Monday, April 28, 2014

Al Sembrar Semillas

Hola Todos!

In English wewould say some thing like... to plant seeds.. because that is the work that my companion and I have been caled to do here in our area. I feel like that has been my purpose almost my whole mission.... to prepare the fields for the harvests and not necessarily to harvest.... which is okay.. because I know some day... I will see the fruits of my efforts. 

This has been a realy good week and my companion and I are getting along great... I wanted to start out with kind of a funny experience just to make you guys laugh. On Saturday my companion andI were walking to a teaching appoitment when a car pulled up behind us and an 18 year old girl from Wisconsin climbed out... she asked usif we spoke English... and my companion pointed to me and said that I do.

I realy tried to talk to thi sweet girl... who welearned was a Jehovahs Witness, in Panama as a missionary. She was super sweet andjust asked me questions but it was so hard for me to respond... notthat I did not understand but I had to wrack my brian for what to say. I could literally feeling myself first thinking of my answers in Spanish andthen doing my best to respond in English. My companion said I looked like a Latin whoknows nothingabout English...trying to understand.... my companion laughed at me for a good while and congratulated me.... I am finaly latina. 

With the announcement that I am forgetting my English I wanted to share with you guys a couple neat experiences that I had this week. I discovered another food that I would prefer to never eat again... on Friday a less active member gave us pig ears.... it was not good.... definitely some thing I hope I dont have to repeat...

We also had exchanges this week and I went and workedwith another hermana from Guatemal whose name at the moment I canot remember... but my favorite experience with her was when we were walking and she told me she felt like we should contact two hermanas sitting out on their porch so we wentandstarted to talkto themand we foundout that just two weeks ago one of them had lost their nine month old baby boy to a sudden and fatal illness... we talked about the plan of salvation and how she could see him again. There were tears in her eyes as she asked us to come back again. 

It strengthened my testiony about the importance of a testimony and a knowledge of the plan that God has for us. Walso shared the Plan of Salvation with an 18 year old girl who has lived alone with her dogs and there was some thing very sad. But we testitifed that God loves her and is mindful of her. We left the house with a sweet spirit and Ihope that when we goback this week Nanci can feel the love that the Lord has for her. 

We also were impressed to talk to a guy named Bolivar that we saw raking leaves. When we started to talkto him he told us how he felt like God did not care about him and was silent... that he had not prayed for a long time... we bore testomny we there to tell him that God loves him and that the message that we had to share with him was an answer to his prayes... without ansking for it he gave hisaddress andphone number and we are going to visit him thi week.

Hna. De Leon will be going home in a month but I am usingthi time to learn from her every thing I can.. I feel like a child who has been starving forsolong and now I am learning so me great new ways to work and to plan and feel like there is some empty space inside of me that is being filled and I am grateful that God has always seen fit not togive me what i want... but to give me what I need.. 

I love you all so much. I do not have much more time so I am going to end by saying that I know that the Church is true. i knowthat God loves us. I invite all of you to lok for a way to share the gospel this week and then email me about your experiences. Every member a missionary. 

Hna. Wilson

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Road To Redemption

Hola Todos!

How are we this fine Monday morning. I hope everyone had a good Easter.. to be honest the only reason I know that its Easter is because everyone sent me emails wishing me a Happy Easter.... here everyone celebrates Easter by listening to loud music or going to the beach which makes an interesting week of trying to find our investigators in their homes to teach them. 

So I did have transfers.... I have told quiete a few of you in personal emails but I am still in the interior of Panama in a place called David. It is super hot and humid which does not help my ankle but its where God wants me so there is not much that I can do about that.... 

My companions name is Hna. De Leon... she is from Gautemala and she will be going home at the end of May which means this is her last transfers. She has been what we call a Z ella for almost her whole mission and this last change she is going to working like a normal missionary. I am grateful though because I have already learned a lot from her and I am excited to be someone who not only has the edesire to work but also knows how to work in a way that we will have baptisms and a lot of miracles.

She is 25 and I think it is a lot the age difference which makes it a little hard for us to find things to talk about but I am praying that we will find common ground. I do not forsee any major problems with her... but this is definteily going to take same getting used too.

So I just wanted to take a minute to share a little about what happened this week. 

