Monday, June 13, 2016

June 13, 2016

Hola friends and fam!

Every time I get here to the cyber I forget everything that happened in the week...a ver que puedo recordar.

Lunes- Noche de Hogar with the Moncada family (investigators) and the Ricca family (members who have a son that served in the same mission as my bro Austin so that's cool!) where we talked about the Plan of Salvation and our investigators decided that they want to make it to the Celestial Kingdom and are putting goals and plans in place to make it there. They rock!

Miércoles- My companion hit her 3 month mark, wohoo! So of course we bought street tacos to celebrate.

Jueves- We had another ward Family Home Evening and the Moncada family came again! Wohoo!

Domingo- We had stake conference with un setenta de área, Élder Mirón. He was seriously such a hoot. He talked about the responsibilities that parents have to raise their children well. It is so essencial that children are brought up in a gospel-centered home. It definitely doesn't mean that problems and difficulties won't come, but the resources will be there to overcome any trial. I am so grateful to have been able to grow up in a gospel-centered home. I'm thankful for all of you who have set such wonderful examples for me. I invite you all to take a few moments this week for a reality check. Are you praying daily individually and as a family? Are you reading your scriptures every day individually and as a family? Are you making the sabbath day "a delight" (like Elder Russell M. Nelson taught us)? Identify and set goals so that your home can be a place where the Spirit dwells. Raise your children with the fundamentals of the gospel and both you and they will be blessed. 

The Retornos District after the conference:

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Love,
Hermana Bird

Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6, 2016 Another Week in Retornos!

Hola friends and fam!

Highlights of the week:

Martes- More rain...I think it's the curse of the pink shirt that always makes us get poured on...


Miércoles- We visited some investigators who randomly had a Libro de Mormón--1980 edition, and my comp and I were so fascinated by it that they gave it to us because they said they wanted to keep reading the Book of Mormon we gave them haha. Check it (the one on the left is the 1980 version, the one in the middle is the kind missionaries gave out like 10 years ago, and the one on the right is the kind we hand out now):

Jueves- Every Thursday night we have a Noche de Hogar with our ward mission leader, investigators, and the members that decided to show up. We played a few games, boys vs. girls, and well, the boys lost so they had to put on sombreros and sing and dance for us hahaha:

Viernes- Zone conference! It's always a blast to be able to see and learn from other missionaries and hear counsel from Presidente. This time we focused on how we can get investigators to church, and more about relying on the Spirit. Learned a lot and loved it! Also, zone conferences are when we recieve any letters and packages and...my first two companions are some of the most thoughtful people I've ever met and they both sent me packages! Love them! Happy 7 months from my trainer:
and happy 6 months a little late from my MTC comp:

Sábado- After a series of unfortunate events, Victor & Edgar didn't end up getting baptized on Saturday but it looks like they should be able to get baptized on the 18th. Wohoo! But, the elders had a baptism so it was still a happy day!

Domingo- The Moncada family came to church again!! Their 10-year-old son, Gabriel, has the best memory ever and always remembers every detail of the Book of Mormon stories they study in Primary. He's the bomb. The parents also accepted the commitment to live the Word of Wisdom and are making some tough, but oh-so-worth-it changes! Everything is on track for the baptism on July 2ndTonight we'll see them again in a Family Home Evening with the family of Gabriel's primary teacher.

Also, this week I have been reading in Alma 18-24 (more or less these chapters) and the stories are so dang powerful! Read them this week for some inspiration. :)

Love you all!

Besos y abrazos,
Hermana Bird

May 30, 2016 Blessing After Blessing After Blessing

Hola friends and fam!

Highlights of the week:

Miércoles- We had a 6 hour zone conference with President that was suuuuuper good! It's always good to see and hear from him and Hermana Villareal! They only have a month left until they finish their mission so it was our last zone conference ever with him.. :(

Jueves- ¡Intercambios! I had exchanges with Hermana Labrum who is now one of my favorite people in the whole world. It started to rain like CRAZY after one of our visits, so we were completely drenched and had to go back to the house to change so of course we documented the moment haha. It doesn't really show how completely soaked we were, but there was not a dry spot on our clothing.

