Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Last Day!!

Sorry that I didn't write yesterday. We went to lunch with a Hermana in the ward over whose absolutely fantastic and we didn't get home until late and then we had a lot of people to say goodbye to but I wanted to just let you know that I'm alive...excited....and full of energy. ;)

A lot happened this week but I'll just tell you about it tomorrow. ;) 

Love ya! See ya soon!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sept 7, 2015

Well this week has been rather eventful. We had to stop working for a couple of days because my companion had what we thought was that what it's called? But as it turns out she's just fine. She just had a nice UTI and after some meds she's healthy and happy and laughing out loud again. =P

Mayra is still working towards her baptism on Saturday. Chay is not going to be baptized with her for some changes that he's not willing to do right now but at the very least they will be married so when he decides that he's ready he can start preparing to be baptized. The only rough thing with Mayra is that she's been very busy and things just keep going wrong so she's also very frustrated and doesn't want to take time to do the homework that we give her. This is a problem because she doesn't believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and how in the world is she going to be baptized into a church if she doesn't believe that the person who restored it was called of God?!....I know, I'm confused too but we're working on it and we pray that the Lord will do His part as He will and that she will receive a testimony of this part of our history as a church.

The Nazario Sanchez family is doing great. They seem to be working things out and Hugo (the dad) is reading the Book of Mormon of his own free will. We haven't even given him reading assignments yet and she's already started reading it. He seems to really enjoy it and they accepted the lesson of the Restoration when we taught it this last week. They are great. The only hard thing is that we can't invite members to our lessons with them because Hugo has a hard time accepting that people can change and doesn't like it when members come in, whom he's known for a long time, and try to teach him the gospel and the marvelous changes that they have seen thanks to Jesus Christ.  I'm simply grateful that they're progressing well. =)

We've decided to drop Estefani for a while. Since she's only 10 and can't go to church without permission and no one in her family wants to give her this permission nor do they want for her to be baptized, we feel that we have done just about all that we can do.

These last couple weeks, I feel that the Lord has shown me one of His tender mercies. 
In my second area, I spent about 3 months working with a family that was progressing rapidly. The only thing that kept them from being baptized was the fact that the husband (Sabino) has to get divorced from a previous wife and get married to his current wife (Alma). During my time with them, I never saw this happen. They moved from my area and I was transferred. Later I heard that everything worked out and that they were both baptized. I was very excited for them but not nearly as excited as I was when I met Sabino personally about two weeks ago. We're apparently in the same stake right now and I ran into him as he was walking into the stake center for an interview to receive the Melquesidec priesthood. The next Sunday I got to raise my hand as it was put to a vote that he and others would receive this priesthood. 

The second experience was when my companion and I had to go to Puebla, last Sunday, to pick up a tank of gas that we were lacking. A member and his fiance drove us down and while we were packing things up to head back to Tlaxcala, a man walked up to me and greeted me by name. I recognized him as a member who had moved into my second area not too soon before I was transferred but I didn't remember his name. I later remembered him as Mario and that we had been asked by him a year earlier to teach his wife, Claudia, who had been taught by missionaries in Veracruz but had not wanted to be baptized. We had spent about a month looking for her and making appointments but she never received us. After greeting me he told me something like this, "I saw you Hermana and just wanted to tell you something. I want you to know that my wife Claudia was baptized yesterday and confirmed today. I hope you know that your efforts were never wasted."
I may not have seen nor had the opportunity to teach this woman but I still found great joy in receiving the news that she had entered the gate on the road to her salvation. 

I hope you have a wonderful week and that you all continue to see miracles in your lives! Love you!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Faith and Miracles

This week we got to see a miracle that comes through faith on our part and action on the part of our investigators.

Mayra is back on track to getting baptized. Last Sunday, we had walked into their house and her and Chay had just been fighting and when we asked the how they felt about getting married, she told us that she didn't want to get married and that the baptism was going to have to wait. We both thought it was a joke until she began to cry and then we were very concerned. I began to pray for the Lord's help and guidance because I wasn't sure what to say or what to do. We both listened to them and then the words just came. I don't remember most of what I said but I did tell them that if they wanted to give up on their marriage that was fine but then i told them that that would be taking the easy way out and that the only one who would be happy if that happened would be Satan. My companion and I then told them that they had to start reading and praying together because if they didn't, their marriage would fall apart. The Lord gave us various options that they could use to help make their marriage stronger. 
After leaving this lesson, we weren't too concerned and then we felt incredible joy a few days later when Mayra told us that everything was fine and that she wanted to be married on the 11th and baptized on the 12th of Sept. Honestly....I cried, right there, in front of her. It was definitely an answer to our prayers. =)

Also, the other family. The Nazario Sanchez family....they also have problems in their marriage but are progressing well. We are going to see how they are doing tonight and we hope that they will accept the baptism invitation and that we can put a goal so that they can make this covenant. =)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Beginning of the Lasts......

