Author Archives: lindabalderas
I have been called to teach Seminary again this year and it is such a blessing. My class is in English. Most of my students speak pretty well and have a total understanding. The few who don’t speak are learning. The English speakers are great about translating and helping those that struggle. So they are not only learning the scriptures,but also English at the same time.I ask the Lord to help me teach with the Spirit and He is doing amazing things!
All my LDS friends know all about Seminary but for those who don’t,let me explain a little.
Seminary is for the youth ages 14-18. In the States it is early morning, before school. Here in Mexico it is usually afternoon because school days are split,some students attending morning classes,some afternoon. Also,we don’t have Seminary on Mondays because it is Family Home Evening night. Many kids have to take the bus and parents work late so it is a stretch to do both.
The purpose of Seminary is to teach the youth,thru the Spirit,to understand and have faith in the teachings and atonement of Jesus Christ,to prepare themselves for temple blessings for themselves and their families and to live to share eternal life with their Heavenly Father.
It is a sacred responsibility that my Father has given me. It is also humbling to realize just how much he trusts me with this calling and these precious teens.
This year we are studying the book of Mormon. We are keeping scripture journals and I am encouraging my class to take notes,record quotes by the church presidency and general authorities. They are learning to prayerfully read the scriptures and to make them personal to them. This is so important to me because I make His word my own,He speaks to me thru them. I want my students to have a testimony of the scriptures so that they can call on His word and promises in all circumstances. I pray that the Spirit can impart the truth of them in their hearts and minds as I teach.
I love each one of my youth and the hour I spend with them each day teaches me more too!
I want to add also a bit about how important it is for parents to make sure their teens attend. Here in Mexico life isn’t as easy as it is in the states. Some youth walk and take buses a long way to get to the chapel. Money is tight and even 6 or 7 pesos or especially 40 pesos for a taxi can be a hardship. School work,as in the states, can be all- consuming. So it’s a heavy load for these kids. Yet they still come and give Seminary their all. I taught the New Testament last year and I have watched these young men and women grow in their testimonies and as people. It is awesome!
So for those in the states who grumble about having to get up early,count your blessings. The Chapel is usually close,or you meet at your teachers house,you have comfortable rides and probably refreshments each day. Attend Seminary with a grateful Spirit,eager to learn.
I am grateful for my students and their families. This class not only strengthens my testimony, but I have fun too! I couldn’t ask for more.
I am finally relaxing and able to write. I’m so overjoyed with my new stove and refrigerator!Two things I took for granted in the states. But here in Mexico? No way. We lived in an old concrete house for a year, 1500 pesos for no furniture but a broke down cook top,a roof with so many holes the rain was as bad inside as out,and windows we had to cover with cardboard and plastic. No hot water, toilet constantly backing up,and the walls pealing and cracking under the mold.
Yet everyday I thanked my Heavenly Father and believed we’d have better. We used an ice chest for the longest until we found a small compact frig. We bought a nice bed. Miguel tried to fix things but the landlady wanted the work and materials for free. When the drywall fell into the kitchen after a hard rain I said that’s it. But we didn’t start looking for someplace else. Instead we started praying in earnest for God to provide. Saying He did just that is putting it mildly!
We ended up renting a nice little house owned by a couple in our branch,for less rent.Clean,fresh paint,fully functioning bathroom, furniture,and a real oven and full size refrigerator!
I can actually keep ice cream now and cook brownies in the stove. Along with my slow cooker and the electric skillet the sister brought over I’m really cookin’!
My Father is so good to me. I have learned so much since I’ve been in Mexico. I never thought of myself as a materialistic person but I realize that I don’t need all the extras I thought I did. I’m content to let the Lord provide the things I need when He knows I’m ready for them. I rarely worry over situations where it seems we might not have enough or all we need. When I do start to fret I praise Him more for what we do have. He always answers my prayers.
When I broke my shoulder and was out of work He kept us above the water line.He provides me with enough work to meet my needs and Miguel’s work pays the bills. We are so blessed.
