Monday, June 23, 2014

{Week 28} Polanco - June 23, 2014

So I was thinking the other day, the life of a missionary is really strange. We don't do anything normal - like work or study or hang out... instead we walk around all day in the sun and rain and knock on random doors and talk to as many strangers as we can. I like it!
I bought a soccer jersey in the tianguis - to honor el Mundial. Go Mexico!

Hey Smalls/Carls, thanks for the letter. I love hearing from you all - and I'm glad you've discovered your funny voice. Jordy! congrats on the VB award! You're seriously one of my heroes. I know how hard you worked for that.
And Katia and Mackenzie - you both look so much older! I feel like you've both grown up in the last 6 months. You're going to be so big when I get home!

And Rebecca! Thanks for your email too - to answer your question, it's almost always better to have members in the lessons - seriously their testimony helps so much. As for what they should/should not do... They should be willing to share their testimony and be a friend. That's why we bring members along, so that our investigators can have friends in church, and see that members are normal people, and because the testimony of a member can be really powerful. As for what members should NOT do... don't change doctrine. There is a lady in our ward right now, and we all have been warned to not bring her along because she's always changing the doctrine - 'tithing is optional', 'a bit of coffee is ok', 'you don't have to come to church every week'... stuff like that. As long as you aren't teaching apostasy, you should be OK!

So this week was hard. Not upsetting, just hard. Several crazy things happened that added to it. It was like almost everything that could go wrong did.
First of all, we only found one new investigator, and she is now avoiding us.
All of our other investigators suddenly got super busy, are avoiding us, aren't progressing, or moved to Veracruz.

We ran out of saldo. Saldo is the money we have on our cell - they deposit so much every month, and every call/text to someone costs a little bit. Usually we have enough to last us almost the whole month - we run out with like 2 or 3 days left. They deposited more saldo on Thursday, but on Friday we accidentally pocket dialed someone for an hour and a half - used up all our saldo. So now we can't call anyone - members to come with us, investigators to confirm or make appointments... We can only call other missionaries, cuz we have a plan that lets us call them for free.

And it rained everyday this week and flooded again last night.

And we have now knocked on almost every single door in our area... so that means we get to start over again! Hopefully someone different will answer each door this time and we can find new people to teach!

And someone fed us mole! Usually there is a whole bunch of food and I can get away with hardly eating any mole, but this time she brought us out a plate of rice and tortillas, all covered in mole. I was praying through the whole meal that I'd have the strength not to vomit.

And Saturday morning our ward had planned a trip to the Visitors center at the temple, and we had been planning all week to go. We had a bunch of less actives and one investigator that were going to come too. So we get to the chapel Saturday morning, only to find out we weren't allowed to go! Elder Gurken - our district leader - had called Pres Morales to make sure it was OK for the 6 missionaries in our ward to go with the ward. But right now there is an increased emphasis in keeping Elders and Hermanas apart. So the 4 elders got permission to go, but us 2 Hermanas didn't get to, because we can't go places with the Elders - apparently even if it's a ward activity.

But it's OK! Despite all that happened, I don't feel sad or stressed! I feel like the first several months of my mission were filled with stress, and that was no fun, so I've been working on have faith, patience and diligence, and that has helped me a ton. Bad things happen! It's part of life! We can't choose the trials, but we can choose our attitude about the trials. This week was hard and we didn't see a lot of results, but we worked hard and the blessings will come!

And our hard work this week ended with a great blessing - Ana Maria got baptized! She has been so great to teach. At first she wasn't very interested, but then she started reading the Book of Mormon, and she completely changed. She told us she knew it was true, and she was super excited to be baptized. Her baptismal date wasn't until next Sunday, but she progressed so fast we moved it up a week! She was so prepared - she's the niece of less actives and is 28 and has a 4 year old daughter. She broke up with her boyfriend and quit drinking coffee to be baptized - she had quit drinking alcohol and smoking a year ago. The day before the baptism she kept calling us, and we were always terrified she was calling to cancel, because that's the way the rest of the week had gone, but it was always with questions like 'do i need to bring a towel' or 'what time will it be at'. She cried during the whole baptism program she was so happy. It was such a blessing to teach her and I'm so happy she got baptized!
Us with Ana Maria and her daughter.
Elder Gurken, us, Ana Maria, her daughter, and Carmen - Ana's less active aunt.

So... yeah! That was my week! I love it here in Mexico. Life is good, and Hna Mercedes and I are determined to find 10 new investigators this week, because as of right now we pretty much don't have anyone...

And I'm reading the New Testament, the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants all in Spanish right now - and I love them! The scriptures are amazing!

And now for my usual advice, be good, say your prayers, and read the scriptures!
Love you all tons :)
-Hna Taylor

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