Sunday, November 8, 2015

Nov. 2- Dia de los Muertos

Mi Querida Familia,
I had an amazing week! Life with a new companion has been pretty interesting, and I havent laughed this much in... 4 months;) Hermana Johnson is just flat HILARIOUS and I am so grateful to have her. She is very spiritually mature and her spanish is awesome, but she is awkward just like me and it has been a fun week:) One day we were walking in the street and there was a man making a tope.. which is a speed bump.. anyways, so he was almost done with forming the wet concrete into a pretty little speed bump when we crossed and I stepped over it, but Hermana Johnson wasnt paying attention and she STEPPED RIGHT THROUGH IT!!  It was hilarious. She destroyed it. She apologized and needless to say we did not contact that man, we dont want him to know we have connection to the church;) 

I also have never had problem with dogs until this week, maybe they are against white people? We have been chased and barked and scared more than a few times this week and I am losing affection for those furry friends. 
I don't know if it has just been the aftermath of hurricane patricia, but we had rain a few days this week and it has been AWESOME!! I love the coolness and the difference it makes in the days. That is something that I think would be hard about living in a place like Mexico for always- the weather is ALWAYS THE SAME. In Utah, and every other place I've lived, there are distinct seasons that reflect the time of year and the holidays and events. But here its like Winter- Hot, Spring- Hottest Hot, Summer- Still really hot, and Fall- Hot. There ya have it;) 
This weekend was always Dia de los Muertos! Remember when I told you about September 15-16 and how they usually have more than one day for their holidays because they party hard here? Well, its the same for Halloween. The 31st was the day they actually call Halloween and then November 1 & 2 are the days of the dead. They believe that those days are when the dead can leave the grave and visit their families, so everyone is in the graveyards, and they make shrines in their houses for their dead loved ones, and they make food offerings. Also, the kids dress up and ask for candy all the nights, jaja. I feel like that is the only reason I'd be good with it lasting three days. 

Well, I love you so much and my prayers are with you:) We have a couple of investigators who are really progressing well and it has been amazing to see them recognize the blessings that have come into their life thanks to this message. One of the things they almost ALWAYS notice that they find is peace. That is the message we bring:) That it really is possible to have peace in this life and joy in the next. What peace does the gospel bring to your life?:) 
-Hermana Swallow  

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Oct. 24- Staying in Galeana!

Mi Querido Familia,
First of all, I love you all so much. 
Second of all, The hurricane that hit wasn't as bad as they were scared it was going to be! And nothing at all happened in my area, only some clouds these last couple days:) I am safe.
Third of all, The results from my chinche bite came back negative! Yay!!
Fourth of all, I have another chinche bite. Yes, it is true.
Jaja, so this week was so good! As you know we started it with going to the Pyramids, and that was nice! But that day I noticed something new on my leg. Yes, another chinche bite. So, I didnt flip out, but I was ready for some stuff to get done so this would stop happening. The next day we washed all the mattresses with straight bleach, we went to the centro de salud for advice, we scheduled a fumigation for the house and hopefully this is the last of the bites!:) Since you have to wait 21 days after the day you get the bite, we went Thursday to Cuernavaca to get my blood checked for the first bite and today we got the results, that I am clean!:) But, I will have to get checked again in 2 weeks for the other one, so keep the prayers coming:) 
We also found out on Saturday that my trainer, Hna Garcia, would be changing areas! I was excited for a new adventure, but extremely frightened at the same time, jaja. We frantically packed all of her bags because that night was the fumigation and we had to stay with other missionaries for two nights before the house would be livable. It was a crazy busy night, but the Lord kept us safe and we got to the other missionaries house with all of her bags alright:) 
My new companion is Hermana Johnson! She is from Pleasant Grove Utah and is white just like me!:) She is super smart, when they called her to give her the Spanish phone test she got into the advanced group, so she was only in the CCM for like 2 weeks before hitting the field. So, she has 2 weeks more than me in the mission, but a transfer more than me in the field. 
Today has been crazy busy and stressful, but we are back in our area now and I know everything will be great:) The Lord is with us and will help us and is qualifying us for His work :) Hopefully with the help of the Spirit I will remember how to get us to all of our appointments and stuff;) I love you all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I really feel you love.
Hermana Swallow
PS- the foto is of me and Hna Garcia and Abi, a girl in our ward who just submitted her mission papers:)  

Oct. 19- Pyramids!

My Loving Family & Friends
I had a good week! It is pretty crazy how fast the time has gone- this is the last week of my training! Next week is transfers, so we will see if anything is different next week or if I am still with my companion for another 6 weeks:) What I DO know is that I don't have to spend anymore time with the training activities that newbies have to do their first 12 weeks- so that will be nice:) 
Something super sweet that we did was this morning all the hermanas from our zone (all 6 of us) went to the pyramids in Xochicalco and it was super awesome! Walking where the lamanites walked;) But really, though... We took a bunch of pictures:) 
There are some pretty weird things here in Mexico that we eat but this week I ate something I thought was really strange: COW STOMACH. Is that a thing in the United States?? I am pretty sure I had never heard of it. It was gross, if its a thing at home don't eat it, jaja. Everyone was laughing and watching me so closely when they handed me my bowl of it and I wasn't exactly sure what it was. they have a specific name for it that doesn't exactly translate to 'cow stomach' and no one would explain to me what it actually was because they were laughing and just telling me to eat it. :/ As I looked at the pieces with the microvilli of digestive tissue I was pretty sure what it was. BUT I ATE IT. #strongstomach #stomachstrong My comp only had a few bites of hers before she asked for something else. So everyone can be proud of me;) 
I also played soccer or futbol for the first time this week:) I am not really sure why I was playing, I don't think the Mexicans were even running or if they were flying... and somehow passing the ball back and forth, jaja. 
I am sorry, I am really struggling thinking of things that happened this week:) The work continues to roll forth! We are seeing some awesome things with our investigators and I love being a missionary:) Hopefully sometime this week we will be able to go get my blood analysis to find out more about the chinche bite, thank you so much for all the prayers and support! I LOVE YOU!
Hermana Swallow