Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Easter Egg Hunts and TRANSFERS!

Hola hola everybody!

Wow, this transfer flew by quick! Today our mission president called and gave the exciting news that....I am leaving my beloved Playa! I loved this area but it is time for a change. My next area will be in Cancun with Hermana Baeza! She is amazing, I was already with her once in a trio and it was seriously a blast. I´ll send pictures of her next week. She speaks english and has perfect eyebrows, and is an amazing missionary. :) It should be fun. 

This week we kept busy doing exchanges with the hermanas, and it was so fun to get to know Hermana Garz√≥n and Hermana Rios working with each one of them for a day. They are super sweet. We put together an easter egg hunt, which basically nobody knows what it is here, for the Relief Society and the primary kiddos. It was crazy! We hid 99 eggs in the church and the person that found the most won a prize. The kids ran around like locos, but the winner was a sweet older sister that carefully went around, checking high and low, and found 17 paper eggs. It just goes to show that slow and steady really does win the race. :) 

We then talked about the real reason for Easter, the resurrection, and of course we did a nice plug for missionary work and asked for references. 

Even more fun than the Easter egg hunt was that we found new people to teach this week! Whoohoo! It´s the best feeling ever. We passed by one day with a family that has never let us in before, but we didn´t want to give up on them. The son opened the door and let us in, and we sang I am A Child of God. From there, everything changed and the mom became super receptive! She and her 4 kids are our new investigators and they are pretty great. We just need to help them go to church and progress. 

We also found a sweet lady that is looking for the true church! She offered such a sweet, sincere, prayer at the end of the lesson. Sometimes we find people, we drop them, or we get transfered, but the good news is we are always trying to plant little seeds. 

We are very stoked for the Stake activity that is going to be tonight. "Meet the Book of Mormon Prophets." We are bringing the scripture stories to life and presenting the video of Christ in the Americas. Hopefully it turns out cool! We spent these last few nights making "armor" out of cardboard and tin foil for Helaman. The primary kids are going to be his army of stripling warriors....we´ll see how it turns out and I¨ll send pics next week. 

I´ve been studying lately in the New Testament, reading with the Topical guide to learn about Christ. It´s been really cool and I highly recommend it! It´s a challenge from Russell M. Nelson. Who knows how long it will take me to finish, because there are a ton of pages! But that´s the goal. 

I know that christ lives and that he is our savior! He has the power to forgive our sins. He already paid the price! I know that his Atonment is real and that we can apply it in any circumstance. 

Love you all so much! Hope you have a a great week! 
hasta luego,
Hermana Schwartz

ps the tombstone is for an Elder that finishes his mission this week. We left it on his porch as a nice friendly "surprise" to congratulate him for his "death." And yummy enchildadas. :)

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Luck of the Irish

Happy late st. patricks day everyone! This holiday is funny here because no one celebrates it here. I just walk around explaining to all the members that in my house we drink green milk on the 17th and they think it´s some weird american tradition. But seriously this week was amazing! I learned soooooo much because God gave us some trials and some serious blessings.
Basically we didn´t find any new investigators for a week, and we were looking to drop everyone that we were teaching because they weren´t progressing. We had an AMAZING zone conference and we left super excited and we found a GOLDEN INVESTIGATOR!!! She´s the greatest. her name is Betty and she´s so prepared to hear the gospel. She told us that she felt really happy and she didn´t know why, and we explained that it was the spirit! I already love her so much.
Then the next day, we went out and everything went so smooth (which literally never happens in the mission) Everyone accepted a baptismal date that we saw! We ended up with 7 new investigators. When we got back to the house, I told my companion that it was the luck of the Irish because 7 is a lucky number. (coincidence.....I think NOT!) haha but seriously it was such a huge blessing.
I know that God hears and answers our prayers! I know that he is preparing people around the world to hear the gospel! We just need to be willing and ready in whatever moment to reach out and help them find it.
President Reynoso came to stake conference this week and it was truly a sight to see. The chapel was packed!! And the poor tourists that showed up were all so confused because it was so full and they didn´t pass the sacrament. It was a beautiful conference and it was really special because our investigator that up until this point hasn´t really progressed CAME to church! Whooo! She takes care of 8 kids under the age of 5 on sundays and she brought all of them. They filled up the bench and it was amazing. She received an answer to her prayers in the conference and is excited for her baptism. (happy tears)
4 leaf clovers that I found/made
13 months
baby pancakes 
bouncy chair in walmart (some things never change)
Love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! Look for someone to serve today! 
Hasta luego, 
hermana schwartz

