¿Preguntas?

Preguntas means “questions?” Our teachers always ask us that but it made me start thinking about the questions and problems we can can have in our lives, not just in class.  We may say we believe and live the Gospel, but what happens when we receive a true test of our faith?  Or when we are surrounded by challenges and questions we can’t answer for ourselves?  We must go to the Lord for help and guidance.  I have found that one of the best, if not THE best, way is to go las Escrituras and search diligently.  El Libro de Mormon can always help us, not matter the situation.  And when we feel bombarded by doubts and preguntas, go to the source of truth and light.  Mosiah 14 and John 15 have been my favorites this week if you need a start:) Feed your faith and let your doubts starve to death.

So I know I always talk about food, but I really like food and it makes for a great analogies. Hence: There is a lot of good food here, but sometimes they serve a salsa that is particularly nasty or spicy, or sometimes the taquitos are just mal (bad).  We spit it out and avoid it like the plague and tell all the other American missionaries to stay away. We should do the same thing with sin and temptation.  Stay away.  Don’t even try it.  Help others not make the same mistake, because some mistakes will take more than a day in the bathroom to fix.  (Sorry was that gross?)  But in all seriousness, if you know it’s bad.  And have even tried it for yourself to know its bad, why try the same thing again?  We all make mistakes, that’s ok and it’s part of life.  But through the Atonement of Jesucristo we can receive the STRENGTH we need to truly repent and not make the same mistakes again.  As Elder Bednar put it “Choosing something bad over something worse is still choosing wrong.” It’s blunt but it’s true.  Obedience is a choice, the commandments are not chains or tedious rules.  They are the way to happiness and eternal life.

I love the Gospel.  I love amazing feeling the Spirit can bring when we sincerely ask for it.  When we have preguntas or are struggling to feel peace and happiness in the Gospel, ask our Heavenly Father and he will answer.  I’m out of time.  But know that Jesus Christ died for us personalmente and he did it because he love us.  I love you all.  Stay strong and Haz Lo Justo!

100_1906 These guys are THE Elders and are just the best!  Their nickname for me is Goldilocks. Whatever.  Elder Hyde (left) is from Heber and Elder Hepworth (right) is from Seattle. They are the best district leaders and they keep the rest us Hermanas in line. We have really connected and I feel that we are brothers.  We work out together and just have a grand old time.

100_1910100_1907Umm so, we have to put skirts on to go to meals.  Hermana Charlesworth and I didn’t want to change all the way (P-day is lazy day) so we kept our CCM T-shirts on to go to lunch and we got some nice pictures.  Missionaries just have to be goofy sometimes.

Sorry for the less spiritual thought this week.  Just know that I love you and there is nothing I would rather be doing than serving the Lord.

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The CCM Life for Me

100_1904(This cute Hermana is also Hermana Johnson. She is from California and leaves next week.  We both got these skirts at the Mexico City Temple Visitor Center. Oh the great people you meet on you mission!)

Central Capatacion Misional.  They say the spirit is always so strong here, and it is, but it really is only what you make it.  After another week of training with the same schedule, it’s easy for some missionaries to get complacent.  But as I have worked hard to feel the spirit, especially in lessons with  “investigadores”, I have received answers to prayers and confirmation that the only way to happiness is up and out.  We must not become apathetic in our conversion or testimony, but siempre (always) study Christ and His teachings so that we may be more like Him. We made baptismal covenants and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  With that gift comes responsibility and with responsibility comes temptation. We must consistently live the Gospel and the basic principles that are taught.  Daily repentance, remembering Jesucristo, and having more charity towards men are just a few examples of how we can stay on our individual path towards Christ.

On Sunday we watched a devotional given by Elder Bednar on a Christmas Sunday morning in the MTC.  I don’t know if it’s readily available but if you can find it, the hour you will spend watching it will be WELL WORTH IT.  He talks about the character of Christ, and how when he was suffering the most, He would turn out in charity and love when the natural man would turn in with selfishness and greed.  There are countless examples in the scriptures, I encourage you to find them!  Here is an ejemplo I really enjoyed.

After Christ had fasted for 40 days and been tempted by Satan, he learned that John was in prison.  Now Christ must have been physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.  The King James version says that after Christ had gone through this, angels ministered unto him.  But if you look at the Joseph Smith Translation, it says that when Christ had learned of John in prison, he sent angels to minister to him (John).  After all that suffering, Jesus turned out in charity to those he loved when most of us would have turned in. 

One other point: it says in Alma 23:6 “…so sure as many as believed, or were brought to the knowledge of the truth…according to the spirit of prophecy, and the power of God working many miracles in them-yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away.”  My dearest friends and family, I learned something new and greatly important this week.  A testimony is not the same as being converted.  We may have a testimony and never obey the commandments or pray.  To truly be a discipulo of Christ we must be converted unto Him and know of Him.  This conversion will allow us to remain steadfast in Christ and “always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God, and your own nothingness, and his goodness and long-suffering towards you…and humble yourselves even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith of that which is to come“.   No matter what happens in the world or the church, I pray that you and I may be converted to Lord, that our faith may be unshaken and we can live once again with God in the highest.

