Saturday, November 28, 2015

Title: Baptisms! :)--- Blogger's secretary was out of town until today:)

This week was great! Two of our investigators were baptized! The first was Manuel. I've talked about him before, but he is just so great. I am so inspired by his strong testimony of this gospel. He bore his testimony at the baptism and said that reading the Book of Mormon is the biggest help in his life and is what gives him strength. It is how he came to know everything in this church was true. I loved hearing that because its exactly what we teach our investigators, and he came to know that was true for himself. We brought him Dominos for lunch the next day and watched The Testaments with him. Afterwards he was saying that he was so grateful for the gospel and felt so much peace in his life now. He told us that Fridays are hard for him at times because that is when he would always go out with his friends and drink, but he says that every Friday he makes sure he reads el Libro de Mormon and his pamphlet that we gave him about the Word of Wisdom, and that gives him the strength that he needs and helps him to have no desire to go. I am just amazed by how the Atonement of Jesucristo has completely changed this man. What a great example he is to all of his friends and family.

Our other is Abner. He is 17 years old and is already getting excited about serving a mission! He was a great investigator, he understood our lessons really well and was ready to be baptized. It was a little bit sad because he lives in a different area than ours. His girlfriend is in our ward. she introduced him to us. So once he was ready for baptism he had to switch to a different ward. It is sad but
okay, we still get to see him sometimes! 

Everything here is going great. There are definitely some hard days, but the good days really make you forget all of the hard ones. Spanish is my biggest desafio right now, but poco a poco its coming along! My companion is amazing and she is an awesome teacher for me. I am really sad because we are probably going to have transfers before my training is over.. There is a member who told my comp he wanted to marry her yesterday hahaha.. So she probably is going to get switched to another area. Its funny, but not really! I don't know what I am going to do without her. I am praying that she doesn't get changed, but I guess we will find out soon! 

Hope everyone has an amazing week!

foto 1: Bautismo de Manuel!

foto 2: Bautismo de Abner!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Title: A Crazy Week 

Well this week was a little crazy. To start with, on Tuesday I ended up having to leave my area and go back to Guatemala City to renew my visa! I was so sad because I had to miss lessons with some of our new investigators. But it ended up being pretty fun because I got to go with my roommate that I had in the MTC, Hermana Serrano, and another girl that was in the MTC at the same time as us. We left Tuesday afternoon and its a 6 hour ride so we didn't get there til pretty late. But we had a private taxi driver that worked for the church the entire time we were there so we were safe! We ate at McDonald's for dinner, which usually I absolutely hate but for some reason here any American food tastes like heaven to me. Anyway, we got to stay at a nice hotel that night and the next morning we went and started our journey at the immigration office. The church has a lady to help us through everything so we basically just had to stand there and wait while she did all the work. It was super slow though. After we finished our taxi driver took us to Taco Bell which again for some reason tasted wayyyy better than it ever has! We didn't get back to our area until like 10pm that night. It was the longest day ever. But I made it back safe and sound! 

Friday was so great! There is a lady we found who is inactive so we have been visiting her. We asked her last week if we could come by and do some service with her. She told us to come Friday. So when we got there we got to help her make tamales! So fun. Then she said we had to stay until they were done cooking so we could have some. Yuummmmy they were so delicious! Its a good thing I like corn though. For lunch that day we had of course tortillas, the tamales then at the next lesson atol, its a drink made of corn, then at our next lesson piñon, another drink made of corn. Holy cow... I thought I was going to be sick from all the food people gave us that day. Thank goodness everyday is not like that!

Something I learned this week: an entire day can be very bad and hard, but one thing can change the entire day into being one of the best days! We were having one of the hardest days. All of our lessons fell through because the people either weren't there or didn't have time to meet with us. So we were trying to contact on the streets. Well there was hardly anyone on the street so it made that hard as well. We were feeling a little discouraged and were ready for the day to be over. Well our last lesson of the day was with someone who we had contacted in the previous week in the street. Her name is Juana and she is around our age. We went to her house and began talking about the pamphlet that we had given her. She had actually read it which was so awesome! She explained to us that she has so much confusion right now because she is trying to figure out which church is true because there are so many. But in the Bible it says there is only one true church. We taught her the first lesson and invited her to church the next day. The cool thing was that on Sunday there was a special conference for only Guatemala and an apostle, Elder Bednar, was speaking at it! She wanted to come, so she, her sister and her daughter came. We passed by her house in the morning to get her and she asked us if we wanted to wear her corte!! Corte is the typical Guatemalan clothing and it is so cool! I want some of my own but I asked her how much it was and she said that its about 300-400$$!! They hand make the entire thing so I understand why. Anyway she is so awesome and I am so grateful that we were directed to Juana because this gospel is exactly what she has been searching for!

The thing that just made this week even crazier is yesterday I got attacked by two dogs! It was so scary. We were trying to contact some people and my comp said she wanted to, but they have mean dogs, so she wasn't sure. I said it was okay because I'm not afraid of dogs and I would go first. Well, I guess I needed some humbling because sure enough they ran around the corner and starting biting my legs! I must have screamed loud as we ran out to the street because people were running towards us. Luckily, two of them were nurses and when they saw my legs they ran back to there houses to get some stuff to clean out my cuts. Thank goodness they were there because I was freaking out and didn't know what to do. I called our mission nurse and the mission doctor prescribed me some antibiotics and cream, anddddd the dogs were vaccinated so everything is all good! And I learned my lesson that I need to be a little more cautious about the dogs here.

