Sunday, January 25, 2015

And another wonderful 6 weeks begin!

"If I think of my own performance, my sadness deepens. But when I remember that the Lord promised that His power would go with me, I begin to look for evidence of what He has done in the lives of the people I am to serve. I pray to see with spiritual eyes the effects of His power." Elder Henry B. Eyring.

While studying a wonderful conference talk this week, I was touched by this quote, and felt it was written for me! Sometimes, Satan wants us to feel like we don´t do anything, or as if we´re not enough, and not just as missionaries, but as children of God. He wants to weaken us, but my testimony of the Savior´s love for each and every one of His children has grown significantly. We didn´t have the week that I had in mind, and weren´t able to work as much as I had hoped, but I hold tight to the knowledge I have that the power of the Lord is with me. As I strive to see the effects of this power, I realize that the will of the Lord is different at times than mine, and I have to be able to understand His will and then do it, with a happy and cheerful heart. I´m learning each new day how to trust in the Lord more, how to be grateful for every good and bad thing that comes my way, and reflect on what it is he wants me to learn from each experience I have! Oh how I love the mission....

Yesterday was stake conference in la estaca Centro. (We´re back in Merida now, Hermana Martinez and I) We started a new transfer today and are opening a new area. And we were a little worried when the meeting ended as to what we were going to do for food....We don´t get to our area until tomorrow, and weren´t going to buy food on Sunday, and there were nobody in the mission we decided that we would walk back to the house we´re staying in near the stake center, call the mission president´s wife, and figure out what we were gonna do so that we could eat! (we didn´t eat breakfast either) we were walking, my companion told me, "We´re not going to worry, Sister Maki, the Lord always provides a way." I replied, "Tengo fe." (I have faith.) and we went on our way. Literally two minutes later, we ran into Monica and Northon, recent converts from my old area who I LOVE with all my heart, and they asked us what plans we had for lunch..We let out a small chuckle, smiled, looked at each other, and said...That´s what we´re trying to figure out right now, actually!
"We would love to have you over for lunch at two if you can make it," they replied. 
We agreed, walked back home, and gave a prayer of gratitude to the Lord, who truly does watch out and provide for His children, and particularly His missionaries. When I look for the small miracles each day, I realize that they are not few. I love the Lord and love being His missionary!
Les amo! 

Hermana Maki 
foto- I had the privelege of trying a coconut for the first time last night! It had a very....interesting...flavor. Don´t mind the scarf and sweater, it was a "chilly" night here in Merida :)

Happy New Year!

Something that I love about Mexico are all of the traditions here :) This week, I learned that the first 12 days of january predict how each month of the year are going to be. January 1st is January, January 2nd is february, and so on. Today, it´s hot and humid (as usual) but cloudy like it might rain. so supposedly May will be like this, who knows! It´s been kind of fun though. I imagine it will rain these next few days, and then maybe on the 11th and 12th, if we´re lucky, it´ll get a little cold, like in the mid 60´s
Also, there´s a tradition here on the 6th of January called "Dia de los reyes magos" (The wise men day) In Mexico, Santa comes on the 24th, just like in the US, but it´s not as big of a deal, and he doesn´t bring much. But just like the wise men brought presents to baby Jesus after he was born, in Mexico the wise men bring presents on the 6th to all of the kids, and for them, it´s way more exciting than Christmas. This week leading up the 6th, everyone buys "roscas" It looks similar to a cake but it´s really just sweet bread, but it has little plastic dolls in it...and if you grab a piece and find a doll in it, on the 2nd of February, you have to make/buy tamales for everyone. So anyway, a sister from our ward had her farewell yesterday, she´s going to chihuahua on her mission, and she invited us over last night to cut the rosca, and I grabbed the piece with the doll! I laughed and took a picture, it was the weirdest thing ever and such a silly tradition, but hilarious and I love it. 

Even though during the week I write down things that I can share in my weekly email, my mind is blank and I´m out of time! Nice and short today, just a couple things I wanted to share :)

Until next week!

Hermana Maki 

P.S. No visits from the skunk this week, thanks for the prayers.

Spanish word of the week = zorillo (skunk)

What a week we had! It was such a blessing and privelege to be able to skype my wonderful family on Thursday. I hope that everyone had a merry christmas back home and that those who traveled or are going to travel this week do so safely :) 

I MUST share what  happened to us this week. On Wednesday night, we accidentally left our phone on silent before we went to bed, and were so tired that we forget.. well the zone leaders were calling us making sure we made it home safely because there were lots of drunks out, celebrating the 24th (Christmas here is celebrated on the 24th for some odd reason)..anyway, we were fast asleep when sister betty, the member who lives below us, knocked on our door and woke us up, saying that she was on the phone with the elders. They were very concerned and had called her to see if she knew what had happened to us. So, my companion got up and talked to them, letting them know that we were fine, in our house sleeping! I went back to sleep within about 5 seconds, but my companion couldn´t sleep. Apparently, like 15 minutes later, she heard weird noises from the room where our desks are, as if someone was shuffling through our notebooks. She ignored it the first time, but when it happened again, she got up and tiptoed to the other room. She turned on the light, (meanwhile, I am dead to the world, unaware of anything) and finds a SKUNK in our garbage can, shuffling through the old food we had tossed out, and the big chunk of bread on top that we didn´t want. Luckily, he didn´t get too scared, just looked up at her, jumped down, and ran outside, sqeezing through a small (very small) opening below our door. I don´t know how he did it, because she said he was huge! and the opening is tiny. Luckily, he didn´t spray her! Thursday morning, I wake up, go to the bathroom, half asleep, and as I walk out, I notice a little trail of garbage, from the door to the garbage can, and the big piece of bread in front of the door. I follow the trail with my eyes until I see my companion, and she, knowing what I was thinking, said..."I´ll telll you after we pray." and then told me everything that happened, meanwhile I slept through all of it, It gave us quite the laugh and I still can´t believe he didn´t spray us, leaving our whole house smelling like skunk! We got lucky. 

We´ve had a really hard time contacting in our area here, due to articles that have been published recently in the newspaper..lots of false rumors about Joseph Smith and the church, and it makes me sad, because even though the name wasn´t published with the articles of who wrote them, everyone believes whatever they see or hear. We try to contact people in the streets or contact referalls, and they just want to fight with us or make fun of Joseph Smith. It´s been a little tough but has made me realize how important our own personal testimonios are. Whatever they want to say on the news or in the paper won´t change my testimony that Joseph smith was a prophet, called of God in this dispensation to restore the Lord´s church back upon the earth. It´s such a blessing to be able to share this truth each day and bare testimony of it. I know that as we get closer and closer to the 2nd coming, the world will continue to be worse and worse, with persecution even stronger and more violent, and for that reason exactly, we have to have strong testimonios and know for ourselves 
President Monson says, "We can rely on the faith and testimony of others only so long. Eventually we must have our own strong and deeply placed foundation, or we will be unable to withstand the storms of life, which will come” 

This new year, it is my goal that I can find new ways each day to strengthen my testimony and hold strong to what I know to be true, no matter what comes my way. 
Until next year :)

Hermana Melody Maki