Monday, 29 December 2014

the season is for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ

Hola que onda!

Well this week was so awesome, I had the privilege of spending Christmas here in Pueblitos and I have to say, I never really understood, or paid attention to the true meaning of Christmas until this year. I can truly tell you that presents and all that stuff doesn´t matter and that the season is for celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.
Something that really made my week is that I found out that one of my investigators from my old area is getting baptized. AND someone took away that dead dog lying in front of our house yaay.
So my companion couldn´t talk to her family the same day I talked to you guys because they weren't online or something, so we went to a member's house the next day and she talked to them with the other hermanas. Well that family wasn´t home and left the keys to their house and told us their bathroom was broken and that if we wanted to use it we had to turn a key outside. Hna Rauch realllly had to go so we turned the key outside and then while she was in the bathroom we heard a big POW and water just streaming! She was yelling ¨shut it off!!!!!¨ I booked it outside and turned it off and we went to check on her and she was soaking wet and I guess she said when she went to flush the toilet the tap behind just flung off and the water was spraying at her face and she was covering it with her hands and the floor was all wet! I was laughing so hard and thank goodness we were able to clean it up and the members never got mad, but a good story hehe. 
This Christmas we ate tamales 3 days in a row. I am soooo sick of them now.
Well family, I want you all to hear some of my testimony again, haha.
I want you to know that I know this church is true, with all of my heart. I know that God lives and that through his son Jesus Christ we can all be saved. There is no greater or more precious gift than the Atonement. I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God and that he was a chosen man called to restore the gospel once again on the earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of god. I can honestly say that it is 100% true. I know it because I have read it and have felt the Spirit testify to me of its truthfulness. I have heard many times that before you leave on the mission you are convinced the church is true, but on your mission you are converted. There is no way I can live my life without the gospel of Jesus Christ. And I know there are people in Fort St. James whom the Lord is preparing to hear it. I am looking forward to coming home and sharing my testimony with families there, so that they may have that change to experience true happiness and have eternal life. 
I love you all sooo much

Hermana Blackmore
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Hello is anyone there?

Hello is anyone there?

I forgive you I know your busy and that you may forget to write me weekly.
Are you excited for this week? Before I forget, Skype on the 24th at 4pm alrighty? 
So this week was pretty cool because we had a ward Christmas devotional and the Relief Society got asked to sing and the Relief Society President asked if I could lead it. It was super fun and we had to practice a bit before because some of the sisters were a little off tune hehe. But there was a lot of people at the devotional. The whole sacrament filled which was awesome.
There we are getting prepared to sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing. YAY!

And here is a picture of today, as a zone we ordered t shirts. Me and my companion on the side and Elder Huerta. Hes hilarious and the "zone clown"

For Pday we did a pinata! And The district leader was pretending to fight me and someone yelled "pégale!!" and I hit him by accident whooops!

And we did present exchanges today.
Zone Conference


Well I love you all and this is super short but only because I get to talk to you on the 24th, so I sent more pictures instead. Take care and hope you have an excellent week!!!

Love

Hermana Blackmore













Monday, 15 December 2014

They all asked "Lord, is it I?"

