Monday, December 29, 2014
¨That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that
the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do is
increased.¨ Heber J Grant
¨For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of
Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings
of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a
saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a
child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to
submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him,
even as a child doth submit to his father.¨ Mosiah 3:19
This week I have come to understand a little bit better what it means
to be pure or to purify the imperfections that you have. I have come
to understand how important it is to keep the commandments and be
clean of all impurity, and I have seen how much the Lord blesses us
for keeping those commandments. In order to make it back to Him, we
have to keep all of the commandments, and not stop! so that we will be
without stain before Him one day.
¨And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor
diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought
under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this
tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all
righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.¨ Moroni 9:6
Lets set goals this year to WORK in the Lord´s vineyard!! Goals every
day, every week, every month, and every six months will help us to
change and be purified. I know I feel the Spirit a lot stronger in my
life when I am working on a goal, and something I have been doing
recently is having a goal every day and a goal every week. Later, I
check how those daily and weekly goals have helped me to accomplish my
monthly and six-month goals.
Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and have a great new year!!!
Christmas dinner (that they do the 24th)!!
I made a pumpkin pie! Sister T stuck her knife in it like, twelve
times. But it sure looks pretty!!
Then for Christmas Christmas we ate Chinese food at a Chinese
restaurant that then made me sick!! go Chinese food!! :D
We were in the newspaper Monday. I am so famous. Then if you read the
article, it says--there were a few white people in the choir that came
from the US and a lot of others from other countries. that´s why their
skin is so noticeably different. baha. ha. ha.
what with more work you acquire, more you love. or something like that.
Monday, December 22, 2014
Merry Christmas!!! This week was an amazing week! We had a party in Chihuahua with all the 233 missionaries that are in our mission. We ate turkey and heard Christmas songs, hit piñatas, and above all, we drank soda. It was a crazy day! On Sunday we went downtown in Parral to sing to all the people here! We had a lot of success. Even people who didn´t know us were filming us and wanted to know more about who we are and what we do! It was a great opportunity to share the gospel! Sister L and I sang a wicked solo and we also sang one with an elder. Sad elder will never hear the end of that one!
The morning Sunday was a pretty hard day, and also a day where I learned something so especial for me that I cried. Allow me to tell you all bad things so I can get to the point of the story, which is a good thing. Sorry for the bad--it´s got a point.
We didn´t bring anyone to church yesterday, so we had to leave during sacrament meeting to look for investigators that could go to church. We left with a lot of faith that we could find someone who would be able to enjoy a few minutes of church, but as the people passed buy rudely not answering us or saying no, we started to get discouraged. Usually people say yes here in Parral. It was difficult when the people started to lie and say they don´t know their address or that they are so busy with Christmas preparations that they cannot listen to a Christmas message, or that they just didn´t want anything.
We didn´t find anyone that could go to church. We went back and went to relief society, where I had to ask the sisters who would be able to give the 8 elders and sisters food this week. No one raised their hand and no one wanted to give us food during this time of year. No one. December 24 was going to be a beans and tortilla in the house day. Then to top it all off, the sister that complained about giving missionaries food handed out a nice letter that said ¨wishes that the Christmas spirit can abide in your home this year¨ and her family´s name. I started to think about how people may say they have the Christmas spirit because they are buying gifts for everyone and singing Christmas carols, but not really have the Christmas spirit. I know with family parties and preparations, it is hard to find time for the missionaries. However, missionaries are representatives of Jesus Christ, and no one had room in their house for Jesus Christ this Christmas time--people in the street and members alike.
All of the sudden it came to mind the scripture in John 1:11 that says ¨He came unto his own, and his own received him not.¨
I understood how it would feel to be among your ¨own¨ like the members of the church are our ¨own,¨ but that no one received us. I understood just a little portion of what the Savior would have felt. His own creations that He loves so much--with a love eternal--and they didn´t accept Him. We don´t accept Him. Every time we commit a mistake, we are serving Satan instead of serving Christ. We don´t receive Him.
This Christmas I hope we will be able to serve our Savior selflessly. Without reservations. Give and not hope anything in return. ¨But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.¨ He is the gift. He is the most important gift. The reason for Christmas. It´s HIM. And nothing else. He is the gift.
