12.05.2016

I am a Disciple of Jesus Christ

My heart is full, I've cried way too much already, and I feel like I've just been way too blessed. 

I can't believe that this day is finally here - the day I honestly thought would never come. I remember laying in my bed the first night in the CCM and thinking "wow, this is going to be FOREVER". And it was, and it is, but at the same time it's not. The past 18 months have flown by in the blink of an eye. But I think the "forever" of my mission is going to be it's impact on the rest of eternity . . . because that's going to be forever.

I am so humbled and feel so blessed to have been able to serve my Savior for the past 18 months. These have been the hardest and the best months of my life. Here are some of my favorite things from my mission:

1. Number 1 favorite thing is seeing children of our Heavenly Father enter into the waters of baptism. Not because "wahooo we got another number for members of the church," but because of what it means . . . it means they're getting the chance to go home. They enter into that water and I think "yes, now they're going to know true JOY." And then seeing the light that radiates from their eyes as they come up from the water, clean of any sin, that's priceless.

2. I've loved learning how to LOVE. I love the Mexican people and their culture. I love them because they are Heavenly Father's children. I love them because they're kind. I love them because they're full of faith in the Savior. I love them because they've loved and served me. 

3. Hablaring Espanol has been sweet. That's pretty cool to realize that the Lord has the ability to help you do anything - including learning another language! (and, while sleeping, teaching lessons in the middle of the night in Spanish is pretty cool I guess too . . . ask any of my companions. They're all witnesses to my midnight teaching!)

4. The food I guess would just have to be a HUGE bonus. Heavenly Father loves me so He sent me to a mission with killer comida (except menudo.... we all know I'm not going to miss that).

5. I've learned to rely on the Savior and His Atonement. I've learned to LOVE Him.

While being on a mission, I have come to know my Savior on a personal level that I don't think I could have even imagined before my mission. The Atonement, or His sacrifice, is something that has become so real to me. It's not just something that you read about in the scriptures or something that they preach about on Sundays. It's real. It's powerful. It can change lives. It's changed mine. I know that He is my Savior. I know He died for me, and guaranteed me my salvation if I would just do my part. We can be forgiven of sins. We've never wandered too far from His love and His care. With Him, there's no such thing as too broken, too many chances, or too long gone. I love the Lord. He gave Himself for me. He loves me so even my imperfections don't stop Him from reaching out to me. He sacrificed so I could make it home to Father.

It's been an honor to serve along side of Him for a year and a half. 

His name has been written next to mine on a name tag for the past 18 months. My name is written in the marks of the nail prints in His hands for eternity because of what He did so long ago and so far away in a garden and then finished on a cross. 

I love Him. I follow Him. And I serve Him. 

"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13

Les quiero mucho mucho mucho. Nos vemos el proximo martes. Hasta ver, para siempre Dios este con vos. 

Hermana March




11.28.2016

We had a Baptism, We had a Baptism, We had a Baptism, Hey, Hey, Hey

That's right . . . we had a baptism. And it was TOTALLY a MIRACLE. 

So his name is Eddie and his uncle is a member of our ward. We had taught him twice before and set his baptismal date for the last Saturday of November. Well, he kinda disappeared off the face of the planet . . . and one day we felt like we needed to to call him, so we did; we asked him if he remembered his baptismal date, he said yes and that he still wanted to get baptized that day. So we visited him everyday and made it happen!

It's a total and complete miracle. Because he was a minor and technically lives with his mom out of our area during the week but comes to stay with his uncle on the weekends, we had to get permission from his mom, the mission president, the 2 stake presidents (like ours and the stake where he technically lives), and the 2 bishops. AND ALL OF THEM SAID YES. No one thought it was going to happen, but when the Lord wants someone to get baptized, He makes it happen! 

Sidenote: one of the stake presidents was like "man . . . that's not fair to send the sisters to ask for permission. If it was the Zone Leaders, I would have said 'absolutely not', but for you sisters, I have to say 'yes'." #HERMANAPOWER. 

So that's really the exciting part of the week. But here are some other highlights!

1. We got to go to the Thanksgiving Day parade in El Paso . . . and then we got to pick up all the trash on the streets afterwards. 

2. So another miracle of the week . . . we only had to eat twice on Thanksgiving. I feel so blessed. #graciasperoestoyllena

3. It's that time of year folks . . . TAMALES. I feel so spoiled rotten with all the fresh tamales we get to eat. "You want a tamale?" "YES" (*we eat it*) "Hermanas, I'm giving you both another one and you can't even tell me no." 

