Tuesday, April 26, 2016

5 Month Mark

Hi everyone,

 Today I´ll continue my list of important Spanish words and phrases that they never taught me in my high school Spanish classes:
a ver - it means "Let´s see," "Let me see," "we´ll see" They use it all the time. 

que padre -  "How cool" I don´t know why, but they use padre (father) to mean cool a lot.

así - like that, or like this

The article I mentioned last week is called "The New and Everlasting Covenant" by Elder Marcus B Nash in the December 2015 Ensign or Liahona. 

One of the basic doctrine of the church that we take so much for granted is the knowledge that our families can be together forever. The majority of the people we contact or talk with day to day either have never wondered if their family can last forever, think that an eternal, happy family will just happen automatically, or just don´t believe in eternal families. That honestly makes me so sad. I know that our families can live together forever, but only through the ordinances and covenants available in the temple. Again, like I talked about last week, ordinances and covenants are so important. 

As I´ve listened to all of conference again, (in English this time!) I´ve noticed that they talked a lot about temples and families. It was a little sad at times because I´m not physically with my family right now, but hey, that´s what a missionary is: Someone who leaves their family for a short time so that others can be with their families for all eternity.

I love my family, and I´m so grateful that I´m sealed to them for all time and eternity, and that is the same blessing that I want for all of you and all of these people here in Mexico. 
Love you all!
Hermana Herron

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Continuing to Work

Hi everyone, no time this week, so sorry if this is a little short.

This week was, well, another week in the mission. Hermana Loyola and I have been focusing a lot on trying to find more investigators, because we need more investigators. It´s been a little rough because it seems like no one that we contact here actually lives in our area. In Mexico we can´t go knocking doors, we´re only allowed to street contact. But slowly but surely we are building up our pool of potential investigators. 

I spoke again in the ward yesterday. That was fun.

I read an article this week in the Liahona, or the church magazine, about covenants, and it was super good. It talked about what exactly is the "new and everlasting covenant" that is mentioned so often in the Doctrine and Covenants. Basically, it is the sum total of all of the ordinances that we do and covenants that we make that allow us to progress and someday return to our Heavenly Father. If you aren´t a member, a covenant is a sacred promise between God and us as individuals, and an ordinance is a sacred act by which we enter into covenants, such as baptism. Basically, the entire plan, the gospel of Jesus Christ, is that we make and keep the covenants necessary. Then  through the mercy and power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we will be prepared to reenter into God´s presence.

The article explained it a lot better than I can. But I don´t remember what it´s called or even what month it was from. It was either December or October.... I´ll find out and let you all know next week.

Hope you are all doing fantastically! Have a great week!
Hermana Herron

Monday, April 11, 2016

Loving Those You Serve

Hi Everyone!

So for the fun fact this week, here is a list of some of the most important Spanish words that they never taught me in high school Spanish class:

pues - um, or well, or just a word to say when you don´t know what to say.
órale - an exclamation that means something along that lines of wow, fantastic, way to go, how awesome.
íjole - an exclamation that means just the opposite of órale, something like how awful.
andale - another exclamation, basically means keep going, that´s right
entonces - basically one of the most important words in all of Spanish. It means so, but can also be used like pues, you just say it when you don´t know what else to say.

To be continued....

This was a week of lots of ups and downs. It´s really amazing how a mission is like that. We lost some investigators, which broke my heart. But we also had some really amazing lessons with some investigators who are starting to progress, and I wouldn´t have traded those for anything. 

I don´t know how it happened, I don´t know how he did it, but Heavenly Father has given me a love for these people that I have met and taught in this area. It´s really weird, actually. I haven´t known any of them for more than 3 months, most of them I still struggle to communicate with, but this week, I have just felt so much love for so many people here. 

The mission is a crazy, hard, wonderful, beautiful thing. 

Hope you all have a great week, and that you´re reading your scriptures and praying every single day. 

Love and miss you all!
Hermana Herron 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Conference! Conference!

I love conference. I´ve seriously been counting down the days since January, and I´m already looking forward to the next conference.

But first things first. I have a new compañera, Hermana Loyola, from Culiacan, Mexico. She has just one transfer more than me, in fact, she only entered the CCM two weeks before me. So, we´re both pretty new. It´s been fun though, she is very sweet and sincere. It´s been interesting though, because now I´m the only one who knows the area and all the people and members here, so I´ve been the one who has had to take the lead.

Yesterday, for the first time since I´ve been here in Mira Azul, we had investigators come to church!!!! We had two investigators, well, two and a half (one doesn´t live in the area, but we´ve been teaching her a little) come see conference! WOOO-HOOOO!!!!! One was Jair, our eternigator who really has problems making the commitment to come to church. The other was Santa Rosa, the same investigator I taught by myself a few weeks ago when we did divisions. We also had a number of menos activos come, it was so great! I am so excited to be seeing these miracles here!

Ok, conference! For those of you who aren´t members, every April and October, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a world-wide conference in which the prophets and apostles of the Lord, as well as other church leaders, speak to us. 

