Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 23, 2014

So I learned a great lesson today as I was trying to think of what I was going to write to everyone today. The lesson is...write in your journal every day. It's important because I can hardly remember what happened this week. However, I'm going to do my best.

This last week we had one of those lessons when you just teach and say everything that the Spirit tells you to teach and say, and you walk out of the lesson going, "Wow, did that just happen?" The lesson was with two of our investigators Jordy and Angeles. They're boyfriend and girlfriend, and have a little girl name Romina, who actually just turned 1, and they have lots of problems. Especially Jordy, he's likes everything that we're asked not to do regarding the Word of Wisdom. We had originally gone to their house to teach Angeles and had planned on teaching them about baptism but when Jordy got home , the Spirit guided us into a lesson about the Word of Wisdom. (Looking back, we actually taught about the Word of Wisdom more than anything else this week) He really wasn't all that interested in changing and was acting like "whatever comes, comes and someone could do bad things, work hard for his family, and does not have to change" attitude until my companion said something really profound that caused his whole demeanor to change. I can't tell you exactly what it was but it really hit home in the manner of, "The next time you're faced with temptation, with your favorite sin, think to yourself, 'Is my life worth giving into this temptation? If I had to choose, would I choose my family, my daughter, or this thing that's bad and I know it is bad?'" I'm reminded of the quote, "Don't give up your eternal happiness for a moment of pleasure."
This week, my companion and I were looking at our money supply and trying to figure out how we were going to pay for everything we had to do, for all of the transportation to our meetings and my companion's doctor appointments, the food we needed to buy on Monday, and really just how we were going to stretch everything until the end of the month, at that point it was two weeks. We were both really concerned and unsure how we were going to do it. We prayed and prayed both personally and together that we would have enough money to make it until the end of the month. I was also praying that my reimbursements had gone through because there was no way we were going to make it without that.And things kept coming up that made us become even more concerned. Then, on Saturday, we checked my card and my reimbursements went through! Not only that but members offered us rides to our Stake Conference we had, and I found 100 pesos in my wallet that I swear I had used. Money kept appearing and we now have more than we need to make sure we get to the end of the month. Oh how the Lord loves His missionaries.
I met another American this week, well he's Mexican but he lived in America for a long time. Yesterday, we were heading home because my companion was getting really sick and as we were walking down the street, we passed two people, a young man and an older woman. The Spirit whispered, "Contact them. Contact them." I don't know if I would have let the moment pass but as we passed them the man said, "Hey girl!" My first thought was 'Oh no, he's going to hit on me. I don't know if I can take another man hitting on me today.' I said hello in Spanish and he asked, "Do you speak English?" I said that I did and asked if he did also. I know it's kinda obvious that he did but you never know how well people can speak English cause everyone tries to speak it when they see an American. As it turned out, he was from Long Beach, California. He had a wife and two kids back there but couldn't get back because he didn't have his papers. His mother had lived there with him and she was the older woman with him. He asked, "Are you Mormon?" With surprise I said that I was and introduced myself as a missionary of our Church. He said, "Oh, I felt so blessed to have had the Mormons at my house in California." His mother told us that they really liked the Mormons and that her son had even been to church with them a couple of times. We ended up talking to them more and swapped numbers because they were still new to the area and didn't know their address yet. I really hope we're going to end up teaching them. You could just feel how much they need the Gospel.
It positively amazes me how the Lord puts us in the path of others when we least expect i!
Also, this week we had La Comida (food) with one of my favorite families, the family of Mary Carmen. She was kind of my first mom when I got out here. (Now, for everyone who doesn't know, right now is the World Cup and everyone is watching it. This morning we were walking to the Frutaria and every house we passed you could hear the announcers for the World Cup.) The day we were over for lunch, Mexico was playing and so nothing was going to happen until after the game. After calming Dana down because I had given her and Siyun each a CTR ring and Dana had lost her's at school that day, I played with Siyun and Dana while the rest watched the game. Siyun is Mary Carmen's daughter and Dana is her cousin. First we played "Roca, papel, tijerras" (Rock, paper, scissors) in a very creative way and another game where they would chant something and after saying something about the face of their Uncle Julio we would all have to freeze. The first person to move..lost. 
After a while they got bored with the games and decided to become missionaries. They borrowed my name tag, my companion's, and our backpacks and headed out the door. Considering they had just stolen our identities, we followed them. They walked down the street, around the corner, and knocked on someones gate. From the end of the street where we were we could hear them saying, "Hi, we're missionaries." I looked at my companion and upon seeing her concerned look, I started busted up laughing. Naturally, I made sure to take some pictures of our "Misionaras chiquitas".

