Monday, May 29, 2017

And I wanna know...Have you ever seen the rain?

Hola amgios y familia! 

Welp another week here in Tlax past by so so fast. The weather is getting a tad more exciting, blistering hot afternoons with great thunderstorms throughout the night. The good thing is the fields are getting a lot of needed water for the crops. The members are super happy! Miracles! 

Yes miracles! 

I think one of the biggest miracles I have seen here out on the mission is the way the Gospel changes lives for the better. But it still takes daily effort to live the Gospel. I wanted to share something that our Mission President's wife shared with us in a Women's Conference we had in April. 

The principle of me vs. her
(me) is my spiritual being and (her) is my physical being. One of the hardest lessons in this life is to live so the spiritual (me) dominates the physical being. I understand real well the battle between (me) vs. (she). Especially during grueling swim practises in high school when my physical being (she) was screaming to stop and my spiritual being kept pressing forward. So when we are having a hard day let the (me) dominate the (she). 

I know that sometimes we are asked to do hard things and our physical being really doesn't want to do it. But if we listen to our spiritual me we can find the strength to keep going. 

Love you all,

Hermana Herrera

Loving this green life!

Puppy love

Exchanges with Mama Cervantes

Changing cake at a time!

Monday, May 22, 2017

The feelings that we remember


This week was full of learning new things! For example, we had our zone conference and our main topic was baptizing converts so we were all ears. A couple of missionaries went up to the front to talk about their conversion stories. It was so interesting because everyone said that they didn't remember a thing from their lessons. In fact they were very confused but they felt something that told them that this was good, to have confidence in the Lord, and to just keep going. That was the motivation that helped them make the decision to be baptized. 

So what's the key? The small whispers of the spirit. And how do we recognize it? with our feelings. Something that everyone wants to talk about ;) And what should the missionaries/ members strive to do? Help others have this relationship with their Heavenly Father. People have already said it, people don't remember much about the lessons. But they remember the feelings that help them come unto their Heavenly Father and brother Jesus Christ. 

Hermana Hernandez and I have been putting this in practice and it has been changing our lives and our investigators.  I feel like many people have this comment or past experience, "I have prayed to God and I asked for something that I needed. But I didn't get anything back. I didn't get my answer or explanation. He wasn't listening. How do you explain that?¨ I'm sure everyone has felt that way sometime in their life. 

I know that the desire is real, but maybe the faith is lacking. When we ask our Heavenly Father through prayer for anything there are things we need to do specifically. These steps are found in Moroni 10:3-4 

1. We must ask who? We must ask directly to our Eternal Father in the name of Christ. 
2. ¨If these things are not true.¨ This applies to the Book of Mormon and your personal doubts/ doctrine of Christ or needs at the moment. 
3. "Ask with a sincere heart and real intent." What does sincere mean to you? And real intent? Note that they are 2 different things.
4. "Having faith in Christ." Remember our faith is only faith after it is tested. 
5. "He will manifest the TRUTH of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost" If we want wisdom and truth of the Lord, a confirmation of His plan or an understanding of our part in His plan, this is how we should pray. 

A final thought: My heart goes out to the Schroeder family. Gage was a really great boy. I remember all the good times in Guaymas. You all are in my prayers and thoughts. I hope and testify that finding that necessary peace to move forward is through heartfelt prayer. I know that Heavenly father has a perfect plan and that we need to confide in it. It takes a lot of effort and faith, but He will never leave us alone. 

I love you all and encourage you guys to pray in this way. It has changed my mission.

Hermana Herrera 

Monday, May 15, 2017

A cup of sugar and Mother's Day!

Hola amigos y familia!

