Monday, October 31, 2016

Ch Ch Ch Ch-anges and Dia de los Muertos

This week was full of changes. In Mexico, the people celebrate Dia de los Muertos. It's a tradition where people go to the graves of their ancestors and put meals like MOLE, flowers, candy, you name it because they believe their family comes back for a day. It's really interesting. Also kids have been asking for candy this whole week.  I asked my companion why and she said ¨It's Mexico¨... cierto (true) Mexico's got it right, celebrate all week.  

Also meet my new companion Hermana Cervantes! She is from Mexico and has about 7 months on the mission. She also has the coolest Disney play list on the planet. That's right, this Pocahontas is bilingual. I kill Colors of the Wind in Spanish. We for sure have about 6 more weeks here in Independencia.  I am so super excited for this opportunity to further the work with our investigators.

As you probably know the mission has its up and downs. This week was hard. One day during personal study I was reading in Luke, where Christ was suffering in the Garden. The Spirit was so strong and I had a humbling moment. I think Elder Renlund describes it the best, ¨ When we strive to be closer to Christ, we determine that life would be the most unfair for Jesus Christ. Though absolutely innocent, the Saviour would suffer the most. The closer we are to Jesus Christ in the thoughts and intents of our hearts, the more we appreciate his innocent suffering, the more grateful we are for his grace and forgiveness and the more we want to repent and become like him. Drawing nearer to him causes us to change and we develop an intense desire to stop causing God further grief.¨ 

This opened my eyes a little wider and I had a lot more gratitude. When we maintain an eternal perspective through our trials we can gain a better appreciation for the Atonement. I also think it's a privilege to have these trial because we are growing and developing Christ like attributes. It's an honor to have Him as our example and have the opportunity to become more like Him in this life. This has helped me a lot and I have really reflected about what I am doing that I know I can change. First of all I need to change my mind set, not asking the Lord why is this happening to me but what is this happening for or what can I learn from this?  I need to be willing to receive correction and be prepared for whatever else the Lord has in store for me. I hope this gives a little comfort to the people that need it. I know this is true and I know Jesus Christ is my Savior. 

Hermana Herrera 

We have 2 Hermana Herreras in our zone.  She is such a cutie!

My cute new companion, Hermana Cervantes, and the traditional flowers for Dia de los Muertos.

My favorite animal es poopies!

Monday, October 24, 2016

The power of service

Hola! This week was full of miracles! So so so so great!
First off, let me introduce a couple that we are teaching. Their names are Pedro and Gloria. Pedro is a less active member of the church and his girlfriend is not a member but has been investigating the church in Hermosillo for awhile. They were a reference from a member family down the street. They own this cute little shoe repair store. It's a little tricky because they are both married to different people but live together. We have been visiting them for the past month, but not with much success. Pedro has had some rough experiences with members in the past and it has really affected his faith. We began to bring members from the ward to our visits and trying to serve them in any way that we can. A couple, Hermano and Hermana Oli, have been especially helpful. I have recognized the importance of having a friend at church. The church isn't exclusive therefore we can't be exclusive.

All of a sudden, we dropped by and we saw this big sign that they were closed on Sundays, straight bliss! When we casually asked what changed their minds they said their hearts were softened and they wanted to go to church! It's crazy how much they have progressed. I loved their comments in Gospel Principles class! 

This reminds me of a testimony that was shared this month from a recent convert. Actually,the mom of baby Rebeca on the bottom picture. She said ¨How is it possible for me to be in a church for 15 years and not change at all, then be in this church for 1 year and my whole life has changed for the better.¨ This strengthened my testimony that I know the Lord wants us to move on. As we apply the Atonement in our lives and desire to do His will, we grow more than we can believe. Also side note He will always bless us temporally when we keep the sabbath day holy. We dropped by the shoe store this week and they had hundreds of shoes to repair! 

Take a look at Mosiah 2:41, "And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."
I love you all! I hope you have a great week. Also this is our last week with pants... no more elderas!

Pedro and Gloria are on the right.
Check the poster on the left!

My Marisol on the mish

Your favorite Hermanas

Monday, October 17, 2016

Latter Days week 16

Hola! This week was definitely a hard but good one. I think Hermana Flores and I have recognized the power of Heavenly Father and the power of Satan as well. First,  I would love to share a quote by Elder Renland, The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver, the more the receiver develops a sense of entitlement”—also has profound spiritual applications. Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are the ultimate Givers. The more we distance ourselves from Them, the more entitled we feel. We begin to think that we deserve grace and are owed blessings."

