Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16
No group email again, so here's some excerpts from family letters:

I sincerely can't pick just one favorite scripture, the Book of Mormon is lleno (full) of them and my testimony is built on that amazing book. I bought a tiny English one that I carry everywhere so when I don't understand exactly what a verse is saying I can quickly look it up in my English one lol. Honestly I feel so incredibly blessed to have grown up speaking the language of the Restoration. The book of Mormon is the truth in any language, I have no doubt about that, but to me, it is most powerful in English, todavia lol. I'm trying to read more in Spanish though, cause I know at some point (like when I finish the book of Mormon for the first time) I'm going to read it again in Spanish. Woooooo I'm so excited! I'm getting better every day, The Lord is blessing me so much.

Mum, I sincerely believe that the Lord is blessing you (and all our family) with trials during this time while you still have two missionaries out. (BTDUBS SO COOL THAT ABBY GETS TO TRAIN HER LAST TWO TRANSFERS. I need to email her lol)) Sometimes its hard to have such a positive outlook when people don't follow through on commitments or don't come to church, but then you have a baptism or read an amazing scripture and the Lord reminds us that He has always been there for us. I am so grateful for His loving guidance all throughout our lives. Angie shared this scripture in her email last week, 2 Nephi 2-6. This is the hope and light and everlasting happiness of the gospel. How incredibly blessed we are to know the truth and to know the plan!

Oh by the way, we had a baptism!!! LIDA PANTUJ is from the highlands of Guatemala and is moving to a city like 30 min away any day now, but she has grown so much in these two months. I emailed Dad about her last week, when she had her interview with President, and he cleared her for baptism. She is amazing. I know she is going to be so strong. And pretty much all the elders in our zone came and we bought a cake and it was so great!!!

Also, any ideas on how to ''spark' the ward members into missionary work? Or just into getting together more and feeling more closeknit? This ward is struggling right now because they are always thinking about how great the ward was in the past and they don't know how to get it back to that great glory days lol. WE NEED ideas for activities!! If you guys can think or tell me about some that you have done in your new ward, We would so appreciate it!!

Love you so so so much. Praying for you every day. And how powerful prayer is, when we do it in the right way.
Hermana Townsend

Monday, January 9, 2017

January 9
No group letter today, so here's some thoughts from her letters to family:

Oh how I miss brownies. The simple things in life. When I get home can we please make a whole bunch of brownies and naniamo bars? Or maybe not cause I'll be really fat...

I'm so glad you guys are still doing MTC hour. that helped me so much, just to have that time specifically set aside to study the scriptures, set goals, and review progress through journalling.. seriously is the mission. straight up. Mum, my testimony is so built on the book of mormon. I cannot express the amount of gratitude I have for that amazing book and the prophets who spent so much time writing it for us. Sometimes I feel like they were writing specifically to me. What an incredible privilege we have to read it every day.

Who knows, maybe my comp will push me off a mountain and I'll break a leg cause we were in the mountains a ton this week and it is so gorgeous. I might have to marry a Guatemalan and come back to live here in the mountains. My heart is so happy the whole time we are there and I always hate to leave.

We got new standards for how to count if our investigators are progressing and stuff like that and I honestly thing that it will help us so much to be able to have more strong converts that will be a blessing to the work. And it is so focused on the Book of Mormon and helping people gain a testimony of that amazing book and I am so EXCITED!!
Yikes!! So sad to hear about Kelsey and Breckon and wow, Satan is working hard..

I was reading this morning in Alma 51:31 which is now one of my fav escrituras - Each and every one of us needs to be STRONG and SKILLFUL in the ways of the Lord. There is no replacement and no one can study your scriptures for you. When we're at the battlefront (every single day) I want to be so strong and skillful that Satan and all his numerous hosts will be met with utmost disappointment.

Standard of truth, eh? Don't know if I've even heard that, I would love it if you could send it! And I'll find a way to print it out lol. We had a baptismal interview this week with LIDIA who we have both come to adore and love, but she had some issues with question 4. President is coming to give us our interviews on Friday and he's gonna interview her too. I was struck again at the power of the priesthood and the authority even the DLs have that people confide in them and trust them to be able to help them solve their problems and improve their lives. We are 18-21 yr olds and these people with so much more experience trust us because we are set apart as the Lord's personal representatives. SO COOL. Also Alma 51:31 is now one of my fav escrituras. LOVE YOU THANK YOU FOR THE DOCTRINAL DISCUSSION I NEED IT AND LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!

Hna Townsend​

Monday, January 2, 2017

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2017
HOLA FAMILIA!! (Dad, check your FB messenger pls :D ) FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!!!

Guatemalans absolutely love fireworks and all things to do with fire so for Christmas and New years they set the world on fire and I was sincerely scared LOL. But don't worry, I'm still alive so we're all good. Hope you guys lit at least a few things on fire, cause what better way to celebrate the time we have than to set the world on fire, right? I love fire haha.

We had such a fantastic week!!!! Our goal that our president sent us was to get 10 new people with baptismal dates for this week or 2 new families. We only found 9, and 1 family, but man the Lord is seriously preparing people. In one of our lessons with Mildred, a mom of 3 whose husband is a hardcore catholic, we took the president of the RS with us and wow members are so key. We talked about the restoration (we had already explained the PofS in other lessons) and it was literally so cool. I can't express how important the testimony of that member was. She testified of the true church and how it helps us change our entire lives and our families and we can become better, I sincerely believe that without that testimony, Mildred would not have accepted our invitation to be baptized, after she reads and discovers this gospel for herself. I am so excited for her!!

We got to do SERVICE this week!! Instead of our Weekly Planning session (that we had another day, don't worry) we went and painted a school before they all go back from vacations, with our whole district, it was so sweettt!! Oh, and transfers were last week so we have an awesome new zone and they opened another area in our zone so we have another companionship - more elders...yay... haha nah, they're all so cool and fun and I love working with these people who all have so much faith. They strengthen me every time we get together and talk, even if it's only when we're playing basketball for p-day and I school them all(; that's a lie, I'm so bad.. but I haven't lost all my skills yet haha.

Okay, probably the best experience of my mission happened this week, get ready:

We were in the home of a die-hard Lutheran whose husband is a ''maso menos'' investigator so we stopped by. He wasn't home but we sang a song with his wife and I knew my comp didn't want to stay too long, but I felt impressed to share Alma 7:11-12, which has become a pretty popular scripture for missionaries, or so it seems. But Anyway, I read it in my broken Spanish (cause reading and writing are still really, really hard lol) and I just felt an overwhelming truth to what I was reading. I honestly don't know exactly what happened. She started to share her stories of healing and the miracles that God had done in her life, but all I could do was reflect over and over and feel that warmth wash over me over and over and over again. I know He lives, guys. I have a burning testimony of Him and His power to heal and to comfort us. He wants to rescue us from whatever we are going through and wants to hold our hand and experience the happy times with us too. I have that ''burning testimony'' we always hear about. It's a seriously incredible feeling and I feel so blessed to get to spend this ENTIRE YEAR being His personal representative and testifying of Him. He is my Savior and the Savior of the world. And He loves you personally!!

Happy new year!!! Keep serving others and remember that the Savior is the reason for every season of the year!
Hermana Townsend