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

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

But the best news of all is....................TODAY PRISCILA TOLD US
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 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


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!

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 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!

Hermana Bird