Monday, March 7, 2016

Hola Mi Amores.....

Hola mi amores,

     It was a great week, I just have to try and remember all that
happened! Well to begin, Lisandra and Erick are officially out of our
area now. We and the elders moved them into their new house Saturday
morning. It was so sad, I love that family. But the elders will take
good care of them. We're all one team I guess. And we will still see
them on Sunday's at the branch. Haha, on Sunday one of the members was
like- "so basically the sisters did all the work and then they moved
into your area so you'll baptize them?"

Lisandra and Erick are so prepared for baptism. The only thing we are
waiting for is for Lisandra's divorce in Cuba to come through- which
could be a quick process or could be a lengthy one. Another couple we
are teaching who are in the same position just had theirs finalize
from Mexico after over a year of waiting. It's tricky because Cuba is
more or less communistic so it's a little harder because they're
considered refugees here.
Monday we taught them the word of wisdom, and they were both so
accepting- even about coffee, which is usually the hard one! Lisandra
said she knew that each of those were bad- that she didn't know why
tea was bad, but she had enough faith to trust that it was and she
would give it up. Erick was so happy he couldn't stop smiling as we
taught about the blessings of a modern prophet. He said how much it
would mean for his family to have the guidance of a living prophet.
Later this week we taught the law of tithing with the branch
president- President Gogna and his wife. Again they were so receptive
and their only question was- "when and how can I pay tithing?"
You can see why we are so heartbroken we will not be teaching them
anymore... But we have taught them just about all the lessons, now
it's just waiting for the divorce to finalize, getting them married,
and then baptized! Oh my gosh, their baby Veronica is the cutest thing
on the planet. She is Cuban, but has red curly hair and blue eyes and
LOVES us. Whenever we come she screams and laughs and giggles the
whole time because she's so happy ,haha. It is the worst not being able
to hold her . She sits next to me on the pews at church and loves
to steal my name tag.
This week I got to know some of the members so much better. The
members here are so inspiring- I am always shocked to find out that
many have only been members for such a short time- some only a year or
so- but are so strong. We had three dinner appointments this week with
three converts- one Mercedes, a convert of one year who makes the
greatest food ever. Her tostones are my favorite. We get tostones at
every meal. They're sliced, or mashed, or fried plantains. The other
was a couple who joined about a year ago and are close to going
through the temple to be sealed. It was so sweet, the husband just
kept smiling and saying "Les quiero, les quiero, les quiero."- I love
you guys, I love you guys, I love you guys.
On Thursday I got myself into some trouble ,haha. We ate lunch at the
Hispanic center where we serve lunch every Thursday, then went to see
a less active member ,Delores. She had made us a ton of food and we
were both already stuffed. Landa didn't eat hardly anything, which is
a big no no . So I ate a bunch and made sure to get seconds. She
made habichuela- typical Puerto Rican rice and bean dish with chicken
and tostones. Everyone here cooks so well - I am going to have them
teach me. Delores loves me because I love her food,
We also met Eunice, who we are assigned to visit teach. The Apontes,
and Rosa Paullino, who just returned from Santo Domingo. It may be a
small branch, but biggest hearts. I love these members.

The branch president is the best leader I've had on my mission thus
far. He served his mission is Argentina and married a Mexican woman.
He makes every business like meeting spiritual, the way he counsels us
is so loving and inspired. He is so missionary- work oriented, and
does so much to help us.

Tuesday a little miracle happened. It was raining hard, and we were
having no success. No one we had planned to see was home. We were just
going to walk home because we hadn't done our language study hour yet,
but I felt like we really needed to go and try Martina. She was on the
opposite side of town. When we got there they let us in, and we ended
up teaching the plan of salvation to all four generations of their
family living there- Martina and her husband Rene, her parents, her
daughter, and her granddaughter. Martina said that it was a miracle
they were all home together, that it never happens but had all had
had work cancelled out of the blue. She said it was a miracle.
As we were teaching about the spirit world, one of them asked if we
knew the girl involved in the car accident. They were asking about
sister wells. It was such a sweet moment, they all cried with us when
we told them she was a missionary like us. I showed them the picture
of sister wells holding up the sign that says "He was born so that I
will live again." Sister wells was in a trio with us that lesson,
teaching them right along side us with her sweet spirit. Their hearts
were softened to our message, and they all became focused and intent
on finding out how we knew we would see our friend again.
Her husband Rene actually showed the most interest. Martina had
previously brought up her concerns and was arguing that everyone will
live with God no matter what, but as we taught about the three
kingdoms of glory Rene went over and read it from the pamphlet we gave
them and explained everything to her so she understood. When we read 1
Corinthians 15 with them he re read it to her again too. I can't wait
to see where things go with this family.

Friday night there was a crazy storm here in Lanc. There ended up
being a tornado and we didn't know it. We spent that whole day
tracting downtown. It was dumping buckets all day. We were soaked
through and through. I learned my coat is not waterproof . My
whole bag was wet and everything in it. Even when people let us in we
were too wet to sit down .
One house in particular we tracked was interesting. He wasn't
interested, obviously. He had his hands behind his back the whole
time, but as he backed up from the door to shut it, he put his hands
down and he had a gun. I pretended not to notice, told him to have a
great day, and we left .
Later when we were talking to the English drive elders who share the
area with us but teach the English speakers- they  told us that street has
crack houses on all corners. Woops. Learning new things about the area
every day .

Today our pday has been spent exploring downtown Lancaster. Pics to
come. I probably forgot something, til next week! Love you all.

The church is true.
Con amor,
Hermana Sears

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