Monday, April 28, 2014

Week 15 Futbol Anyone? April 28, 2014

Hermana Ingram and Hermana Mendoza
This week has been a pretty normal week... Now that I´m serving in this district my weekly crazy stories have gone down...BUT we are working really hard!
Last Monday was a blast! At 9:00 AM we headed out to go play fútbol!!! Of course...Hermana Ingram was picked last (I was the only girl playing that day) and the Elders were pretty disappointed that I was on their team...but I was secretly excited because none of them knew what was coming...yes, yes..."Barbie" knows how to play soccer. There were 3 teams and my team sat out first. Then it was our turn...we took the field and when we started, the Elders' faces said it all: Uh oh... In the 2 hours that we were playing, my team didn't lose once. The Elders on my team were happy, but I can't say the same for the others...they were frustrated and I was loving every second of it jaja. What started as a fun, noncompetitive scrimmage quickly turned into a "I can't let my pride get kicked to the dirt" competitive war. The best part was, lining the fences was my fan club which consisted of about 30 drunk Mexican creepy men. When I scored, you would have thought Mexico had just scored the winning goal in the world was hilarious. I got invited by some of the Mexican men to play in a league...not happening..but I got a kick out of it. Let's just hope I get invited back to play ;) Basketball afterwards? Even better! ;)
My legs after Futbol on the dirty turf
I gave a talk this Sunday with a days notice... I winged it for a good 15 minutes. Afterwards people came up to me asking me if I was sad I was leaving for the United States the next transfer... You mean in 14 months? All the language studying is definitely paying off. When we contact in the streets people think I'm from Guadalajara or Chihuahua. One guy even asked me why I would leave my home in Brazil to come to I look Latina to you?! I love Spanish!!! On the downside...I´m forgetting how to speak English...
At Church with the Primary Kids (Little kids love Hailey.....she calls herself a baby magnet)
Things are slowly progressing here. When I got here my comp. only had 2 investigators. In the two weeks I've been here we have 7 more. The tricky part is getting them to come to church...but with hard work I know that they'll progress. We've also been looking for a different house to rent but we haven't had any luck yet...the bed bugs are making a meal out of me...hopefully we find one this week.
That´s about it for this week! Gracias por sus pensamientos y oraciones! Les extraño muchísimo!

¡Hasta luego!

Hermana Ingram
This is what hard work looks like
Mexican Corn on the Cob
On the pitch

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week 14 Semana Santa and an Earthquake April 21, 2014


Cambios...I was really sad about having to leave my area but I packed my bags Monday and we had our last meeting as a zone. After our meeting we celebrated by eating at a would´ve been so disappointed. I...ate...a....cheeseburger........and maybe a few fries....;) But it was a celebration! I had to do it mom!!
Saying goodbye to my district
The next morning came and we stuffed my bags and guitar into a taxi and headed to the cambios. My new companion is....(drum roll please)....Hermana Mendosa. She is from Mexico and she was the old sister training leader. She only has 6 weeks left so she'll end with me as her last´s my goal to end her mission on a good note: lots of hard work! My area....nicest area I have ever seen! Hardly any trash in the streets, 50% less drunk men following me, trees and flowers...granted, it´s not America, but I feel like I´m in paradise. I am a little disappointed knowing that I´ll have a fewer crazy stories though...haha. We live in an apartment building on the 4th floor. It´s a lot smaller than our last apartment and it has a lot of problems...sometimes we have running water, sometimes we have to carry buckets of water up from the first floor. Hot water? Let´s face it...doesn´t exist here. We get to wash our clothes in the kitchen sink and we have strung rope from wall to wall to hang dry our clothes. I have to walk around ducking the whole time...I guess that´s what I get for being a 5'10" white girl...not a problem for any of my companions...haha. Worst problem of all has been after my first night here I woke up to heat the water and noticed that my entire body was itchy. I went into the bathroom, turned on the light to find what looked like mosquito bites covering my back, legs, and arms. I showed my companion and turns out she forgot to tell me that we have bed bugs...just great....

