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

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Training a Brand New Americana

Hola Familia,

I am going to be a trainer again! And I already know it’s going to be una Americana because only two sisters are coming this transfer and they are both Americans.

That means hopefully I will be able to send you pictures tomorrow.

Here are some pictures of people that I love.
La famila Canto Chan de Barrio Mulsay. L to R: Lia, Hna Tere, Hno Saul, Said, Daniel, Hassiv, Hna Tere cuts hair and makes empanadas and then goes and sells them on her trici with Said. Sometimes she gives us the extras. 
Lia, Hna Carr, Hna Alba, Hna Rosaura (the most saintly woman ever), una niña, Andres, otra hija de Hna Rosaura, otro hijo de Hno Rosaura, y Nery.

I will have to tell you more later.
Hna Ludlam 

Monday, October 20, 2014

How to spell "MILK" in Spanish

Querida Familia,

On the blue box you may discover how to spell "Milk" in Spanish!  Yes, that does say "combined with vegetable oil", too.

Picture to the right: Our district. L to R: Hna Carr, Lia, Elder Mesa, Elder Ortiz (lider de zona), Elder Chappell (lider de distrito), Hna Martinez (my superhero), y Hna Argueta. Solo faltamos Elder Candelaria (he's the other lider de zona and is also super potente).

That was a super-potente package, guys, thank you. I am using everything in it. My favorite things in the world to get are letters and granola bars. (If you are going to send something to a missionary and don’t know what to send, send letters and granola bars.) And THANK YOU, Bup, for sending the music and player. I feel very spoiled. :)

I was walking down the street the other day and realized, “Wait a second. My mission is NOT ending soon. I have 6 more months.” I had a like a week of feeling a little trunqui (trunky = ready to pack your bags to go home!) but I realized I need to snap out of it. 

I love Hermana Carr. She is a beautiful person. Nos desahogamos muy bien juntas (we are able to unburden/ de-stress well together), usually during breakfast or while we’re sitting in our hamacas. We think a lot about the same things, so we can just talk and talk and talk.  We’re also really good at pointing out our problems and being feedback-givers. I’m going to miss her a lot. Transfers are this Sunday. :-(

Heavenly Father really does answer specific questions. But he also does it according to the “intentness” of our desire. I think that’s why he usually does it line upon line, precept upon precept. Hermana Carr and I had a lot of problems knowing what we are supposed to teach in the first lesson because we received a lot of confusing instruction from our leaders. And the first lesson is the most important, so it made us feel like really bad missionaries because, even though we have been giving first lessons our whole mission, we suddenly felt like we had no idea what to do.

But for about two weeks we prayed (frequently and out loud) about it and poco a poco (little by little) we studied it and practiced it and we’ve gotten to a point where we now feel decently comfortable about it. And people are accepting mas fechas en la primera lección (setting dates in the first lesson).

In case you want to know what we do, our first lesson is:

[How to Begin Teaching]
1. The first paragraph of How to Begin Teaching (Preach My Gospel, Teaching Skills) plus a few other personal questions (i.e. why they want to listen to us, or what is hard in their life that they wish was better--the point is to find what the gospel can help them with.)
2. Based on what we learned from step one, we use a few of the 10 Points of How to Begin Teaching
3. Sing Hymn (usually I am a Child of God)
4. Teach how and why we pray, and invite them to give the prayer at the end. One of us prays.

[God is Our Loving Heavenly Father]
5. Teach the newly-added principle of the Godhead (God and Christ both have bodies and are two different people, and they are also different from the Spirit.) 
We then explain what the GOAL of those three beings (bring to pass eternal life of man), and then describe the functions of the three using the principles:  God is Our Loving Heavenly Father. That was the hardest part for us because at the beginning we really didn’t understand that principle. (Go study this section for two weeks!)  At some point, explain the purpose of the Spirit (help us recognize truth) and explain how to know when you are feeling the Spirit.

[Baptismal Invitation]
6. Sometimes the next part is going out on a wing with the Spirit to tie their need into baptism, but usually it involves something like:

“God has provided us a (singular, definitive) way to have success in this life and return with Him in the next” which then leads us to the Restoration-- that if they aren’t LIVING the RESTORED gospel, they can’t have eternal life. Tah-dah! baptism with proper authority.

OR, another option, when mentioning “The Atonement is a central part of God's plan,” we explain how in order to FULLY make use of the Atonement (be comforted, be enabled, be forgiven) we have to make authorized covenants with God. Tah-dah! baptism with proper authority to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 

Invite to be baptized.

