Haha ,I was surprised to open an inbox full of trunky emails from my family! I suppose it's allowed.. but honestly I don't think about the time, I am in denial, that's for sure. It always catches me off guard when someone reminds me.. In my mind this calling of mine is never going to end. Or so I will keep telling myself the next 10 days.. It does hit me at times though, hard. And when those times come, it feels like a stab to the heart. My companion has been so helpful and supportive though, letting me talk through my nerves when we get home for the night and finish planning and the name tags are off, haha.
(Back to ignoring the elephant in the room) This week was super great. The best part was taking Karina and her two kids to the temple open house in Philadelphia. Natanael was working and couldn't come, sadly. They're so great. The night before we went to the temple we had a lesson with them, we weren't planning on inviting them the next day in hopes he would get a day off so they could all go together, but we both felt we needed to invite her or she wouldn't go at all. We already had the trip planned to take another investigator (who ended up falling through anyway.) When we invited Karina she was like Yes! Wait... the kids have appointments tomorrow.. And Natanael was just like... Cancel them! Go! So she did.(: Before I talk about how awesome the temple was, another side note from that lesson. So we had a member with us who's a convert of 3 years, and bless her heart she was so excited about being there to teach with us she ended up spilling everything from the word of wisdom to three kingdoms to everything in between haha it was out of control and there was nothing we could do. Anyway, at one point she started talking about how as missionaries we "suffer." How we go hungry, thirsty...etc. Made it sound like we're poor and starving. (Because we don't get fed dinner here, we usually only eat one meal a day, haha. So somewhat accurate.) So we felt super uncomfortable. They were like "Why didn't you tell us?!" Natanael looked at Karina and just said "Las ofresca los macaronis!" (Offer them macaronis!) So they both ran to the kitchen and cooked us dinner, even though we tried to assure them we are just fine. She's huanaca (from El Salvador,) so everything they make is suuuper good. They're both super funny.
So because I came from Lancaster and had been told I could attend the open house back before the mission swap. Sister Christiansen took us. She is sooo incredibly kind. Even though she doesn't speak spanish, she and Karina's two kids had a great time. The temple is beautiful. When we were in the sealing room, her son who's 9 looked at his mom and said 'mom, you need to get married here,' after the couple giving the tour talked about how marriages performed here would last forever. Because the temple was open for the public and full of people, the only time it was completely silent was when they took us into the celestial room. Afterwards, Karina said that as she sat in there she closed her eyes and was praying and imagining that God was here with her, and when she opened her eyes she was surprised that the room was full of people, and even the little ones and babies were silent. On the car ride home, her daughter who's 5 just said 'mom, I like where we went today.'
On the way home we had a lot of time with traffic to talk with her. She has no doubts about the Book of Mormon or the church, her only hesitation is that she was baptized just 6 months ago in another christian church. They are so prepared.
Hermana Hart and I have worked so hard this transfer to figure out how to teach together in the way that these people need, and we seem to have finally figured it out. The spirit is so evident in every lesson- everyone we teach not only listens, but understands deeply what we are saying. It is evident in their questions, their comments, and their prayers pleading for God to show them "if this is the way He wants them to walk." We have had some of the sweetest experiences, and all while literally dripping buckets of sweat, hungry, and tired. Haha.
This week we've had one too many encounters with the prostitutes that are on every corner in the areas where we work. It is so sad. Sometimes we will be talking to someone, then while we're talking to them they'll flag a car down and be gone. One time this week we had found a less active member on the street by coincidence and were talking to him and a girl looked at us, sat right next to him and started trying to.. advertise. This is such a normal ocurance here the member did not blink an eye, didn't look at her, so she got up and walked away. These girls are persistent! Talk about motivation to make sure to talk to everyone before they get to them haha.
That's all for now.(: Have a great week!