Wednesday, March 28, 2012

March 26th

Hello family! Well this has been one crazy week! It started off very fun. We has an Hermanas reunion. All the Hermanas from the mission got together and we had a grand ol time. We met on Monday night in Reu and President gave us a very intense lesson on how we need to get married. Like 4 hours. Dont worry. And of course, he was picking on me the entire night because Im already going home. And he made me promise him in front of everyone like 5 times that I was going to get married as fast as I possibly could. haha It was a nightmare. Then me and my whole zone stayed in a hotel together and we got up super early on Tuesday morning to go with the rest of the Hermanas to Champerico!! We went and played on the beach almost all day. Of course we couldnt go swimming or anything but we played volleyball and just chatted. It was fun. Then we got back on Tuesday afternoon, watched the best two years and Hna Maravilla taught some very important lifes lessons

Then we spent the rest of the week working sooooo hard to get 3 of our investigators baptised. Unfortunately, Darìo smoked like 2 days before his baptism so he couldnt get baptised and Glendy and Nery (The family that we are teaching) we ALMOST put a date for the baptism when they said that they wanted more time. Normally when they say that, we read them scriptures telling them that they need to do it NOW and shouldnt postpone. So the ZLs were there helping up and everything and we ALMOST had them, they were saying yes when my very new, has-no-idea companion said, "oh you want more time? ok, how about the 7th of April?" Once they got that date in their heads they were lost.

Yesterday and today, I am pretty much just saying bye to everyone. I said bye to Maria Gloria and her family and that was one of the saddest things I have ever had to do. They were all bawling. What a nightmare. Today, Im going to have to say bye to some other people I am VERY close to. I am not to excited about that. So I keep on trying to think about home a lot to get me excited. On Wednesday after the change meeting. All of the people who are leaving (there are 14 of us) are going to the temple in Xela with Presidente y Hermana Maravilla. I am super excited for that! Then we will have out last interviews and go to the Presidents house for dinner on Wednesday night. Then we will leave REU at 12 at night to go to the capital so we can catch our flights at 8. Gosh, its going to be a busy next few days!

I am having very mixed emotions right now. I dont even know how to feel. I am happy, sad, excited, nervous, bah!!! More than anything, I cannot believe that it has come to an end. What a CRAZY, FAST ride it has been. I am going to miss it sooooo much here but I am SO excited to see all of you and move on to exciting new things! I love you all sooo much and I cant WAIT to see you all! SEE YOU IN 3 DAYS!!!!!!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

March 19th

Hello my dearest familia! Well this week was wonderful! Mainly because we had 3 baptisms. Amanda, Gilmar and Vivi got baptised. I was especially excited about these baptisms because they were really high quality. haha What i mean by that is that they have strong testimonies. They also all had a LOT of challanges before we started meeting with them. Ill tell you what, there is no better feeling in the world than knowing that you have helped someone change there life. Because really Amanda and Vivi both had to change there lives completely before getting baptised. But they are both so commited to their change in life style and are soooo happy! Which in return, makes me one happy Hermana Alston! Amandas boyfriend Dario is another one of those cases. He is getting baptised this Saturday. He has had a LOT of challenges. Its insane. He is 18 but he looks and acts like hes in his late 20s. When we first started teaching him, he did not know how to pray, he didnt know anything about Christ, he had a "rat tail" style haircut, the whole 9 yards. He is HUGE and such a little gangster! haha But he has changed so much. He has had to stop smoking, drinking and completely turn his life around but he is doing it! When he went to Amandas baptism, he pulled me aside after and said, "Hermana. (with big tears in his eyes) I have never felt like this before, I feel something. I think that God loves me, I can feel it." He actually just called me about 30 minutes ago to thank us for taking interest in him and helping him, even though he didnt think he was worth it. He said that ever since we have been teaching him, he has felt a huge weight lifted from his shoulders. AH! Being a missionary is amazing! I am gong to miss it.

Other than that, this week there was another earthquake, but it was really small. Still scared me though. Oh and a bat flew in our house. I have never been so traumatized in my life. You KNOW how much I hate moths. Can you even imagine how horrified I was with a bat? It was in our house flying circles around my head at the speed of lightning. So I ran outside in this tiny area we have out back cause my comp was washing her clothes in our pila and I was screaming like a mad women at the top of my lungs. And when I told my comp about it, she started screaming histerically too! And it kept on flying outside with us and then flying back inside sooo sooo fast! So we both grab our brooms and are swinging at it but refuse to walk in the house. So after about 10 minutes of hiding outside and screaming at the top of our lungs, our neighbor came and yelled in our window..."hermanas! Whats happening?!" So we scream at her and tell her and she ran and got her husband and him and another neighbor came in our house and got it out. What a disaster. I was seriously practically in tears. Gosh, just when I think the last awful thing is going to happen to me, another experience comes. ha Im gonna miss it here.

