Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 19: Things That Matter Most

GUADALUPE GOT BAPTIZED! I´m so excited for her! She is so great and is an example for her kids. Pero the sad thing is that I left Lazaro Cardenas 5 days before her baptism. Super sad. But it´s okay, what´s important is that it happened :) 

Guadalupe at her baptism interview.

I´ve been studying 3 Nephi and I think it is my favorite book, at least for right now. I love reading the teachings of Jesus Christ to the people. One of my favorite scriptures is in 3 Nephi 13:19-21. I think I will frame this scripture and put it in my future house. 
19) “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and thieves break through and steal;” 
20) “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where theives do not break through nor steal.”
21) “For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.”

There are tons of distractions that can easily get us off course. We need to focus on Things That Matter Most: (this is a talk by Dieter F Uchtdorf, no?) the gospel of Jesus Christ and our family. These two things are eternal (and knowledge, but we´ll just count it in the gospel category). A saying I like is ¨If it doesn´t matter eternally does it really matter at all?¨ If we focus on the things that matter most we will find true happiness. 

And a quote. I always send a quote to the mission president each week and I really like this one.  ¨What is most important almost always involves the people around us. Often we assume that they know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. Wrote William Shakespeare, ´They do not love that do not show their love.´ We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.¨ -President Thomas S. Monson    

Okay now some random stuff:

I´m freezing to death! Who would think that it would be cold in Mexico in the summer? During our studies in the morning I wear a sweater, coat, gloves, and scarf. I hope it gets better once I´m used to this freezing area.

 It rains like crazy! And the streets become like rivers. No joke. The other day we were trying to cross a street and we got drenched all the way up to our thighs because the water was deep and splashing up. We were freezing all day.

Okay, so this doesn't look very impressive
- but this was a calm area.

I can´t figure out how to pronounce my R´s. They are so hard! You have to do some magic trick with your tongue that I can´t figure out. I spend forever every day practicing. My companion finds it hilarious. I don´t! But she gets mad at English because we have letters in words that we don´t pronounce. lol

My comp is Hermana Vergara and we are getting along well. She is so funny and we have a good time! She is also a great teacher and I´m learning tons. 

We had fun doing some service.

FHE - Teaching Ephesians 6 and putting on the armor of God.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 18: Changes

I’m in a new area called La Huerta in Morelia. It is so much colder! I honestly don’t know what to do. I’m used to sweating all the time and dying, but now I feel perfectly cool. It’s weird.

We were all super surprised that I left my old area, because my companion has more time there then me. The elders in the ward were also leaving and being replaced by sister training leaders. My poor companion is so nervous because she will have sister training leaders in the ward with her. Sometimes they are very stern/strict - you have to be born with the personality to be a STL. Hermana Suarez is very friendly and loving, so she was stressing a lot. She was crying so much. When she cries I don’t know what to do! I feel like Sulley and Mike in the movie Monsters Inc, when they bring the little girl to their apartment and try everything to get her to stop crying. lol

My new comp is Hna Vergara and she is great! I´m so excited because she not timid in correcting me when I say something wrong. I can tell I will learn a TON from her.

My new area is a huge city. I thought Lazaro was a city, but it was nothing in comparison. The people here are a ton wealthier. Very different area, but I’m excited.

Some impressive graffiti that we always walk by.
Here is one of the gorgeous picture frames that 
Jonathan made for me and my companion.

We had a little fiesta because it was my companions 
birthday and Elder Hughes last week in the mission.
Yeah cake! Even if it does have lots of 
water in it.
Saying goodbye to one of my favorite families in 
the ward. I will miss them tons!
The last dinner with my companion consisted of 
old cake and stale animal crackers.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 17: Bigger Bolder Bugs

First pictures:

1. Doing some service before it hardcore rained. 

2. Cool flower we found growing in someone’s garden in an apartment complex.

3. A family in the ward. Jonathan (left side) wants to make us picture frames, but he needs a picture to put in it. We wanted a picture with their family. They are great!

4. I SAW THE OCEAN!!! It is very beautiful and I wanted to cry. Now that everything is green it is quite pretty - lots of hills, mountains and lakes. I don't see this stuff in my area because I'm in a city.

5. Happy Daddies Day! Last year we were climbing rocks in the middle of nowhere in Utah. This year I was climbing stairs in the middle of Mexico. I must admit I miss climbing rocks, but stairs with suffice for now. 

This week we had an appointment to have lunch with a sister at 2pm. We were running late, so I called to let her know we would be there at 3pm instead. I can’t pronounce my three’s, (they sound like six’s) so she didn’t expect us to come until 6pm. Luckily, she’s really nice and didn’t mind. We just had to wait a little bit.

We have an army of cockroaches in our house. My companion hates them SO much! When she sees one, she grabs a broom and runs around the house trying to kill it. It’s kind of humorous. The other day we were kneeling on the floor, saying our prayers and I heard a noise like a giant bug walking. I opened my eyes and there was nothing there. I felt like I was in a horror movie, but continued with the prayer. I heard it again, opened my eyes and saw a giant cockroach! It was jumping from the wall to the table closer to me. I grabbed a broom to kill it and it jumped at me to eat my face!!! We kind of had a girly freak out moment, trying to kill the nasty thing. And they smell sooooo bad. Ew. 

