I'm so glad to hear from you guys! I hope you got the pics. I really do. But I'm so good! So happy! Mom, to answer your question... keep using mormon lingo. and honestly, what people have been emphasizing when teaching is finding out needs with our investigators. Everyone needs something different. Some need to here about eternal families first, others need to hear about the restoration, others need to hear about prayer. Is her husband active? cause that's so awesome he's a member! She'd be an awesome member! Find out what she needs and what she needs to hear first. With me and Hermana Fife, when we meet our "investigators" (granted it's practice, but still), we go in with full lesson plans, but sometimes we need to change it up after we find out about their family or their W.o.w probs or their religion. It changes. But from what you're telling me, I think she's ready to hear something. Thanks for sending me that stuff too! I appreciate it!
Dad, thanks for the phrases! My district will love it ... you'd laugh if you heard all us speak pidgin.
Okay, here's some of the stuff that took place:
We went contacting at the university last Friday and me and hermana Fife had amazing experiences. I'll begin by saying we passed out both our BOMs to people within 25 minutes! the first woman we talked to accepted our message and both of us felt prompted to give a BOM to her. So we did and she (translated to me by my comp) was grateful. But the next lady, literally, that we talked to was my contact. I started talking to her about the Restoration (we hand out pamphlets on that when we go contacting) and she stopped me half way and asked if i knew God. I told her I did. She said that a lot of people come around there teaching about God from other churches, but they don't know GOd. In the middle of the university, on a sidewalk, who knew the spirit could be so strong?! It got to the point where me and Hermana Fife bore our testimony to her. We read Moroni 10:4-5 with her and I got to give her a BOM. my first one! The spirit was so strong and she said she would ask and would read. Idk what's happened to her now, but the spirit was so strong that me and Hermana Fife wanted to cry. Seriously. In the middle of the university. We talked to a lot of other people that day and only one other person (we felt) was super into our message. She even pulled out her bible when we talked of James 1:5. Contacting was a great experience :)
also, on Sunday, I was feeling really down. We have to prep a talk in spanish just in case we get called on in sacrament meeting ... and I wasn't able to write what I wanted to say or think of things to say. So I was feeling down. But in sacrament meeting, my friend/sister, Hermana Geraldo (we got super close. She's from the DR, speaks no english, but somehow within these two weeks, we became sisters.), got up to speak. I've never been able to understand more than half of what she says. But that day, for some reason, they passed out headphones for some people who wanted and talks would be translated into english ... so that day, I understood everything she said and i felt as though that talk was just for me. Yups, i pretty much cried through the whole thing, mostly cause I could understand her and just how amazing she is.
let's see ... oh, the latinos and puerto rican missionaries left this week ... Some of them have only stayed for 2 weeks (the latinos) the rest for 4. But we had all grown super close. I mean, the mtc is only so big here ... but one elder, who I'd grown tight with (he only speaks spanish, i only speak english, so we made fun of each other and how we talked the other language) told me, and it really touched me to the point I started bawling, that we'll see each other after the mission, if not in this life, in the next. And I realized that a lot of these people i'm never gonna see again til the next life. Sad, but true. But I have that faith that I'll see them again.
Life here is rough. It's got so many ups and downs. I'm surprised there's no roller coaster ride called "the MTC." okay, that was a lame joke, but it's so true. Language is hard. It stresses everyone out. but I realize now how hard english is for other people. Yet the spirit is so strong. I see it everyday in so many people. i'm so grateful for this opportunity to serve. And fyi, in paddling, they always said even though you have a seat in the boat, don't get comfortable. It applies here. and God knows. Every time I get comfortable and think I got it down, like how to teach or how to speak, BAM! knocked down on my knees all over again. Like I said in my other emails ... I've been humbled more than I could've ever thought possible. Which is good. Idk if I like it a lot, but it's a good lesson to learn.
Oh, btws, Me and hermana fife got called to be the missionary training leaders for the sisters. We just gotta look for their needs (i say that as if its easy ... it's so not. and i'm nervous and scared about it, especially since we got about 15 new sisters just the other day and like 30 new elders ... yeah we're like 10 over capacity here in our little CCM). Yeah ... that reminds me ...
Thanks guys for everything! And I have a challenge for you all: turn outwards.
We listened to a devotional by elder Bednar for us (it was a christmas devotional in the mtc 2 years ago or so) and he talked about how, when life gets rough, we all oblige (is that the right word) to the natural man and think of ourselves. oh, this happened to me, why are they doing this to me, yadayada. But he challenged us to turn not in, but out. Look to others. look for their needs. he told a story of how a lady called him one day about 3 girls in a fatal car accident and she was arranging for him what needed to be done. Turns out in the same moment, she found that her daughter was in that accident and had died, yet she still made sure the other girls were taken care of. Then, on the day of her daughter's funeral, a lady calls her (cause she was the relief society president) and complained about being sick and no one had brought food to her yet. So on her way to HER DAUGTHER'S FUNERAL, she stops by to give the lady some food. That's only one example of turning out. Then there's Christ and how he turned out, even while he was still hanging on the cross; he thought of his mother and then preached to the other people being crucified.
Entonces (so/therefore), my challenge to you guys for the next week is to turn outwards. I know the going gets rough sometimes, but try to turn out to others instead of in. Look for their needs. and then tell me about it in my next email :)
I love you guys! Thanks for the opportunity to serve a mission! Love you all!
|My District - Week #1|
|Heading to Puerto Rico|
|Me with the Haitian sisters|
|The Dominican Republic Temple|
|Me & Hermana Fife (from Alaska)|
|All of the Polynesians at the DR CCM|
Me and hermana geraldo. i could hardly understand half of what she said, but she's one of my sisters from another mister. I miss her a lot too (wasn't my companion, but we got super close, even with the language barrier)
Me and some of the crazy dominican elders hahaha they were good fun
|Me & my companion (Hawaii & Alaska)|