Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25th:

This week! SO much happened! Dad you asked about P-days. Well the last two we have gone to the centro and looked around, I would send pics, but like every other week, I promise to next week :) I have a bunch for you. Today for P-day we had a big area activity! All the missionaries in Tapachula (including MTC companion!!) got to go to Izapa or something like that and see waaaay cool stuff right by the border of guatemala! There is one rock there that is Lehi's vision!! WHAT the church is so true it's hilarious. Then after we played volleyball and had pizza and stuff. Super good fun. And seeing my MTC companion again was the bomb. I love her.
On Tuesday to Wednsday we had splits with the sister zone leaders and it was AWESOME.The Zone leader helped me out with contacting and not being afraid to talk with people a whole lot. You just got to do it! I never thought I was afraid to talk to people until I came on my mission, turns out its not always as easy as I thought. But I slept at their apartment in the neighboring area. Also it was super good because the Zone Leader is from mexico city and they speak really clear Spanish there. I love it. In chiapas its very mumbly. So it was great!
This week we were getting ready for our investigators baptism, but then he actually had to get interviewed by the president. So when the President came down for the activity today he got interviewed (and passed!!) and we will have his baptism and hopéfully his friend's baptism on Sunday. We are also working with an investigator, a young mom who is 16 and has a baby with an inactive 18 year old. She has wanted to be baptised for a long time, but can't until she gets married or separated and her spouse doesn't want to get married. Ugh it is awful. And she wasn't keeping any of her commitments because I think she felt hopeless, but we had a really good lesson with her about the stuff that she can change on her own, and then on Sunday, she was at church! Woohoo!! Super happy. I'm keeping her in my prayers for sure because we are her 3rd set of missionaries, and I know she can do it this time!
Anyway love you so mcuh family! have a great week!

August 18th:

Well hey!
This week i cant even begin to tell you every thing that went down! like woah missionaries do so much in a single day. But don't worry grandma I'm keeping a journal :) Okay so first off our investigator, whose baptism is next week, brought a friend to church and he is just as golden as he is!! He's 19 years old. They are both super púmped about baptism. And his friend's baptism might actually be next week! They are both so great and super receptive. Love teaching them. And they pretend to understand my Spanish even when I know they cant. so thats a bonus! Also status update we teach like 25 or so lessons a week, but it seems like there is no way to fit in more! We are always going somewhere and always have stuff to do. When one lesson falls through my companion is like boom were going to go here and bam we teach a lesson. people here are super nice and willing to listen to us. I've only had one lesson yesterday that was a little weird. One of our recent convert who we are teaching the lessons over again to didn't come to church so we went to visit him. but he lives on the same land as another family that isnt members. they have a 27 year old son who was a little rough but at the same time was like super willing to listen to what we had to say. people are super considerate here. But at the end he was like sorry but in my opinion you guys are just wasting a year and a half of your lives, and to be honest that's my opinion, sorry. He didn't offend me, it was just the first encounter I've really had with someone I felt like wasn't super grateful I was here. He just said that though because his point was that you don't have to show God you love him you just have to say it, which is wrong. Faith without works is dead. Which is pretty good when you think about it. most people are like wow how neat you are doing this with your life and are super nice to us, so the fact that there has only been one person here who thinks I'm wasting my time is solid. It was good though because he was asking me lots of questions like why are you a mormon and why are you here and I love answering those because one thing i can say in Spanish is my testimony.

Honestly the days are ups and downs, but usually by the end of the day they feel like that was a pretty good day! Wednesdays we have district meetings and everyone besides my comp in the district which is just 2 other elders are gringos and i love it because they always speak English. Wednesday was really good after that meeting i felt a lot better about the language because i had a little break and i was ready to go again! After the meeting we had a lesson about tithing with a recent convert and it was so good! When I feel happy and don't stress out, the Spanish comes easier.aid than done when you feel a little lost and confused especially with the language.

Oh also 2 families I want to tell you about! The first familiy: Their son commited suicide and we went to visit them and taught them a lesson. we have gone to visit a couple more times too. The dad is really receptive, but the mom is atheist. Its sad becuase she really has no hope for where her son is in the afterlife. But Today we went over to help them clean up there house too because here in Mexico people grieve and grieve, and even though there son has been dead for like 2 weeks 2 nights ago the whole neighbordhood was over again with floweres and they had a whole room dedicated to candles and a big altar to respect their son. Its super intense. So we were helping clean up. We are trying to slowly convince the mom to come to church. Because we think the dad wants to. And the dad is super great. Hna canalizo says he speaks like hes from the street but i like him because he always tries to include me in the conversation even if i don't get what hes saying the first time. Also in the first lesson we had with him he was saying how he was so grateful for 2 people who just spoke about God that could come to Chiapas just to teach his family. I dont know its so easy to love people that love you. But Hna canalizo is always thinking about this family all day every day all she talks about. Its awesome. and we are trying to do all we can for them.

