Monday, December 29, 2014

Bobby pins don't work quite as well as keys


I don't have a whole lot of time to write this week because Hermana Canul and I decided we would celebrate because Christmas is just around the corner by going to Wal-mart for todays P-day activities.  Wal-mart is a big deal here because you can find everything you need all in one's awesome.  However it is 45 min away from where we live so we only go there on special occasions, and today is one of them:)  I will try and write fast though so you can hear the latest updates of this weeks adventures!

Last Monday for P-day Hermana Canul and I decided we would go get our hair cut.  And well, the good news is that hair grows back right?:)  If I don't send pictures home for a little while you'll know why...

Another day this week my lovely companion decided that we didn't need the keys to the house and left them on the table.  Long story short, bobby pins don't work quite as well as house we ended up calling the Land Lord to bring us a spare.  After trying all the keys he had the Land Lord realized that he didn't have a spare to our front door.  I explained how I have practice with getting in a locked door and that I could do it easily...but we would need a new doorknob afterwards.  Not knowing what else to do he told me I could go ahead and break in.  Luckily before doing so I thought of something else that might work.  There is a door in the back of the house too that is also locked that I suggested he tried his spare keys in.  However, the back of our house is surrounded by a ten foot high wall.  So he got his ladder out and went around back and climbed over the wall.  Luckily one of the keys worked and we were able to get in.  Since then we decided we would bring the house keys with us everyday.:)

This week was so great and was full of several hard days of work and several miracles we were able to see as well.  We were able to witness first-hand the power and Spirit of the Lord's work and feel his love for us and for those that we teach.  The church is true!  There is no doubt in my mind of the power of this gospel.

We have a new mission rule of bug nets!  This is our Bishop installing them over our beds

I love you guys! Have a great week.

Love, Hermana Peine

World War 3 Christmas Morning


It was great to talk to you guys on Christmas Eve!  However it was quite a bit more difficult than I thought it would be speaking in English again. It is one thing to write letters to you guys once a week in English, but it is another thing to speak it.  We speak Spanish all day everyday here and I haven't spoken English in quite some time.  I felt awkward speaking it again being here in Mexico.  But that's o.k. it was great to be able to talk to and see you guys.  You look like you're doing well.:)

I hope you all had a great Christmas, we did here.  At least I think it was Christmas...I'm still not completely convinced it was real.  The calendar said it was Dec 25 but it was too hot outside for that to be true.  We had our Christmas dinner as missionaries on the 23....Hamburgers and french fries, I felt right at home;).  The dinner ended late and we had district meeting the next day early in the morning so we spent the night in Tapachula. We stayed at the sister training leaders house along with the other 2 hermanas from Cacahoatan.  6 sister missionaries, 1 bathroom and 2 was pretty crazy! To sleep we pushed the 2 beds together and the 4 of us laid across them horizontally.  There was an extra twin mattress in the house that the other 2 sisters used.  As you can imagine it was a night of musical chairs with the sleeping arrangements.  After a little while I decided the floor was the best option if I wanted to get any sleep and that's where I spent the night.  I don't think any of us got much sleep if any at all, but it sure made for a good story:)  The next night was the 24th.  Hermana Canul and I were so excited to catch up on some much needed sleep.  However, the people here in Mexico are not aware that the missionary bedtime is at midnight the sky exploded with fireworks and people yelling and celebrating. I awoke in a panic from a very deep sleep thinking we were in the middle of World War 3! Apparently they celebrate holidays different here....

Christmas morning I woke up and opened my Christmas package.  As I was opening it I felt as if something was missing.  I walked over to my study desk and picked up our family picture and brought it back to where I was.  I set the picture up so I could see it and opened my package,  It was just like I was right at home with the family:)  After breakfast we went to work as usual.  We were able to find several people to teach and share a message about the true meaning of Christmas and the birth of Christ.  It was a great day.  It was such a great opportunity to spend Christmas in service to the Lord.

Saturday night I witnessed the greatest Christmas present I could've asked for, Fausto was baptized:)  Fausto is the 3rd member of his family to be baptized.  His mom was recently baptized a couple months ago and his older sister a few months before her.  I felt the spirit so strong as I saw another one of Heavenly Father's children enter into the waters of baptism.  Words cannot describe how great of a blessing it has been in my life to work with this family and see as the gospel has changed their lives.  My time spent in service to the Lord thus far has been the greatest gift I could've ever received and I wouldn't change it for the world.

Love, Hermana Peine

Monday, December 22, 2014

Natural Disasters

Holy cow, since when is Christmas next week? That is CRAZY!

This week was awesome.  Hermana Canul and I survived 3 natural disasters, the first of which I caused in the microwave.  On our trip to Wal-mart last week we decided to buy pop tarts because my companion has never tried them.  When it came time to prepare them I quickly glanced at the box and read "heat in microwave for 3 minutes."  So I put them in and returned to my desk to study.  After about a minute and a half I looked up to see smoke seeping out of the microwave.  I ran over to it and quickly turned it off.  I took out the plate to see an exploded and very burnt pop tart.  After cleaning up the mess I returned to look at the directions to see what I did wrong.  As I re-read the instructions I realized it said to heat in microwave for 3 seconds not minutes...oops!  After a lesson well learned the house continued to smell like burnt pop tart for the next few days.

