Monday, May 25, 2015

That was a miracle, too

Dear friends and family,

Whenever I think of the miracles that happen on the mission, the song from Fiddler on the Roof, "Miracles," always comes to my mind. It's so upbeat and inspiring, helping us see that Heavenly Father is always blessings us and He wants us to be as happy as can be.

Heavenly Father loves Macapule so much! We got to see some major progress in our area and in our investigators. The puzzle pieces are coming together quickly and beautifully. We've been working hard and our hope and faith have kept us going. I'm so excited to see some of our wonderful friends finally make the decision they have known to be right. The Holy Ghost persuaded 10 of our dear friends to church this Sunday (5 almost members and 5 less actives), and it was amazing seeing the members talk to all of them and show them the love of Christ. Gospel Doctrines class has never been as full as it was this past Sunday (it was so much fun!) and I thank my Heavenly Father for all the tender mercies he has given us! 

Trimming our tree. Here in Mexico,
we trim trees with machetes, not saws.
It´s pretty great :)
Our house became the priesthood service project for the month (Hooray!!) Our neighbors have a horrible tree that drops a plethora of dead leaves in our yard every single day, making our house an eyesore. Hna. Pech, tired of raking leaves on Monday, asked the ward if we could do something about it and, after asking permission from the neighbors, of course, 5 priesthood holders came and helped us trim the tree. Hooray! It was so fun helping out and making our house look a bit more like a missionaries' home. It was also hilarious when our neighbors from across the street brought out chairs to watch us, then offered us a broom so we could continue to keep on working (of course, they didn't ask us if they could help, they would rather watch ). 

Sisters! Sisters! There were never such devoted sisters!
We're missing a pair of sisters in this picture,
but here are some of the wonderful women
in our zone. I love these girls!
Hna Pech and I got permission to get together as sister missionaries in the zone to watch a movie this morning (hooray!) We popped popcorn, brought salsa for the popcorn (gross), juice, and cookies, and headed to the church after studying. Haha we wanted to watch either "17 miracles" or "Emma Smith" because these are movies that have been approved by our mission, but to no avail. We couldn't get the TV to work properly, so we ended up watching a movie about the restoration. It was so funny to see their faces when they discovered that we were going to watch a movie that we all have pretty much memorized, but we all had a great time! It was fun being together The Restoration is such an important part of this gospel! Every time I think about how the gospel has been restored or when I watch the movie, I can't help be in awe thinking Joseph Smith actually saw Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. He was truly called as a prophet of God, and we really do have a prophet today! Wow! It's so amazing being part of this church!

I love you all so much! Give my brother, Elder Zubeldia, a big hug when you see him! He is the most amazing example to me and it's an honor to call him one of my older brothers!

Hermana Zubeldia

Monday, May 18, 2015

Pride and Prejudice :)

Dear family,

I love you all so much! What an honor it is to be part of such an amazing family who lives and applies the gospel! Thank you all for being such wonderful examples to me! Also, for those you aren't part of my family, I love you all too!

The heat is coming back to the mission and we got to feel it this week. Oh, the joys of humidity and heat rolled into one! It's still cool in the evenings, but there will come a point when it's 95 degrees or above throughout the night. We haven't turned on the air conditioning yet and are happily sleeping in 80-90 degree nights with our fans :) 

We got to go to a meeting this week with the Mission President and it was awesome! We were with missionaries from all over Sinaloa, from people who have one week in the field to elders who are now seasoned, and it was amazing to hear the opinions and testimonies of everyone! We focused on miracles, working hard, and the importance of inviting people to be baptized in the first lesson, then we got to practice and put all we learned to use. I was a "member-present" for the practices, and it was so great watching and learning from others. This work is so inspired! I can't believe that the Lord has entrusted His youth with the marvelous job of saving souls!

We have been working with many part-member families this week and saw some great progress. Many came to church and we have much faith that Heavenly Father will bless Macapule really soon. Hno. Gonzalo came to church with his son, Emir! Gonzalo has the same humor as my dad, so it's always fun to have him in our Gospel Principles class. Lucila (a former investigator/a friend for life) amazed us as well when we were inspired to pass by and she shared her testimony with us. There will hopefully be more information about her in the future. What is said in D&C 58:2-4 is so true!

We've made it a personally goal of ours to focus on helping the leaders of our ward. Sadly, out of pride and prejudice, many leaders have become inactive in the past in Macapule. We have former Mission Leaders, members of the bishopric, Stake leaders... all decided to stop coming to church a couple of years back due to their personal issues against others. To stop going to church is the same as jumping out of a boat during a storm! We've been praying for the ward and have seen many miracles with the less actives recently. There have been Family home evenings, visits, ward counsels, and it seems to be working! People are coming back one at a time. But, we want to do so much more, and we can only do that through the Lord's help and inspiration. We're going to go with the bishop to visit some people, and we will continue to help break down walls (but not literally, that would be counterproductive). The Lord has so much in store for His children and it's amazing to see Him prepare the hearts of all the wonderful people here.

