Monday, June 30, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!

Mi familia y amigos! Hola!

Missions are funny because you have either really good days or really crummy days. And it's the same with weeks. So sometimes I get on my email and read responses from people trying to help me through the hard times, and I forgot what I was even complaining about in the first place. Which should probably tell you that this week was a stinkin' good week!

On Tuesday, we biked a bunch because it was finally cool enough, but everyone we talked to looked at us like we were crazy. "You know there's a HUGE storm coming, right?" they would say. We just laughed it off, and rightly so. Around four it started to pour and it was the best bike ride of my life. Plus one of our Hispanic investigators fed us some watermelon. So I guess you could say Tuesday was awesome. Although we did have one lady tell us to get off her porch. Which leads us to the following interactions...

Novel conversations we had this week:

Us: "Is {so and so} here?"
Them: "No."
Us: "Does he live here?"
Them: "No."
Us: "...Isn't that his car?"
Them: "Yes, but he ain't here."
Then she promptly slammed the door in our face and locked it.

Us: "Can we meet with you on Sunday?"
Them: "No. On Sundays I go to church."
Us: "Can we meet with you on Sunday at the church?"
Them: "No. I go to my church."
Us: "Can we meet with you after church?"
Them: "No. Sundays are my lazy days."

Us: "Do you have a few minutes for us to share a message with you?"
Them: "Oh honey, I'm drinkin'."

Us: "Podemos orar con usted?" (Can we pray with you?)
Them: "No, soy catolico" (No, I'm catholic)
Us: "No importa... Podemos orar con usted?" (That's not important, can we pray with you?)

It really was a wonderful week. We were able to meet a bunch of new people, all of which speak spanish, so we've been teaching a lot in Spanish. And I know that the Gift of Tongues is real because I'm pretty sure I just say words and somehow they make sense. We've been able to visit quite a few less-active members, one in particular who is in Isolation and we got to wear these fancy gowns and gloves. I'll attach pictures of the Elders looking especially flamboyant in them. My companion and I got to teach the Book of Mormon class this week, and we taught on the differences between "Mormons" and other christian faiths. It went really well and we got quite a bit of positive feedback from those in attendance, which felt especially rewarding. I love teaching, especially in big classroom settings. Afterwards we got to talk to Leigh, and I love that girl! I get a lot of questions from home about Leigh. She's doing okay. Struggling with normal 20-year-old things, but she's been going to a YSA ward in Dallas and it has been helping her a lot.

Yesterday was a really, really good day. Church was incredibly uplifting and I was glad to be able to receive revelation at church to a lot of things I had been worried about. I won't get into that. :) We had most of our appointments fall through, but we got into a house we hadn't been to in months, and it was so inspired that we were there, and we also met a gentleman named Froilan and were able to teach him on the spot, on his porch. Aside from the other few lessons we taught yesterday. It was a good feeling to finally be out teaching and helping. My companion and I were both feeling a little bit discouraged, I believe. But we vowed to have more faith.

This week has been very insightful. My studies have been rich and thorough, and I have felt the love of my Heavenly Father surround me. I reflected this week on my desires before my mission verses my desires now and was able to study Christlike Attributes (again... I think it's my favorite topic) It allowed me to realize the opportunities for growth I've had already. I don't doubt that God loves me, or any of His children for that matter. I have full faith in the Plan of Salvation, I KNOW the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I cannot and would not deny that Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw. Too many peoples' lives have changed before my eyes because of this gospel for me to deny it. I know we are here on earth to draw closer to Christ, not to distance ourselves as individual human beings. And we do that through strengthening our capacity to follow his example... not just by being baptized or believing in him, but by changing. Making a righteous effort to be more patient, more charitable, more diligent, more loving, more hopeful, more faithful.

I love this Gospel and what it's done for me. I'm so grateful for the knowledge that we have on this earth if we only seek to obtain it. I love you all. Sooo much.


Sister Sara Best

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