Monday, April 27, 2015

{Week 72} Polanco - April 27, 2015

So I don't know how much time I'm going to get to write you all... I'm in the mission office. We get to do new missionary training today - that should be fun. In a bit, someone is going to come get us to take us to the CCM (MTC in Mexico City) - the old benemerito and we're going to pick up the new missionaries then come back and train them all day. Tonight we'll be sleeping in the President's house, tomorrow are changes in the morning, and all afternoon we'll be with the missionaries that are leaving. We'll sleep in the President's house again, then take some missionaries to the airport, and then finally get back to the area to work Wednesday in the afternoon!

Jordy! Congrats on your college graduation! And congrats on cutting out carbs! I'm so proud of you!
And Dad, I loved your letter, even if it was slightly trunky.
As for the airport, I don't really care. I'm just excited to give you all a hug. I'd love to have my grandparents there.

So this week was filled with a bit more bad news...

We dropped Jorge. We realized that he's pretty much a pathological liar - He lies about everything and invents fantasies - he told us he had a kid and 6 girlfriends, but that he wanted to change his life... we prayed about it then dropped him, and it's sad, but we feel good about that decision. When he's ready he'll progress.

And Rosa won't be getting baptized anytime soon. We went to visit her one day, and she was super excited. But then that night she and her ex-boyfriend of three years got back together. So they both came to talk to us the next day. She and he told us of their love for one another - it was honestly really sweet. And we had already mentioned to her about the temple and eternal marriage, and she had shared that stuff with him, so they both came to the appointment with a desire to get married and be together forever. And she was super excited about her baptism, And Israel (her boyfriend) wanted to learn more about the church too... but the problem is that they aren't married. But to get married, they first have to get divorced. They're both married to other people - they've been separated from their spouses for over ten years, but they just never bothered to get divorced. And their spouses don't want to give them a divorce - just to be difficult. So it's going to cost a ton of money and it's going to take a loooong time. When we told Rosa that she wouldn't be able to get baptized until they were both divorced and married, she cried so hard. I've never seen someone with such a desire to get baptized after such a short time. And Israel was also crying super hard, because he knew that if he and Rosa hadn't gotten back together, she could have gotten baptized. And he felt so sad that he was stopping her from getting what she wanted. But we talked a lot with them about faith and endurance, and on Sunday they both came to church with us as well as their 7 year old son Victor (Victor loves the church by the way!). They're such a great little family - they've started working on their divorce, and their plan is to just keep coming to church until they can get baptized - Israel told us after an appointment ''divorce us, marry us, and baptize us.'' We love them and we're going to keep visiting them once a week to help them keep up their plans, but it's really sad. We felt so bad for them.

But Carlos is doing great. And Edith (the mom of the other Edith that just got baptized) is working on getting married too, so that she can get baptized May 10th.

We did a stake activity the other day - it was a lot of fun. It was called ''A Day in the Mission''. At 8am, we went to the stake center, and there, they split us up with a bunch of youth. And we did divisions all day with the youth - that was fun. They studied with us, then worked with us the whole day. We all went back to the stake center that night, and then we had a testimony meeting. It was a really fun experience - it was super hot that day, so we were all exhausted (and I got sunburned). But it was awesome to hear all the experiences that the youth had. I was with a 15 year old girl named Atziry. She was really sweet but really shy... but we got along well and we enjoyed the day. We spent almost the whole day in the street contacting because for some reason no one was home... but it was a good time.

''A Day in the Mission'' Us with our comps. Hna Ingram was in a trio.

And on Sunday we got to go to see my investigator Raul from Oriental get baptized ! That was awesome. Super special and it was really nice to see.

Raul's baptism! Me, Hno Arturo, Raul, Hna Ramirez and Hna Luque
But I've got to go now! I love you all tons and hope you all have a great week! Be good, say your prayers, and enjoy your week!
Love you :)
-Hermana Taylor

I'm back! False alarm, I have more time to write.

So this week we did divisions - that was a lot of fun. I stayed in P--, and Hna Tirado - one of the new sisters, came with me. She's great and has a ton of potential. She'll be a great missionary.

And on Friday we got to go to the Mission Leadership Meeting. It was all the Zone Leaders, the Assistants, the President and his wife, and us! And we had to do a capacitation there. We were given the topic of The Book of Mormon, and we decided to focus more in how we can receive and apply personal revelation from the Book of Mormon in our lives. It went really well.

And I have to go!


Monday, April 20, 2015

{Week 71} Polanco - April 20, 2015

So this has been a pretty interesting week! Lots of cool stuff happening :)

Carlee, I will be wanting my clothes back. lol
According to the Color Code, I'm half blue and half white.
We did get to listen in on Hna Ingram's sister's mission call. She's going to Peru. That was pretty cool.

