Monday, September 22, 2014

Of Hiking and Healing

New Companion! Hermana Hawkins
Alma 26:22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing--unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance,even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

Well. I am the luckiest Greenie in the world. My first area was incredible, and my second is even better. Jìnotega is so beautiful! Google it, I'm sure there are lots of pictures! It's green and there are mountains everywhere and it's so cool here! There are a bunch of houses up in the moutains that are full of less actives we've been visiting. I'm pretty sure we don't need the key indicators anymore because anyone could tell how hard we're working by our leg muscles, no joke! The roads are almost vertical! I love it. There's a big city in the valley with a market and adorable shops and bakeries and things everywhere. Our branch is TINY but those who are there are incredibly strong and hardworking members. I'm so glad to be here strengthening this little piece of heaven!

And my companion! She has a blog if you would like to read it, Mom, www.hermana-hawkins.blogspot.com, and she is seriously the best! She's an incredible teacher and we're so much alike! We love the same movies and love to learn. I am really the luckiest ever. I know I'll learn a ton from her!

And about healing... Many of you know this last year has been very difficult for me spiritually. I was really surprised when I got the prompting to go on a mission when I did, because my testimony was about at an all time low. But I got a confirmation I needed to go so I went! Things progressed downwards till about 4 weeks into the MTC when I became... stable. (Mother's note: Satan was really working hard on Michelle trying to discourage her from going on a mission, but she held on tight to the memory of her prompting and trusted in The Lord - she is a strong woman!) I could go on for awhile about it but that's not the point. In the last few days at the CCM I was in a meeting when I remembered something from the blessing the Stake President (President Allred) gave me when I was set apart. He said that I would see changes on my mission in the unlikeliest of people, and I was sitting there in that meeting and I realized that included me. I was needing a big change. So I had been praying the last few weeks about what I needed to be doing differently and pleading for the spirit to confirm this is where I needed to be. Then my companion said something this week that really sunk into my head and my heart (see D&C 8:2--You know you're a missionary when your email has scripture references... Haha) She said, "Even if I died and found out none of this was true, I wouldn't regret a thing." I suddenly really understood everything this church has given me. It's given me everything! I realized how much I love missionary work. I realized my questions really don't matter. I know it's true. I know it. 

In all that time I spent worrying about my testimony and my doubts I forgot what the Lord and I are capable of together. The time has already started to fly and I'm realizing how short this mission really is going to be, and I don't want to waste a minute! I want to achieve all that I'm capable of and do all that the Lord sent me to do.  This really is the work of the Lord. 

Well thanks for making it through all my mush! I love you! Till next week!

Hermana Michelle Gubler

Familia Mauricio Campos - Joseling's baptism that Michelle missed because of her transfer.

Michelle with Evelyn and Carla... and someone else. :)

Valeria

Dulce

Michelle and her companion in her last area (with other missionaries)

New Area! Jinotega at night

Jinotega

Jinotega

Jinotega - Michelle said this picture doesn't do it justice and that we should all be jealous.

Michelle is missing Cruz!!!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Out of the City and into the Jungle!

Hola Everyone!
So this week I only have about 7 minutes to write, so this will be quick! (Mother's Note: she didn't have time to send photos this week.)
The biggest thing from this week: We have changes every six weeks, but almost always trainers and greenies are together for 12 weeks so I thought I was fine. Wrong. I am currently writing you from Jinotega, which is as about as far North as you can get before Honduras. We're up in the mountains (mountains--yes!) and it is SUPER GREEN. AND COLD! I just got used to the heat, but I'm going to have to go buy a blanket for sleeping because it is super fresco. We're opening an area (again! and the Elders left the apartment a mess. Again) so that's super exciting! I was super sad to leave my last area when everything was really going so great. We had a ton of baptisms lined up and the Relief Society in our ward was starting to see improvements, so I was sad to go. But I know Hna. Bernards will take great care of Villa Venezuela :) I'll miss her a ton.
Speaking of companions! My new companion is Hna Natalie Hawkins! She's from Colorado, went to a year at BYU, she's been out for one year, and she's super cute!! I stalked her on facebook before coming here.. Like everyone. Anyways, she's a really hard worker and I am really excited to be working with her. And two Gringas in a row--How'd I get so lucky??
Well I have other stories (and pictures) but I need to get off now! Thank you for your emails and for your prayers! The church is true!
Con Amor, 
Hna Michelle Gubler

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Putting Fetchas with Our People & Other Spanglish

Visual aids for teaching lessons
I would like to start this email with a quick Spanish lesson:

MachetearVerb. Directly translated: to machete. Indirectly translated: To call out or to chew out. Commonly used among missionaries as the action that will occur when investigators don't attend church when they say they will. Will be one of the words Sister Gubler will have a hard time not using when she returns because it is used when speaking Spanish and English, along with words like fetcha, capilla, obispo, days of the week and months, and other church related words. Thus creating Spanglish. The struggle is real.