Our power went out this week. We never received the power bill. We planned and did everything in the dark. I was so grateful I had my little first aid kit with the flashlight, because that was the only light we had. Sleeping is AWFUL because we don’t have a fan. :( I woke up at least a million times. Last night I thought for sure I was going to die and I moved to sleep on the cement floor instead. After a few minutes of thinking about all the bugs that are on the ground, I decided I would rather die of heat than die by the lizard eating ants and cockroaches. lol 

We had cambios this week with the sister training leaders. They see how everything is going and tell you what you need to improve on. I was so nervous because I stayed in my area and one of the leaders came with me. This was my first time directing the area. It was actually good and I learned a lot. I enjoyed it because I got to talk an equal amount during the lessons and I learned a ton. I learn a lot more Spanish when I get the chance to speak it. lol I think that learning to live, get along, and work with someone 24-7 is one of the hardest parts of the mission.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 16: Save the Cookies

Just some random things first

-The Covergirl mascara we use is almost 20 dollars here! I just buy cheap mascara and live with having spider leg eyelashes.
-If you need to clean anything, use laundry soap - clean the house, wash dishes, wash your hands.
-I tend to stretch after eating a meal and the members who feed us always get mad at me! They say, “You can’t stretch after eating or your intestines will burst.”
-If you have curly hair you shouldn’t have layers...I’m going to come home with some funky looking hair.
-I have the ugliest legs ever, from being bitten by ants, mosquitoes, spiders, and these little demon bugs. Hermana Suarez and I have taken up the game of guess which insect made each bite.  
-It has rained every day, which makes the weather great, but triples the mosquitoes! 

Saturday, ugh! We had an appointment really far away. We called her the night before to confirm the appointment and all was well, but once we got there she said she was getting ready to leave. No one else lived near her and we wasted an hour traveling - so we bought cookies. It had rained all night and there were puddles. When we were standing on the island in the middle of the road waiting to cross, a car passed and hit us with a ton of water! Then a second car passed and hit us with even more!  We were absolutely drenched, but don’t worry the cookies made it and that’s all that matters. lol

Later that day we had an activity at the church playing some fun sports and we had an investigator who was going to come with us. As we were walking to his house, it started to rain. Then it started to pour! When we got to the church, no one was there because it was raining, so we couldn’t have the activity. After an hour, it stopped raining and then people came. :) The activity went great and Ricardo, our investigator, had fun! At first when we got there, he told us we could NEVER leave him alone! Then he started playing volleyball and joking with the members. After a while, we had to leave, and he wanted to stay there on his own! We were so shocked.

Hermana Suarez´s birthday is next week. I’m so excited because it’s on p-day and we have some pretty great plans! 

We had an investigator this week make a break though with the Book of Mormon! We can only visit her once a week so we haven´t taught the Book of Mormon yet, but she reads a ton with her son. While reading, she realized many things are similar to things that are happening in our day. I wanted to cry! I love to see when people are progressing and finding things out. The Book of Mormon really is about our day and is a guide for us. I absolutely love it and am so sad that we only have an hour to study each day. I NEED MORE TIME! Read the Book of Mormon daily. I promise it will bless your lives.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 15: Gospel Blesses Families

Friday was my 100th day in the mission! Crazy.

Sad thing - the other day I wore the golden plates necklace that I got during my freshmen year for seminary and the sisters in the ward told me not to wear it anymore. They said it looked like gold and they were afraid someone would try to steal it. I am glad I’m on the Lord's errand here! 

These are super pretty origami flowers that a young man in the ward made for us. He and his family are absolutely great! His name is Jonathan and he’s 23 years old. He used to be in the army, but had an accident and is now blind. He does crafts and he’s soooo good at them! He also makes beautiful picture frames with sticks, and he made one for my hermana and me. He amazes me and he is still happy and grateful to the Lord. He is such a great example to me! 

This week it has been raining like crazy! It makes the weather so much nicer and cooler, but ruins our shoes. My companion’s shoes died this week. lol

This week we have been working with an investigator a lot. It’s amazing to see how much the gospel is changing her life! The first time we met her, she was walking along the sidewalk, and we walked and talked with her. She wasn’t feeling well. She has an illness that gives her migraines, has ruined her ability to talk well, and she has difficulty remembering things. As we walked together, she started crying and was distraught. Our first lesson was similar: she cried a lot and didn’t feel worthy to be baptized or talk to God, because she said she had a rough background. Her first Sunday at church was the same. Little by little she is becoming happier (we’ve been visiting her for about 5 weeks). Now during the lessons she smiles the whole time and is so happy.

Slowly her family is coming to the lessons. At first her family ran when we came, or made excuses not to join us. Her oldest son left the room with his girlfriend and we could hear them laughing at Eventually her youngest son started joining us and he loves to pray with his mom and with us. Then her daughter started joining us, and she is so smart. Yesterday her oldest son joined us! In fact, all three of her kids joined without us even asking. We were so shocked; we honestly didn’t know what to do. Halfway through the lesson, her oldest son wanted us to wait while he went and got his girlfriend so she could listen too. Guadalupe was so happy! She was all smiles the whole lesson, while her kids talked about the gospel. It was probably my favorite lesson so far. The gospel is for families and blesses families. I am sure of this! They aren’t a perfect family, but we are slowly seeing progress in their relationships. I’m so happy for their great family. They have such a desire to learn and to change. “In family relationships love is really spelled t-i-m-e, time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home.” – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf