Wednesday, December 31, 2014

"I have really become more grateful for everything in my life since being here on the mission..."

December 1, 2014

Baptize Manuel... check.
Memorize 25 scripture masteries word for word in Spanish,.. check.
Hope and pray with all my heart that we don't have changes in the transfers next week... check. 

No I ate no turkey this week. but I had some delicious rice and beans. Actually rice and beans are super good here so I'm not complaining at all.

Thanksgiving day picture!! We didn't do anything special. We ate ground meat and rice and beans.

Yes there are lots of holidays where the kids have school off here but I never know when they are and people will sometimes just randomly tell us that there was no class on whatever day. I don't remember what 5 de Mayo is actually.... but it's not that big I don't think... Thanksgiving sounds like it was so fun!!!

I have really become more grateful for everything in my life since being here on the mission, and I honestly would not trade anything that I now have for anything else. Because I know in the end that even all the stuff I don't like about my life like all the problems I have, will be for the best. I am so grateful for a family that raised me in the gospel, and I can't even express how much I love this gospel and my Savior Jesus Christ. Every time I teach someone and get to know their situation it makes me reflect on my own life and makes my heart ache 'cause it doesn't matter how much or how little they have, I know the gospel is the best thing anyone could ever have and I know my life is just so much happier because I have come to know and understand all that Christ did for us and how we can become more than just imperfect humans one day...

On Thursday HW and I made all of our prayers just be pure giving thanks prayers, and it was really cool. This morning we had this leadership meeting thing and the missionaries who are going home next week in transfers all bore their testimonies and I got all scared to end my mission again. I REALLY love being here and I don't want to leave!!!!! AHHH I'm scared the time is going by way too fast!
Guess who I got to see on Tuesday!!!! My beloved daughter HP!!! We had this double- zone capacitation thing. (Again. I feel like we have about a thousand of those every week...)
and I got to see my old zone lakin cause we were with them!!!! HW and I had to give a presentation again and we sang.. it was pretty fun!

All the girls in the capacitation thing.

Good news, Manuel got baptized. He was so prepared and so happy and now we just have to get him to the temple and baptize his family!!!!!

 Us with Manuel!!!! Thumbs up.

Ok you guys remember Lucy from lzamal? She got baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hermana P [Sam's previous companion] told me and I got so excited!!!! If you guys were praying for her then thank you 'cause it paid off!!!!

Miguel is having family problems cause his family told him that he can't be the godfather for his nephew anymore cause he got baptized and he's feeling kinda down about that... Pray for him!
Retaining converts is probably the biggest struggle here... I don't know why but it's way hard to keep your converts active!  Por Favor oren por [Please pray for...] Jasmin, Manuel, Miguel, Emmanuel, Maribel, and Edy:)

Hope you all have a very merry week!


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"We're weird gringas who randomly start talking to you on the bus or in the street or whatever and then try to baptize you."

November 24, 2014

School, I really haven't thought much about it.... I can't decide if I want to come home and work for a summer or go straight to school.

I just want to stay here and go to college in Mexico. Can I do that?

Thanksgiving sounds like such a party. Sorry I can't be there. Get together with everyone for Christmas and skype me!

Did you send any m&ms in the package you sent? Just wondering cause we went to Walmart today (it was a special day) and wanted to buy m&ms but chocolate is SOO expensive in Mexico!! So all the girls in our zone have their parents send them chocolate and stuff. It's really great.

OK so now on to the big news..... like the whole week. Holy cow so much stuff has happened I don't even know where to start!

On Tuesday we had yet ANOTHER missionary leadership capacitation meeting  from 7 in the morning to 6 in the evening... that's 11 hours. of pure capacitation. AND they asked me and HW to give a part of it cause some of the leaders had to prepare a message. SO we had to share the importance of learning by memory and by the Spirit, the 10 points of how to begin teaching, according to preach my gospel. AND elder R (one of the assistants) asked us to make it fun and something that the crowd would never forget... Uhh ok no pressure or anything....
SO guess what we did? We made up songs to all of the points and sang the really good ones to everyone so that they could remember them easier! We picked tunes to hymns and just changed the words, everyone laughed at us a lot but hey, I don't think they'll forget it.

Then after the thing, there was a major problem with some hermanas in our zone, and we had to cancel our plans and go to the hermana's house to talk to them, and then it was really late, like way after the time that we need to be in the house when the assistants call and tell us that they're coming to the hermana's house too so president can talk to them. And we got home super late that night, and that was the start of my week of getting like no sleep...

Then I had to go to this same hermanas area to do divisions AGAIN, but for 3 days this time.. UGH I hate being away from my area and my companion for 3 days, I get anxious. But it's all good because then I came back on Saturday, and that night we had a baptism!!!!! Miguel got baptized!!! And so did this family of 3 that the elders were teaching. It was soo crazy spiritual and Miguel invited his brother and bore his testimony and was so excited for his baptism even though he was so nervous for his interview and he is just so prepared. Its been like four weeks since we started teaching him and he already got baptized. AND he's totally going on a mission cause he's 21 and already going to mission prep classes and he goes on visits with us and everything. Ohhh he's so awesome.

J and Miguel both got confirmed yesterday. J had to wait a week because last week was stake conference. But it's all good! Except for the fact that this is STILL all a big secret from her dad, whom nobody wants to talk to 'cause apparently he's really scary, and J doesn't ever allow us to meet him...
Today was so cool 'cause like 5 different people contacted US, as in, instead of us going up to people to try to talk to them about the gospel, they come up to US and start talking!! And that doesn't happen a lot because usually the people are scared of us cause we're weird gringas who randomly start talking to you on the bus or in the street or whatever and then try to baptize you.
which is totally true:)
Ok I'll send pictures of the baptism!

I love you all!


Ok I have to go now ‘cause we have to go baptize more people.

Haha yes we do exercise, but there’s no pyramids here in Merida.... just Izamal. We get up at like 6 every morning. And we're trying to be healthy so we run to the little fruit stand that’s close to our house and buy fruit every morning. :)

Sam and Hma Williams eating limes
Miranda is so stinkin’ cute in her Frozen outfit!!
OK so where do I begin?? JASMIN!!!! She got baptized on Tuesday and she's the greatest. The service was really nice even though not a lot of people came because it was a last minute change, she WAS going to get baptized last Saturday, so that’s what they announced in church so everyone came... but she couldn't until Tuesday and by that time everyone already had plans... but it doesn't matter cause it was still really beautiful and HW and I sang and the elders came and she has a really strong testimony. Even though she almost passed out from how cold the water was. ( but I think she was exaggerating ‘cause I felt it later and it wasn't that cold.)  I wrote more about her in the picture email.   [Here it is…] Oh my gosh she is literally the best ever she got baptized with such a strong testimony and she is totally going to be a super faithful member her whole life and we're going to be friends forever. She told us that the reason she wanted to get baptized was because she wanted to be able to go to the temple one day with her family and get sealed to them, and do the temple work for her ancestors.....
Do you know HOW MANY people get baptized with that in mind? very few!! But that’s like one of the most important reasons really, eternal families:)

 Samantha and Jasmin

We did divisions twice with some hermanas that have some big problems that we now need to try to resolve, one of which requires that we do divisions again, possibly for a WHOLE WEEK! Who knows how we're going to be able to have time for our own area.... oh well.
This week alone I lost a bag that I bought, 2 Books of Mormon, 2 gospel principles books, my CAMERA, an old agenda that had a lot of info, another bag that randomly disappeared, and get this, MY AGENDA for this transfer. UGH! Anyone who has been a missionary understands my anguish right now. YOU ARE NOTHING WITH OUT YOUR AGENDA. Luckily and thanks to lots of prayer, almost everything else showed up again, but my agenda is still gone!!!! I'm quite depressed... I have a temporary one but it’s not the same and its way chafa..:( but oh well I'll keep praying ‘cause prayer totally works.

