Buenas Tardes Los Que Supuestamente Son Mis Amigos
Haha, if you understand that...HIGH FIVE. I must start this e-mail with a bit of a complaint, just to get it out of the way. This week Hermana Ang got a letter in the mail everyday, AND a big fatty package filled with love, food and a new pair of shoes on Saturday. Hermana Taets received one letter this week from her good friend Chase. And when I say my good friend Chase... I mean Chase Bank..with the current balance of my checking account. 'Cause people got me got me questionin'...where is the love? That is all.
This was my first week as senior companion and I am definitely feeling the burden of that responsibility. I am trying my best to be a good trainer for Hermana Ang, but she is already amazing so there isn't much for me to do. We work so well together! I feel like she is more like a best friend than a companion. This week we really have been trying to be purpose focused missionaries, rather than activity focused. That basically means that instead of focusing on filling up our day with activities we are focused on doing all that we can to accomplish our purpose as missionaries of "Inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them to receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, the receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." We did some things this week that didn't count at all towards the numbers we report at the end of the week, yet we were helping people to come unto Christ, we were showing people that we love them and were demonstrating the love of the Savior. I want to be much less concerned about numbers and much more concerned about loving and helping people. For example, on Thursday we went to visit the Ulloa family and teach them a lesson but when we showed up Hermana Ulloa said she couldn't have the lesson because she just found out that her husband was bringing a bunch of old friends from Honduras over for dinner and she had a few hours to prepare food for all of them. So, instead of leaving to find someone to teach we stayed and helped her made enchiladas for few hours. It was so much fun and it really helped Hermana Ulloa to feel less stressed out. AND the best part is that once we were done she invited us to stay for dinner and we ended up teaching one of the people who came over for dinner :) Yay blessings! We also helped Juan Carlos paint his new apartment on Saturday and that was way fun. He went to his truck to go get some more brushes and while he was gone Hermana Ang and I painted faces on the wall and I wrote "Soy Mormon" which just means "I am Mormon". He though it was so funny, because it was so funny.
Now this is probably the best story I have told thus far. Get ready. We have been teaching a muchacho named Herby, from Haiti, who is also a missionary for the Seventh Day Adventist Church. On Tuesday when we went to the apartment where the 4 missionaries live, the boss lady of the missionaries happened to be there. She was way nice, cute little Filipino lady, who actually spoke some tagalog with Hermana Ang, which was neat to watch. Almost immediately she tried to convince us to sell magazines for their church so that we "can be rich." Haha. I explained to her that we aren't allowed to work while we are on our missions and also that our job as missionaries is to teach about Jesus Christ, and we don't charge for what we do. She insisted and handed me a magazine that said below the headline, "8 good reasons to become a vegetarian" and then she said, "See, GOOOD reasons, it's a good thing, buy them for your friends, because it's GOOD!" My response was that I enjoy hamburgers too much to give up meat. Then she moved on to her next sale and tried to convince us that we should marry her two sons.. She asked us if we were single, and then she said we need to marry her sons because they are smart and because there is one for each of us. I told her that we still have a lot of time left on our missions and we can't date or marry while we are missionaries, and her response was that they can wait for us and prepare to get married. I kept saying no no no no and finally she said, "It is much easier to say YES!" My response: "You know what? You're right! Why not?!" Hahaha, at this point everyone was just dying laughing, Herby, me, Ang, the member we had brought to teach with us. The only people not laughing were her sons, they hid in the back room the whole time and then at one point ran from the room to the front door and were gone for the remainder of the lesson. I had so much fun teaching Herby, even though he is pretty stubborn, he moved back to Mexico this weekend so we won't be seeing him anymore. He asked for our address and said he would write haha. I did leave with a consolation prize after our last visit: A picture I took while he was in the bathroom of a poster on the wall that says: "More soul, more sale." I am so glad that the message we have is free, and that we don't have to be motivated by money, but rather by our testimonies of the truth and by our love for the Savior.
I hope y'all have a great week and I hope that circumstances are different this week concerning our mailbox.
mi familia y mis amigos,
It has been an interesting week here in Fairbanks. This week we have been doing a lot of service, mainly for the Elders that live across the street. They had a bed bug attack last week, poor Elder Farnsworth, it is his first week in the mission and he is literally covered in bug bites. So, this week we have been cleaning and spraying and doing all that we can to get rid of the bugs, with the help of some of the women from the church. I hope that we have gotten rid of all of the bed bugs so the poor Elders can finally get some rest, I can't imagine biking around all day and then having to come home and sleep on the floor because they had to throw their beds away. Apparently, there is an outbreak in the whole complex, so I hope it doesn't get over to us! I already dealt with bed bugs my first transfer and I don't want to deal with it again haha.
