Monday, June 30, 2014

My last week of Training

Dear family and friends and other random people who may see this,

Yes it is true, la última semana de las primeras 12 semanas ha llegado. A veces me siento como he estado aquí for a lifetime, a veces only for the blink of an eye. But I am in the last week of my 3 months of training. Because I got here in the middle of a transfer, I will still have another month here in Atlixco with my trainer, and who knows, perhaps more after that. I'll serve where the Lord wants me to serve.

This week I just want to remind you that God wants us to be happy. That's something I forget often here in the mission field. I get so preoccupied with being punctual, with doing everything exactly right, with whatever cosa, and I forget to take time to be happy and grateful.

Our Father's plan is called the Plan of Happiness for a reason. Living the commandments brings us joy in the midst of trials and peace during the storm. When we don't feel this happiness and peace, what can we do? Pray. Recently I read in Talmadge's (I hope I spelled that right, Spanish is messing with my English) Jesus the Christ about The Lord's Prayer. I wish I could write here everything he says about prayer, but it's pretty lengthy. One cosa muy importante que escribe es que God without prayer would still be God. We without prayer are nothing.

Prayer is a tool that God has given us to communicate with Him. The purpose of prayer is not to let God know our thoughts, desires, and needs. He knows all those things. It is an opportunity for us to exercise our faith and a gift from God to help us not only feel but be closer to Him.

Últimamente. quiero compartir una experiencia de un investigador se llama Antonia. Ella empezó a leer el Libro de Mormón hace un mes, más o menos. Ella normalmente no recuerda bien lo que lee, pero con el Libro de Mormón puede contarnos claramente lo que ha leído. Eso es un milagro. También ella nos dijo que al leer el Libro de Mormón tiene más paz en su vida en general. No se preocupe tanto, y se siente más tranquila en medio de sus desafíos. Yo sé que el Libro de Mormón es verdadero, y que estas cosas son bendiciones que Antonia ha recibido a ejercer su fe.

Hermana Cheever :)

Last paragraph according to Google translate: ** Lastly. I want to share an experience of an investigator called Antonia. She began to read the Book of Mormon a month or so ago. She normally does not remember well what she reads but with the Book of Mormon can clearly tell what she has read. That's a miracle. She also told us that when reading the Book of Mormon she has more peace in life in general. Do not worry so much, and feel more peaceful amid its challenges. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that these things are blessings Antonia has received to exercise their faith.**

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Continuation of the Adventures of Hermana Cheever in Atlixco!

So being a missionary is just about the greatest thing ever! This week we had a really special experience that I want to share with all of you!

The relief society president, Lolita, here in our ward was called to her position about 4 or 5 months ago. She feels very inadequate about her capabilities to fulfill her calling. She was recently re-baptized (she had been inactive for many years, so many years that no one could find her records, so they re-baptized her) and feels like she doesn't know enough or doesn't remember enough about the gospel to be able to lead the women of the ward. My companion and I have gone to talk with her a couple of times at the request from the bishop to animate her and encourage her. She has asked two times to be released because she feels like she can't accomplish what is necessary. Well, one day this week she accompanied us for about two hours. We had an appointment with a new investigator, a lesson with a 9 year old, and the next appointment fell through. I thought she would go home, but she turned to us and asked "¿A dónde vamos?" Pleased that she was going to continue with us, we headed to the house of a family of former investigators.

The dad is an inactive member of many years. His mother answered the door. The family was unavailable, so we decided to share a message with his 92 year old mother. Yes 92 years old. She is still very mentally stable, it's only her body that limits her. The lesson was really great, we all felt the spirit so strong! Lolita bore her testimony to the sister that God loves her and knows that she's doing all she can to be a good member although she can't attend church anymore. In that moment, I could feel the power of Lolita's calling. She was speaking with such care and love, and I knew it was from the power of her position as Relief Society President. She has charge over all the women in the ward, she has the responsibility, power, and authority to help and uplift each and every one of them. At the end we sang the hymn "¡Grande Eres Tu!" or, "How Great Thou Art". Alicia (the mom) can't see very well or read anymore, so she was just listening to us sing, but on the second verse she joined in singing with us! And Lolita began to cry, we were all so overwhelmed with the feeling of God's love.

On Sunday after ward council, Lolita told us that she feel much better now. I hope she has really gained a testimony of the principle that whom the Lord calls he qualifies. And that's the moral of the story, hermanos y hermanas. The Lord knows you, He knows the gifts with which He has blessed you. He knows what you're capable of. The trick, then, is to recognize that we need His help, but that we can accomplish all that He has sent us forth to do.

The second moral of the story is that you should accompany the missionaries in their proselyting, the Lord needs members and full-time missionaries to accomplish His purpose of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. There are also great benefits in store for you if you do so.

Did I mention that the Hermana Lolita is 74 years old?

Also, we have two baptismal dates for the 12th of July, Antonia and her grandson Kevin :) and for the 24th of July an hermanita se llama Cristian.

I love you all, que sigan fieles!

Hermana Cheever

Monday, June 16, 2014

2 meses en Atlixco!


I have been here in beautiful Atlixco for 2 months! Woot, 16 to go.

