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 Kukulcan...training 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​













Thursday, August 3, 2017

Gonna Be Staying in Cool-Cool-Can!

Hi everyone, Ba'ax ka walik? ("what´s up" in maya)

We received our transfers and Hermana Christensen and I are going to keep working in the wonderful area of Kukulcan! We´re so excited because this area is seriously amazing and we work really well together. I screamed with joy when they told us, haha. I´ve decided that our area should officially be re-named Cool Cool Can, because it´s the coolest. 

So many great things happened this week! We found this one investigator that is progressing so quickly! Carlos is honestly the best! He´s 16 years old, and he and his 8 year old brother are listening to us. We left him the first page of the Book of Mormon to read and he read 9 chapters of 1 Nephi! He also told us that he likes praying because he used to feel really alone, and now he doesn´t. I honestly almost cried with joy. He´s great. 

Another little miracle is that we started teaching a girl named Mari that wears a really big Catholic style necklace and we were so worried that she just wouldn´t accept us. But we taught about baptism, and we invited her to be baptized! She said that if she learns the church is true, she´ll absolutely follow the example of Jesus Christ! She has so much potential, and her faith is so strong!!

My heart melted a little bit this week because we ate with members that had the cuuuutest little girls. One of them, Michelle, really likes this one TV show Peppa Pig. We just so happened to have a sheet of stickers with Peppa Pig on them, and we gave her one and I can truly say that I´ve seen true happiness. She ran around the whole house saying, "Peppa Princesa! Tengo Peppa Princesa!" It was adorable. Another little girl, Aranza, walked down the street with us to buy tortillas for our lunch. She had a lot of fun being a little "missionary" and she made us each a necklace. It was so tiny that I had to put it on my wrist, but I´m gonna keep it forever. 

For those of you who know I don´t like bananas, you´ll be happy to hear that this week I got to eat a whole bunch of them. A family served us a giant plate of bananas for dessert, and I was suffering a little bit. My companion was a gem and tried to help me out by discretely taking a few, but the family noticed and now we´re pretty sure they think she´s a dessert thief that stole poor Hermana Schwartz´s bananas. 

Speaking of food, we ate with a family for 3 HOURS one day. Normally our lunch appointments are an hour, but they just kept giving us stuff! They finished off by giving us a mountain of candy to take to our house, from different states of mexico. Some of it was really good, but some was just weird! There are some really good ones that are just little bland seed cakes, but we can´t seem to stop eating them....I´ll put a photo. 

We have the promise from the Familia Chan Ku that we´re going to eat menudo tonight! I´m mildly terrified! I don´t really want to eat cow stomach...but cuando en Mexico, I guess!

Oh, I also put a video of when we washed one of my skirts! We wash stuff by hand sometimes, and this one skirt had a lot of dye! The water was running black and it looked super creepy, so we took a video! Needless to say, the skirt faded quite a lot. But it was really fun to wash it, haha!

I´m going to finish reading the Book of Mormon this week! My goal is to finish by the end of August and I´m determined to do it! One idea is to just to read 3 Nephi, if you need a good place to read. It´s beautiful and talks about when Christ came to the Americas. His teachings are so clear and powerful. I know that he´s our Savior, that he lives and loves us, and that the Book of Mormon testifies of him!! 

Photos:

1. Video of the skirt washing
2. A popular phrase here is "Planchar," or "Ironing." They use it in the context of "roasting." My companion is really good at planching people. ;)
3. The baptisms we have planned!!! 
4. Weird seed candy
5. With Hermana y Hermano Moo
6. In a district meeting! We take this work very seriously 

Love you all!! Have a great week!
Hermana Schwartz

video













Monday, July 24, 2017

Running Through Cancun!

Wow, what a week! The transfer is flying by, and I am so excited to say that we have 11 (ELEVEN!) people with baptism dates!! Of course, that doesn´t mean that all of them will necessarily be baptized, but it´s very exciting nevertheless! Our district leader challenged us to put baptism dates in the first visits with EVERYONE, and at first we were a little terrified, tbh. But it turned out so cool and we had some awesome experiences! It´s an amazing way to see who is actually interested and who isn´t.

