Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Muchas lagrimas‏/ Many tears

Week- 29
Area- Serdan
Companion- Hermana Herrera

Hola Familia!
I am doing really well, lots of emotions passed through me this week with many challenges and miracles. 
It is probably no suprise, but I am leaving Serdan! Part of me is very excited to finally have a new area after over 7 months in the mission hahaha but at the same time I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest. 
First, I want to thank dad for the email he wrote me.... It was exactly what I needed... This week Monika, Selenes mom who has had a baptism date for forever because she was waiting for her divorce papers, finally told us that her papers were going to be done this week, but that she wasnt ready to be baptized this month. Gustavo, her other husband who she couldnt marry but is living with, was unfaithful recently so she broke it off with him. Gustavo is an investigator too, his whole family is in the church, he was actually baptized, but the ward lost his records so he has to be baptized again, and so she feels uncomfortable going to church and told us come back in a month.... I have never cried so hard in front of an investigator before, all I could do was bear my testimony and promise her that if she will be baptized she will be blessed with the comfort she is looking for in this difficult time, but she wants to face it all alone.... I was especially sad because Selene, my convert, doesnt want to go to church anymore either because Gustavo, her dad, is there.... When we left the lesson Hna Herrera asked if I was ok, and I just bawled.... I know God has a plan and I pray every day that she will be baptized so that they can go to the temple together, but it was a rough hour, but afterwards we had an awesome lesson with a newer investigator who is absolutely golden, so I felt a little better. It is incredible how much love you develop for people in such a short amount of time.
Elizabeth and Paty and her family (an old investigator who we found this week again and suddenly wants to change her life)  were in the church this week!!!!
After the meeting we were talking to Elizabeth and I told her that I had changes and she began to cry, the sweet thing.... She told me thanks for changing my life and then I started to cry hahaha.  As sad as it is to leave the area, I KNOW I will see these people again because we have the beautiful knowledge of the gospel.
Love you all so much! Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me, It really makes feel so happy when I see that you guys are living the gospel and seeing blessings from it. Always have family home evening, I am seeing HUGE miracles through it with the members and especially less actives. 

Love you!
con amor, hna ibarra

I LOVE CONFERENCE AND MIRACLES!

Week- 28
Area- Serdan
Companion- Hermana Herrera

Dear Family and Friends, 
This truly was a fantastic week (until we found out that none of our investigators saw the conference....)!
I would love to share an amazing experience we had this week that strengthened my testimony of the Holy Spirit.
I'm not sure if you remember, but we had a golden investigator named Juana. She was doing everything, including attending church (which is a miracle in itself) and then her and her husband saw a video about the temple and she dropped of the face of the earth for almost a month because of it (I HATE VIDEOS...) We continued to teach her husband because he had a lot of faith and confidence in us, so we helped him recover from the video and he really truly wants to repent and change his life after some very serious sins. Then Juana got really really sick, like having to stay in your house for a month sick and we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to help her with a blessing and service, but she didn't want anything from us. 
This week we went to visit Humberto and Juana answered the door!!! We were so happy to see that she was alive and walking and we talked with her a bit and she said we could come back for Humberto the next day because he was working. We came back the next day planning to teach Humberto, but he was working in the fields, but Juana invited us in!!! Hna Herrera and I looked at each other like "we planned for Humberto, what are we going to teach this women that has rejected us for so long" and I told her we would listen to the spirit and it would guide us to what to do. Because we hadn't seen her for a while we asked her how her reading in the book of mormon was and she told us that she wasn't reading all that much, so immediately the thought came to read with her. I opened my book of mormon to the section in 3 nephi about Christs ministry, hoping to find something and I saw a scripture that I had marked about his healing power, if we come unto him, so I said we were going to read this chapter together, not knowing if if would help, but praying that it would (ch.17). As we began to read this chapter of when Christ called everyone to be healed, especially the little children, because of the mercy and love he had for them I began to cry. When we finished reading I shared my testimony of the healing power of Christ  and reminded her of our very first lessons together and she was fighting tears the whole time, because of her pride, but eventually let a few tears fall. The spirit was so perfectly strong that it lead us to read and share exactly what she needed to hear to remember why she began listening to us in the first place. 
At times when we see things or hear things that are troubling in the church, we only need to remember the things we absolutely know and fall on our spiritual experiences from the past to help us push through those doubts, just like Juana.
Also, Sebastian is literally an angel on earth, he is such an example to me. He is experiencing some hard persecution in his home for being a new member of the church, but he is still staying strong. This last lesson we had with him he was silent for a minute and then said something along the lines of "it is crazy how whenever I have a question or a doubt about something you always come and always answer them... I really enjoy talking to you and sharing my experiences with you". Also, a week or two before we were practicing the plan of salvation and he said "I remember when you (talking directly to me) taught me this lesson and you had a picture or all the worlds and I understood it so well!" I have to tell you that when I taught this lesson it was my second week in the mission and I was on my exchanges and I thought I had butchered my spanish, so when he told me this I wanted to hug him so bad hahahaha 

