December 30, 2014

A Merry Monterrey Christmas (Week 29)

Holaaaaa!  Well what a week.  I officially had my first "missionary skype call" which was the best present ever!!!! I'll give you all a run down of how the skype call went:  I connected onto skype, saw that my family was online, we connected to video, and the minute I saw all your faces I just burst into tears hahahah!  I had no words!  The first words that came out of my mouth were Ï don't know how to speak english!!! hahahaha my family had to listen to me battle with "spanglish" as it seriously was so weird having an hour long conversation in english, expressing all of my joys and crazy moments I have had here.  My companion, hermana mendoza, got to speak a few words in english to my fam, which made my mom cry even harder hahaha ;) and it was just so awesome expressing to my family how much I love this area, the people, the food, and just how everyday I have learned so much abouthumility, gratitude, and love.  It was probably the fastest 60 minutes of my entire life, this skype call, and logging off was probably the most brutal thing I have ever had to do! But I really am so happy to be here. Can't wait to skype you all again in May for my last skype call here in monterrey :) 

Christmas Eve:  Well this Christmas season definitely has been far different than any other Christmas I have had.  Christmas Eve and Christmas were really hard days to teach because everyoneee is either out of town or locked inside making their Tamales hahaha allllll the women make tamales during the Christmas season....(WHICH ARE SO DELICIOUS) so no one really wanted to listen to us.  The night of Christmas eve we had a really sweet experience.  We were teaching a son 18 years old and his mom, who are progressing really well, and after our lesson with them she offered us some tamales...which we ate BEFORE our big dinner that we were going to right after the lesson hahaha, so us 4 sat at her table eating her tamales she had just made that day.  The mom, RosaMaria, doesn't have enough money to send her son, 18 years old, to school, so he does not have an education, and yet she INSISTED that we sit down and eat her tamales.  She is such a generous, loving woman, and we just felt so humbled sitting there eating with her and her son on Christmas Eve.  I will always have this memory and am so grateful for all of these generous acts I have witnessed with the people here this Christmas Season.  For our Christmas Eve Dinner us and the 2 elders in my ward went and ate at a member's home, and she cooked us a giant turkey, spagetti, mashed potatoes, was very tasty!  And it was great to feel the warmth and love of a family on Christmas Eve when all of us missionaries are away from our own families <3 Christmas Day......we had our 3 hours of studies in the morning, 3 hour planning session we have every thursday, and then Hermana Mendoza and I went to a members home to skype/call our families :)  Directly after this skype call, we went out and searched the empty streets for people to teach haha we could only find one of our investigadores to teach, and it was really sweet watching her kids play with their toys Santa had brought them.....I was honored to know that this little girl's barbie doll is named "hermana Riches" due to my hair color.
one of mis mejores amigas, Dani Montemayor <3

Well, this Christmas Season has taught me so so much.  I have been so humbled.  I stressed this to my family over skype...SO humbled as I am away from family, all materialistic items, and as missionaries we are constantly worrying about other people and no one cares/worries about us hahah.  I have felt so much joy seeing others recieve happiness with this message, and this Christmas away from home will always be in my heart as one of the greatest times I've had in my life.  Very difficult times, but life changing!  

Well I just want to remind you all that Heavenly Father answers our prayers.  One night this week it was pouring rain and freezing, and some members offered to drive us back to our home at 8:30 pm.  We are supposed to be back in our home at 9pm, so as much as we wanted this ride back home we knew we had to keep working hard this last half hour and find one last person to teach before returning home.  Right after this phone call with the members, we knocked on a door and a family opened up and let us go in and share a message.  We watched the church christmas video El es la Dádiva / He is the Gift and there was such a powerful feeling in that little house with the pouring rain outside and thunder.  We knew Heavenly Father had blessed us with this one last lesson because of our diligence.  Being a missionary is exhausting, but when we pray and show our dedication to this work, Heavenly Father always opens up doors and experiences.

Cheers to 2014....and on to the next!  Thank you for all of your love and support and I will see you all in 2015 :)

More Pics:

 Presidente Bird and his wife
My first companion, Hermana Batalla

hermana riches

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