I'm glad Brie had a fun birthday party. No mail delivery this week from the mission office, so hopefully I'll have mail next week!
1. What did you do for P-Day this week?
Absolutely nothing. Nobody wnated to do anything as a district so we didn't do anything... I cleaned, washed clothes, tanned outside, watched "The Mountain of the Lord" (a church video) and we went grocery shopping and now we are here.... so exciting!
2. How is your piano student doing? What songs are you working on with her?
She's doing pretty well. She's about to pass off her first song! She is learning "There is a Green Hill Far Away," "We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet," and "Teach Me to Walk in the Light" out of the simplified hymn book. It's been hard to learn the vocab and apparently they don't call the notes A B C... they are do re mi fa.... so I have to learn all the notes that way so I can teach them to her... but she's doing well. She already knew how to read the music which is good! The only bad thing is that people here tend to be tone deaf and so she doesn't hear when she makes mistakes
3. How was church yesterday? Did any of your less active members come to church?
Church was actually pretty good and we had five Menos Activos (less active members) there! I was so dang happy. :) At first there was only one and then others came in late and it was just like waiting for investigators, lol. We didn't have the Gospel Principles class because there were no investigators, not even from the elders, so we went to the normal Gospel Doctrine (Sunday School) class and it was so weird to be in normal Sunday School after all this time of having Gospel Principles class, lol. I think I prefer the tiny class with investigators.
4. Are you getting to know your less active members better? How is Gloria doing?
Gloria is doing great! She's so sweet and so happy! She came to church on Sunday and her son passed the sacrament last week. :) Hna Catalina (the mom of Kildre and Alfredo) has not had her heart softened... it's more that she just really can't understand things and it's frustrating, but she's stubborn. She is always willing to listen to us and is very sweet but because she can't or won't understand she and her kids can't progress...
5. What miracles and tender mercies have you seen this week? Answers to your prayers?
Well, this week was a lot of walking and more walking.... so after walking for a significant amount of time this week out of nowhere this guy was like, "Hey Hermanas!" And we usually don't pay attention to people like that, but we both turned and we went to takl to this guy. Turns out he was an old investigator of the elders and he didn't get baptized but his friend did and now he wants us to keep visiting him... so after walking around for forever and praying that we would find somebody or that someone would be home, we walked by this house at the exact time that this guy was standing outside and when he called to us we both turned around... so yeah, I'd say that was an answer to a prayer because somebody found us really. So hopefully we will be able to teach him this week and things will go well.
6. How has someone else blessed your life this week?
We got invited to eat a lot more times this week which was a huge blessing. Really, the elders here get all the appointments so when somebody invites us over to eat it's great!
7. What was the best thing that happened this week?
Playing Ninja... see number 9
8. Tell me about your happiest moment this week.
I feel like this is the same as the question above... (Note from Mom: I need some new questions!)
9. What was the funnest/funniest thing that happened this week?
Well, after our district meeting this week we had a ton of time left.... so we played games like normal but then we ran out of games until someone suggested that we play Ninja. I have not played that game in SOOO long! But it was so dang fun, haha! I didn't win any rounds but it was still way fun and interesting to try and teach it to Latinos...
10. What was the spiritual highlight of your week?
Well, it might be a little sad... So Hna C goes to bed really really early sometimes because she gets sick or is tired. So she went to bed at 8:20 the other day and I had nothing to do and it's just been really really hard, so I went outside and just cried. And I just prayed that I would feel better and then out of nowhere I just stopped crying. Like I didn't feel like it anymore and I just felt like I needed to stop thinking about myself and stop throwing a pity party and that I should do something nice for Hna C. So I wrote her a really sweet little note and put it on her mirror so she would find it in the morning. So the next day, she found it and said that the night before she had prayed for a lot of things and she felt like the note that I wrote her was a message from God and that He had spoken to her through me. It was just really crazy because I had been so sad and focused on myself, but when we do take the time to think about other people we can bless their lives in so many ways and we may never even know, but the Lord uses us to help His children.
11. Were you able to do any service this week?
Yes. We washed somebody's clothes. Which is really not my thing.... I already don't like touching or wearing other people's clothes but then to wash them when I don't know where they've been or what they have been doing is just a little bit gross. But service is service and so we washed clothes.