Well I gotta go but I love you all oh so much! Hasta Lunes!

- Hermana Alston

March 12th

Hello my dearest family and blog readers! So Ive been on the computer for like 45 minutes and my mind is still drawing a blank. I have absolutely nothing to tell you guys so this email is going to be very short. I dont know, Im kind of just thinking that Ill talk to yall in person in 2 weeks! haha

Lets see...Vivi is still doing good and excited to get baptised on the 17th. We also have another baptism for the same day. Its the brother of some other people we baptised back in November. Amanda and Darìo we are still hoping will get baptised the 17th but it may be the 24th.

We had a complete family in church yesterday. Me and Hna Arroyo have been working soo hard with this family and one day we decided that we needed to have a special prayer for them. So we prayed together and pretty much begged heavenly father to help them with us and asked him to bless that they would go to church and be able to feel the spirit and know that it is where they are supposed to be. So on Sunday, we asked a ward member to pass by and pick them up with us. Well it turns out that when we got there, the kids were sleeping, the dad went to work and the mom said that she couldnt go. To say the least, we were really sad. We were practically in tears. But we picked up some other investigators and inactives and went to church. I always have to sit on the stand cause I am the ward pianist. And while I was sitting there, all of the sudden, the ENTIRE family walks in! The mom, dad, 3 kids and an aunt. I was soooooo happy! The mom said that after we left her house, she felt so bad that she couldnt handle it and she woke the kids up and raced out the door. The moral of this story is... GOD LISTENS AND ANSWERS PRAYERS! Its incredible. It completely surprises me every time that God answers prayers and works miracles. You´d think that Id be used to it by now. I see it every day!

Well thats all I got for you today. I will try to think of something exciting to write you before next week. I love you so much! Thank you for EVERYTHING!!!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 5th

Hola Familia!

Well first off, dont worry, I didnt get robbed this week. ha So thats always a good thing. My district leader did call my phone a bunch of times to see if the robber would answer and sure enough, he answered and said "GRINGO! Stop bugging me!" For the nerve! It was kind of nice not having a phone for a few days. No sick people calling me. The second they got me new phone though, I got about 1 million calls. And all the Elders that were sick were so thrilled to finally be talking to me. haha It was funny.

This week has been crazy with sick people. 2 Elders have had to go to the emergency room. One Elder called me at 3 in the morning. It was very sad. He had kidney stones and thought he was going to die of pain. I made him wait till the morning to do to the doctor. He probably hates me now. Oh well, what can ya do?

This week was the last week of traveling and inspecting houses. We went to Tiquisate, inspected the houses here in Mazatenango and then went to Malacatan to finish off. I think Malacatan was my favorite area in the mission. Super pretty and jungly! We could only go to like half of the houses there though because the road was closed off and there were a bunch of locos in the street protesting against something. Not sure what.

Something else very exciting happened to us. So I have my suitcases under my bed. I take them out periodically to get something out of it or put something in it. So anyways, I had something that I had to put in my suitcase so I pulled it out from under my bed and I saw a ball of something on top of it so I looked real close and realized that there were 5 very small, bald and pink, baby RATS!!!! Waaaaa! While I was peacefully sleeping, a rat was giving birth under my bed!! WHY? So I screamed a ton and ran to my neighbors house once again so he could help us. So he came in and took them out. What a disaster. I cant believe I live with such creatures. I think that Heavenly Father is trying to shove in all the experiences he can before I go home. hahaha Have I mentioned that I love my life?

So I dont think Ive told you before of this investigator that we have known for like 6 months. Her name is Vivi. She is 25 ish and has one kid and lives with her boyfriend. She goes to church every single Sunday. She even gets there before us. She was one of our witnesses at the wedding of one of our investigators, she goes to every baptism we have. She is great and has wanted to get baptized for forever but cant because she lives with her boyfriend. But the thing is, is that her boyfriend has another woman and she just had a baby. He is a total jerk. So anyways, after 6 months of teaching her, she decided to leave her boyfriend. She came to church yesterday and said that she wanted to tell me something. So she told me that she is leaving her boyfriend and is going to get baptized before the end of the month so I can be at her baptism! Woohoo!!!! I am soooo excited! We are the best of friends. She hangs out withour zone on pday and everything. Its funny.

