Sunday, March 6, 2016

Feb. 29- ¨Hello, Stress, its nice to Week you¨

My dear Family and Friends!
It was a good week:) But it was a tad bit stressful. I am still kicking, no worries, and I learned a whole bunch:) Get ready for a picture explosion!

So, for starters, we started off the week with my birthday!:) It was a really good birthday, thank you all for the birthday wishes and love!!:) Since we had to go to Cuernavaca the afternoon of my birthday I didn't get to have a meal with a family or anything but the group of us missionaries still sang songs:) This is me and Hermana Muñoz (it was her birthday, too:)) 

 I am kindof annoyed we had to be in pictures together because she is gorgeous;) She is from Aguascalientes, Mexico and we are exactly the same age:) She started her mission the same time as my trainee.

On Tuesday we had the trainers and trainees conference:) This is Hermana Bessey and I with our trainees:) Hermana Bessey and I started the mission at the same time but as I am now in my 3rd area, she is still in her FIRST! When she finishes Hermana Martinezs training she will have been there for 9 months, haha. 
We ate in a fancy restaurant the day of the interina:) 
One of my Birthday presents from one of the other sisters were these weird earrings. These are all the rage in Mexico, I dont know if it is a thing in the States. Its a normal earring in front and a huge ball on back.
I still havent decided if I like them or not:)
On Tuesday afternoon we traveled to Apulyeca to have divisions with the Hermana Capacitadores:) They are awesome and it was great being with them! 
A nice bridge pic in rural Apulyeca:) It was actually pretty odd being in Apulyeca, it is like what you actually think of when you picture Mexico. Really rural. There was a lady bathing in the river and then she filled up her buckets and put them on a pole across her shoulders to carry up the hill (like in Mulan) and there was tons of people with donkeys carrying goods and building materials. 
Also, I found this field behind the chapel in Apulyeca where they are growing corn and pumpkins! Thats right, like we learn about in school how the Native Americans grew their corn (stalk plants) with their pumpkins and squash (bushy plants) to grow and support the one and the other. It is still a thing here!: ) Mom, you know why I was so excited about this, haha:) 
This was my first time drinking coconut water:) Or.. milk? I dont know what its called in English, haha. It was DELICIOUS! This is one of the Hermana Capacitadores, Hermana Vidal:) Shes awesome! She is from Peru and has climbed Machu Pichu!.. Also, this is how they sell drinks here on the street. In bags with a straw:) It is super clever but you have to be careful not to poke a hole. Real careful. 
One of the families we ate with this week remembered it was my birthday on Monday and threw a mini party:) I 
was feeling the love quite strongly:) 
This is Jesus, a member of the family Lopez Ramos:) He is awesome but he just kept giving me more and more of his toys for my birthday, haha. We eventually just had to leave;) 
One of the traditions here is that you have to take a mouth bite of your birthday cake and most of the time when you do it someone shoves your head from behind to smash your face into the cake. Thank you, Companion;) 
We were walking in the street when I saw that I could buy an icecream sandwich for 5 pesos. I thought ''What a steal!'' and had to buy one. But they just turned out to be ice pop-sicles with two graham crackers. Lame. 
This is Cecilia, Mom of Ceci:) She should be getting baptized in the coming weeks:) 

This is Ceci, she got BAPTIZED ON FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was an amazing day:) 

Mom and Daughter:) Also- this tithing picture is in Every. Single. Entrance. of the churches down here. I dont know why. 
Everyone always complains so much when I say I want a jumping picture but then afterwards they're all like '' You have to send that to me! I love it'' and I am like... ''I know.''
This is Ceci's whole family:) AND its an amazing story. She almost didnt get baptized on Friday.Ceci lives with her mom and siblings because her parents are separated. At around 1pm we went to their house to check on Ceci and make sure that everything was ready for the baptism at 6. While we were talking they mentioned that they had to come up with something to tell the Dad where they'd be all evening. I knew that the Dad wasnt crazy about the church, but we found out that afternoon that he didnt even know Ceci was receiving the lessons or that she was actually going to be baptized that evening. I asked why he didnt know and they expressed that they wished he did know but iddnt want him to be angry or say no. I initially shrugged it off and figured nothing would change. But as the day went on I just kept feeling worse and worse. Ceci is only 8 years old and technically both of her parents are her legal guardians. What would happen if Antonio (the dad) found out the next day and was really angry with the church, with Ceci, with the Mom Cecilia? Would he beat her? It wouldnt be the first time. But I knew that if we asked his permission he would most likely say no. I expressed my feelings to my companion and she shrugged it off. She told me that if I wanted the Dad to accept the baptism I could keep dreaming, and that if we talked to him we would lose the baptism. But its not at all about numbers, it was about the well-being of Ceci. We went home and I said a prayer... when I came out I realized that what I was feeling was the 'dog-feeling' and I knew my Dad has taught me what to do when I feel the dog feeling. So, I told me companion what I felt and she told me to do whatever I needed to but I could tell she was frustrated. So I called my district leader and bishop to confirm my answer and we went to Cecis house to tell her that we needed to talk to her Dad:) They admitted they were scared but that they would feel a lot happier if he did know. So, we all said a prayer as a family and walked to his house ready for the baptism, Ceci in all white:) When we initially started talking to him he did get defensive, but as the spirit gave us the words his heart was eventually touched:) He asked Ceci what she wanted and she said ''To be baptized!'' and threw her arms around him in a hug:) He started to cry and I knew everything was okay:) He asked if we could wait until 8pm to have the baptism so he could get ready and we accepted:) It was his first time in the church building. Ceci had a beautiful baptismal service:) the Lord is in ALL the details!

Well, I love you all so much! Remember to seek the Spirit and trust the promptings you recieve:) Even if it scares you or your companion thinks your crazy:) The Lord is in ALL THE DETAILS! I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen:) 

Hermana Swallow

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