Monday, February 10, 2014

What's Happening Down South!

I trimmed my own hair and bangs.

All we had left were eggs!

Our new appliances!
Hello family and friends,
Being a two gringa companionship has it´s perks and setbacks here in my new area.

Here is the list of perks:

We can teach English classes in the Church. It is a great way to get people to the building and involved with the members. We had a grand total of 3 people in our first class this week, two investigators and a member that reminds me of Brother Roylance from St. George.
People tend to talk slower and more clearly.
We get a lot of compliments and marriage offers.
Our baking brings all the investigators to the yard. (but really, we just by ¨Great Value¨ boxes and add eggs. Something about being cooked by a gringa just makes it taste better to them. Like how burritos by a Mexican always taste 10x better than burritos by myself.)

List of setbacks:
Lessons can turn into charade games if we aren´t careful.
We are lost 50% because we don´t understand how people give directions... and the other 50% because we are women who can´t read maps.
People think we are the same person. ¨White people all look alike¨.
People call us Hermana Jennifer Anniston and Hermana Charlize Theron (?). We have our own names, didintchaknow!

Well. In other news. We are spoiled rotten because we got a new stove, fridge, dryer, and pots & pans this week! It was like CHRISTMAS! I love appliances that don´t smell like dead animals. Our pension is slowly getting cleaner. Everyday we take our ¨breakfast¨ time to do a little something. It´s way more comfortable now. We also hear that it is going to be we are living a pretty good life! Oh, and the hot water is fixed! Now we aren´t singing soprano in the shower anymore. Also, we have a closet for all the lovely missionary clothing that smells like stray dogs and fried chicken. (I am sooo excited for my NEW old clothes in 10 months more!)
I love my new roommates dearly. We are 4 Hermanas here in this ward, a companionship of Latinas and a companionship of gringas. We´re the Latinas. Haha. Jk. But, the Latinas are great. Me and my companion like to call our relationship with them ¨Mommy training¨ because we act as the alarm clock, nanny, cook, and garbage men....but we are learning a lot! They help us a ton with Spanish and they also help me with my Latin dancing moves. I am getting pretty good at Motab Zumba. I might start my own line of exercises ¨Mormon Muscles and Motab!¨
In church yesterday the Gospel Principles class was talking about tithes and offerings. We ran into the teacher on Saturday and she told us that she was nervous to teach it because it is usually one of the harder things for our investigators to accept. I told her that I had a personal story I was willing to share, and she seemed relieved about that! Fast forward to church. I start by telling the story. I am going to write it as it was said by me...except keep in mind that OBVIOUSLY it was in español.
ME: ¨A few years ago my family was going through a rough financial time. We were living with my grandparents and my Dad´s business was going through a hard time. My Dad told me one day that he was going to pay all that we had left to fast offerings. He told me that he wanted me to watch how the Lord would bless us.
Then, the next Friday or so, we received in the... (uh oh, I can´t remember the word for mail, so I stuttered a bit....) correo
Hermano (30 year old Son of the Teacher): ¨¿Recibieron un cordero?¨ aka, ¨ You received a Lamb?!¨
ME: ¨Yes, we received a lamb....and then we had food and we ate!¨
Class: ¨jajajajjajajajajajajaja¨

ME: ¨But really, we received an unexpected check in the mail that was more than my dad had paid that helped us a lot.¨
Then I bore my testimony on tithing.
The point of this story is that I am glad that I am to the point where I can have at least a small part of my sense of humor translate when I am speaking in Spanish. Also, tithing is a blessing for us. Amen.

I couldn´t have been more pleased with how the ward treated a less active man that came back for the first time in years yesterday. He was baptized, and was active for a while, but then he fell back into his old weaknesses. He is currently smoking a lot of cigars, but has a desire to stop. The hard thing is, he wasn´t filling his life with anything in place of the cigars. During our first visit with him, Hermana Burnett and I felt very guided by the Spirit. We told him that he needed to get back to church and fill his life with service, pretty bold for it being our first visit. He works and rents out a little room, but honestly doesn´t have anything to ¨motivating¨ happening in his life.
He showed up at church, looking very nervous and anxious. We talked to him, and all of the priesthood quorum leaders came and introduced (or re-introduced) themselves. Nobody made him feel awkward, nobody put on a show. They were genuinely happy to see their Brother there with them again. We asked him if he would like to receive a blessing of strength to quit smoking during our visit, and then again at church. He said he would appreciate that.
Meand Hermana Burnett found our ward mission leader, and he with the two counselors in the bishopric (the bishop is out of town), and the Elder´s quorum president went to a room to give him a blessing. They were so great. I wanted to cry because my companion and I didn´t have to do anything except be there for support. They asked him what he needed, gave him encouragement, explained the blessing, and gave him the blessing. My companion and I both gained a very strong testimony of the priesthood. They were authoritative, but not in a ¨We are better than you¨ way. They told him that the ward needs him, and that he has been missed. THAT IS HOW IT WORKS! I love this ward. It is so much more motivating for us to work with the less active members when we know the ward is going to take care of them and they aren´t going to be offended or scared away after the work that we put in.
Well. I am going to attach some pictures of the last week. My companion and I are a little weird at times. She is going to be my friend forever, and I am not just saying that because she lives in Vegas and her parents just bought a vacation house in Hawaii. Those are just perks to our lovely friendship. I told her that my family would love to have her to California to go on divisions with the Sister missionaries.... I don´t know if it is even in the same ballpark as Hawaii, but we are planning a lot of vacations nonetheless!
Have a great week! Write me. I miss all of you and I like to hear even them most boring things about your lives.
Adios hasta la proxima semana!
Hermana VanCott


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