Monday, December 14, 2015

My Farewell Party

This week was so great!  We started off the week in Tuxtla where we had a leadership council meeting with our mission president and the assistants.  The zone leaders along with the sister training leaders from all the zones in the mission met together and we received inspired council for our zones.  We were instructed on how to be better teachers and to teach with the spirit.  It was a great meeting!

After the leadership council with president we were sent out to teach and apply what we had learned with our zones.  We held our zone conference on Wednesday and instructed our missionaries on what our president had taught us.  It went very well and was very successful!  Wednesday night the branch here gave me a farewell party in the chapel.  They set up tables and tied balloons to all of the chairs as we all sat and gathered around together.  It was quite the turnout.  Just about the entire branch came!  We had a little dinner and the members thanked me for my love and service.  I am so grateful for them, they are such great people!

On Sunday we were able to attend the tempe dedication of the Mexico Tijuana temple that was broadcasted in Tuxtla at our stake center.  It was such a beautiful service!  President Uctdorf spoke along with Gordon B. Hinkley's son who is the president of the Tijuana temple and his wife.   The spirit was so strong!  It was such a great experience and I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to be a part of it!  We have been working so hard this week and I have been loving every minute of it!  I think that one of my favorite days this week was the day that we taught 11 lessons!  It was a great day and a record broken for the most lessons taught in one day:)  Being a missionary is the best!
I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Hermana Paini

Thursday, December 10, 2015

His Gift to US!

This week was awesome!  I learned and grew a lot this week.  We had our mission Christmas activity which was very beautiful.  We had a talent show in the morning that everyone participated in.  My district put on a skit demonstrating the day in the life of a missionary on Christmas day.  My part in the skit was the missionaries exercise routine in the morning.  We acted  out as if I was teaching them zumba and they attempted to follow me.  I did a lot of gymnastics and some stretches and they followed after was hilarious!  Afterwords the elders in our zone did a dance that hermana Martinez and I choreographed.  Wow, I have not laughed so hard in a long was so funny!  After the talent show we had our combined zone conference which was my favorite part of it all!  As the assistants counseled us on Christ-like attributes and what we can give to Christ this Christmas I felt the spirit so strong!  They also talked about the gift that our Savior has given us and passed around a wrapped box for us to open and look at and ponder at what it is that he has given us.  As we each opened up the box we found a mirror inside and saw our reflection looking back at us.  The gift that he gave us is our life.  They asked us to ponder on the following questions: How long did the Lord spend in making me?  As a creation made from the hands of a perfect being how much is my value?  What can I become in this life?  While I reflected on these questions I felt the spirit so strongly in knowing how much meaning being a child of God holds and how infinite and limitless my potential truly is. That I have the potential to become as the perfect being who created me.

This gospel is truly a message of so much happiness!  When one comes to the understanding of where they came from, what their purpose in this life is and where they can go after death a new light of hope enters into their life.  Similarly, the message of Christmas is a joyful one.  That a Savior was born 2015 years ago and he lived and he died.  But he lives again!  I invite each one of you to think of what you would like to give him this Christmas, it can be a changed heart or service to your fellow men, it doesn't matter what the gift is.  But when it comes from the heart as did the treasures from the wise man, it is the best that we have to give!  I love you guys and I hope you have the best week yet!  Give him your gift and see the joy that comes from it!

Love, Hermana Paini

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Minor Surgery

What a great week it was.  Nothing went as we had planned this week, but the Lord's plans are always so much better than ours!

