Friday, August 29, 2014

That's The Way We Do It

First I like to start off by mentioning: If you're not in a place where you can eat pan dulce everyday, I feel sorry for you.  If you're not in a place where quesadillas and gorditas are cooking on every corner, I'll shed a tear for you.  If you're not in a place where elotes are a big deal and chiceronies make people happy, that's just sad.  BUT if you're not in a place where people make you pozoli, WELL you might want to consider moving! I love the people here.  There's a family that doesn't actually live in Oaxtepec, they come in every weekend from the district, and feed us once a month and the hermana remembered how much we love pozoli and made us HUGE bowls of some of the most rico comida I've ever eaten in my life!!! Plus this family is just like my own in that they have more desserts to offer then anyone else I know.  Basically it's safe to say I'm not starving, which brings me to my next point. If you're not currently surrounded by people who every time they give you a hug also compliment you on how much weight you've lost.....even though its the biggest lie EVER....then you certaintly aren't enjoying Mexico (the greatest place in the world!!!!)

Last week we found out that our beautiful, grand area was on the "President is Super Worried About These Areas" list (who even knew that existed!? Tanner Stutz: WHY DIDNT YOU WARN ME!?! ;D) Luckily Sis. Ferb and I have the same mind set and weren't about being on that list again so we worked harder then hard this week.  Why harder then hard you ask, because we always work really hard.  To the people who think I'm out here on vacation, guess again.  I'm pretty sure I've never walked so much in my life!!! But this week we hit the pavement like never before and the results put a smile on my face every time I think about them.  Were trying to discover if we currently broke some mission record with our  91 lessons taught.  I hit my pillow every night and was out soooo fast, but there was never a moment that was not worth it.  Every night when we had a spare 20 minutes after a lesson we ran to another house for a quick 10 minute lesson and then ran home before the sun finished setting.  Sunday morning we had the joy of seeing the fruits of our labors as 13 people (5 ninos) made it to church and just loved it!  Our ward was amazing and jumped right in to befriend everybody and make sure that not a single one of them did have somebody to talk to.  Wow, it was a blessing beyond blessings after 3 weeks in a row of empty pews.  The whole thing was a reconfirmation of how important our work is. Missions truly are the refiners fire.  They test your patience more then you can imagine, but then in the end they're soooo worth it that you can't stop smiling because you are so lit with joy.

Yes its true that I might be leaving this beautiful area, the only area that I know, next week....but I don't want to even think about or dwell on that right now.  For now i just want to rejoice in the joy and blessing of being here to experience nothing but happiness!!!! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Neuberger/English Way

Rockin' the tennis shoes
Well this week we had zone conference, and not just any zone conference, for this one we had to put on a play.  Yup, I was all over that.  President sent the same short sketch to all the zones and told us to make it exciting....and he might have mentioned that there would be a prize for the best one.  What's that, competition?!?! Yup, I was all in and all over that.  The script was horrible, but we were excited to make it awesome......and then somehow I was voted to be the cat (oh the irony).  Long story short: We preformed, it was awesome, we won, and I won a special award for best cat (not to brag or anything ;D)......and in the whole process I sprained my foot.  In the afternoon after zone conference, when the pain and swelling started in full force, I traveled everywhere hopping.  Fun fact: streets in Mexico  are not hoppable, so I fell hardcore (but very gracefully) and these two random strangers, who naturally spoke English, carried me to a cambi to take me home.....slightly awkward experience but I was thankful.  ENTONCES for the last 5 days Ive been rocking my tennis shoes with my skirt and dresses.  Basically I've always been meant to be a hipster, what can i say.

Monsters Inc Hats from Mom's package
I didn't want to call Hermana Kusch, cause she kind of over freaks out, so I was just gonna let it be my little secret....but then I got a call from President Kusch Saturday morning telling me to meet him at the church in Cocoyoc.  Well, it wasn't about my foot  .  .  . THANKS MOM FOR A FABULOUS PACKAGE!!!!!!!!!! The ward members were kind of confused why there was so much princess stuff, but I was overjoyed!!!! ALI, ROGELIO, CHALLIE AND TAYLOR THANKS FOR YOUR LETTERS!!!!!!!!!! It was easily the highlight of the day.

