Monday, January 26, 2015

I'm everything I am because you loved me...

Random title, but Celine Dion is playing in the ciber and I'm loving it.

Hello everyone!!

This week was full of a bunch of weird people. I swear, I heard more stories about people seeing Jesus or God. One man told us that we were in the 3rd dimension and a whole bunch of other stuff that I didn't really understand. When we said the prayer, he sat with his legs crossed and his hands in the 'ohmmm' position and I was really confused. When we ended the lesson, he said goodbye by putting his hands like he was going to pray and bowed Asian people do, you know? It was so hard not to laugh. I swear, there are so many interesting people here.

I got the package with the shirts in it and I LOVE my Durham shirt so much. We are going to Cuernavaca this week for a follow up training with my companion so I am hoping the package that you sent will be there. If not, I'll just have to wait a few more weeks.

This week was full of trying to find people. We had 5 people in church yesterday, but we are trying to find more people who want to progress and become converted to the gospel. Our ward has had so many baptisms in the last few years that you would think we would need to split the ward, but there are SO MANY inactive members. It makes me sad to think about that, and Hna. Garcia and I are trying to reach out to the menos activos and inactive members and also trying to find people that are truly ready to accept the gospel.

The Primary had a missionary activity on Saturday and we got to go. It was so fun because they gave them little nametags and pamphlets and pass along cards and we went out to proselyte (is that how you spell it?) to people in the street. I was so impressed by how courageous these little kids were. They went up to random strangers and knocked on doors and said 'Hi, I am Danny and we want to invite you to go to church with us this Sunday!' It was adorable. They were all super excited to do it. I love doing activities like this because it gets the kids and youth excited to go on missions at an early age, and I feel like little kids are so much more convincing than us old folks. haha.

Hna. Garcia and I went out with the bishop to visit a few people. The bishop is so awesome. I think I have mentioned this but he has been the bishop for 13 years...half of his membership in the church has been as bishop. And everyone knows him and knows that he is a member of the church. We were walking down the street and he introduced us to a whole bunch of people. One lady reached out to us and was so excited to see him and told us that she wants us to visit her! Alright! The power of members. This is something that I want to do when I get home. Be a better member missionary. Talk to everyone about the church. Why not? Just because I won't have my tag, doesn't mean that I can't do it.

There is a recent convert in our ward named Hno. Jose and he is about 60 years old. He can't walk very well because of his knees and was an alcoholic and smoked a bunch when he met the missionaries. He also lives very high up in the hill. He takes a taxi every Sunday to church. After he was baptized, he went to the temple visitor center in Mexico and literally bought the whole store. He has the pamphlets for Faith in God and Personal Progress. I honestly think he said 'give me one of everything...and maybe two of a few things, too.' He is so nice and always tells us that the missionaries who found him are like angels to him because they saved him. We went to visit him the other day and he gave us pictures of Jesus and of the temple that he bought with dedications on the back that say, 'This is so that you remember your time here in Iguala. With love, Hno. Jose. Gracias por su trabajo'. It was so cute. This is the kind of people we are looking for!

We are still working with David. I think yesterday we hit a break through. We decided that we needed to have lessons that were more interactive. I have a ghetto jenga set that I bought here so we took it and asked him questions and if he got the question wrong, he had to take a piece out. He loved it because he loved to compete and win. After the lesson, we played a few rounds of jenga with him and he had a blast. His mom told us that she has seen a lot of progress in him since we got here. He is saying his prayers on his own and he has stayed for all 3 hours of church the last two weeks. He is a good little kid, still very stubborn but I think little by little, we are breaking through. Also, with our game yesterday, we verified that he really has been listening to us and has learned correctly the things that we taught!

Yesterday after church, all of the citas we had scheduled fell through. We decided to go visit a few menos activos and on the way, contact people. I was feeling really irritated because the people we had contacted just didn't understand what we were saying or didn't want to listen to us. Plus we had been walking and standing for a long time since all the appointments weren't home and my feet and back were hurting and I was really tired. I started complaining in my head thinking that no one in this area wants to talk to us, no one is prepared, blah blah blah. Just letting Satan bring me down a little more. I thought, come on, Heavenly Father, help us out. And I looked up and saw a family outside their house. We went over and started talking to them. The dad went inside (typical) but the lady was so nice and she invited us to sit down, which was a blessing, and actually listened to us. It was nice to be able to share a little message with her. We set an appointment to visit her again and invited her to church with us next week. Who knows if she is an escojida or not...well, have to wait and see, but it was a little tender mercy of the Lord. We were able to rest for a minute and fulfill our purpose by inviting someone to come unto Christ. I made sure to say a little prayer and thank Him for putting someone in our path who at least invited us to sit and listened for a few minutes to the message that we had to give. Some days, I only think about what we didn't accomplish and forget about the little blessings that the Lord gives us to help us keep going. Trust me, it's not easy to walk up and down the steep hill every day, but with these little tender mercies that are put in our path, it makes it a little easier. I know that when we focus on and look for the little miracles during the day, the Lord will be more willing to give us more miracles and blessings. I am learning a lot about the power of gratitude and how it is an essential part of missionary work.

I am grateful for the chance I have to be here in the mission and in this area. I am grateful for my companion who is really great and helps me a lot. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it truly blesses and helps everyone who puts it into practice. I know that God lives and I know that He sent His son, Jesus Christ to atone for our sins. I know that He paid the price and that through repentance, we can become clean and free of guilt and sin. I love the gospel. I love the difficult days because they make the other days so much better.

I love you all. I hope that you have a great week!!!

Hermana Durham

P.S. Happy Birthday Mason! I can't believe that you are 14. What the heck??

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