June 10, 2013
There’s a lot that happened this week and I don’t want to forget it all so I’m going to try to just type up a few journal entries from the last couple days. We’ll see how this goes!
Martes, el 4 de Junio, 2013
Hermana Larsen and I just went through all our first sentences for our journal entries and they’re all along the lines of : “Wow! Today was amazing!” or “I’m so exhausted” or “I love being a missionary!” We were cracking up at ourselves, reading them all in the cheesiest voices we could come up with. It’s been like two seconds in the field, and I’m already a cheesy sister mish. It’s fine. But really we were so blessed today. This day was just led by the Spirit, and I’m just in spiritual shock is all! After lunch we went to go contact a couple of Victor’s references in Bowling Green. After knocking a couple houses, we finally found Brad and Olivia.
Actually, we met Olivia’s mom, Elina, first. Brad walked into the back as we were talking to Elina, and I thought, “He’s not going to care about this, but Elina seems interested so we’ll just teach her.” But the Spirit led us to keep talking and next thing we know, we are on the couch inside introducing the Book of Mormon to Brad, Olivia, and Elina. I honestly have no clue how we got there, but definitely not complaining. Brad didn’t seem to have interest until we asked if they had any questions. He just started talking about how there are so many churches and they all claim to be true. We knew he needed to hear the Restoration, but we didn’t want to overwhelm them because it’s a difficult concept sometimes, so we told him we would come back and talk about it next time. We asked them if they pray as a family, and he answered, “No…” and looked at Olivia, “but we need to.” We feel like they have been really prepared, and we are just in love with their cute family! They just had a baby together, and she is only a month old and so perfect! I am so excited to go back!!
Then we went by to see Perla who is about to POP [she’s due this week she said!] and told her we would come back after she’s had the baby and is more settled in. She told us she wants to come to church as soon as things calm down, which is awesome! She has the sweetest soul, I just love her!
I had a feeling we should follow up with Maria, and when we pulled up she came right outside and told us to sit. She told us she went to find the church [for Sunday] and has been reading the Book of Mormon. Wow. We didn’t even know what to do, she’s so ready! Like what investigator keeps commitments before we even extend them? Such a sweetheart.
Renaldo worked tonight so we couldn’t teach that family, but we felt we needed to see Jorge because he didn’t come to church Sunday. As we knocked on his door, his mom, Susana, and sister, Victoria, pulled up. We talked to them for awhile and it was perfect. They are such a special family. We found out that Susana has been to Temple Square a bunch of times and knew LDS families when they lived in Mexico. She wants Jorge to keep coming to church, even though he can’t be baptized, because she knows the men in our church are good examples to him. Which is something he doesn’t have at home, being the only boy. We want to teach them as a family so much but his sister, Melesa, has mental disabilities and cries hysterically whenever God is mentioned or she feels the Spirit. But they are an incredible family and I know they will all be baptized one day!
We had a great lesson with Javi and Augi. Augustine is so excited for his baptism! I’m so glad he’s getting baptized. Those two really feel like little brothers to me now. I just love them both so much!
We ended with Noe and Rosie. Noe told us he wants to be baptized on the 23rd or sooner! YAY. And he told us his neighbors, who are like his second family, have a lot of interest so we want to visit them soon. Rosie is graduating Saturday! She shared with us a gorgeous journal entry she wrote today as she was praying. She said she got up and started writing down her thoughts, and that led to writing all the ways God has touched her life. But, it was all in 3rd person because she felt like Heavenly Father was telling her all these things in her mind. It was so beautiful and such a breakthrough for her! She is realizing her self-worth as a daughter of God. I am amazed at how much light there was in her eyes tonight. Noe is feeling more secure about his baptism, and he’s been watching conference talks on his phone.
I am so in love with today.