Well I had more to tell you but I am out of time. Sorry! I love you all so so so much! Until next week!

- Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

Me and Hna Arroyo

Me and some friends. The one on the right is Hna Halling. She will be going home the same day as me.

The precious little rats on my suitcase.

February 27th, 2012

Hey fam!

Well another week and come and gone so incredibly fast! Crazy! Unfortunately, once again, I dont have a lot of stuff to tell you all. We spent the week inspecting more houses with Hermana Maravilla. We went to Reu, San Felipe and Coatepeque this week. And its not over! We are going to start to inspect more tomorrow! Im actually getting pretty bored with it. I am still incredibly amazed how nasty the missionaries are! Seriously, some of the houses make me want to throw up. It is fun getting to know different places though and hanging out with Pres and Hna Maravilla. My poor comp has no idea what a normal missionary life is. We did manage to work over the weekend though and we brought 7 investigators to church! We were sooo excited!

We are teaching a boyfriend and girlfriend that are super awesome. Their names are Amanda and Dario. Amanda is the daughter of a recent convert. They are amazing because they do everything that we challenge them to do. Pray, read the book of mormon, go to church, even stop drinking. They are progressing quite nicely. And its really fun to see the change in them. They are both kinda partyers and a little bit rebelious but they are trying to change and doing a very good job. They said that it felt sooo good to be at church.

Ok, well I guess its time to tell you the exciting stuff. Or scary stuff, I dont know what you want to call it. But anyways, we got robbed on Saturday. We were walking down the street, pretty close to our house. But it was dark and no one was in the street except for us cause there was a parade going on and everyone was there. Anyways, I noticed this man walking behind us and I kind of got scared and was thinking, hmm maybe we should change sides on the street. But right when I was thinking that, and while I wasnt looking, he came up and grabbed me from behind and started yelling at me to give me my phone and everything that I had or he was going to kill us. So he grabbed my phone out of my hands and let me go and told me to give me all my stuff. I had my backpack on me but I reeeeeally didnt want to give it to him cause it had my camera and money and scriptures in it so I told him I didnt have anything valuable. Then he turned to my comp and did the same thing and she said the same thing. Then he just said FINE, GO AND ACT NORMAL, NOTHING HAPPENED. LEAVE! So we just walked away and that was that. I was a little shaken up but it wasnt that scary because he didnt have any kind of weapon and he was really little. I probably could have punched him and knocked him out. But we just did what he said and he left. I think it was his first time robbing or something cause he looked a little scared. haha But dont be scared. Were completely fine. He just got away with my phone. We called the Pres and told him and he said it is no big deal. That kind of stuff happens all the time here. I was actually surpirsed that it didnt happen to me sooner. Of course that would happen to me. And my last month on the mission too. I just add getting jumped to the list of dog attack, parasites, lice and strange rashes. I love my life! haha It is never a dull moment! We are more cautious now though, dont worry and we are going home even earlier. I am juuuust fine!

Well I love you all sooo much! Thanks for always writting me and supporting me! Yall are the best!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

The hotel we stayed in

Inspecting houses with Hna Maravilla
Shopping for Corte on our way home from San Marcos. These ladies were the cutest!

This is a sacrament meeting room slash the Elders house.

Using internet. This is where I am as we speak. hehe

Hna Hidalgo came to our area to celebrate her bday. I miss her!!

Thought this was funny. Everyone here drives scooters! Its insane! Me and my scooter would fit right in!

Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20th, 2012

Hello family!

How in the world are you? I hope you have all started preparing for my ARRIVAL! You need to start preparing now cause we are going to PARTY! haha

I cant even remember what I did this week. Oh yes, it was very uneventful. Tuesday the new people came in so I had to go and give a little speach to them. So I was in Reu all day Tuesday. Then Wednesday was the change meeting so I had to go there and hand out "the bomb" aka deparasiting medication to all those who are going home and have them sign some papers. Then we spent the night in a hotel on Wednesday night in Reu because we went with President and Hna Maravilla and the asistants to San Marcos and San Pedro to go inspect houses. We stayed Thursday and Friday there so I pretty much spent the entire week out of my area. It was actually really fun though. We stayed in a hotel there in San Marcos. It is FREEZING there because it is up in the mountains. We got to hang out with Hna Maravilla a lot, go to some fancy restaurants and go shopping. haha Of course we did work too. We went to all the missionaries houses to make sure they were clean and check to see if they looked like they were following all the rules. We found one Elders Ipod full of rap music and other such nonsence so we had to take it away. haha The hotel that we stayed in had hot water though so I literally took about an hour long shower! It. Was. DIVINE! Then I got to actually sleep with covers because it was cold. I had totally forgot what that felt like.