This week our Sister Training Leader duties included a training meeting for all the new missionaries that are about to complete their first cycle in the mission - but nobody told us about the meeting until it had already started, so we arrived late. Oops! Our new phrase is ''vamos a wing-it'' (we're going to wing-it) because we've had lots of unexpected teaching/training experiences. And we got to teach Institute! We gave a ten minute thing at the beginning of a class and we talked about what the YSA (Young Single Adults) can do to share the gospel. It went really well.

I'm loving being with Hna Ingram. We're getting along well and we do work really well together - She always laughs at me when I try to speak English because it's more of a Spanglish lol. We're a good team.

We had a ward movie night and watched Charly. I cried. So did the whole ward.

So on a bad note... I was used to getting a couple catcalls a day, but now that I'm with another white girl, we get A TON of catcalls. And some of them are just plain rude and dirty. Hna Ingram always gets mad when it happens. And the other night, we were on our way home, when a car passed by slowly, and the driver called out ''Taxi... for free...'' we speed-walked away, and he flipped a u-turn and followed us, and called out again! But then he went off the other direction and stopped bothering us. But we've seen his car a couple times this last week in the street. We're avoiding that street at night.

But on a good note, we're seeing a ton of miracles!

So last week, Hna Ingram and I saw a lady in the street and we both felt like we should contact her, so we did, and she gave us her address and an appointment. We went to the appointment, and knocked on the door, and this guy came out. Turned out that she lied to us and gave us a false address. But, we started talking to the guy, and he let us come back and visit him. We've been teaching him the last week, and yesterday he came to church! His name is Carlos and he is 54 years old. He's doing really well and we've got some high hopes for him! We haven't gotten the chance to talk to his family yet, but hopefully this week! And Gustavo is fellow-shipping him.

And Jorge is finally progressing! I don't know why we keep trying with him - normally we drop investigators fast if they don't progress. But we've kept working with him these last five months, and this time something is definitely different. The other day he was completely honest with us and just completely opened up. He told us everything - how he felt, what things he needed help with, and a ton of other stuff. We had a really great lesson with him, and we're praying so hard that he'll keep going strong with his desire to change completely.

And we're also teaching another of Adolfo's friends. (He always has a ton of references!) Her name is Rosa, and she's 33. She's great - the first lesson we didn't really have much time, so we just talked a bit about how praying and reading the scriptures and going to church and keeping the commandments would help her come closer to God and would change her life. She completely opened up, and she and I were crying. Then we invited her to get baptized, and without knowing anything about the church, she said yes! She's progressing really well - she has a really big desire to change and be a better person. She's had a tough life - her dad abused her, and she moved in with her boyfriend when she was 13. She was a drug addict, and did some bad stuff to get her hands on drugs - she was even a prostitute for awhile. But these last few years she's been getting her life back in order. And she loves everything we teach her. She has a little boy named Victor who's 7, and he is the cutest little boy - super nice and polite. They both came to church on Sunday and loved it.

It's been amazing to see how people's lives change when they hear the gospel. A lot of the people here have some really rough pasts. They tell us their stories and we cry with them - it's so sad sometimes to hear about the stuff they've gone through. But to see the joy that they feel as they completely change their lives around is amazing. And to be one of the Lord's servants and help these people receive the restored gospel and the blessings that come with it is an experience so amazing - I love it here. I love the people here. One of my favorite scriptures is Alma 31:34-35. Everyone here on the earth has already decided to follow Jesus. They just don't remember. And if we put our trust in the Lord and open our mouths to share all that He has given us, we can help them remember and be brought unto Him again. I love everyone here. Even the cat-callers. Like Alma says ''their souls are precious and many of them are our brethren''.

I've been thinking that maybe when I come home I'll give you all a hug in the airport, then just get back on the plane and come back to Mexico. I love you all and can't wait to see you again, but I always knew that I would get to come back and be with you all again. But the people here have a big part of my heart, and when I go home, it's likely that there are some people here that I will never see again in this life. And that makes me sad because I love them.

So in three weeks it's Mother's Day - any particular time you want me to call? It's funny because last year, I was anxiously counting down the days till I got to skype with you. And at Christmas it was the same. But right now, I'm not as anxious! I think it's cuz I'll talk to ya'll, and a month later I'll be there with you!

I love you all tons. You're in my prayers always. Be good, say your prayers, and enjoy softball season!

Lots of love,
-Hermana Taylor

This picture is from Veronica - a sister in my first ward that helped me a ton. This is from when we went to visit Aculco awhile ago.

Monday, April 13, 2015

{Week 70} Polanco - April 13, 2015

Hello my dear family!

Dad, I forgot to mention it last week, but I did love your poem.
Thanks Jordy, Carlee and Jenna for the letters! I love hearing from you all.