Viernes- We went to visit two of our investigators (who will get baptized this Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and watched the video of the Restoration and the Spirit was so strong! Victor, the dad, said the everything that happened was so real and he has no doubt that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and was a prophet. Afterwards, Edgar (the son who is 14 years old and in our first visit told us he didn't believe in God) said the prayer to finish the lesson and thanked God for helping him find the only true church. He also asked God to help all those people who haven't come to know of the truth to have the chance to find our church. I LOVE THIS FAMILY. *pictures to come*

Sábado- The elders had another baptism! This family es TAN ESCOGIDA. Seriously, they have been strong and faithful since day one! Here we all are with Luz, Zaira, y Dani! One of the families we're teaching came to the baptism and decided to stay for the primary activity afterwards. A few minutes after the activity started, the Primary president ran out to find us to tell us that they were supposed to bring dinner for their family for this activity and our investigators didn't know, so they didn't know what to do. My comp and I ran down the street and bought them hamburgers, then on Sunday at church, their son, Gabriel, told us, "Hermanas, the activity yesterday was so fun!! They even gave us hamburgers!!" It was the cutest thing ever. This family rocks.

Domingo- On Sunday after church we went to visit some little girls we've been teaching and they let us know that they're going to move this week, so naturally we had to take pictures so we don't forget each other. They are the funniest little people ever.

I have been so blessed in these past few weeks because the Lord has helped us find entire families! It is an incredible experience to help anyone accept the gospel, but even more rewarding when they're entire families. I invite all of you to keep up/start good gospel habits with your families! Read the scriptures together and pray together daily. Help and strengthen each other. Pray for each other. Do all you can to have your forever family. ¡Las familias pueden ser eternas! 

I love you all heaps and hope you have a great week!

Love,
Hermana Bird

P.S. I'm officially Mexican because I now eat chile even on my snow cones.


May 23, 2016

No time, but a picture's worth a thousand words, right? Here you have 3000 words. (Plus a few more) Love you all, have a great week!
-Hna. Bird

Here's the pic of my stud brother and his beautiful bride that I may or may not have forgotten to include last week.

2 Guatemalans, 2 Californians, a Mexican, and a Texan, eating burgers from a pirate place and Blizzards from Dairy Queen in Mexico on a Monday.

That one time my comp and I decided it would be a good idea to play basketball all morning and she started talking when the member took the picture hahahaha.

May 16, 2016 7 Months and Many Celebrations

First things first: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOM & DAD!!! Happy wedding to Austin & Hali!!! Congrats on your mission calls Nick (California Anaheim-Spanish speaking) & Morgan (Italy Rome!)! So many reasons to celebrate this week!

Everyone this picture of my stud brother and beautiful new sister-in-law!

Also, today my comp and I tried McDonald's in Mexico for the first time wohoo! (For all those who are wondering, it takes pretty much the same, but lacks salt.)

This week I have learned a lot about faith and diligence. This morning I was studying a chapter in Predicad Mi Evangelio that describes faith in Jesus Christ as "trusting in Him and being certain that He loves you" and talks about the many ways we can strengthen our faith--keeping the commandments, studying the scriptures, praying, and serving others. We talk to so many people in the streets that tell us that they believe in Jesus Christ and have faith in Him, but they don't know why. It's just tradition. I invite you all the study faith in Preach My Gospel, True to the Faith, the Bible Dictionary, wherever it may be this week, decide why you have faith in Jesus Christ, and write it down in your journals!

At church yesterday, this 96-year-old member named Mario who can crack better jokes than anyone I've ever met in my life, decided to bring his chick to church so it wouldn't run away during the services, LOOK HOW CUTE:

I have truly seen that God puts specific people in our lives in the perfect moments for His purposes. This week we had lots of doors slammed in our faces, lots of cancelled appointments, and were feeling a little down, but the moment that someone opened their doors, every single person shared with us something we needed to hear. Something beautiful about the mission is that we really don't come here to teach. We come here to learn from God's children. 

Saludos de mi compañera y yo!

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Bird

Monday, May 9, 2016

May 9, 2016 Feliz Dia De La Madre!

Hola familia y amigos!

