hola hola hola!!!
I can't believe it has already been another week! I have only been here for 2 weeks, but it sure feels like longer than that!! I LOVE it here. I absolutely could not be happier. I love the people here in the Chennault Beach branch and the people in the Lynwood area.
REAL missionary life...wow...work work work! LOVE IT. Up at 6:15 and work every second until 10:30 at night. The Lord's hand is certainly in his work...otherwise I don't think I could make it past noon.
A day consists of waking up bright and early at 6:15, working out until 7, trying to eat breakfast and get ready for the day by 8 am. Then we have 4 hours of studying, sometimes can squish in a bite of lunch and then we are off for the day! (yeah, meals as a missionary are quite sketchy. our investigators and the people we teach are 50 times more important to us than food (and yes, that makes them VERY important) so we basically live off of granola bars that we have in the car or in our bags...) But I love every second!!
I wish I could tell you guys every single thing that happened this week, but it literally felt like all one super duper long day. so..I will hit some high points!!!
Firstly, we are having a BAPTISM ON SATURDAY!!! We are so excited. He has been taught by the missionaries for almost 6 months, and has kept every single commitment and continues to progress, but would not set a baptismal date. My first week here we decided to read Mosiah 18 with him and get him to recognize that he IS ready if that is the desire of his heart and that we will help him every step of the way. He accepted the date and is getting baptized this weekend! He is really a rockstar. GOLDEN. He has a wife and baby, but they live in Mexico.
It's pretty much the same way with all the families here. Half are in Mexico and half are in the US. Many are in the US working and sending money home so they can get their families to the US. Living in the US is everyone's dream (or so they tell us) because here is where they will actually have opportunities in life. They are pretty incredible, I must say.
Another thing, learning the language here is kinda crazy for many reasons. Of course, English is what pretty much everyone speaks, so we speak lots of English. Plus, in most cases, the kids all only speak English and the parents speak Spanish. So we have to teach in Spanish to the parents and English to the kids. It's a ton of switching back and forth. Also, the latinos here are from everyyyyyywhere. Lots from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia, El Salvador...you name it. They are here. And all of their Spanish sounds different and they use different words...so I am learning a whole different kind of Spanish with each new person. It's kinda fun!!:)
Another highlight of the week is Karolina. OH MY GOODNESS THIS LADY. She is a referral that got forgotten about that lives in our complex, so we went to go see her. Never met a more receptive person in my life. Literally. Second lesson we gave her a Book of Mormon and she insisted that she pay us for it because she couldn't express her gratitude enough. My FAVORITE thing about her...ah. She asks the questions we hope everyone will ask. How can I know for myself this is true? What can I do to know? What is my homework? She's just on fire. And highlight about Carolina... we casually brought up church, we weren't even formally inviting her and we were like "well, would you like to go to church...?" and her response makes my heart jump each time I hear it:
ME ENCANTARIA!!!!!! (I would LOVE to!!!!) With as much enthusiasm and she could muster. Wow. I think our faces looked so dumb, jaws dropped to the ground and everything. AND THEN she says, can I give you guys a ride?? Can we all ride together?? Please??? I have a big car, don't worry! Please!! Yeah, as if our faces couldn't look dumber, jaws on the floor, eyes falling out of their sockets...like is this real life? No one EVER is that excited about church..especially the second visit. holy cow. her life has been rough, but she is sure a diamond in the rough. She came to church yesterday and LOVED it. and so did her daughter. AH.
Those are pretty much the highlights of the week. Everything else has been fantastic and there have been tons of miracles, but that can give you a taste:)
Of course, missionary work is far from easy. Those are definitely on the POSITIVE end of the spectrum, and we get all sorts of experiences as missionaries. I know this is the Lord's work and that he walks with us every single day.
I have realized that I am not half as grateful for the miracles and gifts God has given me (especially on my mission), so I have made the goal to be more grateful so that the Lord can bless me with more strength and gifts to help others.
Join me in this challenge this week!
Be more grateful. Tell Heavenly Father in your prayers ALWAYS!:)
I know I am always so much happier and have so much more strength when I show Heavenly Father that I am grateful for all the things he gives me. And I know it will be the same for you all!!
LOVE YOU ALL!!! Until next week!!
oh fun fact!! today is the first day it has rained since I got here. CRAZY! love it!:)