4. So transfer news came out Saturday night.... it looks like I'm going to be spending my last two weeks on my mission in Montana Vista with Hermana Bosch! I'm really excited!

5. We did have to move apartments . . . lame. Just kidding, we're in the same complex but now we're neighbors with our hermana friends that serve in the ward next to ours.

Okay, so that's the week. It was great. And I'm oh so thankful..... for so many things! 

I'm grateful for the sacred time I have had to serve the Lord as His full time servant the past year and a half. The amount of blessings received are unbelievable. Sometimes I need to pinch myself because I see so many miracles daily.

I testify that the Lord lives. HE is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He has paid the price for our salvation. WE just need to follow Him and trust in His promises. He sacrificed Himself to know what we feel - pain, happiness, guilt, suffering, heartbreak, joy. I know that He has the power to bind up broken hearts and carry weights that bring us to our knees. He is everything. 

And what a pleasure it's been to wear His name next to mine for so long. For that, I'm thankful. 

MUCHO AMOR

Hermana March

pictures: 

the whole group at MLC... man we look good

we panicked

Eddie's baptism! He's the one next to me!

baptismal selfie. #dothe10Cdance

hermanas at the parade with cotton candy

FELIZ DIA DE GRACIAS

 the El Paso Zone at zone training

we just keep panicking.

our friends now neighbors


muggin it

comps 

 the district leader who says that he's 90

11.22.2016

Holy Moly. Missionary Work is Cool

I'm feeling like a million bucks . . . which is a miracle from the lack of sleep I've been getting and all the things we've had to do in the past week.

Here's a look into the last 8 days in la vida de Hermana March: 

 1. Zone Conference - we got assigned to do a 30 minute training in front of 80 missionaries and the mission president. No pressure, right? Yeah . . . I think it went good though! 

2. Same Zone Conference, I was asked to do a musical number . . . are y'all trying to kill me?

3. High Adventure - another 5 hour trip one way to Albuquerque for MLC on Sunday night then another 5 hours back down to El Paso on Monday night.

4. Our "special guest" at MLC was an Area 70 where he had me and Hermana Bosch get up and talk to someone about the gospel using the word "yellow". What?

5. Last interview with President Guffey on the mission in which he tries to convince me that going home isn't as scary as I think. (Believe me, it's still scary). 

6. Every week on Monday nights we have a conference call as a mission and they ask random missionaries from the mission to share their testimonies on the Savior . . .  and they picked me! So in the back of a mini-van at 10pm I was sharing my testimony. 

So, yeah. That was my week. I'm alive and I'm actually loving life! We saw sooooo many miracles as well! Here are the top 2 on my mind:

The first miracle of the week was on a blitz (multiple companionships go to the same area at the same time and knock doors) with Hermana Thompson from the Montwood area. We were knocking and the only lady that opened that day let us in after just a few minutes talking on her porch! As we were inside she told us that she hasn't been able to have kids for 9 years, but on Wednesday she found out that they are having twins. She said that the pregnancy is complicated, so she is on bed rest and hasn't been able to go to church for a couple weeks, but has been missing it. Well when we knocked on her door on Saturday she wasn't going to open the door because she was at home alone, but something told her to get dressed as quick as she could and run to the door because they were going to be "people from God". She accepted right away to hear more about our message!

The second miracle was that we found the most elect person! His name is Sal, and was actually a referral from the zone leaders from the previous week's blitz. We taught Sal the first lesson, and everything just made so much sense to him, so it was no problem for him to accept the challenge to be baptized! While we were teaching, an analogy between the apostasy and teachers came to my mind. (It was that prophets are like school teachers - there are some students that listen and benefit from listening, but others would rather play around in class and "reject" the teacher. But just because they don't listen, it's not the teacher's fault. He was only doing his job and trying to help the students to have a better future.) I wasn't sure why it came to mind because I had never heard of that comparison before, but I said "okay" and went with it! When the analogy was said, Sal says "I can relate to that - I'm a school teacher!" Wow. The Spirit is soooo cool! He knew the perfect analogy to help Sal and I got to be a part of that! 

Sometimes I feel a little too lucky to be able to experience all of these things. The Lord has been so good to me this past year and a half! The Savior loves us so much - if I've learned anything on my mission, it's that truth! 

Mucho amor por todos ustedes!

