Monday, January 12, 2015

Mountains to Climb

Remember how I hate hiking. Like, I never even wanted to hike the Y when I was at BYU? Well, the Lord sure does have a sense of humor because my area is literally a mountain.

I survived my first week of training! haha. My companion is really sweet and cries a lot, just like me! She always apologizes when she cries and I just tell her that I cried my first 12 weeks so she doesn't need to worry. She is a really great missionary and is doing more than I did when I first got here! She is from the state of Mexico...not really from Mexico City. She is the oldest in her family and has 2 younger siblings. She has been a member all her life. She is a really great teacher and we are doing our best to find lots of people to teach.

Can I just tell you that I love this ward that I am in. It is the best. We got to Iguala Tuesday morning and the bishop came and took us to our apartment. I don't know how, but all of our luggage fit on top and inside of his little VW bug. He has been the bishop for like 12 Pop, count your blessings! haha. Tuesday was a crazy day. We had a meeting with our zone, we went shopping for food and contacting a little bit. The schedule here in Iguala is a little different, we have to be inside of our houses by dark which is like 6:30.

The first night we were there, the Stake President came by with his daughters because they are in our ward. One of his daughters just got home from the mission and the other is the primary president in the ward. They are twins and SOOO awesome. They offered to go out with us the next day to show us around and help us find investigators that were listening to the missionaries before. They have been so helpful.

Oh, let me tell you about our house. When we got here, we were living in a TINY, and I am not exaggerating, TINY little depressing box. It was a room with bunk beds, a tiny table and a bathroom. I wish I would have taken a picture of it, but it wasn't worth it. Plus, various members told us that we shouldn't live there because it's really solo and a lot of policemen live in the same place and that's not a good thing. We let our leaders and President Kusch know what they were saying about where we lived. We got a call the next day from our leaders and they said, 'Hermanas, go pack your stuff now. You have to move today.' Um...where? We were going to live with another pair of sisters in a different area which would have been super annoying because it is far away. Luckily, there is an Hermana in our ward that has basically a house on top of her house that she used to rent to the missionaries. We went by and asked her if we could rent from her again and she told us that it was fine with her. The Zone Leaders and the Stake President and his daughters came and helped us move. I don't know why the sisters ever moved away from there in the first place because it is so nice. The Hermana lets us use her WASHER! I have never had a washer in the mission and I am loving my life right now. It's the little things in life, you know? We have a ton of space to study and a big kitchen and everything. Plus, sometimes her grandkids come up and bring us tacos at night. :)

Many of the members have mentioned that they felt like a big piece was missing when the missionaries left and they feel like we are angels here in their ward. They are all so willing to help us and we have had more lessons with members here in this first week than I ever had in a week in my old area!

My companion and I have been able to find a few people to teach. Some of them were investigators of the sisters before and a few weren't. One is named David and he is 11 years old. His mom is a member of the church and super nice but David has doubts. He told us that he needs to 'meditate' about his baptismal date. I was like, what is there to mediate. You have gone to church for 4 years. haha. He is a cute kid and a little rebellious, but I like him. We are trying to gain his confidence so that he will trust us a little more. I just can't help but think of Easton when I am teaching him. A little stubborn but deep down a cute little teddy bear! :)

We went with a member to go find an old investigator on Saturday. This member lives up this huge hill. I have been using my Crocs that I brought for the last 7 months and the traction doesn't exist anymore and I thought I was going to die. Then she tells us that the investigator lives just up the hill from where she lives. Little did I know that 'just up the hill' meant that we were going to have to CLIMB UP A MOUNTAIN. Like seriously, there wasn't a real path. I don't know how these people live like this! But they are some of the nicest people I have met.

On Sunday morning, my companion and I were kneeling down to say the prayer so that we could leave to go to church and I got a call from the 2nd counselor in the bishopric asking me to give a talk...that day. I was, sure! I have no time to prepare anything. I grabbed a Liahona and hoped that it had something good inside of it, and we headed to the church building. Luckily it did have something good and I talked about how the Book of Mormon teaches us how to live in times of war and violence...fitting, right? I talked mostly about obedience and how it protects us in times of trouble. After I sat down, I realized that I gave a talk without writing the whole thing out and I am pretty sure everyone could understand me. I thought back 10 months ago when I first got to Mexico and I would have died if they had asked me to give a talk, even with a week’s notice. I have come a long way.

I am so grateful to be here in the mission. It is hard. But I am grateful for the experiences that I have been given to help me be stronger. I am grateful for the gospel that brings us hope and peace in a world that is crumbling. I know that there are people who are being prepared or who are already prepared to accept the gospel in this area and I am ready and excited to find them and help them become clean from sin and feel the love of their Savior in their lives.

Thank you for all of your love and support. I can't believe how fast time is flying by and I know that it is not going to slow down. Please have a safe and happy week and don't forget about your favorite Hermana in Mexico!

Hermana Durham

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