Monday, October 26, 2015

"¿se encuentra Jose?"

October 12, 2015

Wow, What an amazing week! Anddd I actually have time to write about it (:

So, as I think I mentioned last week, I'm in a trio with Hermanas Wong and Lambert. I was a little worried last week because they are both fluent in Spanish (Hermana Wong is from Mexico so... por esto. And Hermana Lambert came into the mission basically fluent because she has spent a lot of time in Spanish speaking countries and has had years of Spanish lessons so... por esto). And then there's me.... I sort of took Spanish in high school.... but did I learn anything? NOPE. So this has all been baptism by fire. But it actually turned out better than expected. Like, it's actually been an AMAZING week.

First of all, I really understand nearly everything that people say to me in Spanish. Sometimes if people mumble or are talking about something too specific I'm still a little bit confused, but for the most part, I know what's going on. Hermana Wong had to go to the doctor last week and I was just so happy because I even knew what the doctor was saying and this was exciting for me because usually I have a hard time with conversations I've never had before. Obviously, every conversation is a bit different, but I talk with A LOT of people about the gospel, so I'm fairly comfortable with the vocabulary for this. But I haven't had an abundant amount of medical conversations, so to realize that my vocabulary is getting big enough to be able to understand these conversations, or at least to know enough of the words that I can make inferences about the words I don't know, is really exciting! And, Hermana Wong is doing great now, so that's good too (:

Also, we had a great week as far as the work goes! It was different because when we became a trio, Hermana Wong and I inherited the area of Hermana Lambert, while still having to maintain our own. Fortunately, we are in a mission where our areas are pretty small so it hasn't been too much of a struggle, but we've had a lot of investigators to juggle! 

Yesterday was Sunday, and Sundays are stressful because it's the day when you get to see the fruits of your labor, AKA who comes to church. It's sometimes sad because we have people with dates for baptism and who really are progressing in the gospel and want to learn more and take the step and be baptized, but if they can't go to church we can't have them baptized. So yesterday we decided that we were going to do something more to help people get there. So on Sunday morning we sent out on a quest to pick up our people who have baptisimal dates. One guy had to work, and there was nothing we can really do about that. It's a bummer, because we are probably going to have to reschedule his baptism, but it's better that he's prepared. Second we went for a family of menos activos with a 9 year old with a baptisimal date. Our goal is to reactivate the family and have the son baptized. But they were all SLEEPING ): I mean I guess not everyone gets up at 6:30 like us.... but it was about 11am. So next we went for another menos activo family in a similar situation where they have a child who is 9 but hasn't been baptized. They mom couldn't go because one of her sons was sick, but they kid wanted to go so we started calling members to take him to church (because we can't be alone with a child and he's only 9 so he can't go by himself). One of our amazing members came to help us and he made it to church and loved it! So that was really awesome. So along the way, there were some "failures," some things that didn't work out like I had hoped, but I was just happy that this Hermanito made it to church and that his family promised to all go next week. However, the Lord decided to bless us even more. Another family, that we were teaching a while ago but eventually dropped, showed up to sacrament meeting and asked to meet with us this next week. They told us they have had some trials that have made them realize that they need the gospel in their lives. So maybe now they are ready (:

These past couple of weeks I've been practicing contacting and finding nuevos, because I wasn't very great at it before. It was hard for me to be super natural and fun to talk to when I didn't speak Spanish. But now that I can communicate with people, I realized I could do a WHOLE lot more in that area. So every day I carry around a bunch of pamphlets and when I contact people I just pull out a restoration pamphlet and show them the pictures and quickly go through it and ask them to read it, pray about it, and come to church. This is GREAT because it's hard for people to thirst after your message if they don't know what it is, and this introduces them to it just enough that they want it and start seeking for it if they are prepared to hear the gospel. 

However, the other day we weren't finding new people and we really wanted to find new people to teach. We almost never knock doors (It's not necessarily a rule that we can't, but it's also not the safest thing for sisters to do, so usually we only knock doors that we are inspired to knock) but there was no one on the street so we decided to knock a door. But we wanted to do something a little different than the standard "hi, we're missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints...." so at the last minute we decided to just ask if "Jose" was there. We had never knocked this door or anything, we just picked a random name because having a name really helps people to open up, even if we happen to have a bad address and they don't actually live there. So we knocked the door and when someone answered we were like "se encuentra Jose?" And the guy who answered said "sorry, he's not here, he's still working etc. etc." And I sorta lost it because we just made up a name and a Jose actually lives there. So I was trying really hard not to obviously laugh but we contacted him and left a pamphlet and we are going back to visit him and "Jose" this week. It might be a little awkward when Jose realizes he's never met us. So, while that might not be a contacting activity I continue using throughout my mission, it was pretty funny and maybe they will accept the gospel (: 

Also, I want to talk about how AMAZING conference was. There were a lot of really great talks and I got to watch it in ENGLISH which was such a blessing. One impression I was left with, however, is that hard things lie ahead. That we are going to face persecution and challenges like never before. That we need to be STRONG, and get back to basics. Build our families, focus on the gospel and not just on the church that helps us live the gospel. This was both inspiring and a bit frightening. But we have a prophet and apostles to warn us and to prepare us. So, PREPARE!!!

But one talk we LOVED was the "ponderize" talk. What an amazing way to learn the scriptures! My companions and I have started doing this, and my ponderize scripture for this last week was 1 Nephi 17:50. We write them in English and Spanish and study them both ways, so that we can both feel it in our own language, and study it to help our investigators. But what my scripture for this past week says is that we can do anything, ANYTHING, the Lord commands if we have faith. If the Lord asked us to command water to be land, and if we did so in faith, water would become land. I like this for 2 reasons. 1. I want to have the kind of faith where I can make miracles happen. but 2. I also want to have the humility and faith to realize that if I'm sincerely asking for something in faith and it's NOT happening, it might not be the Lord's will. Maybe he wanted that water to be water. 

Thank you all for your love and support and prayers! I definitely feel them. Hope you know I'm praying for you too (:

Hermana Aubriana

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