Be Notified by Email when a new letter is posted...

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Happy Tuesday!

Hey family and friends!

Quick explanation: I went to Torreón yesterday to sign papers again for migration and didn´t return until after P-day had ended so I was unable to write. But, while I was at the mission office I received a bunch of letters that you´ve sent me....thank you so much! For the Dent family, I especially loved the post cards from Puerta Vallarta :) 

I only have a few minutes to check emails today, but wanted to share with you the highlight of our week last week. Our investigator Maricruz was baptized! I´m pretty sure the first lesson I taught here in México was to her, and I didn´t understand a single word she said ha ha. Maricruz is a very special woman. She has a hard time maintaining information and we´ve had to teach her on a very simple level. But in spite of her learning difficulties, she has a strong testimony that the Church is true. She even shocked my companion and I by showing up to Church by herself one week after she told us that she wouldn´t be able to attend because she was going to stay with her daughter for the weekend. Something ended up happening with her daughter´s car and she wasn´t able to go, so she came to the place she knew she needed to be! Her baptism was really special for my companion and I; we´ve worked with her for a long time, and it is such a priviledge to be able to share with her a part of the love I know Heavenly Father has for her.

There were transfers in the mission this week, but both my companion and I are going to remain in our area for a while longer! We are so excited and so motived to keep improving together. We have a couple really special investigators who are preparing to be baptized in a couple weeks, and it is definitely a tender mercy to be able to continue to help them together. 

Well, I have to go, but I leave you with my testimony that this Church is true! God lives and He loves us. My testimony is simple, but steadfast. 

I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Southard

Monday, September 22, 2014

un milagro ocurió

Hello family and friends!

I hope you all are well! This week was great. We had an amazing experience on Monday that I wanted to share with you all:

On Mondays we don't start proselyting until 6:00 because of P-day. Last Monday we had to be back in our house at 7 (for the holiday), which meant we only had one hour to work on Monday. Before leaving the house, my companion and I prayed that we would be lead to someone who was ready to accept the Gospel, even though we only had an hour to work. Our prayer was answered!

A couple of minutes after leaving the house we were stopped by someone who turned out to be a member of another ward in the stake. As we were talking a car drove past and the member told us that the driver was another member of the Church. We were surprised when the car turned around and pulled up behind us. The member got out and introduced us to his neice, who is a non-member who lives in our area. She's really interested in the Church and was excited to be introduced to us. We ended up going with them to meet the rest of her family. In less than an hour, we received four referencies from a member and contacted all four of them with the member! It really was a miracle. We've already had two lessons with this family, and the neice, who's name is Diana, went with us to a baptism on Saturday and came to Church yesterday with her husband and kids. She is so motivated to learn more about the Church and so excited to be baptized. I have never taught anyone who is so excited about the Gospel! It really is a priviledge to be able to teach her and her family (we're also teaching her husband, parents, and brother), and we're excited to help them progress. 

This experience also strengthened my testimony of member missionary work. Diana is so prepared to learn about the Gospel because her uncle has talked to her and testified of the Church so often. And she has seen the difference it has made in his life, and told us she wants the same thing for her own children. Never be afraid to share the Gospel- members are powerful tools in the hands of the Lord in preparing His children to accept the truth. 

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,

Hermana Southard
Viva México!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hello Family!

I hope all is well! Thank you so much for all of your letters; I love hearing from you all. 

Our investigator Juanita was baptized this week! It was an incredible experience. Juanita has gone through literally every type of trial over the past year. We have worked so hard to help her stay strong, and she has so much faith. Her baptism date has changed a couple of different times, which has been frustrating, but when I saw the bishop lead her down into the font on Friday I felt the Spirit so strongly. It was a beautiful experience. 

She is an investigator that the elders began teaching in March of this year. She was always very receptive and accepted a baptismal date with them, but while they were teaching her she had a bad accident with her foot and was in the hospital for a month. The accident left her in a wheel chair for another month or two, so she wasn´t baptized while the elders were still here. My companion and I located her from the area book about a week or two after I arrived here, and have been teaching her ever since! She is wonderful, and has a new glow about her since her baptism. She loves talking about the experience she had and is so excited to finally be a member of the Church. 

That was the highlight of our week. Although another highlight was that we began teaching a family that were also investigators of the elders. We had actually stopped teaching them because we thought they weren´t going to progress, when they suddenly showed up at Church one day! They came again yesterday, which literally made my day. The members were so wonderful and fellowshipped them like I´ve never seen them do before. I´ll attach the picture we took yesterday with them. They have a lot of doubts and a lot of questions, but they are a special family who we care about a lot. 

