buenas tardes a todos! this week was full of ups and downs and we were stretched a lot.
first of all, the rain never stops. it is so humid and hot. the weather isn't ideal right now....haha.
generally, the hardest thing this week was seeing all of our investigators drop us or we had to drop them. on Wednesday we went to visit the family from El Salvador and they told us they didn't want us to come by anymore. we tried 2 other people from that same apartment complex and both of them did the same. we walked away with tears in our eyes that night.
the next day we had exchanges and that night Leslie told us that she is moving to North Carolina this week. so shes gone. everything is just adding up and making it really hard for us, especially me. when we don't have success as missionaries, I get really down on myself. really down. but not everything this week were Debbie-downers.
I went to Galveston for exchanges-my favorite place ever! 24 hours on the beach isn't bad once in a while. Every time I have gone there we have taught a black man named Billy. He is the chilliest dude ever. we talked about the Tree of Life with him and tried to relate it to his life. he loved it and compared the fruit to some blackberry muffins and the great and spacious building as "the haters". We were teaching him and a blonde girl walks up to us and starts to tell us that the Book of Mormon is witchcraft and that we don't believe in the right Jesus Christ. oh man, I could barely hold in my frustration. I was a little sassy back to her but Hna. Flores was so sweet and just responded with how Heavenly Father knows everything and we don't. We have to ask him all of our questions and he will answer them. also while I was there we ate with my favorite member there, Hermana Aguirre! she made TACOS AL PASTOR! helllooooo my favorite Mexican food ever. she is the sweetest and she remembered me from the last time! ALSO, because I was on exchanges I got to go to their food truck down there with all of my favorite people there who give huge hugs. they also all remembered me and we had a fun time.
on Thursday we had interviews with President Hall. I was really nervous because he had specific things that he wanted to look at and things we had to teach him by ourselves. but I walked into the room and sat down and he said, "Hermanita Garner, how are you?" and I just balled. I cried and cried. the interview was at the perfect time, God's timing is perfect. He went on to comfort me about everything. I told him everything that was going on that was hard-our companionship, the area, the branch, motivation, finding people with real intent, self-esteem and everything in between. He gave me the best advice and shared perfect scriptures with me that changed my life that day. when we were finishing up I said "Do I still have to teach you repentance?" and he said "You teaching me repentance is not why you came today...don't worry about it" I love worthy priesthood leaders that help us in this journey of life! Speaking of priesthood leaders, President Allred (branch president) has also helped me tremendously this week. we were at church and he said, "I don't know why and I don't know why I feel like this, but I think I need to give you a blessing" so he did and it was incredible! things that I didn't tell him I was struggling with were in there. the power of the Holy Ghost is real!
On Thursday night we had an appointment with a guy named Javier that we talked to about a week ago. He seemed like he would challenge us and doubt our beliefs a lot, he had a lot of questions about Joseph Smith and where it talks about him in the Bible. We went with Rony as our member and the lesson was awesome. Turns out that Javier is the sweetest, politest Hispanic man and all he wants to do is know. He wants to know if it is true or not. he has SO much intent. we have a lot of hope in him. he is supposed to tell us his answer this week sometime. pray for him!
another little miracle. we found this amazing couple at a tire shop one day and got their number to visit them. we got the wrong number so we haven't been able to contact them but they were still on our board (a place they keep track of those they are teaching) because we had hope. the husband has a walking problem because one leg is longer than the other. the wife is sooooo nice and wants to learn English really bad. So we were driving in a neighborhood the other day and we passed a guy with a cane walking in the middle of the street. we passed him and then we looked at each other and said "wait, he looks familiar! FAUSTO?" so we went back and it was the guy! he gave us his address and the right number. what a sweet little tender mercy! Heavenly Father put him in our path for a reason that day.
Saturday we went to the temple with Oscar, Hna. Peralta and another couple from the ward, la familia Moreno. it was amaaaaazing! except for the fact that we had to leave at 5:30 in the morning....haha. whoever knows me well knows that is such a struggle and a sacrifice. OSCAR AND THE TEMPLE ARE WORTH IT! but it was raining pretty hard in the morning and we didn't know if we were going to go....Hispanics are scared of the rain and don't leave if its raining. So we were waiting in our beds at about 5:00 for Oscar to respond to see if we were going or not. he said yes! so we went over to their house, slept on their couch for about 10 minutes before they were ready and we left! We call Hna. Peralta "the queen" because she is always just perfect. so she takes a little bit to get ready...haha. but we left, met the other couple and drove together and got to the temple! we went in and the Spirit was super strong. Hna. Peralta and the other couple did a session and we went with Oscar into the baptistry. he loved it! it was so great. we left the temple and it was super sunny outside. we sat outside and took a ton of fun pictures (he is such a funny photographer) and went to the temple store and walked around. he told us this story: this morning was pouring rain and him and his queen were deciding if they should go to the temple or not. they were watching the news and it seemed like it was going to be pouring. Oscar told the queen "we need to pray. Heavenly father wants me to go to the temple today and Satan doesn't. He is trying to get me to stay home with the rain" so he said he and Hermana Peralta prayed in their bed at 4:20 in the morning. when he finished the prayer he heard Hna. Peralta snoring. he felt like he should go and that Heavenly Father would prepare a way. so he woke her up again, they got ready, called us and we went. on the way there it was pouring and when we went into the temple and came out it was still pouring. but after about 5 minutes after he did baptisms, there were blue skies and it was perfectly sunny. he said that his prayer was answered and he knew that Heavenly Father was proud of him for making that decision. he shared that in his testimony yesterday in fast sunday, it was so good! we are so proud of him and the decisions that he is making. he also told us that he finished the Book of Mormon the other day! he couldn't be more great!!! it was such a fun day with him and Hna. Peralta-we love them and I cant wait for them to meet our family on sunday on Skype!
more sad tears-we said goodbye to one of my favorite families here, the Garcias. they are amazing and I had a hard time saying goodbye. especially Guillermo who whispered in my ear that he loved me and that he didn't want to leave me. I love them and will definitely be visiting them after my mission. they are my favorite.
this email is long, but it includes everything I learned this week. all of the experiences that I share are the ones that were amazing or the ones that were hard but I learned a lot from. I am still struggling with a lot of things, but I am also experiencing the happiest moments of my life. the mission is a perfect place for that and I am so grateful I am here. cant wait to talk to my family on my birthday on sunday-get ready for some Peralta-lovin!
|FAUSTO! walking in the street. such a miracle we found him.|
|Lots of love for the temple, Hermana Reeder and Oscar!!|
|Oscar thought he was the funniest person for thinking of this picture idea.|
|this was right after we ran in the pouring rain together!|