Monday, October 27, 2014

Nothing But Smiles

WELL Hello there all you fabulous people!!!
Hermana Hernandez in the hospital
First off I have to comment, because I promised my branch president that I would, we had 71 people in church this week. Yes that's right, SEVENTY-ONE!!! It was nothing short of a miracle.  The weird thing was that it didn't feel like there were any new people there or people who were returning because everyone was just so warmly accepted.  Basically it was thrilling.  Also, thanks to mother nature and Benjamin Franklin, we gained an hour...and most of Mexico was not aware so everyone showed up early, thinking they were late, and we not only started Sacrament Meeting on time BUT there were about 40 people there.  It just had me and Presidente with huge smiles on our face the entire time. 

Cristina's Baptism
Speaking of miracles, there were so many that happened this week I think it would be impossible to list them all but something that was certaintly a miracle for two sister missionaries who were crazy lost in what felt like tornado winds and a lot of rain was the random car that stopped and offered us a ride! I love all memebers in every part of Mexico! Our baptizm this week came together and we had an amazing turn out.  The coolest part was that the boyfriend from Utah gave a talk via skype! Probably the first and last time were going to do that but it was super cool! At the end of the service we were talking to her boyfriend and Cristina got all serious and told her boyfriend that she was going to serve a mission....the whole room got REALLY silent and the poor guy got super red....and then we all started laughing cause it was a joke.  Basically shes asked him a LOT about missions because she now has such a desire to serve we shall se what actually ends up happening.  She would be such an amazig missionary and im kind of half supporting it.  The whole family is just so incrediable that i cant help but smile when Im around them.  The mom is mom, if that makes sense and I cant wait for Momma N to meet her cause I know theyll be great friends.

There truly is no greater joy then watching others take the steps that we know will bring them more happiness then we can express.  This week I was hit a little by a wall of pride that made me realize that I know this language now and I can really say stuff.  I think the best part is that I can now target peoples needs and really express to them the importance of the message we bring.  There is nothing like the

gospel and there certaintly is nothing else that is as precious in our lives.  I just love how the mission has given me such a different perspective on life and true purpose.  As we keep an enternal perspective we can have more joy then we can even fathom.

So much love,
Hermana Neuberger

Monday, October 20, 2014

Inspired Leaders

Well Hello all you Fabulous People Whom I LOVE,
Just because I'm pretty sure there are some rumors spreading a little too rapidly, I'd like to confirm that I am completely fine! Yes, there are certainly big problems going down in the boundaries of my mission' but I'm pretty sure the whole thing has only increased my perspective that the Lord calls inspired leaders.  In any other situations I'm sure the idea of moving over 100 young adults into safety would have been considered quite daunting, but here we're a team.  The mission is so well organized that everything moved like clock work and there was not a moment of panic.  Though I'm sure there was a ton of stress on President's part. Right now all the missionaries are living in the boundaries of Morelos.  They closed the four biggest zones of the mission and every area in Morelos is now stocked with two additional companionships.  Elder Chiser was a little shocked when he found out he was training....but I think he was a little more shocked when he found out that he now was going to have six more companions.  They walk down the street like an army and it's all quite amusing.  There are still a few elders living in the offices and doing random splits with different areas everyday, but overall everyone's settled into a random corner and really happy.  I'm so excited for our district meeting tomorrow because our district is going to have gone from 7 people last week to 35 people this week. GOSH, its going to be awesome.  Plus all my dear friends are now so close to me that I just want to go to Cuernavaca everyday so I can run into all of them!

The break down:
-Last Saturday we received a call that transfers would not be happening Monday.
-Monday we received a call that we would find out about transfers on Tuesday at district meeting. (1st trip to Cuernavaca)
-Tuesday we found out that they were pulling the sisters out of San Andres (the other companionship that lives with us) and closing the area for a time.  We gained Hna Harmon as part of our trio. (2nd trip to Cuerna for district meeting)
-Wednesday we headed to the offices (3rd trip to Cuernavaca) to drop off Hna Ayala and say goodbye...then we hiked to the estrella oro (where we were supposed to meet the zone leaders) which really isn't that far away from the offices...but if Hna Neuberger is leading to an unknown destination....well it took us a half hour, but we talked to some really cool people and ran into two sets of zone leaders who let us in on some transfer secrets so it was all good. We waited for about 20 minutes and then called about all the missionaries in our phone trying to figure out which was the number of the zone leaders.  Which resulted in some super funny phone calls.  We finally got in touch with the zone leaders only to find out that they were in the offices :l so we hiked it back (this time it only took 5 minutes).  Biggest secret surprise that was going down in the offices that we got to also know about, our zone leaders were becoming the APs....after only being our zone leaders for a week :/
-Thursday we received a call that we needed to be at the offices at 9 am
-Friday morning, as we were leaving the house, we received another call that we didn't need to go....only to receive a call two hours later that they needed us in Cuernavaca.  So we dropped everything and headed out to pick up our new companion.  (4th Trip to Cuernavaca) Her name is Hna Hernandez (also) and she's from Vera Cruz and just awesome and bubbly and perfectly happy about life, basically the description of every missionary I know.  She was a little bit sick and apparently had been sick for about 5 days.
-Saturday Hna Hernandez called the doctor and he asked her to come in for a check up....two hours later we got a call that she had forgotten all her cards and couldn't check into the the never failing Tepoztlan sisters headed to Cuernavaca (5th Trip) to bring her insurance cards and money.