He blesses me with good people to work with. Almost everyone I have cared for are good,Christian people. I have been blessed to have them as friends and often prayer partners. Some of them have passed,but they have all brought more of the Spirit into my life.
I have been blessed to be a part of some of the most awesome wards and branches in the Church. I’m blessed to be loved by my brothers and sisters wherever I go. And I never take that for granted. They bring such joy, love,and light into my life.And we all need that now in our crazy world.
As I am relaxing here in my new little abode,I’m pondering on all the brouhaha going on in the states and thanking our Heavenly Father that we are here in Acuña.I am not stressing it other than to keep my gente in prayer. If everyone would love one another as Christ says our world would be rich in blessings. He said to love others as we love ourselves. From the looks of things a whole lot of people sure hate themselves. So sad.
As the American citizen spouse of a deportee I have asked myself why I and my fellow American citizen spouses are not being represented,yet are still required to pay taxes. That is taxation wirhout representation.Virtually no one on Capitol Hill acknowledges that we even exist. Out of sight,out of mind.The few that do are shut out and shut up by the current administration.
Everyone is protesting the travel ban, worried about the DACA youth, fighting for the undocumented still in the states. But who is fighting for us,for family reunifucation? The powers that be and their minions are so hell-bent on purging the land and destroying more families that it’s futile to even broach the subject. They are so busy trying to keep people out, that we who have essentially been deported with our spouses,can’t be heard.
The very people who are ranting about the undocumented know the least about immigration laws. I can’t begin to tell you how many people believe that if an immigrant marries a citizen a green card is automatically handed to them. Doesn’t work that way folks. It takes lots of time and lots of money. If you have money it’s easier. Take the first lady for example,and it’s only an example,no judgement intended.
She worked illegally,without authorization,which made her,”illegal”. But her spouse has big bucks and clout so she never faced any punishment for her crime. I’m not saying she shouldn’t have been allowed to stay,but what about the other couples and families who don’t have the means or power. Shouldn’t there be a way to help them? Why are they kicked to the curb and given 5,10,20,and lifetime bans for what are most often minor infractions? That’s not to say there are not really bad criminals that need to be out, but by and large,most of them are not threats to society,but contribute in a good way to their communities.
We want to be heard,we want to be represented. We don’t want our tax money to be spent on more militarization on the border,more detention centers,a wall that reminds us that we aren’t wanted either.
It truly saddens me that my own country doesn’t welcome my husband. His country has certainly welcomed me. The people have been more than hospitable to me. A lot of it has to do with the LDS church,but aside from the members,everyone is kind and helpful to me. No one treats me with disdain or malice because of what is going on in Washington,because I’m light skinned,or my Spanish is so poor. I feel loved and accepted. It breaks my heart that this isn’t reciprocated by my own country.But…
Today is a beautiful day and I will rejoice and be glad in it here in Acuña.
I am a native Californian. One of my favorite places was DisneyLand. Disney Land opened the year after I was born and we made a trip to the Magic Kingdom every year to entertain relatives who were visiting.
I was enthralled with the beautiful scenes,the singing anamatronic children,the vivid colors and uplifting music. All children in the world getting along and loved.
Now that I’m all grown up,indeed a grandmother many times over,I pray everyday for the real children of the world. The born and the unborn. Children everywhere.The victims of neglect and abuse,human trafficking and sexual exploitation, infanticide and torture.
I’m thinking now how my children and my grandchildren are so abundantly blessed to enjoy and have the blessings of Priesthood blessings. In the LDS church children are usually blessed the first Sunday of the month during our fast and testimony meeting. This is a holy and sacred time,a great joy for everyone. The child is given a name and blessing for their life by a worthy Priesthood holder,ideally a father or other family member. And then hopefully during the growing years nurtured and taught in the gospel of Christ.
I look around in the world and see so many babes suffering,torn apart from their families or living in situations where the parents are victims of their own debilitating childhood trauma they are incapable of turning things around for their own children. Life ain’t DisneyLand.