The next natural disaster of the week was when the impossible happened...Surprise, snow in Mexico!  Yep, we got snow here...well at least my companion and I did.  Our freezer decided it wasn't Christmas without snow and snowed over the whole fridge freezing everything.  Hermana Canul has never seen snow before so she was pretty excited:).

The last natural disaster of the week was an earthquake.  Two of them actually, one right after the other.  They were both small but it was my first experience in an earthquake so I thought it was pretty awesome.

Other than surviving 3 natural disasters this week we were also able to see some amazing spiritual progress in some of our investigators.  An investigator who had been in teaching with the missionaries for 3 months now prayed for the first time.  Though it may seem like a small step the progress that came from it was amazing.  I felt like a proud parent watching a child take their first step.

Hermana Canul and I will also have the opportunity this week to watch as two of Heavenly Father's children enter the waters of baptism this Saturday.

There is no better Christmas present I could ask for than to be a part of this work and be able to help these people make these changes in their lives.  It's true what they say that Christmas is not about what you can get but what you can give.

This Christmas I invite you all to give a gift that comes from the heart, whether it be service to someone in need, friendship to someone who is lost, or the gospel to someone searching for peace.  By giving you will receive.  I love you all, have a Merry Christmas:)
Love, Hermana Peine

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Miracle

This morning we received the long awaited phone call that would decide what would happen these next 6 weeks of the mission...transfers!  As the phone rang this morning Hermana Canul and I both looked at it in fear not wanting to answer it.  As I answered the phone my district leader greeted me and then asked if we were ready to find out transfers.  Ready or not he asked me to pull out a paper and something to write with.  When I told him I was ready and he could go ahead and tell us he paused for a few seconds and then said, "Hermanas, you are staying the same, together as companions and also in Cacahoatan."  We both sighed a sigh of relief.  Yay!  I will be staying here for at least another transfer with hermana Canul.  I love this area!  The members are all so great, they feel like family to me.  I never want to leave this area.  Though I know I will have to leave at some point I am very grateful for another transfer that I get to spend here.  Hermana Canul and I have a renewed motivation to continue working harder than ever here.  We have lots of great things planned for this area and are more than excited to put them into practice.:)

This week my testimony was strengthened about the importance of opposition in all things.  Looking back on this past transfer I reflected on how much opposition we have faced.  After thinking about it I also realized how much I have grown from these times of opposition.

There truly is opposition in all things.  There are several people in this world who think that the opposition and trials we face in this world who think that the opposition and trials we face in this life is a sign that there is no God or if there is that he doesn't care.  However, it is exactly the opposite. The fact that there is opposition in all things testifies that there is a God and that he loves us very much.  It is because our Heavenly Father loves us that he gives us trials and challenges so we can learn and progress.  "For behold, this is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." Moses 1:39

God's plan for us is so glorious and so perfect.  If we will just trust him and do as he asks we will receive blessings beyond what we can comprehend.  This is the Lord's work and we are merely instruments in his hands.

Love, Hermana Peine

Monday, December 1, 2014

Baptisms, Sleeping on the Floor and Giant Spiders

What a great week it has been! This week flew by.  I cannot believe it's already Monday again, it is crazy how fast the time goes.  I also cannot believe it is December already, it doesn't seem real.  As I turned over another page of the calendar this morning it felt as if it was only a dream.  I am still in denial that it is December though, it's way to hot and humid outside to be December.  Maybe when the snow comes I will believe it (snow doesn't exist here.):)

This past week was Thanksgiving huh? I honestly forgot about it.  Thanksgiving isn't a holiday here.  However, there is a family here who is from the United States.  They are members in the ward and invited us over for Thanksgiving dinner with them along with the other missionaries. Because the other sister missionary in the area and I are Americans we felt right at home celebrating the traditional Thanksgiving with turkey, rolls, jello, sweet potato pie...the whole deal.  It was so good. They were so sweet to invite us over.  My companion didn't understand what all the celebration was all about.  I told her it had something to do with the pilgrims and Indians and we always eat a lot of food.  She was still left with quite a bit of confusion..

This past week Hermana Canul and I spent a night sleeping on the floor.  A couple weeks ago we made an agreement that we were going to contact more people.  The goal is that we can contact (or talk to people and invite them to church) at least 20 per day.  In order to make sure we did so we made an agreement that at the end of each day if we didn't have at least 20 contacts when we came home we would spend the night on the floor.  The plan worked great and was great motivation for us each day to make sure we reached our goal.  However, one day last week we returned to the house exhausted after a long day of work when we realized we hadn't completed our 20 contacts that day.  As exhausted as we were and as much as we wanted to spend the night in our beds we remembered that we had made an agreement and that with every action there is a consequence.  So we got a towel and laid it down on the cement floor and that is where we spent the night.

After a long night with little sleep it is safe to say that we learned our lesson!  We now have a renewed motivation to fulfill our goal because we have felt the effects of the consequence!