And so this week we never had a full day of work, only about 2 hours every night, which made things rather interesting and us determined to make every moment count just a little bit more.  Fun fact: it takes an hour and a half to get to Cuernavaca by bus...and then the same amount of time to get waiting for buses...

But despite it all we were still able to find quite a few blessings.  The German Family that I believe I mentioned last week, was one of the most amazing lessons I've ever had.  We were laughing so hard the entire time with there adorable children and just about other things.  They have officially nicknamed us Mary (because I'm American) and Maria and its just amazing.  When we asked them what there belief in God was they went off on a tangent for about 30 minutes where they basically described and talked about everything that we had planned to teach them.  I'm pretty sure I've never heard anyone say that they believe an apostasy happened after the death of Christ and that there needed to therefore be a restoration of the truth except at church.  Also, that the only way that God could do that would be to call a new prophet for our time.  My comp and I just sat there gapping.  They're not promising us anything but even if were just planting a seed with them it will certainly be the greatest seed Ive ever planted!

A quote that I really liked this week comes from the always incredible Elder Holland (can't remember it word for word):
"Imperfect people is all God has ever had to work with.  Don't focus on your imperfections, look past them.  Better yet think of all you can become if with His help,  and then do it!"

I'm not here to be perfect, my imperfections get me down each and everyday.  But when I truly put it all in the Lords hands, that's when we see the miracles, that's when were lead by the spirit, that's when every single moment becomes sooo worth it that there aren't even words to explain.  Let the Lord morph you into your most perfect self! He wont do it against your will but with His help we can truly accomplish all things :)

With an abundance of love,
Hna Neuberger

Monday, October 13, 2014

So That Happened


There once was a place called O, where once upon a time they almost killed the missionaries...let's just say the Elders came back from there a little worse for wear.  Every Catholic church (there's one every two or three blocks in all the areas of T) has a loud speaker at the top of its steeple to announce when mass is going to start and other prayers. The dear people of O used this speaker to announced to the whole community NEVER to talk to the young men in white shirts and ties.  Better yet if you see them, get rid of them.  So yeah were not suppose to go there....but I'm new here and so is my comp so how am I suppose to know these things right?? I'm all about seeing every part of my area because my thought is that if we don't go to every pueblo then possibly we are missing out on a golden person who wants to hear more of our message.  That being said I can see why O is off limits, the people really don't like us, but I survived and the best part is that we got to find a less active family that was thrilled to see us.  Positive or Negative?...I think it was more positive! ALSO there once was a place called A where the people threw rocks at the missionaries when they tried to visit a member....needless to say, I've been there too....there should really be a sign or something ;) I think the best part about these areas is that there is no cell phone service (let's be honest there is no cell phone service in almost all of T) but there must be angel service because not only were we protected BUT we found some truly amazing people!!!!

I guess that was basically our whole week, the best way to describe it, MIRACLES! We were walking down the street last Sunday night and stopped to talk to a young family.  Turns out the mom had talked to the missionaries before about 10 years ago.  My comp and I still can't describe why the spirit was so powerful during our first lesson with them, but we both left just in awww with the biggest of smiles across our faces.  They're such an amazing family with four kids under the age of 8 (with the craziest nagwat names you've ever heard so I can't even come close to saying them).  I think my favorite part of the entire lesson was when Maya (the mom) committed to be baptized and the husband´s (Ramon) jaw dropped straight to the ground.  He said that his wife never commits to anything if she's not certain about it and that she's never been super big on religion.  Basically he convinced himself that if this was something his wife saw as a turning point then he did too and quickly agreed to be baptized also!

