Friday, March 20, 2015

2013 In Photos

July 17, 2013- I returned home from serving a full-time mission in the ARIZONA MESA Mission, Special Assignment Visitors' Center, Language: Spanish
This is Julie Belnap, my best friend. We returned home within a month of one another and had a combined "Welcome Home" party. It was Mexican and Chinese themed, decorations, food and all.

2 weeks after returning home, I found myself back in Mesa to see Glenda and Miguel Lopez get sealed in the Mesa LDS Temple for time and all eternity. Fue una de las experiencias más lindas e especiales de mi vida.
A la derecha son el Hermano Jose y la Hermana Patty Hernandez. Esta familia cambió mi vida. A la derecha de mi es mi entrenadora, la Hermana Ale Falcón. Ella será la próixma esposa del futuro profeta, estoy segura. La Hermana Rosie y sus niños a la izquierda.

BYU's Annual Murder Mystery Improv Show. I was Kristen Stewart/Bella Swan from Twilight against my own will. DO NOT EVER WATCH TWILIGHT.

None of these ended up being real lovers. 

We won the Ugly Sweater Contest. 2 of the 5 sweaters are mine.
Far right: Julia Reintjes. Has slept in the same room with me since Freshman year. Token Male: Brandon Hoer. Fiancé of Julia. Honorary 5th roommate. Far left: Amy Clark. Has identified plants and lived with us since Freshman year. Standing: Julie Belnap. Still single.

James Belyeu's baptism!!! Christmas Miracle. 
The core four. Far right: Ryan Greenburg. Middle: James Belyeu. Left: J Mack (Jenn Mack. Jennifer Mack). These are my truest, dearest friends from A-retta. Too many years to count.

Para los descendentes

Por mis futuros,

I began this blog in June 2011, at the tender age of 20.5. How funny it is for me to look back on the young woman I was and to see the woman I am now today, almost four years later. What a blessing it is to reflect on the good lives we have lived and are living.

Que chistoso al ver como soy la misma mujer, pero, mas refinada y pulida. I still have a sharp tongue, which some days I wish was duller. I still have a tender soul, which I wish was purer. But, over the course of these four years, I truly feel that I have become a better version of the 20.5 year old self I once was.

Y esto, mis amores, es el propósito de nuestras vidas. Un progreso infinito con nuestro Padre Celestial.

Empecé este blog al principio para hablar de mis aventuras. Pero ahora quiero tener una cuenta para ustedes, mis descendentes. Para que me conozcan. Para que compartamos un vínculo que nos une por el tiempo. Para que aprendamos de donde vinimos, quienes somos, y a donde vamos- juntos.

Peace and Blessings

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Uh, Americans

Sister Mackenzie from Kenya said this to me the other day. I got this sick hippie skirt from Goodwill and I got tired of wearing it the regular way so I turned it inside out (yes, I know I'm classy Ma, and I know you're already embarrassed about that, darts and all baby)because it's khaki on the inside and Sis Mackenzie looked at me with her crazy eyes and said "What are you do?" and I said, "I got bored with it the other way!" and she rolled her eyes huge and said "Uh, Americans" hahaha and the best part was later that night 3 of the american sisters complimented me and said I was cool for wearing my skirt inside out. jaja.

Andale pues Familia,

Hna Juarez called me Hna Juanita, Hnas McCullough and Turner should get a kick out of that. Okay, so I figured out why our investigators have been having a hard time keeping commitments, and it's because I haven't been obeying the word of wisdom (the health code we mormons follow, the no tea, coffee, alcohol, drugs thing). The other day I made this BOMB salad. Holy cow, it was legit, and here I am chowin down and as Hna Falcon has now figured out, I love food. I feel like a broken record cause I'm pretty sure I say this every email. And when I'm eating, I'm happy, and I can't help but dance a little as I eat because it's a pure joy. So she takes my salad dressing and starts reading the label on the back. and then she rains on my parade. "Hna. There's wine in this. No wonder you're always so happy when you eat salad." I didn't believe her. Lo and behold, my Balsamic Vinagrette made me a wino! Wah wah wahhh. And Hna Falcon was like, Hna Schwartz, it has a wine tub on the front of the bottle, and I was like It's a picture! I'm tonta! What can I say! So Hopefully, now that I'm obeying the commandments, our investigators will too;). So we were at lunch with Martha the other day and Hna Falcon started laughing at me as we were eating. And I looked at her like "what the heck?" and she told me that I always do this thing with my fork when I'm eating, where I, how do I even explain this, I bounce? my fork as I eat. And I totally do. I never even realized it before, but that's what you get when you live with someone 24/7 for what 3 months now? jajaj love her.

