Saturday, October 21, 2017

So. Much. Cake. :)

Hey everyone, how are y'all?

Thanks again for the sweet birthday emails and cards. I am now officially 20! Ahhhh, when did this happen?!

I had a wonderful birthday a la mexicana, without any face cake smashing.Hermana Davis and Hermana Gunderson passed by in the morning with incredibly delicious, diabetes-filled, OREO PANCAKES. This is our new kitchen concoction that is super tasty but also probably not the healthiest. But they also surprised me with a confetti filled egg on my head and amazing gospel stickers. Love them. 

And then my sweet comp totally surprised me by planning a "Family Home Evening" with our favvvvorite members in the ward, the Familia Pastor. They had everthing all masterminded, and I didn`t expect a thing until I walked in and they had balloons everywhere and a giant cake! That was the first of many cakes. I also got one from the zone to make up for smashing my face in the first one, one from the member that made us lunch, and we also ate a cake for Dia de Los Muertos. So good! 

I`m so excited because we found some amazing new investigators this week! Araceli is super sweet, 11 years old, and wants to be baptized so bad!! Merari is the other ivestigator with potential. She listened so intently when we taught. I love teaching and I love the people so much! 

We got our very exciting cambios this week....we`ll be staying together in Jardines! Woot, woot!! Hermana Merrick is gonna be finishing up her training and then she`s off to conquer the world. 

We`re not quite in Novemeber yet, but I`m grateful for goals, my amazing family, good friends, the gospel, yummy mexican food, the fact that I can email once a week, the good ward here, the rain that cools us off, my hammock, and most of all my Savior. Count your blessings in the little moments and you truly will realize how blessed we are. 

Sorry that it`s a bit short this week, but I love you guys! The gospel is true! And happy day because I`ve got pictures, yayyy! 

Have a great week, 
Love Hermana Schwartz

Friday, October 20, 2017

I "DONUT" Believe It!

Wow, okay hi everyone! this week has been absolutely crazy and I´ve learned some things that will change my mission. Unfortunately, I do not have annnnnyyy time today because we´re about to go to the dentist! It´s a long story, but there´s a tradition here to smash the face of the birthday girl in the cake. My face cake smashing went awry and I chipped my tooth! It has been a grand adventure and honestly turned out to be so much fun. We made a hillbilly style music video to "This LIttle light of mine" with my wonderful sister training leaders. Good times. It was a very exciting early birthday surprise. They´re going to put in a white filling that won´t look to cheesy or goofy. Even though I requested a gold grill that says "Mexico Cancun." ;)

Thank you all so much for the sweet birthday wishes! I promise I´ll respond more next week, but I appreciate it so much! I love hearing from you guys. :)

This week we travelled to cancun for my hijas generation meeting and we partied it up! I loved being with the other "moms" and exchanging advice about "parenting." It´s stressful stuff at times, but I love it. 

We worked on our goals and visions for our missions and we´re pumped to work hard and have 10 investigadores with baptismal dates!!! Right now we have 2, but we´re going to pray, search, and find the escogidos! It was amazing going out with the capis because we found the most beautiful family of 4, and one little girl said, "Oooohhh I WANT to go to your church! Can I go tomorrow?" And the dad said the prayer and almost started crying. It was potente. We also started teaching a lady that is soooo amazing! She can´t get baptized until december, but I love seeing her eyes light up when she talks about how she knows she´s a daughter of god. The work is amazing. 

We celebrated my 8 month mark in the field with the most perfect dessert ever....two giant delicious donuts!!! I loved it so much. I literally "Donut" believe how fast the time has gone. 

There was also an ADORABLE primary activity where the kids were mini missionaries and taught the classes. We got to participate in the choir and we all sang "Llamados a Servir" with tanto fervor. It was incredible to see the strength of the little kids and hear their sincere testimonies. 

I think that´s all of the updates!! I´m sorry I coudn´t read/respond very well this week. My next pday will be this Saturday, so I´ll be able to respond then! 

The work is good, I´m happy and slightly toothless! Next week I´ll send pics! Please don´t judge the gross closeup of my face but I know my dentist relatives want to see, haha. 