I had a little accident this week while we were in Tuxtla, I stubbed my in-grown toenail, which has been in-grown and infected for over 3 months now, very hard on a big rock.  We were with a big group of people at the time so I couldn't scream and jump up and down so I just stood still in silence while tears filled my eyes.  As I leaned over and told my companion what had happened she looked at me and said, "Oh no" and wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tightly because she knew how much pain I was in.  The group of people we were with also noticed what was going on and let me sit in their car and put my foot up and they gave me a paper towel to soak up all the blood coming out of my toe.  As the taxi dropped us off at the house we got out to walk inside.  As we were in a trio for the companion exchanges we were doing at the time with my companion and I along with a sister in our zone I had two people to help me hobble into the house.  My companion let me use her foot to step on top of in order for my bare foot not to touch the ground and hermana Lopez, the sister we were with put her arm around my waist and let me use her to lean on.  As soon as we walked through the door one of them ran to get me a chair to sit on and another to put my foot up while the other filled a bucket of water up to heat so I could soak my foot.  A bit later in the week I was able to be operated on.  As my companon is a certified doctor she was able to help the doctor who did the operation.  Another missionary who had recently had surgery and was recovering in the mission home let me squeeze her hands while they put shots in my feet and worked on them.

I have felt so much love and support this week from so many people.  I am grateful for the kind hands of all those who cared for me.  My mission president and his wife were also so good to us to care for us and let us stay in the mission home while I was recovering and took us out to eat.  I have felt so loved this week!

I am also able to start walking a little bit this week so we are very excited about that. Yay!  Missionary work is the best :)  I love you guys, have a great week!

Love Hermana Paini

Monday, November 23, 2015

I Love Being a Sister Training Leader

My New Companion

This week was awesome! I love being a missionary:)

We have been seeing a lot of miracles lately.  It is so amazing to me to see all of the different ways that the Lord places those whom he has prepared to hear the gospel. Every day is truly inspired!  There are days when every plan and appointment we have falls through and we find someone prepared and waiting to hear the gospel in the street.  It is amazing how the Lord works!

We have also had several great opportunities lately to help the sisters in our zone.  It was one of the most rewarding things when after a companion exchange the sister I did the exchange with hugged me and with tears streaming down her face and told me thank you and that she loved me.  It is a great opportunity to be a sister training leader because we get to help not only the investigators but our missionaries as well.

This transfer we are focusing on the promise our president gave us that we would be able to find 2 families to baptize this transfer so we are excited and working hard to find them.

I think that's about everything new this week.   I love you guys, have a great week!

Love, Hermana Paini

Doing Dishes

These are my favorite things ever!  They are called
Moto taxi´s and we use them a lot.  

Service project with the Young Women

My companion painted my nails for me

Monday, November 16, 2015

Teaching with the Power of the Spirit

A picture from intercambios that we did with the hermanas this week

This week was great, I feel like I say that every week but it is always true! It was hard to say goodbye to Hermana Briscoe but comforting in the fact that I know I will see her again.  We plan to be roomates together in BYU and have several fun plans that I am looking forward to!

My new companion is Hermana Martinez.  She is 24 years old and has already graduated from college with her nursing degree.  She has 14 months in the mission and is awesome!  We are working great and so hard together!

This week the Lord has been teaching me more about the power of the Spirit in teaching the scripture in D&C 42:14 comes to my mind that "if ye receive not the spirit ye shall not teach."  It is very true!  We can talk for hours on end using our personal knowledge along with the scriptures but if we do not have the spirit we are not teaching.  It is by the spirit only that our words enter in the hearts and minds of those with whom we are speaking and the spirit which testifies of the truthfullness of our words.

Love, Hermana Paini

Monday, November 9, 2015

Leadership Opportunites

This week was great!  Though we weren't able to work in our area very much for meetings we had in Tuxtla, we were able to witness several miracles and serve the Lord.

This week was so full of learning experiences for me and I loved it.  We had the privelege of attending leadership mission council as leaders in our zone and were able to learn from other leaders in the mission as well as our mission president.  It was very inspiring!  We were also able to train the missionaries in our zone in another meeting we had and it was a great experience.  I can always know that the spirit is present when I feel like I am the one learning while I am teaching.

I have come to a greater understanding this week of how important the spirit truly is in this marvelous work!  There have been so many times where the words given to me only by the spirit.  I am learning to trust in the Lord more and more each day and trust in his hands to help us do His work.