So everyone has been having a cow out here. As if they were literally giving birth to a heifer. About the heat. Oh man, it's 105, I'm dying! Calm down. It straight up feels great! It's like mid 80's in GA, and I'm just like, cool your horses, it could be worse. And they tell me it will get worse and I still believe humidity is better and hotter, but there I am putting a fist in my mouth. Oh, and the REALLY dumb part was the other day we were with our district at lunch and E. Crawford from Powder Springs in GA told me about how when it rains here (and it never does) how it's crazy. And I was like, okay. Ironically, that very day it had a "major" rain. No lightning. No thunder. Nuff said. Every once in a while we have zone sports, which is when all the missionaries in our zone (a big area of mesa) get together and play a sport. Early in the morning. So, Hna Falcon and I don't go all that often, or really ever for that fact. But when we do, it's way fun. So the other morning I had my first injury on the mission. ;). Nothing traumatic, I think I jammed or sprained or did something to my thumb when I went to dig for the ball. But it wasn't completely my fault because our zone leader Elder Nuku is from Tonga, played on a pro volleyball tongan team, and literally plays every position on the court, and decided to play my position as well and so when i went to dig he slid in, and yeah this is boring, sorry, but lo and behold my thumb was huge and I had to ice it for a day or 2. woooo.

I've come to the conclusion I like 8 year olds. I know, I know. They're technically classified as children. But I think 8 year olds are pretty bomb. And maybe it's just because they've got their heads on straight. For example, yesterday we went to visit Yamile, Blanca's eldest daughter who has 4 crazy boys under the age of 5...yeah. And we ended up finding Blanca's youngest, Victoria (8) carrying one of Yamile's chamacos around with her friend, Magali (8) with her baby sister. We teach Magali's fam on and off because her parents are either sleeping, showering, or at work. But Magali is AWESOME. Such a good kid, and I don't know how because her fam is CRAYCRAY. In a bad way, super sad anyhoo. So we're chatting with them and Magali is like, when are you going to come over again? and we're like when does your dad get home? and she's like oh he doesn't have a fixed schedule, and we're like well what about your mom? and she's like she doesn't either because she started working at the restaurant again, but they didn't give her a fixed schedule and she's trying to barter with them for  hours so she pierced her tongue (don't totally understand that thought process) to show them and I got really mad at her and I told her to take it out and it was bleeding and she said that she would take it out today because I asked her yesterday to take it out because I told her it's bad for her. ????????An 8-YEAR OLD has more sense than a grown woman, aka her mother????? saddest part was that Magali said, yeah I asked my mom all I want for my birthday is for her to take all her earrings out, of her tongue and her stomach and her ears. That's all an 8YEAR OLD wants for her birthday, is for her mom to step up and be a mom basically. I think you get the gist of how badly this family needs the gospel to help direct their lives. On the bright side, we made awesome progress with Jonathan and Kitzia, the Baez teens (14 and 15). We had a one on one talk with Jonathan about how he has a ton of potential and how the gospel is going to help his family change and be better and happier and he was like, yeah? And I was like,. "Jonathan, Heavenly Father has big plans for you. Do you know you have a lot of potential?" and he was like, i dunno i never thought about it and i was like well you do, and that's why we're here. and he's so awesome. and last night we got kitzia's trust,w hich i've been praying for. haha here's kitzia, super sarcastic all the time, doesn't do the whole "feelings" thing, and she's smart as a tact. Remind you of anyone? yeah, i was like "oh, i was a bratty sarcastic, no feelings too once upon a time." And I was like, okay, game on Kitzia. So i've been working on gaining her trust all week and last night, breakthrough! she hugged me. the little sucker. ;) we had an awesome lesson in the vc with her whole fam and there's just no way she can't adore me now. I'll make sure of that.

