Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week 55 February 9, 2014

Monday night, February 2nd, was a holiday where the people here celebrate one of the many Virgin Marys. The tradition is to make tamales and go to mass. As we were walking home from our district meeting we noticed that the streets were filled with people carrying little porcelain baby Jesus statues. I had forgotten it was a holiday..so the sight of hundreds of people carrying glass babies confused me. Some even had baskets to hold their baby. These babies come in all sizes; some are life size and others small enough to lie in the palm of your hand. Then they recite prayers with families and friends.
Elder Johnson and his parents
Tuesday I finished packing up my bags and officially said goodbye to Heroes. I'll never forget that place!! We got to the stake center and talked outside while the rest of the missionaries arrived. While I was waiting, Elder Johnson´s (one of the departing Elders) parents showed up. It was the first time they had seen each other in 2 years. His mom came flying out of the car and gave him the biggest hug ever. That's the first time I've ever seen that... and I wasn't the only one who teared up. Just think....in 4 months that'll be me! It's amazing how much you grow to love your family and friends in the mission. T minus 4 months everybody!
Hermana Ingram and Luque
Changes started and I officially became Hermana Luque's new companion. She is from Buenos Aires, Argentina and has almost 16 months in the mission. She's 22 years old and studied music before her
mission which explains why she plays the piano like a pro. We packed my bags into a taxi and headed to my new area in Barrio Polanco. Mexico City is FAR from being the prettiest place on earth but when you've lived there for 14 months your definition of pretty seems to change a bit. Now I seem to compare things on a scale of the amount of concrete and stray dogs. Heroes was paradise compared to this place...but can't complain!! My new house is great! However...say goodbye to hot showers...I'm back to good ol´ bucket bathing with boiled water. Lucky me!! We also don't have a washing machine...but I'm actually a fan of washing my clothes by hand. It's actually really relaxing!!! haha I'm super excited to be here! This area is about 4x bigger than my old area...so that means 4x the amount of people! I'm excited to work hard here with Hermana Luque and have a lot of success.
My new house
We had a pretty great week this week and were able to find some new investigators. As a mission we've changed how we set baptismal dates. Before, we knelt down and prayed to know. When I started my mission we baptized with as little as 2 Sundays. It then changed to 3 and more recently got moved to 5 (to help retain the coverts better). Now, in the second lesson with an investigator we hand them a calendar and THEY set their own baptismal date. It's actually a great idea because they seem to work harder towards a goal they set rather than one we set.

We also teach English every week. The ward here put up a big banner that says "Free English Classes" so a lot of people show up from everywhere. It's a great way to find new investigators!!

Church starts at 8:00AM here which makes it a little tougher to get people to go to church. They REALLY like they're sleep here....if they think 10:00AM is early...8:00AM is like waking up in the middle of the night! The ward is a lot smaller here. Mexico is still learning how the church works...so there is a lot of teaching and learning to do. Something that really surprised me at church was that before asking someone to read a scripture or a paragraph you have to first ask if they know how to read. I'd say about 20% or more of the people here don't read or write... crazy!! Anyway...I've got a lot of work to do here!! I was super blessed to be able to see a lot of blessings and changes in Heroes. My goal is to see the same here but in half the time! I'll start doing divisions with the other hermanas starting this week as the sister training leader so that should be good.

More photos of my new house:


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