Sunday, January 24, 2010

Week 11

Hola Y'all,
This has by far been one of the strangest weeks yet of my mission! So many random things happened! I will try and document most of the weirdness in chronological order.
Tuesday: We taught an Ateo (atheist) who is from Peru, which was interesting to teach because it is so hard to teach the gospel to someone who doesn't believe in a God! It was so hard for me to understand his point of view when I see evidence that God exists every single day! The lesson seemed to go alright, he isn't interested in learning more but he was very polite about it, which is fine. Now this is where is gets weirder. On our way out the door we were saying our goodbyes and I shook his hand and before I could even understand what was going on, he pulls me in and plants a big ol' kiss on my right cheek! This small time frame of a few seconds is a little fuzzy because I was in utter shock, but I do remember feeling like someone just burned a hole into my face, and then without saying a word, turning and walking out the door. Now this would have been much weirder if he was American, but it is just part of the hispanic culture to greet with a kiss on the cheek. The women in the ward do it alllllll the time, but the men know that as missionaries we are not to be kissed, hugged, or anything past a handshake. I haven't even hugged a man since I was set apart as a missionary, so to receive a kiss was REALLY weird and I felt really really really gross. Once Hna. Blanco and I were out of sight we both squealed and jumped around and expressed out utterly disgusted we were, haha, the Elders thought it was hilarious and said I was an apostate missionary. Rude.
Thursday: I woke up feel very sick, just was really weak and like I was going to throw up. So, we called Sister Hansen and she said I probably had the flu that was going around and that I needed to stay in bed for 3-4 days. My reaction was "Chyeah right!" I did NOT come on a mission to lay in bed for four days! Although I was polite to Sister Hansen and said I would heed her counsel. In the afternoon, after I had slept for about 14 hours, Elder Astin and Elder Morin came over to give me a Priesthood Blessing. In the blessing, Elder Astin said that according to my faith and my prayers, I would be healed and able to return to the work tomorrow. This made me so happy, I knew that I would be healed, and so I rested for the remainder of the day, and prayed that I would be able to return to work tomorrow. On friday, bada bing bada boom, HEALED. I felt better than I had felt in days. That was so great, I would have been miserable being in bed for 4 days! I am so grateful for the Priesthood, and the many opportunities I have had to receive a blessing from my Heavenly Father through the mouth of a worthy priesthood holder.
Sunday: In the mission it is a rule that if we need to put the car in reverse, one companion has to stand behind the car and guide the driver out in order to prevent any collisions. So, on Sunday I was backing Hna. Blanco out of the parking spot in our apartment complex when I felt something hit me pretty hard on the head. I looked in the reflection on the car window and a bird had pooped right on my head. So, I told Hna. Blanco and we went back in and I washed it out of my hair really quick and then we were back on track to church. Although this was very very disgusting, even more than the Ateo kiss, but I wasn't really upset. The phrase "Come What May, and Love it" seems to be resounding in my ears every day. I just laughed it off and ended up having such a great day. This sunday felt so rejuvinating. All day long I felt such a sweet feeling of peace and of the love of my Heavenly Father.
The first few weeks of my mission have not been what I thought they would be, even Hna. Blanco has had some moments where she feels discouraged. I have to wonder if my first area is this tough, what will the rest of my mission be like? Super Blessed and full of baptisms! That's what it will be! :) I feel very blessed to be going through such a trial right out the gate, I know the Heavenly Father has a lot of trust in me and knows that nothing will get me down or discourage me from doing this work. I love being on a mission and know that if I grow in faith and work as hard as I can that we will be blessed with evidence of our success. I know that no effort is wasted, and although it seems like no one cares about what we are teaching, that one day they will come to a time when they are ready to learned and will be ready to nurture the seeds which my companion and I have planted.
My spanish gets better everyday. I still feel frustrated with myself of course, I am my toughest critic. I was talking to the ward mission leader about how much I want to be a good missionary and how impossible it feels when I can't communicate and he told me that I am doing so well and learning so quickly and then shared with me a talk from the 2006 General Conference that he has saved and it was very touching for me and although it was in spanish, I learned so much about my potential and being patient from it. Here is the talk in English if you are interested, it is way good
I hope everyone is well, be praying for the people of Houston, Texas to be prepared to hear and accept the message that we are proclaiming. I love you all so much!
Hermana Taets

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