Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 47: Fish Bellybuttons?

fish bellybuttons?
Hey guys I love you :)
 My new area is super awesome I love it! this week we found 11 new people to teach and we put fecha with 3 people the elders were already teaching. We have found some really nice open people here that could really go far. Now we just have to get them to church. I got sun burned where I forgot to put sun screen and super tan where I did put it. I feel like I can see my native american ancestry coming out :)

I feel like some of my favorite p-day activities include walking slowly, sitting down, and being able to lie on my bed and leisurely eat a banana--or being able to take the time to go buy ice cream if I want. You know, the simple things. life is just so go, go, GO! as a missionary sometimes. I feel like especially in this area there is always lots to do and we are always rushing to do it.

On a side note, we ate fish bellybuttons this week. Now I know what you are thinking ¨But Lydia fish don't have bellybuttons¨ That's what I thought but apparently in the fish called la lissa there are belly buttons on the inside of the fish so yah. It is not something I would eat again but I had to try it at least once.

You guys said I should tell you more stories about my teaching experiences but I don't really know what to say. We taught some really cool people this week but when I tried to write about it in my journal it just sounded stupid. :(

Also on skype you asked me what you guys should do to prepare the future missionaries back home and I said study Preach My Gospel. I think the best place to start would be in the 3 main lessons we teach. Just knowing really well the basics and where the scriptures are that correlate. Practice teaching each other in fhe. You wouldn't believe how many missionaries didn't know how Joseph Smith got the priesthood till the MTC. Another good place to study is chapter 6 attributes of Jesus Christ studying and working on anyone of those is sure to help. I love you guys :)

Hna Lambert

Week 46: Piercing of the Hand

Hola Familia!

Im doing well. They are turning over our area to elders to see if they can do anything with the area and if they don't baptize either then they are going to close it :( Part of me wants them to have a lot of success especial since we just found some cool people that I really want to progress, but it will also stink if they just come in and baptize everyone because everyone will think we didn't work or some thing.

 I am pretty sad to be leaving this area. We found some really cool nuevos this week. Sometimes when we find nuevos it feels like well yah, they accepted a return appointment, but are they really going to progress? But these guys are awesome! They could totally get baptized! It is a family of father and 5 hijos (4 boys 1 girl) the youngest 2 are twins and are 7.  I think they are so great--both the dad and the oldest son seperately told us that they were looking for God but didn't know how to find him. Plus they were both totally on board with all the compromisos and accepted bautizmo (we will put a date next time)! Then there is this other girl who is 15 named Nurhy. We have been friends with her for about a 2.5 months but she would never agree to a return apointment aun cuando le ensenabamos varios veces. (although we taught her many times). We always find her in this member's store and the member always start talking about church doctrine and we all sit down and it just turns into a lesson. But FINALLY she came looking for us because one of her friends (also 15 years old) has cancer. We have taught plan of salvation, restoration, and Book of Mormon in the last week and she is so receptive! I love her! SHE CAN TOTALLY GET BAPTIZED!!!! IF her parents don't say no but... we will see. So yah, things are going great up here in Avila we found some cool people in Rio Frio as well and the bishop is actively looking for a house to rent up there so we can start the branch :) This area has so much potential! Plus there is one eternal investigator who should be getting married this month so she can finally get baptized and we have like 3 menos activo kids that want to get baptized. The Elders that get sent out here can definitely have a lot of exito! [success!] :) I'm only a little bit jealous. I honestly would be happy to stay here another cycle.

So in other news this past week we were helping out the ward mission leaders wife by.... drum roll please.... Teaching seminary!!!! At 6 in the morning! I think this experience is probably to help me remember that 6:30 really isn't that early and that I used to get up at 5:30 all the time. Plus we are studying Jeremiah so that's a blast :) Today we taught the Book of Lamentations. Did you know that 3 of the 5 chapters in that book were written in the form of an acrostic poem? I felt like I was back in Latin class analyzing ancient poetry as I delved in to  how Jeremiah used  a form of poetry so structured to describe the chaos that was passing in Jerusalem as they were conquered by Babylonia--because it wasn't coincidence! It was the logical and structured consequence of the the jew's sin and disobedience as prophesied by servants of the lord! SO COOL! But maybe just to me-haha!

