Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 25 - One Year Mark!

Celebrating ONE YEAR... with a pastel de frutas basically, literally SO MUCH delicious fruit, for what would be like 2 dollars.. our greatest find!
Baptism of Maribel
Hey! So here is what's been going on this week...
It has been kinda a normal week, we had a few let downs as we had to stop teaching a few families because they're just not progressing.  That always hurts. No matter what the reason, it's always sad. but we just pray that their time will come.
I'm a YEAR into the mission. That's insane. AH. I don't know how to feel about it but that's that.
We found a really cool new little family! Gabi (mom) Dana (19) and Oscar (12) We've only taught the restoration to them but it was an awesome lesson. I live for lessons like that, when you just see the look in their eyes, and you know they're feeling something different.
And we have been working on activating another little family, and we are trying to put a fecha with the wife.  She hated the missionaries, and with good reason, because her husband (Juan Carlos ) and hijo Joseph got baptized but didn't understand what was going on and never went back.  But they have a huge desire to learn more now, because we explained a lot about the Plan of salvation, and how they can become an eternal family. It was cool, I felt totally impressed to just sing a hymn, we sang oh my father (but the cool version with the tune of come thy fount) and then just went through the hymn and talked about what the words meant to them. The spirit was so strong, she was crying, I was crying, and it was a really cool experience.
Oh and sunday we had the baptism of Maribel! I think I've mentioned her, she wanted to get baptized like a month ago, but couldn't because they had to amputate her leg.  So she has been in recovery and got cleared to be baptized. It was a stressful day though, because she was terrified.  She fell this week, and because of that was really nervous, but everything turned out fine!
it was touching to see.

Another fun thing that happened today, we went to the immigration office to renew our visas, and had a little one year reunion with my generation, hnas Gallacher, Erickson and Hardy. we were so happy to be just talking and catching up and reminiscing on a year ago .  So much has changed.
I think thats why I was so happy this week. Just being able to look back at what I was doing a year ago, and how much my understanding of the Gospel has changed, it is SUCH a blessing to be out here.
love you guys
hna schneider
One year later, My girls from Arizona I was on the Plane with to Mexico

I love My Companion

January 18- Interview

Here's a little update of the highlights of this week...

Interviews with President, it's probably my favorite.  I love just being able to discuss the area and how I can improve personally.  And we always get out of interviews super excited.  

We had the BEST best best comida with la familia Salguero this week.  Saturday Hermano Salguero invited the four of us (Hermana Benito, Hermana Dagua, Hermana Lesueur and I) to eat at his house and gave us a presentation about Mayan culture and history of the Libro de Mormon.  
I'm not kidding it was the coolest thing of my whole mission. This guy knows his stuff, he studies archaeology and gives tours to LDS people in all parts of Mexico and Guatemala.. Palenque, Chichen itza, places in Veracruz and well all over the place.   And he knows the scriptures like a BOSS.  
(his little 7 year old daughter and I were talking a bunch, and I'm like whats your favorite thing to do? and shes like, I like to read. and I ask her what books she likes, and she's like, mostly just the Book of Mormon. ,whenever I'm bored at school I just read the scriptures.  I couldn't believe it... she's awesome.)
I can't even tell you how much crazy stuff we learned, because it would take way too long, but he just showed us a ton of maps and things that people have found that totally coincide with El Libro de Mormon.  I'm pretty sure I want to study archaeology when I get back, even just as a hobby, and I'm TOTALLY going to come back and go on some tours with him one day. because it is SO COOl.

And we put a baptism date with one of the miracles from last week, Marisol.  She is pretty awesome, and with the Lord´s help she will get baptized in two weeks.  :)

love you guys all the much!
Hermana Schneider

Monday, January 11, 2016

January 11 -Dia de los Reyes

okay, so let me just tell you about this week.

 So this week was kinda incredible, well not at first.   All during the week, we were experiencing just tons of disappointment.  Those days when every appointment falls through, and you're just searching the streets looking for new people who will progress.  We walked a lot this week. And there were a few days when we got home and just felt bad, like today was NOT effective, I didn't feel like we got anything done.
But it was such a blessing. Hermana Benito and I got to talk a LOT.  I feel like I got to know my companion a lot better, and we grew closer.    But also, we found some INCREDIBLE miracles. 
We were trying to find all the people who were going to go to church, and just no one was ever home and it was frustrating.
I remember that on Saturday I told my companion, Wouldn't it just be so nice if someone just showed up to the chapel, and wanted to be taught? And then we prayed that it would happen.
And Sunday we got to church ( after passing by for a few people that weren't home), and before taking the sacrament I just said a quick little prayer.  Lord, let thy will be done, but please help someone get to church. 
We had TWO miracles that day!!  One is named Javier, he got up that morning thinking he was going to go visit the Jehovah Witness, but then he couldn't find their church, and ended up seeing Hermana Valdibia (a cute little widow with white hair and a huge testimony) and Javier asked her if she knew where the Jehovah Witness had their meetings.  Instead, she invited him to her church and brought him herself. After sacrament meeting, we met Javier, and he was amazed, he LOVED the talks and loves our "philosophy". We have an appointment with him today.
So we were so happy, and I felt so grateful, and then we find another miracle!
Marisol, her boyfriend is from another mission, but she's gone to church lots with him and went for the first time to our ward.  She is excited to be taught.  I can't even describe how blessed I feel.  I know that Heavenly Father answers our prayers, and that He wants us to help His children!  We just have to trust 100% in Him and in His work. 

