Monday, October 27, 2014

Happy Days

Hello Family,

Tomorrow will be exactly 2 months until my birthday so get your presents ready to send me. :) Also, 2 months until I get to talk to you!!

I can tell you that yesterday I just felt really happy. I am so grateful to be a missionary and have this opportunity to meet some many amazing people who are changing my life. Being a missionary can be frustrating, but mostly it is really miraculous.

Let me tell you about my week. Last week, I didn't get the chance to write much. We have two sisters with us (Hna. Gongora and Hna Chambers) that will be with us for at least 2 more weeks. If things don't calm down in Guerrero, it could be longer. It is definitely an interesting time. I feel like I have 3 companions instead of just one since Hna. Ward and I are hardly ever together. We did decide to teach Greco together since he is getting baptized soon and I am slightly possessive of him. :). We switched companions on Friday so I am now working with Hna. Chambers until next Friday. I was reflecting back on the MTC and realized that I have come such a long way. Thank goodness.

On Tuesday we had district meeting and I saw a BUNCH friends that have been in Chilpancingo that I haven't seen in months. It was crazy. I reconnected with my Companion Hna. Martinec! So crazy to see her after 7 months.

Well, I am sure that you all know there is a lot of unrest because of what is happening in Guerrero. The only crazy thing that I have seen is a huge march on Wednesday. I was with Hna. Gongora and we were in a combi (it's like the short bus...haha) and we were stopped because of the march in the street. We were sitting there watching it for about 30-40 minutes and the whole time I just wanted to cry thinking about all the injustice in the world, especially here in Mexico. The March wasn't dangerous or anything, so don't worry. It was all the students from the University in our area and they had signs and were chanting but nothing violent. I just pray that they are able to find the students that are missing and that the missionary work in Guerrero can keep moving forward. I just wish that these people had the gospel in their lives. If we all lived the gospel the way we were supposed to, things would be so much better. But all I can say is that I can feel that we really are in the last days.

We taught Greco the all the commandments this week and he basically taught us what they were because he is basically a member already. I wanted to do something fun to teach Tithing and Fast Offerings so I brought a bag of MnMs and had him pretend to pay his tithing with the candy. He loved it, obviously. He loved it even more when I gave him the rest of the bag at the end because he faithfully paid his tithing! I love teaching kids. I probably should have been a teacher or something of that sort but thinking about working in the public school system is not my ideal job so I will probably just be a good primary teacher one day. I think that'll do. :) Also, I asked to take a picture with him and he freaked out and was like 'wait, I need to do my hair!' haha. He spent like 10 minutes in the bathroom with the gel.

On Friday, Hna. Chambers and I had a really cool experience. We went to an appointment we had with a contact that Hna. Gongora and I had made in the street last week. He had gone to visit them before but not all of them were home and they didn't have time, so we left a Restoration pamphlet with the dad, Rafael and asked him to read it before our next visit. When we arrived, Rafael came out and said 'I read the pamphet you gave me about Joseph Smith!' That made me excited because hardly no one actually reads the pamphlets. Then he said 'I have a Book of Mormon! I found it in the trash a while back and the title Another Testament of Jesus Christ stood out to me so I took it home. I haven't read it, but it seems really interesting!' Um, can we say escojido? I hope so! We taught him and his wife and daughter. They understood the lesson really well, which also doesn't happen very often...haha. It was awesome. They accepted the invitation to be baptized and to come to church this sunday. Now, many people accept the baptismal invitation and the invitation to come to church, but very few actually come. I had a feeling that Rafael would but I didn't want to get my hopes us. But on Sunday, HE CAME! I was so excited. His wife and daughter couldn't come, but he did...and he lives far from the church. I was so happy. He liked the church. He said that he is interested in learning more and we will go to visit him this week.

Also, we have another awesome investigator named Cesar. He is the son of a member, Hna. Yola. He is 33 and works in Mexico City but lives in Cuernavaca on the weekends...that means we can teach him. He told his mom a few weeks ago that he wants to be a member of her church! Ok...we can help with that! He has taken the missionary discussions 3 times but he told us that this time he feels ready to be baptized and the fact that he is 33 and Jesus was baptized when he was 33 is also another reason. Haha...sounds weird but he is totally normal, I promise! Hna. Chambers and I went and taught him the Plan of Salvation before church and it was such a good lesson. He asked awesome questions and was underlining and marking all the scriptures we used to teach him. His brother is a member and a Returned Missionary but he is inactive. He is married to a non-member and has 2 little boys who are just the cutest. We have been working with him to get him to come to church again and he came yesterday with his brother!! I really hope that his brother getting baptized will help reactive him because his family needs the gospel. His little boys need to be in the primary learning the beautiful gospel truths that will help and protect them in this crazy world. Yolanda, was soooo happy to have both of her sons with her in church. I was so happy too.

We had 4 less active members and 3 investigators in the church yesterday. That might seem like small numbers, but I felt so happy. I love the reactivation part of the work of salvation. It might be one of the hardest parts, helping people who have left the church for one reason or another come back, but it is such a beautiful feeling to see someone come back and feel again the peace that is only found in the church. I would encourage all of you to think of someone in your wards that hasn't been to church in a while. Go visit them and tell them that they are needed and missed. Because it is true. They are needed and they are missed. It is what the Savior would do.

The other sisters in our ward had a baptism for Marcos on Saturday and we went to support. Marcos is the son and brother of two recent converts. He has been working really hard to comply with the word of wisdom and has have many setbacks but he was finally able to overcome his weaknesses and his brother baptized him on saturday. It was so beautiful to see. His mom, Marilu was beaming. We sang a song in the baptism and I sang a solo part. Everyone told me after that I have the voice of a Disney Princess. If only that was actually true! haha...the Young Women's president invited us to sing at a retirement home next week with the Young Women! I am excited for that.

I really have felt in the last week that the Lord truly is hastening his work. That these are the last days and that what I am doing here is helping, even in a small way, to prepare the way for the second coming of Jesus Christ. We don't need to fear if we are keeping the commandments. Listen to the prophets, repent everyday, do the small things that will give you the protection to withstand the temptation and evil of the world. A lady in the ward yesterday said that she was in a meeting with the area 70 of Mexico and he said 'this year has been/is hard, but next year will be even harder. The only way to prepare for it is by keeping the commandments' This is so true and I just pray that all of my family and friends will be faithful in keeping the commandments. Do whatever you can to be ok with the Lord, it may seem hard now, but it will be so worth it.

Well, I love you all. Be good. Follow the prophet. Write me.

Hermana Durham

Hna. Martinec and I
Hna. Chenowyth and I
Me and some cute little girls that we ate with on Tuesday. The little girl is named Andy and CRACKS me up.

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