Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 25, 2016 " My First Week in Tepic"

Well this week has been one to remember. I’m not sure if that is in a good way or bad way yet. Hermana Muro and I finally found a house! Well I shouldn’t say we found it. Her Aunt Francis did by some miracle.
Our (hopefully) future apt.
 It was Saturday morning and Hna. Muro and I got out of the house early to try and find a house because we were desperate. The Hermana we are living with is named Irma. She is older and is very nice and doesn’t speak any English. She has a cute little house and a little extra room where we were able to put our mattresses on the floor. She lives in the top of our area.... and its takes about 45 min to walk down to the end of our area where everything is. There is a ton of construction on one of the roads leading to Hna. Irma’s house and its terrible.  We have to cross a busy road to get to where we need to go and there are a million dogs by Hna. Irma’s house and they think it’s fun to chase us. I can’t remember if I told you about the time Hna. Muro almost got attacked by a dog. It was before I got here. She fell down a hill trying to get away from it and had to get stitches in her head so now she is terrified of them and will jump behind me every time there is a dog. But it is mostly funny because the dogs never hurt us but she will jump behind me even if it’s the tinniest dog. haha

Huge Random Candy Store
But on the brightside there is a random huge candy story in the middle of our area. We were excited to find that.

Oh yes, so Saturday we were out looking for a house and were not having any luck until Hna. Muro’s family called her and told us they had found a house in the exact area where we wanted to live. It was by pure inspiration that Hna. Muro’s family was able to find this apartment building. There were no signs or anything. Her aunt had just asked if any of the apartments in the complex were for rent. She just asked someone on the street and they said yes the top one is and the owner lives somewhere near Ley (a grocery store) and he is a dentist. So we got in the car and drove all around to find this guy and were not having any luck until we went to his work, he wasn’t there but by his office were some other office buildings that were for sale. Francis had a feeling to call the number just to see if it was him and guess what...it was!! It all was one big miracle! The owner was telling us how he was going to put out signs that the house was for rent in a few weeks and what not.
Great bakery in Tepic
The little apartment is perfect. It’s in our price range and is all neat and clean. And not to mention in a busy part of our neighborhood and only 8 minutes walking distance from the church! We won’t have the money until tomorrow but we are praying all goes well so we can finally move in! I’m so grateful for your prayers!

We weren’t able to do a lot of teaching this week because everything was crazy trying to figure out how to do everything and not having a house... But yesterday we were able to find some less actives. There is actually only two in our whole area... ha for those who have been on or are on a mission will know what this means. We had a district class to talk about our new areas and how they were all being split up. They took the area book and started taking out all the papers and giving them to the areas they belong and no joke everyone had a huge stack of papers for the investigators, converts and the less actives. Hna. Muro and I had 7 papers. 3 were all for the same less actives and about and one of the old investigators is dead! It just made us laugh forever. So we have two members in our area and two less actives and no investigators. The two members are Hna Irma and Hna Magaly. Hna Magaly is really nice and is a mom of 3. She has a daughter our age. Hna Magaly owns a Zumba studio. She took us there because we were going to do some visits with her and she needed to grab something. It made me miss being able to actually work out... But she also owns a few houses that she rents out and she gave us a TON of references! We are excited about that since we have almost nothing. She was so helpful.

Tepic is a more wealthy area then Vallarta. So everything feels really different. The houses aren’t as small people dress a little nicer, its very different. The ward here is more organized and is excited about missionary work. There are now 9 missionaries in this one ward... Really. There are two sets of elders, a 3 some of hermanas and Hna Muro and I. It’s pretty crazy. But everyone is really nice and about half of everyone speaks some English so that’s been good. Sunday was our ward conference so I sang with the choir and Hna Muro played the piano. Quick story.
Hna. Mura learned all the hymns by the time she was 7!
Hna Muro is really good at the piano and she was telling me a story that in her ward back at home when the pianist in the ward didn’t know how to play a hymn they would ask her to play... the funny thing is she knew how to play all the hymns by time she was 7. So when an adult couldn’t play the hymns they would ask little 7 year old Hna Muro haha. Anyway, it was nice to sing and it helped us get to know everyone. The ward mission leader Hno Valdivia, is way cool. Him and his wife and his parents all actually lived in Utah for a while! But only his wife knows a little English... but they are really nice and have already helped all of us a ton... they have fed us so many times this week! They have a daughter that is getting married in the new Provo temple. They showed us her engagement pics and everything. It’s sad though because they aren’t going to be able to go to her wedding.
Our Chapel

