Monday, February 23, 2015

Pyramids and Ruins

This week was so great!  The good new is that we currently have so many investigators, the bad news is that there is not enough time in the day to teach them all.  But it's a good thing, it keeps us busy :)

I am so convinced that missionary time moves at a different pace than normal life!  The weeks feel like days and months feel like weeks.  I have never felt so dis-oriented time-wise before.  If it weren't for my planner and calendar I would be completely lost as far as what day, month and year we are in. According to my calendar this Wednesday I will complete 8 months in the mission.  I honestly can't even wrap my mind around that and am in denial of it.  I refuse to believe it is true.

Anyways, this past week (which seemed like all of about 24 hours) was really great!  On Friday we had our semi-annual zone activity.  We went to a place called Tonina to explore pyramids and ruins. We woke up at 4:30 in the morning and met at the chapel.  We loaded up in a combi and set off for a 3 hour ride to Tonina.  Once we arrived we were informed that the other zone's bus had broken down so we would have to wait awhile while they called another bus to pick them up.  We ended up waiting for 5 hours for the other bus and the mission president to arrive.  While waiting we played games like Charades to pass the time.  It was a lot of fun.  Once everyone all arrived we were able to enter.  The pyramids and all the ruins were so beautiful.  There were mountains of tall pyramids we were able to walk up and on the top we could see all around over the city.

I learned a lot this week.  In my language study I spent time studying in the Liahona de January 2015. I came across something that I loved.  When reading a story about the gift of agency I came across the scripture in D&C 58:26-29 that says "For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is slothful... men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many things of their own free will....for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves... but he that doeth not anything until he is commanded... the same is damned."  I also read in D&C 9:8-9 where it says, "Study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore you shall feel that it is right.  But if it is not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought."  I really learned a lot from these scriptures.  Sometimes we are praying with the hope that our Heavenly Father will tell us exactly what to do and choose for us.  However, he has given us the wonderful gift of agency for a reason.  Along with our agency we also are blessed with the ability to pray to our Father in Heaven.  After we have studied something out in our minds and have used our free agency to make a decision we are able to present that decision before our Father in Heaven and ask him if it is right.

The Lord knows us.  He knows our hearts, our thoughts, and our deepest desires.  He will help us in every aspect and decision in our lives.  All we have to do is ask.

Hermana Peine

Monday, February 16, 2015

Dog Attack

I hope you all had a great week and a great valentines day.  I forgot it was Valentines day, but celebrated it with my companion by serving the Lord :)

This week was so good!  The funny experience of the week happened when a dog tried to attack us.  We were on our way to a lesson when a dog suddenly came tearing our of the bushes.  As it came running at us growling I did as my father had taught me to do and bent down and picked up a handful of rocks.  My companion (who is terrified of dogs) stood frozen in fear thinking that for sure the dog was going to eat us.  I took my stance and lifted my fist full of rocks in the air while the dog and I had a stand off.  As it came closer and closer growling and barking at us I held my stance and began throwing rocks at it.  The dog quickly turned around and took off running.  My companion was astonished that I would do such a thing.  She said she has never seen me like that before and didn't know I was capable of doing such.  She spent the entire rest of the day mimicking me in my stance with a fist full of rocks high over my head and has now told the entire ward about it.  It was quite the event, we still laugh about it daily:)

On Saturday we had the wonderful opportunity of going to the temple, our ward mission leader was married and sealed to his wife and our mission president gave us permission to attend their sealing.  It was my first time going to the temple in the mission field and I was so excited.

We woke up at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning and met at the church with all those who were going to the temple.  14 were signed up to go but 18 ended up showing up.  So we loaded all of us in a mini van called a combi and headed off for the temple.  It was a 3 hour ride piled on top of each other.  But it was all worth it once we got to the temple.

It was such a beautiful experience to be able to go to the temple as a missionary.  I felt so much closer to the spirit than I ever have before and enjoyed every minute of it.  It was a beautiful sealing and I was so grateful for the chance I had to be a part of it.

This week really made me think about how important the temple is and how easy it is to take if for granted.  After not being able to go for 6 months I was so grateful for the opportunity  to attend.  The temple truly is the Lord's house and there is such a special peace inside of it that can't be found anywhere else in this world.

Love, Hermana Peine

Monday, February 9, 2015

Bird Poop and Standing out in the Choir

This week was great!  We were this close l_l to having emergency transfers...but we didn't end up having them after all which is awesome, I didn't even feel close to leaving this area after being here for all of a week and a half!

