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

Conozca Los Mormones‏

Week- 49
Area- Tlaxcala, Atempan
Companion- Hermana Penalosa

Yes, I looooove my companion to death, we are going to have a crazy week this week so i wont be able to see much of her this week, but we always have lots of fun together when we are together. last week we had two intercambios and then this week we are going to have 2 more, back to back and el concilio de liderazgo with the president! I will be going on intercambios with a brand new american missionary tomorrow, so we will see how that goes hahaha
Thanks for looking into that for me. I have been thinking about it and I dont think I want to get back to school right away because I think I need to work and be with you guys for a little while, but I will think and pray about byu... everyone is going there and I dont think i want to because i love byui so much, but maybe it is where i need to go because it occasionally comes to mind. 
YES! I would love to go on a trip when I get back, I want to keep busy because Im afraid of just sitting around the house all day... haha because I want to go visit (convert jaja) lots of people and be with you guys, but i know that school will be starting for everyone, so it might be tricky, so whatever you think is best. I just want to get working right away, but also have some free time to go to the temple and help out the missionaries for a little while. and yes, i was thinking about going to conference when i got back :)
100 INNINGS? crazy hahaha so he did make the team?
Well we thought we had some great investigators but some things are telling us that maybe not so much, but we do have faith in one investigator that is GOLDEN! His name is enrique, he is the brother of a member and he has asisted church 3 times and he loooves it and wants to be baptized, we put a date for the 5th of april but then realized that that was general conference (i cant believe it is conference already again) so we are going to see if we can move it up a week, keep your fingers crossed :) Also, we havent been able to visit with karla, the girl who could be baptized anyday she wants to, so please pray that we can find her
today all of the zones in tlaxcala got together to watch MEET THE MORMONS and I loved it. I felt the spirit and I cried a little during the part when the missionary was holding his moms hand in the car and leaving for his mission because I thought of the day I left. i cant believe that was a year ago!
well, i love you all so much, i will try to send you photos :)
con amor, hna ibarra

The District

Hermana Ibarra and Hermana Penalosa

Hermana Ibarra and Hermana Penalosa