Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 43: Explosion

Hola, Mom! I love you! Didn't die in an explosion√≥ volcano btw- Hermana Lambert 

Selfie with Presidentes Stutzneggers

Here's the story in the Mexico Daily News:

Sunday, April 3, 2016

WEEK 42: Another week in the mountains!

Being kept in casa for the weekend isn't all bad!
Calla Lillies for Easter!!
Note from Sis. JonesI can see the volcanoes where I am every day, La Mujer Dormida (Iztaccihuatl in this pictured) and Popocatepetl (Smoking Mountain) farther south. They are so beautiful and covered in snow right now, and Popo is always smoking just a little bit.

Today in exciting news--how Hermana Lambert got sick again! Not really.  Well yes, I am actually sick--no I am not going to share the whole story like last time--that would just be boring. Suffice it to say that I have had a temp for 3 days but it is winding down ,and diarrhea for 4 but I got some good medication and a blessing so I should be better soon.

Mother, I must say I was disappointed that you did not take A SINGLE PICTURE AT EASTER! How is that possible! This is the kind of thing we have to preserve for posterity! I am sure somebody there took pictures. Por favor ask around and see if you can find some. I am especially interested to see how tall Joseph is now. My comp and I had a photo shoot on Friday when we werent supposed to go out and work because they were crucifying someone on the hill. (* see clarification from Sis. Jones below) It was super fun. It felt like senior photos and sort of made up for the fact that they screamed Gueras! FEAS! [Honkies, Ugly] at us in the street (I think it bothered my comp a lot more than it bothered me).

I am just going to share a quick story. Right now we are teaching a jovencita de 19 named Michel who lives in our street ( the only house on our street that aren't Mormons). When we asked her if we could teach her in her home or in the church she said no to both because her mom is a Jehovah's Witness and she doesn't want people to see her going into the church (we will have to work on that one). So, she suggested that we teach her in the house of her friend Gloria (who is a member who also lives on our street). We were all like "Well, that's cool if you want to find YOUR OWN MEMBER PRESENT"! So when we get to the appointment, Gloria kicks her 9 yr old daughter Sochi into the living room and says, "Stay with the missioneras and try to learn something" and left. We were a little bit surprised, but hey! a 9 yr old member still counts for member present. So, we had previously taught the restoration so we just did a recap and focused a lot on the Book of Mormon and the doubts that she had. But let me tell you, Sochi was AMAZING! when we were talking about if the BOM [Book of Mormon] is true or not and Michel said "Well I think it is, actually I don't know, I have a lot of doubts" and Sochi pipes up "It is true! The Book of Mormon is true! And the Church is true because Joseph Smith restored it!" Then later, when we were committing her to pray about it she did NOT want to promise us that she would pray because she says she has never said a real prayer in her whole life. and Sochie was right there at here ear whispering "Promise them! promise them! Its ok I will teach you how to pray!"
Her testimony was so sweet I wish all the members we took out with us were like that :) Plus today we passed Sochi in the street and she came up to us and said "Ya esta leyendo El Libro de Mormon" [She is already reading the Book of Mormon] I love that kid can she just come to all our appointments?

Love, Hermana Lambert

 *Clarification on the crucifixion and also some experiences with Lydia from her companion, the wonderful Hermana Jones:

Sis. Jones: 
"However, we will not be working much this Friday or Saturday due to La Semana Santa. Here, on Friday, they will be doing a representación of the Crucifixion. They have chosen someone to act in the role of Jesus who will be paraded around the pueblo carrying a cross to a hill nearby and will crucify him. I understand that here they only tie him to the cross, but there are some places where they actually use nails. He won't be killed of course but that is part of how they celebrate here. On Saturday it is customary to "mojar" people; that means pour buckets of water on random people in the streets. I am not exactly sure about the history of this custom, but that is one of the reasons why we will be keeping a lower profile near the weekend ha ha :)

Okay, I must say that I just love my companion. First, because she is an amazing missionary all around! Second, because she is totally my spokesman for this whole recent food/"we need to take care of Hermana Jones because she is having some health issues development." Yesterday in the J Ward Relief Society (that is who will be organizing meals for us during April) she announced to the dear Hermanas that the doctor has said that I cannot eat a ton of food anymore in an effort to help regulate my diet and sugar levels. However, she told them that she will gladly eat whatever I don't. They were all laughing and took it really well so I think we successfully avoided offending anyone and I am in the clear! She also has taken it upon herself to intercede at meals and tell the wonderful people who feed us, when they ask if I would like seconds, that I can't eat too much but that she would LOVE some more. They always say "of course, that's fine!" Thanks to her, I may get this thing worked out. Three big cheers for the amazing Hermana Lambert!! Seriously, love her. The intermittent snacks have been helping and it is really easy to find things like Snickers and pumpkin seeds etc. I will be honest, I do not like mineral water at all but I will drink it if it helps. I will keep you posted.

