8.27.2015

THE REAL WORK BEGINS…AND I LOVE IT!

Okay so really this has been the best week of my life. Seriously. Not joking. I have had the chance to grow so much in just a week... is that possible? Let me tell you it is a big huge giant yes.

Well like I said a little bit last week, I am in the Albuquerque zone in the Alvarado branch. The branch is tiny with about 15 families. My companion Hermana Dearden (the mystery name from last week is revealed!), and I are the only sister missionaries and Spanish speakers in the zone. It makes for a lot of work, but it's the best! I get up tired and go to bed exhausted, but the Lord gives me the energy to work hard. Without it, I'd probably be in a coma right now.

So I say I love all of Albuquerque, but I really only have become familiar with the ghetto. So basically it's 2 really white girls walking around the ghetto and trying to speak Spanish. Interesting mental picture, ain't it? Most of the people are so nice and accepting of our message, but others well... well here are the highlights from some of our conversations with people on the street to give you a taste:

1. "Thank you ladies. If you ever need help in the hood, we got your back"
2. "One time when I was a young boy, I had a dream where Jesus came and spoke to me. He said 'You are a secondary Moses. Lead my people".... "Oh yes, I've been to hell 3 times, and everyone there is naked"
3. "Hey there.... yall stay safe" *says man with a full size wooden baseball bat walking down the street and tapping his hand like scary guys do in the movies.

Well those are the more funny experiences of the week (don't worry Mom we're safe)

Now unto the more spiritual things! So we were pretty busy with lessons and stuff last week. But there have been some amazing experiences. I don't have time to tell you them all, but they are awesome. The Spirit is soooo strong when you are speaking for and representing the Lord. I've never felt the Spirit this powerfully in my life. Especially as I began out in the field and the Spanish is hard I have learned to open my mouth, not to say what I want to, but what the Lord wants me to. In all honesty I sit there quiet most of the time, but it's my turn as a greenie to smile, learn, repent, and be happy.

I have never been so happy in my life. It's a different happiness then I have ever felt. It's hard to describe, but I can only say that my heart has grown 20 times in size. It's different when you are devoting 24/7 to praying and thinking of other people. You really feel the love that Christ has for them.

I love you all. And so does Christ. Lean on him when times are hard. It's the best way to be happy despite trials.

Mucho amor para siempre

Hermana March

 Elders up on the rock that I was on earlier before the picture.... check out that view!

Me eating a "tuna"... a cactus fruit

Coming to You Live From the LAND OF ENCHANTMENT

Hello there friends and family. I'm currently sitting in a library in the good ole USofA in none other than Albuquerque New Mexico.

I don't have a lot of time to email today, so it will be brief, but I want to make sure you're updated on all of the amazing things that have happened to me so far.

Well yesterday morning I started my journey at 2am. The Mexico airport was crazy and I think we almost got hit by a semi-truck while on our way, but esta bien. Then we landed in Houston where we had 50 minutes to re-check our bags, go through customs, security again, and then to another terminal. As you probably have guessed, we didn't make it. So we got our flight rescheduled and had to wait 7 hours. 7 HOURS. We eventually made it into ABQ at about  7:30pm and were then shuffled to the temple to take a group picture. And then a quick bite to eat and then meetings and interviews. We finally got to bed at midnight and then had to be ready for transfer meeting by 6:30. Sleep is for the weak.

So MIRACLE #1 of our crazy airport adventure: We were standing around while our travel leader called our mission office to let them know. One of the other girls with me said "I really wish someone Mormon would come up and say hi". And of course I agreed that seeing friendly faces who loved the missionaries would be nice. Not even 5 minutes walked by and a man walked across the way to talk to us. He came up and asked where we were going. We said ABQ and explained our situation. He immediately asked if there was anything he could help, and when he told him we were just going to hang out, he reached into his wallet and gave us a couple of bills. We tried to give them back, but he insisted. He said that he normally always took the missionaries out to lunch, but he didn't have time today, so he wanted to make sure we still got the "thank you" for our service. Such a tender mercy of the Lord. It wasn't even a prayer, but He still made himself known. He watches over all of His children, especially those in His service.

Okay so I could write like 5 more that happened in that airport... especially about the ones where I contacted people and handed out pass along card, but I don't have time.

To be quick, there are 17 other missionaries that came as the same day as me. The Millers, my mission president and wife, are AWESOME. I love them. I also love my trainer. She is so cool. Okay.... moment of confession. I forgot her name right now and she isn't looking my way, so I can't read her nametag. Stay tuned for next week for the mystery name.

So I will be serving in Albuquerque zone, so I'm right central. We are the only sisters in our whole zone and we are also the only Spanish speakers in the zone as well. Everyone else is down South, so I'll be getting some really good practice in. We have a HUGE area. Like HUGE. So we are going to be real busy.

I'm happy to be here and I'm happy to serve the people of Albuquerque. My heart has become constantly too big for the place it has in my chest. The Spirit is always strong and the love of God is always present.