I love each day here in the mission, the hard ones as well as those that bring peace.  I am learning to enjoy every moment here and I want to make the most of every minute of every day that I have left!

My companion is getting transferred to some place called Idaho... She has finished the mission and is returning home.  Though I will miss her very much I know I will see her again soon which brings peace.  After the mission we are both going to go to BYU and have lots of plans to keep us busy:).  My new companion is Hermana Marinez and I will get to meet her tomorrow.  I know I will love her and I am excited to work hard together this transfer!

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!  Choose to make it great and it will be!

Love, Hermana Paini

We decided to sleep on the roof one night!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pictures from Mexico

I´m sorry I didn´t have time to write a group letter this week we have been super busy all day with meetings and different things that I didn´t have time to do so.. so I sent a lot of pictures :)  It was a really great week though and hopefully I will be able to write lots next week. Here are some pictures.

Learning how to eat fish

Making Tamales

I got to be companions again with the companion I trained in my last area,  hermana Romero.. yay!

Companion exchanges with our hermanas in our zone in their fancy house!

Suprise celebration for my companions 18 month mark

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Prayer in the Laundry Room

This week was awesome!  We had an activity called, Meet the Mormons on Friday.  Each Friday we have family night in the chapel with the branch.  This time we watched, "Meet the Mormons," for our family night.  We made flyers and passed them out to everyone we talked with.  The members also talked with their friends about the activity and invited them to come and meet the mormons.  It was a great turnout and we received several great references of people who would like to learn more and made appointments to visit them.  We also met a great hermana named Alejandra who was a miracle one night this week in our last lesson before returning home.  We had contacted Alejandra's mom in the street a few days before.  When we arrived to teach Alejandra's mom she had to go to her work so she couldn't receive us so she left us with her daughter, Alejandra.  As we talked with Alejandra we explained why we are here and what our purpose is as missionaries.  We explained that we are here to help others come unto Christ and prepare them for baptism.  We asked her if she would like to prepare to be baptized and she smiled at us and said, "yes!" When we invited her to be baptized the 28th of November she happily accepted the goal and as we taught her how to pray when we finished the lesson she prayed and asked to be able to be baptized in her prayer.  We are so excited for her!

To finish off he week we had quite the funny experience yesterday after church.  We had been fasting so before eating we asked the hermana who ate with us if she could let us use a room to pray.  The hermana is an older sister so I don't know that she understood us very well.  She led us to the kitchen and explained that they say prayers in the kitchen so we could pray there if we would like.  We asked her if there wasn't a room a bit more private we could use.  She led us to a little space in front of the bathroom where they keep their dirty clothes.  We decided it would have to work and thanked the sister for her help.  However, she must not have understood that it was something we wanted to do in private because she stood there looking at us and didn't leave.  My companion knelt down thinking she would get the hint and I held the curtain door open for her so she could leave but she just stayed there and said, "I can't kneel down with my bad knees" and folded her arms and bowed her head.  "Oh well," my companion and I thought as I knelt down and said the prayer to break our fast praying for our investigators and for their specific needs.  The hermana accompanied us with her arms folded the entire prayer.  After we finished she said, "It was a prayer about something to do with fasting right?"  She is a member so she knows what fasting is but I don't think she really understood what was going on.  Either way, it was pretty funny.

It was an awesome week and we are working hard and happier than ever! Have a great week!

Love, hermana Paini

Monday, October 19, 2015

Primitive Appliances

This week was awesome, but wow did it go by fast.  I feel like it was just Monday yesterday!

I am really loving my new area.  This is the first area I have been in that is a branch instead of a ward.  It is a bit small but we have lots of re-activation and conversion to do and are ready to help the branch grow and progress to soon become a ward.