This has been very difficult as we have been visiting a lot of families in the ward who are less active. As I have searched the scriptures, trying to help these people that we love so much, I have had a couple of thoughts related to Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-33:

1. Recognize that the plan of our Heavenly Father is not meant to control us. We all have our free agency and Heavenly Father believes in this so strongly, he lets everyone act as they please.
2. We all need to be anxiously engaged in a good cause, to use our agency to bless others. Remember that when we do this, we are doing what Heavenly Father wants so in return we are blessed to find our true potential. Do we care enough to find out what it is? 

3. Don't wait to be asked to do something. When we wait to be asked, we will always receive it with a doubting heart and probably wont do it. This can be related to impressions, honoring your parents etc. 

4. Remember that the Lord is bound to bless us when we are obedient.  "Who am I, saith the Lord, that have promised and have not fulfilled?" v. 31

As a missionary, we are encouraged to be bold but with LOVE. We have received some rejection this week and it's so heart breaking because we know that this Gospel blesses the family so much. Being a representative of Christ, you truly feel the love of Christ for these people. After one specific lesson we wept for this family. I can only imagine the love Heavenly Father has for these children. These are truly the Latter Days and I encourage you all to hold fast to the iron rod and pray and serve together. I love you all and I hope you have a great week! Also, sorry no pictures this week! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Miracles happen once in a while if you believe!

First miracle: ROSARIO AND HER FAMILY CAME TO CHURCH!  So so happy for her and we hope that she continues to come and feel that wonderful spirit.

This week we had a really neat experience with a less active family in our ward. Everyday we have comida, the biggest meal of the day, at 2:00 with members and we share a spiritual message in the end. During the meal, we came to learn that this family has been less active for a couple of years. They are an older couple that have about 35 grandchildren. Apparently they had a couple of bad experiences with some members. During the lesson we explained the importance of remembering that the Church is perfect, but the people are not.

What I took out of this lesson is that we need to be defenders of Christ at all times. Christ is the perfect example and it's our job to love like He did. I love the scripture in Mosiah 4:9 "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend."  I think it goes well with the quote ¨The price to know God, is a privilege to pay.¨  I know this is true with all my heart. The mission life is tough but I'm honored to represent Christ everyday. 

Second miracle: this family, the Martinez family, MADE IT TO CHURCH! That makes it all worth it, when you help people come closer to Christ.  They have been able to receive comfort from the scriptures and through praying. I love you all and I hope you have a great week! 

Hermana Rosario and her daughter at one of our lessons

New District: Elder de Angel sliding into missionary base

We had a scheduled appointment but came to find out they went to the luchador fight next door.

I had a bad day and looked up.
Heavenly Father is the best!

Monday, October 3, 2016

Woo Week 14

Hola! This week was filled with great spiritual power! First of all Conference was the bomb as usual. I loved the talk by Elder Ballard about less active members. I think it touched a lot of hearts in our ward.

This week my companion and I have been practicing a lot about introducing the Book of Mormon to our investigators by using the introduction. We had a very neat experience with this. Recently we have been teaching a family that owns a tortilleria (By the way, I have decided that the smell of homemade corn tortillas is my all time favorite). We went through the invitation to read the BOM, meditate and apply the doctrine, and pray to Heavenly Father to know if the BOM is true. I love that the Lord always promises specific blessings. They can be found in the final paragraph of the introduction. One of them is to help us prepare for the second coming of Christ.

While we talked about this with Hermana Rosario her face was in shock. She later explained a dream that she had.  At first we were a little hesitant because people always ask us to interpret dreams. But she later expressed that what she understood from her dream was that Heavenly Father sent us to her family so that they could receive the gospel and follow Christ. My companion explained that the BOM is the key of our religion. When we know that it's true, everything else is also true, that the restoration truly happened.

Being the incredibly confrontational person that I am, (it's un chiste), I was uncomfortable but I realized that true correction only comes from the Spirit. I love the quote from Elder Eyring, "The only exhortation that changes hearts comes from the Holy Ghost". That occurs most often as we bear testimony of the Savior who was and is the perfect family member. I have gained a stronger testimony of the BOM. I know its another testament of Jesus Christ and I know it was written for our time. I love you all and your emails mean so much to me.


My reality!

Words of wisdom from my Father: Don't eat the pork.
This picture accurately describes my experience the one time I did eat it!