Monday, February 23, 2015

The Longest Week of My Life! (Saltillo)

This week has been the longest week of my life. I´m serious. The longest. Let be tell you a little story. So the day of transfers rolls around. We have three new missionaries sleeping in our house and one Hermana, Hermana Bravo, who was going to train. I´m pretty sure our house is a hotel. Every sister in the mission has stayed there. 

Anyway. So it´s the morning, I´m groggily trying to get out of bed, thinking about my soon to be companion Hermana Bjorklund and hoping that she knows enough Spanish. THEN we get a phone call. It´s for Hermana Bravo. She talks for a little while, hangs up, and says "I´m staying here with you, Hermana Murset. Hermana Bjorklund is going to be the companion of Hermana Valerio." WHOA WHAT. 

Apparently the assistants had put the wrong thing on the transfers list and when Hermana Bravo showed up to train they felt like something was wrong so they prayed and they prayed and then they called us to change things. So, I´m not with an American! I´m actually really glad (sorry Hermana Bjorklund). I´ve learned a lot about Spanish just in these 6 days with Hermana Bravo. I´ll tell you more about her later because I have even better news!

The Reynas got baptized! Boy this has been a long time coming. We nearly didn´t have baptismal clothing for them, but everything turned out alright. Haha Hermano Alberto was SUPER exicted and SUPER nervous. He refused to wear a tie because he had a dream once that he died from a tie... Hermana Guadalupe was more reserved. But goodness, when they were finally baptized and confirmed (yesterday) it was liking closing a huge novel that has taken three months to read. I´m super happy for them. 

Directing the area is hard, but I´m alright. We are working on my pronunciation. I stick a pen in my mouth and apparently that´s supposed to help me? I don´t know, ask Hermana Bravo. 

I love you all! Hope everyone is healthy and well. 

The Esparza family! I love them. 

The Reyna Family! I love them too. The little girl behind me was bawling and wouldn´t show her face. So you´ll just have to imagine what she looks like.

Hi family!
I miss you all. I was walking around in the heat and dust the other day as usual and I thought, I want ice cream. And then I thought, I should write my family a letter. So here I am, Monday, in a internet thingy. Most of the time I don´t really have enough time to write so there are probably a lot of questions. 

The mission is, well, the mission. There´s really no other way to explain it. The first two months in Mexico were really hard for me. I didn´t understand anybody, I couldn´t really talk to our investigators or members, I was expected to know the lessons more than I did... I never wanted to go home, but I sure did think about home a lot. Being here has really made me appreciate my family. 

Everyday we teach families that are going through really hard times. Although our family isn´t perfect, we still know that we love each other. And we have the gospel. All of us. I never realized what a blessing that is! Every single one of us will be able to be with each other for eternity! Maybe even Minnie and Marble, who knows. I¨m just really grateful for you all. Thank you for being my family. Thank you for supporting me in this mission. Thank you for going to church and staying in the gospel. Do you home and visiting teaching. Do you family history work. Be on time to sacrament meeting.

Hna. Peñeranda was a hard trainer. In face she has the reputation of being one of the hardest. But she was good for me. We had some good laughs. She has the number 1 spot in Pride of Columbia and apparently they eat a lot of fruits and vegetables because she told me that almost every day for 3 months. She never walked in a straight line and that almost caused her death various times. By cars and by my annoyance. She´s a really good teacher and can explain basically anything. I miss her tons. 

Hermana Bravo enjoys the mission to it´s fullest. She's very... full of sunshine and bubbly giggles? She can teach a principle in one breath and then invite someone to baptism in  another. She doesn´t like to talk on the phone so I do it most of them time. Weird, right? I¨m pretty sure she thinks that I understand everything that people are saying. Ha! I´ve got her fooled. She says "Muuuuyy bien"  at least 5 times in a sentence. She´s awesome though and I think I¨m going to learn a lot of Spanish with her. 

The Esparza family. OH how I love them. Hermana Peñeranda and Hermana Godoy contacted Hermano Nicolas while he was working washing cars in front of his mother in law´s house. He invited them back and at first he was the one who listened. Hermana Martha didn´t want anything to do with us. I came in when they had about two lessons. Then Hermano Nicolas had more and more work and Hermana Martha started listening with her daughters, Yudith and Dariela. They came to church and everything changed. They started reading their scriptures and praying. Yudith herself told us that she wanted to be baptized. When they entered the waters of baptism Hermana Peñeranda and I nearly shouted halellujah to the heavens. They are definitely a miracle family. 

