Monday, January 26, 2015

Eight Months!

Dear family,

I can't believe I'll be celebrating my 8th "birthmonth" this week! Time is flying way too fast, but I am enjoying every second the Lord is giving me. Every day, whether it be during our morning studies, during a lesson, or while we are on the streets, I am reminded that Heavenly Father is helping me feel His love. He truly loves and wants the best for us! What more can we ask?

These people are absolutely amazing!
And yes, the tres leches cake was absolutely delicious :)
Last Monday, after I wrote to y'all, is when the party actually began ;). It turns out that Hna. García, the Elders, the ward mission leader, and his wife, put together a little surprise birthday party for me. We were told that our weekly meeting was changed to Monday, so Hna. García and I headed over to the Elders' area to have our missionary meeting. All the lights were off, we open the door, and SURPRISE! There was cake, hot chocolate, and lots of laughs. Everyone was so sweet! I love being a missionary!

Something I love about this ward is the spiritual power the leaders have during ward council. This ward may be small, but the leaders are spiritual giants! Ward council is a time when all the leaders of Macapule come together to discuss problems, find solutions, and then...ACT! I absolutely love how this ward is so active! There are some wards that will discuss the problems for over an hour in their councils, never find solutions, then continue discussing about the problems the next week. This ward is just the opposite! They focus on how they can help the members, allowing the Lord to bless their efforts and find success. Barrio Macapule is finally recovering from their years(?) of trial, and it's amazing to be part of their ward as they are getting back on their feet. The Lord is providing this ward with so many miracles!

This little kiddo decided to be baptized!
The whole ward worked together to make this miracle happen.
The highlight of the week was the baptism of our wonderful friend, Alex. The baptism went smooth and spiritual and, best of all, Alex was so excited! He was just jumping for joy when he was waiting in the church, telling us that he couldn't wait until it was 6 pm (the time of his baptism). He was even more excited when his mom showed up, showering her with hugs. The moment that hit me the most was when he came out all in white. In my mind, I was thinking, "it was all worth it!" Alex, the little stinker :) was a handful at the beginning of our meeting with him 2 months ago, but he has completely embraced the church and the gospel! Teaching him was a roller coaster, but I wouldn't change a thing. The whole ward got a laugh when we saw him in the font and he was practically jumping for joy (and he's a shortie, so the water was probably at his chest, super cute).

Yesterday, Alex was looking sharp in his white shirt the elders got for him, and his tie that we found (with the help of a member). We have talked to the ward council to make sure he stays active for the rest of his life :) I think Alex is going to help the ward a TON! The ward now has a wonderful little boy who wants to go to church every Sunday, they have all been "called" to serve, and all of the ward members have rallied together to make sure he gets the help he needs.

I was reading about the different apostles in Jesus the Christ this morning and I found something that really touched me. Thomas, one of the apostles, was a devoted follower of the Savior (even though, like everyone, he had his faults). He had planned to follow the Lord till the end of his days (John 11:16). I got to thinking, "wow, he had planned to continue following Christ until he died! Am I prepared to do that?" Are we prepared to leave everything behind, no matter the circumstances, and follow our Savior? The apostles, as well as the missionaries in the BoM, had planned on leaving their lives behind to help others. Not knowing when they would return home, they set off to preach and to testify. What amazing conviction! I know when I am returning home, but I hope we all have the same conviction throughout our lives in serving our Savior.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Zubeldia

Hna. García and I. We have fun :D

Monday, January 19, 2015

Be happy!

Dear family,

My companion is so sweet! Today, she sacrificed a bit of sleep to make me breakfast in bed! We had so much fun eating pancakes at 6 in the morning before getting ready for today. Hna García is such a solid missionary who knows exactly why she's out here. If only we could all be like her! As my brother once said about one of his companion, "I wouldn't mind serving with her the rest of my mission!" She's full of action, reading to teach the world and really knows how to touch others with her sincere and sweet testimony.

This week wasn't as action packed as last week, but, just like every day in the mission, there are many stories and experiences to share.

