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 

Monday, January 29, 2018

Baptism in the Ocean!

Heyyy everyone! How´s life?

Just another week has gone by here. We lost a few investigators because they all moved away, but we have been very blessed and we are finding more! I´m super excited because we are working with families, and it´s the best feeling in the world to teach a whole family. They just help each other out more. 

We had a great conference with our Pres and it feels like it was a long time ago because I honestly don´t remember a ton of it....but it was really cool! It was fun to see the whole zone. 

We worked like crazy with references this week and we managed to get a ton!! And then they were all of other areas....but it was so cool to see how being creative and persistent can help the work move forward! I drew a cute little coloring page to help ask for references. It says "INVITAR 2018" (invite) to make this the year of inviting! I even drew a little grandma inviting her cat. Everyone can do it! 

We got to go to the beach this week!!!! Whaaat? First time in my whole mission that it´s been allowed! It was only because my companions old investigador got baptized in Puerto Morelos and presidente gave us permission. But it was SO BEAUTIFUL! Fun times at the beach, watching one of God´s children be baptized. 

We found a giant iguana and named him Iggy. 

And we went to a really good hamburger place for lunch one day and I couldn´t stop laughing because the guy started playing the bongo drums randomly! This city is crazy. The other funny moment is a little hard to explain in English, but the spanish speakers will get it. 

We told a little girl that we all need to "tomar de un bautismo" and she says, "Está rico?" It was soooo precious!! If you don´t get it I´ll explain next week ;)

Aaaannd that´s about all the time I have today. But I love you all so much! Birthday shoutout to my amazing cousin Kazhia! Love you and hope you have a great day! 

The church is true! Have a wonderful week!
hermana schwartz

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Peace, Love, and Tree Dolphins

Hello everyone! Saludos de México! 
This week we felt like we entered the twiglight zone, because I´ve already been with Hermana Flores, so we felt like we´ve been together for a loooong time, even though it´s the first week of the transfer. We also found weird places that were strangely reminiscent of our area in Cancún, AND we had a leadership conference where we were reunited our other companion from our trio days. Crazy stuff. 
We truly saw miracles this week, where we dropped two investigators and found two more. These people are so great and the soooo want to be baptized, but they have challenges. One lady, Monse, came here to Playa looking for a church! She loves it and she wants to learn more, but she has several doubts and we need to adapt to her learning pace. But she´s so sweet and I know that she will gain her testimony! She even takes notes in our lessons, I love it. 
And happy day!! Osiris came to church! She is the cutest little girl ever. We were about to drop her, because she wasn´t progressing, and we passed by to give he the news, and we found her choosing her dress that she was going to use on Sunday. cutest thing ever. She comes from a less active family, and our goal is to activate all of them so that she has a support system. But I love her. 

One of our biggest challenges right now is Victor. He literally just needs to stop smoking and he can be baptized. It´s hard to know if he´s really ready or not, but thats to beautiful thing about prayer. All this week we have been praying for him and trying to see how we can support him and help him reach his goal!! 

This area is so great. I love how it has so many little quirks and crazy beach goers. We found the hippiest hippie car of all time, in the middle of a rainstorm. It reminded me to be happy because we have the gospel, which brings eternal happiness! We also found a dolphin statue stuck in a tree...aaaand I have no gospel analogies for that one. If you have any inspiration from it, let me know, I would love to here it, haha! 

The gospel is true, it changes lives! I hope you all have a wonderful week. Thanks for your emails and love.

Hasta luego, 
Hermana Schwartz

Making Sopes!

(Posted out of order since we didn't receive it when Kelsey sent it.  Just got access to it now.  This is from January 8, 2018.)

Hello world! 

Sooo, this week I´ve learned a lot. I´ve learned that God´s plans are way better than our plans. And that we can always trust in him! A few things this week did NOT turn out like we had planned. I told my companion..."our plans are like the little macaroni necklaces that I child gives to their mom. It´s cute, but she has one that is infinitely better." God loves our efforts to follow him. I know that our small effort to please him is enough. And I know that his plan is divinely designed and prefectly created. If we do our part and trust in him, he will always bless us. 

I´ve learned how to make sopes! Yum! My first one didn´t turn out too great, but by the second one Hermana Rita told me that I was mexicana in my heart! Whoo! That´s the goal. I´m going to open a sope business when I get back. 

I´ve learned a little bit more about iniciative. If we don´t see an inmediate solution, we can always look for a different one. If something needs to be done, we can just do it. I am very far from perfect, but I have been trying to devolop my iniciative. :) 

I translated a whole class of young womens for the group of tourists that showed up to church! The teacher gave the class and every other sentence looked at me and said, "translate!!" The funniest part was that I would start to translate....but I was still talking in spanish! It was fun and cool to see how the gift of tongues can help us in many situations. I loved being in YW again because it reminded me of my beehive days! 

I learned that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I loved our prophet and I feel so blessed that I was able to testify of him here. We have one convert that iniially struggled to accept the idea of modern prophets. But we testified, we taught him, and he accepted Presidente Monson as the living prophet. When we went to tell him that the prophet had passed away, there was just a peaceful moment. And then there was a moment of joy when we explained that God would call an new prophet, and that he never leaves us withought guidance! 

My scripture of the week has been Words of Mormon 1:7-8. This is my purpose as a missionary! 

I also included a picture of some piñatas we saw. They are in the shape of old men and in front they say 2017. It´s so you can "break" your old habits and start the new year! I thought it was very clever. 

My next pday is on Saturday if you want to write me or stay tuned for upcoming transfers!! Thanks for all you do! The gospel is true. Never doubt it, just live it!

Hermana Schwartz 

Rosca de Reyes

(Posted out of order, this failed to reach us and we just got access to it.  From December 18, 2017)

Wow, I honestly don´t remember what happened this week! I´m thinking really hard and I know that we worked like crazy. 

We met a crazy hippie guy that was all about going to the beach, saving animals, and finding inner peace. That was exciting. We also sang a bunch of christmas carols. What we do is we get in a combi, we ask if we can sing something, and we try to share a little bit of the christmas spirit. It´s amazing to see the faces of the people light up. Sure we get some weird looks, but it´s part of "not being ashamed of the gospel of Christ."

We put up some christmas lights, helped people with their groceries, gave a little girl a flower, etc. I love the light the world iniciative. Even if we don´t do much, I know that the little things make all the difference. 

Our investigator Alfonso came to church this week! He´s literally so great. He just wants to follow God. He had been working on Sundays, but we explained Sabbath Day observance and he says that now his "only compromiso es con el Señor"

We also found a great new guy named Juan, that only has a week living here in playa. He came here looking to change his life and he asked US where the church is and when we have meetings. That´s the great thing about this area. The people are just really prepared because they come looking to change. 

I´m so excited for Christmas next week! Thank you family for the wonderful package and thanks to all of you for brightening my weeks with your great emails! I hope that this week counting down to Christmas is filled with Joy and happy moments. 

The church is true and Christ directs it! He is our savior! 
Hermana Schwartz

super yummy pan called rosca de reyes, 
the view from our apartment, 

Package!! Yay!