Monday, March 2, 2015

{Week 64} Oriental - March 2, 2015

I wanted to start by telling you all that the mail works! Today I got the primary girls cards and the Gates Christmas card, and last week I got the Heggie's Christmas card!

Carlee, your skill on the piano amazes me - and I haven't even heard you play. That's one of my goals for after my mission - brush up on the flute and learn piano.

I say that the dress is white and orange and my comp says it's white and brown.

AND! Paquita and Rodolfo gave us a basketball! And we found out that there is an outside exercise park with a tiny basketball court in our apartment complex! So now we go there and shoot hoops for our 30 minutes of exercise every morning at 6:30! YAY! But the hoops are stuck right on the wall, so the other day when I was doing a layup at top speed (lol) I ran right into the wall and now my hip is a lovely purple color.

Feliz CumplaƱos Jordyn and Jennafer! Hope that you eat lots of cake and that it's delicious!

So on Tuesday we did an activity as a district - we set up one of those tables of pamphlets outside the church and contacted everyone that walked by. A few of them even came inside the church with us for tours, and we received a ton of referencias. But only one of them was for our area. But we had a lot of fun doing it.

Me at our pamphlet table.

Hnas Ramirez, Ortiz, Gurley, Cardenas, and Valdivia

My lovely district contacting the people.
And we meet in the stake center with another ward, and the four missionaries from the other ward (Hna Gurley, Hna Cardenas, Elder Young, and Elder Moreno) are teaching English. And they put a big poster outside the church, so a TON of people are going! And a ton of people always contact us in the street asking about the English classes. Hna Gurley teaches the more advanced class on Wednesday, and Elder Young teaches the basic class on Saturday. And they told us that last Saturday, they had over 50 people in the class! So Hna Ramirez and I are going to start going on Saturday too and we're going to divide it into three classes so that it's more personal and we can connect with them more! So that's super awesome.

I seem to recall that last week you asked if I'd seen guns, and how dangerous it really is here... I have seen guns - but only on security guards. Every store here that's even remotely fancy has a security guard outside with a gun - and not like a handgun, it's like a giant rifle/shotgun type thing. And you know how the Walmart in Canada has the little old lady that checks your receipt and gives you the smiley face sticker as you walk out? Well the Walmart here has army dudes in full military gear with handguns that stand at the door and check your receipt. I honestly hardly ever feel scared in the street - everyone says it's super dangerous, and they're always telling us stories of how everyone gets robbed, but I've never seen anything like that or felt scared like that. And I've honestly told you everything that's happened to me here. The guys always talk to me and say dirty things, but I just ignore them. But they never try anything... I know that the Lord is protecting us, and sometimes when we feel like we shouldn't walk down a street, we don't, and who knows what would have happened if we did. But we try to always follow the spirit, and the Lord takes care of us.

We've been working a lot with Michelle lately. The last week we've been teaching her sister Katherine a lot too... And they were both progressing really well... but then they didn't come to church on Sunday. We were going to go get them, but they had already left with their dad. He took them around buying them stuff, and when we stopped by that night around 6, they were all getting ready to go the the Christian church at 7. Katherine wasn't there, but we talked with Michelle for awhile. She says she wants to know more, and her parents have given her permission to listen to us and get baptized, but they're really against it and are constantly making remarks and criticizing and stuff like that... Michelle asked us if we could hold off for a few months on the whole baptism thing. So we talked a lot about prayer and the importance of getting a testimony, and then following God. It was a super spiritual lesson, and we were all crying. She knows that it's true, she just gets confused with so many people talking at her. But if you could all send a prayer this way remembering her, that would be great!

We placed six different baptismal dates this week... but they all fell through because nobody came to church. Except David, the 9 year old kid. He came and his mom came again. Last week we gave David one of those Book of Mormons for kids - like the ones we have with the pictures. He loves it, and is always reading it, and we start every lesson by reading one chapter. It's been really great. He needs a lot of prayers too - the other day his mom wasn't there, just his grandma, and he told us that he wants to get baptized so that he'll become a good boy. That way his mom will stop ''punishing'' him. I don't think she hits him (at least not very hard - a lot of parents hit their kids here. It's ''normal'') but he said that sometimes she doesn't let him eat... like all day. She's already back with her boyfriend that stole her kid awhile back, and she's always buying treats for her other two little boys, but never for David. And he's honestly not a bad kid! A little rambunctious, but really smart and he LOVES going to church and reading his Book of Mormon. He's got this idea that if he gets baptized his mom might start loving him. We feel so bad for him. So we're working a lot with his mom too... and she came to church on Sunday so that's a good sign. But this little boy could use a lot of prayers too.

I love this ward. Our bishop is great and is always giving us references. And his wife always comes with us for lessons (first time in my mission that the wife of the bishop is willing to come with us). The leaders all work hard, and it's been a lot of fun to be here. And Hna Ramirez is great. We've got one month together now, and she's been progressing a ton. I love her!

Hope you all have a great week. I love you all tons! Be good, say your prayers, and enjoy your day, because we are honestly so blessed.

Con amor, Hna Taylor

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