Fun fact: the only people who celebrate Cinco de Mayo are those who live in the state of Puebla, so while all of you were celebrating in the states, it was a normal day here. 

Here in Mexico we celebrate Mother's Day on May 10th, but I got to talk to the fam yesterday! It was so fun to hear from everyone and get some life updates. But the funniest part of it all was the fact that when I called, a mariachi band began to play right outside the window and there were like five chihuahas in the room with us. Classic Mexico. The only thing that was missing were the tacos haha.

On Saturday the elders had a baptism y after it ended and we were gonna lock up the building we took this sweet pic with our ward mission leader, his son, a counselor in the bishopric, and one of the sisters in the ward. Love these people!

Last night we received transfer calls and Hermana Franco & I are staying here together in Retornos to finish her training. Wohoo!

I hope that this week all of you have remembered all of the mothers, mother figures, and other important women in your lives. Yesterday I was reading all the talks I could find in the General Conference Liahonas that talked about women and mothers, and the conclusion I reached is that motherhood is such a sacred calling. Mothers emanate the pure love of our Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you to a handful of the wonderful women in my life--mom, Lori, Lisa, Stevie, Nicole, Amy, Michelle, Cortney. Larissa, Ally, Ashley, Lindsay, Erin, and Grandma just to name a few..love you all and hope you were able to enjoy your special day! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Bird

April 25, 2016

Hello one and all! As always, it has been an exciting few weeks here in Mexico!

Highlights:
-Last Monday we went to visit a reference from the zone leaders, but the man we were looking for didn't live there. Instead, his sister with her husband and her son live there and they are SUPER interested in the gospel! They came to church yesterday and loved it! They have already been way good about keeping their commitments and they're preparing to be baptized May 28th. Such a blessing!
-This week we also had interviews with President and it's always good to hear from him and get new insight on how to help our investigators.
-The elders in our ward had two baptisms this weekend and the service was beautiful! And we got the elders to perform a special musical number so that was exciting!
-On Saturday the sister training leaders in our zone decided to do a big activity for the "día del niño" (why don't we have a Kid's Daya a.k.a. birthday round 2 in America?) to find new investigators and it was way fun! Here we are after it ended:
-Yesterday we ate with our ward mision leader and his family (tacos--YUM) and his sons play cello and violin so we had a sweet hymn jam sesh with them. They're seriously the best family ever.
-Also yesterday the stake president visited our ward and well...this stake struggles a little bit when it comes to helping the missionaries, so he had us stand in front of the whole ward, then had all the return missionaries stand, then had everyone who had ever received a lesson from the missionaries stand, until everyone was standing. Then he spoke about how all of us have felt the influence of missionary work in our own lives so now it's time to do our part. Super powerful and we've already seen the effects of his talk. Puro poder.
-This morning my comp and I were looking through some things in our house and found HUNDREDS of Liahona magazines and I realized that I LOVE reading the Liahona. If you don't already have a subscription to the Ensign/New Era/Friend or the Liahona, DO IT THIS WEEK! The messages are so uplifting and just the best!

Espero que todos tengan una semana excelente y tomen el tiempo para compartir el evangelio. Les amo mucho!!

Love, 
Hermana Bird

P.S. MORE PICS
1-I'm always photo ready...
2-Our neighbor surprised us with tacos Satuday night. >:) Featuring sunburn round two from the one day I forgot to use sunscreen and my creepy happy face.

April 11, 2016

What a week, what a week! Some pretty exciting things happened this week:

-We found a bunch of less actives and investigators that we've been looking for for a while and had some sweet lessons!
-I lost my voice because of a cold and I still sound like a man so that's been interesting haha. My comp always makes fun of me so now we've got some sweet jokes.
-We had a zone meeting and I got to see all my friends! (aka Hermana Nicholas who is from my generation and was in my first district, my 10-day companion Hermana Carmona Y, and one of my old district leaders) Also we talked a ton about how to recognize the Spirit and it was BOMB. All of you who have access to a Preach My Gospel (aka all of you because technology rocks) should read chapter 4 and the accompanying scriptures. Prepare to be uplifted and edified!
-My comp and I spent 6 hours cleaning our house today because my other comp and her companions for the last 9 months here didn't believe in cleaning, so when I arrived there were no cleaning supplies, but now we have cleaning supplies and A CLEAN HOUSE!! You all know how I am about having my things clean and organized...
-We found an investigator this week who we met last Saturday, came to conference on Sunday without us even having had the first lesson with him, came to church yesterday, and is keeping all of his commitments and preparing to be baptized the 7th of May WOHOO!!!

