Friday, January 30, 2015

I love to see the temple; I'm going there TOMORROW!

Mango season is here! We have mangoes galore here! This is my first time ever eating a fresh mango. Normalmente they are the dried ones from Costco but the real deal is much better! 
I finally got my other Christmas gift! The family calendar that my mom made! A year full of family photos! Love it!

 To be honest, I can’t remember much from this week! It’s all turning into a big blur!! One thing that I am so excited about is going to the temple tomorrow with one of the recent converts! We got a text from our district leader on Wednesday telling us that we could go through if we had names and if we had a recent convert come with us. Our mission has really been focusing on family history work this last month and we are continuing to do so. It’s actually really fun, but we haven’t gotten a lot of time to look thought it all and find more people in our families. We’ve been helping one of our recent converts look for her family, but no luck! We even have the big guns there helping, but it will be cool to be able to do baptisms with her tomorrow! We are going in at 5 IN THE MORNING! We are leaving here at 4:30 to get there, but it will be worth it! I think that is so cool that we all get to go and do names in the temple this week! It really is such a blessing for us to have the opportunity to do this! Thank you Eric for all of your work with this! You will get extra bonus points in heaven for this! 

On Friday I got a little bit of a cold and had a fever and yeah, it was fun. I didn’t really realize I had a fever until an old lady slapped her hand on my head and told me I looked like crap and should go take a shower because I had a fever. We called the president’s wife (she’s our little mission nurse) and we went home for like an hour and I had to lie in my not-so-comfy hammock. We had a meeting with the bishop after and a Family Home Evening with the ward after that. While we were there everyone just told me how bad I looked because I wasn’t feeling good. I just love their honesty here! Then when we got to all of the members I didn’t want to touch them and get them sick so I did this little awkward fist bumping thing with all of them, then this old lady in her wheelchair that falls asleep every 5 minutes just grabbed my head, hugged me and was like “I don’t care if you’re sick”, and then kissed me on my cheeks twice so I would get better. Ha-ha!

Not much else happened this week, but I’m hoping the mejor for the next week! Yesterday in church, my companion and I randomly got asked to give talks right before church started so we both gave talks that we didn’t prepare for at all, but he told us what to talk about. I was given “how we can apply preach my gospel book to our lives” and I really had no idea what to say but I made it through talking for 15-ish minutes, so that was good! I was trying not to laugh because that same lady that kissed me while I was sick that falls asleep every 5 minutes was asleep in the back, snoring really loud. It was a great moment really. Ha-ha! But during the classes we talked a lot about Joseph Smith and his life. The class was really great and he really was a man called of God. He restored this gospel for us and did exactly what the Lord asked of him. He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he was so willing for the job. I am grateful for him and the strong faith that he had to pray that day in the grove. There were a lot of great ideas that people shared about him and the gospel that he restored. We have a perfect gospel and a perfect church that we live in and I am so grateful for it. Love you all and hope you all have a great week! 

Oh one last chiste: the same lady that falls asleep gave the prayer in the class. She fell asleep twice during the prayer and then at the end she just said in the name of Jesus Christ....and then everyone said amen and she was OUT! Ha-ha! My companion and I were just trying not to laugh too hard. She really is just a sweet heart, but just never gets enough sleep! 

Con Amor
Hermana Velasquez

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Otra Vez Paca `Paca

We had some good fun with the wall paintings here! Captain America and Despicable Me (again for my companion)

David is one of our really, really great ward missionaries.
Hermana Xshoilt: she feeds us healthy food when we visit. It's nice.

We had a big zone lunch at the home of our stake mission leader.

The second week I was here with Hermana Manzano walking down the street, I remember saying to her “I am going to be in this area for a long time”. Here I am in Pacabtun otra vez! I am really excited to be with my companion again, but not going to lie; I was hoping for a new area this transfer, but we can’t always get what we want, we are given what is right! I know in this transfer that a lot of things are going to be different with our work here with each other and mostly with the ward. That’s where it’s been the most difficult, but the ward is already changing. It’s a long time to be in one area, but it’s for a reason and I know that we both need to be here again. 

In these past weeks we've found some great families and are starting to teach them. We have two main ones that are families complete. One of them that we found last week has 8 children, but only 4 of them live there. They are super receptive to everything and really love the lessons. They have a baptism date for February, and I’m really hoping we can keep them on track progressing, because they are all so great! The one thing is they have a daughter that is on a mission right now that is a Jehovah’s Witness and she comes home in February! We asked if they were in the same religion as their daughter, and they just said “well, they don’t celebrate Christmas or any other holiday, and we like those holidays so no, we aren’t Jehovah’s Witness”. And we were like “alright then, welcome to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints!” 

