Thursday, December 29, 2016
This is just a quick announcement to let you know that Lydia is coming home. She will be speaking at 10 am at the Hingham Chapel and there will be an open house for her at 4 pm at our home. I'm sure she would love to see you!
Monday, December 12, 2016
Today is a sad day because Hermana Jones, other Jones and Hermana Wolferts are going home. Seeing her pack is even sadder than when I packed. Monday we have top do so much so I'm writing this letter in advance in case I don't have time to write.
This past week has been crazy! I feel like so much has happened. First of all I worked on Monday with Hermana Wolferts and Hermana Navarro so I could go to Chapultapec on Tuesday. We took some awesome photos I'll try to send them to you. We went with some other sisters and Elder Miller who I haven't seen since Oriental. Guess what! He is going to be Assistant! In our generation 2 of the Elders will be assistants this coming cycle and 3 will be Zone Leaders. I think there is only 1 other Elder that came in that group. Plus all the sisters in our generation menos 1 have been sister training leaders.
Anywho, Tuesday after everything I meet up with my comps to go to a few more citas [appointments] and I found them in shock. Dana(an awesome member) had just called to tell us that Jazmin (the cousin of Jorge) didn't want anything to do with the Church anymore. She didn't want to be baptized, she didn't want to come to the activities, and she didn't want us to visit her anymore. We were understandably crushed. Jazmin had tried to drop us before because her dad wasn't too happy that she wanted to be baptized, but we talked her out of it. I figured we could convince her again, so I wasn't super worried. She has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, she is just a little worried about her baptism because she understands it is a big step. So the following day we went up to visit her and dropped by without letting her know we were coming. You should have seen her face when she opened the door. from that moment I knew our chances were slimmer than I had originally thought. She asked if Dana had talked to us and we said yes, but that we "hadn't understood very well." You could tell she didn't want to let us pass, but we invited ourselves in.
We started talking and she told us what Dana had told us. She has been feeling a lot of pressure from her friends who say she is changing too much and her Dad (who isn't really her dad, but doesn't know that) gets mad when she wants to go to a church during his day of rest. Plus she is failing 2 classes and some other stuff and basically just feeling super stressed out. Plus someone told her that women don't need to be baptized because they can have kids?!?!...
So we retaught the doctrine and blessings of baptism and explained that all of her excuses really weren't valid. We got her to see that the changes her friends were complaining about really were good changes. At the end of it, as we gave her 2 options, 1) Postpone her baptism and keep listing to us or 2) keep praying, reading, and letting us visit her. She told us she wanted some time to analyze her feelings and that she would let us know when she wanted to talk to us. It was supersad. We ended bearing our testimonies and Hermana Jones started crying. It was the first time she cried in a lesson on her whole mission! I pulled out Jazmin's Book of Mormon and dedicated Moroni 8:3 to her and told her that even if we weren't viviting her I would still be praying for her. Praying that she would have another chance to accept the gospel and enjoy the blessings thereof.
And then we left. Hermana Jones started bawling when we had left. As she explained it had never been so hard to say goodbye before because they had always had the gospel in their lives and Jazmin didn't. :( It was such a contrast from Jorge. Why just that morning we had gone with Jorge to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. It was a really cool experience to be in white going down into the font. I've seen people do that my whole mission but I have't done baptisms in so long. When I walked down into the font, Jorge leaned over to my comp and told her, "It looks like my baptism." It was such a cool experience to go with him to the temple! :)
Then Thursday I got to go back to the Temple with Prez and all the missionaries going home in December. It was a beautiful session with people I love. I will never forget those moments in the celestial room. We 4 american sisters were sitting on a couch together and PRez came over and kneeled down in front of us. He grabbed my hand and started to thank us for our service and for being his friends. We really have been through a lot with him. Heck, his wife almost died and elders went rogue, hermanas were in danger and some almost deathly ill. We have shed sweat, blod, and tears with Prez. Stuz. I can't even imagine having some one else as my mission prez. After the temple we went to the offices and spent the day waiting for Jones and Wolferts to have their final interviews.