First! My heart might burst with joy because I got to talk to my family! It was so great to see their growth spiritually and physically! Also shout out to my mother, Cynthia Marina Herrera, for being such a great mom and for always supporting me. Also to my prima Becs for getting her call to the temple visitor's center in Mexico City. I think Heavenly Father knew that we needed to be a little closer... like only an hour and a half away closer :) 

Today I came unprepared without scriptures so if my message brings a scripture to mind, I would love to hear it! As you guys know, Hermana Hernandez is with me and I'm showing her around our area. Our area consists of the town Nanacamilpa but also about 15 smaller towns (about the size of Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua). On Tuesday, we were in one of those little towns that is about 45 minutes away from Nana, when we received a phone call that the Hermana that was going to feed us couldn't. We had decided to fast the day before for our investigators and we checked our backpacks to see if we had enough money to buy a quesadilla.  We had a total of 20 pesos, just enough for the combi ride to our church meeting later that day. We had a couple more appointments and I knew that we were probably going to fast for another day. I felt really bad for Hermana Hernandez because it's pretty hard for her to fast but we knew that if we kept working something would work out. So we said a quick prayer to help us keep going and headed out. 

As we were walking, I remembered a family that lived a little far off. We decided to drop by to see if they could give us a glass of water. When we knocked Hermana Rosy answered the door. She took a look at us and welcomed us in. As we asked for water, she looked at me and said "Hermana do you want a glass of water or a cup of sugar?"  I was pretty confused and thought that I misunderstood. She then explained that she was a missionary in Tampico and they were left without food for many days in a row. There was an Hermana that always helped them in times of need. All they needed to say was that they wanted a cup of sugar. Well, we accepted the cup of sugar and we were able to end our fast.

I learned a lot of things from this story but one thing I would like to share is that we all need help physically and spiritually in this life. And the fountain of divine help is our Heavenly Father. All we need to do is ask, but sometimes that's the hardest part. I felt a little uncomfortable to ask for help from Hermana Rosy, but she was able to discern our needs. I know that our Heavenly Father knows our needs before we ask, but the asking is necessary because that is how we show our faith. And how do we ask? Through prayer. Personally, sometimes I feel like when I keep in some things from Heavenly Father its to show that I'm enduring or that I can do it by myself. But really enduring and showing faith is expressing everything to our Father in pleading prayer. We need to have confidence that He knows what we need. So don't ask for water, ask for the good stuff, sugar! 

I love you all and sorry if this email is a little jumbled!

Hermana Herrera 

P.S Hermana Rosy gave us a cup of sugar to remind us that we can always come back! Such a blessing! 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Changing lives . . . one rock at a time

Hola amigos y familia! 

This week was so good! 

First happy 5 de mayo: per usual it was a party here in Mexico. Especially I think in Puebla because it was in Puebla that the famous battle with the French happened.

I think one of the most unforgettable experiences we had this week was with a reference from a member. In our area, we have about 5 families that are members so it's super exciting when we get a reference! So being on cloud nine, we knocked on a door to find a young teenager named Madeline and her sister Hannah that is 7 years old. As we were getting to know Madeline, there was a huge bang at the door. We looked up and realized that Hannah with her thick coke bottle glasses climbed to their roof for a better view and was throwing golf sized rocks at our heads. One barely missed my companion. Give me crazy drivers, wild dogs or angry nuns but 7 year olds with really good aim, that was something I wasn´t prepared for.
We decided to return a different day and after introducing ourselves a little better and explaining our purpose Hannah permitted us to come in. I love Madeline and Hannah because you can tell how much they love each other. It's understandable that Hannah was a little protective. It made me miss my sisters a little more. 

Something that's on my mind as we are teaching these 2 and their mom is how important it is to have self worth. Especially for girls in society today, many don't know that they are daughters of God! That they have a Heavenly Father who loves them and knows them by their name and face. This is something that is very evident with the women in Mexico. I have seen countless of stories of women that need this simple truth in their lives, and when they receive it, it's changed them in a miraculous way. . .Sometimes we let ourselves be defined by worldly definitions but that only lasts for so long. I´ve witnessed this in my life. 

