Monday, February 23, 2015

The Atonement is for everyone!

Dear family,

Thank you for such wonderful letters! I loved hearing about chinese new years, robotics teams, science olympiads, and knowing that my family is safe, sound, and happy. Haha I've been getting a few emails from people talking about when I'm coming home.... That's such a long ways away, so don't worry about it! Enjoy the moments without me because I'm enjoying every moment of the mission. The Lord has given missionaries the opportunity to preach the gospel! What a blessing!

This week was absolutely amazing! The spirit was in the air, and it was everywhere. We've been inviting everyone to watch "Conozca a los Mormones." The movie that everyone saw in the US and will be in theaters here in Los Mochis on the 27th. On Thursday, we had a conference with the president where we were able to watch it! Wow! What a fantastic movie! I love how the church is reaching out to people in a way that people are used to. Our friends and members are so excited to go see the movie this Friday and throughout the week next week.

Speaking about our friends, Lucila is absolutely amazing! She has watched practically every movie the church has made (she loves "Charly") and is asking for more things she can find on line. I think she's going to watch The Work and the Glory this week... any movie ideas???? Also, she has been listening the the Book of Mormon on her cellphone and read Ether 12, as we asked. She was so great, she said (translated), "of course I read it! All about faith!" even her daughter read the chapter. We're hoping to get through to her daughter, Adilene, more by going with a couple in our ward that are waiting to get married in the temple. This young couple has a similar story as Adilene and lived together before they were married, and they are excited to motivate Adilene to aim for the temple. Lucila is trying to change her life and has demonstrated her desire to repent and become closer to God. She and her nephew are both preparing to be baptized in March.

Something I realized this weekend is the power of the atonement in our lives. There were so many instances this week where we talked about the repentance process and the happiness of feeling clean again. Heavenly Father does not want us to be unhappy! He wants us to come closer to Him so that he can bless us. Lucila, like all of us, wants to change. She IS changing. And, SHE IS HAPPY! Heavenly Father has a plan of happiness. The center of this plan, is the atonement of Jesus Christ. We all must use it to live with Heavenly Father again. 

I also realized this last night, as we were talking to a young woman who wants to go to the temple with the ward in March. We are at peace with ourselves and with God when we choose to repent, and the spirit was so strong as we were talking about the power of repentance with her. God gives us weaknesses so that we can trust Him. Once we trust Him and repent, He helps us turn those weaknesses into strengths. 1 Cor 10:13

I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Zubeldia
We made chocolate cake in the microwave today! We are that cool :)It was a mixture of egg, oil, chocomilk powder, sugar, water, and pancake mix!
I don't know if I've sent this one, but it's a pretty picture! Here's an "andador" in our area. It's safe during the day ;)

Monday, February 16, 2015

I´m still in Macapule!

Dear wonderful people,

I'm still in Macapule! Hooray! We received transfers yesterday and both Hna. García and I are staying. I get to learn more with my hija! That's 3 transfers! We are both so excited! The crazy thing is that Hna. García needs to have her wisdom teeth taken out today... hooray? Her dentist in Utah told her she didn't need to take them out, but they started bothering her out here. The crazy part is that it only cost 500 pesos to take them out (just for supplies, we have a mission dentist helping us out). That's less than 40 dollars! Crazy! I think I'm going to live in Mexico ;D 

Because Hna Garcia is going to be in some pain (haha she still doesn't know how much), we've made plans so that I can keep on working with a member in the ward and she'll have a sister watch over her. I'm going to be taking some awesome pictures and videos in a couple of hours :D

We've been teaching two wonderful women: Adilene and Lucila. Adilene is a less active and is almost 20. Her mom, Lucila, is 36, and is trying to change her life with the help of our wonderful Heavenly Father. They came to a ward activity and watched "The Testaments" and are now reading 3 Nefi 11. They came to church with us yesterday, we visited them yesterday, and will be visiting them tomorrow. They have loved the church websites and have already watched the movie about Joseph Smith. We gave them some more movie titles and we are so excited to be working with such fantastic people! Lucila texted us 20 minutes ago saying that her prayers have been answered when she discovered that we're both staying. I love missionary work!!!!

Hna. Franco (Argentina), Hna. Cook (Colorado), and me.
These two are the most amazing missionaries!
This week, Hna. Franco and I did splits so that she and I could surprise a companionship in the morning. We woke up super early to travel an hour by bus to an area to make breakfast for the sisters (one was my companion in the CCM) and to study with them. It was fantastic! We're planning on doing this with all the sisters, not just to eat pancakes or french toast, but to help them learn the importance of effective study. Our studies in the morning are so important in the work. If we study effectively by ourselves and with our companions, we will have the guidance of the Holy Ghost more abundantly in our lives. My goal this next transfer is to strengthen my relationship with Christ and further my understanding of this gospel during my studies. A missionary once told me that a mission helps us learn 30 years worth of doctrine in less than 2 years, but we can't do that unless we use every second of our studies effectively. Alma 17:2

I love you guys so much! Talk to you on Monday! I'll see if Hna. Garcia will let me send some of her crazy pictures.

Hermana Zubeldia

Monday, February 9, 2015

Life is still great!

