Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hi everyone

Pues. 

I know I pretty much suck at writing these mass emails... partly because I don't have time, but also because I don't know what to say... 

I'll try my best, though.

This cambio has been excelent. For those of you who don't know, I'm finishing my mission with my MTC companion, Hermana Concidine. Which has pretty much been the funnest thing ever because we're really good friends, work well together, and life is a constant party. In a missionary sense, of course. We both feel so content about everything we've done, both in our area and in the mission in general. 

There are so many mixed emotions in my head I don't even know how to explain them all. Haha it is literally taking me forever to write this email and I feel like it's the most pathetic email I've ever sent. :P

Basically, I feel like I've lived, or I'm living a separate life. Everything has just become part of my being, my identity here. I was born in Pueblitos to a goodly parent, my darling mama Hna. Villa. :) My district leader was Chilean who talked so fast I couldn't even understand a word he said, Elder Filgueira. I was born with a twin, Hna. Metler, and off we went. Learning to speak; crawling at first, then walking (the blisters were terrible); and slowly progressing and growing. 

At some point, I had to leave the crib. After my training I spent my adolencence in Guaymas. Trials came, each one harder than the last. I met people that fundamentally changed my life forever, and began to see the big picture of what it all meant. Sometimes, I felt completely lost. Sometimes, I lived such joy I thought I could burst. We cried, we laughed, we sang. We sat in solemn silence and lived experiences that no one else will ever comprehend. And my faith began to grow. I began to grow. Slowly, at first, and then faster and faster. I began to see how every little thing than happened in life, from the people I met, to the experiences we experiences, to my studies, to my desires, were shaping me to become the person I needed to be. God places everything so perfectly it's incredible. And I began to see Him, communicate with Him every day. 

Villa de Series was jumping into the adult world. Full of confusion, darkness, profound lonliness, and lessons that I couldn't understand until after they had already passed. A test of faith, and a strengthening of it as well. 

Satelite brought new light to life, and I began to streamline every experience and part of me, and strive to become the missionary I wanted to be. I had a daughter, Hna. Garcia, and had the oppot}rtunity to watch and help her learn and grow. We learned together, striving to be better every day. 

And here I am, in Jardines. Staring my death in the face. HAHA not really. ...but really. My time here in Jardines has been absolutely excellent. I have put everything to work that I learned for the entirity of my mission, and everything exploded. 

Now, I feel like it's all I've ever known. I don't really remember many, many, things about my past life in the States. More so, I remember remembering. I am a different person. I'm not Mexican, but I'm not full American now either. And more importantly than my customs, or my nationality, is my spirituality. I suppose my true nationality is as a Child of God. An identity that will never change, no matter where I am, or what country I'm in. And I have come to know that truth in my heart in a way that words can never explain. It is something personal, and truly profoundly sacred. 

Am I sad to leave? Of course. But, as Dumbledore said (if I remember this correctly), death is nothing but the next great adventure. So here's to another part of my existance. I've past through one stage, on to the next. But just as we transfer from area to area in our mision life; or go from spirits with our Heavenly Father, to this life here on eath, and after on into the great Beyond, we ever build upon ourselves, and everything we've lived or become. An eternal circle of progression that never ends, that is formed perfectly to help us reach every potential we've never even imagined.

I love you all. So very much. I'll see you all Sunday, August 9th at 9am in the Draper Stokes chapel. 

DON'T WORRY, I'M NOT DEAD YET. Still alive and kicking. Here's to two more weeks of hard work, heat, sweat, and experiences of a lifetime.

Hermana Day

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Soy una profesh door toquer (toker?)



That's been our sentance for the last week here in Hermosillo... My companion loves to make fun of my spanglish when I talk to her, so I've been trying to be creative. I've learned over the course of my mission that I love making people laugh. I'm not too great at it still, nothing on dad's level, of course, but I'm trying. There are few things that make me happier than when I can make someone else happy, laugh and joke with them, especially my companions and other missionaries. 