 Funny side note, Mexico is playing right now in the World Cup and just made two goals in less than 5 minutes, everyone in the Internet Cafe was going CRAZY! With the exception of my companion and I, of course. =)

 I also have been making sure to give out the stickers and taking pictures of those that I've been giving them to, first there's Pamela, the daughter of one of our member
families, she was really camera shy and I could hardly get a photo of her. =) The other is Soy, she's the daughter of one of our part member families that we found while contacting in the street. She loved the camera...and the stickers...A LOT. =)


The young man is Joseph. He's one of our less actives that we're been working with a lot. We gave him a CTR ring to help him remember the decision he's made to turn his life around and, because he's learning English, we gave him a Book of Mormon in English with the promise that if he reads the whole thing out loud, when he finishes he'll be able to understand and speak it. It's actually a really cool promise that my companion and I have been putting to the test in our respective languages. Let me tell ya, I am never more prepared and better able to speak to others in Spanish than when I've read the Book of Mormon in my language studies.

I have my first Zone Conference this week on Thursday. I'm super excited! I'll make sure to tell you all about it next week. =)

June 16, 2014

To my awesome sister Cortney -- AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS CORTNEY AND CLINT!!!!!!!!  :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D PARTY! PARTY!  :D Man, I was so excited that I was bouncing in my seat and made my companion look! :P That's fantastic! Oh! I'm so excited for you two! Especially cause I'll be there at the wedding right? ;) Right? o.o I can't wait to hear all the details! Oh my goodness, I'm just so excited!! XD
For all ya'll non-looped personas out there my sister Cortney is ENGAGED! Yup engaged! :D I hope you're all feeling as excited as I am because we've been waiting for what feels like forever for this proposal! Way to be Clint! ;D

Okay, breathe breathe. Okay, this week. :D

So on Monday we had our last zone activity of volleyball and expensive meat that we all pitched in to buy. =) It was our last because Cambios (transfers) were on Tuesday and because the Area 70 for Mexico has officially declared no more missionary activities of more than 4 missionaries and no activities of elders and sisters. Sad, I know. =/ We all had to come to terms with it too but it's for our safety so we'll all do our best to follow it. =)

Tuesday was cambios and they're held in a Chapel in Capu. There were so many missionaries! However, it was awesome to see just about all of my Hermanas again, even if it was totally a surprise. =)
Mom, we actually have a lot of really tall Elders in my mission. My old district leader included. Oh, and yeah, I totally did my best to photo bomb the pictures of the new companionships. ;)
Speaking of Elders going home, there were about 7 or 8 that left this transfer including the nephew of Elder Bednar. Apparently he tried to jump over a puddle and something happened that made him rupture two discs in his back. I know, everyone's saying it was quite the freak accident.

There was an elder named Elder Stone that gave us a surprise call on Wednesday night. He finished his mission and was touring his mission with his family who had come to pick them up. He asked us to take his two little sisters out with us for the evening on Thursday. Of course we said yes. I was super excited and my companion was really kinda nervous. She told me, "We're going to get kidnapped." Why? you may ask. I asked the same thing. "Because Elder Stone is guerro and so his sisters are probably guerras and I'm going to be walking around Mexico with 3 guerras....we're going to get kidnapped." (Guerro/Guerra means white person...basically, usually with light or blonde hair...so...me ;) It's actually my second name here...I'll tell you more about that later. =P ) For all who are wondering, we didn't get kidnapped. Actually, we was a really great evening. We had a wonderful lesson with our newest investigator Nellie, her LDS friend Leilani, and our less active member Joseph who we convinced to come along and who shared a wonderful testimony. =) 

