Friday, May 17, 2013

My First Week on the Field

April 24th, 2013

hey familia! hey well just to start off i am alive an well! lo siento for not writing last week! the prez didnt let us write so i was wikid sad! so to start off  leaving the ccm was sad but exciting i will miss all the hermanas i met! they are so awesome & i learned so much! i dk if my comp contacted you. let me just say i had the best ccm comp ever! i learned so much from her & seriously shes my bestfriend! i am so proud of her & she is one of the best people i know! so i am finally in the campo! its so much different than the ccm! i love it! i got assigned to a place called Atlantico and i live in Palencia but thats not really where im assigned to we just live there hah i mostly go to this place called Oja De Agua. we live in this lil town called La Joya. its part of the elders area but we live there cause  our area is too dangerous. we have a curfew which is 5:30 crazy huh? we live on a moutain side in the jungle technically we are inside the cap (capital) but our area is half in the cap and half out! i heard it was the best place to be if you are gonna be assigned in the cap! i love it ! its wikid hot and humid & i am sweating off the pounds! i would call this place  hill but its legit a moutain cause we rockclimb every morning. there are alot of menos activos that we are working with and we have toooonnnnss of new investigators. we are meeting new people everyday.  we have 7 menos and we have around 25 new people. i am in a trio my comps are hna. Oliveros and Hna. Ramierez! they speak no english so its been interesting! hahah they say im catching on fast so i guess thats a good thing! ahh what else! people starreeee hardd!! haha i think my comps are liking the fact that im so white and im from america cause we get in every door we contact or tract. ive gotten use to the shouting and the staring though my first day i was like whhattt is going onn why is everyone staring at us? but non the less it cause im american haha  & whenever we get in the house and someone offers the prayer usually the person chooses me hahah so i think i got praying pretty much down haha  the campo is great! ive never walked so much! & we take the bus up like 10 min and then walk about 30min to get to our citas! seriuosly all day its like up and down the calles! it reminds me alot like bolivia & the people are so nice! haha i knew i was not in america when we had chickens & ducks running around during the lesson! haha so ya its been great what else? there are alot of dogs! hahah we got chased yesterday & we just grabbed rocks and started chucking them hahah it was funny hah ohhh yaaaa the other day we basically got mugged haha dont worry im ok it was just funny cause i had no idea what was going on hahah i just started bearing my testimony cause thats all i knew hahah he didnt take anything just a folleto and told him to read the ldm hahh so it really just turned into a street contact hah but i didnt get any dear elders they come every 2 weeks now. trying to think what else? i have 1 hour to write each week my pday is lunes so  just so ya know! aight well i gotta go i miss you all ! i love you and miss you & cant wait to hear from ya next week! te vaya bien!

Love Hermana Lopez-Carrasco

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Janinas time at the Missionary Training Center


Hello friends and family! This is Jonathan, Janinas brother. I have a lot of letters to post, and have had little time! Lt me say more updates will be coming our way so stay tuned to the exciting adventures of Hermana Lopez-Carrasco!

April 10th, 2013

hey everyone!
 Let me just start off saying that conference was great!
i learned so much & i seriously got something out of every talk! we got
to listen to conference in english! it was great! also did you guys
see that thing about the guatemala mtc after one of the sessions of
conference? ya thats where im at! hahah but conference was amazing i
learned alot about obedience and learned alot about how i should raise
my family & a couple other things!  btw i miss all of you!  i just
thought about how everyone was either at conference or we were
watching it at the same time!  but anyways this week has flown by!
this is my last emial from the CCM! next week i get out to the campo! (The Field)
my mission prez is gonna pick me up and then well head over to their
house!  so if you are sending and packages please send them there and
also have religous stickers on them or else they will go through it
and rip it open just an FYI!   so we got new latins this week and the
coolest thing  happened! remember that viedo i made and i put it on
facebook and youtube? well a bunch of the latins recognized me & said
they saw my video! cool huh? i don't know how viral that went but all the
girls and guys from panama saw it! crazy but its awesome! got new
latin roomates and they are seriously so much fun! oh & my comp and i
are having the time of our lives here! we are like just studying and
laughing all the time!  its gonna be bitter sweet to leave this place!
ive grown to love the ccm & its so sad my district is gonna be split
up! the guys are like my brothers and the girls are like the sisters i
never had!  seriously i will miss them! other then that, ive been
studying my spanish is getting better but still a struggle!  i guess
there has been a problem with flirting in the other districts cause
they gave us that lock ur heart talk by President Kimball haha i was like uhhh
ive so read this before the mish! crazy!  anyways i gotta go i miss
and love you all!  cant wait to hear from you guys and let me know if
you got any of my letters!? this week i got some from mom,dad,laman,
and pattie!  but anyways love you guys!


