Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 11, 2014- Hellooooooo Atlixco!

Good afternoon, everyone!

So, I am officailly in Atlixco, Ward Vista Hermosa! And I am absolutely loving it.  :)

My companion is Hermana Traylor. She just finished her training (her "mom" is Hermana Jones, from the MTC!) and she is the cutest. She is from Richmond, Virginia, is 20 years old, and probably THE funniest person I have ever met. I seriously laugh so hard I cry almost every single day. She is super spunky, and really knows who she is, which I love. It's good that we can be completly real with each other, and I know that she's always going to tell me what she thinks, or what I can do better. She definitely misses Hermana Jones a lot... not that I blame her! But I know that we're going to become really good friends. :)

This area... oh my goodness, it's like a night and day difference from Cholula. We live on this giant hill that over looks ALL of Atlixco, and it is so beautiful. And the people are SO nice and SO receptive. We have 5 baptismal dates right now, 3 of which we set on Saturday :) Their names are Raul, Mayra, Samantha, Miriam and Cati. Raul and Mayra have been taking the lessons for a while (their 3 daughters got baptized 2 weeks ago) but...they're not willing to get married or seperated. :/  But we're hoping they'll change their minds soon. The other three are a mother and her two daughters. They also have been listening for a while, but weren't progressing. But we went back this last week, and they had read the Restoration pamphlet, and want to get baptized! But...they didn't go to church yesterday...so hopefully they'll stick with it!

We also have like 1,234,203 other investigators....just kidding, but seriously, Hermana Jones and Traylor were really just going to town. They are amazing! We have to do a lot of visits this week to see who is really interested, which is wonderful, but I'm hoping we'll find some more people that are prepared :) We contacted two people in particular this week that we are 99.9999% will get baptized. Their names are Minerva and Gracy. We contacted them on different days in combis, but we feel SO good about them. Minerva is a Christian, and thinks that the Restoration is really interesting! She's going to pray about it, and we're going to see her again on Wednesday. And Gracy, we contacted as she was leaving the combi with a million bags and two little kids, and we offered to carry her bags to her house for her. We got talking, she invited us in, and told us that about 10 years ago, she listened to missionaries, but after her mom found out, they weren't ever able to visit again. But now, she's really excited to listen to our message again, and I think she is going progress. :) 

I think the thing I have loved most about this week is being able to feel like I'm fufilling my purpose as a missionary. The last few weeks made it a bit more difficult to feel like that. But now, we've been able to teach, find, and invite all the time, and I feel like I'm an instrument in the Lord's hands again. I know that this area will still have its challenges, but I know that my other areas have helped prepare me for what is going to come. There's this quote by Elder Holland that I absolutely love, that has really helped me change my perspective about things like that.  “The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future”  Faith is always pointed towards the future. I know that's true. We can't truly have faith if we don't have hope for a better tomorrow. And really, that's what the Gospel is all about - hope for a better tomorrow. Things aren't easy, but they can always be made better through faith in the Atonement of Christ.  

Thank you for all of you prayers, help and letters! And I hope you all have a fantastic week! LOVE Y'ALL!

Love always,
Hermana Smith

-My first picture with Hermanita Traylor (Why are all of my American companions SOO much taller than me?!)
- Hermana Jones :)
- Us sitting in the park :)

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