Guess what! Elder Ferrel just found out that his dad and two younger brothers are getting baptized! Cool huh? They are still working with their mom. I was reading Elder Ferrel's email from his brother and I could barely read it; too much espanol lingo jaja k chistoso berdad? My companion taught me that to say "porque" just write xk. In multiplication, to says times (example, 3 times 2) you say por. So it would be 3 por 2, and the symbol is an x just like in English. So, they write x for por and k for que. Man I'm learning a lot of cool things.
So we are doing a lot better job at speaking English and Spanish. It's been good. We are finding and teaching a lot more people in Spanish too. Remember the family I wrote about the other week? They all came to church on Sunday. The husband, wife, and all 5 hijos. They are ages 6, 4, 3, 1, 1. They received the warmest welcome at church that I have ever seen. Probably because the kids are pretty much the most adorable kids in the world. The oldest boy started crying when he first when to primary but by the end of church when we went with the parents to get the kids from primary, they didn't want to leave. Hmm, maybe the kids might end up helping the parents! They are the coolest family in the world.
Well, we got a lot of things to do today. We need to clean our bikes and clean the car thouroughly. Then relax :)
Anyway, love y'all mucho!
Monday, March 12, 2012
Hijole! It was an awesome week. The flowers are blooming, the investigators are attending church, and the weather is getting warm! I am so pumped for summer to come. It's gonna be a fun one :)
Elder Harris and I were tocando some puertas and we weren't having a whole lot of exito so we went to another street to contact a former investigator. The person wasn't home and we were about to leave the area but then we flipped open our planners and remembered that we planned that previous night that we were gonna stay on that street for a half hour or so as a back-up plan. We figured, well we planned it so let's stick to it. Knocked a couple puertas, nada, and then came up to this fence where this blind guy was outside (we thought about just going to the next. terrible right? we repented) and we tried talking to him but didn't really get anywhere but as we were about to go to the proxima casa a younger guy in his low 30's or so comes outside. He came up to the fence and said in Spanish, "I've been waiting a year for you guys to come." I wasn't sure how serious the guy was so I just said "hmm and why is that?". Without immediately answering the question, he opened the fence and said "Ven".
So, we went in and talked to the guy. The cool story is that he was going through a lot of troubles in his life and about a year ago, he met a guy from Peru who he became close friends with. Turns out that the Peruvian was Mormon but unfortunately he got deported back to Peru. But, before getting deported, he gave his friend (the guy we were talking to) some awesome advice. He said, "Busque los misioneros mormones y escuchelos!" (Find the mormon missionaries and listen to them!) During that sigiuente year, he didn't buscar the missionaries but the missionaries found him.
The next day, sabado, we went by and had a wonderful follow up lesson with the entire family; the wife and 5 hijos. They are all young, oldest is 5 and the youngest two are baby twins. The lesson started off pretty decent, just mainly got to know more about them. Then we began teaching and it was going alright, but it wasn't very powerful and something felt missing. We were about to end the lesson but I said, "Antes de irnos, nos gustaria compartir UNA mas escritura con ustedes." We read from Mosiah 18:21. Boom. Something hit (the Spirit?) The wife looked at us and said that this is exactly what she has been looking for. She wants unity and love, both in her family and in a church. After a few minutes of awesome-ness, the husband randomly asked if we sing songs at church (They have been attending a pentecostal church for the past few months, uh oh). We explained to them about the hymns we sing, and then he asked us to sing one! Elder Harris and I sing a song every morning before starting companionship study but by no means do we sing songs to investigators! (For fear of them dropping us) I tried to explain to them that we just sing songs about Christ and we do it in a reverent manner but nope, that wasn't enough for them. They wanted a taste of what they were going to experience at church.
This brings my cool story to a little side note: For the previous week or so, I had been trying to memorize "Families can be together forever" in Spanish. I wasn't sure why I was doing that, but I felt like I needed to. I was singing it in the car inbetween appointments, in the streets while contacting, and in the shower every morning. I was getting really good and I finally memorized it. Fortunately it's short and sweet so it was pretty easy. Anyway, back to the main story: I looked at Elder Harris and asked if he knew "Eternas pueden ser las familias". He said mas o menos yeah. So, we sang a duet of "Eternas Pueden Ser Las Familias". I have never sung so beautifully in my life. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to sing that well again (sorry Stephanie, I know I know). But, the husband and wife had tears in their eyes and are so excited to come to church.
Okie dokie, sorry for the long story. That's just a taste of how awesome the week was. We're getting together again as a district to play some more jungle uno and then maybe some basketball too. The hermanas said they are bringing ice cream. It's great to have sister missionaries in the district :)
Love you all! Hope everything is going well. Things here in Mercedes are maravillosa.
With MUCHO amor!
Sorry I didn't write last week. It was Presidents day and the biblioteca was closed. Anyway, everything is going great. Mercedes is wonderful. I'm especially fond with Progresso (the little pueblo close to the border). There are two awesome families that live down there and we have been taking them out to lessons with us. It's been wonderful teaching in Spanish again! There's just something about teaching in Spanish. It feels better. Elder Harris is still fairly new but his spanish is progressing. The Hispanic people are so patient and loving; it makes it easy. We just tell them, "no hablamos muy bien el espanol" and that if they have any questions to just ask us. They never make fun of us for our mistakes and always seem excited and willing to help us learn. I think it's because they have all experienced the struggle of trying to speak a new language since they are here in the United States.
It's always funny though when we make a silly mistake. Here's one for ya:
We were visiting Yazmin and her family and there was a mattress propped up in the hall and Yazmin was messing around with it and so her Grandma, Hermana G____ (one of the greatest people I have ever met, seriously) mentioned something about the mattress and used the word calchones with is the plural form of mattress in Spanish. Well Elder Harris, misinterpreting the word, asked what chones were. Yazmin BUSTED out laughing and said "ELDER! Do you know what chones are!? They are underpants!!" It was absolutely hilarious. Yazmin is probably the coolest 9 year old in the world.
Another story about Yazmin: This was a couple weeks ago when we were teaching her about baptism and we showed her a picture of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and Sis. G____ mentioned to her that they were cousins. When Yazmin heard that, she had this intense look on her face as if she were contemplating something really important and you could see the gears turning in her brain. Then, after a few second pause, she exclaimed. "OOHHHHH. They're PRIMOS!!!!!" (Primos means cousins in Spanish) Elder Harris and I almost died laughing. Teaching Yazmin has probably been one of the most memorable experiences of my mission. Sis G___ has us over every sunday evening for dinner and she washes our laundry on Monday mornings. We then just take it to the laundromat to dry. She is probably the strongest member in the entire Spanish Ward and does so much to help everybody out. I don't know a whole lot about visiting teaching but she seems to be the picture-perfect example of what visiting teaching is all about. Many members have been brought back to activity and I'm sure many are currently active in the church because of her.
We are getting together as a district to play some jungle-uno later today. It's basically extreme uno. It's fun. We play it the the Grindstaff family on sundays after church. There are 8 of us in the district and it's probably the coolest district in the world. Did I tell you that I'm the district leader? It's been a fun transfer. And guess what, President texted me the other day and I'm training again next transfer!! I was hoping to be with Elder Harris for another transfer but oh well. It will be cool to get another verdecito! (greenie).
Thanks familia for everything! Los quiero muchisimo!