Monday, October 13, 2014

{Week 44} Polanco - October 13, 2014

First of all, thank you so much everyone for all the birthday wishes! That was so awesome to get. You're all amazing! I loved the birthday picture mom! No sign of any packages, but we usually get them Monday in the night, so maybe in a bit.

The lovely Hermana Luque has been telling the whole world it's my birthday on Thursday, and telling everyone that I like Chocolate cake. We'll see what happens lol! Everyone asks me what my plans are for my birthday - I tell them I'm going to preach the gospel lol!

Hermana Luque and I tried to take some pictures last night so that you'd have a nice ''companionship picture''. It didn't work out so well, but I sent them anyway lol. Next week I'll send a pretty one. I seriously love Hna Luque - she's amazing!
This is what we normally look like - we're always exhausted!

This is us wide awake.

This is us acting natural.

This is us being serious.

This is us being best friends!

And I had a Best 2 Years moment! I told someone Joseph Smith was a Folleto (pamphlet) instead of Profeta (prophet)! We were teaching less actives so it's not quite as bad, and no one else caught my mistake - just Hna Luque. We had trouble keeping a straight face as I quickly corrected my mistake, and we kept teaching. Pretty funny!

And the other day we walked up to this old guy that was sitting in a chair in front of his house - but as we started to contact him we realized he was sleeping. But then he woke up suddenly and saw us, and started shouting at us! ''¡Qué no nos engañen!'' Don't try to trick us (roughly translated). Turns out he's Catholic and didn't want to listen to us ... yeah... but the whole day we walked around saying ''¡Que no nos engañen!'' in an old man voice lol.

And we tried to teach a half deaf man. I told him my name was Hermana Taylor, and he said ''nice to meet you Maristela!'' And he called me Maristela for the whole appointment - even after we showed him my nametag lol.

So! Investigators! There are a ton, but I'm just going to mention a few:

Maria is a 70 year old Baptist lady. She is so fun to teach just because she's hilarious and gets so into the lesson. The lessons are always super spiritual, and so funny. She always has a desire to know more at the end... the only problem is that she doesn't follow through with her commitments - never reads or prays or comes to church. Or rather, she reads, but only the Bible, and prays, but in her Baptist shouting type way, and goes to her baptist church every Sunday where it's more like a rock and roll concert. But she's a really sweet lady - always throwing in random comments and stories into the lesson. One time Hna Luque bore her testimony, and Maria told her after ''you'll make a great wife one day. Want to meet my son?'' She then said she would introduce me, but he doesn't like white girls. She's so frank it's hilarious.

Fabiola is 9, and came to church alone on Sunday! Her less active grandparents decided not to go, but she really wanted to so they made plans for a member to come pick her up! She is so sweet and super excited for her baptism.

Aaron is also doing well. He really wants to get baptized and bears his testimony to us every visit. The only problem is that he keeps getting really sick on Sundays, so he can never come to church. But I know he'll get baptized soon - there were some problems but it should all work out!

And Adolfo, our convert from before, is also giving us a ton a references. Right now we're teaching 3 of his friends - Jorge, Raul, and Edgar. They are all trying to overcome drugs right now, and are trying to find God. Raul is quiet, and always says he's not going to listen to us or go to church, but then he's always there, and cried in church this Sunday. Edgar has a bunch of tattoos and cries in every lesson. Jorge is the youngest (17) and has a kid, and says he's trying to change his life. All three are great, and we have a lot of hope for them.

And the other day we knocked on a door, and a young, 19 year old guy came out - Gerardo. He told us he's not very religious, and doesn't actually believe Christ exists. So I asked if we could come by another day and share the reason that we believe in Christ and how he can help us overcome all our problems. He agreed and gave us an appointment for Sunday night. We went and he was actually there! He let us in, sat us down, and said, ''I don't believe in God, but I've got a lot of problems right now and I'm stuck. I've got a lot of addictions and I've tried, but can't overcome them myself. I don't believe in God, but if he does exist, he's my last option. That's why I agreed to listen to you.'' So we talked about how faith, and his identity as a child of God, and the fact that Heavenly Father has a plan for him. I asked him if he wanted to believe in God, and he answered with such emotion telling us that he does. So we shared Alma 32, and how he just needs a particle of faith, and if he doesn't have that, then just a desire to believe, and how he should let that desire work in him and grow by reading the scriptures, praying, and coming to church. He agreed to do that. At the end we bore our testimonies and I told him ''you told us God is your last option, but I testify that He is your only option. It's only through Him that you can overcome those trials and temptations and find peace in this life.'' The spirit was super strong and we both feel like he has a ton of potential.

The mission is amazing. We meet a ton of new people everyday, and we grow to have such a love for them. It honestly hurts when they say no, and we feel so happy when they say yes. The people here are amazing, and they all have such potential. We all do! I have gained a huge testimony these last few months about the Plan of Salvation. I know that our Heavenly Father really does have a plan for us - to come here, to be tested and tried, and to return to Him again. I recently discovered the primary song ''He Sent His Son'' on my iPod, and I absolutely love it. I know without a doubt that He has a plan for us and that He was willing to send His Son, and His Son was willing to come and suffer and die for us. And what does the Father ask of us? ''Have faith, Have hope, Live like His son, help others on their way.'' I love my Father so much, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ with all my heart. The gospel is true.

It's been a great week. This next week is going to be awesome, and the next 8 months will be spectacular. I love you all.

Be good, say your prayers, and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir arrangement of ''He sent his son''. I'm pretty sure you can find it on Youtube and you won't regret it.

Love you all!
-Hermana Taylor
Thank you Gates family for sending me these pictures! I love them so much!

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