November 11th, 2013 Alex's second week in dallas!!
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!