And not because they are sore...because they actually aren't that sore. I am being eaten by bugs..and Mom, repellent doesn't work. The ladies in my ward have given me a few things to put on the bites, but I could hardly sleep last night because I was itching so bad. I am sure in a few weeks the bugs will get tired of me and it will calm down, but seriously.
This week was good. Hermana Garcia and I have been working really hard to find people to teach. I am so proud of my little hija. I tell everyone that she is training me because I am learning a lot from her. She is adjusting just fine and hasn't cried as much in the past week. She was close to crying yesterday because of this really rude person that I will explain later, though.
It's actually not that hot right now in Iguala...but climbing mountains makes you sweat a lot. I put my hair in a ponytail the other day and regretted it that night because my neck got super burned. I was debating whether or not to write that because Mom will probably be mad that I didn't put on sunscreen. Sorry, Mom! We went to go teach David, the 11 year old that I mentioned last week. His family is so great and they gave me a whole bunch of stuff to put on my neck. The dad scolded me and told me that I need to wear long sleeve shirts and a hat when I am outside, but I told him that I didn't want to because I will look like a TJ! My farmers tan is super awesome...I have 3 different colors now on my arm because the shirt that I had on was a little bit longer sleeve that normal. haha.
We had interviews with President Kusch this week. It was nice to chat with him. Last week in my letter to him, I told him how my least favorite activity is hiking and so when he saw me on Friday he said 'How's my little hiker doing?' hahaha Really great, President. Thanks. We talked about the changes that I have seen in myself during the last year. I told him that I have learned a lot about patience and that I am sure I still haven't quite learned my lesson since I was sent to open ANOTHER area, but I am a lot more calm about everything this time around. Plus this ward is so awesome. It is always nice to talk to President. I always leave feeling like he is truly concerned about my progress and loves me for what I am accomplishing, not only as a missionary, but as a person.
My companion and I had a cool experience the other day. We were contacting in the street after the food and stopped to talk to a family. It was a mom with 2 daughters. They said they had heard of the church, and the grandmother of the girls was a member and she recently passed away. We set a day to go visit them in their house and kept on our way. The next day, we went out with the bishop to contact a few references that he had for us and he brought us to the house of that family that we contacted. Apparently the little girl was really sick and the bishop ended up giving her a blessing at the request of one of her family members who knows about the church. It helped the little girl a lot and he decided to bring us to them to meet them! We felt like it wasn't a coincidence! We had an appointment to meet with them today and really hope that they will progress. They mentioned that they are going to the catholic church so they can do their first communion. Hopefully we can explain to them that it isn't necessary!
Let me tell you about the Hombre Malo (bad man) that we met yesterday. We went to the food with a family in the ward and they had invited some of their family members to eat, too. They had already eaten by the time we got there. One of them was like 'Are you missionaries? I didn't know they had girl missionaries, too!' Acting like he wasn't a member. I was just like, Yep...we are. I had a feeling he was a member so I didn't jump right away at the opportunity to contact him. In the end, we found out that he was a member and a returned missionary. Ok, so we were chatting and the subject of how much time we had on the mission came up. I said that I had 11 months and then he asked my companion who said 1 month. So then he started attacking her saying things like 'Do you still cry?' 'Do you dream about your family still?' 'Are you always tired?' 'Do you still cry?' like so rude. So I tried changing the subject but he kept on bullying her. Then he kept correcting my errors in Spanish which is fine and I appreciate it, but he did it in an annoying way. I was just thinking, I don't like this guy. Then I asked him what ward he was in and he said 'I THINK it's...and said the name of the ward' and I was like, 'Do you go to church?' and he was all like...not right now because I have to work. But I know the Lord understands. I then, very seriously, asked him 'Did you really serve a mission? Because if there is one thing that I have learned on my mission is that when we are obedient, the Lord blesses us.' And he was like. 'Look, the times are really hard right now, and I can't maintain my wife if I don't work on Sundays.' I told him, 'My parents never worked on Sundays and they had 8 KIDS and they were able to do it.' So many scriptures ran through my head and I so badly wanted to read a few choice words from the prophets (so nerdy, I know) but I just bore my testimony and we ended up leaving shortly after.
This might seem like a silly little story of an annoying old returned missionary, but the rest of the day and night as I couldn't sleep for my bug bites, I was pondering on this experience and I thought, 'How can someone who, for 2 years, preached the commandments, repentance, change, etc, come back home and not live what they preached? How is it possible?' If I have gained anything from my mission, it is an even stronger desire to be faithful and strong in what I believe. What does it matter if we have the nicest car or house if we aren't able to be with our family for eternity? I have seen so many miracles and blessings that come from keeping the commandments. I thought of how rude he was to my companion and how annoying he was in trying to make us feel uncomfortable that I thought, 'He obviously didn't understand what it was to be a representative of Jesus Christ because if he truly understood that we are His servants in this area, he would not have treated us the way he did.' It just made me sad to think that the 2 years he was in the mission, he wasn't able to learn such an important lesson or that it was so easy to forget since he has been home. Although I wanted to slug him for trying to make my companion cry, I made an even stronger resolve to be a better missionary. To do all I can to strengthen my testimony so that when I get home, I can live what I preached for 18 months of my life and help others remember that it IS WORTH EVERY sacrifice we have to make in order to receive not only the blessings in this life, but eternal life.
I know that this is the true church. I know that when we keep the commandments, we are blessed. It is an eternal law that cannot be changed. I know that I am a representative of Jesus Christ and that I have been called and set apart by the proper priesthood authority to preach the gospel here in this area. I know that I have been given the authority to do this great work and the power that comes from God to help me depend on my faithfulness and determination to do His will.
I love you all so much. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. I realized a few days ago that it is almost February. That means that I will have a year in the mission soon. That freaks me out a little bit, but I am happy to have this time left to learn and grow and help as many people as I can come to know the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Love you all!!
Hna Garcia completed 1 month!!!! haha.