March 24 2014
Okay, so this past week was pretty awesome for two main reasons. The first is that Rocio got baptized on Saturday!!! Even though technically Israel (her husband) was my first baptism, Rocio feels more like my first because I actually worked with her. When I arrived to the area, Israel was already set on getting baptized but Rocio still had a lot of doubts. But after two weeks of lessons and witnessing the baptism of her husband, she finally felt in her heart that this was the right thing to do! The Thursday before her baptism we went over and gave her lesson 4, which is the commandments. We talked about how if she and Israel kept the commandments and were obedient and read their scriptures, a year from this past Saturday they will be able to be sealed in the temple. She got really emotional when we began to talk about the temple and eternal families, and I could tell that she was truly converted and comitted. Aaaahhhh, they’re such a special family and I hope I’ll be able to return to this area a year from now to attend their sealing (though who knows if that will happen). They’re the definition of golden investigators! Now if only all of our other investigators could be like them and keep their comitments, that would be great.
So yeah, that was reason number one why we had such a good week. Reason two is that we had stake conference and man, it was awesome. It was all about missionary work and uniting the missionaries and the members so that we were on the same ‘team’, so to speak. Saturday night session was my favorite, mainly because it was more interactive and so we weren’t sitting down listening to speakers the entire time. We missionaries were in charge of the first half of the meeting. My zone leaders Elder Williams (who I am 99% sure has a mission blog as well, because I remember reading a blog by an Elder Williams who was serving in El Sol – my zone – and he looks really similar to the pictures I saw on the blog. The only thing left is for me to actually ask him but I haven’t got around to that yet.) and Elder Villaboaz (I have no idea how to spell that) gave the first ‘talk’, which was pretty much an introduction to the whole theme of members and missionaries working together. Then there was a Q&A session where the members could expess their concerns or fears on why it’s hard for them to share the gospel. After all the questions, the zone leaders divided the congregation into different groups where a pair of missionaries would then answer their specific questions. My companion and I got put with the youth (they were the choir) which I was super thankful for because holy cow was I nervous. I don’t think I would’ve been able to answer the adults (especially the ones who pretty much ranted about how missionaries didn’t know anything). The only thing about being with the youth, was that because they were on the stand, we were right behind Presidente and Hermana Mejorada (my mission president and his wife). But it all worked out and I honestly enjoyed that little training session we had. The evening ended with talks from Presidente Mejorada and the stake President, which was the best way to end the night to be honest. I love listening to Presidente speak. He’s really bold and to the point, which is just what we need. As my companion likes to say he’s ‘duro pero bueno’ and I completely agree. He’s also super entertaining to listen to and very clear. Ahh, he’s just awesome.
Sunday morning was good too, with talks from our patriarch, the stake presidency, and both Presidente and Hermana Mejorada. However, I was more nervous because my companion and I had gone on splits to bring investigators. I went with the Relief Society president to get Rosa, one of our investigators in the poorest part of our area. However, when I got there, her sister Estela (who is also one of our investigators) told us that Rosa thought we were going to come earlier and so when we didn’t show up, she went on her own. We never saw her at conference, so I don’t know what happened with her, but I was so nervous the entire time that everything would work out. It also didn’t help that we were in the front row right in front of Presidente, but I survived, haha.
Speaking of Presidente… so this past Friday we had lunch with Presidente Vasquez, the mission doctor, and his family (his wife is Hermana Lupita who I emailed mom about). They’re an awesome family and I love it when we go have lunch with them because they always make me feel right at home. They have two kids, Jorge, who is six, and Alex, who is three, and they’re super smart! Jorge is bilingual – and I don’t just mean he knows how to count to 10 or the colors in English. That kid is full on fluent and has amazing pronunciation. I was blown away when he started speaking to me in English and telling me this story about him and his brother. It kind of put me to shame, haha. They’re all trying to learn English, so whenever we come over for lunch they want to practice it with me, which I don’t mind of course, haha.
Anyway, back to what I was originally planning on saying. So as we were eating Presidente Vasquez shared with us a comment that Presidente Mejorada made to him during a meeting a week ago. Anyway, he pretty much said that he has great faith in the hermanas in Tejeda (aka: my companion and I) and that he truly thinks that we’re going to help this ward explode with missionary work. Hermana Aguilar and I were in shock when he told us that and our first response was ‘QUE?!?!‘ So yeah, that was both nervewrecking (talk about the pressure!) and flattering, and now we both have to work really hard to live up to his expectations.
And that was my week! Oh, on Wednesday I had to go to immigration to sign and finger print some papers, and I have to say, that was the most fun I ever had inside of an immigration waiting room. All of the foreign missionaries in my generation were there, so we were all catching up and I also got to know some of the American missionaries better. They’re a fun bunch and it was really awesome because we were all sharing our experiences and it just really comforted us to know that everyone is going through the same thing – struggles with the language, getting used to the mission life, some conflicts with companions, the whole shebang. There’s these two elders who are super hilarious to talk to – Elder Komatsu and Elder Carson. Carson is pretty much the reincarnation of Ferris Buller – both in appearance and personality. He’s a pretty funny guy and all he talks about is how he can’t wait to eat weird things and have all those ‘crazy foreign mission experiences’. One of the first things he told us was how his brother who went foreign had to eat one of his investigator’s dogs for lunch. Like, one day they had the dog and then the next day when they showed up for lunch, the dog was gone and the investigtor wouldn’t say where it went. Talk about sketch, haha. Komatsu is from Hawaii and he’s half Japanese and a giant! I think he’s like 6’5 or something. Anyway, one of the first things he asked me was if the people in my area were as tone deaf as the ones in his, and I just started laughing. He was telling me how he can never sing the hymns during church because he’s just tryng hard not to laugh out loud, and all I could do was shake my head as he told me about all of these different experiences. So yeah, a little about some of the gringos who I arrived with. There’s only two gringa missionaries in my generation and they both go to BYUI, so I talked with them a lot too.
Something else that I almost forgot about – I ate a cricket for the first (and hopefully last) time this week! After my district meeting – which was at a different chapel because the AP’s were coming and so they wanted both districts to be there (one AP for each distrcit) – Elder Williams comes in the room with this styrofoam box and tells me to eat from it. It just looked like crunchy chilis so I was like, why not. As I’m eating, he smiles and says that they’re chapulines and I think my heart stopped for a milisecond, haha. It wasn’t too disgusting – it mainly tasted like salty chile-covered dirt – but I did not appreciate the deception, hahaha. My companion tried one and threw up, and she’s Mexican! Haha, I’m glad that my stomach was strong enough to stand that. But yeah, I think I’ve had my fair share of insects for a life time.
Okay, now I’m done sharing things from this week. As to answer mommy’s questions the doggies are fine (I finally figured out what the chihuahuas name is – Didi), and I don’t know much about the progress of Veronica’s daughter because Veronica is the elder’s recent convert. But I think I saw her at stake conference, though I’m not really sure. I’m glad everyone is doing well and that Isaac had a fun time at camp (I want to hear all about those pranks!) and Lila had a good time with the tias.