Oh P.s. If you want to send me a cool journal, feel free;)

Fam, keep it light, keep it real;)

Hna Schwartz

Would you say that in front of Jesus?

HAHAHAHAHA oh I love Hermana Falcon, this is the question she asked me after I said "That's so lame!" we were on this english chat from and we lost the connection (awesome hindu guy! super lame we lost the connection) and she said "I know lame with Jesus Christ, he healed the lame, but what is the lame you used?" and I explained it meant not cool and then she asked me "would you say that in front of jesus?" but her face was completely sincere and innocent wanting to know, and I started dying because knowing me i probably would, whether that's appropriate or not, not so sure, but yeah...and then she read the english dictionary to me and proved that i don't know the english language either. dum dum dum


Well, awkward. Just talked to you. Cool beans. But Dad you're letter slayed me, holy mackerel! Cool that you're trying to get yourself killed before I get home, there are cooler ways to die rather than in berto's hood beemer. No but literally, sounds like life is keeping you on your toes, and giving you car experience. Uh as for where you would find Guitars Unplugged music=my itunes, Brett's itunes(possibly), Ryan Greenburg, Cici Nye, sooo good luck with that. And FLT ma? Faith, Love, and testimony? who are you? a Real housewife of ATL or something? are you going to make a gaudy jewelry line with that? Oh and cool that no one told me that Jordan Greenburg is officially in the MTC, if anyone wants to tell me where that doll face is going that would be swell. Also, join the Facebook group for the Arizona Temple! 

BEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME ON MY MISSION (mentiras, but still pretty legit): called a new investigator, Carlos, on the phone the other day to invite him to church, we talk for a couple mins and then he got confused and I was like what? and he was like, "wait, is this the american? or is this the mexican from deleffe?" and i was super confused and I was like "the american?" and he was like "oh! i thought i was talking to the mexican!" and then he said other stuff which i didn't understand, but LEEEEGGGIIIIITTTTT!!!! i got confused, ON THE FREAKIN PHONE, for a mexican=] Score. Because the phone slays me. Literally. 

Okay, here's my schpiel for the week. Youth. Not only one of my all-time fav Matisyahu jams, but the topic of concern this week. What the heck. Ale, Paola, Kitzia, Jonathan. All of them are having super doubts about getting baptized. And they're such good kids. I guess not kids as much as teens. They are so good! And Satan is freakin clouding their minds with confusion and making them second guess themselves. And here's why. If you want to destroy a nation, you go for their kids right? Old people-set in their ways. Babies-don't get me started. Parents- been there done that. Youth- they have their whole lives ahead of them. The decisions they make right now will literally determine the rest of their lives. And Satan wants them to make the same mistakes that their parents have made, he wants them to be unhappy, he wants them to be weak. Lame. Not in the Jesus Christ sense. I was thinking about how crucial the church was for me during my youthful years, and hallelujah I had such a strong support system found within our ward, because the world sucks, it brings you down makes you feel less than you are worth, and these kids new role models they need programs to help them realize that there is so much more for them. Literally, they have unlimited potential to become whatever they want to become. And it saddens me that our rama's Young Women and Men's programs are not super strong. Because there are some 12 years old who have been taught by previous missionaries who don't have the support of the ward or from their families and so they won't get baptized because if they do, they'll fall away. there's just no support for them. So if you could keep this loves in your minds, that would be appreciated, because they need to not get messed up in drugs, gambling, children, etc that will limit their opportunities right now in their young lives. Dad, I think about your childhood and it's literally a miracle you turned out normal (well debatable), no but that you may not have the life you've always pictured, but you've freakin got a great one, because you made good decisions, but not everyone is as wise as you, especially in their younger years. Mmm. Can you imagine what a hot mess I'd be right now if I hadn't had the support from our ward? A hot mess. Ooof. Anyhoo, that's my soapbox.

