First, Madison, I am so happy and proud of you for your decision to be baptized. I know that Heavenly Father loves you very much. Felicidades! How special it is that you were baptized on the same day as Hermana Ruth was baptized here in my mission.
I love my area and am grateful for it. We are teaching the Gospel to some amazing people right now including three wonderful investigators - Celerina, Sergio, y Diego. All three of them have come to Church for the past two weeks on their own, which is tan bien. So happy! Also Mom, I need ideas of fun activities for teaching the niños English. I taught the advanced class the other night which was super fun :) Mexico is awesome.
We had training at the Mexico City Temple today. Our mission was the very first group of people to walk through the Temple. It is so beautiful and I had some special experiences there; I felt very close to my ancestors in particular moments. Temple work is so important. We also served for an hour in the video room, welcomed four groups of people, and I actually didn’t mess up the words! It was really fun :)
I will not have a p day next week because we will be serving at the Temple, so my email will come at some random time - not sure when - but I will get one to you. The following week we will have p day on the 26th when Elder Christofferson comes. We will be singing “Oh Mi Padre” to the music of “Come Thou Fount.” Practice is going well and I am excited about it. President Stutznegger shared a special moment with me...he and his family received a lot of healing through that song when his son sang it at his brother´s funeral. He shed some tears as he was telling me this and it was really special. He is very excited for this. So am I. President also sang with us Hermanas for fun and he has a great voice! I am so grateful for him and his wife. They are the beeeeeeeessssst!
Quick cultural note...I get a lot of whistles and catcalls here. A popular word is “guera” or “guerita” which means white girl. I have also been specifically called out with a "mi amiga! predicar a mi!" (my friend, preach to me) and "usted es muy hermosa!" (you are very beautiful), and “you are an angel that has fallen from the heavens!” They make noises through their teeth to get my attention haha but I just keep on walking. I never feel unsafe so don´t worry. It just keeps things lively haha.
We do a lot of street contacting in my area. We just walk and talk to lots of people. I admit it was hard and scary at first but it gets easier. We also have the opportunity to teach wonderful members of the Church who are not as Gospel centered at this time in their lives.
PS I am so happy you got my hand-written letter! It sounds like it took a month to get to you. You should send mail to the mission office address. Also, you should be able to enlarge the pictures by clicking on them.
Temple selfies...preparing for Temple open house service with President Stutznegger.
Preparing for Temple open house service with Sister Stutznegger.
Don't forget hair prep :) (Photo credit to Sister Stutznegger)
On our way to the Temple! (Photo credit to Sister Stutznegger)
The Mexico City Temple! (Photo credit to Sister Stutznegger)
At the Temple with my companion.
Quick note from Emily's parents in light of her recent experiences with the Mexico City Temple for our friends. By way of background, the Mexico City Temple has been closed for an extensive renovation project. A free public open house for the Temple has begun and will go through early September when the Temple will be rededicated on Sunday, September 13.
During an open house, visitors learn more about the purpose of temples and why they are important to members of our Church. The open house experience typically begins with a short introductory video, and then a volunteer tour guide (like Emily) takes visitors into the temple. Once inside, the guide explains the functions of the main rooms, which may include instruction, marriage, or baptism. The tour guide also gives a brief explanation of our belief behind these functions.
Emily will be explaining that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints revere temples as the “house of the Lord,” the most sacred places on earth. Temple services bind families together forever, teach the purpose of life, and explain God’s plan for His children. Temple attendance also emphasizes personal spiritual growth and strengthens commitment to following the example of Jesus Christ.
A little about the Mexico City Temple itself...it is a landmark in Mexico City, located near one of the city's principal parks called Bosque de Aragón. The Temple is characterized by its Mayan-inspired exterior. The Temple grounds are park-like themselves and feature beautiful gardens. The Temple grounds also include an informative visitors' center which is free to the public and displays a beautiful reproduction of Thorvaldsen's Christus statue. During Christmas, the grounds are decorated with thousands of lights.
There are currently 141 operating temples worldwide and 28 announced or under construction.
Baptism of Hermana Ruth (in the middle, dressed in white). Elder Miller is on the far left with Elder Juarez (our awesome district leader), my companion and I are on either side of Hermana Ruth, and Hermano Luna, our ward mission leader on the far right.
My wonderful companion and I with Hermana Ruth.
Nicole (my "angel" friend).
Song practice with mi Hermanas! Oh how I love them and all of the Hermanas in my mission! (Photo credit to Sister Stutznegger)
We went out to eat lunch at Tortas Gigantes the other day for lunch since our wonderful member family couldn´t feed us. I ate that whole thing. Tan Bien Rico.
View from my apartment door. We are blessed with a great apartment in this area.
We typically hand wash our laundry at a Church member´s house, but when we can't, this is what my laundry looks like - a bucket of water with laundry detergent and fabric softener. I just let it soak all day and hang it to dry in our house at night. I always have a bucket of clothes going and just keep rotating it around.