Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 40 "Help me eat this" October 27, 2014

We've had a really great week this week! My comp. and I are finally starting to see the blessings!

We went to a contact's house (named Plinio) but he missed the "we're missionaries here to preach the gospel" and heard "we're coming over for a date." We got there with a lesson all planned out and he had a dinner already prepared for us. We tried turning him down but he insisted. So, we ate with him and his mom who is in love with us as well...He tried setting up another appointment (or should I say date night) but we told him we'd give him a call.
Hailey didn't include a caption with this one but little kids always love her
Wednesday we had a super great day because we were able to find a ton of new investigators and put baptismal dates with them. I've been trying really hard to be exactly obedient and to do the small things too. The small things make the biggest difference! "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass!" It's awesome to see hard work start to pay off (knock on wood). Lunch was tough...let's just say I've had to say a lot of "help me eat this" prayers. We sat down and she asked me if I could go into the kitchen to help her serve the food. So I got up, grabbed four plates from the kitchen cabinet (bucket), set them out onto the counter and she pulled out four cans. She opened each can and I could immediately smell what was in store for us...raw sardines. She plopped the fish out onto each plate, topped it with some chopped tomatoes and lunch was served. Bon appetite! I think we all said a few prayers during that one! For dessert we all got exactly 6 almonds. You just have to learn how to be extra grateful here and realize that these people don't have much...they put forth so much work and sacrifice to feed us here. So...moral of the story grateful!

We got a message from Hna Lopez on Thursday saying that she had a neighbor that wanted to hear from us. So we taught him and his daughter (Geraldo y Karime) and they are flat out escogidos (translates to chosen with google...she didn't translate this) . He told me before I even invited him to be baptized that he was going to do it! That makes it easy! The Lord is truly preparing the people of Mexico to hear the gospel. We also found a lady named Irma and she LOVES hearing from us. She's not married so that's the only problem right now but we are going to talk to her husband about it soon.

Friday was another great day! It's the best feeling when your investigators almost makes you want to cry or something! Although...all this success we have been having must've affected the food.... We ate chicharron in salsa verde. First, let me explain what chicharron is: the skin of a pig fried for a good 10 minutes and then left to dry. They LOVE it here. Personally, I'm not a big fan (or not a fan at all). When you put it in a big pot of hot salsa verde it's a million times worse. Imagine eating palm-sized loogies with warm spicy salsa. It's not too tasty. And..that was the main course at lunch on Friday. Another prayerful meal. Elder Hunsaker (one of the Elder's in my area) was swallowing it whole...we do what it takes. ;)

Saturday was long and tiring. A lot of people weren't home and so we spent a lot of time walking and searching for people to teach. That's when my comp. and I start quizzing each-other's Spanish..let's just say we played that a lot. We've been fasting almost every week this month as a zone to help things improve and it seems to be working. God answers prayers everyone!

Scary story of the week: This week in our area they found a dead body that had been sitting in a car for 5 days..baking... kind of scary... But no worries! We're safe!

Yesterday our investigators all came to church and we didn't even have to pass for them! We woke up, got ready, and headed to the church for ward council. The streets were empty, the Tianguis wasn't even set up yet, and absolutely no one was at the church. The culture here is very relaxed which means that almost no one shows up to anything on time so at first I thought it was normal. We waited 30 minutes and still absolutely no one... It wasn't until someone showed up and hour later and told us that the time had changed that it all made sense. The one day we get an extra hour of sleep and I didn't even know about it! That's ok though. Ernesto Ayala got the priesthood and was so excited about it!

After church we went searching for people to teach and stopped by Rosa's house (one of our converts). She was painting Mexican "Día de Los Muertos" skulls. We offered to help her and she was more than helped her paint a bunch of skulls! It was actually a lot of fun. After we finished off with that we continued to search for people...and everyone was watching bull fights. Apparently right now is bull fighting season and EVERYONE watches it. It's actually really sad! Thousands and thousands of people pay to watch a ´Matador´ slowly kill a bull. They stab spear-type things into its back and it bleeds like crazy and starts to get tired. Then, the matador holds a red sheet and teases it for about 15 minutes until it can hardly walk anymore. Then, the matador finishes by stabbing it through the shoulder blades with a sword. It's very cultural here and they see it as some sort of art or sport...I just think it's sad!
Anyway...that's about it for this week! The Lord blesses us when we work hard and do our part! Pray to see the miracles that are surrounding us and He will show them to us. The mission might be tough sometimes but it is so worth it and I am learning so much here. I love you all! ¡Que tengan una buena semana!

