Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Teaching Piano

Hola everyone!

Quick fun fact about MisiĆ³n Mexico Norte, we are not allowed to wear watches when we´re out and about during the day. They don´t want anyone to think we are super rich wearing expensive watches. Which is funny, because I´m pretty sure my watch was about $5 from WalMart.

So it finally happened... I tried a seso quesadilla. Seso is brain. I´m pretty sure it was brain of cow. Really, for a meat it wasn´t too bad, but it´s meat, so it was nasty. I was happy sticking with my quesadilla de queso. 

This week we started teaching piano lessons in the church. Hermana Gonzalez doesn´t play the piano, so that means I started teaching piano lessons this week. The first one was a little rough because I didn´t know any of the music vocab in Spanish, but now I have a nice cheat sheet of all the music terms I could ever need, so hopefully it will go better this week. The whole point of these lessons is to find new people to teach and to help involve members, recent converts, and investigators, and already we are seeing that happen. In the first lesson we had an investigator and two less actives attend. So we are pretty excited about that. 

Another big achievement for me this week was the talk I gave in church yesterday. I was a little nervous about it because of the Spanish and all, but when I started speaking, all of that worry disappeared and the Spanish came out rather easily. Still far from perfect, but easier. It is so cool to see instances like that when the gift of tongues is so obvious. And I couldn´t have asked for a better topic either, The Atonement of Jesus Christ.

By the way, if any of you have not seen the talk None Were With Him, by Elder Holland, go watch it right now. 

Yesterday was a little frustrating for me because once again no one came to church, and I just really want to have a progressing investigator, or an investigator who keeps the commitments that we extend to them. But something my district leader told me really helped. He reminded me that everyone has their agency, and sometimes I´ll be disappointed in the choices they make. But if I am working hard and doing all I can, I will never be disappointed in myself. And I still know that if we keep working hard, we will see miracles here. 

Ok, last thing, the mission president's wife shared a really beautiful song with us that just about made me cry. So I thought I would send you all part of the lyrics. If you can find the whole song on lds.org, definitely go listen to it. 

"It´s Not About You"

You look into your father´s eyes when he
takes his hands off your head
He whispers that he´s proud of you
and he knows you´ll do your best.
You say you wonder if you can do it,
that´s when he says

It´s not about you
It´s not about you
It´s for the people who are blessed by what you do
It´s not about you

Everybody´s gathered ´round you
Eyes all aglow
You start to read that piece of paper
To see where you´ll go
And you wonder if you´re ready
But you already know

It´s not about you
It´s not about you
It´s for those who are searching for the truth.
It´s not about you

Sure you´ve become much better
Because of what you´ve been through
But it´s not about you."

Love you all!
Hermana Herron

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cambios and Combis

Hello everyone!

Well, I officially made it through my first cambio... uh, transfer. Each transfer is 6 weeks long. I`m going to be here for at least another six weeks with Hermana Gonzalez to finish my training, so no changes, but it is still a big landmark.

For Valentines Day, we made 26 paper roses for the women in the Relief Society in our ward. It was a lot of roses. But it was a lot of fun too. 

Fun fact, there is a form of public transportation here called a Combi. It is basically a van with some benches inside, and as many people as possible squeeze in together. I hate combis. I always feel carsick in them. But they are really good for contacting. This past week Hermana Gonzalez and I contacted an entire combi full of people. One of them ended up being a returned missionary, so I guess he didn`t count, but it was still exciting to contact that many people. 

So quick update on my Spanish. I still have trouble understanding most people, and my ability to speak is still very very very far from perfect, but I am learning a lot and getting a lot more comfortable with this language. Today I was practicing some English with Hermana Gonzalez (I help her study a little English every day) and as I was speaking in English, Spanish words kept coming out on accident. That was kinda scary, 

I hope you all know that I`m not here to learn Spanish though. I`m here because I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, that His atonement is real, and that it really works in our lives. I know that because of what He suffered, He understands perfectly everything that we go through, all of our trials and triumphs, strengths and weaknesses. I have no idea how I could do this without both the cleansing and enabling power of the Atonement. 

I love you all, have a great week!
Hermana Herron

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Looking for Miracles

Hey everyone!

So, first little miracle, for the second week in a row, we had five new investigators! We contacted a family in a park, and they are just golden, we are so excited to start teaching them.

