Monday, May 22, 2017

Final Report

Hola hola,

Well..... this is going to be my last email from Mexico. My 18 months have come to an end ridiculously, unbelievable fast. This Wednesday I fly back home. 

I´ve been trying to think of what I would write in this email. It´s hard to put into one email all the thoughts and emotions I have had recently, but I´ll do my best. 

This time I have spent in Mexico as an official representative of the Lord Jesus Christ has been.... the craziest, most difficult, and most wonderful experience of my life. I would have loved to have stayed a little while longer if they would let me, but it seems like the Lord has other plans for me. But I am so so so so so eternally grateful that He let me come in the first place. 

This past Saturday, we had the opportunity to go to a baptism in Bellavista, which is the ward that shares a church building with La Aurora. I didn´t think I was going to see anyone from Aurora there because they don´t have their activities on Saturdays normally, but when we got there, almost the entire ward was there! We entered to say hi and to see what was going on and we learned that the ward mission leader and his wife had just been sealed in the temple as a family earlier that day! I love that family sooooo much and seeing them so happy made me so incredibly happy.

I have had a lot of little moments like that in my mission. Moments when I feel so much love and joy that I feel like my heart´s going to burst. Another one of those moments was today, when we went to say goodbye to Manuel. I told him that someday I´ll come back to visit, and that when that day comes, I want him to answer the door walking, and not in his wheelchair. And he told me that he would. I have seen the Lord work miracles in Manuel, literally he has been healing in front of my eyes, and I know that he will be walking when I see him again. 

This is, maybe, one of the most important things I have learned on my mission: how to love. How to give without expecting anything in return. How to serve with everything I have and feel real joy in that service. 

The Lord has taught me again and again in my time here that the blessings come when we serve. Way back in the beginning of my mission I shared with you all the lyrics of a youth song called "It´s not about you," and I have learned that principle again and again. When I forget myself, I am happy. When I´m feeling sick or tired, I know that the Lord will give me strength in the moment that I go out and contact someone. When I feel angry or frustrated, I know that I need to serve. 

And I know that when we truly give ourselves to the Lord, He can then work with us. He can change us, and then use us as instruments to bring about much good and many miracles. Sometimes we see the miracles He does through us, sometimes we don´t, but I know that they happen. 

 Honestly, I don´t really want to end the mission. But I know that while my official mission as a full-time missionary in Mexico may be ending, my mission in life is really just beginning. This Mexico mission has been like my training camp for my life mission. It was how I learned some important lessons and skills to help me in my future service, and how I expanded my sphere of influence. And now that I´m going back home, I´m returning with all the ganas in the world to keep serving and to always be a missionary.

I reread this talk by Elder Holland this morning, and it reminded me that even when some wonderful moments come to their end, the best is yet to be. I invite you all to read it, it´s really really good:

I also invite you all to my little sister´s graduation party this Friday. I don´t know the details, but my mom does :) And I invite you all this Sunday to the Wadsworth Ward Sacrament Meeting, where I will share I few more thoughts about my mission and some important lessons I learned here. It´s in the Medina Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don´t remember the direction or the hour of our services, so you´ll have to ask my mom about that too. But I hope to see you all there.

I know that God is my Heavenly Father, that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that He lives, and that  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, I really do. I know that I am His servant. I know these things with all my heart. 

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Herron

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Atlantes de Tula

Hello friends,

How´re you all doing? I´m doing pretty good. Today my companion and I went with a sister from our ward to the Atlantes de Tula, finally! I´ve been wanting to go for a long time now, basically ever since I got here to Arcos. 
So, Misión México Norte has two different sides. The first is the México State side, which includes Cuautitlan, where I have spent my entire mission. It´s more city, it´s basically a suburb of Mexico City. The second part is Hidalgo, which includes two zones, Tula and Atotonilco, which is a lot more rural, a lot more dust and cactus. In Tula, there are some ancient ruins that are pretty famous, so we went to see them. There are two pyramids (much smaller than those at Teotihuacan, but still pretty impressive) and on top of one of the pyramids there are some huge statue things that are called the Atlantes. Once again, I can´t send photos today, but I encourage you to look them up on the internet, they´re pretty impressive. 
But yeah, with one week remaining in the mission, I FINALLY got to go to Hidalgo.

