Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter, Women, & A Funeral

¡Buenas días!

It was a really good week. :) Here are the highlights:

Carlos (who we´ve been teaching for a few weeks) finally accepted a baptismal date!!!! We´ve been asking and asking for weeks but it took him....a long time....to finally understand what the Book of Mormon is. I may have used fairy tales, drawings, the dictionary, and every scripture I could think of to explain it to him. And then one day we showed him the video of Gracias a que Èl Vive and after he was just like, "Yeah I´ll get baptized." Like it was no big deal. Hahaha It just shows that it doesn´t matter what we say, it´s what they feel.

And when you know you know, you know?

We went to contact a reference we got from a investigator.....and showed up at her funeral. Woops. #Badtiming On the plus side, I bet she´s listening to missionaries in the spirit world right now.

Also, can we talk about the Women´s Meeting. I LOVED it. Even though I watched it in Spanish (everyone should be able to talk in their own language. I don´t like voice-overs for anything). I loved how Pres. Eyring talked about how WE can be the ones who help make other people´s burdens light. That´s what we promise when we get baptized, to lift others up. I realized that´s really what I´m doing here: lifting others. Whether that means inviting them to get baptized, talking them into coming to church for the first time in weeks, listening to a member unload her burdens to us, singing a hymn in the calle, or just saying "Buenas tardes" with a smile to someone in the street. I am here to lift and build.

And I´m determined to leave this area better than I found it. :)


As we approach Easter, I´ve thought a lot about the Atonement, and what Christ suffered, but also those four words that mean so much to me:

He is not here.

He was not in the tomb. He rose the third day. He lives today. He was not in the tomb, but He can be present EVERY SINGLE DAY of our lives. So many people here remember Christ on the cross, and that´s important, but I am here to testify of a Living Christ.
  D&C 68:6 Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you; and ye shall bear  record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come.

He lives. And because He lives we will too. And I just want the whole world to know. I love being a missionary. I love you all!!!!

¡Vale la pena!

Hermana Wilson








Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dedication, Losses, & Little Victories

My Peeps,

Well, this week was an interesting one. We had some really great things happen, and some really not so great things. A *brief* summary:

-Hna Oaxaca (hija de Hna Ludlam) went home, it was really sudden, and really sad. It made me think a lot about why I´m here in the mission...more on that later. But that meant we lost a day of work in our area because we were in a trio for a day waiting for a new comp for Hna Ludlam. On the plus side I got to see a little bit more of the world....or at least Chuburná. hah

-Our one progressing investigator, that was about to get baptized, that we've been teaching for 2 months....MOVED! And didn't tell us, he just kind of mentioned it in passing one day during the lesson. He had been living with his mom and then just kept showing up for the lessons there. On the plus side, someone is going to get a reference of gold. (golden reference?? How does that work in English??)

-Speaking of golden references, one of our investigators got baptized Saturday!
He´s technically not ours, but we taught him all the lessons since he didn´t have time in his house, but he works for some members so we taught him there. His name is Eduardo and the whole time we taught him we were PRAYING that his family could accept the gospel too because his wife was super opposed to it, and she´s finally taking the lessons too! His whole family!!!! Heavenly Father answers prayers people. And it was super sad because we couldn't go because it was like an hour from our area, but incredibly happy all at the same time.

Priorities when teaching english classes
-One of our investigators who we´ve been teaching for a while finally accepted a baptismal date!!!!! We taught her about the yoke of Christ (Matt 11:28-30) and she was just like...okay. Like no big deal, while I was happy dancing on the inside. I love when people make the right decision.

-It´s getting hotter. I carry a towel and deodorant all the time because I literally sweat buckets just walking down the street. Woop woop. #sooooattractive

-Also we went to a training about self-sufficiency and had a little mini-reunion with Hna Rhondeau. Hah. We found out we both sneak-eat the food our hijas don´t want. We´re good moms. haha (It helps that the thing Hna Castro doesn't like is flan.)

-I went to the temple today. Which like made my life. I got to finish the work for one of Dad´s family names and that also made my life. Can we talk about how perfect Heavenly Father´s plan is???

Templo at 4 in the morning
This week I officially hit 6 months and I've thought a lot about why I´m out here, and I realized (AGAIN) that it´s sooo not about me. There are people here who I can help, and we´re changing peoples´ lives. As much as I miss home, and my people, and English :)  my whole self just rejects the thought of leaving here. There is so much to be done and so little time. So very many people who need the gospel. And I have it.

6 months to the day
I love you all! I love the gospel. I love being a missionary!!!


¡Vale la pena!

Hermana Wilson




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We are easily entertained!
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Marquesitas

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English manual they give to the Latinos...I want to know who gave this to our investigators.haha

Monday, March 16, 2015

Black Sheep, Mermaids, & Dogs (Still Hate Them)

FAMILY & FRIENDS! People I love!!!

This was a good week. It was a little slower teaching wise, but we´ve been finding new people almost every day and have a couple of good progressing investigators. We´re going to have baptisms this transfer!!!! (Fingers crossed. You all should pray for that. Pretty please.)