Thursday, March 15, 2018

I Spent the Week On the Bus

heyyyy friends and fam!

Okay, so I´m once again very short on time but this week was great! We preached and searched and we found a couple miracles.

One thing I learned this week was about humility and about asking forgiveness. That was the topic in relief society, and it turned out to be exactly what I needed to hear. I know that God answers prayers and many times, he answers them in church!

Another fun experience is called I travelled to Cancun on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We go in this little mini combi buses because they are super cheap, but dang. I felt like I spent the whole week in that bus.

My companion and I went bargain shopping today and we found some cute shirts and souvenirs. I try to remind myself I´m not a tourist....yet.

The work is going along really well! Our investigator Flora is really awesome. She already knows so much about the commandments. She´s excited to read the book of Mormon because she´s already read the Bible, and it´s more of God´s word! Yeah! And her cute little daughter told us yesterday that she wants to be baptized too!

Oh, I almost forgot! This week we thought we would play a joke on the elders and we left a note on their porch saying to send a pizza to our address. AND THEY DID IT! It was the weirdest thing, a pizza just showed up one night, already payed and everything. It was the best act of service ever. We sent them the scripture in Alma that says that he fell to the ground in shock, because we were so surprised that they actually sent it. Best pizza ever. We also got to try the famous brownies of Hermano Lumbreras. It was soooooo good! Lifechanging.

Well, that´s all the time I have for today. But I love you guys so much! I hope you have a wonderful week! Scripture reading challenge: Open to a random page and look for a promise. It might take some searching but I promise you will find one!

The book of mormon is true and this is God´s work! Thanks for everything!

Until next week, 
hermana Schwartz

Monday, February 26, 2018

Staying in Playa!

Hellooo everybody! How´s it going, what´s new?

This week was so crazy and I honestly feel like it was just a blur. We had some of the highest highs and the lowest lows, and I´m so grateful for all of it. 

We started off the week really well, and everything was going super smooth for the baptisms we had planned. But it was like the calm before the storm, because all of a sudden a ton of challenges came up. I learned this week that the adversary tries really hard to stop good things from happening. Luckily we were able to re-focus. We had an AMAZING zone conference and our Presidente talked about the nature of trials and why we need to fight to have miracles in our areas. God gives us tests, not because he wants to see the outcome. He already knows the outcome. He tries us so that WE can see the outcome and so that WE can see His power in our lives. I truly have seen his hand in the work this week. 

Today in the morning we had the baptism of sweet Yahir! He´s 14 and we found him in our area book with a note that said he had already read the first 14 chapters of the book of mormon. We went to look for him and he had advanced up until Enos. (Tears of joy! No one ever reads that fast here!) We taught him all the lessons and asked his mom´s permission......and she said "No." So we went back and talked to her for like an hour and prayed and read the scriptures, and she said "yes!" Then all of a sudden Yahir started saying he didn´t feel ready, but he prayed and he decided to take the leap of faith and today he was baptized. I´m so proud of him and he said that from today on he knows his life will be different. Whooooo!! It was a process getting him ready but I know that he was baptized because God prepared the way to accomplish it. 

The best part is that his mom came to his baptism and she liked it, so hopefully we will be able to teach her soon as well! 

