Thursday, December 31, 2015

Me encanta this time of year!

Mexico City Temple

Hi everyone!

Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and have a wonderful New Year! I absolute love this whole Christmas season, and down here Christmas doesn't really end until January, which is perfectly fine with me. Christmas in the CCM was a little different, but I loved it. The Christmas spirit is just so strong here. We got to participate in a devotional broadcasted from the Provo MTC, by Elder Bednar, and it was really, really good.

So, this is my last week here in the CCM. On Monday, I'm headed to the Mexico Mexico City North mission. It's so close that the mission is just going to be picking us up in a van, and it will probably only take about an hour to get there.  I can't believe how fast it has gone. I definitely don't feel ready yet, and my Spanish is not as good as I wish it were, but at the same time, I am so excited to get out into the mission field and start sharing what I know with people, I can barely sit still! I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and that he lives! I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His true church on the earth. I know that The Book of Mormon is true. This knowledge has brought me so much happiness in my life that I can't wait until I can see it bless the lives of other people that I teach. 

Have a great New Years everyone! 

Hermana Herron

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Feliz Navidad!

Hi everyone, and Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!

Christmas is wonderful here at the CCM. There´s lights on all of the palm trees and fireworks going off outside the walls, and we sing Christmas hymns in Spanish everyday. And instead of having classes the rest of this week we have service projects and special programs and devotionals and all that, so I´m pretty excited :)

This past week was exciting because I got to leave the CCM. Twice. The first time was last Thursday when all of the missionaries staying in Mexico had to go to immigration in downtown to get our visas all finished up. We took the scenic way back and we got to see all sorts of amazing landmarks from our bus. Mexico City is really a beautiful city.

The second time was this morning when we got to go to the Mexico City Temple!! It was awesome! This temple is a lot bigger than I'm used to, but it is very very beautiful, and I felt the Spirit so strong there. I'm so glad that they give missionaries in the CCM a chance to go there.

I loved seeing what the city looks like outside the walls of the CCM. Mexico City has mas o menos 27 million people in it. It's one of the largest, if not  the largest, cities in the world! And I can believe it. There is so much life out there, it makes me so excited to finally get out there and start serving a few of these people in just two weeks.

Ok, I'm out of time, but I love you all. Have a wonderful, fantastic, stupendous Christmas!

Hermana Herron

Thursday, December 17, 2015

3 Weeks Down, 3 to Go

Wow, I'm halfway through my time at the CCM. And I still can't speak Spanish....

In all honesty though, the Gift of Tongues is real. This past Monday, my companion and I did a special fast from English. We treated it like a real fast: 24 hours without speaking English, opened with prayer, ended with prayer, and did it specifically for the Gift of Tongues. I don't know if it's church doctrine that we can fast from things other than food, but whether it was a real fast or not, it was a really hard, really amazing experience. And I have been seeing the Gift of Tongues in my life. When we are in lessons, I often completely forget that we're speaking in a foreign language. It's the craziest thing.

I had the amazing opportunity this past Sunday of taking part in the Tijuana Mexico Temple dedication. For those of you who aren't members of the church, temples are very sacred buildings in which we can receive blessings and do work for our ancestors. I don't really have time to explain more, but temples are very, very special places in the church and are very important to me. They are literally the House of the Lord. So getting to take part in the dedication was very exciting for me. 

Apparently last weekend was a very important holiday for many Mexicans when they celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe. For about 3 straight days and nights, there were fireworks going off non-stop right outside the CCM. 

Ok, quick spiritual thought. This week, one of our teachers asked us if we were speaking in Spanish throughout the day to practice, and someone answered, "mas o menos" which basically means more or less. Then our teacher shared with us Revelations 3:15-16. To paraphrase it quickly, it says that it is better to be completely hot or completely cold than to just be lukewarm. And that is especially true with the gospel. We are either all in, or we aren't. We either believe or we don't. We either serve the Lord, or we serve something else. We can't just be hanging on the fence, half in and half out, it doesn't work like that. We can't live the gospel just "mas or menos." So if you are in, make sure you are in with all your heart, might, mind, and strength.

Love you all! 
Hermana Herron

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Learning Spanish

Hello Everyone!

It's been another beautiful week here in the CCM in Mexico City. I absolutely love it here. I've been keeping myself very busy, and my Spanish and teaching skills and testimony and everything are slowly but surely improving.

I heard someone somewhere say something along the lines of "In order to learn a new language, you need to make a million mistakes." If that is true, then I am well on my way to becoming fluent because I have made a lot of mistakes in my Spanish already. So today, I thought I would share with you all some of my funnier mistakes, for your enjoyment. 