I know Jesus is our Savior. He saved us. Literally. Without Him, this is not possible. We are not possible. This joy and love and peace we have in this live is not possible. He gave every single part of Him to us. Every drop of blood, every piece of everything--He gave it to us. What gift will we give to Him this year?
I learned a lot about Christ this week. I am so grateful for Christ and for His grand sacrifice. An infinite gift. The best gift. One so special that there was only one spirit able to offer it, and that is Jesus Christ. Yesterday, I was able to share my testimony of Jesus Christ in Relief Society, and I am very happy to say that the arms shot up to give food to the missionaries (don´t worry :)). I am glad to understand more this week about what it means to be a representative of Jesus Christ, and what His humble birth really means.
Have a wonderful Christmas, and don´t forget the reason for the season! It is Him!! I love you all very much!! Feliz Navidad!
all my companions from my whole mission in one place at one time. just that the first picture they cut off sister M, and the second picture sister Z already lost her patience, so almost all my companions in one picture. almost
we were the envied ones becuase we were the only ones who brought a blanket on the bus to go to chihuahua. hehe
my companion doesnt do normal faces
Monday, December 15, 2014
This week was incredibly crazy as we had to go to Chihuahua three times in one week for immigration, transfers, and a leadership meeting. We worked a half day Wednesday and a half day Saturday in Parral and that was all!! Good old seven hours of being on a bus in one day multiplied by three!! But it was a week full of miracles. Heavenly Father blessed us for the sacrifices we had to make going into Chihuahua, and of course, they´re not going to kick me out of mexico or anything crazy like that.
So remember how everyone told me I would never go to Parral because I´m super white? Now just look at my new companion. We´re having a ton of success in Parral because everyone wants to know what two americans are doing parading around in Parral. There is one sister that calls us her ¨gringitas.¨ Slightly offensive, but it´s all good. hahaha I love my new companion and, well, we were already friends before the mission!!
I will be singing in downtown Parral this Sunday with an Elder who also sings kind of well. We´re going to be promotingchristmas.mormon.org so that all the world can understand the true meaning of Christmas and look up some mormon missionaries.
This week we went to Chihuahua for a leadership meeting. I had three questions in my mind, and I wasn´t really waiting on an answer from the meeting, but President answered every one of my questions in one sentence. I had been feeling like my faith had gotten a little weak, and I wanted to strengthen it. I had also been asking how I was to love one of the sisters that just arrived in Parral that I have not been able to love fully, and I wanted to be a better disciple of Jesus Christ, so I was asking what I should to to have more faith, more love, and more devotion. President shared just one quote from Thomas S Monson that I will try to translate from a talk given in BYU, 1978. It says:
By following this formula...we can find faith...learn to love...and chose Christ:
When you recognize a sin, avoid it.
When you commit an error, admit it.
When you receive a gift, share it.
When you enjoy liberty, protect it.
When you have the truth, live it.
When you have a responsibility, do it.
Hello answering every single question with one simple quote. This transfer (six weeks), I am working on one of these suggestions every week. Last week I tried to avoid sins, like trying to not walk by the bread store behind our house that sells delicious donuts, or filling my mind with good things so that I never think of the bad. This week I will be working on admitting my errors. I hope by the end of these six weeks I will be a better disciple of Jesus Christ.
I know this work is God´s work, and I know He works miracles in our lives! Have a wonderful week!
Yesterday, my comp was going some ¨magic tricks¨ for C, a little girl, as we were waiting for her mom to finish with the branch president. My comp ¨ate¨ a penny and made it come out of her foot. C was so surprised that she said ¨LET ME TRY¨ and proceeded to REALLY eat the penny. Oops.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
This week we fit in a van the size of my mom´s van all of our possessions from our entire house with 8 missionaries as well. It was a great experience. Someone had been entering in our house so we had to change houses. We found a nice house, moved in, unpacked all our things, slept the night, and when we woke up in the morning, we found a lovely surprise.
The house has one door that opens to four living places. One of those living places was ours, and there was a couple that lived below us and a family that lived above and to the side of us. The couple that lived below us didn´t have a bathroom in their house--there was a stall outside that they had to use. That lovely suprise in the morning was that lovely couple leaving their house without clothing to use the bathroom. I don´t think they thought we wake up at six in the morning. Long story short, we had to find another house and change houses AGAIN. It has been a long week. Basically all we have done this week is invite people to go to christmas.mormon.org and change houses.
