Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Emily sent us the following email and pictures on Monday, August 11, 2014:

Hey family!!!  I am so good!!!  La mas linda (Hna. Avila) and I are doing SO good!  We are happy and exhausted and conscientiously working to put into application all the things that we are being asked!  The days run by and we just marvel how fast monday comes every week.  Transfers are this coming tuesday.  The transfer calls came on Saturday and we could not have been more happy then to have been safe from any changes!  There have been a lot of upsets this transfer time so I'm just so grateful that we are outside of the madness!  

Yep, all the missionaries that are finishing will finish Tuesday and then fly home on Wednesday.  Speaking of!  Are you guys going to drive here to pick me up?  OR do you know what you want to do?  I mean also, I could just fly home too!  Nothing is really too set at this point!  For your vacation are you guys going to drive here?

When la mas linda and I got transferred into this area, there weren't any investigators that we could even salvage because the missionaries in the area before us had had a sick missionary so they didn't really get outside of the house and work.  

We started fresh with a lot of energy and faith.  I feel very committed to this ward and I felt it was a privilege to be entrusted with this area I love so much.  We started by contacting and talking to literally every person.  We kept good track of all our potentials (people that are interested and give us contact information) in the area book.  We would follow up to make sure that we tried to contact them and give them a chance to respond to us.  

I don't know if I already told you about this, but we also started visiting a bunch of the menos activos.  Menos Activo work is hard for me, but it is important to care for them too and the numbers in the church at sunday were sadly low.  Mostly menus work makes me frustrated and feel like I'm not fulfilling my missionary purpose.  It was hard because as much as I cringe pouring time into menus actives, I had to have Hna. Avila think that I liked helping them.  I became their advocate because countless places in Preach My Gospel tells you that there are better ways to find then just knocking doors.  

Sometimes with menoses if it takes so much pushing to get them to come to church, they will only come to church if they are pushed that much and when the pushing stops, they stop too. But then, there are others that are ready to come back.  

We got Erica Martinez to come to church and she has been present the last month after not coming to church in years and years!  She is adorable!  I'll send you a picture of her.  She was asked by a member of the bishopric to lead the music in the sacrament meeting.   I practiced with her right before the relief society meeting because she was nervous and wanted to do really well.  She is young..28 and she has a cute little Carlito who is probably 5!  She is on the verge of being divorced with her non-member husband.  I know that Erica had been practicing leading all week.  Yesterday at church, she lead and you could hear little Carlito singing because he KNEW the songs!  He had listened to his mom practice them all week.  And then....her husband showed up at the church to support her because he had also watched her practice for this all week.  She couldn't speak for a moment and was glowing with happiness.  

Another menus family is the Madrid family.  They are the cutest family and there is so much love there!  They are very sporty kids!  They live in a very private gated community.  They have to check my id every time and make a phone call before they can let me in.  The mom's name is Delmi and she works for someone who used to be in movies when she was younger.  They live in the smaller house on the property with the Jefa's house.  You guys will have to see this neighborhood because the architecture is INCREDIBLE!  Their houses are ginormous!  The Jefa's house is going to be demolished and rebuild for $18 mil.  Have you heard of Kim Cardashian?  (SP?)  She lives here too..just to give you an idea.  It's like the most elite and rich community I've (obviously) ever seen or that I knew existed.  When you wonder where movie stars live...yea, it's here!  We have started doing family home evenings with them, and this next one (friday) is planned to have them for sure be at church.  We will play soccer with them for the game.  3 on 3 should be pretty fun and I've gotten better at soccer too ;)  I'll keep you updated on them.  And I'm attaching a picture of them!  They might come visit utah in December!

The Roque family!  This family is just half menos!    

(maybe the description of them will come next week)

Hermana Judith Diaz Lizano

(her description too)

These are menos, but they are like investigators.  Through them, we've found people.  

We have a lesson planned on marriage for Erica and her husband for tonight at 7:00.  We are teaching the 2 grandchildren of Hna. Roque.  I love Yoni and David!!  We are teaching Hna. Lizano's husband and he has a baptismal date!

