Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad!!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!
This week was a really good one. We ended the last week feeling bad for bad numbers and feeling like we hardly worked. We decided to make this week the best one we've had this transfer and it totally happened.
We had intercambios (exchanges) this week. My companion stayed in the area and I went with Hermana Orgill to her area in Puebla. She's from Highland, Utah and is just as tall and white as I am. We were quite the pair walking down the streets. However, I learned a lot from her, especially about contacting people in the street, which I've always had trouble with. She gave me the talk by Todd D Christoffersen called "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary". I have never been so chastised in all my mission. It was awesome!! I totally agree with everything that I read and can't wait to really start applying what I learned from it.

We saw a lot of miracles this week. One of them was a new investigator that we found named Martina. We had received the name of her daughter as a reference and miraculously her mom (Martina) let us in and began to talk to us. Although she's really nervous about the thought of changing the religion that her parents and grandparents taught her, she's willing to learn and at the very least get to know our religion. 

The other was when we were returning to our town where we live, Libres, from a little town we work in called Texcal. It was nice and dark and the car we were in was very....very.....VERY....old. Old enough that the headlights turn on and off by themselves a lot. So, the road would kinda disappear every five seconds. My companion got really nervous and so did the driver although he was very calm and kept making jokes of it. Luckily, we made it home just fine.

This week I got tired of a group of guys that hang out on the side of the street, drinking, and always wolf-whistle and cat-call and say inappropriate things to me and Hermana Adam. The other noticeably white sister here, so I decided to contact them. Probably not the smartest thing I could have done but I wanted them to know exactly who I was and what I was doing there in their town. Although they were drinking they were very respectful and funny. Afterwards, I thanked them for their time and invited them again to see the video "He is the Gift" and asked them for a favor. I told them, "When you see me in the street, I'm Hermana Parslow." They said a few more things but I made it very clear that I didn't want anymore whistles or inappropriate words, just Hermana Parslow. I haven't had the chance to see if it worked because I think they changed their hang-out spot but at the very least I'll be able to hold them to it if I see them again because they all promised. ; )
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and can enjoy all of the wonderful gifts that our Father in Heaven has given you this last year and can think about what you're all going to give to Him this coming year.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

9 months!!!

We had our Christmas Zone Conference on Tuesday and since we had to go into Puebla it was a whole day kind of thing. =) However, the conference was amazing. We talked a lot about traditions and how important they are for our future families and keeping everyone united. We sang Christmas Carols with chimes and did the 12 Days of Christmas both the original and the mission version. It was hilarious! We also played Bonko! It was super fun! I won a mini snow globe for the most "baby bonkos". =)

We went to visit some of the little towns we have in our area that we haven't been able to visit very much. It was so beautiful and a lot of fun going with the members. The only bad part is that it also turned into an all day thing because one town is almost an hour away and we hit the Virgin Mary traffic on the way back so it was super slow going.
Friday we stayed in the house all day because it was the Day of the Virgin and every closes down their shops and are out in the streets. It's one of the big celebrations and few reasons that the Catholics have to go to church. There's a big race kinda thing that kinda is like the Olympic torch run. Everyone decorates their cars and bikes with the Virgen de Guadalupe (Virgin Mary) and go from one end of Mexico to Mexico City to see a framed picture of the Virgin that...appeared there randomly one day. It's a huge thing and even though we felt it wasn't that dangerous, we figured it was better to follow what the President and the Lord wanted rather than to find out why they had asked us to stay home.
Sunday I gave my first talk in this ward about love and charity. Since we got there early, the bishop asked one of us to talk because the person assigned wouldn't be coming. The lot fell to me because I had gotten sick the day I was originally supposed to talk in church when I got here.
We've been continuing to visit with Jose Abel and he is just golden! We taught the restoration and asked him to pray if Joseph Smith was a prophet as his homework. He said, "First of all, praying is never homework and second, I will do it but I can already say that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Jesus Christ restored His church here on the earth."..... What?! I know! I was just dumbfounded. He's amazing. This man didn't even believe in God 2 months ago! He is so wonderful and just loves the gospel. It truly is an amazing experience to sit back and watch the Lord do His work while we don't do anything. Seriously. Nothing. Wow, is the Lord amazing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

He is the Gift

Something I forgot to mention that I learned last Monday. Do not leave all the windows and the back door open while doing laundry and cleaning the house. It's very possible that two little sparrows will enter and begin to cause chaos. =)

This week we had an interesting contrast in experiences. First, we went to visit one of our investigators, named Esperanza that had finally committed to come to church after a great lesson but when we went to visit her this last time, she was overly friendly and just acting kinda funny. We entered her house where she had a small fire pit burning and where her music about the catholic church was just blasting. We only sat for 4 or 5 minutes before we began to feel that we had to leave. She asked us to sing a hymn for her and we did. Then she wanted us to read from the Bible but we continued to feel funny and like we needed to get out of there. We said that we actually had to leave because we had gotten sick during the day and needed to return home. (Not a complete lie) We got out of the house and stood outside the door talking to a young man who helps out Esperanza with her Lavanderia (laundry service). He then confirmed our suspicions that she was drunk...very drunk. She then came out and tried to get us to enter back in, telling us just how much she loved us but we continued to say we needed to leave and left. We both felt a little shaken to have seen her that way and to have seen the danger she had put herself and others in. When we returned to the house, we talked about it and what had happened and began to realize Satan's part in the situation and then God's part and how He had protected us from who knows what could have happened. We both began to feel a little nervous and jumpy but after we said a prayer and asked for help, we both felt instantly safe and comforted. We have not seen her since. It really kinda shook us both to realize that we had been looking Satan right in the face. This woman is wonderful and sweet and really wants to follow Christ, but as we read in the bible dictionary about Satan this week, one of his greatest tools is convincing God's children that they are following God while they are truly following Satan. How sad is that? However, even as we realized the power of Satan and just how real he is, we both agreed that it was incredible knowing that our Heavenly Father loved us and that He would always protect us.

