Saturday, June 6, 2015

Mexico Week 65 -- Finding Peace in the Storms

Dear Family! 

Today marks the start of my last transfer! I will be finishing my mission here in Uruapan with Hermana Villa! Does that freak you guys out or what? I’m still wrapping my head around the fact that I only have 6 weeks left.  I’ve been reflecting a lot on my whole mission and how beautiful it has been and how much I miss people from other areas and how much I’ll miss people that are here, but I then I get excited to see y’all at the same time!  Who knows??!!  Too many feelings! 

But to explain my pictures to you! 

This week I had splits with Hermana Peña! She’s too cute and too funny and we had a good time here in Jardines! We taught some great lessons and I have some good goals for my last little bit here. 

This is Hermana Castillo. She helped us in some of our appointments this week and she just hit one year as a member. We visited her last night and she was kind of in a rough spot with some family situations and as I hugged her I just told her to hang in there and not get discouraged. She started crying and it’s the first time I’ve seen her cry. I love her so much and we’re looking for ways to help her. Hermana Maribel is also going through rough stuff right now and last night we knocked on her door and her kids told us she was showering.  The house was a wreck, so we snuck in and cleaned.  We wrote her a note, and were getting ready to leave, but then she caught us!  So, we stayed a little longer and shared a message with her.  She kind of had a moment too.  Hey!  We all have those little moments!

Hermana Caracosa is in our ward here.  Her 18 year-old son died after two weeks in the hospital.  He got sick and two weeks later died as they found an infection in his brain.  She went to church yesterday and sat in the back. She looked so sad and alone, we went and sat with her.  She just started crying.  We have been visiting her this week too.

I realized in the last 24 hours that there are so many people suffering. This life isn’t easy and the only thing that gives us peace is living the gospel. Your heart just breaks in like a hundred different pieces and you start looking for talks or scriptures or something to help, or you start writing a note, and there are just so many people that need us to lift them up or bring them light. I feel like our whole lives can be productive and happy if we are constantly serving and thinking about others instead of our own problems. 

Got to love my best friend Victor. He says that he’s going to invite me to his baptism in about three years and that if I cry, he’ll hug me.  Precious right? 

We went to visit Hermana Karla this week and we found her in bed because she felt really bad.  We started cleaning her house ... sweeping, mopping, dishes, putting her clean clothes out to dry, and then the elders call and tell us that the family we were going to eat with isn’t home and so we start thinking of who we can call. Hermana Karla hears and tells us that we’ll be eating with her. She is precious and we love her, but money is so tight.  She leaves and we see her ask her neighbor for money and then goes a buys chicken and other things and sits us down to eat. I felt the Spirit so much and people that literally have nothing give us everything they have. They are so humble and just give and give and it was special there with her in her house and she’s also getting closer and closer to being prepared for baptism! 

Walking later, we find Hermana Hermila who’s less active and her partner Alfonso who’s Catholic about to wash the car. We decide to help them and it was so fun. Then, on Sunday, they show up at church for the first time in about three months! 

 Claudia and Naty!  Woo! Hoo!  I have some great stories from this last week!! They are progressing so much.  They have been working on the word of wisdom and keeping the Sabbath day holy.  They still don’t feel like they are ready for baptism though.  Hermano Eduardo went with us to teach them and we felt the Spirit so much. We decided to fast with them so that she and we can know if she’s ready. It was such a powerful and she told us that she wants to be baptized because she wants to change and start over and lighten her burdens and she receives every commandment with an obedient heart and they went to church on Sunday and she was taking pictures of the manual in relief society because she liked what it said and wanted to read it again later! Haha! They fasted!! Naty too!! We love them so much and when they found out I was going home in six weeks, they weren’t too fond of the idea and are already making plans so that I visit.  I love them too much!  Oh, and one day we showed her one of Jeffrey R. Holland’s talks and we left YouTube there in her house. She tells us the next day that she watched videos for 3 hours!! General Conference talks, Mormon Messages, but she was there till her son kicked her out! Crazy right? She is so great. 

Talking about General Conference, after watching the talk with Hermana Claudia, I became practically obsessed with Conference Talks, but listening to them. I’m going to download them in English today because I have tantas ganas to listen to their voices! It’s not the same in Spanish. I am turning into a Conference junkie!

This is the Ortiz family! They helped us out on Sunday when our meal plans fell through and they are so great.  Their teenagers are passing through a rowdy stage and we talked a lot about the importance of family home evening, family prayer, and they are so excited to start! 

I was thinking about how so many times in this life, we pass through storms. The winds start, the rain starts, or hail, and we kind of panic.  Ha! Ha!  I have been learning so much about finding peace in the storms. The hymns are my happy safe place. I know you’ll make fun of me for my MoTab CD, but I love the music. It’s one of the first things that instantly helps me feel peace. I love the words of the prophets, just hearing their voices also makes me feel peace. I am learning so much about the enabling power of the Atonement. Without prayer, without the scriptures, without obedience, the storms last so much longer. With the Lord’s help, we are passing by with rain boots, a huge umbrella, and a long rain jacket! 

As I read the emails from today, something totally hit me.  Sometimes it is really easy to get stressed in the mission. I think, well actually I’m pretty sure, my goal for my last transfer is expressing my love for everyone every day ... for the Lord, for my companion, for the members, for our leaders, for our investigators, literally everyone, and my focus for these last six weeks is going to be showing sincere love every day. 

I love y’all tons. I know that the Lord lives. I know that He forgives. I know that He wants us to be happy. I love y’all too much! 

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