So how can we help? I’m here in Del Rio today and I’ve been researching resources for helping families. It’s important to start in our families then to reach out in our communities and our schools and churches. We may feel like we aren’t doing anything that matters,but that’s not true. Some food,clothing,bedding can help. A pair of shoes and socks,hygiene products, used toys and books can make a difference.
Giving our time can relieve someone’s loneliness and the feeling that they are all alone. A smile, a hug, a listening ear,all these things go can a long way in showing others the love of Christ.
When my children were small we lived in a horribly abusive home. I was blessed with people who helped me to escape. We were placed in a safe house and the misery of those women and children was palpable. My children and I sat down that 1st night and my oldest daughter said,”Mama,we have to help these people. Heavenly Father will show us how”. So we knelt down and prayed for Him to show us what to do. My younger daughter said “let’s make them laugh,they all look so sad. I bet they never smile.” We started doing little skits that everyone could relate too. Imitating our abusers and making them funny for a minute, and all the while making them laugh and realize they could overcome. One woman who had been in and out of shelters with her kids for 10 years said she couldn’t remember laughing in that long! The kids and I determined to keep on giving however we could.
Once we were out of that situation, we would collect their outgrown clothes and shoes,toys,books,and movies and music and load them into the van and take them to the women and children’s shelters in Atlanta. We would make cookies and spend time reading and having good little tea parties. It blessed us more than anyone else.
Now with so many suffering in this world it is important to not just pray,but too be an example of Christ-like love and to walk the walk,not just say we are Christ’s followers,but actually show them in word and deed that we are who we profess to be. We may not belive the same way,but we can show love and grace to them.
I love this man,my Redeemer,my King,my Lord. The children who are suffering in His place of birth need us more than ever. How can we turn our our backs on the children who are crying out for rescue? We must stand together and do what He would do.
Matthew 19:13-14, Then there were brought unto Him little children,that He should put his hands on them ,and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said,Suffer little children,and forbid them not,to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
We aren’t doing a very good job of this right now. Never mind going to the Magic Kingdom.
Buenos dias y’all! This was my post yesterday on facebook. Just some of my firsthand observations since this is where I live. I had a oodles of comments,mostly positive. One woman however accused me of being bitter,negative,and a whiner. I will add those comments and you tell me what you think. Whose sadly bitter and negative?
I live in Mexico. Right on the border. My house is 1 minute from the fence,the rio,and the puente. It’s already crawling with CBP,dogs,and vehicles. There are sensors,drones, boats,and horses. There are cameras,mirrors,x-rays. And now the president wants yall to pay billions more for a wall. I can tell you that Mexico will never pay for it. Things are already hard here.
But I will say this: Everyone has welcomed me here. My Spanish is more Spanglish. No one has ever refused me service or been hateful and told me Spanish only. In fact,if anything they ask me if I can teach them english! I teach a seminary class,in English,with the students who speak English helping with translation. No one insults me or says how horrible I am because I’m a US citizen. Everyone has been respectful,helpful,and friendly. Even tho technically I’m an undocumented alien since I don’t have my residency yet. Which by the way is way less expensive and simpler to obtain.
Bad things happen everywhere. We live in a fallen world. Guns and walls and bombs and registries and technology can not save you. If something bad is going to happen well,it’s going to happen.
You are living in fear and fear grows bigger and bigger and it’s sin. The scriptures say do not fear 365 times. Obviously the Lord was making a point. I choose to not live in fear. I can’t stop the inevitable and that is that the Lord is coming back and my only concern is that He finds me faithful.
It’s going to get bad folks,make no mistake and don’t be fooled. The only security is in Him. That is all.
Comment1)God is in control of all things in our lives. I suffered for a year taking chemo fighting cancer and I did not come out bitter. There are things in this life that we don’t understand. There is a legal system and all of us, including me must abide by the law of the land. We must support our leaders and pray for them whether we voted for them or not. I supported one for the last few years that I did not vote for.