It was ward conference this week and it was like the best day. Somehow, last minute (like 20 minutes before) I got talked into singing a solo during the prelude, and Hna Castro & I got sucked into the choir. I was totes the black sheep, everyone wore white shirts and I had a black one.... #didnotknowtherewasadresscode And we had 122 people in the capilla, including 21 less active members!!!!!!!!! Hno Arturo (less active) finally cut his hair and came to church! (This man and his hair. It´s been a project for at least 3 months now.) And we had 2 invesigators come all by themselves, and everyone was just happy, and it was just a beautiful day in the capilla.

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Half the ward was in the ward choir.
In other news: 

I got bit by a dog this week. But I was walking fast so it couldn´t actually bite me, just kind of pinched the back of my leg. (No reason to worry Mom.) For the record, I did nothing to provoke it. #totesstillhatethedogshere 

Dog Bite. Not bad. :) 


This was the week of weird older men hitting on me. One gentlemen asked what color my eyes are then proceeded to recite a poem he wrote (I didn´t understand everything and neither did Hna Castro, but he said something about green eyes and mermaids), and told me I was too pretty to be walking around in the calle all day. The next day our investigator told us that if he was younger he would wait for us after the mission.... -_-.... yeah. Hermana Castro thinks it´s hilarious.

I do not. 

It rains almost every day. But I bring my rainjacket everywhere now. I´m learing. :) And when it doesn´t rain it is HOT. But it´s still winter.....wish me luck.

Casa de la familia Molina
Hermana Castro says I sound less like a gringa right before bed when I´m exhausted. I don´t know how that works either. 

We had the best lesson with a less active gentleman. He stopped going to church like 35 years ago...or more. But when we gave him a Book of Mormon he just kind of lit up and hugged it to his chest and it made me incredibly happy. I love the Book of Mormon and I love it when other people love it too. 

I love this work. I love the gospel. I love being able to help people every single day. I love being a missionary.

And I love you all.

¡Vale la pena!

Hermana Wilson

PS Be on the lookout for a cool new iniciative. #GraciasaqueÉlvive #BecauseofHim
 

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guanavana












Monday, March 9, 2015

Transfer 4: Chuburná 2

Best Things...
-Meet the Mormons! (Can we talk about how much I loved the football part??? And that I want to go to Costa Rica now. Mormons are cool, no big deal.)

Worst Things...
-It got hot. And all the cockroaches came out.

Things that are working for me...
-I´m pretty sure my Jambu shoes are indestructible. They look the same as they did when I got here. 
- Spray suncreen lasts forever too. I just finished my first bottle after like 4 and a half months.

I wish I would have known...
-They don´t give you white sports bras in the temple here for baptisms. You should bring one. hah.
-You really should plan better than I did; and bring patterned skirts OR patterned shirts. Its doesn´t work too well with both.
-Mascara costs like 150 pesos. Which is a lot when you think about the fact that we only get $150 to eat every week. I don´t know why I didn´t stock up on that...
-Get a Spanish Dictionary (not English to Spanish just Spanish Spanish). Presidente wants all of us to learn the language more thoroughly and a dictionary would help a lot.

Food...
-This lovely cabbage dish that basically translates to babies in envelopes....or something like that. hahah. 

Fun Facts about Mexico/This Mission...
-They don´t normally whistle at girls here, it´s more of a chhh sound. And they´re normally drunk...
-Also, calling someone bitter doesn´t actually translate to Spanish.
-The schedule changed back so we don´t have to get up at 5 to study language...I think everyone just stopped studying language so that´s why it changed back. hah

Weather...
-It was incredibly cold for like a week....incredilby cold means like 65 degrees. haha and probably not even that cold. But with the humidity I feel like I can´t escape it.

Mayan...
-miz: gato
-pabia: ya se va
-kik: hermana
-sucon: hermano
-bixavel: como está
-malóo: bien 

I learned...
-I´m training! Which means I learned A LOT of things. How to plan on my own, how to lead in a lesson, how to find my way around...Lots of things.
-Don´t flush toilet paper unless there is a sign next to the toilet that tells you too. All the houses here have septic tanks so if you flush toilet paper you just might kill your toilet...like we did.
-Un Misionero de Éxito Predicad Mi Evangelio pagina 10. It´s not always the numbers, folks.

video
This is one of our practice sessions...probably one of my favorite videos of Hna Castro. LOVE HER!


video
Proof that I practice too. 


Buckets, Iguana, & Chugging


Mis Queridos,

What a week. Kind of a roller coaster, but that keeps things interesting, right?? We´re in what I like to call the "finding" phase of the work. We don´t have many investigators, and so we've been putting in a lot of time hunting down references (want to know how many incorrect addresses we've gotten???),  going around with Hna Delfina (who I swear literally knows every single person in her colonia, I want to be her when I grow up), and just talking to as many people as we can. 

And it can be really hard.

