this good life

gracias from Hna. Martinez for her very own Restoration blocks (she was seriously so excited/grateful/she even kept the ribbon from her present — THANK YOU, MOM/the Moore family)
buenas dias bonita familia,

This last week started off with a nine year old telling me that I have a hard heart because I never cry during the lesson — let's just say that one of my goals for this New Year is to develop the ability to convey to the people here that my heart really is filled with compassion, even when I don't cry. Among the initial commentary concerning the nature of my heart, the week also included the beginning of changes that are slowly bound to come to pass, one of them being the division of our area. We had a meeting with our Zone leaders and Presidente Garcia on Thursday, and by the end of those two hours our area had been divided and we literally now have a square of an area that is pretty small to work in (we joked that our area is like a prison now/maybe it kind of is); and we might be the pilot companionship to use iPads in our area (we are not sure how this happened, but by the end of our conversation Pres. Garcia was offering to pay for an iPad with his own money so that we could test it out and see if there is enough success in it for all the missionaries to have one in our mission — we are not quite sure if this will really happen, but we like to think so...). 

In the midst of all the happenings this week, I started to realize all the small things here that have become normal to me, but that really aren't so normal. Such as the fact that everyone here is obsessed with frogs: frog sculptures, frog paintings, frog key chains — I'm still trying to discover the significance of the frog here. It's also become more apparent that anyone can open their own business without a permit, hence the multitude of tiendas on every single corner of every single calle. Basically anyone can paint the word tienda on their house, buy some packaged food, and begin selling their products. Oh, how I love the people here and all their ways! 

Along with the overarching theme of the frog and tiendas, this week held a deeper appreciation for the power of the priesthood and the blessings that we are all entitled to receive with this power and authority from God. After our meeting with Pres. Garcia, we received a blessing from him to start off our New Year. This blessing, along with all the blessings I've received in the past, have the common theme of promises — promises from God. Those promises of blessings from God speak of His love and confidence for His children more than anything else, because each blessing God has prepared for us is created in order for us to live a beautiful life, a type of life filled with goodness and joy and purpose. Our Heavenly Father sent us here to create the most lovely version of our lives, and I have never felt more of the reality of His love than when I heard of the blessings He wants me to receive — the blessings and promises that He wants each of to receive and live and love here in this small life that is but a shadow of our future eternity. My heart is filled with the knowledge of God's grace and compassion that is continually waiting for us to receive; for the joy of life that our Father wants us to experience; and for the promise of good days and a good life that gives us glimpses of that good eternity we are promised if we are but faithful. I know that God has promised each of His children a life filled with light, and that all we have to do is receive of this good light and continue to act on that faith we do have so we can claim these promises and blessings as ours. 

Hopefully this all makes sense, because I now have the fear that no one can understand my English or Spanish.

sending all my love and more,

this is what lunch looks like when lunch plans with members fall through and we are forced to scavenge for food at a nearby 7/11ish type store. I do not know who I have become — eating store-bought nachos with hot, melted cheese? And enjoying it? Yep, the mission has done this to me. 

New Years Eve at a members house — Hna. Nadie is my age and has the tendency to tell me all her secrets — probably because I cant understand most of them

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