Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Week 17: Divisiones, Cambios, Enfermedades, Conejos, y Mucho Más!

Hola Hola Hola!!

Wow! This week is it for training! This Sunday, I will be getting my assignment and if I am going to stay or go! We will see...

So this week, my poor companion had gripa (the flu), and has been sniffing and sneezing.  Its actually amazing that I have not gotten it yet.  All of the missionary's that we have had contact with have received it, and I am the only one left.  I have hopes that I will not get sick (knock on wood).  I am told that its pretty amazing that I have not gotten sick once in my almost 4 months in Mexico, I hope I can make it the whole mission!

On Wednesday, we had a worldwide broadcast for all of the missionaries in the world.  They said in the broadcast that the missionaries in Japan had to wake up to watch it.  It was really powerful to think that all 75,000 missionaries in the world were all watching at the same time. I loved all of the talks, and learned a lot of how to be a better missionary. They had a room for all the newby missionaries that don't quite know Spanish yet (so of course I was there).  But it was super hard to pay attention because they had the voice over in Spanish, but you could still hear a little bit of English in the background, and they had subtitles that were about 15 seconds off.  So I ended up just closing my eyes and listening to the Spanish, because of my headache.  But it was really good and I loved it!

Our smiles are false, it was so frustrating! 
Elder R. took about 20 years taking our pictures on each camera.
We had our division on Friday, where our sister training leaders came to our area.  Hermana L. and I did a split, where she went with Hermana C, and I went with Hermana R.  So I had to guide all day long, take the right buses, know exactly where to go, and all that.  Which was super scary!! But it went really, really good.  After divisions, we have an inventory with them about what we can do better and set goals.  In my inventory, she asked me how I feel about training a new missionary right after my training.  She told me that she thinks that I am ready, and that I can learn a lot from it.  Honestly, its scares me to death!  But we will see what happens this Sunday.  Everyone keeps telling me also that I will probably be a sister training leader😬.....

Yesterday we had Torta Ahogadas for lunch for the first time. They are very popular here in Guadalajara but I don't know why! The translation is pretty much ´Drowned sandwich´ and its not my favorite. Its a sandwich with pork but is drowned in salsa.  I don't know if I have gained much weight here, but if I have, its because of the bread! They have pastry's in almost every tienda (little store) and they are muy muy rico (delicious)!!!!  Hermana L. taught me a little saying here in Mexico, ´'Las penas con pan son buenas´' which means the pains with bread is very very good.  Its like when your depressed, you eat ice-cream, but here its bread.

Our Investigators.  I don't know why these people don't smile in pics.. haha
Not too much to report on our investigators.  We had three dates for baptism, but two of them didn't show up to sacrament meeting, so we only have one.  It has been an interesting situation with her, but I hope things can go forward.  She has, I believe, 9 children total, but only 5 or 6 live with her.  She came to church yesterday and we sat with her in the back where all the baby's and loud children live.  Thankfully Hermana L. and I had little cookies in our backpacks to give to her children to keep them quite, or we tried...haha.

I love you all and am so grateful for your letters! Who knows where I will be next week, but I will let you know!

¡Adiós con amor! 
Hermana Boice

What we think about alcohol........
Some kids brought this baby bunny to church, and I almost ran away once I had it in my hands,
but we can't have pets :(
Made some guacamole for an activity.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Week 16: Save Your Pesos!


Walking to Alejandrina's house before church, it was coooooold!
I feel that every week gets shorter and shorter! I have two more weeks left of training, and then they are going to set me loose. Sadly, there isn't too much to report on our investigators this week, although we do have a new baptismal date with Emilia.  She and Alondra (her daughter) have been receiving lessons for a while now. We were teaching them about repentance and baptism, and Alondra left for a couple minutes during the baptism part of the lesson, and the invitation, so the timing wasn't exactly the best...haha. But hopefully we can invite her in the next lesson.

