Monday, November 25, 2013

Going Bananas?

The banana tree finally bore fruit! And tip for those who haven't grown bananas before, you don't want to wait until they're yellow before you take them off the tree, or else the split open and bugs get in :( But they get yellow on the counter!

Picture at the zone conference - Hialeah and Miami Beach zones!!
Dear Family,

Big news this week was great learning experiences at zone conference and during an exchange and putting on a training for ward leaders yesterday.

The theme for our training was a quote by Jeffrey R. Holland, from the January 2012 Liahona:
"It is when an entire mission is united by the strength of every missionary’s integrity, every missionary’s personal covenant keeping, that we move mountains. When there is such unity and power, an endowment from heaven, coming to every individual in the mission, nothing can “stop the work from progressing.” It is in this way that the “truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent.'" 

We really wanted to focus the training on living the gospel, and then have a missionary application. As I've expressed in emails before, it is when we are truly living the gospel, by having faith, repenting, worthily partaking of the sacrament, striving to follow promptings from the Holy Ghost, and enduring in patience, that we have a desire to share the gospel, and we have the Spirit to support us in our efforts. I think that's one of the main reasons mission rules are so exact. Because as we are exactly obedient, we have that desire and that spirit. 

So we did three main segments - faith not fear, sharing the gospel with friends and family, and praying for missionary experiences. The Elders covered the first and third topic while we focused on the second and put together the whole program. We used the story of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 2:18,20; 3:284:156:15-16) to explain how we can build where we stand, and each talk to those people with whom we regularly have contact, and then we shared Mark 4:26-29, and talked about how the Lord magnifies our efforts. It was great!

At the end, we asked Jorge to share his testimony. He told everybody about how knowing of the gospel had changed his life. It is so important to remember whose work this is! As we focus on God and His children rather than on ourselves, we can work miracles.

Anyway... our zone training was awesome. We talked about the difference between influence of the Atonement and access to the Atonement (the difference is the priesthood ordinances!). President Anderson compared the process of repentance to downloading a program or an app. If you don't complete and accept the download (aka repent, be baptized, and receive the Holy Ghost), it's canceled. You have to start over. 

Umm, other fun stuff.

-Last Monday night we had two people sign up to feed us, and we found out when we arrived at the first one that she wanted us to eat while we were there... So we ate two baliadas and were about stuffed. We arrived at the second dinner appointment, which was a part-member family so we usually eat there, and the kids ran up and told us what their mom had made - baliadas! They were all delicious, but I could barely move at the end of the night. P.S. I will make them when I see all of you again, but baliadas consist of homemade flour tortillas, homemade refried beans, crema, and Honduran cheese. You can add meat if you like. They are amazing.

-I love Liliana enough to eat whatever she cooks. End of story.

There were so many bananas that I
couldn't even lift the branch.
So we cut it off entirely and
then dragged it across the yard.
Looks like partners in crime!

-We're teaching this sweet family where the kids speak mostly English and the dad speaks only Spanish (The mom speaks both). Yesterday the 11-year-old asked us if we were sisters, and if not what were we to each other? We laughed and told him that we were partners in crime, which made the kids laugh. The dad asked why they were laughing, and we told him what we had said. He was horrified. "Crime???" he asked. We explained that it was a saying in English that meant we were tight, and he was very relieved. It was hilarious.

Sister Ware after cutting the huge banana branch off,
aka why I have trouble sleeping at night :)

So, my companion is just awesome and decided to write a list of things she's thankful for. I am out of time :( But just know that I am so grateful for the gospel, for my family, and for my mission. I love all of you more than I can say!

 My face when people tell us over text that
our teaching them about eternal
families and following Jesus Christ
made them want to go to their
husband's church so they would be united...

Hermana Houghton

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