Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 31 Slumber Party with the Stutznegger's August 25, 2014

Best Lunes ever!!! (Hailey didn't email last week because of this adventure) We got permission from President Stutznegger to go as a district to the pyramids in Teotihuacan. We woke up early Monday morning, met up as a district and took a bus...or should I say 5 different buses. It took us almost 3 hours to get there but it was SO worth the travel time. The main pyramid is gigantic!!! I don't know how in the world they built it...CRAZY! We climbed it and the view from the top was super green and amazing. And the craziest part about the whole thing was that there were other white people there! Tall, white, English-speaking people!!! I forgot they even existed! We headed back down and stopped at a few shops and I put my bargaining to the should've seen their faces when I started to speak Spanish. It was so great to get out of the city and see something other than old houses and mangy dogs! haha


We also figured out how to use the oven!! We had to light the pilot light etc. One thing about Mexico is that no one...repeat NO ONE...knows how to use an oven other than for storing pots and pans. So...we figured it out!!! And to celebrate we made brownies and ate them with ice cream! YUM!!

We were teaching some of our investigators on Wednesday and we started out with a prayer. We all folded our arms, bowed our heads, and shut our eyes and I began praying. About halfway through the prayer, I heard the door open and someone walked was their 95 year-old great grandma. I continued praying but was interrupted by her yelling, "What in the name of Baby Jesus and the Virgin Mary are ya'll doing in here?! Sleeping?" She then walked around the room to each of us yelling, "Wake up you little devils! Wake up!" I couldn't continue...It was so hilarious! I gathered myself..and explained to her that we weren't sleeping but that we were praying and tried my best to finish the prayer. Viejitas...

We left the lesson and were contacted by a 90 year-old man asking us if we could teach him the word of God. We said of course and he asked us where he could see us. We replied that on Sunday he could come to church with us. He replied, "Ok perfect! I'll see you on Sunday! And after....we're going on a date to the movies!" We told him we were "taken"... He got pretty sad after that one and said, "Well....I'm turning 91 next month....and I REALLY love gueras!!" Creepy old're 90 for crying out loud!

In case you were wondering :)
Thursday we woke up early to go running as usual and when I walked out the front door onto the street I saw something that I haven't seen in over 8 months....STARS!! And my favorite constellation: Orion. I kind of just sat there and took it in...THAT'S what I miss about my house!!

We started teaching a lady that drinks fresh Iguana blood... completely normal right? She gave us quite the explanation too...too much information!

Changes were on Tuesday.. I didn't have changes, which means I'm going to be in my area for a little longer. They also split my area and put two Elders in our ward which is going to be awesome and I can already tell that our ward is going to improve even more than it already is. Their names are Elder Hunsaker (from Utah) and a brand new Elder named Elder Garret (from Tennessee). And Elder Garrett has type 1 diabetes!! What?! If you know anything about diabetes, that doesn't happen! He's also ranked number 8 in the world at playing Super Smash Brothers...he payed for his mission by playing in tournaments...crazy stuff. (Hailey's younger brother has type 1 diabetes and has been told that he probably won't be called to a mission outside of the US. That explains her surprise)

This picture was taken in President Stutznegger's house as Hailey was typing this email.
Yesterday = Best day ever! After church we met up with the President and his wife to spend the night at their house. Long story short, my permanent retainer started to come off so the President booked me an appointment with a dentist near his house. So, we got to stay the night at their house. Let me tell you...going to their house was like going from sleeping on the streets to sleeping at the Marriott.
The first time I have walked barefoot my entire mission!