On Thursday we had an activity with the ward.  We had started to do a mini CCM activity.  We made really cute name tags that are the same as ours, and we gave them to all the members.  We separated them into Districts and gave them companions as well.  And we did the same things that we did in the CCM (MTC). Unfortunately, we didn't have a whole lot of people show up, so I hope we can get some more members in the next activity. Earlier this day, I had accidentally left my wallet at the house and I used 7 pesos for the bus to get us to our lunch appointment, which was outside of our area.  Hermana L. was also broke, and so in total, we only had 7 pesos to our name.  So we had to walk all the way back to our area, and all the way to the church to clean it.  It felt awful to not have any money!  
Feeling rich after extra pesos!
Cleaning the church.
Its been getting pretty cold in the morning, 
so this was my outfit for personal study.

Its been getting so cold in the mornings that I need to sleep in two sets of pj's and socks, and I need to wear my pj's under my clothes during personal and companion study. Its a fashion statement, let me tell ya. :)   So we receive 1000 pesos every two weeks for food and everything, and we received our money on Friday.  I was expecting around 1,700 because of refunds for paying for the rent and water. It was a big surprise to see that I actually had 2,300 pesos in my account, which was obviously not right.  We found out that one of my refunds was paid for twice.  So tomorrow I need to pay it back to my District Leader, but I enjoyed feeling rich for a couple days.

Well, that is all for this week! Have a good week!

Hermana Boice

What we actually eat every 2 weeks.
My companion made me breakfast...healthy, right?
This is what we ate at a members house.  Its was good, but the heads were still on the body.
Its looks like its bamboo, but its caña (where we get sugar).  So I am really just eating plain sugar).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Week 15: The mission is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get!


This week has been full of lots of events!  So Tuesday, we had all appointments and were busy the entire day.  I talked a little about Alejandrina, and how she is a new investigator.  We had a lesson with her about the restoration, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.  She had received these lessons 4 years ago by some elders, so she already knew a bit, but at the end of the lesson I asked her if she would pray to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the BOM is true.  And she said that she already knows that both are true, and she knows that this is the true church.  We have a baptismal date set for the next month, the only problem is that she has a problem with smoking, but we are going to try and help her with that.

Wednesday we didn't have hardly a day at all.  We did our studies in the morning and went straight to the church to have interviews with Presidente.  We were there for 5 hours waiting.  Hermana L. and I were the last sisters, so she went in and I was left outside with 4 elders....after about 30 seconds of silence one of the elders whispered 'Áwkward......'  She was in there probably for an hour, and then it was my turn.  I think I was the shortest interview out of everyone because I was in there for 10 minutes.  In the interview we talked a little about Hermana. L. and I, and I expressed that I am sad that we wont be companions anymore after my training, because usually, after training you receive a new companion.  But he made it seem like we will be staying together! I guess we will see in three more weeks. Also, in Hermana L´s interview, she said that she confessed to Presidente that she lets me eat tacos and other food in the street, which is technically against the rules. He said 'Is she sick?' and she said no, then he said, 'That's okay, that's okay, want to know a secret?' then he whispered, 'I eat hot dogs in the street, no pasa nada! (Dont worry about it)' Haha, I love our President.

Then that night we were walking home from the only lesson we had that day.  It was super dark, so I couldn't see much on the ground.  We were coming up to a street and I saw a shadow on the ground, and I just thought it was a garbage bag.  But something told me not to step on it but go around it, and that was just as well, because it was a huge dead dog. We both realized this at the same time and ran practically screaming because we both almost stepped on a dead body. But at least it wasn't human, dead or alive.