But anyways, I really didnt have hardly any time in my area but we did manage to find some new people to teach. We´ve got a lot of investigators but they ALL have a lot of doubts and want more and more time to learn. Other than that, I really dont have any news as far as investigators go because I wasnt working in my area hardly at all this week. My comp is doing better. Shes getting used to the work schedule a little more and has calmed down. Now we can just laugh about the fact that she is such a sissy. It really does provide me with entertainment the whole entire day. She has been taking care of a lot of the nursing stuff cause she is learning how to do it all. And I just think its so funny the difference in the culture. She has told multiple people to drink lemon juice for their stomach aches and even told someone to squeeze lime in their eyeballs to take care of an infection that they have. Have I ever mentioned that the people here think that lime fixes absolutely any sickness that you have? That and coke. haha

Well I have absolutely nothing else to tell you guys and my computer wont let me download pictures so sorry if I bored you to tears. But I love you and all will talk to you next week!

- Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 13th, 2012

Hola Familia!

Oh my goodness, I have so much to tell yall I dont even know where to start. This week was insane. Lots of stuff happened and we worked SOOO HARD! I am simply exhausted.

First and foremost. My hija came! Her name is Hermana Arroyo. She is from Mexico, 23 years old and braaand new to the mission. I will be training her to be a missionary and also the new nurse. She had no idea that she was going to be the mission nurse and when the Pres told her, its like her whole world came crumbling down. Poor thing. She does NOT want to be the nurse. President was sooo excited about her cause she worked in a pharmacy for 4 years. Turns out....she worked as a cashier. She doesnt know anything about medicine. Like ZERO! It will be interesting. I think she is going to talk to Pres and tell him that she refuses. We{ll see what happens. Poor thing has really been struggling. She is a girly girl to the CORE! She comes from a wealthy family and is absolutely horrified by the living conditions and just Guatemala in general. She nearly cried when she found out that we have to ride in the back of a pick up truck packed in like chickens to get to certain places in our areas. Also, we have lots of geckos that run around our house all the time and make this very weird noise and she cant sleep because she is absolutely terrified that one is gong to crawl on her. She also gets tired really fast and cant even believe that she will not get to rest for a year and a half. She has been thinking about giving up and going home but I quickly talked her out of it. I feel so bad for her. I hope she adapts quickly.

In spite of the hard time she is having she wants to work. We have been incredibly busy this week and our goal this week was to bring as many people as we could to church. We had 6 investigators at church! 13 including their kids. We were sooo excited You would not believe how much work it was getting there though. We went on divisions and asked one of the members to help us bring all of them in his pick up. All the work paid off though.

We had a super cool experience this week. Ok, so about a week ago when I was with Hna Jiminez, we decided to try something a little different. What we did was, before we left the house, we thought of a certain area that we were going to go contact. And before we left, we prayed and told Heavenly Father where we were going to contact and asked that he would put someone in our path that needed to hear about the gospel. So we go to this area in the middle of the jungle. SUPER far! But the first house we come to, she let us right it. So we go back this week and we had a really good lesson with her. And I felt like I should tell her the story about how we found her. And she just BURST into tears. I mean she was crying hard. She said that about 2 days before we came she just had the most overwhelming desire to go to church. She didnt care which church, just any one. She said she was praying so hard that she would be able to find a church to go to and then we showed up. She said that every time that we teach her, she just feels something that she cant describe. She said its like happiness but something indescribible. She just kept saying, "is this normal?" Should I be feeling like this?" She is so sweet. And a perfect example of someone prepared to hear about the restoration of the gospel.

Well I dont have time to write about all the only great stuff that happened this week but I will send lots of pics to tell the stories. I love you and miss you all soooo sooo soo much! Thank you for being the most amazing family EVER!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

My comp Hna Jimenez that came and went so fast.

people selling stuff to the people in the bus. This is where we catch the bus.

At the nursing satalite conference.
President took us to the beach just for fun. I wanted to see it! haha I love them!

With Hna Maravilla
Me and my daughter on the left. And Hna Hidalgo and her daughter on the right.