We were able to do divisions this week with some other sisters, and I just have to say that I love serving and learning from others! Each missionary in the world has different family backgrounds, different personalities, and teaches the Gospel differently, but we all teach the same message. Each one of us has been prepared to help certain people while we are serving, helping more and more people come unto Christ.

Alex, our dear friend, is so excited to be baptized this Saturday! We were planning on having his baptism on the 31st, but he practically picked his own baptismal date and told us and his whole family that he will be baptized on the 24th! We made a few phone calls and we are planning on working hard to get the ward involved to help with the baptism and help Alex stay active afterward. Alex has a crazy family situation (his mom is a less active member) and we are going to be planning with the bishop and other leaders to help him grow up within the Gospel. Our job as missionaries is not just to baptize people, it is to keep them firm and strong afterward as well. I have come to realize that Satan works hard to bring people down after they have been baptized, but I have also come to realize that we, with God's help, can work harder to keep our converts active in the faith. Pray for us and Alex this week!

We got to paint blue angels. It was so fun!
We are teaching a Lamanite family! Literally! We found a family that has been prepared by the Lord to accept this Gospel. We found Alfredo, the grandpa of them all, who introduced us to those in his home, who then introduced us to their family who lives down the street, and so on. They speak Tarascan, as well as Spanish, and the lessons we have had with them are so full of the Spirit! When we ask them a question, they first discuss it in Tarascan with one another before responding to us, and Hna. Garcia and I try to follow the conversation by their facial expressions. It's so cool! At the end of the two lessons we have taught to the families, they prayed in Tarascan. It has been such a neat experience teaching them! The challenge we have with them is that they don't really know how to read. A 16 year old son, Oscar, is one of the few who can read, so he's been reading out loud to them.
They didn't come to church yesterday, but I have a feeling that they will be sending one of the family members this week to church to bring back a report of what they learned. After our lesson with one of the families, we were able to help paint the ceramics they do for their earnings.

I know this church is true! Reading the Book of Mormon, one can feel the spirit that radiates from each word. Everyone who is willing and has the desire to discover for themselves if our church is true, can read this book. The spirit WILL testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, meaning Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, meaning the Lord continues revealing to His prophets, just like He did in the Bible.

Mormon 9 - read it!

I love you all!

Hermana Zubeldia

We found a pile of fire today... I´m still so confused why people burn EVERYTHING they don´t want! We found a burnt Christmas tree today.

We shop here every Monday. We can buy food for the whole week for under 200 pesos! That's 20 bucks!
I finally found the picture of Claudia and José's baptism! I don't know how we found it, but here it is! They were baptized around a month ago.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Marvelous Macapule

Dear family,

This week was full of work, work, and more work! We had days were we were teaching every hour nonstop, and days where no one was home. This week we were able to feel every emotion under the sun, but my favorite moment was when Hna. García said, "me encanta ser misionera!" (I love being a missionary!) She didn't think a mission could be as fun as it is. Which is so true: Missionary work is AMAZING and so much fun! The comment got me to thinking as to why she would say such a truth, and we came to the conclusion that it's fun doing the right thing and working for the Lord. Yes, there are hard days without much success, but every day is a miracle within itself. It's humbling to know that the Lord will lead us to the people who are ready to progress, but only if we give him all our heart, might, mind and strength. As one of my past leaders said, we must do everything, "con TODO su corazón!" (with all your heart!).

Here is el cerro (the hill) that is in Mochis. We live on this side of it.
The crazy moment of the week was when Hna. García and I had to go to another church building to talk to some other sister missionaries. We finished our meeting around 1:30, so Hna. García and I headed to the bus stop to go back to our area and eat lunch with the bishop's family. We're still a bit new to Los Mochis and have only been in that area once. We found the bus stop (by the merciful hand of the Lord), but got on the wrong bus! We discovered our mistake a bit too late, and found ourselves on the other side of the hill (there's a big hill in the middle of the city). We called the bishop's wife and told her that we would be a bit late because we were lost. She, in turn, laughed at us and said to not worry, that they would wait for us (We were glad to hear that). We got off the bus, found another bus, talked to everyone on the 2nd bus to get help and find the bus stop we needed, got off that bus, found the right bus, and made it back to our area safe and sound around 3pm. What an adventure! Moral of the story: ALWAYS ASK THE BUS DRIVER where he is going, just in case. We discovered later that we had never left the zone, which is fantastic. The Lord was helping us every step of the way!