Something I have noticed and loved in all of my areas up until this point is that there is always at least 1 member family that is so good to us and becomes like our own family in the area.  In every throughout my mission that has been the case and I am so grateful for that.  It is amazing for me as I experience how one can grow to love such complete strangers in such a short time.  I have come to do so in every area with the members, investigators and companions with whom I have associated with and it has made such a special impact on my life and on the person who I have become and am today.  I am so grateful for the power of each of these wonderful influences in my life!  We have been working harder than ever this past week helping 3 couples in particular to get married and be baptized.  Ada and Alexis as well as Sergio and Tania are two couples who are so close to being baptized and just need to overcome the obstacles that are put in their way of getting married.  We are working with them and fasting and praying for them constantly so that they will be able to do so.  We are also teaching an investigator who is the mother of a missionary in our branch who just recently left on his mission about a month ago.  Her name is Rosio.  She has such a strong testimony and knows that the gospel is true, all that she needs now is to get married with the person she is with and she can be baptized.  We have seen so many miracles lately, great and small, and continue praying to see more each day especially with these investigators who we love so much.  I trust in my Heavenly Father and know he loves them even more than us and have no doubt that he is working with them through us as well.  With his help there is nothing in this world that is impossible!

I love you guys.  Have a great week!

Love, Hermana Paini

Our water heater

Our dishwasher

Our washing machine

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

House Adventures

This week was great!  I am really loving it here in my new area and I love my companion, hermana Briscoe, very much as well.

It is very calm here, not much happens... which is a good thing.  However, the house is always full of adventure.  The toilet is currently not working so we have to fill buckets of water up in order to flush the toilet.  The shower works great, however the drain doesn't work so all the water fills up the bathroom and quickly floods the entire bedroom if we are not careful.  After showering we have to mop up all the water and put it in the sink so the other companion can shower without flooding the house.  There is also no hot water so so we boil water and pour it in buckets and that is what I use to shower with.  It is always a good time:).

This week was full of miracles!  There are so many we are teaching who are progressing very well and will soon be able to be baptized.  We have also been praying lately to be able to find a family of 4 who have already been to church at least 2 times and can prepare to be baptized.  Our prayer was answered when we boarded a bus to go to Tuxtla for our interviews on Saturday and we met a brother named Carlos. While talking with him we found out that he is a member who was baptized about 3and a half years ago and then became inactive.  However, his wife and 3 kids above the age of 8 are not members and have been to church several times.  Carlos went to church yesterday for the first time in years and we were able to make an appointment with him and contact his family with a group of members after church yesterday.  They are so great and we are very excited for them!

That's all I have time for this week, but I love you all very much and hope you have a great week!:)

Love, Hermana Paini

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New area, New companion


This will be my group letter this week instead of the picture I usually send because today we are shorter on time.  

Transfers are always a blessing in disguise.. I never like the idea very much but always end up realizing that I am supposed to be in the area the Lord has called me to and with the companion to which I have been assigned.  I love it here in Cintalapa and love my companion very much as well.  SHE IS AMERICAN.. that is so weird for me.. I think I went into a brief culture shock for the first few days as companions because I have gotten so used to having latin companions for such a long time.  But she is great and I love her!  She is from Idaho and has 17 months in the mission and will finish this transfer.  I will finish only one transfer after her.  But we are making the most of the time we have left and working like crazy.  We are sister training leaders which is fun and get to help more people which is really awesome.  Though we are both americans we only talk in Spanish.. all day everyday, we have forgotten a lot of our engish and it is just easier to speak spanish all the time.  

General conference was so amazing.. I never wanted it to end.  General conference has turned into the super bowl for me as a missionary and I love it so much!  I felt as is every talk was written specifically for me and learned SO much!  

I think that ´s about all that I have time for this week, but I love you all very much.  Thanks for all your love and support! 

Love, Hermana Paini

Monday, September 28, 2015

This Week I Got Proposed To!