Cocktail de camarón (Fue muy caro!!! like $4 in dollars)
On Friday I had a nice trip to the dentist, yaaaaaaaay.  I have been having some pain on some of the teeth on one side of my mouth. And I thought I would make it through the entire mission without going to the dentist.  It was kinda cool because we had to travel outside of our mission into the other Guadalajara Mission. I was honestly a tiny bit frightened of going to a dentist here, because I can barely stand it in the US.  But it was probably the nicest dentist office I had every seen, but i didn't take a picture, so you will have to take my word for it. We took an X-ray but apparently there is absolutely nothing wrong with my teeth.  The dentist dijo, 'Usted tiene mejores dientes que yo!' But I ended up spending 1,000 pesos on 'nothing' (Its less than $100, its really not as bad as it sounds).  Also a sweet tender mercy on this day, since the MTC, I have had $40 that I cant use because its not pesos.  I have been trying to find a place to change them, but have not had any luck.  After the dentist I had pretty much no money left, and so I said 'Hermana, I need to find a place to change my dollars before we leave!' We turned a corner on the street, and lo and beyond a tiny building with a big american dollar= pesos sign!

I have a bit of sad news.  Yezmin has been out of contact with us for about 2 weeks, not answering our calls, nothing. We received her message last week that she is really busy and that when she wants to talk to us, she will call us.  Well, we thought that this was pretty suspicious, so we went to her house on Saturday.  We were knocking and waiting for about 5 minutes, while her dog was barking.  This is childish of me, I know, but there is a bit of a crack in her fence (Her house is completely hidden by a fence and you can't see anything).  I saw her come out quietly, grab the dog, and pull it into the house. So that was pretty obvious that she didn't want to see us. But we called her and one of her kids answered, and came out to open the door and let us in.  Long story short, her husband doesnt want her to see us, and so we can't see her anymore.

But that is pretty much all that happened in this week. The weather is still super good, and I am so glad to not be in snow! Also, I think I am starting to get used to chili with candy.

Well, hasta la próxima semana!

Hermana Boice

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Week 14: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Wow, 2015 went by so fast, I cant believe it!  And I cant believe that I have already completed 3 months in the mission! Time flies when you are having fun.
3 months in the mission field

Well, there isn't anything too new to report this week.  We had to return early to our house at 7pm on the 31st and 1st for our safety, and we did really fun things like clean our house and sleep.  On New Years Day, we got up at 6 and left the house at 6:30 to go to a Zone Conference in Cruz del Sur.  It was like a ghost town.  There wasn't anyone in the streets and there wasn't any cars either.  Thank goodness there was a bus though that we took to Walmart to meet up with the sister training leaders.  We did a split and Hermana L. went to the Zone Conference in Reforma, while I was with Hermana R.  I have never heard Mexico so quiet.  The Zone Conference was really good, one reason is because I actually had the courage to speak in front of everyone and in Spanish. But the best things were that we had a Secret Santa, and I got my packages yay!! A big thank you to my family and the Karratassos family for the packages! My companion and I love everything!
All the packages and gifts for Christmas.

So, we really don't know what is going on with Yezmin.  She left out of town for a week, but she has been back since Wednesday and won't answer our calls. I really hope that we can move forward with her.  We found a new investigator Alejandrina.  It was a very interesting experience, but about 2 weeks ago, we were leaving our house and met her as she was sitting outside our house.  We had the impression to talk to her.  Turns out, she has listened to the elders 4 years ago.  And that day she had passed by the church, and started thinking about them.  She also started to pass by our house a remembered that this is where the elders used to live.  So she sat down, and started to talk to God, and asked for direction.  Right at this time was when we walked out of our house and started to talk to her.  She recognized that as a sign that this is the direction she needs to take. We really enjoy teaching her and she is a really inspired person, and has very distinctive spiritual gifts.

Today I was reading in the new Liahona, and read the talk 'What lack I yet'?  I just love this talk so much! A couple days ago I was also reading about the story about the rich young man in Matthew 19.  I feel like one of the most important things to get out of this story, is that there is always more that we can do.  Yes, the Lord asks us to live the commandments and other things, but he wants us to go above and beyond. And when we go above and beyond, sometimes we need to sacrifice.  Sometimes its to sacrifice time to study the scriptures, or sacrifice a day of homework or study on the Sabbath Day.  And sometimes when we don't know what we can do to be better, we need to kneel down in humble prayer and ask, 'What can I do better?' And after this we need to act in conformity to his will.  I know that if we sacrifice, we receive the blessings and the help that we need.