The ward had an activity Friday that was meant for people to come and learn more about the church. They printed off 1000 cards for us to hand out with all the information and everything. Everyone set things up in all the rooms to explain what Relief Society is and so on. Everyone passed out all their cards and everyone put so much work into this activity and only 7 people showed up... and that’s only because we dragged them off the street. It was sad to see how much effort everyone put in the activity for it not to be very successful. Everyone stayed positive though and we had a little devotional after. It was still really nice.

Now to answer some questions, the ward here is a little bigger than Vallarta, there aren’t as many less active members here.
One of my pictures in Playa Larga before transfers
The area we are opening is the nicest/ richest part of Tepic which is fun to see the houses but no one is outside... so it has been harder to find people. But it is a nice area. It’s not very big at all. Everyone we have met from the ward always tells us they are mean for sending us to this area. Ha we are staying positive though we know there are people here to teach! The nights are crazy cold here and still there’s no such thing as hot water. At Hna. Irma’s house I fill a bucket with water put a water warmer thing in it and shower that way haha. Still better than a cold shower!  This week has been full of new things and has been challenging but things are starting to get back to normal and feel comfortable. Although it’s different and strange am grateful to be here in Tepic! 

-- Con amor
Hermana Acor 

"Grandma Reyes, Mom Muro and Me"

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January 18, 2016 " Adios Puerto Vallarta "

Wow what a crazy few days it has been! First things first. Hermana Muro and I have been moved to a new area. We got a call Sunday night telling us that they will be closing our area or possibly adding it to the Elders. We will be opening a new area in Tepic which is three hours away. It was something we both were not expecting at all since while someone is being trained (me) you don’t usually move areas. We didn’t even think we were going to have exchanges. At church we didn’t say goodbye or take pictures with anyone... So that’s what I’m the saddest about, no pictures with those we were getting to know and teach. It’s funny because this last Sunday I was sitting in sacrament and thinking “wow I am finally getting the hang of this, I know who's so and so kids are, I know where so and so lives and what not.” Hopefully now I’ll be able to remember everyone’s names in future wards now that I’ve had some practice...

So the rest of Sunday we packed everything up in the house and had the bishop take us to the bus station at 12 a.m. We then had to take our favorite (not really) 6 hour bus ride back to Guadalajara where everyone who has transfers meets. We were with one other sister and two elders. We got to the chapel early and had to wait 3 hours for everyone else to show up... We were all freezing. It’s easy to say we all instantly missed Vallarta. Once everyone was there,they called taxis for us all to take us back to the bus station for our 3 hour bus ride back to Tepic. All the while we are literally carrying everything we own. Once we finally got to Tepic we met our Zone leader who told us we didn’t have a house in our new area yet. He actually isn’t sure what our area is... Ha not something I wanted to hear after no sleep and I had been carrying tons of heavy bags with everything I own. But after a few hours they decided that we will be staying at a house they had gotten for the other sisters in this area and Hna Muro and I will have to find a house by Thursday... Ya, Hna. Muro and I have to find our own house. Everything is just so crazy! But Hermana and I are very excited to be in a new area and one that has a bishop. Our Mission president says that missionary work can’t progress without a bishop so we are hoping that now since we have a bishop we will have that extra blessing so we can find people who are willing to progress and want this amazing gospel in their lives.

