Hermana Slumber Party - It's like college...but not really!

Siglo XXI Week 1


So this week was by far the hardest and most stressful week of the mission.  But also THE BEST!   It was beyond hard and I’m going to explain why.  In my last letter I left you all with the beautiful image of me on a fancy bus arriving to Campeche.  When I actually arrived, It wasn’t so dreamlike.  We arrived and quickly realized that we didn’t have a house - and that we had a cell phone that didn’t work, with no charger.  Apparently the assistants didn’t realize we were opening a new area so nothing was planned when got there.  It was super stressful - especially because my companion and I had never been here before! (The house they showed them when they got there was pretty bad, only 2 lightbulbs in the whole place and it rented for the equivalent of $50/month.  Glad they stood up for themselves and said, “um, no thanks....”)

So we found a house, but it’s not ready yet, we should be able to move in this week though.  Right now we are living with some sisters in our zone.  And it’s been SO FUN!  It’s like college again!  Except we can’t go out or listen to music or stay up late, haha!  But it’s been awesome.  We sleep with our hammocks stacked like bunkbeds!  Our area is 45 minutes and 14 pesos away so we’ve been wasting lots of time and lots of money just getting there.  So that’s been rough.

BUT. Our area is ORO PURO (pure gold).  I have never been in an area with so many people who are willing to not only LISTEN, but to ACT  too!  We’re teaching this family, Familia Cu Pacheco.  They’re so great!  And they all came to church yesterday!  All 5 of them!  The mom, Mariana, was so happy that she cried!  My heart was happy.  Their family is soooo great!

We taught their family about the importance of having a home where the gospel is taught.  It was a really powerful lesson!  And I actually cried because I started thinking about my family.  And I am so grateful that I grew up in a Christ-centered home!  It is so important for children to be raised with a knowledge of our Savior’s love, His example and His sacrifice!

Campeche is so BEAUTIFUL!  I saw the ocean while near a Wal-Mart!  Both were lovely sights :)  But seriously the city is way cool.  It’s much smaller than Merida, and not nearly as hot.  I haven’t sweat nearly as much!

So, technically our area is part of the city of Campeche, but it’s far from everywhere else - it’s like a little pueblo hidden away next to a hill.  It’s super cool because it’s more of the same feel as Oxkutzcab, but just 7 pesos and 5 minutes on the bus and you’re at Burger King.  Legit.  It’s super cool.

Siglo is the promised land!!!! And we’re so lucky to be the missionaries here. I’m content!

Love, Hermana Keeler

The Hermana Slumber Party!

I wish this was a better picture, but I think it's laundry time on day! 

An excursion around the city! 

Not sure about these next two pictures.....

My guess is she is acting like some sort of animal? 

Her new companion... Hermana Tenorio!

 And of course with a cat!

On the Move and It's all about Love

So...I’m on the bus right now...going to CAMPECHE!  Yes, I’ve been transferred!  Campeche is a whole other state!  It’s close to the ocean!  Everyone says it’s beautiful and that I’m going to love it.  I am so excited!  My new companion is Hermana Tenorio.  She’s really cute!  And seems really nice.  She’s Peruvian too!   My second Peruvian!  We’re opening up a new area!  My area is called Siglo 21 (Translation: 21st Century??)  But the ward I’m serving in is called Esperanza.  There are actually two other companionships in this ward!  There are less people in Campeche, so the ward boundaries are bigger.  But everyone has told me that there is a ton of potential there!  The work in Campeche is advancing really quickly.  So, we’re stoked!

But...I’m also very sad!  I absolutely LOVED  my other area.  I was convinced that I was going to stay and that Hermana Cervantes was going to leave... She actually packed all of her things throughout the week and I didn’t pack a single thing.  So I packed while Hermana Cervantes unpacked.  She was kind of ticked haha.  I’m going to miss the people so much!  I’ve made so many friends!  The members took such good care of us!

The mission has been the most amazing experience.  I feel like I haven’t really done anything to help anyone, because so many people have done so many things to help me!  The mission has absolutely changed my life.  I am completely sure that this is what God wants me to do right now!  This is the best decision I have ever made!  Anyone that is thinking about serving a mission, DO IT!  It is so worth it! 