This week was great!  I had quite the surprise this week when I got proposed to... I found out this week that one of the people from the mountain group fell in love with me.  I don't know how because I have only talked to him once.  Anyways, he recorded a video for me telling me that he was in love with me and that he wanted to marry me.  He told me several things saying that he loved me and wanted me to be his wife and that he was willing to wait for my answer.  I saw his video and then yesterday on Sunday he confronted me in church and asked me what my answer was.  I think it was one of the most uncomfortable moments of my life, because I am a missionary!  We told him no and that as missionaries we are not here for that and we can't even talk or think about that right now.  He seemed to be pretty sad but I think he will be o.k.

We had a great zone meeting with our mission president this week and went to the temple with our zone afterwards.  It was an amazing experience.  I love the temple so much and I am very grateful for every experience I have to go as a missionary!

The news this week is that we have transfers.  I am being transferred to a new area.  I don't know anything about it but I'm sure it's a great area.  I will miss Chiapa de Corzo and my companion very much but I'm excited to see what the Lord has in store for me.  I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Love, Hermana Paini
A new village we are teaching in

Note from Laurel (Mom):

Sadie had to fill out some essays and send them to me for colleges she is applying to in January.  I was so impressed with what she wrote in one of the essays I wanted to put it on her blog.  The question was, "What is one of the most difficult things you have ever done or experienced?"  This was Sadie's answer. "One of the most difficult yet rewarding things I have ever done has been leaving my family, home, work, and schooling behind for 18 months of dedicated service to the Lord.  Serving in the Tuxtla Gutierrez Mexico mission has given me the chance to experiment and learn from opposition.  Various physical trials such as typhoid fever, salmonella poisoning, several bacterial infections, and an epidemic called Chikungunya have tried me more than I ever thought I was capable of withstanding.  However, in the midst of my tirals I have been able to learn one of the greatest lessons I have ever been taught which is to put my complete trust in the will of the Lord.  My experiences have served as life long lessons that I will forever treasure.  One of the most valuable things I have learned is how to put my temporal needs and emotions such as hunger, tiredness and pain behind in order to dedicate all of my heart might and mind to serving others.  I have learned that I can truly make a differnence in others lives.  I have learned how to lead as well as to follow.  I have learned to love perfect strangers and care for their progression.  By changing the lives of those around me I have in turn changed my life as well.  I know that I can be a force for good as I act instead of being acted upon.  I now know that I can make a difference!"

I never even knew Sadie had chikungunya.  She never mentioned it in her letters.  Apparently it was a disease that caused lots of pain and a high fever.  I wonder what else she has never told us?

Monday, September 21, 2015

Independence Day in Mexico

This week Mexico had it's day of Independence and we celebrated it by having a ward party called Mexican night.  We all dressed in red, white and green, Mexico's national colors and the hermanas from the relief society did a traditional dance, the quorum of elders sang and the primary put on a little program.  It was a great turnout and several investigators showed up and seemed to really enjoy it.

We had another activity this week as a zone.  The activity was a chapel open house for a chapel in Tuxtla that was newly re-opened after being under construction.  It was also a great turnout.  Several investigators showed up and all of us full time missionaries put on a program of the plan of salvation and then separated into classes for a question and answer session.  It was a really neat experience to hear their questions and be able to answer them bringing them hope and happiness that we have of the knowledge that families can be together for eternity and that we will be able to see those we love again after death.

I have been studying a lot this week about self-mastery, how we can have control over ourselves and put off the natural man.  It is a great study topic and I have learned so much.  We currently have an investigator named Bartolo who makes us study harder to give more in depth classes.  He has read the entire book of mormon, Jesus the Christ, and the Miracle of Forgiveness.  It is always great to talk to him and learn from him as well in our lessons.

It was a great week and I'm grateful for the chance I had to live it.  I'm happy to be alive, happy to be a missionary and happy to have this gospel in my life!

I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!

Love, Hermana Paini

                                    The new way of praying


My companions attempt at the new way of praying