Tuesday, April 28, 2015

3 Years

Hola!!

So much to say! This week was really awesome! It certainly was full of ups and downs emotionally. Truthfully, what I would like to share more than anything this week is my testimony. 

Today we went to the a national park called
"Parque Ecologico de Chapultepec". It was incredible
!
As I mentioned, there have been just a lot of ups and downs these last few weeks. A lot of things have come at me really fast. Between all of the things that we are expected of as missionaries, trying to organize things for after the mission, things happening that are out of my control, the love and support I recieve or don't recieve from those I love, and just daily things I have felt so heavy. I have felt like I have a lot of things pending and I can't get on top of a single one of them. It's just getting into the hot season here but when I say just getting into the hot season I mean the heat came all in one day. It's is so hot and there are days when we just walk and walk and walk. 

The Kim, 3 years ago, would have already fallen into a panic attack. I would have probably been taken to an emergency room. That Kim, would have already called her dad or her mission president saying that she couldn't do it. That Kim would have just stayed in her room and cried. But I am so humbled to say that that Kim doesn't exist anymore. 

I am so imperfect. I haven't completely overcome my anxiety and stress. But in these last 3 years the Lord has done a huge miracle in my heart. He has changed it. I am so weak, I am tired, I am nervous but He strengthens me in all of these things. This week is so special for me. Tomorrow I complete 3 years as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I didn't know even a third of the things that I know now. I don't think I knew anything. The one thing I did know was that this is the path that the Lord told me I had to take. I look back at who I was and I was so very different. I look back at my first days in the mission and I look at now and although the in between was rocky and hard, I have been able to overcome so many things thanks to the mercy of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I just had the willingness to accept and He gave.

I have come to understand that the Lord invites us to come unto Him but it's only and invitation. We must choose to accept it or not. We must choose to accept Him in our lives or not. But when we accept Him in our lives He guides us. He does. And He just loves us. 

My efforts in the mission field aren't perfect. I make so many mistakes. Some days are better, some are worse. There was a day last week when it was just so hard. Saturday. We have been fasting every weekend to find families. We were fast Saturday and it was just so hot. My mouth was so dry that my lips started to crack open. There wasn't shade anywhere. And in my head I was just miserable and just telling myself how awful I am because I was thinking and feeling this way. I thought, "You have to fast with joy in your heart and faith in your steps or it won't work." We got to the job of an investigator and she gave us water. In Mexico, they get super offended if you don't take what they offer you. We drank it and I just felt even worse afterwards. 
Our district leader sent us a pizza as a prank...
because he didn't pay for it.
And our bishop is super rad! Mexico :
)
We got home and talked to our district leader and explained and he said we could do our prayer again and start again. In my head I was murmuring, "well that just doesn't make sense." I was just being s negative. We expected so many other investigators and they just didn't come. We have been working with a part-member family and they still hadn't showed up at 1 so we called and they said "don't worry sisters, we are right around the corner!" As we watched them turn the corner we saw the son of this mother, white shirt, dark pants, chucks, and his hair parted on the side with a huge smile on his face. I wanted to cry in that moment. We didn't think he would come. We invited someone from off the street to join us, so when church started we had two investigators. I was just grateful for them. I said, "Lord, this is fine with me, just let them progress and feel your love please." Just as we were about to shut the door fr the first prayer I looked over and saw that and old investigator that we worked with for a long time was walking in and I just was so stoked. 
We called him the night before to invite him. I really love him and his family. He said he would try with his family. As he walked in, we saw behind him his wife and his three children. Later, the wife of the brother who came with chucks also come when she told us that she wouldn't. In the first prayer, I had a small tear fall of just true humility. My efforts are so meager. I am so imperfect. But the Lord is perfect, and loving and works miracles in our hearts. I want more than anything that these people accept Christ in their lives so that they can also have this miraculous change of heart. I don't deserve to see these miracles. But the Lord just loves us. And He sees the desires of our heart. He sees that although I am so weak and so imperfect that I truly desire to help these people, even though my desire is so meager. I am just humbled. 
Sister Diaz. Less active in the process of activating. I love her so very much.

These have been the best three years of my life. I know that if we truly desire to obtain what the Lord wants for us we must accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives so that His atonement can purify us. His ways are so much better than ours. He just wants us to progress, even if that progression is .15 everyday, that's still better than yesterday. I invite all of you to accept Jesus Christ in your lives. Let Him dominate all that you are. Let Him be the center of your lives. Trust Him. 