This is a wonderful blessing that she is healed. Let us rejoice! However,she turned my words to something they were never meant to convey.She implied that I am bitter. So I responded with, First of all Doris I’m thankful you are well. Gracias a Dios!But I don’t know where you get the impression I am bitter. I don’t support anyone who promotes hate. We are not obligated to blindly follow someone who is in power and leads us a stray. I am in Mexico by choice to be with my husband because I believe the marriage covenant supercedes any man made dictates. But I also know firsthand how deportation tears families apart and destroys them.
My page is not a place to express political disputes. The only King I serve is Jesus Christ and my trust is in Him. Not in any man. When man’s law tries to override God’s law then I will not support it. I believe to keep families together the laws should be ammended.
I understand hatred and bigotry when I see it and I pray for my country,but I won’t be a partaker in those sins. This isn’t open to discussion or argument,it is where I stand. But thank you for sharing your opinion as well. Love.
Comment2)We should love one another and I’m glad I have compassion for all.. I do love America and honor the Office of The President and others. I don’t always agree but I try not to whine about things either.. If I was smart enough I’d hold some type of office, so I hope they are smarter than I am.
Now,was I coming across as whining about the situation? No,I believe I was simply stating my principles and personal conviction. And let me add there were also comments from many friends and family that were kind and positive. So she was also implying they are bitter and whiny as well.
I responded with this, Doris hunni, so far you have managed to call me bitter and my good friends whiners,albeit subtly. I love all of you and that includes you Doris and I suppose you feel threatened. Trust me none of them are whiners,they just know what it’s like to struggle with the issues and they love the Lord and others. Please don’t assume things about people you don’t know. That hurts you more than them. I expect courtesy and each one is entitled to their belief and opinion even if we disagree. No more jabs please. I don’t tolerate it on my page. Thanks
She then commented with this, I will not respond to anything else negative you write, you do not understand what I am trying to say. You and others read something into my message I didn’t even say. What’s wrong with y’all?
This makes me sad for her. She is missing the point entirely even though she claims to have compassion. I appreciate her trials with the ravages of cancer and would not wish those horrors on anyone.But apparently she,and indeed those many folks who share her way of thinking,don’t afford us the same. We who have been through this immigration debacle and struggled with ICE and essentially been deported along with our spouses and families must have something wrong with us.
Well,we ALL,have something wrong with us if the Savior’s words are true,and I believe they are. Just look around at us,wherever we live. We all are in need of change.
Jesus admonished us to love one another,to be kind,care for each other,esteem each other as ourselves. That’s hard to do when we are fearful of others who are different than us. I’m not saying to embrace everyone’s beliefs or lifestyle,but extend grace to one another in spite of our differences. Pray for understanding. Forgive,even when you feel justified in holding that grudge.
To this lady I extend my love and forgiveness because she really doesn’t understand. I can do no less than what my Lord would do. He did the same for me.
“You might serve the devil,or you might serve the Lord,but everybody gotta serve someone.”-Bob Dylan
As a United States citizen in Mexico I am in a unique position to view what is transpiring in my country from the outside. It saddens me. Just because we are a people of affluence,privilege, and power doesn’t make us right in our Lord’s eyes.
Trump’s followers are ranting about those who say he’s not our president. The other side is adamant in their dissension. The hatred and pure ugliness is boiling like a pot of milk,bubbling over and making a huge mess.
There have been unrighteous,wicked rulers since time began because we are wicked,period. Let’s call a spade a spade. If we say we aren’t then we are lying,and that is wickedness. The United States is filled with corruption, bigotry,hate and selfihness. We are like children on the school yard fighting and scrapping,name calling and bullying, demanding to be right.
So many were clamoring for Trump. Give us a real leader! We don’t want a politician, but someone who is for the people.Well,now we’ve got him.
In 1st Samuel history teaches us of Saul, the 1st king of Israel. The people were clamoring and whining for a king. Samuel went to the Lord for them and He told Samuel He would give them what they asked for but that it was not what He wanted and it would be to their detriment. You can check it out for yourselves starting in 1st Samuel 8.
Saul started out as a basicly decent man,but still ended up failing miserably and taking Israel into much grief. He was power hungry and an angry man. Pretty much like Trump,except from all observation,Trump is not in the least a Godly man.
