Tuesday, January 27, 2015

End of January...Where has this month gone??!!

This week was a week of traveling. 

First, we had companion exchanges. My companion went to Tlaxcala with her MTC companion (Now our sister training leader) and I stayed with Hermana Ibarra. Man, is she just the contacting queen! I learned a lot from her during that time and it was a good time to catch up a little bit and talk about the experiences we have had during our last 10 months in the mission field. We then did quite a bit of traveling to get our companions back and when Hermana Vazquez and I finally got back to our area, we had to go back to house to get the phone that I had forgotten in the house and were late to our district meeting. It also just so happened that our Zone leaders were there. Oops! They hardly ever get the chance to come out because we're about 2 hours away from them, so it's a rare occasion and....we were late for it. =P However, it was a good meeting so it wasn't too bad. =)

We also had interviews with President this week.  We talked about obedience and the four things he focused on during our zone conferences; Safety, Urgency, Informality, and Flirting. It's always a little nerve racking to have "alone time" with the President but I always walk out feeling refreshed and ready to work. Also, we talked to Hermana Christensen about the "My Family" pamphlets that they have asked us to begin to fill out and use. Speaking of which I'm issuing a "Selfie" Call to the family! I need pictures of my wonderful family to put on my pamphlet. Also, mom, I don't know if you have the most recent pictures of my sisters and I together. Or my sisters together? I would take them from Facebook but....I'm kinda not allowed to get on it. ;) 

Last Monday we learned how to make hand-made hawaiian pizzas from our ward mission leader. They were sooooooooooooooo good! Today, we learned how to make churros. I didn't learn to much how to make the batter because I was looking at all of the pictures that his wife was showing me of them and their life together. It was super cute. She also showed me all of the little cards that her husband has made for her during their 6+ years together. There's a lot that young men could learn from our ward mission leader. =P 

My companion and I had the wonderful experience of taking a talk given in General Conference this last October and using it to teach not only the less active family we visited but also those members that accompanied us. It was "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence" and we had prayfully prepared which parts the members were going to share and how they were going to do so. It went really well and the members received answers to problems they had mentioned to us previously as they explained which was more than we had expected. It was great being able to walk out of the lesson feeling that everyone (including us) had benefitted from the lesson. 

Today, we have officially abandoned our house for a few days to let all the little fleas die that have been eating us the last few weeks. A few of the sisters from the ward came over to help us spray everything down and get a good cough attack from the spray. Hopefully everything will die so that when we move back in we will no longer be eaten in our sleep. =P 

Shout out to the CopperHills 6th Ward! Thank you so much for the pillowcase and the letter. It was a wonderful surprise to receive it! :)

I'm still getting green envelopes. Not sure how many have still yet to come but the other sister missionaries have been teasing me for almost constantly receiving them...Thanks to all those who sent me Christmas letters, I have really enjoyed them!!


Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12, 2015

This week was surprisingly very very long. =P 

This week we had transfers and so we said goodbye to Hermana Adam who is now a Sister Training Leader (Hermana Capacitadora (HC for Short)). She is going to be amazing! I wanted to thank you mom for sending me the Nashville Tribute cd. We made a copy of it for Hna Adam on Christmas and she absolutely loved it! She said that she had been passing through a rough moment in her mission and that the songs helped give her a second wind to keep moving forward. =)

We ended up going on a surprise trip to Puebla City so that my companion could stay in the country...she had to do some things for her visa. We ended up running into her MTC companion who's also an HC and her new companion, who is....drum roll please........rrrrrrrrrr.....Hermana Ibarra! My wonderful MTC companion! And even better, they're our HC's and so we'll be doing exchanges with them and everything. We are so excited! It was the weirdest thing to hear her voice coming out of the phone when she called to check in on us but I'm so proud of her for being such a wonderful missionary that the Lord has called her to help others be just as great. =)

As to the King' day. It's really kinda a late Christmas. Santa doesn't really exist here, mostly because no one can afford two Christmas's. =P However, from what I've been told, On Christmas, Santa brings clothes for the new school semester that's going to start and the 3 Wise Men bring toys to play with. Last Monday, the center of town was filled with stands selling toys, clothes, and other assorted treasures. People came from all around to pick up what the Kings would bring to their children so it was super crowded and lots and lots of fun to see.