Hands down the coolest experience was that we got to have a lesson with Max, Monica´s husband. We talked about the Plan of Salvation and he just ate it up. He was just like, "I´ve never heard anything about this in my life, but it´s amazing." We told him about the steps we need to take in this life to reach the celestial kingdom, including baptism, and we invited him to be baptized. And he said YES!!! People, he´s basically an atheist! But he said he would do everything possible to gain a testimony and be baptized. We left the lesson with a fist pump and just giggling because we were so happy and the spirit was so strong. It was also 9:30 and we were supposed to be in our house at 9:00, so we LITERALLY ran back to our house. Our bugspray and sunscreen and all that good stuff kept falling out and we were sweating so much, but we got back safe and just said a prayer of gratitude. 

It´s gonna be hard work to get Max baptized, it might even take a miracle (Princess bride reference...ish, haha!) But I know it´s possible! 

I´m so grateful for the people the lord permits us to know, to teach, and to learn from. Thank you all for all your support, great emails, and prayers! And just for being part of my life. 

My time is up but I´ll be writing again on Saturday for transfers!
Have a wonderful week! Try and serve someone! 

Love you all!!!
Hermana Schwartz

Thursday, July 20, 2017

5 Months Out Already!

Hola everyone!

How´s everthing going? Cancún is beautiful, super hot and humid, and everyone says it´s just gonna keep getting hotter. I´m starting to wish we could maybe just pass by the beach....just to see it! I haven´t seen the ocean in my whole time here. I completed 5 months on Friday! The time is just flying by and I can´t quite believe it, especially when I hear about all of these other people leaving on missions and getting back! 

We had intercambios this week and I got to go work for one day in the area next to us, it´s called Nichupte. It looks exactly the same so it wasn´t anything too shocking. But it was fun to work with the capacitadora (sister training leader,) because she talks to EVERYONE! It really pushed me to open up and just start inviting people. It was fun because she also showed me a super cool activity to do with investigators. You take 3 cups (tazas) and 3 forks, and you have to get all the forks to touch in the middle. It´s pretty challenging, but there´s a trick. Once you get them connected ,you can put a ton of weight on it---it can hold scriptures! We did it with this one lady, and her face was just filled with awe! It was so cute, haha. The three cups represent prayer, scripture study, and church attendance. With these three things we can build a solid foundation for our lives. :) We also did it with a family with young kids, and their youngest son Marco offered to sit on it to see how strong it reallllly was. Jaja. :)

I´m absolutely too tall to live here in Mexico, I´ve decided. I hit my head on a gate and everyone laughed at me. One time I wore a black shirt to church and a lady commented that I looked like the Grim Reaper because I´m so tall and wore black....gracias. But it´s good!! It´s a fun way to stand out and it´s helping me develop my sense of humor in spanish! I learned the word for "high heels" and told everyone I´m going to wear them next week. ;)

We ate some delicious choco-flan, it´s flan with chocolate cake underneath! The members here are amazing and they always give us food. We also got free carne asada yesterday. I love that stuff. Another new food that we tried were "flautas." Flauta means flute, and they´re basically just fried taquitos. But with crema, guacamole, and tomate? It´s a musical experience. Wow that was a bad pun, sorry everyone. 

In terms of investigators, we finally got this one couple to commit to baptism!! Andres and Izzel are amazing! They´re only problem is they aren´t married, and they keep pushing back the date for their wedding. I suggested to them that maybe they could just get the official paperwork done, get baptized, and then have a big wedding with their family. They were just like, "oh...that´s an option? Sweet, we´ll do it!" I hope they can meet their goal and be baptized in August!! 

I just want to share something cool l learned from the scriptures this week before I sign off! In the book of Alma, there´s this crazy king named Amalakiah. He convinced the Lamanite leader to come down off the hill and then he poisoned him. It´s a bit intense, but I know that´s how Satan works in our lives! He tries to convince us to lower our standards, just a little bit, until we can´t escape. If we never lower our standards, he can´t touch us. In the chapters before this story, Captain Moroni raises the standard of Liberty! That´s how we should be. Wave your standards high and never, ever lower them for anything! If we do this we will be protected and have peace! 