Love ya, keep it legit,

Hna Schwartz


I asked Hna Moran to put repollo on the carne asado tacos and she was like what? because i thought cabbage was rebollo en espanol, but it's not, so then i asked her what cabbage was and she said "rechicken" and everyone had a good laugh at my gringo expense. typical;)


Business first: Elder and Sis Beckstrand the VC director and his wife have a blog and apparently all the sisters are on it, I know you don't know how to do anything blog related, so ask berto to help you sign onto your blog account because you made one with me. Theirs is Speaking of my broho, did he die again? He needs to email me once a week. Point blank. I know he's on his computer, it's not that big of a deal, get to it berto! Berto: um, so we were talking with this family the other day and this lady makes these hardcore cakes and she buys the fondant from Duff (Ace of Cakes) in Walmart and it's true becasue in walmart last week I saw it and it was sweet action! Slash, I don't know how this would work, but if you could send me Guitars Unplugged: Little Microphones song that would be swell ("where is the lighthouse, how can I find my way back home..").

freak this week was just dramatic. I'll start with the sweet souls we're teaching. Joel, remember how i taught him the law of chastity? well hermana falcon and I met with him again and followed up and it turned into a super intense lesson which i had no clue what was going on because Joel started goin all craycray and I wasn't able to follow him. But from what Hno Hernandez and Hna Falcon said afterwards, boyfriend is gettin it on with his girlfriend(now we know where he goes all the time and why he is obsessed witht he gym) and he doesn't want to stop. Dumbdumb! ahsdgjkhdfgjk, he should already understand why not sexing it up before marriage is not kosher because he already has daughters who he never gets to see! So he did not end up getting baptized this week, because before baptism they need to be living and keeping all the commandments, so we are going to really have to help him out with this one. Love that confused hunk of lard. Onto #2, Ale, Blanca's 17-year old. She hasn't been going to church (but she came this sunday!) and Blanca just blurted out "Ale doesn't want to get baptized" wa-wa-waaaa. Literally my heart dropped, because out of anyone in that family, Ale needs this gospel. Man my poor heart was just hurting and Hna Falcon was talking and I don't even know what she was saying but then she turned to me and everyone looked at me to pick up and say something and I just sat there in silence because I was hurting for Ale, seriously, ugh I just was so pissed at Satan you have no clue. And after a few moments of possibly awkward silence I opened my mouth and BAM. I just laid it on the table. I don't even remember what I said, but it was my personal story, my personal testimony and i felt like I was on fire. It was draining and as I was talking I was just fighting for Ale, because I love her and I know that this gospel will bless her life and allow her to grow in a good path. Man I was fighting for that girl. #3- Familia Baez, IJOLE!!!! Okay, so here's the downlow, we were at The Garcia's baptism of their son Eli (oh nbd that the ENTIRE rama showed up, but then Hna Garcia is def one to hold a grudge so i can understand) and afterwards we needed a member to come to the lesson we had planned for the Baez famfam, and we asked Pres. Azua who would be good, and he choose Hna Moises Hernandez (diff fam hernandez) who we actually never see because he freakin works ALL the time. But he was free and came with us and I don't even totally remember how we got into it, but we were with the family and Hna Falcon asked the question along the lines of what they wanted to improve as a family and OH HOT SLAM immediate family therapy session developed. Apparently there are major communication problems in the family and the older kids are rebellious and not respecting Ines and Kim and on and on and on, and Hno Hndz was PERFECT because it was basically his exact fam situation and he was awesome. Just awesome. Because in Mexican families they don't ever tell each other they love one another out loud, and it's super hard for these kids because they live in 2 diff worlds, they see their American family counterparts and then they look at their family and I can see where they would feel the diversion. But it was intense because Jonathan and Kitzia (the two older kids) started crying and dang. So, we're going to make an extra effort to see them everyday this week, because lawdy knows they need it.

