Monday, March 30, 2015

Hellos and Goodbyes

Dear friends and family,

Hna Garcia, Hna Shiraki, and me at the bus station.
Haha it´s a picture of the "grandma," "mom," and "granddaughter."
That´s three generations! Haha and we´re all 20 years old :)
We had transfers!!!! After 3 marvelous transfers, Hna. García and I have been separated. Hna. García has been the most amazing companion in the world, and I thank Heavenly Father for putting us together and keeping us together for such a long time. Hna. García will be in the mission President's ward in Obregón, and I will be staying here in Macapule. Six months in Macapule! Or more, depending on what happens next. I will be with Hna. Pech, a sister of all smiles from Yucatán. She went to Barrio Mayo when I left it, so we'll be having a blast talking about how Mayo is doing. Hna. Pech has one more transfer than me on the mission and I am very excited to work with her. :) When I dropped Hna. García off at the bus station, I got to see Hna. Shiraki! It was great to see such sweet faces.

Well, Lucila did not get baptized on Saturday.... but, she's still interested in getting baptized! She went to the women's conference on Saturday with us and invited a guy friend to church yesterday. We're hoping to start working with him soon. Lucila will get baptized someday (hopefully soon). Of that, I am sure! It's just a matter of her resolving a couple of things in her life first.

We found the most amazing family this week! Lupita, a single mom of 3, invited us in, and told us that she used to be part of the Catholic church, until she read the Bible... :) It was great listening to her ask questions about the church and help her understand why there are so many different bibles. After an intense lesson about the Restoration, she and her cousin, Eliu, accepted to learn more and to prepare for baptism in the right way, by the right authority. She couldn't go to church this Sunday, but we will continue to work with her and her cousin as they read the Book of Mormon and learn more about this glorious gospel.

I don't know what else to write about.....oh.... I'M SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! Yep, that sums up my feelings :P

Also, the church has made a wonderful video: Because He Lives (Gracias a que Él Vive). It is such a powerful and inspirational video. At the end, it exhorts us all to find Christ. How do you plan on finding our Savior? What are your goals to become closer to Him? He always has us in sight, but do we, as imperfect individuals, have Him in sight? The bishop of Macapule made a great comment: He asked, "Do you love Christ?" (well, yes!) "Bueno, what are you willing to do for Him?" Of course, we all will say, "everything!" But then we have to think, are we doing everything? What do our actions, thoughts, and words say? Now that Easter is here, I invite you all to watch the video and apply it to your life! Learn as much as you can about the Savior, and your appreciation of the Savior will deepen without bounds.

Love you all!

Hermana Zubeldia

Monday, March 23, 2015

300 days...

Dear family,

I have officially been on the mission 300 days. Isn't that crazy? We celebrated by cleaning the house, washing the laundry, buying groceries, visiting the bishop's wife, eating lunch, and now, writing the family. Life is sure fantastic :)

The other day I was thinking, "what have I learned on my mission?" During my training, I learned what it meant to have hope and patience with myself; I also learned the importance of the sabbath day. In my 3rd transfer, I learned about the importance of prayer and the miracles it can provide. In my 4th transfer, I learned how to love those who were/are around to me; how to help others feel the love of Christ. In my 5th transfer, I learned that I still had much to improve and focused on chapter 10 on PMG. In my 6th transfer, I learned how to develop leadership skills. I've noticed that every transfer has had a highlight of something important that I learned... except this one. I was thinking to myself, "this transfer has been way to easy! what's up?"

Then, it hit me. Lucila is so close to being baptized this Saturday, so we decided to do a pre-interview. We discovered something crucial that she never mentioned to us before. She had hinted that she has Christian friends that have helped her come out of tough situations... She always told us that she wanted to get baptized in the LDS faith. On Thursday, she told us that she was deciding between the two churches as to were she wanted to get baptized (after we've clearly explained over and over what it means when we say that we have the authority). She said that she was leaving town for the weekend and that she would pray and fast to find out what to do. We were later told that she was going to a Christian camp! She came home last night, but we haven't seen her yet.