Hermana Ingram

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 39 October 20, 2014

This week has definitely been a LONG week! The mission is like a roller-coaster...full of ups and downs. You never really know quite what to except...but you just have to go with what it brings you!
Waiting to be interviewed (photo courtesy Sister Stutznegger)
We had interviews with the president this week! Thursday we quickly did weekly planning (we plan out the week every Thursday) and we head over to the stake center for interviews. After about an hour or so it was my turn to meet with the President. It's always great to see the President and his wife and my interview turned out great. He was able to give me a priesthood blessing and we left to go to work.

On Friday we ate lunch with a member of another ward whom we had never met. We got there and she invited us in and told us to sit down on her couches. As we were sitting down a lady from the kitchen table stood up quickly and started yelling ¨Espérame! Espérame! Espérame!¨ (WAIT!!!) She must've said it about 20 times as she sprinted towards us. I was so confused. When she got to us she threw Hermana Lopez off of the couch as she reached behind her and grabbed a blanket. But turns out that her 1 month old baby was wrapped up in companion sat on a baby at lunch today...that doesn't happen everyday! No worries...the baby was fine! Just a small scare!
This is how I study in the is FREEZING! But it's not actually cold at all! Cold here is like a nice day in the states...I'm going to die when I'm home and winter comes around.

Saturday we had a big mission meeting with the President. We were told beforehand to read Mosiah 2-6 and that the whole mission would be there. They also told us that it would be a day of amnesty (that we could confess everything without punishment) and to bring all electronic devices that connected to the internet to be confiscated. (Just so you know...I didn't have anything to confess and nothing to turn can relax mom;)) We got to the church and we all sat down and got ready to listen to the president speak. Low down on what he said: #1 "The guilty take the truth to be hard"'s funny how true that scripture is. #2 Disobedience in the mission. Long story short, there are a lot of missionaries who aren't being very obedient in the mission...NOW is the time to change. #3 "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." Who are we going to serve, Christ? Or Satan? "As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord." #4 Midway through the meeting he gave everyone in the mission a choice. Be obedient....or go home. He told us that if anyone would like to call it quits, that was the time to do it. He then paused for a good 3 minutes and gave us all the opportunity to quit right then and there. No one got up and walked to the front. So...hoping that means everyone is deciding to be exactly obedient! #5 Sister Stutznegger talked about Samuel 15:22 where it talks about obedience being more important than sacrifices. We all sacrificed A LOT to be here in the mission. We left our lives behind for crying out loud! But all of that sacrifice is in vain if we aren't obedient here as missionaries. #6 There are 2 people we can't fool...God and ourselves. You can't lie to God everyone! So why do we try lying to others! Honesty is SO important. After the meeting ended a big swarm of missionaries brought up their "illegal substances" to be confiscated. Hopefully October 18, 2014 marks a new beginning for the Mexico City Southeast mission.
Got to see Hermana Benson (my original MTC comp) at the big meeting
Remember Vidal?? Our investigator that didn't get confirmed?? We were able to teach him a bunch throughout the week and he was very honest with us. When we first started teaching him (a long time ago) he didn't have a job, he smoked, and wasn't very close to his family. He started reading the book of mormon, coming to church, praying, and even got baptized and his life took a 180 turn. He was able to quit smoking, he found a great job, he was getting along with his family...but when the blessings came and he saw the difference, he stopped doing all of those things, and the consequences followed. He started to struggle in every aspect of his life and this week we were able to talk to him about it and he was able to recognize where the blessings were coming from and where he wanted his life to go. So...long story short....he's a changed man! And..he got confirmed!! It was pretty awesome. His two daughters also performed in the primary program the same day which made the day even more special. It's amazing to see the changes in the lives of the people here...they are unmistakeable!

After church and after lunch we headed out to find people to teach and we ran into a drunk man passed out on the sidewalk. That's an everyday occurrence but this time I snuck a picture with him. I couldn't leave Mexico without one! We went on our way and stopped to knock a door. That's when a man walking by stopped in the middle of the street, threw his arms up into the air, and, looking up to the sky yelled, "With all respect, thank you baby Jesus for creating these two white women and putting them here on this Earth! To thee, Holy Jesus, I give thanks!" He then continued on his way down the street saying, "Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus..." At least SOMEONE is grateful for me here in Mexico! ;)

That's about it for this week. Hoping for a successful week next week! No regrets! I love you all to the moon and back!

