Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sept. 19-Feliz Día de la Independencia!

Dear Family,
We had an amazing week! It was Mexico's Independence day on September 15th and we all know that they are non-stop partyers so we actually celebrated from the 15th to the 16th with an awesome ward activity:) We are seeing so many blessings and awesome things here in our Alpuyeca Branch! The members are getting more involved and inviting their friends to come and receive what the Gospel can bring:) 

This is my get-up for the 15th of September:) I decided to take out the braids before we left the house to be a bit more professional, but just know that my intention to be all-out patriotic was there;)
Like I said we had an awesome ward activity on Friday the 16th of September where members came in their mexican clothes and sang songs and danced and we ate good food:) They also invited alot of their friends to see and learn more about the church! This is Hermano Salvador, he is a pretty good singer!
Us eating pozole, a Mexican corn-soup dish:) I was seated in the middle of the table so this is just me and half the people:) 
This is one of our investigators, Guadalupe:) She is AMAZING. She will be baptized on the first of October and is one of the most special investigators I have had in my entire mission:) Since we have started teaching her about a month ago she has only missed one Sunday because of family problems. As her baptismal date gets closer she is passing more and more tests and trials- including her Mom getting diagnosed for cancer and her actually falling and breaking her wrist this past week. But she is still so strong and came to the activity and came to church yesterday- she wants to do everything in her power to follow Christ:) Many investigators would push back and try to tell us that while they are going through such hard times that they need space- but Guadalupe just thanks us for bringing her the Gospel and asks ''what more can I do?'' I hope to be like her one day. 
This is Guadalupe's nephew, Eduardo. I think I have talked about him before, he only has one eye because of an accident that he had but he as well has progressed and fought so hard since the first day we started sharing this message with their family:) He is going to be baptized on October 1st, too:) He got up the nerves to sing in the activity! And he didnt do too bad, either, he just... didnt want to stop. After like 10 songs somebody else came up and asked to sing, haha. 
Us and our ward mission leader in our Mexican outfits:) Everyone FLIPPED OUT seeing me and Hermana Dent all dressed up for the two fiesta days. They thought we were the most adorable white girls they had ever seen pretending to be mexican:) Pretty much nobody on the street all day wore patriotic clothes- just us. So we stood out, but was alright. We love Mexico!
These are some cool pics of them setting up the late-night celebration they had in Xochitepec for the independence day. Everyone stays up until midnight on the night of the 15th to do what they call 'el grito' (the shout) about their independence:) But we had to be home safe and sound at 6pm, haha. 
This was a cute dance some of the kids in the branch did at the party called the Iguana:) It is a song about a girl iguana and a boy iguana and how the boy iguana is always chasing:) The men get down on their stomachs and walk with their elbows like iguanas it is pretty funny:) 
This is a cool scenery shot of this really pretty path we found to the house of one of our 'out-of-the-way' investigator families:)
This is this cool pet spider growing on our lime tree in front of the house:) It is getting pretty big. We might have to kill it one day, but for now it is our cool Pokemon. 
Our investigator Eduardo (the one with one eye who sang at the party) also has the cutest son and the cutest baby puppy in the world. I cant even when we go to his house:) I always say ''where is my puppy?'' and they bring her to me, haha. 
Time for some cute pics with me and my amazing companion, Hermana Dent:) I am seriously having a wonderful time with her. We learn and we laugh and we are seeing miracles here in Alpuyeca:) She is honestly one of the most capable missionary companions I have ever had, We have fun together but we also work so hard- I feel like I am running sometimes to keep up with her:) I am grateful God sent her to be my companion:) 

And a final grateful shout-out to my awesome family and my amazing Mom:) This week we had to be home early for some of the festive-days just as a safety precaution (nothing happened) and with my free time I went through my family pics:) My mom sends me her weekly blog every week and from those blogs I have cut my favorite pictures and went saving them. This week I spread them all out and I am just so grateful for you, my wonderful and supportive family! I love you!
I love you all so much, I hope you have an amazing week! Keep Eduardo and Guadalupe in your prayers, they will be making their first promise with God, soon:)

