Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's P-day!!!

I awoke this morning to an email from Sister Woolley of the Salt Lake South Mission telling me how much she loves Charlie and thanking me for sending her to them.  She also sent me a picture of Charlie and Sister Bangerter.  Such cute girls!

Then I received an email from Sissy aka Sister Kallie McCulloch.  I will copy and paste that.

"Oh my goodness yes spring is very beautiful here I just haven't had
time to take me but I will take pictures for you :-). I just love all
the colors that they have on the trees! The pink and purple and white
are just so excited. It finally means spring is here and that winter
Is finally gone! Yay!! Hola!!! Hahaha

Goodness mama get out of the sun! We need you in Heath..but you better
of put on sunscreen on  and of drank enough water to keep you
hydrated. If not sissy is gonna kick your butt!! :)

Anyways this week was great! Got a smile on my face, except when it
gets super hard and frustrating, but hey daddy is with, which helps
keep me going!

I will try sending some pictures that i have in a little bit. :)

Have a great week!

Love Sissy"

I will add any photos she sends with her mass email that will come in later this afternoon.  She sounds good.  :)

Lonnie sent the next email with a picture forwarded to me from Sister Hintze.

"So. no time this week. So once again, I am copying and pasting from president's email. I was changed to the capital--belmopan. i am now serving amongst the sweetest people ever--the mayans. My area covers a place called Mayamopan, a place that has captured my heart in an instant. i was so worried about not being able to love a place as much as Corozal, but miracle of the mission--I do. I LOVE Belmopan.

So without further ado, my excerpt to President:

"This week has been chalk full of miracles, President. I LOVE my new companion. Sister Richins and I have gotten along SO well. Seriously. I wish you could have been there at change meeting, we both practically died when they called out our names. I almost fell over when we hugged each other as well! haha :D 

But....to share just a few stories with you.... We almost got in a car accident. We were zooming down to the church on Saturday evening to get to our baptism that we had planned. We were by this place called Garden City plaza and as we were nearing the intersection, we could hear the honks of the SUV behind us. Well....it didn't occur to us that they were possibly drunk because we weren't turning around, we were just so focused on getting to the church. Well....we cross the road and start taking a shortcut through the park when suddenly, we both heard a car collide into something--another car! We look back at the spot where we had been just....seven seconds before and there were two cars smashed together, that one SUV still randomly honking. I know that it may sound ridiculous, that we could have been in the middle of that, that if we had been there, it probably wouldn't have happened, but Sister Richins and I both know that we were saved by divine intervention. We had been speeding as fast as we could because of a lesson we got out of kind of late. I know that if things had been slowed down or just.....any number of things could have happened, but we were saved from that accident. I know that were it not for divine intervention, we could have been caught up in that.

We also had a couple of really cool lessons with people that I know that I have needed to meet! I'm sure of it! So even though I am devastated to be leaving my Corozalenos, I know that I am supposed to be here in this beautiful town of Belmopan. There was one lesson that we had with this Mayan man. His name is J___. President, we have been teaching him in a form of Mayan English/Kriol. And I love it! Sometimes he has a difficulty of understanding things, but he is smart. He KNOWS he needs to do this. He just likes to test our patience. Well that same Saturday before the baptism, we were teaching him about the law of chastity. And somewhere along that commandment, he opened up and shared his story--why he hurts, why it's hard for him to want to come back to church and trust that he will receive blessings, why he began to drink. He shared so much and I was filled with so much compassion for him. I LOVE these people of Mayamopan. I LOVE my companion. We are seeing so many miracles and will continue to see so much more, I know we will! The branch is talking about redividing the areas and I.....my heart gets wrenched at just the thought of that! President, I KNOW I need to be here. We are touching hearts that no one else can. We can't just leave all of our progress, all of the miracles that the Lord has blessed our companionship with! We are praying for a miracle. I love these people that I already can't bear the thought of leaving them...."