Hermana March

pictures:
 companionship selfie at Krispy Kreme on day

 our training board that we slaved over!

 when a member gives all of you glow sticks, you have to take a selfie (our DL and his green)

some of our favorite investigators that came to church on Sunday! with their babeeee

 sometimes at dinner the member offers to let you wear their cowboy hats and you just have to say yes

 zone leaders and stls of El Paso at MLC...we're pretty much the coolest

the "sleepover crew"... we stay with these cuties every time we're in ABQ


last MLC at dinner

 okay, so crazy. the first time I was an STL all of these cuties were my sisters that I worked with...now we're all together!


catchin' dinner last night with the South kids

the district at BLITZ. They're my friends

throw back to a year ago exactly when my friend Jesus got baptized

11.14.2016

El Paso Adventure

Wow. Sometimes I feel like I blink my eyes and then it's time to email again. Like man, yall must be tired of hearing from me so frequently. 

1. We go on exchanges and we swing by the sisters' chapel . . . it's beautiful. We had a couple minutes before their investigator showed up, so she took me downstairs to see "the vault."  You must be thinking, what's that?! Well it's exactly that . . . a vault. This chapel was built in World War 2 times and it's the first in El Paso. And well, the banks couldn't be trusted with the tithing money, so it was all kept in the safe in the church . . . SO COOL. You knock on it and it sounds super hollow . . . yes. super cool. 

2. So last night we go to eat dinner at a member's house and they give us both a huge plate of french fries smothered in Valentina. (yes, the good stuff). Well we eat it and we're like, sweet! Fries for dinner - that's like a childhood dream come true. Well then the hermano brings us each the biggest bowl of chicken posole I have ever seen in my life. I kinda wanted to cry . . . partly because I was so full and partly because it was so dang good. I think we must have had a full chicken in each of our bowls. 

3. I'm running out of fun things to write from this week, so I'll just tell you about the huge hail storm we had last week. I thought we were going to die. We're cruising in our little Toyota Corolla and the water is covering the wheel wells and yeah, there was a moment of hydroplaning and yup. We're alive and safe . . . now. Good story, right Mom? 

Oh, okay, so this week we've been so blessed. It's like the Lord was just handing us blessings left and right.... we'd walk around a corner and bam, another a new investigator! In the past week we found 6 new people to teach. Like. what!?! 

I LOVE serving the Lord. I love being able to dedicate my whole day to Him and His work. It's really such a blessing. The gospel is so true. It's the rock we have in this ever changing world. It's something that will protect us from the coming storms. The Savior is the way, the truth, and the light. He is my all and my joy. I will patiently wait on the Lord. I will patiently wait to see the plan that He has for me unfold.

Check out Psalms 27. Trust and love Him. 

Les quiero muchoooooo. 

Hermana March

pictures: 

 the beautiful chapel (sorry it's dark outside!)

the vault!

the never ending bowl of posole 

 Texas just warning us about the water on the roads during the storm...thanks

 casual tumbleweed in the middle of the street

pumpkin heads

 they're super cute... thanks Mom!


11.07.2016

I'm feeling real good. I love being a missionary

Life is good. Missionary work is the best. And yeah, that about sums up the week. 

I don't have a lot of time, but here's the low down of the week. 

1. Exchanges. We're over 4 companionships all over El Paso. This week I got to go to the West side and even to UTEP . . . that was weird to be around college students. They're scary. 

2. Two SMCMs (stake missionary correlation meeting). Basically us and the zone leaders go and talk to all the stake leaders and it's really intimidating. 

3. Interviews with President! He's awesome. I kinda really like being a missionary. 

4. We had 2 potential investigators just show up to church and they're such a cute little family! A MIRACLE. 

5. IT'S COLD IN EL PASO. Like 70 degrees. It's heaven. 

Well that's about all I have for you this week. I'm just going to close this lamish email by saying that missionary life is the best. 

This past week I have had a couple spiritual experiences that have forever changed my perspective on the time that we have here on earth. I have never felt more sure that God is our Heavenly Father and that He knows us as His children. He loves us so deeply and is so concerned about the things that are going on in our lives.  While our life is hard here on earth, imagine how hard it was for Him to let His children come here to gain a body and experience, knowing that full well not all of His children would do what they needed to be able to make it back to His presence. But He did it with the HOPE that as many as possible could come back to Him having gained a body and growing so much. I'm forever grateful for the plan that He created to bring JOY eternally in to our lives. This life and plan is a great opportunity given to us by an all knowing and all loving Father, all made possible through a loving Brother, Jesus Christ. 

I love you all mucho mucho! Have a great week!

Hermana March

p.s. here's some random pictures of us with some members. and a selfie from service




10.31.2016

Count Your Many Blessings

Well this week went by super fast, and I feel super blessed. Like seriously! 