Silly Kids!The first one from left to right:Santiago, Marcos, Carlos, Estefani, and Brittany

Tomorrow will be my very last zone conference with President which means that I'm going to have my last "American meal in Mexico" and I'm going to be giving my testimony with everyone who will be leaving in September and October. That's scary but exciting.....but scary....but still exciting....but even more terrifying...but still a little exciting... ;)

On Monday we got to be present while the bishop gave blessings to a family of investigators that we had met only once before. The little girl Siclaly wanted a blessing (she's 7), and then her older sister Lupita and her baby and then the mom decided at last minute to receive a blessing. The Spirit was so strong and brought tears to many eyes as this family that knew nothing about the Priesthood (except what we had explained beforehand) and blessings, exercised their faith in something that they didn't even know would work. I was really touched by their example.

Things are pretty good here in Nopalucan even though we are struggling a little with our investigators. Maribel more or less doesn't want to commit to anything but we're hoping that she'll come around. We're thinking about stopping our visits with Estefani because her mom doesn't want to let her be baptized. And Mayra and Chay most likely won't be getting baptized on the 12th of September as planned because even though Mayra was willing to get married and baptized this day, she told us yesterday that she doesn't want to get married and that her and Chay were looking into separating even though they have two kids.

Actually all of this has led to an interesting experience. On Wednesday, my companion and I received the impression that we should fast for our area on Saturday. So when Saturday came, my companion was very ready to fast but I wasn't.  Anyway, I went into the bathroom and got on my knees. I told Heavenly Father how I felt, that I did not want to fast, I simply did not want to do it but I knew that I should. So after receiving comfort and instruction from the Lord, I began my fast. It became a true exercise of faith and sacrifice.   It was this night that Mayra accepted her baptism date for the 12th of Sept. (even though last night she told us that it just wasn't going to happen.) I don't exactly know what the Lord is doing but I feel that He's up to something and I feel that everything will work out even if they don't work out like I want them to.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you can see all the miracles that the Lord works in your lives!
                 Yup, it's that time of year again and strangely, even after having gone a year without eating them...                                   I still don't like chiles en nogada. =P

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

This week we had a great FHE with Mayra and Chay. We had originally asked the bishop to help organize it and we ended up having it not only with his family but also with another family that I have wanted to have help us for a long while now. Both the families presented a short lesson and then we ate. They are doing well now and actually went to the temple open house on Saturday. They loved it and were rather impressed by the beauty of it. They were supposed to go with the intention of receiving a confirmation that they should be baptized on the 12th of Sept but we haven't really had the chance to talk to them about it so we'll be doing that tonight.

We moved houses! Woohoo! We had been having problems of running out of water and with some drunks here near the center of town and were told by a couple of members that it might be best to move. We hadn't really thought about it (because the thought of moving sounded like way too much work =P) when Mayra told us that she had found a house for us. When we went to check it out we both felt a confirmation that it was time to move and that this house was just fine. We then prayed and asked the Lord to put everything into place so that we could move it that was His will. Well, turns out it was. =) The "contract" on our old house had been thoroughly lost and so did no longer exist, everything got hooked up and ready in the new house, and we got everything settled with the mission offices and were able to move on Saturday. A few members helped us out and we were out of the old house and into the new one in less than an hour. Although we didn't sleep well and felt uncomfortable in the new house the first night, we felt right at home after it received a blessing from our ward mission leader. 

