Monday, February 1, 2016

My goal is heaven

We went and had a lesson with Diana in the gardens in the temple.
My companions are going to be companions!
Going to miss this sweet girl, Diana!
We got a cake.
With Hermana Rhondeau, Hermana Hoggan, and Hermana Wilson .
Hermana Cabrera and me.
The last zone meeting.
With Hermano Guellermo.
Some fun animals I found yesterday.

Well this week was a good one. I am so happy that I was able to get to go to Almendros and have this time to meet great people. I loved this short 7 weeks I had with them. On Saturday we were able to go to the Temple grounds with Diana and it was super great! She is all excited for her baptism on the 13th and is getting excited to serve a mission one day soon! It was really hard to say good bye to her, but I know I’ll see her again. She is an amazing little lady! 

So I had this list of things written in my agenda I was going to write for my last letter, but then I lost my agenda en la calle on Saturday, so it all went away. 

I really can’t even express how fast this time went. I still don’t feel like it’s over. My body sure does feel the nerves of it all coming to an end but my brain, no. I have accepted it a little more this week that the time here is over. I still feel sad, but I’ve accepted it. I still have much to do at home and I’m excited to see what comes next. 

I will miss Mexico so much. Most of the great things that I love about Mexico are:

The people
The packed up buses
The bread they sell in the streets PAANNNADEEERRRROOOO
The natural juices
The bad directions people give: (Just go to the red house with the white gate with a dog in front that barks a lot) 
People playing guitar on the buses
Learning Spanish
The colorful houses
Tiendas in every corner
Teaching people the Plan of Salvation
Getting to know a new culture
Learning how to walk faster than I can run (walking with a purpose) 
When people grunt when they want to say "yes" 
Having someone with me 24/7
The charity of the people of Mexico.
There is much more, but I have NO TIME. 

I love this gospel so much and I am so happy for this time I had to take away from my life to give to the Lord. It really has been the best 18 months of my life and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I know that God answers prayers and that he loves us all so much. I have felt the love and mercy of the Savior. I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only restored true church on this earth. I love my Father in Heaven and I love my Savior. And I love all of you. 

Hasta la luego! 
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Velasquez

I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit's power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made -- I'm a disciple of his. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals."
"I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean in his presence, walk by patience, am uplifted by prayer, and I labor with power."
"My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifices, hesitate in the presence of the enemy, pander at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity."
"I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And, when he comes for his own, he will have no problem recognizing me ... my banner will be clear."

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Baby, it's COLD outside!

I went and saw some people from Pacabtun for the last time today.
While I was washing my clothes outside this morning it was soooo cold! I had two sweaters and a coat with my pants and two pairs of socks!
Also we found a HUGE spider! I killed it with that stick that’s in my hand!
With some new converts: Rony, Angel, and Gabrell.
With Hermanita Diana en la capilla!
This pizza right here is probably the worst pizza I’ve ever eaten in my whole life.

Hey Family! 

So this week just flew by really fast with a lot of COLD breezes. 

This week I have been dying from the cold! I really don’t know how cold it actually got but I sure felt bad! I had my rain coat on all week! I remember last year everyone  had their big coats on and I thought it was so funny that everyone felt so cold in the "cold" here in Merida. I am now one of those people...I love the heat. I think Heavenly Father is just really trying to prepare me for when I get home! I thought I was looking forward to the snow, but after this week I don’t know if I can handle it! Sleeping in my Hammock in the cold really destroyed the excitement I had to live in the cold again! 

This week was another great one! We had good success! So first: news on Diana: this little girl is AMAZING! We went and saw her Miercoles and she was like "so, in seminary I learned about this"...and I was like "wait. WHAT?! SEMINARY?!" Then she goes on to tell me that she goes with the other youth to seminary in the morning at 5am. I was like "holy cow, you're amazing!" She went every day last week! Also I was talking to her about family history and she’s like "oh yeah, I already have an account and have already found a couple of people." And I was like "oh, well okay then! ha-ha" Then I went on to telling her how we wanted to show her a video about a person named Jose Smith and she goes on to tell us the whole story perfectly of the first vision. Then she tells us that she saw the movie online in So teaching that lesson was a breeze. To be honest, I really don’t feel like we are doing much to teach her because she already knows EVERYTHING! She is her own convert! Then on Sunday some other girls went and passed for her and brought her to church, and she loved it all. She really is an amazing little lady! Also Guellermo went to church yesterday and loved it as well! 

Yesterday we went and had a lesson with a girl we contacted in a tienda. She is super cool! She has 19 years and has no religion in her life, but feels like she needs to know her Heavenly Father better. It was a cool lesson. We talked about how she can come closer to Christ through repentance and baptism and we explained the atonement and she accepted to be baptized in the end of Feb, so we are going to see where that goes! She really is very interested in the church and really opened up to us on a lot of things and she said what we explained about the atonement really applied to her. Her name is Fabiola. I’m excited to see how it all works out for her! 