Here's the highlights of the week: 

1. High Adventure - our way of saying the 4 hour one-way roadtrip to ABQ with 4 other sisters to go to MLC (mission leadership council). Yeah, it was pretty fun. MLC was awesome! There were 40 of us in total and it was really powerful to sit in a meeting from 7:30am - 4pm counseling one with another on how to help others come to Christ. I love hearing President Duffey speak . . . especially as he speaks of our fore-ordination to be in this mission serving with these people. Heavenly Father really does place us in the places and around the people that we need to be around . . . it acts like a catalyst for our growth and development. 

p.s. You want to know what was REALLY weird? Well we spent the night with some of the hermanas up in ABQ, and it just so happened to be MY OLD APARTMENT. Talk about deja vu (I'm not sure how to spell that . . . man spanish has messed me up). But yeah, it brought back a LOT of good memories! Alvarado Park was the best.

2. SERVICE. We did service as a ward and it was quite fun. There were 35 of us all in matching blue "LDS MONTANA VISTA" shirts, and I think it's safe to say we looked good. haha. I love service . . . I'm sad I didn't like it more when I was younger. It's such a blessing to be able to help those around us!

3. Halloween FIESTA. We went as missionaries - pretty clever, right?

4. Oh, and btw, WE HAD A BAPTISM. And it was awesome. Her name is Nury, and she is probably the funniest person I have ever met in my whole life. The first lesson I taught her I had tears streaming down my face for a good 10 minutes straight. She is married to a less active member, who is now really trying to come back to activity in the church. They're awesome and their 2 little boys are so cute. I love when we go their house and the 4 year old sees us and shouts "LADIES". But it's so cool to see people enter into the waters of baptism and make that covenant with our Heavenly Father! When she came up out of the water I could see a difference in her eyes . . . they were filled with light and she was clean! We asked her how she felt right after she had gotten out of the water and she said "I know I made the right choice." If it was appropriate to do an Irish jig right then and there, I would have totally done it. 

I'm really grateful for the time I have to serve the Lord . . . the time goes by fast, but I know that they've had an eternal impact on me. It's a miracle. This work is a miracle--that little, young, 18, 19, and 20 something year-old people can do what we missionaries do. I'm grateful to be involved in this work that changes lives and changes eternity. 

mucho amor . . . 

Hermana March

p.s.s. I don't feel blessed because it went fast hahaha that sounded bad. I AM BLESSED because it was an awesome week! just had to clear that one up!

pictures:

of course there are free rocks in El Paso.... there's plenty to go around

 our High Adventure/MLC gang

catching a late dinner on the drive back to El Paso

la fiesta

 elote y Mexicocoa (my way to say Mexican hot chocolate)

Montana Vista at service

Nury's baptism! 

celebratory popsicles

Bishop's daughter







10.24.2016

Happy. Hola. and Howdy

Okay, so yeah, this has been a good week. Like REAL good. I'm talking like green enchiladas good. 

It was definitely hard to leave cute little Hatch behind, but the Lord was calling me to the promised land! I really really loved my time in Hatch, and the Lord sure taught me a lot while I was there! 

But, yeah, so El Paso is basically heaven on earth. I love it. The people, the members, the people we're teaching, the food, the language, the culture... I'm super happy. 

Well we've been teaching a ton this past week . . . and the overarching theme seems to be the identity we have as children of God and the importance of having that relationship with Him through prayer. 

In the past general conference, Elder Uceda said something that really touched me, he said: 

"At the very moment we say, “Father in Heaven,” He hears our prayers and is sensitive to us and our needs. And so His eyes and His ears are now connected to you. He reads our minds, and He feels our hearts. You cannot hide anything from Him. Now, the wonderful thing is that He will see you with eyes of love and mercy - love and mercy that we cannot fully understand. But love and mercy are with Him the very moment you say, "Father in Heaven." 
So moment of prayer is very, very sacred moment. He is not one to say, “No, will not listen tyou now because you only come to me when you are in trouble.” Only men do that. He is not one to say,“Oh, you cannot imagine how busy am now.” Only men say that."
It's so true.... our Father in Heaven loves us so so so much. I've never felt His love stronger for me personally and for all other people than I have on my mission. I testify that our Father in Heaven knows us personally and deeply... He created us and I would imagine that we spent hours with Him in heaven before we came to this life and He told us all about the many adventures He had planned for us. 
I love my Father in Heaven, and I sure know He loves us. 
Have the best week! I love you all! (We got to run... we're headed to ABQ with 4 other sisters today for an all day training (MLC) tomorrow!) Talk to you next week!
Hermana March.
pictures: 
 saying goodbye to the Madrid family

 I'm going to miss them tons - Lisa and Maggie Herrera

the new companion!