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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

KIDS PRAYERS ARE THE BEST! Email 12/23/2014




Familia!!! Feliz Navidad!!!!
Things in El Paso are great! This past week has really been a good self-reflection/spiritual time for me. We had our zone conference which was all about what our real purpose is as missionaries. A lot of us get caught up in other "good" things but they aren't our purpose. Such as developing our own testimonies, blessing our own families, etc. Those aren't bad things but they are focused inward instead of outward. We are here to bring others to Christ through living his gospel. I have really tried harder to focus outward these last couple of days and it has been awesome :)
Investigators are doing great! Maria Gomez is going to finnnnallly quit her job and Monica and the kids are just as amazing as ever. Everytime Camila (9) prays she says: "Thank you for Budge and Maxwell for teaching us about you." Its the most adorable thing ever. The other day another little boy prayed "Dear god. Just keep doin what your doin.  And please bless Obama that he can make good decisions." I LOVE KIDS PRAYERS haha. We have gone on a couple exchanges this past week and I got to go out to Ysleta again! Its always so weird being back out there. I found the singing turkey you sent me last year as well as our old blankets/santa hats. It was really funny and super nostalgic. We have been doing a ton of caroling lately and its soooo amazing. The first time we did it it was super awkward because no one carols here in El Paso but it is such a good way to soften peoples hearts around this time of year. No matter how bad we sing ;)
Im feeling quite a bit better... this transfer has just been kind of unhealthy all over the place but its ok. As im sitting writing this im kind of nauseous but im alright.  Just pray for me :) Ill get over it. Basically im just real happy. I love this time of year, I love my savior, and I love getting to represent him as a full-time missionary. Times are a bit bittersweet right now but Im enjoying every second. Love you all so much and Ill see you soon!
 
"He is the Gift" - John 3:16
 
Hermana Maxwell


LAST TRANSFER!! Email 12/16/2014

New Comp: Hmna Budge


FELIZ NAVIDAD!!
Another crazy week over in the life of Hermana Maxwell! I feel like week 1 of the transfer is always slightly bonkers.  Hermana Budge (I was right!) my new comp is all settled in now. She is awesome!!! She is from Layton UT but her family just moved to St. George. As with all of my companions she has gone through some really hard things in her life including leukemia as a child. I look up to her a lot. She has such a humble spirit and is willing to learn and work hard.  She has been out about a year on her mission. 
So bad news first... we had to drop Luis Reyes. Apparently he has been drinking behind our backs and doesn't really want to be baptized. He was just doing it to please his wife. Pretty heartbreaking but its ok! They did all come to church on Sunday which was good!
Good news. First I FINALLY have gotten over being sick. I have been able to work but I finally had to go see a PA in New Mexico to get an antibiotic. It lasted 12 days... awful. BUT ITS OVER!! :) Also we have seen SO many miracles this week. I love the Christmas season so stinkin much. We invited Monica and her kids to the ward Christmas party and she came!!! They just ate it up and they all want to be baptized and to come to church :) she made so many friends in the ward!!! This is the family every missionary dreams about. Im so excited for them I cant even tell you!!
Maria Gomez also finnnnallly switched her work schedule and is coming to church on sunday!!! Early even!!! (that's a very important detail. Everything starts an 1hr late in the Mexican culture.) She surprised us by waiting till the end of the lesson to tell us.
Basically i'm just really happy. Time is going real fast.... especially with the Christmas season. We are singing a special musical number on sunday put on by the stake president's wife. She is like a Mexican Mozart haha. Really though.. she's intense. I love my Savior and I love being able to testify of him every single day. There is nothing better. Also I love my dear family and friends and am so grateful for every single one of you!!! Have the best week ever. y feliz navidad!
Hermana Maxwell 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

5 TRANSFERS IN ONE AREA!! Email 12/8/2014

"Killing off" another comp!

Our "Mexican" picture. People never smile.



Familllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllia!!!