Adios por ahora, 
Hermana Schwartz

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

"Cuando Me Bautice" (When I Am Baptized)

Hello friends and family! How are you all? I hope that everything is going well and that you´re enjoying the fall leaves if you happen to be in a place that has seasons. :)

This week was so good. Just good. I started studying the Book of Mormon a little more, because I hadn´t been reading it everyday. I was studying the Bible, or other books. But the Book of Mormon truly has a light and a power that it brings into our lives. After a few days of reading one chapter daily, I feel like I have more patience, I´m more sensitive to the spirit, and I´m just happier! It´s crazy how that works. 

The Lord has truly blessed us this week. On Sunday after General Conference, we found Amayrani. Less than a week later, she was baptized!! She´s so precious. She´s 11, loves to help with her little brother, likes science and reading, and just wants to follow Jesus. Her baptism was perfect and she was sooooo happy when she came out of the water! I love her. We´re working on making a little book to give to her, and everyone that came wrote their testimonies. I love teaching kids and teenagers, because they understand, they are humble, and they can take decisions that will change their futures. 

Other tender mercies: We found a 78 year old lady named Teadora, and she accepted a baptismal date! She´s so sweet. We had to fight for her though! We showed up for our appointment, started singing, and the Jehovah´s witnesses passed by! We stood our ground and they left. Hahaha, we won the battle of wills. 

Another investigator has an empanada stand. I was super hungry and we passed by with him and he gave us empanadas. Yup, I´m totally counting that as a miracle. 

Anyway....we also did a super awesome activity where all of the missionaries from our Zone came to our area! We divided up into teams with the members and just contacted a bunch of less active familes. It helped us have more people to visit, and the ward was really impressed with the efforts to visit people. We also had intercambios (exchanges) and dang, I learned a lot!! It´s always good to take a step back and see how we can improve. 

To celebrate our baptism, we went out to lunch! At....Applebees! They randomly have one in our area, and it was sooooo good. A member of our ward works there and wants to practice his English, so we ordered in english. He said, "The special of the day is the birds eggs." And we were just like...."Aren´t all eggs from birds?" He was also a little confused with jam, and ham. Which makes sense because the "j" in spanish makes the "h" sound. He asked if we wanted our eggs with jam. We all got a good laugh out of it. :) 

So excited because we have lots of investigators with potential to teach this week. The work of the Lord truly is exciting. It´s moving forward! We just need to be in the right place, and be willing to serve. I love what hermana Bonnie Oscarson (I think?) said about how we should first serve in our own communities. Look for someone to serve, someone to love, and be willing to follow the will of the Lord. I know he will bless you for it! Oh, and another part of the week I will never forget!!! A sweet, sweet hermana from our ward came to acompany us to an appointment. It was her birthday. Her birthday, people! We didn´t know until she started to cry in the lesson. She explained that she felt the spirit so strong, like it was a birthday present from her Heavenly Father. She also said, "if I don´t serve, how will my children learn to serve?" She´s amazing and I will always remember this moment for her great example. 

Okay, that´s all for this week. :)I love you guys so much! Have a wonderful week!!!
Hasta luego,
Hermana Schwartz

Monday, October 2, 2017

We're Conference Nerds!


Okay, General Conference was amaaaaazing! The spirit was so strong and I still can´t get over it. We watched the first two sessions in English, mixed it up a little on Sunday with a session in Spanish, and joyfully returned to English as soon as we got an ipad set up. :) But literally every talk and every word just seemed to fill me up spiritually. I loved how even though Thomas S. Monson couldn´t speak, his apostles supported him, testified of him, and repeated his words and council from April. My favorite talk was Ronald A. Rasband´s about God´s Divine Design. We are in the places, countries, homes, schools, wards, missions, where we are, for a REASON! God can work miracles through us. We just need to trust in him and work hard to develop our divine gifts, and be ready to use them. I felt like that was a huge theme of the conference, trusting in God. The scripture Proverbs 3:5 was repeated several times, "Trust in the Lord thy god with all thy heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding." I really needed that message this week, and we´ve started to really see God´s hand here in Chetumal. 