President came and we played this hilarious game where we had to give the sad news that a pretend person, "Chochi" had passed away....while hiccuping, sneezing, or celebrating, etc. We learned that one of the quietest elders is secretly hilarious and should be an actor, because he nailed it every time. The Elders also got free haircuts if Hermana Reynoso didn´t approve of the length of their hair. It was pretty funny because they all ended up with a trim. And we also ate SO MUCH PIZZA to celebrate this month. Each companionship got a pizza. Bleh 

We´ve got transfers this week, but I´m going to be staying here in Playa del Carmen! I love this area so much and I´m grateful I get 6 more weeks here. My new companion is Hermana Santiago, and she´s just adorable. I feel like it´ll be a great transfer. 

Thanks so much for all your prayers and support! I would love to hear from you guys. If you want, please share with me your favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon and why so I can study them and share them with people here! :) We are trying to contact using the Book of Mormon and it is honestly so cool to be able to share with someone in the street a scripture that applies to them. 

Love you all! Stay safe in the snow!
Hermana Schwartz 


Monday, February 19, 2018

Bodas and Baptisms equal the BEST WEEK EVER!

Guys, my missionary heart is bursting!! This week Alicia and Fernando got MARRIED!! We had their wedding on the beach of Puerto Morelos, and it was a little more complicated than we originally thought but it was soooooo beautiful! It also made me so grateful for temple weddings and even more convinced that I want to be married in the temple. Because even though the civil marriage had cute music, flowers, and a beach, it is so far from what a marriage is meant to be. Anyway, so happy for this cute family and for their upcoming baptism!!

Annnnnndd we had the amazing baptism of Lucy, Marco, and their daughter Zacil-Ha. Seriously the cutest family of all time. Their story is so amazing and I feel so blessed to have been part of their conversion experience. Hermana Lucy has wanted to be baptized for years, and on Saturday she testified so strongly about the Book of Mormon. Even little Zacil shared her simple testimony and they all said, "I feel different. I don´t know about you guys, but I feel different!" Ahhhh they are just the best people ever. They even gave us a reference! I know that in one year they will be able to be sealed and become an eternal family! And it was so cute because little Sofia is only 6 and she was mad because she didn´t get to swim. But they went to the beach after as a family , so it all worked out, haha. #perksoflivinginplaya

We cleaned out Hermano Pedros house and took out about 8 bags of garbage from a teeny tiny corner. That sweet old man has got TOO MUCH STUFF. He has candy from 2003 that we still haven´t convinced  him to throw away yet....eww. But he´s great. It´s for his own good that we went and I learned a lot about service. 

We learned how to make mole with scary Hermana Ada. I say that she´s scary because she likes to yell at us and call us "chamacas." I almost messed up the whole giant pot of mole by dropping the spoon in it, but I saved it at the last second. 

I also completed a year on my mission!!!! What?! My cute former companions, my mom and my daughter, are together and are in our zone. They made me an adorable dinner and some cute gifts for my mission "birthday." Love them. 

Honestly, I am just so happy that we have been busy, looking for people and finding people, marrying people, etc. I know with all of my heart that God hears and answers prayers. We went with our investigator Yair this week and he said he wants to know if this is the true church. I know without a doubt that it is true and that God prepares everything in our lives to teach us and guide us back to Him, if we choose to follow him. I know that the Holy Ghost is real and that if we follow it we will always be protected and happy. This gospel is great! 

Thanks for all your prayers and support. I hope that everything goes well this week! Great scripture to read is Joshua 3:5, about sanctifying ourselves. 

Love you all!
Hermana Schwartz


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

I'm a Chocoholic/ 1 Year Down!

Hola hola everybody!!

This week I hit my one year mark in the mission!! Ahhhh it´s so crazy how fast the time goes. Honestly I am so happy just working here. I have a great area and a great companion. Of course there are challenges but I know that with God we can do all things! 