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Hna Castro & I 
But (there´s always a but right??), I realized this week that it´s when all of our plans have fallen through, when we've been straight out rejected by everyone, when my feet think they can´t go anymore, when we´re literally standing in the pouring rain asking people if we can please teach them; it´s at that point that we always find someone. I think it´s Heavenly Father´s way of showing me that He´s in charge, and I just have to keep chugging. 

And that´s when we get miracles. Like finding 4 new investigators in the last three days the week (after 0 the first 4 days that´s a miracle), like finally having investigators with a baptismal date, like having an incredible day in the capilla when the lessons are perfect for your investigator...

And like showing up to a member´s house and having them tell you that you answered their prayer, that they needed someone and we showed up. 

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Piano with the familia Mull
Miracles.

There are so many in the mission that sometimes I don´t think about how they actually are miracles. Sometimes I realize I´m just a 20 year old kid from a little town in Oregon, and I really have no idea how to help people face some of the problems that I see out here, but time and time again, Heavenly Father helps me out (A LOT) and I've been able to help people in ways that I never could on my own.

In other news: 

We got rained on. Twice. And when we talk about rain here in the Yucatan it´s like buckets of water being dumped on my head. Hah. And it´s humid here so I just walk around damp for the rest of the day. 
After the rain, looking for directions
It´s all good. The drowned cat look is good for me. I now know to bring my umbrella even when there´s not a cloud in the sky. 

I learned that the Elders who were here before us (like 3 companionships) brought iguana to one hermana for her to cook. 

And they actually ate it. #NOTDOINGTHAT. 

A dog popped out of a window in a wall (RIGHT NEXT TO MY EAR) and tried to eat me. I may have jumped...but just a little.

There may have also been people laughing at me as they drove by. #totesstillhatethedogshere

All in all, the life is good. I love being a missionary, and even when it´s hard (because, yes it´s hard sometimes) I know I´m where I´m supposed to be. I've felt such LOVE from my Heavenly Father, and I know He´s always helping me out.

I love you all. 


¡Vale la pena!

Hermana Wilson
   


Monday, March 2, 2015

Miracle Killers, Head Games, & Anniversaries

My Dearest Family...and other people who are equally as dear,

This week was a good one!!! (Do I say that every week??) We don´t have a lot of investigators...like 1... but we accomplished a lot of our goals and in the ninth hour (like Sunday night..)  we found a family with a lot of potential and I have high hopes for Chuburná.

In the MTC I remember my teachers talking about not letting people kill your miracles, and I thought, "Who would do that?? That can´t be real issue." But it´s real people. A lot of people this week have told us what a difficult area we have, that no one´s really had succes...yada yada yada....It´s not true. We have some challenges here for sure, but Preach My Gospel says if we lower our expectations we lower our ability.

And I don´t know about you, but I plan on baptizing the world...or at least one Jehovah´s Witness. (I have an odd talent of managing to find every single JW to contact in the streets. Hermana Castro is always very impressed.) It´s going to happen ;)

I´ve been trying to avoid falling into a rut of just doing the work, and so I´ve been focusing a lot on listening to the Spirit. And wow has that been cool. I try to picture the people we´re teaching in the temple or the baptismal font and think about what they need to get there. Every time I feel such love from Heavenly Father for the people here and I can´t help but love them too. And I really do love them, even if sometimes they frustrate me to no end. :) I told Hermana Castro the other day that I feel like a mom with a lot of problem children. haha

One of those is an hermana who is less active, she´s 18, pregnant and her boyfriend (who is also a member) lives there with her family. Her name is Reyna and she´s a little bit terrified to be a mom, and never really had a conversion to the gospel. So the other day we just had a feeling we should go over there to visit here. She let us in (a little bit reluctantly) and we sat down to teach.

With absolutely no game plan. Hah.

So I flipped through my himnario (what is this word in english???) and saw "Paz Calmense" (Not sure what it´s called in english either...it goes like "master the tempest is raging..." etc.) and just had the feeling to sing that. And from there we taught a whole lesson on the story and it was just really cool. And then...

Reyna and Isaac (her boyfriend) came to church yesterday!!!!! And it was literally like the third time in the four months I´ve been here. And it just made me incredibly happy.

Speaking of beautiful moments in the church...fast and testimony meeting, Hermana Margarita gets up to bear her testimony and started crying and thanked us (from the pulpit) for remembering her baptism anniversary (we dropped of a card and a chocolate). And it was just the coolest thing ever.
Now, I´m not telling you that because I think we´re awesome or something, I just realized that I actually am making a difference here. That even if we´re a little bit low on investigators right now, we´re touching hearts and changing lives. I don´t remember what I wrote in the card for Hna Margarita, but it touched her, and it reminded me that this mission isn´t about numbers and baptisms.

I am here to invite others to come unto Christ.

And that comes in a lot of forms. And I just love having the opportunity to do it. I love the gospel and I love being a missionary.

And I love you all. :)


¡Vale la pena!

Hermana Wilson

PS Cambios were yesterday...guess who is going to spend a third of her mission in Chuburná....this girl! BTWs I´ve finished a third of my mission. How did that happen??

Elote in Centro. Again proving how attractive I am.