Josè Abel is still going strong. We've reviewed the baptismal quesitons and he's perfectly ready! Truly, the revision of baptismal questions is a little worrisome for me beause we don't talk about every, single detail in the questions (ex. Abortion) and so if the investigator has not been very open with us and we find out that they have a serious problem with something, it's possible that the whole baptism has to be canceled. However, he's ready and will be baptized on Saturday. He's really excited and so are we. He's so amazing. He told us yesterday that he's been taking everything so slow because he doesn't want to go inactive in the church after we leave, which is amazing. It's positively sad how a lot of the Less active members that we have here went inactive less than a month after their baptism. However, I thoroughly don't believe that that will happen to him. He's so excited to receive the Priesthood and go to the temple to do the work for his mother who passed away and other's in his family who are on the other side. I'm just so excited for him!
Funny thing, the other day we ran into more Jehovah's witnesses. They're everywhere! They were two teenage girls who positively refused to accept a card and then when we finally decided to give up trying to get them to listen, they gave us their webpage to visit and of course I did the same. It was priceless to see their faces when I told them we were the Mormons! Okay, yeah, I'm done. They are quite an interesting lot.

I have been having the experience of late of being almost constantly chastised by the Lord and I think the most surprising part is that I'm absolutely enjoying it. It really comforts me to know that He is willing to remind me of the little things that I do wrong or that I can do better so that I can become the best that I can at this time. My most recent reminder was yesterday. While my companion and I were walking home at the end of the day, we got the usual attention from the men in the street. However, one young man that was in his car kept driving slowly to say many things, that although were compliments, were said in a very very disrespectful kind of way. Usually the men just say one thing or whistle and that's it, however, this young man's persistence annoyed me greatly. When he was finally driving away, I retorted under my breath, very irritated. As I reflected on that moment, I looked for justifications as to being annoyed with the young man. For example, "It was so disrespectful!" "Does he know who I am?" "I have every right to be angry with him, what right does he have to say such things?!" "Doesn't he know that I'm a representative of Jesus Christ?!"
However, as I thought this to myself I saw in my mind the moment when our Savior was before the Pharisees and how they abused him verbally, physically, and unjustly. I then saw how he just stood there and took it. Not angry, or irritated, but simply calm. He loved them anyway. Despite everything that they did, he took it because he loved them and us. 

I was then reminded of the title I bear of Representative of Jesus Christ. Yes, the cat calls and wolf whistles and random phrases in English that I would rather not  hear are very irritating at times and make me feel rather frustrated with them, however, it's rather harmless. Just as the sister missionaries that received a one-sided food fight that were mentioned by Jeffery R Holland, the best thing to usually do is just keep walking. Saying nothing more than "Buenas Tardes" if anything at all. 
I'm very grateful for every moment that the Lord reminds me of things I need to change and for the strength He gives me to change and be better. 


Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Happy Day of The Kings January 6th!!!  
This was a long but good week.

