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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Looking forward to "next time!"


Aw… I had cool fotos to send you this week but they are taking forever to load. Next time.

That letter from Blaine was the best ever. (He wrote to us about a fun family event involving the “What About Bob?” movie)

I got special permission to go to the baptism of Juvencio y Jesus en Garcia Gineres on Friday and it was SO fantastic. I’ve never been so happy at a baptism before. We are going to be friends forever

Entrevistas (interviews) with President were this week. I presented a few problems I had noticed in intercambios (exchanges) and things I was hoping we could change (2-hour email time included, Mum :) ) I must have made a good case because he said, “Sister Ludlam, you are really smart.  I bet your Dad gives you everything you want.” :)  I’m glad I have a President that really takes opinions into consideration.

Eee! I am so excited for the capacitación mañana (training meeting tomorrow). I was telling Mom a little bit about it, but I’ll explain some of the training we’re giving about “Contacting Effectively” next week. It is an acquired skill. 

Handy little hamaqueros.
I have a question for the heads of household. If I buy the metal hamaqueros they use to hang hammocks, can we install them in the walls of the porch or Ava’s room (Thanks, Ava) or something? They’re not very big, but they do go in the wall...

I wish I had time to write more in-depth and useful things, but I time.

Hermana Ludlam

From Mum:  Thus the need for 2-hour email!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Maria's Baptism & Gerardo's Answer

Maria's baptism
Hola Familia!

Thank you for sending the Easter fotos! 

Do you guys know what the difference is between “Preaching” the Gospel and “Sharing” the gospel? Like, what things do I lose the authority to do when I get back home? I don’t actually know the difference between a full-time missionary and a normal member, except that there are less rules and no name-tag. We’re both supposed to 100% consecrate our souls to the Lord and put him first in our life and try to save everyone possible by sharing gospel truths and be a representative of Jesus Christ and do what he would do and be obedient with exactness. 

I’m thinking it’s that members don’t have the authority to teach the principles to investigators, but I’m not sure if that’s true. Are you allowed to contact people in the street and teach them a few principles? Or the person sitting next to you in the airplane? Or can you only bear testimony and give references to the full-time missionaries? It says in Doctrine & Covenants that you “shouldn’t think you are called to preach until you have been called” but then it says “if you have desires you are called to the work.” 

We definitely have problems with the members we invite to accompany us trying to teach things-- and we can tell that they don’t have the same spirit of discernment (or training) that we do of what the investigator needs to hear. Not sure what the rules on that are. 

Vanessa, Harper, Hassiby, Lia, Lorena Miguel Gonzalez Ramirez
By the way, good job, Mom, for doing what they said in General Conference and sharing what you are learning in PMG with your missionary. :) Maybe you guys could start studying PMG for family night again? I remember we did that a long time ago and it didn’t work very well, but that was back when I thought I knew what PMG was talking about and assumed I knew it already. Psshhh.

I put the Christmas card you sent me on the bulletin board and I have been thinking about you all a lot this week. I love you. OH GOODNESS we get to call in like 3 weeks!!!

Harper, Monica, Monica (mom), Lia, Norton, Alexander Lugo Briseño
We have a teenage investigator named Gerardo who said in the last cita (appointment) “Last night when I was asking God if the Book of Mormon was true, I was asking him what path was the correct one. I thought about what you said the first night we met, about how when we ask specific questions God can give us specific questions. And then I thought about how you said we need to ask with faith-- to decide to believe it and THEN ask God for a confirmation. So that's what I did.” He got an answer. :)  I don’t even remember teaching him that-- or if I did it was something very brief. I love how the Spirit carries things into hearts and into remembrance.

And that principle is SO true-- that is how I am learning everything I am learning is by studying for specific questions and thinking about it and coming to conclusions and having faith and then asking for confirmation and it works.

I love you forever, fambly.

Hermana Ludlam

Monday, April 14, 2014

49 Lessons!

Hola Familia:

I finally got my camera to work. 

Sister Garcia and I have been on fiiiire all week. 49 lessons! We are super happy together.

