Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mexico Week 31 -- Lead Me, Guide Me, Walk Beside Me

My dear sweet family!  Everybody looks so grown up and happy! Wow! 

Karla came to church this week! She's one of our less active members that we found about a month and a half ago. We haven't been able to find her since, but she came to church with her mom and went to the Women's Conference Saturday night! Ahh, she is precious and just wants to do what's right. 



This lovely P-Day, we went to play the piano. I love the peace that brings. I am not really good at all, but I’m working with the simplified hymns! I was just singing and playing and thinking of the good days with Beth Ann Sands! She’ll be proud to know that I actually remember a few things! But really, the hymns are incredible. I love the peace and testimony that they bring. I know that they are gifts from our Father in Heaven and I just want to be who He needs me to be. 



Remember the HUGE family I told y’all about last week? We passed last week and only the abuelita was there. We started talking about prayer with her and she gets all teared up and tells us that she just prays every day that she’ll get up in the morning and want to live. She is really sick in her kidneys and has to go for dialysis three times a week. She tells us ¨Ya no puedo.¨or she just feels like she can’t. We give her some hugs and just let her think for a bit, and we talked about Joseph Smith when he was in Liberty Jail. The Spirit was so strong. They are an incredible family and we are going to work so much with them! 

This week we had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders! I went to Reforma with Hermana Workman for 2 days! She has about 2 weeks in her area and it’s huge. We were pretty much lost and running around for two days, so many memories from our first weeks here. Friday, we went to her meeting with the ward mission leader and she had no idea how to get back to her area, and it was pouring rain. I forget the jacket and umbrella and we were both getting soaked and just laughing! Two white missionaries ... uhhh, do you know where we can the bus? Which bus goes for this part of town? Ha! Ha! After about an hour, I offered to pay a taxi. We get into a taxi, and it dies. About 20 minutes later we are headed back for her area! So funny!


I went back to my area Saturday and whew, I missed Tlaquepaque. In about a week, I will be halfway through my mission. I feel like time is going by faster and faster but I’m not really getting any better or helping people to have a better life. I just got really frustrated with myself, like I wasn’t being the missionary Heavenly Father needed me to be. On the bus ride to the stake center to see the Women’s Conference, I started praying, praying that He would help me, just asking Him what He wanted me to do. I prayed that in the conference He would tell me something. 

I absolutely loved the conference, especially the Asian kids singing I Am a Child of God. I guess you could say I was a little teared up. I felt the love of my Heavenly Father so strongly for the first time in a little while. I have to turn to Him more and trust Him more. He loves me so much and I started thinking about my own dad here, aka Papa Bear. He loves the heck out of me. He is my biggest cheerleader and He always wants what’s best for me. He is right there to help me whenever I need it, and I thought about my Heavenly Father. If my dad is imperfect and human and can still do all of these things, how much more can my Heavenly Father do these things? He love and support are even bigger. 


I just love the Lord. I am the farthest thing from perfect, but I do love Him. I want to be who He needs me to be. I want to believe in Him, I want to be like Him. I want to be a light to those around me. I want to do these every single day that will help me to be stronger and help me to shine more. There is so much work to do, but we don’t have to feel hopeless if we believe in the Lord. 

Sunday morning in sacrament meeting my little moment continued. During the sacrament, I was praying to know if there truly are people here that are willing to change their lives, if the Lord would guide me, if He would help me, and He answered me yes to every single one of these questions. I feel the strongest resolve just to work and forget about everything else. He promised me that there are people here and we have to find them. We have to be so, so strong! I think I need to stop trying to do this on my own. I think if I just open up a little more, He’ll guide me, He’ll teach me, and He’ll work miracles. 

Last night we went and visited our special family again. Their four-year-old twins are hilarious and slightly out of control. They are all members minus the dad. He has quite a few addictions and they need to get married, but last night we taught the Restoration. Wow, we felt the Spirit so strong and el hermano says ¨So how does this work, we need to get married first and then I can get baptized, and then the temple is after?¨ These are the moments that we read about in the scriptures, when people, after being taught say HOW? How can I have that? When they are willing to work. Mom, he has one of the cards you gave us that talks about change being a very real gift that comes from God. His wife told us that he taped it to the wall all by himself. Ahh, I love working with them because they are so special. Their family really means a lot to me, and we are going to work so diligently with them! 



