January 6, 2014
This week was completely insane. So many crazy things happened and we were blessed with so many miracles as well! I will probably never forget this week.
Monday was a normal day of teaching, not p-day. Our president switched our pday to wednesday because it is the new year and most people will either be drunk or extremely hung over. Especially in Eagle haha. We have to deal with a lot of drunk people and usually just try and avoid them. But good thing I know how to deal with them just in case haha!
Anyway, I also received a blessing on Monday night from Brother Wait. He is the spanish ward mission leader and both Hermana Noffz and I love him! He helps us so much and just reminds us of our dads. Lately I have been getting very discouraged. Spanish is hard. And I just want to know it now. And then since I am so confused with spanish I can barely speak english half the time and when I teach I feel like the gospel starts to fall between the cracks. It makes me want to cry every time. But Hna. Noffz said that was completely normal and everyone who learns a new language this fast has to go through this. Thank goodness I have her because she helps me out a ton! But we have so much work to do here and I wanted to be completely focused on the Lord's work, not worrying about my spanish! So I asked for a blessing and it was so good. The Lord knows how hard it is and he promised that I will learn spanish quickly and be able to teach fluently and understand those around me. It really gave me comfort and helped me to refocus.
And afterwards Brother Wait and Brother Osterle(another guy in our ward) talked to us about the work we are doing in Eagle. They said how amazing we are doing for what a horrible mess we had to clean up. (Everyone jokes that this is just preparing me for the future on my mission. That I will probably have to clean up a big mess and open an area. Dang) And how none of the members trusted the missionaries anymore before us but now they love us so much! The ward is getting excited about missionary work and I love seeing it happen. Also, the white members are a lot more aware of the hispanic members. They have now just realized how hard it is to go to church where you don't speak the language well and how much dedication it takes. Some members are now coming to the spanish gospel doctrines class to try and learn more spanish to talk to the hispanics more! I love it! If I have not said it before, I love this ward! I feel completely at home here and it is like our ward back in Cedar! We are taken care of completely and like everyones daughters, whether their white or hispanic.
En tonces, back to this crazy week. We had district meeting, which is in Glenwood and we have to drive through a huge canyon to get there. Well, on Tuesday the weather was pretty bad and it was snowing a bit. We were just driving through the canyon, going around 50(the roads were not icy at first or we would have gone slower) when all of a sudden we lost control of the car. We fishtailed so many times and were heading for the barrier that was blocking a cliff with a river below!! Yeah, scary! I knew without a doubt that we were going to hit that barrier, there was no way we could miss it, it was directly in front of us. So I sat in the seat and prepared myself mentally and physically, when all of a sudden we were spinning in a complete circle and missed the barrier entirely! We did 2 full circles and when the car finally stopped we were directly in the middle of the road and facing the way we were driving beforehand. I know that the Lord had angels protect us, because I know that we were going to hit that side and at the speed we were going who knows how bad it could of been. And spinning in a car was the weirdest feeling ever. I had always imagined screaming and the flailing of arms and bodies, but no. You just sit there with no movement, feeling the same. It just looks like a screen in front of you is moving. Weird. But I know tha Hna. Noffz was guided by the spirit as well. She did not brake thank goodness and she turned the wheel the right way every time. She was shaking so bad and I have no idea how she was even able to drive the rest of the way to Glenwood. Afterwards I gave her a hug and she was still shaking! Poor girl.
At District meeting Hermana Noffz and I gave a training on committing people to baptism and how to prepare them. I think it went really good. And that night we were at Myrna's house (cecilia's daughter) and we had to use the bathroom so bad but they were out of toilet paper! She said, "I knew there was something we forgot at the store today" and then they just all laughed. So later that night we went to the store and bought them a pack of toilet paper and decorated it with clearnace christmas tinsel and bows. It was a little chaotic. Then we left it at their porch, rang the doorbell, and booked it out of there. I can't believe that we didn't die on the ice. But they laughed about it for days and loved it! Especially Juan, the dad! (who we are working on really hard right now. He knows everything is true but just doesn't want to stop drinking yet, mainly because his brother influences him.)