MIGUEL IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY! We changed his baptismal date cause he's so prepared and we couldn't wait any longer! This week he went out on visits with us again, and went to mission prep yesterday..... :O He is so awesome!!!!!! I'll try to send a picture of him. Oh HW just told me she's going to send me this picture we have of him so you can see him in a sec. I'll send it in a minute.

Stake conference yesterday! It was wayyy good! This guy from the seventy came and they had all these recently baptized or activated people participate and talk with telling them before and they talked about their conversion stories and it was so cool! Manuel came and met Presidente Garcia. Manuel is getting baptized on the 29th of this month:) He's awesome too.
Ok I have to go now ‘cause we have to go baptize more people. I love you all and hope you have Happy Thanksgivings!!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

"For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

Monday November 10, 2014

OK so I know I sound like a broken record here but I have NO TIME today... p day ends at 6 and that's when we started writing.... BUT it's not our fault 'cause the zone leaders never told us that we could write today 'cause they told us we had to wait and... Ok it's a really long story nevermind.,.
BUT this week went really great!!!! Even though we had to go to 2 random leadership meetings this week and do divisions twice we actually got a lot done and we're so stoked. Know why???  'Cause being a missionary rocks!!

On Tuesday we had our leadership meeting with president and the assistants and all the zone leaders and sister training leaders, everybody argued a lot and we talked about how we need to work with the members more to be able to accomplish what it says in Moses 1:39 ["For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."]

THEN I went on divisiones[splits] to Baca (this little tiny town with a zillion mosquitos and people who totally come to church:)

THEN on Wednesday we taught a gay guy who likes to talk way too much, and came late to Merida again to finish the divisions, so HW and I had to RUN to the church to teach our English classes and have an awesome consejo de barrio [ward council meeting] and the elderes bought us donuts and KFC so that was fun:)

On Thursday we brought a member with us who had never come with the sisters before on lessons, and she loved it and wants to go with us every Thursday from here on out! And we ate with the lady Y we're reactivating and she's so great.

On FRIDAY we were supposedly going to have our zone conference like planned as usual, but at the last second the assistents call and tell us we have emergency changes, and all the leaders are coming to Merida again for another leadership meeting! So we go and get a ton of revelation to then pass on to our zones, but then they tell us that the next day we have to do our zone conference and we have to go to both of our zones that we cover (We have 2) SO we had to do emergency divisions with the other zone so that HW could go there for THEIR zone conference and give the capacitacion and I would do it alone in ours.

SO on Saturday we did that and then there was a baptism that night of the Elderes and 2 of our investigators came! (Manuel and Miguel) and on Sunday, Jasmin and Manuel came to church and Miguel didn't but we went to visit him and he told us he wants to go out on visits with us so we were like .... ok sure why not? and we took him with us to visit another investigator and Miguel was SO AWESOME!!! He was like talking about the restoration and he says :"I haven't been baptized yet but I have prayed about the Book of Mormon and..." and we are just sitting there with mouths wide open... And then we took him to this stake missionary meeting where our awesome stake missionary leader planched us all with his fantastic words and Miguel was totally pumped up and we're so sure he's going to be a missionary. He just needs to get baptized first:) 

<but how cool is that?? Just hours before, we talked about his baptism and he was a little unsure, but then after the meeting we stuck around (Jasmin was getting her baptismal interview, she's getting baptized tomorrow:) and were talking and he's like "wait, what day is my baptism, the 29th? what time? are we going to invite everyone?" HA! the power of a group of ward missionaries in a room... :)
So yup. Jasmin is getting baptized tomorrow and she's so excited, she invited her boyfriend to church and he came and she's been like reading the Book of Mormon with him and everything"!!  She is so cool.

In other news there's this group of teenagers that literally hangs out smoking and laughing and being punks and probably drinking too in front of our house every night. But literally, they are RIGHT in front of the door and we have to ask them to move out of the way to get in.... We always invite them to church and then we blast Mo-Tab [Mormon Tabernacle Choir] and sing hymns right on the other side of the door, but they always come back. I bet it's the Spirit they feel that keeps drawing them back. The first night we were scared and called the zone leaders to complain but then we realized they are harmless. And we gave them a word of wisdom pamphlet and told them to read it. And then we told them they were going to be condemned if they kept breaking that commandment. No just kidding we didn't do that. But we thought it...

In other other news, our ward has 6 missionaries (one of only 2 wards in the whole mission that have 3 companionships of missionaries by the way.. nbd..) and we are all gringos. Except for elder F, he's from the Dominican Republic.

Oh my gosh it's like already Christmas here.. the grocery store already is selling Christmas trees, and HW and I are already praying that we stay together for Christmas. We are so stoked and we REALLY want to stay here together next transfer!! Pray for it!!

Today we went to the grocery store that's right next to the church early this morning to get ingredients 'cause we want to make chocolate chip cookies, but hey turns out that chocolate chips don't exist in Mexico. And neither does frosting. or brown sugar. Know why? 'Cause those things don't contain pig fat or corn. And the things that don't contain pig fat or corn don't exist in Yucatan.
Yeah it's great. 

HW and I are going on a diet. which will be extremely hard 'cause the people feed us pure oil and corn and pig fat. and sometimes a salad (a couple leaves of letttuce and a tomato with lots of chile and lime and salt. It's actually super delicious.)
So anyway we went to Walmart today to find chocolate chips!!! and they are like

OK wow that was long.. Sorry Mom you are going to kill me but I don't have my camera right now... long story... but I PROMISE I will send pictures next week! 


Monday, October 20, 2014

"We have all these new good ideas which are super exciting and marvelous for a missionary but for normal people are probably incredibly unextraordinary"

Monday October 20, 2014

Thanks for your email:) Glad someone is reading my emails and I'm not just arbitrarily writing to nobody. The treasure hunt sounds soo fun! Wish I could be there to participate but I'm a little busy trying to talk to people and sweat to death. Actually, the weather has been really nice this past week. And by really nice I just mean that we stop melting at about 2 or 3 every day cause then it starts raining. I can't wait to come home and be dry for the first time in like a year. 