I am happy. I am loving all that I’m learning and especially that I feel just a little bit better every week. I know that this is my time to act and just run around crazy working. I know that the Lord has miracles in store if I can just exercise my faith just a little bit more. 


I love you all to the moon and back and please let me know if there´s anything I can do for y’all!

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Frozen

I found a Frozen blanket for the equivalent of about $9!
It is huge!
It says Family Forever!
Enough said! 




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New Favorite Snack



Hot Nuts are excellent!!  They are peanuts with chili and lime.  They are literally the best thing since Hot Cheetos .. literally, just so good. 

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Mexico Week 30 -- The Gospel Is For Families

To all my favorites! 

How are y’all? Happy and obedient right??!! 

So my whole week was made when last Monday the Hermanas that are in my old area told me that Hermana Infante is reading my blog. Ahh, the connections we make and can maintain .. the Internet is great! 

Also, Grandma Kathy sent me a copy of Grandpa Jay’s patriarchal blessing and wow, what a treat. I love how much it focuses on following every prompting to serve. I have been trying to work on that, to really follow every single prompting we receive even when we don’t understand why sometimes. I can’t wait to be an eternal family and get to know all of these people.


We bought ice cream this week, and ate it in about two days! Ha! Ha!  Some of our favorite less active members have also gone to church two weeks straight! They crack us up and we love working with them. 


Tamsyn will be so proud of me because we found this tiny little guy in the street and he was so sweet. I had to snuggle him a little. I decided in my house, we will need one cat and one huge Lab with some cute kids and life will be great.



This is one of our investigadores. She has a salon in her house and the truth is, she is always happy and serving other people, but she’s carrying quite a bit of pain right now. She cut my hair today and gets all excited about this cut she’s going to do and bangs and I’m thinking .. Uh, BANGS??!!  But, she was so excited and so we went with it. She starts painting my eyebrows on because she tells me they’re too short. Ha! Ha! She really is a sweetheart and sometimes it just feels good to know you help somebody relax and have some fun for a few minutes. I love the people here, and now I have bangs. 



We are teaching this family! I LOVE teaching families. Their mom is less active because she works Sundays and her 12 year old daughter is also a member. They also have 4 year old twins! House full of girls, just like us!  Her partner, well almost husband, but they’re not married, isn’t a member and has years listening to the missionaries. We went by this week and she told us that he told her that he wanted to get baptized, that he felt something different with ¨the Elderas¨ .. must be slang for girl missionaries! Wow, we got so excited! We need to help him quit smoking and drinking and go to church and get married, but he has a strong desire to be a good dad and help his family. They are so special. 

We also have another little miracle family! We went looking for an old investigador that the elders taught but instead we found her mom. She let us in and afterward we found two of her sisters, her nieces and nephews and we are teaching almost 10 people in this one tiny little house. We need to help them a lot, but the kids gets so excited and they are loving the scripture stories! They love to read the Book of Mormon and their prayers are adorable. There is just something special about teaching families. This gospel is for families and wow, life is good. 

We also found another new investigador this week! She goes to visit Oklahoma a lot and has a boyfriend there. She tells me ¨He’s a redneck¨ and I about died laughing. She has about a year listening to the missionaries off and on. She has a couple doubts but she is so prepared. She tells us that she wants to raise a family in this church. She wants to base her life on its principles. Her whole family is Catholic but she still wants to get baptized and move forward. I learn so much from different people.  Everyone has a different perspective and view of what the gospel can bring to their life. Our Heavenly Father created some truly amazing children.


Life is good as a missionary. Love you tons! Be good! 

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Mexico Week 29 -- No Cambios

To all of my favorites!

Well first things first...no changes this transfer! Hermana Malacara and I will be working our tails off here still in Tlaquepaque!



Also, did you know that I opened my mission call about a year ago? Where in the world is the time going?

For September 11th this week we said a special prayer and we sang the Star Spangled Banner.  I taught my companion the song! :)

Also, we bought so much fruit today! I live off this stuff that we buy so cheap in the little markets! They’re called tianguis.



This is Hermana Zulem. She’s an ex missionary in the ward and she absolutely loves us!


Funny story ... so people actually think I’m talented!  What is that about?  One of our less active members asked me if I ever sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  Ha! Ha! Sometimes these people here really crack me up.

I hope you love this BEAUTIFUL shirt. One of the recent converts in the ward is from Pueblo. She is adorable and we eat with her a lot. Her mom makes these shirts and one of the ones she sent didn’t fit her so she gave it to me!