Remember to pray to see the hand of the Lord in your life. You will see big and small miracles everyday.... I guarantee it.

Peace. Love. Preach.
Hermana March

The 3 M's taking on ABQ (March, Martin, Moss)

8.16.2015

SEMANA 6

That's right boys and girls. It's week 6. 

I can't believe how fast time has flown by. On Monday morning, I will be headed back to the good ole USofA. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. I cannot wait to speak to actual humans, see real lives change, and watch hearts be touched. The work of the Lord is awesome, and I can't wait to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them. 

A quick summary of the funny highlights of the week: 

1. MIDDLE PART MONDAY. Yes. Our district has been planning it since week 1. We would all middle part our hair on the last Monday of the CCM. Well the time came and it happened. All the elders participated, but Hermana Kamalu refused hahaha. She said her hair isn't meant to be parted that way. Well let me just say that none of the elders' hair is meant to be parted that way either. It was probably one of the funniest things I've seen. (pictures below... don't ask me about the choice of poses for the elders). The funniest part was that probably close to 10 other elders from other zones and districts started sporting the middle part too. It was the talk of the CCM. 

2. My companion and I do yoga during gym time about once or twice a week, and quite frequently the Elders make fun of it because "it's easy and girly". Well one day they decided to join us and show us "how easy yoga is". Well we choose a day, and bam. District yoga. They died physically and for the hermanas, we died from laughter. One of the elders kept yelling "what kind of sick human makes this stuff up?!" or "your body should not be able to twist like that". One of the elders who is going to play college football when he gets home was shaking during lunge poses... I think they respect us a little bit more now. 

Okay, this week has been pretty awesome spiritually too:

1. We got the chance to listen to a message from Elder Holland. He talked about "the divine companionship". The "divine companionship" always involves the Holy Ghost. We constantly need the Holy Ghost as our companion in this life. Without it, we are spiritually lost. We no longer are in tune with the will of the Father and of the Savior. On my mission it is especially important that I learn to have the Holy Ghost with me at all times. I may not know the needs of someone else, but the Spirit does and can let me know if I am paying attention.  

2. I had the opportunity to lead our district Book of Mormon discussion. While we were reading in 3 Nephi 27, I came across a scripture that made me think of what the Savior would do if I met Him this very instance. In verse 30, Jesus Christ says "And now, behold, my joy is full, even unto fulness, because of you". In that moment, I was overwhelmed with the love of the Savior for me, as well as each of us, and how full of joy He is when we do what is right. He loves us no matter what, but has complete and utter joy when we do His will. 

I hope that that can be everyone's goal this week. Do what is right so that the Savior could look at you and say that His "joy is great, even unto fulness, because of you". I know the Lord lives and loves us. Following Him is the only way to real happiness. I begin to understand that more and more each day when I'm in His service. 


Hermana March. 


It's "Middle Part Monday".  Clearly not the most attractive hair style!! 


HOLA FROM THE LAND OF MEXICO

Well first off, let me apologize for the day late email. Long story short, in the past 4 weeks, a lot has changed. We have changed teachers once, classrooms 5 times, zones once, branch presidency once, and yes, p-days once. So here I am to tell you all about the adventures of this week!

1. One night, I lay my head down to sleep. The mosquitoes are buzzing around and because it is so hot in our room the windows are open. Right as I am about to fall asleep, I hear something. What is it? The melodious strains of a familiar song. The Macarena. And then I asked myself, "do people in Mexico really do the Macarena?" and then I realized my life was complete. 

2. Well one morning we got to the class early after breakfast, so we had some free time. The elders in our district had gotten there before us. We were walking down the hall and heard some cheering going on. To our surprise, we walk in the door and low and behold... snail races. Yes, you heard me right. Actual snails. Actually racing. They had drawn a start and finish line for them on the whiteboard... clearly, you can tell it's the little things that make life here in the CCM. 

3. So one day I was in a lesson practicing with some other missionaries, so I was the "investigator". I was a mom of 3 kids and so of course they asked me what I wanted for my children. Confident in my answer, I reply "Yo quiero mis OJOS ser feliz". Well for you non Español hablaring people, that translates to "I want my EYES to be happy". The elders looked at me and LOST IT. Ojos vs. Hijos. BIG DIFFERENCE. All of us were in tears and I felt a little stupid, but hey, at the end of the day who doesn't want happy eyeballs.?!?!

Well enough of the funny things in my life. I'm loving life here and of course, loving the chance I have to serve other people. I feel like the days are hard sometimes, but Salvation isn't an easy thing to get. 

We had the privilege of hearing from TWO apostles this week. Whoot! Whoot!

Elder Bednar spoke about the character of Christ. Christ always turned out when we, as mortal humans, would turn in to be selfish and self-interested. In the words of Elder Bednar, "get over yourself". Become converted to the Lord. Don't just have a testimony, because you can know what's right and still not do it. Be converted and ACT on what you know to be true and right and good. 

