7.25.2016

"You had me at chile"

Yup. Well here's my week:

1. So we have a member here and he didn't think I could eat chile. So I showed him. He told me that years ago, he had a "Hatch Chile Challenge" for the elders. His wife banned it when one of the elders inhaled the chile powder and threw up blood (nasty, huh?). Well I wanted a try. So here's what he gave me: a whole raw jalapeno, a teaspoon of "90K" (the hottest chile in the world), a tablespoon of fresh red chile blended, and a dried red chile to top it off. It didn't phase me. I barely blinked. He was so mad and his wife just kept saying "she's knows to eat chile... she's Mexican already." I bet there are traces of chile in my blood right now. 

2. We're knocking these doors when a door opens and this puppy runs out and starts jumping all over me . . . I talk to the owner (who was standing in the doorway) and eventually I say "So we're the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And I'm Sister March" . . .  "AND I DON'T CARE!" *door slams*. Thank you kind sir, have a nice day. hahaha

3. We did a service project this week . . . we dug post holes 2 ft deep . . . in the New Mexican soil . . . with a garden shovel . . . in a storm. Yes. I have blisters. 

4. So we're going to visit an investigator who has a super mean dog that's locked in a fence. Well, I get out of the car and realize after a few steps that the dog is out of its cage . . .  and staring right at me with a hungry look in its eyes. I calmly get back into the car and well, the dog runs over and starts biting the tires of the car. My philosophy is that the car tires are better than my legs. 

5. We're officially moved out of the little Catholic church. And living in a little casita in Hatch. It's tiny and cute. I'll send pictures next week. 

6. Transfers are here again and Hermana Oliphant + yo are staying together for another 6 weeks. WAHOO for Hatch and green chile (I'm excited that I'll be here for the Chile Festival the first weekend in September!). 

So all in all, things are good here in Hatch. We're working hard and we're seeing little tender mercies daily. It's a good feeling to come home at night and think "wow, I'm tired". Then I get up and go wash my feet in a sink and see the dirt water rush down the drain. Long, dusty, hot days have never been so rewarding. I love being in the service of my Savior. It's oh so hard sometimes, but I wouldn't trade a day of it. 

Serving the Lord is so rewarding . . . I feel like sometimes I am the one who is blessed the most. I love this quote from Pres. Uchtdorf, "Often, the answer to our prayer does not come while we’re on our knees but while we’re on our feet serving the Lord and serving those around us.” Serving opens so many doors to heaven - not only to those we serve, but to ourselves as well. Look for someone to serve this week!

I love all of you and am so grateful for the support I've felt over the past year. Y'all are the best! 

Hermana March

chile challenge underway

a bird pooped on my hand . . . through an open window. while I was eating lunch.

when you and your companion match the branch mission leader . . . a selfie is needed

proof of my digging post holes.... a sweet blister


 welcome to my area


Isn't it beautiful?! The lightning storms here are out of this world. 
  

7.19.2016

I am so grateful for my Savior

What a week this has been . . . seriously. 

1. So here this neck of the woods in good ole New Mexico, we've had the biggest heat wave there's been in like 20 years. 25+ days of 100+ degree weather. YUCK right?! Well it finally cooled down a little with a monsoon the other day, and a HUGE wind storm. I'm talking like tumble weeds flying through the air. 

2. Speaking of the before mentioned monsoon . . . so we're at an investigator's when the neighbor's puppy that probably is about the height of my waist, breaks loose from her yard. She runs up to me and is so excited that she jumps up to give me a big ole hug. It would've been really sweet if she wasn't muddy and I wasn't wearing a white shirt. 

3. Last night at family home evening, the activity was chosen by the little 3 year old. It was the whip cream in the face game. You like sit at this little contraption and if you're unlucky it flings whip cream on to your face. Guess who the unlucky winner was? Me. 

4. So I don't know if I've said this, but our time of living in the former Catholic church is coming to a close. Sister Chavez is moving to Utah and we have found another little casita in Hatch. We'll be moving in at the end of the week! (Hopefully, we'll be saying goodbye to the huge spiders as well!). 

Okay, so this week has been a good one. Not because we had a billion people get baptized, but simply because I knew that the Lord was with us every step of the way. 

So here's an experience of the week which I think will impact me for the rest of eternity. It was Saturday and we were headed to a lesson with one of our investigators. Our first lesson was awesome with him, so we were really excited. We pull up to his house and he's sitting outside. We walk up and begin to say hello when he says "I don't want this anymore". I asked him what he meant. He said that he didn't want us coming by. He said that he had been waiting outside to tell us this and that we shouldn't waste our time. All I could do was muster the best Spanish I could and testify that this message was the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. 

I finished and he slid a plastic grocery bag across the table, and said "I don't want it. Take it". I opened it to see a copy of the Book of Mormon. Well, we get back in the car, drive a little ways down the old, bumpy, dirt road, and I couldn't help but cry. I didn't cry because I felt like he had offended me. He wasn't rejecting me, but he was rejecting the one of the greatest evidences of a loving Father in heaven. I felt sorry for him because he was missing out on such great blessings. Think of that. I wanted him so bad to have those blessings, but he wouldn't accept them. 

But now thinking about it, isn't that what Christ must feel each and every time that one of us refuses His love, His mercy, and His atoning power. I wonder if He cries like I did. I wonder if He just wishes more than anything that we'd accept the blessings He tries to bring to us. I'm sure He does. Every time I choose to not use His atonement, not use that sacrifice He made, I'm sure that He sits there and weeps. Why do we, in a sense, carefully package that huge blessing in a plastic bag and hand it back over, saying "no thanks."  It's sitting right there. Just use it. 