I love you all so much
Hermanaut
98 Days

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Highs and Lows

Hi everyone!

I can't believe that it is already Monday!

Well I would really like to start out asking a favor of all of you. This morning my mission president called me to let me know that my grandpa passed away. I don't know if it was yesterday or today that it happened. I wish that I could be home with my mom right now but I know that the Lord needs me here for a reason. I ask that you all pray for my family in this time.

This last week was full of a lot of highs and lows. One of them being what is mentioned above. Last week we had our last interviews with our mission president. Mine went about double the time planned because instead of me asking a really super awesome inspired question to my mission president, he asked me one. We were about to finish up and he asked me about my schooling and I explained to him about BYU Provo. I also explained to him some feelings that I have had since the decision to stay home for a while. I knew that I wasn't supposed to go to BYU provo right away. I was sure about that but the mission has given me such an itch to study. I have already done a ton of schooling. I never got bad grades because I tried to get good ones for volleyball, but my motivation for school was always volleyball... volleyball.... volleyball. I have never really had a desire to study. In the mission though, I knew the Lord would help me know what to do after the mission. Well I was bummed about the answer that I got about BYU Provo because I have built up a really strong desire to study right after the mission and it worried me that I wouldn't end up doing anything. I have desired to take some basic classes again so that I can remember and review basic things. Well, after discussing these things with him he mentioned that he remembered that I had already gotten into BYU Idaho but, which is true but I was assigned to start in January. He then asked me a very hopeful question, "If you could start at BYU Idaho right when you get back, would you?" I was caught in silence but everything inside me screamed yes. Well it all turned out to him calling someone that he knows there to see if it were possible. He worked at BYU Idaho for many years before this calling... The phone ringed and ringed and ringed... president told me if he doesn't answer right now I will call him a little later to find out... but I was praying that he would answer. He finally answered! The talked, president gave him my information, he looked it up. The answer is yes... I can start school right when I get back. School starts September 14, 2015. I feel so incredibly grateful and happy. I knew before the mission that the Lord would provide the means for me to study. I don't know the details yet but I am in contact with someone to get me all set up. I feel silly because I asked in every prayer after that day until Sunday if it was what I should do and I received the most loving, patience, merciful and perfect answer. I felt silly asking as many times as I did, but the Lord was patience and merciful with me. I am so excited. High.



Thursday we found a guy named Jorge and his son. They were a reference from a member about a month and a half ago when I was with Sister Canales. About a year a and a half ago he lost his wife and had fallen into alcoholism. We met him and set up an appointment, went back and his son told us that he was "sick." He really desires to change. We would bump into him often and set up appointments and go to see him and we wouldn't find him or he was "sick" or something. Then we just stopped finding him. Well we found him and he explained to us that he had put himself in rehabilitation for a while. Well we gave him the Book of Mormon and it gave him tears in his eyes. He told us that he is so sick of falling and getting up and falling again. My companion and I explained to him something about Christ that we learned in a talk by Ezra Taft Benson that Sister Leslie Hutchens sent me about a month ago. He said, "The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature." As we taught him this part about Christ, Jorge just was in awe and told us that this is what he needs. He is eager to be changed in Christ. High.

Friday. Low. I woke up feeling awful. I had an awful headache, fever, diarrhea, throw ups, chills, and pain in my whole body. We weren't really expecting it so we weren't able to find anyone to do divisions before the food (which is at 3). So I slept that whole time then we went to the house of the family that we were going to eat with that day and I stayed there as my companion worked for the rest of the afternoon. Don't worry though, the family's 5 year old son did an examine, turns out my blood was burning up within me but he did a surgery on my arm with lotion, toothpaste and hair gel. So Saturday morning I woke up all good haha. I think it was a 24 hour bug like the one I had on Christmas. I was just really tired and weak and had a headache on Saturday. 

Saturday. High. We were able to talk with a kid here named Angel. He is reactivating since we found him. He is 18 and we are helping him to serve a mission. He reminds me so much of Chris. He is so loyal, has a huge heart, and just loves people. We are working with him a lot. He has had a rough life. His mom hasn't really been there so he stopped going to school really young. He doesn't have some elementary and all of his high school schooling. We are working with the programs that they ave here to get him finished up with that as soon as possible. He just needs love. I really care aout him. He's a really great kid with a tough past who just wants to do the right thing for everyone.

