Monday, May 27, 2013

Tengo Su Libro...

Alright so for those who do not speak Spanish the title says, I have your book. Yesterday Hermana Morales and I were walkinngn and we saw this guy sitting outside his house and so we walked over to him and itroduced ourselves as missioaries. We invited him to church and we was super ethusiastic as he itroduced himself as Cupertino Morino. We contiued to talk with him ad then out of no where he says. I have your book. Hermana Morales and I were kind of surprised. He then told us that he reads The Book of Mormon and his Bible every morning. I wish we had time to teach him then but we are going to teach him tomorrow and I will keep you posted on how that goes.
This week was crazy. I will start with the difficult ad ed with the good. I am strugglig with Hermana Morales because some times she does things she really should not do. We talked about it a little on FRiday and I thought things were all worked out but obviously not. I have yet to go through the area book with her. I tried to go through it myself but its so out of date that I dont even kow where to start. She said we would go through it i weekly planig but we havent even planned for this week so I dont kow when that will be.

Alright eough ventig. I just do my best to love her and to serve her. She likes my sense of humor and so I just try to make her laugh a lot because it helps me feel better also. She laughs especiay hard whe I repeat words to or three times after she says them. I am just tryig to get them in my brain!
Alright so the living conditios are sufficiet. Our apartmet is one room with a sink and fridge, a shower, the bathroom is sectioed off by wals that do not go all the way up to the cieling. We share our apartmet with a colony of ants and a scorpian which I finally killed today. We are also currently fanless which is fun. I just pray for the ability to edure and I do notice it that much. The showers are cold but I fid that I like them. The other day we came to our apartmet starving and wonderig what we were goig to eat. Hermaa Morales walked over to the fridge and pulled out these sandwiches that a member had given. We had both forgotte they were in nthere. I remember whe she gave them to us I thought, when am I going to eat these, but it was truly a teder mercy to fid them i the fridge.
Alright so I really want to tell you guys about this past Thursday. Because of the lack of obediece I see I often go to bad feelig frustrated because I kow if we are exactly obediet we will see miracles ad while we are experiencing blessings I kow that God has so much more to give us if we will obey with exactness. Some times I feel like a horrible missioary because of it and I pray with all my heart that God sees my willig obedient heart because I want nothing more than to put my heart and soul ito this work and ito these next months of my life here in Panama.
So Thursday we had divisioes or exchanges. I was with the other junior compaion in my area Hermaa Bonilla. I love her so much! Whe I got there she was filling out the area book and she walked me through how to do every thing. We then planed for the day and set a goal to cotact 25 people. I wrote next to it a persoal goal of 40. I was determied to stretch myself. As we planed the next moring we kept tellig each other that we were goig to see miracles that day. We set out and in less than thrity minutes we had contacted 10 people and had 3 addrssses of people that we could go and teach. That afteroo in rained so hard that we lost two hours. I expressed my frustration to Hermana Boiall and so we got dow on our knees and said a prayer that the rain nwould stop. Within five miutes it had let up enough to leave the apartmet. We cotinued to cotact throughout the day. We talked with a cab drivr amed alberto ad got his address and he also gave us ou ride for free. We talked to another guy named Bario and as we were inviting him to church he says, would you like to come teach me and my family at our hourse. Hermaan Bonilla and I just looked at each and then said yes, we would love to. We will teach him o Thursday whe we have splits again. Perhaps the most amazing miracle of the ight was whe we were teaching a recet convert by the ame of Hermana Carmen. We were teadching about the priciples of the Gospel when a guy walked in a sat down. I did ont thik much of it but after th lesson we went up to him and asked him if he knew Hermana Carmen. He said no. He told us that he lived up the street and that had bee goig for a walk when he felt like he needed to come i to Hermana Carmes house. We gave him a Book of Mormon with our testimonies and pohone number in it. We will visit him ext Thursday as wel. His name was Antoni and for me it was a beautiful tender mercy.

OUr last contact of the ight was Daniel. He was walkig his dog just outside his apartmet when we stopped him and started talkinng to him. We invited him to Church and that was whe he told us that he was an Evengelical Christiia ad did not need another Church. Hermana Boilla started telling him how we just wated to help him stregthe his faith in Jesus Christ. I kow now it was the Spirit but what felt like out of no where I looked at him and said, Hermano, I know our message willl change your life. He was silet for a while and then he looked away from us and said he needed to go and left. Hermaa Bonilla just stared at me for a minute and then told me how brave I was. I told her I was just grateful for all that we had experienced that day.