We tried giving service this weekend by teaching a member how to make donuts.... they turned out awful! Tristes nosotras, we had no idea what we were doing. They were dense and little.... we're going to repent and re-teach the member with a different recipe.

We also gave service to the ward this week and helped decorate the cultural hall for mothers day... I blew up so many balloons! Then, we gave more service on Friday and helped the bishop's wife... we blew up around 200 balloons! I'm so sick of blowing balloons!

That's it for this week. I love you all so much! Stay safe! Eat well!

Hermana Zubeldia

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Dear family and friends,

My mind is all over the place right now because we've been planning major goals and plans, and deep cleaning our house inside and out, so this email might be short....

Happy Mother's day to my wonderful family! It was such a joy to see everyone I love so much and to know that they are all progressing in the gospel. I love my family and I am so happy that I am sealed with them!

We had transfers yesterday and.... I'm staying in Macapule! 5 tranfers in a ward that I love and a ward that still has a lot of work to do. It was pretty great saying my "goodbyes" to all the people I have grown so much with, only to find out a few hours later that I'll be staying another six weeks (or more!) Haha I can't wait to surprise the ward leaders tomorrow at ward council when I ask them for a calling in the ward :)

Really, I am so happy that I get to stay here another transfer. Heavenly Father is teaching me a grand lesson right now, and it only makes sense that He finishes teaching me the lesson here, where it started, before teaching me another lesson. Heavenly Father knows exactly why I need to be here and I'm beginning to understand why I need to be here more, too. Heavenly Father has something amazing planned for each one of His children and it has been on my mission where I have been able to understand and realize this. The Plan of Salvation is real! Temples are Real! The eternities are real! Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, are real people who love us! They are helping us every step of the way. Heavenly Father's promises are real! I am so excited to be part of this work and this glory here in Macapule! Miracles are soon to happen!

I don't know what else to say today... I am so happy that I can't describe my emotions in words. Life is too short to be unhappy, and the mission is too short to waste time on what's not important. I know this church is the church of the Living Christ, I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, and I know that HE KNOWS how to help His children, we just need to let Him take the lead.

I love you all!

Hermana Zubeldia
 After arriving in Obregón for a leadership meeting last week, the bishop of one of the wards took us out to dinner. There were 11 of us in a 5-seater car! It's probably not the smartest thing we have ever done...
We made banana bread for a Family Home Evening!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Doorknobs and tender mercies

Dear family,

The Lord is sure helping me out right now! We've been having a huge struggle throughout this transfer to bring people to church. We have many new investigators that are sincerely interested in learning more, but none of them have made the effort to wake up to attend church at 9am. They all know why they should go (we have helped them realize the importance of attending to receive testimony and demonstrate their faith to the Lord), but they all seem to disapear Sunday morning. After affirming with them on Saturday, we wake up early to help them find the church. We call them, go to their homes, and still no answer. We've talked to the members and have asked for much help and prayers, and we are planning on having as many members as possible present in our lessons and we're going to have more lessons in the church building. 

The reason that I say  the Lord is helping me out right now is because we were able to recieve many more tender mercies! For example, two of my marvelous brothers celebrated their 12th and 16th birthdays and will be ordained as a deacon and priest! The Lord is blessing the people I'm going to be with for the eternities, which means the world!

Here we are, being witnesses to a marriage!
Another tender mercy is that my companion and I were allowed to be witnesses to the marriage of Adilene and Edgar Alan. Adilene is less-active and wonderful friend of mine. After receiving answers to specific prayers, she has decided to marry her boyfriend and is extremely happy. I'm more than thrilled because it means that she can finally progress more and be able to enter the Temple someday (she and he were living together). Adilene's mom, Lucila, told us that she will be baptized, but is still refusing to accept a date. We've had to switch our focus from her throughout this transfer, but Heavenly Father is still helping her out. I'm hoping that the Lord will help us with a miracle and help her accept this gospel in her life. Please pray for her!

An area seventy, Elder Villalobos, came and spoke to us on Saturday. It was such a needed training! He brought the spirit so strong and helped me with a question that I have been dwelling on this whole transfer. I know the Lord helped guide his words, because He touched each one of us through Elder Villalobos. The Elder talked about DyC 7 (as well as many other things) and compared it to the sacrifice we have made as sister missionaries (and elders) in serving a mission. He also talked about the importance of the relationship we have with our campanion in the missionary field. If we don't have success as a companionship, we will not have a successful mission. This is so true! 

Okay, this letter is getting kind of lengthy, so I want to end with the funny moment of the week: We accidentally left the keys in our house of Saturday, so we tried breaking into our house with an old credit card that we had. After that didn't work, we called out neighbor to see if he could help us out (the neighbor is the son of a less active and he went to general conference. Sadly, his wife doesn't want him to listen to us). He decided that the best thing to do was to take off the doorknob.... in the end, we ended up taking about the whole lock! None of us knew what we were doing, but the Lord helped us along! We were all dying of shock and laughter as we practically took apart the door. And we were even more perplexed as we tried to put it together again and the pieces wouldn't fit like we expected. It's all fixed now, so that's good! 

And that was my week! I love you all! I'll see you next Sunday!

Hermana Zubeldia