We played soccer today with a few Elders in our Zone and a family who was baptized about 9 months ago. SO FUN! I love being in a country that loves its futbol. We are also teaching a woman named Margarita who works in a torilleria (I believe I mentioned her awhile back) and is so cool. We contacted her awhile ago because in the tortilleria there is a picture of the Resurrected Christ but have had less contact with her for a bit because she told us she didn't have time. The other day we decided to drop in again and she got super excited and told us she had some doubts/questions for us related to the folleto (pamphlet) about the Restauracion. When she turned around to get the folleto, Hermana Lambert and I did a few little air fist pumps -- we love when people have questions because it means they are actually reading and thinking! It is encouraging when people study with a sincere intent to learn rather than with guile. We had a great time with her, gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon to add to her studies, and she has been reading it! We hope that she comes to recognize for herself that it is a second witness of Christ, along with the Bible. Good stuff :)
**Thanks to Hermana Jones for supplementing our weekly missionary roll-call!  She's the best!

Week 41: Busiest Week

Soccer with missionaries and a local family!
I have so many things to tell you because so many cool things happened but then I think if I already wrote that in my journal do I really have to write it again? Hna Jones and I made some good revaluations about 2 weeks ago and missionary work has gotten more productive. I feel like we are really on the rim--like this could be the turning point and we start baptizing the whole Pueblo de Rio Frio and we get a "casa de oracio" [house of prayer] started out there. This week we had more member presents than in the whole cycle combined and we are in the last semana (week) of the cycle.

But something REALLY cool that happened this week is that I found my Dad! I was eating lunch with a supernice family from Monte Corona and the 14 boy (who totally has a crush on me) was super excited to show me the librito de su family history and in this book it said his mom served her mission in Vera Cruz. So I got to talking and GUESS WHAT.  She has these 2 yearbook type pamphlets from her mission from 1986 and 1987 with Prez Beecroft and Prz Ramirez and I found pictures of Dad! It was so cool :) I was so happy and only kind of freaking out--hahah. I also found pictures of Elder Ayup. (Dad's great companion and friend) It just made me feel so connected-- imaginense finding pictures of your family in a stranger's house in Mexico--pretty loco!

I also found some cool quotes from Elder Bedanar--one from my comp's grandma--
"Give missionaries 10 things to do. The Elders will do 2 of the 10 and say, "I rock!" The sisters will do 8 of the 10 and say, "I'm going to hell." So, dear Hermana Lambert, be kind to yourself, know that you are doing fine and that the Lord is pleased with you!  And one in my personal study (this isn't word for word but casi [almost]) The surest way to know that the Lord has forgiven you is when you can feel the Holy Ghost working in your life again because "He can not dwell in unholy temples." Remember, the Lord doesn't expect you to be perfect. He expects you to be clean.

That helped me feel really good about myself. These past few weeks Hna Jones and I have been guided by the spirit time and time again. Our lessons have been better than ever :) I love the mission. I love working here. I love my family. I love the feeling that there is in our home.

 I honestly had forgotten what it feels like to be in a HOME With parents who are sealed to eachother and their children for all eternity, where everyone is happy. Where they are active in their various church callings, where they all read the scriptures and pray as a family. It is just so hard to find a family like that. We were about to leave because we had probably stayed too long already talking about the ward and going through the list of references they had for us ( we had already visited and dropped all of them) when their Dad came home. When he came home the house was filled and they felt complete. He called in his youngest children (6 and 10) to listen and we read Helaman 5 with them. It was such a sweet experience and the spirit was so strong. When we were done and just ended with our testimonies I told them that I hoped they were grateful for all they had, that I hoped they understood they joy that they have in their lives that so many don't have, and I started to cry right there at their kitchen table. Back home I cried a lot when I "felt the spirit." I don't know I guess I am just a sensitive person. But in the mission casi no. I mean I feel it all the time and I can't go around crying everywhere. But here I was in their house so touched because I had forgotten what it feels like to be part of a family with some much love, blessed by the guidance of the priesthood.

My family is like that and I am so grateful. Never in my life will I again undervalue the chance to sit around the table with my very own family and just be happy because that is what life is all about. Being happy in families. Forever.

see you in May-Hermana Lambert

Dad is 4th from the right, bottom row!
Elder Ayup, who also met Eliza on her mission!  Top row, 2nd photo