Wednesday, July 27, 2011

First Week in the Field

Querida Familia,

Pues, I have completed my first week in the field! Its been really great. Hermana Summers is awesome and I'm really glad to have her as my trainer. La Rama (the branch) appears to be good here. I haven't really gotten to know the members yet, but I think we're trying to build better relationships with them, so I'm sure I'll have a better idea of how it is later. Apparently there were some elders here before that weren't doing what they were supposed to and lost a lot of the respect that the members have for the missionaries, so we're working on changing that. There are four other companionships in our district, three of which our elders and there are two districts in our zone. There are only two other Spanish missionaries here so they have the west half of the area and we have the east.

The weather has been super interesting. Thunder and lightening nearly every day, but still pretty hot and humid. Two nights in a row we didn't get any sleep the thunder was so bad. It was setting off car alarms. It was also a little nerve wracking because a little before I got here one of the apartment buildings next to us actually got hit by lightning, so its burned skeleton is still standing there to remind me that I could die because of lightning. Something I have never worried about before, that has been added to my list of anxieties. :)

Speaking of lightning. GUESS WHAT WE HAVE IN ILLINOIS?!?!!? LIGHTNING BUGS!!!!! Yeah. I'm excited.

Spanish is improving pretty rapidly. The first two days I really understood almost nothing, but now I usually understand at least enough that I can actually participate in the conversation. We still run into people that I just smile and nod the whole time though, for sure. Yesterday I talked a ton more while we were knocking doors and during our lessons, so I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Sweet stories from this week:

You know that lesson I told you I had last Wednesday night? My very first lesson with a real investigator? Yeah? Well that was the first visit for Hermana Summers with him as well, and we set a baptismal date during that lesson. So, probably the best first lesson ever. The investigators name is Sergio, and he has met with the missionaries before, so we can't take all of the credit, but it was still awesome. He has actually had a couple of dates set, but they never worked out. But he referred himself online, and he told us he wants to be baptized for sure- he knows he needs it and he knows that he belongs in this church. So we are just reviewing the lessons for him. He is so fun to teach. He is really interested and really wants to know. He even takes notes!!

We are teaching a really young couple named Maria y Luis, and they have a super adorable baby who's less than a year named Luis Ernesto. Apparently the first time that Hermana Summers and her companion before talked to them they were super excited, but then they talked to Luis's brother, who is very involved in his church, and they got a little nervous. Hermana Summers tells me that Maria seemed afraid of the Book of Mormon. But they invited Hermana Summers and her other companion to come to their house and meet their "religious guide," and the other companion accepted. Then I got moved in. So we were super nervous, because we don't want to Bible Bash and we don't want to have any contention involved in our lessons at all. But when we showed up, it turned out to be a Bible study. It was actually really enjoyable. They were talking about baptism and they had everything spot on from why infants don't need to be baptized, to that we need to be baptized by immersion to why we need to be baptized at all. They were only missing one thing: the authority to baptize. After it was almost over they asked us if we had any questions and Hermana Summers asked them, "Where does the authority come from to baptize people?" and they all knew that was a good question, and they all acknowledged that we need authority from God to perform sacred ordinances like baptism, but they couldn't answer the question. And yesterday when we went back to visit with Maria y Luis, Maria said she wants to read the Book of Mormon!! I'm super excited. Luis still seems to be thinking about whatever his brother told him, and doesn't seem to like us very much, but at least he lets us in the house. and lets Maria listen. and lets Maria give us agua de sandia or watermelon water, which is the best drink ever.

Last story. We were knocking doors and NO ONE was answering. We were really hot and tired and were just about to give up, but decided to knock the last two houses on the street. We knocked one and an old lady answered the door wearing oxygen and standing in her underwear. She saw us and said, in an out of breath old lady voice, "Oh! Oh! Come in, come in!!" We were kind of worried, considering she was in her underwear, but we went in. Her house was a mess. Like off of the television show hoarders. So, she asked us if we could help her, and we thought she meant with her mess. Of course we said yes, we'd love to. And then she told us that she had been trying to get her top off, but she just couldn't and she didn't want to taker her oxygen off to try harder and she was about to call 911 when we knocked. And then she nearly passed out. So we got her to calm down and sit and take some deep breaths. Then we helped her take her shirt off. So this 72 year old lady stood there in front of us in her underwear and started to cry, telling us she knew that God sent us to her. Despite the comical circumstances, it was kind of neat. She then went and put another shirt on (but still no pants) and we just chatted. Her husband died in 2003, and the man who she'd been living with (her best friend) had just been put in the hospital with 6 months left to live. Her daughter is also having health problems. So we just listened and let her cry, and then we shared the best comfort we could, about how God knows us and cares for us and really does hear and answer our prayers. I think she took comfort in that reminder. We asked if we could send the English missionaries over to talk to her more, but she said she was really busy going to visit her friend in the hospital. But she did take our phone number, and actually let us borrow a recipe book that we are returning to her this week. So maybe we'll talk to her again. She was a super sweet old lady.

So yeah. Things are going awesome. We've got some great people that we're teaching and this last week while knocking doors we found some more who seem really interested. We have a couple of investigators who really want to get baptized, but two of them are living together, and can't get married until a divorce goes through in Mexico, which is really difficult, so we're waiting on that. And then one woman we're teaching is living with her boyfriend, but she says he keeps saying he's going back to Mexico, so she just wants to wait for him to leave on his own before she gets baptized. It sounds like these are some pretty common problems that we are going to run into.

I love you. Send me letters and pictures and other exciting things. Keep me posted on whats going on at home! Tell Ada and Luis and crew, HOLA! I wish I could be there to see them, they're the best.

Okay. I think thats about all for now. I'm sure I'll think of more later.

Les quiero mucho.

Hermana Moreno

1 comment:

  1. Hi Shelyn, We are so proud of you. Your in for the adventure of your life. Our prayers are with you. Love grama and grampa