I love you all and hope that you have an excellent week! Email me and tell me about your lives! :)

Mucho amor,
Hermana Schwartz

Photos:
1. 5 month mark!
2. With hermana Christensen
3. Our giant life time supply of pancake mix!!











Tuesday, July 11, 2017

He Will Hear You

Hola everyone!

This was a week of little miracles! We ran around a ton trying to work on our goal to be more punctual, and just ended up being more tired. But the area is huge and so we´re trying our best! We´re trying to petition our mission president for better transport...we don´t want a car, maybe just like a golf cart or something. Taxis get expensive after a while!

It was super cool in one of our lessons with a less active member, Monica. I was saying the opening prayer and I just felt this impression to pray for her husband by name. He isn´t a member and he never joined us in the lessons or anything. But when I opened my eyes, her husband Max was sitting there on the couch praying with us!! And he stayed for the whole lesson AND he went to church on Sunday!! He´s not an Atheist, but he´s definitely a realist. Our lessons have to be very specific and we´re trying to teach him about what it means to have faith. But he´s reading the Book of Mormon and he wants to know! This is a huge change and we´re so excited! I was so grateful that I had the impression to pray for him.

We´re just super grateful because a bunch of investigators just kind of fell into our paths this week. One investigador brought his friends to the lesson and they all participated! Another just found us by our house and asked us to start teaching him. I know that these little blessings are because we´re trying to be more obedient.

BUT.....one investigator is super crazy. His name is Bryan. I honestly don´t know what to do with him. He showed up at the church wearing these outrageously tight workout clothes and mirrored sunglasses. He tells us that he doesn´t have a job. He just goes to the gym. And we gave him a Book of Mormon, but then he locked in a box and couldn´t get it out. We gave him another one, and guess where he put it? Yup.....in the same box. He´s crazy. But he really does seem like he wants to learn, so we´ll see what happens!

We got to destress a little bit and play with puppies! Our neighbors are members and their dog had four puppies that they let us play with! They are super cute and very mischievious.

We also had an awesome conference with 3 zones where we got a super cool way to get references. It reminds me of a challenge that the missionaries in my home ward did...we have to think of people and pray specifically for them for 10 days in a row, and read the scriptures as a family. If we think of these people, the Lord will prepare a way for them to receive a little bit of the gospel.

I repaired another toilet today. I think it´s maybe a sign that I need to be a plumber after the mission. I had a handkerchief in my back pocket and everything! The piece we bought came with a bunch of stickers that you´re supposed to put on the toilet...don´t ask me why....but we put them in our agendas so we don´t forget this momentous occasion.

Anywayyy....I hope you all have a wonderful week! Remember that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that the things that are important to us are important to him. He will listen and bless you if you come to him in prayer. (Alma 33:8) I think the English translation says "he will hear you!" I know that he really will!

Love you all!! :)
Hermana Schwartz

The photos are me in front of the super fancy Mexican Walmart, playing with puppies, and this really crazy house that has Greek statues all over it!







Thursday, July 6, 2017

I met a Xoloitzcuintli

Hola everyone! Hope you all had an excellent week! Happy fourth of July, tomorrow! I have big plans to wear red, white and blue and just have a little bit of American pride in the middle of Cancún!

There are people here from all of the world, it´s actually super interesting! I met the coolest lady ever, she´s a member from RUSSIA that speaks Russian, Spanish and English basically perfectly. We went over to visit her and her family yesterday and they all just casually changed languages like it was nothing. They are such a sweet couple with such strong testimonies! Olga was converted here after growing up without a christian background, and now she and her husband are married in the temple. It´s so cool just to be able to meet so many different people and hear about their stories! 

Speaking about interesting people....we found this amazing family! They´ve been inactive for years but now they want to come back to church and their daughter Milka wants to get baptized! She´s absolutely amazing, super bright, super excited and she read the entire Restauracion pamphlet that we left and explained it perfectly to us! (Tears of joy! Haha!) She´s 10 years old and super adorable. Her family also always gives us chocolate, orange juice, or just random treats. And their dog is....drumroll please....a Xoloitzciuintli!!! It´s pronounced like "churro squinkly." It´s a giant, bald, Aztec dog named Huerco! He is so mischievious and crazy! They took him outside because he was climbing all over us and then suddenly found a way back in through the window. Please google a picture so you can see how bizarre he looks. At first it was mildly terrifying to have such a big, bald dog sniffing my stuff but he´s super sweet and intelligent. The best part is that they have Churro Squinklys in the zoo in my old area, but I never got to see them. So it made my day to finally figure out what they are. 