I think those are the most important highlights of this week...but I'm loving life here and am learning so much from my companions and the investigators and members and everyone. It's amazing how much one can learn if we just decide to listen and humble ourselves. Thank you all for being the best friends and fam a girl could ask for! Love you lots!

Con muchísimo amor,
Hermana Bird

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016 He Lives!

Hola friends and family! 

It has been a crazy and eventful few weeks here in Retornos! Last week we had cambios, so my companion (who had 9 months in this area and was praying and pleading to leave) finally got transferred and they sent me to train a new missionary! I went to Aguascalientes Sunday night, picked her up on Monday morning, and we got back to our area Monday night. Enjoy the only picture we have together as of yet featuring my sweet and unfortunately uneven sunburn (thanks to my bag):
Her name is Hermana Franco and she's from Guatemala wohoo!

Conference this weekend (and the women's session last weekend) were INCREDIBLE. I was overwhelmed by the reminder of how much the Savior loves us. We have all received the blessing of the Atonement and just need to apply it in our lives! He didn't die without a purpose; He died to help us return to our Father in Heaven. We just need to do our part. Jesus LIVES! My testimony of Joseph Smith and living prophets was also strengthened. What a blessing it is to have the knowledge we have!

This week we also had a Noche de Hogar (FHE) with members and investigators where my companion and I taught about the attributes of Christ. I invite you all to choose an attribute of Christ to study and work on developing this week, or choose a talk from conference to study and apply to your life. Or both if you're ambitious! 

Love you all lots and I always have you in my thoughts and prayers. Have a great week!

Love, 
Hermana Bird

March 21, 2016

Hola friends and fam! 

I'm running short on time...(what else is new?) so I'll just share briefly my favorite moments!

-We had some AWESOME lessons with our investigator named Fernanda this week. She has so many questions and really wants to learn! But she's going out of town for Semana Santa so we won't be able to visit her for two weeks...lame.

-My comp is from Guatemala and hit her year mark in the mission last week, so she had to renew her visa..which meant I got to go with her to Aguascalientes for a day WOHOO! We left at 5 in the morning to take a bus to Aguas. There were only 6 people on the bus, and when we had almost arrived, the police stopped the bus and boarded and start asking questions to literally everyone but us. It was funny because we were the only foreigners on the bus and they didn't even blink an eye. They simply questioned the other people and left then we were on our way again. Mexico is loco. We arrived and went to do the visa stuff and got to chat with the senior missionary, Elder Jasso, who works in the offices and he's such a fun old man! When we finished, he made the elders in the offices order us a pizza, so we ate Domino's and headed back to San Luis. Here's a picture of my comp and I bien felices en las oficinas:

This is all I have time for today but I hope you all have a fabulous week! Love you lots!

Love,
Hermana Bird

Sunday, March 20, 2016

March 14, 2016 Two Weeks of Celebrations

Hello one and all! Since I arrived here in Retornos, we've been celebrating non-stop! My comp reached one year in the mission, I had my birthday, reached 5 months in the mission, and she's about to hit her one-year mark in the field. So many things to be grateful for!

Here's a rundown of the most exciting events in the past two weeks:
-The water cuts off mid-shower almost daily in my new house and we have cockraches living with us, but we're managing to survive!
-My previous area was WAY nice and very America-esque, but just to paint a picture of my new area (which is in the same city and stake, just on the opposite end), a horse-drawn trailer picks up our trash and we've got some sweet dirt roads that flood like crazy with the smallest amount of rain.
-We celebrated the one-year of my comp with Chasca Fruta (froyo mixed with your choice of frozen fruit, something that they had all over in her first area in Aguascalientes)
​-We did a service project and got to paint a house, wohoo!
-I have all of Mexico in my area haha. A.k.a. there's an apartment complex called Torres de Mexico and each building has the name of a state, so my comp and I always say that we're in charge of all of the missionary work in Mexico.
-I was able to spend my birthday with members and missionaries from both my current area and my first area and I felt so loved! Here are some pics of me with these special people!





