Monday, February 9, 2015

{Week 61} Oriental - February 9, 2015

Mackenzie! Congratulations on your lost tooth!
Jordy, don't worry, about a thing, cuz every little thing is gonna be all right! :)
And say Hi to Kennedy for me!
In the picture, we're eating churros. I love churros!
And I never got the letters from the Activity Day girls...

As you already know, I am now training! It was crazy to arrive at the changes meeting and see the new missionaries - and 3 new sisters! We arrived in style in the back of a member's pickup truck with all my stuff, and had fun meeting the new sisters and chatting with all the missionaries until the meeting started. I always love the changes meeting - super funny to see the reactions of people when they find out that they're going to be comps and who's going to be the new leaders. Hna Luque and Hna Ingram are now comps in my last area, and are the Sister Training Leaders. And my new comp is Hermana Ramirez! She is from Mexico and is 22. She moved to the States at age 6 and returned to Mexico at age 19, so she speaks practically perfect English. She is a convert of 3 years - she learned about the church when she returned to Mexico. She was originally called to serve in the Provo Utah mission, but her visa was denied due to the fact that was in the States illegally for so many years. So now she's my comp! And she's super sweet - she has a big heart and lots of desires to work hard and help the people. She's constantly asking me what she can do better - she has a big desire to be the best missionary that she can be. I love her, and it's going to be great to be companions!

Hna Ramirez and I!

I loved Hna Luque! I'll miss her! (and I believe that's Elders Anderson and Bryce in the background lol)
Hna Bravo finished her mission!  (4th companion)
Hna Cruz finished too!  (3rd companion)
These were my zone leaders in N-- - Elders Juarez and Esplin.

And we're in a new area! We are in a ward called O--, in the O-- Stake (this was my first stake). This was the area that Hna Aguilar was in when Hna Gutierrez was in the hospital, and when we did divisions for a few days, this was the ward I came to. So about a year ago I was in this ward for about 3 days - and every now and then we go in a house or walk down a street, and I recognize it. And several people remember me! Our first day we walked past a street, and I looked down it and knew I had been there before! I remembered teaching some investigators there, and I knew that they had been baptized, so we walked down the street and I remembered which house it was! So we knocked, but it turns out they don't live there anymore, but the person that lives there let us in and let us teach her! It was a great lesson - we taught the Restoration, and the spirit was super strong - she's named Guadelupe and is 18. We had huge hopes for her, but later when we came back the next day, her mom had forbidden her to keep listening to us, so we've had to drop her. But we're planning to pass by again later and see if we can talk to her mom.

It was funny when we got here. When we arrived the Elders gave us a map, but they messed up and gave us a map of the wrong ward. We wandered around, completely lost for about an hour, when we ran into a member that told us our map was wrong. So in desperation we went to the house of Hna J - because I remembered what street she lived on. We got to the street, but I couldn't remember in which direction she lived, so I said a prayer, and the next thing we know, someone shouted ''Hermanas!'' It was Levi, the son of Hna J. He got back from his mission in Argentina about 6 months ago, and is the 2nd counselor in the bishopric. So he helped us get the right map, and showed us where a bunch of members live. So that was a tender mercy of the Lord to put him in our path right when we needed help the most!

This ward is amazing! They are so missionary minded! EVERYONE has a big desire to share the gospel, and they always want to come with us for appointments. I love them! And our Bishop is amazing! On Saturday he came with us to visit some people and it went great. This ward is amazing! I'm hoping I ''die'' here. I love it!

The area is small, but pretty safe, with lots of weird winding streets. The Elders that were here didn't do anything to keep up with the paperwork, so we don't have any records of anything that they did here. But, the members are super helpful and are always helping us know where less actives live.

And we have 3 investigators! Francisca ''Paquita'' and her husband Rodolfo are so amazing - they are 65ish and are getting baptized on Saturday! They LOVE the gospel, and although we didn't find them, we have the great privilege of teaching them. Paquita talks and talks and talks and Rodolfo sits there silently with a smile on his face. They are the sweetest people ever. Today we went over the baptism interview questions with them, and one of the questions is if they've ever committed a serious crime. Without hesitation they both said yes, with their faces very solemn. We were surprised and didn't really believe them (they are so sweet and innocent I couldn't imagine them doing something bad) and so we explained exactly what counts as a serious crime, and they said ''Oh we've never done anything like that. We just feel so bad for our sins that we feel like they are serious crimes.'' It was so sweet to see how much they want to repent and become like Jesus Christ. I love them!
Rodolfo, Paquita, Hna Laura (the stake president's wife) and Asenat (the stake president's daughter), and me!

And our other investigator is our ''niƱo magico'' - Magic Child. That's what we call the 9 year old less actives that missionaries always want to baptize lol. His name is David, and we didn't know how we were going to help him come to church every Sunday, because his grandma works, his mom is less active, and his step-father isn't a member. Saturday night we went to visit him - and his mom was there! It was the first time we'd met his mom. His step-father had taken his 6 month old little brother in the morning and left, and hadn't returned all day - and was drunk when he took the baby. So the mom didn't go to work because she and the grandma had been trying all day to find the baby. When we arrived they were both in tears and told us that they had been praying for help when we knocked on the door. We prayed with them that the baby would be returned safely, and sang a hymn, and talked a lot about obedience. Later that night the mom called us to say that the baby had been returned, she had broken up with the step-father (he's actually just her boyfriend) and that tomorrow first thing she would come to church. And she came! And we are planning to baptize David on March 7! It's amazing to see how the Lord guides us to the place we need to be in exactly the right moment. The people have such confidence in us as missionaries - sometimes we get there and they look at us, and they say ''The missionaries are here. Everything will be all right now.'' It's very humbling to know that we literally are representatives of Jesus Christ, and we have the great responsibility and opportunity to help everyone.

We live in a big apartment building (sorry, no pictures) and we share it with Hna Gurley and her comp Hna Cardenas! Hna Cardenas will be finishing her mission in March. They are in a different ward. We share the ward with Hna Valdivia who also goes home in June, and Hna Ortiz, who arrived with Hna Ramirez. We don't have a washer, we don't even have a scrub board, so we have to take our clothes to the member's houses to wash them. And Church starts at 9! But we have Priesthood and RS first, then Sunday School, then Sacrament Meeting.

Hna Valdivia and Hna Ortiz - (we found a pink wig in a members house lol)

I'm loving the changes. It was sad to say goodbye to P-- and N--, but I'm happy to be in O--. It's a good area, and I know that we're going to see miracles here. And Hna Ramirez is great.

Love you all - have a great week. Be good, say your prayers, and count your blessings, because we have so many.
Love you!
-Hna Taylor

Gustavo gave us some gift baskets when he found out I had changes :)

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