Thursday, September 15, 2011


Hola Familia!
So are you all wondering why it took me so long to be able to write this last week.  Today the 15th of September is the shout ("el grito") of Independence and tomorrow is Independence Day here in Mexico.  In the center of Mexico City, el Zocalo o Plaza La Constitución, thousands of people gather together to shout the cry of independence.  The President of Mexico comes out onto a balcony and shouts things like "VIVA MEXICO!" and everyone shouts.  Instead of having P-Day on Monday, President Villarreal told us we could write on Thursday and have P-Day on Friday.  Tonight we are going to have a small party with the missionaries here in my zone (Tenayo), eat tacos, and then go home a little bit early.  There are going to be tons of pachangas (large parties) and you would say it was Christmas here a little early with everything that the people do here to celebrate.  The traditions and culture here are deeply rooted in the people.
This week was absolutely amazing!  We had two baptisms that were pure miracles.  One was Kelly who got baptized Thursday night and the other was Julia who got baptized Saturday afternoon.  It was a little hectic this week running from one area to another area interviewing the other district's investigators and then coming to our area to help the people we had with baptismal dates prepare for baptism.  My companion, due to the success we are having, is excited and does great work in the area when I can't be there which is a huge blessing.  He is such a great companion and is helping me learn how to apply the saying of an apostle "come what may and love it!"
So something I have taken to love learning more about myself here in the mission is.  I never thought about it before now but I didn't know much about myself before the mission but through the trails and success of the mission and especially this last week I have learned tons about myself.  I am learning what my strengths are and what are my weaknesses.  The thing that I really am loving is how I have learned to be able to apply the Gospel in my own life and gain strength and understanding from the Atonement.  I am learning that you can apply the Atonement in so many different ways gaining understanding, patience, and love for others.  This last week I started wonder why I was having this trial and that other trial but realized that was an opportunity to accept the chance to learn more about the Atonement, forget about myself, and work harder than ever.  What a blessing it is to have trials and afflictions.  It might sound quite weird to be saying that but I can really see myself learning and progressing more rapidly.  Every trial that I face is like God being a sculptor shaping me with time, thought, and love into the man/missionary that he needs me to be.  What a pleasure it is to face the trials and look for ways to rely more on prayer and the Atonement.  I am grateful for this perspective that the mission is helping me to gain.
I love all of you and look forward to telling about another miracle of a baptism and the other wonderful things we see as missionaries everyday this next Monday.  Thanks for all the love and support and especially for the prayers.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Janis