​-It snowed here on Thursday and today we're dying of heat. Mexico and Texas aren't that different after all...
-We're helping one of our investigators organize her wedding so she can get baptized and we're so excited!!
-We had an INCREDIBLE lesson with one of our investigators, Gerardo. We met him on my first day here in Retornos and taught him a lesson in the street and have been meeting with him ever since. On Thursday we shared with him the message of the Restoration and he told us "I have the same question that José Smith had! I'm ready to act, I just need to know from God which of all the churches is true!" and afterwards shared powerful experiences of when he has felt God's love in his life..we all cried. Just a little bit. But he's awesome and we're hoping for a baptism very soon!
-Desiree, a little girl that Hermana Muñoz & I started teaching in Jardín, got baptized on Saturday and President gave us permission to go! I felt so much joy I could've exploded. She is so precious and was so excited to be baptized!

This is just a teeny tiny fraction of all of the wonderful things I have experienced these past two weeks. I can so strongly feel the love of God in my life and I am SO thankful for the opportunity to be here serving a mission. I know God lives. He knows and loves each and every one of us. Never forget that. 

Challenge of the week: if you've received your patriarchal blessing, read and analyze it this week!

LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Bird

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

February 29, 2016 Cambios Especiales

Hola friends and fam! 

This week was very...interesting. Friday morning during personal study my district leader called to let me know that I would be moving to the area Retornos and had an hour to pack all of my things and get to the bus central. Definitely a surprise haha, but here I am in my second area of the mission wohoo! I'm still in San Luis Potosí and in the same stake, but in a different ward. The ward I come from is the most "fresa" as they say here (which means like nice, hoity-toity, almost snobby, not really sure how to describe it) in the city, and this area is much more humble. The people are way different and the ward is way different haha but I'm excited to be here! My new companion's name is Hermana Castro and she's from Guatemala. On Thursday she'll hit her one-year mark in the mission, wohoo! But things are going good, we're working hard and finding lots of people to teach!

Not sure when spring break is, but I hope you all enjoy spring break and have a fabulous week!!

This week's challenge: read your Book of Mormon for 15 minutes every day this week and share what you learned with a friend or family member. Love you all!

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Bird

Monday, February 29, 2016

February 22, 2016 Livin' La Vida Loca

Hola friends and fam!

Another great week here in Jardín! It has been a way cool experience transitioning from being trained to having to teach someone my area (I'm still junior companion, but my comp doesn't know the area, so this week I acted as senior comp haha). Crazy crazy crazy, but we've seen some serious blessings. I'm running super short on time so I just want to share two quick things.

1) On Wednesday this week my companion and I were not having any success. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch. We worked 4 hours before lunch and nobody let us in, the hermana de la comida didn't have time for our message, and we continued another 3 hours without success. I was feeling super overwhelmed and frustrated when my companion suggested that we stop, reorganize our thoughts and say a prayer asking for direction. As I began the prayer, the name of a family immediately popped into my head. We had already tried to visit this family today, and had actually been trying to meet with them for 4 weeks but the timing never worked out just right. We were in their neighborhood so we speed-walked over there and THE HERMANO WAS HOME!!!!!! When he answered the door he said "Que milagro que nos encontramos!" (what a miracle that we found each other here at the same time) The rest of his family was nowhere to be found but we asked him if we could share a quick message outside of his house. He agreed and we shared a lesson on the Atonement and the Spirit was SO strong. He told us that he and his family have been reading their Book of Mormon and had been waiting for us to come back. Tonight we're meeting with the whole family and I'm PUMPED! This was just a testimony to me that God loves us individually and cares about our worries and problems. The Spirit truly can be our constant companion if we live worthy of it and listen. I challenge you all to listen a little more carefully and follow the impressions of the Spirit this week!

2) My companion had a baptism in her previous area (where my two previous companions are working right now) so President gave us permission to go and it was so fun to be with all of my companions in one place! Here's a pic:

Love you all lots and hope you have a wonderful week!!