They're going to have to drag me out of here! Dish washer, stove, fridge, mirrors, hot water, piano, tables, I could go on forever! The first thing they did was give us a house tour followed by two bowls of ice cream followed by a great dinner.
We slept in the most comfortable beds ever...the only problem was that I've gotten so used to sleeping on rock hard beds that I had a tough time sleeping...I almost considered sleeping on the floor but I toughed it out. (It reminds me of the movie 'The Other Side of Heaven' when even after his mission he continues to sleep on the, get the floors ready for when I get home in 9 months;))
One thing is for sure....the Mexico City Southeast Mission has the best President and President's wife in the entire world! Those other missionaries out there are missing out!!! Today I'll be going to the dentist.....and it kind of worries me...the dentist here do the weirdest things to teeth...don't be surprised if next week I end up with a mouth full of metal or something...wish me luck!:)

Talking to President and Sister Stutznegger has made me realize how much English I've forgotten. It has been hard to remember English words.  And he laughs at me because apparently I speak with a funny accent.

The area that they live in is SUPER nice and is really safe (safe enough that I pulled my camera out and spoke English without feeling like I was going to be murdered)
El Dentista
...The dentist was a success! They reattached my permanent retainer and only charged me $45.

Hasta la próxima semana,
Hermana Ingram
Hailey couldn't get enough of this beautiful house.
*Hailey and her companion were blessed to be able to spend some time with the Stutznegger's today. They ate, shopped, and had a successful dental appointment (according to Pres. S) They also share an affinity for Coke Zero :) Here are some more of the pics that she sent home today:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 30 Almost half way! August 11, 2014

INGRAM....can you see it?
¡Hola familia y amigos!

Today I hit the big OCH-O! I can't believe that in a month I'll have served half of my mission! LOCO!

Anyway...this week went pretty well...just the normal ups and downs of the mission!

Tuesday was pretty rough... Later in the day we were walking to the Ayala Family's house (the family we baptized Sunday) and we noticed that they were all outside in the street. As I got closer, I could tell that there was something wrong...they were on phones, crying, panicked... They came to me in tears asking if I could help them or if I knew of anyone that could help them. I won't go into details..but what had happened was BAD. Aranza (the 14 year-old) was hysterical....Ernesto was physically shaking uncontrollably and to be honest it freaked me out. What a mess.... I was worried that they were going to think that this all had something to do with their baptism.. Just a few days before the baptism, Maria had told me that she was unsure about getting baptized because she couldn't give up her "virgincita" (the virgin Mary). She told me that by giving her up, God was going to punish her...and now this?? I remember our old president telling us that we needed to be prepared for things like this because the adversary always works double time with investigators when they're about to be baptized and right after their baptism...and it's SO TRUE! You wouldn't believe the things that happen! He knows that by opening the door of baptism, the lives of these people are going to change and that they are going to be blessed by living the gospel...and he is willing to do whatever it takes to stop them. This Sunday in one of the classes, the teacher mentioned something that is so true..he told us that Satan isn't in the bars or on the streets with the "borrachos" (drunks)...he is busy trying to destroy the lives of the people who are trying to do what's right. He wants us to be miserable even as he is... worries because the family got confirmed and are progressing in the gospel...woo hoo!

Wednesday...was pretty tough too... I woke up at about midnight SICK. I was throwing up for the next 5 hours...I'd go back to bed and wake up 15 minutes later running to the bathroom. Usually we get up early to go running but I couldn't do it... It's the worst being sick on the mission because no matter how sick you are, you feel guilty if you're not up and never feel like you can just take a day off and rest. I decided that no matter how sick I was feeling I was going to get up and go to work for the day...I felt so sick...but we left and went to work. Even lifting my arm above my head felt like it required all the energy in the world... BUT despite being in the bathroom in every lesson that day..we made the best of it! We ended the day by visiting the Ayala Family and teaching a very spiritual lesson about the Atonement...they cried the whole was pretty sad...but thank goodness for the Atonement!!!

Thursday we headed over to teach a less active named Nelly who is in a wheel chair because she lost the use of her legs. When we got there she told us she couldn't meet with us because she was doing her laundry. I asked her if we could help her and she told us no...but thanks. Are you kidding?! I wasn't about to take no for an I walked right in and went to work washing everything by hand. It's amazing what that lady is capable of doing... We finished and she gave us a big teary-eyed thank you. Service is the best! And when you pray for opportunities to serve people...opportunities ALWAYS come!

