March 18, 2013
HOLA MI FAMILIA!!!
I have successfully competed almost two weeks in the field! This week has been pretty good! We didn't have the car so we have been doing a lot a lot of walking! We also have bus passes so we use those when it is too far away. Actually, let me explain how it all works. So, we share a car with another companionship of sisters. We trade off every other week. They live in another apartment building really close to us. Hermana Thorne and I have our own little apartment. There are six missionaries assigned to our ward, four sisters and two elders. We are all Spanish speaking. Three of the missionaries are fluent because they grew up speaking it and then the other two are pretty good and they have just learned it on the mission, and then there is me! haha IT WILL COME! I CAN LEARN SPANISH! That is what I keep telling myself EVERYDAY! I have to remind myself to stay positive and when I get negative, my companion just whips me back into shape! She is so positive! I am learning so much from her! She is an incredible missionary! I feel so blessed! A lot of the time we will be teaching a lesson or at a door and she will just look at me and then I know it's my turn to try to muddle something out in Spanish. I hate it but I know it's so good for me because if not, usually I won't pipe in and say stuff because often times I don't know exactly where we are at. I can understand a lot of the lessons, and the more and more I listen I'm getting it, but it's so much harder to understand natives than it is other missionaries and our teachers at the MTC. Con tiempo I know it will be all good. It is definitely teaching me patience and humility!
So, this week has been a good long hard week. I'm trying to get used to the schedule. Although we woke up at 6:30 and went to bed at 10:30 in the MTC, I am so much more exhausted here because all we did in the MTC was sit in classes. Everyone keeps telling me there first few weeks in the field they were exhausted but after a while their bodies got use to it. I'm hoping that will be the same for me! I just keep taking my adrenal pill and my choffy (is it even for energy?). It's a good thing we have to walk every other week though because we need it. This area is known for feeding the missionaries really well!
I will tell you guys a little bit about what a typical day would be like for us.... we don't actually go out and proselyte until one. We get up and exercise, eat breakfast, and get ready. Then, at eight we begin our personal study, nine to eleven is our companionship study (for the first 12 weeks we have an extra hour of companionship study for training), and then we have an hour of language study. Next, we have an hour for lunch and then we head out for the day. Most days we have a couple of appointments, we will go visit less actives and recent converts, or we knock doors. We try to only knock doors as a backup plan because it isn't always the most effective. We have found some great investigators that we have tracted into, but we try not to tract for too long because it isn't always very successful. Something I have learned through experiences this week, is to always have a backup plan. I can't tell you how many people canceled or just weren't home for their appointments this past week. My companion tells me, "Welcome to missionary work!". We hear some of the craziest excuses (who knows they might be real), for why people can't make it. It's sad! So many people see us at the door and then just won't answer because they know who we are. If only they knew who we really are and the message we really have to share!
Let's get to our investigators...... Gladys is still doing well. She is worried about joining a new church because she has already moved and left her kids (although they are all grown up) in Argentina, and she feels like changing religions will also separate her further from them. I love her though! She is so funny and such a good person! She is really searching for the truth and continues to come to church, pray, and read from the scriptures. Tomorrow we are going to show her the Restoration video because that is something she needs a stronger testimony of. I know she's going to get baptized; it is just a matter of time, His time. Jennifer (14 year old) is doing okay. She keeps saying she wants to change but then she doesn't keep a single commitment. Every week right before church, she calls and tells us she can't go. So, yesterday we went over and talked to her about the importance of keeping commitments and we thought we were going to have to stop visiting her, but then she told us she still wants to change and wants us to keep coming back. So, we are just going to keep trying. We went over and did service for their family by cleaning their house and this touched her mom. Her mom Maria actually came with us to church yesterday! Maria is from El Salvador and she is very quiet. She said she really liked church though and she got a blessing for her health because she has diabetes and says her head has really been hurting. We are going to go over tonight to talk to her more about her experience. We also went to dinner this week at Sister Haskins (I guess she just moved into our ward boundaries). Her husband isn't a member and so while we were eating, we were able to talk about the Book of Mormon and he seems so prepared. We are so excited! They have been sick for the past couple days but we are hoping to be able to start teaching him in the next couple days. Last night we went and visited a recent convert. She was baptized in Mexico in last October and the other sisters just randomly tracted into her. She has three of the cutest kids! Her family is going through a hard time (her husband cheated on her and so she is getting divorced). It was such a blessing for us to get to go talk to her and share a message. We knew that we were suppose to be there at that time and she was so grateful. We see miracles everyday on the mission! There are definitely hard days when it's raining and you've been walking all day and no one is listening, but the miracles surpass all of this!
I sure hope all of this made sense, sorry I'm a little scatterbrained when it comes to the email. I feel like there is always so much I want to share and not enough time! Just know that I love you guys mucho and I pray for you all the time. I know that God is so aware of each of His children and that He is just waiting to bless us if we reach out to Him. Yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera y que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial. Yo se que JesuCristo es nuestro Salvador y que Su Expiacion es real. LES AMO!!!!!
p.s. Tell the Jeppsen's GRACIAS for the wonderful Easter Package and Sis. Morgan GRACIAS for the sweet letter and money!
MAN, I love you guys so much! I can't believe I have to wait to find out where Kaleb's going! You better send me pics!