Por ejemplo....we found an investigator who is absolutely fantastic! Amairani (her name is so beautiful but so hard to pronounce, haha!) is 11, and she loves going to church and wants to be baptized. Even better, her mom gave us her permission to teach her! We´re hoping and praying that she can be baptized this week! Whoo! We´re also working with 15 year old Alberto, who is also amazing. The spirit was so strong when we talked about Joseph Smith, and I could tell that the message resonated with him. We got to go to the baptism of the other hermanas here, and it turned out so beautiful. I felt the Spirit when their investigator came out of the water, and I also felt at peace that we´re going to be able to find and baptize people here too. 

Funny things that happened this week were that we discovered that Hermana Merrick´s dad put some "spíritual" bluegrass jam style music on her ipod. We were just casually listening to the MoTab when all of a sudden some banjo picking started and we cracked up. 

Another funny moment was when I told our Zone Leader that I don´t always understand him. (He has a wacky nothern mexico accent) And then after everything he said he spoke really clearly, "Me en-ten-DIO?!" (Did you understand me??) He´s never gonna let me live it down, haha. 

I learned a lot this week about following the spirit. We were in a taxi about to go visit a less active member, when we realized that we were really close to an investigators house. We both felt impressed to stop there and visit her. We sang a hymn and she just looked up and said, "You guys have a really special spirit." She hasn´t been progressing too well, but it felt so cool to act on the prompting and help someone feel the spirit. Even better, when we left her house, we found another guy that we´ve been trying to contact for weeks!! That´s one reason why Elder Rasband´s talk had so much impact on me. I really do trust that the Lord will put the people we are meant to serve in our paths, whether that be in a mission or in our home wards. 

The talks were great and I´m so grateful for conference to carry us through these next six months. I´m grateful for Lion King references, for Elder Nelsons "King, it doesn´t work that way!" and for Elder Anderson's sweet tribute to Elder Hales. I´m grateful for a Divine Father who wants us to know of his love for us, and for living prophets and apostles who lead us and guide us. I know this church is true and that following the gospel plan brings us pure joy. 

You´re all amazing, thanks for all you do! I hope that everything is going well and that you all continue to enjoy conference online and in the ensign. :) Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Schwartz

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Be Brave, Work Hard!

Hey everyone!

Well, another week has flown by. It´s been a little rough because we still haven´t found anyone to teach. But we´ve definitely seen little miracles! Yesterday we decided to go out and search for just half an our more. We went to go visit a member that lives on our street, but we read the house number wrong and ended up knocking on some random persons door. Maria answered and was just like, "Come in, do you want some water?" (Which is literally the nicest thing a person can say here! Haha, it´s way too hot!" She belongs to a different religion, but her mom passed away recently and she is looking for peace. We didn´t have enough time to teach her a ton, but we talked about the plan of salvation and I know that the Lord will help us to help this sweet sister. We left her house and my sweet companion was like, "That just doesn´t happen!!" It does happen, and it did happen. Misisons are the best. :) 

We also talked to a taxi driver that is just so prepared to hear the gospel! Not in our area, but we sent of the reference and it´s so cool to see how the gospel answers the questions that so many people need answers to. 

The sister training leaders did intercambios with us to help us out a little and it was such a blessing! It really sparked up my animo and helped me think of diferent ways we can work hard. We have to be creative and take the iniciative if we want to see change. 

Oh, it was super crazy because for one night and one day we didn´t have power!! It was an adventure. What happened was some construction workers on our street cut our power to do some work, and didn´t tell us. We freaked out because I thought I forgot to pay the light bill. So we took all the food out of the fridge, packed up our stuff and stayed the night with the other Hermanas, becuase it´s like, impossible to sleep without a fan. It was super crazy but when we came back to the house to check things out, the construction guy told us what had happened and put our electricity back. It was a super random experience, but man, I am so grateful for electricity now! It was so good that everything worked out. Just another little testimony builder. 

We bought a piñata in the street for Sister Martinez´s birthday, but it turns out the piñata seller guy made it THAT DAY. So it was super wet and mushy by the time we smashed it. It was a chicken and we named it Lalo. Pobrecito was dying, but we filled him with candy and it was really fun. 

