Monday, June 9, 2014

1 Month Shy of a YEAR!

we got a little artsy with the puddles...

I might get elephantitis from taking this shot. Will you still love me if I come home looking like an elephant?
We braided hair with the little Hernandez girls and had to take pictures! Talk about beautiful family! 

I'm completing 11 months on the mission today! That's a a lot of  months! It is crazy how fast the time is flying by and how much I still feel like I just started. But when we lose our lives for the Lord, we find them, so it doesn't surprise me that I can hardly feel the time passing.

Hermana Miller and I had another SUPER week out here in Copán--we didn't even break the Word of Wisdom this week! We have been studying Chapter 1 of Preach My Gospel for companionship study (everybody else is studying PMG too, right?) and we talked about the importance of diligence in receiving and teaching with the Spirit, so we just work. We go out in the morning and by the time we get home, we are so ready to just crash. In fact, one of our weekly goals was to "get ready for bed like adults" and stop falling asleep in our skirts after planning session. We're working on it. This week is the end of a transfer cycle, which means that Hermana Miller and I have already been together for 6 weeks--that's insane! This is the fastest that six weeks has ever passed in my life, let alone on my mission. But we're pretty hopeful that we will be able to spend another six weeks together, so hopefully Sparklers and Shoelaces (that's our hipster band name) doesn't have to break up yet!

We are still working with fam. Hernandez, and we LOVE them. I don't think the road they have to walk to conversion will be easy by any stretch of the imagination, because Daddy Hernandez still needs to kick his alcohol habits...and start listening to the discussions...but I really believe that they will get there. We found another big family this week as a result of a kid coming to our English class (which was good timing, because we were starting to wonder if there was really a point to having English class) and, even though we haven't spent much time with them yet, I'm feeling good vibes. I'll keep you posted on that.

More than anything this week, we've really been working with out members. Roots before branches. We had a lesson/marriage counseling session with a very inactive couple, Ana and Ramón. Ana's kind of gone round the bend (we love her, but it's true), and her husband is very aware of that, and they have a very disfunctional relationship. But we sat down with them and talked about the importance of creating love in our relationships. We gave them homework to give each other a compliment and say "I love you" each day. We left that house without the fear that they are going to kill each other (definitely progress), and we'll see how that goes. We also had a magical/miraculous experience on Tuesday, when a member of the Church who is visiting from Guatemala yelled "Hermanas!" after us in the street and asked if he could come teaching with us the next day. Hermana Miller has this fun habit of saying "Aaaaand...Saratov Approach" in situations like that, but it turns out he was legitimately just a really, really cool RM. It's too bad the family we visited with him really doesn't want to get baptized, but it was a cool experience anyway.

And the fun for this week: there is currently a really REALLY cool opportunity for the youth in our district (for those who don't konw, district is to stake as branch is to ward) in that they can go to the temple for free if they will index 1000 names and bring two names to the temple with them before the deadline next month. That is a huge deal! Going to the temple from here is super expensive, so people really do not get to go very often, and the youth can go for free! So, needless to say, Hermana Miller and I are really trying to preach the epicness of indexing to the youth. On Saturday, we had planned a youth activity to teach about indexing. Nobody came. So we were feeling pretty disappointed about that, but then two young women showed up about an hour late and wanted to index, so we indexed! We also needed to teach some lessons and buy a couple of blouses and a skirt for the elders' baptism the next day (the elders told us bluntly that they had no idea how to shop for women's clothing and passed over 500 lempira). So we went on divisions and took turns teaching and indexing. Pretty great afternoon. And there were baleadas for dinner, so that always makes life wonderful.

We had a bit of a trying Sunday. The sister who actually has a calling in the primary stuck her head in at the beginning of the lesson and said, "Hey Hermana, I'm just going to go to Sunday School, is that alright?" It wasn't, but that's cool. Somebody forgot to lock the back door to the primary room, so the misbehaving children all escaped, and one little boy started making fun of/fighting with Estefani, one of the little girls from fam. Hernandez. She started crying. Not okay. Am I allowed to revoke a child's privilege to come to primary? Because that's happening to that kid next week. We are really wishing that we had more members willing to fulfill their callings here (poor Hermana Miller had to improvise a lesson for the young women and my talk on obedience got cut short because the branch president arbitrarily decided he wanted to give a sermon, just after sending his daughter to buy the family snacks. Cool) But each and every one of these people is a child of God, and there is nothing better I could be doing with my time than serving them, so I am glad I am here.

I love this work! I love the Lord and I love serving Him! It's definitely hard, but worthwhile things usually cost a little sacrifice. I love thinking about Nephi doing everything that he did with such diligence and positivity, and he could do it because he had an absolute testimony--he knew God was taking care of him, and that there would be a way prepared, so it didn't matter how rough the road got. I know that I am a missionary for the true and living Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I am happy about it!

¡Que les vaya SUPER bien!

Love, Hermana Pickett

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