Then spake Jesus saying, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

(May 12) Happy Mother´s Day to all the mothers reading this!!

Mom, I thought I´d attach a picture of what I would cook for you if we were Mexican. Can you tell that's a pig´s head floating in the pot of soup? YUUM. Why is everyone obsessed with pork here? I´m gong to start telling them that I´m allergic.

So I´m in the field trying to speak Spanish and it´s great haha!  It´s not as hard as I thought it would be to teach, but it´s harder than I thought it would be to give 100% of my time and attention. But I LOVE the gospel. It is hard not to have any time for myself, but it is an awesome opportunity to become more like Christ, which will help me have a more successful marriage and family, something I get to keep for all eternity. I also love teaching the gospel. When I teach, I realize how simple and logical the gospel is. How every little part fits together seamlessly. And I realize that something this perfect just could not be designed by man. And then I feel TOO ridiculously grateful to have heard of and accepted the true gospel of GOD. It´s one in a million to have at my fingertips the actual plan of God. THE GOD of the universe.

From Nicole: Sorry this is late, she was talking to her mom at the beginning and I was not sure if this was for the blog :) 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Life is like the gym

The other day I saw a guy with a horse and plow like going through the dirt like old times! It was really crazy especially since we live in the city lol!! I´m sorry I don´t have a picture of it but I did manage to snap a picture of the Bob Marley dog. The Bob Marley dog has dreads, which I´m really sad that you can´t see in the picture because I took the picture without flash on a rainy day. It was unexpected so I had to jump on the opportunity and didn´t have much time to worry about prime lighting. Okay so the deal with the Bob Marley dog is that I saw him (or her) one day when we were walking and I was like, I need a picture of that dog!!¨ but there were so many people around and we´re not supposed to draw attention to ourselves by acting like tourists, which we totally would have been because I pass a stray dog (plug your ears Charity :( ) every minute or so--so it would have been like someone in the States taking a picture of a Honda. Not a specific Honda. Any Honda. So I was sad. When to my surprise a week later, there he is again. Haha! 

The first weeks in the field: Great:) We´re trying to help people recognize that this is true! Trying to get investigators and less-actives to keep their commitments (like reading the scriptures, coming to church or praying to find out if this is true. Simple. The stuff you have to do if you want to find out for yourself whether something is any good). 

We kinda live in the city, kinda like Provo but smaller houses much closer together. We travel out to different suburbs. Mexico is not the nicest place to live because some of their rivers are stinkpots of trash! It´s so sad! But I love how there´s food for sale like every other house. Haha.

This is one of the families we visit. All throughout the lesson, they keep getting up to sell their snacks. It makes it hard for them to learn but hey

 The kids are cute and I love the families in the ward, they´re very supportive! We had a 10 year old beg us to let us come in our lesson but we were teaching adults and it would have been weird so we told her Yes Please but when we go teach kids! Haha! We do our laundry by hand which is a little time-consuming but fine. There´s mangos everywhere which I love. Haha.

People have always said that the mission is full of miracles. So far mine has been. So far I´ve been the recipient of all of them! Since being in the field, I feel like I´m riding in a car instead of running-- I´m not the one doing the work. He´s making things that are normally hard for me easy.  I have received personal revelation time and time again that God knows me and he wants me to be here, which is a miracle for me because my goal in life is to do what God wants me to do, and knowing what exactly that is is half the battle. It´s not easy to be a missionary, but it doesn´t really matter if it´s easy. What matters is doing what God wants us to do. All the best things in life are hard, anyway. Life is like the gym- we have to lift weights if we want to get stronger. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

I cannot count the number of times this week that I said ¨I just got here."

We talk to SO MANY PEOPLE! There´s everyone in the ward to meet, the 6 or 8 lessons we teach each day (which usually include several people), and the 12 to 15 people we talk to on the streets. Ok honestly it doesn´t even sound like a lot. But it is! i for one have never met that many new people each day.
Things here are fabulous!!!!!
Ah I am already in love with some of the families here. Ah.
I can´t imagine or grasp that I am going to be gone so long. Everyone, I love you sooooooo much!
I have been here one week officially. My mission president and his wife took me out to lunch on Monday (April 21) straight from the airport. What?! It was so nice of them to take their time to do that, and it made for an easy day. After lunch with them, we went to the mission home for an orientation and then to the mission office where we waited for paperwork and my mission debit card where they put a little allowance every other week, which I never got and still don´t have haha. I was so tired because I only got to sleep one hour the night before! 
Every morning I am already so tired! But the rest of the day until like 9:30 at night, I feel great.
I know you´ve been dying to hear about... my companion!!! She´s great. She´s from Colombia and is kind and sassy. Here is a picture from our first day together.

