Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Week 35

I bought some minion-themed items in a cool store called Hemsa!

This week a ton has happened to be honest. The biggest is that I found out last night that I'm going to be transferring areas for the first time in my mission! I have been in my first area for 7 months now, so I'm definitely ready for a change, but I'll definitely miss all my investigators, the wonderful members, and friends I've made. I still don't know where I'm going or who I'll be with. I'll find that out tomorrow morning during the transfers meeting. Last night was crazy since I found out at 10:30 that I needed to pack everything up and so I rushed around last night until around 12:30 a.m. to get as much done as possible, since there will be hardly any time tonight or tomorrow morning to pack. I'm glad to say that I have it all packed up except for the few things I need tonight and to wear tomorrow.

Oh and I bought a new tie at Hemsa too:)

Alright, so one super cool experience we had this week was last Tuesday we were given a little bit of money to eat lunch, since the sister assigned for our meal didn't have time to fix it for us. My companion suggested we go to Carl's Jr. since there just so happens to be one in our area, close to the airport. (Yes the airport has been in my area here the whole time, but I've never been there and don't think it's allowed). My companion was craving it ever since we arrived here and we pass it every week to go to church. We arrived and were just about to open the door when our cell phone rang. It was one of the secretaries of the mission, who asked us if we could go give a blessing to a member who was in the hospital. It just so happened that the hospital was just on the other side of the street! I know that wasn't a coincidence. Then upon entering the hospital, we couldn't find anyone to ask where to find the patient because there wasn't a main desk or anything, only separate departments with long lines of sick and injured people waiting for their turn. We waited for what seemed like forever and finally were able to ask, but the lady needed more information from us to be able to find the elderly woman we were seeking. We went back outside, discouraged after having waited so long, but to our surprise a woman came up to us and asked us if we were looking for someone named Dolores. Turns out it was the member's daughter! Wow, what a miracle that was! We entered with her and she asked if we could pass, to give her mom a blessing. They said we would have to wait an hour until she is moved, so we left to eat at Carl's Jr. and come back after the hour had passed. Finally, we were permitted to pass and give the blessing. The fragile lady was obviously in pain, but drew a smile as we approached since she had been waiting for us. Turns out she's one of the only members in her family, but had faith in the power of the priesthood and so she requested a blessing. It was an amazing experience for us and I know that our Heavenly Father was watching over us and guiding us that day without a doubt.

Also, this week it started cooling down finally! It got down to 72 degrees outside, which felt amazing since we've still been in the high 80's and 90's for the last month or so. I'm loving the cooler weather, although it still feels hot when the sun comes out, at least the mornings, and nights are cool finally. We finally got our boiler fixed this week and so I took my first hot shower since I left the MTC! Although it hasn't been too bad since it's been super hot all the time, but now that it's cooler in the mornings, it was super amazing to shower with hot water. The next day we ran out of gas for the boiler though, since we hadn't filled the tank and didn't know how much we had. So it was a cold shower today and will be tomorrow. Oh well, I don't mind cold showers too much. I just feel bad for my poor companion who can't stand cold showers.

This week we were let down once again with none of our investigators making it to church. I was pretty disappointed, but I need to have patience and recognize that they have their agency and I need to respect it and find those who are willing to act upon the messages we share and not just let them fly over their heads as if nothing happened. I'm leaving the area now though and so I'm hoping that I'll have better luck finding, in a new area, people who are truly prepared and willing to act. I am super nervous for the changes, but I have faith that the Lord will send me where I am needed and where I will be tested and tried in the ways that I need to be able to grow into the missionary and person he desires me to become.

My companion is obsessed with collecting these little Disney figurines.

He gave me the ones he received double of, since they come in little random packets.