There was another night this past week where I walked out back to wash some clothes when lo and behold I saw the biggest spider I have ever seen about 5 feet in front of me on the wall behind our house.  As I stood looking in fear I called for my companion to come see.  I then ran for my camera to take a picture of this spider that was literally bigger than my hand!
As I went back in the house to put the camera away and figure out how I was going to kill it I came back outside to look at it and it had disappeared!  Long story short I spent another night with little sleep in fear of the giant spider I was sure would be waiting for me in my bed as I went to sleep!

This week I had the opportunity to see 3 of Heavenly Father's children enter into the waters of baptism.  Lupita, Noel and Victor were baptized on Saturday.  It was such a special day.  I felt like a proud parent watching my children grow up!

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary and to be even a small part of these peoples lives who we teach.  We became so close with them that they feel like family.  We cry with them we learn with them and we help them as they overcome obstacles and prepare to make covenants with our Father in Heaven.  As much as I love my family at home I honestly feel as though it will be harder to leave these people than it was to leave home.  Being a missionary has been such a blessing in my life and I never want it to end.  A year and a half spent serving the Lord is such a short but beautiful time.  But the good news is I still have over a year left:)  It is not enough, but it will have to do.  I sure love you guys!  Have a great week:)

Love, Hermana Peine

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sentenced to the House

What a week it has been!I spent the majority of the week stuck in the house, but the good news is that I got lots of studying done.:)

It all started last Monday when P-day finished and we left the house at 6 to begin proselyting.  As we started walking to our first appointment I began to notice that my ankle was hurting but I didn't think much of it and we continued walking.  By about 7:00 I realized  how many bug bites I had on my legs and feet that were very red and starting to swell up.  We continued on and by 8:00 I was limping around to get to our last appointment.  We taught our last lesson and when it ended I looked down at my feet to see how they were doing.  They didn't look like they were even my feet anymore.  It looked like someone had inflated them during the course of the lesson.  They were very red and puffed up and swollen.  When the member whose house we were in saw them she gasped and went running to find something to put on them.  She came back with a bottle of green gel which appeared to be something close to aloe vera.  She sat down and told me to put my feet up on her lap so she could put it on me.  After she had finished her and her husband told me I should go home and put my feet in salt water to help with the swelling.  So I slowly limped my way back to the house and my companion warmed up some salt water and put it in a bucket for to soak my feet in,

Everyone here really loves to help.  I have learned that if you tell someone you're sick here, members, investigators or strangers in the street, they love to give all kinds of suggestions and advice as to what you can do or use to get better.  I don't know that the aloe vera gel or the salt water really helped all too well, but the love that was shown and the intentions to help were there just the same.  It helped me feel better just by the fact that they were worried about me because they care about me and wanted to help.

So that was Monday.  Tuesday I woke up and they were even worse.  After personal study, companion study and planning we went to the Dr.  He told me it was an infection from all the bug bites I had and gave me medicine for it.  He sent us home to rest and told me I was to stay in the house until Saturday and walk as little as possible so the infection would clear up.

So I spent the next 4 days in the house.  Though I wanted to go out and work, it was a great opportunity to get some good studying done!  My companion has the Book of Mormon stories in animation on video, so I watched some of those.  My companion was able to do discussions and leave with members to teach because we had lots of appointments to be at.  By Saturday the infection was cleared up and we were able to go back to work.  It was so nice to leave the house again:).  The good news  is that this Saturday 3 of our investigators are going to be baptized.  Noel and Lupita, a married couple in their mid twenties will be baptized along with Victor, a 12 year old.  Victor will be baptized by his older brother, Carlos who is preparing to serve a mission.  They will be the only 2 members in their family after Victor is baptized and are such great examples.  I have learned a lot from them.

One of the awesome things about being a missionary is that I get to work with such great people every day.  Though we are technically the ones teaching our investigators  I often feel like I am the one who is learning from them.  We have so many investigators who have such a desire to learn.  As we teach them and help them learn and progress I feel as though I learn and progress with them.  Being able to see the changes and progression in those we teach is one of the sweetest gifts I could've ever asked for.  We often get asked if we get paid to be missionaries and for our service.  Though we don't get paid in money the opportunity to see the changes in those we teach is irreplacable.  The Lord truly does bless his servants, I am a witness of it everyday!

I sure love yoou guys!  Have a great week.  Also have a Happy Thanksgiving (that day doesn't exist here!:)

Monday, November 17, 2014

How to Change Your World

This week was awesome!  We worked so hard this past week it was ridiculous. I have never worked so hard before and I've also never been so happy doing it.  Our hard work is paying off, we currently have 10 investigators with baptismal dates.  I am so excited for them!