Hermana Lopez-Carrasco

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Here we go!

So this is my last post before i leave! its so crazy! So i never put up my mission call opening , so i thought i'd throw something together! 
I'm going to miss you all! I wish i had the words to describe how grateful i am and how much you all mean to me!  I'm excited for this next part of my life and i hope to keep in touch with everyone! :) I love you the Lord loves you and May God be with you till we meet again <3
Love always 
Hermana Lopez-Carrasco

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My farewell talk

So seriously nothing ever comes easy! So the Sunday i was suppose to give my farewell talk, church is canceled ! and this week is Fast sunday and then i enter the mtc ! crazy right? Alot of people still wanted to read my talk so here we go ! My bishop had assigned me to talk on a missionary in the scriptures and why i wanted to serve. so enjoy :) 

Preparing this talk was a little nerve recking. I’ve been thinking about this moment for as long as I can remember There are so many things that came to mind and so many things that I wanted to say but hopefully the spirit can help edify and be with us.
When I think of missionary work the first thing that comes to mind , besides the guys with the name tags, is the story of the Sons of mosiah. This is probably my favorite story in the Book of Mormon.  I’d like to think of the Sons of Mosiah as “ the All-star Missionaries” Now to give some background, In the Book of Mormon, King Mosiah had 4 sons. Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni. Now these sons weren’t the greatest kids growing up. Actually they rebelled a lot. (and if I was told correctly to liken the scriptures unto ourselves my parents would probably say that that I was a brat growing up as well ) any ways so These 4 guys were confronted by by an angel along with alma the younger, and to put it in a nice way, they were called unto repentance. Now there conversion was so great that they basically begged their father to let them serve missions Mosiah 28:5
 5 And it came to pass that they did plead with their father many days that they might go up to the land of Nephi.
6 And king Mosiah went and inquired of the Lord if he should let his sons go up among the Lamanites to preach the word.
 7 And the Lord said unto Mosiah: Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life; and I will deliver thy sons out of the hands of the Lamanites.
So Ammon, Aaron, Omner, and Himni—and their friend Alma went on a mission that lasted 14 years. Each of the sons of Mosiah could have been the king of their own country, but instead they followed their hearts. they wanted to share the gospel with the Lamanites, their enemies.
Now id like to think of these 4 sons and Alma around missionary age. But I can only image this group of men, fully converted to the Gospel, and taking on a whole nation of people who probably hate their guts. What I think is so amazing about is that  these young men knew they could not accomplish their mission without power from God. Alma 17:2–3 tells how they got this power and courage to face this obstical or we can substitute ( trial of their faith) : “They had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God. … They had given themselves to much prayer, and fasting; therefore they had the spirit of prophecy, and the spirit of revelation, and when they taught, they taught with power and authority of God.”
These were men that had prepared themselves to do the work. And they were extremely successful. They taught in such a way that many were not only converted but also committed. Elder Bednar put it is better words. He says Note that the Lamanites were not converted to the missionaries who taught them or to the excellent programs of the Church. They were not converted to the personalities of their leaders or to preserving a cultural heritage or the traditions of their fathers. They were converted unto the Lord—to Him as the Savior and to His divinity and doctrine—and they never did fall away.
I currently am striving to follow the examples that these powerful missionaries have impressed on my heart. They taught and were lead by spirit. I hope that I can follow in their footsteps as to the way they taught.
So these past months I’ve been preparing. The best advice I can give to upcoming missionaries, study, study, study. Make preach my Gospel your best friend. I just finished reading it this past week and I can tell you I probably should’ve picked it up a lot sooner. Pray daily, both day& night and when ever you can. Power in prayer never fails. Attend and support church meetings. That means seminary. I probably should’ve stayed awake when we were going over scripture mastery cause now my mom gets on my case about it probably at least once a day. 
