Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"I was like a proud mother to their child..."

This was during our trip to Tixcocob.  (According to Wikipedia: The small Municipality of Tixkokob is one of the 106 subdivisions of the State of Yucatán in Mexico. Its municipal seat is located in the City of Tixkokob. The town of Tixkokob is famous within the area for high quality hammock weaving.)

Hospital, Round 3... So, I think when I was getting all of the allergy shots (5) after my mosquito bites (40-something) they may have hit a nerve. I have a loss of feeling in one of my thighs and it hurts to the touch. They gave me some pills and another shot to help with the inflammation. I'm doing okay!

Me and my companion, Hermana Bailey!

This was me and my companion for the day when we had divisions.

We are in Centro right now and all of the stores have a TON of these for people to buy for Christmas!
So good to be together! Hermana Velasquez, Hermana Cokerham, Hermana Hoggan... friends since the MTC!

So this week was a little crazy and really hard at the same time, but me and my companion both learned a lot. It started off again pretty interesting with a trip to the hospital. The last time I went was for bug bites and I had to get 5 shots and from those five shots, the person that gave them to me we think hit one of my nerves and now I’ve lost some feeling in my upper right leg and it hurts sometimes when I do certain stuff. Don’t freak out mom, I’m not dying just a problem. So now I got another shot to help with the inflammation and I have to take some pills two times a day for 7 days and if it doesn’t get better I have to go to a different doctor. But really I’m doing fine and I can walk and run in the mornings still. 

So Sunday we had to give talks in our ward about missionary work. We really wanted to hit 'em hard with some good hard scriptures, but we decided if we did that we wouldn’t get any lunch for the rest of the time we are here. So we each took parts of the missionary work and talked about it. I talked about how to share this gospel with others and the blessing that can come from it all. I was pretty pleased with myself. And in the end I used a little bit of dads story and talked about how because of one person inviting him to church there are now 24 of us who are members because of that one person’s choice of inviting him to church. I also talked about how the boys went on missions and how they shared the gospel with other people in different countries and changed other people’s lives as well. It was really good and I actually felt like they understood me and knew what I was saying! My companion spoke about missionaries and members working together. After we were both done and sacrament meeting was over a lot of members came up to us and told us that we did a good job and said that they have people they want us to teach and others want to have FHE with us and their families or friends. It was seriously a blessing that we got to speak. Some of the hermanos in our ward that are probably dads age came up to me and one was talking about how much better my Spanish was and how much better my talk was this time, and the other one came up later and said kind of the same thing and was saying how well it was and how fast I improved and again how much better my talk was this time and all I was thinking was "wow, was my first talk really that bad?" Ha-ha, but my first talk was only my second week here. 

  After church two of the young men came up to us and invited us for this FHE they were putting together real fast with menus activos and miembros and nuestro investigar that is 18, Adrain, I’m pretty sure I’ve told you about him. Well that night we went over to their house for family home evening and it was probably one of the greatest nights of my mission so far. Well one of the top 3. We had other people from our ward there and some less active members and Adrain. The two boys showed two different videos one of them being He is the Gift and then they shared their testimonies and then turned the time over to us and we didn’t know they were going to do that and we didn’t really plan anything, so we just got up and shared our testimonies and then I asked everyone to go around and share how the gospel has blessed their life. It was so perfect because almost all of them were converts, not all, but almost. Then we had two recent converts there too. One is 17 and the other was a married couple that’s about the same age as Adam. So as they went around they started directing their stories and testimonies straight to Adrain and I didn’t know how he would feel about that because he gets pretty nervous around other people and he is very timid as well, but it was actually perfect for him. Some people shared their conversion stories and others just shared blessings that came into their lives. After everyone was done sharing one of the youth asked for someone to say the prayer and right before they got up Adrain asked if he could get up and share something. I was like a proud mother to their child that just learned how to ride a bike, I’m not lying. I was so pumped I was about to fall off my chair. So he got up and bore his testimony on how this gospel has already changed his life so much and how much he loves this gospel and already wants to go on a mission! I seriously wanted to start clapping for him when he said in the name of Jesus Christ amen. That little moment made my whole mission so far. The only problem we have with him is that he hasn’t been able to come to church yet because he has work every single Sunday but he has come to every activity and loves the Book of Mormon and he is just so great! He actually reminds me a lot of dad. I could see them being a lot like when dad was going through all of this. 