So a funny for you all: The life in Mexico with two Americans being together...1: We were eating at a members house and she said that she made this special food for us and it´s not as hot as she normally makes it because she knows we can’t handle too spicy of food. So we were okay with that. We both started eating this soup and our faces got so red! I felt like I was going to die. She was out of the room and we were both trying to fight back the burning tears from our eyes. She came back in and sat at the table and just started talking about her cats, and we were just there trying to get through this food as best as we could. We got done, left, and had to sit down for about 10 minutes because we felt like death itself. It was a good experience that I never want to go back to. 2: We were walking down the street and this lady was walking in front of us kind of slow so we asked if she needed help with her bags. She said no thanks. And my very loving companion asked what she thought was "do you have a lot of weight in that bag? It sure looks like you have a lot of weight in that bag. Are you sure you don’t need help?” She looked at us weird and walked off with a bit of a frantic pace. When she walked off my companion was like “ohhh, oops”. She actually said this to her “do you have a lot of money in your bag? It sure looks like you’ve got a lot of money in your bag! Are you sure you don’t need help?" We just laughed super hard about that mistranslation for a while, ha-ha.

I really am so grateful for my companion and that we always don’t know how to say everything’s perfectly, because we´re not perfect. We´re still learning and we are learning with the spirit with us. It’s been a hard start to the mission here, but I know I have the chance to let the trials of an area let me falter or work harder. Really only two options here. But with diligence and faith everything is possible. There is a reason for everything in our lives. We are not perfect but we are living in a perfect plan that we can continue to strive to be like our brother, and his perfect attributes. We had a really sad thing happen in the mission on Friday. One of the missionaries here passed away. I don’t know what happened or anything, but it was really sad and a good eye opener. We don’t know how much time we have in this world. We don’t know what’s going to happen next in our plan, but we can make the time count. We can always gain new knowledge and have love for our family and others in this world. The only thing we can bring with us to the next life is our knowledge, so keep it growing. Always love your families, and never waste time doing things that really don’t matter like wasting away time with computers, phones, and TV. What do you want to remember when looking back on life? Your time lying around wasting away doing nothing, or spending time with loved ones, talking with new people, gaining new knowledge? The choice is really ours. Time is precious. Always use it well. I love you all oh so much and hope you always remember these small things that can really change your eternity. I hope you have a great week filled with happiness and fun! 

Con Muchísimas Amor,
Hermana Velasquez

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A Week of Many Blessings!

We got to got to the temple this week and give a lesson to our investigators.

Me and my companion, Hermana Bailey at the Merida Temple!
A beautiful temple, yes?!
It was our last zone meeting for this transfer so we had muffins.

This week we received a lot of blessings, and I’m pretty sure it came from waking up at 5:15 every morning this week. Last Monday we found out that we lost one of our hours of study time, the hour for language study. Me and my companion were not too happy about that at all actually, because we are both two Americans that still can’t fully communicate with people. I was too upset about it all to write about it last week. So they said that if we wanted language study that we had to wake up an hour early to have language study. They did it because a lot of people were just wasting the hour of language study in the house. So this past week we were waking up at 5:15 in the morning every day and going out and running while the moon was at full bloom. We have been pretty much dead this whole week, but BLESSINGS! I get hit with being tired in the mornings and she gets tired at the end of the day so we really even each other out, ha-ha! I really am grateful that I have her as my companion right now because she wants to get up with me so we can study more. Well every week we write president about our weeks and everything. Well, I don’t know if he didn’t expect people to get up an hour earlier or something but he wrote us both back today and told us that we got our hour of language study back so that was really exciting! So now we can function in the days better! 

So this week wasn’t too exciting. Sorry... but we did find a few great people though. We got this reference from some other missionaries the other day for this guy that they found. He wanted to change religions because he didn’t like his anymore and he said he was just going to go to the one closest to his house, and it just so happened to be our church! Ha-ha, coincidence? I THINK NOT! So we went and contacted him Saturday and talked with him for a while. He is only has 17 years and he has a girlfriend that has 17 years as well as him, that wants to come to church too! They were both there talking to the missionaries the first time. So as we were talking to him he was like “so, how does this whole baptism thing work, I think me and my girlfriend want to get baptized in your church.” Then we explained a little more, then he asked “so, how does this whole mission thing work that you two are on?” We explained it all and he was like “yeah, I think I’d like to do that too.” And we were both just standing there with our mouths wide open in awe that this 17 year old has this desire with his girlfriend. Oh by the way...his name is Jesus. I think that’s why, now that I think of it. 