The contrasting experience that we had was with another investigator named Jose Abel. He was an atheist who is beginning to believe in God and not only in his Heavenly Father but also in His church. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and has beginning to feel a change in his life. We all are surprised but how quickly he's been progressing. He came to church this Sunday and we thought that at the end he didn't like it at all. Especially because we could see the irreverence of the members and everything that was going wrong. When we saw his face after the services it was very very serious and we were worried to talk to him thinking that he was going to tell us all kinds of bad things he saw that he never wanted to come back. (Funny how we tend to expect the worse.) However, when we talked to him he just said that he was in awe. He loved the way the Church ran the services and all of the people. He said that although he now had more doubts and questions than ever, he just wanted to continue learning and understanding. Also, that he was never going to leave our church and that he would definitely be coming back. When we invited him to the Christmas Devotional that night he said that he would come to anything that we invited him too. I am so excited to see his progress and am so impressed with the Lord! It's an amazing privilege to watch the Lord at work

Monday, December 1, 2014

Making History

So this transfer is going to be something rather awesome! Not just because it's going to be Christmas but because my companion is Hermana Vazquez and she's from...drumroll please....California! Yup, my companion is an american too and she's amazing. We are the first real companion of American sisters that this mission has ever had. It's a little weird at times being able to talk in English in the house but she is so much fun and so freaking sweet, I just love her!

My new area is called Libres. It's a little town in the middle of nowhere. We're about two hours from Puebla City and it's an adorable little town. I'm not gonna lie, I absolutely love walking in the street and someone passes with their mule and cart going off to town.

I had the wonderful privilege of getting very very sick this last week and ended up staying home a few days. My companion took wonderful care of me and the members were super great to stay with me and leave with her so that she could visit some of our investigators. For a bit I couldn't figure out why I now was sick, especially when i was so excited to work in this area but as I prayed for health and for understanding to be patient, I began to see the other purposes God had and was accomplishing thanks to me being sick. The members got to serve and receive blessings they needed. My companion got to prove to herself that she really can help our investigators and other people. Sister Adam, whose companion went home early, got a chance to just talk out all of her feelings while she sat for a few hours with me while our companions left to work. I got to put in some really good study time and learn to pray more sincerely and really submit myself to His will. What a blessing it can be to receive the understanding of why our Heavenly Father puts somethings in our lives.
We had a really good conference with Elder Torris from the Quorum of the 70 this week and I wanted to share some quotes with you guys.

"We hasten the work when we are EXACTLY OBEDIENT."

"Anyone can teach well but what makes us different is we teach by the Spirit."

"Talking bad about someone is like throwing rocks up in the air....they're going to fall down directly on your head."

"We don't need Worthy Zombies." =)

"Our experiences in the mission (or spiritual experiences in life) allow us to touch Heaven." 

"YOU are an investigator of your Heavenly Father."

I love you guys and hope you have a wonderful week!!

Putting up the Christmas count down that was sent from home

                                                   Scenery from the bus ride to the new city

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


We found out on Wednesday that we're closing our area which means that we both have transfers and will be leaving the area so this last week has been CRAZY!  But, no worries we have finally got everything ready for the next missionaries that are coming tomorrow. We deep cleaned our house which I'm pretty sure was the first deep cleaning it's received the last.....5 years...but seriously, we took out 5 huge bags of garbage but now the house is cleaner than it's ever been. =) 

My companion and I are both sad and excited to move on to a new area. We're both sad because we started finding new people to teach, like Carolina.  She's an old investigator that we went and visited. She's very very VERY interesting. She doesn't believe in prophets, or the Bible, or things that are good and bad, that God is perfect, and the most interesting part is that she doesn't believe that Satan is the devil. She feels like he was a misunderstood young man and that it was God's fault that Satan did what he did. She also told us that she will ALWAYS defend him. ... I know, we think she's pretty crazy too but she's super nice and friendly. We laugh a ton when we're with her and on the plus side she sells delicious bolis.

The other day we contacted an older lady named Patricia while looking for some old investigators. She ended up knowing a lot about the Bible and agreed to read the Book of Mormon and meet with the missionaries to...share her opinions. It was actually the first time that I actually got upset while contacting someone because she said that she had never heard of Jesus coming to the Americas and I brought up the scripture when Jesus says "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold." She interrupted me and said, "Christ never said that he would come to the Americas Güerra!" That's when I got frustrated and retorted, "He never said he wouldn't!" I let my companion finish the contact after that. We both got frustrated later and had to have companionship inventory afterwards :)

Yesterday we were in the combi heading to church when my companion looked at me and touched her left shoulder. I was confused for a moment at why she had a look of terror on her face while touching her shoulder. Then I saw that she had forgotten her name tag. I laughed as she told me that now she was just going to be a member with everyone else. We later went back and got it in the house. 

It's been interesting and amazing being in this area. I've had the blessing of seeing the changes in our investigators. (Naim has now received the Aaronic priesthood and is going to be a counselor in the Teachers Quorum). 
Martin's aunt now loves us when in the beginning she was as cold as the artic. =) and in the members (people who never wanted the missionaries were super sad when we told them we were both leaving. Hermana Sam...ward mission leader...was so sad that he took us to a park and hung out with us for almost an hour. His wife cried as she told us goodbye. Also, the bishop's wife who never wanted anything to do with the Sister missionaries told us how much she loved us and was saying goodbye to us with wise words of wisdom for over 20 was great to see that change but a little frustrating when we had to go. = )
It's been a wonderful blessing to be in the Juarez ward and I'm so grateful for the chance that I had to be here. I can truly testify that the Lord sends His missionaries to where He needs them. 

