Using My Unlicensed Skills!
These are always in my hands!
My GREAT Companion!
AHHHH! This week has been rough, and I have been looking forward to writing, but the internet service has been down so now I only have a few minutes.
Well, thank you all for your emails. The mail people are on strike here, so never mind about letters for a bit. HOWEVER, PLEASE email me! Long emails, I can print them off now, and it will be like a letter. It is hard to not be able to hear everything all the time! I miss everyone so much.
Its great to hear about school and the life in Redlands. I cried a little when I heard that Max has a friend who was also really into the Presidential Campaign. Good to hear everyone is adjusting!
I have had a rough time adjusting this week. I have done a lot of walking, which I love, until you add in the dodging dog poop and the constant cat-calls. Not going to lie, at first the cat calls boosted my confidence and it added some pep to my step, but not anymore. I want to be a representative of Jesus Christ, and it is hard to feel respected when you are getting whistled at. Oh, and here I was thinking I would never get married...I get proposed to on a daily basis. So, dad, your future son in law might be close to your age and Chilean if nothing works out back home. Feel free to be creeped out by that comment.
The dogs are crazy. There aren´t as many as some other countries, but EVERY house has at least one dog, and we usually have about 4 walking with us. The members that we eat with tell us about their dogs, and then they tell us that they die. I have learned when to smile and when not to smile (when I don’t understand, and when I hear the word for ¨death¨ I get real serious real fast). So far, I haven´t offended anyone. Oh, but when their dogs die they just steal a new one off the street. No one really cares for their hygiene - poor puppies. I always think of my friends and family who are dog activists, and I am glad they don´t witness the abuse.
Ok, am I on a mission to serve people or animals? Sorry. So, the people - I love them. They are usually a little cold up front, but then I whip out my new favorite starting conversation technique. I show them my picture of the whole Van Cott crew, and they ooh and ahh. Then they ask if they are all members of the church, and I say YES! Do you know how prideful I am that I have an amazing family? Then I tell them that we are happy because we know that through Heavenly Fathers plan for us, we can be together after this life. BAM. Lead them right into a lesson without them knowing. It is sneaky and effective. Also, that is the only conversation I can do without my companions help in Spanish.
Spanish is DIFICIL. I can understand, but speaking is rough. I tend to speak better with investigators because they are patient with me. Members just fill in all my words. haha. So, it motivates me to talk to people who don´t know about the gospel because they don´t try to play ¨fill in the blank¨.
We have been working with some great people. I love less actives. You have NO IDEA how happy I was to see a man that we just visited on Saturday, who hasn’t been to church in 7 years, walk into sacrament meeting with his ten year old daughter who isn´t a member. We befriended the daughter while we visited with him. She is so sweet! The dad told us¨ I’ll come back to church when I feel like it, but it will be MY decision.¨ so, we thought we would have to visit him a few more times. Well, something we said touched his heart and he wants his daughter to be a part of the church. I was so happy, and I can´t even IMAGINE how happy Heavenly Father is to have his son come back to him.
We have a lot of less active people, and most of them are less active because they have been offended. THAT is why it is important to have your own strong testimony, so that when people act like PEOPLE and say things that might hurt some feelings, you know that it doesn´t matter because the church is true. I love seeing people who have known how happy the gospel can make them feel. They feel the spirit when we visit and then realize when we leave that because they aren´t keeping their baptismal covenants they don’t have the spirit with them. AND, I love it even more when they come back to church.
This week little things have made me home sick...especially the wonderful family we are teaching that is JUST like our family but in Latino form. However, it has been testimony building to feel the support of my ancestors. I have felt, specifically, the help of Grandma Bagley. I know that those that we love are serving with us, preparing the hearts of people and strengthening us when we are weak. Some things have come to mind that I have only talked with Grandma Bagley about, and I am grateful for the knowledge that life goes on after this earth.
Well, I need to finish. Write me long emails, and I will print them off and pretend like they are letters, ok? lauren.van.cott at myldsmail.net
I love you all, and I pray for everyone. Eva, write me. I haven’t heard from you and it makes me grumpy. I want to know how school is!
Love you, have a great week!
Hermana Van Cott