I cannot express how much I love being a missionary. I am going to miss this so much, but I can't think about that! Haha :P

These last few weeks have been excellent! I love being with Hermana Concidine. We have a blast, work hard, and learn so much together. We're both fairly strong personalities, but with the time we have in the mission it's perfect because we call each other out on things we need to improve on and then we work on them, and become even more united. I feel like I've progressed so much as a person in these last few months, and every day brings more advances. It's incredible how literally everything that passes in our lives contributes to who we are and choose to become, and the way we accept these occurances or changes is essential. 

This week we had a couple really awesome experiences, but I'd like to share just one. I've had the opportunity to meet one of the coolest people in the world a few weeks ago. She just got home a few weeks ago from the mission (she served in the same mission in DF as Elder Dalley... shout out!), and she's been accompanying us a lot. Her story is incredible. She was this teenager agnostic who didn't believe in anything or anyone when she met the missionaries. She accompanied us the other day to a lesson we had with this spunky university literature professor (I pick my investigators good, y'all :P), who is also an incredibly fascinating person. The professor was talking about how for the longest time she didn't believe in anything, until she recognized the necesity of believing in something. It's something I've seen time and time again. As humans, it is absolutely essential that we believe in something. It's wired into us, and everyone is the same, whether or not they admit it. I remember a letter from Elder Morell over in Hong Kong forever ago that talked about how everyone over there says that they believe in themselves. Even if we just believe in ourselves, we have to believe in something. Hope is a vital part of the human experience. As this professor tried to explain us her concept of God, she struggled. We tried to teach her, help her out, explain God to her. As we left the lesson, I asked this RM if she had any advice, how we could get through to this investigator. What she said has had me thinking all week. 

More than anything, one of the greatest human necesities is to understand what God is. We see expressions of diety in every culture of the world to some extent. People struggle to understand what or who is this higher power, and what significance it has. One of the greatest misconceptions about God is that He is Something, not Someone. But he is not a espirit, or a prescence, or a power. He is a person. He has a body. He loves, he feels, he acts. When we begin to understand God, truly understand who He is, we begin to understand His plan, why He works the way He does, and our purpose in all of this. What people never seem to get is that we do not create God, He creates us. We do not define who He is or what He does. We do not put parameters or limits on Him. We are His creations and part of His world. He is not our creation, and nor does He exist in the world of our created perceptions. He is apart. He in indepentent, and it is so essential to try to percieve Him, to understand Him independantly of how we would like to define Him. We cannot define God to make our world more comfortable, nor can we un-make Him into not existing. He is indepentant of our desires, nevertheless is completely involved in our everyday lives, working and worrying with a love that passes all understanding. Despite the fact that we cannot define Him, that our most important job is only to seek to understand Him and follow His will, He is an essential part of us, and we are an essential part of Him. 

So I invite everyone this week to think about God. Not about who you would like Him to be, or how you would define Him, but about how He really is. And why that knowledge would be so important in our lives. If you don't know who God is, how He is, then study. Pray. Search. As my darling mother always taught me, those who seek for beauty and truth find it. 

Be truth seekers. Peace.

Hermana Day

PS Long awaited photos to come







Thursday, May 7, 2015

Here is the quote that Elizabeth was talking about in the beginning of her last letter sorry it didn't work correctly

''Personal, spiritual symmetry emerges only from the shaping of prolonged obedience. Twigs are bent, not snapped, into shape."


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

''Personal, spiritual symmetry emerges only from the shaping of prolonged obedience. Twigs are bent, not snapped, into shape."


Hello, world. That quote's from a letter mom sent me back in September or so, from Elder Neal A. Maxwell in a talk that was given when she was on her mission. The full quote is actually this, and it's something that's really definied my mission (shout-out to my dear insightful mother):

"We gain knowledge through particular experiences, but only incrementally, 'in that thing.' (Alma 32:34.) Hence the ongoingness of it all, and perhaps we can be forgiven for wondering, 'Is there no other way?' Personal, spiritual symmetry emerges only from the shaping of prolonged obedience. Twigs are bent, not snapped, into shape."