I love my little Olaf!!!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 34

I don't know if I mentioned it, but I broke our last fridge and we've been living without one for a month now...
but we finally got a new one this week!! I have been dying without milk :P

Well, it's only been a few days since the last time I wrote, but there's always so much that happens here in the mission that I could write for hours and hours if the time given permitted it. This week my companion and I worked really hard to both find new investigators that are willing and able to come to church as well as encourage those we already have of the importance of going. After all the visits we made and people we contacted, we were left disappointed yesterday once again with no investigators in church. It was a little hard on me, especially with the ones I was absolutely sure would make it like Kerena and Ismael, Ruben, Jonatan (a new investigator) and Antonio. I've been pondering a lot lately about why sometimes our labors don't seem to bring any results, and I've been able to feel comfort in that although I may not always see direct results or at least in the magnitude I would desire, the little part of the Lord's grand work I put in does make a difference, but the Lord brings it to pass in his own time and in his own ways.

Before continuing I want to share an awesome story that happened just this last Saturday; I call it "The Miracle Pizza". We had been given a little bit of money at lunch time because the family that was assigned to provide us with our meal wasn't going to be home to be able to receive us. My companion and I decided to eat a light snack in the house and save it for later since there are a lot more options at night time to eat, then we went out to work again. After arriving home a little after 9, we called in an order of pizza from "Mutcha Pizza", but they said it would be a little bit of a wait, in fact, my companion told me an hour and a half wait. The problem was it was already 9:10, which would mean it wouldn't arrive until after our bedtime around 10:40! Well, we were starving, so we decided it would be worth the wait and proceeded to do our daily planning. After we finished planning, we closed with a prayer at 9:30 and asked specifically that our pizza would arrive before 10 so that we could have time to feed our empty stomachs, prepare for and get to bed by 10:30. After the prayer, my companion did his calls to the other members of our district and then I called in our numbers for the day to our zone leaders. While I was on the phone with the zone leaders there was a knock on the door, which my companion, Elder Arizmendi, opened to find that our pizza had arrived. I looked over at the clock and saw that it was 9:55!! I finished talking with our zone leaders and was able to satisfy my hungry stomach and get to bed on time. I have the proof of the story in pictures I will attach below where it says the pizza was supposed to arrive at 10:40, which is because they were busy and the place where it was delivered from is pretty far. I know it might seem silly to think this was a miracle, but to me it really was a "Miracle Pizza"! Still didn't taste as good as Papa's Pizza though ;)

Alright so anyways right now we are in the process of finding new investigators that are willing and able to come to church since that is the only way we can help them progress and be baptized. We have been finding quite a few new people with wonderful desires to improve their quality of life, but it seems that none is putting those desires into action. It's really hard sometimes because I know that if they would just set aside the distractions of the world and humble themselves through prayer, scripture study and church attendance, they would be able to realize their desires to have a better life and be able to obtain the greatest gift of all the gifts of God, eternal life. The truth though is that I have to respect their agency and accept that some people just aren't willing to make changes in their lives to bring themselves in line with God's plan. I have faith though that there really are people out there, including in my area now and other areas to come that are willing and ready to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ by putting it to action and living it's principles and I will not rest until I can find them! I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve because it brings more joy than anything else. Love you all!!

I love my Minion towel!

Strawberry, banana, and whip cream for breakfast, yum!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Week 33

Mi comp Elder Arizmendi and I

Alright well, first of all, sorry (again) for forgetting to let you know ahead of time that we went to the temple this week so I wasn't able to write Monday! Everything is going great as the work continues!

The heat had calmed down a little into the low 90's, but this week it shot back up to 100 again and one day the thermometer reached 129 degrees one day!!! (Although that's just what it feels like because the temperature was taken in the sun, the actual temp reached around 103 about) 

It's been rough lately getting investigators to come to church, but we've been focusing on finding new people that are willing and able to attend church because it's the only way we can help anyone truly progress. The temple was amazing today! It's been super long it feels like because last time we showed up late and weren't able to do endowments and the transfer before the temple was closed. I love the temple and am so happy and feel so blessed to be able to attend!! I wish I could say more, but there isn't much time, love you all!!!

