Just would like to start this thing out with a big LO SIENTO for my last few letters. I'm aware they've been pretty lame slash negative, I swear to ya that's not the spirit they were written in! I sit in front of the computer thinking "what are some significant/out of the ordinary things that happened this week?" And then I type in a few, forgetting to explain myself/think about how they must sound to the world... I get so wrapped up in this crazy adventure, my view of things is so different... it's like, nothing can phase me, nothing surprises me... The streets of Mexico are super crazy slash funny, I have completely learned to expect the unexpected. As far as my health goes, donut worry at all - my health has been so good on my mission, I have gotten SO lucky. I haven't even gotten parasites once! I took some medicine I had packed in my suitcase and rested a few hours (because I've now learned my lesson about "walking it off") and I was alllllll bien. The hazelnut reaction was combatted by some allergy pills Dr. Hugo gave me before I left Lomas Verdes. Also, I shouldn't have said "dangerous situations"... I just felt the Spirit kind of screaming at me that week to do certain things, or not to do certain things... to trust in certain peoples' intentions, to definitely not trust others...The experiences I had only served to make me feel safer, realize that as a missionary it is so much easier to recognize the Spirit and if I'm in tune He'll guide my steps. It's cool because I've felt the Spirit freeze me in place - my mind says "it seems harmless, this person seems truly interested, it's not THAT late to walk through this iffy neighborhood..." but the Spirit says "SERIOUSLY YOU CAN'T DO THAT." Haha, sorry if I alarmed ya! I'm failing ont he journal-writing lately...it's overwhelming trying to write down all the things slash experiences that happen every day, I don't know where to start a lot of time! The most significant thing of the week would be that we baptized! Citlali se mojo yesterday, her mom and sister came and seemed very happy. They're both going to have to marry their live-in boyfriends to get baptized, too, but I know it'll come. Also, the Familia Suarez came to the baptism and that was a great thing for them. I also think it's about time to let you know that my new name is Hermana LeSuarez. Their baptism date is still this coming Sunday, but they're still not feeling totally ready to go for it as a family right now. They want more time. Well, the DAD does. I think if it was up to just the kids and mom, they would do it this Sunday. The thing is, they're like a Mormon family, very close and united and together all day long, so they want to do it all together. Which is what we want as well, of course. The mom is Esperanza, the dad is Benito, the kids are Benito (13), Carol (10), and Mateo (6) and they are the CUTEST. The mom and dad are both very fair with light eyes so their kids look like straight North Americans. They consider us to be their family and they make me laugh so hard. The mom is especially really funny and always does this "party don't stop" dance. I've been teaching the weekly English classes in the church and the famis super into it. Also, can't remember if I mentioned that they own a hand-made tortilla shop and they asked us to help the other day? Anywho, they said they're reading the BoM and praying as a family a lot, and through the daily contact we have wiht them they've had all the parts of all the lessons. Today our first appointment is with them, then tomorrow we set up an FHE with them in the house of a member afmily. We're going to re-teach the Restoration tonight with the Restoration video (if we can get the power in our house to work before then, haha) and then we'll read 3 Nephi 11 with them to teach how to STUDY and APPLY the Book and we'll emphasize how to recognize the Spirit. That's the problem - they understand that they need to know the BoM is true, and they haven't been able to recognize their answer. Man, I love them so much. They'll be baptized in my time here, and I'll be back in a year to see them sealed! We've talked a lot about temple marriage. The little kids are so super funny and have tons of friends at church and a lot of people have asked them if they're a new member family that just moved in, haha. Anyways... we brought a new family to church this week, super interested and way awesome. The mom is Alysia and her husband is Antonio and they have 2 little boys. She looks like that actress Piper Perabo and is probably the nicest person ever. They'll get baptized next cambio! The guy who owns the little ice cream shop near our house finally came, Carlos, he also has a cute family and his little son came to the English class this week. He's super interested. I love our lessons with him because he has awesome questions and always has this expression on his face like we're just blowing his mind, haha. We brought another new guy, too, Ivan. He's younger and we need to help him make friends but he definitely has interest in turning his life around. We set a baptismal date with another guy we're teaching named Esteban, he's older and living with his girlfriend and her kids but is willing to get married so he can get baptized. He really likes the Book of Mormon and honestly kind of accepted everything immediately... he even had already heard of the Word of Wisdom and told us he doesn't even like coffee, haha...just gotta get him married...
We've dropped a lot of investigators these past few weeks, and it's been worth it because we've had some great new people. Also, can't remember if I've talked about Max, the 13-year-old who wants to get baptized so bad but his parents just will not sit down and have a lesson with us and so they still won't let him be baptized - but he faithfully shows up to church alone every week and loves it more than life. Man, we have A LOT to do this week. FYI, next Monday will be the start of a new cambio. We had intervies with President this week, he said that I'll be staying here in Toluca for awhile, so I'm really expecting to only have one more area before I come home. I like that idea. I guess we'll see, though. Side note - four more cambios til Christmas! Well, I'm happy here in Morelos. It feels weird that I'll be reaching my 11-month mark in a week. I can't even believe I've been away from my home and family almost a whole year! I still remember when you guys were all excited when a whole week on my mission countdown was covered in stickers. Now, I'm looking at my LAST 30 weeks! So many people are coming home from missions right now, and even though my time is far from up, I love seeing the changes they've made in their lives and thinking about what the next 7 months can do if I let them. There are some things I've changed for good, and lots that I'm still working on. Things I've let myself backtrack on. For example, It's been a pretty sad few weeks in the life of President Whitehead, and thus, in our lives. The 40-year-old husband of his daughter was playing basketball on Father's Day and his heart failed and he died, leaving behind 5 little kids. Hna Whitehead left immediately to go be with her daughter, and President stayed. Our interviews were held a few days after, and he was struggling. But something he told me in my interview: Have you ever thought about what it means to "wax strong?" A skier skiing with unwaxed skis, what happens to him? The water and dirt and every other thing gets to him and he trips and falls. Waxing strong to him means building our testimonies up so much that nothing, no thing can permeate our happiness/tranquility. Not even the death of a loved one, a change of circumstance... He told me about his role as a mission president, about how he wants us to be truly successful people instead of "successful missionaries" by botched standards. He said there was a missionary who went home awhile back. In his final interview he told President that he'd been "one of the most successful missionaries you've ever had because I baptized 10000000people." A few weeks later, President discovered that this missionary had already fallen away from what was true and right. So, how successful was he REALLY, said President! He told me he wants to be sure that I'll continue in this path for the rest of eternity. That's his goal as my President. He let me know that I have an important role in the mission, and he has some challenging things in store for me, and that he's most happy to see my happiness... because he wants to assign me to help the new missionaries who are struggling to find joy in the journey! Haha we only have one new sister coming in this change, so I won't be training any newbies, but President told me that this is going to be a time for all of us to focus on bettering ourselves. Anyways, with president's devastating challenge, i've started worrrying a bit again for the safety of my family and friends all over the world. But I'm also trying to RE-apply what I've already learned. That is, "wax strong" - learn by the Spirit, build my testimony so nothing can permeate it. One of my favorite quotes in the mission is "you can't teach by the Spirit what you've never learned by the Spirit." I'm working on it, working on making it impermeable. I think I'm entering another great accellerated period of growth in my mission, kind of like at the beginning. BRING ON THE LAST 7 MONTHS. I love you all, and I like you too.
Beeeeg Keeeees Leeeeeetle Keeeeees