Hermana Ingram

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week 38 Temple Trip October 13, 2014

Another week in Mexico City!!

Not a lot happened this week...just the normal day to day mission life. But the highlight of the week was definitely our temple trip (which I'll talk about a little more in my email)

Hermana Lopez and I have had a lot of fun together though! We decided that this week starts our "6 Months to Sexy"...we are starting a little early but we are dead set on it! Haha Hermana Lopez hung a diet statement up on the wall that says, "I don't want to run an ironman or even 10 miles, but I do want to go to space one day. It costs thousands of dollars right now but I hope that eventually it will be $500. And I want to make sure my heart is fit enough to make the trip when I'm 50". I thought it was I added to the wall : "I may not go to the moon...but I WILL become America´s Next Top Model." We're crazy...but we have fun. Hoping our "6 Months to Sexy" actually lasts.

Thursday was eventful... We decided to contact by knocking a few doors. Let me remind you that every house here in Mexico City has 1 or more, coming across a dog is completely normal. We walked up to a house that had a big white gate that you could see into and we noticed that inside was a big black pit-bull. When we knocked and it immediately came to the gate and began barking at us standing on its hind legs...but that's normal! No one came so we decided to knock one more time...the dog backed up and leaped forward into the gate. Its front paws hit the gate and the doors flew wide open. I immediately turned to my companion and began running. All I could imagine was that at any second I was going to feel the jaws of that dog latched onto my ankle. It was a race between us and that giant black pit-bull. Then I heard the dog cry out as it got yanked back by its chain. Thank goodness it was chained up or we would've been dead meat! I immediately started laughing along with about 50 other Mexicans in the street who had seen it all play out. That was SCARY! Later, we were contacting a lady in the street and as I was talking to her, from over her shoulder, I saw a lady stop with her daughter in front of a street drain. She grabbed her daughter by the armpits, pulled down her pants, and helped her as she peed into the drain. So there I was trying to contact a lady with a girl peeing in the background...Oh the things people do here in Mexico...

Friday I completed 10 months! Woo hoo! Time sure does fly! Despite completing 10 actually turned out to be one of the hardest days I've had on my mission. It turned out to be a series of very unfortunate events...but ANYWAY....I said a billion prayers asking God to help me get through the day. It wasn't until later in the day that I felt I got my answer. A random family from off of the street invited us in and fed us sounds normal...but I was SO HAPPY. They were the nicest people ever and they were complete strangers! It's amazing how even the smallest acts of kindness can completely turn your day around. I was so grateful for that family and that answer to my prayer.

On Saturday I got a call from the zone leaders and they invited me to a baptism they were going to have that night. I don't know if I ever mention this but a few weeks ago they called me up and asked me if I would do them a favor...they wanted me to come to their area and teach one of their investigators that wasn't progressing. I was really surprised that they wanted me to do it out of all people...but I agreed, went to their area, taught him, and put a baptismal date. And that was that! Turns out he took a complete 180 and started progressing so I was happy to go to his baptism! It was pretty awesome and it was great to see him so happy.

Yesterday we passed for Perla (one of our recent converts) and her husband (who still needs to be confirmed) but he had left and gone to his mom's house. Let me explain...yesterday while teaching Perla, she completely broke down in tears. Vidal is another machista in Mexico... He treats her so badly it's ridiculous... Her 2 daughters came into the room and asked why she was crying and she quickly wiped her tears away and said that she had accidentally gotten soap in her eyes. We finished and we prayed and she was bawling her eyes out. She hugged my comp and cried into her shoulder for a good 3 minutes. It was SUPER sad. Anyway, he wasn't home when we passed because he had left and gone to his mom's house. I figured out where his mom lived and went there to try and find him. We knocked on the door, and a teenage girl opened. We asked if Vidal was there and she told me she didn't know who Vidal was...I wasn't up for playing games at the time and I kind of called her out and asked her to please stop lying to our faces. She rolled her eyes and closed the door. A few minutes later the door opened and his sister came out and told us that Vidal didn't live there...I know that lady! But he's here! She told us that she hasn't seen him in months...she was very obviously lying...but we couldn't do anything about it. We'll have to search for him this week and see what we can do.

