Sunday, November 28, 2010

Monday - Thanksgiving week

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT. I thought I'd be A LOT more homesick, but I think it's because every day as a missionary just kind of goes.. it doesn't FEEL Thanksgiving-y at all as we go throughout the day, even though they deck it OUT out here with the decorations :) even though it's not getting any cooler really. It's like Mo Val weather here! Last night it was 60 when we were driving home haha :o
  So I have stories for ya'll! I've been working harder on trying and trying and TRYING to figure out exactly what it is Heavenly Father has guided me to do in this exact spot right now, because of all the places in the world that I could be, Heavenly Father wants me HERE. So I've been searching and searching to try and figure out what He wants me specifically to try and do for Him that could help His children. So guess what! We went tracting the other day right, in this 'ritzy' neighborhood right next to our apartments. And you'd think these people are 'too rich for religion' right. Well! We knocked on this one door of this home, and a woman opens up the door, and says, "Hey!!" so! We just started having a conversation with her and she's all, "Well hey! What's up, come in come in!" ..and this was in English. There's actually been a GRIP of English this week :o but we come in to her AMAZING mini mansion of a house hah, and we just started talking to her some more, and she's telling us about her family, and her life and everything. And her name is Lucy by the way. And she's is SO COOL. She just seems so happy and so willing to talk to us. It was like she was expecting us to come over or something. She started telling us how she met missionaries passing by outside of a store a few years back, but she's never had anyone in her house. And so I asked her why she just let us in, and her eyes get a little teary and she's all, "Well. I just really believe that answers come in many different ways." .....ohmygosh could she BE any more ready ??! ahah, she just seems like she's been ready for someone to ASK her if she's looking for something more so she could SAY something! Thing is though. She didn't come to church yesterday. So we'll have to see what happens this week with her :o
  So remember Raul!! We had a lesson with him, that was SO AMAZING we had to stop back at home afterward and I wrote in my journal so I wouldn't forget it. haha. Missionaries and their journals. WE ARE SO WEIRD. But check this out. So we go to his house and re-taught him lesson 1 because it had been awhile since we had been able to go over there. So! We're teaching him right, and he starts telling us about when he was in jail, and HE was asking US about church, because he's never been to a Mormon church and "wants to try it", THEN! At the end of the lesson, THE MOMENT..or one of THE moments I've been waiting for to happen since I've been a missionary. He prayed FOR THE FIRST TIME. And he was trying to follow the prayers that we say before and after the lessons. And it was such a simple yet SUCH a heartfelt prayer. INCREDIBLE. He prayed. ! He had a conversation with Heavenly Father! ...though he didn't go to church yesterday either. Actually. We only had one investigator come to church this week. Which is like daggers in the corazon I am TELLING you. But nothing we can't keep pushing for ;)
  So Jimmy. I dunno if I told you about him, but he's Sister Greave's nephew who lives with her, and he's 19. And he used to be a party boy and has been coming back to church now. And he's been smoking-free for almost 2 1/2 months now :O!! BUT. On Friday night we called him, and he was AT.HIS.BREAKING POINT. And was SO CLOSE to just giving in because he just lost his job and really wanted to smoke and is trying to do what's right and he hasn't seen the blessings, so we race over to his house because he was literally an inch away from smoking. So we start talking to him and he is about ready to just LOSE it. But I couldn't remember what I told him, or anything that we really said, but it was something along the lines of how much Heavenly Father has in store for him, so every single trial and weakness we go through builds our character to be able to make us strong enough to do what Heavenly Father wants us to do. His life before church was so much like mine, and I started telling him about every experience I've had that could relate to his, because HE IS NOT! alone. And at the end we're all crying, and his aunt is giving him SUCH good advice. And afterward, we gave him a talk to read.. Jeffrey R. Holland's from this past conference. And the next day he went with us to teach a lesson right. And h was I'M NOT EVEN KIDDING YOU a COMPLETELY! Changed person. COMPLETELY. It was so crazy to see. To think that I could have had even the littlest part in helping someone. Even the littlest. And guess what else! Yesterday we went to his house, and he said he cannot even VELIEVE that person was him on Friday night. He said that it's so scary to think that Satan could blind people so much to make them feel and think differently than they should. So we were all scripture studying and he was applying all the scriptures to himself and EVERYthing! AND, Bishop offered him a calling in Sunday School. THAT'S why Satan was working so hard on him! Cuz he is BOUND to be amazing C: A completely different person. And it showed me that no matter HOW far anyone thinks Heavenly Father is from them, he is that much closer. He knows our weaknesses and struggles and will only push enough to make us stretch ourselves and hang on to Him with ALL. we got. Jimmy's cool. haha
  So those are our cool stories this week :). I FINALLY get what everyone says about Hispanics feeding us the whole kitchen ! On Saturday night right. We go to a Hispanic couple's home for dinner and the wife made us tortas.. they're like Mexican sandwiches. But THESE she slathered in butter and fried, then put a GRIP of avocado and mayo and shredded beef on for us..and they weren't bad! But they were as big as our plates I am NOT even lying! And so she said we were each gonna have 2, but I thought she was kidding. .
she wasn't kidding. . . . ... . .    . So. I ate 2 HUGE tortas, THEN she starts scooping us out Coldstone's ice cream into cups for us. And my heart's beating so fast because I never in my LIFE have eaten 2 sandwiches at once, much less for each of these to equal 1 sandwich. with a tub of butter each. So I ate like 4 sandwiches on Saturday night. And yesterday I felt like I was in recovery all day ahahahh. My life.
  But ya ! That's pretty much my week. The leaves are finally starting to change so it's not like springtime here anymore haha, and this week we have 4 people we're visiting for Thanksgiving, including the Greave's :) our actual Thanksgiving dinner, though, is with the Palomares family.. a Spanish family, and 2 Elders, Elder Anderson and Elder Pearson, Cara's husband I'm just saying, are going too. So that's my Thanksgiving family this year hah :p I'm gonna learn how to cook with Hermana Palomares! BAMB. Maybe it'll be better than that disaster of a Thanksgiving dinner I tried to make last year, where w just ended up going next door to Lionel's and eating their food haha! WE'RE SO COOL.

Anyway family! I know Mom's worried about me.. DO NOT WORRY. We can see fires in Juarez from afar..hah afar, afar ;).. but everything is okay over here. We're actually like. So well taken care of it's insane hah. I love you! Let me know if there's anything that you need. I'm trying to work as hard as I can to make ya'll proud. I think the hardest thing so far has just been trying to stay completely focused. It's tough when the world surrounds you and we need to just be.missionaries. It's tough. But these tough things are what are what are making me realize what I need to do to come closer to Christ. I guess, being the person that would say the things Christ would to these people keeps me trying to be better and better.. not that it makes it easier. IT DEFINITELY! Doesn't. but. it's worth it.

I love ya'll so much. soooososososo much.
Let me know if there's ANYthing! You need prayers for. Mo Val. HANDLE IT!

FELIZ DIA DE GRACIAS mi familia. Eat good. Tell me what you do. :)

Hermana Batchkoff

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