I love, love, love my area here. It was kind of a weird transition but now that I am here I love it. There is just such a difference here. I feel like we are in the United States just everyone speaks Spanish. It is super different than El Oro. In El Oro I felt like I was in the heart of Mexico. Here we have McDonalds, Wal-Mart, and gyms. Our house looks like any house in the United States. It weirded me out a little when I first got here after 4.5 months in El Oro. I feel so old though because I have 7 MONTHS in the mission!!!!!!!
When I first got to my new area though it was super funny because one of the girls was like hey I know you. I was weirded out but she said there was a picture of me on Facebook from a lady in Atlacomulco. I am still in the same stake so a lot of people know some of the people over in El Oro. The story with Atlacomulco was that I was working with one of the capacitadoras in Atlacomulco and at a member’s house. Their baby was crying but when I walked in the room, he stopped and just stared. Then when I walked into the other room, he started crying again. When I walked back in, he stopped and just stared. So the mom took a picture of me to see what would happen if she just showed him my picture. Every time she showed him the picture, he would stop crying and just stare at it. So I guess the mom put the picture up on Facebook and said this is how I get my baby to stop crying and the members thought it as so funny.
I really love it here because there are so many members who like to come out working with us. There is Diana who is 18 and she is the ward mission leaders daughter. There are also 4 other girls who are 18 or 19 who come out with us a lot. Then there is Vitalia!!! Vitalia is so funny because she just got back from her mission and said she is depressed to be home. So she teaches with us almost everyday. One day she worked with us from 10 in the morning until 9 at night. She also wants to hang out with us on our p days. Even if we are just going to Wal-Mart, she will come with us. It is so funny. I have a feeling that’s what I am going to be like after my mission. She says it is just so lonely after your mission. You are so used to having someone there 24 hours of the day and then all of a sudden you are all alone.
So I have a few people for you to pray for this week. We have an investigator, Karen, whose husband was an inactive member. When Karen started listening to the missionaries, he got super excited. He started going with her to church. The only thing is that they aren’t married. So we talked to them about getting married and they said yes. The only thing is that here in México it costs a lot of money to get married. There are all kinds of papers they make you get and tests. Then to actually get married it costs money. It was super sad because they decided they would get married and then the next day the husband lost his job at work. Now they are not so sure what they are going to do. It just goes to show that Satan is always working.
Also we have an investigator, Olivia, who wants to be baptized but with her husband. The thing is the husband doesn’t want to be baptized.
Oh and also hna. Vitalia has a niece, Paula, who is always crying that she can’t come out and teach with us. She is 8 years old and has her future missionary badge on and everything. It was super funny in the lesson. We were about to end and she was like I didn’t get to share anything! So she shared with the investigator one of the articles of faith. She is super funny because she brings her scriptures and a notepad to write down the names and addresses of the people we contacted in the street.
This week has been super great. I had a good experience this week with ward council. At first it bothered me because they were all talking about how they were ex missionaries and how they knew better than us how to be missionaries. They told us to read in Preach My Gospel and that the reason that investigators come to church isn’t to have friends and how salvation is personal. If they don’t want salvation that it isn’t our fault. I can’t even tell you how sad I was after ward council. When we went home I started underlining all the parts in Preach My Gospel that talk about how investigators need friends and scriptures and everything. It was weird though because the more I studied the softer my heart became. Soon I lost all the sadness that I had. Before I was so focused on how I was going to prove them wrong the next ward council. Then the Spirit just showed me how I could help them understand. I know that the scriptures can heal our heart if we will let them.
I was reading in the Liahona and it struck me. In an article that said conversion is the aim, love is the motive. Why are we here teaching and helping others come unto Christ? Because we love God and because we love the people we are called to serve. All of a sudden the thing I was going to talk to the ward council changed from criticizing and proving them wrong to a message of love.
One thing that is kind of funny about the wards here in Mexico is that if one family member goes up to bear their testimony, the whole family has to get up after them. It is actually pretty funny! When a Dad starts getting up to go bear his testimony, all his kids try to block his path from getting out :) They don’t want to have to go up to bear their testimony, too.
Some other random thoughts from this week…I love Alma 26:27. Also we were talking to a guy who came home from his mission a year early. We started talking about Gods plan for us and repentance and he started crying a lot. It was a good experience. However, it reminded me that although repentance is a huge blessing in our lives, it is also a painful process. It is much better to avoid the sin in the first place.
I was reading in a Liahona about a lady who volunteered to clean the temple. She said she was annoyed about dusting for an hour just to come back with a rag as clean as she started. She said she learned a great lesson though. When someone said the point wasn’t useless cleaning, it was preventing the Temple from ever getting dirty in the first place. The lady in this story said looking at it that way made a huge difference. That is how our lives should be. We do the simple things like praying and reading the scriptures not to do useless cleaning but to keep our lives from getting dirty in the first place. I also like a quote that the final judgment isn’t an evaluation of what we have done, it is who we have become!
I hope you guy have a great week and find opportunities to share your testimony with others. I know that this church is true and I know it just a little bit more every day!
|Vitalia and the little missionary, Paula!|