So not too much else has happened. One last funny for you before I get to the good spiritual part of the message that I know you all like. So, the other day we went to go eat at a member’s house. As we walked in she said something to my companion that I didn’t understand  and my companion just looked super sad after she said it and so therefore, I was just super curious of what it was, so I asked her real quick and she turns to me real fast and tells me "her dog got robbed." I just stood there for a second and realized what she said and I don’t know why I thought it was so funny, but we sat down and started talking to the lady and I was just trying SO hard to hold in my laughter and the lady was sitting right in front of me telling how sad she was that someone stole her dog, but the way my comp said it wrong was just so funny to me. So she’s got tears in her eyes and I’m over here starting to crack a laugh and ended up pretending to cough but then it turned into this weird laugh-fake-cough thing. I don’t really know but it was bad! Then I told my companion that she told me her dog got robbed not her dog got stolen. Then she just started laughing really hard, and yah, it might be a "had to be there" kind of funny, but it was pretty great!  

So something I learned this week that really helped me out a lot was that we have so many potential blessings we can receive in this life. Really all we have to do is just keep being diligent and keep having the faith and asking for what we need with a heart sincere and faith that we can receive these things that we need in our life. I know that the Lord truly gives us what we want, but mostly what we need. A scripture that I used for a lesson we had at the temple this week with our investigators was in Moroni 10:4-5. We were there with Jacky and Yasmir. They are still deciding if they are supposed to be together. We’ve been trying to help them and we decided the temple was the best place for it. I had them read in this scripture. It talks about praying with real intent and with a sincere heart and that we can receive our answers through the Spirit. We had them break off from each other and just sit in front of the temple to think about it all. It worked pretty well and for me too. I do invite you to read in these verses and truly pray for what you truly need in your life at this moment and I promise that if you pray in this form you ALWAYS can receive your answers! I love you all and hope you have the best week ever! 

Love, Hermana Velasquez! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year!

I took this majestic photo for you all on New Year's Eve. So many things just scream Mexico in this picture. The beaming hot sun....the green house...and the dog standing on the roof. You can't get more authentic than this.

The next is of these little guys they all make for New Year's and they all write letters and stuff them in this little guy and blow him up for New Year's. It has a good meaning, but its super weird. And the next day we just saw a TON of these guys splatted on the streets...
We had a happy 9 months party for my companion and had a little bubbly! sparkling cider...

Half way through the mission for Hermana Bailey!
Me and my companion before we went out tracting.
Hermano Vicente: He wanted to wear my glasses and it was a great photo opportunity!
Hola mi familia! Feliz Ano!

First things first; New Year’s is super crazy here and I really mean crazy! We thought that this week would get a little better than the last because we had a ton of appointments with new potential investigators, but with New Year’s comes crazy parties and nobody in their homes. We did a lot of extra walking on the 31st and 1st. We thought it was going to get a lot better on the first de enero but it was really worse. The whole town was so shut down, every store and every house. Even the little alcohol stores were closed down and that’s saying something! It was another long day for us and we were getting kind of discouraged, but we kept strong, good attitudes about it all! We actually made a little game of it. We had brought cookies for one of our investigators that wasn’t home, so we decided to eat a cookie for every time we got shut down. Safe to say, we ate a whole bag of mini cookies. But it was still fun, ha-ha. 

New Year’s night was crazy! On New Year’s night I thought about setting the alarm for 12 but it really wasn’t necessary. At 12 on the dot probably 20 fireworks went off at the same time, and it didn’t stop for about an hour. They were going off all around our house. We both freaked out in our hammocks! It sounded like world war 3! I swear our house was going to light on fire. I was too scared to get out of my hammock! Ha-ha, it was quite the experience! And during the day everyone was having there little parties and they all LOVE karaoke! As we were walking down the streets we just kept hearing different drunk people trying to sing Michael Jackson songs and others that we couldn’t really understand. It was quite the night. 

In the midst of those three long days we had the Saturday and Sunday really pick up for us! On Saturday everything really started getting back to normal! We had more lessons with people like we normally did before Christmas! And Friday we found 4 new investigators. One was a family and they are pretty great! I just know that you have to go through the hard things to really appreciate the good things in life. There really is opposition in all things. I really do appreciate all of the blessings we received this week. It was a really hard dead week, but when we were struggling the most that’s when he blessed us the most and it was better for us to recognize these blessing because we needed them so badly. I know the Lord knows how we feel when we are going through the hard times, and he always knows what we need and when we need it! I love you all oh so much and hope you can always recognize the blessings that we get every day, even if it’s a hard day. We can always get through it all with the love and help of the Lord. I love you all and hope you have a great New Year and hope that you make the goal to bring the gospel into your life a little bit more this year, and truly recognize how much you have been blessed in your life! 

Read 2 nefi 2:11!

Con Amor, Hermana Velasquez