This week we've seen a couple of miracles. We received a reference from the offices of a woman who had called in to receive the missionaries and wanted to see them the next day. The only catch was that it was for the Elders. =( We totally forgot to pass it to them that night and got a call the next day to see if we had given it them and ended up having to look for it because the elders had gone to the hospital (actually our entire district except for us spent the weekend in the hospital). As it turns out, she actually lives in our area. Her name is Maribel and she was really excited to receive us. She's had a lot of problems in her family and told us that she felt a special peace and tranquility in her heart as we talked. We are hoping that she is one of the prepared children of God in this area and that the Lord has given us the privilege of teaching her.
There is another family that we are going to find out this week if they are willing to listen to the Gospel. They area reference from a member who talked with them while traveling to Mexico City. They had been passing through many trial and she had mentioned to them the power of a priesthood and gave her testimony of it. She offered to contact us and hep them be able to receive a priesthood blessing. When we went to look for them, the first people asked to see if they knew them were actually them. Although it was originally just the little 7 year old daughter who was interested in the gospel, the parents began to ask questions about the Restored Gospel as we sat and talked to their child. Tonight their oldest daughter will be receiving a priesthood blessing that she had asked us for and we hope that they will be able to feel the Spirit and that it will soften their hearts enough to accept the Gospel.

Estefani has been doing well however getting her to church has been a struggle and yesterday we talked to her and her mother about baptism and her mother (who doesn't even act like her mother) is not a fan. We are hoping that their hearts will be softened and that we will be able to prepare her to be baptized.

August 10, 2015

This week we have spent a lot of time with a little 9 year old named Estefani. She's one of our investigators who loves learning about God. We only have one problem...she's also listening to the Jehova's witnesses. The problem with this is the doctrine is very distinct and it confuses her quite a bit. We're working on helping her see the truth in everything that she's learning and we're hoping that the Lord will help her understand. She loves the gospel that we're teaching her and we're hoping to get permission from her grandfather, who's taking care of her, so that she can go to church. We also celebrated her 10th birthday with her. We decided to give her some crayons and colored pencils because she loves coloring but doesn't really have anything because her family is very poor. She was so excited and we feel that she really enjoyed her birthday. The sisters in the ward who had gone with us to our lessons also gave her a gift and she felt very loved. =)

Mayra and Chay finally accepted a baptismal date. We hardly saw them at all this week but we did get to see them yesterday and it was so great so get to talk to them. After about an hour and a half of listening and trying to figure out why they didn't want to be baptized in September they finally accepted to work towards a certain day. We're really excited to keep working with them and even better they're going to be moving houses soon (hopefully this week) and we're hoping that this will help them continue to work hard and active in the gospel.

In our district everyone was transferred but us. Our district leader Elder Philippe and Hna San Martin (both from chile) stayed and are both training. Elder Philippe's companion is Elder Rodriguez from Mexico City and Hna San Martin's companion is Hna Barrios from Columbia. She was the only new sister to enter the mission this transfer. We also got a new zone leader, Elder Gonzalez. he's pretty cool just really quiet and since our last leader (we share the ward with them) was lots of fun and talked a lot, we're not sure what to do. =P However, it's going to be a good transfer these next 5 weeks. =)

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Last Transfer! o.o

So this week we got the chance to participate in a stake youth conference proselyting activity. We took groups of youth out to knock doors. In our mission we're not allowed as missionaries to knock doors but the young men and women can and oh how they did a wonderful job. They were all so brave to knock on each door and invite people to church and to go watch "Meet the Mormons" with the ward. I was so impressed with each of the girls that I had in my group because even after each rejection, the just kept moving forward. It was great. =)
On Tuesday, we ended up taking a sick day because of all the Mole we had eaten during the town festival. We both got super sick in the middle of the night and woke up at almost the exact same time to run to the bathroom. =P However, we're better now and we're going to avoid Mole at all costs. =P

The Perez Lopez family didn't make it to church this week for some reasons but they're hoping to go next week. I'm really sad to think about it but we don't know if we're going to keep teaching them because they simply don't progress but we're gonna wait and see.

Mayra and Chay are doing great. They still haven't openly accepted the 12th of Sept as their baptismal date but sometimes they mention getting married then and so we think that we're going to start working toward this day. They finally made it to Sacrament meeting on time and were able to participate of the Sacrament. They also went to a baptism that the other ward had and even though we haven't really had the chance to talk to them about what they thought we were super surprised to see them there and we were very happy to see that the Lord is working with them.

I will be staying here in Tule until the end of my mission. Wooohooooo!!! Thank you for your fasting and prayers. I have never felt so calm before hearing about transfers. Hna Sellers and I are super excited to have another transfer together and we feel that we're going to be able to see lots of success. To kick off the transfer, we asked the bishop for a blessing to work in his ward and the blessings he gave us were just perfect. While we listened to each other's blessing and while receiving our own, we both felt that they were exactly what we needed and that the Lord was giving us some very specific reminders on how to work with each other and in our area.