October 12, 2014

Feelin' Grateful (Week 17)

 mom...dad.... i know how to read a map now ;)
HOLA!  well these past 10 days went by quickly but man my body is exhausted! It has also been soooo hot here! I have so much to say to all of you and so little time!  First off big thank yous to Mom, the Helveys, Sister Katie Barrus, Mrs. Hayward, gabrielle, angie, Chloe Bray (who is currently in the MTC YEAHHHH :)  for your mail!!  Seriously I feel so grateful for all the support I recieve.  I have a big binder full of letters/ printed out emails throughout my time here in the mission, and sometimes at night I look through them and just feel so much love!  PS:  mom you only sent me 1 rainboot....was this on purpose??!! hahaha all the missionaries/members are making fun of me here :)

So in this letter I wanted to write about some things that I have been so grateful for!

1.  El Templo
     It has been so awesome to be able to go to the temple about every 6 weeks here!  It is so beautiful, and I just feel so much peace when I am inside.  It's nice to just take a couple hours and sit and reflect on everything going on my life as a missionary!  I truly know that it is the House of the Lord, and that it is in temples where we are sealed for eternity with our families.
One of my favorite families!
2.  Conferencía General
     So this past weekend was GENERAL CONFERENCE.  For those of you not in the church, every 6 months there is a big general broadcast from Salt Lake city that is viewed all over the world, and we have the opportunity to hear from the Prophet and his apostles and other church leaders.  This conference has 4 sessions, 2 on saturday and 2 on sunday.  Watching conference here in a church building with a big projector brought back sooooo many BYU memories!!! Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to attend conference with friends, so yeah I was a bit homesick watching conference haha!  I kept thinking about all of my wonderful friends at BYU right now, and all of those on missions :)  So for conference I had the cool opportunity of watching in SPANISH.... I know you are all so surprised to hear that haha but yes I had to watch in spanish!  I could pretty much understand everything, but then on sunday I was given headphones that connected to a screen so I could listen in english haha :)  So it was cool listening to the 4 hours on saturday in spanish and 4 hours on sunday in english.  I have to say I really have come to realize how blessed we are in the United States to understand the words of our living prophet and his apostles in english.  Everywhere else around the world they need to listen to a translator, and I just felt so blessed to have english be my first language! There were so many amazing fabulous talks given that I could spend all day writing about all the topics haha but for me a topic that I thought was covered more often than others is really understanding that even though as members of the church we have all this knowledge about our Savior and Heavenly Father, we are still going to have challenges in this life.  When we get baptized it's not like life is automatically easy.....We are given tools such as the scriptures, prayer, church, commandments as tools to guide us through these challenges in life, but life isn't going to be easy just because we are members in the church.  Another topic I really liked was the importance of our decisions and how our decisions not only affect US but they affect EVERYONE in our lives.....also Elder Bednar's talk was SO GOOD everyone who is not mormon needs to search Elder Bednar's talk general conference 2014 because this talk is addressed specifically to people NOT in the church....his talk explains why we are so focused on missionary work and why we feel the need to share with people our message haha seirously it is SUCH  a good talk!  So all my high school friends reading this blog right now.......go read it :)  and you can understand why I'm serving a mission!  On saturday in between sessions I had the lovely chance to eat at subway :)  yayyyyy hahaha and play a mad game of UNO with other missionaries.  

familia montemayor....I have mentioned them before but these sisters are returned missionaries and the youngest wants to serve one in 3 years!  They are suchhhh an amazing family in my ward here
us with Dani Montemayor :)  she is 16 and comes out teaching with us sometimes   
3.  Nuevos amigos y familias increíbles 
     Being here I really have come to form such great friendships with the missionaries in my zone as well as the families in my ward.  They really have become my family here, and it is so fascinating to learn about the culture here and their family stories. The members loveeee to talk about their pasts, how they came into the church, their family history....and also it's just so cool to meet all these different missionaries from all over the world and yet we are all here for the same purpose.  I also have met many new animal friends as well.......thank you monterrey!

4.  Las cosas que he aprendido
     I have learned SOOO much here about the scriptures and the history of the church!  I am so grateful for this time In my life to really learn about this life and to know for myself that this church is true and that Heavenly Father really knows each of us personally.  It's especially neat because lots of the locations in the Book of Mormon are here in central/ south america, and Presidente Montemayor (the father of the family) has sooo much knowledge about the history and it is just fascinating to talk with him.  We watched a 20 minute clip on youtube about ancient america...done by BYU....and it shows all the places in the book of mormon and how they are all in Mexico, Peru, Guatamala, Chile...etc.  And it's just so cool being here and learning about all of this!

5.  Crema de Cacahuate
    I have successfully found PEANUT BUTTER hahaha yessss!  I am grateful for peanut butter.

6.  Mi entrenadora 
     Well everyone I am happy to say that this is my last week of TRAINING!  my first 12 weeks here have been my "training" and Hermana Batalla has been my trainer, and I am so grateful for all that I have learned from her and so excited to be done with this training period!  On Sunday night we find out if we have any changes....such as a new companion, new area...so I am so excited to find out where I will be these next 6 weeks!!! I could still be with Hermana Batalla here in sada vidrio...or change companions...or change areas!  So I am excited to wait and see.  we got these pretty swaggy jerseys for our zone with our names on the back hahaha so this is me and hermana batalla takin' some candid photography.....




Also.....am I really turning 20 years old on sunday...???!!!! I'm too old!!!! so weird... hahaha hopefully I have some exciting birthday reports for you all!  Thank you for all of your love and prayers......  

more pics:

us playing the game my mom sent me and jamming out to Mormon Tabernacle choir
My church building
the kids in my ward after their primary program last week!! :)

C O N  A M O R
hermana riches


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