Also on Wednesday we had a worldwide missionary live conference with the General Presidency. It was really cool. They basically gave us a training about how we can use the atonement and repentance and apply it to people better. It was cool to be able to be there and learn directly from the apostles! 

Well family, I hope you have a great week and you apply the atonement in your week and really feel the love and mercy of your Savior. He is wonderful and loves each and every one of us!

Les quiero mucho! 

Hermana Velasquez

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I have learned a new meaning to the phrase "Timing is everything".

We were stuck in the mud for a little while, then we made our way out, washed ourselves off, and now we are running in the field of flowers! 

It’s AMAZING the changes we have seen in this area and with us as missionaries in only 5 weeks. This week made me NEVER want to go home. So on Wednesday we found this man that is named Guellmo. He is 76 and lives alone. His wife died 3 months ago and he is depressed. He let us right in to talk (well we can’t go in, so we sat outside). He explained to us how he was really sad and how his son died 8 years ago and he is really sad to not be able to see them again. Let me just tell you how much I LOVE teaching people the plan of salvation in moments like this! When he heard and realized that he could live with them he got really emotional and really felt the spirit. You could just see the hope in that man’s eyes. He is a person who really is amazing and loves to learn. He has a sad past, but wants to change his future and more than anything he wants to live with his family forever. He accepted to be baptized and he is very committed to it too! I really know this guy will progress and more than anything live with his wife again and his son.

On Sunday we had stake conference and it was really good. They talked about the plan de area Mexico 2016 and it was really good. It’s going to help others make metas to take the santa cena more dignamente. And to pay tithing and fast. It was all really good. I was able to see Raul from Garcia Gineres and that was great! So after, we had to get to our area to go eat and we ended up waiting for the bus for an hour. And at like 45 minutes of waiting I started praying and just asking for some help. I had faith that a bus would come so I got up and said “it’s one of these!” And 3 buses passed and it wasn’t any of those and that hurt my faith a little, so we sat back down and just prayed again and explained “I know it’s in your timing and I’m sure there is a reason that we have been sitting here for an hour waiting, but PLEASE bring us a bus. Only if it’s your will!” So then about 5 minutes later our bus goes speeding by so we ran after it and it surprisingly stopped and even backed up and that never happens! So I thought that was a pretty great blessing. So we were sitting on the bus and 5 minutes later, low and behold one of our missing investigators gets on the bus with her daughter and she saw us and came and sat with us. She then proceeds to tell us that she went to the stake conference that we were at and we were like “wait, WHAT?!” She said a member invited her so they went and they really liked it. So we were finally able to make an appointment to go visit her this week. I KNOW as a missionary we are the instruments in God’s hands. Even if that means waiting on a curb for an hour. He has a plan and HE has a purpose for everything. I know we needed to be on that bus in that moment because there really was no other way of finding her! God loves us and he really is using us in his work. 

Later last night we went to go find this girl that also went to stake conference all by herself. The Obispo told us about her. He gave us her address so we went looking for her. Her name is Diana and I have NEVER met anyone like this girl before. She is 17 and has been living alone since she has had 15 years. Her parents sent her here to study high school because it’s better than her house. So we go and she lets us right in. I have never met a more prepared person. She told us that one of her friends is a member and she went to church one time with her and then she went to church two times after that all by herself. She said that she just felt something really different in the church. She felt like it was something that she has been looking for, for a long time. She said she felt the spirit and she wants that repeatedly in her life. She then showed us this necklace she got that says “soy un hijo de dios” and then she showed us that she found the church app and has been reading the Book of Mormon. She did all of this by herself because she felt and knows she needs all of this in her life. She basically shared her testimony with us of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She really is amazing. She accepted to be baptized Feb 13 and I have no doubt that she will reach that goal. I’m sad that I won’t get to see it, but I feel VERY privileged to be able to know her and see her own conversion she made herself. She is a very brave young girl from living alone in a big city, to going to church all alone. She really is a good example to me!

There were many more things that happened this week I really can’t even explain it all, only that God really has a timing for everything and for everyone. I know that I need to respect his timing better and follow it and be more in tune with it. I love my Heavenly Father and know that he is aware of me and every one of his children. I know he can create milagros. HE is a father all powerful and very merciful. HE wants us to be happy. HE knows what we need to reach that happiness, it just depends on us if we want to act on our part to reach it. I LOVE this gospel and I feel even more privileged to preach it and teach people the love that HE has for us! I love you all so much and hope you have a great week and I hope that you can feel the love and mercy of your Heavenly Father every day. Be patient with his time. Timing really is everything. God knows best! 

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Velasquez