Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ninos Pequenitos

We baptized Nicolas this Saturday.  He's a studly little ten year old who is the son of less actives (but we reactivated his mom!).  Hna. Bautista and Hna. Hatch discovered him when looking through the list of less active members.  From there on it was a pretty easy ride.  His mom was really excited for his baptism and he quickly learned everything. 
Nicolas Baptism!

Fun facts about Nicolas: 

  • He LOVES futbol (aka soccer)
  • He is also a pro at Tae Kuan Do  ....or however you spell it.
  • His little brother Max has an adorable head full of curls and loves to dance to Elvis songs.
  • His baby brother has a head the size of a cantaloupe.
  • And when he was confirmed on Sunday the bishop said that he would serve a full time mission someday.  

There is not much else to say for Nicolas.  There weren't any commandment problems to deal with or disputes about gospel doctrine.  It just goes to show that children really are more understanding and in tune with the spirit.  Why cant everyone be like a little child?

 But in other news.... I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN TODAY!!!!  The pictures don't make it look like it was very steep.... but trust me, it was.  Oh, and I'd like to send a shout out to the mom of Elder. Morgan!

Yeah for P-Day!

Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 Easter Concert - Hermana Eden Lance, Tijuana, Mexico

Eden was part of a group of missionaries that put on an Easter Concert in coordination with the Tijuana Mexico Mission.  They rented a Pavilion and Eden, another Sister, and 4 Elders performed.  If you want to hear the concert you can paste the following link into your browser and you should be able to download it.  The entire concert lasts about 50 minutes and while most of the songs and speaking parts are in Spanish there is one or 2 songs that are in English.  Eden sings one of them.  If you listen carefully you can make her voice out.



Eden's Mothers Day Video Shout Out

Eden was able to call home for Mother's day.  We could see her via Skype and she called on the phone.  It was great to see her!  She is very happy and loving life as a Missionary!  Her Spanish has improved a lot and she is enjoying the work and serving the people of Mexico.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Que Significa Lider Capacitadora

Some of you might be wondering, "What happened to Hna. Lance's blog posts?  They used to be so long and delightfully filled with detail." Well, to find out the answer, let's have a flashback moment to the transfers of April 14th.

We are all siting in the chapel of ParaĆ­so listening to President Carreon spout out the new companionships and transfers.  Hna. Bautista's name is called.  Who's her companion?  Why it's Hna. Lance!  I stand up and move to give her a hug and sit down together.  But what is this that the President is calling out?  Hna. Lance ha subido como lider capacitadora?!?!!!   I honestly wasnt quite sure if I heard him right or not.  I had to ask several other Hermanas afterwards just to make sure.  But yeah, it's true.  Hna. Lance is the first American Lider Capacitadora in la Mision Mexico Tijuana.

Now that you have stopped gaping at the computer screen, let me explain what this means.
For those RMs who served missions before the age change, you wont be familiar with the term Lider Capacitadora, or in English, Sister Training Leader.  It is a recent development due to the giant flood of sister missionaries.  The Elders can't handle us all, so they had to make up some new callings. 

In little words, a sister training leader basicamente is the sister version of a District Leader or Zone leader.  We are in charge of making sure that all the sisters in our area are being good missionaries, obeying the rules, teaching well, and what not.  So to make that happen we have mission wide meetings we go to every month where we discuss how the mission is doing and how we can make it better.  Then, every week we have intercambios, or exchanges, with the sisters in our area.  Which means that I pack a backpack full of overnight stuff, switch companions, and spend a day in the other sister's area.  Watching how they work, helping them with their investigators, problems they might be having in the area, and give them an example in how to do it all.  Then I return back to my area the next day.

But what does this have to do with Monday emails?  Well, every Monday, in my hour of writing time, I have to also write the President about the exchanges I had during the week, how the sisters are doing, what goals we made to mejorar (be better), etc.  That generally cuts down my emailing time in half or more.  So consider this my warning post for future... shorter post.  Sorry, but there's work to be done! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fun Facts

I don't have much time to write this week so you will have to be satisfied with pictures and some random information that you might like to know about Fuentes of Tijuana.

There are dirt soccer fields everywhere.

The graffiti makes me smile.... and miss my paint set.

Elders in our Ward sharing the gospel.

Our house is filled with bugs (see picture from post of last week) And there area lot of hills... nuf said.

Then Sings My Soul

(The following email was was never received by us when Eden sent it Easter Week.  She resent it this week for all of us and you.

 A year ago, on Easter Sunday, I was in the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem.  A year ago, on Easter Sunday, I decided to serve a mission.  I would have never guessed where I would be spending my next Easter or what I would be doing, but let me tell ya, God works in mysterious ways.  

