Monday, May 11, 2015

6 More Days!

Susan and Omar are seriously the best.... Susan is a single mother of an 8 year old and a 2 year old, Omar and Emi. 
It was the most spiritual baptism I have yet so far, the spirit was soooo strong, her mother came to church too and was so grateful to see her daughter and grandsons happy. 
They were baptized on Sunday because it was Omar's 8th birthday :) Today is the party, we are heading over after we finish writing. 
Omar knows more about Joseph Smith than any other investigator hahaha Susan is more active than probably all the members and is just so happy. 
Today we had a district party, we played baseball and it wasn't too fair hahaha because I kept hitting the ball into home runs and everyone was like how is that even possible... hahaha it felt really good to play again :)
we are super excited for mothers day too, I think 6 my time is fine, hna peñaloza is checking with her family right now, if i hear anything ill let you know, but i think 6 is good. :)
It was a crazy week with our baptismal interviews, 2 intercambios, and some crying sessions haha but we are great. we are very sad because we know that we will probably be having cambios, but i will let you know when we skype. 
When we skype you will have to tell me what crazy plans you have set, ill only have 4 and a half months left! i don'
t like to count down, but its a little tricky when everyone says they can smell you dying hahahaha
I did get the package, por fin, and the cream felt sooooo good.... thank you :)
i love you so much! we have 2 baptisms for sure planned in the next few weeks, we are super excited.
love you
hna ibarra

Susan and Omar's Baptism

Hermana Ibarra and Hermana Parslow reunited again

Two Hermanas in the rain

2 More weeks until we skype!

We had a ton of success in the Hawaii activity, we actually have a new baptism date from it and lots of new investigators!
we have lots of baptisms planned for may, but the ward isn't satisfied haha so we are going to try to put two or 3 more for May, so please pray that the lords will will be done :)
we are soooo happy, we have a TON of work this week, 2 intercambios and leadership counsel and then one more week and we have changes! well, we aren't sure if we have changes yet, but i think so :( 
I don't really care when i speak, you guys can plan everything. I don't want to think about what i will do when i get home yet hahaha so you guys can just surprise me with whatever.
This week has been pretty intense on the sister training leader end, lots of desanimo in the mission right now, but we are super happy because a lot of our sisters are doing alright and having a lot of success. :)
We have 2 more cambios then hna lopez leaves, then i leave, then hna peñaloza leaves.... 

Learning some Tai chi from a Sister in the Ward

Frying up some chicken fried steak

On splits with Hermana Aitken from the states

This sweet family was sad to find out that Marissa had her birthday before coming to their area, so they baked her a cake anyways.  There is never a bad time for cake.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


Dear Family,
I can't believe how much god loves us and loves the people her in Atempan... For the first time in my mission EVERYONE OF OUR INVESTIGATORS WAS AT CHURCH!!!!!  We have only 7 but of those 7, 5 have super solid baptism dates!!!! 4 of the baptisms will be in May and the other the beginning of June. The other two investigators that don't have a baptism date are a married couple and we are going to try to put a baptism date with them this week :)
Also, we had the Hawaii activity and we got some great references, one of which is a daughter of a less active member WHO WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED!!!  This next week we already have FILLED with appointments, 2 intercambios, half an intercambio, a planning session, 2 family home evenings, and monthly forms. I have never been happier and sooooooooo tired hahaha there is a reason we only serve 18 months, my body is slowly trying to die on me, but I won't let it hahaha
Our investigators are seriously amazing. we started having SUPER family home evenings, we invite all of the investigators over to a members house and we have a short lesson and play games. This last week we had OVER 30 PEOPLE in the house... we have to split up our group into 2 family home evenings now hahaha. 
 I want to give you the details of each investigator, because they are seriously seeing soooo many miracles in their lives, but I can give you their whole stories when we skype :))))
here are their names so you can pray for them...
Susan and Omar 3 de mayo
Natalya 23 de Mayo
Claudia 21 de Mayo
Laura 4 de Junio
I really hope i am here to see all their baptisms, but we have cambios in 3 weeks and I think I might be going because i

have more time here in Tlaxcala than hna penaloza does, but we will see, the president likes to do crazy things :)

love you so much, please keep praying for the investigators and for my companion. 
seeeeeeeeee yoooooooooooo super soooooooooooooooooooooon ;D
hna ibarra