In total that day we cotacted 55 people and recieved 16 addresses to come teach. It truly has been the best day of my mission and I would love the opportunity to work with Hermana Bonilla on a more permanent basis. I am grateful to the Lord for givig me that. I needed a day with someoe, who like me, wated to throw themself ito the work.

This Church is true. I kow it with my whole heart and soul. I love cotacting because I love telling people about th message of the Gospel. I see my SAvior every day as I talk with people and ivite them to change their lives through this Gospel. I love you all all so much. Please pray for me to have patience with my compaion. I need it so desperately. I am tryig my best to be the missioary God wants me to be. I know he understads my situatio and is always mindful of me. Pray always. Study the scriptures every day and never stop seeking the face of God. I love you all so much.

All My Love,
Hermana Wilso

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Little Miracles Every Day

Hola Todos!

First of all I just want you to know how much I love you all and my n key does not always work so bear with me! Paama is so beautiful ad woderful ad I am loving every minute of it. This week I struggled with my compaion a little bit because she really likes to do things her way and so I am learig to yield and prayig all the time for strength and patiece. My Savior is always near ad I can feel him all the time. I see his face in all the people that I teach. I feel His love as I try my hardest to serve my compaion. I am makingn a list of thigns I would do differetly if I could but I know that God asks us to pass through hard things some times. I know it will make me stroger and better and it will help me draw closer to my Savior than I have ever been

How is the Spanish you ask! Oh my gosh you guys I ca speak Spaish! The first night I was here I was talkingn wtih and telling stories to the Sachez Family, a family of members in my area. They remid me of when Presidet Bowler set me apart and told me I would find my Panamanian family. Well I have found them I thik. Or one of them. I know there will be a lot of people that I will find here that I will love with all my heart. I already love so may people already. Anyway, they told me that I do not sound or act like a gringo. They said they canot believe how much I kow. I have become really good at describing what I canot say. For example, I did not know the word for snow adn I wanted to tell them that we have a lot of snow where I am from so I talked to them about how its like rain but its white. My dignity is really out the window when I do that because I make mistakes all the time and some times peoploe laugh at me but I just aught with them because it is funnny. Someone else told me that bet I will have Spaish dow in na month. God is blessig me so much. I learn more every day and when I dont understad I remind myself that eventually I will. 

So when I was coming into Paama and looked out over the country I had this sense of cominng home. I Could have cried. I really feel this is where I need to be right now and I kow God is sustaining me. 

My area is called Nuevo Colon. I have no idea where it is geographically but the heat is not too bad and I love the people so much! I want to talk to everyoe all the time! I have gotten two references without my compaion twice now. Plus we find people every day because I try to just start talking with peopole. These random strangers at a bus stop asked me when I was from ad when I told them I was from the United States they said, but you speak Spaish! I am a shocker to everyoe I guess. Thank you Hermao Solano and Hermao Chavez, you changed my life and helped me learn Spanish. 

My trainers name is Hermana Morales. She is from Peru and is 23. She has been out for four months so I am her first trainee or hija. I think its hard for her because shes never done it before. I am just tryig to serve here and eve though we do not leave the apartment before 1230 almost every day and spend hours and hours at members home I make the most of it. 

There were so many little miracles this week. We visited a 12 year old girl named nani and while we were teaching her she told us that she had not eate any thihng all day. She then ivited us in after the lesson and fed us lunch. I felt so horrible but ate it. As we were leaving and begged God to bless her and her house. We invited her to come with us to teach some less actives and I foud some fruit snacks and some candy. She was happy and I just love her so much. We are going to back later this week to teach her and her grandma again. 

