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

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Baptisms and Botched Transfers

Hola Familia,

I had actually been getting kind of homesick before the call, which hadn’t happened before. I actually thought of you guys and I felt sick. But after the call, I felt all better and now I’m able to concentrate.

Centenario Zoo in Mérida
I know we couldn’t really communicate super well because of the background noise, but I liked it better than when I talk to all of you together, because I feel like we talk about more superficial stuff when it’s not one-on-one. And I don’t really get a feel for how you are doing individually. So I thought it was great.  I WISH I could have had another hour with you though.

Ava, I pretty much wrote you a talk that I was going to give to you. I’ll write part of it in my fambly letters and part of it to your email. 

Here is some family counsel. PLEASE continue in your musical endeavors (that means practicing.). There are lots of things that money can buy in life that really don't give you all that much happiness, but MUSIC is one thing I wish everyone could afford. If I could give one thing to people in Mexico (besides the gospel), it would be first learning how to read and second, being able to really learn music. Even if you guys don’t want to stick with violin because you love violin, stick with it so you can learn how to be a musician. It’s something you can’t do without practice and a lot of routine work, but it’s also priceless. 
Angel's Baptism

Can you tell, I miss music a little bit...?

This is a picture at Angel's baptism (his brother Rolando is the blur, his mama Angeles, Eurinice, Lia, and Hermana Garcia.) Angel can recite you his folletos (pamphlets)and the sacrament prayer. And he already started inviting his friends over to his house to meet with us.

Rosa's Baptism
And Hermana Rosa cannot read, but her retention of gospel information is incredible. We use lots of images and props, and she can even explain principles like apostasy and priesthood. She had to be baptized 6 times before Hermano Willy sort of man-handled her under. She didn’t like getting wet I think.

And... the touristy picture! In a once-in-a-life-time opportunity, Cinco de Mayo fell on a lunes (Monday). The Centenario Zoo in Centro is never open on lunes (p-day) except for last week. There were a lot of ties and white shirts at the zoo that day. It was an impressively high-quality zoo. Lots of Kitties... 

Thank you for the humility quote, Mum! I think one of the most valuable skills I’ve learned on my mission is how to pray and get results (pretty much how to work the system). God can only give us specific answers when we ask specific questions. And God won’t give us things unless we ask, because it denies our agency to give us help we don’t want, or if we don’t demonstrate that we want His help by asking for it. So I pretty much pray about everything. I’ve realized my whole life my prayers were never really a communication with God, just talking to myself or a ask-thank sort of interaction--instead of communicating both ways. It takes faith and hope to ask for specific things, and it takes faith and trust to be looking for the specific answers throughout the day.

Oh you guys-- it was a mission nightmare come true! Last night (at like 11 pm) our district leader called us to tell me and Hermana Garcia were staying together (hooray). And so we were happy and went to bed contentedly thinking of the wonderful, worry-free p-day we were going to have the next day. And then the next morning we just happened to be talking with Elder Olson who casually asked what Hna Garcia thought of her new transfer. And we were like “Elder, that’s not a funny joke,” but he was dead serious. You guys THEY MESSED UP OUR CAMBIOS (transfers). That’s a big deal! Cambios are a very emotionally-invested affair.

So we called the assistant and learned that Hermana Garcia was moving to Chitchinitza with a different companion and we were supposed to be at the stake center in an hour! So amid the tears of Hermana Garcia we start shoving all of her stuff into suitcases and trying to do the last-minute cleaning and... ya estuvo. Mi nueva compañera es (My new companion’s name is) Hermana de Leon, who is everybody’s favorite sister missionary. She is SO sweet and composed and just kind of like having a mom. She is from Mexico but lived in PORTLAND for a few years. Pictures next week.

Also, I gave a lesson in Young Women’s class on Sunday about modesty that I want to write about next week too.

Eternal Love,
Hermana Ludlam 

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