12. What did you learn from your personal study this week? Where are you at in the Old Testament? In other reading?
I finished "Jesus the Christ" again this week. I also started to really do the lesson plan things that I had asked for the binder for. That's actually been really cool to see how much information, how much one could teach about even the tiniest principio del evangelio (principle of the gospel). But I have been reading a lot in the Old Testament. I read Esther and I always love her example. I really like the Mormon Messages video that talks about her (it's called Valor in Spanish and I don't know what it's called in English). And I fininshed Job. I really liked Job 5:17-18. Because really we should all be grateful for our trials because they're a sign that God loves us and that He is just helping us become who He wants us to become and if we can really be grateful for these trials and understand why we have them, the purpose, then we will be happy. And I'm still working on this one so I know that it's really hard. And I really like Job 4:3-5 because as missionaries we preach and talk to people all day long. We always have words of encouragement, but then when it comes to be our turn to face something hard, some trial or dificulty, do we take our own advice? Are we truly converted to the words of comfort we give or are we just saying them because they sound nice? I don't know...as amissionary I feel like I can be a little better at this, too, and that I can truly take the words I say to other people to heart to comfort me. I don't know if those make sense, lol, but we have to believe and have a testimony of what we teach first. And there was an example of Ezra in the scriptures too, honestly I read it at the beginnning of the week so I don't remember it very well since I study a lot, but I have written down that If we are righteous then we will gain the respect and trust of other people and will be blessed. So apparently I liked that when I read it.
13. Do you know that I love you SO much and I miss you?
14. What has been the most beautiful thing you’ve seen this week?
We were walking in a part of our area and I looked up and there was this HUGE cloud! And it was so dang pretty! Like somone could have taken a picture of it for a calender or something but I don't walk around with my camera so I couldn't take a picture of it. :( But it wa big and white and the sky was so blue!!!!
15. Did anything unusual or strange happen this week?
Well, I did write down some things that are really weird. I know someone who puts birth control pills in her shampoo because she is convinced that it makes her hair grow longer... she legitimately has an obsession with growing out her hair. People here also eat tortillas with EVERYTHING. Gloria gave us some Chinese noodles this week with what? Tortillas! And guess what? I found it easier to eat the noodles with a tortilla than with my fork! Que Barbaridad! I ate cow liver this week, too... it wasn't bad but I don't know that I would choose to eat it again. And I found some aloe vera drinks that are SUPER good! I have now had 2, aloe vera with peach and the other with pineapple.
16. What are you most looking forward to this coming week?
I really don't know... we don't have anything exciting going on.
17. What did Pres Dester have to say this week?
That he could tell at zone conference that I didn't look like I looked at the last change... that I didn't look happy. He said that he really could just tell and he talked about how we really should have investigators and just because we work with less active members doesn't mean that we shouldn't have them.... so yeah, got to work on finding people to teach.
18. Has it been rainy this week?
Nope. There are lots of clouds so the weather tends to be bipolar. One minute it's sunny and blistering hot and the next there's a huge cloud and it's nice outside. But really the weather is nice from 4 in the afternoon and on so I can't complain. but I guess the rains really start to come in June....but that's what everyone said about May so vamos a ver (we shall see).
19. Looking back over the last seven months, how do you think you have changed so far on your mission?
I think that really deep down I am still me, but I think that I really have been refined poco a poco (little by little) to be more open, to love people more, to accept help (sometimes). I have realized and come to know that people really are the most important thing! That a mission is not defined by the number of baptisms. I have changed to see how I can contribute to the work as a member. I don't know if that makes sense, but I really feel important as a member of this church and I have learned my responsibility. I think that I am definitely proving to myself each day how tough I am and that I really can do difficult things. I think that I have been humbled (I still have a long way to go) to accept the Lord's will for me and not mine. My will is easy, but the Lord's will is better.
20. What steps are you taking to become “the Fourth Missionary”? How can we help you with that?
I don't really know... I'm still just working right now on trying not to be baggy (homesick). Hna C and I have talked about it and it's something about this place that just makes people baggy....maybe it's because we have both been here for sooo long or because Elder B talked baggy and he left today or, well, I don't really know. So I'm trying to enjoy the moment and not think about what I want but to really put all that stuff on a mental shelf and just put it aside.
Well, this is long and I really don't have anything else to say...
I just creeped on my blog because Hna B bahr told me that she read it, haha, and thanks for adding titles to my entries and for making me sound exciting!
Oh, could someone send me Peach Buds candy for my birthday...ants got to them before I did. Also I would really love a new bottom sheet. Remember how we didn't buy one with elastic...I don't mean to complain and I hate to ask for things because people here have nothing, but I really would like a bottom sheet with elastic so I dont have to tie knots on the corners to keep it on my mattress. And if you coud find a material that's easy to wash, like that's super silky and even if it's super cheap and flimsy....because the sheets I have are a pain to handwash and yeah.... I really don't like asking for things but a new sheet would be great.
I love you all!
NOTE FROM ALYSSA'S MOM: I'M HAVING PROBLEMS WITH THE PICTURE SITE ALYSSA UPLOADS HER PICTURES TO -- WILL ADD THE REST OF THIS WEEK'S PICTURES WHEN THE SITE STARTS WORKING PROPERLY.
A picture of our zone with Pres and Sis. Dester
Coyoles -- a really weird fruit that is kind of like a nut...very hard to eat. But the syrup is good.
A park in our area