Lia and her new companion, Hermana Garcia.
Hermana Garcia is so great. Her past couple companionships have been a little rough so she’s estatic that we’re working so productively. I still crack up every time she uses English-- she actually speaks pretty well just from what she learned in school. I’m not sure why I get such a kick out of the English phrases she throws in, like “Nice.” or “Gosh.” or “Not anymore.”

One Spanish phrase I’ve picked up from her is how she always says “Ya estuvo” which is yucateca for “it already happened,” like, “it doesn’t matter anymore” or “whatever.” Last week we had a traumatic spider-killing (the first of about 10 in our new house--they are the big palm-sized kind), and after the frenzy of tennis-shoe smashing and shrieking subsided she looked down at it and said, after a second, “Ya estuvo.”

 "Los Almendros" where Lia loved the live musicians.
We are teaching a family that was a reference from a couple in our ward. They invited them over for a family night with us and they wanted to keep listening (that would be an excellent idea for you guys, by the way). At first it was just the parents, Luci y Carlos, that wanted to listen and were thrilled at all the tools the church has for building strong families. But they were told us “our teenage daughters are never home, and they’ll never want to listen.” Never underestimate the power of the Spirit. We caught the daughters late one night because they are on vacation for La Semana Santa (Holy Week). They both accepted fechas (dates). I LOVE seeing them kneel in prayer together as a family. I love seeing how the restored gospel
A Lovely Park in Mulsay.

Since starting the intercambios (exchanges, the trainers meet with different sisters for a short visit and help with training) with the sisters I’m in charge of, I’ve learned a lot about judging. At first I was really worried because I was afraid it was wrong to try to look for people’s problems and try to judge what they needed to work on. I realized the way I judge is a mix of righteous judging and the bad kind of judging. The talk “‘Judge Not’ and Judging” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks really helped me. More on that next week.

Thank you all for your emails. 

Mucho amor,
Hna Ludlam

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Did Conference not blow your socks off?!?

Hola Familia,

Did Conference not blow your socks off?!? I think if I had to pick three or four things I had been thinking about the most in the past few months, they would be: How to Know What Truth is, How to Be Obedient, How Christ Actually Loved People, and The Family's Role in Eternal Happiness. And they just happened to be the theme of the entire conference.

It makes me feel like Heavenly Father really is thinking about me. He really wants me, Sister Ludlam, to be able to be with Him and to grow and progress. He really takes into account the things I am struggling with and then finds ways to help me. Of all the wonderful things in my mission, I think this sense-- well really this perspective change-- of my personal relationship with my Father is one of the most important things that has changed in me. Even though my understanding of this relationship has changed drastically since I left home, I still feel like it’s in the baby stages. And even that tiny taste of what He is really like makes me want nothing more in the entire world than to be with Him.

Guys didn’t everything that they said about families make you SO EXCITED? The joy of eternal life IS being with families. It IS Love. But this love that brings a fulness of joy is not natural; it is something that only comes through Christ-- by living the principles and ordinances He has taught us. Good thing we have the restored gospel.

I love you all, by the way.
Lia's sisters had a little fun with her photo.

I also can’t tell you how much I love prophets. I have never felt a sense of urgency before to know what they are saying, because I think I have never had such a hunger for truth before or so suddenly aware of how rare real truth is. It's so nice to be able to hear someone talk and be able to trust what they are saying, because I know they have authority from God. Prophets are such a good idea.

I wish I could send you pictures of Hermana Garcia! For some reason, even though all the pictures are on the card when it’s in my camera, the drive shows up empty no matter what computer I plug it into. Maybe it’s the card reader. I'll try a different cable next week.

Anyway, it’s been a great week. It started off a little edgy because I’ve never had to be a companion with someone who wasn’t either a trainer or a trainee, because usually either my trainer had her habits of how to do things and I had none, or I had my habits and my trainee had none. But with Hna. Garcia, the BOTH of us have our ways of doing things and we’ve had to figure out how to reconcile. But it’s been groovy.  The words of Elder W. Craig Zwick about how to communicate and empathize are so true.

Wish I had time to write about what she’s like. Next week!

Hermana Ludlam