To give an update on our last week in Vallarta... We started to really see a difference in our investigators and the people we were finding. We had finally started to find people who had the desire to know about this gospel. Sadly, again, none of them attended church.... But we did have one investigator, Anita, who did tell us she could go and Hna and I were really excited about her. She was actually our neighbor and she is sooo nice! She’s the kind of person who when she says she’s going do something she’s going to do it. We haven’t had a lot of investigators like her. She told us she couldn’t come to church this Sunday but will make plans for the next Sunday. When we told her we were leaving she was so sad. It’s funny we had only taught her one lesson and we all already felt like we were all so close! We did tell the Elders who are taking over our area about her so hopefully they will be able to teach her! It’s sad for me to write about what we were doing in Vallarta knowing that we won’t be able to teach those people anymore! But I am so grateful I was able to serve in Vallarta and for the people I was able to meet, saying goodbye to the few members we have around us was so hard especially for Hna Muro who has been in Vallarta for 6 months. I know God needed me there for a reason and I am forever grateful. I have officially been in the mission for 6 weeks and I have grown and learned so much already. I know is church is true with everything I have. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a representative of him for 18 months. Although it can be hard at times and challenges my faith I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything, ever. I hope you all have an amazing week and always strive for ways to strengthen your testimonies, because wow this church, this gospel is amazing. Until next Monday!  

-- Con amor

Hermana Acor 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

"New Missionary Follow Up Training in Guadalajara"

Sister Clayton is amazing to keep families up to date on her blog "hasteningtheworkinguadalajare.blogspot.com" 
She took these pictures at the new missionary follow up training in Guadalajara Jan. 8, 2016

"We love meeting vacationing members!"

The LDS members on vacation that see us are always very kind. They buy us ice cream and send photos home to our families. Mom says it makes her cry every time a surprise photo comes through on her phone!
No one passes up ice cream! 

Text sent home after my first talk in my first area from a visiting member.

Text sent home Jan. 17th from awesome members after meeting up again in church.
Don't you love people that go to church even on vacation!

January 11, 2016 "Where are all the investigators?"

Beautiful Vallarta
This week has had its good and it’s bad. Last Tuesday we had a district class like we have every Tuesday. I had to teach the "How to Begin Teaching" section. I think since I don't really speak Spanish fluently yet everyone thinks it’s a good idea to always have me pray and teach. I don't understand, but I never say no! It was actually kinda fun of fun. I planned a game/practice where I gave everyone a really weird problem.For example a gambling or drinking problem on a piece of paper. The companion then had 4 minutes to ask the "how to get to know you questions" to figure out their companion’s problem. If they could guess the problem/issue I had a treat for them. It was funny because the senior companions were the only ones who were able to correctly guess what their comps issue was. It was fun!
Celebrating 3 Kings Day w/ Rosca

Opps! Hna. Mura got the doll...

They all have to buy the District tamales!

Elders being Elves

Then after our class we got together with another district and had Rosca! It was Three Kings Day on Wednesday so everyone was having Rosca! The elders bought one for us all to have. I’ll send pictures but for those who don’t know what it is, it is like a big wreath of bread and there are dolls hidden inside and nobody wants the doll.
So when you cut off your piece it’s this big thing and everyone freaks out when someone gets a doll. I didn’t get one but Hna Muro did! Ha So everyone who got a doll has to buy tamales next district class.

It has been more of a slower week as far as investigators go. It was actually really sad this Sunday. We had a plan to have 5 investigators in church. We planned for them perfectly. We had 2 members going to pick 2 of them up and we were meeting 2 others on the way to church to take them with us. We even had one investigator call us and tell us that he wanted to go after he told us he couldn’t attend earlier in the week. We were so excited. We got up and started getting ready real fast so we could meet everyone on time and even be early. But slowly none of them showed up and we called and they all had excuses. So we got to church and were like  “ok at least Patricia and Raquel will come with the members.” and ya NO. The members told us that when they went to their house and  they both said it was too early. We were way bummed out. But at least the elders in our ward got 8 investigators in church... ha Hermana and I were HOW. That really is a lot. The elders could not stop smiling! We were pretty jealous. We will be praying very hard this week for new investigators because we had to drop almost all of tour because they haven’t been progressing in weeks. Sunday was their last day to show some effort in doing what we have asked of them and they didn’t come. So yesterday we prayed really hard to find people to teach. We wanted a family. When we stopped one on the street to talk to them they were so nice and said we could come teach them. They told us their address and they live in the Elders area!!! That always happens to us! No joke every time we contact someone who we both are like “wow we were supposed to meet this person” they live in an elder’s area! We will be praying very hard this week.
We got to go to Guadalajara Thursday/Friday! We left Thursday at 5 and took our 6 hour bus ride to Guadalajara. It was alright.  Hna and I talked for most the way or read. We got there at 11 p.m. They had us sleep in the offices.