WELLLL this week... was the last week of the transfer. Next week we have cambios and who knows who's going to leave. Kinda nerve racking. But we got super organized and have all these new good ideas which are super exciting and marvelous for a missionary but for normal people are probably incredibly unextraordinary. But so we are getting the hang of these transfers and I'm learning the area better and we have started going to divisions with members of the ward which is fun and we have all these big plans that supposedly are going to come to pass (according to our missionary leader) but we'll see how that works out. Jasmin is on board to be baptized the 8th of January!!! Everyone pray for her!!! I love her she's so stinkin' cute. She came to church yesterday and totally participated in the gospel principles class and came to Relief Society and everything! I'm so proud of her.
ok other stuff..... let me think...

OH so yesterday we went to visit that guy Miguel, (the one from the comvi remember?) And turns out he's still super awesome, but he just needs to come to church so PRAY for him please!?! But we went to visit Miguel and he brings us out this tray of cookies and apple juice, and I was like shoot. Because I'm fasting and I didn't want to offend him but I didn't want to tell him that I was fasting either so I was like "Hermana Nunez hurry eat a bunch of cookies so it looks like I ate some too!!!" And she's like OK!! So when he leaves the room she starts shoving cookies in her mouth and then she's like here put some in your bag!! So we are randomly shoving cookies wherever they will fit before he comes back in the room. So that's the story of why there's a bunch of broken cookies in my companion's scripture bag. 

ALSO pray for Manuel cause this guy is so dang stubborn!!!! He knows he needs to get baptized cause he's told us and he has read like half the Book of Mormon already and he comes to church, but he's just scared to get baptized!!!! 

Ok well that's about it for today. I wish you all the best of luck in your endeavors and hope that you can find happiness in the most unlikely circumstances!!:D


"The Lord works in mysterious ways! And missionaries work in the Lord's ways. So that's why missionaries are so mysterious sometimes I guess.."

Monday October 13, 2014

So we just passed week four in Chichen Itza. I think... Gosh I can't keep track of time, it's all going so quickly!! 

Welllllll this week was good and eh. It wasn't bad 'cause nothing is ever bad on the mission. Except for those very rare times when it is. But those are super rare!!!! ANYWHO it was eh because we had no time to be in our area teaching 'cause practically every single day we had some meeting or something where we had to travel or do divisions or something. AND the days that we had divisions, I stayed here in the area and HN left, and ALL of our planned lessons fell through.. And then like nobody could talk to us. Or I guess they just didn't want to. But it was all good 'cause I got to know the Hermanas really well. 

 Sam and Hermana Nunez

"Funny picture of some minions. These things are actually like a big deal here.. I went on divisions with an hermana that had  her towel and camera case and everything was of minions..."

We had interviews with President on Saturday and so we went to Centro cause the interviews are ALWAYS in the offices, so we assumed this would be the same, turns out they weren't. He came to our stake center to do them so we took a trip all the way to Centro and back for no good reason right? NOPE! So we're in this comvi (Its like a little van that fits like 12 people and everyone sits on the benches facing each other.  Everyone's just sitting there not talking, when HN says "Do you want to contact them all?" And I was like "Ok!" but not really sure how to start a conversation with every single one of them. And she suddenly starts talking to them all like "Good afternoon, we are the missionaries of ......" And just talking about the message, and it felt pretty awkward at first but I think I've grown so used to being that weird missionary that keeps trying to talk to people even if they don't want anything that I guess it didn't really phase me. Anyways so nobody wanted us to take their address to go visit them, (And there was even this one old guy who started randomly talking about his Bible and I think he was trying to bash the Book of Mormon or something but he didn't even really make sense...) but HN saw one other guy looking somewhat interested I guess so when we got off she followed him and was like "Hey do you want a Book of Mormon?" And he didn't accept it but he said he was actually really interested in the concept that there could possibly be another book other than the Bible, so he gave us his address and we said we were going to visit him one day. His name's Miguel. But before we left we like bore our testimonies of the book and Joseph Smith and everything and left. THEN yesterday we just visited him and turns out he's actually like super prepared and accepted a baptism date and everything! And had been researching and reading the pamphlet we gave him and like already knew the whole first vision part and was explaining it to us before we even got to that point!!!

Sam and Hma Velasquez

"This morning we made caballeros pobres which is like super delicious Mexican style french toast that's way unhealthier than french toast from the States"

AGH so I'm running out of time but it was just a really cool experience and I keep remembering something that someone said that President quoted (sorry don't remember who) but he said "testify of Joseph Smith, even if they throw rocks at you." Haha well it's just a really powerful subject and I know that his name alone can bring the Spirit into a conversation. 
So the week ended good, with 3 new investigators that have potential:)
The Lord works in mysterious ways!
And missionaries work in the Lord's ways.
So that's why missionaries are so mysterious sometimes I guess..
Those are my wise words for the day. 
Shout out to my mom for her birthday!! Happy birthday mommy!!! Love you!!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Conference has never been so exciting as it is here on the mission!

October 6, 2014

Soo conference weekend!!!!

Conference  has never been so exciting as it is here on the mission [Twice a year the LDS church has general conference where we hear from the prophet and his apostles- link here ]. ESPECIALLY this time around 'cause we got to watch all of it in English!!! It's really amazing how much you get out of conference when you get to hear it in your native tongue. We got to hear it in English because both the zone  leaders are gringos, and there are 9.5 gringos total in our zone. (HN is the .5, she can't really decide if she's Mexican or American.) So everyone in the whole stake comes to the church to watch conference because they project it in the sacrament meeting room, but the zone leaders decided to go sweet talking the stake president into letting them use the high council room to watch it in English, that's what we did!  It was a fun little English private conference watching party in the air conditioned high council room! Haha it was way fun, everyone just talked English the whole time and it felt a  little weird at first but it was way cool and we could talk about the talks we liked and stuff.  It was good because there are a couple of newer missionaries that are still learning Spanish and would not have gotten anything at all out of the Spanish. But I swear only missionaries could get so excited about a general conference talk that they start shouting "YES" at the screen and waving their fists in the air as if it were a football game. not even exaggerating!....

Merida Temple

 Remember that talk by that guy Jorg whose last name I can`t spell let alone remember? [ Jorg Klebingat  here's the link ] Yeah I might say that one was my favorites but I can't tell if I alone loved it, or if I was biased by my over-excited missionary companions... but yeah that was a good one. I also loved Elder Bednar's Sunday afternoon talk  [ link here] and that one that you mentioned Mom by Lynn G Robbins [link here] ! Oh it was just all so good! I wish I had my notes here with me so I could remember the parts I liked the best!