Another crazy experience was that we went to eat lunch with a member, Hermana Paty Viveros. She didn´t have time to cook so she bought us 2 Little Caesars pizzas, crazy bread, and soda just for my compañera and me. We managed to finish off one pizza between us, but we were SO FULL! Luckily the next day was fast Sunday, so we were able to really prepare before our fast. Her son showed us his $250 american dollar headphones and crazy expensive speaker. He just started rambling on about how good the quality is and we were just like....."woww...si!" 

We had a lot of noches de hogar this week, or little family night visits where we teach a small lesson and then play games. We talked about courage with one family, and then about family history work with another. I love it because they really remind me about the blessings of living the gospel. There is so much to keep learning and keep discovering, even after we have our basic testimonies solid. 

It´s been a little interesting because we are House Hunting!! The landlords are going to sell our house and we need to find a new one before the end of the month! It´s a little sad because we´re pretty happy there with the tree on the wall and so much space. But it´ll be good. We´ve got lots of members that are helping us look, and we´re praying that we can find something in our budget in a safe neighborhood. It feels like real life! I took a picture of our wall that has the "Our Recipe" on it. It says cute little things like, 2 cups of hugs, 3 cups of service. Muchos besos! Etc.  It was just like that when we got here, but it´s very cute. 

The small challenge is that we share this area with some Elders. They´re good and they usually mind their own business and work hard, but lately they´ve been showing up to the same people that we´re visiting! Sometimes at the same time! We just want to tell them, "Stop following us, Por Favor!!!" But it´s kind of funny and it just shows how the work is going forward. If the Lord is sending four missionaries to visit one person, it just shows how much they need the visits!

I love the people here, I love learning to work hard, and I especially love the scriptures. 
Alma 26 helped me so much today!! Alma is glorying in the Lord, and it talks about WHY he had success. If we repent, have faith, and good works, we will make an impact, and our joy will be full. Read this chapter if you get a chance, it´s amazing! :)

The other random thing that made me laugh so hard was my companion picked up the phone and totally spaced it and said, "Buenas dias tardes noches habla Hermana Christensen. When in doubt if it´s dias, tardes, or noches, just say all three! Haha, never gonna let her live that one down.

Thank you all for all that you do! I´m praying for you and I know that God is aware of you all and protecting you! Christ is our Savior, brother, and friend. Let him be part of your life this week! :)

Mucho amor, 
Hermana Schwartz





 
Mayan Book of Mormon
 
Hermana Schwartz y Hermana Christensen
 
Recipe
 Image result for Xoloitzcuintli

Am I in Utah??

Hola everybody!!! 

I´ve been transferred to Kulkucán barrio in Cancún! And it´s crazzzyyy amazing! The biggest difference is that the ward is HUGE. In Tizimin, we had maybe 50 active members. Here there are over 200 and we´ve got a list of about 700 less active members. There´s a lot of work to do! They are all super willing to help us out and it´s so nice! They give us food, rides, and want to come with us to lessons! They´re the best!! The primary kids ran up to us after church and gave us the cutest letters ever, it was adorable. The investigators are also super "potente!" A lot of people here are looking for a change in their lives or just a little bit of peace and so they´re usually very willing to hear us. They ask good questions, they understand the doctrine, and I am so excited to see if they´ll start progressing in the gospel! 

Our house is adorable because it has a tree painted on one of the walls, and it has 2 floors and 2 bathrooms! Even better, it has a giant stash of Reeses peanut butter cups in the fridge. 
This area is like the headquarters of the mission, so when other missionaries come to visit they usually stay in our giant house. The night I got here we had a sleepover with 8 other girls that were all travelling for various transfers. It was a party! My new companion is Hermana Christensen and we speak a solid mix of Spanish and english in the house. She´s been out a little longer than I have, and between us we can usually understand everyone and communicate pretty well. It´s just funny when we´re on the phone, because one lady asked if we could pass the phone to a Latina companion, and it was like, "Too bad, we´re both gringas!" 