The day in the life of a missionary is the best!  Every morning we wake up at 6:30 and say our morning prayers.  We exercise from 6:30 to 7:00 and at 7:00 we begin to get ready for the day.  At 7:30 we eat breakfast.  Hermana Canul and I have a system where we switch off who makes breakfast every day.  This morning it was my turn.  We had french toast and scrambled eggs (both of which Hermana Canul has never eaten before.) From 8:00 to 11:00 we study, 3 hrs divided into 1 hour of personal study, 1 hour of companionship study, and an hour of language study.  At 11:00 we leave the house and begin proselyting.  At 2:00  we do what the call the comida, which is lunch, with members.  The relief society signs up for days to feed us during the week and each day we eat with whoever signed up to feed us that day.  There are tortillas present for every meal, it doesn't matter what we eat, there is always tortillas or the meal isn't complete.  There are also usually beans as well and salsa as a condiment.  I have learned to always just assume the salsa is hot and...about 99% of the time it is!  I will usually put 3 or 4 little drops of it on my food and it's about the right amount of spicy that I can handle.  My companion and everyone else we are eating with will put about 3 or 4 spoonfuls on everything.  After lunch we continue working for the rest of the day.  At 9:00 we return home and plan for the next day from 9-9:30.  From 9:30 to 10:30 we prepare for bed, write in our journals and say our prayers.  At 10:30 we go to sleep and the next day we start the day over again.

I love being a missionary.  There are days that are hard, days that are long and times that I feel like I honestly can't go any farther.  But through it all I have learned to trust in my Savior and in my Father in Heaven. When I work as hard as I can and trust in my Heavenly Father I always see the blessing that comes from it.  Through all the long and hard days there are miracles along the way that out weigh any hard time and make it all worth it.  We may have a day completely full of appointments and every single one falls through and we end up walking the entire day.  But if we find 1 person in whose life we could make a difference or help in some way or another it was all worth it!

This week I have really been focussing on how we see things.  We all live in the same world and live the same 24 hours each day, but we all see the world from a different perspective.  I have noticed personally how my perspective has changed while I have been on my mission.  The world around me hasn't changed it is completely the same, but my way of looking at it is different.  We all have different experiences in life, different challenges and different circumstances that we may not be able to choose.  What we are always able to choose however is how we look at them.  2 people can be facing the same exact trial but 1 of them may choose to look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow while the other sees it as a reason to be unhappy and lose hope.

There are several things in life we will never be able to change.  But rather than spending our time focussing on these things we can't change we can focus on those that we can, one of which is our attitude.  I remember something my brother said when asked what he did when he was put with a companion that he didn't get along with and how he dealt with it.  He said, "Instead of trying to change them I focussed on how I would change myself.  I could spend all the time I wanted trying to change them but it would never work.  It wasn't until I focussed on how I could change that it made the difference."

By changing ourselves and our attitudes we don't change the world, but we change our world.  By changing our perspective we have control over each day we live.  It's only a bad day if that's the way we choose to look at it.  Our lives are ultimately what we choose to make them.

I love you all! Choose to have a great week this week and make it happen.

Love, Hermana Peine

Monday, November 10, 2014

David and Goliath

This week Hermana Canul and I decided the mission is like mothering.  Each lesson we verify if our investigators are reading their scriptures and saying their prayers.  We give them assignments and then later verify if they did what we asked them to.  We make appointments with them and then remind them throughout the week so they don't forget.  I feel like a mother here everyday, it's awesome:)

This week of course I had several interesting experiences, I think that's part of what you sign yourself up for when you serve a least in my case that's how it is. This week we had a lesson with an investigator who was of another religion, I'm not sure which but we taught her lesson 1, The Restoration and when we finished she offered to say the prayer to finish the lesson.  So we closed our eyes and folded our arms and she began to pray.  During her prayer she stood up and walked over to us.  The next thing we knew she put her hands on our heads and began shouting.  I'm not sure exactly all that she said, but after she finished we thanked her and left to our next appointment.  On our way to the next appointment my companion explained what had happened.  Apparently the sister we were teaching gave us blessings when she put her hands on our heads and prayed for us.  So that was an interesting experience.  It strengthened my testimony of the power of the priesthood.  You can feel the difference when you get a blessing from a worth priesthood holder, they have the authority of God.

This week we also had an interesting experience in the Combi...surprise! (I seem to have a lot of crazy experiences in the combi's) We were in the combi on the way to Santo Domingo to teach a recent convert named Ana.  Me and Hermana Canul were sitting in the back seats of the combi when all of a sudden we felt a big gust of wind come over us.  The trunk door had flown open!  There was a rope attached to the handle to pull the door shut.  I stood up and reached to grab the rope but I couldn't quite get it.  So they had to stop the combi and get out to go close it.  It was a nice try.:)

We also got completely soaked this week.  We decided not to bring our umbrellas with us when we left the house because we didn't want to carry them around with us all day can probably guess what happened.  We got drenched!  We were so wet that at one of the lessons we arrived at they gave us towels to dry ourselves off.  I would say we learned our lesson, but...I'm sure it will happen again.

My companion continues to be a tiny little thing and I continue to learn more and more Spanish everyday.  My dictionary has become my new best friend this transfer.;)  Although my vocabulary continues to get bigger and bigger each day, it is still not where I would like it to be.  But for the most part me and my companion can communicate pretty well.  She does spend a lot of time laughing at me though...either I'm really funny of I make a lot of mistakes while I'm talking.  I have yet to figure it out?

This week during one of our lessons I realized just how tiny my companion really is.  We were teaching a group of little kids all under the age of 12.  As I looked around the room I saw that all of their feet were hanging about 5 inches off the ground swinging back and forth in the air.  I turned to look at my companions feet and hers were the same, dangling off the ground.  One of the sister training leaders came to Cacahoatan to do a companion exchange with the other sisters in our area.  Me and my companion ate lunch with them.