So on Saturday our whole zone went to a pueblo and sang in a park and gave gifts to people that had a Book of Mormon and folletos and other things. Before then we all went out and invited people and contacted people on the streets and went and found less active members and invited them to come. We went on splits with the youth in the stake. The girl I had was pretty great. I was pretty nervous because I didn’t know the area at all and I’ve never been in charge of another person before, but it went really good and it was way fun. We sang and contacted people and it was really fun! The little town was really fun and it was a really good experience for me to kind of have a little more confidence with taking the lead on everything for the day. I have another cool story that happened last night in Centro after the Christmas party but I need something to tell you all when we skype so I think I’ll save it for Thursday! I am super excited to skype you all and see all of your beautiful faces and see the cutest kids EVER! I’m trying not to think about it too much ha-ha, but I love you all and I want you to all always remember how blessed you all are every day for the life that you have, and the family you have in your life. Every day that I am here I see someone that doesn’t have much but is so happy with what they have. That’s what is important. Just be happy with your family and your life and this gospel, because it really changes so many people’s lives. I love you all and can’t wait to see ALL of your faces! I’m really counting on seeing every single one of you when we skype! I love you! 
Simple leer en su libro de mormon solo y con su familia.
Simple orar con su familia cada noche y manana.  
Simple recurado la amor de Dios y Nuestro hermana Jeuscristo.

Con muchísimas Amor, Hermana Velasquez!

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Week of Blessings!

This picture is an older one from two weeks ago; with our investigator Adrian, who is really great.
The last picture of me and Hermana Manzano together

Me and my new companion, Hermana Bailey!

This is one little part of my area that kinda weirds me out because all of the houses are exactly the same and there's like 200 of them. It reminds me of back to the future! ha-ha!

Thank you so much mom, you are really the best! My companion was super excited about the stocking and so was I! It's super cute! I haven't gotten your other package, but hopefully next Tuesday I will!

We went for pizza today with other hermanas and me and my new companion, Hermana Bailey!
So first things first, because I know you really want to know about all of this, mom. I don’t know what’s really going on for when I get to call you guys but I’m going to hopefully find out soon. Right now all I know is we get to Skype on the 25th but only for like 40 minutes; we don’t even get an hour so I’m no too happy about that to be honest. And another thing before I forget, next Monday we are having our mission Christmas party so I won’t be able to write you all until Tuesday so count on around this same time next Tuesday.

So this week was really different. It was really hard, but pushed me and my companion a lot! I really love my new companion. I do speak more English with her, but we set some rules of how much English we can speak a day so it’s all good now. It’s fun; we have hammock talk at night, it’s nice because I can kind of take a little break from Spanish and learn how to express my personality better again. She is helping me a lot with this language too! She has been out for 8 months so she has some pretty good experience with the language, but we both still struggle. I am her very first English speaking companion on the mission, so we both can’t really rely on our companions as much with the language anymore, so we’re really trying to work together now. On Tuesday we had exchanges with the sister training leaders and they helped us a lot with our area. Our area is kind of really struggling because our ward isn’t helping - like at all - but we are going to try and change that here soon. On Friday we had our ward Christmas party and it started at 8 and I’m pretty sure it ended around 2 in the morning, ha-ha! They know how to party here! We had to leave like an hour in because we had to be home by 9:30. But before we left they had a talent show and we got to be the first ones to go. We didn’t do a talent or anything but we shared acerca de El es la Dadiva (He is the Gift video) with everyone and we talked to them about missionary work. We were both super nervous because it was her first time meeting the ward and I was just nervous to talk in front of the whole word and many others. Ha-ha, but we did good and we were led by the Spirit. We also gave everyone pass-along cards about He is the Gift to give to other people, so hopefully this can help our ward. And we are both speaking in the ward this next Sunday about obra misional so that will help a lot too with our ward, I hope! 

One big blessing that I noticed for me this week was that my Spanish has gotten so much better! I’m still not very good, but I’m so much better than I used to be. This week really pushed me with a lot of things. The first was with our area. I had to be the one to know where everything was and who everyone is and how the busses work. And to my surprise, we haven’t gotten lost yet and only got on the wrong bus once, ha-ha! It’s hard because our area is huge! I also have been pushed so much with my language. I am able to talk to the members with more confidence in my language and they are all saying that I have been doing a lot better so that’s exciting. I am so grateful for these blessing that I have been given this week; I know it’s not just me, but the Lord helping me with all of this. I am so grateful for my companion that I have. We get a long so great and have a blast together considering how much stress we have with the mission, ha-ha! We really also help each other to recognize the blessings that we have been given this week. I am so grateful for the gift of tongues and the love that the Lord has for all of us. Always remember him and our brother this Christmas and every day after that. I am always so grateful for the atonement and all that it brings into our lives each day and for the opportunity we have to live the Plan of Happiness, the Plan of Salvation.

