Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Must. Have. Candy. Corn....!

This is Felipa's beautiful backyard. It's like a jungle!!!

Me and Felipa, an elderly sister in the ward. She doesn't understand anything I say!

Hermana Manzano and me. Girls just wanna have fun?

So, we had exchanges today and I am staying with my companion in the same area for another 6 weeks. I was kind of getting nervous about if I would change companions or not because she is training me right now and I’m finally feeling used to my surroundings and to her. I know it will change eventually, but for right now I’m good with staying here. 

So, first things first; I have something very important I need to talk to you about. So, since the beginning of October, I have had a strong, strong craving for candy corn. I have searched high and low for these things but they are non-existent here in Merida so I need someone...ANYONE to send me candy corn! I don’t care if it melts. I can put it in my freezer and chip it off with a knife. I just NEED it so hard! Okay that’s all....

So good news! I am finally healthy! AAANNNDD I am starting to eat more! I prayed so hard for the food to be better and me to be able to eat it without gagging or feeling sick. And what do you know; my prayer was more than answered! I am actually starting to really like the food here a lot and actually looking forward to eating at the members’ home every day. I still have those days where I have to force it down and am gagging between every bite, but that’s rare now! 

About three days ago my companion and I went to stop by a less active member’s home. I had to go to the bathroom sooo bad. We were planning on staying for like 5 minutes. Anyways we went in and I asked to use the bathroom. I went in and did my business...looked over to find there was no toilet paper anywhere. I yelled for my companion and she didn’t hear me. Again I yelled and she came. I told her what was up and she left and I just stayed in there for 5 minutes doing this awkward hover over the toilet because there was no toilet seat to sit on. I yelled for her again and she told me the sister had to go buy toilet paper because they were out. So I was stuck in the bathroom for a total of 15 minutes. It was hot...and gross. I finally got out and it was the best feeling ever. While we were leaving she told me she had to take money out of my bag because she didn’t have any in hers. So lesson learned...ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE TOILET PAPER FIRST!

On Thursday we went to an activity for the ward. It was an FHE for the whole ward. They do it every week. It was really good. They had a great lesson and then they played Minute to Win It games. My companion volunteered me to play one of the games. I didn’t want to do it because I knew I wouldn’t understand the instructions but I went anyways. The guy explained it once and I understood what to do, then 4 other people came up to me and all at once were trying to explain it over again because they thought I didn’t understand. Ha-ha, but anyways I won and beat the two old men that were against me. I was pretty proud. I got a Twinkie for winning. We then went outside and played kickball. It was so great because about everyone played! Even the older people in the ward! Ha-ha!

Yesterday we went to a member’s house and taught them a lesson and had eggs for dinner with them. They have a son that is living with them and he is having a hard time with the church and other things. We gave a lesson of faith and trials, and how if we have faith in the Lord those trials can be made into strengths. I shared the scripture Ether 12:27 and I thought I would share it with you too. It talks about how we have trials in our lives, but we are given these trials for a reason. I know we can either grow from them and learn from them or let them beat us up. In the end of the verse it says I will make your weak things become strong unto them. I love that line so much because it gives me strength that every hard thing in my life can become my strength. The main trial I am thinking of now is the language. I can’t wait till that is one of my strengths! I want to speak this language sooo bad. I want to communicate well and say everything I want to say in the lessons. I know it takes time and it takes faith in the Lord. I know that this weak trial will become a strength in my life, because of the Lord's help. I know that the Lord can help all people with all their trials. We just need to be willing to get down on our knees and ask for that strength and help from the Lord. In the lesson with the members and their son I felt the Lord helping me express the words I needed to say that would help him. I was able to share some experiences I had in my life and do it in Spanish and they were all able to understand me! The Lord won’t leave you behind; he loves you because you are his child. He wants you to be strong in the gospel and have faith in him every day. 

I love you all so much family, and I hope you have a great week! I love reading your letters - they make me laugh and cry and cry-laugh at the same time. I am so thankful for each and every one of your examples of my life. Be grateful for all that you have. Look for the blessings you receive in your life everyday. 

Love Hermana Velasquez

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Poor little puppies!

Our zone today for the last zone meeting because exchanges are Sunday.

We went for a run in the park in the morning bright and early and found these cool little structures.

So grateful for rainbows!

