Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 60: Good-Byes

Well I had cambios. I`m not surprised; I felt it coming. It was still super hard saying bye to everyone and not being able to tell them that it would be my last Sunday. One day I will see them all again.
Now I`m in Guadalajara, right on the edge of the mission. This is going to be an absolutely crazy STL area! This is the house where all of the new sisters arrive, where they all come when they are heading home, have to sign visa’s, or whatever.

Our Zone

My first convert; he has progressed amazingly in one year. 
He will be leaving for the mission soon!

Our fantastic Purepecha family!

All dressed up in the clothes that they use from their pueblo. 
It’s quite heavy.

Our awesome convert with his kitty cat.

The great little family we are teaching.
We always leave with a headache, but we love them! 

Another amazing family, part of them are members and part investigators. 

Another family that I love; they always feed us and help us. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 59: Spanish Dreams

This is the last week of the cambio! I’m so nervous because I may possibly be leaving the area. I am so content with my companion, the area, and the people. Ugh. I will cry a lot if I get changed.
This week an investigator got baptized. He is a friend of my first convert. A ton of investigators came to the service. In fact so many people came that we couldn’t fit everyone into the room. The talks were amazing and then we sang Families Can Be Together Forever in Purepecha, because it’s his native language. Afterwards the rest of his family said that they want to get baptized too! Fathers have such a huge influence on the family.
This past week I’ve been having a ton of dreams about teaching our investigators. So I teach all day long, and then I go to sleep and I continue teaching. I had a dream that I was teaching one of our families and I forgot what homework we were going to give them. So I sat up and asked my companion, “what is their homework?” She responded, “what?” and was all tired. I was a little irritated because I didn’t understand why she was sleeping during the lesson. The good news is that she said that I asked her in Spanish, which means that my dreams are in Spanish. Woo! I’m officially sleep-talking in another language.
An American member came here from Texas to visit the farm of his uncle. It was so fun talking to him because I recognized how different the culture is. The way he acted, spoke, and everything are just so different from the ways here in Mexico. It felt nice to remember a little bit of home, but I do really love it here.

“As we give we find that ´sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven! ´ And in the end we learn it was no sacrifice at all. -Spencer W. Kimball

The baptism was especially great because it took place on
Easter week-end when we are remembering Jesus Christ!

FHE with our investigators.

This was our English speaking General Conference sister club. :)
Sadly I didn´t hear much of conference :(
The internet was working very badly and it paused every two seconds.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Week 58: Miscellaneous

This definitely doesn’t look very impressive in picture, but we went hiking up a mountain in our dresses. It was pretty steep and intense, and we didn’t even end up finding the house we were looking for. But you can see the ocean!

The family of my first convert of the mission, remembered that exactly one year ago I went to their house! They bought me a little happy one-year mark gift. They are so great!

We had our district activity today! We played soccer and ate yummy spicy food. It was a lot of fun and I finally felt like I could take a breath and relax a little. It was much needed. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Week 57: Celebrate with Snacks

I got side tracked and ran out of time to write a letter. But I did send pictures. This week went great! I love the area and I love the people. I will cry a lot when I have to leave this ward.

This is our historic wall where I will always remember my companion. When we were walking she wasn’t paying attention and hit her head REALLY hard on it! She had a nice big mark for a few days. 

Yum! This is the beautiful five-month mark cake that we made for my companion. I think it is very healthy. Lol

This was the first time I was able to wear my Christmas socks because it’s always so hot. After all the rain we were FREEZING and I got to use my socks. :) Afterwards it has been killer hot. I actually thought of the SpongeBob movie, when Pat and SpongeBob shrivel up from the heat. That’s how I often feel here in Lazaro. I’m glad that I won’t be here in July and August.

My companions little “happi 13 months” surprise. She forgot that happy is spelled with a y and not  an i.  :D

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week 56: Rainy Days

This week was full of trials! I don’t have time to write them all but let’s just say that every single day Satan was working nice and hard to make us discouraged. We had some pretty rough lessons with people telling us that we are going to hell, that we are crazy and that we have ruined their salvation. On the bright side, my testimony surely has grown! By bearing my testimony and always looking for the good, I am now stronger than before! Sometimes what we need to grow is a lot of rain and lightning. By the way, it has rained a TON this week… therefore destroying my shoes and I was sooo cold!

Rain in Lazaro Cardenas! Things don’t get any better then this.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Week 55: Overcoming Obstacles

My new companion is great! I will never have a single problem with her. I feel that we will only be companions for one cambios and then she will become the sister training leader, of the sister training leaders. She is a GREAT missionary. So I am training her so that she leaves me next transfer. That’s my goal.  :(

We received a reference for this super great family! They want to learn so badly! There is one problem... they come from a pueblo where they speak Purepecha. They are learning Spanish. But the combination of my horrible Spanish and their limited comprehension makes for difficult lessons. We use lots of pictures and their sister is sometime there to help translate. When we asked them to commit to pray, the dad said with such determination “I’m going to pray to my Heavenly Father and ask if it is true.” The trials and obstacles in life don’t matter if we have a determination and faith. We are seeing this family progress so much even though it is hard and they may not understand anything at church. I know that God is answering them and that is all that matters. I’m happy to be teaching them.  :)

My New Companion

You always need to take a goofy shot too.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 54: Adios American Companion

This is my favorite miracle baptism! I´ve loved teaching him. 
I will tell you the story when I come home in six months. 