 The sister training leader that came is 6'2" and when I saw her next to my companion I just started laughing, it was like David and Goliath in front of me and I made sure to take a picture so you can see it too, it's hilarious:)

This week my testimony has been strengthened of the powers of the Book of Mormon.  There is a statement in Preach my Gospel that says, "The Book of Mormon, combined with the spirit, is your most powerful resource in conversion."  It is true!  This week we read a chapter of the Book of Mormon with several different investigators and we could feel the power of it as we did so.  The investigators said they felt something beautiful and we explained how it was the spirit.  I was reminded this week of the words of Joseph Smith that "The book of Mormon is the most correct book on the earth and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book."

I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I have read it and have felt the power in its pages.  Reading the Book of Mormon everyday will help you become closer to Heavenly Father and you will feel the difference it brings in your life.  Make it a priority and you will see the blessings! Have a great week!

Love Hermana Peine

Monday, November 3, 2014

Hello Companion and Good bye English!

Hola Everyone!

This week was one of the hardest and best weeks of my life! I feel like I have grown more in this week alone than any other time since I've been on my mission.

New companion

Old companion

As far as the big news goes for this week...I got a new companion!!! You know the saying when they say the bird grows up and then the mom pushes it out of the nest to see if it can fly? Actually, I don't think that's how it goes at all...I'm thinking I probably just made that saying up huh? Oh well.  The point is that this transfer I have felt like that, but on a greater level.  At the first of this transfer I felt like I had been pushed out of a plane without a parachute (I was more or less terrified and didn't feel ready or like I knew what I as doing.)  My American trainer was transferred and I was left in Cacahoatan to lead out my area.  On Tuesday I went to the bus station to pick up my new companion.  As I sat and waited with the zone leaders and sister training leaders we talked about the new companion I was going to receive, what she would be like, where she would be from and so forth.  At about 2:15 her bus arrived and the people all got off and began walking in the bus station.  A few minutes later there she was, my little Mexican companion named Hermana Canul walked in the doors.  My very first thought when I saw her was "Oh boy, she probably doesn't speak a word of English... I was right :).  We said hello (well hola actually) and I got her things together and loaded everything up in the taxi and headed off to Cacahoatan.  On our way there we talked and I explained to her how our district leader had told me she would be senior companion because she had more time in the mission.  She then explained to me how she was actually re-starting her mission again.  She had been in the mission for for 6 months when she injured her knee and had to go home to get surgery.  She went home and had her operation and then had to stay at home for 3 months while she was healing.  She told me how this was actually her first day back in the mission and not only would I be senior companion but I would be her trainer as well as she is re-entering the field again.  Holy moly that is not what I wanted to hear!  I was already worried enough about having a  companion who didn't understand any English and leading out an area I still wasn't very familiar with.  In that moment my previous analogy came to mind, I felt like I had been pushed out of an airplane without a parachute free-falling into the unknown.  We got back to the house and unloaded her things and then got ready to leave to go to our appointments.  Before we left the house I knelt down and prayed to my Heavenly Father.  I told him I couldn't do this alone and that I needed his help.  I put my trust in him and have continued to do so this entire week and I have truly seen miracles because of it.

Hermana Canul is a tiny little thing, she's probably around 4'10".  She is from a part of Mexico called Yucatan which is about 18 hours from here.  She is Mexican (of course) and speaks Spanish and Mayan.  She is a powerful little thing and she has a very strong testimony, I have already learned a lot from her.

As far as the Spanish goes...holy cow am I learning it now!  It's kind of like a sink or swim kind of thing.  I don't have anyone who understands English that can explain to me things that were said in the lesson that I didn't understand or help me translate what I want to say.  But we are actually able to communicate pretty well.  We do a lot of charades throughout the day and explaining things cave man style but for the most part we understand each other.  The gift of tongues is real, I have seen it so much this past week.  I have been able to teach and communicate with people better than ever before!

This week my testimony about trusting in the Lord has grown so much!  I have learned that obedience truly brings blessings.  When we are exactly obedient and put our trust completely in the Lord anything is possible!  I have seen miracles here everyday this week.  Investigators we thought would have to leave keeping their commitments, finding new investigators who the Lord has prepared for us and being happier and more excited than I ever have before.

This church is true, there is no doubt in my mind that it is.  Heavenly Father does hear and answer every single prayer in his own timing and in his own way.  With the Lord on your side anything is possible!

Mom, I gave one of your pictures you went of the little girl dancing with Jesus to one of our investigators.  The lady I gave it to had her little sister pass away so I wrote my testimony on the back of it and told her how I knew she would be able to see her sister again someday.  She appreciated it very much!  Thank you for sending those pictures mom.  They are going to be very useful here in my missionary work!  


Hermana Peine

Monday, October 27, 2014

Giant in a Dollhouse

Hola Mama!

So I will start out with the biggest news of the week.. TRANSFERS!  My companion was sent to Tuxtla to be a sister training leader and I am staying here and will be leading out my area.  I will receive my new companion tomorrow at 1:45.  All the information I have about her is that her name is Hermana.. Cenul or something like that.  I'm guessing she will be a Spanish speaker though and probably isn't going to know any English.  That is going to be quite a big adjustment from my american trainer, but that's ok.  I am excited to learn a lot this transfer and grow as well. 

