Thursday, September 24, 2015

Week 9: In the Lord's Time ~ September 21, 2015


What a crazy week we had this week.  On Monday when we went to see our investigator to prepare him for his baptism on Saturday, he told us that he didn't want us to visit him anymore because catolico is the original tradition and he can't be baptized again.  So... That was a super start to the week.  Then Jackeline, the sweet 16 year old who had been making great progress told us that she can't be baptized either because she was already baptized.  Then we had a lesson with her SUPER catolico mom and we're pretty certain we know where those feelings came from.  

I'm not going to lie, I was feeling pretty discouraged at the point.  By Thursday when all of our appointments weren't at home, and we couldn't find any else I was about ready to suggest that we go home for a siesta.  But after that, and for the rest of the week we found a lot of people who were very receptive.  Two people even came up to us and asked us to visit them.  How crazy? We still haven't seen a lot of progress with any of them but it just reminded me why we're here. 

Sunday we came to church and none of our investigators came.  (Which was not as surprising as it should have been. The streets are basically empty until 11 here and church is at 9) But one of the less active families we have been teaching was there (for the second week in a row) and their son, who is 10, told us that he wants to be baptized on Saturday, so we're going to have a baptism! We're really excited.

Well I'm all out of time but I love you guys. Thank you for all your prayers and support!

Mucho amor
Hermana Schmidt

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Week 8: 2 Nefi 7 ~ September 14, 2015

Hola everyone,

Another week has come and gone and I am very wet, but safe and happy.  It has basically been raining for 3 days and as it turns out our casa is not very water proof.  But at least our bedroom doesn't get wet.  
We have been very busy this week. We have 5 new investigators and 6 (hopefully 7 after tonight, but is actually not that impressive because only one of them has come to church in my two weeks here) investigators with baptismal dates.  Between that and the dedication of the Mexico City temple (which took up our Saturday night and almost all of our Sunday) we have hardly had a minute to think.  

They do a lot of focus on contacting here which is a bit crazy to me because we hardly have time to teach all the investigators we have, let alone new ones, but they've been here longer than I have.  
Besides the constant struggle to communicate, my big struggle this week is that I haven't been feeling a lot of enthusiasm from our investigators.  Sometimes they seem to me like they think they're doing us a huge favor by letting us teach them.  Which is so frustrating because it really doesn't effect me if you have the gospel or not.  This is your salvation we're talking about and I can't be excited about it for you.  But they keep letting us come back so... I guess it could be worse.  

One family that is particularly interesting is a family who the "husband" is actually legally married to another woman, but has been with his "wife" for 19 years and they have a 16 year old.  The husband always starts out by telling us he is a catholic but they keep inviting us back.  When we went yesterday he had all his religious images and such out and when we walked in he told us "We are Catholics and we have religious images" Later we found out they had a run in with some testigos (Which I believe are the same thing as Jehovah's Witnesses in the US, based on the things they said, but who knows) who told him that it is a sin to have those types of things and he needs to get rid of them or he is going to go to hell.  It didn't help that he is a carpenter who made most the images.  I think when we told him we don't have the desire or authority to tell anyone they're going to hell he warmed up to us a little bit.  He was very intrigued when we told him we believe we have a profeta in this day.  And after our lesson he asked us to stay for refreshments.  So he seems to be warming up to us a bit.
The other investigator I loved from this week is one of our new ones.  His name is Delfo and he is basically the Méxican, borderline atheist version of Grandpa Jerold.  Right down to his canned food and his 6 bookshelves of books.  All he needed was the rubber bands, haha.  He's in his 80's and we saw him struggling to carry his groceries home and offered to help.  When we got to his house he invited us to share our message with him.  He has some wild ideas, but I think he has the most potential of any of our investigators because he has a real thirst for the truth.  

I was studying 2 Nefi 7 en my personal study this week and I really liked this chapter because it talks about how the Lord always keeps His promises.  He doesn't promise us an easy way, but he does promise us His help along the way.  Nothing about being here is easy but I know I have the Lord's help and I can see myself getting better every day. 

I love you all!
Hermana Schmidt

PS sorry about the spelling.  The spellcheck here is in Spanish and so it says everything is spelled wrong and I'm sure I can't remember how to spell anything. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Week 7: Not Enough Time ~ September 7, 2015

We went to el centro de Zacatecas with the sister training leaders and have like zero time, but here's a quick update.

