I don't have any cool stories this week about hanging out with members of the 70 or mission presidents. Sorry...it was just another normal week in the mission. :)
We tried washing our garments in Clorox bleach to try and make them whiter...didn't work. I don't think there is any hope.
But really, I was thinking about what to write and I'm having a blank. Oh, I'll tell you about Julio, our only progressing investigator right now. (Not the only one we are teaching, but the only one going to church)
Julio is the stepson of our ward mission leader, and he had been living with his grandparents but just recently moved in with his mom and stepdad. His mom is a convert and all of his older siblings have also been baptized, but I don't think they are active. Julio is 14 and SO SHY! It is so annoying sometimes, actually. haha. We go to the lessons and he listens and says that he wants to get baptized but when we ask him to say the prayer, it's another story. He refuses. Like seriously. On Saturday, we sat for about 20 minutes trying to get him to say the closing prayer. You may ask why we waited, but it is because it is essential that the investigator prays in the lessons, because if they don't do it, they definitely won't pray by themselves to know if this is true. So we FINALLY got him to say the pray and he literally 'blessed the food'...what food, Julio?? hahaha. But we told him that he did a good job and needs to practice more. But he is a really good kid and likes going to church. His two older stepbrothers are active in the church and one is a returned missionary, so they are helping us with him. He should be getting baptized in a few weeks.
One of the biggest challenges as a missionary is trying to get people to go to church. I think Hna. Skonnard is learning that it is hard. I have pretty much stopped believing people when they tell us they are going to come until I see them in the pew. We passed by for a few investigators yesterday before church and they literally told us to our faces that they would come...they just needed to shower and get ready...and they didn't come. I think she felt bad because she mentioned it a few times later that day. I kept thinking about when I was in Cuernavaca and cried the whole sacrament meeting when NO ONE came and we had passed by for EVERYONE. It is so hard because the culture here is...laziness. The Catholic Church teaches people to basically be lazy. Is that bad to say? Oh well, it is true. So we find a TON of people to teach because they love listening to anything about God, but we find few people who want to progress, who want to actually change their lives. But when we find those few that do want it, it is totally worth it.
We are reading the Book of Mormon every night in English and Spanish to help Hna. Garcia with her English. It is fun. I will sit next to her and correct her and then Hna. Skonnard and I will read a verse in Spanish. Both of my companions are great. I was thinking about not being companions with Hna. Garcia after this change and it made me really sad. I have come to love her so much and we work really well together. I also love Hna. Skonnard. She is adjusting well.
Luis fed us this week. He was so excited to cook for us. Apparently, he worked in the U.S. for a few years in Applebee's so he thinks he is an expert in cooking. haha. No, but seriously, it was good food and he was so happy to do it. He is doing great and I think he is going to be getting a calling soon! We gave him the pictures from his baptism and he was so excited to see them.
I got a weird cold on Friday. I started feeling sick and I was sneezing like crazy. My nose was stuffy and on Saturday I felt like my body was filled with lead and my bones hurt. Don't worry, it's not dengue because I am fine now. Also, it is getting SOOOO hot here now. It's been slightly bearable, but now...my hair is back in a bun every day.
There are some really awesome members here in this ward that just love us. We have two families that feed us every week on the same day. On Wednesdays we always eat with Hna. Josefina Galindo and on Fridays we eat with La Familia Bringas. They are so wonderful to us and will help us with anything. It is so nice having people who are like your family here because you are so far away from home. I really love these people and hope that I will be able to keep contact with them. Thank goodness for facebook, right?
Hna. Skonnard and I will be heading to Cuernavaca to do our visas this week. I did the paperwork when I went to go pick her up, and we have to go to the consulate this week so that I can be legal for a few more months!
I am grateful to be here in Iguala. I love the members here. It is a place with a lot of problems, but I know that there are people here that need the gospel.
I know this church is true. I am grateful for the opportunity to be here on the mission and to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I have decided that I am grateful for the challenging days and weeks. MAAAYBE not in the moment, but as I am starting to look back on my mission, I am realizing that I have grown so much. The Lord truly knows me and knew that I needed to be on the mission at this time in this place. I love how perfect the gospel is and how our Heavenly Father loves each of His children. I don't know how He does it, but I know he does.
I love you all. Thank you for your love and support. I am so lucky to have such an amazing family.
Hna. Bringas and I in front of a mural in their house.
Hna. Josefina. Love her.
I ate that...but it was fried.