This week we are so excited because our investigators are getting MARRIED on valentines day! On the beach! Ah it´s gonna be so beautiful. Brace yourselves for lots of pictures next week. We are also teaching the most wonderful family ever and they are finally ready for their baptism! They live super far away so we had to combine a couple lessons, but they understood everything and they are willing to make changes! They are going to stop drinking coffee and my companion and I promised that we would also give up one of our "addictions." So that´s how it came to be that I realized I am seriously a chocoholic and I can´t live very long without chocolate. I accidently ate a granola bar with chocolate today and I had to repent. But it´s worth it! And it´s helping our investigators, haha. today they shared their conversion story, and it´s so amazing. The Hermana Lucy has wanted to get baptized for 4 years, but she got busy with work. until one day a missionary from our zone that had their number saved invited her to church. From there, we started teaching and now she can see that her family really is more united and happier. They are hands down the best and have been so prepared. So that´s exciting. 

Also today they took us to the cenote that the have in their backyard! It´s got stalagtites and cool rock formations! And she gave us the best mole that I have tried in my mission. The Familia Balam is amazing. 

We did intercambios this week with Hermana Medrano and Hermana Merrick! It´s fun to have my mom and my daughter in my zone, and I learned a lot from them. 

What else is new? Oh yeah, we organized a jeapordary and trivia game night and all of our investigators came! We split into two teams and we definitely favored the team with our investigators, so the ward members got a little annoyed because we gave them all the hard questions. But it was a big success and we´ve got another activity planned for next week! 

I know that this is the true church and that God hears and answers prayers. This week in sacrament the talks were perfect for our investigators. I´m so grateful for revelation, the spirit, a living prophet, and all of the other tools we have to guide us in this crazy world! That´s all I can think of for this week but thanks so much for your support and prayers. 1 year down, 6 months to go! 

con mucho amor,
Hermana Schwartz 

I´ll have to send pics next week! This computer is muuuuuyyyy slow. Sorry! 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Miracles and Jungle Excursions

Okay guys, seriously this was the best week ever. I feel so happy and like God truly heard and answered our prayers. Remember how last week all of our investigators moved away? Well the miracles came flowing in and now we have a bunch of people with baptismal dates, and 6 of them came to church!! It was so amazing. We went walking to pass by for them, and then some members joined up with us too, and we were like a little gang of church goers. It was the besstt. 

Our investigators are so prepared. Alicia and Fernando are almost ready for their wedding!! And Yair has read up to Enos! And Lucy already knows the Book of Mormon is true! I love them so much and we´re just going to keep working hard so that all of them can get baptized. 

Lucy and Marcos live in the middle of the jungle. So it was really crazy going to contact them. A member recommended a restaurant for us called the "jungle", to go eat. She asked us if we went to eat there and we told her, "no, we literally went to the jungle." There´s a beatiful, peaceful crocodile lagoon feat. real crocodiles just chilling on a surfboard. But they are so great and we love going all the way out there. One day we went and the whole street was INVADED with Jehovahs witnesses. It felt like some crazy video game, and we had to get to the house before they did. We made it on time, and when the TJs came knocking, they told them that they already had a visit. Whew! It was pretty intense. 

I´m so grateful for the little miracles and the way that God multiplies our small efforts. I´m grateful to serve here in this wonderful area and get to know such wonderful people. 

I also got to do intercambios this week with the amazing Hermana Ahuanari from Peru! She taught me more that I taught her, I think! Her area, Puerto Morelos, is really humble but I promise, we didn´t go to a single family that didn´t offer us water, snacks, or a place to sit down. They are so giving, even though they don´t have much. It was awesome to visit her area for the day. 

I don´t have a ton of time this week but I just want to testify that this is the true church and that it blesses the lives of families! I have seen the difference! Alicia and Fernando started praying, and now after 9 years of living together they feel ready to get married! They feel more peace in their home. This gospel blesses all those who accept it in their lives. I know that it is true.

Sending lots of pictures and lots of love! You guys are the greatest. Have a good week! 

Hermana Schwartz