Intercambios with Hermana Summers and Hermana Garcia

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh we were so sad, Elder Grasinger had to switch missions this week. he has only 3 weeks here, but the sun is treating his skin terribly, so he will now be serving in Vancouver Washington. I told him he would love it, that it rains hahaha he has a lei because we took one from Hawaii activity to say goodbye. he blessed my life a lot with his missionary spirit, he will be greatly missed.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week of miracles enserio (serious)

Dear family,
where do i start... ENRIQUE AND LILA WERE BAPTIZED!!!
Their baptisms were amazing, so many people came, the two were so happy and excited and completely perfect! They both brought family and friends to their baptisms and a friend of Lila's was so excited (she also attended general conference) that she told us that she too wants to be baptized and a friend of Enrique wants to take the lessons :) they are awesome missionaries :) Enrique will receive the priesthood next Sunday and the both of them are going to have callings! though they only have days as members they act and have testimonies of members of years :) they are seriously miracles. Susan and Omar are also super excited about their baptisms in a few weeks. we are super happy buy no we hardly have any people to teach, so we are hoping to find lots of new investigados this week. we are going to be having an activity this Saturday "viajar a hawaii" i donSt know if you remember i did it a year ago in Serdan and we had a ton of success so we are going to try it again :) 
i had a pretty cool miracles this week (well, a bunch jaja) first miracle, Saturday night i was on the phone with one of the assistants to the president and i told him that we were searching for new investigadors and he promised me that if i prayed for a family to teach the lord would provide so that night and the following morning i prayed specifically for "a family of 5 or 6" to teach "a family with a mom, a dad, and kids". Sunday morning after church my companion says to me that hna libertad was at church with her family. this sister was a reference our first week here in atempan, she is a less active member her husband inactive and they have 3 children. we had spoken to her once, but we could never find them so we stopped the search. yesterday they were at church and we talked to her and she said her daughter is 9 and isn't baptized but wants to be, so we have an appointment with them tomorrow. i was like "ITS MY FAMILY OF 5 THAT I PRAYED FOR" jaja 
Also, Saturday morning we had leadership interviews with the president. i talked to him about my plans to be a better missionary and a better leader, he listened and talked a little bit and then he says "i don't know if i want to tell you this after talking to you about your goals" (like he was going to give me correction) and i said "no, please tell me" and he said "you are the best missionary that I have"..... and I just started crying. he said "a mission president knows his strong sheep and you are one of them, yeah sometimes you are a little hard on yourself, but you are one of the best I got" he told me that i teach with the spirit and that i am respected and loved as a missionary and leader and that he is happy to have me. i was so grateful and in tears that all i could say was thank you. i am going to miss him so much when he leaves in July, he is a man of incredible spirit and revelation and for him to tell me that i was one of his strong sheep was equivalent to God telling me that...... i have my final interview with him tomorrow i am extremely happy and sad at the same time. 
We had to reschedule hna parslows and hna mazons intercambio, so i didn't get to work with her, but we still saw each other in the offices because we had to renew our visas and in a multi zone conference that we had with president. 
This week was extremely busy and full with ups and downs but i have never been so happy and blessed in my life. i feel like the promises in my patriarchal blessings are being fulfilled, and more.
please pray for hna Peñaloza, she is going through a hard time right now and please pray that i may know how to help her.
i love you so much. i strive to be the best i can each day so i can live with each and every one of you for the eternities
love hna ibarra