The Womens Broadcast was the highlight of my week! We watched it in Spanish and it filled me up with so much joy. I loved the talk about what kind of women we need to be. Kind, articulate, outspoken. The Lord needs us to give all of our courage and all of our talent, and be exceptional women if we are going to win this fight. A lot of stuff is going on in the world, from natural disasters to poverty. These are the last days. But I know our Heavenly Father has a purpose for all of this and that it is preparing us for the Second coming of his Son! He loves us and he will not let anything happen that we can´t overcome with faith. 

We celebrated Mexican Independence day in the ward with a small Noche Mexicana, and the dancers were incredible. They literally did the Mexican hat dance, complete with sombrero and everything. We were singing along like real Mexicanas. 

I´m learning a lot and I love being here. It´s amazing to see the little miracles and the hand of God in this work. He lives and he loves us. 

Aaaaannd I finally have pictures! Sorry that they´re from like 3 weeks back. I hope you all enjoy them, especially the little music video we made. 

Have a wonderful week!! Be brave and work hard. 
Hermana Schwartz

I'm a Proud Mom

Heyy everybody! Como les van?

Okay, I´m super bummed because I have soooo many photos I want to send but I forgot my cable! Boooo. Next week. I promise. 

But I have a DAUGHTER and she is darling! (I´m training again!) Her name is Hermana Merrick and she´s from the good old northwest, from Oregon. She completed her first week in the field with a lot of courage, with many new bugbites, sweet tanlines, and tons of walking! She´s super awesome and she already knows a ton of Español, so that´s very helpful. She has a twin sister about to start serving in Ciudad Mexico, and they´re gonna chat up a storm in spanish when they get back. :)

Our new area is beautiful! We´re in Jardines, Chetumal. I loooove Chetumal! It´s like a mix of my first two areas. The ocean is super close, but we haven´t caught glimpse of it yet. Fun fact, our area also includes the Belize border. There are flowers in almost all of the streets, and it has a giant mall for whatever random things we need. There´s a Mcdonalds, Office max, the works. It´s very calm and everyone is really friendly. Maybe a little two random guy started catcalling us. But that´s normal here, I guess. 

We basically just worked hard this week to get to know the members and the area. We had a Family Home Evening with the Familia Pastor and they are just fantastic! They gave us cake, are going to fix our air conditioning so it actually works, and the mom is going to sew my skirts that are too big. We were walking a little bit lost and like angels they appeared to give us a ride. They´re too good. Their son speaks english really well, and so he helps us with spanish and vice versa. Hermana Bella is another member that is just too good for words. She gave us lunch and just helped us out a bunch. The bishop is incredible, también. I´m so excited to work with the members and I know that this ward has so much potential! 

We taught the whole first lesson in the street. In the end, the guy didn´t want anything with the church, but it was such great practice for Hermana Merrick! Her first taste of what it´s like to teach and answer real questions, with real spanish speakers. I´m grateful for all the random little opportunities we have to share the gospel, even when we don´t see the immediate results. 

We ate my favorite food, Pozole, not once, not twice, but THREE times this week. It´s delicious and the Lord has truly blessed me that literally everyone made us pozole. It´s a traditional dish to celebrate Mexican Independence day, so that might have had something to do with it, haha. We didn´t even realize that it was a holiday here until the next day. That´s how peaceful Chetumal is. 

We got to visit a family that lives in a Pueblo outside of Chetumal. The whole ward went and did a family night with the less actives in Santa Elena, and it was great to see so much unity. We´re gonna start working and finding lots of investigators. 

This week the Lord reaffirmed my testimony that the scriptures contain answers. I was wondering how I could improve as a trainer, as a missionary, and have more patience with my companion. I opened up the Bible to a story that perfectly answered my questions. The Lord knows us, he hears our prayers, and he can answer our questions! I´m getting excited for general conference in a couple weeks, I know prayers will be answered! 

I love you all! Thanks for all you do, you guys are amazing. I promise next week I´ll write more individually and send lots of pictures! Have a wonderful week!!!

Hermana Schwartz

(Photos added after she sent them on 9/25/2017)

Chetumal, Here I Come!

Hi everyone!