So this week was probably one of the hardest weeks here for me so far, but it was amazing as well. The beginning of the week started off slow and hard because it was just those days where it felt like we weren’t teaching anyone and our appointments were falling through. I was feeling down and so was my companion. I felt like I was kind of hitting a plateau with the language and the teaching. I felt like I didn’t know how to teach the gospel even in English if I had to. It was just a hard couple of day. And I was feeling down because I’ve been sick for a month straight. On Thursday everything started getting better little by little. We decided that we had to change something. So we set new goals, figured out how to change things up. We decided to fast on Friday and that helped a lot. Saturday all of our visits we had were really good. I was able to understand so much in the lessons and participate more with speaking, and they actually understood me so that was a bonus! Ha-ha! We both started feeling so much better about everything and I am feeling more confident with the language and teaching. I know I can do this and I know it’s possible with the help of the Lord. I know I couldn’t have survived this week without prayer, the Book of Mormon, and fasting for help. I received so much comfort and help it was amazing. I haven’t felt this much comfort since the fire happened. It’s amazing how much the Lord loves us. And I know that when we need him the most that’s when he will look out for us and comfort us so much. This is a hard thing, but it’s possible to overcome it, because of the Lord. I have felt the Holy Ghost’s comfort and guidance with so many things. I love the Lord and I love the gift of prayer, and I just simply love this gospel. 

Okay story time. So we were teaching Isabel on Friday. While we were teaching her, her kids were playing with this new dog they got, it was a puppy. While we were teaching I was really trying to focus on what was going on in front of me, but I was so distracted because the little 4 year old boy was running around with the dog grabbing it by its neck and I thought it was going to throw up. I’m usually not a dog person around here because they are all gross, ha-ha, but I just felt so bad for this dog. Then later at the end of the lesson I was looking around for the dog and it was under my chair just lying there... I just looked at the dog then to my companion then back to the dog. It wasn’t moving and its eyes were closed. I just knew that dog had to have been dead. I tried touching it and it didn’t move. Then Isabel said it wasn’t dead just sleeping. I wasn’t too sure about that. So I snapped in its ear and it moved just a little bit. So it was still alive, so that was good. The next day we came back for a next visit and we walked into the house and the little boy is running around with a different puppy in his hand. I instantly thought “THE DOG IS DEAD! I  KNEW IT WAS DEAD!” Then I tried asking the little boy what happened to the other dog, but I didn’t know how and I couldn’t understand him. Then out ran the other little dog and I have never been so happy to see a dog in Mexico. Then the little boy was running around with two little puppies by their necks...I personally think it’s a backup dog for when the first one dies, but that’s just me. 

So last night a bad 80’s horror movie took place in our house. We got home from a meeting we had at the church and our house was infested. For starters when we get home, I look for the cockroaches that are in the house so I can kill them. There are always 1 or 2 in the house, at most 4. BUT last night there were over 25 cockroaches in our house! I have never been so scared in my life. It first started where we have our study area. There was one and I killed it. Then another in the kitchen and I killed it. Then I had to go to the bathroom and when I opened the door one ran out into the other room where the light doesn’t work so I couldn’t find it. Then I went into the bathroom and saw one in the shower and I killed it. Then I saw two in the water bucket we use to flush the toilet so I yelled for Hermana Manzano. She came in and looked around and there were a ton on the ceiling and in the sink and the door and just everywhere. I ran out screaming, still having to go to the bathroom and she followed screaming. We went and grabbed the bug spray and I grabbed my big rain coat and zipped it all the way up and pulled the drawstrings and put the hood up so you could only see my eyes. My companion had the bug spray in one hand and one of her shoes in the other and we went in. We opened the door and she started spraying and the cockroaches started flying around (I had no idea they could fly) and landing on her, so I bolted out the door, leaving her in there. She ran out shaking her body off and I grabbed the broom and started hitting her with it to get them off of us, then they were all killed. She only had two on her, it wasn’t that bad, but at the same time it was. Then we went into the other rooms and found more and killed them. Then finally into the last room and found more and I had a broom and was killing them and she had her shoe and we were both just smacking at the floor and screaming, and me still having to go to the bathroom. It was just a lot of noise and crazy all at once. And in the middle of it all we were just laughing and we both may have peed our pants a little because we were both scared and laughing so hard. Ha-ha, but it was a good little adventure. We survived with pride and a hate for bugs. 

I love you all and hope you have the best week. Thank you all for your letters; they help me so much. Always remember to pray when you need it most and when you need someone to talk. He always listens and cares for you. I love you all so much! Have a great week and remember to look for the blessings in your life!

Monday, October 13, 2014


My companion made me a birthday card!

My companion, Hermana Manzano, and me!
Isabel and the machete! She WHACKED that snake!

