Sunday, June 26, 2016

June 20- Missionary Work = Love

My Dear Family,

Man I love and miss you guys!:) But I am having a wonderful time out here in beautiful Cuernavaca!:) We are seeing some great progress with our area and I am having a lot of fun with Hermana Veylupek:) 

We are teaching this one nice lady named Cointa who is cute and sells used clothes, so sometimes she has to tend to her customers while we are there:) It is pretty funny though, almost every person that passes and sees her talking to us gives a rude look to her and they usually ask to talk to her for a second and then she comes back and says they reminded her about how she is Catholic and shouldn't listen to us. But she is so amazing and tells them that she knows our message is from God:)
There was some sunshine and clear air in the sky the other day and I realized how much closer we are now to the Volcano Popocatepetl!:) 
This week was pretty cool, I got to go to the Migra to renew my visa because I have been in Mexico for almost a year now:) It felt awesome. I went with two other sisters that started at the same time as me, Hermana Smith and Hermana Dent. They are both super funny and great:) They've each lost between 30-50 pounds while being here while I... have gotten a little fluffier;) What can I say, I have a special place in my heart for tacos;) 
It rains here so much and I LOVE IT!:) But I did get a cold this week... #sorrynotsorry
We did another cool activity helping out one of the other wards in our zone make visits with their less active members on Saturday, and this was our guide, her name is Hermana Medina:) She is so funny and direct. She wanted to talk to everyone:) She is actually a US citizen- she passed that super hard test! But they are choosing to live in Mexico now because there home is here:) 

My companion told me she felt something in her hair and then I saw this ginormous thing crawling in it! I was so flipped but I saved her life and got it out, haha. It is probably the size of a quarter.

We are teaching this super awesome new family that are progressing great and came to church for the first time this Sunday:) This is Dani, she is 3 and loves Dora, whom she calls Lola:)
These are all the kids the family, Erick (the brother) is 9 and preparing for baptism. He is so smart and always reads his book of mormon:) 
The other day I decided to be a.. genius.. and accidentally broke our house;) We live on the second floor and when we walked out to the patio to leave we noticed that it had like an inch or two of water because the drain hole had got clogged. So I grabbed the broom right next to it and just put the wood part down in the hole... with maybe a little bit of force;) And accidentally broke the pipe thing that the water ran through so now there is just a hole that goes straight down, haha.. Our dueña says she doesn't know how much it will cost but that it was already brokenish before, so we will see how much I have to pay. Haha, just keeping things interesting. #theGringaStrikesAgain

editor's note---( Lillie never ended this letter, so I will leave it as she did:)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

June 13- Adventures of Sualita and Guadalupek

My wonderful Family!
Missionary Life is going so great here in Cuernavaca, Hermana Veylupek and I are having so much fun and seeing the miracles of diligent service:) It is so fun being with an American... they just ''get you'':) Haha. It is also so funny how flipped out the people get when they cant figure out our names. So normally instead of Swallow they call me Swalita and instead of Veylupek they call her Lupe or Guadalupe :) 

I also saw a long-lost companion I hadn't seen in like 7 months... HERMANA JOHNSON! I have missed her, we were together for one change back in November and I haven't seen her desde entonces, so it was really good seeing her:) She is now a Sister Training Leader! 
My companion and I have had so much fun when this picture.. .haha, we have decided you can use it to explain what a DUFF is, hahahaaa. 
Instead of gummy bears and gummy worms they sell these pandas and gummy teeth, haha.
We went on Divisions this week to make some visits and I went with a ward member named Sherem. I feel like she looks just like my wonderful cousin Daezia (love ya, Daez!) 
This is our cool ward mission leader, Hermano Jorge and one of the recent converts in our branch, Lucia:) She makes crepes, we were pretty excited.  
There is also this one part of the area that they call ''bosques de cuernavaca'' or forests of cuernavaca. It had been a while since I had seen pine trees:) 
I was impressed with how many power lines were in this street. And then I thought it was weird that there were shoes on the line.. I might ask if that is like a culture thing because there are usually shoes on the power lines:) 
This morning was pretty... interesting, haha. Yesterday the hermana who gave us lunch told us that it was going to be a ''left-overs'' day and we ate happily. Sometime in the night though our bodies decided they didn't like something. ''Happy P-day Harry.'' '' Happy P-day, Ron.'' 
Well, I love you all so so much! Take time to see the blessings of the Lord in your life. A goal I made this week was to seek how I could put first the kingdom of God, because it was something I learned from a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday. My challenge for you all is to really listen to the talks this coming Sunday and make a personal goal- Sacrament meeting is an amazing opportunity for the Spirit to help us know ''What Lack I yet?'' 

