We were working on making New Years Resolutions this week and I realized that in my list, I had goals for before and for after the mission. It feels so weird to say that I am going home this year. I know the time is going to fly by! This past year has honestly been the fastest year of my life, it seems like yesterday I was saying by to Ruth and my Dad in front of the MTC and there was a Samoan guy or something like that with his very large family - in size and stature - in front of us. Then Ryan Hansen walked by us in this crazy moment of confusion and mixed emotions and gave us a smile when none of us really could and were all doing our best just to swallow the tears. AND NOW, I am in Mexico and I could say that I feel like I am at home. wow.wow.wow.
So this week was really difficult to find basically anyone. I thought Xalapa seemed empty during Christmas, but it was even more deserted during New Years. We have basically been on our feet the whole day, every day, each day. We only sit down during the comida and then again around 5:30 we take a break and sit down on the curb because our feet are bruised from walking the whole day. BUT, Hna Z and I help keep the other animated and happy and it is still so great to be a missionary! Weeks like this really make me appreciate A LOT when I get the chance to teach. I feel like I am so full with so much to share that it is incontainable!!!!! AND, we did get to meet some really great people this week. I know that we were placed in their paths or they were placed in ours for a reason, and we HAD to be walking to find them!! Just another thing that shows that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Every. Single. Little. Thing. The Lord guides us every day, and we just need to be able to learn to trust His judgement in everything. It is hard, because we are proud and think we know best hahahah BUT we don´t. I love the mission! I love that I can learn every day and that I can see my weaknesses so I can improve. I never thought about how much the mission would help me learn about myself personally. Wow. I am just so blessed, my words cannot describe these feelings that I have. Ok, sorry for that rant!
This week we found 2 very humble women who are going through some really tough times.
Mireya - she is the aunt of 2 teenagers who just got baptized. She was a reference from her nieces, and we have been roaming the hills of an entire colonia for 2 weeks trying to find her house. FINALLY, we found her!!!!!!!!!! AND SHE IS AMAZING!!!! She was at Kassandra´s house one time when we had a Noche de Hogar with them, and she was hiding in the kitchen listening. We watched a really touching movie, and we all heard sniffling, and she was crying by herself back there! SO, I knew we had to teach her! We had to find her! She invited us in and we were just doing the pre-talking kind of stuff, trying to get past the awkwardness hahahah but then I asked her how her relationship with God was. It sounds weirder to say that in English, but anyway, it was the key question to ask and she just starts bawling and starts telling her whole life to us. Poor woman, she has been through so much, and feels so much guilt and wants to make a better life for her granddaughter than she gave to her own children. She lives with her daughter and her granddaughter, she watches the baby while her daughter goes to work. Her daughter is also pregnant again, but she is not with the dads of either of the babies. We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ with her. Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end, and it was a beautiful lesson. She is just an amazing person! I love her so much already. We tried to visit her a couple other times this week, but she sent us a message telling us that her daughter told her that she could not meet with us. AGH. Her daughter is really grosera and just feels like a cloud on a sunny day. We are not scared of the daughter though. Good always wins.
Maria Louisa - we were looking for another reference but never actually found them. We struck up a conversation with her in the street, and she told us a little about her life too. Her son has to go to the hospital every other day for dialysis because he needs a kidney transplant or something. She told us that she does not know much, and we told her that is totally fine! Because it is! We do not know everything either, we just share what we know to be true! Hna Z and I walked away from our first conversation with her so happy and smiling hahahha because we know how much peace and love she can feel if she does the right things! We have so much hope for her.
I have noticed how much love I have started to feel for people automatically. It is something I have been praying for A LOT. I know if I can feel this love first and foremost, then I will not be nervous to talk to people, and I will go out of my way to share EVERYTHING I know. I can feel it kicking in, and it is FABULOUS :)
We have really been focusing on the importance of the Sacrament when we talk with people. I have been taking it my whole life, but have honestly never really thought about the TRUE meaning behind it. And wow. It is so important!!!!!!!!
We have been working on how we can help EACH of our investigators specifically. We pray for them, we use their names, say the specific things we want to help them with, it is all about them! Something I think we need to help them realize is that ´After much tribulation comes the blessings´D and C 58:2-4. It is hard to have the eternal perspective in things, and I think THAT is what we need to help them realize. The eternal perspective. That the hard things will pass and they will pass easier with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!!
We have been making a lot of goals with recent converts to go to the temple on the 17th!!!! SO EXCITING !!! :)
On the 31st we made tamales and they turned out great! Cheko - the mission leader - said they were some of the best he has ever had, so I guess I am a natural....not to toot my own horn or anything.
Something they do here in Mexico is make a viejito - or an old man - with old clothes. On the 31st, everyone dresses up like old people and then at midnight they burn the viejitos they made. Interesting.
I feel like my Spanish is really improving a ton!!!! And I am so excited for it!!! People ask me how long I have been in Mexico for and I tell them 9ish months and they are like WHAT. How did you learn Spanish so fast!!!! YAY :) It also makes it a lot easier to talk to people when I am not worried about them laughing at my accent or worrying about if they will understand what I am saying. This week though......I was talking about a picture, where Christ is holding a lamb in His arms. Stupid me, I said abeja instead of oveja. Bs and Vs are pronouned the same here...but abeja is bee and oveja is lamb. Whoops. No wonder Mireya gave me a weird look.
I LOVE YOU ALL :) Make great goals!
|kids dressed up as viejitos|
|viejito waiting to be burned|
|New Year´s Eve|
|rosca de los reyes|
|México is beautiful|