They had a little birthday party for me at a member's house! Here's me and my birthday cake!

I'm 21 years old today!

Isabel, her cute kids, my companion and me!

Our investigator, his name is Vicente. He is really funny. I teach him English every time we visit him. He read the libro de Mormón in 4 weeks, but he really hated all of the war chapters...
Hernama Claudia and her daughters; don't worry we will be having a lesson in modesty soon.
Me and Hermana Smith. She is from Arizona. She is my sister training leader!
This week was just a party! So I left you off last week on how we were going to teach Claudia about the law of chastity. Well, it went great! She is honestly a golden investigator. The Lord really did prepare her to be taught. After we taught her we asked her to pray to know that what we taught her was true, and she said she would, but she didn’t need to because she already knew it was true! It was really cool. She is progressing fast and came to church for the first time yesterday and stayed for all 3 hours! It was great; we have a member that is now her little friend. They go to the English classes together and then tell me what they learned and ask me more questions on how to say stuff, ha-ha.

So, on Wednesday for my birthday my companion made me a cute little card and wrote in it, but I couldn’t understand much, but what I did understand was...”I know you can’t read this yet, but when you do”....and then I couldn’t understand too much more, ha-ha! We got to go eat at a members house. The food was really good and they bought me a cake and made jello! It was really cute. They sang to me for about 5 minutes; 2 songs in Spanish, then 2 times in kind of English. They sang the words “Aappy birday to ooo” over and over and over again, for about a minute or two. I was trying so hard not to laugh at it. So then I just started laughing really hard and then they just laughed at me and then it was just a weird funny moment, ha-ha! I won’t ever forget those beautiful words coming out of their mouths ha-ha, best birthday song ever! Then after that we went and taught some people. We went and taught Isabel. She is the one with the 3 children. I have a picture with them that I sent. While we were teaching the lesson the kids were playing over by the next house, and in the middle of the lesson the kids started screaming and running towards us. There was a snake over where they were playing and I looked over at Isabel and she was running inside the house. I didn’t really know what was going on so my companion kind of explained to me, then all of a sudden we see Isabel running towards the other house holding a machete! The kids followed her and I just sat there thinking...was that a machete? no...? Yeah, yeah it was. The next thing we heard was a knife hit the ground and the kids cheering! She walked towards us and showed us the snake and she was really proud of herself, but it was just the funniest thing to see her running with that machete and the kids following her, ha-ha!

On our way to another appointment, while we were walking a man came and stopped us and asked us for a pamphlet. He was very drunk so my companion gave him one of the Word of Wisdom. I don’t really know what he was saying, because it was super slurred out. He then shook my companion’s hand, then mine, and then he grabbed my hand and kissed it. I tried to pull it away, but he laid one right on my hand. Ha-ha, my companion was just laughing as we walked away and I pulled out my hand sanitizer as fast as I could, ha-ha He had some nasty facial hair going on and it was just gross, ha-ha!

This past week we got to go to Centro 3 times. It’s the big city where the offices are. It’s like a Salt Lake City to Merida. It’s really cool; they have a lot of old buildings and churches - it’s really pretty. It’s about 30 minutes away from us. We had interviews with the President. It was the first time where I actually noticed how much I have been improving in the language. My very first interview with him I felt like I couldn’t speak anything, but this time it went really, really well, and I’m feeling a little bit better with the language. I can’t speak that great, but I can get by. Ha-ha, “poco a poco” is what everyone tells me. Which is all true. With the faith in the Lord, the Holy Ghost, and the gift of tongues, all is possible. 

On Saturday we taught a new investigator and a member came with us. We read the Book of Mormon with him; it was about having faith in the Lord. It was an amazing lesson and you could feel the spirit so strongly. At the end of the lesson we had him pray. During the prayer he just started crying and he just said that he felt peace and happiness. It was really, really amazing how the Holy Ghost touched him in that lesson. 

Oh, mom, I got your letter today! It was very cute and sweet! I loved the scriptures you put on the back! I also got Jacob’s “dear elder” that he sent about a month ago! Ha-ha - it made my day to get them all! Well I love you all and hope you have a great week! 

Love, Hermana Velasquez

D&C 88:119 IT’S TRUE! 
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;

Monday, October 6, 2014

2 Months!!

CONFERENCE WEEKEND! We had a very nice room to watch conference in English! It was really, really, really good!

Already 2 months on my mission!

My Dad will be so jealous! He loves KFC, so I thought of him with every bite!
It is so crazy to me how I have already been on my mission for 2 months. It kind of freaks me out to be honest. I don’t want my whole mission to go this fast, but I’m afraid it will. This just makes me want to work that much harder and not waste any of my time here! 