SO here in Chichen Itza (Not to be confused with the other equally valid area in the mission named chicken pizza) we're doing good. HN and I are hardly ever together cause we have to be in exchanges like 3 days every week. And the bad news is our somewhat potente [from Camille- she uses this word all the time and from the context I would say it means ready or receptive but when I checked the Spanish dictionary it says "powerful" ] investigator Michel randomly moved to Mexico City.... Her mom answered the door one day and was like, "she was being really bad so I sent her to her dad's house in Mexico City." So that was disappointing... Also our other two investigators who we're really trying hard with, Manuel and Sofia, are being stubborn and don't want to get baptized. But we're going to start thinking out of the box for them. The good news is there's this chick who we found who is super awesome, her name is Jazmin, and she totally wants to get baptized!! She's so ready to learn what we have to say and really wants to know what happened to her brother who died a couple years ago, like where he is and everything. So we're going to teach her that today!!!:)

 And now are you READY FOR THE OTHER REALLY GOOD NEWS? Oh sorry caps lock, unintentional emphasis.. But so HP [former companion- still in Izamal] informed me today that our investigator Lucy from Izamal is finally deciding to get baptized, and accepted a date!!! I'm so excited for her!!!! So I guess you could pray for Manuel, Sofia, Jazmin, and Lucy again!!! Hmmm and Leslie and Felipe too. That's a family we're working with now. They need the gospel in their lives. 

This week we had our leadership meeting on Tuesday all morning (Where Elder T totally told us off us in front of  all the leaders in the whole mission and then tried to tell on us to HG 'cause he was all upset cause his clothes were all stinky and his house was dirty because somehow it was HN's fault that he lost almost his whole p day last week... even though it kinda was.. and then it was really funny cause HG totally took our side, but that's another story involving some donuts, and some really internally disturbed elders) and then I went to Motul for exchanges (which was super fun cause I was back in a little pueblo again) and then we had like 3 other meetings, a couple family home evenings, and a zone conference, and general conference, and all of a sudden it's p-day again.  This was like the fastest week ever. But it was really good.

Glad to hear everything is good there, love you all a lot!

Monday, September 29, 2014

"We are in charge of 10 companionships of sisters..."

September 29, 2014

Awww I love everyone's birthday comments tell them all that I say thank you so much!!!! OK so I'm soo sorry but its gonna be a short one today. Apparently sister training leader means you take half of your writing time to do the evaluation of the sisters who you did divisions with.

 We are in charge of 10 companionships of sisters and have to do divisions [also known as splits] with all of them.. so that's twice a week that we do divisions. This week I was with a gringa both times, it was really good actually 'cause I got to learn a lot!!! And I got to learn how to take someone to the hospital, and be a translator for the Mexican doctors cause hey, that happened on Tuesday!! She's fine, she was just having some stomach pains so we called Hermana G and she freaked out and made us go to the hospital where we paid 600 pesos to a doctor who told us that she had appendicitis... SO we freaked out and called Hermana G who told us that we were actually in the wrong place, the place that wasn't insured, which is why he charged us... THEN we went to the real doctors and they told us that she was fine, and sent us home, only after having her lie in the hospital bed all the day long so they could do blood tests and a ultrasound and all this stuff. So I was just following her bed around and she didn't speak any Spanish so I had to translate everything and you would have thought she was like dying... just for a little stomach pain.. ohhh well better safe than sorry! haha

SO this week we took Manuel to the temple and had a super potente lesson about eternal families and stuff 'cause his wife died, BUT he's afraid to get baptized 'cause he doesn't want to give up drinking.... roughhh... We had a super good lesson with Natali (who out of the blue told us that she wants to be called Michelle now...) and she has family problems too. I am SO GRATEFUL that I have a normal (Ok well that's debatable) but functional family! Cause that's pretty rare here...

So some funny stuff, turns out my companion is a manipulative genius. Ok so she keeps trying to find some members from either our ward or Quintero ward to help this less active family move, cause she loves them, but we really don't have time for that and none of them members could do anything at all this week! So Elder F (our District Leader) and Elder A (his comp) have been telling us to bring donuts to the district meeting all week because, well who knows why.. they just wanted donuts I guess. OK long story short, she tricked the elders of our district into using their p day [p day is short for preparation day- missionaries get one day a week to shop, do laundry, etc,] to give service and helping this family move in exchange for some donuts. And so the elders in our district are all ticked off with her but I think it's just hilarious. Ohh I just need to video record one of the conversations of them talking. It needs it's own YouTube channel..

Ok that's all for today. Les quiero mucho!!


"...he calls us his little angels that come to teach him about God haha:) "

September 22, 2014

Fun fun! Right now I'm writing to you guys in the family history center of the church that is right up next to the temple- and the mission offices, so there's a ton of other missionaries here too writing. When I pulled up the picture of Dad I started laughing so everyone looked and I'm pretty sure they were all pretty confused cause I wasn't sure how to explain the constitution fair or James Madison or anything in Spanish... haha oh well. 

Here's the picture she's talking about

Oh yeah I forgot to tell you guys that I did get your package!! I loved it so much!!!!! I'm sorry I had to open it early but I had transfers and the box wouldn't fit in my suitcase so I had to open it. HP was more upset 'cause she wanted to put up the streamers and balloons and everything for me and now she can't :/ She's pretty upset.. but oh well. 

OK a little about my companion- Hermana Nuñez, She rocks!!! She is from Guerrero Mexico, but she lived in North Carolina for like 9 years so she speaks almost as much English as Spanish.. She is super funny and super obedient which I LOVE! She's such a great missionary and she does things so differently from all my other companions but I've been able to learn soo much from her! She's pretty much teaching me how to be sister training leader and she's super awesome. I'll send a picture of her.
I really love my area! Actually, not that much, but I know I am going to love it because I started out not liking it at all cause its in Merida again and it just reminds me of my first area Tanlum.... I didn't love that area... BUT it's a lot better and the ward is soo awesome (well HN and the other elders in our ward (cause there are 3 companionships in this ward, us and 4 other elders) don't think so but in comparison to Izamal the members are soo involved!!) We have one investigator Manuel that is soo awesome and he loves listening to us and he goes to church and everything! His wife died and he calls us his little angels that come to teach him about God haha:) He just has troubles with the whole tithing thing, but we're getting there!! We're going to baptize him.

More goats
"This is the family Ku who I LOVE!!! Ivan (Who HP and I swear is a vampire, cause he looks like Edward Cullen) His mom Dorita who cooks AMAZING!! And her son Fernando who is the funniest little kid ever!! He's not wearing pants here....."