Sightseeing on P-Day

Marissa and a waterfall

Hermana Ibarra and Hermana Penalosa selfie

Hermana Penalosa after a long day of leadership splits

I found a typo on a map

Marissa and her teeth

Enrique's Baptism

Lila's Baptism

Week of meetings

Week- 55
Area- Tlaxcala, Atempan
Companion- Hermana Penalosa

Dear family,
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH This general conference was AMAZING i hope you got to watch all of the sessions and if not im going to invite you to repent haha it was great! we found it strange that the prophet didn't start or end the conference, but it was a good reminder that we don't go to conference for him, but to listen to how we can repent. i like how president eyring started off by speaking about fasting and helping the poor. i also enjoyed the talks about the sabbath day, it is a real problem here with the cell phones during the meetings, so i'm sure it is probably worse there (i was reminded of the conference when they talked about angry birds haha i hope we were all obedient this time around haha) i loved the family and marriage focus, the shiblons in our lives, the dance steps of the gospel, and the talks about grace. i kinda got the vibe that we as members are just going through the motions, we are conforming to a standard way below our greatness and we aren't enjoying the miracles that the gospel is in our lives. i just want to share my testimony with you all for my love of the gospel. at the beginning of my mission i can say that i was obedient, but out of utter fear that if i wasn't i wouldn't be saved or receive love from God. Now, like Elder Uchdorf said, i can be obedient because i want to be, because it brings me joy, because it is how i can show my love for God. I love being a member of this church and being a missionary :)
This week we are going to be starting intercambios again, and Hna Parslow had changes and is in Tlaxcala, which means I get to go on splits with her again, im so excited!!!! I was super jealous, Tuesday we went to CAMBIOS and there was a companionship of a sister and the missionary that she trained who got put together again, i would love it if i could be with hna herrera again haha. 
My mouth, la verdad, is great! I have been doing my treatements as I can and when i do the massage it hurts of course in the moment, but i havent had randoms shocks of pain during the day like before. I am going to go pick up my retainer tomorrow.
Friday we had a leadership counsel which was amazing, as usual, we talked about how we need to be more diligent working with the members and what we as leaders could do to help the mission work more with the members. 

love you all so much, i hope you all have your goals written after watching such an inspired conference. :) 

One other thing.... in 5 weeks its mothers day! which means we will be skyping. we already have the whole cambio planned out, we are so busy haha and so on the 10th of May i was thinking we could skype in the afternoon, because we have church service and then we eat, so then i could write you at like 4 or 5 or 6 my time, whenever you can :)

love you so much! have a great week, remember who you are and what you stand for, make good choices, repent daily and happily, jesus loves you :)

hope you had a great easter, the catholics took it super seriously.On friday (day of christs death) there was NOBODY in the streets.... and hardly any combis passed by and all the stores were closed. it is fun to be in another country to see their traditions. I taught hna peñaloza how to color eggs and make deviled eggs haha 

i will try my best to send pictures, it has been hard because my memory card got a suuuuuuuuuuper bad virus, but we fiiiiiiiiinally found someone who could fix it, so we will see if it works.

love yoooooooooooooooou
hna ibarra

Marissa and Hermana Penalosa managed to get their picture taken even though they didn't get transfered.

