First of all, I love that Mom´s email was entitled "Is it summer yet?" Because it literally has been summer for 5 months, and it is beyond weird to think that you are just now starting to venture out of doors. "What´s that? Cold? What does that feel like?" haha
Actually, last week we had a special 2-zone conference with President Morales and the asistentes. After some "SI SE PUEDE" talks by Elder Rich, Elder Gomez, and the President, we were told to leave the building to find an investigator to teach. Just any old random person on the street would do. However, none of us could find anybody because it was raining cats and dogs and everybody was either working or wanted to go straight home. So we ended up teaching a young man that was working maintenance on the church... who was an RM and therefore a VERY difficult investigator. hahaha Also the rain and the air conditioning in the capilla made for a very cold conference. I just had to keep telling myself to embrace the cold.
One of the elders said something that really hit me. He had all of us stand up and say an attribute of Christ (as found in Predicad mi Evangelio) that our companion has. Afterwards, he asked us how we felt. Obviously we felt the spirit, because there was such a strong feeling of love and friendship in the room. He reminded us that if we look for the good in others, we will find it. Then they talked about how Christ had 12 very imperfect companions that he had to work with, and look at how He treated them! Never with an unkind word and always with patience. It was a little bit of a slap in the face for us all, but especially me. There is always room for more love and patience in a companionship, and sometimes that´s hard to remember. All missionaries have bad days and hard times, and they all need to be treated with kindness and charity. It´s a lesson that I learned many times over in this past week, actually.
We also had the consejo de liderazgo in Villahermosa this week too, which means I get to hang out with different companions all day. Met the most adorable new American sister, as well as 3 Latinas that I got to work with. It is so fun to get to know all of the sisters and learn from them! Everyone has different styles and personalities. And also different words, because apparently every Spanish state and country has a different vocabulary. Go figure. haha
Hermana Martinez and I have certainly felt the power of your fast for us! We had so many small and tender mercies last week. Por ejemplo: Remember Rubicel? I don´t know if I ever told you about him... He is 12 years old and he came to us about 2 months ago because he wanted to learn more about the church. We taught him about the Restoration, and he came to church twice. The second week he came, he told us that he wanted to be baptized April 19th. We were like "WHAT IS HAPPENING?!" and it was awesome. Then, out of the clear blue, he told us he didn´t want to learn anymore. Didn´t want to pray.. didn´t want to read his scriptures.. It was really weird. But we decided to keep going back just to invite him and his family to activities and things. So last week we went back to invite them to the noche de barrio that we had on friday, and his mom (Who reminds me SO MUCH of Aunt Kerry, it´s ridiculous) was like "Why haven´t you been around to teach Rubicel?" So we told her that we didn´t know what happened sha-la-la...longish story short, we went back yesterday evening to teach not only the hermana, but her husband and their FIVE children! And Rubicel joined in too!!! It was the sweetest feeling to be there with an entire family, and to have them all interested in the message of the Plan of Salvation. We think that Rubicel was just scared to get too attached to the church when he wasn´t sure what his parents would think, but now that he knows they´re interested too... well, let´s just say home-boy is coming to both young men activities this week. :D ·#éxito
You asked about the "agua" that we drink. First, you should know that agua does not mean "water" in spanish. "agua natural" means water in Spanish, and you do have to specify or they will give you some kind of juice. The juice here is really good though. I´ve had watermelon agua, cantelope agua, guava agua, oranga agua, jamaica agua, tamarindo agua... all kinds of things. There is also a special beverage thing called pozol, that is very famous and unique to Tabasco. It is delicious, but only when prepared in certain ways. It is also probably not very good for you, but it is FINE. And I think we´re staying pretty hydrated, because people take one look at us and ask if we would like something to drink. Yesterday we were waiting for an hermana, and this man came and gave us bottles of water. Guess we were lookin pretty thirsty :) hahaha
ALSO I would like to wish a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BABY BROTHER JESSE!!!!! WOW! Eight years old. Practically 80. :) I´m so excited to hear about your baptism, buddy! It´s going to be so great!!!
I am for sure darker than I was in Idaho, but not as dark as I thought I would be. Apparently the tanning gene skipped me and went straight to Nathan and Brad. I do have a nice watch line though, so that´s exciting. :) haha My companion does use sunscreen, but she is so dark now it doesn´t even matter. She hates it too. Mexicans want to be as light as possible, as it turns out. She laments daily that she WAS white... "tiempo pasado.." haha
Wow. Mom shared a powerful quote from Elizabeth Smart. Puts things into perspective, doesn´t it? One thing that I have learned is that the time WILL pass, and what really matters is our attitude moment-to-moment. It´s more than ENDURE to the end, it´s ENJOY to the end. The little moments -- or in this case, pretty big moments-- of discomfort, trial, or discouragement will pass. This life is all about how we react to those moments and what we can learn from them. I am amazed by people like her that can remain so positive and grounded even after something so huge, but that´s the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Well... That´s all I got. I think. haha I hope you all have a wonderful week full of happiness and love and joyful things. Don´t forget to pray for missionary experiences... and don´t forget to look for them!
I love you I love you I love you!
|Friendly lider misional doing some yardwork via machete.|
|Learning to make tortillas in Relief Society.|
|Me and My Companion|