So that was the huge highlight of the week.
another one was Dia de los REYES. 6th of January
I literally love it and want to continue the tradition when I get back to the US.  Dia de Reyes, when everyone puts their shoes out and the Kings come and deliver candy and presents. like 3 more Santa Clauses. But its pretty awesome. And the Rosca, the sweet bread in a circle, with the little plastic babies inside. If you cut a piece with a baby in it, you have to bring the tamales to the next party on Feb 2nd.  honestly in Mexico, everything is an excuse for a party. but it was fun. when we ate with the members we had a little bit of rosca and ponche with them, and my companion surprised me with a cute letter and a bracelet in my shoes. 

 and we ate a rosca (well I did because my companion is siliac and can't have gluten) and it was a pretty fun night.  

The Rosca

so that was my week. I feel so blessed to be out here really. 

Thanks Mom for my Package!
This is me with our new creation.  We made hot chocolate, then blended some PEANUT butter and banana with it in the blender, I'm just saying its HEAVEN. there isn't a smoother more tasty type of hot chocolate out there and we are genuises

The best Agua de fresa ever!

January 4 - Happy 2016!

New Year's Glow Sticks, Our Grapes and Canada Dry, bringing in 2016
It's been a good start to the New Year!
Well in the middle of this week to be honest I suddenly felt super discouraged. These past 3 weeks I felt like I was giving my all, trying to do everything I possibly could to find the people who are ready.  I was keeping lots of hope, mustering all my faith, I felt like I was really doing everything. And we did find lots of new people, but then they would turn out to be not as great as we hoped.  So New Years Eve I was in need of lots of cheering up. 
But then we were blessed with a miracle. Her name is Angelica. She is this awesome super choice reference of one of the members. We taught her the restoration, and she accepted it with such love and such gratitude, she was saying "I knew there had to be prophets on the earth!",.  I felt SO thankful for him because of the missionary work he is doing!
I felt like in that moment, something clicked with me. Our efforts are never wasted. The Lord blesses us in His time. He knows what we are going through and doing for Him, and He will accept our work.  I just needed to learn to be patient, and recognize His hand. I needed to learn that working through the MEMBERS is the BEST way to find new people.
I'm really grateful for this week. We had people at church! a family of 4 whose daughter Isis wants to be baptized but we have to marry the parents, and they aren't as accepting.
and Maribel and Juan Carlos went to church! She is a great investigator, is basically a member now. Her kids got baptized the last cambio, but she had to go through a surgery and get her leg amputated. (that's the only reason she couldn't get baptized earlier) The changes I've seen in her mood in these 3 weeks here in Claveria are incredible. When I first met her, she was really depressed. But through her faith and hope I've seen a light come into her eyes and it's also an incredible example for me, in trusting in the Lord's plan for us in this short mortal life. The gospel has changed everything for her and her family, it's probably the coolest thing to see.

And another great highlight of the new year.. we watched FROZEN. I haven't seen it in forever obviously and I really didn't want to watch it... but I FORGOT how FUNNY it is. I literally was dying laughing with Hermana Lesueur the whole thing. I think for missionaries everything is just a lot funnier too. but man I love that movie.
Oh and the new year was great. at midnight my companion and I ate our grapes. Its a tradition here.. you have to eat 12 grapes and say 12 wishes every time the clock sounds. we don't have a clock that dongs so we tried eating one every second and that DOESN'T work. at all haha its way too fast. so then we tried again when Hermana Benito´s watch hit 12. it was a disaster too, but I think I got at least 6 of the 12 wishes in :) oh and then Hermana Benito played aud lang sin? (the new years song I can't remember what its called) on the cello. that was great too.
I can play the Cello

I'm really excited for the new year! it will bring lots of changes, lots of new things!
my resolutions:
1.keep meditizando 1 scripture a week
2 read the New Testament, Jesus el Cristo, and D and C cover to cover
3 pray always during the day in my heart (like one of the 70 in general conf, cant remember her name but I think he's from Germany)
4 develop more discipline
5 be the 4th missionary (also comes from a talk..)
and I've got some others too. but just a few haha
I love you all so much! Happy New Year
Hermana Schneider

December 28 It is a Wonderful Season!