I love you guys so much! Thank you so much for all of your love and support and prayers!!  
                             Sammie my favorite little girl in the La Paz Ward

                                    Missionaries that I served with in the La Paz Stake

                                   Saying Good Bye to the Ward Mission Leaders and Bishop

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

8 Months in the mission field!!

This week has definitely been a fun one. 

Earlier in the week, we went to look for a less-active member here in the city, the majority of the people live in apartment buildings but there are some that live in little homes that are within an alley kind of thing. Well, we entered one of those and in the second house on our left has this dog. A feisty little thing. It started barking at us as we passed. Usually we can ignore them and they don't do anything but this little pooch only wanted one thing....TO EAT ME! It ran after us after we passed it and tried to bite me but only got my skirt. My companion was able to scare it away but it continued to try to bite us until it's owner called it from the bathroom that was outside and got a hold of it. We continued looking for the less-active member who actually doesn't live there. We were then leaving when the vicious little thing got away from it's owner and began to chase us down again. That was when we full out sprinted out of the isle yelling, "Run! Run!" and ran down the street. Although it was just a little ankle-biter of a dog, I now officially have a "being chased by a dog in the mission" story.

Also this week, Reyna told us that she didn't want us to visit her anymore. We found her while looking for an old investigator and she invited us right into her home and received our message with such enthusiasm and love that we couldn't help but love her. However, due to how her entire family, who is very VERY Catholic btw, has been giving her a very rough time and the fact that she's listening to us cause her daughter's 8th b-day party to turn into an interrogation, she decided that it was better that we just stopped coming. My companion was super sad about it. I just thought, "Well, at least we know where she lives and she now has a Book of Mormon. It just must not be her time." 
Later in the day we were looking for a reference that we had been given earlier that day and we couldn't find the street. I crossed the street and when I looked around for my companion she had gone to ask a woman who was trying to enter her house for help. The woman answered her and when my companion looked back at me, I start mouthing, "Contact her. Contact her!" She shook her head no and crossed the street towards me. "Why didn't you contact her?" I asked, and she said that the woman was very angry and that she didn't want to contact someone who was very angry. I just shook my head and smiled. As we started walking away, the lady walked out of her house again and asked us what was the address we were looking for again. We went back and began to talk to her. We both knew that we now had to contact her because she had been put into our lives twice in 5 minutes now. We talked to her and she invited us into her house...but just for 5 minutes......we stayed an hour. =) Her sister in law is LDS and has shared a little bit of the Gospel with her. She was very interested and listened intently as we talked about the Restoration (Preach My Gospel, chapter 3 for those who want to look it up ;)  ). We couldn't make an appointment because she couldn't give us a day when she's free but we have a lot of hope for this woman. =)

We had another couple invite us into their house after we contacted them when we were searching for the same address and needed to ask for directions. They were very interesting because they work a lot with AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and have a activity every month for the members of the group. We tried to share a little bit of the gospel with them but we couldn't because all they could talk about was their group and invited us at least 10 times to join. We're pretty sure they're convinced that we both have a deep dark problem or addiction to something.  However, we have an appointment with them in two weeks so we'll see how that goes. =) 

On Thursday we had to stay home because we were both sick and Hermana Christensen said that we should "lay low" for the day. So we did our weekly planning and then rested. The night before, my companion captured a big black spider in a water bottle she swore wanted to kill her. We kept it in the bottle until we realized it was going to die. We then decided to set it free. So we left our apartment, still in our pajamas, to set the poor thing free in a bush in front of our apartment building. The neighbor who lived next to the person who owned the bush watched us carefully as she was trying to open her gate. I told her we were setting free a spider that we had captured in our house. She told us to kill it and although it took us a few minutes to decide if we should kill it or let it be, we of course let it be. Well, she was not very happy with us and lectured us very angrily for the next 10 minutes about how rude it was that we were putting spiders in other people's gardens..... and then something about the trash that people would leave in the street. We just stood there in the middle of the street, in our pajamas, with blank stares, thinking only about getting back into the house and away from this crazy lady. We finally got away and back into the house. It was then that the Gas Man came to give us gas for our that we can shower. He complained about having to carry the gas tank up our apartment building and then got upset when we didn't know which gas tank was ours that was on top of the roof. We figured it all out and actually ended giving gas to our neighbors who live above us. When we finally got back to the house, we began to laugh. We had successfully completed two acts of kindness, made two people angry, and all of that in less than two hours! Wow, what a day. =)

I love you all so much! thank you so much for all of your love, support, and prayers! Have a wonderful week!

Monday, November 17, 2014

About the Atonement

This week was probably the hardest week I've had here in this area and possibly in my mission. 

This week, with everything that did and didn't happen, I began to feel my Savior's love more strongly than before.  I asked for my Heavenly Father to help me feel His love and to know where I stood with Him as His daughter and as a missionary. On Friday, my companion and I were studying the First 12 Weeks and it was going pretty well as we looked up and read scriptures about the Holy Ghost, why He's important for the work we do, what we need to do in order to have Him with us, what He does for us and our investigators. I have learned that as a missionary, I can receive revelation to help members, investigators, and people I meet in the street as it is necessary. Also, as a trainer, I can receive revelation to help my companion, to help her grow and pass through difficult times in the beginning of her mission. After reading a particular scripture in D&C 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, therwill be also, for will go before your face. will be oyour right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." I felt impressed to tell something to my companion. I took a moment to focus myself on the Spirit that was entering my heart and to listen very closely to what our Heavenly Father wanted my companion to hear. I told her, "Hermana, I want to remind you of something. You have a Heavenly Father and He loves you. We may not be perfect.  We may not always make the best decisions. However, He loves us anyway and always. He understands, He knows you perfectly and is waiting patiently to help you become the best missionary, the best friend, the best daughter, and the best person that He knows you can be." As I testified this to my companion, the Spirit testified the exact same thing to me. As President Monson said, "God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there." 