Alright, enough with the drama. I WAS ON BIKE FOR A DAY!!! and it was so awesome to be back riding=]. I haven't ridden since what, Sept? Oct? and i've never ridden in a skirt before, which was interesting, but let me explain why I was on a bike. We had exhcanges which means that Hna Falcon went to help a different missionary companionship in their area for a day and I went to learn from Hnas Lopez and Juarez. They're craycray. Straight up. But it was tight and it was way fun and I got to wear Hna Falcon's spandex which made my day=]. Oh the little joys of life, right? BUT THE BEST PART OF THIS WEEK WAS SATBADO! wow. Saturday. anyhoo, oh and Pres and Sis Ernst came and visited with me! Pres Ernst has lost weight and he looks more like Cameron, loco, but so awesome to see them! I apologize for the word vomit i had when talking with them, i was bad! Anyhoo, Friday night I made tamales for the first time, no pics of that well because we were on a tight sschedule (oh and we so found an awesome family after we did our service for the branch, more to come next week with them Fam Vega) but it was way fun! And everyone kept saying by the end of my mission I'll be pro at cooking mex food. Lies. because I never do one thing all the way through, only parts so they need to hook me up with recipes or jazz. But Saturday we had a fundraiser for the Young Men and Women's programs to raise money for their summer camps and oooooooooo, it was tight! TIGHT! Because I was reliving my old Steak n Shake days, being in the food line, calling out orders, preppin food, on a tight time schedule so BOMB! ugh i was diggin it, and everyone was like dude give Hna Shwars the orders and it was just like working at steak n shake! only with mexican food and not burgers. Man I was on an energy high! And everyone was so impressed because they probably didn't think a gringa could work hard or whatevs, I don't know what I'm saying but I felt like i was at Steak n Shake and it was great=]. Oh and Dad, grilling tip, they buy pure fat and grill that on their grills first before they start grilling the carne and that's what i think makes it so freakin delish.

Alright, I've rambled far enough for today, my apologies. But I'll call you on Mother's Day, so be prepped.

Hna Schwartz

Pics: I don't know what order they're in, but they're from Saturday's fundraiser. One of them is a cup of horchata that Hno Garcia gave me and yeah, that describes how everyone says my name. They can't. I think I just need to start going by Hna Shorts or something so they can at least call me by some name.

Hermana Schwartz is a Firecracker

From the lips of Hermana McKee (basically who I am replacing here on the mish, anthro major, world traveler, lived in jerusalem, from hawaii, basically hardcore in every way possible). Haha, in my previous life as Rachel Schwartz, I wouldn't have been surprised someone saying that, but here on the mish, I was like, "Fo realz?" Because fam, the chiste is is that I am super mellow here. SUPER mellow. Literally, I haven't been loud once, I haven't been cray-cray, I have been like Lleyton Hewitt, cool as a cucumber (mom's words, not mine). I've just been chill, lovin' and livin' in an easy-going way, not the bounce of the walls kind of energy as seen before, but literally everyone thinks I'm peppy, which I just laugh at and think to myself, "oh, if only they had known me before the mish...." So, now everytime Hna McKee sees me she greets me with, "oh, hey firecracker." Another laughable chiste: We gave 2 sisters on bike (Sis Parker and Burton) a ride from walmart to their house last pday and sis burton said "Hna Schwartz is Fast and Furious!" I almost DIED laughing, because literally I have been a SUPER and I mean UBER lax, and even a defensive driver mind you, the entire time I've been here. oh my word, if these people had any idea of my previous life...ijole.

Well Fam, sorry to start you off on such a weird tangent about my life, don't worry I'm not quiet, I'm just calm, weird to think about I know. Okay, this week was intense. Not really intense, just I needed to be on my A-game this week because Hna Falcon had to go to this 2 day leadership training in Scottsdale with Hna McKee and that meant that I, ME, baby Hna Schwartz I am, was in charge of our area for 2 DAYS!! and not only mine, but Hna Larson's (hna Mckee's compa) area too. I was just praying we wouldn't completely burn down Mesa. No, but in all seriousness, Friday Night lights, game time, now or never (I'm trying to think of as many cliches as possible), bring it, the eye of the tiger, yada yada. So I bid farewell Wed morning to my dear Hna Falcon and Hna McKee, (oh and by the way, Hna Larson and I were in charge of Hna Reed who has been here for a week, not a native Spanish speaker fyi) and we got to work. And Fam, BAM Hna Falcon has been training me well. We did our best, we didn't offend anyone and some good things happened in our areas. Thursday was even better because it was just Hna Larson and I and we did her area first and I love Hna Larson, but she was uber nervous and kept asking me to help her out and so I spent a lot of the time talking (again, blessing I didn't offend anyone, if you thought I was direct in english, oh hoho in spanish it's even worse), and we had some BOMB lessons! Seriously. SO BOMB safdjkhsdfjhsjadfh. okay, not that we did anything good, but the fact that we were able to actually teach without our compas was comforting, and we taught the law of chastity (sexual purity) to my investigator Joel (he is so golden, oh my word, read the Book of Mormon in 1 week, completely stopped smoking, comes to church every Sunday, so willing to do everything he can to make his life positive) and haha, oh Joel, I pulled out the pamphlet we use to help teach and his eyes got HUGE (he has daughters and isn't married, soo we knew he was going to have a problem with it) but Hna Larson and I did our best, he felt good after we left (at least I think), and that was a random tangent, disculpa. But here's the thing fam, yes, I can actually do missionary work without Hna Falcon, but you know what? I'm not as good. As I was going through those 2 days, I was just using everything I had learned from Hna Falcon, literally everything I'd ever seen her say or do and I was just trying to be a Falcon Machine. All I know is that I'm getting an Ivy league education with Hna Falcon and I need it and am so grateful for her and for her being my trainer. De verdad. When she came back she said that in the leadership conference Pres Ellsworth had asked all the trainers who were leaving in 3 transfers (I think that's like what 6-8 months? a transfer is 6 weeks, do the math) and basically everyone's hands went up. Pres Ellsworth continued to say that the entire mission is going to change, the leadership is leaving and those who are being trained right now are going to need to step up to the plate and be the new generation in this mission. And Hna Falcon told me in our companion inventory (basically a DTR, heart-to-heart session) that when he was saying that she thought of me and then she started crying (total llorona, bless her) and I won't lie I was touched. I'm not a good missionary by any means, HECKS NO, I've got freaking mountains to learn, but I'm learning from the best and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a sponge and soak up everything that Hna Falcon is.

