Monday, February 24, 2014
Nothing out of the norm has happened this week to talk about. Some investigators are doing fantastic.... others not so much. The usual. So I figured I would answer more from the extremely long list of questions I have been asked.
Q: Is the rule of working with members only for Tijuana or all the Mission?
A: It is the whole mission. Actually, it is the rule for all of Mexico. Wowzers right? We arent allowed to knock on any doors unless they are a reference from a member. It really is the ideal way to do mission work because if the investigator is a member reference, then they already have a friend to guide them in the church and someone to join in the missionary discussions. The only problem is that as missionaries, we are entirely dependent on the members to get new investigators and only a handful of members have the desire for mission work. Every lesson we have with a member we ask for referencias and everyone claims that they dont know anyone. It can be frustrating, especially when appointments fall through and we cant go tracting to find new people. But those few members that have that flame, and want all of their friends to hear of the gospel and love joining us in lessons with investigators, they make our days great. I cant stress enough to you folks back home how important members are in mission work. Everything works 100 percent better when members help with references and lessons. Plus, when you do that, you become the missionaries favorite people... and you know there has got to be blessing that come from that.
Q: Are the wards big?
A: Just like the US it depends where you are. Some areas are just branches, but most of the wards in the Tijuana city area are average sized. And if we could get all the less actives to reactivate they could be twice their size.
Turns out I didnt have as much time as I thought to answer more questions, but I promise I will get to them!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
We baptized a Jew last Saturday. I say we, but he was the investigator of the second companionship of Hermanas in our ward. Still, it was really cool. No matter where I go I cant seem to escape Jerusalem. I dont mind.
Its very interesting. There are such great differences between Mormon and Jewish religion. Trust me, Ive studied it. And because the Jewish beliefs are so strong its somewhat difficult to talk to them about the gospel and we often think that the Jews wont be convinced until the Second Coming. But Im seeing it happen right now.
The message that we bring is incredible and the Book of Mormon is key. It really is the tool for the convincing of the Gentile and Jew and I am so excited to get to hand out copies of it to all those who are willing to accept it. I would also like to put in a plug here for member missionaries. Us full time missionaries cant do nearly as much good without you guys. When you can invite your friends to hear the gospel, something that you hold near and dear to your heart, they are more receptive. That is how Jose (our Jewish friend) came to a knowledge of the church. Despite his firm conviction in Judaism, his loving friend, step by step, introduced him to the gospel and now he is a member. With out his friend, he would have never listened to the missionaries and been baptized. We need you. Mission work really is that of the members. We are just here to teach the lessons, hand out pamphlets, and eat members food... chiste chiste.
But it really was a special moment for me. True, I never taught Jose and I didnt know him very well, but the other Hermanas asked me to sing a musical number at the baptism. I sung How Great Thou Art, one of my personal favorites and as I sung Jose raised his hands, palms facing inwards and elbows down by his side, in a typical Jewish praising manner. I recognized it immediately from my visits to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. While it was extremely odd for a Mormon baptism and no one else did it, it was very touching for me to see. It reminded me of a time and land that I love very much. But not only that, I realized immediately the significance of it for him. I saw the expression on his face and as I finished the last verse he raised his hands high above his head in final praise. Sure, its not how we usually worship, but that doesnt make it mean any less. I was so happy I was able to be there and experience a second tiny trip to Israel and see the great change in his life.
This work is good. Be a part of it if you can. You wont regret it.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
First off, I wish you all a Happy Valentines Day. Try to think about me if you have a moment.
Now how about I tell you a little about the person Ive been living with for the past two months. As usual, here is a list of fun facts about her:
She has 7 months out on her mission
Is from Queretaro, Mexcio
20 years old.
She loves headbands
Cant eat bananas
Birthdays are a really big deal for her
Lived in the good ol U.S. of A. for eleven years
Slightly obsessed with pears
Quotes Disney movies all the time
Dont even get us started talking about The Office. The quotes will never end.
She knows of every YouTube phenomenon.
Was an English teacher before her mission.
I have been pretty lucky so far with companions. I have been great friends with all of them (a grand total of 2) so far. Hna. Torres lived in the US for eleven years and so is fluent in both Spanish and English. She is my walking dictionary. We actually found out that in 2008 we were at the same EFY(especially for youth) in Bowling Green, KY. We never met each other there, but its still cool nonetheless!
Hermana Torres is great. Due to her Mexican nationality, but American childhood she really is the best of both worlds. She can correct my pronunciation, show me how to make a REAL burrito, and explain customs
and cultures. But at the same time we can make missionary remixes of NSYNC songs, quote BonQuiQui and Can I Have Your Number?
She says that Im the first companion she has had who was taller than her... go figure. Our situation is rather funny. Since we are close to the border many people know a little English. So they will try to talk to me in English, thinking I wont understand the Spanish... and then say it again for her in Spanish thinking she doesnt know English. Little do they know we understand both.
Shes great. We get along just fine and have similar ideas about a lot of stuff.... especially on how much we love food....
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Nothing fancy has happened this week... except for mission work. That is always awesome. So I just thought I would answer some more questions that I have been getting.
Q: Have you been able to see the ocean?
A: Sadly no. But at night I can see the lights of San Diego. Sweet sweet America.
Q: Do you prefer snail mail or email?
A: I am a lover of both. Its so great to be able to log on each week and find so many letters to read and it is perfect to get information to me fast. However, I am a little bit old fashioned too. Nothing beats a handwritten letter. Especially the surprise of getting one at District meetings. The only downside is that it takes awhile for them to reach me. Two weeks mas o menos. So if you need to let me know something fast or need a response fast. Email. If not, and you have legible handwriting, I would love a handwritten note too!
Q: How do you like the candy?
A: For those unfamiliar with Mexican culture, here is a fun fact for you: They eat chili with everything. Burritos, tacos, enchiladas, hamburgers, hot dogs, hot chocolate, potato chips, the list goes on. And yes, it includes candy as well. Every type of hard candy is coated in chili powder. It is... interesting. Ive tried it a few times and it is no doubt something you have to get used to. Usually after what seems like and hour of sucking on fire, you hit the sweet fruity center. By the end of my mission I will be addicted to them and forcing them down my younger siblings throats. Consider yourselves warned.
Q: Is it dangerous?
A: Its aight. They take really good care of the sisters in this mission. There are only a few cities that we are sent to and they are all close the the mission home so that if anything happens to us the mission president can get to us as soon as possible. Also, in parts of the city that are un poco mas peligroso, it is a rule for the sisters to go back to their apartments at eight instead of nine.
For those have been concerned about my welfare, thank you so much but dont fret. Im doing just fine. I never feel like Im in any danger. And for those who havent cared a smidge about me..... I will pray for you.
here are some random pictures of the beautiful city I am in.... and what I like to do in my free time.... missionarys arent as wise as you think we are :)
|My 1st District in Tijuana|
|Tijuana at sunset|
|"Hola Senor" |
( Eden's companion in the background says, "Huh, Hermana, can we continue with our companion study now?")