To tell you why I am going on a mission, its probably easier to explain how I came to my decision and answer. Ever since I can remember the idea of a mission has always been there. My mom served one, as well as my father, my uncles and most of my aunts have, some of my cousins and most of my brothers are either on mission or have also served. But it left me to wonder where I fit in. I know that I’ve always had the desire to go a serve but in recent years I began to figure out the, why I want to serve. Around the age of 12 I remember casually making the decision to go. I bore testimonies about it and frequently talked about going on a mission. I remember distinctly remember a pair of elders laughing and telling me I’d most likely change my mind and get married. By the time college rolled around the mission was still firmly set in my plans. Going to college away from home I learned that I mom & dad weren’t gonna be there every step of the way telling me what to do. Long story short, I was backed up against a wall. Did I really wanna go on a mission or not? The first thing that came to mind was to pray & fast about it. so that’s what I did. And I kept feeling like I didn’t get an answer. I repeated prayer and fasting adding some scripture study and I still felt like I wasn’t getting a definite answer. I began to get frustrated and kinda give up on the whole idea of the mission. From there life kinda began to seem overwhelming, as it usually does during school. But this time was different. it wasn’t until I was humbled enough to realize that the Lord was answering my prayers. Its just I was too stubborn to see it. What blinded me were a number of things. The Fear of not know what the future had in store, the desire to get married, the pressure of being the next girl in line to go, the fear of what people would think, loosing my job, putting a hold at school, ect.
I got my answer at the temple, I was sitting at chapel area and I was saying a prayer in my head and saying please just tell me straight forward be blunt with me did I miss something I don’t care what the answer is anymore just tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it. and I had been reading in D&C and the next scripture was Chapter 31: * read *
I am going with the decision that I've prayed for years about. and had the same multiple answer to. I am not going because I'm trying to prove something to anyone. I am going because I want to serve to the Lord. I love the gospel and I want to share it with anyone that I can. I want to bring people unto Christ. I want others to experience the joy and peace the gospel brings to my life. I want to be the best mother and Wife that i can be. I want my children to be proud and follow the example both my husband and I make. I am studying and trying to prepare as the best I can. I know who I am and i know that this is the right thing for me to do. It has never been easy, but putting the Lord first and accepting whatever he has in store for my life is what I'm going to do. This work has changed my life and I am grateful for the guidance and truth I receive from it. 
Brothers and sisters  I’d love to leave you with my testimony both English and Spanish.
I know without a shadow of a doubt, this church to be true. I know that Jesus is the Christ, my Savior and redeemer. I know that our Heavenly Father's plan is the great plan of eternal happiness. I know that he knows us each personally. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and is another testament of  Jesus Christ. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and restored the truth to these latter days. I also know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and the Lords mouth piece.  I know that I have a long  road ahead of me but I am confident that with my trust in the Lord I can do all things. I want you to know that I love you, the Lord loves you , and I do testify these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
Yo se, sin duda, que este inglesia es verdadera. Yo se Jesus es el Cristo, mi Salvador y redentor. Yo se que el plan de nuestra padre celestial es el gran plan de felicidad. Yo se nos conocen cada uno de nosotros personalmente. Yo se que el libro de mormon es verdad y es otro testimento de Jesus Cristo. Tambien se que el presidente Thomas S. Monson es un profeta vividente y el boca del Senor. Tengo un camino largo enfronte de mi, pero tengo confianza en el Senor que puedo seguir adelante en todas las cosas. Quiero que tu sepas que te ama y Nuestra Padre Celestial te ama tambien. Yo testifica estas cosas en el nombre de Jesus Cristo Amen

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Life in Limbo

A month from today I leave for my mission, and mostly everything I have behind. So lets get to it. Life in limbo. Being home has been bitter sweet, and it's been great to see everyone. Buttt Lets get real. REAL TALK. "Everyday may not be good, but there is something good in every day" I have bad days and i have good days. Some are worse then others but in the end its all good. Going on a mission is a hard decision in itself. There is no easy way and its a decision that i have to make every time i wake up. Now there is something that i feel that i should share with all of you. There are a couple main things that i feel that are hard to deal with about a mission. Shopping.Relationships.Friends.&Preparing
Sounds really girly and lame i know but hear me out! . 

