Monday, February 2, 2015

Week 54 (60) February 2, 2015

Noche Buena (poinsettia tree)
Remember the magic beetles people eat here to magically cure disease? At lunch on Thursday there was an entire bucket of them sitting on the table while we ate. After eating, we just couldn't resist, they had been calling our names way too long. Each of us took 5 beetles (living) and popped them like pills. It was pretty disgusting but worth it...I mean who would pass up the opportunity to be cured by magical beetles??;)
I hung a piñata in our apartment
Well...this week I was presented with a new and exciting opportunity to make a difference in the mission. I have been called as one of the new Sister Training Leaders along with Hermana Luque (Argentina). There's going to be a lot on my plate...but I'm super excited to be able to help each and every sister missionary know and understand that they have a potential bigger that they can imagine. Sometimes I think, "If Christ were here in this very moment, what would he say and what would he do?" We all know that Christ came to Earth, preached, taught, and died for us...but that was over 2000 years ago! He's not walking the streets of Mexico City...but we are. We've been called as literal REPRESENTATIVES of Jesus Christ. We've been called to teach and preach how Christ would. What a huge responsibility! But what an amazing experience! There's no time to waste! We've got to leave it all on the field!!

Friday night we had planned another ward movie night and we once again had a great turn out. We watched the movie "The Other Side of Heaven" and they loved it. We filled about 60 bags full of chicharones and made 'tamarindo' water. (they call everything water-based here "agua" which means that if you want water as we know water to be, you have to ask for 'agua simple' or translated 'simple water')
Yes, that is a grapefruit!
This weekend was probably one of the hardest I've had in my mission. I've been in my area for 9 months (half of my mission!) and I've grown to love the people here more that you can imagine. This past week I decided to gather a few things to give to my converts (pictures, frames, etc.) Saturday I started to give them out. We started the day off with Susana and her son Bryan. She didn't know I was leaving yet and when she opened the package she realized. I could tell she was sad but didn't want to show it; she has never been one to express herself or open up much. I started to say goodbye to her 2 girls and to Bryan and when I turned to her she was bawling. I'll never forget that. I couldn't hold back the tears either. I gave her a big hug and said bye. THAT'S how I knew that this weekend was going to be tough... You can imagine how the rest of my lessons went..haha.

We finished Saturday off teaching the Ayala family about temples...and in the middle of the lesson Ernesto started to cry. It's sad when a woman cries..but a grown man is so much more sad!! They promised that they were going to do everything to prepare themselves to enter the temple. I love these people!!

Sunday. What a day. We woke up extra early and went to ward council. I knew it would be my last so I expressed that I wanted each convert to have the opportunity to enter the temple and do baptisms for the dead with their own names of their own ancestors. How amazing would that be???
The Bishop and his wife (Heroes ward)
It was testimony meeting and many got up to bear their testimonies including Ernesto Ayala. He very simply said, "I knew that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church." It's amazing how such a simple testimony like his can make everyone feel the spirit. It is absolutely undeniable. I also got up and bore my testimony. I was pretty emotional...It was hard knowing it would be the last time I would stand up at that pulpit and bare testimony to the people I love that I too know without a doubt that this church is true.

The Carrillo family came to church today. (Family we found knocking doors whose 9 year old daughter isn't baptized yet.) They've come for the past 2 weeks now. The other day the mom thanked us because we were the 1st missionaries in 6 years to convince them as a family to attend church again. They've been sealed in the temple and everything but fell away. But now, they're going strong!!

We headed to gospel doctrine class and Hermana Lopez leaves me stunned every time she opens her mouth. She reads and studies like you wouldn't believe. She literally knows and understands more gospel doctrine than some of the members here who've been members for 20+ years. That combined with her testimony...POWER. She amazes me.

I didn't tell many people I was leaving, but word seemed to get around really fast. People kept stopping me in tears...can you make it any harder on me?!!;) Hna. Lopez stopped me and said, "You know what? We all need stop being so sad about you leaving! We're being selfish! There are people waiting for you out there!" To think that there is a possibility that I could grow to love a people more or as much as this ward seems impossible to me...but she's right! There are people for me to find!!!

When Relief Society ended, they brought in a huge going away cake. I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!! I said my last goodbyes, took a few pictures and headed to lunch. We ate a dish called "Mixiotes" and it was actually really tasty. They put meat, veggies, chile, spices, in a plastic bag, tie it up, and steam it all together for about an hour.
When it's ready you just open the bag and bon appétit!

Later that day we went to the Ayala's house and had favorite: mole enchiladas. The Ayalas turned out to be some of my favorite converts. And the small things they do for me mean the world.

I still clearly remember weeks before I left for the MTC. You start to value even the smallest things; sitting down and eating as a family, the smell of your house, the sound of your family members talking. I remember thinking, almost constantly, that it was going to be my "last" time doing this and that. As my time came to an end at home the lump in my throat grew bigger and bigger. The thought of not seeing my family for a year and a half made me SAD! It was hard to hold back the tears sometimes. I remember walking into my mom's room one day and finding her totally bawling...knowing that just days away her daughter would be leaving everything behind. That sight made my heart break! The day came and I left my family on the MTC curb...about to begin a year and a half of adventures. I completely left life as I knew it. But now, this mission IS life as I know it! Saying bye to these people isn't an "I'll see you in a year and a half" kind of's a possible "bye for a lifetime" kind of bye. THAT'S sad!!!! I thought saying bye to my family in Utah was hard! But here....I feel like I'm saying bye to 50 families all at once! I'm amazed each day at the love I feel for the people here. I know I say it a lot but I LOVE THESE PEOPLE! But, goodbyes are part of the mission and part of Hermana Lopez said: "There are people waiting for me out there!!"

My companion eats cactus almost everyday.

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