Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21st

Hello my dear family. first and foremost, I would like to appologize for my horrible punctuation and lack of enthusiasm in this email. Only about one half of the keys are broken on this keyboard. Including the exclamation point key which is my main form of punctuation.

second, Happy Thanksgiving. I will be working at the temple on thanksgiving but our zone will be doing something fun to celebrate on friday I think. I will be thinking about you all a ton. dont forget to record all the singing for me. I will miss that a lot. It is so weird to me that this is my second Thanksgiving on the mission. What in the? The time passes sooo ridiculously fast.

This week was pretty wonderful and very crazy. We worked at the temple a lot. all the sisters here in Mazate had to take a bus to Reu first and spend the night there in a huge empty house with just a bunch of matresses on the floor with all of the Hermanas so we could all go up to Xela together. so it was pretty much a party.But then after working at the temple, we would get back to our areas, work for a few hours and then have to do everything over again. so this week was VERY tiring. The temple was awesome as usual. It is so fun to hear everyones comments about the temple. I hear that the mission is already having baptisms from the people who went. Maria Gloria, one of our recent converts went with her daughter and when they got back we asked them how it was. she said, It was the weirdest thing, my heart started racing really fast and I started crying. It was something that I have never felt before. Things like that just strengthen my testimony so much. and heres why. Maria Gloria has 0 education. Most of the time she is very confused. she cannot read and Im pretty sure she does not understand half of what we teach her. But she felt the spirit. THaT she can do. Its things like that that help me understand that I too feel the spirit. Its not something that I make up in my head. I am not brainwashed because I was raised in the church. I have felt the spirit just like Maria Gloria described testifying to me of so many things. I love my job.

Other good news, we had 3 baptisms on friday. Their names are julia, mirza and rai. They are all siblings. I felt so blessed after these baptisms because when we first started teaching them, they did not want anything to do with the church and straight up said, I hate your church. and when we asked what they didnt like about it, they said everything. But we promised them that if they prayed, read the book of mormon and went to church, that they would change their minds. We didnt think that they would actually do it but they started reading at a ridiculously fast rate, prayed and went to church and the temple open house. after church, we challenged them to be baptised for the 1 millionth time and they said yes so fast. They said that they felt really really good at church and shared an awesome testimony with us. Their parents also want to get baptised but the husband has to get divorced first from his other wife and get married to the mom. They have been together like 20 years but have never gotten married. The mom, Maria, is amazing. she has sUCH a strong testimony. at the baptism of the kids,she was just crying the entire time. she wants to get baptised so bad and is going to the temple again. she says she never wants to leave there. hehe The only problem is, is that you have to wait 6 months to get married again after you get divorced so I wont be here for the baptism. sad.

I sang again this week for stake conference and there were so many people I almost peed my pants. It was a nightmare. But I got asked to sing again in another activity in december. Bless these peoples hearts. They just dont ever hear special musical numbers or anything so they think that anything is like the best thing they have ever heard. little do they know that it is very mediocre.

Changes are coming up on Wednesday but President already told me that I dont have them. I am very pleased cause I am VERY close to the ward members and my neighbors and everyone here and they all wanted us to stay for Christmas so that we could celebrate together. I am very excited for that. But my mother, Hna Nelson is going home so I am rather sad. And my bff...you know, Hna Roney. haha

Well I am out of time but since it is almost Thanksgiving and all I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all of you. You all support me a ridiculous ammount and are what keep me going every day. THANK YOU!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

p.s. Dont have any fun without me on Thanksgiving.

Working at the temple
Our group of Hermanas that went

Staying the night in Reu with everyone before the temple

Xela scenery

I couldnt get a picture with them cause I was to chicken but Hna Roney wasnt. These are typical Guatemalan clothes. LOVE IT!

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 14, 2011

Hello family!!!!

Wow, I have so much to tell you guys in so little time. Ill try to fit everything in. So on Saturday, we got to go to the temple just to go to the open house. It was sooooo fun and beautiful! I was inside the temple and looking around and I realized that all of the women that were guiding us were wearing typical mayan clothes and looked sooooo indian and awesome and it just hit me! All of these people are lamanites! And I am inside a temple in the land of the lamanites! Awesomeness. We get to go tomorrow and Thursday to work there all day too. I am so excited!