I completed 4 months in the mission last week.. holy moly, I cannot believe it!  Time feels like it moves at a completely different pace in the mission.

This week I have decided I feel like a giant in a doll house.   There is one member in particular named Hermana Eva that we have been working with this week that makes me feel so even more.  Dear Hermana Eva comes just above my elbow in height when I stand next to her.  Every time me and Hermana Juliana would go out to lessons with her I would make a mental comparison in my head of how it was like walking around with David and Goliath.  The houses here are the same way, there are several doors I have to duck under and little chairs I get to sit in.  It's a lot of fun, I quite enjoy it.

This Saturday Ana was baptized.. YAY!  I love baptisms so much.  Her family came to support her and it was so great to see them all there in church.  Her mom and older sister are both members but they have been inactive for quite some time now.  Recently however, they have started coming back to church.  We have been working with her family a lot lately and with Ana's baptism we are hoping they become reactivated completely.

This week I have been thinking a lot about selflessness.  I have been studying the atonement lately and continue to be amazed by the great sacrifice our savior made for us.  While pondering about how he was so selfless I realized in greater depth how everything we have is from our Heavenly Fathher.  He gave us our families he gave us our lives and everything that we have, all of the blessings we enjoy are from him.  We can show our Heavenly Father that we appreciate all that he has given us by sharing it with others.  By serving others we show our love to our Father in Heaven.  

This week I challenge you all to go out and serve.  Loose yourself in service to others and in turn you will be happy.  

I sure love you all and I am so grateful for all your support!  

Love, Hermana Peine

Monday, October 20, 2014

Training Wheels and Scrambled Eggs on the Sidewalk

If you're alive raise your hand.  Yes you sitting at the computer reading this right now, put your hand up in the air.  Now if you're alive and happy raise both hands.  Everyone should have both hands up because if you're alive you have a reason to be happy.  It is such a blessing to be alive!  Life is a wonderful gift that our Heavenly Father has given us that we should never take for granted.  So there's my little speech for the day.  If you are still participating go ahead and put your hands together and give yourself a high-five, you're awesome:)

Last p-day doing our weekly shopping trip Hermana Juliana and I were trying to decide whether we should buy a carton of 30 eggs or 12.  We decided to get the one with 30 so they would last longer and we wouldn't have to buy more for a little while.  That was a mistake, looking back on it now we wish we would've just gone with the 12.  Why? You may ask, because my dear companion decided she would try scrambling them all on the sidewalk.  Yes, that happened.  As she was walking up the step to get into the house while talking on the phone and carrying a bag full of groceries the eggs slipped out from under her arm scrambling eggs all over the ground.
Unfortunately it wasn't actually hot enough at the time to scramble them so we had a friendly neighborhood dog come clean them up for us, he was more than happy to help! We cleaned up the mess and headed off to our next appointment.  Since then I have been teaching my companion about the miracles of stoves and how they are better for things such as scrambled eggs.

This week I also successfully completed one of the most stressful days of my mission so far.  We had companion exchanges with the sister training leaders and it was my turn to stay in our area while my companion went to Tapachula.  My companion has been in our area for 7 months now so she knows where everything is.  I am used to having her take us everywhere but when she left for Tapachula and I got put with a companion who has never been in our area before I suddenly had to know where everything was and be responsible for getting us everywhere we needed to go.  I prayed to my Heavenly Father for help and he made it possible.  We never got lost and got a ton of work done that day:)

Companion exchanges reminded me of when I was little.  I would ride my bike all around town with my training wheels on but I never had the courage to take them off.  I could ride a whole block without the training wheels ever touching the ground but I was convinced that I needed them.  Having training wheels kept me in my comfort zone but with them on I was never able to try out my abilities.  Having exchanges were like the day I took the training wheels off.  By praying and asking for help I was able to receive guidance and direction and the Lord helped me to know what my abilities were.

The analogy of the training wheels can be likened unto our progression in this life.  We should constantly be making goals and reaching them increasing our abilities.  In D&C 58:27 we learn that "Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause."  We should be constantly progressing and moving forward.  Though riding around with training wheels on is comfortable it doesn't let us grow and increase our abilities.

So this week my challenge for all of you is to make goals and accomplish them and once you accomplish them make more.  Because if we aren't progressing we are just riding around in circles with our training wheels on.  So make goals and set your standards high.  Don't be "realistic," have faith:)  Because when we set goals and then present them to the Lord miracles happen.

My friend

I hope everyone has a great week this week.  Our days are what we choose to make them, therefore if we choose to make them good they will be.  I sure love you guys!

Love, Hermana Peine

Combined Family Home Evening

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kicked out of our House!

I have been in Mexico for over two months now and there are still times where we will be walking and I look around me and think, "Wow, I'm really in Mexico."  Every morning I wake up and am grateful for another day I have to be a missionary and to go out and share the gospel all day every day.  Before my mission I didn't understand how simple sharing the gospel was.  It is as easy as simply inviting someone to church or giving them a Book of Mormon and inviting them to read it.  I will definitely be better at making sure I do that after my mission!