Did you know that Jerusalem and Tijuana Mexico have the same latitude on the globe?  Well they are, and for this they have a lot of things that are similar.  The same climate, same amount of sun, even the same type of greenery and earthly terrain.  Its incredible.  From my first day here in Mexico I began to notice the similarities of the two places.  The city flows with the hills and valleys, creating mountains made of colorful houses.  There is garbage everywhere and rundown houses just like Jerusalem.  There are even women here that shave off and repaint on their eyebrows like the Palestinian women do. I LOVE IT!  

One of my worries about leaving on my mission was that I would forget a lot of my Jerusalem experiences, and I think knowing this, Heavenly Father sent me to a place that would remind me everyday of the incredible moments I had in Israel and at the same time, allow me to combine them with the incredible work of a mission.  And so this Easter has been a great combination of mission spirituality and Jerusalem memories.  The Saviors life, mission, and work.... and my job as a missionary to follow His footsteps and continue spreading the good word.

Now what did I actually do on Easter?  For those who know me well take a wild guess....  I sung of course! Ha ha.  We had un concierto de Pascua in the mission.   We have been practicing for it since January and I wish that I could send videos of it because it was AWESOME!  Unlike the typical missionary concert, only six missionaries in the entire Tijuana Mexico Mission participated.  Myself, Hna, Beaumont, and four other Elders.  Elder Crocket, Elder Perez, Elder Wood, and Elder Clingo.  We got together in January and began creating our own arrangements of hymns about Easter.  Now I dont want to brag or anything, but based on the outcome of some of our arrangements, we are musical geniuses.  

 Myself, Hna, Beaumont, and four other Elders. Elder Crocket, Elder Perez, Elder Wood, and Elder Clingo

We created a few group songs, as well as duets and solos.  We managed to convince the president to let Elder Clingo and I sing Savior Redeemer of My Soul even though it is in English.  That song has officially become the theme song of my mission.  I also sang Senor Mi Redentor or in English is Oh Lord My Redeemer.  A song that goes through the last moments of the Saviors life up to the resurrection.  A song that I first heard the Saturday before that Easter Sunday in Jerusalem and has always been dear to my heart since.

All of the songs were great and had incredible spiritual power combined with mini talks by President Carreon and his wife.  We held three concerts (which ate up all of our teaching time Saturday and Sunday... but I didnt mind.  Singing is one of my better teaching methods anyways).  One on Saturday in Ensenada.  They had rented out an outside theater for the concert and it felt legit!  The concert when along great even though the piano was a dinky little keyboard and afterwards the prez took us out for some of the best tacos Mexico has to offer.  I refuse to ever step inside a taco bell again.

Sunday there were two concerts here in Tijuana but more specifically in Otay y Florido.  Oh, and hears a fun fact for you.  I woke up that day with literally a snot ball in my throat and unable to breathe through my nose.  Thank you springtime allergies.  So to cut the story short, there wasnt anyone in the world praying as hard as I was that day.  Hoping that my throat would magically clear up and the concerts wouldnt be affected.  There were a couple bumpy parts during the concert in Otay, but an Easter miracle occurred in Florido.  My throat still felt horrible, but every time I got up to sing I could hit the notes.  

I have a strong testimony in the combination of the Spirit and Music.  It can work wonders.  We received many new references por medio de los concierts.  New investigatores, and a strengthening of testimonies for the members.  Lots of crying in general.  Easter is awesome.

PS the obispo de Florido recorded all of the songs in a very cool high tecky way and is going to make us all CD's!  

PPS President Carreon told me that I have the voice of a Disney Princess... no big deal.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Fuentes Significa Fountains

Now this is Mexico.  Dirt everywhere.  No green.  Crazy heat.  Ponytail all day e'rday and a dry throat begging for water in every hose/shack we stop by.  Not to mention the crazy winds from the ocean blowing our hair off our heads and our skirts up in a sister missionary version of Marilyn Monroe.  I have to walk with my hands pressed to my sides holding down my skirt.  It's quite a sight to behold and dare I use the hash-tag?  I think I shall. #sistermissionaryprobs

But the area is great and growing a lot.  Half of the area is commercialized and the other half is filled with apartments.  And the are all identical.  Our apartment is exactly the same as the bishop's, and the seminary teachers's, and the less active members, and our investigators.  It's a pain trying to remember who's door is whose.  But at least we always know where to find the bathroom.

And to start things off great in the ironically dry area of Fuentes, we had a baptism last Saturday.  Her name is Lucy, and as much as I would love to give you the whole background story of her conversion.... I was only here for a week so I don't know much.  But I can tell you that she has a lot of faith.  Her circumstances are low.  She doesnt have a job or family nearby.  Her house is falling apart, and she finds her food day by day.  But she is so willing and eager to learn more about the gospel.  She is able to view the tiny blessings that God gives us everyday and is so willing to give what little she has.  I cant wait to see her progress even more in the church.

Lucy's Baptism Day

Drat! no time to write more!!!!!  I'll explain more next week!  love you all! 
Here are some pictures of life in Tijuana.