Helping Nelly with her laundry
Friday we got money for lunch so we decided to stop by a wood-burning brick oven stand and buy half of a rotisserie chicken, some "bolillos" (rolls), and a bottle of BBQ. We practically ate lunch in the US!
Mom, you would have been proud of this salad I made
Saturday we visited Mildred (9 year-old investigator) to make sure everything was still good to go for the baptism the next day. She told me she had something to show me...ran out of the room and came back with a book and the most excited smile on her face. She handed me her book which was entitled "Mi libretto de deseos" (My Little Book of Desires) and told me to read it. Inside was a list and number one on the list was: Quiero ser la Hermana Ingram (I want to be Sister Ingram).. SO CUTE!! If I could baptized all of the little girls here, we'd baptize millions!!!

Domingo = Day of Stress. And a lot of it! Our investigators got confirmed so that was a relief. Mildred? Long story short....she didn't get baptized... BUT...things happen for a reason...and you've just got to keep pushing forward! When things don't work out the way you just have to take it head on and stay happy. Like I always say: The best things in life aren't easy!


Hermana Ingram

Monday, August 4, 2014

Week 29 Crickets Taste like Peanuts August 4, 2014

My favorite candy in Mexico

Another GREAT week!

Monday we had an awesome FHE with the Lopez family. Hermana Lopez is already the member of all members. She has about 3 weeks as a member and she's already kicking everyone's trash! She put on a family home evening like no one's ever seen! A mormon message, game, dinner ( FAVORITE food here in Mexico), and a dessert activity. She does it better than my family (no offense mom,;))!

This week has been great. We didn't have to spend hours and hours searching for people to teach. Almost every house we went to opened up and we were able to get a lesson in. The best is when you go to a contact's house, knock, and they come and say, "Pasense" kind of have to think twice...did they REALLY just invite me in??

Tuesday we ended the day going to the Ayala Family's house and the Elders came to do the baptismal interviews. Do you have any idea how good it feels to fill out 6 cedulas???!!!! They were a little mad though....they wanted "Hermana Ingram" to baptize them and were pretty devastated when I told them that I couldn't. haha

My companion and I have been waking up early for the past two weeks to go running...(not going to lie...I kind of force her to...haha). Thursday we got up early as usual and headed outside to run. I started running down the street, hit the end and started making my way back when I heard footsteps behind me. (Let me remind you that at 6:00AM it's pitch black) I turned around to see what was behind me to see a homeless man running towards me at full speed. Can you say....scary!!!??? I started to run faster but to no would have thought Usaine Bolt was behind me; this guy was fast! He caught up to me and began running on my right side. I looked at him and the expression on his face was priceless...he was looking straight ahead with the biggest, toothless smile I've ever seen...pure joy. I could tell he wasn't going to do me any harm so I kept running and he kept right up with me. When I got to the other end of the block I thought he'd just keep going when I turned around...but NOPE! He turned around with me and exercised with me the rest of the morning...smiling the entire time. I should put on a homeless man exercising program here or something. haha.

I ate crickets this week! They weren't all that bad either! Once I got the thought of eating bugs out of my mind they tasted a lot like salted peanuts but a little crunchier. Patricio (the Lopez's 2 year old son) was eating them by the handful! Apparently he confuses the dead ones for the live ones he finds outside and eats those too....yuck!

Highlight of the week: After a lot of blood, sweat and tears (literally) we baptized the Ayala family this week! We were supposed to baptize 6 of them but two of them had to work...hopefully we can get things worked out for next week:)

That's about it for this week! LES AMO MUCHÍSIMO!

Hermana Ingram

You know you're a missionary in Mexico when:
1) cat calls become at a 20x a day occurrence
2) you drink more coke in the day than water
3) you forget how to speak English
4) you have to trek barrels of clean drinking water to your house every week
5) you aren't afraid to go inside a strange Mexican man's house