Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 16, 2015 Letter

I am doing super great! The investigator pool is coming along quite nicely. We had quite a few new investigators come out of the woodwork this week. We feel like we´ve been working super hard to see results and we´re super excited about the prospects that we have.

 I´ll tell you a little bit about a few of them. So there´s a boy here named D. from Peru. He´s 16 and just a wonderful member of the church, one of my favorite members in B8. His older brother is serving a mission in LA and I just wrote him an email, actually, telling him what I´m about to tell you- we´re baptizing his mom!! Her name is D. and she´s absolutely wonderful. She´s been taught for a LONG time by the hermanas that were here before, but then she went on vactaion for 3 months to Peru, and she got back right when I got here. She´s so ready to be baptized and she´s just wonderful. I´m so grateful to be able to be here for that. It will be happening on the 14th of March and I´m really excited for that. She´s like my little mom here- she takes really good care of us and it means the world.

We also have fechas with a woman named D. and her 10 year old son, E. We found them on the street the other day and after she failed us a few times, we were finally able to see her and she´s wonderful. Her son keeps telling us that he´s always wanted to be baptized again- cutest thing ever. He reminds me a lot of Jake! He also loves me a lot, for whatever reason. Probably because I brought him his favorite candy to the lesson the other day. He´s so cute and I´m excited to see them progress more.

Yesterday we taught a Nigerian lady named F. for the first time. OH MY GOSH PROPS TO ME FOR MAKING IT THROUGH THAT LESSON WITHOUT LAUGHING OUT LOUD. It was the FUNNIEST thing I have ever experienced, ever. It was in English but I still couldn´t really understand much of what she said- it honestly probably would have been easier in Spanish. She started telling us about this dream that she had one time- "There was this woman! And she was as BIG as the sky!! And her ------ were as big as this TABLE!! And I said, Look. I don´t believe in this woman, I believe in GOD!! I believe in JESUS CHRIST!! You don´t know my heart, only JESUS CHRIST knows my heart!! And I belong at the church of MOUNTAIN OF FIRE AND MIRACLES!! (her church´s name) (emphasis added where she put it)." I was dying. Holy crap. But we´re going back next week, so all is well.

We also had a lesson with this guy named E. He was a really quick contact on the street, but he invited us over and we showed up on time at the right piso (both miracles, with our track record of both timing and directions), and he was there with his wife- HIS LEGALLY MARRIED WIFE-, their baby, his brother in law, sister in law and their baby and they ALL LISTENED and they are all interested!! It was SUCH a miracle. So amazing. We were so happy, just over the moon happy. He prayed to end and thanked God for sending us and putting us in his path and asked that it wouldn´t be our last time coming. Super amazing.

 I also went on intercambios back to my old area this week, which was a little weird, but it helped me realize how much I have grown, even in just one month here. I´m so happy here in B8. There´s struggles, always, but I just feel good here. Really enjoying and loving this time in the mission and in my life.

Training is coming well! Two more weeks and we´re done with it, which is something that I think Hermana Judd is excited for. Being trained is hard. But she´s amazing and I´m so grateful to be her companion. Funny exchanges that we had this week: her scaring me so bad that I fell over on the floor in the bathroom, fixing our shower drain in the morning with duct tape, contacting the same guy twice within 5 minutes (that one was my bad and also probably the most embarrassed I´ve been on the mission), Hermana Judd saying that we share a Gospel of peace and love within 2 seconds of knowing somebody (also hilarious), her punching me on the street and somebody yelling at us, in English, "That´s against the Mormon religion!!", trying to start normal conversations and just failing-miserably, awkwardly failing- teaching a lesson to a lady in French from Sengal who is an African dancer and drummer while her friend walked around in a bra, smoking, trying to hide behind a tree this morning and trade basketball shorts because mine were too short and my garments were showing while we were playing soccer, and her interrupting a couple that was passionately making out by saying "Hola!!"- that one was probably the worst. Spanish spider is what we call that... I´ll just let you imagine what that means. But yeah, we have a great companionship and everybody knows it. President, the APs, other companionships- they´ve all commented and just told us how perfect we are to be together. I think they are happy that we´re together but also a bit scared because we´re slowly becoming the same person. She´s currently reading over my shoulder and dying at this email. So I guess you could say life is pretty good.