Another miracle and a reason I believe I am here i Panama is an investigator named Clarissa. We brought her to church with us yesterday and on Friday night we had an activity that we brought her two. She has four children and her little 10 year od boy Fernando Josue is also an active part of our lessons. Ayway, at the activity we sat with her by the baptisimal font and talked to her about bamptism. She said she knew she should get baptized because of a dream she had. She said in her dream she saw Jesus Christ, with his arms outstretched. She said the whole world was made of water and that everoene in the world was dressed in white. She said that as they were baptized they were able to go to Christ. The Spirit was so strog and after she shared that I asked her if she watned to be baptized. I bore testimony that we would help her get ready ad more importatly God would help get ready. We also committed her son as well and they are scheduled to be baptized either the 25th or the 31st, I canot remember what my compaion said. I keep hearig different things. 

It is momets like that which remind me why I am here. o matter how hard thigns are with my companion I know that God will use me to make a different and I pray al the time to be that instrumet for him. 

So my first ight here we had this crazy raistorm! We were leavign a less actives home ad it was raiinng like crazy. The water was up to our waists. We decided to seek shelter with the Sachez family and they washed our clothes for us and dried them. It was crazy! I wish I had had my camera. It was a great welcome to Paama though and some thing I will remember it for the rest of my life haha. 

One other thinng. I recited the First Vision last ninght for the first time with Hermaa Jaica. She has three children and has a strong faith. As I did I coud see the she felt what I felt. I testified to her that though I have never seen Jesus Christ or our Father in nHeaven nI know that they live. I know that Joseph Smith saw them and that if we will embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ we will have mor ejoy than we ever have in our lives. Our families will be strengthened and we will feel the arms of  our Lord adn our God wrapped securely around us as try to do all He has asked us to do. 

Though my trainer never tells me she is proud of me I kow that God is pourd of me. I feel it every time I kneel down pray and beg that God know that I am givig my whole soul to this work. It is not easy but it is the most fulfillig thing I have ever done. I long only to leave this area better than I found it. The Church is true. I love you all. Please write me. I need the love. 

All My Love, 
Hermana Wilsonn

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Come To Me My Niños And I Will Make You Latinos

Hola Mi Familia y Mi Amigos

I do not have tons of time to respond to every bodys words of love and support I am thankful for them though and am very grateful that I have such a huge support system backing me up. I love you all so much, think of you often and pray that this letter finds all of you well. First things first. We have not recieved dear elders for over a week. Normally we recieve them every week but for whatever reason we did not recieve them last week. Our teachers are just as baffled as we are and I finally understand why my missionary friends always begged for mail. Also, if you are going to send any thing to me now please send it to my mission home address which can be found on Facebook. With only a week left here it would not get to me in time. That includes dearelders and any thing like that. I cannot believe my time here at the CCM is coming to an end. It has felt like a mini life but at the same time it has gone so quickly. I have learned so much and will miss my district and my teacher terribly.

Speaking of teachers the title of this email is some thing my teacher Hermano Solano said. We still laugh about it. He has kind of become a father figure for all of us here at the CCM. Its very obvious that both him and Hermano Chavez care about us deeply and I know I will cry when we have to say goodbye. I cry a lot more now. Its crazy! I think you would laugh at me mom.

This week has been really good. I have seen Alyssa alot. Its been fun. I always make sure to hug her and ask her how shes doing and she seems to be really liking it here. I am excited to have someone around here that reminds me of home.