Of course he’s not the first ruler to be wicked and the US isn’t the first country to fall,as usuredly she will. I don’t say that because I don’t love my country and am not thankful for the blessings of my birth. But I must see the truth and pray for discernment.
So,with that said,at this troubling time in the world,not just my country, I claim no man as my president. The scriptures say the government will be on Christ’s shoulders,not a man’s.I will put my trust and allegiance in Him. I will live for Him and obey Him even if that means coming into opposition with the powers that be.
Yes I know the scriptures admonish us to be subject to kings,rulers,and the government. But that doesn’t mean that we must agree or follow them to destruction and the lose of our eternal salvation. The Apostle Paul was subject to Rome and gave his life for the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Book of Mormon,Mosiah 11:20-17:20 is told the history of a wicked king and the prophet Abinidah who also gave His life for the Lord.
And of course the ultimate sacrifice for us in that Christ gave His life for us. He is my King and I will live for Him. That means I will pray for our president and his chosen advisors and for my fellow citizens. I will not hate. I will continue to serve and do good to everyone. I will keep turning my heart to Him.
But I will not be blinded to the evil I see happening or make excuses for behaviors and attitudes that hurt others.
I’m here at our neighborhood auto lavado. That’s a car wash.
Just sitting here pondering on all that’s happening in the world,and yesterday with Mr. Trumps inauguration as 4th president of the United States. I don’t dwell on politics,I don’t live in fear of what will or will not happen. I know that our Heavenly Father is in control and He has a perfect plan for me personally if I am diligent in following Him. That’s not to say that I won’t face tribulation,only that He has promised to take me through.
I am thankful to be wherever He takes me and it happens to be Mexico at the moment. I love my country,but I don’t always like what I see happening. Donald Trump isn’t the cause though. I do believe the hatred,self-centeredness,prejudice,and bigotry has reached new highs,but come on folks,it’s always been there. Boiling and bubbling under the surface like the river of slime under the city in Ghost Busters,it’s to found an outlet in Trumps rhetoric. The scriptures teach in Proverbs 22:24 to not make friends with an angry man and, let’s be honest,our new president is an angry man.
I will pray for him and support him as far as he doesn’t go against Godly principles,but already there are many things I find disturbing.
Living here in Mexico and as the wife of a deportee,I have some questions for him,and indeed for his Republican cabinet,congress,and senate.
You say you are going to help all Americans. Does that include us,the U.S. citizen spouses of those who have been deported and given 5,10,20,and lifetime bans? Do we count at all?
What about the children? The ones who are U.S. citizens,the ones who are separated from a father or mother or who ate uprooted and exiled to another country in order to keep a family intact?
You say do it the legal way, but many of these families don’t have the means to pay the outlandish and punitive fees or to afford an attorney. You say well then, you shouldn’t have married someone who was undocumented.What a heartless and ignorant thing to say. I’m not saying there should be no penalty,only that it should fit the crime. And crossing to reunite with one’s children should not be a felony. If it weren’t so extremely difficult to reunite people wouldn’t keep trying to cross. Families shouldn’t be separated. How would you feel Mr. Trump if you were told you couldn’t be with your children? You CHOSE to divorce your former wives.An immigration court didn’t in effect grant you a forced seperation. But that is exactly what happens before an immigration judge.
You can’t begin to know or understand what so many of my ‘sisters’ here in Mexico have suffered. You haven’t the first clue what the children struggle with. Not just here,but those living with the spector of deportation hanging over them.
So I will pray for our leaders. They are going to have a lot to correct and a lot to answer for in the final judgement.
They are finished with my car and I have to say for 3 bucks USD,it’s a beautiful job!
Truly I was pleasantly surprised with my treatment today here in Acuna.I didn’t think it would quite measure up to what I had in Atlanta. I mean I wasn’t expecting rusty dental tools,decrepit equipment and a horse doctor,but I was prepared mentally for not quite up to par. SHOCK!
