Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Still in Aricebo with Hermana Rodriquez

Well, today are transfers but we aren't going anywhere; which is great. I don't want to change areas because Arecibo is great and we are seeing a ton of success. I would cry if President had moved me. We'll see what will happen next transfer but for 6 more weeks I'll be here and I'm excited. Still with Hermana Rodgriguez; so we'll be together for at least 6 months. So crazy to think that it's been that long. We'll hit our year mark next week. So crazy, I can't believe it is going by so fast. So...sounds like things have been pretty crazy this week with school for everyone. Congrats Erin on getting your article published. I wish I could see.When you get the magazine save me a copy will you? So what's this about a tree falling on my car? haha hope everything is okay. No details were provided with the story. Hope that means that it will still be there when I get back. If not guess I'll be walking a lot haha.

Mom, thanks so much for the package, the red wide band is exactly what I needed. I'll send the rest back. Thanks so much for everything else too. Hermana Rodriguez was especially grateful and in complete shock. So thank you, We are going to go clothes shopping this next week.

So this week has been pretty good. As I said we are still here and I'm really glad because as I said we have some amazing investigators. The baptism of Denis is this Saturday and we're excited. We had four investigators at church on Sunday that is the most I've ever had at church in my mission; usually one or two. Jennifer and Yillianette were super excited to come. They liked it a lot but it was a little hard because the baby started crying during sacrament meeting and they spent most of it outside in the hall and the lesson on eternal marriage was a little hard seeing as she is recently divorced. But she is planning on coming back next week. They are progressing a lot. Members continue to be amazing. A member named Ramon is sharing the gospel like crazy. He introduced us to his friend Ana and she is so amazing and is coming to church this Sunday as well. We had an amazing lesson with her last night where we watched The Restoration and she just couldn't stop crying. Ramon asked for two more copies of the Book of Mormon to give away to other friends that want to listen to the gospel. So we'll see how it goes. Other thanthat, we are just continuing to work hard trying to make the goals that the area leaders have for us. The way mission work is being done here in Puerto Rico is really changing.  They expect us to work harder and more focused than ever before. We are working harder than ever before in conversions and reactivation and I know that we are going to start seeing a lot of great things.

Anyway love you all a ton. Goodluck with work, school and everything else.

Wow! so as I was finishing typing, I just got the pictures Erin sent of the tree on the car! I can't believe it. Thank goodness it wasn't worse. Thanks for sending me the pics. I'm still in shock. haha.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

May God give each of you a boyfriend.

Hope everything is going well this week. Hope school is going well. Hope you are starting to feel better Erin. Sounds like fall is in full swing at home. I'm jealous about all the fresh produce that came out of the garden and I think a lot about homemade soup, fresh bread, and the leaves changing colors this time of year, October has always been my favorite month. Haha, meanwhile I am sweating up a storm. But that's life here in Puerto Rico.

 I'm sorry to hear about Ben Jacobsen passing away. My condolences go out to the Jacobsen family. Even though I don't know Ben very well, Charlotte and Ted and Rosie and Dennis are so amazing. I'm praying for them.

So another week has gone by here in Arecibo. It's going by so fast. I still can't believe that in two weeks I will have been out a year. Things are really good here in Arecibo. As I have said, this place is amazing. There are really people prepared to hear the gospel and we are finding a lot of people. I might not have made it very clear in my emails but these last few transfers have been really rough for me. Really rough. Between working in an area that was just really struggling, not having a lot of work (except Nicole who is amazing), car accident, sick companions, it was a rough few transfers for me. But things are getting a lot better, not one hundred percent perfect, but a lot better. Our district leader shared a scripture with us this week in D&C 58:1-4 that really helped me a ton. We are seeing the fruits of it now. Sometimes we don't know why we have to go through things but there is a purpose behind everything. I stayed in my last area for 6 months because even though at times I was antsy for a change, we sisters needed to be there to teach Nicole. We are here in Arecibo for a reason and we are finding a lot of really prepared people. The blessings come after the trials.

We are still working with Denis and his family. He's getting baptized next weekend. His grandfather is going to baptize him instead of his Dad but his dad is still progressing towards receiving the priesthood which is great. We found the most amazing investigator named Jennifer. Wow, she really is what you would call a golden investigator. She has gone through and is going through a lot of hard things right now and told us that she was losing her faith. When we showed up at her door she just felt like she had to listen to us. She has the most amazing questions and she is progressing a lot. Her 11 year old daughter is as excited as well. She was going to come to church Sunday but woke up really sick and called us and said she wouldn't be able to go. She told us that she later went into to her daughter's room and saw that her daughter had laid out the only skirt that she had and her best shoes at the end of the bed to get ready to go. When we arrived she had read the pamphlet that we gave to her and she had highlighted it in different colors, but didn't understand anything she had read. But they are so great and we are really excited for them. We are finding a lot of people and as President promised us, we are finding families. Families! Wow, that is just amazing. It doesn't happen very often that whole families get baptized here. Very rarely are there baptisms with mom, dad and kids. That is the goal that we are working on as a mission; teaching complete families and it is pretty hard. We are so used to teaching individuals and teaching a complete family has its challenges. It's harder to make sure everyone is at home at the same time so they can progress at the same rate, they all have different needs, different doubts, for example it's hard to teach the law of chastity to a ten year old and to an adult at the same time. But we are learning a ton and I know that we are going to see a lot of great things these next few transfers.