On Wednesday we had a special devotional by President Titensor and his wife and an area seventy, Elder Ismael Mendoza. It was really good, and I got to play the piano for it, which was fun.

Fun fact, all the parks in Mexico City have exercise machines in them. Still not exactly sure why, but people do use them.

So, I´ve been having a lot of thoughts this week, hopefully, I can organize them into something that makes sense here. 

So last Monday, our mission president really started focusing us on our Standards of Excellence. These are goals that we have in our mission to help us aim higher and increase our faith. They include things like 10 contacts everyday, one baptism every month, and thrity lessons with members every week. He sent us the story of a missionary in Uruguay who had so much faith that in an area that hadn´t seen a single baptism in years, he baptized 18 people in only 25 days. After reading that story, I felt totally invigorated, like "Yeah, we can do this, we have the faith, let´s do this." And then in the next three days, we had one of our 10 set, fixed appointments. All the rest were cancelled, or they weren´t home. We spent a lot of time this week walking around our area finding people not at home. That was really hard. I started wondering if maybe I wasn´t having success because I didn´t have enough faith, or because I wasn´t working hard enough. 

Something I realized though is that no matter what I do, I can´t force anyone to come to church or to get baptized. Whenever I have a week where we reach our goals, it is a gift from God. And yes, I need to have faith and work hard to receive that gift, but even when I do everything I can, I might not have a lot of success reaching those standards. But that doesn´t mean I´m a bad missionary, it just means I need to be patient and keep working.

A really famous scripture in the church is 1 Nephi 3:7. If you are a member, you know what it says. If you aren´t a member, you can find the scripture and the story in the Book of Mormon on lds.org, I´m pretty sure. It says that God will never give us a commandment without preparing the way. And even then, Nephi had to try 3 times before he succeeded. So even if it doesn´t happen right away, I am confident we will see miracles here in this area.

Hopefully some of that made sense. But I will keep you all updated on the miracles I do see.

Love you all, have a great week!
Hermana Herron

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I´m loving life as a missionary in Mexico!

Hey everyone!

Ok, fun fact. Here in Cuatitlan Izcalli, we are at an altitude of over 8,000 feet. No wonder I get so out of breath during exercise.

We lost our water for a few days this week. That was fun. Not just us, all of Cuatitlan was without water. I´m still not exactly sure why. 

So I thought I would describe my schedule for those of you who aren´t already familiar with the missionary schedule.
Every morning we wake up and are out of bed by 6:30. We exercise for half an hour, eat breakfast, shower, and get ready for the day. Then at 8:00 we start studying. We have an hour of personal study, an hour of study together as a companionship, another hour of study together that is a special training program for me, since I´m new, and finally another hour of language study. We leave the casa at noon and start proselyting. We spend a lot of time in lessons with investigators, less-active members, and recent converts, but we also spend a lot of time walking around looking for people. We usually have comida with members around 2 or 3. We finally retrun home at 9:00 at night, plan for the next day, and then are in bed by 10:30, every night. And that´s how life goes for me. Some days are different. We have district meeting every Wednesday morning andchurch every Sunday. Mondays are our Dias de Preparacion, so from 10 to 6 we have time to buy food, email, clean the casa, wash clothes (by hand) and all that. 

Not too much happened this week that was really exciting. Sorry if this is a kinda boring email this week. 

I do have one thought that I want to share though. It´s something that one of my teachers in the CCM pointed out, but that I have learned a lot more about since. So, we usually don´t hear words directly from our Heavenly Father. He speaks to us through the Holy Ghost, through prophets, through His Son Jesus Christ, but He usually doesn´t speak to His children directly, and when He does, it is usually to announce His Beloved Son. But in 2 Nephi 31 ( in the Book of Mormon) there are two verses that have words directly from the Father:
11 " And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of My Beloved Son."
15 "And I [Nephi] heard a voice from the Father, saying: Yea, the words of my Beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved."

If the Father is saying these words Himself, they must be pretty important. And I know that this message is important. We all must have faith, repent, be baptized, and then endure to the end. This is the Doctrine of Christ, and this is my whole purpose and message as a missionary, the why and what of my work here in Mexico. This is the most important message that I could every share with anyone. And I know that it is true. This is the path that will lead us back to our Heavenly Father someday.

I love and miss you all. Have a fantastic week!

Hermana Herron