July 14, 2015

Week 57: Ultimate Highs and a Few Lows

Wow this week was the BEST week I have had on my mission.  I'm gunna share a few highs and lows of the week:
Tuesday was a big day as hermana espinosa and I had to train  again in a mini zone conference (EVERYTHINGGGG we do in the mission is in spanish- to answer your questions dad! haha i literally have not had a conversation in english for 13 months) , and then all day we celebrated Hna Espinosa's bday!  She turned 23 years old, and I planned many hidden surprises throughout the day....resulting in 3 cakes, gifts, and great company of friends.  I have given each of my companions a mini Book of Mormon and Hymn book in english with pics of us inside and a note, and she loved it a lot.  What makes me so sad is that she didn't get ONE birthday email from her fam or friends....i truly am so blessed and grateful for all the support and Love you all send me from home THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the emails.... i have a huge binder in the apartment with all of them printed off <3
a mom and daughter who have baptismal goals.....we celebrated with pizza and homemade pies she makes.

Another ultimate high was returning to SADA VIDRIO (my first area) for intercambios-- i am so lucky i get to visit my 2 previous areas / wards during these intercambios.  I was there for 7 months and it was wonderful to be back after being away for 6 months.  All the ward members found out i would be visiting, so i recieved many warm welcome surprises such as Hermana Alma's homemade flour tortillas, arriving at the church building and seeing all the youth, and at night being dropped off "campachanas"..... famous monterrey tacos...from la familia gomez.  Literally some ward members shed tears they were so happy to see me!  It was amazing; i love them.  I worked with Hna Sousa-- from Brazil!  The first Brazilian to come to this mission.  She arrived 4 months ago, and we actually have a small world connection.  In january when she got her mission call, she found my blog online and as she is fluent in english, she emailed me asking questions and we had these chats through email going on for about 3 months.  She arrives here in March, and gets assigned to Sada Vidrio!!  After reading all about it on my blog, she was so excited and literally called me on her first day on our cell phone from Presidente's cell phone to tell me the news.  So it was awesome getting to know her in person, to be assigned as her hermana lider, and to know that God works in mysterious ways :) She spoke to me in portuguese and i read her scriptures in portuguese and I totally understood almost everything!!  It is super similar to spanish so that was cool.  Here are some pics of us together:

Another ultimate high:  Ok I just have to express my excitement and say that we had RIDICULOUSLY high teaching numbers this week-- we pushed ourselves to the max, and one of the assistants to Pres Bird, Elder Aguila, called us (he calls us each monday to get a report on our work and how the other hermanas are doing) and this morning told us that we had the highest numbers of ANY other missionary he has EVER seen in all of his mission!!!! he goes home in 3 weeks, and he could not believe how high our numbers were haha he was so happy!  and he is in my ward here, so he expressed so much appreciation for all that we are doing in the ward.  He said Presidente Bird is going to call us later to congratulate us...... haha hermana espinosa and i are on cloud 9.  We have been working sooo well with the ward members, and what we do is we go on splits with them ( hermana espinosa goes and teaches with a ward member while at the same time i go with a ward member and teach other investigadores)  so we cranked out a ton of lessons this week.  What's even more amazing is literally EVERY missionary talks bad about this area America....that it's super hard, that no one wants to listen, etc.....and we have proved them all wrong!  I have learned a giant lesson that it is not WHERE you serve but HOW you serve.  This past sunday we had 115 people present at church when normally there are about 50 so we are super strong team with elder aguila and elder cook!  I love hermana espinosa, and we are seeing so much progress not only in new people that want to listen, but the members in this ward as well.  Yesterday we had ward conference and the choir that Estefania put together was sooo beautiful as i played piano and we got a violinist to come.  a new bishop was also called, and him and his wife are AWESOME- he got baptized just 5 years ago and is only 30 years old.  They are a wonderful couple that go out and teach with us.  I am so excited for the booming progress this ward is going to continue to have!  

Well Jorge is beyond pumped to be baptized.....but we are facing many obstacles.  His daughter Yaretzi left out of town so she can't get baptized next sunday ;( and our investigadores need a total of 5 church attendances before they can be baptized so she's got 2 sundays left.  We were thinking of postponing jorge so they can both be baptized together, but he is beyond ready and prepared so he will get baptized this upcoming july 19th!

Too many more experiences i would love to share--- yesterday i went out teaching with estefania and we contacted a man outside of his house and shared a short lesson with him.  He began totally bash El Libro de Mormon and Jose Smith, saying lots of false comments and statements that had zero backround evidence.  And during this moment, I didn't feel beaten down or weak.  It actually strengthened my testimony of how I know that what i am sharing with people is true.  I know one day he will remember estefani's and my face and the words we declared to him.

Äs you earnestly and prayerfully familiarize yourself with the details of joseph's life, i promise that you will find your affection and admiration for him grow, you will find comfort and encouragement for these particulary hard days ofl ife and service, and you will bolster your understanding against the sneer of modern critics so sure that worldly evidence proves joseph could not be what he claimed.  To these ends, consider just a few glimpses of this most remarkable man "The path to Palmyra-- Matthew S. Holland"

Next week I will share more about our other progressing investigadores!

C O N  A M O R
hermana riches

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