Today marks something inevitable, and thus pointless in ignoring, yet saddening nonetheless. In exactly 3 more months I shall be home. Next week marks transfers, and from that point I have 2 more transfers left. Time marches on, without heed to our personal preferences or desires. Not going to lie; it's been a little weird, especially since my companion goes home in a week. Nevertheless, it's made me cherish every moment more, as Hallmark cheesy as that sounds. I absolutely love being a missionary. So here's to living these next 3 months to the fullest, enjoying everything that comes in my path, helping as many people as possible, and learning how to become the person God needs me to be. 

I haven't written in forever, so here's a small update on things here in Sonora. I love my zone! There are so many newbies in my zone this transfer, and I just love being with them and taking in their spirit. I love going on interchanges with all the Hermanas and just learning about who they are. I absolutely love people. I love understanding them, listening to them, figuring out how they think, how they tick, their needs and wants and desires and fears in life. It's been one of my favorite things in my mission. Every spirit is so unique, so individual and special. It's amazing how humans all we really want is just to be loved and understood. We just seek to connect and relate to each other. Some are broken, some are hurting, some are hardened, others are easier, but it's all the same desire underneath. 

My area is full of culture. Yeah! We have a ton of Asians here for some reason, but we've also run into quite a few Cubans. We met this Cuban lady one day and I mentioned how it's basically just my life's dream to go to La Habana and visit all the music clubs and hang out with all the musicians on the street there, and then suddenly we started talking about the Buena Vista Social Club and I was like, I LOVE THEM. She was pretty surprised, but it was a super cool moment. When you seek to understand people, who they are, where they come from, you start making that connection, gaining that interest. It's fascinating. I love how I can enter a house and hear Bach cello suites playing, see African tribal art or (definitely one of the cooler moments on my mission) find some incredible Art Nouveau prints in some lady's house in the middle of the Sonoran desert. 

People love to figure me out too. People here in this area love to come up to us and tell us we're crazy for walking around so young, being Americans and all. The people in this area are surprisingly open. I've been called and labeled everything from an ugly Russian girl (drunk people during Easter weekend) to a Norwegian princess (I guess they got the northern-Scandanavian bone structure right?). Seriously, people. I'm asked if I'm German, and Canadian sometimes as well, but for some reason the American comment doesn't come around as much as you think it would. Go figure. 

I also had the opportunity to talk to one of the oldest members here in Sonora. His name is Nephi Villa, and his dad join the church in the early 1930s in Meza, Arizona. He was running around on horseback in a bandit band, drunk and stealing, when he found the church and was completely converted. He then went back to his home in Cuidad Obregon, Sonora, when he had the church send materials to his home where he taught his family and anyone else he could find for years. Another Mormon family showed up eventually, and they made the first established meetings of the church. They then travelled up here to Hermosillo to open up the gospel here, and this member, Nephi, was one of the first missionaries to serve here. I absolutely loved listening to his story. I loved that the entire church here in Sonora started with some rugged cowboy bandit that felt the Spirit and never looked back, devoting his life to the work of the Lord. It inspires me, and humbles me. It makes the changes I've made in my life and my devotion to God seem so insignificant. We can do better. 

I just end with sharing some thoughts about the Savior, as usual. The other day I realized something. Jesus Christ is a God, He is the great Jehovah. He is the Creator of everything, one with the Father, and has always been priviledged to be in His Holy presence. He is perfect and pure, clean and holy. So can we all take a minute to appreciate how absolutely terrible it would have been to leave that state of eternal holiness and perfection, everything He had ever known, and experience the darkest of the dark, the vilest of sins, the extremities of pain and affliction, the horrendous evils, the deepest sorrows and sadnesses. It is a difference completely incomprehendable. He dropped from the highest from the very, very lowest of all lows. As 1 Nephi 11:16 says, ''And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?'' (I like the Spanish version better because it uses 'comprehend' in the place of 'know') How could a being so pure withstand such evil? How could He experience and suffer such terrible things, being so perfect? I don't understand it, but I know that that has got to be an awful lot of love, to experience such pain and evil so that we would not be stuck in the eternal torment of our own bad decisions and situations. Love's probably the only thing that got him through such an experience. His love for us, and for His Father. So may we all love His as well, for what He did for us, and follow Him in every footstep.

