Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PHOTOS : Dreams vs Reality

Dreams = Some might think that missionaries knock on beautiful doors and people always answer with smiling faces, eager to learn. (I dont know who lives here, and I think it is actually a garage.)

Reality = You tap on the gates with a key, coin, or rock, only after being invited, the dogs bark so loud that they cant hear the taps, and they arent home.

And this isnt to say that I dont love missionary work, because sincerely I REALLY do! But it is humorous the contrast.

La La La

Hola todo,

Here is a photo of my current Zone. They are full of energy, and ready to work hard!

Okay, maybe you are in the mood for a snack sized pack of Cheetos. Or maybe you want a dog food sized bag that would fill your bathtub, everyone has different needs.  ;)

This week has been great, but the weeks are starting to fly by! So I swear I just wrote an email basically yesterday.

I had Cactus Tacos, it actually wasnt that bad, but it was mixed with other stuff also.

Oh and the picture from last week I think I said it had to do with the Deer Dance from Senora. I talked to my companion, and that is a different dance. The photo with the people in the main part of town (last week) was for Semana Santa. It is something that the Catholics do one week every year, they dress up and ask for money. That makes it sound really weird, honestly I dont know all of the details. But also, they dont eat meat at all that week. So of course I told my companion, "Thats it, we are eating with the Catholics this week!"

In my Ward we have eight Missionaries, that seems like a lot. But we have the Assistants, this new thing -the Traveling assistants, Our District Leader and his companion, and then me and my companion. And we all sang in Sacrament yesterday for part of the program.

It is getting SO hot here! But most of the time we are just happily going about our work, and we cant dwell on it. I am guessing it was 100° one day this week, but I know that in June, July, and August it can get up to 130°. And I quote my companion when I say, "The Summer here is HELL for the Mexicans, so the Americans are going to DIE!" So yeah, I have faith that I wont die, but I might just sweat every day. 

Well, just keep doing your best EVERY day! The Lord is in the details of your life, every last detail. So if you have doubts or questions, or even exciting news, converse and report with him. And he will ALWAYS have an answer. So move forward with faith, but the key is the moving part, the blessings and miracles will come after the work. A quote I love is "Work only comes after Success in the Dictionary." So work first, success second.

I Love You All!  :)

Love Always,
                     Hermana Smith

March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patricks Day! Psh, you thought I would forget? Yeah right, I am wearing green today, and I shared to make sure that my companion had some green today also. This picture has nothing to do with St. Patricks Day, but there is a dance in Senora, its something like the dance of the deer. Ah, I dont remember what it is called in Spanish. But in the main part of the city, these people were dancing for money. Sometimes there is random things going on that I just have learned to ignore. And then I remind myself, oh yeah that isnt really normal. So, we took a picture with them.

Elder Johnson from the Quorum of the 70 came and spoke to us this past Saturday, it was super good. He kept it as an open conversation type of Devotional, which I love.

This is a picture of me and my Companion with our Zone Leaders, Elder Christensen and Elder Farrow. But today was transfer day, and now they have been moved up and are Traveling Assistants, but their home base is still in our Zone. So we are in good company. I am still with my same companion because training when you first come into the mission is for 2 transfers which is 12 weeks. But I love her a ton, so I am happy to stay with her. And yeah... my fear is I am going to come home a blonde. This sunshine is just working away all of the redness that my hair has to offer.

Hmm... yeah I dont know what else to share with you all this week. Mexico is fabulous, there is plenty of work to be done. But not just here in Mexico. So if you are saying to yourself, well yeah I dont have any friends who arent members. Well then my answer for you, is that you dont have enough friends. Ooh, dont take that too harshly. I mean it in the sense that there is a diverse world out there, so we should be friends with ALL people!  :) And dont just be a friend with a non member to convert them. I mean, expond your circle, meet new people. And if the timing is right, share with them the Gospel and the blessings that it has given to you.
I Love You All, I hope you are having great experiences in this wonderful journey of life. Smile Always.
Love Always,
                    Hermana Smith   

