30, 2015

Tender Mercy Time

Half of Teopisca
Hello wonderful people.

Something great about Teopisca is at this time of year everyone makes calavasa dulce.... which tastes like sweet potatoes. So I ate sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, even though I didn't realize it was Thanksgiving until black Friday. WOO!

Well this was a week of TENDER MERCIES (finally something different than miracles hahaha). It all started out with two of the completely golden families we had...being not so golden... and rejecting us completely. Both incidents happened in front of the joven we supposedly are getting excited for the mission.... yeah that should get him excited.

We caught the first family running to a Christian festival instead of coming to church. Cool. The other family told us even if our message is true it doesn't matter because they are Catholics. Whatevs.

To top it all off the only two baptisms we have for this transfer fell through because their dad talked them out of it and now won't give them permission. Unfortunately, now the kids don't want much to do with us. Needless to say we were feeling a little down. But, we ended up going to a lesson Saturday night that changed everything.

Las Hermanas de zonas San Cristobal, Comitan, y Chojolo.

Picture this.

A cold, freezing guera and her companion walk into the last appointment of the night at 8pm. She's extra freezing because she fell in San Cristobal and her favorite gray tights ripped. So the only thing she has to keep her warm is her sweater and her leg hair.

She walks in to the cold cement room, stepping around the giant ant infested Eeyore stuffed animal that has been left outside for the past week. Avoiding the dish of hot coals in the middle of the room, she steps on an old tortilla. The crunch almost wakes up the three little ones huddled together, sleeping on the floor, trying to keep warm without a mattress.

Pumpkins growing on the roof

She sits down on the tiny wooden chair. Her companion asks if they read the pamphlet. They had read it and they even prayed. It's a miracle! They are spiritually prepared to receive the message we have brought.

We sing "Away in a Manger" ever so quietly, so as not to wake up the children. They like it. They feel the Spirit. As the lesson goes forward, they understand for the first time, everything. In spite of their little education (because their mom left them as kids and their dad died when they were ten), they are answering questions. They are single moms, 19 and 21. They were never taught moral values because they didn't have parents. But they understand how a prophet can bless their lives.

Then, it's time for the First Vision. Their eyes follow the picture. The Spirit fills the room as I use the same words Joseph Smith used. God converts us into instruments of the Spirit, and at the end of the message, their eyes have changed. There is light in them. They try to express how they are feeling, but they can't. They have never felt it before.

She says, "It feels a little like when my son was born."

The cold can't penetrate the Spirit that is felt. They promise to come to church the next day, and prepare for baptism in January. They came, and they are preparing.

Warming my feet by the heater...cause it's cold!
It's a wonderful life!!!! 

Hermana Hansen

Monday, November 23, 2015

Amazing, Faithful Families in Teopisca

Something that's funny about small town branches is that people don't really understand the whole reverence thing. A cute investigator walked into sacrament meeting late, as Presidente George was giving his talk.
She said very loudly, "Better late than never! Buenas tardes Hermanos!" 

President George, looking very shocked (as it was the middle of his talk) said, "Oh, bienvenida hermana. Buenas tardes!!" 


Pues.... what to say? We are seeing miracles, and finding amazing families who want to be baptised. We just have to marry them all first.... hahah welcome to CHIAPAS. The land where nobody gets married unless they are Mormon!!

But we really have seen a ton a miracles and are working hard. We won our zone's traveling Christmas tree this week for having the overall best week! Haha.

I love Teopisca. There aren't a lot of members. But they are faithful, give us food every week and are always ready to come work with us and give us references. They are the best and I love them!!!

The other day we almost got ran over by three bulls on the loose. But, luckily we weren't wearing red. So I just gave them my most gringa threatening stare (as Hermana Arellano tried not to break down), and they stopped charging at us and walked on past. WOO.

The inside of our newly constructed church

Loving life out here in the boonies! Picking corn and beans every day and preaching the gospel too.

Love, Hermana Hansen

Monday, November 16, 2015

Making history in TEOPISCA

Our casita de oracion where we have church!!! It was just barely it's brand new!

Welp! Here I am, writing from a little cyber in mi pueblito de Teopisca, freezing my butt off, and crying because this cyber is too slow to upload any photos..... So I guess I will have to describe Teopisca to all of you. (Maybe you can look up photos on google images. hahah....)

It's green... all of it. But its more of a Utah in June green than a Tapachula jungle green. There are little hobbit hills every where, flowers of every kind, beautiful skies, and every type of cute-weird farm animal you can think of. and CORN. There's freaking corn and beans EVERYWHERE. It's freezing. Indiginous women making the Chiapenecan shirts and skirts that they sell everywhere by hand casually on the side of the road. Everyone makes and grows their own stuff here. MOTOTAXIS!!

There are about 30 members in our little family group. We meet in a log house of prayer with an alumnimun roof, and we only have sacrament meeting. Although we are putting the pilas so we can have por lo menos 2 meetings. It's freezing. Usually only about 15-20 people come, but we had an attendence of a whopping 34 on Sunday, with 4 investigators!!! Everyone's friendly and believes in God. Just about everyone loves listening to us! But we will see if they like acting!! There hasn't been missionaries here for 4 years. The same loving family gave us lunch and dinner every single day last week!! It's freezing. The members are amazing here, and super fiel.

My companion is Hermana Arellano, indiginous from Ecuador, and she's the best 2nd child a girl could ask for. She speaks English and Kishwa fluently, and she is an AMAZING missionary. We are making history here in Teopisca, because we are the first sister missionaries... EVER!!!!! Woo!!!!

We are seeing miracles, getting lost, and just loving life. I love training again. I love being a missionary. I love my comp, and I have never loved anything more than TEOPISCA!!!!!!!!! Did I mention it's freezing?

Now,  just picture all of that in a giant photo.

Hermana Hansen

Monday, November 9, 2015

Off to the Boonies

Monday, November 2, 2015

That Awkward Moment When You Almost Go to Jail

Well it was another week of miracles here in good old Tapachula....

This time we got saved from going to a sketchy Mexican immigration prison!! Woooo!!! 

We were coming back from intercambios in Tuxtla Chico (which is right on the border of Guatemala). When randomly immigration stopped our combi and asked for our green cards. OK, usually I have my green card with me. But, we had just renewed mine and I had left it in my other wallet at the house.

Hermana Baker didn't even have hers because they just barely renewed it. It was still down in Tuxtla. Now, this might not sound like a big deal. But, there have been some missionaries here recently who had to spend a night or two in the immigration jail until Presidente could come bail them out..... and I DID NOT ONE TO BE ONE OF THEM.

So I just start praying in my head like crazy and start pulling out my wallet. Hermana Baker finds a wet paper copy of her green card and gives it to the guy. When I open my wallet in complete panic mode, I see the MOST BEAUTIFUL SIGHT. MY GREEN CARD. I can promise you that I am 100% sure I never put it in there. I always keep it in my other wallet!! And they randomly accepted Hermana Baker's wet, expired paper copy!!!! AND WE DIDN'T GO TO JAIL!! 

That's all. 

Hermana Hanzel