Our ward also went and we had two huge buses full of nonmembers that the ward members invited. One man brought 44 people. Craziness! We were there at the church to welcome the buses back and we got to talk to people about there experience there. Everyone said the same things. So many people said..."I just cannot describe the peace and happiness that I felt in there. Its like nothing I have ever felt before. Its a very sacred place". It is so true! And I am so glad that other people could feel it too. It was crazy. The second the bus drove up to the temple and we were on the temple grounds, the spirit just hit me sooo strong. And the second I stepped off of the temple grounds, I didnt feel it anymore. It really is such a blessing we have to have temples!!!

We also invited a bunch of our investigators to go to the temple. We went to visit them yesterday to see how they felt there. And one of our investigators (Maria) started crying. She said pretty much the same thing as the other lady. And she said that she couldnt describe the feeling that she felt there. She now is getting baptised this weekend with her 3 kids. While we were there she was telling her kids, "I will not give you my blessing if you get married in any other place but that temple." haha! She{s not even a member yet! I love it. Another investigator we have named Erlin went. His whole family is are members (wife and kids) but he has been waiting to get baptised (like 15 years). When he got back, he was all teary eyed and said that his favorite part was the last room (celestial room) and that he never wanted to leave it. He said, "my wife has always wanted to get married to me in the temple and now I understand why and I want to too."

As you can tell, a lot of miracles that have happened because of the temple. And Im sure there are many more to come. All of these people tesimonies of temples is strengthening my testimony of temples so much! They are not even members of the church and they can feel it.

So the trip to Xela is like 2 hours long and on our way driving there, the President was in the car behind us and he called me and told me something super scary. He said that where we were driving, it is completely prohibited for missionaries to be there. He said that there are lots of indians there and they are still caught up in their old traditions and that they do witchcraft and sacrafice animals and people! He said that 15 years ago, there were two misionaries there and they got a hold of them and killed them! Missionaries will never be allowed there again. Scary huh? Also, he said that they still stone people in the streets if they commit adultery and such. Creepy!

Well other than that, nothing to interesting happened to us. The crazy lady in the street that always touches us now lives on our street (on the sidewalk, she is homeless) but the people on our street keep giving her food. Every time she sees us, she runs up to us and punches us and then runs away. We found out that she is a lesbian. That would explain all the touching. But our neighbor told her that if she ever touches us again, he will beat her up. So she doensn{t really bug us that much anymore.

Another random thing that happened is yesterday I slipped in a drunk mans throw up on the street. YUMMM!! Sundays are always the best! haha

Well I ran out of things to say but I love you and miss you all tons and tons! Have a fantastic week!!!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

I taught my comp how to carve a pumpkin. When we put a candle in it and turned off the lights, she squealed and almost died out of pure joy.

Chicken feet. Yummmm!

Making tamales with chicken feet and chicken heads. Yeah, that is the neck and head of the chicken on the right.

Our brilliant landlord decided to put a huge wooden cabinent in our already TINY bathroom so now we have to squish our legs up like that when we go to the bathroom. Typical Guatemala. Just doesnt make any sense.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nov 7th Happy November


Well this week was indeed better than the last. We are still not having much luck with finding new investigators but that it going to change very soon, I know it!

So I dont know if I have mentioned anything about this or not but the temple in Quetzaltenango (Xela) just got finished being built and the open house for it is starting this week. So we have been working with the wards here a ton and inspiring all of the members to get a list of people that they are planning on bringing. So everyone has a sheet of paper and they have to put a list of names of people that they invited and they have to pay for the bus there and their food. That has been very difficult considering the fact that NOBODY has any money but the Bishop held a meeting and macheted all the people in the ward and said..."NOW is the time for sacrifice!! The Lord is asking us to use this opportunity to share the gospel and we need to be willing." So everyone is frantically doing fundraisers and paying all of the money that they can muster up to invite people. One lady in the ward has invited 20 people. Awesome!! So anyways, I just think that we are going to have a ton of success in finding people who want to learn about the gospel because everyone is going to feel the spirit super strong in the temple and know that it is special. Im so excited!!

Other exciting news about that....the President told us this week that all the Hermanas in the mission get to go and work in the temple for the open house 3 different times. I am soooooo excited I could just die!! We are going to be the ones that are in the snack area after the tour that are going to be answering questions. Fun huh?! Yesterday I got to go to Xela for the first time because we had a training meeting with Elder Martino (the area 70) about what our job will be there. It was really neat. We got to see the temple and a video about the history of the church here in Guatemala. There will also be tours certain days where they will have it in different "tongues" they call them (different dialects). We also will get the chance to go up there to go through the open house ourselves with the other missionaries in our zone. Im so excited!! It is freezing in Xela. QUITE the difference from here.