This has been a difficult week for Hermana Ang and I, it seems like all of our investigators have just dropped off the face of the earth, so we are doing a lot of walking so we can find more people to teach. We are excited to work hard and find those who have been prepared to hear our message. We may be tired and sweaty at times, but we are not discouraged. I know that there are people in our area who are waiting for us to find them, they are waiting for the blessings that the gospel brings, so I am excited to be out looking for them, and talking to every person who crosses our path.
Now here is the story of the week, almost as good as last weeks maybe. So, after we had zone spanish study on tuesday, we were driving to our areas with the Hammerly Elders. I was driving down this road that is similar to a freeway, except without the higher speed limit. The problem with that is that I felt like I was on the freeway and may or may not have been speeding juuuuust a little bit without realizing it. As I was driving these two cops walked out of the forest and into the road and pulled me over and the car that was driving next to me. The police officer was very nice and patient as I tried to explain why my home address was in Arizona and not Texas and why it isn't even the correct address anymore haha he seemed very confused but let it go thank goodness. The guy in the car next to us was not a happy camper and was making all sorts of angry faces as we both sat and waited for our tickets. He was very entertaining to watch. The officer took a really long time, but once he got back he said, "well it is just your lucky day, my printer isn't working for some reason so I am gonna have to let you off with a warning, that guy next to you is still getting a ticket though because his printed out!" WOO HOOOO I don't know if I can say that that was a blessing, because I don't think Heavenly Father would bless me for being disobedient and speeding, but I thanked Him anyways for not getting a ticket. On the drive home I couldn't help but imagine that my Dad had somehow tampered with the printer since he always got me out of my speeding tickets before the mission, haha, I am sure he was just fuming when he saw me get pulled over.
Thank you for all of your love, support, and prayers. I feel abundantly blessed and am loving being a missionary.
Hola Mis Seres Queridos
Oh my crazy busy week! I feel like on Sunday I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off haha. Before church Elva and her son Erick had their baptism interview and so I was talking with them, getting their baptism record filled out, while making dinner appointments and planning family home evenings with the members. Sheesh, I was so exhausted by the end of the day. BUT, it is so worth it, Elva and Erick are getting baptized this wednesday! You may not remember the story of Elva and Erick because it began in January, but since then I have witnessed a miracle take place in their home and in their hearts. When I first met Elva she didn't want to listen to us because she was Catholic, but I invited her to pray to know if what we had taught was true and then we left, thinking we would never see her again. Then a few months later someone tapped on my shoulder in church and when I turned around it was Elva! She said to me, "Hermana, remember me? I did what you said, and I want you to come teach my family." Since that day we have been teaching them and working with them. They have come such a long way and climbed some mountains in the process. Elva had to quit smoking, which only took about a month! She had chain smoked basically her whole life and really struggled to quit, she was a little irritable at first and we felt the effects of that haha, but she finally did it, she said that whenever she wanted to smoke she would go out back and garden or she would start reading the scriptures. She is so amazing and her son Erick is an angel. He is thirteen and is a vision of love and obedience to his parents, he has been so great in supporting his mom and will make a great missionary one day. I am so excited for their baptism! They are so ready, they have known that the church is true since the very beginning but have been waiting to be baptized until Elva quit smoking and they could be at church consistenly. I will give all the details on the baptism next week :)
In the missionary handbook it says, "Do not keep pets of any kind," and Hermana Ang and I might be breaking this rule. His name is "Big foot" and lives in our kitchen. We bought him last week at the thrift store for $1.08 and it was definitely worth it. Still wondering what it is? Okay, when I say we have a pet...I mean we bought a chia pet. It is a dinosaur chia pet and it is sprouting like Cuhrazy! Haha, I will send pictures eventually, I lost my cord to plug the camera to the computer, but I will try and buy and new one today.
Not much else going on, went on exchanges last week with Hermana Christiensen in Bear Creek and had a lot of fun. We were walking through an apartment complex and this guy came up behind us and asked us what we were doing. I explained that we are missionaries and teach a special message about the gospel of Jesus Christ. He then told us that he is a single Dad and wants us to come over and teach him and his kids because he needs help and doesn't know how to help his kids get on the right path. The kids showed up shortly after and they are so sweet and excited to learn. I am so sad that I won't be able to teach them since the exchange was only for a day, but I will be so excited to hear from Hermana Christiensen and her companion Hermana Smart how that family is doing.
The work is great, we are doing a lot of finding, and setting a lot of appointments to begin teaching some new families. It was 115 degrees on Saturday and we walked around from 2:00p to 7:00p knocking doors and talking to people in the street. I am hoping that I sweat off a few pounds, haha, the mission is definitely not a place to lose weight. I was hot and sweaty, and I was exhausted by the end of the day, but I felt like I gave my all in doing the Lord's work. I know as we strive to do our best and forget our comfort, forget how hot it is, forget that we are rejected, and just go to work, that we will see more miracles like the ones I have witnessed with so many families already. I am willing to do whatever it is the Lord requires of me and am enjoying every moment of my mission.
I love and pray for you all :)