Friday we had an epic planning session with Hermana Wolferts and Navarro because we are going to combine our 2 areas. I don't know how we are going to do it. Our area is already gigantic, but hwere there is a will there's a way! In total we have 14 people that are ready to accept Fecha (baptismal dates). Then we went out and hit the streets till advanced English Class. It is so fun to just talk with latinas who speak English.
So saturday in we went to go look for some new investigators we found through the English class. Guadalupe and Ingrid (you will be hearing more about them in the future) they are so awesome and accepted Fecha for the 7th of January :) Then in the evening we got to go to the temple to see the lights with a recent convert and the Fam Castillo from Oriental were there! They are converts of Hermana Wolferts and just completed a year as members. It was so great to see them I love that family.
Sunday things got crazy we showed up to church and 4 investigators were there only 2 of which had said they would come. The biggest surprise of all was (drum roll please) . . . JAZMIN waiting for us in the door!!!! She showed up! I may or may not have run up from the gate to hug her. She told me "Algo me dijo que tenia que venir"[Something told me I had to come] It was an amazing 3 hours The spirit was felt so strongly. Their usually powerhouse testimony bearers all got up as well as several lovely children with unique testimonies. In my ward there are 4 missionaries going home this month and we all got up as well. Recent converts shared their testimonies, recently reactivated members as well. I love this ward, I love knowing these people and their struggles and seeing their faith I was so happy. The climax however was when JAZMIN! Got up and bore her testimony it was so sweet. She testified of the Book of Mormon and said it had helped her to find many answers and that she was looking forward to the day when she would receive her answer about baptism. She publicly thanked us and said that she knew in the day of her baptism she would feel very ready :) :) :)
She told us she was only going to be able to stay one hour because she still had homework but the jovencitas [Young Women] del barrio swept her up and she ended up staying all 3 hours. At the end she came up and said she wanted to talk to me about her baptism. In Young Womens they invited her to come do baptisms for the dead with the ward the 23 of Dec but explained she needed to be baptized first so she asked me if she could get baptized on Dec18. Obviously I told her we could make that happen :)
I love the mission, life is crazy and it just keeps moving on :) I really am very happy. I pray for you guys all the time. I can't believe I am going to turn 21! Que loco! Keep sharing the Christmas video with everyone and doing the daily service!
|Vigilante Romeo stries again!|
about 2 weeks ago I was perusing my english hymn book and I found this hymn. As I read the words I realized that it was the perfect song to express the testimony of a missionary aun mas uno que esta regressando a casa.[especially one returning home] First it gives an earnest testimony of Jesus Christ and as it says what tongue, what language could express my gratitude? Then in the second verse (commonly known as the third verse) it says change frowning foes to smiling friends. That is what the mission is all about! Random strangers on the street who are "too busy to talk" can become life long friends. "Chasten my soul till I shall be in perfect harmony with thee" the mission humbles us and pushes us to be more and more like Christ. As we try to be more like Christ we realize how far we have to go, and we beg every night on our knees "Father make me more worthy of thy love."
The last verse is my favorite in echo of king Benjamin's speech we recognize that we can never repay the lord for all the blessings he has given us. Not with 18 months of service, not even with a life time of service but as the song says we can love him. Then it asks have I not shown my love by preaching they gospel? Has it not been my joy by day and my dream by night? My comps can testify that I teach the lessons in my sleep haha and I promise you that the mission has brought me great joy.
Here comes in going home part "Then let my lips proclaim it still and all my life reflect thy will" a life of dedicated service does not end with the mission.
I hope you like the recording I feel like we sang it better when we sang it in the going home testimony meeting but prez begged us to sing it again in the night so he could record it :)
SorryI haven't been writing a lot. Since I don't have a ton of p-days left in my mission I have been visiting the pyramids, going to church camps ,and all sorts of fun things that don't leave a ton of time for writing.
