Saturday, May 28, 2016

The change keeps coming


Well this week we had cambios. and guess what? I'm in a new area with a new companion!...AGAIN! I cant believe I left Actopan 2 after 6 weeks. Definitely not enough time. Actopan 2 was a character builder more than anything. Before I go too much into heart touching detail about Actopan, I'll share with you the happs :) 

I'm in an area called San Juan Tepa. It's a pueblo. A very small town. When I told the members about
Hermana Mori and I
where I was going, oowee their faces said it all haha I'm just going to embrace it. I'm now a sister training leader. This means I will go on division or intercambios with other sisters. We have a a total of 6 companionships. So lots and lots of intercambios. I'm going to be honest here, I don't feel capable to be in such a position. I know there are a ton of other awesome sisters out there but I know God wants me to do this. It´s crazy what I've done in these past 8 months. I've been trained. I trained. I finished training and BAM here I am in my 3rd area. My new companion is Hermana Mori. She's from Peru. We had an intercambio once together so we'll see how this all plays out. Trusting in God is the key to success. 

We had a super awesome zone conference and the last one with president Egbert. i'm bummed guys. They are super great people. With us, they had us sign a commitment letter. A letter that has a list of things we will do after the mission. For example: read the scriptures and pray everyday. Keep the Sabbath day holy and ask for a calling immediately. Be a missionary everyday not just these months. And things like that. I really enjoyed it. i learned that many of those things I didn't do before the mission. I know now that I am going to be better at keeping the Sabbath day holy. Really put aside the world for one day. Oh man I just LOVE zone conference.

The rest of the week was just normal haha. Nothing new and exciting. One day we walked 40 minutes in the blazing hot sun to get to an appointment because we missed the bus and we were int he middle of no where haha. We have met some interesting people as well. An older lady that asked what virgin we come from. We tried to explain to her that Eve was the first mother or woman on earth so technically we come from her and eve from adam and adam from God but she just couldn't grasp the concept. She was just lost. you gotta feel bad for her. Even though we answered the question of her soul she didn't recognize it. What a shame really. 

The other sisters of Actopan had a baptism. it was really great. While he was changing into his dry clothes, we watched a Mormon message video. This video just penetrated my heart. it was about Christ and in that moment, an overwhelming feeling came over me that I know Christ is the savior of the world and that he lives! I know it. And it is a privilege to be a representative of him .

Okay now here's a little of the mushy gushy stuff. In Actopan, I really didn't like it in the beginning. I'm not lying. i didn't want to be there. I didn't see the potential. I was lost in my own selfish needs and desires. I wanted it my way and forgot the way of the Lord. As time went on, I came to realize that I needed to have a change of heart. I needed to love where I was and serve the people. here is a list of what I learned in Actopan 2: 
I learned.....
To love everyone even when not everyone feels the same way 
to be patient. With myself, my companion, the other missionaries, the ward and investigators 
to respect the agency of others 
to offer service. not only offer but also receive service because it is the way to feel the Christ like love of a person and strengthen your relationships
that biking and walking up lots of hills only gives you legs that looks like legs of a man 
the importance of being a member of the ward and not just as a missionary 

The list goes on and on but I know that the Lord has blessed me with many opportunities and I am beyond grateful for every area i'm in. Have a great week!! Love you all!! 

Hermana Cross
The Egberts :>
Her girls remind me of Despicable Me
Luis Diego is going to be baptized this Saturday
A kind sister from the ward
We have puppies for our neighbors!
Did I mention we have puppies for neighbors!
Our little house that doesn't actually have a bedroom

