Tuesday, May 27, 2014

TODAY is the day to get it done!

This is the Huerrera family on the day Veronica got baptized.  I feel a lot of love from them. The Dad always makes me feel like what I am teaching or saying is the most important thing because he repeats it to everyone.  I love this family so much.

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." -Alma 34:32

So this week I had interviews with the President! I saw the huge stack of newbies that come in tomorrow! Crazy how time flies, and how that was my last interview with Presidente TreviƱo. I have learned so much from him and his family, and they are like my own. It is sad to see him leave but I know many great things are ahead as he will serve as an Area Seventy. 

My "miracles" this week are Paola, Ruben, Armando and familia, and finally Mario y Glatis. I feel like I am here for them specifically.   Each one has a unique need or circumstance and I am sure that I am a tool in the Lord's hands to help each of them for a different reason. 

Paola can't put the Book of Mormon down! She is my age and has 2 sweet little boys. Her boyfriend and her are working on getting married! She is so excited to be baptized. 

Ruben, is the dad of Diana Laura, when we met him he said there are 2 rules in his house. The first one is NO ONE talks about religion and the other no one talks about politics. But look at where we are at, his 13 year old daughter is now a member; baptized last month.  Amazingly he is trying to learn more about the gospel. He is really a great dad and he even offered to have us over for a meal. They are a great family and I feel incredibly happy for them. 

Armando it is actually hard to find time to teach him, but his wife is ALWAYS home and listens to our message. She really wants to have her family for all time and eternity, and she should because she has a wonderful family. Even a sweet 2 year old girl. 

Mario is 13 and really is a great kid. He reminds me of Erik and that is why I love teaching him. 

Glatis is also a wonderful lady. She really wants to learn more about the church, and does everything she can to learn more and fulfill the commitments she makes with us. 

Some elders were joking about Hermana Guerra (my companion) leaving the area.  Then they said that it would be a "whitewash", which is when we both leave in the middle of the training and new people come in. It was a joke but I feel so attached to these people here that I felt sad at first when they said that.  I AT LEAST want to be here for the wonderful miracles we have seen in the people and families lives as they come unto Christ.  I would love to continue to see the lives of all that we teach change and to see them baptized.  But I know that The Lord knows whats best for me, even if I don't get to see them get baptized.   I am pretty sure I will be here for at least 6 more weeks! 

On Saturday we worked like DOGS. Ironic because many dogs were angry with us this day too.   But, anyway we literally had SO MANY people to meet with that we left 2 hours earlier just to have time for everyone.   We even had NEW people to meet with. It would take forever to write about each experience but, that's what my journals for, which is almost full already. 

I love it here more and more each day. Especially the rainy days, weird huh? (most of you know I'm not a fan of rain) I mean its a break from the sun, not from the sweat and humidity but still something about rainy days on the mission makes me really happy. 

The ward is outstanding and I can feel my love for each member increase as they start to have more confidence in me.  I know this is exactly where I am needed.  I try to live everyday as I should so I may be able to help others from the minute I leave the apartment until I return. 

Love you all, you are in my prayers and hope all is well! 

Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer 

(I was told I was an honorary Mexican, pretty much the BEST compliment you could ever receive as a gringa.  They also say I have "blonde" hair, funny I guess the Mexican sun has bleached it a little.)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

President Harold B. Lee said, "There is only one day that you and I have to live for, and that's today. There is nothing we can do about yesterday except repent, and there may be no tomorrow. The thing for us to do when we arise from our beds as God gives us a new day, is to take whatever comes to our hands, and do it to the best of our ability." -Harold B. Lee

So I hate to say it but again this week was us getting sick. We still continued to work, because we basically will work until the day we work ourselves to death because that is how strongly we both feel that the people here need to feel Christ and our loving care for them. 

