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 do....so 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 ;)
Hermana Happy ;)