Things are overall pretty great here. We have a lot of people to teach and 6 of our investigators have baptismal dates. Too bad no one comes to church.  Speaking of church, turns out I'm the only person in the ward who plays the piano. How great. It was a train-wreck this last week. But they seemed grateful to have music, so there's that.
My Spanish is so bad it's genuinely funny some times. My poor compañera and I basically communicate via charades. But she is awesome and I feel so blessed to have her.

Two cool experiences this week:
We went to contact a reference we had received and she was NOT happy to see us. But she let us and we had an really good lesson with her and her daughter.  I actually did about 45% of the talking out of our companionship which never happens.  Usually it's more like 10% me 90% my companion.  They both accepted baptismal dates. It was awesome.  

The other was our only investigator that routinely comes to church says he has a testimony but doesn't think he needs to be baptized again, because he was baptized as a baby.  He had been refusing to ask God if he needed to be baptized again.  So last night we had a lesson with him about prayer and then we knelt down on his porch and had him pray and ask God if he needed to be baptized again.  After the prayer he (finally) accepted a baptismal date!! We are very excited.  

Sorry for the very short update.  Hope all is well on the home front. Love you!
Hermana Schmidt

Presidente y Hermana Villarreal

Meghan and her first companion in the field:
Hermana Rodriguez from Peru

New missionaries on the right.
The first companions on the left.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Week 6: Tengo Fe ~ September 1, 2015

Hola from Aguascaliented (actually Zacatecas),

I arrived in the field yesterday around 7:30 am.  I spent the day in orientation and met my new compañera.  Her name is Hermana Rodriguez, she is from Peru.  She has been in the mission for about 14 months and her English is about as good as my Spanish.  But she has been so kind and patient with my terrible Spanish and general not knowing anything.  I feel very blessed to have her as a trainer. 

Hermana Villareal (the mission mom) said that for the most part all I will do here as a nurse is help within my district and occasionally zone and then help give flu shots in the wards during flu season.  Which works out because I really can't even communicate with people right now, let alone give them medical advice. 

Remember how excited I was because my mission was super flat so I wouldn't have to spend all day walking hills? Turns out there is one area in the mission that is not like that and it is Zacatecas.  This city is basically built into the side of a mountain and it is ALL hills.  That being said it is BEAUTIFUL! I think it is about one million times more beautiful than México City and it actually reminds me a lot of Salt Lake (if the houses there were all made of cement, the stores all had iron bars and the hills were steeper). But I really like it. They said that if I end up here in the winter, I may see some snow.  That would be... actually terrible but it would definitely make it more like Christmas at home.

My apartment is so cute. Its painted all different colors and we have an extra room that they turned into a sort of closet/storage room so I actually have way more closet space than I did at home. Haha. When my compañera and I were coming from Aguascalientes to Zacatecas, I had my three bags and she had one little carry-on sized bag. I kept thinking "she must think I am such a pack rat" and then we got to Zacatecas. Turns out she left all her stuff here, because she was in this area before.  She actually has even more stuff than I do. Haha. 

I really like Zacatecas so far. Even though pretty much the only think I've been able to understand is last night when our taxi driver told us he was having an affair and his mistress was pregnant and he wasn't sure what to do.  My compañera told him "Our companions who live in your area can help you" I can't wait to hear how that goes. 
Riding the bus or in a taxi is such an interesting experience.  Most people don't really speak any English and they don't have any rules about what kind of songs they can play so I have heard a lot of cussing coming from radios. The first few times I gave my compañera some panicked looks and then I realized she didn't understand what they were saying either.  So I stopped because it just worried her and I can't really explain what's going on.  On our bus ride from Aguascalientes to Zacatecas they played 22 Jump Street. I could not believe it.  I don't know how they translated it but my compañera didn't believe me when I told her it was a movie they won't let you see in theaters in the US unless you're 17. Also, riding the bus is the craziest experience here. The drivers hardly even stop and they never close the doors.  They start driving again as soon as the passengers are on the bus, regardless of whether or not they´re up the stairs; let alone in a seat.  Then they just count out change and talk on the phone and stuff as they drive.  If the person getting on or off is like a youngish guy, sometimes they don't stop at all. They just slow down! It is so crazy.  

Pray for me
Love you all.
Hermana Schmidt

Last District photo from CCM:

(note attached to photo)
Elders and Hermanas,
It has been a pleasure to serve with you.  Thank you for your examples of dedication to the Lord and for the service you are about to give.  We send our love and prayers with you as you begin this most important part of your life.  
We love you,
Hermana Call

Mission Mom in the middle

New missionaries in Aguascalientes.
Pres and Sis Villareal in the middle.