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