Every once in a while I forget I'm in Texas, but then something happens to remind me. . . this week TWO things happened to remind me. Thing one: Our meeting schedule changed with the new year and so the english ward is now before us. I was sitting in the foyer when they got out of sacrament meeting and whoooeeeii. They have some STRONG accents! Welcome to the lone-star state. Let me cook up some grits. Thing two: We THOUGHT we were knocking on the Garcia family's door a couple days ago, but I guess we got the wrong building (all the buildings are mirror images of each other so it's not hard to do) because a white guy opened the door! Imagine my suprise - I was so ready with my Spanish door approach, it took me a minute to collect myself and switch to english. In fact, I think I started in Spanish until he said/grunted "eh?" Let me paint you a picture of this character: Short, fat, balding. wearing sweats that haven't been washed in more years than I've been living. A big belly that kinda hefted up and down when he grunted. Little piggy eyes and five or six brown teeth sticking out at odd angles. After I introduced us, he said, yelling, "I put on my dog tags and I don't got no religion because (getting louder) God don't have NOTHING to do with WAR." silence. Then he opened his mouth with those five little brown teeth, took a deep breath, and started yelling about how everyone just takes from Americans and how If HE we President...I'm sorry sir, but try taking care of your own teeth before you take care of our country! haha so needless to say, he's not going to get baptized. But maybe if I ever get bored we'll go knock his door again just for fun. Welcome to Texas, just in case you thought you might be in Mexico!
Tender moment of the week: I'm teaching a little girl named Aleondra piano lessons every Wednesday. (she's my only regular student) She doesn't speak any english so the lessons consist of a lot of facial expressions and waving of arms on my part but she's naturally talented and learns really fast. Her dad cries every week and thanks us for taking the time to teach her. He can't afford lessons for her but he wants her to play for the church. This week after sacrament meeting I was playing postlude and she came up to the piano and said "Soy yo, Aleondra" and so I said hi and told her I liked her skirt. I was going to ask if she wanted to sit by me but she started walking off before I could figure out how to say that in Spanish but then suddenly I felt her come back up behind me and give me a hug. It was so cute. I love her!
We are way lucky to be in this ward. The Bishop is really into missionary work and he is pushing it really hard this coming year. Twice I've had girls my age come give me their phone number and ask when they could come out with us. Every time we ask anything the members are right there- they let us use their houses for FHEs and they're just awesome. I'm getting so I know most of the ward now and so it's getting more fun. I finally feel at home. I was telling Hna. Hansen that I don't want to leave Pasadena!
The other day we were eating at Hna. Torres' house and she was showing me a wedding announcement from one of the elders that served here...Elder Flamm! haha it was funny to see that and she was pretty suprised when I told her I knew them both. Then, we went to a Family Night at our ward mission leader's house and he had Adam/Elizabeth's picture up on the fridge, right next to my/Hna. Flores' christmas card! Who would ever have guessed that when we were going to Olympus? Pictures of the three of us on a fridge on Ave.A in Pasadena, Texas. haha. small world.
This past week when we were teaching Horacio we shared the Proclamation to the World on the Family with him and he loved it. Too much. THe next time we visited him he said he'd been praying for a couple days and had decided he needed to go back to Mexico to be with his family and to share the gospel with them. Three days later he was gone! So sad to see him go but so awesome to know that four more people (his wife and three kids!) are going to hear the gospel. He got our home address and he gave me his so we'll keep in touch. He said "This gospel is all about being united as a family during this life so that some day you can be united as a family in the next." He's amazing!
I was thinking last night how amazing it is that there is a Spanish Speaking Houston Texas mission. Most of the people we meet are displaced- they're from all parts of South America but almost none from here. So in other words, they're not where they're supposed to be! BUt the Lord knows they're here and he sends missionaries who speak their language to teach them. I read a scripture that said "the Lord is mindful of his people, whatsoever land they may be in." and it just got me thinking. He knows exactly where we are and what we need. I think it's so cool to be a Spanish Speaking missionary in this mission!
Well, that's all folks. Everybody drive safe and for Heaven's sake, brush your teeth so you don't end up like Mr. Not-Garcia!
Love Love Love
p.s. I got my companion laughing really hard today because I almost crashed the car and I screamed really loud and then said "Hermana, I almost killed us, and ruined the Lord's car!" She appreciated the Nacho Libre reference, and I hope you did too ;)
p.p.s. we're both safe.