. We got to the member´s house to eat and there were so many people crammed in the tiniest room and honestly I could hardly understand a word haha. I found out later that it was one of the kids´birthdays, and the rest of our meals have been a lot less chaotic and a little more comprehensible. Just kidding, I understand the majority of stuff! But it´s still hard for me! (Me cuesta mucho!) The stronger the Spirit, the less I stumble over my words. It is astounding.)

Even though there are no pictures in this post, it´s not an optional read!

I hope you all had a great Easter. I hope you all got to give great thought to what the Resurrection means for us. If not, your Easter was the way most of my Easters have been! I´ve always thought about the Resurrection with gratitude, but I have never been able to get past the, ¨Yay, there is life after death!¨ I guess because I´ve never had to go through the death of someone I love believing otherwise. I ask you all to meditate in what way/ways the Resurrection changed your life.

There were no bunnies or eggs this Easter and it was kind of nice!!! Even though I love celebrating holidays. GUESS who came to speak in the morning during our special MTC-wide Sacrament meeting?? Just think of the one person you´d want to hear speak out of all the prophets and apostles. Did you think of the pilot with the accent and the stories and the handsome dignified Santa-Claus look? Well, you guessed right! I was excited because, well, he´s great. Bu I honestly didn´t understand what I was going to experience.

In his talk he told the Bible story but in a deeper way than I have heard. You could feel the Spirit while he was talking, and I felt more than interested, I felt enthralled. After he closed the talk, he said, with total sincerity, ¨Please go out and tell the people wherever you are going, members and nonmembers, that we love them. We want everyone to know, so tell them for me.¨ Then he said, Ï wish I could shake each of your hands, but there are just too many of you. I´ll take the long way out though and see as many of you as possible.¨ He made his way down from the stage and started shaking hands. 

I couldn´t see him, but the atmosphere was so reverent. The talk had been so good and so full of the Spirit, no one wanted to move as he went though the crowd. It was like he carried it in a bright cloud around him, because as he came closer, I felt it stronger. It was very beautiful. It had nothing to do with him being a Mormon celebrity. Nothing. It had everything to do with him being set apart as a prophet of God. God gives us prophets to give us additional revelation, (in addition to personal revelation and what has already been revealed through the scriptures), and to be special witness of him. This is an extra tool God has given us, and God doesn´t do things half-heartedly, he does them officially. That´s why we have to be set apart. When someone is set apart, God recognizes their acceptance of the responsibility he has asked them to take on, and he starts doing what he wants done, through them. He gives them the abilities and his power and Spirit. They become his! His hands. I FELT THIS when I was set apart. All the negative feelings went away, I FELT Christ with me, and I FELT him saying, ¨You´re my representative now. You better believe I wouldn´t let you try to do that alone. Because you couldn´t! And that could get ugly haha. But it doesn´t matter. Because I´lll do it through you. I´ll be with you.¨ I realized that President Uchtdorf carried this bright cloud around not because of who he was, but because of what he had been set apart to do. 

There was an aisle that separated the reserved seats from the seats behind them, and I was sitting on the second row up. My companion had wanted to go to choir, which practices in the same room, and I have never been happier that I went to choir! He passed by and was SO close and it felt great. Then he shook the hand of the person next to me and I knew it was okay for me to stick out my hand too!

The priesthood is one of my favorite gifts from God, after the Atonement, love, and famlies. It IS the authority to act in God´s name. We´re not perfect and the men who hold the priesthood aren´t perfect, but honestly it usually comes pretty close. When you invoke the priesthood or the name of Christ in something you are doing, you are letting God know that you are using a gift He gave us, and he reaches his hand into your life to empower and guide those moments. It is through this power that prophets are called, through this power that my life has been changed, through this power that I have been changed in various turning points in my life.

Edited to add this picture with a weird format that I could not get bigger! 

Holla to SIdney Boman for finding me on hahaa! Here I am in front on Easter :D