this week was one that I will never forget. so many great and little miracles.
ENGLISH CLASS! Every Tuesday and Thursday we have English class at a Zumba studio where a member teaches Zumba. We were a little afraid of how the turnout was going to be what we had like more than 20 people show up!! it is my companions and I and the other elders in our district who are the 'teachers'. we each have a little group that we work with and teach. my group doesn't know ANY English and the actual rule for the class is that we can't speak ANY Spanish. only English. through the program we are doing it through it is supposed to be an English class where any language that you speak you can learn English. that was super confusing. for example: a person that speaks Chinese is supposed to come into the class and learn English. comprende? so yeah it is pretty hard especially when you want them to learn it so bad but it is hard. but I LOVE MY GROUP! on Tuesdays we learn the material/have the lesson and then on Thursdays we review and play a game to remember it. So when I met my group on Tuesday for the first time I said super slow to them "W-E A-R-E T-H-E D-R-E-A-M T-E-A-M". just blank stares. hahaha but they are super happy to be there and learn. on Thursday we played musical chairs and they LOVED it. everyone was laughing and having a good time. it made my heart happy.
PRESIDENT NELSON WAS MORE THAN AMAZING. holy cow I don't remember the last time I have felt the Spirit so strong. it was incredible. I learned SO many things and all of the questions that I wrote down ALL got answered. I am still on such a spiritual high. the quote in my subject line was one of my favorite things that he said. "the Lord loves the unlikely to accomplish the impossible" when he said that everyone just stared at him and said "wow". he is truly a man of God and the next prophet!! He shared some very sacred and personal experiences with us and he has the sweetest smile. I got to shake his hand! But I will never forget that day. At the end of the meeting we sang "I know that my Redeemer lives" with the organ and blasting and saying that I was an emotional wreck during the last song is an understatement. some things that I loved that he said:
"Why do you think missionaries are here? Because they can simply make your life better"
"your letters are scripture to your family" (guess I have to try extra hard now;))
"You can strengthen your family more on your mission than sitting at the dinner table at home"
"This is His church, we are His people"
After that meeting we went to a pizza place in downtown Houston. We were in line about to pay and a guy walks up and says "sister missionaries? I love sister missionaries! I'm paying for all of you!" there were 6 of us together. HOW NICE OF A MAN. and he paid for us.
O is doing VERY well. He is progressing so much. He already knows all of the doctrine and everything (because he has been going to church like all of his life with his wife) but he has really changed and that is one of my favorite things on my mission. seeing people's lifes change because of Christ. that's why I'm here!!!!!! so yesterday he was supposed to tell his wife and they were supposed to announce it in sacrament meeting but his wife WAS SICK! she wasn't at church so tonight we are going over there. we don't know if he has told her yet, we will see! it is so fun having a secret investigator. his baptism is next week and he is planning on having a FULL BLOWN FIESTA. tacos. un baile. todo. im excited.
R is just great. As a recent convert, he is progressing A TON. I have never worked with a recent convert of mine this much and still seeing them progress in the gospel. Every time we go over there to teach him he is so involved and has so many good questions. he is a little nervous about the temple but he got his recommend so that's good! I sat next to him all 3 hours of church yesterday. such a good guy. so humble and loving. he has all of the desires we should have!
So there is a family in our branch, la familia G. They are recently returning from being less-active and have been super strong in the Gospel. they have 2 older kids and one young kid, G who is about 4. He has autism and they are in the process of figuring it out. The mom is very stressed and sometimes depressed. We have been going over there a lot because she LOVES the missionaries and she feels like she can tell us anything (which we love and want). the last time we went over there, it wasn't planned. we just felt like we should go. it was such a good night and you could tell the Spirit had a big role. when we knelt down to say the prayer, little G folded his arms, closed his eyes, mumbled something that we couldn't understand and said "amen". we all answered "AMEN!". sweet little things like that just testify that Heavenly Father is doing His work.
Yesterday at church, there was a missionary giving his farewell. I don't know if I have mentioned this but every kid here is fluent in English. Every parent here is fluent in Spanish. The parents move here from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and have their kids here and their kids grow up in English schools. it is interesting. some of the parents know English perfectly and some have no idea. So, this missionary had to give his talk in Spanish (we are in a Spanish branch) and he was struggling. like hard core and I felt super bad for him. he was getting really frustrated at himself (haha I totally understand). when it was time to bear his testimony he said "I am saying this in English" and he got VERY emotional. it was so sweet. I think it hit him that he was going on a mission and all of the missionaries started crying. haha. he said "I KNOW it is right. I KNOW that it is where I am supposed to be." such a good example to us, missionaries. he is going to California-Spanish speaking. don't remember which mission. but it was a cool little experience to watch and how the people in the branch couldn't understand him but could feel the Spirit still.
I have learned so much this week than any other time in my mission. I have learned to be patient with my companions, to love the little moments in life, to count my blessings, to teach with the Spirit, to learn by the Spirit, to love those you teach and to love the Lord and His Atonement. I have almost been here for a month and I have already grown A TON. Missions are the best!
thanks for all of the love every week! love you all so much!
aren't these kids the cutest little things?? we went to contact a referral one day and these kids were playing outside in a courtyard. they had gotten a ball stuck in the tree and one of them was up in the tree shaking the branches and the other ones were throwing stuff up there to get the ball. one of them was using a huge water bottle and when they threw it up there, it would rain water on us. every time. but unlike every other kid here, these kids didn't speak English. they loved how we were white but spoke Spanish to them. there were American kids there too who didn't speak Spanish but they were playing together anyway even though they couldn't communicate. I love that!
THIS IS O AND HIS WIFE! we were on the road one day and we stopped at a stoplight and look over and there they are. they look like celebrities here. they are from the Dominican republic (that's why). she is beautiful and he is just a rockstar. so happy I got this shot.