Monday, April 15, 2013

Final Hola de Hermana, 15-4-13

Ivy's LAST email from the mission field! She comes home this week!


Hola mi familia increible!!! 

I can hardly believe this!  The past few days I get hit by a hammer with every other thought, "this is the last almuerzo we{re going to eat in the house, this is our last dinner together, this is the last time I’ll wash my own clothes in the pila, this is the last sacrament meeting..."  This week was at the same time frustrating and sad, because I have never liked goodbye visits, and yesterday I especially wanted to be contacting with members to find new investigadors. 

But we were blessed yesterday that Mauricio and Ana, the young couple, came to church yesterday.  They are reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it is true.  He told me they haven’t received their answer yet, but that soon they will have it.  They stayed for all three hours of service and left with smiles.  I wanted to visit them before I left but Hna Gomez and her new companion have a scheduled family night with them Tuesday. 

Dearest Family, it would be impossible to describe every lesson, every feeling, every trial, and every blessing that comes from serving a mission.  And I would rather tell you in person about it when we are in the living room with Molly.  But if anyone reading this has ever wondered if they should serve a mission, if they re in those foggy crossroads and not sure which direction to take, I testify taking the road of mission service saved my life.

I testify that was no more sure way for me to come to know my Savior than to take upon me a plaque with His name every day and strive to be worthy of that privilege.  And learning how to every day see His children as He sees them.  To seek to know and understand them as He does, and then to teach them His gospel in order to open their vision to become like Him, and then challenge them in His way to make changes in their lives to reach that potential.  And to be patient, to understand that none of this work is about me, but about them, about our Savior and what He did to save and exalt us, and the infinite and perfect love that He has for us.  

I testify that through His Atoning sacrifice whatever sin we have committed is completely erased through the beautiful and sacred process of repentance.  When we give Him our will we are happy.  When we do His will we feel the Spirit and know He is happy with us. 

I testify our Savior lives!  I testify His hands are in His work!  There has been no greater blessing in my life than mission service, and my heart is aching.  But it is also very very full.  I look forward to many other missions, with and without this black nametag.

I love you my family!  I will see you soon!!!

Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hola de Hermana, 8-4-13

Hola mi familia asombrosa!

This week was one of the oddest I´ve had in the mission.  It was very long, we battled headcolds and discouragement, and we were all grateful to end the week with the peace and inspiration of General Conference.  The mission has an all'spanish rule, and I´m grateful to understand so much more than 18 months ago.  It was the oddest conference I´ve had here, with not only receiving ideas about how to help our investigators, but thoughts about what to do when I get home and what I need to accomplish here before I go.  Talk about a war in the head!  But I felt so much peace, and Elder Holland once again gave the talk that blessed me most.  This time is was more what the Spirit taught me while he was talking, but his and President Monson´s talks were my favorites.  

From your comments, I think you all are much more baggy than I am!  But I did drill holes in one of my suitcases this morning to put in a pink jumprope handle...  But if baggy means not wanting to work, I´m grateful I still am not baggy.  I´m so grateful for Hna S´s animo to propose last night that this week is our week of miracles.  We are aiming for 4 baptismal fechas and 8 church asistences.  Please pray for us!  And I´m praying for you all and the week of State Science Olympiad!!!  

I think I´ve talked about Elmer since my first email from here in Toto.  A youth I was for sure would someday be a bishop.  But yesterday he came all the way to the Stake Center, 30 min by bus, and back just to tell us that he has finally decided for sure that he doesn’t want to come to our church.  That he read and prayed and nothing happened.  And that the music and speakers are boring.  And the first three things that popped into my mind were Saul on the road to Damascus, a man I contacted in Calvario, and the Chinese New Year Dinner that I attended with Dad just before Huck got home from his mission.  

