Monday, June 8, 2015

Week 78 Final email...Adios Mexico June 8, 2015

They say that the mission is like a big beautiful field of roses. I remember when I began filling out my mission papers; nervous, anxious, excited to see where I would be spending the next year and a half of my life.

July 2013
There I was with that big white envelope in my trembling hands. Everyone was silent as I read those words: "Dear Sister Ingram you are hereby called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Mexico Mexico City Southeast mission." I remember my mom shouting, "What?! But they don't send girls to Mexico!" I couldn't believe it either; I had been called to serve a full-time mission in Mexico City and that adventure would start just a few short months later. Almost immediately my dad began searching pictures of my mission; houses upon houses upon houses. One thing was for sure, finding people to teach wouldn't be a problem! I would be learning a new language, eating who knows what, meeting new people, living a new culture, and, most importantly, teaching the gospel. Life as I knew it would take a 180 degree turn. But I was excited knowing that it would be an adventure of a life-time. There I was, looking out upon that big beauiful field of roses.
December 11th 2013
It was early, my bags were packed; I was ready to go. We slowly drove through the big black MTC gates, stopping alongside the sidewalk. I said my last goodbyes, gave my last hugs, and just like that I was off on that adventure of a life-time I had been preparing for. That was the moment I took my first step into that field of roses. That's when I realized that my journey through it was going to be a bit harder, a bit more painful than I had expected it to be.

January 20th 2014
I finally arrived in Mexico. What language were they speaking anyway? That was definitely not the language they had taught me back in the MTC... "Can you speak a little slower please?" How in the world was I ever going to do this?

I walked into my house. There were cockroaches crawling all over the yellow stained walls, a mountain of dirty dishes filling the sink, and rotting food covering the counters and tables. The place smelled like a musty, moldy, dirty, old house. I was not excited to spend the next few months living there.

I began to unpack my bags. Where were my things? I couldn't believe it...someone had stolen almost all of the contents of one of my suitcases. I took a deep breath; everything was going to be fine but I began to wonder what exactly I had gotten myself into. Was this really worth it?
Burning my shoes....if that's what you can still call them
The months went by and it continued to be tough but I started to get the hang of things. Why didn't people want to listen to us? Slammed doors and insults became an everyday occurrence. I was starting to realized that the big beautiful field of roses sure did look amazing from an outsider's perspective, but walking through it...well...that was another story. The field was full of thorns...each step hurt!

However, as the time went by I began to see some changes. I no longer struggled to understand the language. "Um, Sister _______ there's another cockroach on your desk." Who needed a hot shower when you could just heat a bucket of water with a hot iron? I began to find people who DID want to listen to me; people who truly were in search of the gospel. I began to recognize that each day was full of little miracles. As I was pushing my way through that field of roses I decided to look up and notice where I was: in the middle of the biggest most beautiful field of roses. I had had my head down that entire time and had forgotten where I was!

One, five, ten, sixteen months passed by. Day by day I continued. It was tough. There were ups and downs, some moments were harder than others but I kept reminding myself to look up and remember where I was.

Now my adventure of a life-time is drawing to an end and I'm just days away from returning to life as I knew it. I've grown to love so many people here: my companions, converts, members, my mission president, his wife, and many more. THEY'VE become my family away from home and I'm having to say goodbye knowing that some of them I may never see again. Never again will I be able to relive the experiences that I've had as a missionary here in Mexico. This IS life as I know it and I'm having to say goodbye to it for forever. I'm just a few steps from leaving the field. It sure hasn't been easy walking through it, but when I look back I realize that though difficult, it continues being that same big beautiful field of roses.

BUT it's not over yet! I've learned so much while being here and there's no way I'm going to let it go to waste. I've got an even bigger field of roses I have to cross called LIFE. If you would've asked me 3 years ago if I was going to serve a mission I would've said, "Absolutely not!" I was preparing to play division 1 college sports, I had other plans, a mission was the LAST thing on my mind. When I made my decision to not play college sports, I didn't truly understand why at the time. All I knew was that the Lord understood, He saw the bigger picture, and I needed to put my trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths." I KNOW that that is 100% true! I knew that God would direct my path and look where I ended the middle of Mexico! I will forever be grateful for the decision I mad to NOT go through with MY plans but rather to go through with HIS plans. I know that what comes next will be far from easy...but my experiences here in Mexico have prepared me...bring it on life!!
Saying goodbye to our ward building...

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