It is way hotter here and also super humid! My hair basically never dries completely after I shower, but it´s all good. My companion cut it a little bit shorter because my layers were doing weird things. It was super wavy on top and almost completely straight underneath, so we just chopped a little more off. Humidity is definitely an adjustment, but I don´t mind it too much. The crazy thing is when it rains! The first few days a tropical storm passed by and we were absolutely soaked! We were just walking around trying to find a house and it felt like we were swimming in the street! It´s also crazy because the area is way bigger, so we usually travel by taxi or combi. Combis are these small vans that just cram in as many people possible and drive super fast along one street. It´s fun to hail them down. I tried to talk to a lady and share a pass along card, but it was just a little awkward because we were smushed so close together. 

I met the funniest lady that speaks English and spanish and she was so sassy with her kids that we were just dying laughing. She was trying to teach them 2 plus 2 equals 4 and they said six. She was just like, "Do you SEE my fingers? Count them!! It´s so simple!" Hermana Paulita in the barrio is teaching us Maya, and she´s also hilarious! She just tells us random stories and we have to write down the words that she uses in maya. Hopefully by the end of the transfer I can give my testimony in Maya! 

In this week here I have felt the spirit so strongly. We had some amazing lessons and words and scriptures came to my mind that I know are not my own. Even in the practices in district meetings! We did a practice teaching experience and I shared a verse in Mosiah. An elder told me the after I shared a scripture, he just felt super strongly about some things he needed to improve to teach better. He thanked me for sharing the verse that I did. I didn´t know why he needed to hear that, but I just think it´s amazing the difference it can make if we listen to the spirit. 

Little miracles that happened: 
1. Monica is a less active member that just wants her nonmember husband to be baptized. He showed up to church for the first time after years of her asking him to go!! 
2. We contacted Rafael and Eva, and they are so READY to hear the gospel!! But they live outside our area...noooo! The other hermanas started teaching them and they are going to do amazing things. 
3. This one guy on the street said "Elders?" when we passed by. We told him, "close, we´re the hermanas!" He almost got baptized 6 years ago but had problems with tithing. We´re going to start teaching him and I´m so excited! I hope that now is his time. 

Anyway, I love the members here so much and I´m just starting to get to know them!  I´m so happy to be serving here. I know that living the gospel brings true joy! The angel who converted Alma visited him while he was discouraged on his mission in Ammoniah. He told him to lift up his head and rejoice, and be grateful for his many blessings, and get to work! (Alma 8:16) I loved this verse and I know that the counsel is true! We have so many little reasons to be happy. :)

Thank you all for your prayers and support! I´ll try and have some funny stories for next week. 
Mucho amor!
Hermana Schwartz

Photos:
Me and Hermana Eva before I left Tizimn
Last selfie with Hermana Medrano
Hermana Christensen in the new casa in Kukulcan
Blurry selfie with the TREE and my shorter hair











Saturday, June 17, 2017

Adios, Tizimin Dos....

.......y hola Cancun!

Yep, I´m going to be transfered to a ward in Cancun! It´s called Kulcucan. I can only hope that I´m spelling it right, haha! It´s going to be way exciting because it´s basically the complete opposite of Tizimin. It´s a small farming community here, and Kulcucan is the big city. I´m excited to have a change and start working in a new area! I know that the people there need the gospel and that this message can bless their lives. My new companion is Hermana Christianson from West Jordan, Utah.

But this week was a little sad because we basically just visited the members to say goodbye. We had some great relationships with great families here, and I´m going to miss them!! We always promise them that one day we´re gonna come back and visit and they never believe us. If anyone ever wants to visit Yucatan someday, hit me up because I have places to stay! 