 It’s so hard.  It’s physically trying.  I’m legit so tired all the time.  It’s stressful.  I am very anxious and stressed.  It’s emotionally demanding.  It’s hard to get rejected all day and still be smiling.  And really it’s just one awkward moment after another.

BUT!  It’s the best.  I love it!  I have a song about a guy who leaves on his mission and talks about his journey home.  And I almost cry all the time because it’s so on point.  My favorite part of the song says, “In the most sincere prayer I’ve ever prayed, I thanked my God for each and every day”.   Not every day is miraculous.  Not every day is fun.  Not every day is even good haha.  But I am so thankful for each and every one!  The time here is so short.  It’s going by so fast now.  But I’m trying to make the most of the time I have here!

Probably my favorite lyric ever written is from the musical Les Mis.  In the very last number, Fantine sings, “To love another person is to see the face of God”.  If we really love - pure Christlike love - we come to know God.  When we love others, we love God more.  That’s probably the best thing I have learned...how to love others.

Les amos a todos ustedos con  toda mi corazon.  Espero que tengan una linda semana!  Hasta la otra semana!   (For those non spanish speakers:  I love you all with all of my heart!  I hope you have a beautiful week.  Until next week...)

Con Amor,

Hermana Keeler 

These were from Zone Conference last week.  The cool thing is that Lindsay asked Shelby to draw a design for t-shirts for their zone.  And here they are!  At least she was able to wear it one time! 

   She made lots of friends in this area that she will really miss.  I will miss them too because they kept me updated on Facebook during the week.  It was the best!

Pushing a boulder and the week in Selfies

It was kind of a short letter this week but lots of pictures!  

This week was selfie week. 

Selfie in English class.

Selfie with Hermao Efrain our neighbor/secretary in the bishopric/best friend.

Selfie with the sassy Hermana Mary that washes our clothes FOR FREE! 

Selfies with viejitos.

 The really old man is Migual Ordaz. He's ninety years old. He's the one who always complains that we are sisters and not elders. It was very difficult to get him to look at the camera hahah. The other old man (the picture at the beginning) is Palomo. He's only 61 but only has one leg and is mostly blind. He used to be really sad and complained all the time, but as we've been visiting him he's been a lot  happier! We always sing hymns for him. He's super funny! I love viejitos!!!! 

We had intercambios this week. That's where we switch companions for a day. There is one companionship of sisters that is in charge of the training a bunch of other sisters. My companion went to their area and I stayed in my area. I was with Hermana Gonzalez. She is wayyyy coool. She's such a great example to me! She legit talked to everyone that we saw! We found lots of people and had a lot of success in just one day! 
After intercambios Hna Cervantes and I were PUMPED. We started working waaaaaay hard and had a great week! 

A little while ago my district leader shared a story during our district meeting. I LOVED IT. So I'm going to share it with all of you. 

There was once a man that lived alone on an island. God put him there, gave him the things he needed to live, and the man was happy. God put a huge boulder on the island. And he told the man, "Push the rock every day." And the man obeyed. And the man was happy. Everyday the man woke up and pushed the rock. One day the devil came to the man and said, "Why are you pushing this rock everyday? You're never going to move it." The man thought about it and felt sad. The next day, the man didn't push the rock. God noticed that the man hadn't done as he commanded him. God asked the man why he hadn't pushed the rock. The man replied that he was never going to move it. God answered, and said, "I never told you to move the rock, I told you to push it. Look at your arms. Look at your legs. See how strong you've become. " 

Our trials are to make us stronger!!!!! The mission is like the boulder. And I'm spiritually jacked! (okay maybe not jacked maybe just toned) I've learned and grown so much in just 6 months! These people have changed my life! I'm so grateful to be here in this mission!!!!!

Hermana Keeler

Looking at the mayonnaise selfie that she sent last week.

Selfie on the bus! 

