Hey family that I love so much!
I love you very much!
I ended up buying a bike and I love it! It is simple and black so hopefully it won't draw enough attention to it for anyone to want to steal it. It cost about $300 which was a pretty good deal. The owner at the bike store told me that I looked like a princess--which was really nice because we pretty much go about every day feeling not very pretty! A little girl told us we were pretty just the day before. It was so cute because she was still saying it to her mom even after they were further down the hall on the way to their room in the apartment building. And, she saw us with our skirts rolled up and our helmets still on just after we'd carried our bikes up 2 sets of stairs.
Most missionaries put garbage bags and duct tape on their bikes to make them look older. I kinda want cover mine in church stickers!! And use stickers to spell out 'choose the right' or something fun. I'm probably going to make a water bottle holder to put on my bike! Hermana Pulver and I want to attach some sort of basket to our bikes so that we can have our pass along cards even more handy! My bike is going to have so many gadgets. I do handoffs while we are riding down the streets and the sidewalks! It is so much fun! I'm pretty sure that people have started recognizing us because, come on, two girls in skirts on bikes EVERY day is kinda memorable. We are also really happy and people notice that. We get a lot of comments about how it looks like we are having fun.
We are having fun, but there is a lot more. We feel joy because of the nature of the work. About 10 times each day we will turn to each other and say, "What we do is so awesome." What we do is SO AWESOME. We have been trusted by Heavenly Father to take care of this part of his vineyard and help bring to remembrance the words of Christ. We say 'hi' to absolutely everyone we meet! We talk to people and offer service and help. We pray on the streets. We testify. We give out pass along cards. Getting ready to leave the apartment in the mornings is pretty cool because we stock our bags full of materials that will fit the needs or anyone that we could meet. We take Books of Mormon, Libros de Mormon, foyettas in English and Spanish and pass-along cards and Mormon.org cards. We are prepared for whatever we might meet.
Do you know who goes on missions? Agents. Agents go on missions. I am an agent of the Lord. I even went to a training center and learned a different language. It is physically and mentally difficult, but I am getting stronger everyday! I am becoming more accomplished in the art of persuasion ;) Just kidding! But really, I do feel like someone from an Alex Rider book when I pack my bags full of supplies and helmet up and grab my bike.
I love our ward already. We are meeting the members in our area and they are really sweet to us! I love the Hispanics. All the women at church greet us with kisses and...I'm starting to get used to it;)
Something I've been pondering over a lot lately is the responsibility I have here. Heavenly Father is trusting me with his children and there is nothing more valuable to him than them. I am here and have the responsibility to bring his children back to him. As missionaries, we invite people to come unto Christ. I know that I am supposed to be on a mission. I know that I am supposed to be here. When we were at the MTC the director of the choir (who is brilliant, by the way) told us this before the devotional: He said that if we were to fill the whole Marriot center and another building on campus even bigger than the Marriot center and pick just one person from all those people, that one person represents the people who are on the earth at this time out of all the other children of Heavenly Father. He asked us if we were living up to our foreordination. He asked us why we were the one that was chosen to come to Earth during this time of the battle for souls, when the adversary would be this strong. This amount of responsibility is a bit overwhelming to me right now. I am constantly trying to see If I am living up to the foreordination. I want Heavenly Father to see that he was right when He decided to trust me. I've been a little stressed out with this lately, but I'm working on it and I am learning about how either we will find the people that are ready for us or the people that are ready will come find us. God will lead us to someone. And lots of the time it isn't the person you think you are being led to. Hermana Pulver is amazing and teaches me things all the time. She is teaching me that it isn't our responsibility to convince people of anything. They have to be ready. She is a well of wisdom and is great for me. Anyway, we found a wonderful family. The mom was really really nice to us and asked us to come and sit in the shade of her yard and told us we could read the Bible there and she got us some bottles of water. I am excited to visit her again and see if she wants to come to church with us. I actually called her on Saturday to invite her, but lots of people don't get phone calls because not very many people pay the phone bills. Frustrating.
The Chavez family is so so so cute! I love them! The two sons: Eric and German are baptized. German is 17 and Eric is probably 11. The mom and the dad are both getting baptized on the 5th of October! They came to church yesterday and it was so sweet to see them making friends with the other members of the ward! We call German everyday at 10:00 to read El Libro de Mormon with him over the phone. We visit Francisca about three times a week and then we have a lesson with the both of them on Saturday and Sunday. I just realized that this might be confusing, but the Dad's name and the son's name is German. I don't know how that happened ;) Francisca is so sweet. I would love for you to meet her one day. She has a big copy of the Book of Mormon because her vision is so bad. We are working really hard to get her a BOM on CD so she can learn more because reading just a chapter is definitely an arduous task. We think we've about secured one and we are really excited to give such a humble person something that can bring them closer to Christ.
Love you! Gotta go!