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Bird

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016 What a Week

Hola friends and fam! 

This week was incredible!

Monday: We're working on reactivating a member in our ward who is a return missionary but has been inactive for years. He's planning on getting married in October and decided that he's need to straighten up some things in life before he takes that step, so he's been coming back to church and his girlfriend/almost-fiancee is taking lessons from us! We have un setenta (an area 70) in our ward who also happens to teach the eternal marriage institute class, so he invited us to have Family Home Evening at his house with Erik and his girlfriend and it was super powerful! 

Wednesday: A couple from the US moved into our ward about a month ago and the husband served his mission in Honduras, so he speaks Spanish, but the wife doesn't know ANY Spanish. She signed up to feed us this day, but her husband wasn't home to eat with us so we just spoke in English the whole time and I translated for my companion and we gave our lesson afterwards in Spanglish and it was a blast. But I also realized that I'm forgetting how to speak English. Like, I still know the words but it's hard to spit 'em out just right. Writing in English is still a piece of cake thank goodness.

Saturday: FIRST BAPTISM!!!! WOHOOOOO!!!! Priscila is awesome and just so excited to be a member and get a calling and endure to the end (because that's what follows our baptism and confirmation)! Now we're working on getting her parents and her sister in the font too!
Sunday: This family is incredible. I don't have time to explain all the deets, but basically the little girl in front of me (Desiree) is obsessed with us and wants to be a missionary and wants to get baptized and announced to the entire Primary that she's getting baptized on March 5th, and because of her, her mom (to the left of my companion) decided to start taking our lessons! The other people in the picture are a crazy awesome combination of non-members, recent converts, members, and investigators. Awesome awesome awesome. LOVE THEM.

Today we had transfers, so my companion headed off to another area in San Luis with my CCM companion and the trainer of my CCM companion is now my companion. We just swapped haha. I'm not a huge fan of change so it was a pretty sad morning, but I'm way excited for the work Hermana Carmona Y & I have ahead of us. Hope you all have a great week! Pray for missionary opportunities and I promise you the Lord will deliver!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Bird

February 8, 2016 And the Health Streak Ends...

Hola friends and family!

This week was an eventful one to say the least...

Tuesday I was pretty sick with a rough cold (but everyone here calls
it "gripa" which means flu, but if you have even the slightest cough
or runny nose or if your throat hurts, it's gripa haha), so we stayed
in for the first half of the day to rest and let my meds take effect,
but after that we left to work and it was a little rough but we had
some awesome lessons!

Wednesday was AWESOME. A recent convert, Andrea (15), and her cousin
Desire (8) came out on visits with us and it rocked. Desire isn't a
member but wants to be baptized so bad and was so cute and excited to
come to work with us! And Andrea has the most powerful testimony ever.
She and her mom were baptized about 6 months ago and they're seriously
the best. And spoil us like crazy. ;) After working with them we went
back to their house to help Andrea finish a project for Personal
Progress and it was way fun!

Thursday we ate with a member who is super active, but her husband and
kids have been inactive for years and want nothing to do with the
Church. She has never really opened up to us about anything, but this
day she told us practically her life story and she seriously has the
most powerful testimony. I wanna be like her when I grow up.

Friday we had an aweeeeeeesome zone meeting where we got tons of good
counsel to help us improve the quality of our teaching and contacting
and well, everything haha. And it's always a blast getting together
with tons of missionaries! The main thing I got out of the meeting is
that we need to focus on the Book of Mormon and the Atonement more
than anything. I challenge you all to find the time to read your Book
of Mormon every day this week and be sure to remember the Atonement
and ask forgiveness for any imperfections or shortcomings daily.

