I Love these girls!!!
Fun at the Arcade on P-day
Zone soccer game
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4.14.14 P-day is always the best! We have so much fun. This week our entire zone went to a soccer stadium and played soccer. The best part was that a lot of other zones came too so there were tons missionaries that I don’t get to see very often. Soccer is awesome, our zone kind of messes around but it’s a good way to just forget about stress and let off some steam. After playing tons of soccer we had lunch and went to an arcade. It reminded me of the family fun center! We played air hockey and Dance Dance revolution. But this dance dance revolution was way harder than any other DDR I have ever played before! We had to have three people on one dance square thingy to even get close to hitting all the steps!
Today was by far amazing! We started off with a great District meeting. Our district leader talked to us about being happy and always smiling as a missionary. (My companion really needed this lesson) We role played tons of funny examples of happy and sad missionaries. Then we practiced "How to Begin Teaching" as a whole zone. Hermana Cadenas and I were the missionaries and the zone was a giant family that we had to invite to the lesson, control, get to know, and begin teaching. The Elders were giving us such a hard time! They were doing everything wrong so that we would have to correct it. Turning on cell phones, being distracted, one of the elders tried to greet us with a kiss, they said the prayer in some weird circle where they held hands and repeated each other, it was hilarious. Everyone in our zone had a hard time keeping a straight face, we were having way too much fun.
Highlight of the Week
We had a really neat service opportunity this week! There was a family of recent converts that were moving. They asked the missionaries to help. When I thought of moving I thought oh we will just have boxes and bags of stuff to carry to their new house. That can't be too difficult. I couldn't have been more wrong. When they said moving they meant that they were moving their entire house! When we got to their home to help, we literally started taking apart the walls and ceiling to move and rebuild the entire house on the other side of the mountain. We worked all day even until 9 in the night. Moving walls, furniture, sinks, toilets, and refrigerators up the mountain and back down the other side. After, the first day, unfortunately, we weren't any where near done. The entire day was spent moving all the supplies. That night the family ended up sleeping at another members home. I love their family so much! The Wife is awesome she loves soccer they are a cute young couple with two little boys. Their boys love me because I always play with them. The next day we invited the whole zone to help us finish the move. We mixed concrete laid the foundation and put up all the walls for the house.
The entire time I was thinking about my family who went to Mexico recently to help build houses, and I know exactly how they must have felt. The houses are like tree forts. They are simple pieces of wood nailed together to form a house, nothing fancy! At the end of the day when we finally had the last pieces put together it was dark probably around 9 o clock. We sat at the top of the hill to relax before dinner. As I sat at the top of the hill I could see the new house, along with the entire valley, I could see my whole area, my whole zone. It was beautiful. I realized how blessed I am to have the life I do in America. After only a short year and a half I get to go back to warm showers every day and to a house that is stable. That moment of quiet contemplation was a realization of how lucky and blessed I am. Especially growing up on the plateau where we have such an abundance. I wonder now why I ever spent time worrying about some of the trivial, little things that seemed so important in high school. In the field I have met so many people with real, big problems that they have to deal with and it makes everything that I have ever complained about seem microscopic! I have a strong testimony that serving others can help us in so many ways. It helps us find humility, it helps us show our love for Gods other children, it helps us become more like Christ. I am so proud of my family who choose to go to Tijuana to help serve the people there when they could have been in Cabo with sun, sand and friends. I know that they probably learned, experienced and gained so much more.
There was two downfalls this week! Actual, literal Downfalls.
The first was Elder Urazola. Elder Urazola is a huge Columbian. When the memebers serve us mountains of food at lunch Elder Urazola helps me out and eats about half my plate after eating all of his. One time he ate his plate, mine, Hermana Cadenas and Elder Zundels food at lunch! We call him the black hole! So anyways we were all enjoying a nice little lunch break chatting along, and then all of the sudden Elder Urazola just flew backwards. If he had been hurt, I wouldn't have laughed, but the chair leg completely snapped in half! Haha poor elder Urazola, luckily he was just fine and laughed about it too.
The infamous, Urazola and the broken chair...
The infamous, Urazola and the broken chair...
The second downfall was Hermana Cadenas. As we were fast walking to our lesson she tripped over nothing and fell. At first we didn't notice anything but once we got to the house and looked at her leg, her whole knee was bleeding! I had a bunch of special napkins that have scriptures on them from the CCM so obviously I gave her one to wipe up all the blood, and to make her feel better with a nice comforting scripture. However, the scripture on the napkin wasn't very comforting It was Psalms 55.22, "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall." We both had to laugh at that, I joked that Hermana Cadenas must not be righteous because she fell pretty hard. (She is actually wonderful and totally righteous!)
One awesome spiritual moment this week was a lesson with our new investigator, Anna. Anna has a husband and one child. She loves her family but has never really had religion in her life even though she grew up catholic. At the start of the first lesson we taught her a little bit about how we pray, and I offered the opening prayer. I cant explain in words the feeling I had, but the spirit in the room was tangible. After the prayer Anna said that she had never heard a prayer like that before and that she had never felt that way. She said that it was as if her whole body was overcome with peace. When teaching the most important thing to have with us is the spirit. Sometimes it doesn't matter what we say, or what we do, but if we have the spirit with us then the investigators can feel it and be taught by it.
The Hejarr family is all girls! For the past couple of weeks, while the mom is at work, we have been teaching her 5 daughters. They are so much fun to teach because they love to learn about the gospel and Cadenas and I love coming up with creative, exciting ways to teach them the gospel. Normally we like to draw. During the last lesson we drew out the 7 days of the creation. We also like to do puzzles and other fun games to teach them. Alexandra is the one who is the most interested. Shes 11 and has attended church with us for the whole month. Tonight we are going to confirm her baptism with her mom! Hopefully all the other girls will follow her example and be baptized after wards.
Anna B is a less active member in the church. She is awesome! She is always smiling and loves to hear from us, sh is just all around just a great lady. Unfortunately, she and her husband have not been married yet, so this prevents her from going to the temple and him from being baptized because of the Law of Chastity. We have been working with her to plan a wedding for the two of them. At first we thought that both of them were on board. But then we talked to N, her husband and he didn't want anything to do with a wedding. The whole situation was so sad. He just kept giving excuses. I couldn't understand why, he has a family with two beautiful daughters and a wife that loves him. Why would he not want that for eternity! Hermana Cadenas spent a whole lesson talking about the importance of marriage but nothing really caught his attention. Finally in the end I bore my testimony about how important my family was to me. How every day I looked up to my parents and followed their examples, how my brother and sister were always there to support me. I tried to explain to him that that’s how his daughters probably feel. He needs to show his family his commitment to them. One of his reasons for not wanting to get married is that "Matrimonio iss no Juego", Marriage isn't a game. I tried to help him realize that his family isn't a game either. He can't just quit his family. Something got through to him by because by the end of that lesson he was asking about the dates. It was so sweet how much he had changed from the first time we met him.
Well that is enough for this week.
Love you all. Thank you so much for all the support and I am sorry that I can't write everyone back each week! One hour goes so fast! I love the emails and pictures you send! IT gives me a little piece of home!
See ya next summer!