We found an awesome investigator that always works outside of the state, but has been going to church in wherever he is. This week, he went to church in Torreon. What a miracle!! He is so excited to be baptized.
We also sang on the radio this morning in all of Parral, some of Chihuahua, and some of Durango. We were singing and sharing a message about the birth of Jesus Christ. It was so cool!! I can now say I´ve been on the radio :D
That is all for this week. We literally spent days changing houses--our house and the Elder´s house. Today we´re headed to Chihuahua for my new companion. Time flies fast!!
Love you all! Have a great week!
Our Elders. Oh goodness.
This is ward council in our branch. We resolve things so well. I freakin love Parral!!! I love everything about this branch and area!!
Monday, December 1, 2014
This week, again, was full of miracles. We did a really cool activity with the young women and young men in our branch. We did divisions with them!! My companions for a day were Hermana Lopez and Hermana Peña...haha a recent convert of like, two weeks, that is only thirteen years old, and a sixteen year old investigator. It made me a little bit scared, but it was awesome! My companion also worked with a fifteen year old recent convert. These sisters stayed at our house, planned with us at night, studied with us in the morning, and then left to preach the gospel with us. It was wonderful!! We saw so many miracles. The activity ended with my ¨companion´s¨ baptism. Every young man and young woman shared their testimony at the end of the activity. The Spirit was strong and many expressed their desires to serve a mission, including the investigators that did the activity with us. What a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel. The young people of the church are so strong (yes we had to ask our mission president permission to do the activity...but it came out really well).
One of our investigators, S, had only gone to church once when she did her homework to ask Heavenly Father if this was the true church. She´s twelve years old. We had only taught her like two times, and she kneeled down to ask if this was all true and if Joseph Smith really saw God and Jesus Christ in the air above him. Saturday, she told us: ¨I did my homework last night.¨ and we were like, cool how did it go? She told us ¨good.¨ Then she asked us: ¨When can I be baptized?¨ WHAT!? hahaha so we started to tell her she had to go to church at least four more Sundays and that we had to teach her some more things and she just said: ¨Who do I have to talk to so that I am baptized sooner? Like, today?¨ WHAT!? so we talked to our branch president, who talked to our mission president, who gave us permission to baptize her with only one Sunday at church and hardly any missionary lessons.
The Lord certainly has His hand in this work.
Elder M took her out to do a baptismal interview in that very moment, and Hermana M and I, with all our young ¨companions¨ went into another room to offer a prayer. I wasn´t sure if we were doing the right thing baptizing her so fast, or if her parents would accept it (her parents are a little hard), so we all knelt down and prayed to see if this was the Lord´s will. The feeling I received in that moment I think is the sweetest feeling I have ever had. God reassured me that it would all be alright. That we were doing His will. I could feel it. I could almost touch it. We prayed that her parents would accept, and immediately left to talk to them. At first the mom didn´t want anything to do with us, and then, by much more praying, the mom accepted, and S was baptized on Saturday.
I love this work. There is nothing more amazing nor anything that gives more satisfaction than this work that I have ever done. Many times we had to stop and say this week ¨What are we supposed to do?¨ and the answer was always ¨We trust in God.¨ I know this is His work, and I could never deny these wonderful experiences I am living through. I love this work. Do do do do do I´m lovin it. :D
Do I look like her? Bahahahahaha :D
PS I´m going to sing on the radio next monday to promote the christmas.mormon.org page the chruch put on. Check out the page, and tune in to the Parral radio to hear my beautiful voice...haha I´ll make sure to record it for yall.
PS we had to leave our house late at night last night because someone has been breaking in and showering in our shower. That´s why all my shampoo has gone missing....hahaha it was a fun adventure. Even in an emergency, Hermana M can´t go without her mattress....lol
Nothing like a good old rabbit lunch with pumpkin empanadas to celebrate the day of thanks. Our branch president, who looks like jack black, and his wife made all the missionaries from Parral lunch (like, 30 missionaries). It was crazy awesome and absolutely delicious.
