Where would I even start to tell you about my week?! I get tired just thinking about. I know so many people in this city, and so many amazing things are happening with people that I've known but never had the chance to tell you about. One day I'll have all the stories for you! And we'll all have time for me to tell you. I'll include details about a few people, but to suffice it to say, great things are happening! (and ok, same old petty and dis-functional things in this little branch, but I'm over that haha) I just love these people!
We got to see Martin and Esmeralda in the temple for the first time this week doing baptisms! Martin did the work for his dad, and it was SO AWESOME!!! And Esme, all in her white and excited. They were the only two from the branch to come to do baptisms, bless their hearts.
Claudia - I haven't meant to ignore your questions about her, just nothing that great to report. Although, they did come to church yesterday, so that's good.
Another day this week, everything went bad. We saw Judy, but then her husband came home and was super rude. Other people cancelled saying they weren't home (right after we happened to see them walk into their apartment haha - awkward), etc. But we wanted to make the best of the day and we have this favorite Mexican restaurant that we love (where we went for Sis Burns b-day and I got her to play in the mariachi), so we just started inviting a bunch of people that we know. They all came and it was so fun!! This super super super inactive came. His name is Lazaro, he's from Cuba. He used to be in the branch presidency and then all this stuff happened. Long dramatic story like usual in this branch. So anyway, he loves music and when we did the musical fireside in August we got him to come. He loved it, and we really were able to connect with him. Since then the Elders have been able to see and work with him - until recently. The Elders are new so we're trying to help them to get to know these people that already know and trust us. Anyway, Lazaro came to Zapatas - AND THEN HE CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!! WHAT?!!! I have waited almost 11 months to see his face in church. It almost made me cry I couldn't believe it. All it took was an invitation to Zapatas?!?! Haha, no I'm sure it was other stuff. But seriously, it was amazing. Sad part is he's going back to Cuba for good next month. Once he does that, the church won't be in his life. We'll see if he goes through with it.
Oh, and then this family of 8 just showed up at church. Just walked in. A FAMILY. Like with a dad that came to church - that's unheard of in this culture. So cool!! I couldn't wait to jump out of my seat after sacrament to talk to them - haha. They're awesome!! They stayed for all three hours. Four of their daughters are YW age.... :D. So we went and taught them last night. They have this history with learning about the church, but were just never baptized. Also, I've heard myths about this colony/pueblo in Mexico that is Mormon - but not. Kinda of like RLDS - is that what it's called? Well, this is like the Mexican version. Something messed up in the line of authority with who was the prophet. Well, that's where the dad lived when he was little, and so here he is - totally strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Coventants, church organization, etc. Just doesn't quite have it right. So we are not really sure how we're going to teach him because it's a unique thing. Eh, I'm sure we'll just start with the Restoration to get everything straight. And his wife, Rafaela is awesome!! She loved RS and has this daughter who's dream is to learn piano - perfect. :) But they can't afford the music lessons. Perfect. Rafaela couldn't believe I was leaving in a month. Uh, and where have you been for the last 10 months?! haha. They're so put together and everything. But when we found their house, it's tiny. About half the size of ours, and all 8 of them, along with Rafaela's brother live there. Wow, but just the happiest little trailer! I just can't get over that they just showed up at church. I can't believe it. I just feel this fire. Like when I pray, I can feel the power of communicating with my Heavenly Father. Not saying they showed up because of our prayers, but it's all connected. There's just something about viewing your mission like a Book of Mormon missionary. Ammon, Alma, Amulke - those guys poured out their souls for the people in the cities they worked in. That's the energy, obedience and power we're striving to do everything we can to bring to our companionship and area. It's exhausting. And awesome :)
What else... I don't know. People are just amazing :) Oh!! We had a movie night at the Branch where they watched The Incredibles - in Spanish!!! It was awesome!! I've always wanted to watch Disney movies in Spanish - that's how to learn a language!!
