Monday, April 30, 2012

Buen día!  Espero que todo esté bien en ¨Los Estados¨.  Hope everything is going well up there in ¨the states¨!
This week was pretty crazy...   Hermana Collins finished her mission and we were expected another hermana to fill her spot and serve with Hermana Velasco.  I told Hermana Green that it´s nice to not feel anxious during transfers because we knew we would be together for at least another transfer, but little did I know that this transfer would end up being different than we expected!!  Hermana Velasco was transferred to Cañada de Gomez where I served, and no hermanas came to fill the spots here, so now Hermana Green and I are now the only two hermanas working in our branch!  We think this might be because there are still a big group of missionaries in Mexico and the US that are waiting for their Visas, so areas are temporarily dissolved into other areas.  That doesn´t stop us!  The work continues!!
I am constantly reminded of so much support we have here.  We have two really strong fellowshippers who come with us to our lessons, one is a single mother Mariel who wishes she could have served a mission and so is helping us as much as she can.  She even says ``call me more often!  I can help you everyday after 6!``  wow, that is every missionary´s dream!  And our other helper is more like our best friend and sidekick, Iara.  She´s 19 and drives us to lessons and wants to serve a mini mission! (mini missions here are really helpful to the mission when we need a spot filled temporarily.  The mini missionaries haha serve for one transfer or a few weeks until a visa waiter comes).  These two fellowshippers were once inactive, and I love that the missionary work bug has bit them and it´s this great contagious thing that spreads like wildfire!  Mariel referred her aunt, cousin, and mother in law and they are all progressing and close to baptism!  References are golden.  What makes me so happy about seeing missionary work in action is when it comes from the members.  It keeps me thinking how I want to contribute to my ward when I return home.  President Hinckley said that every new member needs a friend, a calling, and the good word.  I believe that after being nourished by the good word they immediately need a good friend, because we missionaries won´t be here forever!  It breaks my heart to know there are some recent converts who are less active because they don´t feel comfortable in their ward.  I know have such a different perspective now, having heard countless stories of why people don´t want to go to church.  It isn´t because they no longer believe it´s true.  They woud have more desires to get themselves up in the morning and go if they felt like they had someone waiting for them, someone they can relate to, rely on, and grow with spiritually.  My mind is changed forever on visiting teaching... I am sad to say but when I had assignments before the mission to visit some girls, a lot of them were inactive, and I would send a facebook message, a text, and if I didn´t get a response I´d think ``well I don´t think they want to be bothered, the last thing I want is to be an annoying visiting teacher.``  But that´s not the right attitude.  Even if less active people never come back to church, they can at least know they have someone to go to because we constantly reach out and visit and serve them.  It needs to be more than just a little note or text.  When they feel forgotten then they lose that spark they once had, that testimony that burned within.  We have to reach out and put aside the reasons why they are inactive. 
Ok, I´ll get off my soap box now...  I just am constantly having more realizations of how people feel on the other side of the interactions between active and less active members.  I feel bad for my ignorance earlier, but I know I can take what I am learning here and apply it to my life when I return home.  : )
It is absolutely beautiful here in the fall!  This past week was freezing, but luckily it was just a cold front that passed through.  Hope you are all enjoying your spring!  I can´t believe it is almost May... in my mind everything is on pause at home, but then I get letters and updates from you and it´s as if only two wees have passed and a whole new chapter in your lives has begun and concluded.  Thank you for your letters, I have been so behind at responding, please forgive me!  Love you all.

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