Well hellllllllllloooooooola la la:
Good Morning, hope everyone’s doing well. It is a gorgeous day here in Houston – about seventy five degrees with a slight breeze and huge, blue Texan skies. (also, the moon was incredible last night and the night before – I hope everyone has been taking note of it)
We’re early to the library today because President has dubbed this week “sacrifice week” and so part of the sacrifice is language study and p-day. We just have time to do the essentials today (I thought taking naps at the chapel were pretty essential, but go figure. ) and then we’re back out tracting by two this afternoon. President introduced Sacrifice Week at our temple conference last Thursday. He has specific reading assignments for us each day about the last week of the Savior’s life, and then we are supposed to be out “finding” (Mission President euphemism for “knocking doors”) for at least five hours every day. This doesn’t sound like a big deal to ya’ll but for us it’s killer. We are trying to figure out how to keep our investigators progressing while working around that schedule. It’s crazy. But we’ve been meeting TONS of new people this way, so it’s going to be really good for our investigator pool.
The Temple was a great experience. I sat next to somebody who went to highschool with mom and dad, so I guess you could say I swung my dead cat here in Texas finally. Or I guess I swun mom and dad’s dead cat. . . speaking of dead cats there is a dead cat outside one of the apartment complexes that we work in and it has almost completely decayed- all except the tail. Haha. It’s the weirdest thing. There’s just a cat tail sticking up out of the grass. Fascinating.
We have some bad news. Friday night we went by to visit Maximiliano and he came out onto the porch rather than inviting us in. That was abnormal… then he started crying and said he was embarrassed to tell us but that his “spouse” Maria didn’t want to meet with us anymore. For those of you who follow faithfully, Maria is the woman who was recently healed from a terrible skin disease through the power of the priesthood. She told Max that she was catholic and that she didn’t want to talk to us and she didn’t feel like they were hurting anybody by living together without being married. Maximiliano then went on to say how he wants to move away from her but he doesn’t have any money and no job and so he doesn’t feel worthy to come to church while he’s living in adultery. We assured him that he is worthy of coming to church – that Christ came to heal the sinners, and that he SHOULD be in church. So he came on Sunday, but Maria won’t even talk to us. Interesting to note that her skin disease has returned. I told Max that when the elders gave maria her blessing, they told her that it was dependent on her faith, then pointed out that as her faith waned, the disease came back. It’s just further evidence that the Priesthood power is real. He agreed. You always hear that there is a “sifting” going on and I decided this week that “sacrifice” is the sifter that God uses. When push comes to shove, those who are willing to sacrifice come closer to the Lord and those that won’t, fall away. Since it’s Easter, and I’m on a mission, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Savior’s sacrifice for us and how he really doesn’t ask us to do anything that he has not already done. I know my mind works weird but here’s a little bit of Becca-weird-ism for you: One of the first weeks of my mission I was getting really frustrated at myself because I was so SCARED to open my mouth and speak my broken spanish to anyone. The more time that went by, the more frustrated and miserable I became, because I literally couldn’t be happy if I wasn’t speaking, but I was “kicking against the pricks” and trying to avoid it. Finally I remember thinking “I just need to get rid of this fear so that I can go forward with my mission.” It seriously came to a point where I had to sacrifice my fear or not be here. I remember visualizing my fear fall away as I prayed that God would help me leave it behind me. And it did. I still feel uncomfortable speaking to strangers in a language I barely know but I sacrificed that fear. And I was finally able to break through and start progressing as a missionary. I think it’s the same with our investigators. Everyone has a sin or a doubt that they so badly want to hang onto but it stops them from progressing spiritually and it gets to a point where they either have to sacrifice that sin/doubt in order to move any closer to God, or they have to fall away.
Anyways, sorry to wax deep for a moment. But that’s what has been on my mind lately.
Yesterday I had a young kid we’ve been teaching call me “hermana Twinky” haha. I’m really hoping that he didn’t’ mean that. Sometimes I feel like a twinky out here- really white and really fat. I’ve been running my little missionary heart out in the mornings, doing lunges, situps, pilates, the works! And I’ve been lifting my “water-filled-milk-jug-I’m-a-cheapo-missionary-weights” so my relief society arms are starting to calm down again. But still… we get fed every night! Haha.
So there’s not much else to report. Aside from the fact that I think I should officially be counted as a member of the Tabernacle choir because I now have all their songs memorized. Except I still haven’t heard them sing my favoirte song “I want to sing at the party…Ramses is the one he sets the people all on fi-re. “ I’ll write the director and let him know to throw that one in the next CD compilation. And mom, just so you know, I am famous out here among the missionaries for linking a song to just about everything anyone says/does. The big one this week was “We just got a letter, we just got a letter, we just got a letter, I wonder who it’s from?” and I really was proud of myself for that one. (blues clues anybody? Taking us all back to our childhood.) And speaking of childhood television shows, Dora is everyone’s hero out here. That’s the thing- she’s bilingual- and so are they. Hey vamanos, everybody let’s go! (I say that one too. Cause I’m the driver. So it’s funny.)
That’s all folks
I love you lots, miss you missionary-style, and dream weird dreams every night. My sleep is crazy lately. Hermana harry said I was speaking spanish really loud and really fast in my sleep the other night. I guess that means we’ve arrived.