The Reyna family was a contact in the street with the other Hermanas. Their notions of Mormons was that if they knocked on your door, you run the other way! But they didn´t recongize the actual name of our church so they let us in, not finding out that we are Mormons until later on. At first they were skeptical, but then as they started praying and reading their scriptures they started seeing the changes in their family. I think that´s what really converted them, seeing how the gospel changes families for the better. When they got baptized, that was a whole miracle in itself.

Gabriel was a less active for 6 years. He has a sickness that deformed his body and he has problems with his heart. He has 15 years as a member, and before that he was a member of a gang. So you can imagine his life. 

Hermana Peñeranda and Hermana Godoy had been visiting him for awhile when I came. The first time we visited him, my second day in Mexico, I left feeling astonished because I could feel how special he was to our Heavenly Father. We visited him and vistited him, nothing. But then we left him a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read. The next time we came is was a complete flip around change. He brought out all of the scriptures, his hymnbook, different conference talks that he had found. He was so happy! We had left him 3 Nephi 11 when Heavenly Father calls to the people three times and it´s not until the third time that they hear. He applied that to himself and decided to finally LISTEN to what we were teaching him. He had an appointment with the bishop and hasn´t missed a Sunday since. The power of the Book of Mormon, people. 

Although sometimes it´s difficult to recongnize the miracles that happen around me, they do happen.
The mission is still hard. Hermana Bravo has me speak with a pen in my mouth to practice pronunciation. She does Insanity in the mornings. I have wicked tan lines. We walk and we walk. But it´s all worth it. 
I miss you family. Hope everything is well on the good frontier.
Love you. 

Hermana Murset

Monday, February 16, 2015

No Me Voy Saltillo (Zaragoza)

I'M STAYING IN ZARAGOZA. And I have an American companion. I can't spell her last name and she's actually not with me yet, so I'll keep you updated. Hna. Peñeranda is off to the North of Norths, is opening an area, AND is going to train again. Haha poor Hermana. This will be her fourth time training. But she's a good trainer and this new Hermana is going to learn  A LOT. A lot a lot. I'm going to miss her, but that's how the mission is, right? Right.

We're planning on baptizing the Reyna family this week whether they like it or not. Just kidding, they want to be baptized, we just have to see if Hno. Reyna can make it through the week without slipping up. Pray for him, he needs it!

The other day we contacted a man and he spent 20 minutes telling us how our eyeballs testify that there is a God. Which, if you think about it is true, but he just took forever and a day to say that. 

I am on a no flour tortillas diet. Wish me luck.

And again, not much has happened this week because we've been in the house because of my companion's foot. She has inflamed tendons or something and it hurts a lot to walk. 

I hope you all had a great Valentines day and that you have an even better President's Day... I finally got my Christmas packages from my mom and my sister so I turned on my Christmas music, set up the tree I recieved and opened my presents while my companion rolled her eyes and helped herself to the candy I recieved. 

Oh my, my training is done! I just remembered, haha. I've learned a lot in these past 12 weeks. I've definitely grown as a person and as a missionary. I didn't realize how much I had progressed until I went on splits with our sister training leader in my area and I wasn't even scared to lead everything. It was like clockwork. The only way I can go is up, right? 

I promise I'll have more exciting things next week. If I don't, I'll make something up. Just kidding. 

Love you! Happy President's day! Be safe doing whatever you do on President's Day....
Christmas seven weeks later...
Thanks for the packages!
I'm trying to stay away from these.
They are too delicious. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Oh Hi. Week 11. Dun dun duuunnnnnn...... February 9, 2015 Saltillo

Week 11. Dun dun duuunnnn..... 
Week 11 is when your companion hands you the cellphone and the responsibility and DOESN'T HELP YOU AT ALL. Just kidding it wasn't that bad. Except when I make phone calls it's a lot of awkward "whats" because sometimes people don't talk slow like they did in the MTC. 

We actually had two other sisters staying with us because of medical stuff and one day we decided to go on splits because they were sick of being cooped up in the house. So I got to be a legitamite senior companion for a day. Lemme tell ya, it was a bit terrifying. All of the sudden you're put in charge of miles and miles of streets and you realize how small you are in the world and how you don't know where anything is. But I acted confident and blabbered in Spanish like I knew what I was doing and the other Hermana seemed pretty convinced. 