Taking some pictures with some people that we love.

The fresh coconuts here are sooo yummy! I love them.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 53: One-Year Out!

My companion made me a yummy breakfast for my one-year mark!

PiƱatas are ridiculously popular here during the Christmas and 
New Year season. 

For our district activity we played soccer and ate tacos. 
What more can you ask for in Mexico?  :) 

Our giant district looks more like a zone.

This is one of the great people that we are enjoying teaching.

These are the moments that give missionaries joy! 
Randomly finding our investigator reading the Book of Mormon 
when he didn’t even know we we´re coming. :)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Week 52: Forget Me Not

Can you believe I’ve almost been gone for one year? And guess what I’m going to do to celebrate it? Do exchanges with the sisters! Being a STL means that you don’t get to know your actual companion very well because we do exchanges so often. But we do have eight-hour bus trips together often.
I finished the Book of Mormon! I know I read slowly, but that’s okay, I love it. I especially like Moroni 9:6 and Moroni 10:34. I love the book Moroni; it’s super freaky and powerful. I also love the introduction to the Book Mormon. It contains a quote from Joseph Smith that says,  “the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” We can’t just read the Book of Mormon. We have to apply the teachings and make the appropriate changes in our lives.
I read the talk ¨Forget me Not¨ by Dieter F Uchtdorf this week and I think it’s become my new favorite. “Forget not to be patient with yourself. Forget not the difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice. Forget not to be happy now. Forget not the ‘why’ of the gospel. Forget not that the Lord loves you.”
We had six investigators in church. How exciting!
Our Yummy Valentine Donuts!

My valentine surprise to my companion.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 51: Little Miracles

I am EXHAUSTED! Last week the mission president declared Monday to be ¨deep clean the house day¨. But of course my companion and I are perfectionists, so we did not end last week. We deep cleaned again today ALL DAY LONG! I hurt very badly, but our house is sparkly (as much as it can for being icky looking). I’ve decided when I grow up I will live in a box, just so I don’t have to deep clean. I like cleaning, but it takes so much time. 

I love having an American companion! It’s so fun because we communicate easily with one another. I can talk in Spanish, but it’s just not the same. We get along really well and are working very hard together. We have found like a total of a million new people (slight exaggeration) to teach within the last three weeks. That’s great! 

We’ve been seeing tons of little happy miracles!

One investigator went to a baptism on Saturday and said that he felt something when the person was baptized. He thinks it might be his answer. His wife is a convert of seven years, but he has never accepted the missionaries before. The Lord has prepared him so much and I feel privileged to teach him!

When another investigator went to church for the first time she figured out that she has a lot of friends there! She was super happy and enjoyed the service.

And there have been lots of other little miracles everyday.

This week we found a ¨less active¨. He said he was baptized a few years ago in Washington, but they did it by splashing water on his head. I think this was apostasy... so we don’t think he was actually baptized and we are looking for his records. But he is willing to do it again because he knows it’s true. 

Feeding Puppies

The lovely Laqardo Cardenas Zone!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 50: Photos Only

While we were waiting for the combi (bus) we took a ¨pretty picture¨.

More waiting...

We did a fun balloon learning activity during our
leadership council meeting.

My companion and I

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 49: Speaking Spanglish

I am enjoying my companionship with Hermana Corbridge. It’s fun because we speak English a lot... well more like Spanglish, because neither of us can speak either language. We start off talking English and end up talking Spanish. Our mission President encourages us to speak English because he doesn’t want us to forget it. Yesterday during a class the teacher said the word ¨sixteenth¨. So I started thinking, “how do you say that in English? dieciseisth, no.... dieciseisnth... no.” I finally realized that I was mixing English and Spanish together! Dieciseis is 16 in Spanish and I remembered that in English it ended in Th or something. Ha-ha. We’ve had some pretty funny experiences this week speaking Spanglish.
I love being a STL, because each exchange we have with the sisters is for a specific reason and we can see how God does His work. During one exchange my companion Hermana Valdez stayed in our area and a sister from Morelia came to work with her. While they were walking they ran into a young man (I shall call him H.) who knew the other sister. H´s wife is a recent convert in Morelia where the sister serves and so they knew each other in that way. But H lives here and his wife converted when they were living apart. They took down his address and what not. After some time, while I was in exchanges, I saw his name on the list and decided to go visit him. That’s when I learned his story. He is already a member; his wife makes him go to church in Morelia, read the scriptures, and say their prayers together. He already knows a lot, but the missionaries have never taught him. He wants to do the best for his family and is happy to learn more about the church. He is someone truly prepared by the Lord. It makes me happy to see the funny ways the Lord works, and how He will get the work done if we just follow His will and do it in His way.

Quote for the day:

"Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trails are not consequences of your disoedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain." -Elder Richard G. Scott

One of our investigators has these adorable pink and blue chicks!

This is a super pretty river in our area that we found.
It smells bad, but it looks good in pictures.

It rained shoes!