Heyy,

So this week few activities/things happened. My companion went to the temple on Wednesday and I stayed with some another sister near our area. Not sure if I told you but President said that you can only go through twice on the mission. Once when your halfway through and and at the end. So Hna Rodriguez went and me and Hna Rauch were together for a bit. She is super nice and we had a huge heart to heart about life. Shes from California.
We also had Multizonas this week. President and his wife talked, as well as the AP's. I learned a lot. We all have a light within us that impulses us. We chose to come here on the mission, not knowing what to expect fully. But we all came with light. We must be mindful to not stray and go into dark places, or, we have to remember the things of the Lord are first. Nothing is worth this time here on the mission. Family, friends, education, etc. can wait. But the Lord can't. He needs us. 
Those words were just ringing in my brain all day about how valuable time is and how much the Lord confides in us and the responsibility we have as missionaries. 
Right after we had intercambios with the Sister Training Leaders. I went with Hermana Perez. So as you know we contact people on the streets and give them the El es la Dádiva cards and show them the video. It was night time and we talked past this house where this man was sitting in his yard and his kids were playing. We decided to contact him and told him about the video and the real significance of Christmas is to remember the Saviour and the love our Heavenly Father has for us in sending him to Earth. Before we showed him the video he really looked depressed and when it was over he was like "wow thank you so much for sharing with me this video I reaaaally needed it" and it seemed like his face lit up. He then told us he is going through a divorce and all these other problems he had. But wow, seeing the change in his face made my day. I felt so bad for him but it is comforting to know that through the Atonement of Christ we can be healed and feel peace again.
We also got our Liahonas for this month and last month finally. And I read all the general conference talks that were given and wow, they are soooo great. One of my favourites is by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the one he gave in the Priesthood Session (hehe) its called "Lord, Is It I?" If you haven't read it, do it! He talks at the beginning about the last night the Saviour was with the apostles and told them one of them would betray him. They all asked "Lord, is it I?" Not pointing their finger at someone else but worrying about themselves. As human beings we all make mistakes and have weaknesses. The only way to progress in this life is if we let go of our pride, humble ourselves and not point our finger at someone else but rather ask that question within ourselves "Lord, is it I?" And if the Lord says yes, accept it, realizing you aren't perfect and will fall short, and repent. That is the only way we can become like Jesus, isn't that what we all want?
It was funny because after reading that talk I started reflecting on myself and my life and kneeled down in prayer for forgiveness and help in my weaknesses. I set a goal for myself to not think about anyone else's mistakes or faults but to look at myself. Not too long after I had a little challenge with my companion and I had hurt her feelings saying something I thought was harmless. But honestly it didn't matter how harmless I thought it was, I had hurt her feelings and I needed to let go of my pride and ask her for forgiveness. 
This life isn't easy and we shouldn't ever expect it to be. But it is the time to prepare and to always ask ourselves what the Saviour would do in our position. As members of the church we constantly say we are following Jesus Christ, or trying to be like him. That means we must be willing to humble ourselves and look within ourselves and ponder what we are doing right now to be his followers. And if there is something we need to change, repent immediately. Acknowledge our shortcomings, that no one is perfect, and allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to heal us and make our weaknesses our strengths. 
So I guess I forgot to talk much about my apartment hey? Well when we got here the house seriously looked abandoned. It was sooo filthy inside and the previous missionaries left all their bags of garbage inside so it smelled super bad! We cleaned it pretty good but it is a really really old house and doesn't have a washer, we wash clothes by hand which is new for me. The Familia Quintana from my old area gave me a ride to this area when I first started haha, they are awesome. 
So is it still good to skype then on the 24th? Not sure on the time but I'll let you know next Sunday. I miss you all and pray for you!!!

Love

Hermana Blackmore

Monday, 8 December 2014

they grab our hymn books cause they know we sing

Heyy

Well this week was pretty good. We have been working super hard in our area. I love it. I thought I would have a hard time loving an area like my first but I really enjoy working here and the members are super sweet. We went to the Christmas Devotional Broadcast yesterday and wow, I love Christmas so much. I was thinking a lot about my family and and that the best Christmas present I could ever get would be just spending the day all together. (Next year obviously) I can't wait to visit with you all and enjoy each others company. 
The members here are great though, we have had so many people invite us over for dinner Christmas week and guess what I heard? This Christmas the average person in Mexico is expected to gain 10 kilos. No. Way. It is so true that people here eat soooo much food, especially unhealthy stuff. And at the stores there are more breads, cakes, pastries, candies, chocolates, etc. during Christmas time. 
So my companion wants to Skype her family on the 24th instead of the 25th because they will be gone at that time. So I'll have to skype you guys on that day as well. I have my skype username still and know my password so its all good. Its solanablackmore in case if we aren't friends. Not sure of the time yet, do we have a time difference Dad?
 

 


Here is a picture of me and my companion at church on Sunday. It is still pretty hot here and its so funny cause in the mornings people are walking around with sweaters and jackets because its a bit cooler and we walked like this. Everyone looked at us like we were crazy. Seeing all your snow pictures makes me smile, I wonder how it'll be when I come home and if it'll feel way colder or what.
 
 
Here is Lulu and Angel. Super cute kids, whenever we walk to their house and they see us walking they run up to us and grab our backpacks and wear them back for us. And then they grab our hymn books cause they know we sing and then afterwards fold their arms and tell everyone to be quiet for the prayer. Aha!
I am glad to hear that mom has some of those cards in the pizza place. It is super cool because the prophet said that if we hand out these cards, we will find the families prepared to hear the gospel. We just had a district meeting on them and "He is the Gift"
Well I love you all and can't wait to skype and see how different you all are hehehe! LOVE YOU!!!