We don't have any new investigators because, well, nobody is ever home when we go to visit them! But our investigator family, the Reyna's, are progressing! The hermana is probably going to get baptized this week and so we are very happy :) The hermano still has a problem with the word of wisdom, so we're going to work on that. They are good people and I love them a lot. 

Transfers are next week! So far I've been in the safety bubble of being a greenie missionary in training, but this next transfer I have no idea what's in store for me! It's scary, lemme tell ya. I have to have a loooottt of faith. Hermana Peñaranda has faith in me, so that's good.

Not much has happened this week because my companion hurt her foot and she's supposed to rest for SEVEN days. Minimum. So far I've read half the Bible and most of the Bible dictionary. We're on day 3. Pray for me. 

Love you all and I hope your Valentines Day is filled with chocolate and pink stuff! 

This picture is evidence that I was called to the right mission. 

Hermana Murset

Week of Thankfulness February 2, 2015 Saltillo, Mexico

Today, because we're super intelligent and wise, we got Dairy Queen and then walked around in the rain and fog while eating our ice cream. We got a lot of weird looks, but that's okay. 

This week I learned how to say that someone has "bats in the belfry" or in Spanish it's "tiene pájaros en la cabeza" Which means that there are birds in your head. Probably not what I should be learning, but oh well. I told that to my companion and she was slightly offended and told Hna. Martha (our recent convert) what I said and I got a scolding. But then later Hna. Martha leaned over and said "You should bring food for the birds in her head." and I busted up laughing. She's great.

Today I realized how much I have to be thankful for. So in this email I'm going to list some of the things that I'm grateful for. It's like Thanksgiving all over again!~

The Spanish that I know.
My companion.
That the members feed us well.
That I have a rainproof coat.
My family.
That people write me every P-day even though I can't respond all the time.
That I feel safe in Mexico.
Flour tortillas
My friends.
My mission president.
That I speak English.
That I'm on a mission.
That I'm not sick.
My area.
This gospel.
Todo. (All)

I love you all and hope you have a very happy week filled with grateful thoughts and Valentines candy. 

The picture is a bad one of me being super smart in the freezing cold. 

Hermana Murset

SHORTY January 26, 2015 Saltillo

I don't really have time to write but I just wanted to send a few words and a couple of pictures. We had two baptisms!! Goodness these people are amazing. Practically their whole family didn't support them in their baptisms but they stood up for themselves and went through with it anyway. I love them to death. 

I realized the other day that I'm halfway fluent in Spanish. After almost four months? That's a long time in missionary time. But I'm grateful for what I know.

I'm a tortilla snob. I never knew that existed, but it does. If they're too thick I can't pick up food with them and if they're not hot I'm annoyed. I'm going to be one of THHOOSSSEEE missionaries. 

We're pretty certain that my companion is going to be transfered in Feb. The president practically told us, so yeah. But I'm not worried anymore, I can make it on my own without her! Hopefully my next companion will cook as well as her. :D And hopefully I won't blow our area up if I stay here............

It's cold and wet here, but I know have the art of dressing warmly down, so I'm all good. It's all about the layering, ya know?

I hope all of you are well and warm! 

The first picture is of Hna. Martha and her daughter, Yudith. The second picture is of her husband and her son (who loves me). She has another daughter but she is pro at avoiding pictures. 

Have a great week!

Hermana Murset

One and All (January 19, 2015)

On the way to the internet cafe we were stopped by the police. They asked if we had a Bible. We didn't and they went on their way. We counted them as contacts so it's all good. 

Hey guess what we have this week..... BAPTISMS. Yeah. You heard it. Hermana Martha and her two daughters, Dariela and Yudith. Actually we don't know if Dariela is going to be baptized because she is being flaky about it, but we'll see. Hermana Martha is the one who prayed that her husband would be taken away if he prevented her from living the gospel. Well we went to go teach her and we just KNEW that she couldn't wait for her husband to want to be baptized because let's face it, he wasn't progressing. So we asked her if she had been thinking about baptism and she started crying and said that she was going to take the step without her husband because she knows that she needs the gospel in her life and in her home. She is amazing. Goodness I love that family. So yeah, be ready for PICTAS. 