I testify that God loves us. We are His children and He is always waiting patiently to help pick us back up when we fall and show us who we can really be. He loves you. Each of you. He listens to and answers your prayers and is constantly trying to help you become the best that you can be. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 3, 2014

This week we finally got rid of the mold in our house! Well, we hope so but now we've been left without cold water. We only have hot water from our boiler which is great but makes for an interesting experience of washing our dishes in the bathroom because it's the only place we can get water. =)

We had an interesting lesson with Marisol and her husband Javier. We only planned on teaching about prophets because they talk SO MUCH but we ended up teaching the entire first lesson about prophets, Christ's ministry, the Great Apostasy, and the Restoration of the Gospel because they asked about the prophet we have on earth today and the twelve apostle and where do they get their authority. After they accepted that we somehow got to the subject of temples and the look on their faces was priceless when we told them that they could be together forever as a family. It was great! 

We had interviews with our mission president this week which were really good. He had each of us read D&C 88:22 "For he who is not able to abide the law of celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory."
We talked about how we could live better the celestial law. It was a really interesting interview that made me think and reflect a lot in how I could be better.

Happy Day of The Dead

Martin was finally confirmed and  is officially a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The bishop confirmed him and gave him a beautiful blessing, mentioning that one day Martin would be a missionary. =)

We had intercambios this week and although I'm sad that my sister training leaders were changed, I was very excited about being about to take a shower. I know, it's sad but seriously that shower is amazing! It's like standing under a wonderful warm waterfall. Sigh. Anyway, my new sister training leaders are great and I left my area...of course... and the sister that stayed with my companion took very good care of her. =)

We had a lesson with Marisol and with her entire family...finally. Her husband was in Los Cabos (in the north of Mexico) and returned two weeks ago.  Although they have no religion, they have a wonderful collection of Bibles. During our lesson we talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and read from Genesis 1:26-27, as we read, every member of the family had a different version of the bible (catholic, christian, King James, de las promesas, etc). When their son read the scripture, looks of confusion appeared on every face as the verse being read from the Catholic Bible did not agree with the version that each member of the family had. It ended up being quite funny to me because although as missionaries we are used to the other bibles not agreeing with the King James version, I have never been in a lesson with so many bibles not agreeing with each other and every person with the room recognizing it. We ended giving a little lesson about the Great Apostacy to clear up the confusion.

We have a new investigator named Emmanuel. He's 18 years old and has a ton of desire to find the truth. He has a TON of questions about EVERYTHING. We've been working with him for about a week, even though his mom didn't even want him to let us into the house, and he attended Sacrament Meeting with us yesterday. It's a little frustrating sometimes because he has trouble understanding me because "I talk funny" but I have trouble understanding him because "He mumbles" so I guess it's okay. =P He has accepted a baptism date for the 29th of November and seems to be excited.  

The other day we were in a member's taco shop because that's where we teach Martin. It was later in the evening and as I was talking to one of the family members, Hermana Arellano called me over talk to someone that was standing in the taco shop. She told me that she needed me to speak English. She led me to a Chinese man and we began to talk. He spoke broken English but nothing of Spanish. He's a Christian of 22 years and travels a lot for his work which keeps him away from his family a lot so it's a little hard for him. He has the bible on his phone in both English and Chinese. He asked me about our church and said that he had recognized the Jesucristo on Hermana Arellano's name tag. I invited him to listen to our missionaries and gave him a pass along card with the church site and explained how it worked. It was really cool to have a conversation in English about the gospel with someone who's actually interested in it.

Saturday night we had to make a decision if we were going to visit our investigator that lives on the other side of our area from where we were or someone that lived closer to our house. Considering how late it was and after praying and listening for the direction we needed, we decided to visit an investigator that lived closer to our house. We hadn't been about to get a hold of her and hoped that the impression to visit her meant that we would find her in her house. When we found that she wasn't home, I began to question if we had actually followed the prompting of the Spirit and if so why in the world did Heavenly Father lead us here when she wasn't even home? We then decided to try our luck and visit a couple of old investigators we hadn't seen in a few months. That was when we found out why we had been led to that part of our area. They ended up being home and received us with open arms. They had been passing through a really difficult time with a false accusation in the school where one is a principal and with their daughter being seriously ill. They were very grateful for our visit and took it as a reminder that their Lord is always mindful of them.
The funny thing that happened was that I was watching the clock on their wall and not my watch. When I started thinking that it was time to go, our district leader called to check on us. It was then that we realized that although their clock said 9:20 it was actually 9:35. We worked the fastest that we could to leave and then started running home. (We tend to do that a lot) As we ran across a busy street, I saw a family walking along the sidewalk...the next thing I saw was the street rising up to say hello. I totally biffed it in the middle of the street and got a double hit from the ground and my backpack. I sat for a minute thinking about what in the world had just happened and my companion and the father of the family helped me back up. I ended up meeting the entire family. I thanked them so much for their help and their concern and wished them a goodnight. Although my skirt began to get wet around my left knee, my companion and I began to book it home. I got a pretty nice road rash and on my knee but most importantly a grateful heart because I didn't fall on glass which is everywhere in the street and a repentant heart because I didn't contact that family. 

To close, I learned a very interesting lesson yesterday in the combi which is, "Don't compliment people on the their anything here in Mexico. It is very likely that they will gift that very thing to you." I was talking to a Señora about how short the combi and laughing with her about how I really don't fit. I complimented her on the scarf, telling her that it was very pretty. She looked down at it and then took it off and handed to me. I tried many many times to tell her that I couldn't take it and that it wasn't right but she just told me that it was clean, wasn't very expensive anyway and that it came from the heart. I would have continued to try and give it back but our stop came up and we had to get off. i thanked her the best that I could and got off. A member who say what happened, told me to not feel bad, that some people are just like that and can give things away as easily as a birthday present. Lesson learned.

