Monday, May 25, 2015

The Cat Jumped Over the Wall...

Hello Family!

This week was great. I know I say this every week, but the weeks are going by faster and faster. Also, I had a scary revelation this morning. Yesterday, we ate lasagna for dinner (it was delicious) but this morning, both my comp and I were a little sick. My companion says that it might be because we are not used to American food anymore. Is that true?! Will I really have to get used to the food again? I hope not. But nothing is going to stop me from eating that Beef Stroganoff when I get home. :)

This week we only did divisions once with Hna. Moran and Hna. Guzman in Cuerna. I went with Hna. Guzman. She is from the DR and her accent is so different! I am so glad that I am serving in Mexico because the accent here is normal. We had a good day with them and I liked getting to know her and her companion better. Hna. Guzman was great at testifying at every chance she had. 

The highlight of the week was my last zone conference of my mission! We had it on Friday and it was so much fun. We did it with zona Iguala so I got to see mis hijas!! They are doing great and really working hard in good old Iguala. We did skits and they were...well, super awkward like always. I had to dress up like Hna. Kusch and Hna. Corriveau dressed up like one of the sisters that works in the office and it was so funny. But the actual skit was super dumb and no one knew their lines so I just felt uncomfortable. Luckily, we got it out of the way in the beginning and we could forget about it the rest of the day. haha

The conference was so good, like usual. We were taught about the Book of Mormon and the importance of using it in our teaching. The assistants did a training and had us do a role play and GUESS WHO THEY PICKED TO TEACH PRESIDENT KUSCH! Me and my companion. I was so scared. Not that I don't know how to teach, but in front of everyone teaching President is different. But they said we did a good job. At the end, President and Sister Kusch shared pictures from their mission and reflected on their time here. President also showed us pictures from when he was a missionary and when he had more hair! haha. It was so cute, but made me a little sad because they are leaving so soon. But I know that I will see them again after the mission. In fact, they told us that they will be having a reunion in October before conference. Woo hoo. The whole time they were speaking, I just kept thinking, "I am so glad I was a missionary at this time and in this place. I know that they needed to be my mission presidents." It is really crazy how things work out, but I know that the Lord truly directs his work and he puts his missionaries not only in the right mission, but with the right mission president. They gave us each a little tile that says, "Adelante Con Valor!" which is the mission theme. Our zone made a little book with letters for them and gave it to them at the end.

This week was good. We are working with some investigators that are really progressing. 

You might be able to tell that I am getting less enthusiastic about writing. hahah...

I will tell you two funny stories though. 

On Saturday morning, while we were exercising, we heard what sounded like a big cat with cats. You know how cats scream? Anyway, it was weird but I forgot about it until I walked outside to get the bucket for my shower and I see a white cat JUMPING so high trying to get out of our house. Just so you know, we live behind a big wall with a huge gate/door thing called a porton and the cat somehow got over the wall but couldn't get out. I took a video of it because it was hilarious. We named it Maria Guadalupe and eventually let it out the porton. It was just funny and we came to the conclusion that the neighbor must have thrown it over the wall because we also have pieces of glass on the top of our wall (haha...that is the security system here) and so we think someone had to have thrown it over! 

Also, we were eating at a restaurant place on Saturday with a member of our ward for the comida. We were talking about the second coming and the importance of being prepared because he had read the lesson for gospel principles for the next day. We started eating and minding our own business when this creepy man with a beard interrupts us and says, "Excuse me...I have a question. Who is the beast?" And we were like, WHAT? Long story short, this crazy man basically told us that he is an apostle and that Christ has already had his 2nd coming and all sorts of weird things. We just testified and left as soon as possible. When we left, Hna. Corriveau was mad and we were just feeling annoyed at people in general. We headed to a cita with our investigator Taurino. Taurino is an old man who has really bad arthritis and knees so he doesn't work or anything. The JWs were visiting him but not anymore. He isn't the most learned man, but he is really nice. In the end of the lesson, we invited him to pray and he told us that he couldn't because he doesn't know how. We explained how and encouraged him to do it. He decided that he would and we bowed our heads and he said, "Padre Celestial. Te doy gracias por mandarme las g├╝eritas. En el nombre de Jesucristo. Amen." (Heavenly Father. Thank you for sending me these white girls. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen." It was the shortest but most sincere prayer I had heard and I will tell you, we entered into the lesson feeling a little bugged but when he said that prayer, my heart was filled with the spirit and I wanted to cry. It sounds silly, but it was a little tender mercy of the Lord. 