I love this Gospel.  I love the diversity of people in it.  I am so incredibly happy that I have the knowledge of Christ and his Atonement.  We can live again! How awesome is that!?  Let’s turn out in charity when the mortal in us would turn in.  Hope this inspires you to be that best you can be, and only through the Atonement de Jesucristo,  we can do ALL things.

Man Cannot Live by Fruit Alone

Hola! So my diet has consisted of fruit, vegetables, and Mentos.  Kids and adults-do not try this at home!  It messes with you and even though I have lost weight, white undergarments are not always the best thing to wear. Enough said.

This morning a couple districts went to the Mexico City Temple.  Unfortunately it is currently under construction so we could only go into the visitors center and take the tour from the sweetest Hermanas. But that was just as cool!  It is really nice and high-tech and the spirit there is so strong. I bought some cool Mexican clothes and an awesome scripture case. Pics to come later. The picture below is my district.  Yeah, more Hermanas than Elders is becoming more and more common.  We have so much fun and have really bonded as a district.  The Elders are goofballs and really do act a lot younger than us, but I can see they have already grown so much.  My companion and I are still working at getting along, but it has gotten a lot better! Communication is key.    100_1879

 

In my branch (which is three districts) they choose who is giving a talk in the Sacrament meeting that you give the talk in!  So everyone has to write a talk and then they just announce who is speaking over the little pulpit in the classroom for Sacrament meeting.  Its all in Español but it’s great practice for the language.

I just want everyone to know that while we may be going through really tough times, or really difficult challenges, the Lord wants to help us.  He sent His Son so that we could have the opportunity to repent and find strength in the Atonement.  We just have to ask and we will receive.  Joseph Smith was a true profeta inspired by God, because as he said, “How could I believe in a God that would save only a few?”  He wants all of us to return to him and we can.  It is truly a marvelous and work and a wonder that we have the conocomiento (knowledge) that Heavenly Father loves us cares for us.  We may take it for granted, but just that knowledge can bring so much peace in the darkest of times.  I love you all.  I pray for you everyday.  Don’t just eat fruit and salad. And be happy!  Life is to be enjoyed while we endure to the end.  My favorite phrase: Haz lo Justo! (Choose the Right!)

Below is a picture of all the people going to Birmingham with me in December.  Poor Elder Wilson is stuck in such a big group of Hermanas!

100_1883

 

I love Mexican FOOD!

Hi guys! This is the craziest week I swear.  We got here in the afternoon on Wednesday and they just started us right in with getting acquainted with the CCM.  It’s so pretty here, they call it paradise and it is.  Who wouldn’t want to study the gospel everyday surrounded by palm tress? Just wanted to mention the food, there is this pomegranate juice that they serve and it is the best.  Also fresh fruit and salad with stuff grown right here, I love it. It hasn’t messed with me too much but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.   (Also, the enchiladas are not so bad either:)

Being stuck with a complete stranger 24/7 can be quite jarring.  I´m learning a lot of patience and humility, it´s great though. I think marriage will be even easier and because you get to choose and you can leave go get a drink all by yourself whenever you want! haha.  Mi compañera is from Mesa, Arizona and Spanish is a new language for both of us! Everyone says not to worry about the language, it will come, just worry about the doctrine.  It´s funny though, I have to get over saying everything with a French accent.

What else to say? My teacher is a really funny native who is so nice and speaks really slowly so we can try to understand him.  We taught a lesson to an investigator on the second full day we were here, in Spanish! I guess that´s one way to introduce us to la idioma (language).  I miss all my family and friends back home but I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.  You guys, the Evangelio (Gospel) is true and Jesucristo loves us!  Remember 2 Nefi 10:23 and be happy! We are given hard times and trials so that we can know the good times and recognize joy.  I’ve only been here a week and I already know that missionary work is hard, but I challenge all of you to step it up a notch and share this wonderful news with everyone: we can live and be happy forever it we just come unto Christ.  “Give me your heart, Saith the Lord” and how blessed we will be if we do!  Stay on target (said in my best Star Wars voice), and remember: A life without a cause is a life without effect.  The church and the Gospel is the greatest cause we can be involved in.  Don’t be like Lot’s wife and look back to mistakes or bad things, it cost her her life.  Push forward, el Expiacion (Atonement) can heal all wounds and help us to become better people.  Through Christ ALL mankind may be saved, just obey!

Whenever you have a bad morning- yes, even missionaries have bad mornings, haha I already know-remember Nefi. He was tied to a boat for four days during a storm.  Can you imagine worse mornings? If he could endure his own brothers torment, we can do anything.  Yo se que Jesucristo es mi Salvador, y el Dios es muy amoroso.  That’s about all the Spanish I can remember without notes.  I love you all!  If Hermana Fawcett’s mom is reading this know that she is doing great, we played soccer this morning and it was so great.   I love being a missionary, I look at my tag everyday and just can’t believe I’m here.  Stay strong guys, with the Lord you can do all things.  1 Nefi 17:50-51.  Until next week!

100_1864 100_1863  My companion is the one holding the skull candy thingy, she’s going to serve in San Antonio, TX.  They gave the skulls to us at lunch for Dia de los Muertes. The other Hermanas (above) are going to Alabama with me on the same day!  The pic of me is bad (it was today and I didn’t really get ready) but I’m just super proud of my name tag.  How blessed to be a representative of Christ! 100_1856