I still feel that my Heavenly Father continues to bless us here even though we're not perfect and I'm beginning to feel that it's because His love for each of His children is so grand that He is willing to use imperfect servants to help His children to one day become perfect and return to live with Him again. 

I love you all, you are all amazing! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, prayers, and love. I hope you all of an amazing week. =)

                                  Some of the treats sold on the streets for The Day of the Dead

Carlie explained In Puebla (not sure how the traditions change depending on which city you are from) the Day of the Dead starts on Oct 28th until Nov 2nd.  Apparently each day you make an offering depending on who they were and how they died.
Day 1- for people that died in accidents
Day 2--Lawyers (I thought it was funny they had their own day)
Day 3- Children
Day 4--Family Members
Day 5--Anyone else that has died and does not fit into the previous categories
Carlie said during the day you are celebrating the person, you get a picture of them then make their favorite food and place it by the picture along with their favorite candy, toys, clothes etc.  Then they believe that that person will come and partake of the offering.
Carlie and her companion went to the market this morning and picked up some offerings...Here is a picture of the offering Carlie made to her stomach :)

7 Months!!

This week we learned a very important lesson about why people should get baptized on Saturday and then get confirmed on Sunday. Martin was baptized on Sunday last week and we all knew he would have to wait to be confirmed. There's only one problem, although he's been baptized, he doesn't have the protection and help of the Holy Ghost and Satan never stops working. We've become very concerned about him as in one week he's basically changed his personality. We tried to get him to church on Sunday but "couldn't go". We're really hoping that we can find the way to help him.

This week, they divided our area and we not have more time to focus on one side, we've been searching for the ancient investigators in our area book. We were looking for one in a very sad and poor area. She wasn't home so we decided to ask one of her neighbors if she knew her and when she would be home. We walked past all of the doors that were locked (they lock all the doors from the outside when they leave with a bike lock) and passed by one that was unlocked and had voices coming from inside. My companion kept walking but I stopped and looked at the door. When I knocked a lady answered and we asked her if she knew the investigator we were looking for. She let us know that the one we were looking for had moved over 5 years ago. However, after a little bit of talking and introducing who we were and what we do, she invited us to enter her house. She ended up being super friendly and funny. We will be meeting with her tomorrow to begin her lessons.

Yesterday, Marisol and her husband Javier came to church. We were really excited. Although it was kind of rough throughout the services because our members love to greet our investigators and preach to them "The Gospel" and we had to correct some of the things the members told them, they really enjoyed the meetings and even though they had only planned to stay for the first hour, they stayed for all 3. They seemed so happy when they left that I was so glad that they came.

                                                              My Mission Family

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

And Behold, It Came To Pass...That He Was Baptized

Martin was baptized yesterday! It was so awesome, the room was packed, so many people from the ward came to see our little 10 year old get baptized. Most importantly his aunt and uncle came to watch. We had been trying for almost 3 months to get their permission and the week before they signed the baptism registry and yesterday he entered the water. His poor primary teacher who baptized him was so super nervous that he had to say the prayer 4 or 5 times and baptize Martin 2 or 3 times before he finally got it right. However it was so beautiful to see Martin in his white and everyone there that went out of their way to get everyone together, get the primary together to sing, and make the refreshments for afterwards. We have to wait until next week for him to be confirmed a member of the church and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost but I'm so excited that he made the first step! :D

Finding new investigators in this part of the city of Puebla is surprisingly difficult, however we received a reference from the offices of the Church and she is amazing! I felt a little bad, because in the area of getting new investigators I'm pretty pessimistic. Usually we find one and after the first visit we can't find them, or they don't have time, or they just never progress. To start teaching someone with the hope that they'll get baptized is pretty hard for me. However, this woman is amazing. I keep waiting for a catch or something to happen that confirms my worries. Her name is Marisol, she's a believer in God and openly accepts what we teach her. We were talking about prophets and their importance and as I mentioned that we've had prophets since the beginning of time she interrupted me to say something like, "Ya know what, I was thinking about that and it's totally true. We've had prophets since the beginning and so it would make sense that we would have one now, no? I believe that there's a prophet now, I just don't know him yet." My companion and I were in shock. Every principle that we shared from the first lesson she accepted and confirmed that she new it was true. 
Her husband has a Book of Mormon and just loves it and her son's dream has always been to enter our chapel. Her daughter is amazingly sweet and they all have experiences that have helped them be prepared for the Gospel. My companion and I both felt like we should invite her to be baptized but we didn't do it. I know that I didn't do it because I was worried she'd say no but everyone that we talk to about her asks us if we've invited her to be baptized and when we say no they all freak out like, "What?! Are you kidding me?! She's golden!" Yes, yes, we know. We're planning on doing it when we have our next lesson with her. 

Yesterday we visited some members for the last time because they'll be splitting our area for the elders that are coming tomorrow. We were with a Sister who's been sick and her son and daughter had been cleaning out a junk closet and her son walked in and handed my companion something. I thought it was a bean bag but then my companion asked me if I wanted to receive my official welcome to Mexico and become a Mexican. I was concerned and figured I was going to get very very dirty. She then broke an confetti egg over my head and confetti went EVERYWHERE. o.o However, I am officially a Mexican! :D I guess that now when people ask me where I'm from I can just say, "Mexico". :D

Loved Listening to Conference in English :)

I don't have much time so I´ll just say a few things

My favorite parts of Conference...

