Tuesday, March 14, 2017

'Til We Meet Again

My loving and dear friends and family,

The time had arrived that I am now writing my last email. I can't even believe that 18 months have come and gone. I'm sitting here with 3 other sisters that are leaving and it all seems....normal. Nothing seems to be different. We are still missionaries and are still doing our normal Monday activities. Shop, write and eat. But what I think we all can feel is that the time God has given us to serve Him as representatives of His son Jesus Christ has come to a close. This email gives me a chance to reflect on the many experiences I have had here in Mexico. I will share a few feelings with you but words will never be able to describe the profound feelings of my heart.

First of all, thank you. MUCHAS GRACIAS! I thank you all for keeping up with ne and for caring so much. I have felt your true and sincere prayers. I know the Lord has blessed you during this time and I thank each and every one of you for the time and love you have invested in me. Thank you. I also thank my Heavenly Father for every month, week, day, hour, minute and second that he gave me. He has trusted in ME, a very imperfect girl. But this trust has lead me to trust in HIM more than any other person. I have never felt so much love in all of my life. God is so perfect. God is good. He is a loving Father in Heaven. He knows each one of us and knows exactly what we need so that we can be happy.

And now....I don't seem to have to adequate words in this moment. I have typed and retyped this email but it doesn't seem to say exactly what I feel. I have tried to make it funny, spiritual, and even just normal! but guess what? It just isn't working out that way haha. Here is the reality, I'm happy, very very very happy but I feel empty because I left my heart in many parts of the Misión México Pachuca. I have nothing more to give. I have given my heart to these incredible hard working and loving people of Mexico. I have given my heart to my God and my Savior. I am a new person. I have the same name, the same personality, a little bit of the same looks, but I am different. I am Hermana Katrina Kae Cross and I am a disciple of Christ, I am His servant. I am his hands here on earth. I am here to serve Him and to love Him just as he has commanded us to do.  I have a testimony that is in my blood and in my bones. I feel the truthfulness of this restored gospel in every moment. I know without a doubt that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is REAL. It is so real that I can't say more than Hallelujah because we have a Savior that has done the unthinkable and the impossible for an imperfect human being but He did what only the perfect Son of God could do. He sacrificed himself to save ALL mankind. It brings tears to my eyes just imagining the grand love that he brings us that he gives freely to us. 

We can be happy and have JOY here on earth. I have experienced just a sliver of this great joy in these past 18 months.I have learned that it is not easy to follow Christ but it is worth it. We may think that He asks a lot of us, but what he asks is little compared to the great gift of eternal life he promises us.Families can be together forever. I know it. I feel it. I've seen it. The Holy Ghost leads and guides us but we have to pay close attention so we don't miss what God wants us to do. He is the constant companion that teaches us the truths of God. I have seen miracles.

 I have been a witness of Christ for 18 months. I feel like Joseph Smith sharing his testimony and add my testimony to His. Jesus Christ LIVES. He is the Savior of the World. This is His Church. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored again and the power of the priesthood is here on Earth to help us make covenants and return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. I know these things to be true because the Holy Ghost has testified to me that they are true and real and eternal.

18 months. 8 companions. 4 areas. 1 mission. The biggest blessing up until this moment had been being able to serve with all my heart might mind and strength. And as Paul said " I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:7). There is much more to come. I know it. Now is the time to sign off and finish. Again, thank you. I love you very much. May God bless every single one of you.

With all my love,
Hermana Cross
September 2015 - March 2017

Looks like Pachuca was preparing me to go home!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cloud 9


Let's just say I am filled with sooooooooo much joy I can't even explain it! I have been so incredible
blessed in this past week. First of all, this is not my last email, so no worries there. I'm a little short on time so this will be real quick...sorry about that.

Last week I think I was kind of wishy washy. There are a lot of feelings I'm discovering in these days haha. But this week, everything changed, starting with Monday in the evening. I felt maybe a little discouraged. I was reflecting on word of my mission President and didn't feel super confident with what I read. As now, reflecting again on his words, I see that they were beyond inspired and exactly what I needed. Anyway, that night I decided to say a very heart felt prayer to my heavenly father. Really begging and pleading for the help I needed. But as I have learned, I mentioned that it wasn't what I wanted but what HE wanted.