I hope you all have a great week! Tomorrow is actually México´s Independence Day. Tonight at midnight the governor of every state will do La Grita. Everyone gathers in the center of town and the governor waves a flag and yells, ¨¡Viva México!¨ and everyone repeats it. We need to be back in the apartment early tonight, so we´ll be celebrating by eating a very American Dominos Pizza and going to bed early. We´ve seen little kids dressed in traditional clothing all around town. It´s super cute. 

Anyway, have a fantastic week! I love you all!  

Love, 

Hermana Southard
Family of Investigators who came to Church

Juanita who was baptized Saturday and Bishop Rosales who baptized her

Monday, September 8, 2014

A short email

Hello everyone!

I don't have much to say this week, but I hope you all are well! This weekend was crazy. President Ramos called us around 5:15 on Friday night and told us that I had to be in Torreon the next day to sign some papers for my visa. A few hours later I traveled by bus with another sister who was being transferred to Torreon and two other elders who had to sign papers. We arrived at the mission home a little after midnight and stayed the night there. The next morning we got to have breakfast with President and Sister Ramos before we headed to the mission office to sign papers. It only took a few minutes to sign, but we stayed there for a couple of hours and waited for the sister who was being transferred to Durango and would ride back with us.

We returned to Durango right in time for the baptismal service for the other sisters serving in the ward. I sang "I Feel My Savior's Love" as a part of the program. It was a great evening. Unfortunately our investigator who was supposed to be baptized that night ended up getting really sick and wasn't able to be baptized. Hopefully she'll be baptized this Friday. 

I love you all and want you to know that I know that the Church is true! There is no doubt in my mind that it is the only true Church on the Earth. 

I hope you have a great week! Hopefully next week there will be more to write. (:

love, 

Hermana Southard

Zone during Zone Conference

Sisters in the Zone

Sisters in the Zone

Everyone who attended the baptism

P-day Ice Cream break

Casa de Helado - ice cream shop in our area

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hola!

Hello all!

Hope you've had a great week! To my friends who start school tomorrow, good luck. I hope you all have a successful semester. 

I wanted to tell you that last Monday my companion and I found the equivalent of Mexican Strawberry Days strawberries n cream. A nieveria near our house sells frozen strawberries and cream popsicle style, and they are SO GOOD. It more than makes up for the fact that I was in the MTC during strawberry days, ha ha. Also, I included a picture of a fruit we tried last week. It's called tuna (tuna fish is "atun") and it's the fruit of the nopali, which is cactus. Mexicans love nopali. Really. It actually doesn't taste too bad, but a lot of American missionaries can't get over the fact that they're eating cactus. But tuna is seriously so good. It has a lot of little seeds, which are hard to eat around, but it's a really delicious flavor. 

I also forgot to tell you last week that I realized that I start my personal study at 8:00, which is 7 your time. So I'm studying the same time you have family scripture study! And I realized yesterday that when you switch to 9:00 church, we'll be going to Church at the same time too, because mine starts at 10.

I had an experience yesterday that reminded me of your story, Dad. The past two weeks before yesterday none of our investigators came to Church. We were especially worried this week because if a certain investigator didn't come, her baptism that is scheduled for this week would have to be pushed back again. We decided to fast and pray that our investigators would come to Church this week. We put in our part by inviting them, arranging rides, etc. but put our complete trust in the Lord to help them attend Church. 

Yesterday morning the investigator who said we could pass by and pick her up for Church didn't answer her door, but when we arrived at the Church we found one of our investigators sitting happily in Priesthood, thanks to the hermano who had said he would bring him to Church. During Sunday School, we were relieved when our investigator who is supposed to be baptized this week walked in, and completely surprised when another investigator who had told us she couldn't come walked in behind her! That was such a miracle and a blessing to have them both there. And then, during Sacrament Meeting, we looked back and saw old two investigators of the elders, who hadn't been progressing, sitting in the congregation. It was an amazing Sunday. I know that the Lord answered our fast and prayers, and like you said Dad, He works through us to prepare those we teach in His own time.

I know that we can only get through this life if we rely on the Lord. With Him we can do anything, and without Him, we are nothing. It's something I'm still trying to learn, but my testimony of this truth has been strengthened so much. 

Love,

Hermana Southard
My comp and I

Tuna

Hna Tuitupou and I. We were in the MTC together and took the picture to celebrate completing 3 months.

Outside the chapel