Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mexico Week 46 -- Serving Others is the Key to Happiness

To the best family in the whole world!  This week was a great one!

Is this the cutest puppy ever or what?! 

I found a Dr. Pepper here! They pretty much don’t exist, but I found one!  What a special night!! 

Saturday we walked for a million years.  It was the day of not finding anyone at home and all of our plans falling through, and we were with a member!  Poor thing, we walked so much but we found some tender mercies that day. These would be our pictures we took that night ... seriously exhausted! 

Hermana Elsa had us over for lunch on Thursday, or well, the day I hit one year in the mission and she bought me this bracelet. She is the cutest. 

Fun fact: Hermano Jose showed up to church this week with a white shirt, a tie, and he blessed the sacrament. We are so proud!! 

Okay, I´m going to tell you guys a funny story. Last night we were street contacting and as we were crossing the street, Hermana Gonzalez tried to talk with a lady and she made a face and says, “You scared me!”  She kept walking and Hermana Gonzalez follows her and says well we’d like to introduce ourselves and kind of tries to talk with her and the lady totally takes off running.  I was dying laughing after and Gonzalez says “What, you’re the one that taught me to be persistent!”  Ha! Ha!  It did make me laugh, but it also made my day to see her fearless and trying the best she could and it was just awesome.  I love her to pieces and she is such a great missionary. 

This is Hermana Z.  She’s a returned missionary and well, she’s getting divorced. She always puts on a tough face and tries to be happy, and her kids are amazing!  She invited us to eat yesterday and, well, she started to cry.  She said she just really needed to be with us, and we shared a really special message with them. We truly need to serve inside our wards and just be a family.  We never know what trials people have and sometimes, you just need someone to talk to and be your friend. 

 I SAW HERMANO OSCAR AND HERMANA KAREN THIS WEEK!! They went to ward FHE and ahh, just warmed my heart!!  They started talking about how their ward was so different than this one and how much they missed it and then Hermana Karen, looking me in the eye, says, “But we do things the right way, right Hermana?  We have to be obedient and we know the Lord has a plan and will bless us.” How AWESOME is that?!  They are two converts that are obedient even when it’s hard, even when it’s not what they want. Hermano Oscar was called to be the Young Men’s President and he is so excited to have a calling.  He was already telling us about all of his plans.  I am going to cry my eyes out in their temple sealing in December. 

Hermana Gonzalez and I hosted FHE this week and it was a hit!  We played the human knot and also put ourselves in circles and played the game where you have to pass the hula-hoop all the way around the circle, but it was a competition. We talked a lot about unity in our families and in our ward. The Lord says that if we’re not one, we’re not his. We need more activities like this to excite the ward and help our investigators to get integrated. 

Wednesday we walked for hours and also struggled to find people.  I started praying and thinking Heavenly Father please just help us find someone, tell us where to go.  I had the thought to look for a person that we met in the street about 3-4 months.  I just remembered where she lived and we went to look for her.  We found her and her 19 year old and they accepted baptismal dates!  They are really looking for peace and feel like it’s time to be closer to our Heavenly Father.  We are so excited to keep working with them! 

This week we also visited the Velazquez family.  Grandpa is exhausted.  He works all day, and takes grandma to the hospital three times a week, and helps with all the kids.  He told us that he feels such a heavy load, especially regret for past mistakes and sometimes his thoughts torment him.  As we talked, he just commented how a fresh start would be so nice.  Ah, we just have to get him to church!  Four of his grandkids went this week and I was dying.  They are too precious and they go by themselves!  The members help us by picking them up and taking them home.  We have faith, but this family needs a lot of help! 

We also found another new family this week.  It’s an unmarried couple with six kids.  They are too cute and also accepted to prepare to be baptized.  The young boys are wild and the mom just wants peace in her home. Her partner didn’t come home one night and the next day it was a real battle to get her to open the door, but she did and just started crying and gave us the biggest hugs.  We talked about the Atonement and the Sacrament and the Spirit was so strong! 

We had a blast finding new people this week!  I love you all so much!  On Thursday, I was thinking about exactly one year ago: Staying with Janille; eating at Zupa’s; the curb drop at the MTC; the snow; how nervous I was; Dad’s blessing; being so excited but having no idea what to expect.  I just want y’all to know that serving a mission is the best decision I ever made.  It has tried me, stretched me, made me grow, and more than every thing else, it has helped to me to come to know my Savior and my Heavenly Father.  I know them and I love them more than any other time in my life.  I am the most grateful I have ever been in my whole life for all of the blessings I have received.  I know who I want to be and I know what kind of life I am going to live here.  I am happy.  I know that we can only truly be happy by serving others and thinking about them more than ourselves.  I can’t believe it was a year ago, but I am so grateful for every opportunity and the six months I have left.  I want my sisters to read and ponder on this testimony.  I will support you Rach and Meg in whatever you decide, the most important is that we love the Lord and truly rely on Him.  It’s hard.  It’s really hard for us stubborn and independent Rawe/Henderson’s, but if we rely on Him, it all works out and we’re never really scared. Love you all to the moon and back! 

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