Christmas dinner... with a few of my favs.
tea and platanos fritos (fried bananas). 
I'm pretty much obsessed with teas here, I drink manzanilla at night and hierbabuena every morning. with the occasional cinnamon apple and raspberry. yumm
Christmas Eve

I had an awesome christmas/birthday week. filled with lots of cool experiences!

 Well one of my favorite things that happened this week was finishing El Libro De Mormon. Honestly it was such a blessing to have the challenge to read it cover to cover before Christmas. I am grateful that our president gave us this challenge, because this experience has helped me in so many ways grow closer to my Savior. When I finished the 24th, during personal study, I decided to say a special prayer again, like Moroni invites us to. I already knew that it was true, but I wanted to really FEEL it again.
I started to pray, and I felt the spirit so strongly, in a way that I hadn´t felt in a long time.  It was like a warmth that started out in my heart and spread to my whole body, until my hands felt super Hot.  
I know. Without a doubt, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  It is the most correct of all books, and if we read it, we will become closer to our Heavenly Father.
It was translated by the prophet Joseph Smith, and I will be eternally grateful for the sacrifice of the prophets of old, and the early saints of this dispensation for making it possible that we have those sacred words today.  Because the Book of Mormon changes the lives of all those who read it with real intent.
I know, because of the Book of Mormon, that Christ Lives.  I know that He is my savior.  I have the faith and the pure hope that one day I will see his face. I won't have words in that moment to express my gratitude to Him, but I know he will understand what I feel.  I know that I can show Him and my Heavenly Father the love that I have for them when I serve them with all my heart. When I do the things that I know they want me to do, I can feel that same burning spirit that I felt while praying, and help others feel it to.
It was a wonderful experience, that I will treasure all my life.
  I am so grateful that I will have my family for the eternities, because being out here away from you makes me realize that I can't imagine an eternity without you guys :)

Anyways, that was the 24th.  On the 25th, it was awesome getting to talk with you!!! Its motivating really to see your faces and hear your voices again. :)
After we went and got food together, with the other hermanas. Went to a wing place, which was great, and because it was my birthday they gave us free dessert and this guy dressed up like a chicken wanted to dance with me... that was awkward because obviously I didn't. (I didn't know if it was a girl or a guy in the chicken suit ;) hahh ). but it was funny. basically we spent the day talking about our families and Christmas traditions at home. and then at 6 we went out to work. and we found a little miracle. 
The sneaky chicken

We went to find some people that we had talked to the day before, and turns out that they gave us the wrong address. I was kinda annoyed because they seemed really good at first. but then the little old lady who opened the door let us in, and we explained who we were and what we do and she just starts crying. Shes like "I just feel this peace, You guys are like angels sent to us. because you came looking for someone else and we really needed this on Christmas"  it was super cute, and we were really excited. I think she really needed to feel the spirit of Christmas, and needed some hope in her life. There is nothing better that we could possibly do on Christmas day than spread the Love of Christ.  
I decided that every Christmas, not just on the mission, I want to be able to have a little experience like that. I want to go out and visit someone, or invite someone over, to share with others the hope that Christ offers us. 
We had a lot of fun this week too just being with the other missionaries, and with president and Hermana Whitehead. I am so happy, and so grateful for this gospel.
I have a ton of New Year´s resolutions, because I have a TON to work on haha. But I would love to hear some of yours this next week!
love you guys all the much.  it was awesome to see you, can't wait till mothers day again! 
love Hermana Schneider

December 21 Baptism of Norma

Well this week was pretty crazy. I'm just getting used to the DF again, the smells and the people and the traffic and the noise haha.
But I love it. It makes me think a ton of my old area in Culturas, because I think I'm pretty close. The mission is the greatest. I really love being able to go out and just talk to people all day about our Savior, and help them understand how we can live with our Father again. Sometimes I think about it, and it's so crazy that I get to just do that every day. 
We have been super focused on just finding new people, we are searching for a new family to teach.  I've got faith that we will find our Christmas miracle :) 
Hermana Benito and I are loving our time together. She is super great, and said I could come visit her in Madrid, so I'm excited about that ;) 
We had a great baptism on Sunday!!! Norma, shes got TONs of faith, and we convinced her to be baptized, and she was so happy. It was so cute to see her so bubbly and with just a huge smile on her face that whole day.
I am really excited for Christmas, to be able to talk to all of you!!!  
This week, I hope everyone in the family can focus a little more on Christ.  Think for a moment about what we can give to Him. (were celebrating HIS birthday after all). 
I hope that each of you can find something small to do for someone. A few little acts of kindness that can be like your gift to Christ. And let me know how it goes next week!!
Hermana Benito, my Companion and Me

Can't wait to be Ramses for Halloween