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Alcoholics Anonymous

Wow another week has come and gone? How is this even possible? I can't believe we will be starting our 6th week in this cycle. Almost done with the 2nd half of training. Ahhhh the mission. So wonderful!
This week a lot of things happened. It's possible this email will be a little scattered but hang in there with me haha .
We are still on the search to find people who are ready to act and dedicate a little more of their time to the Lord. It's really interesting. People will tell us they want to learn more about God and they want to become closer with Him and then they turn their backs on the only true gospel. Sad isn't it? But it's all good, we will just keep pushing forward with faith! In the beginning of the week we had a lesson with an older man and when we were teaching him, he basically fell asleep. I looked at my companion and we almost started laughing. It was like talking to a wall. Poor man, he just wanted his nap. Sometimes the word of God soothes the soul....and creates the perfect nap atmosphere hahaha. We also visited a reference from a less active family. Wow. SUPER SHRINE. I have never seen so many Virgin de Guadalupe in my entire life. Like little pictures of her in all places. And like half of a table filled with shrines. He was like "LOOK! I have three bibles!!"....hahaha People make me laugh. 
The sun was killer this week. I got burned....again. I probably should but on some sunscreen. But I just sweat so much (sorry tmi) and it just doesn't do me any good. So I bought some magic cream...really don't know what...and it works! So I found the magic pain reliever. But even though it was super hot, It poured rain for 3 days. Hot then Cold. We were drenched. It's an adventure. It gives me a strike of energy. Enough that on Sunday we were basically running...okay yes we were our house so we could arrive on time. Probably wasn't super safe but we made it! I sang "We are the champions" as we entered the house with 5 minutes to spare. 
We contacted a lot this week. One day we contacted 16 one accepted but one contact told us that she felt the presence of God when we talked so that was enough for me! The people can recognize the difference and that just makes my heart happy. There are also people who don't want to accept. We taught an older lady in her little store,. When we finally got to the point of leaving a Book of Mormon she said to us "No. I don't want anything with the Mormons. I will read your pamphlet but I don't want your book." My heart broke. She denied the fullness of the gospel. When my companion said the closing prayer, I felt a feeling of peace and love. I knew the spirit was confirming to me that what I said and what we preach is true.I know without a doubt the Book of  Mormon is true. 
We were in the final countdown again one night and it was pouring rain. There's an Alcoholics Anonymous to the side of our apartment and they were having a party of some sort. They invited us in to eat a taco and I have never felt so awkward. I couldn't stop laughing because they were all just looking at us strangely. Just imagine, 2 young sister missionaries in an AA room. They probably thought we were going to convert them all. We also saw our investigator there (how awesome shes working on her problem) but she booked it right after she saw us haha. Turns our with her, we helped her know God...but helped her go back to her own church. It's all good. At least we helped her take the initial leap. 
Well to end this long email, yesterday we finally sat down with the other sisters and the bishopric to make a distinct line between our areas. It has only taken 5 week to get there but we finally have it settled. We can only hope and pray that we wont have anymore problems with areas. We just have to be patient. Work hard even when the day seems to be going down hill. "There are no hard areas. Only Hard missionaries" I think of that quote often to remind me that this is the Lords work and I need to be dedicated to Him and be willing to act according to his will. I don't think we will have cambios this upcoming cycle but who knows! Stay tuned!! I know this church is true and God will help us in every moment if we humble ourselves and ask for his help :) 
love you all!!

Hermana Cross

Trying to take a cute companion pic
Trying to take a cute companion pic 2
The District
We helped a cute sister make fabric roses for all the sisters for Mother's Day
The sisters of the district
Finally, a picture that turned out okay..hahaha

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Seeing Old Friends

Hello hello!

Wow what a week. Lots of small things happened that end up making the week super great. Nothing jaw dropping or immensely powerful but let's be real,  the mission helps us realize that the blessings we receive are small and simple. They don't always jump out in front of us or scream in our faces "I'M YOUR BLESSING HELLO!!" God works in mysterious ways. He knows what we need and when we need it. 

This week I met some people who have unfortunately let Satan into their lives. They are people who you can see are hurting so much on the inside. it makes me feel sad to see these people suffering with pain and sorrow in their hearts. But at the same time I rejoice because I can help them understand the atonement, which will heal them more than they can understand. One man has problems with drugs...enough that he ended up buying some in the middle of the lesson. He left for a short moment, returned and showed us. At times like that I don't even know what to say. But little by little if he allows it, the gospel of Christ will bless him. The other sister, has the problem with alcohol. She has said her faith has died because of the bad things that have happened. We went and visited her again and hardly taught anything. And before I knew it, my companion not only invited her, but committed her to stop drinking. We didn't even teach the word of wisdom or anything as such. To my surprise, the sister accepted. She accepted the invitation to change. Change is the biggest miracle of them all. 