Yesterday we had our ward conference, it was way good.  Hermana Guerrerro and I sang in the ward choir, it was a lot of fun.  We did however have quite the surprise!  We practiced with the choir Saturday night but had to leave a few minutes early for an appointment.  As we arrived Sunday morning to take our seats with the choir we walked in to see the entire choir dressed in red and black....apparently everyone got that memo except for us!  As we took our seats with the choir we looked around us and realized we stood out like sore thumbs, me in my peach dress and my companion with her blue and white.  Looking back on it now we should have taken a picture, we looked pretty funny!

Another funny moment that happened this week (well at least my companion thought it was funny) happened in the park.  We were waiting for a member to meet us to accompany us to a lesson so we decided we would take a seat.  I sat down on a bench under a nice big tree to enjoy the sun for a bit while it felt warm outside.  However apparently sitting under trees is one of those common sense rules that everyone knows you shouldn't do... everyone but me that is!  As we sat there waiting a bird perched in the tree above me decided to give me a present.  This present fell from the tree and splattered all over my arm. (The picture doesn't do it any justice)  My companion was so excited for me that she screamed and ran away.  I sat and waited patiently for her to come back so she could take a picture of it:)

It really was such a great week.  Though we do like to have fun and goof off sometimes, the best part of every day is the spirit we can feel.  The spirit is so close to us here in the mission doing the Lord's work.  I can feel it strongly every day as we are truly lead and guided by it in every aspect.

The biggest blessing has been to see how the spirit works in the hearts of those who we teach.  There is a family who we are teaching who was falling apart when we first found them and started teaching them.  They were unhappy, facing several problems and about to get a divorce.  But as we started teaching them and the gospel came into their lives they began to change.  We made a goal with them as a family to prepare for a baptismal date for March 7th.  Since then they have started praying, reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church and sitting together as a family.  It is such a blessing to see how the gospel has helped their family heal.  They still have problems and are facing challenges but are better able to cope with them with the gospel.  Their home has a different atmosphere than it did before and they are happier.  Each day we get to see as they progress makes every challenge and hard thing we face worth it.  I feel as the scripture in 3 Nephi 24:10 says, "os barite las ventanas de los ciebs, y derramare sobre vasotros una benediction tal que no hays dance contenerla."  (I will pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.)

Love, Hermana Peine

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tennis Shoes with Missionary Clothes

I learned so many great new things this week!  Things about this gospel, our Heavenly Father's love for us, and who I am as a person.

I had a great learning experience this week in the kitchen.  I came up with a new way to make waffles:)  One morning while I was looking through the refrigerator deciding what I would eat for breakfast the waffle maker on the table across from me caught my eye.  I was so excited when I saw it, I hadn't eaten waffles in 7 months and have been craving them for so long.  So I mixed up the batter and plugged in the waffle maker for it to heat up.  After it was hot I opened it up to pour the batter in.  I thought to myself, "Wow, this is the weirdest waffle maker I have ever seen! I guess they must do it different here in Mexico" I thought to myself.  I went ahead and poured the batter in and then came back several minutes later to check on it.  As I opened it up once again I thought, "Wow these look strange, I must have done something wrong." It was then that I noticed a box laying on the ground.  As I bent down to see what it was I saw the picture of the device I had with a big title above it that read "Sandwich Maker"  Oops:) No wonder they were big triangle shapes, they were meant to cook sandwiches! With my waffle craving still inside me I decided I would give it a chance and see how they turned out.  15 minutes later they were finally ready to eat.  They weren't actually too bad. I think I may have come up with a new thing.

This week I was diagnosed with a common missionary disease...ingrown toe nails.  I've had them for a long time now but they finally hurt bad enough I decided I would do something about it.  So, we went to the orthodontist to get them removed.  Yes, she is an orthodontist, but she is also the relief society president and said she could remove them for me.  After an hour and a half of yelling, crying and bleeding I felt much better and could walk semi-normal again.  But in order to keep them from getting an infection I had to wear tennis shoes around for the next few days.  It was quite the experience...

This week while we were walking to an appointment I had the impression that I needed to talk to a group of 3 people who were walking towards us.  So I did, I told them we were missionaries and invited them to church.  After talking to them I thought, "that's weird, I wonder why I had that impression."  It was then that we heard a voice yell, "Hey missionaries, come over here." As we walked towards the voice we saw a sister standing on the sidewalk.  She told us she had been receiving lessons from the missionaries a long time and wanted to continue with the lessons once again.  We made an appointment with her and returned the next day.  In the first lesson she accepted a baptismal date for February 21.  She is an awesome investigator and is so anxious to learn.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.  Though we may not always understand why, if we do as he says he blesses us with exactly what we need most.  I know he has several children here in Comitan prepared for us and as we are obedient and do what he asks of us he will lead us to them.

Love, Hermana Peine