I'm doing great today! Why not, right? It really is all a choice. Haha, and I'm just doing good. It's super super grey out though, and so cold. Well, ok, the car said it's 52 degrees out. People are out and about in their boots and heavy coats. You'd think they're prepping for a big winter storm haha. Although.... I'm pretty cold too, and I never really was last year. So, I guess I've now acclimated to Louisana and am a total wimp. Please bring a coat and boots to the airport!! Mainly boots because I have totally worn my shoes through and I will be falling all over the place! Haha
I'm tired. I want to take a nap, but I've never done that on p-day, so why start now, right? I'll sleep in a couple weeks. And I'll probably sleep FOR a couple weeks, haha. Instead, we're making "I'm a Mormon t-shirts." But in Spanish, I'm sure. There would be so many neat things to do, like zoos and plantations but it just doesn't work out as missionaries here without members that want to go too. So we'll do that one day. Actually the "soy mormon" t-shirts were my idea and i'm pretty stoked about that - haha. Usually just anything to let loose a little bit and be normal people. We have some new elders in our district, and I think it'll be really good for them.
So Tanya lives with her aunt and uncle (members, less actives) and their 3 kids and I've known them for ages.. Her aunt is Guatemalan, her uncle is American (hmmm 1/2 Mexican I believe). He served in the army and has PTSD and a whole bunch of problems. He came to church last Sunday (8 days ago). We were so happy! We'd just had the b-day party at their house and he was happy and doing well. Well, then he found us at church, was really angry, and said we weren't ever allowed in his house again. No one knows why. The elders have been working with him for as long as I can remember, and he did this once to them a month ago. He's just sick I guess. We thought it would blow over like most mood swings. It's such a long story, but basically it didn't. A few days later though we just went because we couldn't get ahold of Tanya. She totally had a melt down, super stressed out. Totally dependent on her aunt and uncle, no money, bored, hates not working, stressed about her uncle, and 8 month pregnant hormones, etc. Said she was thinking she'd look for a different church because all these obstacles were being put in her way. Standing there on her doorstep hearing that was really hard. Really hard, super flashbacks to what happened in March with her. But I just stood there and listened. I could say a lot of things about the feelings that went through me. Like ice, mostly. And a lot of months of heartache from investigator's choices, and really just wondering if the Lord's plan was really to have me stick it out for one more. But "keep calm, wait, and carry on" is a motto that's been working out pretty good for me. So we listened. We comforted, read out of DyC 121, I shared an experience about priesthood blessings. She wanted one but was scared about her Bro Wilkerson (her uncle) coming home. Lots of drama. Anyway, she never did call for or accept a blessing, that was Tuesday. Covenants.. .man they bring lots of pre-opposition.
Two days we went back, and made the elders go with us since it seems like bro Wilkerson has really gone off the deep end. We're still not allowed in the house, but Tanya answered and was doing loads better. The dad of the baby stepped up and is going to help her out financially. Huge blessing. She was able to use her aunts car and come to the church bldg that night for a lesson. It went great. We showed her her teaching record to help her understand why her baptism needed to be the 30th instead of the 23rd (since we didn't teach her for a like a week). She understood everything. Her comment about looking for a different church had me freaked out that she understands absolutely nothing about authority. But after the lessons we've had this weekend, I can see it was the stress talking. Her faith, desire, and testimony is there. It's just soooo fragile and baby. So we've taught her everything, and this week we'll just be focusing on strengthening her testimony and understanding of things like Joseph Smith. We made really cool baptism invites for her, which she really likes. We gave her some to give to her friends (some of whom I met way back before). She accepted them but then finally told us yesterday that she doesn't really have any friends anymore to give them to. I think her pregnancy, and new way of living has lost her a lot of friendships. We're trying soooo hard to get the branch to just envelope her in. Sis Haro, our RS president, is having us and Tanya over for FHE tonight and I think that'll help Tanya heaps. She's just in such a bad environment with her tios. Her aunt is technically baptized, but I feel she might as well be a nonmember. She was baptized 3 years ago, and I'm scared of that being Tanya. But we've done everything to teach her and prepare her well, that she really is prepared and meets requirements from Doctrine and Covenants. I'm really excited! It's the first baptism I've ever planned :) Also, remember how Sally Mandis sent me that extra hymno last Christmas? I've kept it this whole year here in BR, looking for someone, convert, member, returning member, someone to give it to. I never did. But now I do :) I'm so excited! It's Saturday at 6! :) She asked Elder Andrews (my District leader right now, was in my MTC district, and works with the Wilkersons) to baptize her. So cool! Who'd a known when we were in the MTC. She's super pregnant.... so hopefully he's doing his pushups so he can help her back out of that water - haha.
We did see Claudia and Greysi this week. Greysi ran for Chief Justice of her elementary school, so they had us over to help her with her poster. She lost unfortunately. :) I was in 4th grade too when I ran for secretary. They didn't come to church though. Claudia will probably take some more years to crack, but when she does, I don't care what it takes, I will walk cross country to be at her baptism!
We met this really awesome Colombian couple at English class. They are just the sweetest. We met and taught them Thursday in class. After, I asked them about arrepas, a Columbiano food I'd heard about. Then they had us over last night to teach us to make them. It was awesome! I wish I had a picture. I decided I'd like to go to Columbia, apparently it's quite diverse there. Columbia was really the only country I hadn't worked with people from. They asked tons of questions about Mormons... we'll see what happens :)
I did get an email from Bro Kingsford. My topic is, "How does the Lord prepare people to receive the gospel?" I'll probably just talk about hurricanes :) hurricanes humble and prepare people. Haha, no I dont' know.
The family of 8 didn't come to church, and didn't keep their apt for the piano lesson on Tuesday, or for the lesson last night. So....who knows. Pretty typical. Maybe this week. Their names are Jacob y Rafaela.
I'm actually super super proud to be able to say I've kept a journal for every day of my mission. Three of them, actually :) My challenge sometimes is making it more than a glorified calendar book. I always just seem to write about the people and sometimes forget to infuse my own thoughts. But I guess the people are my thoughts. Anyway, it's a great treasure. :) I hope they help someone someday.
Wow Mom, you sure have done a ton of work on the blog. Thanks so much. Do you link it to my fb so friends can see it? Hopefully these letters of ours have been a missionary effort in and of themselves. That's the hope anyway!
I'm still studying the New Testament and Jesus the Christ. Have been for ages. This week I read in John about the man who had been blind since birth that the Savior healed. I didn't know that story very well! I thought it was an amazing account. We rarely know what happens to healed persons after the miracle. The day after I read that we were at the library, and there was a new bible video! (new Mormon messages or bible videos are always like Christmas to us :) And the bible video was just of that. It was awesome!!!! So whoever is home for FHE tonight, you should read that account and watch the video. The bible glosses over things like, "and his sight was restored." And you have to take a minute to think about it to realize the change in that mans life. The video clip really helps with that. The link is http://www.mormonchannel.org/bible-videos. I hope you're able to at least watch the video. It's great!
I hope you have a great work. Take care of that wrist Dad :) No shoveling snow! (if there is any :)
Con mucho amor,