I really love this gospel. It really is so simple and perfect. I am grateful for the spirit that can testify to the hearts of the people and help us feel the love of our Savior. 

I hope you all have a great week. 

Hermana Durham

Monday, May 18, 2015

Iglesia Mormonica

Yesterday we contacted a man and he asked if we were from the 'Iglesia Mormonica' He combined Mormona and probably don't think that is funny, but I did. :)

The weeks are starting to fly by and I honestly don't know where the time is going. We are always so tired but so happy. Sometimes I just catch myself thinking...I am so happy to be here. Even though I get frustrated and I look and smell like I am at girls camp, I am so happy to be a missionary in this mission. 

We did divisions...or as Pop corrected me, SPLITS, twice this week...which is normal. I really love doing divisions because I get to know the sisters and I learn so much from them. We went with Hna Veylupek and Hna. Avila again and this time I was able to go with Hna. Veylupek. She is awesome! She asked me if I cried a lot in the beginning of the mission and I told her that she should read my journal! My poor trainer Hna. Garcia was a saint. She just laughed and I told her what every new missionary doesn't want to hear but it's the truth. It just comes with time. I didn't believe it in the beginning either. I thought I would never learn Spanish or get the hang of things, but it just came with time. I can't really explain why or how...but it did. I LOVE being with new missionaries. I miss mis hijas in Iguala but I will get to see them this week at conference!

We visited this lady named Gloria when I was with her and she is this TINY OLD lady who is pretty much deaf. She has a hearing aid so we asked if we could sing her a song. We helped her put in her hearing aid and sang to her and she loved it. Then, I asked if we could take a picture and she was so excited and kept posing with the hymn book. I was dying laughing! Oh the people you meet on the mission...

Hna. Corriveau and I really aren't in our area very much but I will tell you, we see lots of miracles. This week we found a ton of new people to teach...mostly families! And most of them were references from MEMBERS! That is the best. We were really blessed and we are excited to work with them!

I know I have mentioned them before, but we just love the Bocanegras. They are seriously the best and we took a picture with them this Sunday. We ate with them on Thursday and we just left feeling uplifted. You know those people who just 'get it'? They just get the gospel and just work hard. We taught the food lesson on the sacrament and the importance of it and Hno. Bocanegra ended up teaching us. He said that when we are clean, we don't want to get dirty. We avoid the stains and the mud. But once we have a little stain, and another and another, it gets easier to justify another and another and before we know it, we are all in the mud and it's a lot harder to get clean. That is why we need the sacrament. To cleanse us each week so that we AVOID sin. Nailed it. #teambocanegz (that's our favorite phrase these days). 

Let me tell you about Francisco and Amada. So, we thought that Francisco was a less active member and his wife isn't a member. Well, this week we found out that FRANCISCO WAS NEVER CONFIRMED which means he isn't actually a member! Oh goodness. Well, that is actually good because he literally knows nothing about the church, so he needs to actually have a testimony before he makes a sacred covenant with God. We invited him to be baptized and he said that he has been baptized in 4 different churches! He asked if that is bad and I said...nope, because none of them were valid. One was half valid, but that won't help you make it to the celestial kingdom! But I really love them. At first, to be honest, I thought Francisco was really weird (because he is...) and he seems a little like a TJ, but he is growing on us and really has a sincere desire to find the truth. Amada is my favorite. She is so hilarious and LOVES church and is reading the Book of Mormon. She always notes every scripture reference that is shared in the classes at church. They have been to church twice and I really feel like they are progressing so well. 

