Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 32: Random Bits and Pieces

I’ve just been writing down things that I’ve wanted to tell you this week, so my letter shall be very random. :)

-I can do my makeup (powder, blush, eyebrows, and mascara) in a record-breaking time of five and a half minutes. Round of applause please. :)

-In the MTC Hermana Burns hated my weird leg shaking habit, so I worked hard to get rid of it. Now Hermana Mayorga has the same problem and I’m relapsing! Ah!

-Two of our recent converts gave talks in church. They were so ridiculously scared, but they did absolutely great! 

 -I accidently asked a young man if we could come to his house and give him and massage, instead of asking if we could come to his house and share a message.

-This week we had a member accompany us for a few lessons and while we were walking she asked me how it feels to have less that a year before I go home. It really surprised me! I almost forgot that I had a life before the mission and that I will have that life again in less then a year. Weird. I’m happy here serving, but I must admit I kind of miss my family.

 I’ve been studying a lot about obedience, because it is the first law of heaven. In 3 Nephi 28:34 it reads, “whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day;” If we can’t learn obedience (and repentance) we can’t receive eternal happiness. Someone gave a great talk on Sunday. He said when he was baptized the elders asked him what he wants in the future. He said he wants a nice house, big yard, a car, and comfort. To be able to reach that long-term goal he would have to work really hard right now and for a long time. It’s the same with eternal blessings; the work we put in right now, will determine our “house, car, yard, and comfort” after this life. This life is so ridiculously short, but the way we live it will decide our eternal happiness.

Teaching the gospel to Mr. Morelos
(at least I think that's who it is)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Week 31: Learning Lots

I ´m leading the area and my companion only has three months in the mission, so she still has some stuff to learn. Which means that I have been learning a TON! When you’re put it a position to “lead”, it’s actually just a better position to “learn”. I really love the mission! There are many sad, difficult, and frustrating parts (sorry, I usually only tell you guys about these parts) but the good definitely outweighs the bad. I’ve learned a lot of things that have helped me grow and helped me be more prepared for when I return and have my own family. I’ve learned the importance of the gospel in every aspect of our lives.

My companion, Hermana Mayoral is great. I must admit I have been ridiculously lucky in the mission. I’ve always had really great companions. We have little moments, but we are usually laughing and working really hard. It makes a HUGE difference to have a great companion!

My New Companion (the one in the dress)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 30: Transfers

Today we had transfers and Hermana Vergara left me. It was super duper sad because we got along REALLY well! We would sometimes (but rarely) butt heads and that was because we are ridiculously alike in personality. She really helped me open up more, learn more of the gospel, and how to love everyone. I will miss her tons!

My new companion is Hermana Mayorga. She seems nice. She is almost 22 and only has 3 months in the mission, so I’m the senior companion. Scary stuff.

Cake for Cambios

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 29: Learning About Prayer

This week I have learned a lot about prayers from one of my favorite people, Hermano Tinoco. One day he was about to say the prayer. After a minute of silence we asked what was wrong. He told us that he knew he was going to talk to God, so he wanted to think first about what he was going to ask Him and thank Him for. A few days later in his prayer he said something like, “Heavenly Father, remember how two days ago I asked for help for my friend? I would like to thank you, because he has improved a lot.” These two experiences really struck me. First, how many times do I really recognize that I’m talking with my loving Heavenly Father and that he is listening to what I am saying? Second, do I remember what I prayed for two days ago? Hermano Tinoco remembered and was able to recognize the answer to his prayer. How many times do we miss our answers to prayers or blessings because we aren’t paying attention?

Lately I have noticed how good I am at recognizing the things I’m doing wrong and what I need to improve on. That is good because it helps me to change, but I forget to recognize the things that I am doing right. I think it is really easy to see our imperfections and become depressed, therefore stunting our growth. God expects progression, not perfection. God wants us to be happy. There is always something we can improve, but it will do us no good if we only think of these things. We should rejoice in all that we have and be happy. :)  My week has been much better once I finally realized that. 

Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” -Gordon B. Hinckley

“God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. Let me add, God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not. And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to others - usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. As a result we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does.” -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Hermano Tinoco's Baptism

My companion heard if you hug a tree
it will take away your tiredness.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 28: Teaching About Prayer

Hermano Tinoco is one of our investigators and we love visiting him! We have been preparing him for baptism and he is progressing well. He learns very slowly, but he has such a desire to learn. In one of his notebooks we wrote the steps on how to pray.

1. Heavenly Father
2. I thank thee for…
3. I ask thee for…
4. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen

We’ve explained these steps at least a million times, but every time he prays he just reads each of the points. Then before he says amen he just starts talking to God. He says things like, ¨Okay Heavenly Father, this is what I have to tell you...¨ or ¨I know I’m old and slow, but please help me to remember what the sisters are teaching.” His prayers are so sincere it amazes me...just he puts things a little out of order. lol

Prayer is such a blessing! On the mission, I miss you guys a lot and I think, “Oh, I would love to be able to tell my family this or that!” It’s easy to forget that we always have family close by. Our Father in Heaven is anxiously waiting to talk to us. He loves to hear what’s going on in our lives, how we are feeling, and what we need. He wants to help us, if we humble ourselves and ask.

INVITATION FOR THE WEEK: Take time to have a conversation with our Heavenly Father. I’m sure He doesn’t appreciate hearing the same things every time. As we bring ourselves closer to God we will find the answers to questions we didn’t know we had. We will find more purpose in our lives, and great joy through the good times and even the bad. We will find more love filling our lives.

Hermano Tinoco has at least 10 pairs of glasses and
he can't see with any of them.

Most of the sisters in my district.

This is our district. Beautiful, no?