BUT we didn't have to machetear this week because we had 8 investigators in church this Sunday! :D Including less-actives we're visiting and the investigators' children we had 24 people! We were super excited. We hope to see 5 baptized this month (hence the subject line) :) We also found out one of our investigators, Niferi, is 13 (she looks 20) this week.. and pregnant. She could use some prayers! I would like to write more about investigators but our email time got cut in half this week so it will have to wait. :(

In other news: This week we had our visit from Elder Alonso from the 70, which was a really inspiring meeting! I learned a ton and my singing wasn't a total disaster! :) In the chapel where we met for the meeting Hna Bernards and I found a random room with leather couches and we got so excited. They hardly ever have couches here, and if they have them they're old and they don't smell good. It was a blessed few minutes sitting on those!
During lunch, Hermana Wilsynn Wheat (she was Hna Bernards' trainer) was sitting across from me, and she swallowed some of her juice wrong and spit it all over me. We were dying of laughter for awhile. It's a good thing I really love her.

On the down side, my butt got grabbed (grabbed, not slapped--I feel super degraded) by a stranger again this week--except it wasn't a bunch of teenagers, it was a full grown man on his own. Hna Bernards literally had to grab my arm to keep me from hitting the guy. At least we were prepared this time and yelled at him in Spanish so he fully understood how ticked we were. Anyways, so President changed our hours and we're in the house at 8 instead of 9:30 and we're limited to walking a very safe area after dark. Yay!

I also wanted to give a quick Spanish update! I think I was waiting for the Spanish to ¨click¨, and now I've realized it's just going to slowly come over time with practice. It's frustrating when I can't express what I want to and not understanding everything is hard, but I can see all the progression I'm making and I'm happy to be moving forward so fast :) The gift of tongues is real! It really is amazing how much I've learned in these short two months!

I'm pretty sure I'm the last person on the planet to like Latin music, but it's not so bad when you can sort of understand what they're saying! There is this great song they're playing called Bailando (means Dancing), I think, by Enrique Iglesias (which makes it even better because I hate Enrique Iglesias) if you want to look it up! Hopefully it's not dirty... I can't understand all of it! haha (Mother's note: It's as clean as Enrique Iglesias can be!)

Well, thank you for all the emails this week! I'll respond back next week hopefully! I am so grateful for all the support I have back home :) Love you!

Con Amor, 
Hermana Michelle Gubler

Dinner an investigator made. Still adjusting to the food - thank heaven for rice!

Hair bows made by members. They take such good care of us!
Hna Wilsynn Wheat, Hna Naomi Beatty, Michelle, and Hna Alex Bernards

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Moving, Music, and Meetings!


Forgot Nametag!
I'm a bit short on time this week so I'll have to keep this email short!

So, on Wednesday a member of the 70 is coming to speak to us and we've done a TON of preparing for this conference. I'm super excited! I'm in the choir (EFY medley in Spanish--classic) and in the musical number! There are four other Hermanas. We're singing "The Lord is My Shepard" to a different tune, it's really pretty. The best part?? I'm singing first alto. Pray for my harmonizing abilities. ¡Voy a necesitar un milagro! haha

Also on the music note, no one in our ward can play the piano so we sing a capella in sacrament meeting. Hermana Bernards and I decided to volunteer our piano "skills" and play in sacrament meeting this week (Hermana Bernards plays about as well as I do, so for those of you who have heard me play the piano you know it's... a struggle). When we told Bishop we could play, he told us he wants us to teach someone. So now he's looking for someone for us to teach. Wish us luck!

And for the best part of this week, WE MOVED!! As soon as the butt-slapping incident came to the awareness of Presidente and Hermana Collado, we had a house in the next 24 hours. I love them. Our new house is super nice. It's in the Elder's area, but it's in a really nice part. We have a front room, a kitchenette, a bathroom, and two other rooms. One has our beds, the other our clothes and suitcases. We also have a porch, and 5 windows! All of which are closed off to the public so no creepers will be outside of them whispering to us anymore. I can finally breathe again! Living in our old area at night was like living in a horror movie. I was so tense as we walked around, and I could finally breathe when we stepped inside the house at night. It's so good to be out of there.

Another bonus, the neighbors are big fans of blasting 80's rock. It complements our study sessions nicely. Hahaha

Also, sorry for my English. Everything they say about forgetting your native language is completely true. And there's no spell check on this computer so that's no help!

And, if you haven't, you can go like the "Misión Nicaragua Managua Norte" Facebook page and there are a ton of pictures of me at meetings and things on there. Presidente showed me a cute one on his phone of me singing in our little congregation. So fun :)

Well, love you all and thank you so much for all your emails this week! I love hearing from you. :) Jessica and Steven and Sarah I want to hear how your first weeks of school were! Get on that. ;)

Love, Hermana Gubler

P.S. My companion likes to go running and hates yoga and I think I might die #PrayForMichelle... But somehow I still can't get over how much I love her. She is the most amazing person. I'm so blessed.

Mother's Note: Michelle told me to add all the photos she sends to her blogs instead of my usual 2 or 3 photos so here goes:
All the kids make these bracelets out of little rubber bands.
 An example of the neighborhood where they work.

Another example of the neighborhood where they work.

This is an avocado - it's huge!

Spanish doesn't have a word for awkward so this is the general sign among missionaries for it.

The little neighbor boy left this on the door of their new apartment.
Inside the roomy new apartment.

New bedroom

New bathroom
First package from home. Only took over a month and cost $100 to send! And yes, it's only the size of a folder.
Michelle's favorite little trouble maker, Yalin!

Yalin and Michelle

Their investigator, Mary, made these bracelets for them to match Michelle's pearl earrings.