Dear family,

This week was a week of ups and downs. As I said in a letter to my sister, I am still excited to keep on serving the Lord. I trust that He knows what He's doing. He prepares those who are ready with his Holy Spirit. All we can do is keep on working until we find the people He prepares.

This week was super special because I got to go to Obregón for a day!! Hooray! Making sure Hna. García was safe and sound with other sister missionaries in another ward, I set off to go to a conference in Obregón. The tender mercy was that I got to sleep in the same house I stayed in for 6 months! It was marvelous! The sister missionaries who are know serving in Barrio Mayo have really put their spin on the house and it looks fantastic! They even opened up another area for the ward! There are now 6 missionaries working in Barrio Mayo!!! And the new companionship is staying the house Hna. Rojas and I found! I am so excited for them! We weren't able to visit any of the dear friends I met, but I did get to see our wonderful neighbors, Hna. Olivia and Laurita! What a treat :)

We had an amazing conference in Obregón where we learned how to work better with the members, where we focused on how we can study more effectively, and talked about the importance of family history. I am so excited to work on family history here on the mission! Family history isn't just a program in the church, it's part of the Gospel. We can't be perfect without our ancestors, and they cannot be perfect without us. (D&C 128:15)

We got to experience a tender mercy yesterday. After trying to find our investigators, but to no avail, we set off for church. I was thinking to myself, "Why? Why is it so hard to go to church for these people? They were excited about going and then... poof! They're nowhere to be found." Well, with faith, all things are possible. At the last minute, the husband of one of the members walked through the door! We've been working with him, and he came! The Lord knows exactly what He's doing.

We've been working with 3 college roommates: Areli, Estefani, and Sonia. We read 3 Nephi 11 with them last night and it was such a spiritual experience! We're going to be visiting them again tonight, Wednesday, and then they will be coming to a ward activity where we will be watching "The Testaments“ (perfect!). Areli is also making plans to not go home on the weekend so that she can come to church with us.

Fun moment of the week: WE MADE BANANA BREAD! I asked my mom to send me my banana bread recipe, and we taught the young women how to make it. It was so good! And we made so much bread!

I love this work! I wish I could describe my happiness in eloquent words, but I can't. I love being a missionary!

Hermana Zubeldia

Monday, February 2, 2015

Obedience and Miracles

Dear wonderful people,

This week was absolutely amazing! We found so many new people to teach! Sadly, no one showed up to church on Sunday because it was raining, but we aren't going to stop working until we help everyone we can understand the importance of the Gospel. There was a total of 27 in sacrament meeting and practically everyone got to bear their testimony. I love Fast Sunday! To break the fast, we ate lunch with one of my favorite friends in our ward, where we experimented in our cooking skills and made food with the random things Hna. Sarahí had in the house. So fun!

Speaking about food (as always), we celebrated the 2nd of February by buying tamales. When eating the rosca on día de los reyes, both Hna. García and I found the little toy dolls in our slice of cake. Here in Mexico, if you find the plastic dolls, you have to throw a tamale party on the 2nd of February. So we did!... in our house... by ourselves....  super fun! We're planning on having an awesome P-day next week: One of our friends, who's reading the Book of Mormon and praying, works in a Mortuary by the church and prepares the bodies. It's super weird, but pretty awesome at the same time. He invited us to visit and see(?). There no rule against visiting mortuaries, so we're planning on going with a member who has been accompanying us when we visit him to see what he does every day. haha we're both excited to find out if we'll be able to go!

Also, like Elder Zubeldia, I've had a bit of a cold. It's been great! The weather goes from hot to cold rapidly, and it's taken its toll. I'm getting better. I will survive!

The most spiritual moment of the whole week was Saturday, all day. Hna. García and I found ourselves in a situation where we were put to the test by Heavenly Father to see if we believed in exact obedience. To make a long story short, I'll tell you the story after the mission. Haha just kidding!... But really. We were caught in a situation where it could have been very easy to bend the rules out of the goodness of our hearts, but we decided to turn to the Lord in prayer before saying "" or "no". After turning to the Lord, we tried calling a leader, but to no avail, and we found our answer to our question in the mission manual, where we decided that if we wanted to be on the Lord's side, we had to keep HIS rules. In the end, we decided that exact obedience was what we needed. It was hard, trust me, but it was worth it. Our whole Saturday morning was consumed with our decision, and we set off after lunch to go teach. I have never received so many blessings in one afternoon in my whole mission! We were able to find new people, run into people who asked us to return, discover that our investigators were reading and praying, and so much more!

From our Saturday experience, my companion and I have found deeper testimonies in faith in keeping the commandments. I know that if we are obedient in life, we receive blessings. I also know that if we are exactly obedient, we see miracles. I testify that Heavenly Father gave us commandments for our safety, to guide us in our lives so that we can live with Him. They are not suggestions and should not be taken as such. We one wants to know if a commandment comes from God, LIVE IT! You will receive testimony afterward. John 7:17

I love you guys! Have a great week!

Hermana Zubeldia

We were playing around with the camera before writing to you all.
Hermana García and me. We were still having fun
Our wonderful and humble abode.
We've started watering the plants (and the dirt) and
it's finally looking like a home inside and out!