Serving in the Mexico Mérida Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Friday, January 17, 2014

I Love Gineres!

Hassiby, Lia, H' Harper & Vanessa at Centro Cathedral
Sister missionary attire?  Not so much.
Hola familia,

I'm actually doing it! We're being missionaries even when I'm in charge! Every time I think about that it surprises me again. We already have THREE new fechas fijas (fixed dates) from this week. Heavenly Father really can do miracles.

I LOVE Gineres. It's got
a very cool ancient-city feel to it, but it's not touristy like Centro. I thought the people here would be colder to the gospel because it's in the city and the people work more and have bigger houses and everything, but there are so many people we meet on the streets that want to hear what we have to say. And we meet many people on accident-- because I bump into their door when I trip or make a phone call under their window. Heavenly Father can make use of all types of instruments, even the clumsy and the socially indiscreet ones.

My ward is really fantastic. I LOVE them and I've only been here one Sunday. The ward mission leader (I'll have to get a picture with him-- he's very much his own person) is SO dedicated to the work and so is the bishop and the ward missionaries. I think people will actually do what we assign them to do.

I actually did something frivolous with my p-day this week-- I think it's the first time. Sister Harper and I went to pasear (similar to hang out) en Centro with the two daughters of the Relief Society president, Hassiby and Vanessa.

I ate on the street for the first time in a little restaurant called Gorda Gorditas-- gorditas are thick tortillas cut open and stuffed like pitas with whatever you want.

I hope you all are delighting and feasting on the scriptures. I've realized that any time in my life that I didn't LOVE the scriptures, when they weren't BURSTING with life and things I needed to know, was because I didn't understand them. You guys, the scriptures are the most wonderful things ever. If you want Heavenly Father to direct your life, he already gave you directions. Reading the scriptures is like getting directions for how to have a successful life. If you don't understand them (because you can't without the Spirit), all you have to do is ask. They will flood your life with understanding and light.

Heavenly Father has also used the past couple weeks to teach me about gratitude. I never realized how true it was when President Monson said 'gratitude was the parent of all virtues.' President Monson says a lot of true stuff that I never appreciated before. He knows what he's talking about.

It reminds me of those stairs that they make on steep trails with planks cut into the hillside: If working out salvation is like climbing a mountain, engendering and expressing gratitude is like making a staircase behind you as you climb up. Each time we realize what we've already been blessed with, it's like setting down another plank solidifying our progress. And we can turn around and actually enjoy the view and our progress the whole way up.

I like analogies.

Our Mapita.  We still haven't recovered the lost map!
I've realized that any time I am doubting or anytime I am not happy, it's because I've forgotten all the other times that Heavenly Father has filled me with peace and comfort, or all the ways he's enhanced my abilities in the past. Being grateful for what he's done (and usually what he's doing currently) is really all I need to be happy.

Merida culture tid-bits:

*  To say 'yes' while they're talking on the phone or thinking about something else, the people wiggle one finger (like we do when we make air quotes but with only one finger).

*  Popcorn is "palomitas" which means "little doves." Palomita is also the word for a checkmark.

Have a great week. We get mail every Monday night. Eeee...


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