My new apartment

My new area is nice and all but it´s a lot harder. The people have jobs, clothes and food whereas in my other area the people were lucky to have a tortilla, a shirt, and a few pesos. It´s the difference between teaching prideful people who want nothing to do with you and humble people who are searching for help...but it´s possible! Nothing´s going to stop us from working our hardest!

Next morning at 7:45 AM we left for the church to do our personal and companionship study as a district. As we were studying, one of the Elders started complaining that he was feeling sick. I too started to feel dizzy, like I had just gotten off of a roller coaster ride, I felt like I couldn´t even sit up straight. It was then that we realized that it was because the ground was literally shaking. The chandeliers were swinging, our desks sliding, and the lights flickering. We were experiencing an Earthquake! I didn´t know what to do! My first thought was to get under the desk but one of the sisters from Chile said it would be best if we made our way outside. So, we got up and slowly and carefully made our way outside. It was hard to even walk because the ground was moving so much! We probably looked like a bunch of drunks trying to walk straight. The telephone wires, trees, and buildings looked like they were sitting on a bed of jello they were swaying so much. What started out as a small sway got worse and worse until we had to sit down because we couldn´t even stand without falling. The car alarms began to sound and warning sirens were ringing. It lasted for about a minute but I could´ve sworn it lasted for an hour! Turns out it was a magnitude 7.2 earthquake! What a crazy experience! I have never felt anything like it! When we went back into the church a lot of the ceiling tiles had fallen out...nothing much. But a lot of houses fell in our area...luckily no one was hurt. Throughout the rest of the day there were 58 different aftershocks...I don´t know if it was in my head or not but the entire day I felt car sick and I couldn't tell if the ground was moving or not...ok was in my head....but CRAZY STUFF!!
Semana Santa
This week was the Semana Santa (where the Catholics celebrate the crucifixion of Christ), and since we are in Mexico, EVERYONE is Catholic! Friday we left the church to find hundreds of people walking down the streets following a group of about 20 men dressed up like Roman guards and 2 barefoot men dressed in white loin cloths carrying big heavy wooden crosses and crowned with a crown of thorns. When I looked closer I noticed that their backs were bloody and covered in welts. That's when the 20 men grabbed the two men, threw them to the ground, and began whipping and beating them. After a few minutes they would allow them to stand up and would continue to whip them as they walked. The two men represented Jesus Christ and in order to show their diligence, they are chosen to "walk the path that Jesus did". It lasts the entire day and they walk miles and miles and miles, climb a mountain, and are nailed to the cross they carried. In this area...they don´t actually kill them...but in other areas of Mexico they are literally crucified and die. LOTS of dedication...but CRAZY!!!

I witnessed a crime yesterday (as if that´s not normal haha). My comp. and I were walking out of a lesson when we saw a street taco shop completely up in flames. People were running trying to find water and help. It was actually pretty scary because through the flames I could see 2 huge propane tanks. As we were watching the taco shop go down in flames, two men walked passed us, holding a gas can and a box of matches. As they passed us, one said to the other, "I hope they learn their lesson this time" and continued to walk away. Luckily, the fire got put out before the propane tanks blew up...

Lunch yesterday was tiburón! Shark! It actually tasted super good! And...apparently it´s illegal to eat shark...oooops! Turns out the fire starter wasn´t the only one to commit a crime that day! ;)

I wasn´t left with any progressing investigators...which means I have to start from ground zero... BUT...good news is that I´m the senior comp. and I get to decide how hard we work.....HARD!!!!

That´s all for this week! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!!!