First off shopping. Now for those who dont know missionaries have a certain dress standard that we have to follow. heres a link if you're curious :) sooo I go to BYU-Idaho. If any of you go there. its freezing, so basically my whole wardrobe consists of long sleeve shirts and jackets. I am going to GUATEMALA. It's hot, humid and last i checked, the weather this week was around the 80s. (which i am really excited for) Anyways so living in the new England area i do not have the pleasure of shopping at DI or Downeast or any stores they have out west. i know the whole Facebook group "Many are called.." is so great, really its awesome. its helped me out alot but mannnn. Shopping at stores here is crazy. Either everything is too short, too tight, or they are winter clothes. i would shop online but then again i dont wanna spend 20 bucks plus shipping and handling for just one a skirt. whats worked for me is basically shopping every chance i get.(in the clearance section of course)  like i found 4 skirts for 4 dollars each at a store that was going out of bussiness, and they were actually cute. You've made the decision & doing what the Lord wants you to, so He'll provide for ya, even if its a simple thing as finding clothes. Did i mention that i grew up with all brothers and shopping isnt my thing? 

Second Relationships. hahaha at this one i just gotta laugh a lil to try to cover up my pain. I have dated a couple boys before the mission and the first thing im always sure to mention is my desire to serve. It always goes the same way. "oh you wanna go on a mission thats cool , ya i'm fine with it"  when in reality they arent and then becomes a problem later on. I've heard the line "i'll wait for you" or " we'll see if it works out" so many times that it makes me wanna throw up. so here we go STORY TIME! so i got into about 2 serious relationships before my call. The first one was great and like i said my desire to serve caused problems, things soured and the relationship ended. It was really hard and i remember promising myself no more relationships till i was going on a mission. well guess what happened? hah yep ended up falling head over heels for someone. But this one was different. Everything was legit perfect. Seriously this made going on my mission so much harder then i thought. All i can say is that it is not easy leaving someone you love. It hurts. it hurts a lot. All you can do its let go and let God. I really don't know whats gonna happen with anything.  I just take one day at a time. I'm fine really, This is suppose to be a happy time for me. So i choose to be happy and i can honestly say that I am. The Lord has taken care of me throughout my life and never ceases to be there for me when others fail. So other sisters you are not alone just gotta keep remembering 
 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)
"My son ( or daughter) , peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." (D&C:121:7&8) 
"Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them." " Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast." (D&C 31:6&9)
Third Friends. Everyone is at school and life goes on. I see my friends having fun at college and i know that i'm stuck here. Legit i miss BYU-Idaho. I dont miss the weather but i miss the people. I come home having to face the reality of what is going on. Alot of my friends will graduate, get married and have kids. We will be at different stages of life and some, i just wont be able to visit which is sad :( Like i said being home has been bitter sweet. I've made new friends and been given the opportunity to strengthen friendships i already had. I go out and try to spend time with the ones i love as often as i can, for the amount of time i have left. I've tried alot of new things and i learn something new each day. I am continually shown who my true friends are through their honesty, love & support. I love each one of them and am so grateful to have them in my life.

Forth Preparing. Lets just say ill be a lil lost when i get out there. I think that you can prepare the best you can, but i think nothing fully prepares you to go on a mission until you hit the ground running. I'm trying as hard as i can to be prepared mentally, physically, and emotionally. I would like to think i am doing a great job but there is always room for improving. I could be studying alot more rather than spending my time writing this hahah. buts its all good :)  I still continue with the hour a day studying, 30 min studying a "mission prep" book, 30 min reading The Book of Mormon. I've added listening to some spanish tapes, its like a repeat exercise so helps me with my pronunciation so i dont sound too much like a "gringo". I've started working out to help me get use to walking around everywhere. " " Thats the program i follow seriously its great for anyone who wants to get in shape, its definitely helped me alot. I'm about 6 weeks in, i wont finish but it's worth it. 

Its crazy to think that i will be leaving in 27 days. I'm so excited, i'm nervous, and basically all the emotions that come with experiencing something new. Everyday is an adventure till i leave. I've been working at my job a lot and i am blessed to work with some of the best people this world has to offer. basically all my days consist of is work, studying, & sleep. I know some of the things i mention are small and i may just be whining. I'll probably look back and laugh about this, but this is life in limbo. I'm finding Joy in the Journey and i'm grateful that i get to share this experience with all of you! 