So this week had some nice ups and downs, but mostly ups. On Tuesday I wasn’t feeling very well at all. I had a massive headache and the stomach issue and I just felt like death. Luckily that was the day for planning the week out so we didn’t actually go out and teach till 2:00. So I was able to relax a little. We went to go and try and find these references and all I was thinking about was how crappy I felt walking in the heat of the day. We found the house and yelled at the gate and they told us to come right in. That doesn’t usually happen. We usually talk at the gate for about 5 minutes then the people let us in. Anyways so we walked in and there was a mom and her two daughters one 17 and the other 16. They gave us water, (because I’m sure we looked like death and were melting away) and then we just started into getting to know them. When we started talking to them my headache went right away and I didn’t fill sick anymore. They are great and loud. Ha-ha, the girls remind me of Tia, Annie and me. They were really excited for us to be there. One of the girls was just staring at me when I first sat down and kept talking about my eyes and how pretty they were, ha-ha.  We started teaching them the lesson and they were all very interested in the lesson. We talked about families and the plan of salvation. Then before we left we asked if they would be baptized and the mom agreed, but one of the girls left before and the other one didn’t quite understand everything. We had to go so we went back the next day and taught them again. This time we found out the 16 year old has a 2 year old daughter. She had her when she was 13. The mother was in prison for 2 years while her daughter was pregnant. It’s a pretty sad story, I felt really bad for them all, but they are doing great now. The mother also has a son and he is 10 and wants to get baptized! I’m hoping it all works out. We have taught a lot about baptism and how they can live with no sins and I think that really opened all of their eyes. We are going to go teach them tonight about the law of chastity. So that should be interesting, but I know it will all be good and the spirit will be there to help. 

For conference I got to watch it in English! I was so happy about that! There were about 10 of us missionaries in there watching it. That’s what the picture is of me and the hermanas. We had a nice room to watch it in. I didn’t get to hear President Monson’s talk because it glitched out and didn’t work (it was Satan) but we got to watch everything else. I loved Elder Bednar’s talk about investigators! There were a lot of investigators at the church watching conference so it was great for them to be there to hear it! I loved the Saturday sessions so much. I noticed how much it really focused on families a lot. I know this world is getting worse and it is so important to have your family grounded in the gospel. Like they said, shield your children with prayer before they leave the house for the day. Protect them from the wickedness of the world. Also it is so important to read the scriptures with your family even if it is for 10 minutes. Lead your children by example. Show them that the gospel and family are your number one priority in your life and set that example to them. It may be hard to find the time, but you can be blessed if you do. Also I have noticed how important morning prayer is. I know my day is so much better when I pray in the mornings. 

After conference on Sunday you could say I was on a pretty good spiritual high, ha-ha. We went to go and find some people after conference to go visit and on our way we passed this guy sitting on a chair. We said hello and kept walking. I wanted to go and talk to him, but I was nervous and brushed it off and kept walking with my companion. We walked about a block and I was physically stopped in the road and yelled for my companion and told her we needed to go back and talk to this guy. So we did and we found him again. I was really nervous to talk with him, because my Spanish is not that great yet. We walked up and I just started talking with him. The words were just a flowin' ha-ha. It was really cool. My companion joined in when I couldn’t think of anything else. But as we were talking with him I just felt an over abounding love for him, it was the weirdest thing. His name is Johnathan and he is 22. Some missionaries met him about 3 months ago, but never visited him again. I gave him a Book of Mormon and our number, and we are going to go visit him again tomorrow. It was a really cool experience; it was different to feel so much love for someone I didn’t know at all, and that I just barely met. I think it was just a little piece of me seeing him through Christ’s eyes. That was something I never want to forget, and want to happen every time I meet someone new! 

I love this place so much and I love these people I meet here even more. This gospel is true and I know in my heart that Christ lives and loves us so much. I am blessed every day here and can feel all of your prayers helping me every day. I am so grateful for the plan that the lord has for me. I feel so blessed every day for the situation and plan I’ve been set with in my life. Elder Holland’s talk really made me remember how blessed I am to be where I am in my life. I haven’t felt the same struggles these people have here that I’ve met in Mexico. Yeah, I have had trials in my life, but they seem so small compared to so many people’s lives here. I am so grateful for my life and my family’s lives. I know we can all be blessed with eternal life and live with the savior and god again in the amazing kingdom in heaven. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week and realize how blessed you really are. 

Love Hermana Velasquez