We`ve got cambios on Monday and I`m headed to Chetumal! I`m really excited because I`m going to be training a new missionary! On Monday I get to meet my ¨hija¨, and then we travel six hours by bus to the furthest south point of the mission. We´re also going to be opening an area, so there`s lots to learn and it`ll definitely be interesting! 

This week we got to go to Peter Piper Pizza with Presidente! (Try saying that five times fast, haha!) It was super fun and we got to celebrate the baptisms we had this month as a Zone. I ate so much pizza, but one elder totally beat me. He at 17 slices!! And pasta! It was ridiculous. We also got to say goodbye to an Elder and celebrate a birthday. Lot`s of fun as a zone! 

Ohhh, also this week was crazy because we saw a ton of random exotic animals! One guy was just chilling outside his house with an EAGLE. We stopped to talk to him and give him a pass along card, and he let us hold it! He works in the hotels and so his eagle needs to get used to being social. It was so cool! I can`t send the photo this week because the computer isn`t working, but we took pics!! 

And then we went with an Hermana in the ward who has a pet monkey named Max. He`s adorable and I promise i`ll send pictures next week. We didn`t get to hold him because he bites when he`s nervous, but he was so cute!! 

We did a spa night, with facials. And we got invited to this sweet kid in the wards birthday party. He only invited the elders and us, because he loves the missionaries. Moises is the best! We ate his favorite food, bombasos, and cake. 

I promise we`re working hard and teaching people too! It`s not all just crazy animals and fiestas. During our intercambios, all of our appointments fell through. But we learned the importance to keep searching and trust that the Lord will put people in our path. We found 5 new people that day! 

I guess this week I`ve learned that God really does prepare us for the things he has in store. This cambio has been awesome and I`m so grateful for the time I had in our little Trio! I`m so excited meet my new companion! There are miracles waiting in Chetumal. 

If anyone is considering going on a mission, just know that it is definitely not easy but it is absolutely worth it. The people are so good and the blessings are so real. 

Thanks for everything, hope it`s good week!
Hasta luego, 
hermana Schwartz

(Photos added after she sent them on 9/25/2017)

Monday, September 4, 2017

We can´t go to the beach, but the beach came to us!

Hola everyone! Como están?

This is gonna be a little short for this week, but I´m doing great and working hard! This is the last week of the transfer, if you can believe it! 

We got absolutely soaking wet this week thanks to a couple of GIANT tropical storms that blew our way. We were just casually walking and the sky suddenly turned black and started to pour! We felt super cool because we helped a guy push his car out of a river (aka the flooded streets) The plastic shoes I bought before I left are definitely coming in handy. We were joking that the beach came to us, because there were tiny little waves in the water and we were basically swimming, haha! With the humidty it was a little stressful because all of my scriptures got wet and I feel like they will never ever dry, but I guess I´ve just joined all of the other missionaries here that have wrinkled scripture pages. The good news is that it has been super cool! I actually used a sweater! 

This friday we had our Mission Activity where we did a mini CCM and taught the members how to share the gospel with their friends. Not very many people went because of the rain, but it was super fun! We also said goodbye to a joven from the barrio that´s leaving on his mission. It got everyone in the spirit of missionary work. 

The other day we went and contacted in the other area, Kohunlich, to help them find more people to teach. The companionship that took out the most references got free pizza! So today we went out for pizza with the Sister Training Leaders. Super fun. 

We were named the "Converzona" for the month! Or the Zone that had the most baptisms in the month of August. It´s so exciting and we´re hoping to do it again in September! The baptisms are more than just numbers, but a little competion never hurts to motivate us. :)

Today we found a lizard in our washing machine (first of all, it is such a blessing that we have a WASHING MACHINE. We washed everything in one load and it was freeeeee!) Anyway, we found a lizard and I was the only one of us three that was brave enough to get it out. It was just a little guy, but you can see in the picture that it looks like his tail got cut off and was re-growing. Creepy, huh?

I´ve been reading Jesus the Christ together with the Bible this week and it´s super interesting! With the rain, my biggest thought has been how Christ walked on the water and calmed the storms. Peter is like all of us, we start out with faith and sometimes we fall. I testify that our Savior is there with his hand outstretched to save us in the moment that we falter. He loves and and can calm the storms! I love the hymn, Paz, Calmense. Don´t remember what it´s called in English, but it´s been in my head lately. 