Oh, after that movie night we stopped for gas on the way home where we met an Apostle - it's not what you think. Oh man, the crazy things that happen to us. We're parked at the pump across from him when he says, "are you latter-days?" Oh, but he's black and his southern accent is thick! (which I've decided all the term "southern accent" means is "bad grammar"). He sitting there in his car, just talking out the window and he had to say it like three times because Sis Burns thought he was saying ("are ya lowed ta date?" hahaha) After I told him yes, he said, "y'all have beautiful spirits!" Alright, "well thanks!" we said, ready to leave. But then he started launching into this like sermon thing. Bible scriptures were flyin everywhere, and he was dramatic. It was so awesome. He was prophesying, and blessing us (I guess - he said my family would be blessed and I would see a blessing in my pocketbook (pell grant anyone?) and that we have specially 8,000 angels around us. On and on he went, we were in total shock just standing there, didn't even know what to say. Then! He started quoting scriptures about preaching the gospel in all the world, and how there will be false prophets in sheep’s clothing (that's ironic). Wow. Finally, all I could say was, "what is your name?" His response? "I'm apostle Tyrek Vessel, the chosen vessel of the Lord." Wait, what? Yes, Apostle. I feel like this story makes way more sense and is way funnier if I tell it in person. Anyway, point it - I just love the stuff that happens to us.
Yesterday, we had this Honduran try to bible bash with us. Try being the key word ;) So annoying. And so lost. He's the father-in-law of a new investigator we found this week. He was a special case though, because he kept telling us that he knows the Book of Mormon is true. All we were doing was reading the introduction with Jasmine. Oh, he knows the BoM is true, but he can't be baptized. And you know that paragraph in the intro with the Joseph Smith quote about the Book of Mormon being the most correct of any book? Wow, he didn't like that. He made sure to tell us that he says beautiful prayers, that he has his titulos (like... certificates to preach or whatever) hanging on his wall, and he has his Bible that he brought from Honduras 20 years ago when he crossed with his "papers from God," and there are 66 books in the bible, and do I know what the last one is? On and on. Man, the world is so full of truth, laced with philosophies of men. Most people like that are just kinda dumb or wrapped up in a bunch of Baptist/Pentecostal stuff, but he was actually a smart one, in a sense. Cunning and dramatic. Isn't that what the world looks for though? I could go on and on with stories like that.
The point is I don't know what I would do if I didn't know the Book of Mormon was true, understand priesthood authority, and know that God speaks through a prophet today. I wouldn’t know whether to follow the Honduran crazy cunning man, Apostle Tyrek (previous gang banger drug dealer) or a colony in Mexico, all of which had tiny bits of truth. Man, we are so blessed. But really, all the times that I wish I had a video camera, or tape recorder or something to just video and give you an idea of the crazy people that live down here!!
I loved your package!!!! That was SO sweet!! And dad, I don't have a souther drawl, I just say y'all and have bad grammar, and sometimes slip in Spanish words without meaning too. Haha, so no worries :) Thanks for putting those cubes in, that's awesome! And wow, you let strawberry jam leave the house? Whoa. Haha, well someone just gave us a homemade loaf of bread, so that'll be an awesome treat!! And those apples, and everything, man! Now we hardly have to do any shopping today - thanks! Really, it was very generous, thank you. :) I got a package the same day from the Burnett's! Did they tell you about that? It was so nice!!!
I got signed up for some classes. I tried to leave either morning or afternoon free for work schedule (since I don't know what I'll get) but it was hard because of how full the classes were.
... Also, I think it's good I signed up for classes because it made me do something for me, something out in the real world, so it's helping me adjust to the idea a little bit of leaving my mission.
Ok... well I can't think of anything else to ramble about. Haha. Other than... Y'all are AWESOME!!!!!! And... Sis Burns and I cannot believe y'all went to a Vocal Point concert!! We listen to them like every day. Them, piano, and orchestra. We're such music nerds. Oh, she has her bachelor's in music. Did I ever tell you that? She has her violin here with her. And we play at a nursing home every Tuesday morning, and they love us. :) And we always get asked to play together, builds unity. :) She's so fun to play with because she's SO good! We can pretty much sightread anything together. She played in a mariachi for years before her mission - they did gigs in southern idea. Legit, right? Hence, she understands the scrappy fast Mexican accent very well. Which is good, because I don't. Oh, also I got my travel itinerary. I leave here early!! And get there late! Man, it'll be a long day. Also, what High Council meeting do I have to go to that night? Something about reporting. Do you get to come to that with me?
Ok, I'm gonna go :) I love you all bunches. Have a fantastic week!!!!!