I hope you all had the opportunity to watch general conference! It seems like just yesterday when we saw the general conference that changed the course of my life and honestly I felt like this one was no different. I went to conference with a question, found the answer and another question, and then the answer to the new question.
While I was watching the first session of conference with the other Americans (we were able to watch it in English in Puebla) Hna Wells asked me if I would return to BYUI or not after the mission or what my plans were. I said i wasn't sure, but that it was a year from now and i wasn't too concerned, that I knew the Lord would help guide me down the path I needed to go when the time came as long as I serve. I quickly realized that I have less than a year and these first six months were incredibly fast and I know that the  months will only get faster and faster and that I will be home before I know it, so then I began to think... All of Sunday they talked about making decisions and how the make the BEST decisions and I knew they were talking directly to me, telling me to repent. One of the things one of the Elders mentioned was that we need to involve our loved ones in our decision making because our decisions won't only affect us, but them too. I realized that before my mission I was very selfish, only seeing how my decisions would affect me, so I want to apologize for that and involve you more in my decision making so i can make not only better decisions, but the BEST decisions (so if you received this letter, you are pretty special and I want your help haha) Also, I loved how he said to make the best decisions we need to read our Patriarchal blessings and see if our decisions are leading us to the blessings that are there or not.
I love you all so much, I hope that you are all making the decision to change something after seeing this conference! Remember that it is through obedience and your confidence in your spiritual growth that you can experience miracles!
con amor,
hna ibarra :)



I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE‏

Week- 27
Area- Serdan
Companion- Hermana Herrera

hola familia!
Well, I got some crazy news, Serdan will be opening another misión, so we will have 6 missionaries here really soon! The whole Ward is freaking out because they don't know how they are going to feed us all hahaha
We have cambios in 2 weeks and I'm pretty sure I am leaving, though we wont know until another week and a half, but Hna Herrera is convinced that I will open Serdan 3 and stay here forever hahahaha. Strange thing, Elder Gallegos, our district leader, was called this week and is leaving Serdan today for the offices for a special assignment. We think he will be a secretary, but who knows, we were all pretty sad, but we knew that changes were coming.
This weekend we had the opportunity to watch the womens sesión of conference and it was AMAZING, if you didnt see it repent and watch it hahaha The testimonies of the temple and Elder Uchtdorf's talk were absolutely inspired. I am so excited for this weekends conference, after over six months in the misión I need a spiritual boost, especially because we are still having trouble getting investigators to church. Although we didn't have any investigators this week (Elizabeth has an infection and couldn't come) we had 6 less active members, 4 of which we have only recently started working with! I am always so
excited to see less active members in the church, probably more than our investigators haha.
Elder Alvarez (Ricardo) had his farewell, so there were lots of people at church and the spirit was super strong. We were invited to his setting apart and it reminded me of my call to serve and the blessings that await if I serve faithfully.
Cool story for the week, we were contacting and we contacted one lady who lead us immediately to her house and she accepted everything we were telling her, we are hoping she will be a great new investigator! Also, we are still practicing with Sebastian and Mauricio (recent convert of the other sisters) for the misión and we always have a great time, it reminds me of my days in the Mtc haha
love you all so much!
My mouth is pretty great, I can feel everythings, sometimes it feels a Little funny and I still have the random shocks of pain, but very rarely now, thanks for all the prayers!
The misión is the best thing that has every happened to me, I am learning so much and we are helping others come closer to their father in heaven.
con amor, hna ibarra

Hermana Herrera and Hermana Ibarra.  Their time together is almost over.