I hope you all have a great week! Tell me all about your adventures this Saturday and stay tuned to see if we have transfers! Love you all mucho!

Hermana Schwartz 

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Three Amigas

Hola everyone!

Estamos trabajando en TRIO! I´ve got two new compañeras and they are amazing!! Hermana Flores is from Utah and has 10 months in the mission, and Hermana Lara is from Monterrey, Mexico, and has one month in the field. She´s in her training, so even though I´m not her mamá, I get to help out a bit. She and Hermana Flores are so funny together, because Hna Flores is very sweet and passive, and Hna Lara has a strong personality and is super sarcastic. I love them, haha! I´ve never worked in a trio before, but I kinda love it because we can go on splits with the members and go to more appointments. They´re such great girls and powerful missionaries, and I know we´re going to work really hard in the time we have together. 

We changed houses this week and the move went really well! A member came with a truck and we loaded up EVERYTHING and got it all over in one trip. We´re living in a gated community called Mallorca, and it´s super fancy. Our house is a bit of a fixer upper, but we´re arranging things and I´m excited for how it´s going to turn out. We had our mission leader pass by to bless the house and it was the coolest experience because we all felt such a huge difference after he blessed it. We could feel the spirit so much more. We also want to paint the walls because right now they´re super dark gray and it´s just really dark at night. We want white walls with lots of pictures of Christ and the temples!! :) 

We worked a lot with Carlos´s mom this week, her name is Carmen. She´s so sweet! (Even though she just paints on her eyebrows and they´re super skinny, haha!) We also found a wonderful investigator named Maria. I felt the impression to talk to her in the street, and she invited us to come by and visit her. We sang a hymn with her in the street, and the next day when we passed by she said she felt such a difference after the hymn. Before she felt tired, stressed, and weighed down by the world. After she felt at peace. I know that this is the Spirit!! It lifts us up and helps us carry on! We can feel this way anytime we honestly invite the Lord to be part of our lives. I´m learning how to listen to the Spirit. I´m not perfect in following the impressiones, but the results are so amazing when we trust in what we feel is right. 

We also got to help in a stake activity to teach niños how to do little things that will help them later in their missions! I taught how to sew a button, my companeras taught how to iron, and the elders taught how to tie a tie. It was so cute! Later the kids made the lunch so they could learn how to cook and we ate delicious roll sandwhiches and apple slices. :)

Today is Hermana Lara´s birthday so we made her pancakes and Hermana Flores made them so cute! They each had a letter for our names. We´re going to go to the Grand Plaza in a little bit to celebrate. I´ve never been there but I´m excited because we have permision to see a little bit more of Cancun! 

I don´t really remember anything else exciting that happened this week, but I know that this is the Lord´s work and I´m so grateful to be a part of it! Take five minutes to stop and feel the spirit. It´s something that we really can do everyday and it will make all the difference in the world. 

I love you all! Gracias for all of your support and prayers!​

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Silver Linings, Miracle Sodas, and BAPTISMS!

Okay, where to begin? How have you all been? I know school is starting up again and I hope everyone is doing well with that! This week has been one of the most impactful of my entire mission, to date. I´ve got lots of stories so sit down, buckle up, and enjoy. :)

First of all, it´s been super crazy "training" and teaching Hermana Beckstead the area. She basically came here very well trained, so basically we just talk about how she´s been feeling, laugh, and work hard. But it´s really shown me how much I do know the area. I prayed before she got here that I could get to know the area better, and let me tell you, God answers prayers. He sent me the biggest test of all, having to navigate everything and teach it to someone else! In short, we got lost a lot this week. But that led to some pretty cool miracles. The other day when we were coming back from our district meeting, we got totally lost on the way to our lunch appointment. I totally forgot where the member lived! And we had been fasting in the morning so that all of the investigators with fechas bautismales could get baptized. In short, we were hot, hungry, thirsty, and lost! I started to feel super bad, because I honestly had no idea where to go. We stopped in the shade and I was literally trying not to cry, and a guy passed by us and said "buenas tardes." He suddenly came back a few seconds later, and said, "Excuse me, I just really feel like you could maybe use a cold drink." He just happened to have two cold sodas that he was carrying, and he gave them to us for free! I just thanked him and started crying because it was literally exactly what we needed in that moment. I felt an outpouring of my Heavenly Father´s love and I knew that he was aware of us and willing to help us. We were able to find the relief society presidents house, and from there we got directions and made it to lunch. I will never forget this experience. I know that God hears our prayers, it´s just "usually through another person that he meets our needs." 