Saturday we went to visit a lady named Tere who got baptized when she
was 90 years old, and now she's 94 and completely inactive. She lives
alone, just her and her cat, and takes care of herself. When we got to
her house she had two bowls of oranges on her table and invited us to
take one. When we noticed that she had an orange tree, we asked her
who got the oranges down for her and she told us "Well I climbed up
there yesterday to pick them!" Keep in mind that not only is this lady
94 years old, but she's also like 4 feet tall...she rocks. Then after
we shared our message with her she told us about all of her travels to
France and Argentina and Spain..and how she arrived at all of these
places thanks to a highway that connects them all...I think she's
confused about her geography. Then in the evening we went to celebrate
the 20th birthday of Priscila, our of our investigators, who is
AWESOME. It was a blast! We ate dinner and chatted and then came time
for the cake. She told us that she made sure to get a cake that wasn't
baked with wine or anything so we could eat it, but then she cut it
and it was tiramisu with coffee...haha so yeah we couldn't eat her
cake and she felt SUPER bad, but she was so sweet and gave us some
other sweet bread they had so we wouldn't feel left out. And she
didn't eat the cake either because she committed to keep the Word of
Wisdom!

Yesterday I woke up at about 5 in the morning with some serious
stomach pains that resulted in me puking my guts out all morning, so
we didn't get to go to church or even leave the house for anything.
Priscila and her family came to our apartment to bring me medicine and
other things to help me, then called every two hours to check on me.
It's way cool because she and her mom are our investigators, but her
sister and dad who also live with them are not at all interested in
our message, BUT they all love us and always give us rides places and
feed us and want to know about our lives and seriously this family
rocks.

But the best news of all is....................TODAY PRISCILA TOLD US
THAT SHE'S DECIDED TO BE BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!! WOHOO!!!!!!! It's the
last week of the cambio so it's very likely that either me or my
companion will be transferred, so we're soooooooooooooo grateful that
we'll both get to be here for her baptism! Our sister training
leader's promise came true!! WE ARE SO EXCITED.

I have been seriously lacking in the pictures lately, so I was all
ready to send some today...but we're in a different cyber than the one
we normally go to and these computers are ANCIENT so there's nowhere
to put a USB or anything...so next week I will send pics of the
baptism and everything else!!

Love you all lots and hope you have a fab week!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Bird

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 1, 2016 Leon

Hola!

The highlight of this week was definitely our trip to Leon! Elder Renlund told us that he came for three reasons:
1. To thank us for serving a mission on behalf of the First Presidency
2. To tell us that if we don't know down to our bones that we were called to serve specifically in this mission, we need to pray about it ASAP and write down our revelation.
3. Our mission president and his wife were called of God and set apart specifically for this mission and they love us. 

In preparation for this conference he had us study his talk from October conference and two talks by Elder Bednar (Ask in Faith & Converted to the Lord) and let me just tell you that these talks are PURO PODER. I learned a ton from each one of them. I think my favorite thing though was learning the difference between having a testimony and being truly converted to the Lord. I invite you all to read these talks to find out for yourself! :) It was such a blast to see all the missionaries in the mission and sing Llamados a Servir (Called to Serve) as a mission and meet Elder Renlund! He shook each one or our hands individually and asked where we were from so that was way cool! The presiding bishop of the church and his wife were also there and they all bore there testimonies and conducted a Q&A session. Bomb diggity.

Also, to those of you have asked if I have received your packages, I would first like to say THANK YOU for thinking of me and sending something! We only get our mail and packages the first week of every month, so this Friday I will know whether or not I have received it and let you know this coming Monday

It seems like I have less and less time to write each week, so I'm sorry to those of you who I haven't reponded to personally in a few weeks. I'm working on learning how to manage my time better..haha. 

Thank you all for being a part of my life! I love you lots and hope everything is going well!

Love,
Hermana Bird

January 25, 2016

Hello friends and fam!

Sorry for not writing last week..we had a crazy day and ended up only having about 20 minutes to write during which time I wrote president and did some other housekeeping things that left me with no time to respond. :( It's been exciting two weeks here in Jardin....

