I get at least 5 more weeks in the spanish branch!!! Letter from Nov 12

Buenos dias,
Okay, so transfers are today but I am staying in the area for 5 more weeks. This transfer will be cut a week short because of Christmas so I might be moving to a new area just before christmas. personally, I would be content to stay here my whole mission but I know that isnt exactly likely. My companion, hermana vargha, left for fort collins and my new companion will be coming in later this evening. Her name is Hermana Wilson and she seems great. I mean, I was heartbroken that Hna Vargha left. She and I worked together really well and I really loved her but I am sure sister wilson and I will get along. I have decided that bullet points are good. I dont really remember what happened this week. Time is flying by. I probably cant even tell you what happened yesterday but I will try. Oh, other good news. HERMANA MANGUM IS COMING TO MY ZONE!!!!! That means that I will be seeing one of my best friends about 2x a week for the next 5 weeks at least. I am so excited! It is going to be awesome!

On sunday, I spoke in church. I gave a 5 minute talk, in spanish, about prophets. I have never been so terrified in my life but it was really good for me to do. I felt like it was a good opportunity to allow myself to grow and I think the spanish itself was okay.
This week we got a call from a less-active in the branch. She asked us to come over and visit her. We have been visiting her family a lot lately but not her individually. We went over and talked to her and she told us that she has been having really bad panic attacks and depression. She feels really embarassed and ashamed. We sad there and cried with her and I just felt really grateful for my trials for a minute. I was able to just sit with her and tell her that I understand and tell her that this is a common problem and there is nothing wrong with it. I told her that she is great mom and shouldn’t feel bad about have these types of problems. It was just a really neat experience for me because I was able to see one positive thing come out of some of the struggles I have had in my life. If nothing else, I am glad to know that I was able to personally help her and bear testimony to her about how Christ (as well as other services) can help her overcome her trials. We talked about how Christ fixes broken things and broken people and how though Christ, we can feel peace. We came back later that day with our zone leaders and she was able to receive a blessing. It was a really amazing experience for me.
We were dropped by the family that we were teaching. It was a bit of a bummer but it was also really funny. We had an appointment schedule with them and when we got there, a note was stuck to the front porch for the “hermanas mormonas” and in very poor english it said thank you for your time but we dont want you to come back. It was good though because now we can focus on finding the people that the Lord has prepared.
On Tuesday, Elder Gay from the 70 spoke to us. He was awesome and he gave us a lot of good things to work on. I sometimes wish I could study talks and the scriptures and stuff all day. I dont typically feel as prepared as I would like to and I know I am certainly not a perfect teacher but the beautiful thing is that we dont have to be. We can just do our best to have the spirit with us and then God helps us along.
On Thursday, we had dinner with a family in our branch. It was different because typically we have the other 2 companionships with us for dinner but this dinner was just us. While we were eating, a woman in the house sat down and started to chat with us. She was a very white, very english speaking person. We are in the spanish branch, in a spanish home, and the woman that was feeding us spoke hardly any english. Anyway, turns out this was the spanish woman’s son’s wife’s aunt. That doesnt make a ton of sense but here is the cool part. We were just talking to her about being missionaries and our schedules and our studies and stuff. We talked about not being able to talk with family or friends too often and she just seemed really impressed. We shared our message with the member in spanish and then shared it in english as well. This woman was a born again christian. We shared our message with her and she asked, “Did Maria (our member) tell you to share that with me? Did she tell you about my life?” We smiled and said no. She said that she felt our message was an answer to her prayers and that she really needed to hear it. We bore testimony to her and currently she isnt interested in the missionary discussions but it was so awesome for us to be able to help her. I just felt so grateful to be able to help this sweet woman. She prayed for us as we left and it was really sweet. I love the miraculous ways of God. It is just so amazing!
We also served with Shirley this week. She is a sweet old, widowed woman who works at the clothing bank where we volunteer. We also help her with another service project where we put together kits for new moms in need. It is a really fun and fulfilling service project but the best part is seeing Shirley become more comfortable with us. I guess before I came, she was a little wierded out by the mormon missionaries. She was always nice but just really hesitant. It has been neat to be able to develop more of a friendship with her over the last 3 months. I have really loved it and I really love her. We are not allowed to proselyte to her but we can answer all her questions. This week she asked us why we decided to serve missions. It was so amazing to just example what prompted us to serve and the blessings we have recieved from our service. I just love it. I love her. She is so great!
We are still teaching Eli. This week our lesson didn’t go quite as planned but I have been studying a lot and preparing for our next lesson with her. We want to just talk to her about faith and the importance of faith. I am excited to teach her.
We also ran into Sarah this week. She is the one that lives above us. We haven’t been able to visit with her lately but when we saw her, she told us to visit her this week and this morning we made an appointment with her. I am really excited to be able to teach her again! I just know that she really wants to learn more and she is so kind. It is so wonderful!
So this transfer, our zone got split and my companion got sent to Fort Collins and one of my zone leaders left for home. It has been a lot of changes in the last 24 hours and lots of goodbyes. It has been hard but good as well. I just feel so blessed to be able to know all these missionaries. So many of them are just amazing examples to me and such good friends! I just feel like I learn and grow from them so much and I really love them. It has been hard but yesterday, a few of us missionaries had lunch with the Leos family. They are in the branch and feed 8 missionaries every week! They feed the 6 missionaries and then the zone leaders. They invited another set of missionaries too from lunch yesterday. It was crazy but so very nice of them. Anyway, we had Elder Hanks give the message since he was leaving for home today. He shared the scripture in alma 17 about the sons of mosiah and when they all see each other after they have been on their missions for a really long time. He talked about how they all rejoiced to see their brethren in the gospel. He just said that he knew that one day, all of us would see each other again and rejoice. We will have so much joy to know that we came home from our missions honorably and served the Lord the best we could and then continued to do so after. I know I shouldn’t have but it made me think of when I go home. It made me think of coming home just before next Christmas and seeing all of you. I want to be able to rejoice with all of you. I want to be able to come home and know I did all I could to serve God for these 18 months. It is hard, it will probably always be hard but I want to return home knowing that I gave my all. I want to return homing knowing that I literally could not have done any better. I will try to remember that when the days come that I dont want to keep tracting or when I dont want to get up at 6:30.
I know that joy comes from obedience to God’s commandments. I know that joy comes and blessings come and we try to have His spirit with us and do what He wants. We can’t be perfect, and we will always make mistakes but we can certainly try our very best. Thank you for all your support. Thank you for the prayers and the emails and the letters and everything. They mean the world to me. I love you all. I know there were some more highlights from this week but I just cant remember what they are. Sorry about that. Love you all! Have a great week! Until next monday.

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