Monday, August 4, 2014

{Week 34} Polanco - August 4, 2014

The house and grass looks great! There were a ton of people there, and ya'll did some great work - and actually laying sod is fun, so I would have liked to be there too. :)

I got my shoes! And my music! It's great - Hna Mercedes and I were both getting sick of the three EFY CD's that she had - nice to have some new stuff!

This week has been great. We had 50 lessons (new record for me) and have several new investigators.

Kevin, Javier and Diego went to Cuba for 2 weeks. When they come back, we'll see if they want to keep listening, but they haven't been keeping their commitments, so... we'll probably have to drop them.

Maria is the only one who came to church - she's 50ish and has been studying with Jehovah's Witnesses for the last 6 months. When we started to teach her, she liked it, but she still likes the other church too. And when we invited her to baptism, she said she would, but also realized she has to choose between the two churches. So she's been praying hard and came to our sacrament meeting then left for the other church's meeting. She said she'd pray hard and go to both, and try to see which is the true church. It's a bit tricky because she doesn't know how to read, so she can't just read The Book of Mormon and pray about it. But we've been reading with her, as well as some church members who drop by to read chapters with her. She's great and I love her, and Tuesday we have an appointment with her and we'll see if she's gotten her answer!

And Alejandra! She's amazing - we contacted her in the street Saturday morning, and she gave us an appointment for Saturday night. When we got there, she had a huge triple combination (BoM, D&C, PoGP) sitting on the table. So we thought she was a member, and she said no, but she saw this book in the tianguis, and just felt like she had to buy it. She said she tried reading the story of Ester but didn't get it. We were like 'do you mean Ether?' and were able to explain a bit about the BoM. Then she told us that she recently woke up from a 6 month induced coma, and is terrified of death. She's 40 and looks 65. She told us that just before she went into the coma, two young men in shirt and tie, one from Utah and one from Mexico, came and read part of the Book of Mormon to the lady she was sharing a room with, and so when she was put into the coma, the last thoughts she had were about the words the missionaries had read. She said that she saw us once before across the street, and she had tried to cross the street to talk to us, but her husband wouldn't let her because they were late for something. She told us she just felt drawn to us, like something inside her was telling her she needed to talk to us. She told all of this to us, and we were all crying, and the lesson hadn't even officially started yet. It was amazing. And she was so excited with our message! We taught her the Doctrine of Christ, and I have never had anyone pay such close attention. After I taught her about baptism, Hna Mercedes asked a question, and she was able to repeat almost everything I had said, and practically bore us her testimony about how she needed to get baptized and how that would help her in her life. It was amazing - a miracle la verdad. The only problem... her husband is super Catholic, and won't like her desire to be baptized.

And the other cool story from this week, yesterday we contacted this lady in the street named Lourdes. Hna Mercedes was funny - she said 'Hola! Can we come visit you in your house right now?' and Lourdes said 'I'm actually going to buy the tortillas right now...' and Hna Mercedes said 'We'll come with you!' So we went with her to buy the tortillas, and along the way she asked us 'So... who are you guys?' So we introduced ourselves, then went back to her house with her. She's an older lady, and her house just happened to be stuffed with all her kids and grandkids who had come to visit for Sunday dinner. They welcomed us in right away, sat us at the table and gave us food! So we spent 10 minutes talking and chatting and getting to know them all - building trust and all that - and then the topic turned to religion! They're a Catholic family, but only Lourdes and her husband are active in the religion. The others claim Catholic because that's what their family is, and one lady was Christian. I was like - 'It's so nice to meet you all! Is it ok if we say a prayer in your house?' and they all got excited - 'Yeah! that would be great!' so I said a prayer, and smoothly transitioned into the message of the Restoration. Normally we always teach the Doctrine of Christ first, but we both felt prompted to teach the restoration. It went really well, and they were all really into it - asking questions, making comments, etc. And when I recited the first vision, it was silent. A few had their mouths open in amazement, and one lady gasped when I said Joseph Smith saw two personages. Then they were all making comments like - 'I've got goosebumps' 'that's amazing' 'I feel like crying!' They could feel the Spirit so strong! It was amazing. But... only the parents and one of the women live in our area. the others all live in Chalco, or Pueblo (which are pretty far away). And, the whole family is leaving on vacation for 2 weeks. So we set an appointment for 2 weeks in the future, and I hope it works out!

And I recently gained a testimony of persistence! After every lesson, we ask everyone if they know anyone that would be blessed by this message, or who needs some faith in their life, or something like that. And we have this one less active, and every time we ask her, she gets mad. 'I don't know anyone, my family is all Catholic, stop asking me, because they're never going to accept, and if they did it would just be a game, but baptism isn't a game... etc.' And she always goes on for about 10 min. So after about 10 different lessons over the last 2 months with her always saying the same thing, I really didn't want to ask her again. But Hna Mercedes had more faith than I did, and asked her once more if she know someone that we could teach. And cool as a cucumber, she told us she thinks her aunt would like to listen to us, and gave us an appointment to come back and talk to her aunt. Easy as pie! Honestly, persistence and diligence. Just keep inviting, and one day they'll say yes!

Random facts from the last few weeks -

Battle Hymn of the Republic is the new favorite or something, because we've sung it about a billion times the last few weeks. In church, in meetings with missionaries, and when we ask members what hymn they'd like to sing before a lesson, they keep choosing this hymn! I love it and all, but every time we sing it I can't help but get the 'little bunny fufu' lyrics stuck in my head.

People come up with the funniest excuses not to talk to us. I'm feeding my kids, I'm bathing my kids, and I'm washing dishes are some of the favorites. But sometimes we get funnier ones. 'I'm in the shower' - how are they in the shower if they're talking to us through the front door? Or when kids answer, and we ask if their parents are home and they say yes! and go running off, then come back and tell us 'my mom says she's not home'. And yesterday, the kid told us his mom was in the shower. So we came back 3 hours later, and he told us she was still in the shower... Silly people! And we try all sorts of ways to get around their excuses - 'what are you cooking? will you teach us? can we help?' or 'we'll wash the dishes for you!' Some tell us that they work, so they're never home... then come up with some lame excuse for why they happen to be in their home at that moment. Lots of fun to knock on doors!

But yeah! It's been a great week! Stress due to investigators like normal, but lots of blessing too! I love Mexico!
Be good, say your prayers, and all that jazz :)

-Hna Taylor

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