So one more story. We had a lesson with a young man who has been an investigator for a little while with the former sisters. He has a problem with smoking, drinking, and drugs. And he wants to change, but just feels as if he.....can't. Well we showed him the Mormon Message "Because of Him' and had just the most.....spiritual lesson ever. I was so overwhelmed with love for him and we just.....were able to testify of the Atonement and of God's love for him. I shared a scripture in 2 Corinthians about Christ's grace and how he is strong and Christ's Atonement is made perfectbecause he (we are) is weak. And then we made an analogy about basketball and choosing Christ to be on our team.

know he can overcome these temptations. If we didn't believe that, we would have dropped him a long time ago. But we trust in Christ's Atonement to help him overcome his challenges. As we talked about basketball, putting it in a way that he could understand, Sister Richins said something that stuck with me: As I told him that he needed to choose Christ as his teammate, she said, "Y con 'El, jam'as, va a perder." (With Him, you will never lose.)

I know that to be true. If any of us have challenges or temptations, nothing can stop us from reaching Heavenly Father's presence. Christ's grace is made perfect in our weakness. He has all power. Because He loves us, Hewill help us. If we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains--even those mountains that create stumbling blocks in our lives right now. Seek for Him in prayer and choose Him to be on YOUR team. He will always be there.

I love you all so much! Keep praying, studying your scriptures, and attending church! That's where strength comes from!

Love Always,

Sistah M.

I'm just waiting on Bitty Bug's email and that should arrive within the next two hours.   It's wonderful to hear from all 3 of my girls on the same day.  I'm glad they are doing well.  

Here is Sister Bitty Bug's latest email:
Hey family,
How are things going?
Well have fun at Texas this week.

Well things are great here.  Lessons are slow but we are meeting a lot
of people.
Well president chambers was thinking of trading us out with elders.
But he is feeling that we are safer here.

St Patrick's day was so fun. Did you wear green.
Our zone leaders didn't wear green so one of the sisters told them to
hold out their hands and she pinched their finger. It was fun to

Also we had exchanges. I was the one her left the area. So the other
side of my area. It was fun to see the other side of how it works. I
learned a lot.

Well yesterday we sung in church with the district leaders. But we
were part of the choir. We sung. The song. Efy  melody as sisters in
Zion and will bring the world his truth. It was so fun to be apart of
Just saying I have loved having to speak and sing. I am showing my
inner talents.

Well I know this email is short but nothing really happened this week.

I love you. Have a fun week and enjoy the weather.

Sister C. McCulloch

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Hermana M is STILL serving in Belize...just a different area!

Hermana McCulloch with her new companion

Sister Alico, one of the senior missionaries serving in Belize emailed me today to tell me that Lonnie did not got back to El Salvador.  She was transferred to Belmopan, Belize...the capital city.  We were all under the impression that Belize was not going to renew her Visa and she would be headed back to El Salvador.  Not the case!  She must be so happy although I bet she's missing seeing the ocean!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hermana M's Incredibly Very Sad Day

Hermana M left her beloved Belize today, spending more than half her mission there.  She will spend the last 5 months of her mission in El Salvador.

Here is her email from 3/16/15:

So... I have changes. I have spent half of my mission in this beautiful town by the Corozal Bay and the Lord is finally taking me out. WHAT. TO. DO. NOW...... :/

Because it's been a crazy day and my time is running short, I'm going to copy and paste one of the experiences I shared with President Hintze this week:

"We had a couple of crazy experiences this week. I now understand why I have still been here this long. I thought that I had figured it out (maybe)--that it was for a recent convert from El Salvador named K____ or maybe it was for the sister missionaries in the house or maybe it was just to strengthen E____ and prepare her to be baptized or it could have been for J______--to be there to support her when her mother denied her the permission to be baptized AGAIN. President, all of those things were true, buuuuut I wasn't here for that. I was here for E____ and I_____. E____ and ____ got baptized about five months ago. They were being taught by Sister Jensen and Sister Patterson as well as Sister Hunter. E____'s challenge has been the Word of Wisdom. He has been battling for months now, trying to get over this addiction. Well the past change was really difficult. He says that when changes come, "all hope is lost" because us missionaries (his friends), leave. He was going so well, too. He was improving--when he did slip up, he would drink less and less. HE didn't see his improvement, but we did. And then on Saturday, I woke up to a fabulous day! I was washing dishes at the sink and began thinking of E____ and in that exact moment, he texted me to tell me that he was happy because he woke up thinking of me. He told me later that he felt as if he had overcome it. He had gone almost three weeks without drinking. We went over later that morning and visited with Ingrid--shared a scripture about Alma's advice to Shiblon and we left, super happy that their family was progressing.