I was so sad! Really, I couldn't think the rest of the day. But the Lord knows what is up, as always. On Friday, everything I studied had to do with faith, prayer, and fasting. This transfer is a transfer to build my faith, helping me understand that this is the Lord's work, not mine in any way. We have prayed nonstop, fasted with other missionaries, and called many other to seek guidance and prayers. We've also continued sending scriptures to Lucila and her family has we have been during throughout the month.

When people say that the mission changes people, I testify that it does. There are so many things one learns in the mission field. Heavenly Father has taught me so much throughout the months. It's been such a humbling experience understanding how to apply the gospel to my life and accept the will of the Father. I am so grateful that there are still many months ahead to learn and to grow.

I love you all! Please pray for Lucila and Eduardo (her nephew) and Adilene (her daughter). 

Hermana Zubeldia
Here we are, goofing off :D
 Hna García and I wanted to thank the most amazing couple in Los Mochis today because they invited us to eat with them, so we wrote them a card. They were the first people we met when we arrived 3 transfers ago. They're our miracle couple!
 Here's the other side of the card. Hna. García is so artistic!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

La Ayuda del Señor!

Dear friends and family,

I was in Obregón all day yesterday and had no time to write, so I'm able to quickly write the family letter right now. Sorry if I haven't responded to the personal letters you have sent. I'll get to that next Monday (Liz, I'll write you soon!).

I got the family package! Thank you for the pillowcase and the letters! You are all the best, really! I love you all so much!

Yesterday was so fantastic! After leaving Hna. García to be with some other sister missionaries, I went to Obregón Sunday evening for a meeting on Monday. Hna García had a P-day full of hikes, parks, and all that jazz, but I also got some great news in Obregón... Maria Jesús went to the temple last Saturday!!!! Oh my goodness gracious!!!! Also, her father-in-law, Estanislao, got baptized on Friday!!!! I love this work!

Then, yesterday, we talked, and talked, and talked. ¡La misión de Obregón va a progresar muchísimo! There are so many goals and actions that are going to be taking place in the near future. Get ready to hear about the miracles!

We found 2 such sweet families this week! One is a single mom, Lucero, and it was so amazing to teach her. We focused on the restoration and how we can repent in the right way through the right authority, and she willingly accepted to be baptized after feeling the spirit of the Lord touch her heart. Claudia and her family are also excited to hear more, but weren't able to attend church on Sunday. Instead, the asked us to visit them again today after lunch and tomorrow morning.

Sorry that this letter is so short! I got to run. Love you

Hermana Zubeldia

Monday, March 9, 2015

Birthdays and FHE

Hello everyone!

This week was so fantastic! I don't even know where to start! Everything is going to be out of order and all over the place, but bear with me :D

On Monday I went to Ciudad Obregón for a meeting. Laurita picked us up from the bus station and took us to see some members in another ward. Sadly, I wasn't able to see Maria Jesús, Bernardo, nor anyone else I knew due to a shortage of time, but that's okay. From what some sister missionaries told me, Maria Jesús gave her testimony for fast Sunday, saying that the best day of her life was her baptism. It is such a humbling experience to see how people learn to love and embrace this gospel. Also, I found out that her father-in-law is getting baptized this Saturday! Hallelujah! He was one of the most spiritually people I had ever met before I left that area, and it's so amazing to know that he and Maria Jesús will be able to be together at church. Her husband will come around sometime!

Bowling with the other missionaries
The meeting in Obregón was amazing and so needed! To start off, we went bowling (!), but had to walk in the rain to get there. So we were soaking yet, in church clothes, bowling. And.... I'm awful at bowling. I think I got a great score of 32.... Heavenly Father blessed me with other gifts :).  The rest of the day was amazing. We talked about how we can help the missionaries have more ánimo and how we can have more success with the members. We finished around 8 pm, but there were still some more things to discuss, so we'll be having another meeting next week.