So we went to the market last... Tuesday I think. It all kind of meshes together. I picked up some thing for you mom as a little Mothers Day gift but will not be able to send it til I get to Panama. I am hoping that you like it and if not I guess you could give it to Megan. While at the market we had the opportunity to go place a Book of Mormon. It might have been a little gutsy but we went over to a park that was right acrross the street from a Cathedral. Hermana Worth suggested we approach a guy who was sitting by himself and so we walked over and introduced ourselves as missionaries. Not thrity seconds in we could tell that he was little out of himself if you know what I mean. He told us (in ridiculously fast Spanish) that the Catholic church had fired him and basically kicked him out onto the street. He todl us that as his parting words to us he wanted us to know that the whole world was Catholic. We assured him that we were not but he insisted. The whole world is Catholic. We asked him if he would like to read more about Jesus Christ and he shrugged and said sure. We left him with a Book of Mormon. Who knows if it will ever be read but we do what we can and let God do the rest
So we have new roommates. They are both going to Panama with Hermana Worth and I next week.One of them is from Guatemala and the other is from Peru. They are really shy and keep to themesleves but I try to talk to them and they humor which is nice of them. My Spanish is going well. Hermana Worth is not speaking Spanish to me like you she used to which makes it really hard to always speak Spanish. I am grateful for my experience in the Hebrew House butecause I have easiar time turning off English in my head then I think other people do. I have seen little reminders from the Lord that He is pleased with my progress in the language. The tender mercy of the week came yesterday when I was talking with some girls going to Panama in another district. I was telling them how at dinner I was talking with a Latina from Gautemala who will be serving in Honduras and she told me that in Panama they speak faster than they do in Guatemala. She says that most of the time she cannot even understand them.There was a teacher standing right there and when I finished my story he out of the blue told that I speak fast, like the Latinas and I have a nice accent. I was flattered. I have to be careful to not let it go to my head though. God will only help me if I am humble and always remember that I need him to help me.
So onto my investigators. Adrian (I mentioned that Adrain is our day teacher right, Hermano Solano and he patterned Adrian after himself because he is a convert to the Church). We taught Adrain about the importance of prayer. He said he was reading but he was not praying and Hermana Worth and I were frustrated. We talked to him about this for awhile, and then, what I now know to have been inspried by the Sp I looked at him and said. Adrian. We are not aksing you to pray or to read. Those are things we would like you to do. What we are asking you to do is to have faith. We know that you are afraid of what you may have to change if these things are true but God knows it too and he is going to be with you always. Will you have the faith to pray and read tonight.

We could see in his eyese that he was moved and we ended in prayer. Hermana Worth left the lesson very frustrated and I was happy with it. I have noticed the Holy Ghost prompting more and more and I pray that He continues to do so. I want to always be worthy of those promptings that will help the people that He has blessed me with the opportuntiy to help, to teach, and to bring closer to Him.
After that lesson we had a coaching study with Hermano Chavez and Hermano Solano. They asked us if it was okay if we have it Spanish, mostly for my benefit, and we said it was fine. So they talked to us about not running faster than we are able and not doing too much. They said we need to be kind to ourselves and I think that was a big tender mercy for me because I am always my toughest critic. They told us that we are exceptional and that even though we say we want to be like them that we need to try to be better. They told us we needed to ping pong in our lessons more and not allow one person to dominate so much. We are still working hard to incorporate that into our lessons. I bet we will figure it out just in time for transfers next week.

Another good lesson that I had this week was with a missionary. Her name is Hermana Squire and she is modeling her investigator after her step dad who was raised Catholic and took a long time to come to the Church. The lesson that I taught her was about the Book of Mormon. We read through parts of the Book of Mormon together and I asked her questions about each part. For me personally it was one of the lessons I have ever had as far as making it feel more like a discussion as opposed to a presentation. Afterwards a teacher approached me and said that my lessons was awesome and too keep it up. Another sweet tender mercy of the Lord to remind me that I am progressing in the right direction.

Okay so a funny thing that happened in a lesson this week was when Hermana Worth and I were treaching Bryan about fasting and tithing. The word for fast in Spanish is ayuno or ayunar and the word for breakfast in Spanish is desayunar or desayuno. So Hermana Worth was extending the commitment to Bryan to fast with us this Sunday and instead of saying, will you fast with us this Sunday she said, will you breakfast with us this Sunday. She asked him to keep the law of breakfast like four times. It was hillarious and we all laughed about it for a good few minutes. I always thought I would be the one to make a mistake like that but evidently not. It just gave us all a good laugh and reminded me to not be so serious when I am teaching.
We also had a really good lesson at CRE this week. We taught a missionary pretending to be a less active. He was from Panama and he spoke so quiet and fast it was ridiculous. Guess i know what I have to look forward to. He said his reason for not going back to church was because he did not feel that God heard his prayers. We shared some scriptures with him,bore our testimonies and I even shared an experience of when God had answered my prayer. He told us after that he could understand everything we said and that he had even learned some thing that he could apply to himself as a missionary. I definitely think it was the best CRE lesson we have ever had and I am so grateful for all the compensations God made for our weaknesses because we did not have a lot of time to prepare beforehand.