Back at the Mission Home for Training
We were told other girls would be there but there weren’t.  Hna. and I were alone in this huge office of like 15 bunk beds and a huge kitchen and bathroom. It was funny. Then we woke up that morning, got ready and went off to the chapel where we were having the follow up training. It was so nice to see everyone! We had a lot of little lessons and practices to help with our teaching and president talked to all the new missionaries. They gave us tons of treats and food. It was a lot of fun! I also got my package finally!!! I got it on Thursday night when I arrive. I opened it as soon as I could. Everything was still wrapped and there! I love everything. Thank you so much! All the clothes are so cute and I’m so excited for all the treats..... It was worth the wait! The package was actually so well taped it took me a while to try to open it! haha So no worries everything was there! I haven’t gotten anyone else’s package but I am sure they will come!
After 45 days in the mail Christmas from family arrives

WOW, mom really taped this good!

Add caption

After the follow up,we went right back to Vallarta. It went by so quickly, it was like, oh, were getting on a bus again. The ride back was long because the bus kept having problems with the tires. We kept having to make small stops and then had a long 45 min one where they replaced the tire. We meet a guy on the bus who use to take missionary lessons and I was excited to talk to him. He was a little strange but maybe we said something to make him want to take lessons again.
Guadalajara Mission Home

Random question time, the chocolate wasn’t melted or anything in the package. Wahoo I’m so excited to eat everything, ha. The white things in Hna.Lymans box were just little packing peanuts. She got good treats. I was just excited for her,We weren’t able to go to the temple while we were in Guadalajara. They told us unless we have an investigator go through we won’t be able to go. So it will be a long year and a half. The weather is perfect here during the day! It has actually been a little cold in the mornings. So we usually study with our blankets on. It sounds like you guys had such a fun week! I can’t wait to see pics of the new temple. I wish I could be there to see it!  It is so exciting that Halle and Coop can be in the Cultural Celebration! I am sure I am missing some things that happened this week but I don’t have any time left! I love you guys and it really has been such a good week. I love hearing about you guys!  Pday always feels like Christmas! We have one really good investigator right now named Norma. She didn’t go to church Sunday because she had to pick us her niece. But she is really ready for the Gospel . Please keep her in your prayers and that also pray we find others to teach! I love you guys write you next week! OH and at the follow up I had to say the closing prayer because of course “you know”  but I got a lot of compliments on how far my Spanish has come and Prez. said he was impressed. Being there made me realize how far I really have come! Again, I love you guys. Sorry this email is all over the place!
-- Con amor

Hermana Acor 

Monday, January 4, 2016

January 4, 2016 " I’m starting to be able to say what’s in my heart and I love it! "

Feliz año nuevo familia y amigos! And that’s about all the Spanish I got...
The yummiest quekas! Everything is homemade,
the tortilla & the horchata it's sooo good & one queka is only 25 pesos!!
Ha just kidding but sometimes it feels like that! This week has been a really good one! I feel like I got everything down now, where things are, who people are, which buses to take and what not! We have been so busy lately and I love it! We have a few really good investigators but none of them will come to church ughhhhh. We did have 4 less actives though so that made us very happy! One of our investigators, Norma, texted us to tell us she wasn’t going to be there but the other 3 that said they were going to come didn’t and it really is that saddest thing to me! Hermana Muro and I sat down the other day and talked about how we are going to be more straight-forward with our investigators and really stress the importance of church attendance. Because really all of them like the things we have to teach and have committed to a baptism date. I just think we haven’t explained very well that church attendance is essential... So we will be working on that this week. If they don’t come this next Sunday we are going to have to drop a few and we really don’t want to do that! We had divisions on Friday so I went to Ixtapa. That is our Sister Trainer’s area. I was with Hermana Harris for the day. She’s the one that’s from American Fork! She is very nice and has been in the mission for about 9 months now! I look up to her a lot. She is like me and came to the mission knowing no Spanish before-hand and she now is very good and speaking and understanding and reading and all that. I see her and I’m like “ok” this is possible! She had a lot of good advice for me for the language and how to teach. Their area is really big so we walked a toonnnn and it was so hot (you guys should see my farmer tan lines) but it really was nice to see what we did similar to her and what we did different. But I have to say I still our area think our area is the prettiest... I’m worried I may have started at the top.... Ha I really am so blessed in so many ways here!
Our weekly visit