So, we unfortunately did not set 10 more baptismal dates, and of the four that we had only one is still valid due to a lack of attendance at church this Sunday. Being here on a mission for me is like a rollercoaster. There are ups, there are downs, sometimes I feel like laughing, sometimes I feel like crying, and sometimes I feel like I am going to throw up. But when all is said and done, I want to ride again. :)

Something profound that I learned this week is that it is not my own strength I am relying on, it is the Lord's. Sometimes I feel like it's all up to me. I feel like I am responsible for getting everything done and getting it done on time. I feel like I have to be perfect and when I am not perfect I have failed. That is wrong. The only result that brings is disappointment, discouragement, frustration, and a decrease in my ability to feel the Spirit. I'll tell you what's not wrong (I'm really good at that). Relying on the Savior. My strength, my confidence, and my faith are centered on Jesus Christ, not myself. Remember when you feel like you can't take one more step that there is someone there that you can lean on.

Algo en que yo pensé ésta semana es la alegoría del cuarto obscuro. Necesitamos ejercer nuestra fe en Jesucristo y tomar el primer paso en el obscuridad. No sabemos si hay un suelo allá, no sabemos que hay allá. Pero, sabemos que el Señor nos ha preguntado a poner nuestro fe y confianza en Él, y que Él nos soportará. Y encontramos que después de que hubiéramos tomado el primer paso, hay luz para guiarnos. The trick is to take the first step.

I encourage each of you to really take a look at your lives and what you are doing to further the work of salvation. Don't be afraid to take the first step into the darkness and share your testimony with a coworker, to invite a less active friend to attend church with you, or to give a pass-along card to a stranger on a bus. You will find that after you have taken the first few steps in darkness, the room becomes lighter and lighter, until we reach a perfect brightness at the day when the Lord will come to redeem His faithful disciples.

Oh, something interesting, our district leader told us that in the whole district, (6 companionships), we had the most lessons this week!
Love always,
Hermana Cheever :)

Cool Giant Clock!
Hermana Cheever making tortillas, Mexican style!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Email Short


The work is going here in Atlixco! We have 4 baptisms scheduled for July! That´s what I have been thinking about this week. We have a challenge from our zone leaders this week to have 10 more dates! 10 in one week! Luke 1:37.

Also, there has been a lot of focus here in our stake about the members working with the missionaries. We all need to open our mouths to share the gospel! I challenge each of you to meet with the missionaries in your area this week and ask for their help to know how to share the gospel with your neighbors and friends, or to present the missionaries to your neighbors and friends that aren´t members!

Also, our ward mission leader here is working with all of the members to help them form a family plan for missionary work! It´s a great idea, and I hope it will help us a lot in the coming months to receive references and help many other people to come unto Christ through the covenant of baptism.

Also, a note about member retention. Many of the less active or inactive members we have met with have stopped attending church because they feel alienated from the members or have had bad experiences. I encourage each of you to reach out to those in your wards and stakes who are less active. Invite them over for dinner. Invite them to family night. Put your differences aside and reach out, because no one is perfect, but we are all the children of a Perfect Father in Heaven.

If you feel scared about missionary work, read Romans 8:31.


Hermana Cheever :)

Monday, June 2, 2014

La semana en que una misionera estuvo enferma

Dear all.
The sick missionary was not me! We went to the clinic early early Tuesday morning (2:00 am) because my companion was throwing up blood! Fun stuff. Before you start to worry, it was only a little bit, and she is perfectly fine now. But what an adventure that was! We were at the clinic all night, and all day Tuesday. I never want to be sick or have to sit with a sick person in a hospital ever again in my life. Mi compañera me dijo que tengo el estomago de una Mexicana porque no me he enfermado, jaja. Es chistoso porque ella realmente es Mexicana, pero se enfermó.

Despite all that, we had one investigator this week commit to a baptismal date! She's the mother of a less active young woman. Se llama Carmen. Ella quiso mucho a ser bautizada con su hija, pero no estaba casada a su pareja, entonces no pudo. Ahora todavía no está casada, pero queremos que puedo casarse a estar lista a ser bautizada el 14 de Julio. I love talking to her because she has an enthusiasm for the gospel and she loves the Lord so much. Every time we talk about baptism, her face lights up and she just looks so happy.

I really hope that this works out because all the other dates that we have set with other investigators have fallen through because they don't come to church. We're working on that.

Ésta semana quiero testificar a ustedes que el poder del sacerdocio de Dios es real, es potente. También, Él nos escucha cuando oramos, y que Él nos contesta. Dios nos ama mucho, y quiere que estemos felices. No quiere que estemos desanimados o tristes. Eso ne es parte de su plan. A veces fallamos, pero por eso no debemos sentir como hemos fallado en la vista del Señor. Él siempre ésta allí, esperándonos a pedir por su ayuda. Ésta semana me sentía un poco desanimada, y por eso yo pedí por una bendición, y me ayudó mucho. Estoy muy agradecida por el poder del sacerdocio en mi vida.

This week I want to testify to you that the power of the priesthood of God is real and powerful. Also, He listens to us when we pray and He answers us. God loves us a lot, and He wants us to be happy. He doesn't want us to be discouraged or sad. That's not part of His plan. Sometimes, we fall short, but that doesn't mean that we should feel like we have failed in the sight of the Lord. He is always there, waiting for us to ask for His help. This week I have felt a little discouraged, and because of that I asked for a blessing. That helped me a lot. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood in my life.

Also remember that God has given us weaknesses that we may be made strong. We are made strong by turning to Him in humble prayer and pleading for forgiveness of our faults and the strength and ability to do and become better in the future.

Paul, one of the greatest missionaries in scriptural history (in my opinion) said "When I am weak, then I am strong". I wish I could remember where that was in the Bible, and I hope that it really was Paul that said it. If not, I am very embarrassed. But it's okay.

Read Ether 12:27 and think of a weakness that this week you can start turning into a strength.

Que les vaya bonita!
Hermana Cheever