Hermana Swallow

Sunday, June 12, 2016

June 6- Lovin' Bello Horizonte!

Things are going great here in the new area! I thought it was going to be really hard to switch but I am falling in love with this new place and these wonderful people! PLUS it is so much cooler here, haha. It is alway overcast or drizzling and I have actually been 'cold' a few times this week, I thought I forgot what that word meant while I was in Iguala;) 

Sometimes I forget what things are so different in my house. Like, in Utah I don't have any neighbors that just offer bananas and then take them off their own tree to share with us, haha. 
You see what I am wearing in this picture? Its a jacket. Its just a thin rain jacket, but I was stil so excited to be cold enough to want a jacket :D Also, this is the first area I have ever had that has 'subidas' (hills) so for a few days my shins were killing me,but now I just like charging up them. Especially when I had to carry our 20L garrafon of water up the hill to our house. #beastmode
Its basically been like a Hallmark movie with Hermana Veylupek, we just are having so much fun speaking English when we are in the house:) 
Me and Hna Veylupek in one of the 'glorietas' (roundabouts) of our area. It is SO different from my last area. It is all paved streets and alleys and like 5 roundabouts. I was super confused but then I printed out a map and between my map skills and hermana Velupeks month here,we havent got lost too bad:) 
One day we offered to help a lady carry her grocery bags home and we had to cross this sketch make-shift bridge across the freeway and then she ended up living in another missionaries area so we just had to pass the referral after walking across the bridge that my father would never approve of.
This is a cute gumball machine but the gumball comes down and then you have to use the fooseball kicker person to kick the gumball up to make the goal and THEN you get your gumball... I couldnt make a goal :( 
This is our miracle for the week, Amalia:) We found her while we were on the street. We were talking with her brother when she came out of the next door house to see what was up. So we started chatting with her and then she mentioned shes getting married in August. I said ''Can we see a picture of your fiance?'' and she just LIT UP, grabbed our hands, and practically ran us to her house to show their pics:) She came to church yesterday and is now learning about the restored gospel:) 
People cant really get over the fact that Hermana Veylupek and I are together. One güera was hard enough to get used to, but TWO in the street!? Haha. I lie alot and say I am from Chihuahua:) Plus its weird because there are only like 7 american sisters in all of the 300 missionaries here.. and we are together :D
Our branch actually meets in a cute house we rent and the baptismal font is the pool out front:) 
This is me and Dalilah, she is a cute 9 year old in the branch:) She is actually from Texas but her parents sent her to be with her grandparents for a year to learn Spanish in Mexico. She speaks better than I ever will and she has only been here like 8 months. 
We found this HUGE butterfly outside:) Everyone was selfy-ing with it. 
This is actually a candid shot haha...I was freaked out at first :P

So, I am doing really good here in Bello Horizonte! I am loving the people and we are seeing miracles in the area:) Hope everyone is having a fun summer! love you!