There is always so much I could write, but I guess one day you can just read my journal for all the good details. 

I will end with something I really liked from church yesterday. Our ward mission leader gave a talk. He is really awesome. He said that once we decide to be members of this church, we no longer have the option to not follow Jesus Christ. We made our decision when we decided to be baptized.

I loved that because, well, it's true. We already made our decision, so there is only one way...endure to the end doing all we can to build up the kingdom and follow the example of Jesus Christ. This doesn't mean we don't have our agency, it just means we are using our agency in the right way. The only smart way. Really, it is just an intelligent choice to follow Christ in His church. Don't you think? He set the perfect example and He is the only way to eternal life. We need HIS authority to make covenants that are valid and that will allow us to have our families forever. The gospel is so perfect. I love it so much. 

I love you all. Have a fantastic week!


Hermana Durham

P.S. I was thinking about Beef Stroganoff the other night and I think that is what I would like to eat the night I get home. Not that I am trunky, but you got to think about the future a little bit, right?

Just chilling with the perros waiting for the combi.

Just harvesting mangos at our investigators house.

Also...look at this nasty pillow I sleep on. It has years of sweaty Elders. I swear, I will be lucky to come home alive. I think I am going to ask for a new one. haha. 

Divisions with Hna. Hernandez and Hna. Zelaya
Some cool rice fields. Our area is actually really pretty.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Long Time No See

Oh hey there beautiful family,

Did you just love how all the people in the ciber yesterday were creeping on our skype date? haha. They probably thought you all were famous people. I am so happy I was able to talk to you and it is so weird to me that in 3 months I will actually see you in PERSON! WHAT?! I need to hold my little babies Easton and Parker even though they are totally old now. Someone needs to have another baby soon.

This week FLEW BY. We left on Monday to Cuernavaca because we had divisions with a companionship in Civac. And guess what? Hna. Garcia (my trainer) had special changes a week before and was sent to the ONE AREA we hadn't done divisions with. It was a miracle and I told her that obviously Heavenly Father loves us because I got to see her twice before she left. She is going home today. SOOOO weird to think that. So is Hna. Ward! Man, I love those girls and I can't wait to see them after the mission. 

After divisions, we headed on over to the offices because we had consejo de liderazgo on Wednesday. We stayed with the sisters in Pradera and it was weird being back in my old stomping grounds! I got the package from got here real fast and I really enjoyed those Dove Chocolates. And those awesome pens. All the Elders were super jealous. Oh the things that missionaries get excited about...erasable pens. 

Consejo was awesome. Hna. Corriveau and I were soooo scared we were going to get split up because we have the same time in the mission BUT WE DIDN'T! Literally Hna. Corriveau had trouble sleeping because she was so nervous about changes, but we are still Alpuyeca. I am so happy. 

On Friday we had to drop Max. I am so sad, but he just wasn't progressing. He wouldn't ask his parents for permission and still had a lot of doubts. It was really hard but that is part of the mission. Our time is so limited, especially us since we are traveling twice a week doing divisions. We love Max and hope that he keeps coming to church and that he can make the decision he needs to make. 

But we did find an awesome family! All of our citas fell that night and we were walking to visit a menos activa and we decided to buy some shaved ice because it is hot and we were tired. We started chatting with this family and it turns out that 2 years ago they assisted the church but never got baptized. They said they just stopped going because of laziness but they really liked it! Sweet. And they even came to church this Sunday! We are really hoping they are los escogidos we have been looking for!!

Well, Sunday was obviously the best because we saw each other. I love you all so much and I am so grateful to have the best family ever. You all keep me real and are paying for our date to get pedicures, right? :) 

I love you all. I know this church is true.

Hermana Durham

Reunited after so long! Always carrying Hna. Garcia.
We completed 15 months! What the heck?!

I saw Hna. Hellstern!!!! She was in the offices when we had consejo! I love that girl. 

Hna. Hernandez has changes. I will miss this girl. 

My eyes looked real good yesterday. Don't know why I made that face, but the eyes look good so that's what counts.