Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another baptism this week- and superglued fingers...

AH stress!!!
I have so incredibly much to write and not nearly enough time!!
Ok, well for starters, we had another baptism this week, with a guy named Martin. What a story... 

SO this guy was the investigator of Hma W and Hma DL, and was supposed to get baptized two times before, but both times he got cold feet and canceled his baptism, said maybe later he would try again when his parents don't have so much influence on him. So they stopped visiting him.

HOWEVER like 2 days before Hma de Leon left, he came to church again. Turns out he has a girlfriend who is a member, and she goes to Huerta, the branch right before us. So we start teaching him again, and at first he's still hesitant, but finally we commit him to be baptized again, this time for real. And we met with him and his girlfriend every week and he was going to church and we were so sure he was ready for this, and so like a week ago we changed his baptism date to this past Saturday (the 7th) and he accepted. SO we were all excited and everything was going to be great, and then Saturday comes and he calls us and tells us that he wants to cancel his baptism again.

So we`re about to start our English/ piano classes that we give every Saturday morning in the chapel, but we emergency ask the Hermanas of Huerta to take over so we can talk to Martin. So he`s on his way and we call in his brother Roberto for backup, who is this super active member and he's awesome, runs all the way to the church and comes in all sweaty. And so we ask Martin what’s up., He says he doesn't want to feel rushed and that maybe it’s not the right time for him and yadda yadda.... and I have no idea what I'm going to say to him, all I know is that I have to change his mind and I'm praying like crazy for the words to come. Then I start talking and I realize I'm being kinda super hard on him, but I keep going. I tell him that he KNOWS this church is true and he KNOWS he needs to get baptized, he's just giving in to Satan’s temptations and delaying his own salvation. And its dead silent (we're in the sacrament meeting room) and it’s just me talking but it's pretty intense. Then I remember some scriptures HT and I were reading that morning in D&C 121 when Joseph Smith was suffering in jail, and asking where God is hiding, and I read the verse that says something like "Thine adversity and afflictions will be but a small moment...." but I read it with his name, as if he were talking to him. Then all of a sudden, he starts crying. Like, sobbing.  So I stopped and had no idea what to say. I have never made someone cry before like that so it kinda took me by surprise. So we sit there a few minutes in silence and HT asks him what he's feeling, then he breaks down and tell us that he doesn't feel like his family supports him (And this is the same problem he had before, his parents are like anti mormon and don't want him to get baptized. Roberto got baptized cause he's kinda a rebel and doesn't care what his parents say haha)

So then we read D&C 31 when its talking to Thomas B Marsh about having to leave his family to go on a mission, and the promises of the Lord to him, and then everyone starts crying, including me ‘cause this is the same scripture that HG read to me my first week here in the mission when it was super hard and I wanted to give up. Well in the end he agreed to go forth with his baptism so we're super relieved and go on with our day. Then like an hour later, we go talk to our missionary leader Andres to remind him to fill up the baptismal font (cause it takes about 2 hours to fill up) and get the baptism clothes and all that jazz, and he then proceeds to tell us that the font has a burst pipe, and we can't fill it up. And it’s like 2:30. and the baptism is at 6. SO we start stressing out again a little, and we call the elders of Sierra to see if we can use their church for the baptism cause ours is busted and on top of that they're repairing the bathrooms and there’s dirt everywhere and so yeah. The elders say its fine but they're like 30 minutes away in their little town, so we have to call someone else who has keys to the chapel of Sierra, and nobody answers for a while but we finally get a hold of their branch president, and he says that he can meet us in 20 minutes in the chapel to open the door and help set up. So we call Martin to ask if it’s ok that now his baptism is in Sierra, and he says all serious "let me call you back in a minute" and we're like AHHHH he's having doubts again!! And at this point I feel like the babysitter, like " Where’s the kid? Is he happy? Is he crying? What's he need? Can someone watch him while I clean the house? But we have to work out the baptismal font issue, so we head over to Sierra(we're now with 2 girls from our branch cause I had forgotten that they were going to accompany us for visits, and so they just tagged along in this adventure) and we get to the chapel, only to discover that the font is still full of water from the elders last baptism! Like a month ago. And the water is NASTY. There’s like bugs and mold and who knows what else in there. And it’s now like 4:30.  We open the drain but its draining soooo slowly, we grab some buckets and start scooping the water out and pouring it in the toilets of the bathrooms cause they're equally nasty cause they're broken and don't flush... But we're kinda in a hurry and the floors are slippery and I have no shoes on and so somewhere during this hour I manage to slip and FALL into the nasty baptismal font, and so now I'm soaked but we have to keep going.

