April 21, 2014
Hi family and friends!
Another week gone and look at this, I've only got two more P-days till the next transfer.
So this week was really awesome! Last week on P-day, my comp and I went and did some "clothes shopping" but we actually just bought a t-shirt and some "ugly pj bottoms" but they're so dope! I will send pics later! We have been toiling all week as well. Our shower was fixed on Tuesday and we had the chance to teach our progressing investigator Nilson... he is having difficulties giving up his coffee and the worst part is HE ISN'T EVEN ADDICTED HE ONLY DRINKS IT LIKE OCCASIONALLY but he cannot comprehend the word of wisdom. We challenged him to trace back his testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon (which he hasnt been reading) so hopefully he will be able to do his best to read.
Also, I've faced some struggles regarding my health but it's nothing major. Maybe I have to get used the the bacteria here or who knows but I got a stomache ache on Wednesday from an awful lunch I ate and it sucked because the irma (sister) is inactive and she is easily offended so it was hard to refuse her food... the other sister who ate with us got lost and bailed so Neide was really peeved at that plus it felt like everything I was doing was offending her. Even breathing... but I survived and the other food struggle I had was on Friday during the Zone Conference. They made stroganoff for everyone and I am lactose intolerant... I didnt even think of telling anyone so basically all I ate was rice and salad... RABBIT FOOD TO COMMEMORATE EASTER and my is nickname "bunny," right?! It was sad though because I couldn't eat one of my favorite dishes and the irmas that prepared it kept telling me "next time you should tell us youre lactose intolerant blah blah blah..." but other than those two incidents lunches have been great.
In regards of the subject line... so last monday I bought a new bag of pasta since we were running out. No biggie, just regular spiral noodles, the usual thing we buy. But here's the TWIST (hehe): last night when we were making pasta, we dumped the leftover and opened the new bag. Poured the noodles in and BAM! little black bugs floating on top! drained the water and started again. We thought it came from the old bag but upon further inspection, it was from the bag we bought LAST MONDAY! I took pictures for you to see. Little black bug infested pasta! We had to toss the entire bag and eat ramen instead. For once ramen was the healthy alternative... I can't look at spaghetti the same way again. Maybe I wont have any till after the mission. HAH!
We had many interesting teaching experiences; on Tuesday, we met a lady named Sueli and her friend Bruno. So we taught the first lesson and talked about prophets and she was totally intrigued with latter-day prophets! You could feel the spirit as we testified of the Restoration. After the closing prayer, we saw that Bruno had tears in his eyes! Jackpot! Also we met a kid named Diego who was visiting his god-mother. Though he was born catholic, he no longer has faith in Christ. Rather, he has adopted agnostic-like beliefs and asked us a BUNCH of questions to the point where we could NOT keep up with the discussion. At one point I had to ask him to halt so we could answer one of the many questions that could be answered through the restoration. Still, he kept asking and such, but he was intrigued with the Apostasy. It got out of hand (we did answer some of his questions, but it was hard) and then Sister Pence couldn't take it so she just bore her testimony and I bore mine... we stayed there for over an hour because of the hulabaloo of a discussion we had, but in the end, Diego's mother thanked us for coming since his faith is waivering and she was suprised that he was even wanting to talk to us. Diego also told me that he was suprised that we didn't walk out on his questions or seemed frightened. He was impressed with our conduct, our calmness and our organization, which is good right??
Saturday took the cake though. Once again it looked like it was going to rain, so my comp and I thought it best to stop by our apartment and get my umbrella. We passed in front of this lady's house that is right in front of our complex; we thought we could talk to her before going home, why not? She was SO interested in our message and I even started to cry during the lesson. It was a very spiritual experience, despite the fact that it started to rain hard on us and the roaring thunder interrupted some of our discussion. Darci is her name. She felt the Spirit in our message and we set a date with her. Also, she asked what happened to the other sisters, so we told her about transfers and blah. She then tells us that "I always saw them walking by and they always said hello, but they never stopped to give me the message you shared." and it hit me hard. Sometimes we go through such great measures to find the elect. We walk in the blistering sun and in the pouring rain in hopes to find someone in need of the gospel. We walk for miles to find them, but sometimes they are literally in front of us. This was the biggest lesson I learned this week, right next to the awesome teaching techniques we got from zone conference! If there are a few things I could leave with all of you now, it would be to always see what is in front of you. You never know. The answer could be right in your face and you won't know it. Second, always open your mouth. This is directed at the member missionaries but it applies for everyone else. Third of all, you can never help others when you are comfortable. Thats my motto. At times I feel like I can't handle being sweaty, or my shoulders hurt no matter how many times I swich shoulders on my bag, and I can't escape the mosquitos no matter how much repellent I have on me. But it doesn't matter so much since I am doing the Lord's work and I can put aside my personal comfort to help others in need. Will others benefit if I am in total comfort? NO! I always have to step outside my comfort zone and its not easy, but I know the blessings are worth it.
Ibetter wrap up my email. But wait there's more *Billy Mays voice* I am so blessed to be here in Dourados! My companion and I are always willing to work and we always have something to learn from each other each day. I feel so close to the Lord with each prayer I say and I have had peace in my heart after all my little troubles. It is hard to mark baptisms and have people follow through since Cuiaba mission is still growing; but I know our efforts are not in vain, every seed that is planted will eventually be reaped and hopefully this week we can thrust in our sickle and find more of the elect. I love you all so much and I never forget you in my prayers!
Love you lots! Eat lots of Barilla for me. I only had BUGrilla here in Dourados and ain't nobody got time fo dat!
-Sister Mariana Espiritu