Monday, March 2, 2015

Week 58...Which is really 64 March 2, 2015

You know you're a sister missionary when...these are Hermana Luque's feet.
Tuesday morning Hna. Luque and I had to meet with President Stutznegger and the assistants to do all the fine-tuning for the zone conferences. We left at about 7:45AM and took a micro to one of the main metro stations. Let me tell 8:30AM the metro is at its busiest. It's absolutely insane! Imagine thousands of Mexicans gathered all at once in a small place...there is literally nothing like it. There you are along with thousands of others being corralled through the metro hallways; shoulder to shoulder. Luque and I waited there for the metro to arrive with literally no room to move. When the metro comes and the doors open it's a fight to get a spot inside...and when you think there couldn't possibly be more room for one more person, 5 more people squeeze their way in. It's so tight that you can't even raise an arm. 5 metro stops later and it was our turn to get off. Luque was able to get off fairly easily as she was right next to the for me...I was stuck. I could not move an inch. THAT'S how packed in you are! And then the doors started to close. I yelled to my companion not to move an inch and that I would eventually get off and come back. The doors closed and I was all alone for the fist time in my mission. The mission rule is this: you have to be able to see and hear your companion at all times (with the exception of when you're in the bathroom or in an interview with the president). There I was alone. I couldn't see OR hear my companion. As a missionary it freaks you out! The next stop came and I started to push the other ladies aside...with no luck...I wasn't going anywhere. That's when I had had it and yelled, "Tengo que bajar!" (I have to get off!) I think one lady heard the desperation in my voice because she turned around, grabbed my hand and started to pull me towards the door. Still nothing...but she kept pulling me with all her might. Then the doors started to close and she yelled, "Pull her everybody!" About 5 more ladies started to pull me by both arms and it wasn't until then that I started to move through the crowd of ladies. They were all yelling, "PULL!!!" and, with the help of those little Mexican ladies, I was finally able to make it out of the closing metro doors. Then, as fast as I could, I made my way back to my companion....the metro is LOCO!!
A stop at the Golden Arches after the first zone conference-courtesy of Sister Stutznegger
Wednesday we woke up bright and early at 5:00AM and got ready for what would be the beginning of 2 weeks worth of zone conferences. We headed to the Chimalhualcan zone which is a zone of all Elders (all but 2 of the zones are all Elders). It was the first time I had ever done a training before and it was different training a room full of Elders. But, something I've learned here on the mission is that we all have a comfort zone, some big and some small. If we never go out of our comfort zone, we never allow it to grow and we never strengthen our weaknesses. I remember getting to the mission field with my comfort zone the size of a pea. Talking to strangers, inviting people to be baptized, giving a talk in church, etc. all of that freaked me out! Now, its as normal as putting on your shoes! A little about what I've been sharing with the missionaries: I remember when the mail lady showed up with the famous big white envelope (my mission call). I almost didn't want to pick it up I was so nervous and so anxious. My mom on the other hand was busy weighing it because she had heard that if it weighed more than x grams it was a calling to a foreign mission...oh mom... My sister couldn't stop shaking it and dancing around the living room with it held above her head...she was more excited than I was! When they weren't busy with it, I sat there anxiously looking at it thinking about how it contained the location of where I would be living for the next year and a half of my life. The moment came and there I was with family and friends, emotionally reading the words "You have been called to serve in the Mexico City Southeast Mission." There is nothing that can compare to that moment. About 5 months later and after a lot of preparation the night came where I was to be set apart as a missionary. But what exactly does it mean to be "set apart"? From that night on I would be considered a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and would begin living the missionary life: no TV, no music, no movies, no cell phone, no Facebook, twitter, or Instagram, etc. I remember just minutes before being set apart, my sister and I put on mascara mustaches and sombreros and danced to the classic Mexican song "Cu-cu-caracha Cu-cu-caracha!" (We sure do have a lot of fun together) Minutes later, my Stake President, President Newman, came and set me apart...from that moment on I was Hermana Ingram. But I'm not sure that in that moment I fully understood that to be set apart meant a little more that leaving behind all worldly entertainment. So what does it mean exactly?? When we as missionaries are set apart by priesthood authority, we receive the right and privilege to represent the Lord Jesus Christ. We receive a ministerial certificate that verifies that authority to the world. A quote from President Spencer W. Kimball says: "The setting apart may be taken literally...set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought and activity." I love a quote from Elder Bruce R. McConkie; "I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation, I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him, to stand in His place, to say and do what He himself would say and do if He were personally ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice and my acts are His acts; My words are His words and my doctrine is His doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done. To say what He wants said. To be a living, modern witness in word and deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous Latter-Day work. How great is my calling!" To me, THAT'S what it means to be set apart. We are truly and very literally REPRESENTATIVES OF JESUS CHRIST. How amazing is that?! Each and every morning, before walking out the door, I put on my black missionary name-tag that reads "Hermana Ingram". But my name isn't the only name listed...right alongside my name is the name "Jesucristo" the very man I represent. That is a huge responsibility! But I find comfort in knowing that I'm not alone: D&C 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

"For the first time, the Sister Training Leaders helped teach at Zone Conference"-quote and pic courtesy of Sister Stutznegger.
Everyday this week we were teaching and training in zone conferences all over the mission. Friday we also had a leadership training meeting and we also had to train the zone leaders in all of the mission. I'm not going to's a little intimidating sometimes! But it has honestly been a blast!
(A little more about zone conference from Sister Stutznegger:
W/ President and Sister Stuznegger and the AP's.
Sunday...what a day! Our investigators all showed up to church despite being out of our area the majority of the week. So that was a huge blessing. When we got to church we immediately noticed 2 ladies sitting towards the front that we didn't recognized. We approached them and introduced ourselves to them. They weren't members and had shown up by themselves. Anytime that happens it's a miracle...but it gets better. The day before they had gone to the temple visitor's center out of curiosity and LOVED it. While there they were given a Book of Mormon and both had already read through 1 Nephi...can you say MIRACLE!? They stayed for all 3 hours and left afterwards to visit the visitor's center...again! What a blessing!!

Jessica: Jessica is a 13 year old girl who actually contacted us in the street wondering who we were and what we did. Turns out her parents got baptized over 30 years ago...unfortunately they haven't been to church in over 20 years... Jessica is AWESOME! She learns and understands faster than anyone I've ever taught. She always talks about being a missionary someday...she's great!
Jessica's Baptism
Later Sunday we headed back to the church to prepare for Jessica's baptism. We started to fill up the baptismal font...I've never seen such dirty was filling up with yellow/green water that smelled like wet dog...gross!! I never thought blue food coloring would come in so handy! Blue wet dog water is better than yellow wet dog water...right?? At about 6:50PM Jessica was still nowhere to be seen (the baptism was supposed to start at 7:00) so I decided to call them to make sure they were on there way. Her grandma answered informing us that they had gone to Center and wouldn't be back until 10:00 that night. My heart sank. I tried calling their cell phone but it went straight to voicemail. I had absolutely no way of communicating with them and was left to hope they were going to show up. I grabbed my comp and we went into the bathroom to kneel and say a prayer. 30 minutes went by...nothing. I was really starting to think that they weren't going to show up. At about 7:45 the church door bell rang...and it was her!!! Hallelujah!!!! And even better is that her whole family showed up too! We ended up having an awesome baptism!:)
Emptying the font
Afterwards everyone left and we were left to drain and clean the font. We had to drain it completely by hand by filling and emptying buckets. It took forever!!! (2 hours) But it was worth it:)

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