Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mexico Week 3 -- Abide With Me 'Tis Eventide

Oh my dearest family...sorry we are crazy pressed for time today because we're having to rent a new apartment and a bunch of crazy stuff.  I'm going to shoot off this family letter and respond to your individual emails next week!  No pics this week -- Sorry!  We're at a different internet cafe and I don't have my cable!

Huge moment of the week: I bought a watch totally on my own!  Talked to the guy, told him which one, all that jazz.  Super simple conversation but it's something that I can say I did on my own! 

Also! I got Rach's card this week!  I absolutely loved it!  We live right by the mission office and one of the secretaries was nice and gave me my mail for the day!  Technically we're only supposed to get it once a month.  Haha and no, I didn't ask or offer bribes!  It reminded me how fun it is to get real mail .. You should feel free to keep doing that!!

This week we had a lesson with two investigators, a mother and daughter, named Maria and Melissa.  Maria is a grandma and Melissa has these 3 beautiful kids!  We taught about Joseph Smith and the Restauracion and it was super special.  They agreed to be baptized! Melissa's son Eric is 6 and he is so great.  He loves to listen to the missionaries and he's so reverent.  I just think of Christ's love when I see him.  I KNOW that kids are so important to our Heavenly Father.  Her youngest Evaline, is about 3.  She hugged and kissed me after the heart melted.  This family is so special and I know that we can help them follow through with their baptism! 

This week we were out with Iliana Contreras, the daughter of Carlos, and she told us he doesn't want to read.  He is so distanced from their family.  Hermana Valdez told me that before I got here he told the missionaries he didn't feel like he needed to repent of some pretty serious stuff too.  Gahh, my heart is breaking!  I feel like I'm here for him.  Every time we talk about him or plan lessons for him, I feel the strongest spirit, but I also can't make decisions for him.  Hermana Valdez suggested leaving him and ahhh, I don't know. We're going to have a lesson with him tonight and then decide.  I feel like the strongest spirit that we really need to be bold and law down the way, and then after just rush in with love and the spirit and hope for change.  I 'm a little nervous actually but I know I can follow the Spirit!  Ahh, the mission is a tricky thing.  I know there's good in him, and I also know that he's truly unhappy.  I love him so much.  I have never been this emotionally exhausted before.  I honestly don't know how our Savior experienced all of it.  It amazes me...I'm exhausted after feeling utterly joyful and then heartbroken for three or four families, but he literally experienced all of the emotions of every single one of us.  These people are Heavenly Father's kids and I need His help.  It´s kind of crazy feeling so much for things barely I don't understand completely.  I´m so grateful my Heavenly Father lets me feel this love, even if it exhausts me! 

So...moment of truth, parts of this week were a little rough. Every day is just so up and down!  Usually it comes back to me and what I see I my weaknesses as.  I want to be feeling a perfect love for everyone, and communicating like crazy, and being a real support to my companion in lessons, and I'm really actually progressing, but my brain is just a dangerous place.  Anywho, I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting this week.  As I was thinking about what to say Sunday morning, I realized that I felt alone this week.  This was the thought that kept sticking in my head like this was what I needed to share and relate it to the Atonement and the comfort we can find. I  wasn't really enjoying the idea of sharing that from the pulpit, but the thought stuck with me all morning...

Entonces, guess what I gave my talk on!  Whoa...the words just flew out of my mouth, and I'm me so of course there were tears.  I shared Mosiah 14:4-5 and also 1 Nephi 21:15-16. Oh and the children's hymn "I Feel My Savior's Love."  I sure felt my Savior´s love.  I have a strong testimony that He is always with me and we are never truly alone.  I need to learn how to more fully lean on Him, to turn to Him more fully.  I want to be a perfect missionary now, but I need to learn to rely on His Atonement as I grow. 

After church, I just felt an outpouring of love.  So many people thanked me for my testimony, complemented my Spanish, and or told me not to feel alone.  I received some of the tightest hugs today.  One of the Young Women, I don't know her, gave me the biggest hug and just told me she loved my talk.  Some of these members are really starting to feel like family.  The Contreras family, Flor, Lupe, Iliana, Mayra, ahhh I love them.  I feel at home in their house.  The Arreola family is incredible too.  Oh and the Infante family, and Hermana Rosa Elia.  I love these people so much and I'm definitely being taken care of.  Also, I had a ton of spiritual moments this week when I felt better.  However, it wasn't until I took the sacrament, until I spent time at Church that I was truly lifted.  We can read scriptures, we can pray, but we HAVE TO take the sacrament every week.  There's something about being completely clean and feeling the fullness of the Spirit. 

However, I have a pride problem.  I don't like when people talk to me in English.  I'm so stubborn that I can speak and understand Spanish and even when people talk to me in English I respond in Spanish.  Also, I really don't like looking weak, and it was hard for me to announce my weaknesses from the pulpit.  I bore my testimony fervently, but my pride kicks in when people are giving me advice and telling me not to feel alone and cosas asi, because then I start thinking -- "Hey I'm back on track!  I'm good to do!  I already understand!"  Haha, I know I'm a brat!  But in all seriousness, the Spirit strongly directed my words during my talk.  Maybe somebody needed to hear it, or maybe I needed to seem weak, who knows.  What I do know is that we have weaknesses for a reason, and that reason is purely to learn how to come unto Christ.  We have to learn how to rely on Him in all things.  We have to learn how to be humble, how to feel uncomfortable, so that we can be better disciples and also so that we can learn to never make other people feel that way. Lessons of humility are great! 

I want every single one of us to realize how completely blessed we are. There is a 15-year old named Geraldi in my ward.  She is less active, married, with a baby, and her husband is drinking and has started hitting her.  She crazy stubborn like me, and her mom, Hermana RosaElia told us this was going on.  She said Geraldi would never admit it and she's currently living with her mom.  This breaks my life at 15 was nothing even close to this.  Sometimes we forget just how good we have it, just how much we have to offer, and just how much we can truly reach out to other people in love.  Be strong Young Women! 

Two things: Mom, big time thank you for my laminated Plan of Salvation card! I use it probably once a day in lessons! Also, everyone here struggles here with my name big time.  Half the time I'm the --¨Hermana from Tejas¨-- Haha I love it! 

I just want to leave you all with a hymn that was especially helpful to me this week! 

Abide with me, 'tis eventide. The day is past and gone; 
The shadows of the evening fall; the night is coming on. 
Within my heart a welcome guest, Within my home abide. 
O Savior stay this night with me; behold 'tis eventide. 
O Savior stay this night with me; behold 'tis eventide. 

Abide with me; 'tis eventide. Thy walk today with me 
Has made my heart within me burn, As I communed with thee. 
Thy earnest words have filled my soul and kept me near thy side. 
O Savior stay this night with me; behold 'tis eventide. 
O Savior stay this night with me; behold 'tis eventide. 

Abide with me; 'tis eventide, and lone will be the night
If I cannot commune with thee, Nor find in thee my light. 
The darkness of the world, I fear, Would in my home abide. 
O Savior stay this night with me; behold 'tis eventide. 
O Savior stay this night with me; behold 'tis eventide. 

I love you all to the moon and back and I feel your love every single day. 
Be missionaries!  Be bright!  Smile!  Spread joy! 
I´ll do the same. 

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