This week was honestly a roller coaster, but SO AMAZING. I saw so many miracles this week, felt so much love, and just feel SO extremely blessed to be here and to have this opportunity to get to know the people of Xalapa. I am so excited to go out and see people every day! It is like I got an energy drink for missionary work, it is fantastic.
Some random things:
So cold and so rainy this week. And when I say cold, I mean cold. Like when we get up in the morning I can see my breath and I can continue to see it the whole 3 hours I am studying until we leave at 11. And then I can see it outside too! Also, when I get out of the shower, I have steam radiating from my body and the water I am using is not all that warm either. The weather here is definitely crazy, and our house is definitely WICKED cold.
Turns out the ´pansita´ from last week actually was not pansita. It was salsa de chicharrón. Chicharron is the skin of the pig. If you are gagging, those were my thoughts too. IT IS ALL JUST AS BAD. But here in Mexico, they literally eat ALL the parts of ALL the animals. Every, single, last, organ, and foot and eyeball.
I made Hna Hidalgo french toast for her 9 months in the mission! She had never eaten it before, and totally loved it. She had also never eaten syrup or whipped cream, so it was definitely a treat for the both of us hahahaha.
The Hna for the comida on Sunday was driving us to her hosue after church. Her baby was crying soooooo what does she do? She just starts nursing her baby while driving. Just in Mexico.
There is a hymn here Nunca Debemos Dudar - We Should Never Doubt or something like that. I hate the song because I think people sound like robots but it applies so much to the mission. We need to work on having a perfect faith, we cannot doubt at all!!! If we have a perfect faith, we can see miracles. So as much as I hate the tune, the lyrics are very accurate.
EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON!!!!!! More on this in a little bit.
Monday basically seemed like a turning point for me in the mission. We had 3 set appointments and ALL 3 of them fell through. It was pouring, dark, scary, cold...all those great things. It would have been easy to be discouraged - and Hna H was a little down - but nope I told her we were gonna go look for Lorena. SSSOOOOOO
Lorena and Camilo - We go to look for these 2 kids and they are there! Great because then we do not need to stand in the rain. We start talking with them both. They were investigators of the elders, but they said they did not want to be baptized so they let us talk with them. In that lesson, it was honestly the most gutsy I have been my entire mission. Sometimes, I am somewhat afraid to talk with people about baptism, because I get afraid that we will scare people away. But in this lesson, there was none of that! I brought it right up...I do not know how...but my courage definitely was not my own. Hna H just kind of sat there in silence because she was nervous to bring it up, and I went on a roll! It was amazing, scary, my heart was going 1000000 miles per hour, but I promised them that if they continued to listen to us and if they prayed and read the things we left with them, they WOULD feel ready to be baptized. I know this doesnt sound that dramatic, but when it is in another language and if you could feel my heart pounding, you would understand! AND THEY SAID YES!!!!! We have gone to teach them almost every day this week, and they have learned a lot! They still do not feel completely ready, but they both go to church and the activities. And they have been reading the Book of Mormon! That is like music to the ears of a missionary. Lorena is 14, and she loves coffee and we also think she has problems with the law of chastity....so we are working on that. Camilo is an extremely gordito 10 year old who is wicked shy....but likes to listen to us. We will see with them both.