Transfer news is in once again! Im staying!!! Surprise surprise. 5 transfers in this area!! Im actually super happy about it because it would have been hard to spend just one transfer anywhere else... especially with Christmas and everything! Sounds like my companion is going to be Hermana Budge from guess where? LAYTON! but not sure yet.... 99%. She is really sweet and obedient so I couldn't ask for anything more. I have actually served with her a lot and have been her STL for the past 4 transfers.
The Christmas season is definitely underway! They are playing Christmas music in the library as we speak and I'm staring at a giant Christmas tree behind my computer. We got to watch the Christmas devotional last night and it was just incredible. I could kick myself that I missed so many of those before the mission. Did you guys watch it?? My favorite talk was Elder Christofferson. He talked about the condescension of Christ and what that really means. The fact that Christ came down to mortality at all was a form of descension let alone to be born in such humble circumstances. He related it to us and how we also experienced a type of condescension from heaven.. no wonder we are forced to descend below "some" things. Not anything compared to Christ obviously but its descending below those things that allows us to ascend back to god's presence. It was beautiful. I have been so sensitive to the spirit lately Im just always bawling.
We also had one of the most spiritual MLC's i've ever had on the mission. We discussed the connection between sacrifice and sacredness. The reason the sacred grove, martin's cove, and the temple are all so sacred is because of the sacrifices that took place there. The last picture they held up was that of Christ in Gethsemane. That place is the most sacred because the GREATEST sacrifice of all mankind took place there. Everyone was crying in the room the spirit was so thick. We talked about making our missions more sacred. My mission has really been something that I hold soo sacred to me. It has required a lot of sacrifice but ultimately it becomes more of a gift than anything. I am so happy to be a missionary for another Christmas!!! There is nothing like bringing the TRUE meaning of Christmas to everyone 24/7. I love my Savior and I know he lives!!!!! LOVE YOU TOO!!! Really focus on him this Christmas and you will have the most sacred Christmas of your lives too. Have the best week ever!
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thank Goodness for 6 year old piano lessons! Email 12/2/2014

Our "quidditch match" for a sisters activity. It was amazing haha


Team Gryffindor (we won by the way)

The Salas kids...Happy baptism day!

Happy Thanksgiving!


BUENOS DIAS!

Another crazy awesome week over! Thanksgiving was... exciting haha. We ate three dinners and then both knew bad things would happen if we tried to cram another one in ;) so we ended up having to take the food home from the last two. It was a really good day though! The company was the best part. We ate with a recent convert, a less active, an investigator, and 2 members. The recent convert, Nora, didn't have anyone to share thanksgiving with and she was so appreciative that we came. She said that missionaries are her family now :)
The Salas kids' baptism also went really well! I had to unexpectedly try and pluck out the notes for the hymns on the piano because our piano player came late... thank goodness for 6 year old piano lessons. Again... moms are always right. It was really cute because we had them sing "Soy un hijo de Dios" dressed all in their white. Hermana Salas was bawling the entire time. So cool to see a family come together for something like that. We had to unexpectedly teach primary on Sunday... I have a whole new appreciation for primary teachers. 7 5yr olds keep you on your toes.
We are beginning to teach a couple new families as well!! Looks like next transfer will be pretty successful too :) Im feeling really blessed to have such wonderful last transfers of my mission. The "he is the gift" initiative is starting out running too! Its so fun to be able to talk to EVERYONE about the importance of Christmas. There is nothing like Christmas on the mission.
Spiritual thought for this week... I was studying in Luke the other day about the parable of the Prodigal's son. That parable has always kind of stuck out in my mind and for awhile it bugged me a little. I always had more of the attitude of the brother than the welcoming father. As I have pondered and studied more about it, it has become one of my favorite parables from the life of Christ. The principle all comes down to taking joy in other people's conversion/ or reactivation in the gospel. If someone comes back why not be happy for them? Even if we have been basically obedient our whole lives, we have our reward, why not be happy for others who achieve it as well? Whether or not its at the beginning of their life or at the end, we have the same goal. I also like to look at myself as the Prodigal's son. So many times we waste our time doing pointless things instead of "working" for God. And before we know it, we are farther from him then we would like to be. But as soon as we turn around and come back, He "runs to us, embraces us, and still recognizes us has his child." We are able to reclaim our inheritance and live with him again. I love the New Testament!!!!
Well I sure do love you all. Focus on Christ this Christmas. He really is the true "gift" that every single one of us receive. Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Maxwell