Last Week
-It's been kinda cold here lately, so one morning a member asked my companion how long it's been since she's eaten menudo and offered to make some for us. As I'm sure you all know, menudo is the dreaded Mexican food of all Americans (a soup made with cow stomach), so my companion, being the wonderful human being she is, said it's been a long time since she's eaten menudo and that she'd love to eat it again BUT she didn't think I'd like it because I'm American haha. This member is super chill so he said that either way he was going to make it and he would prepare a backup meal for me haha. So before p-day ended that day, we went to eat with him and I LIKED THE MENUDO. Well, kinda. The cow stomach has the nastiest texture so that wasn't fun, but it tasted fine. But also, this member is a really good chef so both he and my companion told me that I'm forbidden to eat menudo again in the mission because they're sure I won't like it a second time. 
-This week we had intercambios and the sister training leader that worked with my companion told us that if we contacted 70 people in the street this week (which is the weekly goal for our mission) we would have a baptism this cambio (which is near impossible because we were in the second week of the cambio and investigators have to come to the church 5 times before they can be baptized). On Sunday, we contacted our 70th person and that same day met a woman who used to meet with missionaries, so she already has 3 Sundays on her teaching record. Her daughter is super interested and we're hopeful that they'll be our miracle baptisms!
-Our district leader has to call us twice a week to record our numbers and check up on how we're doing and he can never tell if it's me or my companion talking so that made me feel way good! I'm becoming a mexicana!

This Week
-When the elders left the area, they left us with two SUPER awesome investigators, a 19 year old named Priscila and her mom, Rosalva. On Saturday Priscila came with us to the baptism of a 9-year-old girl named Sofi from the other ward that attends our building and LOVED IT. Sofi has SO MUCH ENERGY and it's nuts how strong her testimony is. She's the cutest thing. We were giving Priscila a tour of the chapel before the services began and Sofi ran up to us with a Book of Mormon in her hands opened to a picture of Joseph Smith and told our investigator "Él es José Smith y es un profeta de Dios!" Presh. Afterwards Priscila took us out to lunch (which was awesome because no one had signed up to feed us that day) and we met with her and her mom later that night for a lesson that went suuuper well. She knows she needs to get baptized and has a baptismal date of February 6th (her birthday)! The next day, she and her mom came to church (which starts at 8am) and her dad, who is not interested in the Church in the slightest, offered to give us a ride so we didn't have to walk in the cold. Awesome awesome people.
-On Wednesday we had interviews with our mission president and they went so well! I love getting the chance to talk with him. He's so humble and knowledgable. Also, he told my companion that we're both going to stay another transfer here in Jardin which is such good news because I love my companion and I love Jardin. WOHOO!
-They have this bread here called "piedra" which means rock haha and it's made of cookie crumbs and bread scraps and all kinds of random stuff that probably shouldn't taste very good all mixed together, but it's heavenly and I hope you all have the opportunity at some point in your life to try it.
-On Saturday night the bishop texted us and asked us to speak in sacrament meeting..of course we agreed, but that night was crazy with lessons and planning so we didn't have time to prepare, and we had to leave the house at 7:15 to pass by for our investigators, so we didn't have time to prepare in the morning either...so we decided to just wing it haha but it went really well! I talked about developing Christlike attributes. I challenge you all to choose a Christlike attribute that you'd like to develop and start working on it now!
-We are re-activating a member named Erik and things have been crazy. Missionaries have been visiting him for a long time and trying to help him because he's a return missionary and he's youngish, but he has never taken them seriously. We had a really frank talk with him a few weeks ago and told him that if he wanted to come back to church, we're here to help him every step of the way, but if he isn't going to take anything seriously, we wouldn't be able to visit as frequently. He told us that he's really ready to change and was sincere! He's been coming back to church, and we gave him a Preach My Gospel, so now he prepares lessons to teach us and he's reading his scriptures and doing everything he should. But Satan is the worst and knows that he's sincere, so he's been throwing trials every which way..(just to name two, his fiancée broke off the engagement and his dad had a heart attack). BUT he's still going strong and we're working really hard with him!
-Yesterday, a recent convert of my companion passed away at 86 years old, so today we spent all day at his funeral services. We visited him two or three times a week and read the Book of Mormon with him and sang hymns and he loved it, so his sister (who is also a recent convert and lives next door to him) asked my companion and I to sing at the viewing, funeral, and burial. It was really sad but such a spiritual experience. His sister KNOWS that he's in the spirit world now in paradise without pain or sorrow, and is in a state of peace and happiness. This is why we're here as missionaries. To help people understand God's plan and find peace in the hard times. 

Very eventful and very rewarding two weeks ha. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, 
Hermana Bird