This Friday when we went to unlock the church for seminary in the morning the keys would not work! we tried and tried. As the students arrived everyone took turns but no one could get it open. I decided that  it would be a good idea to jump the church fence and try to open it from the other side and let everyone else in. Drastic times call for drastic measures! I had previously taken a good look at the fence and it looked easy--almost as if they had conveniently designed it so that some one of my height could climb it. Granted I am rather a bit taller than the average Mexican. So I quickly looked around to make sure no guys were watching and in my Sunday skirt and flats I started to climb the fence. At first it was going fine, just as I had predicted. However as I pulled myself up to the top a stabbing pain reminded me that I sprained my wrist a week ago and it was far from better. I managed not to scream but quickly grabbed the top with my other wrist without time to be careful and impaled my palm on one of the spikes on top of the fence. The worst was I couldn't let go of the spike or I was going to fall because my other wrist/hand could not support my weight so I just leaned on it till I could pull my legs up. I got over and made it down the other side but when I looked at my hand the palm/heel was bleeding thick and red and blood was dripping off my fingers. I put pressure on it and tried to hide it from the students/ my comp and chatted cheerfully but it sure hurt like heck as I tried to open the gate from the inside. But it still wouldn't open!!!!!!! so now I had to cross over again! This time I was more careful and crossed safely making jokes about breaking into the church. After we sent the kids home I finally showed my comp. So yah.. thats one more thing that we can add to the list of things that I am waiting for to be healed.

I Just wanted to share with you guys the letter Prez wrote the mission. I love him :)

[Elders and Sisters,

Tonight I am sitting in a chair in the hospital at my wife's side, Hermana Stutz ("Mama Stutz").  I am thinking of her, her health, and how much I love her.  Also, I am thinking about you who seem so far away from me.  Looking through the hospital window, I can see the mountains of Paradise, and I can imagine where you are... even the furthest in Texcoco, Chapingo, Ixtapaluca and even the Sisters in the mountains and pueblo of Avila Camacho!!
As I look through the window I am thinking of all of you, working with faith, of your own volition, 
contacting, teaching, gathering with your investigators, praying and giving your all.  Tears fall from my eyes, thinking in your sacrifices, and your efforts.  Many thanks for giving so much, for serving faithfully as servants of the Lord.  Please continue en virtue and diligence.  
I extend an invitation to any who for any reason are already tired and don't with to serve with zeal.  Please, search inside your hearts to find the love that you have for this work, this service so beautiful and sacred.  Invite yourselves to come to Christ.  Your actions (getting up on time, meeting people, teaching, etc) show the Lord your love for Him.  Do you think He doesn't see your actions?  How blind they are who think this way!  He sees you even in your discouragement, your lack of desire to give everything.  I know you can, all of you.  Imagine, all of you... how would the work of the Mission MexicoCd de Mexico be if everyone gave it all, all the time.  I know you can, and that the Lord will bless you.  Thank you for your prayers for Sis. Stutznegger.  She is fighting to be rid of an infection in her body. She is a fighter!!! I know that very soon she will get up from her bed in this hospital.  Meanwhile, many thanks for your faith and for being here in the best mission in the world.
Presidente Stutznegger]