So... funny story. I thought of Rachel the other day when we were out knocking doors. Remember how Rach would jokingly say that she wanted a boyfriend for christmas or that she wanted a brother-in-law? Well I don't know why but I thought of her. When we contacted an older man the other day, he told us that he lived there with his "novia" (meaning girlfriend); that they'd been married for 50 years. He asked us if we had boyfriends. Lots of people ask that, the other day a woman told my companion that if she liked Puerto Rico all she had to do to be able to stay is find a boyfriend get married and then she could stay here forever and not have to worry about her Visa expiring. We didn't mention that would be just a little bit against mission rules. Well anyway... this man, as we walked away from his house yells out at the top of his lungs, really loud too, "Que papa Dios le de un novio a cada una!!!" In other words... my God give a boyfriend to each one of you. It was pretty funny. I don't know why but it just made me think of Rachel's Christmas wish. So to those of you who are looking for a boyfriend "Que papa dios le de un novio a cada una". Most of my friends that might be reading my blog are probably all married or engaged by now. Haha.

Anyway love you all a ton. Hope you have a great week.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nicole got Baptized

Hey Everyone,

Hope your week has been going well. Rach, what's this about a conference in Washington DC? Sounds cool. You'll have to tell me more about it. Wish you were feeling better Erin. I'm sorry that you are still so sick. By the way my companion was really appreciative for your letter it totally made her day. She very rarely gets letters from home because postage is so expensive and the mail is so unreliable there. So thanks. Hope school is going well for everyone. You'll have to tell me all about it. Ab, how's freshman year going? Thanks Steph for your email. I love hearing from you and I'm so glad that things are going well for you in Boston.
Nicole's Baptism
This week has been amazing! Nicole was baptized Saturday and everything went really well. It was so great to see her so excited and her parents were both there and they were pretty happy too. Even though her mom has had a really rough time she came to the baptism. They took like 100 pictures it was really cute to see that even though they were a little hesitant they were really proud of their daughter.

Just as amazing, was an experience that we had on Sunday. We are teaching a ten year old boy named Denis. His father is less active but Denis has been going to church with his grandparents. Well his father has been to church twice now and is changing his life around preparing to receive the office of priest and be able to baptize his son. Wow, he bore an amazing testimony of how he just knew that he need to come back to church and be able to baptize his son. He shared a really great experience that he had in General Conference, and he knew that this is where he needed to be. He is working with the branch president so that he can receive the office of priest and be able to baptize his son on the 30th of October. It was so amazing to hear his testimony and see how he wants to change for the better so he can be a worthy priesthood holder. Really that is almost just as good or better than a baptism.

Watching General Conference

We, we've been working really hard this week and we've seen a lot of success. The work is really picking up here. It's so crazy to think that this transfer is going by so fast we have just two more weeks in the transfer here. It is going to by way too fast as is the mission. I've almost been out a year! That's so crazy. Well I am sending some pictures. Not too many but here is one of me and Nicole at her baptism and one of us with Hermana Rodriguez at General Conference. Haha, one of the few times that I have worn a sweater in Puerto Rico. They always crank up the air conditioning inside the church because it is so hot outside. The men with their suits are just fine but all the women are always freezing. It's kind of like church at home haha. The other pictures are of my last district when we were serving in Toa Baja.

Clouds above Toa Baja
 Puerto Rican clouds; the skies are really beautiful here. Nicole's baptism was very well attended by missionaries because there were the two sets of elders that are now in Toa Baja, us becuase we got permission to go. and two sets of elders from another ward in the stake that came with investigators to see a baptism. Anyway, love you all a ton. Keep me updated on whats going on at home.

Love you all!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Water up to our ankles

Hey Everyone,

So this week has been really good. It's been pretty crazy. It's been raining a ton here. The streets here in Arecibo flood when it rains, well when it rains really hard. It's crazy, water up to your ankles in some streets. One of the entrances to neighborhood where we live is still closed 4 days later because they are fixing things. It's been crazy. And it's been really hard because the people aren't in the street it's hard to contact people because everyone is hiding inside. President told us that we couldn't go to the saturday session of general conference if we didn't meet our goals so everyone was working so hard to make their goals. It was really rough and we had to wake up super early so we could study earlier and go out and work earlier so that we could finish getting our contacts. (not as early as you have to get up on tuesdays, Mom and Dad, I have a lot of respect for you). We had to go to Toa Baja to see the conference but wow, I'm really glad that we were able to go because it was amazing. What an amazing weekend. I am so grateful for living prophets!

Nicole is getting baptized this weekend. Its finally here. She is so ready. We are really excited because we are able to go President gave us permission to go which is so exciting. We are still on the search for families. We are seeing so many small miracles in Arecibo. We are finding people who are prepared to receive the gospel. we are teaching a lot of part member families, a newly married couple, she's a member he's not and he accepted the invitation to be baptized. It's just been a really great week. It's been a really hard last few transfers but its so great to be working in Arecibo where there is a lot of work to be done and we are seeing a lot of success.

Well hope everything is going well at home. Hope your quilt convention goes well mom and you don't get back problems from lugging around a sewing machine and a computer. haha. Love you all a ton.