Sunday, another high. When we got to church, Jorge and Jorgito showed up early and were reading the Book of Mormon. They really liked everything and are so anxious to learn. We went to visit Sister Lolita who had another surgery about a month ago. She is doing good. We sang with her, we all cried because her health has not been good at all and she is just fighting so that she can see her only son when he gets back from his mission in June. It was very spiritual and wonderful.

Monday. Low and high. I got the news this morning which really kind of slowed me down. But we went with a sister whom we love so very much to do laundry and cook a traditional meal from Puebla, Mexico called Cemitas. So good. We spent the whole day with Sister Marta. We even went with her to pick up her son from school (the doctor who operated on me on Friday). We pretended like we were the ones who were picking him up. He was so excited when he saw us that he screamed "MISIONERAS!!!" It was so nice to spend time with this family.

That's all I have for this week. Plus a bunch of pictures! Oh and Wednesday nights, I am giving English classes! I will be sending those pictures. 12 members showed up and it was so very special!

Love you guys so much, 
105 days.
Hermanaut








Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Found It

Hi everyone!

I hope your week was super good! So the title is "I found it!" because I found it! I found the birthday list and GUESS WHAT! I am all caught up and as far as this list that I have goes, I don't know anyone with a birthday in April! And if I do know someone who has a birthday in April and you are not on this list I AM SO SORRY. Just have patience with this sister missionary who hardly knows what day it is.
Anyway, there's not a ton to update you guys on. We had a really great week! Sister Canaan and I are seeing so many miracles! I think one of the biggest miracles that we have seen is with a less active family that we are working with. The Trujillo family consists of Alejandra (the mom), Mariana, Alondra (her daughters), the daughter of Mariana, Fernanda, and Karina who is a friend of Alondra that lives there right now. We found the Truillo family a few weeks ago and have been visiting them regularily.  During one of our visits we met Karina who is not a member and we starting teaching her the missionary lessons. During the process of teaching Karina, the rest of the girls started making HUGE process! All
three of them (Alejandra, Mariana and Alondra and not Fer because she's young) have been reading and praying so much more. Alejandra went to church to see conference two weeks ago and all of them came to church yesterday. Their progress has been slow but so very beautiful in these last few weeks. Alondra is going to acompany us to do visits this week. They have commented to us that they are all making changes in their lives and even have started to stop doing things that are not in line with the gospel. One thing that Alejandra needs to do is get married to the man that she is living with. They have all that they need to do it, it's just a matter of us helping them in the process. It was so wonderful to see them all there and I look forward to keep working with them. We didn't have a lot of investigators in church this week but we had 10 less actives come to church. All 10 assisted sacrament meeting, 6 assited Sunday school, and 5 stayed until the last hour. I am so grateful to see these people and families come unto Christ newly. It's been such a blessing.
Our area here is super big. There are parts that I haven't even visited so we have planned to go to these parts this week to know more people. We went to one part yesterday and were able to set up 4 appointments to visit people who live in this part of our area this week. We just keep trucking along and we just don't give up. I really love Sister Canaan. We work really well together and I feel the Spirit so much in everything that we do. Although we laugh a ton, there always seems to be a reverence within us that I enjoy very much.

I am seriously going to miss the mangoes here. You can
find them anywhere. And this is how you eat a mango correctly!
This work is so beautiful. I seriously love it so so much. I commented to someone today that I really dread the question "how much time do you have left in your mission?". Before it wasn't so bad but now I hate seeing the reactions that I only have 3 and a half
more months left. I can't even believe it. I try not to think about it but I do keep it in my heart so that it is a reminder to do all that I can everyday. It's very possible that I could end my mission here. I would love that, but we will see. Also, I guess I haven't told you guys but my mission president and his wife end their missions in 2 months. They will be going home one transfer before me. On Wednesday I will have my last interview with President Kusch. I am really bummed that he and his wife will be leaving one transfer before me. I am thinking about asking them if they want to extend their mission so that they can end with my generation ahaha. Our new mission president is named Brother Avila. He is from Mexico and doesn't speak english. That will be cool to have an interview with him haha. 
I thought I would show you guys what sister missionary
shoes looks like after a month and a half when
you apparently walk horribly.