On Friday my companion and I were walking and contacting as we went and there was literally no one... and the houses that we contacted the people either did not want to come out and talk to us or did not want us to come back so we were a little discouraged and I suggested that we say a prayer. After the prayer we kept contacting with almost no success and finally we contacted a lady named Lisbeth. We talked to her a little about the Restauration and my companion felt she should gift her a big hymnbook that she had with her. Suddenly she gave the hymnbook Lisbeth after we had sang to her I Need Thee Every Hour.... she was super surprised by the gesture and though she did not want to accept an actual teaching appoitment we are going to try and go back and visit her this week.

After LIsbeth we were walking in the street unsure of where to go but we decided to just keep walking and suddenly a guy came out of his house and called to us. Hermana Hermanas! So we decided to go see what he wanted.. my companion told me that she and her last companion had done a servcice for him but that he had not seemed that interested. We started to talk to him and ended up talking about the Restoration and when we invited him to pray and then be baptized if he recieved an answer that the church was true he said he would do it. 

I told my companion that I liked teaching with her and she also told me that she liked teaching with me so as far as working together we are in good shape. 

We also had another spiritual expereince with another sister named Yaneth... the challenge with her is oging to be her family but she accepted to be baptized the 10th of April and we could see that she felt the spirit.... 

In short every thing is goin gwell... my companion and i need to get used to one another and find things to talk about but I know that its going tobe okay because we both want to work and see baptisms this change.. I joke with her that we are going to see ten baptisms and her personal goal is five.... only time will tell...

Anyway, I love you all so much, I know that this is the Lords work and that He is in every aspect of it. I do not know if you guys remember almost five months ago when I had prolems with one of my companions and President separated us. .well her and I are in the same branch here in David and I can only hope that God is giving us the opportunity to fix things.. up until now things are not super great in that area but there is only time... and a long road to redemption. 

Love you Lots,
Hna. Wilson

Monday, April 14, 2014

No Work and All Play Makes Jack a Sad Boy

Hola Todos!
So this week was definitely one of the more interesting I have had in my mission. My companion did not feel well Tuesday, Friday and Saturday so we did not leave the house before five any of these days. On Wednesday we had a training with he APs which was great because the theme was: open your mouth. So we went to like a hospital and contacted there for three hours which was great because everyone is sitting around doing nothing and so I enjoyed takling to tons of different people even if practically none of them live in my area.
On Thursday we did a service project in Boquete. It involved cutting down trees and hauling them to a pile. It was cold there because its up in the moutains and I honesly felt like I was back home to some degree. It was fun and I liked it because it gave me a chance to really release a lot of the pent up stress that has been building up
Basically from there we were in the house all week. To be honest last Monday, after I talked to you guys I went home, laid down in bed and just put myself to thinking. My mission president had given me advice to set little goals for every day in the week so that I could have things to focus on. He told me that I should make a promse to myself to not be disoucragted but to b honest.. in that moment.. I felt like I could just lay in bed all day every day that week and not care. Then I got a phone call from a sister who left the area when I came.  She told me how she had felt the exact same way when she left Puerto. She gave me advice and encouragement and the phone call really was just an answer to my prayers.
The biggest spiritual experience was what happened on Friday. Friday was definitely my lower day and in the morning I prayed that God would send me someone that I could confide in... that would understand that I was dying to get out and work and be a missionary. I also prayed that because we were not going to go out and work that He would just help me sleep. I slept for awhile, woke up at 3 with the thought that I should share with one of my recent converts the talk that President Monson gave last October entitled: never wil I leave nor forsake you...

So I sat down and read it... and then I read the words of a blind, deaf man at the point of death who said... My Heavenly Father has been good to me... and I heard the words in my mind... Have I not been good to you? It struck me so hard that I started to cry... because the truth was that God has always been good to me. Before I came out on my mission I prayed ferverently that the biggest convert of my mission would not be anyone I met in Panama... but that it would be me. I could see in that moment that God was taking me up on my desire... that He was giving me these experiences not because they were easy or desirable but because they would help me to know better, and become more like, Him.

I continued reading the talk and I came across a part that says: Only the Master knows the profundidad of our trials, our pain, and our suffering. Only He offers us eternal peace in times of adversity. Only He can touch our tortured souls with words of comfort. Then it hit me. God had already sent me someone who understood what I felt. Over 2000 years ago He had sent His Son.
At the beginning of last week I had decided that I was going to give it my all. I have been in Puerto now for almost 4 and half months... thats like 18 weeks if we are talking specifics.. and every week I felt like I have just given every thing and I have not felt that I have seen much of the fruits. This last week I had planned to give my soul. What I did not know was that my all was more about patience and long suffering than finding new investigators and inviting people to be baptized. It has been one of the hardest weeks as far as the work is concerned. But for me it has been one of great growth and change. I know my Savior lives because I felt Him close to me many times this week. I do not know what is going to happen in transfers but I do know that every thing is going to be okay because my Heavenly Father has been good to me.