Hermana Ingram
Hailey didn't explain this one but it's clear that she towers over some of the Elders as well

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 13 Boda on the Street!.....April 14, 2014

Hola de Nezahualcoyotl!!!
Boda on the Street
I witnessed my first boda here in Mexico!!! Hermana Benson went over to her investigator's house early Friday morning to get her ready and we all took a cab to the "courthouse". When we got there, we were welcomed into a little gray, cinder-block building by a man in a suit and tie. We then had to fill out a mountain of paperwork. (The majority of the people here aren't actually married because it costs a lot and requires a lot of work...and because the cost of divorce is also really expensive) In order for them to be married they needed 2 male witnesses and 2 female witnesses with Mexican IDs, and considering they didn't have any friends or family present we began our search for people who could help us out. After about 30 minutes of asking complete strangers for help, we found the 4 witnesses: a taxi driver, a drunk man, a lady selling bread, and a mom with her kids. Perfect right?? The little man in the suit then rearranged a few of the desks inside the cinder-block building and began the 2 minute ceremony. Dad...don't get any ideas...;) They married, and the drunk man led us in a big round of applause.

Saturday, the Hermanas had a baptism and baptized a 75 year old man who can barely walk. When we took pictures, he insisted that we get a picture of him and the "rubia alta". Yes...even the 80 year olds like to flirt with me...ugh... Afterwards, he invited my companion and me, the other Hermanas, and the two Elders that baptized him to his house for some food. While we waited for the food, I noticed a boxing bag hanging outside. Knowing that Elder Ramos was a boxer before his mission, I pointed it out to him and he spent the next half hour teaching me how to box. Got to be street smart as a sister missionary in Mexico City right??? After we ate, the old man stood up, walked to the front of the room, and stood there with his back turned to us. A few minutes later, he spun around, and, with a microphone in his hand, began to sing Mexican ballads to me....definitely a first...but HILARIOUS!

Learning to defend myself (Para Box Y Karate)
Yesterday we got to make cookies! Saturday we went on a wild search for the ingredients (not the same as the ingredients in the U.S. but they would do). We went to one of the member's houses and with a 50 year old oven, a bowl, a spoon, and a drinking glass for a measuring cup I began to make cookies. While they baked, they insisted that I played the guitar for them so, we formed a circle and Hermana Benson and I sang for them...what a blast! All that was missing was a tent and a camp fire! The cookies were NOTHING like what they are at home...but they were a hit!
Chocolate Chip Cookies....Nothing like my mom's
Last night my zone leaders called and told me that I have "cambios con mallets" (changes with bags) which means that I'm moving areas and companions. Out of the 4 hermanas in my district, I am the only one that is moving. There aren't any new Hermanas coming so I won't be training anyone (There aren't enough areas to put Hermanas in since the majority of the areas are too dangerous) So, this is officially my last day in this area....I'm a little sad about it because I won't be able to say adios to any of the people here..but I'm excited to see what my next area and companion will be like. Tomorrow are the changes and I won't know where I'm going to be changed to until the president announces it over the pulpit...wish me luck!!!

My going away pancake party

That's all for this week... Pero gracias por toda! Les extraño más que puedan imagen! Hasta la proxima semana! Les quiero!

Hermana Ingram


Me and Hermana Benson one last time
I didn't take this my dreams! But last night there was a GIANT thunderstorm and I went and watched it from the roof... taking a picture was impossible..but this is legit what it looked was CRAZY!!! And it included hail the size of quarters...OUCH!!!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Week 12 April 7, 2014.....Super Bowl Sunday

What a week! Full of its ups and downs...

This week we found a family who is caring for their 75 year-old mom who, because of a recent stroke, can't move the entire left side of her body and can't do anything for herself. We got a call from her member daughter asking if we could come every Wednesday and care for her mom for 2 hours in the morning as none of the siblings could care for her that day of the week. We agreed, and woke up early Wednesday to walk the mile or so to her house. When we got there, we were greeted by one of her daughters who was on her way out the door to work. She explained that we would need to feed and bathe her and that if we could, teach her a gospel principle that would help her in this hard time..and off she went..leaving us to figure things out on our own. The only thing she could do for herself was talk...which meant the rest was up to us. So, we started by lifting her into a chair and then carrying the chair to the shower room where we bathed her with a bucket of boiled water and a bar of definitely wasn't an easy process but we finished, fed her, and taught her about the plan of salvation. We hit two birds with one stone: service and a message!