This week we got kicked out of our house by ants. Weird, I know, but it really happened, there are pictures to prove it:)  We were in the middle of companion study when Hermana Juliana suddenly stopped talking about our lesson plan for the day and pointed at the wall behind me and said, "Holy ants!" At first I sat there with a confused look on my face wondering what in the world she was talking about.  She continued pointing and said, "Look behind you!" As I turned and looked at the wall sure enough I saw an invasion of ants coming in through the  window climbing down the walls.  After looking on in amazement at how many of them there were for a few minutes we decided we probably needed to do something about it before they took over the whole house.  We went and found the bug spray to remedy the problem. Because of how strong the fumes are from the spray we had to be out of the house if we were going to spray.
 We grabbed the table and a couple of chairs and took them out back along with our study materials.  We then sprayed the herd of ants that were all over our walls in the house and returned back outside to study.  There we sat in the back of the house under the close-line while the bug spray dried.  Two hours later after we had finished studyiing we came back in the house to find piles of dead ants covering the floor.  Success!  We had our house back:)

I also had another startling experience the other day in the home of one of our new investigators.  I needed to wash my hands so I went to the tank they use for doing so to wash them.  It was fairly dark in the room where the tank was so I couldn't see very well what I was doing.  I grabbed a little bucket and reached down into the tank to scoop out water to rinse my hands with.  I then scrubbed them with soap and reached back in for another bucket of water.  On the third time of reaching down to scoop up water I felt something slimy swim against my hand!  Startled by what happened I yanked the bucket out of the tank and looked down to see what it was.  I saw black shawdows moving around in the tank!  As I looked closer I realized they were big black fish that were swimming in the water.  I quickly shook off the water on my hands and left. I figured I would just let the fish be and my hands could stay a little soapy that day.

The good news for this week is that they are giving away free weddings here this month...YAY!  Not for me though of course.  I am a missionary and that is not allowed but for several of our investigators that is great news!  There are several people here who never get married because they can't afford it.  If our investigators are living together but aren't married they can also not be baptized.  Not being married is something that has been holding several of our investigators back from baptism.  But now that they are giving away free weddings they will be able to be married and hopefully they can be ready for baptism as well soon after!

I think that's all the major news I have for this week besides the fact that it is almost the middle of October and it is still as hot as can be here.  I guess that's what happens when you're living in the tropical jungle.

Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon.  I love you all and thanks so much for your support!:)

Love, Hermana Peine

Monday, October 6, 2014

In Over our Heads!


So I thought I would start out this weeks email by stating the motto me and Hermana Juliana came up with this week, which is that "Things either make for a good experience or a good story."  So far I think this has been the case for oh I don't know...probably about 99% of my great mission stories so far;) With that being said, last Monday we got ourselves way in over our heads!  We were doing our weekly p-day shopping for groceries.  Since it was the first of the month we were doing what we call our stock up trip where we buy a lot to stock up for the month so we don't have to buy as much the following weeks.  So we paid for all of our things and then headed to the front of the store to put our cart back.  Once we got to the front doors we realized that it was raining outside, not super hard though, it looked like it was just starting.  We also realized the amount of groceries we had bought that we were going to have to carry home.  So we had a decision to make, we could either take one of the tri-cycle taxis home or we could carry our things home to save money.  We decided we would carry our things home to save money.  We decided we would just carry everything home because we are all about saving a little extra money.  So we parked the cart and began to load ourselves with groceries, including a carton of 30 eggs, a 16 pack of rolls of toilet paper, a loaf of bread, 7 heavy bags of groceries and an umbrella.  Once we had everything in our arms we looked at each other, turned to look at the rain and then looked back at each other again.  "How many blocks is it from here to our house exactly?" I asked Hermana Juliana. "Oh about 18 blocks," she replied.  We both laughed knowing perfectly well that what we were about to attempt was crazy, but despite the fact we said, "Well o.k. then, here we go!"  So we set off to head for our house, you can probably imagine we had several difficulties along the way.  We stopped about 6 or 7 different times to arrange food that was falling and re-arrange our things so we could keep everything in one piece.  The farther we walked the more it began to rain so we adjusted once again to arrange our things so I could hold an umbrella with the rest of the juggling act.  After we had gotten a little over half way there the inevitable happened and one of the bags broke dropping cartons of juice and milk all over the road.  By this time the cereal box was also disintegrated as was every other box of food we had bought.  As we looked at the broken bag and the disintegrated box of cereal we both just laughed and said, "Well, it was a good try:)"  We then stopped the very next tricycle taxi that came by and loaded up all our groceries finally accepting defeat.  We ended up paying the same price for the taxi as we would have if we had just taken it from the store, BUT then we wouldn't have a great story.  We also made sure to take a picture when we got there so we would forever have the memory, but the picture doesn't quite do it justice (there were a couple bags we couldn't get in the shot):)

