Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mexico Week 21 -- I Will Go and Do

To my favorite people! Wow, this week just flew by! Ahh! I can´t believe it! 

WE BOUGHT MINION PIÑATAS. Hermana Butters hit 3 months and I hit 6! We haven’t broken them because they are too cute, but they are hanging up in our house! 





Look at how much the kittens are growing! They’ve gotten so big!! This is Veronica’s daughter, Alexa. She is nine and literally cracks me up. She is so confident and bright and just a smart girl. She starting talking to us about how so many families are separating and how God doesn’t like that. She talked about all of the fighting and kids that have parents that don’t love them. She just kept asking us how we can keep our families together. She literally about broke my heart. She loves to pray and loves to sing too! She is my testimony that kids get it. They understand the gospel and they are so close to Christ. We are having a family home evening with their whole family tomorrow! 




So, I had a rougher night this week. We got home just exhausted because we are working our tails off, and I just kind of felt discouraged. I felt like we we are praying and studying and doing what we needed to do but nothing was happening. I really want to be an instrument in the Lord’s hands, but I just felt like I wasn’t pulling it off. I took a hot shower, got a good cry in, prayed, and then just listened. The words - Fear not, I am with thee - came to my mind. Even though I was discouraged, I still felt the Spirit, I still felt like He was with me. I realized how brokenhearted He must feel every time that we are disobedient. He wants us, every one of us, and He loves us. I am starting to feel a part of this love! 

There was an article in the Liahona this month called “Becoming Perfect in Christ” by Elder Gerrit W. Gong.  I’m pretty sure he wrote it for me. He said, “We unsuccessfully try to control our circumstances and the people around us. We fret over weaknesses and mistakes. In fact, the harder we try, the further we may feel from the perfection we seek, but we can gratefully accept, as God´s sons and daughters, that we are His greatest handiwork, even though we are still a work in progress. As we understand our Savior´s freely given atoning love, we cease fearing that He may be a harsh, faultfinding judge.”

He goes on to talk about missionaries learning mission languages and adults looking for spouses and how picky we are. He also mentions that with perfectionism, we are pretty critical of others. I realized that I truly have this problem. Not so much with investigators, but with missionaries and members, I am kind of critical. I do try to plan everything and I usually focus on where I fell short during the day instead of celebrating the small successes. Sometimes, I do try to control everything instead of putting it all into His hands. I truly have a long way to go in my understanding of the Atonement. I also know that I lack patience. He asked us, “Do I define perfection and success by the doctrines of the Savior’s atoning love or by the world’s standards? Do I measure success or failure by the Holy Ghost confirming my righteous desires or by some worldly standard?”  I know that I need to trust the Savior more, to let go of my plans and expectations and put it all into His hands. I think He knows better than me!


This week we worked so much with Pedro Reynaga to help him stop smoking. We made a solid plan and we have been visiting him almost every day. The kids make great spies to tell us if he’s smoking or not!  I love my little abuelito. He tells me the other day - Hermana I have been thinking about you and I think you are going to leave soon. Flip, almost broke my heart! He then goes on to tell me what a hard character I have and how he would never want to be my kid. Ha! Ha! I read the end of Doctrine of Covenants 121 to him and told him that I really do love his family a ton, but I am also a stickler for the commandments because I want what’s best for him and his family. I want an eternal family for them and if we’re going to get there … Well, the Lord has standards and we need to follow them!  Not going to lie, might have hurt my feelings just a little bit, but I guess it is okay if my kids don’t like me. As long as we work with love and do all we can to be obedient, it all works out. 

We also visited the Contreras family this week.  Hermana Carlos listened for the first time in a long time. We entered their house and it started dumping rain! We were almost having to yell to share a message. We talked about obedience and I just felt my own testimony so strongly. I can still see it on Hermano Carlos’ face when he feels the Spirit and knows it is true. He just has that sliver of pride that gets in the way. After we got home that night, I just felt like we needed to visit him more. I have actually felt it for a little while now but I thought it was just me wanting to go back not the Spirit. I know he has the potential and I think we are going to go for another round. 

On a funnier note, we go to leave their house and it is literally dumping rain. They’re telling us to wait it out and there is water just flowing in the streets, but it’s 8:30 and we have to get home. Hermano JuanCarlos tells me he’s going to call the mission president and tell him we’re not leaving until the rain slows down!  I’m thinking, PLEASE NOOOOO!!  Ha! Ha! Armed with umbrellas, we head out! Some homies pulled over and asked where we were headed and “offered” us a ride!  We pulled the - no, gracias, buenas noches!  The streets were almost empty and I just start praying we can find a taxi.  We are literally crossing rivers in the streets, and of course, we are not wearing rainboots!  Well, Heavenly Father loves us and answers prayers, because we found a taxi and made it home on time. We called Mama Contreras to tell her we made it home and she was pretty grateful we called! 

Church was great yesterday! I love my ward here. I love my mission and I love the people. I decided that sacrament meeting is always going to be a priority in my life and for my family. We just need it every week. I also made myself some other promises. I am always going to be a missionary. I never want to be scared to open my mouth and share what I know with co-workers, neighbors, and everyone!  I promise to rescue less active members and befriend investigators of the missionaries. I will teach my kids to be confident in the message we share. I want to always be involved in the work of salvation. I am going to know the people in my future wards by name. 

Hermano Nefi Torrescano gave a talk about preparing for eternal marriage and I LOVED it. Every youth and young adult needed to hear this talk. Being in a relationship is preparation for marriage. If I am going to be in a relationship - after the mission, of course - it better be helping me work toward the temple and celestial kingdom. We have to love and respect ourselves first and then we can love and respect someone else. We have to understand who and whose we are. Our purpose in a relationship is to help each other achieve our eternal and divine potential. If a person doesn’t help me become who my Father in Heaven wants me to be, I can’t marry him. I think the most important thing to me is that my future spouse has a big heart, that he really loves people and our Heavenly Father. As Nefi talked about meeting his wife Bania and seeing the Spirit reflected in her, I just want to be like that … to reflect the light of Christ. 


I think an eternal marriage and eternal family are quite possibly the most important things to me. I want it really bad, but I’m also starting to understand that these are big, big, BIG decisions. Maybe it’s Heavenly Father’s plan for me to be a Sheri Dew or something! I can marry one of the 3 Nephites later on!  Ha! Ha! Quien sabe, but for now I think I’m just going to prepare as hard as I can so that one day I can be ready! 


Not going to lie, the New York pics do make me just a little bit sad, but I am so happy that our family is so close and that we’re best friends. I love y’all to the moon and back! 

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