Monday, January 30, 2017

Week 35: Haircut- Lesson Learned!/ Ping Pong Champ!

This week was better than the last. Monday was a much needed peaceful P-day. Since we have a washing machine we had about an hour more that we usually would have spent washing clothes by hand.
 On Tuesday, we usually have District meeting an hour away in San Miguel de Monte. We got on the train and noticed that the Elders from Cañuelas weren't on with us. So we called them and it turned our that there wasn't District meeting this week because of the worldwide missionary broadcast on Wednesday. So we had no other option than to get off at the first stop and walk along the train tracks 30 minutes back to the station of Cañuelas. In the afternoon I got my haircut, and in prosylyting the highlight was that we found a family who accepted us in and we taught a lesson. Now have 4 new investigators! 
  Wednesday in the morning we had an appointment with a reference who lived in our area who the Elders contacted. It was a nice lady named Mercedes who is the mom of two young kids. She and her husband live in a really big nice house and it was such a great experience to teach her! The majority of the people who accept the invitation to listen to us are lower class and don't have very much education. 
     To go into her "mansion" of a home to teach someone who is well-educated was a different experience but I loved it! She really understood what we taught and said a perfect closing prayer after just a brief explanation of how to pray. A member of the branch here said that we should focus our efforts a little more on the upper class neighborhoods because that is where the leaders of the church will come from. Now I have a little more motivation to do just that! I really hope that she progresses!  Afterwards we rushed to the train station. We had to travel more than an hour to the stake center in Monte Grande to watch the Missionary Broadcast. 
     To stay with my companion, I watched it in Spanish and could understand everything! I felt uplifted and learned a lot from the words spoken.. We were all so excited when they announced changes to the missionary schedule. We have to wait another week for president to authorize them but I think it will really help lower the stress and fatigue of day. With the new schedule we will have an hour longer p-day and the option of an hour more sleep each night with planning in the morning, along with other changes which make a lot of sense to me. I think it will help make our work more effective. I am so grateful that the leaders of the church aren't afraid to make changes, but instead are always looking and praying for changes they can make to improve. Like what happened in English a few years ago with the Book of Mormon, a new edition came out in Spanish with some words and phrases changed to make a more close, correct translation. On the way home, we made contacts in the train- the perfect place to share the gospel because the people can't go anywhere and are just sitting there waiting. The fact that public transportation is used more here is helpful in this aspect of missionary work.
  Thursday was a rockin' busy day. We taught 4 lessons, 3 with a member present! We were so tired by the end of the day; riding bikes all around the area to our different appointments.
   Friday morning we had interviews with President and I loved what he told me. He said that we need to keep our mind pure from negative thoughts. That we have to remember that people have their agency and that all we can do is invite them and the rest is up to them. If we don't let the dissappointments or the rejection of the days get us down, we will be more happy and enjoy the mission more. He also focused on the importance of our own individual testimony and that even if we don't have many baptisms in the mission, if we have a stronger testimony and knowledge of Jesus Christ and his teachings at the end of our mission that can stand alone, it was a success. I don't know if I explained that very well, but his words made sense in my mind. At night we had the branch game night which went really well! Many of the normal active members didn't come but a lot of less actives and investigators did, so we counted it as a success. I think everyone had fun and understood that the church isn't only serious.
   Saturday Luis ended up having to work so he couldn't get baptized but the Elders had a baptism that we went to.
    Sunday none of our investigators came to church! We were so sad- we invited so many people and a lot of people said they would come. We don't know what happened! In the afternoon we worked on contacting old investigators and for 2 hours nobody would listen to us. But in our last hour, the tender mercies came and we made a few contacts with nice people and finally someone who accepted an appointment to return. 

So this week I went to get my hair cut! The guy who I paid in the shop didn't do a very good job so Hermana Dias fixed it for me! I think that was the first and the last time a man is going to cut my hair! :) I love the cut from my compi and it is so much cooler in the heat!

These handheld fans are our best friends and we use them a lot to cool down!

Our game night that we organized for the branch was so fun and it was a pretty good turnout! (Note the ping pong table- nobody could beat me!) ;) 

Here are examples of a few of the acts of service Hermana Dias did for me this week! She is so sweet- making me breakfasts and dinner when I am in the shower and folding my laundry. Transfers are this upcoming week and we hope to stay together another 6 weeks!

[Responses to other letters] :

Mom, don't apologize that your letters are too long- I love reading your emails! That is so great that you can teach tennis so much and help financially too!

My friend Danielle gave me a bunch of letters prior to my mission that I could read during the tough times!  I have read all but three of the letters in the envelopes and they are awesome! I opened one last week and it made me smile. She put inspiring quotes, pictures of us, and conference talks and it is so great! You should definitely do it for Dean.

Thanks for the pictures and recordings of Dean's performances. I got an email from Deidra! :)

About the Australian Open:   Wow Woohoo Federer!

About the changes in the missionary schedule:  I am really excited about the changes in the missionary schedule and I think having more flexibility and more sleep will help me enjoy the mission even more [in Latin America they can choose to have the missionaries awake at 7:30 and be out working until 10:30pm].  For one more week we have to follow the normal schedule until President Calquin authorizes the changes and chooses which he wants to use that would be best for our mission. I'm anxious and want to know already which schedule he chooses!

Love you guys!

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