7. We then explain the Restoration briefly to explain restored authority to baptize/restored doctrine.
8. Briefly explain how the Book of Mormon teaches that doctrine and give them a copy.
9. Commit them to READ the Book of Mormon and the Restoration pamphlet, PRAY if it is true, and GO to church that Sunday.
10. Make the next appointment and ask who they can invite to be here the next time.
11. They pray. We congratulate them.
12. Next appointment!

Of course, all very subject to changes according to the Spirit.

Love you all a lot. I imagine you’ll probably hear about a new companion next week...

Hermana Ludlam

Monday, October 13, 2014

One Year Anniversary in the Mission!

Querida Familia,

I cumple-d a year today (she reached her one-year anniversary in the mission). Something tells me Mom already knew that.

These pictures are from Hermana Pinguelo's birthday party with our zone.

Here is an inspiring story:

There is a real-deal member in our area named Isabel. I love her immensely. She’s probably 70 but still completely with it, and she takes us to go visit her other 70-year-old friends who are clearly not on the same mental level as she is. And she really understands the gospel. I had always been wondering, why is Hermana Isabel so sharp? So yesterday, I decided to finally ask: “Hermana Isabel, do you know how to read?”  And she said, “Ýes.” I asked, “Did you go to school?” She says, “Back when I was young and beautiful, I went around making all of the boys fall in love with me. But one day, one of them sent me a letter. I wanted so badly to know what the letter said, but I had never gone to school. I couldn’t ask someone else to read me the letter because I was embarrassed and didn’t want any of my girlfriends to know what it said.” So she goes and teaches herself to read! 

Someone had been holding a class outside of her pueblo and so every day a la 1 en la tarde (at 1 pm in the afternoon) she and her other amiga walk to class.  She practices every day for an hour and after several weeks, she finally reads her letter.

Later, when she sends her first son on a mission, she realized she knew how to read, but had never learned how to write. She could read the letters her son sent to her, but she couldn’t send letters to him. So she decides she’s going to learn how to write. She gets all the books in her house and searches in her books for every single word she wants to say in her letter to see how it’s written and practices it. She said her first letter took her over a week to write.

I wanted to share that story as an evidence of:

1. GO READ BOOKS BECAUSE IT MAKES YOU SMARTER.  Also, gospel living requires gospel understanding. Learning how to learn from books and school makes it a lot easier to learn the essential truths of the gospel (that ONLY come through study)

2.  That you can do anything when you are properly motivated.
Hermana Carr shared a great quote with me: 'If you find that you have not fulfilled a goal in life, it's because you never really intended it.'

I love you guyz. I got a package today! With pumpkins on it. I have not looked in it yet, but THANK YOU!

Hermana Ludlam

Monday, October 6, 2014

What motivates me to go and share the gospel?

Querida familia,

Has conference always been that good… and I’ve just been missing it this whole time?

I think what made the difference of how much I enjoyed conference is that as a missionary, I’ve realized that the General Authorities are prophets of the world, not just the church. When I have that mindset, I realize the NEED to share the pure truths we are hearing with other people. The scripture I hear in conference is evidence to combat all of the false ideas that are out there. I think I was not aware of the other non-truths that are OUT there before becoming a missionary.

And because I’ve never been so aware of my own spiritual needs. In the mission I put a lot of thought into identifying them and writing them down. And then when Heavenly Father fills my empty glass to overflowing during Conference, I can appreciate it more.

This is what motivates me to go and share the gospel with other people--what I want other people to have, too:

1) Joy I feel in General Conference from hearing truth.
2) Joy of finding an answer in the Book of Mormon.
3) Peace I feel in the temple.
4) Joy from the feelings of love I feel for my family and my extended family.

Mucho amor,
Hna. Ludlam
Hermana Carr, Lia , y Hermano Jesus. He has been writing to my personal email this whole time about his post-baptism experience. Before the Conference, he printed them all out and gave them to me in a big packet!
At our ward family night, a performance of the "Tree of Life" vision.The ward told the missionaries that we were in charge of the performance about three hours before it started.  I narrated. The broom is the tree of life. We made fruit out of wads of toilet-paper.

La Familia Gonzales de Garcia Gineres. They are friends of the Luis Cardenas family in Bellevue, WA. Vanessa, Hassibe, Lia, Lorena y Miguel.