Monday, March 24, 2014

It's Mexico and It's Amazing!

Is there any better place then Mexico?? Better yet is there anything greater then this work?? Holy cow I don't even know where to begin so if I don't have time to include everything I want to say I just want to throw it out there that life is more then great and I certainly cant stop smiling.

I guess I'll start with the Sunday night before we left the MTC because the experience I had that night will most certainly always be among the top ten greatest spiritual moments ever.  My district and the other district in my zone that entered the MTC the same day that I did, decided to walk home from main campus and stop by the temple to take pics in the dark.  From there we went to the chapel in Wyview and the 10 elders proceeded to give us priesthood blessings.  I can't describe the spirit that filled the room and how thankful I am for the power of the priesthood in my life.  It didn't matter if the blessing wasn't just for me, I still felt its power.  Having 10 of the finest elders I've ever met surrounding me just added to the happiness!!! I was thankful beyond belief for that moment.  We didn't want to leave but knew we had to head home because all the hermanas from our zone were coming to our apartment that night to break the pinata (yes Hermana Sturts mom sent us one of those) and to pop some martinellis (also courtesy of momma Sturt).  We also had more food then we knew what to do with because we all received at least two packages on Friday full of more food despite the fact that we were leaving.  Anyway, huge food fest with laughter and quite a few tears at the end.  My apartment didn't start crying till everyone left and we had our last apartment prayer...when we realized it was our last.

We left the MTC at 4:30 am and surprisingly there were no tears, think we got them all out the night before.  There were so many of us they had to put all of our luggage in a moving truck and use three coach buses...and they took at least three trips.  I tried to sleep on the hour trip to the airport, but how are you supposed to sleep when you're psyched out of your mind and headed to the greatest country ever, MEXICO!!! The plane rides didn't allow you to do anything because the turbulence was ridiculous, like a roller coaster.  When I called home my own mom didn't even recognize me...also a highlight of my trip ;)

We arrived in Mexico around 10:30 where we were met with huge hugs from our mission president's wife and high fives from the AP's.  We had an hour and a half ride to Cuernavaca and I was straight giddy the entire way!!! People tried to sleep, but the zone leaders came to the back of the bus and entertained me with hilarious stories and the view was amazing so I was set.  Instead of sleeping in the office that night with everyone else, Hermanas Sturt, Johnson, and i were assigned to go sleep with the sister training leaders.  When my comp, Hermana Chynoweth, heard that we were gonna be separated she burst into tears and refused to let go of my arm....the AP's were a little freaked out but it all worked out.  The next morning it took all my effort to focus on studies and not run outside and scream ¡Buenas Dias Mexico! I was psyched to find out where I would be serving and who my trainer would be.  So here it is: My trainer is Hermana Young from Texas and she's been in the mission for 5 months so its safe to say were figuring this out together but she's amazing and I couldn't have asked for anyone better.  Were in the Viveros Ward (which fun fact doesn't currently have a church building because its under construction. Instead we meet under a few tarps draped together surrounded on all sides by huge walls...can you say HOT!!!).  Its probably the best ward ever!!! We live in Oaxtepec, in a brand new house that we bought and our area covers 40 minutes out from our house into the country side.  It's a fabulous mix of EVERYTHING. Were kind of opening an area in a sense because they just split the Viveros area so there are two sets of missionaries here and the area we cover is the portion where missionaries didn't really go.  But like I said, were figuring it out and life couldn't be better.

The night we left Cuernavaca to head to our area (about an hour out) the lady we were buying the house from was mad because she hadn't received rent yet and was refusing to give us the keys so we called President to convince her.  Because we hadn't paid rent the furniture that was suppose to have been dropped off and set up earlier that day hadn't arrived so at 11:45 pm we were carrying furniture into our house and trying to set up beds.  All of my companion's stuff, Hermana Young, was still at her old house and the district leaders refused to let us leave...which included the other Viveros sisters who had accompanied us to our house.  We squished the two mattresses together and all four of us slept across them for our first night :) Did I mention that my apartment is beautiful?? That's the only word for it!! We have pretty pink walls and four rooms, FOUR (what on earth do we need with four rooms?!?!).  Minus plumbing, hot water, and air conditioning its probably the nicest place I've ever lived and there's not a bug in sight.

I've met some of the most amazing people ever that often amaze me with how strong their faith is.  I love how the people here don't find it weird at all to talk about God while were riding the bus or just walking down the street.  I literally talk to everyone  I see, better stated I attempt to talk to everyone I see.  I start the conversation and then turn to my comp like, ¨Here you go. Have at it.¨  In our lessons I say everything I want and if it doesn't make sense I can whisper to my comp what I meant and she translates it to the people for me.  I'm shocked everyday by how high my understanding level is and though my speaking level is nowhere near equal, I cant stop smiling because what is there not to smile about.  The greatest moment so far was when we were teaching a family and I got to talk about the first vision and then bare my testimony.  I was pretty sure what I said didn't make sense but then the mom AND the dad both expressed how thankful they were for us and how they simply felt joy in their hearts when I and my broken Spanish...if that isn't confirmation that this is the Lords work I seriously don't know what is!!!

Another amazing moment this week all started with a lady on the cambi (bus) who said she would meet with us but then gave us a street (which turned out to be 20 miles long) and no house number...basically a total burn, but we felt like we should look for it anyway.  We started walking down the street and were greeted by the joyful cry of ¡HERMANAS! Turns out there was a family of less actives who lived only a few houses down and they were thrilled to see the missionaries.  We met their neighbors and basically everyone on the street and are now teaching them all.  It was simply another confirmation that this is the Lords work.  And the joy in the grandmas eyes melted my heart.

I think our best lesson this week, for me at least, was with an 18 year old boy who is getting baptized next week. I had kind of been down all day cause I felt like something was missing from our lessons and I couldn't figure out what.  That night I realized that what was missing from our lessons was me, my personality, and in that lesson I some how had the words to make jokes and actually connect with him.  It made my day and I left the house thanking Heavenly Father.

The kids here are the best, members and nonmembers alike, they see us so often that now they run across the street to give us high fives and always scream hola as if they're afraid we wont notice them.  I love it because you don't have to speak the language to talk to children, smiles and funny faces is all you need to make a new best friend.

The food here is unreal, I cant even explain it to you and the members feed us a ton!!! My biggest Spanish fails have been with the simplest words and have left people laughing for days.  The other day I was trying to tell the 18 year old that he was the best and instead called him a woman (WHOOPS) and I asked a 12 year old if her sister was her daughter....which she proceeded to tell all 10 people in the store (the shame) no worries, I'll get there some day!!!

Sorry this is so long but I don't feel like I could truly adequately express my love for this place.  Today we played soccer for hours with our entire zone and it was a dream come true.  I have sunburn, my shoes have dug so far into my feet that you can almost see the bone, I cant speak the language, and sweating bullets, and yet none of that matters because this is the place and everything is simply amazing, scratch that BEYOND amazing!!!!

Hope your lives are just as great,
Share your joy with everyone you know,
So much love,
Hermana Neuberger

PS Real quick funny story: The boy who's mom runs the panadaria down the street from our house was talking to us the other day and he asked us if we were hungry.  We replied that we were fine.  He asked when we had last eaten and we said was 8.  His face was priceless, basically all shock.  When he found out all we had eaten was quesadillas (the best EVER BTW). He was even more shocked and then he asked super meekly, "Are you guys suffering?"  I died of laughter.  He invited us to come eat with his family, just the cutest thing EVER!!! basically I only eat one meal every day cause its so much i never want to eat again

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