I truly believe that the greatest lesson I've learned here is: The Lord has a perfect timing for everything.  First off, we teach people all the time about the plan the Lord has for them and how perfect it is.  Heavenly Father loves each of these people in a way that I can’t even comprehend and therefore He also has a great plan for each of them that I might not be able to fully comprehend either.  One day they'll see.  One day they'll understand.  One day they'll accepted it all.  That's how the Lord works.  His love is so great, so infinite, so strong, that hes going to give each of them more then one chance to hear the gospel message and accept it. He wants them to return to His presence and He wants to know/use the power of the Atonement in their lives just as much as He wants that for me and I can testify that He wants that for me so deeply that i can’t even describe it.  His timing is perfect and one day it will all work out for His good.  

Excited for a little Mac and Cheese

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Don't Mean to . . .

I don't want to make anybody feel bad. I'm sure that what you're doing in your lives is amazing might never have experienced all the feels like this ;)

The Lost Puppy
Today we had the greatest P-day EVER, like I'm pretty sure it'll ever be topped.  Once upon a time i looked at Travis mission pics and was super jealous of one pday he had where his sponsor took them out to the country side and he hiked and played with either Elder Stranski or Boyd (can't remember which) any who....NEWS FLASH, my area is the country side/mountain side/city side.  Today a fabulous family that lives in the mountain community of San Jose took us hiking.  FAMILY: imagine all the greatest hikes/Neuberger adventures we've had....this was better.  Every 5 minutes i was reminded of a different hiking memory because of something in the landscape.  It was just CRAZY beautiful and a ton of fun!!!!! The entire time all I could think was, "MY FAMILY IS GOING TO LOVE THIS!" The end point was the Mexico equivalent to Johnson Shut-ins (brought back great memories of going with Court, Liz, and Rogelio last year).  Basically the whole thing was straight joy and soooo much laughter because the family is awesome and if i haven't said it enough, MY COMP IS AWESOME!!!!!! The family was going to stay to swim and since missionaries don't swim, we booked it back at missionary pace and made amazing time.  We officially are making about 10 shirts next Monday with all the hilarious quotes and fabulous moments that we want to capture forever.  

I think my area is also the best in the whole mission too! It's huge, which often is a cause for complaint, but then again there's just so much possibility.  We have so many amazing investigators right now and I just love all their joy and happiness that always keeps me smiling! Pretty sure our coolest investigator, backstory wise, is Gelacio.  The guy is a guard at a fraccionamiento...after being kicked out of the United States....after working for some kind of organization that just took people out, AKA Jason Bourne.  Basically he had a Jason Bourne moment, realized that the people he was killing had wives and families, and just couldnt do it anymore.  BASICALLY we found some of the coolest people ever this week; families, young, old, and just happy.  Another awesome soul that were teaching was super involved with the drug cartels in Columbia/kidnapped/done it all.....but now works making wedding dresses for people...but that's a story for another time.

I think the biggest thing the Lord was trying to teach us this week is that people will always surprise your expectations.  This week not a single one of our investigators (all those dear amazing people that i just love soooo much) showed up to church on Sunday.  We were super depressed and feeling really let down AND THEN, out of nowhere this man that we had talked to for 5 minutes on a cambi the week before showed up. *Jaw drop* He stayed for the entire time and just loved it!!!! We gave him his own personal Book of Mormon at the end of the principles of the gospel and then the teacher challenged everybody to read two chapters a night.  He was committed and excited to start.  His name is Alberto and he makes these AMAZING (caps lock was necessary) candles.  We're half hoping that he will make special ones just for us cause they're soooo cool! If not, I'll happily buy my own.  It was just an amazing moment where we could see the impact that we have each day without even knowing it.  Everyday we talk to about 30 different people and often times we forget about most of them.  Randomly people will come up to us and start talking to us and then be surprised that we don't remember them from that one time on the street corner or on a cambi, but to me it's simply amazing.  In some little way each day we have the chance to impact the lives of 30 people.  Some may never think of us again or our invitation, but there are others who will let those questions affect their lives forever! I'm just so thankful everyday for the people the Lord allows me to meet and the seeds I'm allowed to plant.  it all reminds me a great deal of the Pan Man i contacted one night for about three minutes who actually lived in the district and now is a baptized member of the church.  This work is amazing and were truly given the words to say when we need them.

Love you all so much and the joy in your lives brings extra joy to mine,
Keep loving every minute,
Hermana Neuberger