I have been trying really hard to not let the little things get to me. Weather it has to do with my companion or in lessons I am really working to have more patience. God tests me often and too often I dont pass said tests. One of those moments came just yesterday when Hermana Worth and I were planning a lesson for Adrian. Hermana Worth has a hard time focusing when we are planning and some times it is frustrating. We were only able to discuss what scriptures we were going to use before Hermano Solano came in and said it was time for us to teach him. I was inwardly freaking out. We had prayed together but I did not feel at peace about what we had planned because I felt like we had not planned any thing except a few scriptures. It could be felt as we taught. I had worked to study the doctrine we were teaching that morning in personal study and to make sure I knew it but no matter how hard I tried I could not adequeately express what I wanted to say. More than that I did not have many opportunities to speak because when my companion gets nervous or frustrated she just rambles and feels like she has to tell as much as she can about the doctrine we are teaching.There were a lot of mistakes made and as soon as the closing prayer was said I started to cry. Right in front of Hermano Solano! I was so embaressed and frustrated because I knew I could do better. Hermano Solano told me that I had asked good questions and that he had felt the Spirit when I shared my testmiony. Still, I was discouraged. I told him I felt we had not planned very well before hand and he said that he could see that. He need he never criticizes us because there are usually only little things that we needed to work on. He told us again to ping pong it better. To let the other talk and to engage the investigator. it should be 50,50 between your companionship and your investigator. It needs to feel like a conversation. Hermano Solano again asked if I was okay and I told him yes, even though I was still crying.

Afterwards Hermana Worth and I stepped outside and she told me that perhaps this experience was good for me. I needed to realize I was not always going to have perfect lessons. I told her thanks but that did not make me feel better right now. I asked her to just give me a moment and so I sat there and I prayed and I pondered. I told God how hard I was trying to be better. How badly I wanted to be His instrument and I thanked Him for teachign me all these lessons so that I could better serve the people of Panama. I talked with Hermano Solano later and told him that I had been upset because I know that I am capable of doing better. He seemed at peace about that because he hates when we get upset and I just told him thank you for all his help and advice.

On a high note regarding Adrian, he recieved an answer to his prayers and believes that we are teaching him is true. We taught him that lessons about living prophets and he asked us how we knew that President Monson is a prophet of God. We shared our experiences of how we had listened to him speak, pondered on his words and prayed and recieved perosnal witnesses that we know he is a prophet. We challenged him to do the same thing and while Hermana Worth was frustrated that the lesson had not gone the way we had planned exactly I felt good about it because I felt like we had helped Adrian take a step towards our Savior.
The most spiritual experience I had this week was a devotional that Hermano Chavez gave us. He showed a clip from the movie Facing the Giants about when the guy does the death crawl, blindfolded all the way down the football field. It talked about giving our absolute best and doing every thing we can for this work even when we feel like we cannot do anymore. Then he got all choked up as he told us how he has seen his mom pray for his sister who is serving in Panama and he knows that our moms pray for us in the same way. He told us that they think we are the best and we need to always be the missionaries that our moms believe us to be do. They know we can do it. God knows we can do it. And Hermano Chavez told us that he knows we can do it because to him, to God, and to our families we are the best. We need to live up to that. And just like the brother of Jared we need to find our own stones for God to touch so that we can have the light of the Holy Ghost within us as we serve.

I love this work so much. I love the language that I am speaking and now dreaming in also. I am so grateful fro all of you and for this wonderful opportunity. God lives. I know he does because I see Him in the face of all these people that I teach and talk to about His Gospel. I know that this is the true work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That it has been commanded of us to take it throughout the world because it is the only thing that brings true and lasting happiness. The Chruch is true. The Gospel can bring you peace and joy in your life if you will but have faith and learn of it. If you have been lagging in praying, studying your scriptures, or going to Chruch I invite all of you to renew your efforts. God showed His love by giving us His Son. It is a small thing to show our love by doing the things He has asked us to do. I am so grateful for Him. For my Lord and Savior. I know He is with me always as I try my best to serve and that He will use me and my abilities to serve in the way that His kingdom needs. I love you all. I will not be able to write you  next week because I will be traveling to Panama but I will fill you all in the week after. Know that I am praying for each and everyone of you. Know that I know that God loves you. He believes in you. And He is always ready to help you if you will but call on Him. Talk to you in two weeks.

All My Love,
Hermana Wilson

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