Jueves, el 5 de Junio, 2013
I think I jinxed today…no work for us. Well, we saw Tony earlier. Tony is Ofelia’s brother-in-law, and he has a condition where he is basically paralyzed and is getting worse by the day…it’s getting to the point that he can barely talk 😦 He and his wife Orrelia are Baptist and think Mormons are a cult so that’s fun, but they are super nice people. We went over and shared Alma 7:11-12, and then we came back a couple hours later with Hermano Abrego to give him a Priesthood Blessing. Hermano Abrego said a beautiful one…I think. Spanish is a struggle with just me and Hermana Larsen here now. It’s hard when most people we teach here prefer to speak English. But it’ll come. Anyways, the Spirit was super strong, and I really think he felt the power of the blessing. I just want his family to have hope. Today he said, struggling for breath, “Christ went through a lot more than I did so I can’t complain.” He has so much faith! We are just praying that he will open his heart to this soon.
We finally plugged in and set up our weather radio this morning…just in time for a tornado watch!! It was so scary, at one point there were 3 tornadoes in our county. One was only 2 miles from the Elders’ apartment! We freaked out a tad…but in our defense that alarm was really loud. We bolted upstairs each time it went off (about every 10 minutes til we figured we should just bring it downstairs). We were getting texts all day telling us to stay in til a certain time until finally we got one telling us we can’t go out for the rest of the night. The whole Tampa Florida Mission stayed indoors tonight. That’s crazy to think about!
Luckily today was weekly planning. It turned from a 3-hour session to 4 and a half hours. It was brutal but much needed. We are extremely organized now and ready to work hard this transfer! It’s funny because I’ve really felt like Heavenly Father has blessed me with an increased desire to do the work here and as soon as that happens, we get shut inside all day! We have MLC all day tomorrow, too. It makes me anxious, and a little stressed, but I know that Heavenly Father will help us find the time to work hard and focus on our investigators. And [hopefully] have miles. Here’s to our night of indoor studying. Cheers.
*vanilla diet cokes for planning…that and laugh attacks are the only way we make it through.
*being so dramatic about the tornado watch. “We should plan in the closet under the stairs.”…”What happens if the tornado hits us?”…”say goodbye to our families…”
*the most frustrating fashion show in the world. Blazers can die.
*Journal-sharing and laughing at our first reactions.
Viernes, el 7 de Junio, 2013
Today was kind of intense emotionally. We had to wake up at 5:15 am in time to pick up Hermana Carson and be to MLC by 8:30. It was so good to be reunited again. During the prep time before the meeting, I felt like I should start the New Testament again. I only got through the first 2 chapters but it led to all these cross-references about the Savior, definitions of his name, etc. and I just started thinking about Christ. How amazing and perfect He was and IS. I felt this overwhelming love and gratitude for my Savior and Redeemer. Then our opening song was “Abide with Me, Tis Eventide”, which is already a special song to me. I just lost it. I couldn’t sing because I just had tears rolling down my face. [hi mom.] I kept thinking of the song “Small Enough” by Mindy Gledhill and how sometimes we don’t need a huge miracle, we just need the presence, comfort, and love of the Savior. Just to know He is aware of us. I know he is aware of me. I know he has helped me so much, especially lately. The Spirit was so strong as we, the Lord’s soldiers in the Florida Tampa Mission, sang praises, pleading with our Savior to stay a little longer with us. I was blown away by my feelings for my brother and Savior. Then as we stood to recite “Remember This” my heart swelled at the opportunity to be a missionary and servant of the Lord. For all his help and guidance. For the chance to help people feel the love I feel. For how close He feels to me as I am obedient and try to carry out his work the best I can. This truly is the best 18 months of my life.
We went to Panera [YUM] for dinner before we drove home. I told Hermana Larsen how grateful I am that we are both at about the same point in our missions and get to serve together for the entire time. Maybe not as companions but always close. We talked about how we can be a support to each other and keep each other in check so we don’t get distracted or slack off in obedience. I am so grateful for Hermana Larsen and the connection we have as companions. It’s seems too good to be true! We love working together, and we’re going to get Spanish and work past exhaustion and make the most of our time together. I just have so much love for her, and I know we were supposed to meet and serve together and be in each other’s lives forever. We will always be hermanas.
