Note from Mom: I’ve been having technical difficulties and couldn’t get in to WordPress to post this email from last week. So sorry! But it’s been solved now and I can get caught up with pictures from last week! Here is Hannah’s letter from June 9 (and I will post another one for June 16):
So firstly I have to kind of explain for the last week’s email. Sometimes life is kind of a bummer. Last Monday I was kind of feeling a little lousy but in the last week, so much has happened and I have learned so much. It’s crazy to see how literally every little thing, every experience that happens is totally for our benefit. There is ALWAYS a lesson. For example, I remember on Friday, it was my birthday and we were walking and walking and walking and walking… I don’t think we had a single lesson with an investigator that day. Just contacting and visiting a less active. We passed this little old man who was working as a shoe-shiner in the streets. As we walked by him, I just felt really strongly that we should go and talk to him. Then I thought to myself, ”Oh, but we just passed him, it’s too late….” but I just kept feeling anxious like I should go and talk to him, so I turned my companion and I around and we went back. As we said hi, a huge grin came on his face and I remember thinking, ”Ok cool, this little old guy is a nice one!” NOPE. He was just grinning because he was super excited to try and Bible bash us. I hate it when that happens. He just started to do the classic thing where they throw out random references to scriptures to sound really educated about the Bible and start to make arguments with no roots. He was like, ”When you guys pray, do you pray with your eyes closed? Where does it say in the Bible that you have to pray with your eyes closed?? It doesn’t!! HA!” And we’re just thinking inwardly, ”Look the only reason why you usually pray with your eyes closed is to focus and be respectful, but it’s not like a requisite or anything.” Anyway, then he started ragging on us about how in the Old Testament times, the Sabbath was on Saturday. We started explaining why the day was changed with the coming of Christ and everything but he couldn’t hear us because someone was blasting salsa music from a speaker right behind his head. It was a lost cause. He was just trying to fight, nothing else. We had to leave. As we walked away, I was just so frustrated with myself. ”Why on earth did Heavenly Father want me to talk to that guy?” I chalked it up to that maybe he just needs me to be more humble. That’s usually the answer.
Then, yesterday morning before church started, I was thinking about what had happened and I just felt like I should study more on the subject of the Sabbath day in order to really have a solid testimony and explanation on why the change was made. I had a really incredible study and I felt great about it. After church, we had lunch at the house of a family that was almost all members except for the grandmother. After we finished eating, she began to ask us about the exact same subject — why we honor Sunday now as the Sabbath day. I couldn’t believe it. I had never had anyone ask me that kind of question in my entire until this week. I never had a super solid, scripture-based answer to give because I simply had never run into that problem before. It was at that moment when I knew that I was supposed to talk to that man so that I would feel impressed to study, which prepared me to help a little sweet woman who had a sincere question. I felt the Spirit and I knew that was the reason. It was a huge, ”OH” moment of understanding. Heavenly Father really does have a purpose with everything He does.
Like I mentioned last week, this cambio has been super hard. Every single area that we’re in is super hard but for different reasons every time. Here, we’re doing everything in our power day after day but we just aren’t seeing any people who really stick and want to progress. We’re looking for people with true intention to find Christ and develop their faith but we’ve got nothing still. But in this last week, things have just come together so much more. I’ve had a huge understanding come to me that can be expressed by a string of scriptures. Yes, you all need to read them. All of them.
1 The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught. 3 Remember, remember that it is not the work of God that is frustrated, but the work of men;
to bring to pass theimmortality and eternal life of man.
20 Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength.
20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
37 Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen. Even though this transfer has been pretty ugly, I’ve learned so much more about what it means to be a truly successful missionary. It’s not the investigators. It’s not the numbers. It’s sure not the baptisms. Because honestly, this isn’t OUR work. It’s HIS work. His work and his glory. We’re just here to help out. Our work is to keep the commandments. We can’t choose the Salvation of a person — that’s something between God and his children. But we’re here to keep the commandments. So if we’re doing that, why should we feel sad? We have all of the reason in the world to feel joy!
(Alma 26) 12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak;therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, forin his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mightymiracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise hisname forever.
9 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
The scriptures always say stuff way cooler than I can say it. Anyway it’s interesting to think that every crisis that I have in the mission always ends with this incredible treasure of knowledge that just hits me and changes the way that I see and understand everything. And that’s how the Lord works with us— chipping and us and chipping at us and humbling us down until we just become this beautiful sculpture and piece of art. I’ve still got a whole huge way to go but I’m finally starting to see the process and recognize it. It’s cool because it makes the hard times ok. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be! Simple as that.
So I’m ok now with everything! UGHHHH I have SO MANY more stories to tell you guys! Some really hilarious crazy things have happened this week with the elderly people. For example, one old guy gave us this huge glass of cañazo which is like vodka. He thought it was Sprite. It was in a Sprite bottle. Don’t worry, we definitely smelled it and noticed that something was up before we drunk it or anything. Also this one little old lady said that she still doesn’t want to get baptized because she wants to be able to party. We so weren’t expecting that. TOO MANY HILARIOUS STORIES!!! Also I wanted to tell you guys how my birthday went!! But I don’t have any more time. It’ll have to wait for next week.
Hopefully this weeks letter made up for last weeks that was kind of lousy. ANYWAY Love you all! I absolutely LOVED the stuff that you sent for my birthday and it was so touching to see the stuff that you wrote!! Honestly it was such a great thing and it totally made my day. I have the Happy Birthday letters up in my room.
Have a wonderful Fathers’ day on Sunday!!!
Love, Hermana Hollberg
Read this talk — Hitting the Mark by Elder F. Enzio Busche. Or look for the video on Youtube that has the words and photos and music at the same time.
All of the Elders were like, ”Hey we’re going to play soccer, let’s go!” Us sisters were like, ”Ok cool this is going to be fun!” And then the game starts….. It was one of those moments where you think to yourself I’ve made a huge mistake. (Arrested Development). To give you all an image of what it was like, just think if a few white girls go to Harlem New York, find some kids in a public court who have probably grown up their entire lives playing basketball in the streets, and just be like, ”Oh hey I’m just going to join in because why not?” As we started to play, it quickly dawned on me that I am in South America, playing THE big sport with a whole bunch of latinos in a majorly Elder-filled zone. I saw like the craziest tricks that I never knew existed in soccer. They were so incredibly fast and skilled, it’s like soccer is something that’s just born in them. To say that I was lost is a great understatement.
By the way — We won. (I was not a part of that victory, I assure you. Just a part of the team.) The prize was a thing of more tacos.
And they were real tacos because our zone leader is Mexican! They don’t eat tacos in Peru – they don’t even know what they are!
There was a little pony too. I got on it to take a picture too (the guy let me) but it looked super angry and I could see the whites of its eyes and it started to stamp it’s little feet so I just had to bail off the side before it murdered me. Sorry folks, no picture on the pony.
LOVE YOU GUYS!!