The next morning I was ready to work! And that's what we did all week. Work work and more work. We found new investigators and almost all accepted a baptismal date. We had 3 days straight of intercambios so that got a little heavy. Also I had my last of many things: leadership council and zone training. It was such a wonderful opportunity to share my testimony in these settings. I can see that really my testimony has grown so much. Such a true blessing. The holy Ghost seriously just does incredible things!

And now the last thing to write that makes me feel like I'm on cloud 9.

There is a recent convert family...the Family Cruz Aguilar. The dad Isaias was baptized first then 3 months later Coral (in September) and the twins were baptized. The only one left is Fernanda. Well, we have invited her many times and have done many things to help her make the decision to be baptized. After talking with her very directly we were able to put the baptism date 11 de Marzo. she accepted. There were many good signs showing her interest in being baptized this last week (keep in mind she never wanted to. Always said "No it's because I don’t want to" also she is 13) BUT Last night we passed by and Coral said "Hermana we have news" I was a little confused and then....here comes the best part...she said, "Fernanda has decided to be baptized!" WOWOWOWOW!!! seriously this is a true MIRACLE! Fernanda has never said yes. I cried from the joy I felt and man I can't believe it.  miracles are real. I know it. I'm so grateful with my Heavenly Father for helping me and for helping Fer. I'm grateful for the inspired words my president wrote me last week because those words helped me say this heartfelt prayer. I'm grateful for Coral and Isaias and the twins for being faithful in the church. I'm grateful for every single missionary that has had contact with Fernanda. God uses us as his hands and miracles are brought to pass by the work of many. He used many people in this miracle and I know that God LOVES ME AND EVERY SINGLE PERSON! Wow. I'm so happy

LIFE IS GOOD MY FRIENDS!!! I love missionary work and I love God more than words can describe. Thanks for all you do for me!! LOVE YOUUUU!!!

Hermana Cross

Leadership Training
Bearing testimony

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Rules and revelation

Hello family and friends!

Another great week here in villas! We had 2 intercambios this week so that made the week seem to fly! These next weeks are going to be super crazy and so I can only imagine that they are going to fly by before I can even come to understand whats happening haha 

This week I had the chance to meet awesome people.  And I mean these people are awesome because they have had some pretty hard lives and keep on going!!! They understand “Endure to the end.” With the intercambios there were a little bit of difficulties but it all worked out okay. Usually we both go to one area when it’s super far and costs a lot but there was a change of rules. I wasn’t super happy with that change of rule but after my personal prayer, I felt that it was necessary for one of us to stay in our own area. Let me tell you that revelation is real. It ended up being a very great and successful day. I had the chance to work with Hermana Pineda in villas. Just like old times! Man I love that girl. She reminds me that I need to listen and follow the spirit ALWAYS. 

We found a man that has had one heck of a life. He has a very strong sickness and other problems but he received the prayer with an open heart and at the end he was crying. Tears of the spirit.  Also  a lady we couldn’t find for a lot of time was home and super receptive and accepted  baptismal date! I knew in that moment that’s why we had a change of rules. Also in this week, Hermana Rodriguez and I met another family that’s super awesome. The dad used to smoke but after problems in his feet (2 toes amputated) he gave up smoking and wants us to keep visiting them. I FEEL THE PROGRESS!! During my mission, I haven’t had the chance to be an eye witness to the fruits of my labor but I’ve heard of the fruits and that’s what brings joy to my heart. It’s very possible that I won’t see another baptism in my area but I know the Lord is always blessing me with new opportunities to learn and to grow. I know success is just around the corner!! I know it’s there J

Have a great week!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! 
Hermana Cross

Cristo Rey
The Family Cruz that took us to Cristo Rey
(I say they are my Aunt & Uncle - ha ha)
My lovely companion and I!
Ran into more Sisters!
Hermana Rodriguez and I selfie!