Hola! First, I have some great news. Diego was baptized on Saturday! It was such a special experience. First Hermana Wong and Hermana Wolferts had a baptismal service for a family of three. Then Diego was baptized, and then Sergio was baptized (who my companion and I had taught for a little bit but then was taught by the other Hermanas). It felt amazing to be a part of the great work of bringing souls unto Christ. I have learned that I definitely don't have anything to do with conversion; it is all the Spirit and the power of God. I recognize that I am merely an instrument in His hands. If I had to teach in Spanish without Divine help nothing would ever happen! I love this work and know that it is true. Diego has such a strong testimony of the Gospel. It has been amazing to watch him grow and progress. His mom, who has been less active in the Gospel for a very long time, came to his baptism and then to all of the Church services with him yesterday. We have an appointment with her this week :) Diego shared his testimony yesterday as well and it was so powerful. I am looking forward to witnessing his progression in the Gospel.
I love the scriptures. I love that the Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. With the Bible, it contains the fullness of the Savior’s everlasting Gospel. With the Bible, it serves as a second witness of the reality and divinity of our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a gift for us to have not one, but two witnesses of the most important person and message in the world’s history. As a mission, we are a week into our mission-wide 90 Day Book of Mormon Project and I love it. I am learning so much from these amazing scriptures. We average about 2 to 3 to 4 chapters every day depending on how long they are and we mark them with a coloring system. We will finish in 90 days and every missionary is reading in their native language. I encourage and invite everyone who would like to participate in this with me! My testimony of the Book of Mormon, which was already strong, has already grown so much in just one week.
I am so grateful for our Heavenly Father’s love. Yesterday at Church I was having a hard time because I was struggling to understand what was being said. Some days I feel like I can understand and say everything I want, and then other days Spanish just doesn't work haha. Frankly, yesterday I was just feeling really discouraged. But then Sacrament meeting came around and it was amazing (for my friends of other faiths, Sacrament meeting is the most sacred and important portion of our worship services on the Sabbath day). I felt the Spirit so strongly. A less active girl with a brand new baby boy came to Church and he received his baby blessing. Diego was confirmed a member of the Church and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. A girl close to my age opened her mission call right there in front of the whole Ward...she will be serving in the Mexico Merida Mission. And, the testimonies that were shared by the Ward members during Sacrament meeting were so powerful. Then afterwards we talked with lots of people in the Ward and I felt so much love from them. I know that Heavenly Father always blesses His missionaries and that the Savior knows how to succor us. I love being a missionary and I love each of you. Thank you for all that you do.
Love Señorita Miel (a name lovingly given to me by the other Hermanas which means Miss Honey :)
We are family! I got all my sisters and me! I love my Hermanas so much and will miss the combi ride to and from the Temple with them almost every day (I won't miss the car-sickness though...seriously so grateful I don't have to drive here because it is crazy!). There are 18 of us - 6 Americanas, 7 Mexicanas, 2 from Guatemala, 1 from Peru, 1 from Honduras, and my companion from Ecuador. They are the beeeeeeest!
This is the giant painting in the reception tent at the Temple and I love it. I have loved my time serving in the Temple...now it is back to a regular schedule.
This is my companion and me with street smoothies...literally just blended up fruit in a sandwich bag with a straw. There are so many fruits here that I have never heard of before and they are delicious! I love Mexico! Mexico is hard to describe but I can assure you that the scenery in my bit of the mission is nothing like people in the States see in movies such as Nacho Libre. Maybe other parts of Mexico but not here.
I haven't seen the horizon since I left the CCM except for when we would drive by the airport and are on an overpass, but that is it. I am in the trenches of the city, which I have been told is the ugliest part of Mexico. I really hope I can come back and see other parts of the country some day but for now I love my concrete mission!! As my dad always says, honeymoons and vacations are about places, but missions are about people. I love these people, and their home is my home.
Parent note: the trenches of Mexico City appear to be surrounded by beauty. This is a great picture of the volcano Popocatepetl that President Stutznegger posted on Facebook. That particular mountain (17,802 ft, aka "Popo") is an active volcano and lies to the southeast of Mexico City beyond Emily's mission boundaries (the hills in the foreground are part of her mission). Also, the volcano Iztaccihuatl is shown in the main picture at the top of Emily's blog, along with her picture and information. The Mexico City Temple is also prominent in the foreground of that picture. Iztaccihuatl (17,160 ft, aka "Izta" and "Ixta") is an extinct volcano also just southeast of Emily's mission boundaries.