Tuesday morning we taught the last lesson to Lulu about temples and family history work. She was so excited to hear that once she's baptized, she can go to the temple. After lunch, Hermana Gonzalez and I did some last minute packing and then headed to the "central bus station." We met up with the other zone leaders and a pair of STL's (Sister Trainer Leaders) before buying our tickets - so that way we could all sit next to each other on the 3 hour bus ride. It was fun and for a while we all talked, but then since Hermana Gonzales and I were exhausted, we slept for the last hour and a half. It felt so nice to sleep! When we arrived at the Colina's house, the other pair of STL's had already arrived from Zacatecas, so we all ate dinner together.
These 4 elders in my zone are absolutely hilarious! (Elder Geddes, Elder Pico, Elder Mendez, and Elder Garcia)
They all bought matches outfits and always make us laugh.
Wednesday we spent the day with the Mission President, his wife, his assistants, the 4 other companionships of STL's and all the zone leaders. It was a great council meeting because we discussed the mission's goals for the New Year of 2015. The assistants talked about how we can be successful missionaries and improve our numbers. Sister Villareal talked about how we can lower our stress and have a positive attitude. And the President touched on the importance of hard work. All the leaders participated and I learned a lot from all that was shared. The monthly leader council meetings are so motivating and always inspiring.
|With Hermana Flores at the zone conference|
|With Hermana Carreto|
Thursday morning, Lulu was interviewed by our district leader for her baptism and in the evening we made her programs. On her program is one of my favorite photos of Jesus giving John the Baptist a big hug after being baptized. I love how happy he looks.
In the evening we taught our "progressing" investigators; or those that are preparing for baptism. With Teodulo and Maria, we talked more in depth about Joseph Smith. With Arturo and Brandon we explained the Plan of Salvation. And with Enriqueta and two of her daughters, we watched The Restoration Video. All of our visits were just so amazing. I literally feel like I'm busting with joy. Even Enriqueta noticed it and told me, "I love how expressive your face is because you are always so happy and that kind of happiness is contagious." Her comment was so sweet and made me reflect on how much the mission has changed my attitude and my perspective.
Friday, Hermana Gonzalez and I spoke in the zone meeting with the zone leaders. All went really well and I feel like the missionaries in our zone left more motivated than they'd arrived. Our zone truly has a lot of potential :) I received several envelopes / packages from family members and friends. Thank you all so much for thinking of me and sending me your love and encouragement. A simple letter or card or candy really brightens my day! I asked the mission president why some packages or letters never arrive and what postal service would be best. He told me that whatever is sent is more likely to arrive through the "United States Postal Service"
Saturday morning was Lulu's baptism! It started at 11:00am, but Hermana Gonzalez and I were in the church a lot earlier to set up and get everything ready. There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into planning a baptismal service.
Everything went beautifully - the speakers gave heartfelt talks, our musical number didn't sound too bad, the water in the baptismal font was warm, and most importantly, Hermana Lulu took an important step in our journey home to our Heavenly Father. After being baptized, we asked her how she felt and she said, "I feel really good. I feel renewed." I know she felt the Spirit and I am so extremely happy for the decision she made to be baptized and follow the Savior.
Sofia and Kenya (two of the granddaughters of Teodulo and Maria).
They always follow us around and ask to put on our missionary tags ;)
In the evening it rained again, but this time since it was so cold, it started to hail :) Luckily we were inside the house of a member, because we hadn't brought our umbrellas. Our last lesson was with Brandon and his dad, Arturo. We talked about the five things we need to do in this life to return home to the presence of God:
- Exercise faith in Jesus Christ
- Be baptized by immersion
- Receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost
- Endure to the end
They were super receptive and learned really quickly. Before heading home, they served us chamomile tea - which I guess is some sort of flower :) But it was yummy.
Sunday was another fantastic day! Lulu was confirmed a member of the church and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. She was beaming! Brandon came and sat with his new friend from church named Hyrum, who has been accompanying us in the lessons. Oh, and Teodulo payed his tithing again! Enriqueta and one of her daughters came for the first hour and received a warm greeting from lots of the members. It was just incredible! This ward has really helped us with our investigators and everyone is so friendly. Teodulo asked the Bishop if he could baptize him (most likely this Saturday) and I almost cried tears of joy. I've never felt so happy for other people. :)
After eating 8 tacos for lunch, we visited a less active member and her daughter. We had a spiritual lesson about the importance of prayer and scripture study. It is so much easier to know what decisions we should make when we've prayed and searched the scriptures. In the evening, we met with the zone & district leaders. They shared a short message with us about where our heart is. It was great and made me reflect on where my own heart is. Is our heart focused on the Savior, on our families and on helping others? Or is our heart focused on our popularity, body weight, and material possessions? I hope everyone can do a self-evaluation like I did and ask ourselves where our heart is.
"for not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the looketh on the heart." Samuel 16:7
All my love,
I thought this sign was funny "limite de seguridad" haha