Elderes y Hermanas,
Esta noche siento en una silla en un hospital al lado de mi esposa, Hermana Stutz ("Mama Stutz"). Pienso en ella, su salud, y lo mucho que yo la quiero a ella. Tambien, pienso en ustedes que parecen lejos de mi. Viendo por la ventana del hospital, puedo ver a los cerros de Paraiso, y puedo imaginar a donde estan todos ustedes...aun los mas lejos en Texcoco, Chapingo, Ixtapaluca, y aun las Hermanas en las montañas en el pueblo de Avila Camacho!! 
Al mirar por la ventana, pienso en todos ustedes, trabajando con fe, de su propia voluntad, contactando, enseñando, arrodillandose con investigadores, orando, y dando de todo. Lagrimas salen de mis hojos pensando en sus sacrificios, y de sus esfuerzos. Muchas gracias por dar tanto, por servir fielmente como siervos del Señor. Favor de continuar en virtud y diiligencia. 
Hago una invitacion a algunos que por alguna razon, ya estan cansados o no desean servir con fervor. Por favor, buscan de en dentro de sus corazones para encontrar el amor que tienen por esta obra, este servicio tan hermoso y sagrado. Inviten a sis mismos a venir a Cristo. Sus acciones (levantarse a tiempo, encontrar, enseñar, etc) muestran al Señor su amor por El. Piensan ustedes que El no ve sus acciones? Que engañados son si es asi!" El les ve tal vez en su desanimo, su falta de deseo de dar de todo. Se que pueden, todos. Imaginenses todos...como seria la obra en la Mision Mexico Cd de Mexico si todos pueden dar de todo, todo el tiempo. Se que pueden, y que El Señor le va a bendecir. 
Gracias por sus oraciones para Hna Stutznegger. Esta peleando para quitar una infeccion en su cuerpo! Ella es una luchadora!!! Se que muy pronto se levantara de su cama en este hospital. 
Mientras, muchas gracias por su fe y por estar aqui en el mejor mision en el mundo. 

Presidente Stutznegger

Well I love you guys a lot. I can't believe that I am going to be talking to you guys again in a week! We forgot to talk to members about where we could Skype you from but we will figure it out this week we will probs try to talk to you guys at like 5 our time. Have a great week :)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Week 45: Friday Night Feasts

Preaching to all God's creatures!
So it is official 9 de Mayo prez is taking us of the hill and moving us to... wait for it... another hill!
I realize I probably haven't ever described what my pueblo is actually like. It is a very interesting mix of EXTREMELY tranquil and surprises around every corner. 

There is a guy here (they say he is a narco pero quin sabe) who has a tiger. On our street everyone is a member (feel like l live in Provo) except for one house that has a virgin shrine out front and these investigators have a garden that stretches the length of the block. IT IS HUGE! and inside they have a bunch of peacocks including an albino and a bunch of other exotic animals and birds. There is a ranch here with 30 min ponies! and then they have 150 normal horses. And by normal, I just mean big because these are not ordinary horses--Arabians, and Thoroughbreds and all sorts of fancy horses.
lots of people gallop around on horses here. For me it is super funny when some whistles at us as they ride by on their horse I feel like saying " I was checking out your horse not you!"

if you live below the highway you are probably Mormon, if you live above the highway you are Catholic or an inactive member

The pueblo is normally very calm but weekends above the highway! WATCH OUT they go crazy! There are parties everywhere. They shut whole streets down every weekend to host their parties. The good thing is that once we told some of our investigators we can't go to parties as missionaries, so she fills us up plates of food and has children deliver it to our house at about 9:30 Friday and Saturday. Party food over here is usually mole or mixote (I think that is how it is spelled. The fun thing about mixchote is that is kind of like a goodie bag. The bad thing is you can never be sure what you are going to get.)

Basically mixote is carne de res (beef) (which is normally SUPER GOOD) with a bunch of spices (I think they even put a curry-like thing in there)  and nopales in a bag made of this certain plant they also make tequila out of. But you never know which part of the bull you are going to get. This week as we were eating at a members house in my "goodie bag" I got umm.. well... lets just say rocky mountain oysters with some other interesting pieces... I shudder just thinking about it I went home and brushed my teeth because I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth.

Well I love you guys and I will be seeing you super soon! Just let me know what time you want to skype on Mother's Day and we can make it happen as long as it is after 3 our time.
He knows he is beautiful!

Hna Lambert

Week 44: GUEST EDITOR--Sis. Jones!

Eating sopes with Sis. Jones and Sis. Padilla
This week we are posting Sis. Jone's letter...
Making Chiles Rellenos! Yum