Anyway, that's all that I have for you guys this week. I love you all so very much. I look forward to coming home soon but I also know that I still need to work. Please know that I am working so very hard everyday to do all that the Lord asks of me. I am by no means perfect but I would like to quote something that I heard in the Meet the Mormons movie. It goes something along the lines of this: "I am not close to perfection. But in one thing I am perfect, trying." I do all that I can everyday to please my Father in Heaven so that He will bless you all. Success in numbers is not what I look for. I work to be even a little bit worthy of the miracles that I see in this work and the blessings that you all deserve. God and all of you have given me so much and I am giving this year and a half for all that He and all of you have done for me. It's a very small offering in comparison, but right now it's all I have.
I love you all and miss you all.
Nos vemos muy pronto.

Hermanaut

Monday, April 13, 2015

What to say?

Hey everyone!

Honestly, don't hate me, but I lost my birthday list again so if I have missed your birthday pleeeese forgive me! I do have a shout out though! I want to throw a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to one of my longest and most faithful friends, Kristin Katich who is pregnant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well I guess you're Kristin Sumbot now, well have been for a while but whatever! I am just so stoked!!! Although she isn't my first friend to have a baby, she is my first friend from before high school to be pregnant and I feel so blessed that I will be home before he/she arrives!! You all know that I was openly crying here in the cyber cafe when I saw the picture of those little feet! AHHHH!!

Ok, I am calm now haha. Well it was a good week. Sister Cana├ín and I get along ridiculously well and we just have really good harmony. I feel super blessed to have her as a companion right now. I truthfully feel like she is the answer to some of my secret prayers. I have been waiting for a while to have a companion with whom I just click with. I hope it won't be a short time. We just laugh a lot. I can see my errors though. I feel like I have been so used to other things that I react within so I am truthfully trying to get rid of some bad habits that I have and just enjoy it. 

We were super stoked for conference and Easter weekend but at about 1:20 Saturday morning my companion woke up with a really high fever of 38.5 C. She was super sick and her fever was off and on for all of Saturday. When we have fevers or are really sick we can't leave the house soooo we were in teh house all day Saturday and all day Sunday. It was ok though. She rested a lot which is what she needed. We did some shinanigans. We ate A LOT of tamales. Last night, I also taught her how to play rummy. I am a really good teacher and I think I taught her too much because she actually gives me a run for my money. We are going to try and play at least a few times every week and keep a count and then in the last week of the transfer we will do something. I don't know haha.



Shenanigan 1
I have been feeling really pressured lately and I have come to understand that I am really hard on myself. I completed 14 months in the mission yesterday. My companion did a countdown for me and I only have 119 days left in the mission. It kind of stresses me out. I don't want to lose a single minute and I don't want to lose a single blessing that is open for my family and friends. I feel like it's game 5 and me and the other team are rallying back and forth to get two points up on the others. It's just a lot of pressure. I come home at night overviewing the day and I feel myself judging myself on whether I gave everything or not. Sometimes I am not very nice to myself and that's what I am trying to change. I am just so very hard on myself and I can't decide when I am being too hard on myself or just right. I pray every night that the Lord will help me.

Shenanigan 2. SUPER BED. We may or may not regret this.
 I will let you guys know next week.
I love the mission so much. It has been the most beautiful time in my life. Some people might call these 14 months that I have dedicated a waste of time in a crazy church but I am 100% sure that this is the best thing that anyone can do in anytime in their life ESPECIALLY with THIS gospel because it is the truth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and as Joseph Smith declares in the introduction of the same book, "a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book." I know that this statement is true because I have experimented it. I feel blessed because the Lord saved me from a very dark pit almost 3 years ago. I also know the Jesus Christ died and rised for us. I know that He lives today and if we rely on the power of His life, we also can be risen from the spiritual pits that we find ourselves in. I also know that the Lord blesses us unfailingly for obedience because we love Him. I promised the Lord about 2 years ago when I recieved my mission call that I would serve Him for this time with all that I had and have and daily I try to live up to that promise. And although I am so imperfect, He has allowed me to experience and see, and feel and learn things that I couldn't have learned in any other place in any other time. I surely hope that I have given all that I can to pay Him back for what He has done for me, but if not, I will keep serving Him even after the day when i don't have this name tag on my chest.

I love you all and I invite you all to come unto Christ and be saved.

Hermanaut