We can talk about anything. We were talking about our families, and she said, “Our families are so proud of us.” I just grinned, thinking of all the letters I’ve received that say that exact thing. I replied, “That’s the best feeling isn’t it? Having your parents tell you they’re proud of you.” She heartily agreed and we both sat in silence for a moment. Then, I thought about that moment when I’ll return to my Heavenly Father and how much I want Him to tell me He’s proud of me and how amazing I will feel if He does. I got emotional [again] as I shared this thought with Hermana Larsen. We just want to work the very hardest we can so that we really can make him proud. Distractions, disobedience…those things are just not worth it. I want to use this time I have to serve him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength.
Sabado, el 8 de Junio, 2013
Graduation Day for Rosie Posie Pudding Pie! We went over at 7 am to curl her hair all pretty for her big day. She looked like a total beauty queen in her bright blue dress and her huge, sparkling smile. On the way home, Hermana Larsen ran over a squirrel. Real life. I mean they’re everywhere and there’s so much roadkill down here but you just never think that kind of thing will happen to you, you know? It made the freakiest sound ever and in the middle of our conversation we just stopped. Absolutely stunned. Hermana Larsen looks over and says, “I just killed that squirrel.” We looked at each other, and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I cracked up. I have no idea why it was so funny [maybe because it was 7:30 am] because in all reality it was gross and very sad. Hermana Larsen lamented, “I don’t know why I can kill hundreds of ants every day without an ounce of remorse, but I feel awful about killing that poor squirrel!” So that’s how our day started.
We tried to contact with no luck for awhile. So we headed to Rosie’s to curl Ellie’s hair [she’s really starting to love us. What a miracle. We’ll take it :)] with our little graduation card and gift. She’s like our daughter. It’s hilarious. As we were curling hair and getting excited for the party, the weather turned from hot and sunny to a torrential downpour of rain. I have never seen anything like it: electrical surges, lightning, buckets of water…way scarier than our silly tornado day. Luckily, the heavy stuff only lasted a few minutes. The rain eased up and the party went forth.
It was so fun meeting Rosie’s sweet fam. Her dad Eduardo has 16 brothers and sisters. I’d be impressed if I hadn’t met Hermana Daines haha. We got to see her sister Maria again too. She loves us. We love her. [and her cute boys and their incredible “pen-tapping” talent] We were the only white girls there at this Mexican fiesta, not to mention we are Mormon misisonaries so everyone was watching us like a hawk. But it was great for them to see how much we just LOVE Rosie and Noe. Their whole family is amazing, and we feel like they are a big reason why we’re here. They’re all going to be converted, we just know it 🙂
When we finally left, we felt prompted to go see Nancy. She invited us right in and told us her story. She has the cutest family! She told us about 4 or 5 different times when she was at the lowest, most difficult points in her life and at those moment, Mormon missionaries would show up. One of those times is when we first met her! They were having problems with their farm and cows dying and that night we showed up! It was amazing. She said that night, she felt peace so strongly and decided she needed to follow these signs that God was giving her. She told her husband Abel, and he told her to do whatever she needs to do, which is more support than he has ever given her [because he currently doesn’t believe in God at all]. So we felt prompted to extend a baptismal date and she accepted! I am just blown away by the spirit in her home and her amazing family! Her son, Andy, is this smartie, little 6-year-old who just loves Jesus. I gave him like 3 different pass-alongs with Jesus on them and he was absolutely stoked about them. He wanted to say the closing prayer so we taught him a little. Hermana Larsen said, “We tell God things we’re thankful for. Are you thankful for books to read?” He responded, “No…well I’m thankful for the Book of…Mor…Morgan.” It was so hard not to giggle! “The Book of Mormon?” I asked. “Yeah, I like that book a lot.” He said. He is too cute! We helped him say the closing prayer and gave their family a Spanish Book of Mormon picture book. Andy was jumping up and down with excitement! I wanted to do the same thing because I just love their family so much!
So we didn’t get our giant 7-lesson day today. But, we have some SOLID investigators and we’re so excited to teach them!
El fin por ahora! I love you all so much!