Wednesday the sister training leaders did divisions with us, which was just what I needed to remind me of how lessons works when your companion has more time on the mission then you.  It felt kind of relaxing to let them take the lead and to really listen louder.  It was also a huge wake up call that in a lot of our lessons I've been really focused on trying to follow the lessons and make sure my comp knows the order instead of following the Spirit which is what it's all really about.  Safe to say we had a day full of finding amazing people at every turn.  It just reopened my eyes to how amazing my area is and how much work there is to do here.  It made me even more desirous to get my hands dirty and just talk to EVERYONE! Basically I was super spiritually renewed and it felt so good.

The next day we finished the last segment of the districts, and with that ending, and the memory of the spirit that was here with the sister training leaders, we hit the day with a force of a thousand winds and a ton of faith and hope.  And basically when you enter the day with hope like that you see everything as a miracle and a blessing and there is nothing better!!! (Side note: I'm trying a lot harder to note every blessing I see in my day and trust me it brings so much extra happiness that I basically burst with smiles)  We were walking down the street and passed a lady reading the Bible on her porch and I felt impressed to talk to her so we stopped to ask her what she was reading about...."oh just James chapter 1," she responded and I just about had a heart attack! So she invited us in and we talked about how true James 1:5 is and how we can always ask God for help and shared the Jose Smith story.  And that was just the start of blessing after blessing after blessing of that day.  We got lost walking (I would love to know how many miles I walk each day.  Let's just say going from Ocotes to Tierra Blanca to return to Ocotes and after to San Jose was a doozie that left me cramping at the end of the night.  The members think were absolutely crazy for ever walking that, but we don't have 30 minutes to wait for a cambi and we're cheap and don't want to pay for cambis.) BUT ANYWAY, we ended up in Xilotepec which is the neighboring barrio (yup here the whole place is divided into barrios, as every good Catholic city, where each barrio has its own church in the center.  Basically it's as if we lived in Utah and our stake center was in the center and then their were the different church buildings around it) BUT ANYWAY we found ourselves in Xilotepec that's the neighboring Barrio to Tierra Blanca, except that its higher up on the mountain and has the most amazing view of everything.  It was so pretty that we're going back today to take pictures and just enjoy the hike.  As we were trying to figure out how to get to Tierra Blanca we found more amazing people.  And basically in quick summary we taught the family Vargas (less active) and they all came to church this Sunday, we found a less active that had been praying that we would stopped by, an old investigator wants to take another go, and that amazing family that I mentioned before kept us smiling. The moment that capped it all right before we entered the house Saturday night was when we found the German family (that I've been praying we would find again) sitting in one of the cafes.  At first we just walked by and exchanged hellos, then kept walking, but I paused long enough for my comp to ask what was up.  I told her that this was an answer to my prayers, but I didn't know how to go back and talk to them without it being weird (yup, I'm a failure what can I say) but my comp, being the amazing person she is, insisted that we needed to talk to them and dragged me back...where I did all the talking in a mixture of English, Spanish, and German.  Basically it was awesome and we're going to meet with them later this week. I was so giddy that I just fist pumped it out all night long ;)

I guess all I'm trying to say is that I have a firm faith in the Lord.  Not only that He is there watching over me, but more importantly that He can do all things.  Therefore with Him I know that I can truly do all things.  I've felt the lows and the highs of the mission, but I'm certainly appreciating the highs more then ever.  I look all around me and all I see is miracles and all I can see in the future is loads more.  Here it's safe to say there are a lot of people that don't like us, but once upon a time they didn't like the prophets of old either.  Once upon a time they even rejected Christ.  But amidst all of that there are those who are ready and there are those who have such a great desire to follow Christ that those who don't are quickly forgotten.  The hard times get us down, but the good times and amazing experiences are so sacred that they fill us up to the bursting point.  I know Tepoztlan is on a mountain, and possibly that helps, but I don't think I've ever felt so close to heaven then in my time here! Angels are truly walking with us and directing our paths.

In other news I found the coolest scripture this morning and really want to share it with all of you! In a very unread section of first Nephi(chapter 17) a scripture caught my attention so much that I would mind giving a talk on it for about five minutes.  In verse 9, Nephi asks the question "Lord, Where should I go to find..." (klee spanish translation).  It had me thinking all day about how that needs to be our first source to turn and our first reply to this work the Lord has called us to I pulled a Holland and took some liberty with the scripture and morphed it to us in the mission field.  Yep again another rough Spanish translation of what I wrote in Spanish, "Where should i go to find the knowledge I need to teach,  in order to do my part to have the tools to help in building your kingdom here (insert your area), following the way you have shown?"  And directly following in the next verse the Lord answers with where Nephi needs to go.  Like I said I could basically go on for an hour about how much I love this but I'll let you all come to your own conclusions.

May the Lord continue to bless each and every one of you and you put forth the effort.  May we all more readily recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives!!!
So much love,
Hermana Happy ;)