Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Orienteering in Villaflores :)

Hola Familia!!

Wow has it been a crazy week! For the first time in forever we received permission from the momma of Mirna for her to be baptized!!!!!! I could not believe my ears when she said yes!! I am so happy! And what{s more, is she is going to baptized on December 24th!!! (Christmas day here in Mexico is on the 24th)!! We are so excited!! The day that Mirna{s mom said yes was the first day for my new companion here in Villaflores. My new companion arrived on Tuesday the 9th of December. Wow, we are so happy for Mirna. She has wanted to be baptized this whole time but her mom would never give permission every time we asked. Mirna is 11 years old. I will keep you updated on Mirna. 

Also, Hermana Alondra and Hermano Octavio accepted a baptismal date! They are the family of Mirna. The goal is for the 3rd of January. We have taught them almost everything, but it was a little difficult to get them to accept a date. And now they finally have. I am starting to realize that our investigators need to be walking to baptism. As missionaries we should not be dragging them to baptism. 

Well I have been navigating around my area since my companion is new. I feel a little alone sometimes because it{s hard. And since I am the only one who knows the area and the people I have been doing all the planning also. I feel a lot more responsible now than I did with Hermana Rodriguez. But God leads me on when I don{t know where I am. Somehow the spirit whispers to me where I need to walk or suddenly I can visualize where the house is. I need to recognize when this happens and thank God for this miracle because there is NO way I could do it without Him. This is hard, but I am going to climb this mountain, step by step, spanish word by spanish word, lesson by lesson, and day by day. "Godspeed" as Grandpa Holley would say.

This week there has been lots of fiestas and parades and confusion about Mary and Guadalupe... Here in Mexico, the "day of the virgin" is on the 12th of December. We were talking to a guy the other day and he asked us why we don{t worship Mary (and this whole time in my mind I was thinking... Why DOES Mexico worship Mary?) Well it was the first time I{ve been asked that question, but the answer seemed clear- refer to the 10 commandments. So we talked about how God is the only God that we worship. I think it went well, and we invited him to church.

Also as part of the tradition for the 12th of December, Mexicans from all over Mexico take part in "the walk to Mexico City." They walk and walk and walk to Mexico city over the space of one week. And they literally SLEEP in the street when it{s the nighttime. THey just stop and sleep at whatever location they are at and then continue walking the next day. It{s really weird... Anyway we were contacting in the street one day during this past week and it was starting to get dark and all these people had blankets and backpacks and they were all just bedding down for the night on the sidewalk for the night. It was the weirdest thing I{ve ever seen... Also there are lots of parades with moraccas and these people in creepy costumes and they like to saranade everyone they pass in the street. ha ha.

My new companion is 27 years old and she is from Puebla Mexico. She has been out in the field for about 8 months. She is great! I enjoy teaching with her. She allows me a lot more opportunities to teach than I had with Hermana Rodriguez. Maybe it{s because I can actually speak a little bit more of Spanish now... ha ha. I still have lots to learn. She had the dengue really bad in her last area. But she is doing great now and I{m excited to work with her. 

I just love Villaflores and I fear that I won{t ever have an area as Celestial as this again. I love the people here. A few days ago I was having a hard day and feeling inadaquate until I contacted this old lady sweeping her porch. She just dropped her broom and held open her arms and hugged me like a sister- and man alive I needed it. Oh how divine is the love of every woman- especially the love of a mother. Mom I miss you so bad and I love you. I wish I could have a hug from YOU!! 

We visited a less active member yesterday and talked about prayer. He hasn{t prayed in 12 years but we were able to get him on his knees to say a prayer by the end of the lesson. After he prayed he said he felt clean. I was so happy to be able to remind him that Heavenly Father wants to hear from him every day.

I{m also learning that teaching the gospel is knowing the gosel on a whole different level!! I feel like with every principle of the gospel that I teach, I am learning it on a whole new level. This is why they always say that the teacher learns more than the student. THe people here are teaching me. For me, teaching is the key to really understanding and knowing something. This is why I think asking questions is really important, because in a way you are inviting your investigators to teach you what you just taught them. If they can answer, then you know that your investigator really understood what you taught. 

This year for Christmas I hope that my gift to the Savior can be at least baptizing 1 soul into his kingdom. How great would be His joy and how great would be mine! My companion and I are going to work very hard with Mirna and our other investigators to prepare them well for their baptisms. 

How glorious it is to be able to say at the end of the day, "Today, I lost myself in the work of the LORD." 


Hermana Cook

P.S. Gracee ¿Como esta? ha ha. How is the spanish coming? :)

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