Ëvery member, is an individual is a critical element in the body of the church.
--Boyd K Packer

Which way do you face?
Lowering the standards of the Church to match the standards of the world is...APOSTACY
Lynn G Robbins

God will not save us as we are and will not make us something we do not choose to become.
The Atonement opens the door to the person we can become.
Freedom does not come from RESISTING it but from APPLYING it.
D Todd Christoffersen

God cares about you. He will listen to your prayers. He will answer. He is answering. You just need to learn how to listen to His voice.
Our ability to understand and see change dramatically when we are constantly trying to understand and see more.
If you do your part, ith will come and IT WILL BE GLORIOUS,
Pres. Dieter F Utchdorf

Although we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable.
Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting.
Dallin H Oaks

We do not discard that which we KNOW to be TRUE because of something we do not yet UNDERSTAND.
Neil A Anderson

They did not have the church in their community but they did have the Church in their HOME.
The Lord never gives us a responsibility without the promise of DIVINE HELP.
Tad R Callister

Follow me. Walk with Me. Come Unto Me. Are not passive invitations, they are invitations of ACTION.
Make the decision today to do and say, ¨Yes Lord, I will follow thee.¨
Edvard Gavarret

¨That they might not suffer¨-- Language God uses when He means business.
Rich or Poor, we are to do what we can with what we have.
May we do whatever we can with what we have to deliver those who have been held captive by the poverty that destroys so many of their dreams.
Jeffrey R Holland

Women who make a house a home make a far grander contribution to te world than any other successful individual.
Fathers are the greatest example of faithful service.
Which is more important...prayers or fruit?
L Tom Perry

Continuing relevant comes to lift the children of God above their own abilities.
Henry B Eyring

Decisions determine Destiny
Walk AS Jesus walked.
Place Christ in the Center of you life. Nothing else, no other choice we can make will make us what He can.
The Faithful BEAT A PATH to partake of the Lord´s Light.

Presidnt Thomas S Monson

A Week of Lessons

The brother of one of our recent converts has wanted nothing to do with us in the past but since we started this transfer he has started listening to us. It took about 5 tries and appointments to finally be able to visit with him but he seems to be really interested. Especially because he has told us that he didn't want to listen to us before because he couldn't guarantee that he could keep his commitments to read and pray, however, he has taken the decision to really give the whole "Mormon" thing a shot.

Although it seems that nothing has changed in our area and with our investigators, I can't help but feel very changed. 

Over the last couple of weeks, well ever since I became a trainer, I began to feel like I was an awful missionary and just would not be able to complete everything I had to do in one day. I disliked Sundays because I had to report the numbers and when I counted them all up, all I could think was, "What did we even do this week? Why are this numbers so awful?" I felt like a failure of a missionary and I felt very stuck not knowing what to do. 

After having a Sunday and Monday of just feeling bad, I decided to talk to my mission president. We had a really good talk. He helped me see that I was trying to control things that were totally out of my control (like the numbers and if we get new people to teach) and that I really was a decent missionary, I just had to let myself see it. That Satan would love for me (and all of us) to feel like I wasn't worth anything. I felt so much better after the talk and this Sunday was actually really good. The numbers didn't get better and it was pretty much all the same but I felt good. I felt the Spirit and love of my Father in Heaven and was happy enough to have a harina (flour) fight with my companion. :)

The Relief Society General Conference was amazing. We got to watch it (the Americans) in English and there were two things that just really stood out to me  "Never Stop Your Steps Towards the Temple" and "God loves you TODAY and ALWAYS." --Pres. Utchdorf. I hope you all got to listen to it or watch it. It was amazing. I felt like Pres. Utchdorf's talk really spoke to me and was what I really needed. I can't wait for General Conference this weekend! It really is like the SuperBowl for missionaries, especially because I get to watch it in my native language!! Yay! :D

Another lesson that I learned this week was something that I've always been told but never really hit home until yesterday. As a missionary, and as a member, when someone tells your their situation, problems, or worries, if you don't have anything or know what to say ALWAYS bear your testimony. We have a member who has really had a rough 3 months and has become rather angry with God and all those around her. However, after the Arellanos talked to her, we got the chance and although I knew I couldn't offer any kind of advice or comfort, I knew that there was only one thing I could do, Testify that Jesus Christ was her Savior and of His love for her. I promised that he was always near and when she was ready to set aside her anger, fear, and doubts, she would feel it. She ended saying the closing prayer and it was beautiful. She asked for help, comfort for her family, and forgiveness. It was a wonderful reminded that when you don't know what to say....testify. =)

6 Months!!

Thursday we had our Zone Conference. It was positively awesome! We talked about the condition of our hearts and practiced later how to teach with more power to those who have a lot of doubts. My companion and I both felt like the conference had been prepared especially for us and our investigators. We haven't gotten the chance to put our newly learned skills to the test but we're looking forward to the first chance we'll get.
Also, I got to meet two other of the tallest girls in the mission at the conference. We couldn't help it, we had to take a picture. =)
Naim was baptized! :D I know I was super excited too. :D His mom and sister were both baptized about a month or two ago and he wasn't open at all to the gospel. However, after the baptism of his mom, he finally decided to open up and was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. I'm super excited for him and this step he has taken.

We finally received permission to baptize Martin. He's our 10 year old who has had problems with lying, stealing, and drinking coffee in the past but he's progressed so much and we finally obtained permission to get him in the water. He's accepted the baptism date of October the 11th. 

Also, the volcano erupted a little so I got super excited. :D

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy Independance Day Mexico!!!

This week was definitely an interesting one.

