This week has been the hardest yet. For obvious reasons. But I'm doing alright. All is well.
Actually on Monday we were in a lesson with Perry and we got on the topic of sacrifice and I basically lost it haha. Monday night we were happy that Alphonso- you remember the one- the guy that doesn't come to church because he cries- called us. He's in a rut. Not motivated, so he called us. He really is so awesome, but he will not come to church.
Tuesday was produce to people- our monthly service project where they hand out free food to the public. Again, about 550 people showed up for food.
I am always so humbled by these people. In particular, a woman came through the line and I complimented her jacket. She took it off her back and gave it to me. The woman who just waited in line all day in the heat for some potatoes and some apples. Of course I didn't let her leave without it, but I couldn't believe the generosity and humility of this woman.
This week I was working by the table a member in the ward was working at. The member got talking to a lady going through the line and told her about her new grandson. This woman immediately began digging through her pockets and pulled out one dollar, and gave it to sister Neibar. She told her to use it to start a savings account for her new grandson. Sister Neibar was absolutely sure that that was the only dollar that woman owned.
There are good people here too amongst the ones lost in addiction.
Tuesday afternoon we went to go visit Sister Wolfe and Blakely- the ones we painted with last week. We arrived and her door was wide open. We called for them and knocked but no one answered. We didn't know what to do but we both agreed something was up so we went in a bit and realized sister Blakely was laying right there on the kitchen table passed out. We couldn't wake her. Finally we did and she started crying hysterically- she was on heroine and methadone. All she could get out was "prayer prayer help blessing."
So I said a prayer with her, and then we just sat and hugged her while she cried and cried until she passed out again. We decided to call for help. It was pretty horrible seeing her like that.
On a brighter note, our meet the mormons movie night went awesome. It turned out to be more like "meet the non-mormons" night because more non members showed up than members, hahah. We had nine people of ours that showed! And members brought friends and neighbors. Ross, Ivan, Ken, Perry and his girlfriend, two of the guys from Tuesday night volleyball, and a few others came.
After the movie two of the members friends came to us and decided they wanted to take the lessons from us. Sister Piotrowski last second invited her friend Cynda who lives next door to the church. She called her five minutes before the movie started, and she left in tears.
Yesterday we went back to see her after church. When we returned she first told us she was not interested, but by the end she gave us her home and cellphone number and told us to come back.
Tonight we will go to see the other that came to us after the movie.
Perry is in a very tough situation. He and his girlfriend are having a lot of issues. She wants him to attend the Jehova's witness church with her, and vice versa. It was awesome that she came to the movie night on Friday and for a lunch we had at the church after on Sunday. She has gotten to meet many members of the ward. They are both in such a hard spot. She has many family and friendly ties to her church, and the mormon world is an entirely different one. It has created a huge strain on their relationship, and it is to the point it may cost Perry their relationship to be baptized.
Yesterday in church Bishop Critchlow recognized us in combined third hour, in how much missionary work has increased in the area since I got here. The ward is beginning to get excited as they see us bringing people to church each week.
Butler is no longer a dead zone at all. You just have to get off your butt. Haha.
Nefdali was at church again, I have loved getting to use my spanish again. It's so refreshing. Gosh, even just a conversation a day does wonders for practicing.
I've really been trying to study hard and use my language study hour well. I learned to teach the gospel and a missionary vocabulary in the MTC. But they do not teach you to converse in the MTC. They count on you learning that as you are immersed in the language and culture- as I am not. It is something I am all on my own on.
Nefdali is amazing. The Hispanic culture.. The kindest people you'll ever meet. Each time we come he is out on the porch sweeping it off for us, haha. Last night when we met with him he shared that he is here working because his wife is dying of cancer back in Guatemala and is working to send her money to keep her alive. He and his wife are divorced, but he is still doing this for her. He has sacrificed everything for her.
He has been reading everyday in the Book of Mormon. I really worry about what will happen to him when I leave the area and there will not be a spanish speaking missionary for him. There are only 8 in the whole mission.
Clearly, the highlight of our week was going to the Columbus Ohio temple with the Hoy family. It was Lamont and Tiara's first time. Not every one gets to see their investigator baptized 12 times. Haha- two because his knee came out of the water on his baptism day and 10 more for baptisms for the dead. He had an awesome experience, it was a great day. Such a beautiful temple, and a much needed time for me there.
Saturday night Lamont was so excited to show us all the studying he had been doing in the Book of Mormon. He showed us his notebook of all the notes he had taken. He is going to make such a good missionary.
That night he also shared how grateful he is for the gospel. Lamont's older brother, 21 years old- left home last year and is now living on the streets and involved in drugs. Their family has no contact with him anymore, but they all want so badly to find him and ask him to join their family again.
Por fin, quiero a compartir mi testimonio con ustedes. Yo se que evangelio de jesucristo es el plan Dios para una vida lleno de felicidad, y que Su plan es perfecto, sin error. Todos de nuestros pruebas y desafios traernos mas cerca de Él. Todos de los tiempos mas dificiles en mi vida han hacerme una persona mejor.
La decision para servir fue dificil, pero estoy aqui porque yo se que hay personas que nececita que yo tengo, y la paz que solo el evangelio puede ofrecer. Estoy muy agradecida por la oportunidad para ser una misionera, especialmente para ser una misionera aqui. He crecado un amor grande por las personas aqui.
Él vive - Celebra la Pascua gracias a que Jesucristo vive
Él vive - Celebra la Pascua gracias a que Jesucristo vive Gracias a la resurrección, Jesucristo vive. Gracias a Él, tú puedes vencer el pecado y sentir dicha eterna. Averigua cómo descubrir, recibir y compartir el gozo de la resurrección en el sitio ÉlVive.mormon.org