This week has been great! Our first investigator came to church and it was so cool to see her there. Her son was just baptized into the English ward with his wife and kids, but his mom (our investigator) speaks spanish so the English Elders passed her off to us. It has been amazing!! We play games with her and read from the Book of Mormon 3 times a week and we send her text messages everyday. She is so funny and has a ton of questions! I love seeing how the gospel changes lives. She wants to accept the gospel because of her son and she has seen a change in his life, but we are working on her having faith for herself because that is what she really needs. She cooks for us all the time, traditional Mexican food. I have tried some interesting things and mom you would be so proud of me for the things I have eaten. Eating the food is an experience of its own! I
On Tuesday, we had zone conference combined with an English zone. It was so fun. We learned how to teach certain commitments and we had games that we would play after each lesson. All of the missionaries in my zone are so competitve during the games. One of the Elders was so competive that whenever he would score a point, he would say, "Quiene is su padre?? SOMOS!!" Which translates to, "Who's is your daddy?? We are!!" Everyone would laugh and just have a great time. It is a nice stress reliever after a hard week. I love being surrounded by missionaries, it helps me be excited for the work! On Wednesday, I was able to go to the Dallas temple for the first time with my Spanish zone. The temple was the place that I needed to be. It was so great to just feel the peace again!
One night, my companion and I were out tracting and it was about 8:55. We have to be heading back to our appartment at 9. We decided to knock one more door and the lady that answered invited us right in and gave us water. We had to leave her with a short message and then we set up a return appointment. Our appointment was for yesterday (Sunday) so we stopped by and luckly she was home. We taught her the Restuaration. She was bouncing off of her couch and asking so many questions. Every time we told her something new she would say, "OH MY GOSH" is a very crazy way. It was so funny. I am pretty sure that is the only thing she knew how to say in English but is was great. She wanted to learn more and more and more, but we had another appointment so we left her with another appointment for tomorrow (Tuesday!). After we shared with her about the Book of Mormon, she just asked us, "Well when is church??" My companion and I were so excited hopefully she will come to church next week. I wish I could have filmed the lesson that we had with her because it was so funny!!
It is experiences like these that I love missionary work! I am so excited to be a missionary! There have been some interesting people that we have met though and some people are just rude. One guy answered the door and said, "I'm Christian, and we don't believe the same thing so I am going to shut the door now." My jaw dropped, I couldn't believe it. Some people answer the doors with Bibles in their hand ready to argue with us. Everytime we knock on a door, it is a new experience. I have to learn to love everyone though because I know that Heavenly Father loves them. Some people will actually run away from us when they see us walking toward them. For my companion and I, it just makes for a good laugh!
We are teaching the English Elders a little bit of Spanish, so that is why my email is titled, "Bueno Bueno." When Hispanics answer the phone, they say Bueno Bueno, so we told the Elders that and now when ever we call them or they call us, they will just scream Bueno into the phone 10 times. It is so funny and we get a great laugh out of it. Another miracle this week is the English Elders helped us get rid of our "cat-pee" smelling couches!! It was a miracle! Our appartment smells soooo much better!! There was so much hair and grossness on it that when the elders were taking it out, they just wanted to throw it over the railing. It was actually really funny!! I wish I had had it on film!
I wish you guys could all be with me right now! I can't believe it is already Thansgiving....almost! I miss you all so much, but I hope you have a wonderful week!!
Can I just say, "OH MY GOODNESS!" So much has happened since I was able to email you last. It was hard to say goodbye to all my friends at the MTC but I was so ready for the adventure in Texas!
I had to leave the MTC at 4:30am and I got to be in a travel group with a bunch of Elder from the West Campus that were being reassigned to the Dallas Mission while waiting for their visas!
