Monday, October 31, 2016

The Vision of a Missionary

Hi Everyone. And Happy Halloween

This week is also day of the dead, or dìa de los muertos, here in Mexico. I`m pretty excited for that :)

So, this week I got a new companion, and she is brand new. Her name is Hermana Morillon, and she just left home October 4. I have over 10 months more than her in the mission. But she is fantastic! I would never guess that she was brand new in the mission. We are already good friends, and we are enjoying are time together a lot.

I just have one experience from the week that I wanted to share with you all. We visited Mary Moya this week (she and her son Jordi are recent converts, I don`t remember if I`ve written about them yet... Mary is a very artistic and happy person. She`s a professional singer, and her voice is beautiful. And she`s just always happy and fun to be around. She got baptized 3 or 4 months ago, before I got here. Her son Jordi is 20 years old and got baptized about a month before Mary.) Jordi has completely stopped coming to church, and every time we went to their house, he either wasn`t home or would leave soon after we got there. Well this week he was dead tired from school and work when we showed up, but we somehow convinced him to give us 5 minutos of his time. We asked him some questions to try and figure out what`s been going on, and he started to tell us about his dreams and interests. He has been working and studying very very hard to be able to grow in his career. We asked him what his vision for his life is and he told us that he wants to be retired by the time he`s 40 to be able to have time to pursue other interests. I honestly didn`t really know what to say. Jordi speaks very intelligently and uses big words that I don`t always understand. But I could tell that the problem is that he is primarily focused on material things and outward expressions of success. And even though he told us that he feels good about his progress, we could see that he was absolutely exhausted, and that he knew he was still missing something. I then asked him what he thinks our vision is, as missionaries. Why would we leave behind school and work and home and basically everything that we have to serve a mission. He said, "I don`t know, tell me." And my own answer surprised me.

This is what I told Jordi, and it`s what I want to tell you all too. 

I have never been happier than I am here in the mission. I`ve never had such a clear purpose. I`ve never felt more driven to do my best. I work all the time, every day, without breaks or vacations, yet I`m not tired. There is nothing more energizing than service. And I`m here because, like Jordi, my greatest fear is to not reach my potential. I know that someday I will die and it won`t matter one bit how much money I had or if I had a good job. It won`t matter that much if I had time to learn the guitar or travel the world. But in that day when I return to my Heavenly Father, I don`t want Him to look at me and say, "You didn`t do too bad... but I expected more of you." That is my fear, and that is why I`m here. Because I want help the people that God wants me to help, I want to serve how He wants me to serve, and I want to become what He wants me to become. In the end my career won`t matter. But my service will.

In a great missionary lesson, if I am listening to the Spirit, I learn something new. In the best lessons, if I`m listening to the Spirit, I learn something new about myself.

I love you guys. I`m super happy here. Have a wonderful Halloween and a wonderful week.
-Hermana Herron

Photos: Mi hijita and I ;), and a last photo with Hermana Baquero and with Mary Moya and her animals, Maggie and Romeo

Monday, October 24, 2016

Cambio Time

Hi everyone!

So,  I had a nice week. It was a little rough at times. We were going to have 3 baptisms yesterday, we ended up with none, but, I learned a little about faith. As a missionary it´s pretty easy to just make baptism the answer to everything sometimes, and everything we do is to help people progress and baptism is a very important step in that progression. But the Lord always knows when the time is right. Not us. 

This whole cambio, um, transfer, has been quite a learning experience for me, but I have grown and learned a lot. 

Well, as for transfers, my dear companion is off to the far end of the mission way up in un pueblito in Tula, and I´ll be staying here in Joyas and training, which means that my companion is going to be straight out of the CCM. Should be fun. 

Well, I just want to tell you all that Jesus Christ is real. He is everything that we always say He is. He knows our struggles, because He has experienced it all. He lives today, and He directs His church and His work. I am so grateful that I get to be a part of it, and participate a little. 

Love you all!

ps, the picture is me and Hermana Baquero in a bicitaxi. It´s a little carriage behind a bike that will take us anywhere in Santa Elena, the colonia where we live, and it only costs 6 pesos each. They are awesome. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Still Smiling

Hey everyone

So, I hope you all are enjoying your fall. My week was a little interesting.

