Familia y Amigos,
Hooola! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday yesterday. We had a great holiday here as well. Some of the members that we helped with their sandbag walls invited us over to their house for a picnic. There were like 80 people there...non-members and members. It was so great. There was amazing food, amazing people, and fun games. We enjoyed playing with the kids and it was a great time. No huge miracle moments but I'm sure something will come up later. Just being around the non-members is a motivator and makes things fun.
The other day, one of the non-member couples wrote a note to our ward mission leader (who just got released because he is now in the bishopric) and thanked him for the 7 elders who showed up at their house the other day to help them take down their sandbag wall. They said it helped them to realize that there is still good in the world today!! This couple had been working on breaking down their sandbag walls themselves... they had taken 91 truckloads before we came. Pretty amazing, because they are old. haha But it is amazing how quickly you can get a job done when you have lots of people helping.
The biggest news of all is that our spanish "group" just became a "Branch" on Sunday. I thought this was pretty saweet! I'm not exactly sure what all this entails yet... other than my companion saying that we will have lots of work to do :) sweet! That's good stuff. So he told me that right now, we will probably focus more on the members of the Branch and strengthening them in their testimonies than on finding new investigators. Time to strenghten the kingdom!! ah yeah!! But Brother Ignasio in the branch has tons of referrals for us... so as we do our best to strengthen the members we will also try to contact the referrals and begin teaching! whoot!!
So, last time I talked about how we were going to teach Monica... but that actually didn't work out. But, we are going to visit her this week! And many more people! I had my first like real weekly planning session with my companion yesterday because we have just been doing service and that was so sweet. I feel like I know more about the people in the mission and the mission work I was expecting... but I'm not going to lie, the service with sandbags was sweet.
As for spanish, the other day I had the thought to read the book of mormon in spanish. I began just 2 days ago and then I just read my Hermana Vawdreys e-mail about how she wants to do the same thing. woo hoo. That's way cool. And wow, I have learned so much in the past 2 days. I have been able to understand everything for the most part and have learned tons of vocabulary. My goal is to finish it by the end of the year...my companion said that if I did that then I would be fluent in spanish! yeah yeah!
My companion has me answer all of the phone calls that we get from our spanish members... hahah and yeah, wow. This has been a challenge. My conversation with them lasts for just a few seconds after a pause on the phone and I say... "si, no entendi espanol mucho." hahah so thanks to my companion, he talks to them. But, this is what really made me want to study the book of mormon in spanish and practice speaking it more since we no longer will be breaking down sandbag walls for a while.
On Thursday night I believe, I taught my first lesson to some spanish members in our ward... about fasting. I was on exchanges with the English missionaries because my companion had meetings to go to. The members spoke English too but because they speak spanish, I gave the lesson in spanish and the other English missionaries just nodded their heads with big smiles :) haha And the lesson went great. The father was very attentive and nodded his head, meaning he understood me!! haha whoot.
Overall, these first 2 weeks have been interesting and tough. But everyday I learn something new and learn how to be more united with my companion. The weather is hot.. lots of humidity, I look like a tomato right now to be honest! haha don't worry madre, I'm gonna go get some aloe vera today. That stuff is my favorite thing in the world. My companion gave me the nickname "sunblock." so alright, that will help me to remember to put on sunblock! haha But it's going to get really cold here soon.. my companion is really excited about it... I'm not sure what to think... but when it comes, I'll make the most of it.
Hope you all have a great week. I love you all. Thanks for your examples and love!