Monday, June 22, 2015

Mexico Week 67 -- Heavenly Father, Are You Really There?

Dear favorite family of mine, 

Today marks 17 months as a missionary!  Can you believe that?!  Kind of freaks me out a little bit. 17 months have gone by so fast and wow, just wow. 

So this is my mini coke!! Ha! Ha!  This little thing only costs 4 or 5 pesos and it is just perfect!! 

This is Hermana Mayorga and I at our Zone Meeting. I remember when she got here and stayed the night with Hermana Buttars and I!  That was a whole year ago! Crazy stuff!!  She’s in my Zone now and she is too cute! Love our Zone! 

Remember our Hermana Lucy!  The 70 year old grandma that always goes with us to our appointments? She is adorable and works a lot in a metal shop. She knows how to make so many things and she said she wanted to make me something that I could take home with me. She made me a covering for it too! How cute is she! Now I have a bird key holder ... I absolutely love it!! 

This is the daughter of a less active member. We ate with their family on Saturday but when we arrived, they were still preparing the food. Her daughter started teaching me how to make rubberband bracelets and we had a good time! How cute is she? Her mom, Hermana Saira, went to church on Sunday and shared her testimony. She says from the pulpit.  I’m grateful for the Hermanas.  Every time they invite me to church, I really feel like I want to go.  Sorry Elders, but they just make it so easy!  Everyone started laughing!  Oh, goodness!  Her testimony was so pretty and she’s just a special person. 

On Sunday it started pouring rain and all we had was one umbrella that I had brought. We were dripping wet with water and wading in the water trying to cross streets and it was absolutely crazy! We finally found Hermana Adelaida in her house and it turns out her cat had babies and her dog had puppies the same week! So cute! We were able to talk about the Holy Ghost with her and we love them too much! 

Claudia and Natalia are progressing so much! The plan is that they’ll be baptized this Friday and we have a really pretty baptismal service planned!  This week we really focused on the Book on Mormon. We taught the 10 commandments using the story of Abinadi and King Noah.  Hermana Claudia is so willing to change and to be obedient. She says, “Well Hermanas, I’m about the Sabbath Day. I know I need to wash clothes and clean the house on Saturday, I know we go to church, I know I need to take the sacrament every week, but we get home, and then what do we do?”  She just has this strong desire and she truly looks to us as guides to help her make decisions. 

We were going to teach her about the priesthood and temples on Saturday, but as were following up with her commitments, she had read so much in the Book of Mormon but she still hasn’t felt an answer. Then she mentioned that she felt like she was very impatient and just angry sometimes. I thought about 2 Nephi 4 when Nephi feels terrible about getting mad at his brothers. We read it with her and we pause for a second and Hermana Claudia says, “When we pray, we really need to talk with God, right? It needs to be a conversation.”  It was so AWESOME!!  Then we kept reading and as we finished, I felt the impression to invite her to write the impressions she had received or the things she felt like she should do as we read together. She starts writing and then puts the pen down. I wrote too, and as I was finishing, she picks up the pen again and writes, Read the Book of Mormon. We are helping her to receive and recognize revelation!! She’s already choosing who is going to baptize her and who is going to give the talks and what hymns we’re going to sing and it will be so pretty. 

As she talked about how we really need to talk with God, I thought about so many prayers that I said before my mission.  In my last semester at BYU, I spent hours on my knees, crying, listening, receiving answers, just super special experiences.  I was thinking that here on my mission, I’ve been lacking a little bit of that recently.  We got home that same night and my companion was really stressed and I sat down and started to write in my journal about the day.  I meditated on so many things and then felt the strongest desire to pray.  I felt the Spirit so strongly and it was a true conversation. The tears came and I felt His love, I haven’t been a perfect missionary, but I felt that He was content with all that I’ve done here. It was such a cool moment. 

In our Zone Meeting, we talked a lot about the covenants we’ve made with the Lord during our lives ... at baptism, in the temple, and as we were set apart as missionaries. I thought a lot about my covenants and how I need to better keep them.  I don’t want to just hang in there, or something like that. I want to faithfully and cheerfully serve in this time that I have left.  Sure it is hard, these past two months have quite easily been the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life, but you could say that I signed a contract with the Lord.  I promised, and if I depend on Him and faithfully keep my covenants, He will strengthen me, He will make my burdens light and I will be able to serve Him with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I love the Gospel and I love the Lord. 

Hope y’all have a great week! Good luck with Girls Camp! 

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