Random foods that I ate this week: Corn popsicles (saborines de elote) and Tripa! (Intestines!!) Yes, I finally tried the tacos de tripa! And I have to say, I´m a fan! It basically tastes just like normal beef, but it´s muy suave. We said goodbye to Alejandro and Karla, some of our investigadors that are amazing and just need to get married before they can be baptized. They have a taqueria and they sent me off with tripa because I always made a big fuss about eating it. But it´s super good!

We did some more extreme weeding with a family that we just adore---our convert Mariana and her familia. It was so fun to just spend time serving them and talking about their plans. They want to build a gorgeous house on this property that they have. We sat around in a circle on the ground just eating chips and drinking soda because that´s what you do after hours of weeding. Super fun, and a great family. 

We had a conference in Vallodolid with Presidente. He always bestows us with mucho wisdom, and I learned so much about the importance to just trust in the spirit! We have a member of the Godhead with us constantly!! I´m working on listening and acting better. I know that he can protect us, give us comfort, and lead us to do good works. Doctrine and Covenants 11:15-16 is an amazing verse that really helped me this week. 

Super cool miracle is that my companion is going to be going to Barrio 1 and the elders there are going to be coming to Barrio 2. They´re just doing a flip flop to switch things up a little bit in the wards. But the elders found a family of 12 that accepted to hear the missionaries. We felt bad because we don´t have any new families to teach here...and we were finally able to contact this family of 10!! It´s so interesting how the Lord works. Some missionaries plant seeds, others teach, and others baptize. I´m not going to be here to see how it plays out, but I hope that both families in time can be baptized!!

Other random things that you learn on your mission include how to repair toilets! Definitely a new skill for me. Now it works a little bit better....we still have to use a bucket to flush sometimes, but it´s an improvement, right? Haha!

I can´t believe that I´ve finished my training, that I´m moving on to a different area and a new companion. I´m gonna miss my companion Hermana Medrano so much! She was literally like my Mom here!! I know that the things I´ve learned here are preparation for the rest of my mission and the rest of my life! This time isn´t mine, it´s the Lord's, and if I give my best effort he will make up the difference. When I first came on the plane it took me about half an hour to work up the courage to talk to the person next to me about the gospel. Now I can start up a conversation with anyone and testify. I know that ability is enhanced when I have the spirit. This is the work of El Rescate!! The Rescue!  I encourage you all to look for some small way to share the gospel, to testify, or to help the missonaries in your ward. I know you´ll be blessed for your efforts. :)

As promised here are a bunch of photos! Have a wonderful week!
Hermana Schwartz​

Captions for photos:
1. Extreme Weeding
2. Orejitas and the sister training leaders!
3. I´m dramatic, she´s stubborn. But we both like snickers!
4. Just a little fun with machetes
5. Mariana and her family! (Sandra, Jorge, Alexa y Alexis)
6. cool shadows
7. The piñatas that we made for an Elder that finished his mission. I forgot to tell this story in my big email.....we started to make a pinata by hand and it turned out pretty creepy. So we bought one of a little cartoon girl, chopped of the pigtails, and redecorated it to look like a missionary. Then we brought it to the district meeting and smashed it!!! It was so fun, and poor Elder Walch got whacked by Elder Ocampo because he was holding the pinata. They caught it on video and the Elders are still laughing about it! Also, the pinatas here are intense! The material is super hard and the Elders went crazy trying to destroy the pobre misionerito. 
8. Hermana Lucy and her family (members)
9. Zona Tizimin!
10. The Family Ayala (they are incredible! This family leads everything! Relief Sociey, primary, young womens, priesthood, everything!!)
11. Tacos de Tripa!! Yum!
12. Skirts that Hermana Eva made for us. (Tears! Adios hermana eva!)


























Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go

Hola everyone!!¡¿Como estan?

There´s a bunch of upside down question marks and such because they´re fun to use, haha. :)

Well, this week was very exciting! We have cambios next week (transfers!) so I get to write on Saturday and not next Monday. I don´t know where I´m heading yet, but there will most definitely be a cambio because there´s a huge possibility that Presidente is going to close our area Tizimin. It´s all a little uncertain right now, but we´re ready to go forward with faith. I´ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord!