Anyways, I just wanted to share one small experience with you. This Saturday our entire district went to a baptism that the Hermanas in La Aurora had. We didn´t know who was going to be baptized, but Hermana Jimenez and I were pretty excited because we both spent time there in la Aurora. And yes, I got to see a bunch of members there that I love so much, including Rodolfo, one of my the people I baptized there! But the best part was when I saw who was getting baptized. 
So about 3 months ago, a woman and her daughter came to church. They were driving by and the mother felt a strong feeling that made her want to enter the building. Her daughter did not want to come in and said that she would wait in the car, but her mom basically forced her to come in too. Well, they came in about half way through the Arcos sacrament meeting. They had some really strong spiritual experiences. Hermana Brady and Hermana Perez and I did our best to explain everything and to help them feel comfortable, and that night we passed the reference. And I had almost forgotten about all this until this Saturday when I got to see the daughter get baptized. The mother is going to be baptized this Sunday. 
I am so so so so incredibly grateful that the Lord let me witness at least part of this incredible miracle. 

This is a gospel of miracles.
I love you all!
-Hermana Herron

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Hi Everyone!

Just in case you´ve all been wondering, I finish my mission and get home May 24th.
Now you all know. And now we´re not going to talk about that anymore because it just depresses me. 

Well, this week was crazy. We worked hard everywhere except our own area. Tuesday morning we started some exchanges which we finished Wednesday morning. Wednesday afternoon we started some more exchanges which ended Thursday afternoon. And all Wednesday and Thursday I felt a little sick, but nothing that could keep me from working. Friday we spent all day in a big meeting. Saturday we did a service activity in La Aurora (one of my areas!) where we helped clean an investigator´s field. By the end of the week Hermana Jimenez and I had spent about 5 hours working together in our own area :/ But this week should be a little more normal. 

Um, I really don´t have much time today.
But I want you to know that I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers. And He always listens. So pray away!

I love you all. 
-Hermana Herron

Monday, May 1, 2017

Another Wonderful Baptism

Hi Everyone!

So happy Día del Trabajo today! And happy Día del niño yesterday!
And happy Día de la batalla de Puebla Friday!

Mexicans really like to celebrate things. 

Well, the big news for this week is that Nallely got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pictures will have to wait for some future date.

It was a beautiful service, a lot of people came. Including my mission president and his wife. 
Yesterday we had ward conference in church, and as part of the program Manuel and Nallely were invited to share their testimonies. Manuel was able to stand and support himself with the podium to bear his testimony. He had written his testimony before hand to not mess up, and seeing him standing there, reading his simple yet sincere testimony brought tears to my eyes. Then Nallely´s beautiful testimony broke me down completely. I love those two so much. 

The baptism and ward conference were a beautiful ending to a week that was honestly rather hard. We were very very busy and had less time that we would have liked to do proselyting, and when we did get out, no one was ever able or willing to meet with us. 
I honestly did get a little frustrated sometimes that Día del niño celebrations would be so much more important than God in the lives of some people. But that was really just a good reminder that, well, if these people don´t understand the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I do. And that´s why I´m here. 

I know that this Gospel and this Church are true. I know it. 

I love you all!
-Hermana Herron

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Secret to Being Happy

Hi Everyone!

So, every night we call our district leader to report on our efforts for that day. On Saturday, I was talking with my district leader, and he asked me, "So what´s the secret Hermana Herron? You´ve been super happy all week, why is that?" His question surprised me because Saturday was a particularly difficult day. We had a lot of appointments fall through, three families told us that they didn´t want us to pass by anymore, and I was honestly feeling a little sad about that. It was the end of what had been a very difficult week. But my district leader made me realize that I had in fact been very happy all week somehow. Which is weird, it was a very difficult and tiring week. Well, what I told him was that this past week may have been the week in which I have worked the hardest in my entire mission. And somehow, that made very happy, despite the disappointments. 
The gospel sometimes doesn´t make sense according to the world. But that doesn't change the fact that it´s true.

So, just some other news, they have been changing everything down here, and last week we were told that we now have permission to knock on doors. So, for the first time in my mission, almost 17 months in, I tried proselyting by knocking on doors. Due to the nature of our area, it´s pretty hard here, because most of our area is closed buildings and closed streets with security guards who only let the missionaries pass if they have the name and direction of who they´re going to visit. But there is one part that´s a little more open, so we tried it there, and we had a little success. We found at least one new family that way. 

Well, I know that this work that I´m in is God´s work. I know that we are His children, I know that He loves us with all His heart, might, mind, and strength. That´s why my all will never be enough to repay Him, but I´ll keep giving it :)

I love and miss you all!
-Hermana Herron

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter!

Hi Everyone!

I hope you all have had a wonderful Easter!

Just really quick, I have a new companion! Hermana Jimenez, she´s my third companion from Oaxaca, México, and she is great. We both arrived here in the mission at the same time, and we started in the same district, so I´ve known her for a while already. 