It was also super beautiful, because we were wandering around trying to find new people to teach, and we saw the most beautiful silver lining. The sun behind the clouds literally made it look like silver! I´ve never seen anything like that, and it was a great reminder of how any situation has a bright side. 

We were immensely blessed this week because we found a CASA! The elders from our ward talked to a member that´s less active, and he´s moving to Ukraine of all places! And he just wants someone to stay in his house and take care of it while he´s gone for a few years!! It´s a beautiful house that we could never afford, but he´s giving it to us and we just need to pay for water and light. It´s literally the answer to so many prayers and I feel so blessed that we will be able to stay there! He´s also leaving all of his furniture and the cupboards full of food. Hallelujah!

BUT the highlight of the week by far is that SAMMY AND CARLOS BOTH GOT BAPTIZED!! I´m so excited!!!! Here´s how it happened. First of all, Samantha is just an angel child. Her parents are less active members, but she and her sister wanted to start going to church. So they go with her grandparents. Her family contacted us, organized everything, and we taught her all of the lessons in literally just a week. And she understands everything perfectly! She passed the baptism interview with flying colors, got baptized in the white dress her grandma got sealed in, and is the most precious convert I´ve ever had the privelige to teach. The Lord put her in our path and it was amazing. 

And then there´s Carlos! He´s my favorite too. He´s 16 and super shy, but from the first visit he´s been willing to read, act, and pray. His prayers literally melt my heart because he prays that he will have a good life and never fall in bad paths. I know that Heavenly Father is so proud of him for his good decisions and will bless him. We were so worried that he wouldn´t be able to get baptized because he traveled and couldn´t make it to church on Sunday. But everything worked out! We visited his half sister, who told us that he got home early! And then we went with him, asked if he wanted to keep working for the 18th of August, and he said yes! From there, we were finally able to contact his mom and she gave her permision! 

Anyway, so this week was just one little miracle after another. I can´t even describe how amazing it is to be a part of this work. I´m so grateful for all of the opportunites that God gives us to serve, to learn, and to grow. 

Hermana Beckstead is probably going home this week, but she has been an amazing companion and I´m so grateful for her! I know that all of the miracles happened so that she could have the best possible experience here and that God has a plan for her. She´s that best. Mucho amor para ella. 

Well, I´m out of time but thank you all for your love and support! Have an excellent week and never doubt that God loves you, knows you, and will answer your prayers!

Hasta luego,
Hermana Schwartz

PS. I finally tried cow stomach and it´s super nasty! And we made a tres leches cake and it was very delicious. Two very different Mexican foods. I´m sure you can tell which one I prefer. ;)​

Friday, August 18, 2017

Oreo Therapy

Hello family and friends!! It was an exciting and fulfilling week in Cancún, hope that all of you are doing well!!

I got to go to Playa del Carmen this week, just to say goodbye to Hermana Christensen and pick up my new compañera! It was so tempting to see all the touristy stuff that we´re definitely not allowed to do, haha! But Hermana Beckstead is here now and she´s so great! She´s almost as tall as me! Can you believe it!! We definitely draw a ton of attention walking down the streets. Everyone tries to talk to us in English until they realize we´re both fluent en Espanol.