I´ve got some good stories for this week. First of all, we started of the week with EXTREME WEEDING with machetes and chainsaws! We went to helpe Hermano Jacinto clean up his yard, and it´s perfectly normal here to weed with a giant machete in one hand and and a weird tool called a coa in the other. It´s very effective if you know what you´re doing, but if not (cough, cough, meee) it´s a little trickier and very likely to get blisters. But it was super fun and awesome to watch this 60 year old man casually pull out a chainsaw and chop up tree stumps like it´s nothing. 

But, the sad news is Jacinto didn´t show up to his own baptism and we had to drop him. It´s the second time he´s done this so it´s pretty clear that he isn´t going to progress. We were a little sad, but we know that it´s all in the hands of the Lord and that everyone has their free agency. We celebrated our "no baptism" with lots and lots of pan! (Bread)

The pan here is suupper rico and only costs a couple pesos. I tried a little bit of each kind and it was a feast. 

It was super cool this week to hear the testimony of Alejandro. He´s got so much vision and optimism, even though he doesn´t have work and his family is struggling. We invited him to the class on autosufficiencia. It´s a super neat program that helps people get back on their feet. 

We had intercambios this week, and the sister training leaders came to work in our area. It was awesome because I got to lead in the lessons, navigate the streets, and do everything! 

Due to technically difficulties I can´t send photos this week, lo siento!!

Remember to have courage in trials, trust in the Lord, and go forward with faith! Revelation is real, the Spirit can guide our steps, and the scriptures are priceless. 

Have a wonderful week!
Mucho amor, 
Hermana Schwartz

Monday, June 5, 2017

Guppies, Haircuts, and Testimonies

Hola hola, Buenas Tardes!

I hope that this letter finds you very well, my dear family, friends, and acquaintances.

This week was awesome because we made a Muro de MILAGROS (Miracle Wall) and we´ve been writing down the little tender mercies. Man, I knew they existed but it´s so much more powerful to have them written down! We can just see all of the little ways that God is helping in this work. We also write down inside jokes and random thoughts and it´s just super fun. I really encourage any of you that are feeling down to write down the little blessings! I guarantee that you will find them and that you will feel better afterwards.

We taught a lesson this week and it went really well, Spanish-wise, until I shared james 1:5. I memorized it in Spanish and was super excited to use it in the lesson, but I accidentaly said "se ARROZ dada" instead of "le sera dada" and my companion cracked up afterwards. Arroz is rice and apparantly I was hungry during the lesson, haha!

One of the coolest experiences was that we got to visit Hermano Lucio in his terreno. He´s this amazing viejito that is one of the first converts to the church here in Tizimin. He´s our adopted abuelito, and his stories are soooo fun to listen too! You  can just feel the goodness in him after a lifetime of following the Savior. We went to have a service project and help him weed his property, but we just sat and talked and afterwards he gave us MANGOS! (We´re obsessed!)

More updates with Amber, last week she wanted her patriarchal blessing and this week she shared her testimony in Testimony meeting! I almost cried I was so happy! She´s scared to talk in front of people so to see her go up of her own free will and share her conversion story was amazing.

We taught a crazy family with EIGHT perros, (demasiado perros!) And 20 million guppies. They just have a ton of fishtanks in their backyard, and they gave us some little fish that we´re technically not allowed to have. Mateo, Marco, Bob, y Kevin are currently residing in our casa against mission rules. Shhhh.....

I have a promise that next week I´m going to eat cow intestines and I´m downright terrified. Please pray for me, haha!

I got a haircut today and it´s super short! It was time because the crazy humidity was making it muy dificil to manage my long hair. The sweet hermana in the ward who cut our hair only charged us 20 pesos....that´s a $1 haircut!

I know that this church is true. It´s true in Utah, it´s true in Mexico. It´s true for every person in every corner of the earth. God literally hears and answers our prayers, in his own time. I was having a rough day beating myself up and I found an article in the Liahona that literally answered every single doubt I had. Personal revelation is real, people! Our Heavenly Father knows your struggles and is just waiting for us to turn to Him.

Have a wonderful and spiritually uplifting week!
Mucho amor from Tizimin,

Hermana Schwartz
PS--my shirt says "No Boyfriend, no problems." Hehe, very fitting for the mission. ;)