Well.....later that evening at around four, the phone buzzed with a text. I went immediately to read it for whatever reason and saw that it was Ingrid asking me to call her. I called her right in that moment and she told me that E____ had been drinking and that he brought two really drunk men to her house. She wanted them gone and asked us to come and talk to E____. So we biked to the other side of town as fast as we could on our "rescue mission."

He HAD been drinking. He kept saying how much he loved me and tried to give me several hugs. I was filled with so much compassion for this man. I love him, President. I know Christ loves him, too. I just wished that he could see that! He mentioned how he had to drink because that's all he had. That he had gained nothing, only lost everything, from being a member of the Church. I testified to him with all of my heart that he had not lost everything. Sure, he sold his car, he got a lower-paying job, he lost some of his so-called "friends," and has had to make many other changes, but he gained the knowledge of how to have an eternal family. He had a beautiful wife and a beautiful son and daughter who wanted to live with him for eternity. They wanted the best for him and were waiting back home for him with open arms. He had everything he ever needed!

Sister Mims bore her testimony, too, as well as Sister Lindstrom, and we tried everything to make him stay. With no such luck. His two "friends" were so wasted that they couldn't even walk straight and kept falling down. They made a lot of crude, degrading comments to us, but we paid no mind. We knew why we were there. We knew who it was for.

Well E____ left with I_____'s bike and his two friends were walking with him and we stayed right there in the road, down the street from Ingrid's house (who was waiting ever faithfully on their porch), and I offered a prayer. I asked Heavenly Father that those two men would just....leave E____ and that he could come home safely. We went back to I_____ (who had seen us pray and offered a prayer of her own in her room), and she told us where he might be--in a nasty bar a few blocks away. She didn't want us to go, but I told her that we were bombalies and that's what bombalies do--they take care of each other. I know I probably shouldn't have down this President, but we went to merely drive by the bar and bring Ingrid's bike back. Well we started on our way and in the distant we saw those two men coming back, without E____. So we took a detour and ended up finding the bar on our own. No bike. We thought E____ was somewhere else. I had come up to the perimeters and saw nothing, but right in that moment, E____ came out with his bike. He saw us, but said nothing, hopped on his bike and then started biking down the road. We followed him, but I told the sisters that we weren't going to get too close. And we just followed him, hoping and praying that he'd get home. And sure enough, he did. He rode right back to his house, pulled up to the front porch and walked inside. We rode on past and stopped a little ways down the road and then said a prayer of gratitude that our earlier prayer had been answered exactly as we had asked.

We went by later to check on I_____ after E____ had fallen asleep and she said, "Sisters, I had never doubted, buuut.....you just....you strengthened my faith today. That all of this is true."

I was here for THAT, President. I was here for E____.

Just so you know, he came to church the next morning and he's doing a lot better now. He remembers everything that happened. He even told I_____ when he got home, "The sisters came for me. They came for me." The whole way home, I felt like I was fulfilling the Lord's promise in D&C 84:88-- "and mine angels [will be] round about you, to bear you up." The Lord loves E____. I know He does. Because He allowed me to be here long enough to teach him that at this time."

Oh, how I have loved my time in Corozal. Oh, how I love these people. And oh, how I will miss them....
I feel very much like the people who were baptized at the waters of Mormon in Mosiah 18 as it says in verse 30, "...the place of Mormon, the water of Mormon, the forest of Mormon, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever." Here in this beautiful town, up by the border of Mexico, I have come to the knowledge that my Redeemer lives! I know that families can and will be forever! I know that God loves and knows each of His children personally. The Savior is here for us, even in our darkest moments and has His arms outstretched in every moment. To feel His love and mercy, we must simply make the effort and reach out to Him.
My heart will always stay here in Corozal (and the places throughout the rest of my mission), but I will forever remember how my testimony has grown because of the people I've met, the places I've been, and the trials I've had in this beautiful and blessed place. Find that place in your life! Seek out your Savior and learn to love the circumstances you now find yourselves in!
I still pray for each of you.... :) Thanks for your love and support!

Love Always,
Sistah M.

Never in my wildest dreams

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever have 3 missionaries out at the same time, let alone 3 SISTER missionaries!  I am so proud of my girls.  They are great examples to me and to their siblings.  Thank you Lonnie, Kallie, and Charlie for your dedicated service and example.