Here are our investigators (and remember we are still in the process of rebuilding this area)  ....but actually, we are doing better than ...most others.

  • Yoni (grandson of Hna. Roque)
This kid is really cute!   He has 13 years and is from El Salvador.  He is so expressive in his language and he only speaks spanish.  [i have to be more brief so that i communicate more of the most important things to you.  I'm going to work on this through all my next letters]  Here is a story that shows you the type of person Yoni is: he was being held in the immigration center and there was this boy younger than he was that spoke a more obscure dialect of another language.  Yoni (*I spelled his name johnny last week) He took that little boy under his wing and told him "anda conmigo" (which is like come stay with me, with the connotation that he'd care for him).  Yoni was explaining the story to us and you could see the compassion that he had for this little boy.  He explained how he was young and scared and didn't understand anything people were saying to him.  Yoni helped him do what he was supposed to so he wouldn't get punished when the people would get mad that he wasn't understanding quickly enough.  There was a time when a man pointed a taizer right at the little boy and Yoni saw the fear in his little face and Yoni stepped in front of him and he took the electric shock for him because in his words, "his eyes were so big and he was so scared he was shaking so I stood in front of him".  

I tell the story to make Yoni sound like a hero, but he didn't tell it that way.  He just recounted an experience he had, but I saw his heroism and his compassion and his instinctual understanding for how we should care for our fellow men.  

He shared this during our family home evening on Service.  After this our member present loaded up the 2 boys and 2 of the Roque girls and we went to the bishop's house to doorbell ditch a little pie.  My heart was bursting with joy the whole time.  The bishop texted the older Roque girl and thanked her about 5 times for the pie.  *I'll send a picture of this too.
  • David (hermano de Yoni)
David is a good boy.  He is pretty shy, but you can tell that he and his brother are both really smart.  David is 16.  I love watching him understand more.  This week they all have someone that they were secretly doing service for.  We decided to serve them so we went to their house one of the mornings with banana bread and ice-cream to share with them.  I don't know exactly what they think of us, but I do know they have to know that we care about them.  David especially loved the banana bread.  We had a lesson first, and....they like us and they are trusting us.  :)
  • Angel (esposo de Hna. Lizano)
He...(his description willl have to come next week too)  But he was a baptismal date for the 14 of september.
  • Romanita
description to come: baptismal date 7 september, came to church yesterday, cried during the talk about prayer
  • Jorge (esposo de romanita)
Well, they're not actually married, but we are teaching them chastity tonight and we will commit them to getting married.  They both have a baptismal date for the 7th
  • Rebecca **<3  (knocking miracle)
She might be one of my favorite people!
  • Marcos (found on a blitz)
He builds pianos and is very spiritual.  He is married to a white girl that doesn't speak spanish. 
  • Elizabeth (Marco's wife)
She is really nice and understood the magnitude of the 1st vision.
  • Antonio (result of "talking with everyone")
I think I told you his story..
  • about 7 others that don't have enough interest and don't keep commitments.
Basically, i would say that we have about 5 or 6 that are progressing.  To be progressing, they must be keeping commitments.  Usually I make this directly to mean coming to church, but if they are reading, that is good too.  Church really is the most important thing. For investigators to progress, you have to meet with them 2 or more times a week.  We meet with Yoni and David about 3 times.  We made a calendar for Romanita and Jorge, and we set pats mon, wed, and fri.  We have their whole teaching planned out up until their baptism.  Angel we only have thursdays, but that needs to change for him to keep his date.  Rebecca we used to get about 2, but then an apt was cancelled and we need to find her tomorrow.  

The sad truth is that a lot of people are passive.  Rebecca has a lot of questions.  When we are teaching people that are invested (have a date) it changes the game and they start having more questions.  That is why I like it so much after they have a date because the investment changes.  

Thank you SOO much for the FHE ideas!  I'm definitely going to use what I can because the missionaries putting on Family Home Evenings is very popular here.

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