Tuesday, March 11, 2014

We can't sugar coat everything... The salvation of people's souls is at stake here!

[this is an excerpt from a really nice email we got from Elder Sparks who is serving a mission with his wife in Merida too]  

Today was the Stake Conference for Chuburna, your daughter is assigned to one of the wards in that stake.  In our assignment we visit all the wards and stake so we know the members, bishops etc in all the stakes.  Chuburna is a great stake and we love the people there so we visited their conference today.  We got there early to visit and enjoy a seat close to the front.  About 15 minutes before the meeting started in walked (more like floating on air) your daughter, she had the biggest smile on her face and was moving with quickness of purpose and I watched her eyes look around and survey what was and was not going on.  She immediately began talking to people, moving them to better or reserved areas, helping her companions see the needs of others.  She was directing every thing like a mother hen, she was making sure all her little chicks were fine, had good seats, were greeted etc.  I pointed it out to my wife and we both enjoyed watching her.  The whole time doing this she had a big smile and it was very easy to see how happy she was to be here and in doing what she was doing.  She loves the people she is serving and serving with and seems to be so VERY happy.
After conference I took the chance to visit with her about what I observed and how I enjoyed watching her, she smiled and chuckled and then said "it was like herding a group of wild geese".  What a precious daughter you have and what a great missionary she is.  I listened to her Spanish and she keeps getting better and better. 
I know you love your daughter and worry about her but from what I see, she is healthy, learning the language, loving the people and growing closer to her savior than ever before.  Continue to pray for her and encourage her but know that she is happy.

[Now for Samantha's email....]

Ah Elder Sparks is the coolest. I saw him yesterday and he told me that his mission is over and they're about to return to Arizona! 

Care package? haha you guys rock. I don't know, more cute journals? I got that package you sent me- it came last week. Thank you SO MUCH!! You're timing was perfect cause I had just run out of journal the week before. And its way cute! I love the owl one. My zone all thought it was funny that you put pics of Virgin Maria on the package.. 

But hey nobody touched the package so it's all good! Haha Virgin Maria is a big deal here. As you probably already know. I think I've talked about that before... Sometimes we joke about preaching to one of the huge Virgin Maria statutes that everyone has by their front door. 

This week was pretty good, but pretty bad too. I don't know. I guess it was just normal. Super hot as usual, and we are currently teaching this guy Marcelo, I don't know if I told you about him already last week, but he's totally potente [prepared ]!! He was actually a referencia from Edgar (and I don't know why he hasn't told us about this guy before now cause he's known the Perez family forever..) But he totally accepted a fecha [baptismal date] the FIRST lesson and he came to conferencia de estaca [stake conference] on Saturday!! Oh yeah!! We had stake conference this weekend and it was way cool!!! Presidente Garcia [her mission president] came with his wife and they got to meet Marcelo! As did the guy from the seventy who is in our area!! I don't remember his name and I can't pronounce it anyway, but it was way awesome. 

Hermana Laura's birthday- cake and horchata

So Sundays are like, stressfests. as we're sitting there, I'm trying to count how many menos activos [less actives] and investigator there are in the capilla [chapel], and then I have to decide how we're going to talk to all of them before we leave. And that's the rough part. After the closing prayer, everyone scatters, and it's like trying to herd wild turkeys. I have to go talk to this gal sitting with Hermano Monterosso and I'm trying to make eye contact with Elier (Our super duper cool lider misional [ward mission leader]- don't know if I've already told you about him or not) to tell him to go meet that guy sitting with the family Pech ucan, and find out if he's a member or not, and then my companions have to stay with this chick Monica who's sitting next to us (super potente investigadora- just had a baby like 2 days ago!!) and UGH. its nuts.

"Super cute cat"

In other news, I'm learning Maya. I know how to say stuff like: how are you? (Bish a bel) and We're going to sleep. (cosh wuene) But I don't think it's spelled like that cause Maya is spelled way weird.. We have this Book of Mormon in Maya and it's impossible to pronounce the words.

Ok well this week we had a cool experience with prayer.  We were walking around Colonia Tanlum for like the millionth time and hadn't talked to ANYONE! and I was like ok stop we're going to say a prayer. So we did. Right there in the street. And HV was embarrassed, and normally I would be too- but I don't know. Being a missionary, you totally don't care about that stuff. Plus I do something embarrassing on a daily basis..

Anywho after that we found this guy Carlos and taught him and gave him a Book of Mormon and maybe he's potente... but hard to tell cause I think he was drinking.. He's a friend of one of our kind-of investigators Enrique. I say kind of because Enrique is always drunk too when we talk to him. but that's why he talks to us, because he's super sad and wants to stop drinking but he can't, and every time we pass by his house he comes out and talks to us. Sometimes he chases after us if we didn't stop cause we didn't see him. He wants to change and we're trying to get him to come to church. and stop drinking. Yesterday we passed by his house and he was all sad again cause he told us he was drinking. So we gave him a hamburger and told him to throw out his beer. And read some pretty intense scriptures. We've been being brutally honest with people a lot lately. The other day we talked to this menos activa named Esther, and she told us she was going to get baptized into a different church. So we pretty much ordered her to repent and invited her to church again. 
I don't know if it's super effective but hey, we can't sugar coat everything. The salvation of people's souls is at stake here!

Wow this is a long email. Ok I've got to go but I'll try to send pictures now! Love you!


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