Then...we got DRENCHED. The poor girls. We got hit but a really strong rainstorm that soaked us in minutes. The roads were so flooded that the water was overflowing onto the sidewalks. We made sure to take a picture of all of us when we got back to the house.  The sister on the left is Sophie, she's 12 and her sister is on the right, her name is Caroline, she's 18. They were both super sweet and fun. They seemed to love every minute of being soaked and seemed to really enjoy the evening. We did too. We sang "Sweet Caroline" aaaaallll night. It was so stuck in our heads. =) 

On Tuesday I learned a very valuable lesson about how the people here in Mexico are so giving that you have to be careful what you say and how you ask questions.
Example numero 1: We ate dinner really late after Cambios with Hermana Georgina. She's a wonderfully sweet member who's just a little crazy. The first time we ate with her, she googled a Columbian dish to make for my companion's sake. This time she made homemade Mac & Cheese, Hamburgers, and french fries. It was super delicious even though my companion and I got sick from the hamburgers. That's okay, it was the thought that counts. I made sure to praise her cooking everytime I tried one of the foods and did my best too look like I felt right at home....Italics? What just happened? o.O Anyway, I asked her where I could buy Bolis. They're homemade icecream of all flavors in little baggies. They're addictive and positively delicious and only 5 pesos. What? I know! :D She then asked me if I wanted one and before I could respond and without waiting for a reply, she sent her son to buy us some. Oops. I was very careful the next time I asked where to buy bolis

Example numero 2: We visited one of our less active families that I absolutely love. We walked into their house, happy to be out of the rain, and talked for a little while. I saw a blanket hanging up and was reminded that I needed to buy one. So I pointed to the blanket, asked the Sister what you call it in Spanish, and said, "Ah, do you know where I could buy one and how much they are?"  Mistake numero 1. She asked why and I explained that I wanted to buy one to take with me throughout my mission because it gets cold at night. Mistake numero 2. She then gave me one of her warm blankets. I tried to refuse but after two tries I just gave in. She asked why I was so shy about it and I explained that I'm just not used to all the kindness here. I didn't say it but honestly, had I been in America, they probably would have told me where I could buy one and how much it was. Maybe they would have asked if I needed one that they could give but I could have easily said that it's alright, I can just buy one. All and all, it's a super warm blanket. I asked my companion when I should return it to the member and she said that it was a gift. Uh-oh. I actually almost cried. It just melts your heart how much everyone wants to help you. The people do that here. They're all just so amazing. =) 

On Friday, I got to witness a tender mercy, well one of many. We had a lesson that was being held by our mission president that we can bring our investigators to. We had invited Nellie but she didn't seem keen on going. We were hoping her friend Leilani would drag her into it but when we showed up to pick them up Leilani was visiting her family on the otherside of the state of Puebla. I was a little bummed as things started turning out that she wouldn't be able to make it. Not to mention she had a friend over...I'm pretty sure he's her boyfriend but considering they're not as touchy-feely as everyone else here it was hard to tell...o.O...and I just knew she wouldn't be coming. We were let into her house and introduced ourselves to her friend, Julio I believe. My companion explained that we had a thing that night that we wanted to take Nellie to and invited him to come. He totally accepted! They both came with us and seemed to really like the lesson. It was perfect that it was the Restoration too. Then there were Cosco Cookies. COSCO COOKIES!!! Aw man, it was like heaven. Our investigator and her boyfriend were with us and we had Cosco Cookies. Yup...it was awesome. =)

I was officially given a new name on Saturday. We were in the hospital most of the day because my companion was having surgery on her nose so that she could breathe and so I hung out with Hermana Georgina most of the day in the hospital room. The entire time, I was being referred to as "The Guerra".  By the end of the day I was ready to say, "The Guerra has a name! It's Hermana Parslow."...Okay well, Hermana Parrsshlow. =) Instead I just said that I'm Hermana Guerra and that's what she calls me now. Apparently I'm The Guerra when the members talk about us with each other. Hermana Manjarres and the Guerra. Goodness. 

Oh, Mom, yeah they celebrate Father's Day here. Speaking of which, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY DAD!!!!! :D:D:D

Don't worry mom, we have food. =) I probably look like that because I've been trying to do Insanity. That killer work out that Candace and Andrew were doing. Man, I was sore for days! But hey, if it's working! ;)

Thank you so much for taking care of my blessing and for sending it to me. =)

Oh and just so everyone knows...Lexi killed my fish...well one of them. ;)

I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week!