We ran into Paola (the 19 year old with 2 sons and a boyfriend) and she said her boyfriend wants to get married! yeah!!  We are trying everything we can to help plan the wedding and such. I love her so much. She is such a sweetheart. We just need her sister Jazmin (18 with 2 sons and a boyfriend) to have her boyfriend agree to marriage. He says he doesn't want to because divorce papers are a lot to go through... (wrong thing to think about when you are wanting to get married)

We did a lot of service this week. More like random acts of kindness to people here. It really helps me think of what the Savior would do if He were walking the streets of Mexico. 

I got the package y'all sent me on the 14th! It had everything in it and THANK YOU!!

I shared a scripture with America. (1 Nefi 3:7, And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the thing which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them)  She is preparing to go on a mission and she started her papers. I told her about how I felt kinda nervous about being called anywhere- because the world is a big place- but then I read that scripture before opening my call, and when I read Mexico I felt peace and a sense of "I can do this". She will make a great missionary.

We ended up going to the hospital one day.  My companion felt nauseous for 4 days straight and turns out she has an infection in her kidneys. She is fine now and has medicine but that took 2 days out of the week that we would have worked. I have a rare type of sore throat but they have me on meds and it doesn't hurt but I still sound like a man so that's fun. However, that night when we were home listening to hymns, I read Alma 26:30, "And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul; and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some." and it really helped us both. The spirit was super strong in that moment. 

Sunday we got ready for church.  The elders, Hermana Guerra and I had a baptism! We were super happy for her! It was cool too because since we didn't work on Saturday, we didn't have anyone to walk with for church. But while we were in companionship study before church a lady called us on the phone and asked where everyone was for church. She was a contact from the elders they had given her our number, she was there 30 min early. So we quickly finished and went to church. I love the ward here. There was this one day where the food appointment canceled on us, after we spent 30 min walking trying to find it. But some other Hermana in the ward heard about it and told us that no matter what, if there is a day we go without food we go to her house and eat. The love that the ward members show us has been amazing. 

There was also a Young Women meeting last night in Pachugo, Mexico with Sister Reeves. It was broadcast to the church building and we were able to attend. The things that Sister Reeves shared were marvelous. 

Windy and hot days are what we get here.  But I'll take anything as long as I am here sharing the gospel with the Latino people. 

Love you all. Miss you all. Pray for you all. 

Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mother's Day

This week was different. We had divisions and I was RIGHT on the beach. Like literally we ran on the beach in the morning, but it was only for about a day and a half. The next day we had a sister meeting where all the sisters of the Veracruz mission met.   It was a celebration because of Mother's Day and all that good stuff. It was super spiritual and beautiful. We even got to watch a little bit of Frozen and the story of Esther. 

Unfortunately my companion and I were pretty sick this week, but we still saw miracles and progress with our investigators. We had 2 girls come up to us and say that they want to be baptized. We are so thankful for the people and experiences the Lord blesses us with. 

The elders had a baptism and we were there to help.  After the service we taught her how to read and write in Spanish! She is so sweet and such an example to me. 

Mother's Day here was BEAUTIFUL. Flowers, cards, candy EVERYWHERE! It is always celebrated on March 10th no matter what day of the week it falls on.  So I got to Skype with my mom a day early, Saturday.  The holiday is HUGE in Mexico because they associate the day with the virgin Mary.  We bought some little treats for some ladies in the ward that are our "mommies". 

I love you mommy and thank you for everything you do for me! Thanks for being my hero everyday and for choosing me to be your daughter! 

I want to thank everyone for the prayers and hope you know that you are always in mine! There are hard days, but they are there to make you appreciate the next day better. I love the people and the gospel! 

I was able to bear my testimony on Sunday, in church, on the Book of Mormon. I know that it is the most accurate book in the world. I learn something new every time I read it. It was written for our day and we should abide by its teachings. Joseph Smith translated it through the power and authority of God. He was a prophet of God and through revelation he restored the church. The same church that Christ had established when He was on the Earth. We are so lucky to be able to have this knowledge. 

Many investigators ask us many different questions but the most common this week was more about why we are on missions. It was really impactful for them to hear that we leave EVERYTHING for 18 months - 2 years to be here for them. The spirit that we felt was indescribable when they really realized what that meant. 