It was awesome! Let me say first my dentist in Lawrenceville is awesome too. And I would recommend Dr. Earl McClendon in a heartbeat. But Dr. Ponce here is just as great. His office is clean and attractive. The exam rooms are spotless and totally modern. He and his staff are friendly and professional. I had an extraction of a broken molar and it took like two minutes. Dr.Ponce has a calm demeanor and a great sense of humor,as does Dr. McClendon.
But the difference in cost is the big deal. I paid 500 pesos for the procedure which is about 30 USD! And I received the same first rate treatment as I did in the states.
In a couple of weeks I go back to be fitted for upper and lower partials . Guess how much I’m going to save on that? A bunch! It’s 7500 pesos,375 USD! Just for the bottom in the states it was 1000 dollars!
Lastly, I need two crowns in front for 5000 pesos,250 USD. So ,13,000 pesos total or 655 USD!
To anyone here I highly recommend Dr. Ponce. I used his office on Morelos,right around the corner from house.
To anyone in Lawrenceville,Georgia,or the surrounding area, I highly recommend Dr McClendon. He’s located on Lawrenceville Highway (29) between Snellville and Lawrenceville. He also has dental plans and will work with you.
Finding the right dentist can be daunting, but God blesses me everywhere I go!
Roughly 12 weeks ago I body-slammed myself on my concrete porch and broke my right arm and shattered my shoulder. Talk about pain! It was worse than debilitating. But being the tough old bird that I am,I managed to flop onto my back and used my left hand and my legs to prop myself into a sitting position. I scooted to the wall and inched my way up and was able to stagger into the kitchen and drop into a chair. My 84 year old land lady hobbled inside and proceeded to ask if I was still able to go pay her phone bill! Really woman ? Do you not see I’m having a major event here?
That was where I was headed when the disaster occured. Yes,trying to do a good deed I ended up sabotaging myself. That’s how it usually works for me. Do a good deed,cut my own throat so to speak.
But to continue the story,Miguel walked in the door just as I was screaming in pain and repeating,’It’s broken,oh Jesus please help me!’
Now as my family can tell you when Miguel gets upset he’s like a chihuahua on crack. He was trying to help but he was so frantic and worried it was hurting worse. He wanted to take me up to the local hospital but I was like’NO!!! I’ll drive myself across the river to Del Rio!’ And that’s just what I did. The border patrol officer was awesome and passed me right through. A friend was working triage that night and she met me there so I wasn’t all alone. But the most awesome part was the way the members of the church ,my family,and my Heavenly Father worked together for my good.
My older daughter in Georgia called her brother and he called his Bishop there in Atlanta who called the Bishop in Del Rio who called the missionary elders who came to the hospital and administered a priesthood blessing over me.
And even though we are struggling now because I can’t work yet,my bones are healing wonderfully! I’m in occupational therapy now twice a week and I’m only on my second visit and already I have eighty per cent mobility and I can do almost everything I could before the accident! I worked with the machines today and a lift bar. I’m not gonna lie -it hurt!!! But the progress is so worth it.
Our spirits are the same. We need to work them,test and stretch them. Go beyond our comfort zone. Sometimes it hurts,but the blessings are worth the pain.
I have therapy again tomorrow and I’m looking forward to the challenge because I know Father has great physical blessings for me. And I look forward to my spiritual tests too because I know He intends to bless me way beyond anything I can fathom!
Well here it is a new year. I’ve been here in Mexico almost a year now and a lot has happened here and in the states. I’m starting this blogfresh and I hope it brings love and hope and laughter to others and I hope to learn and grow and make some dinero too!
I’ve had some real challenges in my years on this earth, and in spite of some tough trials,many more blessings. I’m going to share my experiences here in this blog and hopefully they will be a source of encouragement. I believe life is a great journey onward to our eternity. I’ve slipped and fallen,literally,broken some physical and spiritual bones. Lost everything I’ve owned,more than once. I’ve been displaced and homeless,struggled with poor health, experienced betrayal and rejection,and had my heart broken and shattered into a million pieces.
But the Savior has reached out His hand and grabbed mine everytime I’ve stumbled. He’s been right there. And the blessings far outweigh the tribulations.
Welcome to my blog and to my little corner of the universe!