September 21, 2015
Time seriously flies here. Every Monday I wake up surprised that a whole week has already gone by! I didn't really get to write last week, so there are a couple things that happened last week that I want to tell you about!
First of all, the temple was rededicated! Wow, what an amazing experience.
On Saturday we had the opportunity to help clean the church in preparation to be an extension of the temple. When you are cleaning, what will essentially be, the temple, you are really motivated to do a really good job. Hermana Lambert described this well. She said "Well that chair looks pretty clean, right? But is it clean enough to be in the temple...? Alright, I'll scrape that gum off." Also, people clean EVERYTHING with brooms. Like, actually, everything. We're pretty American in our house, so we mop with an actual mop, but most people mop with a broom, and then squeegee everything, and then dry the floors with a dry mop haha.
Elder Holland and President Eyring came for the rededication. We went to all three sessions and it was really cool because the talks were different in every session. I got a different answer in each one. I think my favorite thing that was said, was that when we were in the premortal existance we realized that we were going to come to earth at a time when we would have the fullness of the gospel. We also realized that some of our friends and our family and many of God's children would live in a time without temples and the fulness of truth. So, as those who would live in the time of temple ordinances we PROMISED our ancestors that we wouldn't forget them, that we would do their work. That was really impactful. This whole process has really taught me how important temples are and how we need to make them a priority in our lives. So, get to the temple (: And take family names!
We also had some... interesting... food adventures these past couple weeks. Last week, we were walking to go find a reference when we saw this adorable old lady dragging this little rolly cart thing. We didn't have any pressing appointments, just people to find, and service opportunities are the BOMB so we decided to help her. She gladly accepted our help and we started chatting to her about the gospel and about her family when we ran into this food truck. When I say food truck, I mean a normal truck with food in the back of it haha. And what were they selling?? Good old chicken feet!! So they lady was buying some and then insisted that we get some as well. But we don't really carry money on us so we were like "ohhhh no tenemos dinero, esta bien, blah blah blah" BUT THEN the owner of the food truck thing decides to give us chicken feet for free out of the kindness of his heart. And don't get me wrong, we appreciated this gesture very much, but we weren't exactly craving chicken feet at the moment. But they really wanted us to try them (Hermana Wong may be Mexican, but sometimes she's more American than I am! She had never tried chicken feet either) so we did. They were interesting... it's just a lot of different textures. They taste like chicken, but there's a lot going on... You eat everything, the little soft fat pockets...the tendons and everything. They say it's good for your hair and nails. My strategy is always to eat fast and not think too much about how sanitary or well cooked or how yummy something is, because I know I'll have to eat it no matter what haha. But sometimes, that backfires because I get offered more. I was just like "no, estoy bien, gracias."
THEN this past week we ate pig foot! I liked it better than the chicken foot because it had more meat on it... but there was this one part of the skin (because you literally eat everything) that was a little hairy and that was kinda rough. But it wasn't bad! Normally the food is pretty good and pretty normal, but those are some of the adventures we've had recently.
We really felt like missionaries this past week. First all the food stuff, and then we didn't have water. Not having water is really, really interesting. The thing is that this is like a somewhat common thing here. The water system is very different here. Water is not in unlimited supply flowing to your house whenever you need it. Water here is kept in a tank and when your tank is empty, you no longer have water. And sometimes, water doesn't get pumped back into your tank. I don't know if there is a water storage or what, but a lot of people in our ward didn't have water, and neither did some of the other missionaries in the area. You really don't think about how much you use water until you no longer have it. No showers (not even bucket showers!), no washing hands or dishes, you can't even flush the toilet... But we have water again now, so yay!
Also, Mexico's Independence Day here was the 15th! People were just crazy excited! Because there's a lot of partying that happens on the 15th, we had to go home around. It's so weird to not work. I don't really like it. It was super nice to relax and talk and read scriptures for about 2 hours and then I was like "Can we just save some souls already!?" But it was so fun to see the patriotism of the people here. Celebrating the in the CCM was so special and one of the only times I felt a tinge of homesickness. There's just something special about your home and your country, and it was so fun to see people here celebrate their country and the love they have for their home. I'm going to have to come back here after my mission and celebrate it with them because I pretty much love Mexico as much as they do (:
The mission is amazing. It's a very refining experience. Every time I pray I find myself just begging to be a better missionary, a better tool in the hands of the Lord. When salvation is on the line, how could you not? I'm realizing more and more that the time I have here is so short. When I tell people I've been here for just over 3 months, missionaries, members, and investigators alike look at me like I have so much time to go, but usually I feel like I wish I had more time to serve the Lord like this. The mission is hard, but it's also the best thing I've ever done in my life. I can't really explain why it is so special, but those who have served a mission know what I'm talking about. And those who will serve, have a lot to look forward to.
On the note of just loving my mission, I've had these weird dreams about returning home lately! The other night I had this dream that I was with mom at a restaurant and I looked down at the food, and was like, "this isn't Mexican food!" Then I looked around the room and thought, "These people don't look Mexican..." Then I asked Mom, "What month and year is it?" And she told me, "It's december of 2016!" And I was like, "Am I home from my mission?!" And Mom told me, "Yes, you got home 3 days ago!" And I just started crying and crying, and I just woke up like, "Thank goodness that wasn't real!" Haha I love and miss you all tons, but I know that I'm supposed to be here. When we were at the temple rededication, Elder Holland shared a quote by Brigham Young about how the only thing he has ever cared about was where he stood with the Lord and whether or not he was doing what He wanted him to do. There in our carpet-less, airconditioner-less chapel surrounded by people that I love even if I can't always communicate with them, I felt the Lord tell me that I was where I needed to be. That this was my place, my mission, and that I was prepared to be here. I reread my patriarchal blessing this week and the promise that the prophet or person under the direction of the prophet who assigned my mission call, would be lead by the spirit. I can testify that that promise was fulfilled.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your love and support. Have an amazing week (:
Hermana Aubriana Wolferts