We went to a store close to the Temple and I found a Minion towel and oatmeal creme pies!!

Elder Christiansen (an Elder in my District from Lehi, Utah) and I after the temple :)

The District this transfer :D (Hermana Bautista and Laguna, Elders Christiansen, Pasapera, Arizmendi and me.) 
My Zone this transfer! (Minus a few that left right away:P)
The Mexican flag outside the temple!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 32

Tuna fish tacos for breakfast. Yum!

It has been a crazy week for sure! My week was filled with tons of meetings leading up to general conference weekend, which was AMAZING! We had District and Ward Correlation Meetings on Tuesday, and Zone Conference on Friday, followed by General Conference. Basically, it was a tough week for missionary work since we hardly had any time to work, but the many trainings, teachings, and inspirations we received will help us to be able to more effectively use the time we do have.

This General Conference was incredible and I can't even begin to express all the things I learned, felt and witnessed, but I'd like to just point out a few things I loved. First I loved all the many deep soul searching questions that were proposed, especially in the Saturday Morning Session like "What is the meaning of my life?" and "What is keeping me from progressing?" or "In what areas of my life do I want to strengthen?" and many more. Self-reflection and goal setting are vital to be able to progress in this life and become who God wants us to become.

Speaking of progression in this life, I received the comfort I needed during this conference when it was explained that "Our direction is evermore important than our speed." by Larry R Lawrence. I realized that I have been too hard on myself at times, comparing myself to others around me whom I feel nothing compared to and try to do everything I can to match or top them. It's something I have learned about myself here in the mission - the extent of my immense competitiveness. This counsel helped me realize that I don't need to be so worried about quickly reaching the levels of others because, as long as I am headed in the right direction and doing my best, God will help me become who I need to become, not who I want to become.

Ugh, there's so much more I'd like to point out, but I just want to say I was awe struck with the talk by Elder Holland about mothers. How the love of Christ is most closely explained or compared to the selfless love of a mother. I just want to express my love and gratitude to all the mothers out there, but especially to my mom. Thank you for all your selfless acts you have done, are doing, and will continue to do. 

My companion bought a birthday candle...Mexican birthday candles are insane!:P

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Week 31

Exchanges with Elder Christiansen! He's new to our District, but is close to finishing his mission in January along with my companion Elder Arizmendi. He's from Lehi, Utah (Of course:P)

Well the work continues here in the mission field! The week zoomed by to be honest, but we had tons of cool experiences for sure! It´s always tough to recall everything, and even more hard with such little time to write, but I'll summarize what I can remember.

Our new investigator we are teaching in English, Ruben, couldn't make it to church yesterday because he was called in to work last minute, but we were able to teach him about the restoration Saturday, and Sunday after church we watched the video "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" with him, which was super cool. I could tell that he is starting to feel it´s true, but he told us that he still wants to find out more. The good news is that he is going to keep trying and told us he wants to come to general conference this weekend!

Other than that we are going through a lot of trials with our other investigators, especially Kerena and Ismael, who are super ready to be baptized, they just have to get married. The problem is they fell into financial problems in the exact wrong moment in their life. We are going to be patient and do all we can to help them, because I have no doubt they will be baptized, it's only a matter of time. I just hope it´s before my one year mark so I can return to see them enter the temple as a family!

I´m super excited for general conference this weekend! We are going to be able to hear from men called and inspired of God, including his prophet Thomas S. Monson. I am always amazed that, no matter what, I find answers to my questions and counsel and comfort for my life and to help the lives of others. I invite you all to listen in to the conference talks because I promise you will all find the same to be true!

And now for the food pictures...(ha ha ha!)

A Mexican sucker with layers of flavors of fruits and chilies,
I remember how I used to think this kind of stuff is gross, but now I love it!

We bought delivery pizza from "Mucha Pizza"!
It was pretty good, but I still miss Papa's Pizza... in fact, I've been craving it!!