1 Year?

Week- 52
Area- Tlaxcala, Atempan
Companion- Hermana Penalosa

This was a pretty great week until we got chewed out by a grumpy man and now i'm all stressed out haha
We have a new investigator named Lila Fritz. She was an old investigator who almost got baptized but wasn't living the law of chastity, so she couldnt. we found her by a miracle. the last sunday the ward organized an activity for all of the investigators to go see meet the mormons and when they asked us for our numbers we told them that we didn't have anyone that was interested. later, the stake president called and told us that we didn't have faith sufficient enough the first time and that they needed 20 people to fill up the bus so we need to pray and find. :P because we had already asked all of the investigators we had we started plowing through the list of old investigators looking for SOMEONE who wanted to go. we found her name and she told us that she already had plans to go see it and that she wanted to see us. we set the appointment for Tuesday and when we showed up to her house she told us that she LOVED meet the mormons and that she wants to marry a mormon hahahaha we asked her about her past with the missionaries and she told us that she had huge desires to be baptized but when the missionaries told her that she had to live the law of chastity she didn't want to because she was enjoying her time with her boyfriend. weeeeeellllllll She isn't with this man anymore and we explained the law of chastity to her and shared the scripture in alma 38 about if we bridle our passions we will end up loving the person more (the reason she didn't want to live it) and she said she would live it because she wants to be baptized!!!! we set a date for her (april 11, the same day as enrique) and we are sooooo excited because she came to church too!!!!
Another miracle this week, Enrique was struggling with being separated from his family so we invited him to do a fast with us and he accepted. a few days later when we arrived at his house he told us that his daughter had come to visit him. he was sooooo happy and he says "it was because we all fasted". he is seriously the best investigator i have ever had, he has an extreme amount of faith, i love him so much. he always comes to church, he is excited for his baptism and excited for general conference. he always reads and we always have family home evening with him and his sister and mom. HE IS THE BEEEEEEEST!!!!
I know that i still have six months left, but it is kinda hitting me hard because i know how fast it will be. i try not to think about school and stuff, but with helping hna peñalosa apply its kinda hard hahaha but i read this awesome talk this week called THE FOURTH MISSIONARY that really pepped me up, it is incredible to know that everything depends on the decisions i choose to make. if i give myself completely over to the lord i will be happier and life will be easier. 
my release date is the 16th. the 15th are cambios and i will leave mexico the 16th. it hurts a lot to think about going home, but i know god has a perfect plan. its not that i'm scared, i just love being a missionary.... so much.... and yeah i guess i'm scared of going back into the dating world because i know that is my "next mission" haha and i don't want to lose this spirituality that i have. i don't want to lose the authority and the name tag.... but everything has its season and i realize that God is planning so much for me for when i get home. i have to goal to be happy during this last little bit of time because i remember how sad and depressed hna zarate was her last 3 months and i dont want to be like that, i want to be the happiest i have ever been, and i have never been so happy. i feel like my heavenly father is blessing us with so many miracles. some hard things are happening with our sisters right now, but they are things that i cant control, so i just remind myself to be patient and i feel happy. i have never felt so happy as i do serving the sisters. we had 2 intercambios this week and i got to help 2 sisters who were struggling with lack of success but it was amazing to see their attitudes, how though they haven't had the success they have wanted they are happy, they see the small miracles, and i love that about the church, about being a missionary.

love you so much
hna ibarra

Mexico Puebla North Mission Leadership

More Craziness!

Week- 50
Area- Tlaxcala, Atempan
Companion- Hermana Penalosa

Dear Family,
I have LOTS of photos to send you this week and lots to tell!!!
Tuesday we had intercambios and i stayed in the area with hna Aiken, a brand new american sister. it was so amazing to work with her and to feel of the amazing spirit she had. i reflected on my first three months and how hard and frustrating it was to not be able to communicate how i wanted to but how much i relied on the spirit, like hna aiken. we literally had a perfect day together :)
Wednesday we returned from intercambios, had district meeting and then went out to another intercambio. i went with hna pacheco again. we didn't get to teach too much because she was sick but we had a nice long chat together and to hear her conversion story again just reminded me that miracles do indeed exist.
Thursday we planned with the sisters and then planned for ourselves. Friday we went to Puebla to the presidents house for leadership councel and it was AMAZING as usual. we talked alot about how we can help the mission have more baptisms and it reenergized me to work that much harder so i can baptize as many people as i can in these last 6 months. 
i have been thinking about how i want to finish my mission and i found a talk called Consecrated Missionary that so many people had told me about and I looooved it, my plan is not to get trunky haha but to sprint to the end. This week went i started thinking about how much time i have left i realized that it is going to be sooo fast because the president already has planned out what he wants to do with me. 2 cambios more as STL and then 2 cambios training a new missionary and then i'm home....
On Saturday we also had another mini intercambio because i had to take a sister the the hospital for a checkup so her companion could work with my companion because they hadnt done anything all week, but it was kinda fun to go back to Apizaco, even though i didn't even see anyone hahaha
ENRIQUE IS AMMMMMAAAZINNNG!!!! HE is our golden golden investigator, he has is baptism set for after general conference and he is soooo excited, we talk about his baptism every lesson and about general conference :)
love you all so much!
P-Day at Cacaxtla