Holy dang this week has been stressful. We recently had Area changes, so it has been so much work trying to reorganize everything and what not. We are still in the midst of trying to get everything in order! But it’s going to be worth it. We have already seen blessings of the Area change. Right now we are working with investigators that the Elders used to teach, but we teach now because of the boundary changes – I can definitely see that it’s a blessing because we can revitalize the lessons with each investigator, and help them in different ways. The Elders can do the same for people that we used to teach! We hope to see a lot of good things in the future because of the changes.
I am definitely struggling with the language…which can be super frustrating at times! But I’m working at it, and I have noticed small improvements. I think what is roughest is not being able to understand the people. I seriously get so confused in lessons. I think people use a lot of slang or whatnot, because I will understand some words, but other times I have no idea what the words mean. I’m definitely learning to rely on whatever words pop into my head – and I just say them – hoping that they will actually go along with the conversation and make some sense. Sometimes the people will just talk to my companion because she is a native speaker, and they assume that I have no idea what is going on. I’m trying to change that image, and be less hesitant to speak.
The funniest thing is hearing people try to pronounce my name! I actually didn’t think it would be so hard for them, but they really struggle. I swear they think my name has 5 syllables instead of 2. Sometimes I find myself saying my name like they do – hey I guess I’m a latina now! We actually have one investigator who has started calling me Hermana “Kiwi” now. I actually like the nickname! He’s a really cool guy. We are just waiting for him to get married on the 31st of this month. I can’t wait until the wedding! His “wife” is actually a member, but I feel like we teach both of them – you have seen her testimony grow through the experience too. They are always really willing to hear more and the lessons are so fun. We are always laughing.
One of our biggest struggles is getting our investigators to church. We have at least a couple who are so ready to get baptized, but they still don’t see the importance of going to church – and they can’t actually get baptized until they start coming. We are just going to keep working with them and building their testimony. The two that I am mainly thinking of are both very similar. Things have happened in their lives and they really want the Gospel of Christ in their homes. They are so willing to listen and receptive to the lessons, they just don’t see the importance of acting. I seriously love them both so much, I just want them to understand how important it all is! We are just going to continue to work with them and see where it goes. I see great things in their futures!
So crazy thing that happened: Our car broke down! We didn’t have it for over 24 hours. Tuesday was seriously a rough day. We didn’t have bikes, so we had to call members to drive us around. We were super pumped because we thought that we would have a ton of lessons with members present, but that definitely didn’t happen. That entire day we were being dropped of at houses for appointments, no one would be home, so we would walk everywhere trying to visit potentials – but no one wanted to talk to us. By 7 that night we had taught no one. Pretty uncommon for us. But finally at the end of the day we had the most perfect experience. Hermana C (an awesome member – she is seriously the best) came to our lesson that night with a family. (The father is trying to quit smoking). Me and my companion barely said anything that lesson – it was mainly just Hermana C – but it was good! We’ve been really trying to find a good member to fellowship this family and be a support to them, and she was just perfect. When the father prayed at the end of that lesson there was so much power. I think it will take him a long time before he fully changes, but the small steps have been huge.
We recently started teaching the coolest guy. He is such an example of the Lord preparing people before we even find them. Every time he says anything, you can tell how ready he is to hear the message of the restored gospel. He pretty much knows everything already – he just doesn’t know that he knows it – if that makes any sense?
I think one of my favorite experiences was actually with a less active member. We visited her house this Saturday and she almost didn’t even let us in! You could just tell that she was really stressed and didn’t feel like she had time. We played a jeopardy-esque game, where you had to answer questions relating to the missionary lessons (she has a lot of kids, so it was a good way to involve them all). Whenever they didn’t understand a question, either me or my companion would explain it simply, so that they could understand. At the end of the lesson the mother told us that we came at the perfect time. She has been going through a lot right now, and really needed to be reminded of her testimony of the gospel. What a blessing.
OK – so I love you all so much! Missions are the best.