I love you all. Have an excellent week. 

Hermana Day

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hey world how's it going today



The more I see the less I know.

Name the song, anyone?

Well, everyone and their freaking dog decided to email me today. Not really sure what happened... but here's a shotout to all of you who wrote me for the first time I've been on my mission, or for the first time in awhile. The truth is that I really don't have time to answer everybody individually today, although I do promise I'll get around to it. Yes, I know the blog has not recieved a letter in awhile now. Yes, I know I've been a big slacker about writing people. Deepest apologies. Sincerely. But hopefully this email can rectify a bit of the hunger you all apparently have for my words. :P Ha!

Truth is, the mission has been awesome. Latest happenings on the street are: 1) last transfer I got called to train my hija, Hermana Garcia, 2) we had an amazing transfer and worked really hard and had a lot of success, 3) They sacked me out of training her in the middle of her training this transfer, and 4) I am now a sister training leader. Yikes. My new companion's name is Hna. Ray from Indiana... get it? Hermana Day, Hermana Ray.... it's going to be a party, basically. She's is just a big bundle of energy and fun. I'll be killing her off (she goes home in 6 weeks), which will mark my second assasination in the mission. (I killed Hermana Beltran awhile back.) I think I'm getting pretty good at this. So now I'm in a ward called Jardines, which is in the northern part of Hermosillo. It's right next to the Pueblitos ward, where I was born, so that'll be pretty fun. I'll get to go over to my old ward on interchanges with the other sisters so maybe I'll be able to see some of my old families and converts.

Other news includes that they opened up the city of Nogales to sister missionaries this transfer... which is nuts because it's a border town. That's never happened before, and they're starting with Latinas only just to test the waters, but we're all super excited. The work shall go forth! Also, this transfer it seems like everyone went home. My trainer, all of my old zone leaders and sister training leaders and some of my best friends I've made here on the mission. So... that's been pretty depressing. Life goes on. :)

I guess the most important thing that's really been going down in my life is how much I've been cultivating the ability to just love. Specifically speaking, love God, love the people, love the scriptures, love the gospel, and love being a missionary. Those 5 things have probably defined my last few months as a missionary, and they're all so interlinked that I can't seem to mention one without mentioning the others. I really started hammering out the scriptures this last transfer, not just the Book of Mormon, but D&C and the New Testament. The greatest part is that I'm barely in, which leaves so much learning for the future. I absolutely love the scriptures. It's incredibly how clearly God speaks to us, and how every word, when understood correctly, is nothing more than another evidence of His love for us. It's incredible how perfectly complete this gospel is, how everything fits together like pieces in a puzzle, but the design is so simple a baby could understand it. And then in comes my love of being a missionary- when you take everything you've learned, everything you've studied and felt, all of God's love, and you give it to everyone else. And in that process, you learn to love them. So much. You learn to care about them in an indescribable way. A way that make you want to help them, a way that makes you want to be a better person so that you can better help them. You start to see the love God has for them, all of their potential, start to really understand them and see why they are the way they are, why they've suffered the way they've suffered and how it's affected them... and then in the best way you know how, with the tools and the Spirit you have, you give them the best medicine in the world. The only medicine that actually works perfectly. 

Basically, I'm just having a ton of fun, and I love what I'm doing. Every day brings new challenges, new opportunities to grow, new puzzles and problems that make us think outside the box and expand ourselves to better understand and help the needs of others. 

I've been promising pictures for awhile now... but I left my old memory card in the house. So I'll send a few today, and then send more later. 

