Thursday, April 28, 2016

Weeks 60 and 61

I found cottage cheese, love the stuff!!!

Another week has past in the mission along with much progression and learning. I feel that I have been working harder than ever and truly engaging all of myself in the work and that has brought me more peace and happiness to know that the Lord is happy with me. I know I can still improve and will continue to strive to do so since there`s only now, yesterday has already happened and tomorrow isn't here yet. Best to make the most of now :)

I was talking with my companion about Krystina on Saturday afternoon and I mentioned Ryan, but I said Krystina's "comprometido" (fiancee in Spanish). Then in a sudden shock I corrected myself, her HUSBAND Ryan. I started freaking out a little bit and couldn't believe what I was saying, I have a brother-in-law!? Also now that I see the pictures of their wedding, I feel like they are acting and are just dressed up in costumes. It`s the weirdest thing. I must say though that I am extremely happy for my sister, and her and Ryan look AMAZING:D Wish I could have been there, but I know it must've been incredible. Thanks so much for the pictures and I can`t wait to see more next week :)

This week we worked super hard in our area and were able to find quite a few new people to teach, but sadly many used their agency to turn down the offer to come unto Christ. It`s sad to see these people suffer and know they can find more peace and happiness if they would just soften their hearts and heed to Christ`s call to "Come Follow Me", but I know that I am at least making a small difference in their lives, having been given the chance learn more.

I've been studying a lot from some talks Elder Packard sent me and it`s helped me a TON. I am so blessed to have so many resources and help available and humbled that my President took the time to help me find the support I needed. One quote that has really helped me is that,

"Happiness isn't found in obtaining what you want, it`s found in wanting what you have."

It`s so true because if we base our happiness on always wanting more, we`ll always be left unsatisfied, but when we start appreciating what we already have, how much happier we`ll live especially because when we do obtain something we want, all the better we`ll feel!! I hope you all can think on this quote and that it can help you as it did me:)

We found a family of a older couple and their elderly mom-stepmom who accepted our offer to come to church, but the opposition kicked in as one of them fell ill Saturday night and weren't able to make it. The good news is that they are determined to make it next week:)

It`s been hot here lately, but the weather says it`ll be really HOT this week as in low's of 70-75 and high's of 90-103!!!! Friday is when it says 103 so that`ll be fun :D Luckily, I have the motivation that this is the last hot season I have to endure in the mission. It`s a season that lasts until October-November....but it`s better to think positively!

Thanks everyone for the Birthday wishes, I forgot it`s this week already, 20 already and my last birthday in the mission!!! Love you all and hope the best for you:D

Oh and I haven`t found a camera yet, but I`ll try to get one later today, sorry Mom!

New tie I bought last week at a mall! Reminds me of a rattle snake:D

Wow, first of all CONGRATS MOM on getting the job!!!:D I am so proud of you and glad our prayers have been answered. You deserved it for sure Mom since you are the best math teacher out there! I can´t believe my birthday´s already coming up, and I´m leaving my teenage year, yikes:O I haven´t found a camera yet, but I should be able to find one this week and I borrowed my companions to take a few this time:) I can´t believe my Sister´s getting married this Saturday already, my love and best wishes goes out to the happy couple and I hope that everyone can enjoy such a special occasion, I know I´ll be there in spirit :) That´ll be cool if the mini 4th ward reunion really happens at the Arizona reception! Also thanks everyone for your love and support, I can feel it everyday!!

Anyways I had some problems with the computer today so I´ll have to be brief.
-Elder Packard has been helping me a lot to better enjoy my mission and be a more successful missionary, as well as to guide my Zone to achieve the same. I talked with him this morning and the principle he helped to guide me with was that I need to stop trying to please people and start trying to please God. Of course, that doesn't mean I shouldn't try to please people and make them happy, but it does mean that sometimes you just can´t please both, and God should always come first. I have been applying that with my companion and I do feel we have been able to be more obedient and in the long run feel better about ourselves :)

-We started working in the wealthy part of our area this week as a step towards focusing more on the people rather than maintaining high numbers. As a Zone Leader, there´s a lot of pressure to have good numbers of lessons and contacts, so ever since I got here we´ve focused on a small neighborhood that allows us to achieve that, but have neglected the majority of our area since it´s full of rich people who are generally harder to find home or interested. I have the faith that the Lord has given us this area for a reason and we will be able to make a difference in the peoples lives where the spirit guides us.