So here in the CCM, we spend a lot of time practicing teaching investigators. The investigators are really our teachers, so if we mess up really bad we won't ruin anyone's opportunity for salvation, but we still treat them as real as we can. Last week, my companera and I were teaching Ivan (who is really our teacher Hermano Beltran) about the Book of Mormon. We shared John 10:16 and I tried to explain that the other sheep are the people in the Book of Mormon. But instead of saying "ovejas", sheep, I said, "orejas" which means ears. That confused Ivan.
Also with Ivan, he was telling us about how his mom isn't happy that he is meeting with the missionaries. Trying to be conversational, I tried to say something along the lines of, "Oh, so she still doesn't like us?" Well, I accidently mixed up the words still and also, and I mixed up the way the word "to like" works, and I essentially said, "We don't like her either." I didn't figure out what I had actually said until during the prayer. Luckily, I was able to just laugh it off, but that was pretty embarrassing.

Yesterday, we got to hear an amazing devotional from a visiting Area authority. It was so good, and I wish I could just write the whole talk  in this email, but I'm almost out of time, so I'll just share my favorite part. Elder Salina talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The atonement doesn't just help us become clean of our sins, though it certainly does do that. But it also helps us be strong when we feel like we have no strength left, it helps us be courageous when we have to face our greatest fears, and it makes up the difference when we've done all we can and it still wasn't enough. the Atonement is purifying, but it is also edifying and enabling. As a missionary, when everyday it feels like I give all that I possibly can and it still isn't even close to enough, it is so comforting to know that my Savior Jesus Christ has it covered for me. 

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that He lives today. He gave everything to me when He suffered through the Atonement, so I will give everything I can back to Him. In the end, the only thing I really can give is myself, and while it's not much, I am happy to give it.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Herron

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hola de México!

 Cleveland Airport - Ready to Go!

Hi Everyone! I made it to the CCM, Centro de Capitación Misional, in Mexico City. It is beautiful here! There are palm trees and green grass and mountains covered in colorful houses. Mexico city is full of so many sights and colors and sounds and smells. I love it here!

I only have an hour to email, so if you want to contact me mail would probably be best. My mom can get you my mailing address here. 

So, for my non-Mormon friends, LDS missionaries always have a companion with them, 24/7. My companion is Hermana Grow. She is wonderful, and we get along great. 

Ok, fun facts!
It is amazing how fast you forget your first name when you only ever go by Hermana Herron.
It is also amazing how fast you start thinking in Spanish when it's all you hear all day.
They have parrots here! Real, live, green, wild parrots!
The CCM is huge. It´s over 90 acres, so way bigger land area wise than the Provo MTC. It has the capacity for about 1200 missionaries, but because it´s winter, there are only about 250 here right now. 
We have our own little casa to live in :)

We have been studying a lot of Spanish here, and I learned something pretty interesting. In English, we use very formal words when we pray, like thee, thou, and thine, to show respect to God. In Spanish, there are two different ways to address someone as well, the formal way and the informal way. As missionaries, we are expected to use the formal form all the time, except for talking to children and when we pray. It is correct to use the more personal form when we pray because God is literally the Father of our Spirits. He is our Heavenly Father. He loves us more than we can ever comprehend. And He knows us on a very personal level. 

I´ve learned a lot these past few days about how much I´ll have to rely on the Lord as a missionary, because no amount of preparation could ever prepare me for this. On my own, I´ll be a terrible missionary. But this is the Lord´s work, and it´s not about what I can or cannot do, but what He can do, and what I´ll allow Him to do through me. 

At a devotional on Sunday, we heard a poem that I really loved. I don´t have it written down exactly, but it went something like this:
"Come to the edge," He said.
"No I´ll fall."
"Come to the edge," He said.
"No I´ll fall."
"Come to the edge," He said.
So I came to the edge.
He pushed me.
And I flew. 

I know that this is His work, and I am so excited for this opportunity to help in it!

Hasta luego!
Hermana Herron

Friday, November 27, 2015

In Mexico!

I made it, I´m alive, and I´m pretty excited.

First of all, here´s what I need to copy and paste for you:
Your Missionary´s mailing address is:
Sister Stephanie Herron
04/01/2016 16B
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal
The estimated departure date for your missionary is January 4th, 2016. The use of the above address on all correspondence will greatly faciliate delivery to your missionary at the MTC. Please don´t send packages.

Ok, my P-days are going to be Wednesdays, so you will hear from me again in a week. The Sister who greeted me said to tell you that I am in a very safe place. The CCM is 93 acres and gorgeous. It´s completely surrounded by an 8 foot wall.

I got my nametags!!!!!! I also already met my companion, about 3 minutes ago. Her name is Hermana Grow. I also met another Hermana in my district. We rode here from the airport together with another elder. I also already volunteered to play the piano for a meeting or something on Sunday XD Us four missionaries are the first ones to arrive today. 

Mexico City is huge, beautiful, but very very smoggy. Very smoggy. It actually surprised me how much it looks like what I saw on Google Earth.

Ok, love you! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and don´t worry about me at all, I will be fine here. 

Love you!
Hermana Herron
aka Stephanie