Hermana Blackmore
 
 
 
 

Monday, 1 December 2014

ELDER BLACKMORE WAS MY ZONE LEADER!

Que honda!

Well my first week in Pueblitos went really well. 
 
 
The people here are so accepting it shocked me at first. We have found a lot of people to teach. My companion, Hermana Rodriguez is really nice and a super good missionary. She is really motivated to find and work. She only has 2 transfers left so I just hope she doesn't die on me haha. 

 
So a lot of questions and comments I've been getting here is that when I say I'm from Canada people say "Do you know Justin Bieber!?" Oh ya totally. Also that I look like Shakira. Those are the common two I hear haha. 
Okay this week we had a zone meeting and we all had to introduce ourselves to the zone and my zone leader was like "My name is Elder Alvarenga and I'm from Paraguay, I served there also for the first bit of my mission waiting for my visa." I thought it was a long shot but I was like "Hey did you know Elder Blackmore?" and he was like "ELDER BLACKMORE WAS MY ZONE LEADER! HAY EVERYONE HERMANA BLACKMORES BROTHER WAS MY ZONE LEADER!" and he whipped out his camera and showed me pictures of Brendan it was sooo cool, and telling everyone lol! What a small world I keep finding connections to the family. So we took a picture together. He even does the thumbs up like Duke ahahaha!
 
 
Also we had a zone meeting about an event that is taking place in December. El es el Dádiva. Or He is The Gift. Have you heard of it? The church paid youtube to post this video on December 7th on the birth of Jesus Christ. It is expected to have over 200 million viewers. The missionaries were given little cards to hand out to our investigators and aside from our weekly datos we send it, we have to fill out another one on the references we receive from the video, new investigators, etc. and report them to church headquarters to see how successful it was. When I heard this my mouth just dropped and Elder Bernal was like "Hermana Blackmore, whats your opinion on this?" Haha I didn't know what to say at first. But it is for sure certain that the Lord is pressuring the work and that it was inspired of God to have this event happen. And it is our job as missionaries/members to tell everyone about it. I got so antsy in my seat I wanted to go out and tell everyone about it right then and there. It's going to last all of December. So if you want to know more about it go on to christmas.mormon.org. And if you can, share it on facebook, twitter, whatever way you can to help contribute. This is so exciting!
So this week I had the opportunity to realize certain things. One being the importance of having the gospel/spirit in your home. I knew it was important before, but I feel it is now reinforced in my brain. We taught a family. The mom and her two kids. Seeing their faces you could tell they were unhappy and just broken. We taught the first points on the Restoration, We have a loving Heavenly Father and the Gospel Blesses Families. The two kids are 10 and 12 and were really trying to find God. They both grabbed the Book of Mormon and were hugging it when we gave it to them to read. Then the mom said the final prayer and asked that her husband who she is divorcing can receive help. When she said amen I looked up and they were all just streaming with tears. I felt horrible for them and wanted to cry with them but I know that they can find peace and comfort in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That the Atonement is the key to everything. I know that we can be healed from all our pains and sorrows. What a remarkable blessing. He is the Gift. 
Dad don't worry about sending me anything, I don't need anything and if I do I can get it here in Mexico. Thank you so much though.
I want you all to know that I know this is the true church of Christ. That he is at the head of it and leads it through the prophet. I know that the Atonement is real. That we can be made clean again through Repentance. Being here on the mission I have thought a lot about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I love what Elder Holland said bluntly. "If you are going to be his disciple, how dare you ask to not go close to the pain he felt. If you are going to be his disciple, you better have some evidence." Plain and simple. The mission is not easy. You are still faced with trials and challenges even if you have a plaque on your chest. In order to progress and be a follower of Jesus Christ, it is expected you will be tried. So endure through it and show Heavenly Father you're willing to do what it takes. I absolutely love my mission, but I can now understand how people have said it was the best/most hardest thing they've ever done. The reward is greater than the fight.
I love you all and hope that your doing well. Looking forward to skyping you soon :)

Love

Hermana Blackmore