Monday, May 19, 2014

Week 18 Teach People, not Lessons :) May 19, 2014

Hit my 5 months! Cinco meses y me falta una eternidad! (that´s what my comp. tells me)

We have had 3 more earthquakes. One was on Thursday (before Mother's Day) and all of us were studying as a zone in the church (the president was also there). When it started we all just looked at each other like "what should we do?" Finally the president motioned us outside and we waited it out on the grass. Turns out it was a magnitude 6.4 (less than the last one). When earthquakes happen here, the people freak out. They run out into the streets crying and yelling. They pray out-loud looking up into the skies with their arms outstretched and everything asking God to help them. It's because they remember the earthquake that happened here in the 80's that absolutely destroyed Mexico City. We've been lucky that the earthquakes have been slow and side to side...the real danger comes when it's up and down...crossing my fingers that it doesn't happen. The other earthquake happened in the middle of the night...thank goodness I was out cold because we live on the 4th floor and it would've been scary swaying in a building that tall.
My Bath Water....Muy Delicioso
We've been trying for the past month to change houses...I can't live with the chinchis any longer!!!! I wake up every morning with at least 10 new bites on my stomach, neck and back. A pest control man came to check out our house and told us that our apartment is one of the most infested apartments he has ever seen. He showed us the baseboards and they are lined with bed bug eggs. He came back a few days later and literally drenched our house in bug killer. We had to unpack our bags, strip our beds and put everything in the middle of the floor to be sprayed. He completely hosed down our mattresses and suitcases along with every square inch of every wall. A gas mask would have been nice to sleep with that night.... (The bishop got his house fumigated a few months ago and didn't sleep in his house for 3 days). Now we have to wash everything: clothes, pillows, shoes, blankets, bags, etc. in order to get the smell out. I thought we were chinchi free...but nope...the pest man has fumigated three times and we STILL have chinchis.... Part of the adventure of serving a mission I guess!
Please pray that my fumigation man is successful!
I thought 5 months away from home was nothing, that is...until my 15 year old brother started speaking in a voice about 10 octaves lower than when I left... All day Sunday I was anticipating the moment I got to talk to my family. I was super excited but at the same time I was almost dreading it. Weird right? When 6:00PM came, I was sitting at the bishop's house in front of the computer and I almost didn't want to push the call button...but when I did and saw everyone's faces I couldn't have been happier! We talked about the mission, life back home, what everyone is up to, and to finish off the call I bore my testimony to my family in Spanish...and well...that threw me over the edge. That's when I started bawling. Goodbyes are hard...especially when you know you won't see (skype) your family for another 6 months. I left a little sad but with more of a desire to make my family proud and return with honor.
One of our investigators homes. This is VERY UPSCALE compared to anything else I've seen

I started teaching English classes and piano lessons this week! I'm hoping that by teaching free piano lessons and English classes we can find more investigators...we are going to start putting up signs in the streets...crossing my fingers that we get a chapel full of people next week. 

Oh, and I had a pretty big realization this week...haha but I'm going to sound like a crazy missionary...haha

I don't think we have EVER kept the sabbath day holy! There's a scripture in Santiago 2:10 (James 2:10) If we don't keep all of the commandment...we can't say we keep the commandment and ultimately we can't say we keep the commandments. For example: we go to church, come home and read the scriptures, visit a sick person, but if we sit down and watch a TV show...we've broken the commandment and won't receive any of the promised blessings. I wonder what blessings we would receive as a family if we kept the sabbath day holy. Also...we all receive the mercy of God...and we often times mistake mercy for blessings...but what we don't realize is that we haven't received the blessings yet..who knows what we are missing out on!

This week I have made it a goal to "teach people, not lessons" and it has really made the difference. I go into lessons now with more of a desire to help the people progress and we've literally seen them change right before our eyes within a week. Nothing is better than seeing people progress! We've also found some more families who want to listen to our message. The other night we were walking home after a long day and I got stopped by a teenage girl asking me if I knew English. She's studying English and asked if I could teach her a few days a week. The next day we walked to her house to find a family who are SO interested in the gospel....Hallelujah! We stop by everyday, teach some English, and finish off with a lesson. Hoping that this is the family I've been waiting for! But in the meantime...we are keeping our heads up and pushing for those extra yards!

That's all for this week! Les quiero mucho!

Hermana Ingram

"Hard soil is the best place for strong trees" -Grandma Pierce

Two "gangsters" are taking lessons and come play soccer with us on Mondays

Unedited Sunset

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week 16 Dificíl May 5, 2014

View of the mountain from my apartment
¡Feliz cinco de Mayo!

So...not much happened this week...just another week in good old Mexico City.

Llorando....I´ve been thinking a lot lately about the mission...and I came up with one word to describe it: difícil. Sometimes I climb the 5 flights of stairs to my apartment, unlock all 7 bolts, sit down at my desk chair and think to myself, "What in the world am I doing in the middle of Mexico City?" We work and work and work and work and work and nothing. We contact and the people don't give us the time of day. People tell me that I need to return to the United States because I don´t belong here. Let's just say that the mission is full of trials and hardships....but sometimes I forget that the mission wasn't meant to be easy! I was sent here for a reason. Although I can't control what others are doing (members, disobedient missionaries, etc.) there is one thing that I have complete control over: ME.  I can have a good attitude. I can pray. I can fast. I can study. I can serve. I can be obedient. I can work hard. And that's exactly what I'm going to do. At times I think, "Wow...I still have an ENTIRE year left in the mission."  But on second thought...I only have a year to give it my all! At times it's tempting to take a break from all the hard work but it's not going to happen. One thing is for sure: I came here to give it my all, all day everyday. I didn't leave my family, my friends, my school, my job, my life as I knew it, and travel hundreds of miles to a foreign country to waste my time. I left it all to make a difference in the lives of the people here in Mexico. Sometimes we don't get the results that we want...but what more of a reason do we need to keep pushing forward? The good things in life don't come easy...the good things in life come with a lot of blood, sweat and tears. In the words of President Monson, "We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." I can't always control everything that is going on around me but I can decide how I am going to react to it.


Hermana Ingram

Update on my apartment: We found a new apartment without bed bugs but the land-lady didn't believe that we were actually missionaries. She insisted on going to the church and talking with a representative just to make sure... now we have to talk to the president to see if he approves....I'm crossing my fingers!
This is our sweet 90 yr old investigator who has a big time crush on Joseph Smith. "Jose Smith es bien guapo...y su nombre...que bonito!"