On to better news, we had 15 people at church on Sunday!!!!!! 15!!!! I was blown away, usually we only have Joel and some other person we invite but it was such a miraculous week for us! Wednesday we go to visit Blanca and we challenged her to sacrifice 1 hour of her Sunday to the Lord and come to sacrament meeting and she could come in her Panda Express uniform(works there on sunday) and whatever, we just told her she had to be there. And we said we'd p[ray for her and she needed to pray to and have faith and jazz and we left. Saturday we are trying to contact this family we've been trying to meet with and they live right next door to her basically and we waved hi and then left to go pick up Hna Hndz for the lesson. Our lesson cancels. Blanca calls us, literally a minute after and asks us why we didn't stop by, and we say hey, we are on our way! We head back over to Blanca's (with Hno Santiago! remember him?) and she says to us, "Hermanas you won't believe what happened on Thursday." and we're like diganos. and she's all like "I went into work and saw that they had changed the schedule and that my shift on Sunday got changed and I got Sunday off! and as I stood there I kept thinking it's because the hermanas have been praying for me" SJKLHSGJHDFJDFJKDFAGUHGRUOGWUIOBERSGJBSDGJKBDFGJKBASDGJKHSEIOUJWTILKNBVSDIUB!!!!!! Do you know how BOMB that is??? Not only was she able to come to 1 hour of church on Sunday, but she got to come to all 3!!! and not only that, but her eldest daughter yamile came with her 4 boys and vic and pao came tooo!!!! beautiful fam, love them tons, their dad's in jail right now but he's all into god and wanting to change his life around and rely on the lord and so we're going to send him a book of mormon. Oh and on top of that, a family that the missionaries have been working with for a while, Ines Baez, brought all his kids and some grandkids too to church!

Blessings, miracles, blessings, miracles! Miracles are real fam, ask for them! Love ya peace and blessings.

Hna Schwartz

P.s. ma, apparently i get to call you on mother's day, so more info to come about that? 

Desert at Sunset

Famajam, the res is the most beautiful place at sunset. (BTW THE KEYBOARD I'M ON IS JACKED UP, AND GOES IN AND OUT OF CAPS LOCK, LOOKS LIKE SOME OLD FOGIE SPILLED THEIR YOGURT OR SOME SORT OF LOTION, IDK) i literally have never seen sunsets like the ones on the res, it takes you back in time. i would send pics of them, but i'm always driving so i'll recruit hna falcon next time we're up there, because oh, guess what?????