After divisions we met up at the local mall which is huge and full of tourist. We met up to switch back companions. Hermana Muro and I decided to eat there and I chose to eat at McDonalds and wow its embarrassing how much I liked it. It just tasted so familiar and man all I have to say is that I never thought McDonald’s would taste that good!

To tell you a little about our Investigators! The Davila family is really starting to understand more and it’s so exciting! Before when we would teach a lesson at the end we would ask them what we talked about and they would have almost no idea but the last few lessons they have understood everything and asked really good questions. They have finally started reading the BOM and praying but they won’t attend church. This Sunday, Isreal, (the dad) had to work but Eva (the mom) said she would be there. We offered to help her go to church because they have a 4 year old and a newborn but she said she was ok and then she never showed up... We aren’t sure why yet but, dang it, we were pretty sad. We really want them to progress. Yesterday we had the sweetest member with us named Marie Luisa. She is probably one of my favorite members here. She talks to me a lot and has offered to teach me how to make tortillas!  She came to teach some lessons with us and all the people we wanted to teach weren’t home so we thought about a lady named Susana who we have given the first lesson to. She’s really nice but didn’t show a lot of effort into wanting to be different. But we wanted to check up on her. She was asleep when we came but her husband was there, who we had never met, so we started to teach him and WOW. He was so willing to listen to everything we had to say and asked really good questions all throughout the lesson. During the lesson I was teaching one of the points and I was able to say and ask all the question I needed to in Spanish and even questions I felt were specific for him and he understood everything.  It was so exciting! I’m starting to be able to say what’s in my heart and I love it! We gave him a Book of Mormon and before we even left he started reading it! I have a lot of hope for him and hopefully he can help his wife! Yesterday for lunch we ate a Marie Louisa’s house and it was so good. But wow, she lived on a hill, on a hill, on a hill, on a hill. I was out of breath the whole way to her house. That area is part of our area and we are never there because it’s harder to get to. We decided after eating that we would walk around and see if there was anyone that needed to be taught. We said a prayer at the bottom of the hill to know and to be led to someone who needs our message.  We walked probably 8 steps and we ran into an older man. We started talking to him and he started to tell us how his wife had cancer and had to have an operation in the states and he doesn’t have money to go see her. He hasn’t seen his wife in 4 years. While he was telling us this story he started crying. It was the saddest thing. We gave him a pamphlet to read for our visit with him tomorrow. Later when we were walking down the hill we saw him reading it! We were pretty happy.

I’m glad you guys were able to have a good week! With all the celebrations and baby holding... I’m very jealous. To answer some questions... I was able to sleep New Year’s Night very well. I put in ear plugs and turned up the fan all the way and slept so great my comp and I didn’t hear the alarm and slept in an hour and a half.... Tell Coop good luck with his play stuff! When he performs make sure to record it and I’ll watch it when I get home (: I feel like it’s starting to get hot here and we are starting to have mosquitos again,. My legs are so beat up. We pray every night to not get eaten alive! I love you guys and I hope you have an amazing week!!!
-- con mucho Amor
Hermana Acor 
This is what happens when you get your hair trimmed
& you say "4 cm trim" in Spanish ... they cut 10 inches off! Yep my eyes are red from crying.