So Easter! Easter in Mexico is very different from Easter in the United States. The people here in Mexico have many traditions and celebrations all throughout the "Holy Week." They have processions that represent the suffering and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Sometimes the reenact it. Some people walk on their knees to a certain place to show their devotion to Christ. I really don´t know that much about all their traditions, but it really is moving how these people show their devotion to the Lord by remembering His suffering for us. 

But something that I was thinking yesterday is that if we focus only on Christ´s suffering for us, we, well, suffer. But Christ didn´t just come to suffer, He also came to overcome that suffering, so that we don´t have to suffer like he did. 

"For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, thathey might not suffer if thewould repent;" -D&C 19:16

That is the real miracle of the Atonement, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, that because he suffered for us, we don´t have to.
And the real real miracle is that Christ no longer suffers. He is no longer dead. He lives!
The focus of Easter shouldn´t be in His death, rather, in His resurrection and life!
I had the wonderful opportunity yesterday to reread "The Living Christ," I´ll put a link here so that all of you can read it. This document is the testimony of current day prophets and apostles that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior of the world, and that He still lives. 

With the prophets and apostles of all ages, and as one of His representatives, I also testify that Jesus Christ lives. He overcame death, He overcame sin, He overcame suffering, and He doesn´t ask us to suffer and sacrifice anymore, He only asks that we offer Him our heart and soul and faith and love, a broken heart and a contrite spirit. 

I promise you all that if you turn to Him, you will feel of His peace, as I have felt it. 

I love you all!
-Hermana Herron

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Special Baptism

Hi Everybody!
So guess what.... Manuel got baptized this week! Yay! It was a really nice baptism, a lot of ward members came. Arcos is a really really great ward for fellowshipping. 
I don´t know if I ever explained this, but Manuel has had several.... I don´t actually know what they are. In Spanish they´re called infartos cerebrales, which literally translates to brain heart attacks. But because of this, he struggles to control is movements. That´s why he´s in a wheel chair, he can technically walk, but it is very difficult and very dangerous for him, because he falls a lot. That´s also why he can´t read and why he talks in a very slow, very deliberate way. In the baptism we had a chair in the baptismal font, but it was still very hard for him to get baptized. Either a hand or a foot or a knee would slip up without him wanting to. And even worse, his hands didn´t really have strength to keep his nose plugged and his mouth closed, so yeah, it was an uncomfortable experience for him. But after 4 tries, he got it! And Manuel is so great, he never complained and he never gave up, he knew that he wanted to get baptized, so that´s what he did, no important how difficult it was. After the fourth time finally worked, he came up out of the font and said, "They finally got my horns out!" It was pretty funny. He´s always been golden, and I know he´ll be a faithful saint. 
I love what he said in his baptismal interview too, our district leader shared it with us later that night. The two of them entered the room for the interview, and then Manuel started by saying, "Hermano, with your permission, I would like to be baptized this Saturday."
We really have been blessed here in Arcos, and we have been seeing a lot of miracles. Just one more that I really wanted to share with you all. This past week we had a lot of meetings, studies with other sister missionaries, consejo, the baptism, and basically a lot going on. So even though we had a high goal for new investigators, but Saturday, we had 0. After the baptism we only had a couple of hours to work, and it was full of appointments. One of the appointments fell, so we decided to look for some of our future investigators to hopefully teach one or two of them and convert them into new investigators. We went looking for one named Damaris (it´s actually an interesting story of how we met her and contacted her too, but that´s a story for another day). We knocked on the door and her sister answered and invited us in. Then Damaris came down, then their parents, and suddenly we had a family of 4 new investigators! But much more important than the numbers are the people. This family needs a lot of help. The mother, Lupita, has had major back pain for over 10 years, and she shared with us about all her trials that she has had. This family has basically every problem you can imagine. And  Lupita was considering suicide when we showed up. She told us that she knows that the Lord sent us there to help her and her family, and I know it too. I know that the Lord sent us to that family not to find new investigators, but to save. I just hope and pray that they accept this gospel, because I know it is exactly what they need to save their family and their lives.
That is real missionary work. That is the Lord´s work. The Lord doesn´t call us to bring people into the church. He calls us to serve and to save. That´s why Manuel kept trying until he could finally be baptized, because he knew that he wasn´t just joining a church, he was becoming clean of his sins, making a sacred covenant with God, and preparing to return to His presence someday. And that´s why the Lord guided us to this family, not to convince them of our religion, but to give them the opportunity to be healed through the power of Jesus Christ. 
And speaking of healing through Jesus Christ, enjoy Easter everyone! It´s the day that we remember the most important even that ever happened in the whole history of the world! The resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Well, love you all, keep reading the Book of Mormon every day!
-Hermana Herron