Monday, April 28, 2014

{Week 20} La Perla - April 28, 2014

¡Hola mi familia! ¿Como estan? Espero que todos estan feliz y que pueden encontrar una guyaba un dia, porque son tan ricos! Les ama mucho, y estoy muy animada para hablar con ustedes.

Guess what! I speak Spanish! Well... almost. Seriously though, changing areas was a huge boost for my confidence. People are always shocked when they find out I don't have much time in the mission, because they say my Spanish is really good! One guy told me he thought I had a year here! Honestly people, the gift of tongues is real! There is no way I'd be able to speak Spanish without some major help. And thanks for your advice dad - I don't want to become complacent in the language because I can mostly communicate everything. So I have big plans to keep studying hard! And my accent is still pretty bad - it was funny because we contacted this one lady, and after I gave a 2 minute spiel, testifying of the power of the gospel to change lives and the restoration and stuff, I asked her if she'd like to hear more, and she said "Sorry, I didn't understand. Were you speaking English?"! So my comp stepped in, but it was funny! Afterwards, Hna Bravo told me that my Spanish had been great, just the accent stinks... so I'll keep working on that!

So Hna Bravo is my new comp! And she's great - super relaxed, doesn't get stressed, we just keep working! She's got a great accent - kind of Italian or something. I think she sounds like Angelina Jolie with an English accent speaking Spanish... if that makes any sense. But she's helped a lot of people here, and I love her!
So my area is tiny - it's a long skinny rectangle, about 2 blocks by 20 blocks. And on Saturday's the two long streets that stretch through the whole area are filled with tinangis! (the outdoor market) It's hilarious and huge, and takes us forever to get anywhere because there are so many people. And the members are great. There is this one family, - la familia Velasco - and they have a whole bunch of people living in the same house, and we go there a lot, because they feed us, they accompany us on lessons, and we stop by sometimes just to use the bathroom! They're great. And there is this other family that is hilarious. They have one daughter, Monse, who is 24 and so funny, and her cousin is always there too - Eric. He just got back about 3 weeks ago from his mission in Chile, so he comes with us a lot for lessons. And our Lider Missional! (ward mission leader) He actually works with us! Comes with us on lessons and stuff! I'm pretty sure the awesome members are why this area has had several baptisms in the last few months. I love them! And we're a branch, not a ward, but I feel like there were more people in church on Sunday than in Aculco, my old ward. Strange!

So yesterday evening, they called all the missionaries in the stake - La P - and their mission leaders together, and we had a fireside type thing about the importance of working with the lider misional. It was great! The person in charge of missionary work in the stake is 21 and just got off his mission 4 months ago. He had some great advice about obedience and bore a powerful testimony. My comp and I had a nice talk after and we've set some goals to be more exactly obedient.

And David! David is one of my favorite people ever, and he was baptized on Saturday! Technically my first baptism. He's 28, and is such a nice guy. He came to a baptism a while ago, and when he saw it, he turned to my comp and Hna Benson and said that he wanted to be baptized, so they taught him! I got to teach him for a week before his baptism, and he is so eager to learn the gospel. He really wants to change his life. It was so inspiring!

David on his baptism day! And us :)

But the baptism was a funny story. It was originally scheduled for 5 on Saturday, but at 4:45 he called us and asked if we could do it at 7 instead, because he was working and wouldn't be done for a bit. So we said yes, but a bunch of the people who were there for the baptism were a bit disgruntled, and left and didn't show up again for 7. So then again at 7 we were there, with several members,and we waited...and waited...and waited... and David didn't show. And he wouldn't answer his phone. So finally, at 7:50 he and his friend Augustine (who is actually an old investigator who introduced us to David) pulled up on their motorcycles. Then Eric (the member who just got home from his mission in Chile) and David went off and changed into white clothes. Eric came out again, but after about 10 min, David still hadn't come out, so someone went to check on him, and he was just standing by the font waiting patiently! He's so sweet! So we brought him out to take pictures, and he told us he was expecting his family to come - and he was worried they wouldn't. But while we were taking pictures, about 10 people came - his family! Parents, siblings, aunts, and cousins. Then we had the service and he was baptized! It was super special and really awesome. I was so happy for him.

Augustine, David, Eric, and Hermano Carlos - our Lider Misional.
Us again at the baptism.

But my favorite part was the following Sunday when he was confirmed in church. When they said 'Receive the Holy Ghost', the Spirit was really strong. I am so grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost in my life, and how we can always have guidance and help and comfort - we truly are never alone.

I still don't know if Ismael was baptized - I know he passed his interview, but I'm waiting to hear from Hna Cruz. If he was baptized, I consider him my first and David my second.
But yeah! Life is good! I love Mexico! Sometimes I wake up and look out the window and see 'Mexico' and think, what in the world am I doing here, but the truth is that I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have to be here and to help the people. I love this gospel!

And I love you all and am excited to skype you! We'll be skyping from a members house - do I need an account to skype you? and if I do, could you make that for me and email me the info? Thanks!

Cuidese mucho, y nos vamos en una semana, cuando vamos a hablar por medio de skype!

Be good, say your prayers, and be obedient!
Love you all
- Hermana Taylor

Now for some pictures of my new home . . .

Our rooftop.
(I'm wondering if those black barrels are their hot water tanks - solar heated?)

The view from our rooftop.
Another rooftop view.
And the final rooftop view.
The view looking down from our roof - we live on the second level, and the bottom level is the courtyard.

The view of the second level.  Members live through the door you can see, and our door is across from them.  Members live downstairs too.
Our 'living room' study.

Our study desks - my desk has my backpack on my chair. (This backpack was Hna Aguilars, but I use it now. It's so hard on our backs to use shoulder bags, so most of us use backpacks.)
Our kitchen.
Our bathroom - it's really wierd to shower without glass or a curtain or anything...
Our bedroom! My bed is the blue one. This quilt was Hna Aguilar's too.

My corner of our closet.

The other corner of our closet. We don't have a lot of plugs that work, so we cook in the closet on the ironing board. And Hermana Bravo :)

We do our laundry - by hand! - here in a type of laundry room that's on the roof of the house  of the other Hermana's. We don't get to use the lavadoras, and instead get the sinks on the wall. My wrist are sore from washing my clothes by hand!

And the view from the roof of the the house of the other Hermana's.

The houses here are crazy - when you come in the door, you are in a type of courtyard, and then there are 2 to 10 different houses that are crammed in there, with 2 - 10 families living in one house. It's crazy! Some, like Hna Zanbrano's and Hna Williams' house are more apartment style, where there are stairs with different people on every level, and some, more like ours, are just houses stuffed wherever they can fit. It's crazy but I love it!

And mom, I was wondering if you could send my another white half tee-shirt, like the one we got at MisH. The one I have is not going to last another year - I use it practically every day. If you can, I'd love another one in size medium. I haven't seen any here, or I'd just buy it myself. Thanks!

Carlee! your letter was so funny! I like your jokes :) And I have one for you! What does a fish do all day? Nada! ....That's Spanish for both 'Nothing' and 'It swims'... hahaha.... :l And I have a word for you! Supercalifragelisticexpialadocious! What does that mean in English? Lol just kidding - Look up hijole - or horale. They say those a lot. I'm not sure I spelt them right.

I believe that's all for today! Love you all and take care!

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