Every once and a while as a missionary you are getting ready to leave for the day and you check your agenda and see a lot of appointments that seem not to matter. It can appear that none of the people you are going to visit that day really want to listen to you or want or progress. But never fear, the Holy Ghost is here! Inspiration is just the best and even with so much time listening for and seeking the guidance of the spirit I often don't realize it was inspiration till we get to the appointment and they tell me "I know that my heavenly father loves me because I have _____ problem and he sent you" that happened 3 times this week. A single mom with depression who was at the end of her rope. And old grandma recovering from vertigo with an alcoholic son and a daughter, about to complete 6 years living with cancer, who just wants to come to church but is the breadwinner in her family and cant see a way to do without working Sundays, and a young recently married member whose husband is a convert and a recovering alcoholic. I know that as missionaries we are nothing more than instruments en los manos del Señor.[in the hands of God]. There is nothing more beautiful than having the privilege of being a manifestation of God's love hacia estas personas. I know that God loves and knows each of us individualmente and he is ALWAYS aware of what is happening in our lives. He is ALWAYS reaching out to help us because he loves us. He is our Father. He created a plan of happiness, a plan for our salvation! As missionaries we always teach about the plan of salvation that applies to all of us but I know that he also has individual plans for each and everyone of u--Plans for OUR happiness--plans to save us :)
I have served in 6 diff wards in this stake since January, I love going to all the stake activities and knowing everyone. This Sunday was the primary program and the Stake primary prez (from monte corona) came down to watch. They had all the missionaries (there are 7 in my ward) get up and sing with the kids Army of Healman as we sang with these sweet children "we will be the Lord's missionaries and bring the world his truth¨ there was hardly a dry eye in the whole building. It was so touching to see the audience mouthing the words. See the missionary moms crying, seeing the young single adults who are struggling to get out on missions cry. They recently made a new rule here in Mexico. The church is not going to pay for the missions anymore. Everyone who wants to go has to pay 80,000 y tantos pesos. That is money most people here just don't have. Especially if only 1 or neither of their parents are members. There are 2 jovencitas in the ward who want to go NOW but are trying to work and borrow and beg to get the money they need to go on their missions. Also Jorge talked with the bishop and is going to start his papers and a cuenta para ir appartando his dinero and they are looking into getting help from the stake to help him go on a mission. When I heard Jorge wanted to go on a mission I almost cried :) I will be so happy if he goes. I know that our leaders are inspired and if the youth here have to pay for their own missions it will only make them stronger and the Lord will prepare a way for them to save the money if they keep the commandments.
I have had a great mental wall up and didn't even think about going home until recently. Hna Jones only has 2 weeks left and seeing her get ready to go has smashed that wall into a million pieces. Well to be honest, more than Hna Jones it is Prez calling us crying on the phone to say how much he will miss us or Prez asking is he can come to appointments with us and then making sad eyes at us. During the mission tour every time he looked our way he started to tear up. It is a little hard to stay focussed when everyone talks so much about going home. Pres told us he was really sad but now not so much because the Holy Ghost revealed to him how happy our lives are going to be after the mission or rather that prez should let us move on. He said that probably 3 times and the third time he said it he added. ¨But its a lie because really I am still sad¨ It is sad to see the mission ending but it only makes me more dedicated to make this last month count for all it is worth.
They recently came out with a newly formatted Book of Mormon in Spanish. It is so weird! I was just reading a long and all of a sudden THE WORDS WERE DIFFERENT! Turns out the revised it to be more like the english translation but it weirded me out to have my scriptures changed. In Mosiah 2:21 they changed inutiles to improductivos. so when I saw that I went and checked other scriptures that I had noticed were diff from the way are in English. I was surprised that they didn't change Alma 7:6 because I feel that it is very different. Also side note I like Alma 34:31 better in Spanish. Basically in general I like the scriptures better in Spanish I wonder if that will change when I go home...
Anywho I love you guys!
p.s. Pray for Jazmin she is still nervous about getting baptized (Jorge is going to baptize her)