 We have this other lady Sofia who is the mom of a recent convert named Jose and he had drug problems and was in jail a lot, but he turned his life around and got baptized and his mom Sofia claims that she already got baptized when she was little but we don't have any record of it so we re-invited her to baptism, and she was totally willing and ready for a while. Then when she did her baptismal interview, the elder who did it didn't know Spanish that well and misunderstood one of her answers and accidentally told her that she can't be baptized.. and she got kinda mad for a long time.. but now she's all soft and happy again! And coming to church!!! So we're going to baptize her too:) 

AND this week we met this 15 year old girl named Natali, and she's way cool and likes listening to us, even though her mom and brother don't really like us.. She has a lot of family problems and is kinda a rebel child, but she really had a desire to be clean of her sins so we're going to baptize her too:) 

SO I will let you know when all these baptisms happen, but in the mean time if you wanted to pray for them that would be so awesome!:) Love you all:)


Saturday, September 27, 2014

" Guess what.. I got transferred."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Arizona and other parts of the world,

 So funny story, this is actually kinda awkward after what everyone sent me this week in their emails, but guess what.. I got transferred.

 Yeahhh president did tell us a week ago that we were going to stay in Izamal one more change and we were so pumped and planning all this cool stuff all week, and then Sunday night comes. And Elder Fonseca calls (very late might I add. like at 10:00) and tells us that we have changes and I'm going to this area in Merida as sister training leader, and HP is staying in Izamal with this Latina Hermana who doesn't speak any English. And of course I don't believe him 'cause they always lie to you before telling you the truth. But then it's getting late and he's still serious and I realize he's not joking... And he's like YES hermana smith you have to be in Merida tomorrow at 8 with all your bags and everything. You're going to Chichen-itza and you and your companion are going to be sister training leaders. SISTER TRAINING LEADERS. What the heck?? I just got here?? President made a mistake. but noooo Elder Fonseca was dead serious and so I stay up all night packing cause there's no point in going to bed when it takes like an hour to pack  up and we have to wake up at like 3.30 anyway to get to Merida on time, and we go to Merida this morning. And I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone:( Actually I did call one family that I love a ton to tell them I was leaving and they brought us pancakes and french fries to say goodbye.)  So yeah.

 Now I'm in Merida again in a place called Chichen-itza and my companions name is Hermana Nuñez and we are the sister training leaders of our zone. And I'm fine cause HN is super cool and has been STL [sister training leader] before and knows how to do all the stuff, but I miss Izamal!!! I was so ready to stay there another six weeks!!! But actually I didn't take it as hard as HP. She was super super upset... I feel bad cause she is like super stressed out now cause her comp doesn't know the area and doesn't know English and yeah... but it's for the best! At least now she'll be forced to learn Spanish. 

So I'll try to send a pic of HN and I next week. She's super cool. And she speaks English perfectly. What's up with me having all these English speakers as companions? I don't know.. 
So sorry, I feel bad for letting you all down cause I actually am NOT  in Izamal anymore.. but this week went well! We had a talent show with the ward and we tried to get our bishop to rap but he wouldn't.  HP and I sang primary hymns in English  with this cool different rhythm and I did that cup thing from Pitch Perfect. Also Lucy went to church!! With her daughters!! And then we went to her house and helped her with her English homework. And I got a letter from my convert Fredy and it literally made me cry.

Ok I'll let you all know how this new area is next week but I love you all lots bye!


"...hope you all know that the church is true and the book is blue and I love you all!"

Monday September 8, 2014

Dear Mom, and other people too,

To answer your question, yes, to wash our clothes we just beat them with a rock. Its actually a super special clothes beating rock and all you do is hit your dirty clothes with it a couple times and your clothes are magically cleaned!
That was a joke. 

No usually we take our clothes to the laundry place and just pick them up like a couple days later, but then we discovered that this family in our ward (Los F, who happen to be the family of the Relief Society president, the bishop, and our ward mission leader all in one) actually have a washing machine that we can use cause they're like super rich. And they have a computer too that they let us use to write!! Ok well actually its the "church's" computer but seeing as the church is destroyed right now it's living in the house of the F family. 

ALSO, yeah I know what talk that is [note from Camille, I asked her about a talk called "His Grace is Sufficient" here is the  link,] I've read it! Ok well I haven't read it but my companion has which is kinda the same thing cause she pretty much like read and annotated the whole thing to me over the course of  two weeks. She was obsessed with it for a while. So yeah I guess I should re-read it and compare notes with HP. Just to see who has better notes ya know. just kidding, we're not competitive like that. Yeah it really helped us understand the atonement better and what's possible for us because of Christ and everything,  It's actually way good!

 Her district
 "the girls from our zone: Arriaga, Carrastro, me, HP, Manning, Montgomery, Martinez, and Hobbs." 

"so... this is a house. supposedly. But I don't know who would live there. Maybe a monkey"


Right now its raining. Like pretty much every day. I love it! And I would dance and play in it all the time too but I'm afraid someone would see me and be like "ugh those Mormons are so weird" and never want to listen to us. 

My gosh guess what!!!! Lupita went to church on Sunday and so we officially have a progressing investigator!!! The SECOND progressing investigator we've had in 2 transfers. And guess what else, President called me last night to talk about the area cause we've had really really low numbers in Izamal for like a year now and he was thinking about closing the area, but wanted to get my opinion. And HP and I had actually JUST been talking about that like 5 minutes before he called and we were commenting about how we really wanted to see a baptism here, to show everyone that Izamal COULD baptize! So I don't know why or how it came out but I ended up telling him that I would like to stay here with my companion one more transfer to try to see through our plans that we had made....... What the heck Hermana Smith why'd you tell him that, right? I don't know... but so he was like "OK Hermana Smith I trust you."

 I also asked him to divide the area 'cause its way too huge and I told him we need bikes... but we'll see what he does about that.  So he's not going to close the area and we already know that when transfers come next week we'll already know that we're staying here 6 more weeks. But its OK 'cause I'm SO DETERMINED to baptize our investigators!!! I don't know if you guys were praying for Lupita but if you were [another note from Camille- we were!!] THANK YOU cause she came to church and I think she liked it.. it was hard to tell though. we just need to work on making our investigators keep going to church and not just stop everything after one time! So keep praying for her!

 We also found this guy this week named Felipe and he seems like he has potential and says he really wants to listen to us and read our book! His story is super cool so listen to this. Last week was like the worst week ever right? So we go to district meeting and our district leader Elder Fonseca gets us all pumped up again and gives us all these ideas on how to have success! And he talked about having specific prayers, like SPECIFICALLY asking for what you want and how that helps us. SO we decided to try that on Tuesday, and we both decided we wanted to find 3 new investigators, 2 men and 1 woman, and we wanted to be able to teach a complete lesson with all three of them.  We knew that was a little ambitious, but we really wanted to redeem ourselves from last week. So we are walking down the street and this guy calls out to us just like asking us where we're from and then we start talking and he's like, "hey do you guys want to come into my house for a minute, I want you to meet my family." So we're like OK! And we go in and teach him and his wife and his two sons, one of which is 10 years old, so officially old enough to be counted as an investigator. 2 guys and one girl, all with complete lessons!  Woahhh... THEN later as we were leaving, HP tells me that this morning she was actually thinking about the goal we put, and she thought it was a little crazy, so she actually prayed so that they would all be put into a family, and that's exactly what we got!! Hahe hey prayer works! Who knew? Just kidding I already knew that. But anyway so pray for him!

