Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 26: The Day Before Two Decades

Buenos Días!!!!!!!!!

The week of celebration has come! 20 years old and then 6 months in the mission!

It’s pretty crazy to think that this week I will have six months in the mission under my belt. I definitely can see how I’ve grown as a person, teacher, linguist (ha), and member of the church. My study in the mornings has gotten better, more edifying, and I feel like I am learning HOW to learn, and it’s pretty cool.

A small triumph I had this week is that Hna Padilla has a lot of music, and we were listening to a song, Nunca Pense by David Archuleta. If you don’t remember, it’s the song we sang in the Women’s Choir for BYU homecoming, but I just remember not understanding anything, I just kind of mumbled sounds. But this time, listening, I actually UNDERSTOOD!!!!! It was pretty cool to hear, and actually understand.

We’re teaching a guy, Rafael, who’s 17 and I guess just has had a pretty hard life, and has made some pretty terrible decisions. But he just has really changed since the time that Hna Padilla and her compañera started teaching him, and he really understands that through baptism, he will have a NEW life. That’s the promise of the gospel, that we can change and be better. The gospel is perfect, and if we live it, we WILL live with God again.

Sorry for a not very long email, but love you lots and have an awesome week!

Hasta luego!

Hermana Owens

Sorry, I don´t have a single photo for this week :D

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 25: Tapachula!

Hola, Familia!

Well, I think that I can safely say that this was one of the more interesting weeks of my mission.

We arrived in Tapachula by bus, which was a six hour ride. I kind of slept and basically just avoided watching the television in front of us. Tapachula is hot, but actually it’s not felt as hot as it was in Jardines. Maybe it’s not the hot season right now, but it’s felt relatively okay.

We arrived at the house at about 7, and at 7:10....I threw up! I don’t even know what happened, I felt fine the whole day, but then I threw up. After that, we went out to work for about an hour, because we have to return at 8:30 rather than 9 because there have been some conflicts with the government and everything this last month or so......

But anyway, Sunday I started throwing up again at about 2:30 in the morning, and then every hour after that. We went to church, and I felt a little nervous that I might pass out or die, but all was well! (That is, I did not pass out or die.) So we went out to work after church, but then I just felt terrible so we went to visit the doctor and I ended up spending the night in the hospital with an IV! BUT (Mother, don’t panic) all is well now :) I guess part of the initiation process of the missionaries in Tapachula is that you get sick. Like, EVERYONE has gone to the medic for some reason or other. Everyone. For not having as many days this week to work, our numbers were really good, and I’m super excited to serve here :)

In the doctor's office and really happy :D

ANYWAY :D

Hna Padilla is awesome! She’s really sweet, and has a lot of excitement to work hard, and I feel like we’re both just learning a lot on how to be better missionaries. She’s teaching me a lot to be direct with people. We only have 18 months, (and now, only 12!) so we can’t waste time beating around the bush. It’s pretty cool.


Hermana Padilla and me

Also, it’s really hot, but the water is FREEZING. I never thought that I’d miss bucket showers, but I have to say, a hot bucket shower is a lot better than a cold shower. But I’m acclimating. I’ve learned that I have to "surprise" myself when I turn on the water. Like, I count down from three, but don’t turn it on, but then I just turn it on.....I don’t know. Mind games are hard with yourself. But it works :D

Something that I learned in my study this week is in DyC 68, the whole section is awesome but I really liked verse 6, which says, "Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you, and ye shall bear record of me, even Jesus Christ, that I am the Son of the living God, that I was, that I am, and that I am to come." It'​​s really a privilege to testify of him, and I know that He’s ALWAYS here with me if I’m doing His will, if I’m obedient. Obedience truly brings about miracles. :)

Love you all lots!

Hermana Owens

Photo of my area

Photo of my area

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 24: Cambios!!!!!!!!!!!! [Transfers!!] I hope they call me....to Cinco de Febrero

[Hi everyone! I just wanted to let you know that it is Tess's 20th birthday on the 24th of this month!

If you would like to send her a happy birthday wish, her email is: tess.owens@myldsmail.net 

Or a snail mail birthday card could be sent to: 
Hermana Tess Owens
Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission
Calle Jazmines #210
Fracc. Los Laureles
Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas
CP 29020 A.P. #278
Mexico

Cost of a letter is $1.15 to Mexico. And don't worry if it gets there late -- she would just love to hear from you!] 

Well, here I go! I´m going to the Big T this Tuesday: Tapachula. Pretty much all missionaries here get sent to Tapachula at some point in your mission, and there's one thing that EVERYONE says when you say the name Tapachula: "Oh, que calor!" In other words, it's really extremely hot, and it's the furthest south part of Chiapas. [It is the southernmost city in Mexico, just over the border from Guatemala.] My new companion is Hna Padilla, who also arrived here with me! We actually got to be pretty good friends in the mission home :D I have a bunch of mixed feelings about this cambio [transfer]. I love this ward so much, but I feel I've helped it the most that I can, and so I'm going to go work just as hard in Cinco de Febrero, my new area. It was pretty hard saying goodbye to the members, and I'm going to miss Victor, Carmelita, and Jasseli SO MUCH (speaking of which, NEW miracle with this family!), but also changes are good.

