Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts, we love our girl so much and couldn't be prouder of all she is doing.
Gearing up for the YEAR of my life that I will spend completely serving - 2015! Just think, I'm going to spend all of 2015 in Mexico, teaching and growing. I wish I could have adequately described to you guys what I've learned, how my life has changed. The difference, right now, the Gospel is my life - and I hope it will be forever more. The hour (personal) we have to study each morning is so precious, the change that we have to sit and learn and grow every week in church is something I truly look forward to. When you don't have the option of escaping to your cell phone, your bed, your music in your ear buds, when you're forced to be 100% part of, PRESENT, in the world around you, every second of every day, constantly aware of who you pass on the street and their needs, you learn so much. About others, about yourself. I have learned what can be done with just one day. I have learned that I can make it through ANY day. I have learned that every DAY we have countless opportunities to grow and progress. In a day, we can survive, or we can live. I have simply survived so many days of my life. Setting aside my any fear of being awkward, thoughts of what I look or sound like, etc... I have come to know what true success feels like. I have had DAYS, complete and full. Opportunities for service, they're everywhere. As a representative of Jesus Christ - a paper I carry with me every day endorsed by a prophet of the Lord, a name tag identifying exactly what I am for everyone to see - my moments of selfishness, sadness, doubt, are immediately turned around when I walk up to someone and begin talking. There is a power in this calling. I feel it. My instincts have shifted - as a girl who, quite honestly, wants to wear a sweatshirt every day, do my job quickly and quietly and retreat back to my house, it's a little crazy that what I'm doing is exactly the opposite. What's happening is that I'm truly converting to this Gospel. I'm becoming a true, active disciple of Jesus Christ. I'm learning of the responsibilities that we each have as members. I'm learning that putting God first guides every moment of your life. I'm discovering what I do need and what I don't need to be happy. What I need is my knowledge of the truth, and a few tools to help me continue to grow in it. Because, honestly and truly, this isn't just a Gospel of "good things to come." It's a Gospel of "all is well, all is well" right NOW. Since New Year's is a dangerous time to be on the streets as missionaries, President authorized another zone meeting and small activity - watching 17 Miracles. In a way, I'm being asked to pull the "sick wagon" on the way to Zion for a bit. I'm carrying a lot of people on my back, with Hermana Mercado - this whole area of Lomas Verdes 2. In our wagon, we have the sick happily riding along until they're ready to walk on their own and even help us pull. We have those riding grudgingly, not willing to admit they feel better in the wagon, headed in one sure direction, the handcart tracks in front, than on foot - following various footprints in various directions, the snow deep.We have those once-faithful saints in our wagon, who sat down to rest in the snow and started to freeze to death. This week, we've had some people jump out of the wagon and attempt to find help elsewhere, following these same footsteps that lead to places of quick, easy, and TEMPORARY help - a semi-warm cave, for example. The road to Zion is a rough one - for them and for us. We know the countless stories of pioneers looking back to see who is pushing their handcart - no one, of course. I look back each day - everyday, when I do things that make me scared or uncomfortable, things that push me physically, mentally, and spiritually - I plow ahead and I do these things, things I would have never had the courage to do 6 months ago, and I look back to see Jesus Christ, pushing my wagon with all His strength. And I realize that, without Him, I would barely be moving. The wheels might be moving, but I wouldn't be going anywhere.
That being said, whether I'm moving or not - people are going to jump out of the wagon. This week was a little discouraging. We taught Enrique some of the commandments one morning, and after a struggle he accepted them and agreed to live them. That night, he sent us a really random text saying he doesn't want anything to do with the church. We called him, we still have an appointment with him, but a definite shocker and of course oh-so-sad. Carolina didn't show up to church, so we're going to have to push back her baptismal date. On the bright side, we started teaching two really golden "nuevos," Daniel and Belen. Daniel is a supposed Athiest who showed up to church after we contacted him in the street, now he's had a few lessons and is, by himself, asking about baptism. Belen is also a street contact, super open, wants to learn. We're working with the members more, and this week we're focusing on more effective street contacting (we can't knock on doors here in Mexico).
I want to give a big shout-out to MOMMA TRACI LESUEUR for the 2015 calendar that was in the bottom of my Christmas package! I got to show off my beautiful Utah home to my companion, she loved it. It must have taken forever putting the dates and stickers on there! Thank you so SO much, Momma. Thank you all, for everything. I feel so much support and love. I'm so grateful to be doing what I'm doing, and I consider myself to be the luckiest in the world. LOVE YOU!
Beeeg Keeees, Leeeeetle Keeeees,