We all know that I've changed areas but we had intercambios again and I got to visit villas de pachuca. The area next to my old area. it was nice to be in Pachuca again. We were just walking along a street when suddenly I saw a member who is the husband of my recent convert Yolanda. We were catching up and so many things have changed. He was inactive before but now he has temple recommend and a calling as the mission leader! I was so dang happy. Then Yolanda exited the store she was in and when she saw me she said "OH CROSS!!! CROSS!!!!" We ran and hugged one another and she gave me a giant kiss on the cheek. I have an enormous love for her. A true blessing from the Lord. 

We have been searching a lot for new people and well little by little we will find the ones who are prepared. We cant rush through the work. We have to be patient and work as a team. We had more success in our numbers of the week. Although we didn't have any investigators at church, we had almost all of the recent converts at church and less actives. Another blessing of the Lord. 

I gave a talk in sacrament about the mothers of the 2000 stripling warriors. Even though there are only 2 verses about these incredible women, we know they were prepared spiritually and taught with certainty that the Lord can do all things if we do not doubt.   

I thought of the scripture this week that reads "wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and those who are not of the world" 1 Nephi 6:5

We can live in the world without being part of the world. We can follow examples of those in the scriptures and do the things that are pleasing unto God.  

The gospel of Christ changes lives. I am beyond grateful to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord and be a representative of Him. I love you all and thanks for everything!!!

Hermana Cross

Long bus to Pachuca
Hermana Haddock..WOOOO CCM Comp

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lost and Found


I can't believe that it's already MAY! Where is the time going? I feel like yesterday was January and here we are. Everyone is finishing school and about to summer. I hope you all are just super stoked for that! I'm pretty sure school doesn't end until like June here and people are always working so it's pretty much the same year round! Minus the random holidays like Día de Niño that happened this week. Just another day and excuse to shower your kid with a bunch of toys and to party party and PARTAAAYYYY!

Anyway, this week nothing incredibly jaw dropping. In the beginning of the week we went on an
adventure to find a contact. She told us that she lived far but we doubted that she really lived that far. We began this little journey and well....yeah it was far. We entered a little store to ask where the colonia was and she just told us "oh hunnies you are very far and you don't have anything to protect you from the sun" She wished us luck and we headed out again. We walked for like 40 minutes and still couldn't find the contact. We tried using our map but nothing. Funny thing is we ended up losing that map the same day. We were lost big time BUT! It was super fun

As I have said before (I think haha) A lot of our meals are super duper far. Like holy smokes. But one of them this week was far and the sister was in the middle of preparing the quinceañera of her daughter. It was like a wedding. But a party for a 15 year old. Holy dang it was a huge deal. Well I ate barbacoa...borrego in specific. I thought it was cow. Then one of the sister missionaries said "no its the little animal on the cover of the restoration". I ATE SHEEP! It was actually good so no complaints. who would've thunk. 

Spiritually, well we had a baptism! His name is Leonel and his wife has been a  member for all of her life and has waited for a long time for this moment. I didn't find him bu am happy to have been a part of this big moment. They are going to work hard and with a lot of faith in this year so that they can be sealed in the temple! He only had to baptized twice but he was just so happy! And his wife as well. During the interview practice (which are my favorite lessons) he gave testimony of every question and I could just see his change and conversion. What a blessing it is to be a witness to incredible change! We work so closely with these people and you cant help to just love them and their families!

I know that this week there was a great end to it. It was a rough week but we worked through it. Sister Egbert sent us a text that said "sometimes God puts a Goliath in your life so that you can find the David within" It touched my heart that even though we experience these hard times, God is helping us become stronger and find how we can change to become the person he wants us to be! I love this work with all of my heart and know this is the only true church on the face of the earth. LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Hermana Cross