After this experience, I turned on the music and a song played which had a special impact that time I listened to it. Verse 2 of "We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet":

We'll sing of his goodness and mercy.
We'll praise him by day and by night,
Rejoice in his glorious gospel,
And bask in its life-giving light.
Thus on to eternal perfection
The honest and faithful will go,
While they who reject this glad message
Shall never such happiness know.

I love my Savior. I love this "glad message".  I'm eternally grateful I have the chance to share it with all that will listen, and I hope that one day, everyone will get to experience that great happiness.

Mucho amor, 

Hermana March


cute puppies

 i spy my house

the wind storm

check out that beauty

that puppy got me good. (don't worry the stain came out)

big ole puppy paw print . . .

7.12.2016

Sometimes I think I'm a little too blessed

This week has been a good one. Like real good. Better than otter pops on a hot day (which is dang good). 

So here's some of the highlights of the week:

1. So we had this referral to visit this elderly couple up in TorC. We get to the door and the old lady holds up her broom (looking like she's going to hit us in all honesty) and asks us who we are. We tell her Mormon missionaries, and she lowers her broom and then offers us a cookie. We had a really nice visit with her and her 90-year old husband. We ask them if it would be all right to visit them again . . . the old lady looks at us and goes "well I didn't invite you the first time . . . you'll probably just show up again." I love old lady sass . . . and don't pretend you didn't like our visit!

2. We're sitting in sacrament meeting when I look to the little family directly in front of me. The little boy gets this mischievous look in his eye and grabs to crayons and promptly shoves them up his nostrils. I had to try soooooo hard not to bust out laughing in the middle of sacrament meeting. #missionstruggles

3. One of the coolest moments of the week was working with one of our part member families. The hermanas here have been teaching the 2 oldest children, JJ and Claudia, for the past year or so. They've really increased in their knowledge of the church, but lately we've been concerned if they have a personal testimony and witness of the truthfulness of these things. Well this past Friday, we taught them all about the importance of receiving a witness that these things are true from the Spirit. We knelt in a circle to say the closing prayer, and our member who offered the prayer asked that they would be able to feel the Spirit testify that these things were true. After the prayer, we stood and the 9 year old girl said "I felt the shivers . . . like it was like I was cold, but I wasn't." There was such a special Spirit in the room as we were able to explain to her that she had been touched by the Spirit. 

4. We have a less active that we have been working with forever! Suddenly, he started coming to church every single week. And well, we stopped by for a visit on Saturday night, and when he left the room, his wife spilled the beans. He quit his job so that he could come to church on Sundays . . . it's a literal Christmas miracle! He told his wife that he wants to get serious about church. I almost cried of joy. 

This week has been a week of tender mercies, both personally and in the work. The Lord has been by my side and I know that He is always near as we strive to do our best. He's also there when we're falling short of doing our best. In sunshine or in rain, Jesus Christ is still our Savior!

So that's it for Hatch, NM this week. I'm loving it and I can't believe how fast time is going by. Can y'all believe that I passed my 1 year this past week?! One whole year serving the Lord and I couldn't be happier about the decision. 

I love the Lord and I know that He loves me oh so much. He loves each and every one of us more than we could ever ever ever imagine. 

Hermana March

 yard work service.... wearing some pants (it's a pleasure to get to wear something other than skirts every once in a while).

typical "1 year" pic

  here's one of our friendly neighborhood spider(men)

 one of the cutest dogs I've ever laid eyes on

the infamous Sister Chavez during our Sunday dinner

her sass is one of my favorite things. and her food. (pictured: corn + green chile)

7.05.2016

Happy birthday 'merica

Well look there . . . I love holidays. And the 4th?! One of the best. 

So on the mission, holidays are pretty interesting . . . we don't get to do much to celebrate like normal people, but we still find ways to have fun! Yesterday we were stuffed full with super good food, we taught a lesson in a park while fireworks were going off, and I may have had "Battle Hymn of the Republic" on repeat. (my guilty confession). 


I'm not really sure what else exciting happened this week. My brain is way too sleepy for this. If someone were to offer me a 6 year nap, I still don't know if it would be sufficient.


Here's some of the highlights I remember:

1. We met the new mission prez and wife! They are super different from the Millers, but seem like good people! I accidentally wore my Hermana Marzo tag when I met them, and so now I think they'll forever and always remember me as that and not my real name hahaha oops. 

2. We went on a hike last pday. You know, for being LITERALLY just rocks and cactus, New Mexico is kinda pretty. (I'm emphasizing the word KINDA). Just kidding, I love this "land of entrapment" (entrapment instead of enchantment . . . a local joke). 

3. So we have these investigators and they have this dog that while on 4 legs is like up to my armpit . . . every time we swing by I think it's going to eat me. It's name is Hooch. (I'll include the picture). 

The work in Hatch and Truth or Consequences is going really well! We're slowly but surely finding more and more people to teach. In the past two weeks, we have had gotten 18 member referrals, which are like straight gold to missionaries like us! We feel so blessed and know that as we have been praying for the hearts to be softened in Hatch and TorC, it's been affecting all of us - members, missionaries, and others! The work is progressing and the Lord is directing it!


Have the best week ever... remember how much the Lord loves you! So many people are cheering you on.... like Elder Holland said "heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever!". Go out there and be a disciple of Christ! 


Mucho amor mean it!


Hermana March

otter pops. my weakness

of course I ate a red and blue one.... AT THE SAME TIME. #skill

the killer dog

look at that

those are some nice rocks

we like branch breakfast... it's awesome. pancakes, gravy (with green chile...who do you think we are?!) and biscuits. yum.