I definitely am realizing how much I know the area and at the same time how much i have to learn. I´m super grateful for another cambio here and I know that we´re going to see miracles! Everytime we get a little lost we take a selfie. I´ll just say we have quite a few selfies, but it´s all good! I´m grateful for my compas patience with me. The day before the cambio I literally prayed that I could be able to learn the area better, and what better way to learn than to teach it to someone else, right? God really does answer our prayers!! Other small experience--the phone was lost and we had no idea where it was, because our house was so clean! We prayed and within 2 minutes a random investigator texted us and we heard the phone! It was so great, and I was so grateful. :)

We have 2 investigators that are going to get baptized this week! If everything goes well, Carlos should be super prepared, and we started teaching Samantha! It was literally a miracle. Her mom is less active but she´s started going to the church with her abuela and her sister. She basically knows everything, so we´ve just been passing over the lessons. We set a date for her baptism for this friday. At first it seemed like it would be way too soon, but her family planned everything and she´s totally gonna be ready! Wahooo! We´re so pumped, and she´s so cute. Her hair is seriously like Rapunzel, it goes down almost to her legs!

Our district leader gave us the best advice ever. Since Hermana Beckstead was feeling a little sick and a little stressed, he told us to go out to the store, buy Oreos and peanut butter, and just sit in a room with air conditioning for a half hour. It was the best!! There is a time to work and a time to rest. We can´t run more than our own strength, and that´s important to remember. I loved our little Oreo break.

We´re working hard to find new people, to stay happy and to trust in the Lord!
He doesn´t worry about our abilities, just our willingness! He really does qualify us to fulfill with every commandment and every trial.

I love you all so much! Until next week!
Hermana Schwartz

Monday, August 7, 2017

Exciting Stuff!!!

Hola everybody, how´s it going?

Good news! We found a casa! We fasted for the beginning of the month that we would be able to find something, and that afternoon a less active member that we visited told us she is renting an apartment! It´s outside of our area, but only one block outside of the limit. We have permission to go live there and it´s lovely! It´s the top floor and has a few rooms, running water, and all of the windows! (In comparison to the other houses we saw, it really is an answer to prayer!) Our other options were tiny, not safe, and/or missing windows, sinks, etc. :) I´m excited and we´ll be moving over there next monday! 

I also have some kind of crazy news. We´re having cambios! Hermana Christensen is going to Cozumel with a missionary from my generation, and I´m going to stay here in another hermana! Her name is Hermana Bexter from Utah. I haven´t met her yet, but on Wednesday I get to go meet her. She only has 6 weeks in the mission so I have to show her the ropes. I´m a little nervous because I am so far from perfect, but I´m excited for the opportunity to help her out! 

Fun things that happened this week were that we got to pick guayas and it was a blast! We chopped down the tree branches with machetes and then gathered the fruit with our Maya teacher, hermana Pauilita. Good times. We also got to try really weird new fruit called a "lichi." We went to an appointment with the Young Single Adult leaders, and they brought us pizza, soda, and these weird little hairy red lichi fruit. And they are delish. It tastes like an exotic grape! That´s the only way I can describe it. 

And guess whaaatt....Carlos went to church!! He´s literally the best. He was gone all week and he still remembered about church on sunday! He showed up in a nice button up shirt and even said the prayer in sunday school! So excited for him. 

We got to see the beautiful baptism of a family that technically lives outside our ward but assists in our chapel. The other misioneras taught them but we got to go to their baptism and it totally motivated us! Vanessa, Azul, and Celeste were so happy and they´re now prepping to be sealed to their family in a year! Whoo! 

A bunch of hermanas finished up their missions, and we got to say goodbye to them. 

My trainer, Hermana Medrano, also came and stayed one day with us in Kukulcan! Her new area is in cancun, so she´s in my zone now! It was so fun to see her again and show her around my new area. She´s awesome.

I finished the Book of Mormon and I know that it is true!!! I read it, and the next day in district meeting we had a testimony meeting about the book of mormon! It just confirmed to me everything I know to hear the other testimonies of other missionaries. It brings so much light, it testifies of Christ, and I know it´s true! And now I´m starting to read the New Testament. I know that we can also obtain a testimony of the Bible. The first few chapters talk about Christ being tempted in the wilderness. Do you know what his strength was when the devil tempted him? Every single time he answered with a scripture. That says so much about how the scriptures can strengthen us. Anyway, just a quick little thought for the day. 

I love you all and hope your week is fantastic! I´m attaching a bunch of pics, but unfortunately I took photos of my comps pictures, so they´re kinda chaffa. (low quality) But enjoy! 

Hasta luego, 
Hermana Schwartz​