- My stomach hasn't bothered me too much this week and I have my appointment this Friday with the doctor to see the results of the biopsies they took. Hopefully it shows more into why I still have problems!

- We still haven´t had any investigators at church, but we are working hard to get them there, the opposition has been strong for sure.

- It´s been super hot here, but still hasn't gotten up to 100 yet, but up to around 90 some days! Basically it´s going to be hot from now until October or November...yay! The good news is once I get there, I won´t have to endure another never-ending summer next year, woooo!:P 

Exchanges with Elder Diego and Elder Clawson last transfer,
although they aren't in our Zone anymore.

We did an activity for a Zone Training hiding a church full of limes and one red tomato representing
a "ripened person" ready to hear the gospel. It was fun and I feel they could see the effort it takes to
find that one person, but the worth at the end (we rewarded a big candy bar for those who found it)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Week 59

Well, I finished up another 6-week transfer on the mission!!! I think I only have 8 or 9 left :). The time is flying by, but it's still quite a lot of time left so there`s plenty of time to learn and grow! This week has been crazy to be honest! Last Monday after I wrote, I had to return back to Doctors Hospital, but luckily this time just to retrieve my USB drive I forgot last time I went :P. Also we were given permission to go to this super huge, super cool, super modern mall called "Plaza Galerias". Wow it had everything! It`s funny how different it is entering a mall as a missionary and how I tend to enter stores looking for ties and other dress clothing. I ended up buying a super cool tie which was in a super fancy shop. We'll see if I can send a picture of it soon.

I had my second Mission Leadership Council for the month of April and this time felt more comfortable since the nerves of being a Zone Leader have calmed down. We talked about what we improved on last month and how we fell short and placed new mission goals. My favorite part though was afterwards when they serve us a home-cooked style lunch! Especially since we always fast before. Next month will be a lot different because they changed out a lot of Zone Leaders and an assistant too.

Yesterday, Elder Azuara and I worked with fresh new missionaries for a day and it was super cool to be on the other end of the situation. I still remember my first day in the mission field, with Elder Madrigal, and what a crazy experience that was! I worked with Elder Hernandez who lives two blocks from the MTC in Mexico City, must have been weird to be so close to his house as a missionary in training!! He`s a pretty cool guy, he`s been a member all his life and is super prepared for the mission. We had an awesome lesson with Alexis and Brian on the first vision and Book of Mormon. Elder Hernandez told the first vision by memory, which impressed Alexis. She was like "Woah, you memorized the whole paragraph!" haha. It was a great lesson. Actually this family is super cool. The only problem is Brian works on Sundays, but they really want to go as a family to church to know if it`s true, so he`s going to do all he can to get it off :).

I've been struggling with controlling my stress and enjoying the mission more, but luckily my companion noticed and wrote about it to President Bird, who decided to meet with me and, based on that meeting, called a specialist named Elder Packard, who is a psychologist serving a mission helping missionaries all over the world. I talked with Elder Packard yesterday morning and he sent me several talks and instruction, which I am to study and review every day for a while. Based on what Elder Packard said, and what I've studied so far, turns out I`m a perfectionist in some aspects. It sounds weird to me and I know I like to be competitive and work hard, but I've never considered it to be a mental or emotional problem. It`s nothing serious or anything, and I`m super grateful to have this help because I do want to be able to enjoy my mission more and stop criticizing and comparing myself to others. Everyone has their weaknesses and turns out being a perfectionist is one of mine, but I have faith that the Lord can help me, like it explains in Ether 12:27