I love you all so much... I know that this work is the work of the Lord and it goes on boldly, nobley and independently. I know that God answers our prayers and that He molds us into better people through our afflictions and trials. May we be open to the hard, the difficult and the challenging. May we embrace the lessons that God desires to teach us. May we look for the rainbow in the rain but may we enjoy the rain also.
Until next week when I will let you know where I go and with who!
All My Love,
Hna. Wilson

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Power of Family

Hola Todos!
If you are reading this it is coming from Puerto. Yep I had to go back. From the cold of Volcan to the heat of PUerto Armuellas... it is just a little bit frustrating but here we are and we are moving forward. It is as hot as ever with reports that it should be even hotter this month. My ankle is definitely feeling it and unfortunately there is not much anyone can do about it. I just have to hang in there until the 16th and from there we will see where God sends me because I am 99.9999999% sure that I will have transfers. But until then I must still have work to do here and I feel that its more with my companion then with any aspect o the work here in my area.
On a happier note I loved conference. I think my favorites were President Uchtdorf who talked about the importance of having an attitude of gratitude and Elder Zwick who talked about speaking with words of compassion. They were things that I already know but they spoke to my soul and I had gone to the conference with questions of how I could be a better disicples of jesus Chrsit and a better person and these two messages really struck me. Along with many others but we would be here all day if I talked about which messages touched me and why. I just want you all know that God answers prayers. Espeically through General Conference
So I am going to try to be grateful this week and also speak with words of compassion... I hope that will help me be happier this week and enjoy what is probably my last week in what of the hottest parts of Panama.
On a more spiritual side this past week ended my divisions in Volcan and I wanted to share an expereince that I had with Hna. Rios that is one of the most spiritual I have had in a long time.  It was with the reference of a member who lost her husband almost 18 months ago. She had given us two references and she told us to come by in the afternoon on Tuesday and we would go visit both of them. When we got there on Tuesday and she told us to wait while she brought the first family over. We taught the Concepcion family which is a big family and the only thing lacking is that the couple is not married but that can be changed. Especially because Miguel came to the conference this weekend... according to reports from Hna. Rios. The next reference of the Hna. was a guy named Jose. He stays at home and watches his kids while his wife goes and works. He entred the room and I felt some thing really strong... like.. he is someone really important... and when we started to talk to him he said that he had talked with missionaries before but that he was Catholic and all he had ever done was fight with them. After the prayer and hymn I felt inspired to ask the hermana if she could share with us the experience of her conversion. She talked about eternal families and how that was what got her to want to know more. She talked about the temple and how through the temple she could be with her husband and her children forever. That really touched Jose and almost in tears he told us he had never heard any thing like that before. He asked us if we coudl share what we had shared with him with his wife. He then told us that five years ago he had been diagnosed with skin cancer and it was a really taking its toll on him and he was still fighting it. He said it was difficult for his wife to accept but he wanted us to share this with her so that she could have peace. He accepted a date to be baptized and in his prayer he thanked God for sending us a an answer to his own prayers. The spirit was just so strong and it was one of the more special moments I have had in my entire mission.
Anyway with that experince I just wante dto end my letter.... it was a beautiful weekend be able to listen to conference... I am honestly sad that is so very short but that is okay because now we have timt to go back and study and ponder on the the things that we learned and heard. I just want you all to know that I know my Savior lives and that He loves each and every one of us. The He is a loving, compassionate Redeemer who is always ready to help us in any way that He can. Some times He shows us love by allowing us to pass for difficulties so that we can be made stronger and better. May we become stronger and better through our trials, looking fo opportunities to thank and praise Him. May we always look to Him as our source of light and life.... for thus He is. I love Him. I have come to love Him more than I ever have in the yeaer that I have spent here in Panama. I have come to know a lot of people here. But the relationship I have come to treasure most if the one that I have with a laden with sorrow and acquinted with grief... because I know that its is through His stripes... that I am healed.
I love you all so much. I will talk to you next with hopefully an update on what is happening with transfers. Pray for good things. Maybe I wll go to Volcan with Hna. Rios.
All My Love,
Hna. Wilson