And a Family in our ward, don't know what to say, they are just the nicest mormon family ever. I want to send pics of them next week if i get some because i love them. and they are both English teachers so they can understand my gringo accent too. Its soo good.

 you will not believe it! MOM guess what! I did my hair in a braid one day and we were standing in a doorway when i felt something fall onto my back. I was like oh no its a spider, but it went away so i was like ah its all good.. got home and started taking my braid out when on my finger crawled a COCKROACH! not even kidding it had been in my hair for like 2 hours. and me and my companion were screaming and ripping the room apart searching for the bugger and we never found it. ahhhhhhh gross; its super funny though, honestly cockroaches arent that bad. Also speaking of my hair, it is way to hot to leave down here and i never do anything with it. I look so gross every day, but no one even cares! I love it here!
Anyway love you all!

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014: First week in Mexico

Well I'm here!! And holy crap it is nuts!! Hahaha I love it. Okay so we land in Mexico after a super smooth day of flying and everything is good! Looks a lot like it was in Quito, not too shabby really pretty nice! Stayed the night at the mission home, got assigned to our new companions the next day and my companion is from Puebla and she is seriously perfect for me. I had been praying super hard for someone who #1. wasn't awful and #2. helped me out. and she is obviously a native speaker, but she speaks some English so we made a deal that at night time we speak English and she said this is good because then I can tell her how my day actually was. its super good. I love her and she has been way patient with me, because it ca be really hard to contact people or teach in a lesson because uhh half the time i actually don't even know what is being said. but wow I have learned so much in one week! So my area is called Tapachula and barrio Cardova! Yep right next to Guatemala, and lets just say it is not as nice as Tuxtla. like I thought I knew 3rd world from my trip to Guayaquil... nope. Ill send pics sometime, but hollly canolie. teaching in apartments with dirt floors and there are no screens on the doors or windows so guess what that means! BUGS! yep, gigantic cockroach in the bathroom the other day and ants and lizards all over the house and one morning i woke up to a huuuge spider in the kitchen and i was like Hermana!! and she just walked on over and squished it as it was literally hopping LIKE A FROG! mom, you would die. And the stuff i have eaten. I should go on fear factor. like this morning we had nothing for breakfast except some cracker things that were infested with some ants. and i ate them cuz i was hungry. yep. hahah but that makes it seem a lot worse than it really is. its not bad and the ward is super good about preparing meals that are good for north Americans as they say. we eat everyday with members and the lunch is big enough that i don{t feel hungry until breakfast the next morning. so we don't really have to cook. but I'm taking good care of myself and making sure I'm healthy so don't worry! 
Also I'm my companion's 3rd trainee but first gringa. She says she is super grateful I'm learing fast and that I can understand a lot of what is being said so that she doesn't have to do everything alone, but I still feel like she has to do everything alone.. haha it'll get better, I'm just trying to be super patient with myself. 
On Friday we had a ward activity put on by us the missionaries. It was a talent show and 9 new references showed up! and we had 7 new investigators at church. this ward is supper excited about missionary work. Its such a blessing. and we are crazy busy. Im way glad this is my first area for that reason. 
In sacrament meeting i play the piano because no one here knows how. 
But there are really good investigators here. Most of them are super patient with the fact that I talk like suppper slow. And oh man it is hilarious when we contact! We switch of who contacts me and my other companion, and we have to get 20 contacts a day. and when she starts she always says hello we would just like to stop you for a minute and give you an English test. and because the  only other white people here are missionaries they think its weird and funny and laugh and then totally listen to us. yay for being a gringa. the other day we were contacting on a colectivo and i started talking to this girl and then the lady next to us was like we cant understand what you are saying at all hahaha oh man my accent is super bad but my companion is helping me muchissimo and she says its getting lots better. I'm just trying to not be scared to speak! I know that God blesses us when we try and when we do what he wants. Today the leaders of the zone (who are super nice, the missionaries in the zone are seriously great) gave us a blessing and said that if I was super obediant I would have the language down in 6 months! Man, I really hope so. My companion had to learn a native language here for a different area they only send native mexicans, and she learned the language in 1 month. I can understand best what is being said during lessons with investigators. I seriously have a testimony of the reality of the gift of tongues! Heavenly father called me to this area now at this time. My companion was explaining to me how he needs me now, not later. Whoo. I love this. Its hard, and sweaty and the culture.. i don{t totally get it yet. but Its coming! The ward is awesome, the kids especially because they are super patient and pretty much get what im saying. Its good. And an investigator who speaks some English is either getting baptized this saturday or next! Wow first baptism! So exciting. The gospel flipped his life around. Hes like 20 years old and kind of lived the party life style, but now he is like our #1 member missionary and wants everyone to feel how awesome this work is! 

Have a great week everyone! Love you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mckenna Made it to Tuxtla Gutierrez, Mexico Monday, Aug 4th, 2014! Here are pictures with her mission president, his wife and the other missionaries she flew with.