Well, in about 4 more weeks I am officially out of training! Hermana L. keeps scaring me saying that I will train someone once I am done.  I know that the Lord knows best, and so that is how I know that that will not be the case! I still have so much Spanish to learn along with everything else!

Have a wonderful week!!

Hermana Boice

Picture of Chrissa's zone with Hermana L. missing.

Chrissa giving Hermana L. a haircut.  :)

Week 13: I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas, But then I wake up.

Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo!!

I hope everyone had a good Christmas! It was honestly really hard for me to believe that Christmas was Friday, mostly probably because it was just another hot day.  We really didn't have any work because no one was home, and no one was in the street for us to talk to.  I had the chance to talk to my family at 6:00 for 40 minutes, which honestly felt like 10 minutes! And I found myself a couple times speaking Spanglish. I think I realized why in the mission we can only do skype calls with the family twice a year.  Its kind of hard to direct your mind back to the work and not think of home. Then we went home at 7:00 and watched 17 Miracles, which was great!

Sad news!! Yezmin still hasnt been baptized yet, we keep moving her date back because she is out of town :( But hopefully this next Saturday!  Right now we have our other investigator Carmen who had a baptism date, but it fell because right now she cant attend Church because of her work.  And its super hard because she needs to keep this job.  So we have been fasting for her and we will do another fast this week with her to find out what we need to do.  

We had a really interesting experience this week.  A couple weeks ago we found a woman in the street and started talking to her.  She gave us her address and the name of her son Christian, and wanted us to visit him.  We went to their house on Saturday, and had a lesson with Christian and his parents.  We found out that the reason that she wanted us to talk with his is because he has some physical problems and has a lot of challenges in his life.  So we talked about the reason we have these desafíos y pruebas.  We also observed with just looking at their house that they are very Catholic, but it was a really good lesson and I could feel the Spirit strong.  His dad shared with us that he has had a lot of problems in his life such as drinking, but that he is strengthened by the grace of God, everything is through the grace of God.  He also shared his testimony about prayer, and how it is such a sacred thing, and how we need to meditate before we pray, and lots of other things.  But wow! It was powerful. At the end of the lesson, we also found out that we had seen the mom before, at the house of a less-active, so she knew of us before which was cool.  We are so happy to have 3 new investigators!

(All of the missionaries in my generation and their companions.)
Today we had a meeting with all of the people in my generation that are being trained.  We have a program called 12 semanas(weeks) for our training period.  Right now I am starting week 8! I am terrified that they are going to call me to train someone after my training!!! But it was super awesome today to see all of my friends from the CCM and my old companion Hermana J.! Its weird to think that I have been here for 3 months this Wednesday!!! 1\6 through my mission already!! The language is getting better and better thankfully. I have designated days that I need to answer the phone too, which is terrifying sometimes haha.

Well, I hope that you all have a wonderful and happy New Year!! Its crazy to think that this next year I will be a missionary for the entire year! This is the time to set goals to be better and do better! I encourage everyone to set one or more goals for this year, personally or with family.  Maybe read the Book of Mormon a couple times, daily prayer and scripture study, monthly visits to the temple, something that will make you push yourself a bit.  We will never improve if we don't try!!

Love you all and a Feliz Año Nuevo!!!!

Hermana Boice
District has a favorite phrase 'Asi Es' and so he made us all these shirts.
(The translation is like 'That's right' 'That's how it is')

This is Hermana Olga, who is like a mom to all of the missionaries.  I promise that I am not really that tall.

Hermana J. and Hermana W.!!

Even they love the Steelers!