BUT Leticia got confirmed! So at least one thing went well! We also had planned an activity to go to the temple with all of our recent converts and a few less actives. We rented a micro (a small bus) and made the trip to the temple with all of them. It was a great experience and they absolutely LOVED it! The visitor's center here is AMAZING! So, we ended the day on a very good note:)

That's about all that happened this week! Hoping to have a better week this next week! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers! I am beyond grateful for every single one of you!

¡Viva México!

Hermana Ingram

Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 37 Central October 6, 2014

So...about that sneak peek I left last week............. We got to go to central! It was AMAZING! After our zone meeting last Monday, the Lopez family came by and picked us up in their car and we made the drive downtown. Omar (the dad) had to work so he dropped us off with Patricia and she gave us the tour. First we headed to a building called "casa de los azulejos" or "house of tiles". The entire building was covered in little hand-painted tiles. We went inside and ate in a restaurant called Sandborns and I ordered waffles...I haven't had a waffle in over 9 months! We sat right by a balcony that we could walk out on...super awesome.

We finished and headed to the "Palacio de Bellas Artes, a SUPER pretty building; white pillars, statues, there's an opera house inside (it wasn't open...almost everything is closed on Mondays in Mexico). I felt like I was in Europe or something. We went to the correos too which is a GIANT post office where we bought some old Mexican stamps.

The streets in central are all made of stone too which makes it that much prettier. From there we headed to the main part of central where they fly a huge Mexican flag. In front there is also a big Catholic church that we got to enter and they were having a big mass service. Choirs were singing to organ music and there was a priest dressed in white robes preaching to the people. The catholic churches here are CRAZY!

They are filled with GIANT crucified Jesus statues and everything is real gold....the history behind it all is actually pretty interesting...When the Spaniards came and conquered Mexico they brought with them their religious culture which was 100% Catholic. They went to every major city in Mexico, destroyed the pyramids, and built giant Catholic cathedrals on top of them. So..just about every big Catholic church here is built on the remains of an ancient pyramid... Anyway...if you ever get the chance to go to Mexico City...go to's AWESOME!

Tuesday we had changes! Hermana Bennett is out of here. As for me? I'm staying here in my area and I'm now comps with Hermana Lopez. Despite the name she's from Alpine Utah (her dad is from Puerto Rico) and went to American Fork High. A lot of people say she looks like Marideth from the Disney movie Brave because she has long curly red hair. She's a blast. She's SUPER outgoing and SUPER crazy and I love it! The secret will be finding the balance between our craziness and our seriousness and we will be set.

Wednesday morning I woke up and my voice was completely gone! I couldn't say a single word. Do you know how frustrating it is to be a missionary and not be able to talk??!! I use my voice to save souls for crying out loud! ;) I couldn't teach, I couldn't contact, I was practically a bump on a log! It was really frustrating but my comp. helped me out a lot (she did EVERYTHING). I thought it would last that day and that I would wake up the next morning good as new..but NOPE! My voice was gone for a solid 3 worked up the nerve to call the doctor. Apparently I had a really bad infection in my throat...and he gave me antibiotics to get rid of it. Right now I sound like Rachel Ray...hoping my voice gets better soon.

General Conference October 2014! There is literally nothing better...especially as a missionary...its like spiritual vacation!! My 2nd to last conference while on the mission...I better live it up! Not going to lie though...I miss watching it in my pajamas while snacking on a big delicious homemade cinnamon roll. Although, I did make sure to buy some Mexican treats to get me through. It's amazing how much I've grown to love General Conference. I especially loved Christofferson's and Uchdorf's talks...

Random: Our house is full of Brown Recluse's scary...just hoping we don't get bit! We've also gotten a bunch of free stuff this week...mostly from creepy drunk guys on the streets... Also my comp. picks up aloe plants from off the street, cuts them open, and rubs the aloe all over her face at night... I thought she was crazy but she told me that it really actually helps your skin. So...reluctantly...I tried it out...and it works!

We had a baptism on Sunday! Her name is Leticia and she's awesome. She has probably one of the strongest testimonies of all of my converts. When we teach her she makes me cry...I love that lady. She was so excited to be was an awesome baptism! The people here are inspiring!