Mother told me that the high was 76 in Tuxtla on Sunday, and it actually made me laugh, because the wind was REALLY strong and I actually brought a sweater with me....76....Wow. I don't think I´m South Dakotan anymore.

Living together but not married is basically par for the course here. It's always the first question you ask when you encounter a family here. It's just really expensive to pay for a wedding, and so a lot of people don't want to do it when they need to buy necessities.

EVERYONE (almost) is super religious here, but that doesn't really mean that people want to listen. They normally say that they're content in their religion, and then you just let them be, but we always start contacting with "How are you?" and about 95% of the time people say, "Bien, gracias a Dios." So, yeah, it's pretty religious.

We've been working really hard here and this last week we were able to see some of the fruits of our labor. One investigator that we met with Hna Gonzalez, who isn't married and could never accompany us because she visited her husband all Sundays, well, her husband came home, and so she was able to come with us! And her husband! They're really excited to progress together :D

We had six investigators in church this Sunday, and it was so awesome, because the church was FULL! The attendance was tiny during vacations, and it was really nice to see all the members my last Sunday.

I found a scripture that I REALLY like, DyC 64:25, which says, "Wherefore, if ye believe me, ye will labor while it is called today." It reminds me of in Music Man, when he tells Marion, "If you keep waiting until tomorrow, you'll find that you only have a bunch of empty yesterdays." And also, really it doesn't matter what we've done in the past. The day for us to start working out our salvation, to repent, to change our lives, really is today. If we work today, God doesn't care what we've done in the past. Also, another scripture that I found that has more to do with accompanying the missionaries, is DyC 62:3, which says, "Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you." Really, I can testify of this, that when we testify, we are helping to grow our eternal life. It´s a blessing to share this every day, and that the angels are writing furiously right now because I´m testifying of Jesus Christ. And the promise of forgiveness of sins is for EVERYONE :)

Really, Jardines del Grijalva is the best, I'm going to miss it so much . But I'm leaving it pretty happy to know that we have really awesome investigators that are going to keep progressing :)

Cinco de Febrero, here I come!!!!

Hasta luego,

Hermana Owens

Returning home from church, we all hitched a ride in the back of a member's truck
and well here's a selfie :)

A picture I took that amazingly turned out to be really beautiful
even though I took it willy nilly with my eyes closed (in the back of the truck :D)
We also had intercambios [exchanges] this week! I learned a LOT from Hna Ibarra.
This Saturday we had another service activity as a district here in Jardines,
 cleaning the kinder [kindergarten] that's here and it was pretty fun :)
 I've learned a lot about how to use a machete!! But I still prefer my garden shears. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Week 23: Feliz Año Nuevo, Familia!!!!!

Còmo estàn todos?

We woke up at 11:57 Saturday night to fireworks. Well, Hna Lopez woke up and then woke me up, so my initial thought was that we were being attacked or something. but then my brain caught up :)

We didn`t really do much for the new year, and since we still had to return at 9, we did facials....woo hoo!!! Nothing says new year like a particularly clean face :D (Picture 1)

The zone activity was pretty fun. I opened up my talent of balloon animal-ing by telling everyone that I learned balloon animals when I was ten, and that's how I paid for my mission, a dollar per animal....afterwards I told them that it wasn't true, but I guess some people didn't hear, because the capacitadoras [trainers] called that night, and they were like, "Wow, what a cool story!" So then I had to tell them that I actually just learned for a high school project..... :D

I realized that I actually really like contacting now. From being my most dreaded part of being a missionary, I actually really enjoy it now. Especially with taxistas [taxi drivers], because they're paid to listen to us and they can't go anywhere.... :D But seriously, just talking with people, and listening to them, learning about their kids, it's awesome! I'm really glad that I can do it. We contacted a taxista this week, and he just had questions about everything, so we ended up giving him pamphlets for all three lessons and a copy of the book of Mormon....maybe we were a little overenthusiastic, but it's okay :D

We've been teaching this really awesome lady, Hermana M, and she keeps asking us when she starts paying tithing :D She's really enthusiastic, and I'm so excited for her. Right now we're working for her to get married, figuring out everything for her. We also went to a pueblito [village] in which we serve, Playa Vista Hermosa, and had a really awesome lesson with Hermano E! He's a really nice guy, and really quiet, but just really has an awesome desire to learn about the gospel. We`re working hard, and meeting people that really need this in their lives!!!

Love you all lots.

Feliz año nuevo, and exito [success] with any goals that you may have!!!!

Hermana Owens 

P.S. I don`t know why I don`t have better pictures for this week, but here you go! :)

New Year's Eve facials!

She didn't explain this picture, but I'm guessing it's their zone meeting.

I just realized I forgot my scriptural insight! Just that in the scriptures, often when it says "angels" I've been putting "missionaries" and it's pretty cool. I love Alma 13, Moroni 7:31, and Matt 13, and it's pretty cool :D It really shows how Christ is here with us in this work.