Sunday, April 12, 2015

Mexico Week 58 -- Exercise Your Faith Daily

Buckle yourselves in because this is going to be a long letter! I hope you’re all doing well and feeling spiritually fed from conference. 

This is the last week of the transfer can you believe that? Next Sunday they’ll be calling us possibly with transfers again! This transfer flew by! 

We always start with the pictures right?

Today Hermana Lopez and I went to the National Park here! It’s absolutely gorgeous!!  Ahh, it was so peaceful and just pretty. As we were leaving, these two goons come up to us and start talking and cracking jokes and well we take a picture with them. My companion goes first and says, Well, you guys can’t touch me. They say ohhh no problem, and I take the picture. Then they say ohhh now the guerita. We go to take the picture and they say, just checking, touching or still no?  I say nope, still no touching! Ha! Ha! It made us laugh!  Such a refreshing P-Day today! 

It was getting pretty hot this week and I was daily found with a liter and a half of water! #stayinghydrated.

This picture is from our Family Home Evening from last week! It was pretty special. We talked about the Atonement and wrote cards with real life situations and every card ended with the question … How can I apply the Atonement? We put situations like my kids don’t listen to me.  I don’t get along with someone at church.  I feel like I never have enough time.  I’m scared to confess a sin to the bishop.  Stuff like that, and it was so cool listening to everyone talk about how the Atonement could help them in that specific situation. We ended with the church’s Easter video and it just turned out great! 

This would be my Semana Santa picture. Semana Santa in Mexico means that every single store shuts down, there is no one is the street, and it feels like a ghost town! 

This stud is Dani! He was playing the guitar for us.  His mom has about six months since she started back at church.  When I got here, Dani didn’t want to be baptized, but he’s been asking a lot of questions lately! They also went to all four sessions of conference and here we are with the whole family! 

This is the Castillo family that also went to conference! They’re recent converts too and they went as a family! But dad had to leave early for work, but they are too sweet and received a lot of answers at conference. 

Hermana Quisbert goes home in one week! Can you believe it?? That freaks me out a little bit and they asked her to share her testimony in our zone meeting and she was crying and then I was crying, and I just love her kind of a lot!

Our zone meeting was pretty great this week. We have a great and also funny zone and I got to see Hermana Malacara because she was on splits with the sister training leaders!  As I saw her and we started talking and remembering stories, I realized how much I really love her. She’s going home in a week and I hope the best for her! 

Big thanks this week for my huge Easter package!  The Elders had a total freak out and robbed me quite a bit, but the shoes are great and I think I’m all set! Thanks to the Beehives for my hearts and also to Sister Cohen for her letters. Thanks to Leah Stonely and also the Tolman’s for their letter too!   

Fun fact ... About 5 or 6 people have told me how easy it would be to learn a third language because they say I’ve got Spanish down.  I think the Lord is trying to tell me something. I had never really thought about it, but I feel like maybe I should look into a third language when I get home. 

We found some new investigators this week and we are hoping to see some real progress in them now that everyone is coming back from vacation! 

One morning I was studying in the book “Our Heritage” about all of the prophets since Joseph Smith. I felt the Spirit so strongly. They were all faithful men that turned their lives over to God. They radiated the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They served with all they had and I know that they are and were prophets of God. I was filled with the Spirit of the Restoration and I know it’s the truth.  It is such a blessing to have a loving Heavenly Father who sends us living prophets. I just want to hear and follow their every word! I know that it’s the voice of our Heavenly Father that we listen to. I always need to see every session of conference!  

We tried to share this testimony and help people to understand the importance of attending conference this week. We visited a less active family on Saturday night and we talked about what I wrote above. The mom shared powerful testimony of the prophets and especially about general conference. They were so excited to go and they went! It’s the first time they attended church in about a year. They can be such a strong family in the ward and we’re hoping to see them fully activated soon. They taught me a really important lesson. My testimony can be so strong, but if I stop doing the little things every day, I too could end up inactive. Testimony doesn’t save us, we have to be constantly exercising our faith. 

On Saturday we ate after the Elders and were flying out of the members house to find a taxi and make it back to conference. We found a taxi and jumped in and my companion says, “Hermano?”  It was the non-member husband of a recent convert. We started talking and invited him to conference and on Sunday morning HE WENT!! We were so exciting and we’re going to start working with him this week! 

Okay now for the good stuff...GENERAL CONFERENCE. I love it, and I always feel kind of sad when it ends. It was also my last General Conference as a missionary. Weird. I think President Packer’s talk was my favorite. I felt like the whole world stopped moving and it was just me and him talking and wow. Then the tears came and I imagined Sister Rawe in the sealing room and there is just nothing more important to me than my future family. Linda K. Burton’s talk was also so good! I loved all of this talk about families!! I think the Lord is really worried about his families. Our family should be the most important. We have to have Family Home Evening, and read the scriptures and pray together. David A. Bednar’s talk was also great. I loved President Monson’s words about the importance of temple attendance. As I listened to Brent H. Nielson, I thought a lot about my family members who no longer attend church and what I can do to help them come back. I dreamed about them in white shirts and ties in a church building I didn’t know, but I know it can be true! Jeffrey R. Holland is my hero and always will be. I know that every single one of these leaders are called of God. There is so much that I liked and I can’t even fit it into one letter. 

So before conference I felt like I just wasn’t doing all that I needed to do like I was still lacking here in the mission field. I was praying about how I could just really lose myself here and truly give 100%. How can I be inspired and motivated my last three months? I felt like I was thinking a lot about the future and it still isn’t time yet.  So after all of these prayers, conference starts and the whole first session is about marriage and family and I started thinking, Padre Celestial remember how I can’t think about this right now? Remember how I need revelation about things that are going to happen before I get married, while I’m still a missionary? Saturday evening my companion and I were talking a lot and I realized that in a way, He was already starting to answer me. He wants me to focus on families here. He wants me to help families understand and apply the Atonement. He is so worried about his families and He needs the missionaries to help them, to teach families, to unite families.  This week we started teaching so many people that have family members that are members. On Sunday I received a little more of my answer. The Lord needs me to be here, centered on Him. All I do, say, think, write, should be centered on Him. The Lord promised me when I was set apart that my testimony would change lives. Now is the time to come to know Him even more so that I can powerfully testify that He lives. 

I am so grateful for my testimony of the Savior. I am grateful that He lives and loves me, that He gives me strength beyond my own. I love my mission. I love the people here. I love feeling the constant need to be better. I love stretching myself and growing. I feel like little by little, I’m becoming who the Lord needs me to be. I love you all and hope that you set goals from conference and that over these next few months we can read and reread the talks and truly follow their words. 

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