 Lucy hasn't come back to church:( not because she doesn't want to but because she started school and doesn't have time anymore... but we're still going with her too. In other scandalous news, one of our investigators who is the "wife" of a recent convert from Merida came to church too and she's super awesome and willing to be baptized! The only problem is we had suspicions which were confirmed this week that she is not actually married to her "husband". The most frustrating thing though, is that they WERE married but got divorced cause he was always drinking, but they still love each other and sometimes live together. AND we didn't know this until just barely but her "husband" just got baptized not too long ago and we're not sure if he was worthy... ohhh drama. It's rough. 

Ok well that is a super long letter, and now I have to send pictures. So hope you all know that the church is true and the book is blue and I love you all!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

"I can give the natural man a slap in the face and a run for his money by not giving up and realizing that it's gonna be ok in the end."

Monday September 1, 2014

Ugh I have literally NO time today because it is officially 9:00 right now... apologies.

For your questions, Izamal is getting worse, but I'll explain more in a second.

Nobody is coming to church, pray for Lucy, Manuel, Lupita, and Hilda.
Tell the Marchants I say hi and I miss Chris too!

It never cools off here. But it is rainy season and they say that we might get a hurricane here soon. But I don't think it's very likely. What a shame, I would like to experience a hurricane... But yeah it's been raining for the past 2 days.. 

Glad to know that family is good! I can just imagine you guys having a dance party there in the family room, haha sounds fun! My comp has a really good voice but she doesn't sing much, she doesn't think she can sing well. She likes to dance but I've never seen her. She's a super awesome church youth member, like way involved in her wards youth program in Indiana, and always did stuff like that. She just worked a lot before her mission so she's a really hard worker. Yeah she knows I'm musical. I sing a lot. 

Ok this week I feel like Nephi in 2 Nephi 4. In his words (sorry I don't have my English scriptures here with me now so it's in Spanish) :"Mi corazon se entristece a cause de mi carne. Mi alma se aflige a causa de mis iniquidades. Me veo circundado a cause de los tentaciones y pecados que tan fácilmente me asedian..." [translation : "Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.  I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.  And when I desire to rejoice my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless I know in whom I have trusted..." ] Sometimes I just feel so weak. Like I don't know what I'm doing here and I get so frustrated and discouraged at the littlest things and none of our investigators are coming to church and literally NOBODY wanted to talk to us for like 3 days straight and we've been walking like 6 or 7 hours every day trying to teach people and it feels all so useless. 

 I'm so glad that President made us study a lot about the atonement cause then I can give the natural man a slap in the face and a run for his money by not giving up and realizing that it's gonna be ok in the end. In that same verse Nephi goes on to say: "No obstante, se en quien he confiado." Its been rough but I guess I already know that what's happening is no excuse to be the pathetic complaining missionary that Satan wants us to be, if I know in whom I have put my trust, it'll all be ok. Now what that means exactly, well who knows. Could mean that everything will turn around and we'll start baptizing in this area, or it could mean that this area will still continue being the most rotten area in the mission, but we'll have made some difference that only we could make here, however small. And I guess I'll be ok with that.


Monday, August 25, 2014

"... And we still don't know where the scorpion went, but HP is convinced that it's in her suitcase."

August 25, 2014

Soooo this week didn't go so well either, but we worked so crazy hard to get our investigators to church and have members with us in lessons. And the members are awesome and almost every single lesson we had this week, a member came with us so that was cool.

 But we had ZERO investigators in church! AGAIN. This is literally the hardest thing to get people to do here! And I guess I should have expected it cause this week was stake conference [a stake is made up of several wards in the area and conference is a few times every year] so everyone had to travel to Merida for church and we can't make people pay money to take the bus to Merida for church, but we were actually expecting 2 investigators there who didn't come... And yesterday we went by Lucy's house to see why she didn't come and turns out she really wanted to but couldn't because of another commitment she had and was trying to get out of it, but she was upset that she couldn't come. The good news is the stake conference was beautiful and awesome and we got to stay the night with some Hermanas in Merida who are super fun. But the speakers were  talking about how the members have to help the missionaries and their responsibilities and everything and it was JUST what the ward needed to hear, and that night we got to have ward council finally! So that was so good! And now the ward is excited to help out and organize activities and stuff so yay!
 Pretty sunset in Izamal

Rain in Izamal

Hermana Smith Singin' in the Rain

Fun story, Friday night we're driving home in a taxi and Elder F (the District Leader ) calls and says "Hermana Smith I have some news for you.. you have SPECIAL CHANGES and you are going to Mulsay with Hermana de Leon and you have to be in Merida tomorrow at 8.... AND by now I've learned to never trust your district leader so I was like OK Elder whatever really what do you need? And he wouldn't let it drop! He was so serious so I was like, "What the heck?"  We had to pay the taxi driver so I said  "OK I'll call you back in 5 minutes." So I told HP what EF said, and I don't know if he's joking or not, and she starts freaking out cause she thinks she'll die if I leave and she's left here with a different companion.

 Then we get in the house and I was in the bathroom and I hear HP scream. And she's like Hermana come here!!!!! So I come out and she shows me this huge black scorpion on our table. And I'm not super freaked out 'cause I've seen scorpions before, but HP hasn't and she starts hyperventilating. And I'm not gonna lie, this thing is nasty looking. But we don't know how to kill it or get rid of it cause neither one of us wants to get near it, and it's crawled on the leg of the table making it hard to get at. So I said OK I'm calling EF 'cause we have to call back anyway. So I call him (meanwhile looking up the Spanish word for scorpion) and tell him that there's one in our house. And all this time HP is crawled up in her hammock and almost crying and wants to pray so that the scorpion will die and keeps running from our room to the other room where I'm talking to EF. And then EF is like well I don't know what to do about that, but by the way I was just kidding about your special changes.. so then I give him a mouthful and HP comes running in to see what happened, and I tell her it was a joke and she gets all super mad at EF for freaking us out for nothing. Then she goes back into the room to find that the scorpion disappeared, and comes back in freaking out and standing on her chair. And so that was our stressful night. And we still don't know where the scorpion went, but HP is convinced that it's in her suitcase.

This is Norma Ricalde. We LOVE this family, they're members. She doesn't speak English but she has this bag and I thought it was so funny!

OK well I guess that's all for today. Hope next week I have better news for ya'll!


Friday, August 22, 2014

"...I vote that Moroni should be president of the United States."

August 18, 2014

Dear people.

Bad news, Izamal is officially the worst area in the mission. We are the area that has gone the longest without baptizing, and we're the ONLY area who has not baptized at all this year.... The assistants told me that yesterday... They had to drive down to Izamal to come to our church service, hold an emergency ward council (which by the way, we  NEVER have.) and he planched [there's that word again] the council. Oh they planched them good. They said : "we don't want to have to take away the missionaries from this area, they are a priviledge!" Then the Bishop got all upset and said, " Elders I am in charge of my ward council, not you guys, so I'll tell therm what to do, and also could you give the [mission] president a little message for me, the reason nothing is happening here is because our goals aren't in sync..." and a bunch of other stuff. And of course it was a little more polite, but the interesting juicy dramatic version in my head went something like that. And it was pretty tense. 