 Know that I know the Gospel is true. I know it is. I know that my testimony has grown SO much, even in the past month, and it keeps growing and growing. I love teaching the Gospel, I really do. I love sharing it and doing what I´m doing. It´s the greatest blessing of my entire life and I´m so grateful to be here. I love you all!!

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 9th, 2015 Letter

Oh man, first of all, this pday has been especially great. My companion and I just decided to take it easy so we went to a panadería (bakery place) and got some orange bread and some other lovely things and we went to a bench on the street that we always contact on called Albufera and ate it together. We have never sat down on a bench on that street except to teach a lesson to someone, so it felt so good to sit down and just relax. Haha I don´t know why I enjoyed it so much but it just seemed so nice. We always personify calle Albufera and talk about ´´her´´ like she is our favorite investigator because she never fails us and lessons with her always go well. The best part about albufera is that there are always people to stop and contact and teach!! We always go there to go contacting.

Speaking of Camaroun ...  Our investigator D. is super awesome! We are scrounging spain for gospel pamphlets in french so that we can continue to teach him. We even tried to somehow break into the MTC because I know there are some in there haha. But things are going well. Well, he does speak english kind of. He told me that he learned english on the street ... so yeah, he speaks street english. It´s really fun when he tries to explain things to me (he speaks French with my companion) in english and then he just drops the F bomb here and there. We work so hard to keep straight faces. So we actually lost contact with him this week and it made us super sad and nervous. We thought we lost him for sure. Then, he found us in the Metro!!! We were all so excited to see each other! It was really a miracle. He told us that he lost his phone at work and had to get a new phone and new number and everything.

Oh here´s another ´´funny´´ story. As missionaries, in addition to teaching the gospel, we try to serve people every chance we get ... We got a call during medio dia on wednesday from a member in another area telling us that her friend that lived in our area needed to go the hospital THAT INSTANT!! We cancelled our lesson with our golden investigator to go take this woman who we thought was dying to the hospital. Turns out, she had a headache. We still took her to the hospital and ended up waiting there for almost 3 hours holding her coat in the waiting room and trying not to loose our minds. Then she called us and told us we could go because her husband showed up. The story is really funny now. It was not really funny in the moment. Hahaha. But now we have a great reference and we are going to try to start teaching her!

We set a baptismal date with our investigators, D! She was in Peru for like 2 months. She told us that she would feel more prepared if she could get a review of all of the lessons again so we are going to do that and then she will be getting baptized on the 14th of March!!! She is super super great! So excited for her.

 By keeping ourselves trapped in the past, we can never truly move onto the future, and like it says, we are disappointing our potential. That´s where Jesus Christ comes in. He never expected us to be held back by who we once were, whether it was 7 months ago or 1 day ago. That person is gone. We can be different everyday and overcome the past because HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. His grace is sufficient for every person and every care. He will always be there to change us and refine us and love us. Something that I¨ve been amazed by on the mission is the incredible ability that people have to CHANGE. We can change on our own, maybe, but to truly change and become different people and to feel as if the past is past and the future is ours, we need Jesus Christ. We need a full knowledge of His teachings and His love for us. That´s why we´re missionaries. To share this full and complete knowledge that we have of Jesus Christ and our loving Heavenly Father, through the Book of Mormon and modern day prophets, with everyone so that everyone can have the chance to CHANGE. That´s what we call declaring repentance. It´s not going around telling everyone that they´re wrong and they´re doomed if they don´t follow what we say. It´s going around, being guided by the Spirit, and lovingly bringing the greatest joy that people could ever posses to them- the knowledge of Jesus Christ. A full knowledge, or in other words, the fullness of His Gospel.

So yeah, this week has been good. Real good. Sorry for the sporadic emails, we were sort of running out of time. Well, not really, but we still have to go grocery shopping. :) FOOD