I finally bought a guitar! One of the Elders in my zone was looking for someone to buy his black Mexican guitar and I jumped right on it! I bought it for 500 pesos ($50)...what a steal! Now when I come home after a long day...I can sit down and let out all of my stress by playing a few songs!

Super Bowl weekend for every missionary around the world! AKA Conference Weekend! We squeezed into a taxi early Saturday morning and made our way to the stake center. Not only did we get to watch gringos, we got to watch it in English! Picture 2 hermanas and about 15 Elders huddled around a tiny 12X12 television screen intently listening to the words of prophets and apostles. The English language has never sounded so sweet!

Sunday morning we woke up extra early and walked to Hermano Carlos' house (ward mission leader) to make tortas for our baptism that was scheduled in between sessions. We prepared over 50 tortas, packed them up and took them to the stake center. My companion and I then walked the 2 mile walk to a member's home to borrow a baptismal dress of hers. We passed for each of our investigators and walked with them back to the stake center...the two sister missionaries and their little ducklings. We got there and as we were preparing everything for the baptism, we got a call from our investigator who was to be baptized that day...and it wasn't good news... She told us that she didn't want to get baptized anymore or ever. We tried to reason with her but she wouldn't have it. I couldn't believe it... What a let down...

In between sessions, my companion and I left to see if we could find on of our investigators. As we were walking down the sidewalk, I heard a lady's voice from a distance yelling something that neither of us could understand. There was a lot of traffic so hearing was difficult. We continued to walk and a few seconds later we heard the voice again from behind us but still couldn't make out what was being said nor could we see who was yelling. We continued walking. Once again, we heard a very angry woman's voice screaming, "Guera! Vengas!" We both turned around and all of a sudden, about 20 feet away, a lady came running out from behind the traffic with a huge glass bottle of alcohol in her hands. We immediately turned and started to run. We thought that she'd stop soon after, but she wasn't letting up. The whole time she was screaming "Guera! Vengas!" and started screaming that I needed to go back to my country and that if not she was going to shop me up into little pieces and make guera tacos out of me and feed me to her dogs....CRAZY!!! We quickly turned a corner and I pulled my companion inside a little corner shop. Luckily, she went running by. There nothing like returning to a peaceful stake center and listening to the inspiring words of prophets and apostles of God after a moment like that. But where was the talk about what to do in moments when crazy drunk ladies are threatening to make white girl tacos out of you???

This week was definitely a tough one... Our baptism falling through was a real blow to our confidence. The people in the street have been more disrespectful and inappropriate than ever. I can't even step foot in the streets without hearing things that I wish I hadn't. What's even harder is that my companion and I are trying our absolute hardest to do things right. I feel like I have never worked so hard in my life this past month...and we aren't seeing the blessings. However, hearing conference this weekend was exactly what I needed. One of the many things I took away from conference is this: Life isn't's full of hardships, difficulties, sadness, and struggles. Sometimes we feel that we are giving it our all and we feel like we aren't seeing the rewards and blessings of our hard work. However, I have learned that when we put our trust in Him, things will always work out. Though we can't see what's ahead, He can. Like Alma and his brethren, we too will go through times of hardship and struggle. A lot of the times, God won't take these moments away, rather, He will strengthen us so that we can overcome them. We have to keep our heads up and push for those extra yards! The great things in life aren't always easy! 

Package from Mom :)
Eso es todo por esta semana! Les quiero! Gracias por sus oraciones y ayuda! Hasta luego!

Hermana Ingram