Something really funny happened to us this week. So we were walking and dying of the heat one day so we decided to sit down on the sidewalk in the shade for a second and this drunk man walks up to us. He is from Argentina and INSISTED that I was from Argentina as well. He would not believe me when I said no. He was on his way back from the store from buying sardines. And he gave us his huge can or sardines. hahaha He said " its not much but I want to give you something to thank you for being women. Women are just so amazing." And as he started talking about this, he almost started crying. Poor drunk people, they act so ridiculous. They should be embarrased.

This week we had a multi zone conference (like 60 missionaries) and the President and Hna Maravilla. I was asked to sing a solo. I was so dang nervous but you should have seen the President after. He was soooo proud. He got up to the pulpit and talked about it for like 3 minutes and asked me to please start preparing right now to sing 3 more special musical numbers at Christmas time. Oh dear. Why me? haha He is super proud of us for our baptisms this month and he used us to machete all of the other missionaries. He said, "if the mission nurse can baptise so many people, you all have absolutely no excuses!!" He talked about how I have so many other responsiblities and I still baptise. At least 5 minutes. I was sooo emarrased. haha

Well family, my time is up BUT I love you all tons and tons and tons. Thank you for your letters and emails and support. HAVE A WONDERFUL NOVEMBER!!!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Halloween

Hi family! Happy Halloween! I am so excited its Halloween. To bad nobody knows what it is here but thats ok. I taught my comp what it is and we are going to party. We are both wearing orange and black and we are going to carve pumpkins tonight. The only problem is, the pumpkins here are a weird green color. Not very festive but better than nothing!

Well I am going to 100 percent honest. This week was kindof horrible. Me and my comp were both very discouraged the whole week. The problem is, all of our investigators got baptised and now we have NOTHING! We had some investigators that we thought were super positive but we had to drop all of them this week. We didnt have any investigators at church either which is always a huge bummer. But thats ok cause we planned out this week really well and we are going to rock it! So as far as investigators, I dont have a whole lot of news for you. Except that Alex got the Priesthood and passed the sacrament to us yesterday. That was VERY happy.

I am getting quite sick of people lying to us. It is just the culture here, people think its ok to lie. All the time. I dont feel bad saying that cause the President always tells us that. But I just hear lies all day long and Im getting really bored of it. It doesnt help that I was kindof in a bad mood this week because I called EVERYONE out on their lies. I didnt let anyone get away with anything. But maybe it will make them think twice next time before they lie. haha

I think the reason why I was in a mad mood is because the rain stopped. Completely. It hasnt rained the whole week. It has been soooooo sunny and SOOOOOOOO dang hot its ridiculous!! And you know how I get cranky in the heat. haha Our house is like an oven too. It is like 1000 degrees hotter in there AND my fan broke. AND the water went out. AND we were unable to buy pure water. It was kind of a disaster but definitely an adventure. We got real creative. We also ran out of money because its a long month. And we had zero food in the house. Luckily, all of the people here are soooooo humble and nice and everyone gives us food so we ate a feast every day. haha

Last Pday, all of the Hermanas in the zone went to my Bishops house and his teenage daughter put "braids" in our hair. Im not quite sure why they call them braids cause they arent really. But basically, you get this thread type stuff and wrap it around your hair and put beads at the end. Lots of people have them here, and Ive been wanting one for a long time so we finally got one! I thought that it would be against mission rules so I asked Hna Maravilla if I could get one and she said "yeah! Why not!". I must have forgotten that I am in Guatemala and anything goes! haha

As far as nursing goes, I have been traveling to all the houses here in Mazate to inspect all of the houses. Its been kinda fun to see all the different houses and different areas. I also have to go through the missionaries Ipods and MP3 players and such to make sure that they dont have any other music besides church music. And if it can play videos, I have to take it away! ahh! Luckily I havent had to take anything yet. I dont want to. Everyone is going to hate me! haha

Well, I think that is about all the news this week. Sorry that I complained a lot. Next week will be better, promise! I love you all oh so much! Have a very happy Halloween! Talk to you next Monday!

Love, Hermana Kami Alyse Alston

We didnt have water for a while (in the fuacet or pure water) so this is what I bathed with. Our water just happened to go out the hotest day that we have had in forever. That bowl that is sitting there was half full and I bathed with just that. That is pure talent if you ask me!

Getting our braids at my Bishops house.

Us with out braids (oh have I mentioned that my BFF is in my zone now? Yeah...Hna Roney. haha)

More braid pics. hehe