The next day, Wednesday, got even crazier. It was pday and then we had finished teaching for the evening when we walked into our house, (and remember, we are in a GIANT house all by ourselves for 2 weeks because Sister Lister was in Holland for the holidays) as soon as I stepped through the door I had the strangest feeling. I don't know how to explain it but things just didn't feel right. And Hna. Noffz saw the change on my face as soon as we walked in. But I still didn't know what was wrong, until I saw some things messed up and the back door opened half way. Since we are alone we make sure that all doors are locked, and besides, we never use that door. Both the screen dor and the real door were unlocked and jimmied open. We thought about checking around downstairs, but to be safe we went over to a members house to have him come over with us. We are 2 pretty small girls, we wouldn't be able to do anything if there was anyone in the house. And then they called the feds. Man, I couldn't believe what was happening! It was all so random and surreal. So I guess someone broke into our house and who knows what they did. But the cops told us not to spend the night there. This is a small town and everyone knows we are missionaries and most people know we are living alone, so they wanted us to leave for the night and they would patrol the neighborhood. Hermana Noffz was pretty scared. It is scary to have a home and all of a sudden not be safe there. That feeling was really new for her and she did not like it one bit. I was okay, I am used to calming down in pressure situations and taking charge. But it was a great time to support and help each other out. So we stayed at teh Fowles house that night. They are a retired couple and completely hilarious, especially Bro. Fowles! And in the morning they made us this huge homemade gourmet breakfast that was amazing! I don't think I have ever had a breakfast that big, but it was so worth it!!
The work in this area is still pretty hard. And it is hard not to completely see the fruits of your labors. But we truly are when we are thinking about it. We have some new investigators this week, (FINALLY!) who we are really excited for! And my teaching has been better. I never expected a mission to be this hard mentally or emotionally. I just feel so innadaquete most of the time because Hna. Noffz does most of the teaching becasue of the spanish. But I understand almost everyword that is spoken to me, which I am told is amazing. And I am progressing really fast, even though not fast enough for me! haha. But the work and hard times is so worth it! And I was able to see that on Saturday when Cecilia was baptized!!!
The baptism was amazing, and the spirit was very strong. Of course, it was a little chaotic, as I am told that most baptisms are. But Cecilia was so excited and began to get a little nervous. She knows how important this was and could not wait. I loved watching her be baptized. Her face glowed and she was so happy. But my favorite part was watching her daughter Myrna. Myrna has tried to get her baptized before, beccasue she wants her family to be together forever. And Myrna's face during the baptism was completely amazing. She just couldn't stop crying and smiling. It made me feel so good and so humbled that I could be a part of their lives and a part of this special moment. And, as missionaries, we stood right by the stairs of teh font to hand her the towel. So we got the best view in the house and we were also the first ones to hug her!! Cecilia has such a special spirit and I am so lucky to know her.
The next day at church she was confirmed a member of the church. And in her blessing it spoke a lot about teaching the gospel to the rest of her family in mexico. Which is exactly what she wants to do. And also it was testimony meeting and I went up and bore my testimony in spanish!! All of the hispanic members were so proud and kept giving me thumbs up signs with huge smiles from the seats haha. It was hard not to laugh! And even all of the white members who know I am just barely learning spanish came up and said how proud and happy they were. That is how great this ward is! But I loved it, and I do feel so lucky to be able to learn spanish!
Lets see, the poodles also got out of the yard, who in the world knows how. And since these dogs are Sis. Listers babies, and she would probably murder us and bury us under the floors of her grooming room until the second coming, we had to go on a search throughout the neighborhood for them. Luckily we found them. Or they found us I should say. We were calling their names and all of a sudden we see them bolting down the street. It was exactly like the scene from Homeward Bound. No joke.
And the stupid parrot, Lorri, fell off her tree this week. I witnessed the whole thing. There was a giant sqwak and a mess of feathers falling to the earth. Pretty funny to watch. And it has been snowing so much here. We got about a foot the other day and had to shovel it all. And when we were done there was almost half an inch already on the ground. It was so cold and even right now it was only 5 degrees. I don't know how I am still alive yet.
LIke I said, this week was kind of crazy and I probably won't forget it. I told Hna. Noffz it was all becaue she was companions with me. I always have crazy things like this happen to me haha. But my testimony has also grown so much. I know that God has a plan for us, and his plans are always perfect. He is always there beside us during everything we do and everything that happens to us. He never leaves us alone. And we can always speak to him through prayer and feel his love. I love knowing this. I can turn to my father in heaven during any time and I know he hears my words. These past 3 weeks I have prayed harder then I ever have before, and my relationship with my heavenly father is so much stronger. But I know this church is true, without a doubt in my mind. I wouldn't be here freezing to death, living with giant poodles, and struggling to learn a language if didn't know it was true.
I love all of you so much! And am so thankful for the support and love that I feel in return. Sorry this letter was so long! I can never stop typing! And I will probably say that every week haha.