This past week, I've been reading a talk given by Elder Lawrence Corbridge, "El Cuarto Misionero" (The fourth missionary) It's an amazing talk about how we can learn to consecrate our service as missionaries, changing other's lives and ours throughout our missionary service. From what I have learned, everything is based on our desires to serve. If we serve, we must do it with all our heart, being willing to submit ourselves to the Lord's will with no regrets. The Lord wants us to give our hearts to Him so that He can bless us in ways we can't even imagine. I invite you all to really think about how you can give your heart to our Heavenly Father. If you do so, you will find that He will give you a heart that is like His, a heart that is full of faith, hope, charity, and everything else we aspire to be in this life and in the life to come.

DyC 4:2

I love you!

Hermana Zubeldia

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year loved ones!

Thank you for all your letters! Everyone seems super excited for 2015! I know I am! My companion and I have set goals (using the amazing guidelines in chapter 8 in PMG) and I am so ready to finish each day better than I started. God gives us opportunities, such as the New Year, to succeed, not to fail. I invite everyone to make goals, write them down, and put them where you can see them! Let's make 2015 an amazing year to let our Heavenly Father know how grateful we are for the lives we have.

Our New Year's Eve was so special! A little past 7 o'clock, with no appointment planned, Hna García and I followed our agenda plans and went to visit an old widow in the ward, Cuquita. Hna García was so inspired by her strong desire to visit Cuquita! Turns out, due to holidays and the business of life, Cuquita was alone New Year's Eve. The Elders had visited her earlier that day and had given her a blessing of comfort. Then, a couple of hours later, we visit her. She was so thankful for the missionaries that day, and Hna García and I were so thankful that the Lord was able to answer her prayers through us. I don't know how to describe the feeling, but we both knew that we were were the Lord wanted us to be for New Years. Hna Cuquita invited us to a humble dinner of cream of wheat (which was the best cream of wheat this world has ever known), and we spiced up the dinner by buying tortillas. We had fun meal of quesadillas, beans, salsa, and more cream of wheat. There was such a sweet spirit felt as we enjoyed our last meal of the year together with such a wonderful daughter of God!

We're teaching an 18 year old boy, Jehovany, who prepares bodies in a mortuary! So cool! He is full of questions and is progressing rapidly (which is fantastic). It was so much fun to teach the Plan of Salvation to him! No one knows God's plan for us as well as our church does, and we have loved helping him understand everything He can about this wonderful plan. We have made sure to have a member present in every lesson, so he now has a couple of friends waiting for him when he goes to church this week.

Funny moment of the week (and as always, it involves food): A woman in the ward asked us to help her prepare a turkey for her family for New Years. She thought, "let me ask the American sisters, they prepare turkeys every year!" haha.... ya.... neither of us are/were masters at preparing turkeys before the mission, but no one needs to know that, right? Hna García thought she knew what she was doing, and sent the member to buy butter, garlic salt, and a syringe (she said that her mom needles her turkeys with melted butter and salt, giving it flavor)...... All in all, it was a "fake it till you make it situation." The syringe didn't work at all, and we gave up with the needles (scary stuff to begin with) after Hna García put the needle in the turkey wrong, making the butter bounce off the turkey and land all over my face. The joys of the mission! In the end, and through miracles, the turkey tasted amazing. The member saved some for us (she had done some more stuff to it after we left) and gave it to us yesterday when we went to eat with her. Fun stuff!

Another funny moment: Before heading to the ciber to write you guys, Hna García made us quesadillas. Haha she forgot about them and they completely burned, turning black. It's the thought that counts.

I know this church is true! We had transfers yesterday, and I am so grateful that the Lord is letting me keep working with Hna García. We plan on making this next transfer the best transfer yet! We plan on working hard, praying hard, being as obedient as can be, and watching the Lord make miracles happen here in Macapule! Until next week!

3 Nefi 9:14

Hermana Zubeldia