If there is one thing that I want the women here, my sisters, cousins and friends and everyone else to know is that  we have a Father in Heaven who loves us and we love him. I know that the only comparisons we should make is comparing us to ourselves in the past and who we want to be in the future, not comparing ourselves to anyone else. As we shared our thoughts with Hannah and Madeline this week we could tell that it helped them have the courage to come to church this Sunday. As I was playing prelude music, out of the corner of my eye I see a pair of white glasses. Hannah gave me a big hug and was super excited to be there!
I know that when we have testimonies of the Love that Heavenly Father has for us, we can help others feel that same love. I feel really privileged that I can testify of these truths to young girls that need this knowledge and to feel His love.

I'm finally sending photos from this past month, so sorry for the delay. You will find birthday celebrations, the baptisim of Jose Alberto, Mexico sunsets and an attempt of squeezing in appropiately for a district photo. My companion, Hermana Hernandez, is on my right. 

Love you all! 

Hermana Herrera 

Monday, May 1, 2017

A sincere apology

First of all, a sincere apology for not writing an email last week and so I'm going to try and squeeze out all the small spiritual thoughts of this crazy week to make up for it. 

But first some fun facts that have happened: 

1. We were able to go to Angelopolis also known as ¨Fresaopolis¨ to see the BYU I symphony. I almost cried when they played a song from Pride and Prejudice. The symphony went out with a bang with ¨Canta y no llores.¨  Lets just say a symphony in Mexico is way different from the States. These people do like their celebratory yells. 

2. I have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Hernandez and she is from Mexico City. She has about 15 months on her mission and I'm learning a ton. I also officially have a house in Mexico City so that's exciting.

So the work in Nana, is goingggg... the truth is this week was pretty hard.  I think I will always remember week 43 on my mission. But hey there is always something to learn right?
I think one of the most rewarding and difficult things as a missionary is having true Christ like love for your investigators. I feel like it's somewhat near the love that a parent has for a child. So I'm practically like a mom with about 10 children who wants the best for them but also worries about them every second of the day. We have had some investigators that have chosen other paths that have grave consequences. And all we can do is love and be patient.

I am reminded all the time about the covenants we make when we are baptized. I love the scripture in Mosiah 18:8-9.  As we make this sacred covenant, we choose to mourn with those that mourn and suffer with those that suffer. We choose to have Christ like love for all mankind. This love isn't something that comes overnight, but it requires a constant effort to put yourself in another person's shoes. And it is when we understand them that we can be the most help. One of our investigators had a tough week. I think taking alcohol out of his life is something that's going to take a lot of time and patience. During our lessons, we prayed silently so that we can understand how to help him. He finally shared that he drinks to forget about his past. We know a little about his past, and of what we have heard its definitely not pretty. He feels like alcohol is the only instrument that helps him forget.

As we shared this scripture in Mosiah, I felt very impressed to share that those memories are part of his life but they don't have to hurt anymore. In fact, they can be used as a tool to do good and help others in the same situations. After baptism, they aren't going to hurt anymore. That's a promise from our Heavenly Father. When I said this, his whole body shook and I could tell he was feeling the spirit. He has the promised blessings. He now just needs to make a choice. And here I am with my companion worrying and praying our heads off but I wouldn't give it up for the world. After all being a ¨mom¨ is the best calling to have. 

Anyways, the message I want to give this week is this, that we need to remember our baptisimal covenants and try everyday. These covenants are eternal and require our daily effort. I need to work on this as well. On Sunday we were knocking doors and we had a very interesting conversation with a little old lady who is from the local Catholic church. She asked a very difficult question and I didn't have a reference from the Bible right away. She cupped my face and pulled me down to meet her eyes and said ¨You poor beautiful little thing. You don't know anything. Go back home to the states.¨ Now Christlike love was not my first reaction, but I thanked her for her time and we kept walking. Its in these moments where we are tested. But I know that if I see that little woman againI'm going to serve her and give her a big old hug. 

I love you guys and thank you for your support! 

Hermana Herrera