Until next week,

Hermana Sualita :) 

Sept. 12- It's a Good Life:)

Dear Family,
It was a good week:) I don't have much to complain about, I am a happy camper here in Alpuyeca:) We are having an awesome time seeing the members get involved in the work and watching one of our amazing investigator families progress:) 

We had our leadership meeting of the month this week, it was good getting together with everyone. The spirit was really strong in the meeting, I felt like I didn't have enough time to write down everything I was learning and finally comprehending:) I LOVE this gospel- there is always more to learn:) This is all the sister training leaders, its fun because I have been companions with all three on the right:)
I went on divisions this week with Hermana Smith, she started her mission the same time as me and Hermana Dent but she is way tanner;) We had some members come and do visits with us and then on the way home they bought us some gelatina! Haha, they eat a lot of Jello here. 
This was a scary tarantula thing we found out side of the church, I had one of the Elders get close enough to put my tag next to it :D
This is me and my companion with America, one of the youth of the ward:) She is the sweetest ever and always gives us big hugs:) She calls us Ana and Elsa from frozen :) 
We hiked up one of the hills in our area looking for a new family yesterday and got a really nice view in return:) 
And... I finally fulfilled one of my life-long goals! Hermana Cecy taught my companion and I how to make that delicious Mexican rice everyone loves! ;) Haha, my sister Chyanne told me that I wasnt allowed to come home without learning, I hope I have made her proud :) 

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sept. 5- Smiles and Sombreros

Dear Family,
it was a great week! We just keep chugging along here and having a wonderful time:) Hermana Dent and I are really having fun together and finding lots of great people to teach. Who knows maybe this Branch will get switched into a ward while we are here;)

One day we were looking for a direction and we passed by a tortilleria (where they make and sell tortillas) and we decided to have a mini-field trip to see how they make them! It was pretty cool. The people thought we were cute thinking it was interesting, haha. They just take corn and shred up into tiny tiny bits with some water and then with the maza the machine flattens it and cuts it into perfect little tortillas that are then baked and sent down the conveyor belt:) It is way harder making them by hand, haha.
They even gave us free tortillas as part of our spur-of-the-moment tour;) I love how open and kind Mexican people are. They are always willing to share what they have, especially information and help:) They sure do love tortillas here, though. They even have men on motorcycles that carry around tortillas all around all day honking their horns up and down the street for everyone to buy. 
We had a cool separate meeting this week with the other sister training leaders of the mission, it was good and I learned a lot. This is us 6 with Hermana Avila:) That big green thing at my foot is the worlds largest lime, a woman on the street gave it to us and we carried it around all day, haha. 
Me and my happy companion:) I love being with her but sometimes her bright blue eyes and long curly blonde hair attracts so much attention, haha. This week a man asked to take a picture of her. ''um, no.'' 
So, we are really good at having fun together whatever the circumstances, and we have been having a lot of fun lately with our sombreros and the shadow they make, haha. Mine looks like one of those circle head bathroom stick people, and hermana Dent's looks like Darth Vader or a doll with plastic hair, haha. 
Its been a little rainy lately, and we've been really happy about the break from the hot, haha:) 
This is one of the awesome families in our ward, Jazmanny and his wife Cecilia:) And their son Aiman Helaman. They use a lot of book of mormon names here in Mexico, I know lots of Nefis, Moronis, Helamans.. but not too many Laman or lemuels;) This family is ALWAYS willing to give us food and help us in what we need, we are definitely so blessed:) 
I hope that you all have a wonderful week, I certainly love you so much! Thank you for all of your prayers for safety and support- please keep them coming! They definitely work and are answered here for me:) I LOVE YOU!

Hermana Swallow 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Aug. 29- Week of AWESOME!