We taught Martin about the 10 commandments again and he was super funny. He absolutely loves my companion and is super excited during all of our lessons. We were positively dying laughing after he took so well to the idea of adultery. He had no idea what it was so we tried to explain it in the simplest way possible. With him, his future wife and his future family, all within a heart of love. We explained that if his future wife leaves with another man while he and his wife are still married, that is adultery. "Oh, when she goes with another man and breaks my heart and rejects me." .....I practically died. Not only because of what he said but because he said it with such enthusiasm. We then had to explain that also, if he left his wife for another woman, that is adultery. He asked if his wife could go with another man and he could go with another woman while they were married and that would be okay. Of course we said no. We think he really liked the idea because when we finally were able to move on to the next commandment, he kept moving back to the idea of his wife rejecting him and breaking his heart and leaving him for another man. "And we're fighting with other people and we reject each other and break each other's heart" Finally he decided that it would be best if he had both his wife and his girlfriend. We then had to explain again that that was wrong and that when he has a wife, she should be the only woman in his life until they had little Martinitos and Martinitas. Then he decided that it would be best if he kept his wife with his children and his would-be girlfriend and his wife's would-be boyfriend got together. I was dying, it was just so cute. I'm so glad he made that decision early on in life.

Naim is going to be baptized this next Saturday...we hope.  We took him to a baptism service on Saturday and the entire time I was praying that he would feel something. He said that he felt a lot of peace :)

This week I gave Imer's parents their hymn books that you sent and they absolutely loved them! They kept touching them and told me how grateful they were and that they're going to start walking around like little kids with a new toy. 

I learned this week how amazing and quick the pride cycle is that they teach in seminary. Generally, those in the scriptures go through it in a matter of years. Thank goodness I only went through it in a week and hope to never go through it again. I invite you all to study up on the Grace of God. It's truly amazing and a wonderful blessing.


Trying to get warm after a really big rain storm.  We were drenched when we showed up for our lunch appt. and the member insisted on drying my clothes, so she gave me something to wear while we waited

                                                            Me and my new companion

                                                                  Ferris Wheel Ride
                                                   View of the City from the Ferris Wheel

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First of September! :D

This week has been a little crazy. I feel like it all went by in a blur.

On Wednesday, we had the pleasure of contacting a reference from our zone leader. She was very friendly and kind. She had been visited by the missionaries before quite a few years back. When she told us that they had only come 3 times, my companion and I felt a little bad trying to think of why they had stopped visiting her, maybe because of transfers and they both left or they missed their appointment and never took the time to come back? We didn't know....until about 5 minutes later. This woman is very very catholic and likes to Bible Bash. Of course we didn't bash back but oh my goodness. I sat and listened to her tell us that we needed to look through the eyes of God and not through the eyes of men and see that every person has the original sin (meaning we're all responsible for the transgression of Adam) and that we needed to realize that our Book of Mormon was full of errors when compared to the Bible and on and on. Man, was I ready to get out of there when we finally got to leave. My companion was a little angry and I was just a little frightened. Especially because my companion set another appointment with her! O.O Our next appointment is on Wednesday and I have no idea why my companion decided that it would be a good idea to return. Not that she has to worry though, seeing as how she has transfers.

Also on Wednesday, we found out that I'm going to be a trainer! O.O Talk about excited and terrified at the same time. Excited because the Lord and the President think I'm ready to train someone new and terrified because I don't think I'm ready at all. =P 

We had intercambios (exchanges) this week and it was awesome! I was in Amalucan with Hermana Martinez who is just the most lovely and kind person ever. I didn't want to leave her area or her. She was so encouraging and loving that I felt like I could do anything. :D 

We had the opportunity to do a lot of service on Saturday. We visited a less active member who broke a bone in her right arm and now only has one hand that works. We helped her fold her clothes and wash her dishes. It was great to finally get to do some service. Then we visited one of our investigators that has a water purifying business. She was alone and so we decided to help her with her work of fill up bottles and bottles of water and sealing them so that they can sell them. It was alot of fun and very very wet. =P

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

This week has been an exciting one. 

Our little Martin has become quite the problem. He's always had a problem with stealing and lying but it seems this week it escalated. He stole money from the restaurant where he works for 10 hours a day and later stole a phone out of the purse of one of the other employees. His baptism date officially fell and we have no idea what to do. How can you help a young boy who either doesn't understand the principles or has no desire to change? Yeah, we're not sure either. However, on the bright side, he has officially given up coffee. =) So that's a perk.
Actually, like Martin, we had 4 other dates set for the 30h of August and every single one fell through. Sabino and Alma, the parents of a recent convert, have to be married before they can be baptized. The problem is that Sabino is still married to another woman and definitely won't be divorced before next Saturday. They are both so excited about the gospel and to be baptized. We don't know how long it will take before they can enter the waters of baptism but we have no doubt that one day they will. The only thing that worries us is that they will become disheartened and lose their excitement. We're going to keep working with them though and continue to pray for their testimonies to stay strong.
Naim, the son of a recent convert, had his date fall through because he drank coffee the day after we talked about the Word of Wisdom and he had committed to keep it. We're pretty sure he had no idea how serious we were about it until we told him that he couldn't be baptized on Saturday. However, we're hoping he understands now just how important his commitments to live the commandments are, and that they're not to us but to the Lord. At least, that's what we tried to explain.
On Saturday we had an interesting experience when I tried to turn Lesson 3 from PMG (Preach My Gospel) into a science experiment. Lesson 3 is about faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. I used a boiled egg and drew a face on him. He was named Senor Huevo. He has always had lots of faith and has always wanted to enter the Kingdom of God (Wine Bottle borrowed from recent convert who was visited earlier in the day) and although he did some things wrong he repented, lost his hard outside shell, and was baptized. However, with all that he still needed to be baptized by fire (match and rubbing alcohol meant to suck him into the Kingdom of God), however, he was baptized with a large spurt of fire and although the Kingdom of God was trying very hard to suck him in, he was still too fat to be sucked into the Kingdom and just sat there, unimpressively. He obvious did not endure to the end.
I had tried it earlier with a regular coke bottle and 1. the opening also was too small and 2. he decided to exploded because his guardian angel (hermana Parslow) tried to put him into the Kingdom of God too early. When the match and alcohol become friends, Senor Huevo the First was no more. It really startled my companion and made her a little worried for our lesson, especially since we were then using a bottle that once held alcohol. Not gonna lie, I was a little concerned also that the bottle was going to burst however, it was just a small pillar of flame that startled everyone else.
After that lesson, which was the shortest lesson we've had with them, we ran out into the rain to catch a bus ride home. Two buses that we could have taken refused to stop when we tried to flag them down. We stood, waiting in the rain, praying for a bus and resisting the call of nature. Finally a bus passed and stopped. We agreed to contact the bus. My companion gave her introduction and it went really well. We began to contact the people on the bus by passing for each person. I was in the middle of waiting while someone wrote down their address when my companion decided to get of the bus. We watched in surprise at each other (I was surprised because she had gotten off and she was surprised that I had not left the bus with her) as the bus continued to move with her outside and me still on it. I finished the contact, got off the bus, and began sprinting for my companion. We met up in the street having both ran to the other and hugged. Then, we laughed....a lot. 

