But first of all, I want to talk about skype so I don't forget later. I should be calling around 5:30 - 6 my time (4:30 -5 your time) on Sunday. I can't wait to talk to you all!!
We didn't have much success this week - none of our investigators are really progressing, and none of the new ones we found came to church. So that's a little disappointing... but this morning we had a junto with our zone, and they talked a lot about the prayer of faith, and really motivated us all to go out and work super hard. The Spirit was super strong.
My zone has three districts, and only 4 Hermanas. Elder Torres and Elder Hammond are my Zone Leaders, and are great. And Elder Evans is in my zone - it was funny because we chatted for a bit and were talking about all the people from home who are on missions right now, but we almost couldn't remember who they were, and we even forgot a few people's names. Another Elder was like 'wait... did you two know each other before?' It was funny and nice to talk about home.
And yeah! I got letters! Jordy, I finally got your Sadie Hawkins story - thanks for sending it. I could hear your voice as a I read it, and it was so nice to know what's happening in your life. And I got two batches of stories from you mom - thanks! and I got one from Diana - thank you so much! And I got one from our new mission president! That was super fun. But his name wasn't on the envelope, so I was like 'who's this from?' And my district was all like - It's your novio! (boyfriend) But it was so nice to get a letter from Brother Stutznegger. Thank you!
So the other night we had 20 minutes before we had to be home, so we stopped by the Herbal Life club of one of our members to set an appointment with her to visit her friend, who was a potential investigator, and she gave us free Herbal Life milk shakes (like she always does). But then this super fat dog walked past outside. (The club is open to the outdoors with nothing more than a green lacy curtain for a door.) So of course we went outside to admire the fattest dog that has ever lived. But then, his owners showed up ... two super drunk guys. So we retreated into the club, and they followed us! They were doing the usual crazy flirting in a mixture of Spanish and English, but seemed relatively harmless. But they kept getting closer and closer, so Hermana Bravo and I went and hid in the bathroom while the member chased them away. It was more funny than anything.
But there were two rather large things that happened this week that made me miss you mom.
I'm not sure I want my sisters or the people of the blogging world to know about this first one mom. Just you and dad. It was bad. But I promise I'm ok and a lot more careful now.
Our Branch President is about 35, and his wife, Hilda, 34. They have a son, Ismael (15) and a daughter, Karen (12) and Hermana Hilda was pregnant. She had her baby just fine, they named her Camila, but then she was having an operation, and something went wrong and she died, leaving her husband and three kids behind. So for the next few days, we taught all our members and less actives about the plan of Salvation. Hilda was one of those amazing people who does everything in the church. The type that shows up first when you're sick and visits all the less actives trying to help them come back to church. So she had touched a lot of lives, and a lot of people missed her. Teaching about the Plan that God has for us for about 3 days was amazing. Every lesson was different, as different people brought up different parts and different questions. My testimony of the Plan of Salvation was seriously strengthened. I know God has a plan for us, and sometimes we don't understand why things happen, but if we trust in Him and always strive to follow him, we truly can have peace and joy in our lives.
Friday night was the funeral for Hermana Hilda, so we went (and found some new people to teach while there!). The first speaker, believe it or not, was her 12 year old daughter Karen. I'm fairly certain that every single person there was crying as this little 12 year old girl bore such a powerful testimony of the Plan of Salvation, and her knowledge that she would see her mom again. After she spoke, Ismael spoke, and his testimony was just as powerful. He's a bit of a rebel, and his mom has had a lot of worries because of him, and he told us that the last advice his mom gave him was to be faithful and serve a mission, and that he was going to change his ways and do just that. One of the last things he said was directed at his friends. He said (roughly translated and loosely paraphrased) 'Give your moms a hug, and tell them that you love them, because you never know when things are going to change.' I missed you a lot right then mom.
The next day was Fast Sunday, and once again these two kids bore their testimonies. Ismael was in a white shirt and tie - apparently he hasn't dressed like that for church in awhile. And then, in Relief Society, we talked about Mom's! People were going around the room and describing their moms, and the lessons they had learned from them. And of course, the testimonies and strength of these two young people who are now without their mom was fresh in all of our minds. We were almost all in tears again. And mom, I missed you so much right then that I almost wanted to come home. But at the same time, because I love you so much I knew I never would come home early, because you always taught me to do my best, to be obedient, and to not give up. You taught me to always do what is right. You taught me, through your example, to always magnify my church callings, and right now my calling is to be a missionary. Today on your birthday and the week before Mother's day, I am so grateful to you. I love you so much mom! And I can't wait to give you a huge hug in 13 months. But until then, I am going to do as you always taught me and give my all to this work. Thank you mom. Sisters you better all give mom a hug for me!
I love you so much mom. I love the rest of you too:) You're all amazing and I can't wait to talk to you this Sunday. Thank you for your prayers and your love. The church is true, and I am honestly so glad to be here.
Be good, say your prayers, and give your mom a hug.
I love you!
I almost forgot, but I wanted to tell you about the pleasure I had of eating mole (mo - le ) for the first time. It was absolutely disgusting! It's like a type of sauce, that can be either really runny or like a paste, and it's made from chocolate and chili powder and who knows what else. It's pretty much the most disgusting thing that exists on this planet. And they eat it here all the time! Apparently it's their traditional Christmas meal! I've heard all the stories from the missionaries who had to suffer through it, and the other day was my first chance to try it. I luckily wasn't served too much, and I almost vomited after the first bite. The trick all the missionaries told me is to eat it with a lot of tortilla, but that really didn't help that much. Luckily, the lady who was feeding us left for a minute, at which point I scooped up all the mole into a napkin and hid it in my lap until we left. It was pretty much horrible. May you never have the torture of being fed mole.