I saw both of the morning sessions in Spanish, in the ward building. I understood the messages, but I am really looking forward to reading the talks later on so that I can get the most I can out of those talks. It will be like conference all over again! I got to see both of the afternoon sessions in English in the stake center.

So, even though I only saw two sessions in English, the Sunday Afternoon session was definitely my favorite. In fact, it might be one of my favorite sessions of General Conference ever, it was so good. Every talk. I especially loved the three by the three apostles, Elder Hales, Elder Oaks, and of course, Elder Holland´s.

One thing that Elder Holland said that I really liked was that the atonement of Jesus Christ saves us from the effects of sin and stupidity. I mess up so often. I´ve said plenty of stupid things during lessons, it´s honestly a miracle that we manage to gain or keep any investigators. But that´s just it. It is a miracle. The Lord is there to save me and the work every time I fall or do something stupid. And just like Elder Holland said, even though we may not be perfect, even if we don´t progress very much, in this gospel we get credit for trying. And I am trying the hardest I possibly can.

Elder Holland´s talk also reminded me of an article that I read earlier this week, "It isn´t a sin to be weak." The author pointed out something really interesting. A very famous verse in the Book of Mormon says "And if men come unto me, I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble..." I´m pretty sure I´ve commented on this verse before, about how it is exactly when we are coming unto the Lord that we see our weaknesses most clearly. But in this article the author pointed out that while sins are encouraged by Satan, our weaknesses actually come from God. They are not the same thing. And while we must repent of our sins, weaknesses require a different response. They require faith, and humility, and patience as we work to overcome them. 

I encourage all of you to read that article. And to watch conference again :)

Love and miss you all!
Hermana Herron

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Feliz Pascua everyone!

Hey Everyone!

Hope you all enjoyed your Easter. Easter itself isn´t really that big here, even among members. La Semana Santa, the whole Holy Week, is huge among the Catholics though. And basically everyone here is either Mormon or Catholic or Jehovah´s Witness. 

I´ve officially finished my training now, and tomorrow we have cambios, or changes ( I honestly don´t remember what they´re called in English). Hermana Gonzalez is leaving me to go be a Sister Training Leader in the neighboring stake, but I get to stay here in Mira Azul! I don´t know my new compañera yet, but I´m sure she´ll be great. 

This week was a little rough. We lost a lot of investigators. I really hate losing investigators. It´s the worst. It makes me super sad. But we also found new investigators. 

I´m reminded over and over again that I´m not the one doing any work here, like I said last week. It is 100% the Lord. We spent a good portion of the week working to get investigadoras and hermanas to attend the Womens Session of General Conference on Saturday (which, by the way, was awesome. I mean, I watched it in Spanish, so I didn´t understand everything, but what I did understand was amazing! I loved the focus on love and service. And the music was beautiful! If you missed it, go to lds.org right now and watch it.) We invited and reminded everyone, and before the conference we called about 5 people and personally stopped by 3 houses to pick people up. But not a single one of them came. So we were feeling a little bummed as we sat in the conference, and then who should walk in but the wife of a past investigator who dropped us and a new investigator that we have only taught once! We couldn´t believe it! I just know that it wasn´t anything that we did that brought them, but the Spirit. Amazing how the Lord works sometimes. 

This week we did divisions. Hermana Gonzalez went with an hermana in our ward to visit some people on one side of the area, and I went with another hermana to visit people on the other side, so that we could have more lessons. The hermanas that were going to accompany us both canceled the day of, so we were scrambling a little to find two more. Eventually we found one hermana, but Hermana Bingham had to fill in for the other. Since Hermana Bingham only speaks English really, she went with me so that I could translate. I was terrified. I would have to do all of the talking, all of the understanding, and all of the teaching on my own, in Spanish. But it had to be done so I did it. The Lord more than made up for my efforts. I was able to understand basically everything, and we had a first lesson with a new investigator, and she is golden! She accepted a baptismal date and to come to church and she has real desires to learn and grow more.

Oh, fun fact. Here we drink aguas all the time, but hardly ever is it just plain water. It´s always water with the juice and pulp of some fruit. My favorites are agua de fresa (strawberry), de mango, y de mandarina. 

Also, quick reminder that you all had better prepare for and watch General Conference. It´s this weekend, and I am SUPER excited!

Love and miss you all!
Hermana Herron

ps. Pictures: Two more attempts to get a picture of my district (it´s really hard to get us all in there sometimes), the tlayudas we made today with Hermana Pilar, and Hermana Gonzalez and I with the sister training leaders.  (* For pictures above.)

pps. Pictures! They include my attempts to get a picture of my district and our little St Patricks day party (St. Patrick´s Day isn´t that popular in Mexico, but our district leader is from New Hampshire, so we celebrated it anyways), and a selfie that Hermana Gonzalez and I tried to take at the Ward Noche de Hogar.  (* Below - Pictures that were sent with last week's letter.)