Monday, March 23, 2015

Tabasco is against the Word of Wisdom.

Este Semana:

To say this week went by quick would be an understatement. I can see why people are always telling me that the days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like days because it seriously feels like yesterday was last P-day!!! My trainer would always tell me, "after your first transfer HOLD on because the rest flies by." And it's SO true. Next week I'll have been out for 4 months!! What the heck! It feels like I just barely left home for the MTC! Holy wow. I can't decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing that time is flying by. 

Anyways, to be totally honest not much happened this week. It was the calm after the storm of all the exciting things that happened last week I guess! I have had some interesting experiences though, as usual. :) 

The first would be a certain less active/part member family we've begun teaching. Well, I should say we've just been teaching the wife (less active). Sister Libertini is from Honduras and is married to a man from Argentina and they have a sweet little 2 year old. The first time we stopped by, the 2 year old answered the door with a shirt and no pants on (something we've surprisingly become accustomed to hahaha), then grabbed his mom to talk to us. After we introduced ourselves and set a return appointment with her, her son ran back out and said "wait! Hold on LADIES! I'm gonna go put some pants on I'll be right back but don't go anywhere!!" We explained that we were coming back another time and it perplexed him and he just kept saying "okay, okay ladies." So, fast forward to this week. We had our 2nd lesson with Zaida (the mom) and its been my first situation where I've been faced with adult problems and am expected to have a solid answer. She became less active  when she moved here to Utah and found out a lot about church history, and found some things she didn't agree with (we all know what.) but she had also had a serious problem with her bishop back in Honduras so has lost complete trust in church leaders. We tried just simply explaining that the people in the church aren't perfect and that we need to focus on the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but she said it's hard for her to attend a church that she sees as oppressive. She says she respects us, but is having a hard time with some small issues here and there. The whole lesson kinda stressed me out because she basically was questioning our testimonies and telling us how we could believe in something that had been brainwashed into our heads. By the end all we could really say was to pray. Pray to know what the truth is. Pray for comfort, etc. Just simply pray. Because there's only so much we can do for her. Now, as stressful as that lesson was, we aren't giving up on her because she did express to us that she was missing a big piece of her life without church and was confused as to what she wanted for her son. So we're visiting her again this week. She's honestly so sweet and her doubts are common ones, but to anyone reading this my question is how to address the issue of someone who has completely lost all her trust in church leaders because of a horrible mistake one bishop made. I'm not equipped with those answers and I'm only 19 for goodness sake! Hahhaha but she is truly a sweet woman and I can tell she really doesn't like contention (I think her and I relate in that way) she just has lots of unanswered concerns. 

We also had a lesson this with Mariana and her chamacos, Christopher and Hailey. We talked about the Word of Wisdom and when Hailey was trying to read the word "tobacco" she accidentally said "Tabasco" hahaha so the running joke with her now is that Tabasco is against the word of wisdom. Which pretty much sucks for me cause I put hot sauce on everything!!!! Hahaha it was hilarious. That was Tuesday, and that evening we had dinner with a white family (the Blacks) that are neighbors with a family that we've been trying to teach out in the Mink Farms. They're teaching the kids how to read, which is pretty cool. Brother Black has also been coming out with us to fellowship during some lessons even though he doesn't really know Spanish. But anyways, we didn't have a dinner on Tuesday night so their family invited us to have dinner with them at their gun club! It was a beautiful cabin out in the middle of nowhere but it was HUGE and the sunset out there was just simply amazing. I wish I took pictures. 
On Friday we spent the majority of the day handing out fliers for Stake Conference this weekend! It was a great way to really get to know the area and neighborhoods even better. We did a lot of walking that day because it was so nice out!!! 

Of course, weather is completely unpredictable because on Saturday....IT SNOWED!! Like, a lot!!! But that wasn't until the afternoon. That morning the central stake asked us missionaries to speak at a missionary day they were having for the youth. They provided breakfast and lunch so naturally us and the elders were most definitely there :) It was a very strange feeling though, when we walked in because here was this huge group of youth wearing their pretend missionary name tags and here I was, with my real name tag on a real mission and it kinda just hit me in the head again that I was actually on my mission right now. It hasn't been a dream or anything! There were actually more girls there than boys. Crazy. And a lot of them were wearing heels (I promise you won't want those on your real mission ladies!!!)
Anyways, they split the girls and guys up and my companion and I were given half an hour to try to explain how to teach the Restoration to a family. We went over the basics and sent them on their way. But man, it was so weird to teach these girls what I'd been taught only a few months ago. We expressed to them our excitement for them and that wherever they are called to serve is where they're supposed to be. However we also told them it was kind of a bummer they couldn't be called to Provo, because's the best mission to be in ;) just kidding, but yeah it was a great experience!!  That afternoon we went back to our beloved animal shelter and it had gotten quite cold. We brushed out the horses (my companion got bit by one of them haha ouch!!) for awhile, then went inside to help with food preparation for the animals. When we went back out to help the elders with the horses again, it started snowing so hard!!!! We took shelter in the shed where they kept the hay and had some fun with them and the other volunteers there :) the snow was so beautiful though, I loved it!!! That evening we had adult session of stake conference (for the West stake) which was pretty good but I was mostly struggling to pay attention cause I was so exhausted. 