If you have someone, anyone you want to share this amazing gospel with, don’t be afraid to do so. You won’t lose them as a friend or end up with a bad relationship with this person. You will know that you tried. This gospel is too important to hold it back from our loved ones. Share just a little and the spirit will help guide you in what you need to say and do. Everyone has someone they can always share this gospel with, now you just have to act on it. I never knew how important it was to share the gospel with other people and how possible it is to change someone’s life and eternity, but it is so possible and it can bring so many blessings to you and to the other person. If you haven’t already, share the video He is the Gift with people on Facebook or any other way. We have our little dvd player and are showing people on the streets and you can see a difference in their demeanor when they watch this small video. Something that is only two minutes long can change someone’s Christmas and even their life. I love you all! Have a great week and look for blessings in your life everyday!

Love, Hermana Velasquez

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

4 Months!

This is a member in our ward. He and his family are my favorite in the ward! Ha-ha, they are the ones that I ate with for my birthday! He reminds me a lot of you, dad!

Me and a member that is in our ward.
 Yasmir, our investigator that is Cuban and a boxer, and Jacky his girlfriend that is a member.

This is a cool painting on the side of the building we found while walking.
So I am officially done with my training and no longer a new missionary. I am still in my same area but I have a new companion; her name is Hermana Bailey. She is from Utah and has been in the mission 8 months. I also got your package in the mail today when we were at the offices! I haven’t looked through it yet, I’ll probably wait for Christmas to look at all the goodies! 

So this last week was pretty much the same as always. We found two new investigators that are pretty great! They both have cute little kids. I honestly at the moment can’t remember much for this week but it was good. Domingo we had church and it was a really good fast and testimony meeting. Hermana Manzana and I gave our testimonies; she pretty much gave a farewell talk because she knew she was leaving, and when I spoke everyone just stopped what they were doing and watched as I struggled with some words and had a different accent, ha-ha - but it was good and I shared about receiving blessings and to be grateful for our circumstances in our lives. After sacrament was over everyone was asking Hermana Manzano if she was the one that was leaving because of her testimony, ha-ha - but yeah, she’s the one that left so it worked out, ha-ha. Oh funny story. So during the partaking of the sacrament, the water was not water. They had to use juice because there was a problem with the water, but the funny thing was nobody knew that it wasn’t water. So we were one of the first people to drink the water and not expecting it, it was super weird! Ha-ha, then it was so funny because we just watched everyone else drink what they thought was water and the reactions were so funny and the youth that blessed the sacrament were trying not to laugh because everyone was getting all weird about the water/juice, ha-ha - it was so great! 

Also on Sunday we got to watch the devotional and it was soooo great! One of our investigators came with us, Adrian, the joven that is 18.  He really, really liked it. It was so fun at the beginning of the devotional to be able to see Temple Square with lights! I was so excited when they showed that! The devotional was really great! I didn’t understand everything but for the most part I did! I loved the talks and the choir! It was super great! We had a meeting with our zone and another zone with the president of the mission about el es la dadiva. I don’t know the name in English but it’s the new video for Christmas that the first presidency sent out about Jesucristo and remembering him esta navidad. They gave us cards to pass along to people to help us with contacting and getting referrals. During the meeting they sent half of us to one park and the other half to another. We went out and gave these cards to other people and got addresses to teach them. It’s amazing how many people just give their addresses out to missionaries. I think it’s because we look pretty dang trustworthy. Ha-ha - and we also sang Christmas hymns in the park. We also use the cards every day to contact in the Calles and bus. It really helps and the link to the video is on there too! So find this video and share with other people on Facebook! Remind others why we celebrate Christmas and the true meaning. Jesus Christ is our gift that we received for this Christmas and every Christmas to come! Always remember to teach others and your children about him and his great sacrifice for us! Yo soy muy agradecido por el y por la ama de el por todo personas en la tierra. Yo se que podemos simple recurado el y todo cosas el hace por nosotros! Simple recurado El es la dadiva! I hope you all have a great week and continue to be grateful for everything you have and all of the blessings for your life. Under every circumstance that comes our way always be grateful and look for those blessings because they are always there. Whether big or small, we can always receive them. I know that if we pray earnestly and with real intent we can receive what we want and especially what we need! Always focus on what is truly important in life and we can truly live happily if we want to, through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you and have a great week! Pray always and read your scriptures. They are the words of our Heavenly Father! 

Love always, Hermana Velasquez