27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

To respond to my Mom`s email, I hope I can meet Ryan, soon to be my brother-in-law, on Mother`s Day, that would be great! I`m going to look for a camera today if I have time, so hopefully I'll have pictures to send next week. My stomach has improved, but it still always bothering me a little. Hopefully, when I meet with the doctor in a couple of weeks I`ll find out more, I have started to think that stress might have something to do with why it hasn't been able to heal completely, so my meeting with Elder Packard should help if that`s the case:) When`s the Musical again? Coming up right?! Hey don`t stress about the wedding or reception, enjoy the process of preparation as much as the actual event, it`s all about the climb Mom:D

Anyways I`m excited to meet the new members of my Zone tomorrow and start out this transfer strong! I love the mission, hope it never ends!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 58

Entering the hospital with Elder Azuara.
Dr. House patient:D

Our view was AMAZING this time since our room was on the other side .

Wow, it's been a crazy week that flew by and it was filled with trials and experiences.
We have exchanges every day from Tuesday to Friday, which is cool to get to know some of the other elders of my Zone. On Friday, we had a special activity where we set up a table with flyers, cards and a tv screen showing the Hallelujah video for Easter. We split up the Zone since it's so huge and Elder Azuara and I did exchanges to be able to have a Zone leader at each location. One was in a market and the other at a big metro and bus station. We did a TON of contacting and gave out free orange juice with we made ourselves. Speaking of which, that was quite the experience making all the juice. It was 20 liters (about 5 gallons) of juice in all we made and just Elder Azuara, Elder Eduardo, Elder Alvarez and I were helping to make it. We had a little juicer, but it took forever and ultimately broke so we improvised and put sliced oranges in a blender and then ran it through a strainer to take out the big pulp and seeds, it turned out to be faster and easier anyways and a great idea to make natural juice! I'll have to make apple juice that way sometime:) At the end we had a house full of orange peels, pulp and juice EVERYWHERE. It was such a pain to clean, to be honest, but a good life lesson to say the least. 

Orange juice, what a mess!!

Anyway, after the busy Friday activity was General Conference, which was AMAZING and helped me a ton! I would like to share some of my favorite parts:)

Saturday Morning Session:
-"You can have what you WANT, or you can have something BETTER" Donald L. Hallstrum
-Kevin R. Duncan talks about how we are not defined by the mistakes we have made, nor should we define others that way. I love his message of how we should see others as God see´s and also about forgiveness and how we are only forgiven through forgiveness:)

Saturday Afternoon Session:
-David A. Bednar taught how baptism is a departure and we shouldn't think of it as a destination that we always yearn to return to because we CAN return to baptism through a renewal of those covanents through partaking of the sacrament!!

Priesthood Session:
-Russel M Nelson explained that as Priesthood Holders, we all have the same AUTHORITY given by God, but the ammount of POWER we have is determined by our worthiness because sin blocks out Priesthood Power.
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf said that " People are just as happy as they decide to be" or something close to that and also explained how appologizing is a sign of strength, not of weakness.

Sunday Morning Session:
-¨If we choose Christ, we will have made the right decision¨ said our Prophet Thomas S. Monson
-D Todd Christofferson explained how challenges are at times a way that God shows his trust in us. He allows us to be tried because he knows we can overcome and improve from it. This especially helped me because I´ve been feeling a little stressed lately from my responsibilities and it has brought many challenges. Now I understand better why I have to pass through them and am even grateful for them because I know God is putting his trust in me:D

Sunday Afternoon Session:
-Dallan H Oaks taught that as we grow and strengthen, our opposition and Satans forces increase proportionally. This makes sense to me and helps me understand that we will never reach the point when we are no longer tried because the stronger we get, the more we will face. Maybe past problems will be overcome more easily when they return, but new ones will always come. Luckily Elder Oaks also explains how God can continue to strengthen us to be able to face all that enfrents us.
-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said that, ¨Ther great thing about the gospel is that we get credit for trying, even if we don´t succeed!" Or something close to that. How true is that and how wonderful it is to know that EVERY effort we make towards following the gospel counts!

Those are just a few of my favorite parts and I hope you all could find advice and counsel for your own lives. How wonderful it is to have a living Prophet as well and his Apostles and other church leaders!!!:D

Exchanges with Elders Coovarubias and Risso.

Exchanges with Elders Mera and Subia