Buenas tardes a todos! This week was full of memorable experiences. REALLY great gems. Among them, Hermana Lambert and I went to eat with La Hermana Natalia, a very sweet 94 year old woman. She lives across the street from us (she is the one whose 70ish year old son living with her died and I walked in and his body was still there on the bed). Being in her nineties, she can't see or walk very well but she was determined to do her part and feed the hermanas, for which we were very grateful! But going back to the not being able to see or walk very well part... we walked in for lunch and found her bent over the stove cooking some sort of very interesting concoction. We began to feel a little nervous. Hermana Lambert went to pull out her chair and found a very still looking kitten laying on the floor nearby. She then asked Hermana Natalia, "Hermana, su gato está bien?" (“Sister, is your cat okay?”) but she didn't hear and continued cooking and talking to us. Upon further inspection we discovered that the poor thing was dead and probably had been so for at least a couple of days. Hermana Lambert slowly slid into her chair and I had to leave the room for a sec because I was "coughing and sneezing" -- basically trying my best not to burst out laughing (I have been battling horrible seasonal allergies the last few weeks though so it wasn't totally fake). Soon, after seeing what we would be eating, we invited the hermana to sit on the couch with her back facing us so she could rest. We then began clanking our eating utensils on the bowls to make it sound like we were eating but instead put the food into a nearby Styrofoam cup and made futile attempts to feed it to the other still living cat. I know I sound like a terrible person saying all this! I am pretty adventuresome when it comes to eating a wide variety of things, in a wide variety of circumstances. However, Hermana Lambert and I were in agreement that we could not eat that food from those dishes. It truly would have caused great concern for our health. Thankfully, all this was done without the dear sweet hermana ever knowing. We then snuck out and informed her grandson's wife who lives nearby that we needed help taking care of a “little situation” in the house -- meaning collection and disposal of the dead cat. She told us to go distract Hermana Natalia while she cleaned it up. We walked back in, began singing hymns to her, and nervously watched as the other hermana silently entered with a broom and dustpan. As she "swept" the cat it left a trail of cat juices on the floor, and then to top it all off, it wouldn't fit into the dustpan! So, she gave it a good hardy shove with the broom into the dustpan...all this while we were singing “O Mi Padre” and “Now Let Us Rejoice”...without Hermana Natalia even knowing.

Well, I managed to knock Hermana Lambert over in basketball while playing with the young women during an activity to which we had invited a few of the girls from our English class. She took a fall which resulted in a scraped elbow and a hurting wrist. Some of the members thought she dislocated it so one of the big strong hermanos in the Ward began massaging it and seeing if he needed to reset it. Thankfully nothing was broken, but it was deeply bruised. I have been enjoying making fun of her huge purple hand; it looks like the hand of Baymax from Big Hero 6 except purple instead of white. Poor thing! I am officially a terrible companion!

We continue to work hard to bring the Gospel to Rio Frio. Went there this week and talked with a policeman working in the Delegación office if there was any community service we could do there in the town. He gave us the contact info we needed and then continued asking us more about what we do. He invited us to the next door tienda to buy us some Snickers and when we asked if there was anything we could do for him he said to tell us more about the Church. We then had a lesson with him and store owner right there and they loved talking to us! As missionaries we find ourselves in all sorts of situations, but in just about every single one we can talk about the Gospel. It is the best!

We were really blessed with a few miracles this week. For the first time since I have been in this area we had two investigators who we have been teaching come to Church. The whole Ward was delighted! Also, Hermano Hans -- the only Church member in Rio Frio who was baptized last year but has not been coming -- came to Church as well!!! We have been working really hard with him. He is from Germany and we love talking with him because his accent in both English and Spanish are really cool. He is so sweet. We also went to the Temple Visitor's Center with a less active woman and her daughter. They also finally came back to Church last week after many attempts on our part to visit them. We all loved that visit. It is amazing how just being on the Temple grounds brings the Spirit so powerfully into your life. Also, Hermana Lambert and I spoke in both of our Wards yesterday (I'll give details on what we spoke about next week) and I played the piano in Sacrament Meeting! I am so grateful that I bought the simplified hymn book for piano while at the Temple because it literally saved me. I think I was divinely guided on that purchase. Haha that was exciting :) Even more exciting is that two wonderful people we have been teaching are scheduled to be baptized on May 7. Keep them in your prayers!

Okay I need to go now but thank you for your prayers and your love :)

Love Hermana Jones

Parent Note:  By way of other news that occurred while the missionaries were sleeping, the volcano Popocatepetl erupted again in the early morning hours of Monday, April 18.  There is a time-lapse video of the eruption via the hyperlink below, which may or may not work.

Playing with the flowers, new shirt from Hermana Padilla who is on her way to Brazil

Peacocks in our neighbor's garden