What an exciting week. =)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

August 18, 2014

Wow, tomorrow I complete 5 months in my mission. Once again, I'm stuck thinking..."Huh, only 5 months." and "What in the world happened to those 5 months?"

This week has definitely been an interesting one. 
We had a FHE with Imer and his family. He had said that he wanted to have one and had a class and activity in mind but wasn't sure how a FHE worked so he invited us to join them. It was first. When it was Imer's turn to give the class he talked about the family and their responsibilities. He totally flattened everyone out, basically telling them that they weren't even close to fulfilling their family responsibilities. It didn't help that just about all of it was aimed at his older brother who likes his alcohol and has told us that when he's ready, he'll listen to our message. By the time we started the activity of writing down the bad things about us and preparing ourselves to ask for forgiveness from everyone in the family, his brother decided that it would be a perfect time to leave. My companion and I will be having another FHE with them tonight and have decided to focus on love within the family.

Our mission received it's second pair of senior missionaries and they are fantastic! I positively adore this couple. They're from Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico which is in the north, and are Elder and Sister Arellano. Elder Arellano is positively hilarious and loves his jokes and thoroughly enjoys combining his love of humor with his love of the gospel. The first day we met, on Tuesday, he started telling me that once his ancestors were beautiful like me, fair with light eyes. However, in the land with his beautiful ancestors were ugly people, with dark skin and bad attitudes. Thoroughout time, the uglies fought with the pretty people and eventually killed them all. However, there is a promise that one day, when the uglies accept Christ as their Savior, it would not be many generations before they became beautiful again. He told me, "That is the hope that I hold onto." XD He's hilarious and although he's only been here a week, I've learned so much from him, for example, he explained that the reason why we have the greater sin when we don't forgive someone is because we have put ourselves in the place of God, claiming that we have the authority to forgive sins. I know, I was a little shocked too.
His wife is wonderful too. She's super sweet and is just so ready to work. She reaches out to everyone that she sees. She's an ex-missionary who served in Northern Mexico when it was just one mission. She loves to join us when we contact in the street but hasn't quite figured out how to do so yet. We'll be walking in front of her and her husband while we're teaching about the area and introducing them to members and when we stop to contact someone, her husband will keep walking but she'll stop and join us to listen to the person we're contacting. It's funny but a little uncomfortable for the person we're contacting because it adds additional pressure to them when people start adding the to crazy group that wants to help save their soul. 
On Wednesday, we had a zone meeting. The whole mission is focusing more on contacting people in the street. However, our zone is focusing not only on contacting people in the street but also on the bus....the whole bus.
How do you contact a whole bus? Well, you get on the bus with your companion, ask the bus driver's permission to share something with the people on the bus and usually they say yes, then your companion goes to the back and you stand at the front of the bus, trying to maintain your balance while holding a Book of Mormon in your hand and testifying of it's truthfulness. Then you and your companion pass by each person and ask if you can share more of this message with them and their family. It's pretty intense. Just about every time I've done it, I just feel this power and authority deep within me as I testify of the Book of Mormon. There's a strange confidence that comes from holding high a Book of Mormon. Without that confidence, I don't think that I could stand in front of 25 people I don't know and declare who I am and why the Gospel is important. Although, most of the time, we'll only get 1 address, I have to remind myself that maybe that one person is prepared for the Gospel and if we hadn't of planted our feet on the bus and shared the Gospel, they could have waited for a long time before they got the chance to hear it.
We've been struggling a little trying to teach our 10 year old orphan Martin. He wouldn't really pay attention during lessons and my companion and I would get a little frustrated because he didn't understand what we were trying to teach. It's wasn't until this week while I was asking for help from the Lord to know how we could help Martin that I realized that the problem was with Martin but with us. We were trying to teach him like a teenager instead of the 10 year old child he is. I started asking around for advice on how to teach kids and got some awesome advice from my zone leader and my MTC companion. We decided to introduce him to Captain Moroni. We asked if he wanted to be like Moroni. With the most excitement that I've seen in him yet, he said yes. As we explained things we would tell him of how it would help protect him and help him become like Captain Moroni. Then, when he accepted a commitment to follow a commandment, he would get to draw a piece of armor on his Capitan Martin self that we had him draw. It's turned out to be quite effective.
We have a new investigator named Valeria. She's from the south mission and we got permission to teach her in her house. We went to find her yesterday for our appointment and just got lost. Luckily, we saw some elders down the street and started chasing them down. They were confused why we were in the wrong mission but luckily, they had taught Valeria before and knew exactly where she lived.

We talked in church on Sunday. It was quite interesting because my companion just flattened everyone out. It was subtle and without anger but I'm pretty sure that everyone felt it, mainly because they told me. My companion said that I was a little more loving than she was and thank goodness the Arellanos spoke after us because otherwise I don't think the ward would have been too happy.
It feels like things are just running and everything is just a blur sometimes but I'm so excited for this week and can't wait to see how the Lord is going to bless these people we are teaching.