It was Hna. García's birthday on Saturday!!! We had planned to do an FHE/mutual with the youth in the ward Saturday night to help the youth and our investigators become friends. The plan was to make pizza (Hna. García's favorite food). Little did she know, I had been planning a surprise for her for mutual. I had been passing notes and messages to the members, Lucila and her family, and others to have everyone come to the mutual and throw a mini surprise party. And it worked! We had around half the ward there! The pizza was delicious (I love the RS president!), the elders bought a cake, and it all turned out as planned! We were also able to have a FHE were Hna. García and I talked about the importance of the scriptures in finding answers. All in all, it was an edifying experience for everyone.

Miracle moment: I had accidentally left our cell phone at the church on Friday during a ward activity. Hna. García and I were both worried that it might have been lost, but really, I felt completely okay about not knowing where the phone was. The Lord always provides. Saturday morning, right after personal study, the bishop knocks on our door and hands us our phone. I love the small miracles the Lord provides us!

Another miracle: We are teaching a teenager, Guillermo, and he is so excited about learning more. We found him ready to go for church, all nice and spiffy, on Sunday morning. He had been ready an hour and a half before church started! 

This gospel is so amazing. One of my favorite parts about being a missionary is helping us learn more and change their lives. The gospel changes people. What a wonderful blessing to be part of the process!

2 Nefi 25:13 - the scripture we will be memorizing for this month in preparation for Easter.

I love you all!

Hermana Zubeldia

Monday, March 2, 2015

Ready to harvest

Dear family,

This week was pretty great! We didn't have anything too crazy happen to us, so this letter might be shorter than the usual. 

Lucila and her whole family are progressing rapidly! Lucila's niece came to church yesterday and loved it :) We haven't been able to teach her a lesson yest, but our goal is to have both her and her brother, Eduardo, ready to make the huge leap of faith to come closer to Christ and be baptized for the 28th of March. We gave Lucila the Liahona from the last General Conference last night and she's excited to read it. We've made a goal to send her scriptures every day to help her strengthen her testimony of the Book of Mormon and to brighten her day. Really, she is such an amazing person! I don't know how to describe how much I love her and her family! We were able to break the fast with her and Adilene (her daughter) yesterday and enjoy a nice meal of ceviche. These women are so precious! I feel like the motto we've created with them is based on Proverbs 31:10. What they want is to strengthen their relationship with Heavenly Father, and it's such a blessing to be able to help!

Miracle moment (and again, with food): Right before going with Lucila and Adilene, we contacted a couple and were talking to them for a couple of minutes. After setting a day to return, the wife offered and gave us a tupper of ceviche! So great :) We were able to bring the ceviche to Lucila's home, adding to the meal (of ceviche), they had already prepared.

A moment this week that I will remember always and forever was when I got to work with Hermana Hernandez. She is a great missionary from Aguascalientes and her area doesn't focus on finding investigators, rather it focuses on less actives. It's so cool!  She and I walked for over 2 hours to work in an ejido (I think it's translated into "houses in the middle of nowhere, with no paved roads, where there are chickens and dogs with rabbis in the streets." We have one in our area, but it's 20 minutes away). We got to talk for two hours in the sun, walking past fields of corn, chile, strawberries, and potatoes, without no one in sight. We talked about the gospel, investigators, less actives, the mission, and her awesome family. Two hours! It was crazy! But it was great! She helped me find a way to talk about the law of chastity with Adilene in a way that would inspire her to get married instead of offending her (and it worked!)

Well, this email is the size it normally is... that's awesome :D. I love you guys! 

Como dice la escritura: "esfuézate y sé valiente!" Make an effort this week to be true to the gospel! Joshua 1:5 (and 9)

Love you!

Hermana Zubeldia

Look at this! They're called "judios!" and are part of the catholic traditions during Semana Santa. What a shame that I couldn't take a picture from the front! They were in masks and they were making noises with drums. Also, their "heads" with the fur and all are actually masks placed on top of their heads, making them appear super tall!

Sofia has been asking me how big the church building is (square feet and everything). I have no idea, so I decided to take a picture of the church and you guys can figure out for yourselves :)