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Humbling Example of Alfonso

¡Hola!  :)
Okay so one of my favorite Investigators is Alfonso. I will tell you more about him later, his baptism is set in April. A mission rule is that they have to attend church 5 times before they can be baptized, because retention was bad before. So he has come once before, he is like 70, and in a wheelchair, because he was in a car accident a year ago. So we went with a member to his house to pick him up for church yesterday, and he wasnt there. Dah. So we went back to the church, some of our other investigators were there, but they dont want baptism... yadda yadda. And of course others never showed up. And then halfway through sacrament, who do I see coming through the door?! Alfonso! So we help him find a spot for his wheelchair in the Chapel. We asked him what happened. And he said, that he came the whole way by himself. Which is about 25 blocks! He is man full of faith, full of love, and he knows the Gospel is true. He is so humble, and so eager to learn, and easy to teach. I told my companion that now there is no excuse acceptable for investigators when they say they cant make it to church. If Alfonso can bring himself 25 blocks in a wheelchair in the heat, anyone can find their way here. In my moment of doubt, of discouragement, Alfonso arrived, so in that moment I sent up a prayer of gratitude, for the example of Alfonso in my life.

Like yeah... maybe even this redhead is getting a little tan from the rays of Mexico, who knew it was possible.
This is Rosario, she is 90 years old, close to 91. I greeted her one day in the street, we walked with her and she let us visit her at her house. We sang a Hymn, and read some scriptures. We have also taught her the first lesson on a visit. She doesnt seem to want to attend church, she leans more towards being Catholic. But we still visit her, and just love her. Some people think Missionaries are robots, just looking for baptisms. No, Rosario lives alone, we just make sure that she knows she is loved, and that we can help her with anything she needs. This isnt the best picture of her. If you get her to laugh, with her toothless grin and giggle, she is a hoot.

Here is a little piece of Paradise for you to enjoy. The sunset with clouds here are unreal some days.
Today I am happy, I am blessed, and I am excited and pumped to continue in the work. Know that you make a difference to those around you. There is someone out there who is alone, who needs a friend, some people just simply need a smile sent their way, be that person, be the difference in their life. And when you are found in a time of need, it can be sent back your way.

Love Always,
                    Hermana Smith 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Members Working With Missionaries

Hola!  :)
Mexico is great, there is a lot of work to be done here, and I find myself blessed to be a part of it.
Me and my Companion have a couple baptisms on date, but I will tell those stories full later. I think it is easier to tell the situation all at once, verses scattered here a little, there a little.
Something that is SO essential with Missionary Work, is the MEMBERS being involved as well. Currently I am in an amazing ward, the members and leaders are crucial with our success. Sometimes Members join us for lessons, and Family Home Evening as well. We have a weekly meeting with the Bishop and Leaders about who is less active, who are investigators, and all aspects of helping people in their lives. Service and Charity is one of the best forms of love. To care for the people, as people, not projects. When the Missionaries leave, who is there for them? The Members.
A quote that I love is, "Every time you take someone figuratively by the hand and introduce him or her to Jesus Christ, you will feel how deeply our Savior loves you and loves the person whose hand is in yours."
Me and my companion have been teaching a lot of old people lately. Some Elders in our District joked to us about it. And we said hey, every single person deserves the gospel, we are teaching the people that you overlooked. We have to speak loud and slow, but lets be real, with my Spanish currently, bring on the old people, speaking slow, is my kind of pace.
As I testify to people the basics of the Gospel, it rings more clear to me, the truth of it, and the blessing that it has played in my life.
So as you go about your day, appreciate the things you have, the people you know, and love a little easier. Be kind to those around you, and if you have the means to help someone, do, without hesitation.
I cant send pictures this week, because of the computer I am using. So just picture me now, I am like 7 years old all over again in the fact that I couldn't fit more freckles on my face if I wanted to. Ha ha.
This church is true, and Jesus Christ is the head of it.
To those that are less active, or not members, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I dont have all the answers for everything in the world. But I would be more than happy to discover them with you. And you can also look on www.mormon.org
Have a fabulous week!
Love Always,
                      Hermana Smith