Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Surprise! I moved!

But just to a different house. Sister Stratton and I survived transfers, so we're together again for 6 more weeks! We moved from the Morales' house to the Hernandez's house. They're great! It's just different. They've got 3 young boys, and the youngest is a real cryer (but not a screamer, thank goodness). They're super sweet though, I really like them a lot!

Okay, this week was GREAT! We have been working really hard but still struggling with member-present lessons. All you ex-missionaries know that there's sections on working with members in Preach My Gospel, and that President Hinckley teaches us that the best way to do missionary work is through the members (let that be a warning to all you folks out there who say you're busy when the missionaries ask you to go teach with them). That said, we had the loosely-set goal of 10 member-present lessons a week, and we were averaging about 7 or 8. Well, this week we saw miracles. We got 13 member-present lessons! And in one day, we got 4! (That actually happened again yesterday, but since this email is late, I'll count it as a miracle for this week!)

The members make a huge difference. Sometimes they can just lay out what we want to say but in the exact way the investigator needs to hear it. Sometimes they have experiences that relate perfectly to what the investigator is doubting, or sometimes they just have wonderful testimonies that move people to change. They are so wonderful and help so much, so everyone, go out with the missionaries! You will change lives, even if you don't think you can see it!

We've got 2 baptisms lined up for this Saturday! Yajaira, Ruth's daughter, and Ricardo, who's visiting from Mexico (but we got okay'd to teach him and baptize him!). Yajaira is adorable, she's almost 10. We've basically finished teaching the lessons, so when we go over to teach her, we read in the Book of Mormon. She can't read in spanish very well, but she can read even less in english, so we just go really slowly and make sure she understands everything. No matter how hard she tried, though, she could not get the name, "Lehi" which is pronounced like lehy-ee (sort of) in spanish. She just kept making up things, and in the end she just kept calling him Lechuga, which is lettuce in spanish. It was hilarious.

We also had a great lesson with Ricardo about the Word of Wisdom! We had it in the Zazueta's house, and they are super smart, so they could answer all his questions. Ricardo is a bit tough, he likes to speak abstractly and metaphysically or whatever, so we have a hard time understanding him at times. But he's pressing forward and is really progressing, and he really can't wait for his baptism on Saturday! It will be great.

Last thing: there's a tradition in Mexico (mostly in the south, I think) of celebrating el dia de los magos on January 6th. They celebrate the wise men coming to visit Jesus when he was born, and I think that's when kids get their presents, instead of on Christmas, cause the Wise men are the ones that bring the presents. So they have a tradition that involves a giant pastry ring, called a rosca de reyes. It has all these gross gummy things on top and has a hidden baby jesus baked into it. They slice it up, and everyone starts eating, and whoever ends up with the baby Jesus has to make tamales and bring them to the host family a few weeks later! Or something like that. But we got to eat some rosca with the Castanedas and Ricardo's family, it was super fun! I didn't get the little baby Jesus, but it's for the better because I have no idea how to make tamales. Hopefully one day I'll learn!

Well well well, this was a great week! A lot more happened, but I'm out of time. I love you all, choose the right!

Sister Watkins

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