José Abel is still continuing to progress rapidly and is still on track for his baptismal date on the 17th of January. This last week he really began to study and as he explained to us what he had learned between our visits he just glowed. =) Also, during church, he leaned over and said, "Hermanita, what would you think if I went up and bore my testimony?" I said that it would be great if he wanted to and then  he got up and bore his testimony! Of course he didn't really know what a testimony was but it was still amazing that he got up in front of everyone and said how he was beginning to feel that all of this was true and that he's very excited to be baptized. We are too. =)

My companion especially because she's the one who contacted him in the street and is going to be able to see him through start to finish because we're going to have another transfer together!! :D We're both super excited especially for all of the plans that we can officially put into action now that there's no holidays or conferences to get in the way. =) Even though we didn't appreciate the joke our district leader and his companion played on us. My companion asked him to not call us if we didn't have transfers, so of course he called us to tell my companion that she was being transferred and she took it a little hard. After he confessed, I informed him that he officially owed my companion her favorite cookies at the next district meeting. =P 

Funny thing that happened the other day. We went to one of the little towns in our area and this man run up behind us and started talking to us. He was a little weird but said that he wanted to become closer to God and didn't know if we could help him. We gave him a Book of Mormon promising that whatever he was looking for, he would be able to find it there. He was really surprised that we were giving him a nice book for free but gladly took it. We both had been praying in our hearts to know what his intentions are and honestly we felt fine until his friend came up who was obviously drunk. We quickly contacted him and the funny part is that in the middle, I was talking to him and my companion was talking to the first guy and when we were finishing up the very drunk man looked at me and said, "I love the way your hair falls." Reaching his hand up to me, "Can I touch it?" I reached up, took his hand, shook it and said, "Sorry but no, we have to go." Then we left. later during the day, I would randomly look at my companion and say, "Hermana, I just love the way you hair falls." It became a new inside joke for us. =)   

I have realized that I am soooo grateful that I will not be here for another New Year's celebration!!. Here at midnight, they light scarecrows on fire that are stuffed with fireworks to celebrate the coming of a new year. The entire world was exploding for over an hour in the middle of the night. Didn't sleep a wink! Luckily, things have finally calmed down here and everything should be much more peaceful. =)

One more transfer with Hermana Vazquez, they are both very excited to continue the work they are doing together for the next 6 weeks

Happy New Year!!

This week was a little of a rough one because of Christmas and all but we got to experience a miracle at the end. Yesterday, our golden investigator came to church with the intention to basically tell us that he didn't think that he was worth all the work we were putting into him and that he didn't want us to visit him anymore. He was then going to walk out of the church and go back to the old life that he knew so well. Fortunately, our Heavenly Father intervened and prompted our bishop to talk to him and our ward mission leader to spend some time talking to him about how things were going and then spend most of the afternoon with him. We then had our appointment with him and had felt inspired to have one of his old friends in the ward and her husband accompany us. It was a wonderful lesson. By reflecting, asking questions, and listening during our lesson with him, we finally came to understand exactly how he was feeling and with the help of the members that were with us and the Lord, we were able to finally address the need we knew he had but didn't know what it was. He's had a very rough past and has hardly ever felt loved. This new experience of nothing but love from us, the members, and his Heavenly Father and Savior has been quite the shock for him. However, we were blessed with the Spirit during our lesson and his truly felt the presence of his Heavenly Father with him. 

I have never been so grateful to be a missionary and to have the privilege to be here than when I heard him pray at the end of that lesson. It's truly amazing to realize that I can't do anything more to help these people than invite them to come unto Christ. He truly changes lives and heart. I am so grateful for Him and for all that He does, not only to change my investigators' hearts or my family members' hearts but also my heart. 

I have been thinking a lot about what I wanted to put as my goals or even better, my gift to the Savior this coming year. I'm still working on deciding but I invite every one of you to think about what you can give to the Savior this coming year and then work for it. I promise that with His help and strength you will be able to do it. =)

Thank you everyone for your letters and testimonies! They brought a wonderful peace and help to me this week. 

I feel that these next 8 1/2 months are just going to fly by. Especially as we start the new year. Thank you so much for the countdown to Christmas. My companion absolutely loved it! And for the little extra money you gave me for her. She didn't have much to open on Christmas and it was wonderful to see her face as she opened the gift that she didn't know she would have! =)

Carlie was able to do a little bit of site seeing on P-Day.  They went to Cantona and saw the ruins