I love you all! :)


Hermana Day










Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Photos

1. The first photo is the missionaries from my generation that are in my zone when we completed a year. Elder Leany, Elder Phelps, me, and Hermana Metler, who is my twin. (we were born together in a trio)

2. After zone meeting with Elder Bigger, Elder Valle (our district leader), Hermana Beltran (my companion), and me. They're also in our ward, and the zone leaders too, but we didn't end up getting a picture with them.

3. This is called a percheron. They're literally like.. more than a foot long. Like a burro, or a burrito, but like a million times bigger and full of tons of crap. Literally, any kind of food you can think to put in a percheron is probably in there. And it's all wrapped in a flour tortilla the size of a table. No joke. The Elders have contests to see who can eat one in one sitting, but as Hermanas we just eat one half one day and eat the other half another. Best thing in the world, though.




Monday, February 2, 2015



To: The world 




Hello World,

Guess what. This week (Thursday, to be exact) I turn one year in the mission. One. Year. It's slightly terrifying, and I really don't know what to make of it. I only have 4 more transfers left, which means I only have one more area left after this one. And probably only 2 more companions. Maybe 3. And I feel like I've learned so much, and helped people, and tried to be a good example and a good disciple of Christ and everything, but I still lack so much that it's kind of terrifying to think about. But hey, that's the thing. I just can't think about it, and I'll be fine. 

This year in the mission has probably been the most tumultuous year of my life. There's really no way to explain it. I feel only people that have served a mission understand what the mission is like, and even more, only people that have serve in Mision Mexico Hermosillo understand what this mission is like. I wouldn't trade these experiences for the world. Would I do it all over again? Absolutely. Have I learned bastante? Yes I have. I'm a completely different person, but I'm a better person because of it. I'm made my mistakes, and I learned about repentence. I learned what it feels like to truly be a disciple of Christ, and I'm happier because of it. I've felt the joy of helping a lost soul find his way again, and there are no words to explain the love and satisfaction. 

I suppose that I'm still young and inexperienced, but the way I see the world is clearer, with a little less innocence and a little more pessimism, but also with a lot more hope. Never before had I quite understood so deeply the necesity of the gospel. It is probably the strongest promise God has ever made to us- that if we will follow Him he will give us everything He has. Christ is the only way to happiness. It is so simple, but it is so true. Blessings in this life, blessings to come in the next, the point is that they only come through Jesus Christ. Sometimes I just want to hit people over the head with my Book of Mormon and yell at them, ''Would you please just listen to me (or better, to the Spirit) because I'm trying to give you Eternal Life here! It's slightly important. It's only the destiny of your soul.'' 

I`ve learned that the only thing that really has the power to change people is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the healing power that comes through Him. I've learned that we shouldn't try to change people to form what we think they should be, or what we view as perfection, because this world is full of an infinitely drasticly distinct humanity, each one of us completely different than the other, each one of us beautiful, individual children of God, and it`s beautiful. I've learned that the human heart is hurting, and is looking for something it thinks it'll never find or achieve, but that that eternal peace that we so desperately seek really does exist. We just have to accept where to look for it. I've learned that every human heart is broken in some form or another, and that everyone of us has a form of expressing ourselves and trying to heal ourselves, but the only real way to do it is just give in and let Him fix it for you. When we try to fix it ourselves it just ends up looking like an old cardboard box stuck together with scotch tape and sent through the Mexican mail system. Nobody can survive that. 

I've learned that the most important and profound things are really the most simple. That God loves us, that He lives and is an active part in our lives. And that anyone who begins to believe on that, however proud or stubborn or hard or hurt they may be, can feel that love and that presence. I've learned that there is nothing more important in the world than the primary answers- pray, read your scriptures, go to church, serve your fellowman. Listen to your primary children. They haven't been changed by the world, and they know what's up.

I love you all, and I wish you all the best. I'm sure you can survive 6 more months without me (haha), but if you can't, the good news is that Christ will always be there, even when I'm not. 

This video made me cry.
Gracias A √Čl (It's better in Spanish)
Because of Him (But here's the English version if you don't understand Spanish)

Hermana Day