I told Elmer straight up that maybe right now isn’t his time, but like Saul was called by God in his later years, asked him if he would be willing to try again later, and he said no.  And then I thought of a man I contacted in Calvario, around 40, who right out rejected me, telling me he had read the Book of Mormon and prayed and felt nothing, and didn’t want to try again.  Well if he was like Elmer, I felt sad that Elmer could turn out like that man.  And I hope that if that is Elmer´s attitude, he does NOT become like the Atheist in the Chinese dinner, who delighted in attacking what we believe and putting false ideas in a young man´s head...  It is amazing to me that no matter how genius a child of God can be, they can still say that they know the Gospel of Christ and reject another of His witnesses...  Bah.  This experience was another reminder that we are searching for those who want to come to Christ, and not to the weekly drum set.  

But other fun experiences, the family of 11 we´ve been visiting was chosen by Habitat for Humanity to receive a new house, and Saturday evening after conference we dashed into the Boonies to help them haul cement building blocks from the road to their house.  It started raining, and there were beautiful foggy mists.  And we finished just after dark.  They invited us into their home and we sat on the dirt floor and ate fried eggs and tamales with our fingers.  These people are so good, and so humble.  I love them.  

I love you family!  Time is flying, and I am so grateful to be here!  I know the Lord calls us to do His work, and He helps us to fulfill it when we ask him.  And sometimes He just asks us to trust him, and sometimes that means putting down our ideas and asking Him what His are.  

I LOVE YOU TONS!  Our Lord and Savior LIVES!  And obedience to His Gospel and Covenants brings the most happiness possible in this world!

Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hola de Hermana, 1-4-13

Hola mi familia asombrosa!

Well, I can’t believe how fast time is flying.  It is probably the best April Fool´s joke out there.  I have hopes we can put baptismal fechas today, but I almost don’t know if I would believe they would be firm if we did set them..  jaja

This week was absolutely crazy.  With great things too.  Its just weird to be an LDS missionary when there are Catholic processions in the streets and you have to get to appointments but know that to go through the procession would just be unthinkable and need to take side streets...  It was fun.  The best near miss was finding out we almost got caught in one of their video recorders of the procession.  

Many tender mercies.  Two Sundays ago we didn’t have a single investigator in sacrament meeting and I felt horrible.  Yesterday the madre and her oldest daughter of a family of 11 came to church and liked it, and we want to get the whole family to come to conference.  Also, the son and his girlfriend of a less active, who have always hid from us, came to church and it was a complete surprise.  The funny part is that I KNOW the Zone Leaders thought we´ve been teaching them and we actually never had, so we were able to get to them first to invite them to class and then put a visit.  I don’t plan on telling the ZLs it was a surprise. Please pray for the family of Mauricio y Ana, the surprise couple, Elmer, Eduardo, Cesar, and La Familia Huix (Weesh).  Please pray that these children of God will want to and do asist General Conference and that they will receive testimonies that what we teach is true.  

I want to tell you about our landlord´s animalitos.  In back of our apartment, connected to his house, he has two little piggies in a cage, about 6 chickens and two roosters, and three big fat male turkeys and a couple turkey hens.  I had never understood why people use geese and turkeys and guinea fowl as guard animals until living here.  Today I got up early to wash my clothes in the pila, and as soon as I stepped outside to hang them up the turkeys started making a growly turkey nose and their gobblers inflamed to red, and slowly started advancing towards me...  It´s just funny.  I´m glad I still haven’t run into guard chickens.  And I´m glad I´ve only been chased by a goose once (in Huehue).  

And if dad could play the piano, and play hymns, I think he would do it like Hermano Homero.  He jazzes up the hymns and plays them usually way too fast but with trills and odd bits that don’t exist.  So that Count Your Blessings has an almost Evangelical swing to it...  I was almost laughing in the meeting.  

Dearest family, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!  Time is flying, and all too soon I´ll be giving you all hugs.  I´m so excited.  We´re working hard, but I am thinking more and more in Home.  And it´s like Mom and Huck told me, that I can feel myself getting ready to come home.  It is very odd.  Please pray that I´ll have the courage to act on the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and the humility to help turn this work over to those who are going to continue it.  

I testify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ LIVES!  He is our Redeemer.  And through His Atoning sacrifice we can repent of our sins, be made strong in our weaknesses, through the sacrament renew the precious covenant of baptism weekly, and daily endure to the end. 


Hermana Ivy [-]