P.s- I'm putting together a video and i'll probably post maybe one more time before i leave! so be on the look out <3 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tender Mercies

So Once again the Lord blesses me so much more than needed. I don't know why, I'm not that great but the Lord always makes sure i feel loved and gives me all these blessings and tender mercies that i so don't deserve. And I am grateful for that. I can Definitely  say that prayers Work!!  I went in for a test on New Years eve, The test wasn't that bad i actually feel asleep through half of it , so that was good! Today i went to My specialist and Finally he saw the extent to my Problem. Turns out that I Don't need surgery until after my Mission! I am forever grateful for the thoughts and prayers that were given! 
Besides that It's been good to be home. I am Home till March 5th So I'm trying to settle in, at least for the time that i have left. I have gone back to work and it's been busier than ever! I'm guessing its cause it's the flu season and It's the Holidays. I love what i do ,and the people that i work with, so that makes it worth while. I continue to study and i actually went out shopping this weekend. Mission shopping is kinda a hassle like everything is either too short or too tight. So i'm glad i'm starting now so i'll be ready by March. 
This is a learning experience i know that i still have a long way to go. I feel like i have just started my upward climb. I feel like i've had everything thrown at me. I have been bombarded with Negative comments and opinions often. Some people don't understand why i'm going on a mission "doctrinally" Or they have "bitter" feeling towards it. I've been told its kind of an interruption in my life. Some people feel that I shouldn't go and think that is unfair. My heart aches and i wouldn't wish some of the pain i feel on even my worst enemy (if i had any) But ya know what, in the end i'm grateful for it. I am grateful for all the of negative things of this whole mission decision. I don't know why it happens but It has taught me to see people with a more Christ like love. To not judge and criticize people for their choices or how they choose to view things. It has taught me to try to understand where Everyone is coming from. I have been humbled with each tear i have shed and learned to Lean on the Lord .
Not everything that has been thrown at me has been bad though. Someone told me the other day that it isn't often that a person goes out and does what they've always wanted to do & said "good for you, I wish i would've done that" I have also received tons of "congratulations"  And on the day of my mission call opening  I received flowers. ((Thanks btw!)) 
Theres one last thing that i'd like to kinda share with you guys. Theres this mormon message and its a quick 9 min video. This Woman is definitely an inspiration for me. Always reminds me that even though things a rough or if theres something i'm struggling that the Lord does hear our prayers. That no matter how bad of a day we are having that we are not alone. There is a divine plan for our lives that will bring us the greatest joy we can hardly imagine. Like i said this is a learning experience. Every time i pray about it,  the same feeling always overwhelms me. I feel at peace and that everything will be alright. That this is the right thing to do and things will fall in place. That this is my Life and come what may and Love it. I look forward to the future of 2013 with an open mind and Open heart :) 

"When in suffering, we may in fact be nearer to God than we have ever been in our entire lives. That knowledge can turn every such situation into a would be temple. Regarding our earthly journey, The Lord has promised: ' I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left. My Spirit shall be in your hearts and my angel round about you to bear you up.' This is an everlasting declaration of God's love and care for us, including and perhaps especially in times of trouble" -Jeffery R. Holland

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What comes next

Since I've got my mission call my life , life has got even busier than it usually was. I've waited for this moment my whole life and I am so excited that it's finally happening. I can honestly say I'm deff nervous and lil over whelmed. I am Going straight to the mtc in Guatemala and basically being emerged in Spanish . It'll be good but ya I am nervous! I feel like I have so much to do in so little time. I will be sending my visa stuff tomorrow so hopefully that all goes well. I have been studying for about an hour  or so a day. Usually 30 min in my mission prep manual and preach my gospel and 30min reading the Book of Mormon . Even though I'm doin this, I still feel over whelmed I mean it's probably normal but ay I'm still nervous !

Now there is something that I haven't mentioned till now because I tried not to think about it till it came up. 5 years ago I was diagnosed with hydronephrosis or what they call a UPJ blockage. What it is basically is a mild blockage in my kidney . I have been to doctors appointments every year to check to see if it has worsened. This past year's exam showed that it had indeed gotten worse and I was advised to have surgery. Since I have been home I have consulted with my specialist to see what to do about the surgery. I am going to undergo some tests to see of the surgery can wait till after my mission. Tomorrow morning I am going in for one of my final tests to see of I do need surgery or if It can wait till after my mission. I am praying and hoping that it can wait. Additional prayers would be appreciated ! :) I love you all and will keep you updated on what will happen next

p.s -Thanks to everyone for the Love and Support that has been given! It really does mean alot.

"It isn’t as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don’t worry. I say that to myself every morning. It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. … If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers." - Gordon B. Hinckley