So this week, my duties as a Sister Training Leader included one set of divisions and two training meetings. On Tuesday morning we went to the interviews with the president, and while one by one the people passed for interviews, the assistants and us did some training stuff. And then Tuesday night, we did divisions. Hna Martinez (she's new, about three weeks in the mission) went with Hna Ingram, and I went with Hna Santos in her area! Hna Santos goes home in June with us. So divisions was fun! I enjoyed that a ton. And then on Friday we went to a meeting for the district leaders and we got to teach a part there too. I'm enjoying it - but the part that I don't like is that we're away from our area a lot. It's less time in the street knocking on doors, but it's good!

And Hna Ingram! She's great - she's my first American comp, but we almost always speak Spanish. And when we do speak English she laughs at me because I stink at English lol. We're working hard - the first week was a bit rough (it always is, getting used to a new comp and all that) and then Saturday night we were cutting out movie tickets (we're going to have a ward movie night and watch The Other Side of Heaven) and we just started talking. We had a really great chat, and got to know each other better, and now we're feeling really united! Sunday we had a great lesson with a new investigator named Carlos. The spirit was strong and things were just flowing - it went really well.
Hna Ingram and I

And we're teaching Jorge again! This 17 year old kid has been the most challenging investigator - but it's like things have changed this time. He's stopped smoking, and he's a lot humbler now. Before it was kind of like a game to him - but we think that he actually wants it now. He's got a date for May 3rd - we're hoping and praying that this time everything will work out.

And we had a baptism on Sunday! Edith is 16, and she and her mom showed up by themselves at church one day - they have a friend that's an RM, and he was always talking about the church, so one day they went! Her mom, also named Edith, is also planning to get baptized one day - she just has to marry her common law spouse first, but he's in the army so is never around. They've both agreed to get married, so now we're just waiting till he gets back so they can do it and then she can get baptized. The baptism was really sweet - Hna Luque and Hna Ramirez came, because it was Hna Luque and Hna Ingram that taught this family. So that was really nice to see those two and give them a hug.
The baptism! Hna Ingram, Sergio's wife, Sergio (the RM friend), Edith, Edith the mom, Edith's little sister, Edith's aunt, me!

 The really blue baptism water. We dye it, because if we don't it's a greenish brown.
And the Bishop's brother died. Hyrum was young, about 26 years old, but had some special needs. But he was super smart and kept things organized at church. They always knew that he would die young. It was sad - the first time I saw everyone in the ward again was at his funeral. But I'm glad I could be there. I'm pretty close to several members of the family, and I was happy I could be there to hug them and comfort them. The Bishop has been really sad - I think it hit him pretty hard.  I really do love him and his family. They try hard. And I'm glad I can be here with them in this time.

And we had interviews with the President! That was great. I love talking to him - I can feel the spirit with everything he says, and I'm so glad he's my Mission President.

And remember Isabel? my best friend here in P--? She's my age, and tomorrow she leaves on her mission! She's going to Queretaro, Mexico. I'm super happy for her, but I'm going to miss her tons. She and I got along great. We are really good friends and she always came with us for our appointments (she's the YW's Pres).

And today some members in our ward took us to centro (downtown) to buy some stuff. I was looking for a Mexican Dress, but didn't find a cheap one that I liked. Hna Ingram and I bought some dishes though! And then we went and ate by the old Cathedral, Xocalo. We ate on the roof top of one of the buildings. I loved it!

Chilakiles - really yummy!

Food in a Molcajete - super delicious!
I was thinking about it a lot today, and I seriously love this place. I love the culture, the food, the people, the language... This country is amazing, and I would love to come back someday and bring you guys with me. It's amazing here. I feel so blessed that I have the the privilege to share the gospel here in this amazing country with these amazing people. It makes me so sad that I have to leave here soon. Mom, don't feel too bad about crying over an airplane - there are TONS of airplanes here, and every time I see them I get a knot in my throat. I can't believe that I've been here 16 months. It's gone by so fast. I'm excited to see you all again, but I'm thinking maybe I'll just give you all a hug in the airport and then get back on the plane and head back to Mexico lol. It is a privilege and a blessing to be serving the people of Mexico. They are amazing and I love them.

I hope you all have a great week. I love you all tons. Be good, say your prayers, and love everybody.

Con amor,
Hermana Taylor

My Mexican dishes!

Moving Day Pictures

 We got a few extra pictures from Hermana Stutznegger of our missionary moving to her new area.

Hermana's Ingram, Taylor and Luque.

Monday, April 6, 2015

{Week 69} Polanco - April 6, 2015

Hi family!

Katia, you look like the best Spiderman ever!
I'm looking into how to bring mole home... apparently it's one of those things that is illegal to take across the border!

