Celebrating one year with cakes and flaming skirts

25 Marzo 2017

Exactly one year ago, a different version of Hermana Keeler found herself writing at a very crowded table with three other gringas.  After her third day at the MTC in Mexico City, she was pretty tired.  It was a long, painfully slow day of classes.  But she felt proud that she had survived thus far.   She had taught a lesson in Spanish, really awfully pronounced- but it was Spanish nonetheless- and was eager to learn more.  She felt as if she had already been in the MTC for an eternity.  She wrote that night, “I’ve learned a lot about Spanish, but especially about myself over these past few days.”

Now, one year later, sitting at my plastic table, in my plastic chair, with a box of caramel delites at my side (thanks mom :)! )  I reflect on how much more true this statement is now and frankly how ignorant I was at the time that I wrote that.

This year has been a year of challenges.  Filled with sorrow, heartbreak, anger, anxiety and stress.  But also happiness, laughter, tears of joy, hope, forgiveness and peace.  But more than anything, this year has been one of growth (not physically, I’m still very short, even though my pictures may testify otherwise).  I can honestly say that I’m a better person than I was a year ago.  

I cannot express how grateful I am for this opportunity I’ve had.  I am eternally indebted to the people I have met.  And I will continue thanking God for all of the things that I have learned.  

I’ve come to realize what it means to be obedient.  What it means to be charitable.  What it means to be loving.  I’ve come to realize that I’m a daughter of God.  That Christ paid the price for my weaknesses and faults.  That I am entitled to His redeeming love.  I’ve come to realize how incredibly blessed I’ve been.  How much I love my family.  How everything I know I learned from my wonderful mom.

I’ve learned to treasure the word of God.  To pray to Him with sincerity of heart.  To love my brothers and sisters around me.  To take responsibility for my actions.  To admit that I was wrong.  To ask for forgiveness.

I wouldn’t have learned all of this if I were at home.  These experiences I’ve had are unique, special and irreplaceable.  I know that God called me to this place because I NEEDED to come here!  He knows me and my weaknesses and my strengths and that’s why He sent me to this land of panuchos, mayeros and ferocious dogs.

And I love it!

Translation:  Panuchos are black bean filled tostadas, Mayeros are the Mayan people and ferocious dogs are what chase her down the street :)

This week she didn't have time to write a letter she said: just tell everyone I'm sad to leave my dear Campeche but also I'm excited to meet new people and a little bit more of the city!  It's so freaking hot here but we're not letting that stop us!!! hahah the work must go forward even if it is 100 degrees and we're literally dripping sweat. Oh Yucatan!

But I'm going to a way cool area so that's good. It's HUGE so way different from my other tiiiiiiiny area. But I think it's going to be good. My comp and I are both new sister training leaders so we're going to be figuring out how to do it together hahah 

We went our for a walk with Hermana layda! She's the one that doesnt have legs.  She was soooooo happy it was so cute! 

We bought hats bc its sooooooooo hot here. Like so hot I had forgotten about the heat here

We did an activity of the tree of life it turned out cool 

We got chamacados they're like smoothie things with shaved ice and sweetened condensed milk. This sounds super weird but the flavor I got was strawberry and this way good cheese they have here. it was really good but it literally had grated cheese hahah! but i love it

Hna luviano brought us these huge tacos hahah they were really good!

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