Elder Nelson spoke to us about writing the gospel in our hearts. As a heart surgeon, he talked about how it's central to the body. Therefore when the gospel and doctrine is central in your body, it is in your life as well. He explained that we're all on our way to inscribing it on our hearts. "You´re on your own journey to become like Christ". It's a hard journey, but it's not impossible when you rely on the Savior himself. What better person to help you become like Christ than Christ? I can tell you the answer is that there is no one better fit for the job. 

NEXT WEEK IS MY LAST WEEK HERE. WHAT?!?!?! AND THEN I'M HEADED TO THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT. Sometimes I am so excited to leave the CCM and get to the field, but then I remind myself of an important lesson my teacher here has taught me. We shouldn't wish away today because tomorrow we will wish for yesterday. 

Keep trying to be a little more like Christ. Say your prayers. And remember I love you all. 

Peace. Love. Preach. 
Hermana March

 Ok, so here are the elders and their snails. One fell asleep and then woke up and turned the wrong way. He's obviously the loser.


Hermana Kamalu & my favorite ice cream. One thing Mexico does right in the food department is their Santa Clara's ice cream bars. We look forward to it every week.
Well look at that... I'M HABLARING ESPAÑOL


Another week of exciting events in the CCM. Most of the things are same old same old. Beans. "Cannons". Spanish classes all day. You get the point. But here are some of the highlights:

1. We sit in classes for probably about 13 hours a day. And the chairs they give us aren't super comfy. So what do we do in our free time. We raid other empty classrooms around the CCM to find the rolling comfy chairs and then we steal them. It's safe to say that we have found one for every member in our district and now everyone may sit comfy.

2. Well this has been an every week occurrence, but I just remembered to tell you this week! I'm the branch pianist on Sundays! Mom aren't you so glad that all those years of piano lessons paid off?!?!

3. Oh and I also gave my first full talk in Español this week. It was quite frightening. But it's okay. I just took comfort in the fact that more than half of my branch knows less Spanish than I do, so they probs couldn't understand me anyways. I took comfort in that and the fact that our 2nd counselor is the Mexican President Ucthdorf. So that's cool. (picture to come next week)

4. We had another big storm this week. It was pretty crazy. BUT this time, there was hail! And the hail was like the size of a gumball. I walked out in it with no umbrella at first.... not my smartest idea.

Okay now for the spiritual segment... this week has been full of moments that make me so sure of the gospel's truth and of God's reality. 

1. So in the CCM, we do this thing called TRC. It's basically where on Saturday mornings random people come to hear the lessons from the missionaries. Terrifying, right? They can be long time members, less actives, or rarely there will be actual investigator. Well lucky us, we got a real live, breathing, speaking, thinking investigator. And then they expected us to teach him in 100% Español. Ummmm what? Well anyways, we went in and did our best. The boy's name was Isreal and he is 15 years old. He was there with a 24 year old cousin who was married in the temple. Anyways, as we were talking to Isreal, I kept getting the impression that I needed to know the baptismal question in Spanish. But then I kept pushing it aside because there was no way I was asking this kid to be baptized in his first lesson. Well he just kept telling us about how he knew Jesus Christ died for him and how he loves Him dearly. Well Hermana Kamalu must've been on the same wave length as me and the Spirit because she turned to him and asked "Do you want to follow the example of Christ?" And then he said yes. So I took it home by asking him "Well then, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" AND HE SAID YES. WAS THAT REAL LIFE? DID I COMMIT SOMEONE TO BAPTISM? The answer is yes. I feel so humbled and grateful to the Spirit for giving me the prompting to invite this boy to come to Christ. Wow. So cool. 

2. So for 2 straight days this week, my companion was sick. I mean realllllll sick, if you know what I mean. So being her companion, I had to stay home with her. And that means missing classes and meals and human interaction. So you could say it was a lonely 2 days. I sat in our room and read a lot of scripture and mission approved books. With all that time just being alone, it was hard not to feel that way too. I was beginning to feel alone and unsure of what I was doing here in another country learning a new language. I did the only thing I could and said a prayer and continued my studies. So while in my 38th hour of complete isolation, two hermanas came in with a cold water bottle and a Milky Way just for me. Here´s a little of what I wrote in my journal that night.:

"The Lord is truly aware of all of our situations. He didn´t forget me today and He never will. There truly are heavenly angels that come as earthly beings to bless my life. It's unimaginable how much love can come from an all mighty being to an ungrateful and undeserving being like me. But that's why the Lord is so amazing... because he can love me despite weaknesses and shortcomings because he sees the potential I have. I'm grateful for today, not because it was easy, but because a cold water bottle and a Milky Way reminded me of My Savior´s love."

I know that Savior feels that way about all of his children, that's why I'm serving a mission. So those people out there who feel alone don't have to feel that way anymore. D&C 84:88

Mucho amor to all of you. Read your scriptures and say your prayers. There's no better way to feel your Savior's love. 

Peace. Love. Preach. 
Hermana March