And we're STILL left without a ward council, and this is like week 4 now that we haven't had one. It's bad.  And our one progressing investigator stopped progressing because he didn't come to church.  Ugh. Everyone in the ward blames it on the fact that the people in Izamal are just by nature hard-hearted and won't accept the gospel. but I KNOW there are people here who are prepared for the gospel!  It's just been rough trying to find them,. And this week we did pretty well in having members go with us to lessons, but the people just don't want to come to church! ugh. Ok that's a little bit of my missionary anxiety for you, but hey... Igbok. [favorite Samantha saying -  "It's gonna be OK"]

In other news I'm reading right now in Alma 48ish, and I vote that Moroni should be president of the United States. He'd do way better of a job...

There's this girl we're teaching named Lucy and HP and I LOVE her! She might be our best investigator right now. Maybe...
I have pictures! But I'm way out of time so I'll have to send them next week.

Ok love you all bye!


SO I heard from three different people now of the fiasco with the horses [while at a family reunion in Zion's horseback riding some people were hurt ] on Wednesday! Sounds crazy but glad everyone is fine! I got your package! Came sooner than I had expected, after like 3 weeks or something. I LOVED the pictures!!!!! Miranda is a freakin babe!!! (woah sorry thats totally something HP would say, she's rubbing off on me) And Also, HP fell in love with that dress you sent, she's wearing it right now haha along with my earrings and my belt. She got tired of her clothes really fast.

 Ok ya'll ready for  big news? WE POR FREAKING FIN HAVE A PROGRESSING INVESTIGATOR THIS WEEK!!! its the first one since being in Izamal... And its not who you'd expect, but we had a really cool experience with him this week.

  "Just our neighbor herding a bunch of goats into his house. It's a regular Thursday occurrence."

 SO on Friday we went to Merida (ugh we ALWAYS have to go to Merida..) for zone conference and the zone leaders planched [ as far as I can tell planchar means to scold, set straight or something close to that] us about crying repentance unto the people, and how we need to invite everyone to repent. Anyway so we got back late that same day, and we decided to go with this one guy that we had visited once like forever ago but he didn't seem to have retained anything that we said the first time, he might have been a little drunk. But we went to visit him and couldn't go into his house 'cause he was alone but we just stood outside and talked about repentance, like we had just been taught. And even though we were just standing by his gate and it was starting to rain, it was a really powerful lesson, and he told us that he really does want to change. So he promised to come to church, and then on Saturday night we texted that guy A (I think I've already talked about him, he ROCKS and is super into helping us) and asked if he could pick up the guy before church and when we got there he was THERE! and he had accepted a fecha [date] so he's officially progressing! We just have to keep up with this one.

Thanks for my package again!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"I'm praying so hard to have progressing investigators..."

Aug 4, 2014

Hi Mom!

Sorry this is gonna be a short letter today cause I'm way short on time but I sent a ton of pictures and they say a picture is worth a thousand words!

 P-day Mexican pizza party
 "I wonder how long this car has been here... But this is like the norm. This ivy stuff grows all over EVERYTHING"
I call this one: "Christopher Colombus searching for a new world. On top of a mayan pyramid."

"HP and I got some flowers from these adorable little twin daughters of one of our investigators. We went to Tahmek this week to see a baptism and she wanted to come with us! And she brought her daughters."

"This is the Ku Velazquez family and they rock. We eat lunch with them every single Saturday and they have the single most delicious food I've had since being here. The little kid Fernando is adorable and the oldest son rocks cause he always goes on visits with us. And he looks like Mexican Edward Cullen." 

Nope- package hasn't come yet, and I really don't think he [her mission president] even knows what day I'm coming home yet so I don't think I can ask. I just know it's in April. Its always ridiculously hot here, but like June and July are rainy seasons, so it depends if you mind getting wet or not. Branson sounds way fun, wish I could have gone!

This transfer just ended yesterday and HP and I are staying here in Izamal. (surprise surprise) I'm praying so hard to have progressing investigators cause since we've been here we've had ZERO... which is horrible. but I think things might be looking up soon.. I do love it here. Ok I'll write more next week, love you all bye!


"I call it a not-so-typical week for any other missionary, but totally normal for a missionary in Izamal.. "

July 28, 2014 

Pool parties and vacations and family reunions??  Well that sounds almost as fun as walking around all day in like 120° weather teaching the gospel. But not quite... haha no just kidding that sounds way fun!

Well me and HP are getting along well here in Izamal (it's a mall!) Haha and I have a super fun slideshow of pictures to send you guys. I call it a not-so-typical week for any other missionary, but totally normal for a missionary in Izamal.. It's fantastic.

 Climbing pyramids for exercise!!
Sam on the top!
"The baby of the gigantic lizard who lives in the side of our house. I tried to get a picture of the big one, but it hardly ever comes out."

This week.... hmmm well the BIGGEST problem is that we STILL have a destroyed chapel and nobody is coming to church...:( actually that's not true, this one lady came yesterday, but she doesn't want to get baptized and we're in the process of finding out what her deal is... nothing extraordinary really happened this week. Well actually yeah, we came to Centro on Friday morning for interviews. And they decided to schedule our interviews at 7:30 am! And that's not so bad, but when you have to take into account walking time (Like 20 minutes from our house to the bus station in Izamal, and then like 20 more minutes from the bus station in Merida to the mission offices) and then showering and getting ready time, and then we have to get to the bus station early so we can have a seat, (the bus to Merida is surprisingly and incredibly full at 5 in the morning...) and then bus ride time (1 hr 30 minutes) yeah that all adds up. SO we had to get up at like 3ish. And we were so tired, and President G [her mission president] commented to us that we looked tired, and we told him our sad tale of misery and woe. And you know what he does? He just looks at us a minute, and he says (quite sarcastically, and in English) "ohh...poor little missionaries.." Yeah, the mission president! He's not very sympathetic when it comes to, well any sort of excuse for not working harder. His answer is pretty much always "suck it up, forget your problems, and get back to work!" That's just how it is here in the mission. But that's fine with me I guess!

 "We went to the house of some investigators and they decided to introduce us to their animals. HP holding a cute little chicken."
"My turn with the little chicken. he was so fluffy!"

"And then they bring out the big guns. Its a turkey. They just kinda picked it up and shoved it in my face like "look its a turkey!!! big huh?"

Ok well that's all for this week! I'll send pictures! Love ya'll!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

I don't know when it happened, but all of a sudden I know Spanish!

July 21, 2014
So I  don't know if you're purposely being ironic when you ask if I'm "warming up" to Izamal yet or not, but yes I am getting used to it here. The church is still destroyed but we had a family home evening with the whole ward Saturday night in the basketball court (The only part of the chapel that wasn't destroyed) and it was way fun! The ward is super cool. .

