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