We arrived in Texas, and the minute we landed I could feel the humidity! Oh goodness! I then had to say good bye to my "companions" Elder Tai and Elder Sharp in the airport and then collect my bags. We walked right out and met up with the assistants and the mission president!! President Durrant is so tall!! I also got to meet the Hermanas and Elders that came from the Mexico MTC. I asked them if by chance they knew and Elder Wandry. They were all so excited and said yes and that they loved him. It was fun to make that connection! We then went to the Dallas Temple and took pictures then headed to a church building.
We were in training all day and told about everything that was going to be happening. You could tell everyone was so tired and no one really had a good night of sleep. We were all falling asleep, but it was fine! After dinner, the sister training leaders picked us up and took us knocking. I couldn't even comprehend what was going on I was so tired and I couldn't believe they were having us tract on our first night. It was so funny. I didn't say anything they whole time because i was so overwhelmed and then I realized I knew no Spanish at all, it was great!!
I met my trainer the next day and her name is Hermana Vigil! She is from Syracuse, Utah and she is exactly what I needed for a trainer. We are opening a new area so there is a lot of work to be done. Sadly, it is a lot of door knocking and talking to people, not really lessons, but knocking is part of the work I guess! We knocked a lot and didn't have much success but the people here are so nice. Sadly, I can hardly understand them. There are so many different accents and depending where they are from there are so many different speeds at which they talk!
I had my first "native" Spanish meal, and I didn't like it but I gladly ate it anyways. It was like a fried pancake that was corn based and it had chunks of hot dogs in it. It was the weirdest thing because it did not have a taste, but I ate two and then we told the lady we would take them home and eat them.
In an apartment where we tract there is a lady named Lupita and she is so nice. Part of her family just became members but she didn't. She told us we could stop by and use her bathroom and she would give us food anytime we needed it. Every time she sees us, she gives us chips and drinks. It is so nice of her and then her neighbor Ericka, who is not a member, taught us how to make homemade tortillas one night after we cleaned her kitchen for her. Every time we see her now, she gives us homemade tortillas! They are soooo good.
Everyone in that apartment complex knows the "missionaries" and they all think that it is so funny that I can't speak Spanish. My trainer has to translate a lot for me, I LOVE IT!! Erika's daughter though is 6 and she is the cutest little girl I have ever seen. She known a little English because that is what they speak in school. She is helping me learn Spanish. I was saying a prayer with their family and during the prayer I was saying something wrong and Diana, the little girl, corrected me. It was so cute. She was standing there with her arms folded and her eyes closed and she was helping me with my pronunciation. I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE!!
Funny moment of the week:
So we were visiting a less active family. We were inside sitting on the couch and the little boy who was about 4 comes over and is dangling a little bird in his hands upside down. The birds head was just dangling back and forth and I had no idea what it was. Hermana Vigil then told me that it was dead. I am now tramatized whenever I see little birds that people have as pets. I was like screaming inside.
This week there has been quite a few times that I have thought to myself, "What am I doing here?" It has been a crazy week with a lot of struggles but I know that this is where I need to be. I have also been so humbled. I grew up with amazing parents and we had a lot and here I am going into a trailer home or an apartment and these families don't have anything. They don't have a couch or a kitchen table and the floor of the living room is where their bed is. I just love the people that I meet and I want them to feel the same joy that I have in my life. I have taken so much for granted and I honestly wish I could just help them and let them know that everything is going to be okay. This week has been an eye opener, but I am so excited to spend the next 16 months of my life helping these people!
My new address is
200 Oak Knoll #1735 Lewisville, TX
This is my direct address and I would love to hear from you guys that way!!
I hope you all have a great week and as Thanksgiving is coming up, remember what you are thankful for. I am sure thankful for this gospel and my wonderful family!! I am also grateful for my friends and for the opportunity that I have to serve in the Dallas Texas mission!
Okay, so I am just going to be honest, this has been the hardest week of my life. Saturday was the worst day. We started off knocking doors and at our first door, an old, extremely overweight man, answered the door with his shirt off. He said to us, "It is the same answer as last time," and then slammed the door. Every door after that just continued to get worse. Everyday this week, it literally felt like we tried and then we failed. Appointments were cancelled one after another, and people were lying to us and being completely disrespectful. I don't think I have every been lied to more in my entire life, it is crazy. Throughout the week, we were trying to maintain a positive attitude, but after awhile it just starts to ware on you.