So Wednesday night, I was sitting calmly in my house when the President called! And he asked me to be the new Sister Training Leader! That made me super nervous but I accepted. Then he told me that there would be some changes! He wants the Sister Training Leaders to be comps, so Hna Ingram is my new companion. Then the only question was if she was going to come to O-- with me, or if I'd return to P--.  He said we could make that decision. For me, there was never any doubt. I knew the moment he told me, that I'd be going back to P--. And praying about it only confirmed my feelings. So I'm back in P--! And I'll be here for my last 2 months! I'm going to have eleven months in total here! Hijoles! I was pretty sad to leave Hna Ramirez. She's so sweet - Hna Luque is now with her until she finishes her mission in three weeks. And I loved living with Hna Gurley and Llaguarima - we had a blast the four of us living there. And I'm going to miss the area. When Raul found out, he just about cried. He called me about six times to say goodbye. I was only there two months, but I was sad to say goodbye to Paquita and Rodolfo, Jessy, Nicolee and Gabi, and a ton of other families. This morning the president came and picked me up and took me to P--, so now I'm here with Hna Ingram! My first American companion since the MTC!

 Hna Ingram, President, Me, Hna Luque

I loved Conference! I watched the Saturday afternoon session in English, but the other three I watched in Spanish. I could feel the spirit strong and it helped me a lot to hear all the testimonies of the Prophets about the Savior. Sunday morning, before conference, I read all the part in Jesus the Christ about His betrayal, the trial, the crucifixion and the resurrection. I went in our room to read it alone, and the sun was shining through the window and it was so beautiful. I felt the spirit really strongly, and again when the prophets spoke about Christ. I know that He is our Savior and our Redeemer, and is literally helping us in every moment. I loved it! I also really loved the talk when he said ''I can teach you the dance, but it's up to you to hear the music''. He was talking about teaching our children, but I applied it to those investigators. And Elder Bednar's talk was super special for me too. And Raul came to all of the sessions and loved it too! I also broke the news about the changes to all the members there, and took a ton of pictures! Love conference weekend!

Jessy and Nicolee - two of my favorite people ever!

So on Monday I went to P-- to visit! How ironic that a week later I'm back here to work. Everyone is doing great. Adolfo is getting the Melquesidec Priesthood next week. Gustavo just got the Aaronic Priesthood and will bless the sacrament on Sunday. Edger and Lorena are still going strong. Josefina and Ana Maria both are excited to enter in the temple some day. And I saw the familia Maldonado - Isabel is going on her mission to Querataro Mexico and leaves in a week. It was so great to see them all - and now I'm BACK! I thought that was funny....

And this week was Semana Santa (Holy Week) so the Catholics have a huge party. They crucify a guy in Iztapalapa ( a part of of the city) and everybody is partying and there is no school for two weeks... so we didn't find a ton of people in their houses (everybody goes on vacation) but we still found three new people! And one of them (five minutes into the lesson) said ''I would like to be baptized.'' Another we knocked on her door and she let us pass right in (that doesn't happen a lot here) and told us that she had a lot of confidence in us from the moment that she met us. They're great, and hopefully they progress! I won't be there to see it.

And Raul is amazing. We went to the temple on Wednesday and he loved it. It was so funny because his fellowshipper came too - Hno A.  And the sister missionaries there showed us a video about the Word of Wisdom because he's still working on that. The video was about a girl who does judo and she talked a lot about the importance of taking care of our bodies. And Hno A (the member) said ''I didn't really like this video. Judo is very violent. You could get hurt doing that. That's not taking care of your body. It would be better if we did simple sports that don't include so much danger.'' The poor sister missionary! She had to explain that in Martial Arts there is a ton of discipline and stuff like that. It was hilarious! Raul made me promise to come to his baptism on the 25th. So keep praying for him, because he's great!

Raul and us after the conference. He's the funniest person ever!

And Friday we couldn't work or leave the house... so we played Hockey! haha  Hna Gurley made some hockey sticks out of the broom sticks and she and I fought it out for awhile. Haha  I won. It's in the Canadian blood. And we watched some church movies, we chatted, we ate spaghetti... it was a fun day! I really enjoyed having four of us in the house - a lot more stuff to do with more people there! And we talked a lot... about a lot of different things. It was good bonding time. :)

This was the outdoor gym at my last house...

They surprised me last night with a going away cake. Love them! Hna GurleyHna Ramirez, Hna Llaguarima

So yeah! Some crazy changes, but all is well! I'm excited to get to work and give all I've got. I love being a missionary. I know that this is His work and He is the one directing it. We're just instruments in His hands. I loved the chance to attend conference. What a blessing to be able to listen to the words of the prophets every six months. They are truly men called of God, and I know that when we follow them, we are following God. Haha and I loved it when Pres Uchtdorf started speaking German lol.

I love you all tons. I hope you all have a great week. Be good say your prayers and read your scriptures!
-Hermana Taylor

My old district leader Elder Moreno and Elder Keyes  - the Canadian from Calgary.

The view from my last roof top.