Hermana Swallow

Sunday, June 5, 2016

May 30- NEW Area

My Dear Family,
Yes, it is true. I was so happy in Iguala, but I had been there for almost 5 months. Hermana Muñoz was called to be a trainer (I must be really good at training pre-trainers she is my third companion that gets called while with me;) and now I am actually in Cuernavaca! It is weird because I am really close to the offices and in the city and this is the first time in my whole time in the ''Mexico Cuernavaca Mission'' that I am actually in Cuernavaca, haha. It should be a great new adventure:)

This week actually started with a trip to the eye-doctor for Hermana Muñoz because she had an eye infection and was told she needed 2-3 days of rest in the house. I will be honest, at first I thought ''Sweet, I could use a rest.'' but then I thought ''Nah, I am here to WORK!'' so I started calling all the members to arrange for sisters to accompany me to still do our visitas! These are a few pictures I took with some of my part-time companions;)

Hermana Rosi, Young Women's President .. haha, she really doesn't like me that much because she thinks I am too soft (she really liked Hna Rodriguez) but she always supports missionary work:) 
Marifer, a young woman who recently turned 16:) She is really great, this was her first time accompanying missionaries and she bore a really powerful testimony on the power of prayer.

Dianery- another young woman who is 16 years old:) At first she didnt like me that much but then I was able to help her one day when she was having drama with her friends and now we are best of friends:) 

Hermana Ceci is actually our neighbor, she is who stayed with Hermana Muñoz everyday so I could get out to work:) She let me use this shirt of hers that I always complimented:) 

Hermana Juanita- she is really great:) I think she might be in her 70s so we had to walk really slow but her testimony of the Plan of Salvation helped our investigator know of Gods love for her:)
While Hermana Muñoz was in her training to be a trainer meeting I saw my own trainer who I havent seen in 5 months! She is finishing her mission in July so it was good to see her again for what might be the last time before she heads home!
This week I ate octopus for the first time ever! It was actually pretty delicious when you get past the weird feeling of the suckers. 
We were having a bad day, so we said a prayer and hugged a tree:) Things did indeed get better!

A few of my cool investigators Elizabeth and her brother Felipe.. they are 19-20 and are both studying in college and Elizabeth is actually really close to her baptismal date, she is just looking for a really specific answer to know this church is true:) 

The Bishop took us out to eat one night with his family, we ate something called a 'gringa' which I thought was ironic;) It was like a quesadilla with meat in it
There was like a hurricane or something on Saturday night- the wind was crazy strong! It kinda freaked us out, but we stayed calm;) While we were saying our nightly prayers we heard this HUGE crash ''inthenameofJesusChristamen'' and ran to the window to see that this huge tree had fallen 10 feet in front of the house! The good news is that we were blessed with safety:) The  bad news is that it was a mango tree, and mangos are delicious. 
Our house is the one with orange half-bottom, haha. I had to be super careful taking thes pics because the tree also took down the power lines.
It was really hard saying goodbye to my ward.. I love them all so much. Here are a few pictures of Sunday with some members-investigators:) 
This is Roxanna, she should be getting baptized in 2 weeks:) 
Hermana Amsi and her family, they are a large family with 5 daughters. Hermana Amsi is super loving and patient and helps us missionaries a lot:) 

This is the Hernandez Family, they are all so sweet!

Cecilia, my latest recent convert. It was hard telling her goodbye, but she told me that she knows there are more people that need me... I will miss her so much. 
The Elders in our ward this change with us were elder Colton and Elder Ruiz
One member named Miguel Robles loves playing piano and singing. Remember the little girl, Dulce, that got baptized a little bit ago?:) Well, she is his niece! So he and I sang at the baptism and he wanted to record the song to have, so yesterday I got to play with his fancy recording equipment and feel like a cool kid. 

This is Miguel (blue) and his brother Gid (black)  :) 
The bishop and his family (Sanchez Family)came to say goodbye to me last night. Not going to lie-- I cried. I love their ward sooo much. He has definitely been my favorite bishop. There is a part in Preach my Gospel that says that we should make sure we are a blesing and not a burden on the Bishop, so one day I was joking with the Bishop and I asked if I was a blessing or a burden and read him the part of Preach my Gospel:) He said I was both things but then every time since then that hes looking for me he says ''Donde esta mi bendicion?'' (Where is my blessing?) :) 
But now... .I am in my new area in Cuernavaca. I am with Hermana Veylupek from California who ends her mission in 3 months:) We actually are in a branch (my first time in a branch!) and I am excited to learn a lot and have new fun experiences:) 
I love you all, have an amazing week!!
Hermana Swallow