Two bad days and Missionary Heaven


Well, like I say every week, this week was really good, but also really hard.  Maybe the hardest week of my mission.  But I don’t know, nothing really tops the week I projectile vomited on various missionaries, children and viejitos on the bus!   Good times... Anyway, this week was really hard because both my companion and I got sick!  We thought my comp had chikungunya (but turns out it is probably something else) and was almost dying.  So I took care of her for a day and then I got sick.  I really hadn’t ever been affected by the food like other missionaries until this week.  Oh my gosh, it was awful!  My comp and I just laid in our hammocks all day, and then our backs started to hurt. So we made “beds” on the tile floor with the few blankets we have.  That night I switched from hammock to tile every couple hours.  When I woke up on the floor the next morning there was a cockroach right next to me.  Thankfully, it was dead, but what a lovely sight to wake up to!

We only had to stay inside and rest for two days, but legit it felt like a week.  Usually our days are packed and we’re running from one place to the next and everything’s great.  It was so weird to not do anything at all for a little while.  I prefer the running!

But!  We felt good on Friday so we worked!  We visited lots of families.  One family kept complimenting me on my Spanish and I felt very grateful!! It means so much to know that people actually understand me haha.  I’ve struggled so much and worked so hard to learn this freakin’ language.  I’m finally starting to feel more comfortable.  At the beginning of my mission, I never talked on the phone.  It’s super hard to understand people and I was always scared.  But for the last couple weeks Hermana Cervantes has forced me to talk on the phone.  So it’s not so scary anymore :)

Well, my slaying of the telephone was just one of the reasons this week was great!  But the main reason was General Conference!  For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a worldwide conference with all of the leaders and authorities of the church in Salt Lake City.  It’s broadcast throughout the world and translated into almost every spoken language (it should be translated into Maya, but I don’t think it is :(  The prophet speaks to us!  He and the other apostles share the messages that God wants us to know!  General Conference has always been cool, but I’ve never really appreciated its coolness until the mission.  Conference as a missionary is heaven!  We just get to sit in an air conditioned room and listen.  And everything we hear is GOLD!  There’s so much we can learn - so much we can apply in our own personal lives and in the lives of the people in our areas!  Seriously, like every 10 seconds there was a sweet quote that I wanted to write down and plaster on the wall.

My very favorite talk was Elder Bednar’s.  He talked about a lot of really awesome things, but I LOVED what he said about the concept of belief.  He posed the question “Do I believe what I know?”  I thought about that really hard.  I know that I’m a child of God.  I know that Christ is our Savior.  I know the gospel can change lives.  But do I believe it?  Do I only believe in these things generally?  Or do I believe that I can personally apply all of these truths and receive the blessings or rights that come with them?  This talk was pretty much the summary of every spiritual struggle that I have had on the mission.

I love the story of the father who brings his child stricken with a devil to Jesus for healing.  Obviously the man knew that Jesus could heal his son.  He had probably heard stories or even seen Jesus perform other miracles.  He had the knowledge that Jesus had the power, but lacked the belief that Jesus would do something personally for him.  When the man brought his son to Jesus,  Jesus asked him if he believed.  The man instinctively replied, “Lord, I believe”, but then probably thought better of it and followed with this supplication: “Help Thou my unbelief?”   Jesus took mercy on this man and because of his desire to believe, healed his son.  

I absolutely love this because so often I feel like I am the father.  I have knowledge, but I lack belief  that Christ can personally help me!   That God cares about me, Lindsay Caitlin Keeler, individually!  Or that Christ’s atonement covers MY sins, MY heartaches, MY trials!

I have so much to work on.  But i’m ready to work, work, work, work, work, work!

If you didn’t watch conference, WATCH IT!  It will brighten your hope and enlighten your spirit.  IT’S THE BEST!  I LOVE IT! (Nacho Libre Voice)

I love you all!  Have a great week.

Hermana Keeler

What we did for two days...

More of what we did for two days.

More cool walls

 This is my face when once again the door doesn't open.  
And a waterfall of sweat drips down my forehead.

 We found this giant jar of mayonnaise in the refrigerator in the Church.  It was the only thing in  there. (So naturally, we must take a picture with it.)

Watching Conference in ENGLISH with the gringas!

I call this "girl in hammock"