Umm well HP is still homesick and she talks about home A LOT which I understand but its kinda hard to focus and its sorta making me homesick too. And I should be a better trainer and focus us more on the work and stuff but we have way too much fun telling stories about home and stuff. Yeah I know everything about all her friends and family and everything. It’s a problem. We're working on it. HP.. hmmm. she's not extraordinarily tall, but she is tallish for a gringa, and so here she's like a giant. Huge contrast to HT who is tiny. Anyway so everyone comments on that like "esta bien grandota su compañera!" [your companion sure is tall!] and she's like.. ok... and courtesy laughs. Which I know ALL ABOUT.  Whenever you don't know what someone is saying (like 95% of the time) you just kinda laugh and smile. Hahah it’s pretty funny and I know exactly how she feels.

 Cool bug zapper racket. we were pretty entertained with this one..

 I don't know when it happened, but all of a sudden I know Spanish!  It’s weird to be listening to someone who like mumbles or talks really fast and totally understand what they're saying when before it literally sounded like gibberish. And if you think about about it and listen, you shouldn't be able to understand what they're saying, but then my Mexican superspanishpowers kick in and I'm like YES I get it!!!! Actually there's something to be said about that, my Spanish progression took a huge leap FIRST when HG left me and I was left in charge (Sorta) of my first area, and then another huge leap when I had to train, and again when I had to train someone who knows no Spanish. And now there is very little that I don't understand.  I really think it has to do with this "Who the Lord calls, he qualifies" thing.  Literally, every time that I noticed a difference in what I understood of Spanish, it was when I was put in a leadership position.  So that’s kinda cool.

Ok so another thing about HP. We have this one investigator who always says that HP looks like the virgin Maria.. she's always like "you have the face of a little virgincita!" and she's like "hahaha *courtesy laugh* yeahh..." but she's thinking thats super weird, what exactly is the face of a virgin?

Oh hey! Yesterday we were eating in the house of this guy A- he's this super old guy who is strangely super in shape and looks older than his mother who is an old investigator of ours... but he's awesome and we love him ‘cause he always wants to go with us on visits, and he walks around with us with his sunglasses and his Sunday shirt and fancy jeans, and he has like this saunter. It’s cool. So much swagger. In this old skinny Mexican guy. ANYWHO so nobody in his family is a member, and it just so happened that when we went to eat, his WHOLE huge family was there visiting, and a lot of them are deaf. I went to shake the hand and kiss this one lady (I think she's A’s niece) and I'm like "Buenas tardes!" and she points to her ear and shakes her head so I know she can't hear. Then as we're eating I notice her in the other room with this guy and this little girl all signing and I couldn't understand what they were saying cause 1- I forgot almost all my sign language and 2- Mexican sign language is way different than English. But then later she came into the room to sign to this other lady something, and I kinda picked out a little bit, so I asked her if she was talking about someone falling out of a tree and she was like "Yeah! How'd you know?" and I explained that I knew ASL, but it had been a long time. But then I started trying to sign, and I started remembering some signs! I started signing to the lady how I took ASL in school and she totally understood!  And then she told me that her son was coming later and he studies ASL so he knows the English sign language!  He came right as we were about to leave with his cousin who is half deaf, and his dad who is all deaf.  So anyway they all freak out and tell him to try to sign to me, and so we're there in the middle of like 70 people all watching us trying to sign to each other. It was really cool cause keep in mind, there is not just one, but 2 language barriers between us right now. And we're like kinda understanding  each other!!! But mine was really broken and he was signing really fast. But still! He was telling us about how they live in Cancun but are staying here in a hotel and I think he either wanted my phone number or to know if I had like a video phone skype thing, and I just showed him our crappy brick phone and he was like oh ok. Then he wanted to take a picture so we got a picture of me with all this family who is deaf. It was wayy cool but kinda frustrating that I couldn't remember more!

Deaf kids!!! Oh my gosh coolest experience ever!!!! 

In other news, we went on visits with this girl V in our ward, and she has a car so her mom was like, "Oh you guys can take the car cause V knows how to drive" so we're like sweet ok! And we're just making small talk and HP asks V how old she is, and all casually she tells us she's 13.......... And HP thinks it’s a joke, cause she looks like she maybe could be 16 or something, but she’s like no I'm serious! Her uncle is there with us too and he says  yeah its true she’s 13! And she is driving this car that we are in. So I'm cool ‘cause things are just different here, so I say Oh what is the driving age here?  And they're like "16" and we're like ummmm......?  But her uncle says  “ But V is a really good driver don't worry!  She's been driving for like 2 years now!”  And we're like what??? But actually it’s not that surprising cause we see these kids that look like they're 12 driving motorcycles around all the time, but it was just weird. And they say nothing matters here cause it’s a pueblecito [small town] and if we were in Merida it would be a problem but here no.  Like if the police pulled her over nothing would happen.  So hey Miranda come on over here and Dad can teach you how to drive!  It'll be super great.

So cool story.  Remember how I told you that our house is super tiny? Well yeah also there is something living in our wall. We'll be studying or planning or something and we'll hear this scratching on the wall, that like goes all along the wall and into our bathroom. And it’s LOUD!  And at first we thought it was maybe our neighbors cause they have kids I think and they're right up close next to our house so maybe it was them. But then one day we're leaving the house and HP flips out and is like "LOOK!!" and there’s this HUGE iguana crawling into this hole in the side of our house. Sooo now we know what the scratching is. And I'm just waiting for the day that this fat lizard breaks through the wall and starts crawling around our room.  That'll be an exciting day.

Adorable little kid Fernando of this family that we eat with every Saturday. The Ku family. They rock and their food is to DIE FOR. He's modeling some broken hipster glasses that I found that morning.

So the sister training leaders came to work with us on Friday and that was fun 'cause we got a lot of really good feedback and tips on how we can do better and I feel like I learned a lot! But holy cow they intimidate me. Hermana T is the señor comp and she's like the oldest hermana in the mission or something and she's crazy strict and I was so afraid I was going to do something wrong and she was going to scold me. And she only did once in the whole day so that was successful. But Mexicans are crazy!!  The whole day Hermana C (the other on, I've probably talked about her before cause she was in my last zone) had her hair down, and tights and Hma T had this long dress on, and her bangs all down on her forehead, and they were both like fine… not even sweating.  And HP and I are sitting here sweating buckets, shortest sleeves allowable and hair all piled up on the top of our head, and  needing to carry around sweat rags the whole day. (pretty much all the missionaries have to carry around sweat rags except for the Mexican hermanas who are used to the heat. I always told myself that I wouldn't sink to that level cause that’s gross but I finally broke down and bought one...)  But whatever. 

Ok that’s all the time I have for today!  I wrote a lot!  Send me pictures!  Ok that's all- love you bye!!!