Sunday was pretty good also, for stake conference we sat in the room where they were translating wasn't really needed cause only a few members from our branch came and those who did can understand English so despite our fliers and efforts, still not many people came from our little rama. I was a little excited because there was a possibility I could have seen my aunt and uncle who are in the west stake, in fact when they thought they needed translators I asked the english sisters to get in touch with my uncle who served a mission in Argentina, buuuut it wasn't needed, so I didn't get to see them :( 
Anyways, stake conference was awesome! Our recent convert, Pedro spoke!!! He talked about his conversion story which was super cool. Our English sister, Sister Funaki also spoke and she did a wonderful job. I was just glad I wasn't asked to speak cause I probably would have passed out from anxiety! Towards the middle of conference, one family came in and sat with us. They're a new family that might be moving into our branch! The wife is totally white but served in Houston Texas and is totally fluent in Spanish. Her husband is from Veracruz Mexico and doesn't know any English so she was translating for him. They have two little girls and one on the way! The little girls are sooooo cute and we entertained them during the rest of stake conference. It was a great time. They're trying to figure out if they wanna go to the spanish branch or English ward because he wants to learn English. So I guess we'll see! We also had a lesson with Vero Sunday evening. We finalized her program for her baptism and her interview will be this week :) She's asking Hna Gonzalez to speak sooooo I'll get to see my dear trainer again which I'm SO excited about. I've missed her more than anything. We also set a date for her to go to the temple! I'm nervous though, because transfers will be that week and my companion keeps telling me I'm gonna be transferred cause that's usually how it goes. So that might suck a lot. That's also around the time we should be finally moving back into the Stake President's house! I've heard it's huge and I'm hoping I get to stay for that too! I can't believe how soon this transfer will be over already!!

That's basically all that's happened this week. I've been trying really hard to keep a positive attitude, but to be honest the language continues to be incredibly hard for me. I used to feel like I was doing okay, but now it kinda sucks cause I'm afraid to say anything in spanish because I know my companion will correct something and not let me finish my thought.  I don't even like saying prayers with her because after every prayer I say I hold my breath waiting for which correction she'll give me this time. The same goes for in lessons. It just gets old sometimes and when you're not getting any kind of positive feedback it damages your self esteem quite a bit! But other than that our relationship has improved a lot. I've learned to just let some things go and try to be her friend, no matter how much she may annoy me....I know I'm a very easy person to pick on though so maybe I should try doing something different. I'm just not quite sure what yet. But overall, things are good here in ole Eagle Mountain. 
I think we've also started getting a lot tighter as a district. We play dodgeball with the elders and sisters some mornings for exercise, and I believe today we're shooting marshmallow guns for district activity so that should be interesting!! Sister Funaki and Sister Diugud (do-good!! Hahaha) have been awesome and have really been there for me since the beginning of this transfer has been kinda hard so that's been really great. 

Fun fact though...I now sorta like strawberries! We went over to Presidente Perez's house last night and his wife gave us cupcakes and then a full thing of strawberries and told us to try it with this sweet whipped cream stuff she made and it was AMAZING. The Perez family is so awesome. Also, my new favorite food is dark chocolate covered blueberries!!! I also had √Čl Salvadorian tamales on Saturday! It was pretty good but I prefer Mexican :)
For my little spiritual thought I wanted to talk about something we talked about in Zone Training Meeting this past week. This month we've really been focusing on how to recognize and listen to the spirit. Something interesting that was brought up was trying to listen after prayers. So often we kneel down to pray and it's just us talking to Heavenly Father, then getting up and not finishing the conversation!! We wouldn't vent to our best friend then just get up and leave without waiting for their response! So I've really been trying to listen after my prayers. Just taking an extra minute or two of just silence. It's been a little hard but I'm working on it :) we also talked a lot about promptings and how if it's a good prompting, don't overthink it just DO it. 

But I did want to leave with a quote (or two) I found in my personal study from a talk given a few years ago by Uchtdorf (Forget Me Not) 

"Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others. Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.

You are not forgotten.

Sisters, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love.

Just think of it: You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time! "

Be patient with yourselves. I know I'm trying my hardest to be. 
I hope everyone's doing well, have a great week!! Sorry this was a super scattered email!!

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