ahhlkjsdgil;asdguyiopehnildhafgjkdayghjkadngeruiatheuiahtngeklnsagasdjkgh! LITERALLY SO THRILLED. this is really annoying, the keyboard not his baptism. okay here was the shpiel: MONDAY NIGHT, WE BRING THE HNDZ FAM  to his home to talk about tithing (THE PAYING 10% of what you make commandment) AND WE ALSO WERE BABYSITTING THE NEW MISSIONARY SIS NOBLE AND WE HAD HNA SOLORZANO (LOVE HER) AND WE HAD A FULL HOUSE UP AT MIGUEL'S. AS WE WERE TALKING TO HIM HE KEPT GETTING MORE AND MORE UNSURE ABOUT HIS BPATISM THAT SATURDAY AND WAS LIKE "I DON'T THINK I'M READY" AND HE WAS REALLY FEELING UNSURE. HE DOESN'T READ VERY WELL, AND HE DIDN'T THINK HE KNEW ENOUGH TO BE BAPTIZED, SO ALL OF US IN THE room told him to pray and glenda too and we would all pray for him to receive the answer if it was time for him or not. we left feeling worried, because miguel is an open book, and his face was really troubled when we left. we came back on wed and it was a completely diff miguel, he was like "hnas miguel is ready!" and we went through the bap questions and he was like "is that it?" and we were like, "uh yeah miguel, you're ready" and he was super pumped. friday he had his real baptismal interview and he came into the vc, HOW DO I DESCRIBE THIS, HAHA WELL IT'S LIKE THE PICTURE I INCLUDED OF HIM, HIS SHOULDERS BACK, CHEST OUT, AND HE WAS JUST LIKE "ECHALE GANAS HERMANAS, ECHALE GANAS, SEGUIR ADELANTE" HAHAHA THE WHOLE TIME HE WAS THERE. SO FUNNY.  and then sat was his baptism and he came and was like "hnas help me!" this has been miguel's catch pharse for us since we met him, i adore him. he's so humble and he's like "hnas, help old miguel! i don't know how to pray! I DON'T KNOW HOW TO READ! i don't know how to express my feelings! hnas help me!" AHHH I LOVE HIM!!!! he slays me. anyhoo, the talks were great, miguel loved the white baptismal suit, his family and glenda's family came and tons of members from the ward came!! (funny story about our sweet rama, they want us to baptize 36 people this year, and they never come to our baptisms...oh okay), and fam, oh my word, i can't even describe the pure joy i felt as i SAW MIGUEL GO DOWN INTO THE WATER AND COME UP AGAIN. i was a proud lil hna. after he got changed and everything his face was just, i don't even know how to explain it, in awe almost, he said "hnas, i feel clean, i feel free" and then he said "hnas that water is dirty! that water is diiiiirty!" HAHAHA, OH MIGUEL. then he was confirmed with the holy spirit on sunday and after he received his personalized blessing, his face was all red and he was just like "hnas, i feel clean. i feel like i could run and run and run all around the place. i feel energized" he kept going on and on and kept talking about how dirty the water was hahahaha. But miguel has been such a blessing for me to know him. He was not the same person he was 32 years ago, he has given up coffee and smoking, he has learned how to read better, he finally is able to express his emotions. but the most impressive thing of all is that miguel made the choice to do so. no one forced him. he woke up one morning and he didn't like the person he was, and that morning he said he was going to change. he was going to be the person he wanted to be. and we all can do that. who we are is determined by the small things we do each day, by the person we decide to be that day. and that accumlates into who we are. yesterday i woke up and said "hna schwartz, what kind of missionary are you going to be today?" and i thought about who i want to be that i haven't been being and decided to be that person. granted, it's a process right, but yesterday i felt more like myself on this mission than any other day since being here. and i did the same thing today. and i'll do the same thing tomorrow. and i'll continue asking myself, just for the day, who i want to be, what i want to improve on, and by the end of the day, i will be that person, or at least closer to that person. change isn't easy. miguel really had a hard time changing, it took him 32 years. but the second we decide to, everything is possible. 




(pics: i forgot what order they're in, but they're from miguel's baptism, the zone activity we had at a members house, we made pizzas, played bag-o, volleyball, i got to be in shorts which was basically a dream come true, nuff said, uhh i think there's one in there of my district, one of the elder's crawford is from powder springs, ga, ironic being there are only 3 georgians in this mishmish, umm and i think there's a pic of me in granny glasses which i played with while waiting for hna falcon to finish her eye appt=])