Yesterday, during Sacrament meeting, all of this week's emotions had just built up inside, and while the deacons were passing the sacrament, I just began to cry to myself. After the sacrament, Hermana Vigil said that she needed something from the library so we quietly left. In the hall, we ran into a family named the Boyd's. I had met them my first night in the mission at the church because their ward was having a Halloween party. I had made a connection with them that we both knew the Robinsons, Kristen and Scott. In the hall, Brother Boyd asked us how we were doing. I just started to cry. My companion was explaining our situation and how we had just had a really hard week. He then asked us if we had been fed by any of the members, and Hermana Vigil said no. Brother Boyd then invited us over to his house for dinner with his family and Hermana Vigil just started to cry. We were so thankful to this family. For dinner, we had the best meal that I had had in 2 months and the family was so nice to us. We left them with a Spiritual message and at the end of the night they invited us to come over for Christmas. My companion and I both started crying. It was the best answer to our silent prayers. I couldn't believe it. After the week that we had had, we needed it. I am forever grateful for the Boyd's and their willingness to open their house for us.
Being on a mission is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Through all the hard times though there are definitely little miracles all throughout the week that we can count. It has just been really hard to find a place where we belong in this new ward because there are 5 sets of missionaries in this ward. There are 3 sets of Hermanas and 2 sets of Elders and sometimes it feels like, "Everyman for himself" with lessons, investigators and meals with members. Since both my companion and I were doubled in, we didn't know anyone. It has been really hard. We were invited over to a members house for a meal with one of the sets of Elders. It was a native meal, and it was probably the weirdest thing ever. I just decided to stick with the rice. It is definitely and experience eating with people.
Even though the week has been really hard, our area is pretty much a bilingual area. There are 2 Elders, Elder Harms and Elder Ramsdale. We find them English investigators and they find us Spanish. It is fun to run into them and I feel like on the days that are really bad, we always end up knocking doors in the same apartment or see them walking around. It fun to run into them cause it reminds me that there are other missionaries out here that are having a hard time just like me but we are all here with a common goal. They are also going to the Boyd's for Christmas!
Through all the hard times that we had this week, we did have another miracle this week. We met this family named Victor and Lauda. They have 3 girls Ashley, Stephanie and Mia. Mia is just 3 weeks old. We met this family knocking in an apartment complex. Only the mom was home with the 3 girls at the time, and so we taught her a little bit of the first lesson and then gave her a Book Of Mormon. We set up a return appointment and asked when her husband would be home so that we could teach his as well. The thing with Hispanics is that the women are so open to letting you into their house, but if their husband doesn't like it or he says no then it means no. We have lost a lot of investigators that way because the dad didn't take time to listen to us and told his wife no, so when we would go back the family just wouldn't answer the door even if they were home. (That was really hard for me!) Well when we went back to our return appointment, we got to teach both the husband and the wife. Victor started out a little skeptical and said that he was Catholic and was explaining how he was Catholic but he didn't like some of the things that the Catholic religion did. We were able to explain to him what made our church different and we ended up committing them to read in the Book of Mormon. It was so great. This family was such a blessing to us this week, and tonight we have another appointment with them to teach them a little family home evening. I am so excited!
I know that every week will bring a new adventure and at the end of the day I am so excited to be here. I know that Heavenly Father is just giving me trials that I need so that I can grow into the missionary that he wants me to be!
Also, right now we are at the Boyd's house emailing and their daughter is going to take our pictures for a "Christmas card with Elder Harms and Elder Ramsdale, so hopefully next week there will be some "Christmas Card" pictures!!
I love you all and this week Romans 8:28, 34-39 have really helped me!! I hope you all have a great week!