Maria Alejandra, Soña and Laura - A contact that Hna Hidalgo had from the cambio pasado. We went to look for them another night when more appointments fell through, and miraculously they were there. And what else? They asked us when they could go to church with us, and what they had to do to be baptized. GOLDEN FAMILY!!! Maria is the mom....and she is still stubborn in her Catholic ways but she likes to listen to us. She agrees with our points about the 3 important characteristics of Christs baptism, but then tells us that she was baptized as a baby....a point we just explained to her that baptizing children is not correct and they do not need to be baptized. It is always hit or miss I feel like with older Catholics. But her daughters are amazing, and invited their friend and boyfriend to listen to us the next time we went to visit them!!! We went to take them with us to church though on Sunday, and I think they were lying to us because their dad told us they went to centro. I dont know. A little confused by all of that, but we went last night to visit them and they were super excited again. LOTS OF FAITH!!!! They also tell me I look like Rose from Titanic. I wore my hair down when the friend was there too and she was staring at me the whole time....so uncomfortable. They keep telling my companion to watch out for me because I stand out and look like a doll and lots of people are being kidnapped. They tell my poor companion this every time we go to their house hahah I think she is getting frusterated by it all. But them saying that makes me more nervous. The fact they say it EVERY SINGLE TIME, doesnt help matters either. Ug
Maria - The extremely interesting woman who lived in England for 30 years and her life is like a Mexican Novela. She doesnt like the weather of Xalapa, so she is selling her house and moving to Yucatan. Honestly, her life is like a movie. SHE ALSO KNOWS SO MUCH STUFF!!! She had problems about how African American couldnt have the priesthood and she is up to date with the churchs stance on abortion and everything. Wow. No one here ever has questions or even knows about that stuff. Apparently, she knows that Princess Diana was still alive after her car crashed and the man who blinded the driver with his mirror to cause the crash, shot her because she was still alive after. She said it is the secret of England. And many more stories like that. Honestly still in shock with this woman. She also told us about a train that goes from Guatemala to the USA called the Bestia - meaning beast. It is called this because people climb onto this train with hopes of getting to the US but like half of them never make it because they fall off or go through tunnels or get tired and well....die. I did not know any of this stuff. BUT she is still reading the Book of Mormon, and loves it all. We are gonna try to send missionaries to her in the Yucatan, but where she is living is in the middle of nowhere because she doesnt want neighboors. Literally, she showed us pictures. Her life = Mexican novela. Oh, and her husband is in Thailand right now.
Don Toño and his daughters - we went back to teach them, they read the chapter we left with them and said that they prayed. But we know they didnt. Because they told us they only believe in the Bible and the word of God, implying that the Book of Mormon is not the word of God. Hna H almost lost it, but very calmly told them that she did not know if it would be in this life or on the next, but one day they would know that our words are the truth and they would regret giving us back the Book or Mormon. We told them it was a gift and that they did not need to return it, but they insisted that they did not want it in their house. Hence, why Hna H planched them. Something I have noticed....Hna H is very passionate about the Gospel and is 75% of the time trying to control herself when someone is insulting us.
Cindy - the woman who called us back last week! Well we went to a lesson with her this week and she is so humble, so willing and so ready to listen to us! She has been through a lot. She was an alcoholic, drug addict, and told us she found God in rehab. We invited her to be baptazed and she said she would do whatever it takes!! She had read the whole pamphlet that we gave her and even answered the questions at the back for additional study. Can you say perfect?
Blanca - lived in the elders area but moved her house to escape from her husband. The elders gave us her number because they knew she was in our area but they do not know exactly where. We called her, and finally got to meet with her. Her house literally has nothing. She has a bunch of tomatoes on the counter, some flowers - to sell I think - a grocery bag with clothes and a sleeping pad for her bed. She has nothing. Her daughers are living with her mom right now in a ranch, and her daughter fell and hurt herself on Sunday so she couldnt go to church with us. Satan us definitely doing his best to impede these people from following on the right path. BUT WE WILL WIN! WE HAVE MORE FAITH. An hermana gave us some pan, and when we left, I left it on the seat with a little note saying we loved her. I offered it to her when we first got there, but she said she had already eaten. Doubt it.
Cheko - ward mission leader. SO GREAT. Loves the missionaries like they are his children. He bought us all tacos al pastor. Me cae bien.
I saw a beautiful baptism on Saturday. A pregnant woman, who is having her baby on Wednesday, got baptized with her 2 sons. The Spirit there was so touching. Seeing this step of faith that the hna was making for her family, and seeing the joy in her eyes....are what make the mission worth it. She had to squat in the font because she couldnt lean back like people normally do when theyare baptized. I cannot do the baptism justice, but it was beautiful. So grateful to witness moments like that.
Have a fantastic week! I know I will!
Love, Hermana Westergard