Oh and we also got SOAKED this week! Ahh! We were working with a member and it starts sprinkling a little bit. Sidebar, I’m the only one with an umbrella. We are visiting a family and they’re not home. All of the sudden it starts pouring. Us, the member, and her 4 year old daughter are all crowded under one umbrella just getting soaked. We decide to make a run for it and then the family shows up! We are all laughing and just soaking wet!  What a night!  Then it starts hailing and wow, just crazy for a couple hours!

Mom, I wanted to thank you for the talks you sent me about hymns. They truly are sacred and powerful and I have felt it in my life. I set a goal to begin every spiritual experience (family prayer and scripture study, FHE, visiting teaching visits, Sunday school, everything) with a hymn that focuses on the topic. I am also going to study music after the mission, maybe some easy classes in BYU or something! Sacred music has power and I am going to fill my home with it and sing to my kids and everything. I have already witnessed the power this week. We started planning hymns for our lessons and also sometimes we sing during the lesson if we feel it. We have had some amazing spiritual experiences in lessons this week with hymns.

We also went to the temple this week! YAY! I truly have missed the temple. I think I was teary eyed through the whole session, I felt the spirit so strong and Heavenly Father told me that I get to be a wife and mom so that was exciting! At the end we were in the celestial room. Well before that, I loved doing a session in Spanish and Heavenly Father helped me understand just about everything. I felt the most incredible spirit. It truly is a little piece of heaven. I started praying to my Heavenly Father and I made Him some promises. He testified to me where I can improve but He also told me He’s proud of me because I love people.  He’s proud of my desire to obey and do what’s right. He will always be by my side because He’s my Father. Everyone else from the session left and it was just our zone there. One of the temple workers tells us we have five more minutes and then we need to leave.  I wasn’t quite ready for that!  After the mission, I will be a regular temple attender.




Remember our single mom from last week?  Well she just keeps blowing us away! We taught the whole Restoration this week and she says ¨how beautiful, I just feel such a peace.¨ My testimony just flooded out about how much this was going to bless her family She is so incredible. She sleeps three hours a day and she just looks absolutely exhausted! She got the kids settled watching Frozen and Genes starts dancing around with a white blanket on her head singing, ¨Let it Go, Let it Go¨. We were all about dying laughing. As we were leaving, her husband called to say he’s bringing a pizza over. She starts telling the girls to clean up because he gets really mad and she gives me the saddest smile and says ¨Yayy, Daddy’s coming over¨. She just blows my mind. She has such a pure heart and I just want to help her. I want to help her find the blessings of the gospel.

This week ... more real talk with my companion.  The truth is, I wasn’t feeling so hot at the end of this week and the frustration came a little quicker than usual. We start talking it out and she said a few things basically that she thought I would get mad. I think it was the most sincere apology I think I have ever given in my life. I told that I was sorry if I ever made her feel like I would react like that. She gets really quiet for about 5-7 minutes and tells me that she feels like a burden for our mission. We started talking some more.  What a pep talk! We talked about confidence and trusting in the Lord and learning how to depend on Him now because we can’t start a pattern for our lives of giving up. I gave her the Heidi, “What can you learn from this?” and “How can you use this experience to become stronger?” talk. You would be so proud of me!

I felt flooded with so much love for her. She hasn’t always been treated the best at home, and she just needs so much love. My love has grown so much as I thought about this past transfer. Sometimes it’s really hard, but I know that my Heavenly Father is teaching me so much. We have to look forward and not backward, we have to have faith, we have to learn from everything that happens to us and keep moving forward. I thought I knew it, but I am learning even more how important it is that we watch how we talk to each other. We can either build a person up and help their confidence grow, or we can destroy them just by the words we use.  It starts when we are just kids.  We know when we are loved and we know when we are scared of the people who should love us.  I am learning how to help build confidence through showing love .. and more love .. and more love.  



I love my mission. I have never been more frustrated, tired, or happy in my entire life. It’s the hardest and the best thing I’ve ever done. I love my Father in Heaven and how much He teaches us every day. I want these changes I am making to be permanent. I love you all as my family. I thank my Father in Heaven every day for the blessing that you are and the way that I was raised.

Keep pushing forward! Don’t throw pity parties! Confide in the Lord and become stronger every day. I love you and I’m praying for you all!

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