Well, it happened. The inevitable finally happened, and it wasn´t pretty.
This morning we arose, we prayed, we "exercised". Then, as we were sorting our laundry, Hermana Cuevas called out: TARANTULA!! That´s right. You heard me. You don´t have to read it again. This morning, crawling amongst our various sprays and lotions, was a gigantic tarantula. I was on my bed (the top bunk) in about 2 seconds flat, and Hermana Wood was right behind me. I figured the natives to the area would know what to do, but they really didn´t. They just got a bottle of bug killer and sprayed it real good, but that just made it run faster. We eventually got it with a broom, and called an hermano in the ward to come take care of it because we didn´t know what to do. OH it was frightening. And now we are all terrified to return to our humble abode. Ugh.
But to more important things:
This week was Christmas (obviously) and it was wonderful! Except for the part where the entire town of Frontera flooded. hahaha.. oh dear. There was water up to our ankles just about everywhere, but we were troopers and got through it. We taught one family-- that has a crazy dog-- about eternal families. I love visiting them because they have a son that is EXACTLY like Jesse, only Mexican. I´m serious. He looks and acts just like my baby brother. It´s weirdly awesome. Little kids are the greatest, too. They have no trouble laughing at my Spanish. The adults can generally pick up on what I´m trying to say, and they want me to feel good about it.. but little kids usually just laugh. And this "Jesse" straight up looked at me in the face and said, "No entiendo nada." and ran away. Bless him.
We also visited a lady named Leidy (right?). We were originally going to finish lesson 1, but she had a different conversation in mind. She knows the church is true, her son is a member, but she isn´t married and doesn´t want to have to give up parts of the life she is currently living. The change scares her. So... we chatted a bit about acting on our faith, and about obedience. She looked at me and said, "How has God helped you in your mission?" (Or something to that effect). So I testified that because I am obedient, and because I am acting on my faith daily, I know that God will help me. God is helping me learn Spanish because He wants His children in Frontera to have the Gospel, and he has called me to help bring it to them. I know that if I am worthy, I can expect a miracle. (At least.. that´s what I think I said). She just looked at Hermana Morales and said "Wow". I don´t know about anyone else, but I could feel the Spirit really strong. It reminded me of that section in Preach My Gospel that talks about what a successful missionary is: "When you can feel the Spirit testifying of truth through you." Oh.. I just want her to make the change!! We also helped her shell peanuts.
That night we ate at Nageli´s house, and it was DELICIOUS. There was chicken, and this potato stuff, and "spaghetti".. and this dessert that was heaven sent. I was so happy. And the family is the sweetest ever. The husband sat us down and told us that because we are all brothers and sisters, his house is our house and he wants us to feel welcome there any time. It was the best. :)
However, at this point it was still raining (It had been going for about 24 hours strong) and we needed a taxi but there were none in sight. So we called someone, and out of nowhere this minivan shows up with an open door and we all clamber inside. (It was the van of a member family in the ward. You can fit 11 people in a 7 seater van, just by the way). They took us to their house, where they fed us AGAIN.. something that looked a little like dogfood and was hard to get down after already eating a ton of food. Oy. I literally thought I was going to die. But I didn´t, so it´s fine.
But let´s just talk about how terrifying the drive really was. The roads here are all the size that two cars can barely squeeze through side by side, and there are no speed limits or stop signs. That´s a lie.. there´s probably like 5 stop signs. It´s ridiculous. So picture that kind of driving in a tempest the likes of which I have never experienced, and you have part of my Christmas eve.
The next morning I don´t really remember what happened but I GOT TO TALK TO MY FAMILY! AND IT WAS AWESOME!. In fact, I am probably repeating a lot of what we talked about, aren´t I? Oops. That´s my bad. But it really was the best thing ever and I love all ya´ll with all of my heart :)
I also got my first sunburn this week. I looked outside on the first day without rain and I said to myself, "I´ll risk it." And when I came home I thought "That was a bad idea." It´s not the worst sunburn I´ve ever had, but I feel I stick out like a sore thumb even MORE now that I am various shades of white and pink. And also polka-dot, because I literally have over 40 mosquito bits on my legs. (Any advice on getting rid of mosquitoes would be appreciated greatly).
Well... I think that´s about all for this week, folks. I always feel like there is so much that I want to say, and then I get here and I can´t remember all of it or any of the order of events. The time here kind of blends together, and sometimes it feels like I´ve been here for months and others just a couple of days. Thank you for your prayers and support, and for all of your love. :) I´m praying for ya´ll, and thinking especially of the Moser side this week. How blessed we are to have the Plan of Salvation in our lives. WE ARE SO BLESSED!
Also I´m SO glad to hear that Uncle Brent and the boys are safe. That email scared me for a minute.
Shoutout to Amanda for doing baptisms for the dead this week!!! So excited for you! Also to Aunt Melissa and Grandma and Grandpa Browning for their Christmas cards. :) LOVE YOU
Okay.. I´m done. I love you I love you I love you!