I love you all, hope you are enjoying life, and staying healthy and strong. Keep up the good work and be the best you can be! Remember that everyday is a gift and we should do all we can to make the BEST of everyday! 

Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer

Monday, May 5, 2014

ATTACKED..but blessed

SOOOOOOO it's my SECOND MONTH ON THE MISSION!! AND Cinco de Mayo...nbd (no big deal) or anything but I am stoked about being here and with this lovely gente! 

If I had to sum up this week in one word it would be ATTACKED.  Before you freak out (mom) hear me out:
Dogs-  after one of our lessons we were standing outside (she lives on the second story) and has a big dog. It started to bark and freak out and I did not think much of it. Until....I turned around and saw a huge black dog come out of nowhere with its eyes blood shot red. It literally looked like a dog out of a horror film. It was, in every way possible, upset and here I am in the corner of an unstable staircase with my companion behind me. I had no idea what to do because not only did we have to get it to stop being upset, we also had to get it to go down the stairs. I said a prayer as I turned my back to the dog. The barking stopped and when I turned around I saw it silently walking down the stairs without hesitation.  Not only that, it started to walk the opposite way that we needed to go.

People- Obviously I am from the U.S. I am a gringo and always will be. Here some of the people do the most disrespectful things at me. Most of them are drunk, and it's really annoying.  But luckily, I am with my native companion and she at least 6 times a day tells me to walk quickly past people and to not turn around when they say certain things, etc. I feel bad but at the same time I am SO BLESSED to have a native companion that knows EXACTLY what to say and how to deal with them. 

Bees- This was terrible... We were walking to one of our appointments and all of a sudden I see a huge bee following me. I kept walking not drawing attention to it, until there was literally 4 and my companion starts freaking out. We were frantically dropping our bags, and running in a street trying to get the bees to leave us alone. They were VERY persistent. One of them got in my companions hair at the same time there was a lady crossing the street towards us. She noticed our predicament and she stopped to helped us. I had prayed again that we would be protected and they would stop following us. We were not stung; they immediately left when I finished the prayer AND we got her name and address.  We will be stopping by her home one day soon. :) There is an analogy with the bees here I'm sure of it. (..sharing the gospel... busy as a bee)

Even though we were "attacked" by many different things, prayer was a vital part of my week. When I was feeling unsure or not safe, we knew prayer would be the only thing to help us, and it did. 

We had a wonderful experience while teaching Oscar (the 8 year old who's mom is a less active, and who's dad died a couple months ago). His grandma was taking care of him and the twins while the mom works. She explained that Oscar had said and done some disrespectful things and she needs his help around the house. We were asking why he did it, and I felt that it was because he missed his dad. I continued with the prompting I got. I explained to him that it's hard being the oldest and the example. It's hard being "the man of the house", and it's especially hard when you have a hard day and all you want is to talk to your dad. We both started to cry because I shared how hard it is and how I know that his dad is so happy with his decision to be baptized and to be the example in his family. We sang, "I am a child of God" and I really tried to put myself in his shoes.  It really was a spiritual experience. 

For Urbano, he is trying his best to break his addiction with smoking. Hermana Guerra and I decided we would also give up our own little "addictiones."  We both crack our knuckles and it's extremely hard to stop, especially when you do it often.  It is allowing us to understand that if it is hard for us to stop doing something so simple, how much harder it is for him. We encourage him and praise him when he gets through the hard days without giving in to his cravings. 

The most important thing that helps us share this work is the smiles we bring. I notice the difference when we look dead tired, because we trekked miles upon miles in the sun. Then we get to a door looking exhausted we don't have the wonderful opportunity to share our message. But when we are happy, and when I personally put myself in their shoes or at least just want to share my testimony with them I see a positive difference. 

I feel like this is my home. The people here are my family. I wish everyone could be here with me experiencing this, because the spirit I feel here is remarkable. Everyday is my favorite day.

I love you all and am praying for you! 

Con Amor,
Hermana Blankmeyer