I love it here! I love the people here! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve them and the Lord. Hope everyone has a great week! 

Hermana Baird

Picture 1: Making tamales with Hermana Figueroa
Picture 2: Juana and her adorable daughter and sister!
Picture 3: Las niñas preciosa!

 4--Hermana Rodriguez and I at Rio San Juan!
5--Nuestra zona!
6--Mcdonalds in guatemala city!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Title: 2 MONTHS!!!

I love it here. These people are so much fun. IT feels like I am literally just the joke of my area. Everyone just laughs at me because I am the gringa who is trying to speak Spanish and sound like I am 2 years old--but I love it haha. I just laugh with them at myself and keep trying to talk! The members here are so sweet. We get to eat lunch with them each day and they feed us sooo much, oh my.  I think I probably eat 20 tortillas a week, no joke. They are so delicious because people are making them fresh daily! Its so cool how they make them, I tell everyone who can "tortillar" that I want them to teach me! They just smile and comp said its super hard, so I think that's why they laugh. 

One of my favorite parts of the day is during dinner time. We never actually take the hour we have for dinner. We aren't usually suppose to eat street food because who knows whats in it and how much it could destroy our stomachs. There is a member who sells street food,  and since we know and trust her, its okay! She makes things called Chicharrines and I have honestly no idea how to explain it, so I am going to send a pic next week. But she always has the best Guatemalan food! Saturday she had empanadas that were made with  fresh corn tortillas and stuffed with potatoes and meat and then deep fried. So good! I love being able to support the members here through these kind of things. 

Its so funny, there are these two ladies we are teaching who are cousins and are probably about 30 or so. There are always a ton of kids outside of their houses so I always bring candy. I didn`t have that many at the last lesson so I just gave it to Maida and Aracely, the ladies we are teaching. They asked where I got all of it and I said ohhh my parents have sent me so much and I need to get rid of it or else I am going to be a little more than chubby or "gordita." They laughed and said they would have it. And I said okay if you guys want it just start calling me gordita and its all yours. So now my new name to them is Gordita Gringa. Hahaha I love them. Lessons are always so much fun with them and they are super receptive thus far! 

Thanks so much for all your support!
Much love from the beautiful country of Guatemala,
Hermana Baird

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

TITLE: I made it!

Well, I made it to the field! After a super long day of travel we finally made it. We had about a 3 hour drive to Quetzaltenango. We met the President and had a few meetings. Then met our new companions and headed out to our areas. My companion is the absolute best! Hermana Rodriguez is from Honduras and has only 3 more months on her mission. I am so grateful for her because she is so extremely patient with me. She doesn't speak a lot of English and my Spanish is not very good yet so it has been a bit difficult, but we are getting through it! She is teaching me so much, about Spanish and also about how to be a good missionary. She is amazing! I am in an area called Huehuetenango, its about 3 hours from Xela. My area is Cerrito de Maiz, it means hills of corn. And oh my goodness, there is so many hills! I went from sitting all day to climbing hills all day. I like the change but holy cow its exhausting. The people here are so great. So humble. 

The hardest thing is not being able to understand everything people are telling me. They talk SO fast! So most of the time I just smile and nod. Hopefully "si" is the right answer to everything cuz that what I have been doing! In a package from my mom I received a big bag of Halloween candy that she sent me to give to the kids. So that's how I get the trust and break the ice when we are looking for new people to teach. I just give them candy haha. And I try to talk to them and we usually just end up laughing together because I am not making a lot of sense. The little kids think its so funny when I try to speak Spanish. Which I  don't blame them, it is pretty funny. Day by day its improving though. I am able to speak fine in the lessons, its just outside of the lessons that are hard! 

My apartment is actually pretty nice. We don't have warm showers, but we are trying to fix it so hopefully by this week we do! But I am getting used to it, its no big deal. We get to eat at members houses every day for lunch. They cook yummy food, but lets just say my stomach is still getting used to it. People are constantly making tortillas, and oh my gosh, the tortillas here are to die for! 

We have a baptism date set for November 14 for a man named Manuel. He is amazing. I cannot believe how much faith he has. He has been an alcoholic for a long time, but once he learned about the gospel he realized that he needs to stop. We didn't have to try and convince him of anything, we simply taught the Word of Wisdom to him, and he said that he needed to change because of the commandment God has given him. Its pretty amazing seeing the strong faith of people here. I love it. It strengthens me for sure. 

Anyways, I don't have a lot of time to write, so to all of you who have sent me emails, I LOVE YOU! PLEASE keep sending them and keeping me up to date with your life, because I read all of them, I just don't have a lot of time to respond. Your emails keep me going and keep me happy. Thank you all so much for all your support!!
Muchas Gracias! 
Con Amor,
Hermana Baird
New companion
Hermana Rodriguez

First rain storm