September 9, 2013
So it was exactly two months ago today that we drove to the airport uncomfortably early and I got on a plane headed for the Mexico City MTC. That went pretty quick, huh?
So we got home from the weekly P-day excursion and took our siesta (yes, we might do that every day. But they give us an hour for lunch and we only need 20 minutes to eat, so it's really just a wise use of the assigned schedule) and then we went to two Noches de Hogar (that's how we say Family Home Evening in Spanish). We don't have families so we just go to FHE with other families. Clever, right? The first was with a family in which the two sons are recent converts, the daughter is figuring out her baptismal date, and the mom listens very sincerely to our lessons but attends classes on Sundays and hence cannot come to church. But the daughter, Yeimi (Jamie) is such a sweetheart. We love her so much. And she asked her dad for permission to be baptized and he said she could, so we hope she'll set her date before transfer date on Oct. 2. And her brother Marvin has the Aaronic priesthood so he can baptize her! How awesome is that? And the mom, Alma, really reminds me of Annie for some reason...still not sure why. But Ann, I found the Honduranean version of you. It's pretty cool. Our other NH was with a member family and one of our investigators, Gladis, attended and Gladis finally set her date and it's this Saturday! Yay!
So our ZLs told us that we could be doing better (although I have since been informed that comment was directed more heavily toward the elders in the zone than the sisters) and gave us a challenge to teach 35 lessons per companionship this week, but Hermana Escalante and I are overachievers, so we came home from that and got to work. We only teach 20-30 minute lessons which means we can teach about 7 or 8 lessons and visit with at least one recent convert or less active member each day, so our schedules are pretty full. And the members of the ward are kind enough to come teaching with us, so that's always fun. We're usually with the ward mission leader, Hermano Dino, or Hermana Osiris (returned missionary, served in Ecuador) or Hermana Ruth (wants to be a missionary, but everyone teases her that she's going to marry Hro. Dino). The people here are very loving and really funny, so it's awesome spending time with them for visits. We still get to teach families that we reach by hiking up a mountain or wading through a jungle river, so that's always fun.
I love our investigators. I really do. We had a serious miracle this week in that the father of the Urquia family received a revelation that he needs to get married and baptized! Seriously, it's a miracle! Parents, if you remember Sister Brown, I felt like Sister Brown on Tuesday when he told us that. We walked home and I was ready to shout "It's a miracle!" Now we just need another miraculous revelation for our investigator Juventina, who is super ready to be baptized if she receives a revelation that the church is true. I get the feeling I'm going to be praying for and seeing a lot of miracles in the coming months.
So if you remember Candido from last week's letter, he got baptized yesterday! It was great! The best part, aside from seeing how happy he was, was hearing his daughter, Alma, include in her prayer how grateful she was that her father had been baptized. I can only imagine how hard it would be to be a member without knowing your parents could enjoy the same blessings God had promised you and how joyous it would be to see your parents make covenants with God that meant you could be with them forever (Parents, thanks for being active in the church and epic examples. Love you guys).
So it was a pretty crazy week. We taught 49 lessons, 55 if you add in lessons with recent converts, so we've been keeping pretty busy. I've been having some isolated moments of being pretty frustrated with my lack of Spanish ability (usually closely following the moments in which the other sisters are laughing at my inability to speak or my companion is treating me kind of like a child because my language skills are like unto a child's) but I'm overcoming that. (I'm rising above, Mimi!) The days pass really quickly here, so it feels like no time at all since I wrote last. I'm sure the next 16 months are going to feel like no time at all in retrospect, but only if I do all I can to fill them up with good things!
I know this gospel is true. I know God lives and loves His children. When I'm epic-level frustrated and the thought crosses my mind that it would be so much easier to be home, I just remember how strongly I believe that God lives and loves His children, and I remember that I am here to share that love. When I remember that, God lifts me back up again and holds onto me until I can walk again. I love this gospel, I love my Heavenly Father, and I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I am so glad I have this time to be a missionary for Him, even if it is the hardest work I have ever done in my life.
I'm gonna ask all of you a favor: help the missionaries in your wards. Preach My Gospel is designed in such a way that the members, not the missionaries, have the majority of the responsibility in the finding effort, so give your missionaries references! And then let them teach people in your home! There is such a great opportunity for your friends and neighbors to see you while the missionaries teach and think "Ok, this is different, but here are people I know and care about who are telling me it has made their lives better." And that helps so much! Also, if you attend ward mission council meetings, be helpful! Our members, bless them, really don't do very much in response to our meetings. Help your missionaries! They need you!
Okay, stepping down from that soapbox. Sorry, it was a little necessary. I love you guys a lot and I miss you in a similarly large manner! But I'm already half way done with this transfer, so three more weeks in Campana and then I'll only have 11 transfers to go! No time at all!
Mucho amor! Hermana Pickett