I'm trying to think of awesome things that happened this past week................................... Yeah, this week has been pretty normal. Oh just kidding, I thought of something. The guy that was playing the guitar on the bus? We're teaching him now. Heh. Miracles really do happen.

Hna. Peñaranda is amazed at how fast I'm getting the language down. Well that's great except I still can't understand what people are saying. Odd, right? You'd think it would be the other way around. I guess that's my trial. She's most likely going to be transfered in Febrero (I can't remember how to spell it in English...) because she's been in this area for 6 months. NO. She tells me jokingly that I'm going to train someone right after she leaves and I say yeah right because I would probably somehow blow our area up or something. 

I realized today that I haven't danced in 9 months. And here I am wondering why I'm wheezing as I exercise in the morning. Sigh... the trials.

I had to break out my classical music today because we've already got the 257 hymns on my ipod memorized. We felt very prim and proper as we cleaned our house today.

I don't feel like I'm going to die if Hna. Peñaranda leaves me anymore, so that's a step in the right direction. And yesterday someone told me that my Spanish is "muy bonita" which means that it's really nice. I tried to reply back with a simple "Thank you, I'm glad to hear it" and my words came out all garbled and my companion gave me a horrified look and there was dramatic music and something exploded in the background. I think the person took back their sentiment right away. 

And that's all for now, folks! I hope you all have a great Martin Luther King Jr. day. Love you much. Eat some healthy food for me. 

This weeks picture is a dorky one of us being dorky. I can't take any other kind of picture.

Hermana Murset

I Have to Do This Quick January 12, 2015 AND Letter to Grandma Murset Saltillo

Highlights of the week:
On the way to write emails there was a college age man singing and playing his guitar on the bus. He was really good and I was so happy to hear a good singing voice because everyone here is tone deaf. I say that in a loving and endearing way. 

We got a new heater. Our other one broke and we have been dying of the cold. But we got a new one yesterday!

Our bishop gave us donuts after our ward counsel meeting. Oh, and chocolate milk. 

Our investigator Martha, the one who prayed about her husband, came to church on her own yesterday! Before we would always have to go for her or have someone pick her up because she never had the money. But she saved up and was able to come on her own with her daughter and son! Her daughter, Yudith, has a desire to be baptized and wanted to see the font. I love them so much. 

I don't have any time at all but I promise that I read all of your emails! I love you all very much. I'm keeping warm and I'm keeping fed. My shoes are still holding up and we have hot water in our house. The fog is crazy but we are still safe. The language is hard but the gospel is true!

Les amo mucho. 

Until next week!

This letter to Grandma I wrote  on paper and then typed it super fast so it's going to be really awful with grammar. You can fix it if you want!

Hi Grandma! 
I wrote a letter to you awhile ago but who knows when or if it will get to you!
Mexico is great! I still can't believe that I'm here. The Lord truly le me by the hand to get me here. Missionary work is tiriing, but I'm getting the hang of it. If it wasn't for the language I would have it down in  no time! 
Spanish is hard, but I'm getting better and better everyday. Maybe by the end of my mission I'll finally be able to understand what people are saying. Ha! 

We are teaching a family right now and boy, the mother is amazing. She's definitely the head of the house. At first she was hesitant about us, but now she's got her own testimony. She studies for Relief Society, she reads her scriptures, she does everything! She wants to get baptized so bad but she wants to do it with her whole family. Who knows what that will happen! They are in really poor circumstances and have a hard time getting to church. But this Sunday the mother came with her daughter  and son! She's been saving up her money to come. The gospel really does change lives!

My companion is from Columbia and loves to cook rice. She also thinks that it is essential that we buy hotdogs every week. I love her. She's a good trainer and puts up with me when I get frustrated with the language. She goes home in May. What will I do without her? The mission loves to put you out of our comfort zone. But that's alright. That is essential for life. 

The members feed us lunch everyday and if we don't have another heaping plate of food they get deeply offended. The food is always really good, but when I get home I'm going to be 30 pounds heavier! What hepls is that we walk everywhere, rain or shine. I am vey grateful that they feed us though. 

Thank you for all that you do, grandma I love you very much! Your last grandchild on a mission, that's crazy! Considering that I wasn't going to go in the first place. I am definitely grateful to be here and I know that the Lord has prepared a way for me to preach to these people. 

Le amo mucho, mi abuela!!

Hermana Murset
Our front door.