Sunday, March 15, 2015

Mexico Week 54 -- Life in Jardines

Well I am in Uruapan, Michoacan!  My area is called Jardines 1!  It was a five hour bus ride to arrive here and it is so pretty!  It is very sunny here! Ha!  Ha!  Almost no clouds and lots of hills! Or in other words, I will be brown and buff and thin leaving here!  I have been getting home so tired at night for booking it up and down the hills! Please enjoy my sunburned pic!

My companion is Hermana Lopez. She is from Oaxaca and is an only child. She just finished her training.  We are working well together and getting to know each other more. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss Hermana Gonzalez just a little bit … or a lot a bit!!

This week I’ve been getting settled in. I’m not very good at changes, and sometimes you just miss people, but I have been working hard and getting to know everyone here. I realized this week just how much I love meeting people. I saw so many members open up and my companion told me that they were members that didn’t really like them too much beforehand. We have a lot of work to do here gaining the confidence of the members! I just feel a strong desire to serve and strengthen the families here. My mission has taught me so much about how much the members too need to be strengthened.  We have a lot of work to do! 

Happy Birthday Mom! 46 years old! Just a little bit closer to 50.  Sorry I didn’t tell you last week, but I promise I remembered the actual day of your birthday! 

Today we had a zone activity! We played charades, fill in the blank from Preach my Gospel, a little basketball, a little soccer, and of course catapulting water balloons.  It was a lot of fun and Hermana Quisbert is in my zone!  She goes home at the end of this transfer ... crazy stuff, right?  It has been so fun seeing her again! 

Church on Sunday was awesome! It’s a tiny ward and about 70 or 80 people attending every week. This week one of our investigators Marisela, went to church! She has twins, Ricardo and Delia. They’re 6 years old and she is just stressed out. We see her pretty frustrated but trying to find answers. We taught her about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy on Saturday and we felt the spirit so strongly as we talked about the sacrament. She says, “I need to go¨ and there she was on Sunday and she stayed the 3 hours and loved it! We are hoping to see her progress a lot. Oh and Ricky was REALLY hungry after three hours of church and had a little bit of bad attitude for the picture!  Ha! Ha!

The other family that went to church is the Espino family. The parents are recent converts from December I think, but the dad doesn’t want to go anymore and the kids never wanted to get baptized. I’m kind of doubting they were prepared before being baptized, but they are also so special. We have a lot of work to do in this house! Their teenagers are kind of nervous and shy and giggle a lot, but on Saturday we also taught about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and we felt the Spirit a ton. The oldest likes going to church and was convincing her younger sister who was scared they would ask her questions and she wouldn’t know the answer. The mom with her three daughters arrives at church and everyone went to their own classes happy! Their youngest is Paola and she is just precious. She almost always says the opening and closing prayer just because she likes too. She loves the church and I think she encourages her whole family! 

There are so many great people here, but I have to tell y’all about Mike. I still haven’t taught him, but this week was incredible. Since Monday we were looking for him … calling, going to his house, everything, and nothing. On Friday we finally found him. He comes outside, in front of his house, and I introduce myself and we start asking how he is and he starts explaining, and then says, “I just can’t express myself in Spanish” and starts speaking in perfect English. He tells us that he is in a deep depression, like it’s just darkness and there’s no light.  He feels like he’s falling and falling and wants to take somebody’s hand but there’s no one there. He says he’s a black sheep that has wandered away from the shepherd but he wants to find Him again. He’s doubting that God loves Him. He’s crying through all of this and don’t forget he is speaking in English!  He says, ”I’m sorry!  I barely know you, and I’m crying so much.  But, I just feel you care, like I don’t know, I just feel like you really care about me.”  This is where I start crying too. I started testifying of our Heavenly Father’s love. He says, “I want to change my life now, not tomorrow, not next week, now. I know I just need to open the book, it’s all there if I just open the Book of Mormon. On Saturday we stopped by to give him a list of uplifting scriptures but only his wife was home. My companion had told me that she didn’t want to listen, but we started chatting with her. She too opened up that her mom died two months ago and it was just hard, that her whole marriage has been hard. She agreed to listen to us with her husband on Tuesday and we are incredibly excited. We see the true possibility of them progressing as a family!

I am happy to be here ... sad and a little nervous as I realize how fast my mission is passing by, but happy. I’m not perfect and I mess up everyday, it is so hard for me to accept the Savior’s Atonement sometimes, but I love Him and our Father in Heaven, and this gospel. I know that I cannot be happy without living it. I can’t be happy without being obedient. I want so badly to make our Father in Heaven proud. I want to live with Him again. I want to realize how short and important our earthly life is. I just want to be righteous, I just want to give the best of me and help everyone here to feel the Savior’s love. I want to represent Him well. I love you all too much and hope that you’re happy! 

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