Then there are some pictures of ¨WHAT IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING IN PARRAL?!?!¨ Because this area has never had any success. Like, none. But the Lord is now starting to hasten his work here. It´s making me a little bit scared. My companion too. We are seeing so many miracles that we see the Lord´s hand here in the work.
Monday, November 24, 2014
This week we found 11 youngsters that like to do drugs and smoke and drink and be super crazy. They beckoned us over and we were like...uhh...okay. So we started to talk to them, and they were all making fun of us and stuff at first, and then we sang a hymn. We sang ¨I am a Child of God.¨ Their faces changed, and they started to listen to us like their lives depended on it (which they do). The Spirit was able to enter and touch their hearts. They all accepted to work towards a baptism and towards changing their lives.
PPS Parral is famous for its mine. They had a lot of work about 30 years ago, and that is why people live here. Last Monday we went to check out the mine and the nice view of Parral from up on top!
There is this really awesome convert in our branch that has been a member now for 8 months. He used to live in the US, but for being like these youngsters, he had to come back to Mexico. Here, he found a few American missionaries and started to talk to them, and he changed his life. We brought him with us to visit these young kids, and we all were crying by the end of the lesson. Yesterday, four of the eleven went to church for the first time, including one that worked in another state yesterday who went out of his way to find a church building to assist. Since when did teenagers want to go to church? Only when the Lord is hastening His work.
I don´t know about you guys, but I´m getting pretty scared seeing all these amazing miracles passing. These are definitely the last days.
I love a line I found in Preach My Gospel this week about repentance. It says ¨Bringing our lives in line with God´s will through repentance is a central purpose of our lives.¨ That´s our purpose in this live. Right now, as missionaries, our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, but putting my life in line with God´s will is the grander purpose. It is the bigger purpose. If we can accomplish our purpose of doing always the Lord´s will, we accomplish every other purpose as well.
I hope you have a wonderful week! Enjoy the snow!
PS don´t you love how they teach English here?
PPS Parral is famous for its mine. They had a lot of work about 30 years ago, and that is why people live here. Last Monday we went to check out the mine and the nice view of Parral from up on top!
hit my one year mark November 20th. You can see how happy I am about that.
Tere is like my second mom. Seriously love this family.
Monday, November 17, 2014
This week started off sad because we had a really old lady that wanted to be baptized, but everyone told us that it was going to be really cold this weekend. We knew that with her knees and heart and everything, she would not even be able to walk if it was really cold. She is 84 years old. Then everything started to say that it was going to be a cold weekend. News, people in the street, and the weather itself said that it would be a cold one. How sad. Even Thursday was the coldest day out there. Her service was planned for Friday. We started to fast and pray and tell everyone to fast and pray with us so that P would be able to be baptized. Friday morning we woke up and the first thing we looked at was the sky. Cold. Fog and coldness.
We kept praying.
We finished exercising. Thirty minutes later.
We looked out the window.
HEAT!!!!! SUNSHINE!!!!!!! It was the most beautiful day this week!!!! P was able to be baptized. It was a beautiful service. No one thought it was possible because usually the old people here are SUPER catholic and P was SUPER catholic, but then God started to let her feel the spirit little by little. She started to change little by little. And little by little, the Lord placed the way so that she would be able to be baptized. In the service, her and her daughter both cried and expressed their love for eachother. They both expressed how happy they were. P forgets a lot of things, but all day long she said "I´m already baptized!!" hahaha :)
I have seen so many miracles for fasting these last few weeks. If we have a question or a problem, fasting puts us closer to the Spirit so that we can find an answer. We can do it whatever day and whatever time we need.
We saw another miracle with T and D this week too. Remember how last week she told us she didn´t want anything to do with the church anymore? Welp, this week she is a member of the church. Her and her daughter. Right after their baptism they went to visit investigators with us. They are huge examples for me. They are so committed to do what the Lord says. All week long, T was like: what am I feeling? What is this feeling that just wont leave me? Why do I feel like this?! We helped her to understand that it is the Spirit´s beautiful voice that makes us feel good about the decisions we are making.
I am just standing here in awe at what is passing in the Lord´s work right now. He is working, and He is working hard. Are we watching on the boat or watching from the shore? Are we helping this grand work? Are we on the Lord´s side? Now is the time to show ;)
Love you all!!