It's amazing the things that you learn on the mission.  There are some things I would never would have thought I would be learning as a missionary for example this past week my companion has been teaching me what alcohol smells like.  Now I know what that sounds like so before anyone goes making any assumptions keep reading and I will explain.  My companion lived in Ecuador for a year before her mission and has also spent some time in Europe, so she is familiar with what alcohol smells like.  I on the other hand am not and in our area we come in contact with quite a few drunk people (don't worry mom, they are harmless.) But I am never sure if they are drunk or if they just have an interesting personality, so my companion is teaching me to look for the smell and that way I can know.  The other day I had quite the opportunity to figure out what it smells like.  We had just gotten into the combi to take us back from where we were to Cacahoatan.  Me and my companion crammed in the back seat between two other people who were already there.  After about 5 min in the combi the gentleman who was squished up next to me turned and started a conversation.  At first I was excited because that doesn't usually happen and I have to start the conversation first but then I soon realized that my friendly neighbor I was talking to was very drunk.  He was nice as can be but didn't make a whole lot of sense.  Every time we would stop talking he would tap me on the arm and say, "I hope I'm not bothering you, I just want someone to talk to." So we continued to talk for the rest of the 45 minute combi ride and I told him all about the church even though he was probably too drunk to understand me!  I also gave him a pamphlet on the word of wisdom that he will hopefully read.  Once the combi ride had ended he left and I got out and took a big breath of fresh air.  I think I now have a pretty good idea what alcohol smells like!

I also had the privilege of listening to general conference this week...Yay!  I loved it :)  We watched it at the chapel in Spanish and I tried my hardest to understand everything though I did get some of what was said, to be honest I probably got the most out of the hymns that were sung because they were in English.  But that's o.k. I still felt the spirit and learned a lot:)

On Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity of listening to the afternoon session in English!  It was awesome.  One of the families in the ward is from the U.S and they speak English so they invited us over to their house to listen to it in English with them.  I loved it!  My favorite talk was the one by David A. Bednar about why we do missionary work.  It was such a great reminder that if one truly is converted and feels the love of Christ we will desire to share it with others.

The church is true.  I know it with all my heart.  Go out and share the gospel and you will be blessed!  Our testimonies are not only shown in words but also in our actions.  Have a great week!

Love, Hermana Peine

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Proposal and my Identity Crisis


I think I will start out with a great awkward missionary moment I was fortunate enough to have this week:) While in the combi (which is basically a big van that they use as a taxi) I was contacting the people I was sitting next to on the way back from zone conference.  There were three people I was contacting and we had a nice conversation an I invited them to church and so on.  About half way through our conversation one of the guys I was talking to told me he would like to marry me. I politely responded with a "Gracias, but I am a missionary" I then invited him to church and tried to pretend that I didn't feel extremely awkward, but I don't think I did a very good job at it.  I have now resorted to only contacting women or those that are already married to avoid future proposals in the middle of half hour combi rides :)

The other awkward missionary moment I had this week took place at a family home evening with the bishop's family and the young women's president's family.  They were doing a combined family home evening and we were invited to share our testimonies and help out with the lesson.  When we walked in they all started telling me congratulations and wishing me a happy birthday.  I tried telling them that they must have had me confused with the other missionary in our area who had a birthday that day but they didn't understand me.  At the end of the lesson they all came over to me hugging me and shaking my hand and saying congratulations.  After they were done the bishop's mother turned to my companion and said, "Why didn't you tell us it was her birthday, we would have made her a cake or something."  My companion chuckled and said, "Because it's not her birthday."  She then explained how it was the other hermana's birthday in our ward and that they must have gotten confused.  It was pretty funny.  They all said they took back their congratulations and asked me when my real birthday was so they could be ready for it and make me a cake.

I had another mix-up the other day on p-day when we were buying groceries.  Me and my companion both needed more deodorant so we went over to the deodorant section to pick some out.  When we saw the prices we realized that the men's deodorant was a lot cheaper than the women's and with a missionary budget cheaper is always better, so we each picked some out.  I just grabbed the cheapest one they had and she got the more expensive one but once we got home I realized the difference.  My companion had chosen the non-scented kind and mine was very much scented.  Words like scented and not scented are not words I know in Spanish...but, they are words that when it comes to things like deodorant make quite the difference. I now smell like an hombre everyday, a very good smelling hombre, but an hombre just the same :)

This week I have learned a new strategy for contacting people, it's called pretending like I don't know Spanish. I have found that I can get anyone here to talk to me if I tell them I am new here and need help learning Spanish.  The people here LOVE to help and to feel like they are needed.  So I will usually begin a conversation with something like, "I'm new here and need help learning Spanish, can you help me by letting me practice with you?" After they agree I tell them all about our church and what we believe in and they are very nice and listen to everything I have to say.  This is my way of using the fact that I am a gringo to my advantage :)

Last week on the 25th I hit 3 months in the mission.  That is insane, I don't even know where the time has gone!  My companion surprised me on the day of my 3 month mark by decorating my desk with a big sign and balloons and some yummy cookies.  She is so sweet!

To finish off this week yesterday Mary was baptized.. Yay!  It was such a great day, all three of her kids came to support her, two of which aren't members.  After her baptism she was crying because she was so happy.  I am so proud of her and she is going to be such an awesome member!

This gospel is such a blessing that we have in our lives!  Sharing it has brought me the most happiness I have ever had.  Lose yourself in service to others and you will be blessed!

Love, hermana Peine

Mexico Bug!