It started last Monday night. We were headed home when my companion tripped and fell and really hurt one of her toes. She thought it was broken. We were able to make it home alright, we were already close when she tripped. But basically the whole week we had to take it really slow, pay a lot of public transportation, and always look for member with cars to accompany us. Wednesday we spent most of the day in the clinic to get it looked at and luckily it looks like there isn´t any lasting damage. Thursday we had permission to stay inside until 6 to let Hna Baquero rest her foot a little. And it´s a good thing too, because that day, I ended up with a stomach infection, my 4th one in the mission. And ever since then I have been fighting off this infection.

So, between all of that, it was a miracle that we got any work at all done this week, but we were actually able to have a really good week. 

Remember Elizabeth from last week? She came to church yesterday, with her little baby, and she really liked it. 

Ok, I´m already out of time, but I hope you all have a very safe, healthy happy week. I know that even when the week may be a little rough, the Lord can give us the strength we need, because I have felt it. In fact, the strength of the Lord is all I´ve really been running on the last few days, and I´m still going and I´m still smiling :)

Love you all!
Hermana Herron

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Led by the Spirit

Hi Everyone!

It´s been a while since I´ve shared a fun fact, so here´s a quick one. Here in Mexico they like to fry their food. Everything is cooked on the stove with a lot of grease. Because of that, no one here really uses the oven. So most people, if they have an oven, keep pots and pans in it. If they do have to use the oven to make a cake or something, they have to take out all of their pots and pans first, which I find pretty funny.

Well, we had a really good week this week. Vanesa and Diego are progressing really well, and Diego has agreed to be baptized October 23rd! We also have another investigator, a young girl named Valeria, who also wants to be baptized that day because it´s the day she turns 10. Hopefully they will all be able to be baptized that day. Valeria is the daughter of a less-active member, but the whole family is returning to church thanks to the faith and desire of their little girl. 

Quick miracle: We received a referral, Elizabeth, from a sister in our ward that we were going to visit last Saturday, but the hermana couldn´t accompany us so we were on our own to find the house. All we knew was the street name and the colonia, and we forgot our map of the colonia. We asked a few people in the street, but no one knew where the street was, so we ended up literally just wandering around. I eventually suggested that we visit another hermana, maybe she would know where the street was, and as we were walking there, we passed the street!! But we still didn´t know which house it was. We were just about to knock on some random door to ask if an Elizabeth lived there when a woman came out of a house and called out to us "Hermanitas!" And it was her!! She had seen us because my companion nearly tripped and fell into her fence, so I guess she heard that and came to see what the problem was. 

We had a beautiful little visit with her. Elizabeth has been going some very hard times. She has a 3 month old son, but her husband just left her. She lost her job, her car stopped working, and she lost her phone all at the same time. She really just needs a lot of help and love, and that´s why the Lord sent us, creo. She accepted a baptismal date without hesitating because we said that baptism is a way to be born again, or to start all over. 

Anyways, later that night, when we returned to the casa, I looked at the map of the colonia to find out where in the world we had been. And the street where Elizabeth lives is literally the farthest, most out-lying street there. We never should have found it! But we did. It was a very literal experience of being led by the spirit, not knowing beforehand where we would go. 

Well, the church is true. God lives. Miracles are real. Forgiveness is available. Joseph Smith was a prophet. Prayer works. Families can be forever. And I know it. 

I love you all!
Hermana Herron

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sign Language

Hi everyone!!!
I am pretty short on time today, so this email is going to be short as well. Sorry! 
I hope you all loved conference as much as I did! One of the big themes was missionary work, so of course we liked that. My companion and I also liked how much of the conference was about the pure and simple doctrine of Christ, especially repentance. Repentance was a big theme. And I really like how President Monson, President Uchtdorf, President Eyring, and President Nelson all talked about basically the same subject: how to really feel the gospel, how to find joy in living it. 
We visited a semi-active family this week, the daughter is 15 years old and says that she wants to serve a mission. She is deaf and can only talk in sign-language. So we did a mini question and answer session. She asked us all her questions about missionary work, and her mom translated for her. It was a really beautiful experience, partly because sign language is a really beautiful language, but mostly because the spirit was strong. Her mother told us about all the difficulties they have had having a deaf daughter, and how many people have asked her and her husband what great sin they committed that their daughter was born deaf. But just like Jesus told his apostles, neither she nor her parents committed any great sin, but she was born this way so that the power of God can be manifested in her (sorry, I don´t have the exact wording). And it may be that the power of God will be manifested when she serves a mission.
I know that God is no respecter of persons, that His love for us is infinite and enduring, and that while we may have the tendency to see only our weaknesses, He sees our strengths, and He sees the potential we truly have. 
That´s really all I have time for, but I still love you all! Have a wonderful week!
-Hermana Herron