Martin texts back and says everything is fine again (SIGH OF RELIEF) but he's about to show up and we have to hurry and clean the font, and fill it up and try to mop up some of the water on the bathroom floors, and the elders show up and Martin shows up with his brother and everything’s falling into place, BUT now we have no clothes cause Andres WAS there helping us but he had to leave for some reason and nobody knows where he is, but turns out he sent Ronald to go find the clothes cause Ronald calls us to ask where they are and we're like "we don't know only Andres knows!!!" and he doesn't have a key and AHHH!! But he manages to find the key and get the clothes and bring them to the chapel, and now we're starting like an hour and a half later, but, we start. And I don't breathe out until he emerges from the water. 

And actually the baptismal service was really nice cause 1- the chapel of Sierra is a lot newer than ours and a lot prettier, and 2- we had a projector and were showing some cool inspirational videos, and 3- there were a lot of people who showed up to the service!
In other news, our recent convert Fredy has turned into superman and he's paying his tithing, he now has a calling as the branch secretary, goes to all the meetings, fulfills all his responsibilities, ALREADY has the melchizedek priesthood, and is progressing so fast that I think I might actually be able to see him get sealed in the temple:) you have to wait at least a year after a baptism to get sealed in the temple and he got baptized in April and I'm leaving in April, but who knows?? fingers crossed!

In other other news, Hma T superglued her fingers together this week. It took us like 30 minutes of freaking out and like 2 hours of soaking in nail polish remover but thanks to Ronald and our branch president’s wife, she's good now.
Also I'm learning Maya.
And it’s raining so much here.
Ok I have to go now but I love you all and sorry to everyone who I wasn't able to email! I'll email you next week!!


Sunday, June 1, 2014

"You are going to be a trio...AGAIN..."

AH that's so weird you guys were there right where I've been for the past six months [Jeff and Camille were in Merida but we didn't see Samantha- she didn't break any rules! ] !!!!! 

So I got grandma and grandpa's Christmas package today! Tell them thanks so much!!!! The HLJ [Haz Lo Justo- Choose the Right ] rings is such a great gift for a missionary to give away and a way cute idea!!! 

So wanna know what our changes are? Ok so last night after we finished talking to our families, we had to take pictures with the family that we were with 'cause what if we left the area and would never see them again? 

Anyway then it was sooo late and we had to RUN to the branch presidents house (well technically we took a taxi) and pickup some forms of recent converts for this thing the mission president needed, then we got home way late, and our district leader called us to tell us the big news for transfers. So he had called us earlier and told us the "transfers" but it was a big fat lie and he told me I was leaving my area and all this crap, which I should have expected cause that's like custom here... I don't know if its like that in all missions, but here the district leader always makes up some story of what's up for you for the next six weeks before telling you the truth. I think they have a competition called "who can make up the most bogus story to make someone in your district cry" or something. ANYWHO so he tells us the transfers (that HT and i just stay in our area THANK GOODNESS) and then I was about to go to bed cause it was almost 11 and the ZONE leaders call and they're like "Hermana Smith you have to drive to Merida tomorrow and pick up your new companion, you are going to be a trio. AGAIN. this will be my FIFTH time being in a trio. And you know who our new companion is? Hermana laura. AGAIN. This will be our third time being in a trio together. What the heck??? But hey it's cool we're reunited again and now HT has to speak all only Spanish again. OK well I have to go but I told you guys a bunch yesterday so hope you're good with this! Love you!


"Dang special changes..."

 So guess what happened this week?. Special changes AGAIN.

 I swear I am a magnet for these dang special changes. And this time they weren't for us but they affected us. Like a ton. 

So yesterday everyone's trying to call the elderes from Huerta (our next door neighbor area) and I don't know why but nobody can get a hold of them. But whatever we have better things to worry about right? So this morning, our zone leader calls and he's like :" Hermana Smith can you check and see if Hermana Garcia left a black bag in the chapel? she can't find it. Oh and by the way, the elderes of Huerta had special changes and now they're gone and Huerta is officially temporarily the responsibility of you guys. good luck bye!" Do you KNOW how many people we're talking here? Ticul is pretty small, but we have a TON of people to visit. We were actually about to ask President Garcia to send another companionship here to help us cause we don't have enough time in the week to visit all the people that need to be visited. BUT haha Hermana Smith funny story now you have not only your area but ANOTHER one as well!! 

So this will be a fun week. involving lots of moto taxis. Hopefully someone will be returning to Huerta next week for the real changes, but hey who knows? Maybe this is God's way of telling me I'm not working hard enough or something? But I'm excited. It'll be fun. 

OK another cool thing. So we have this investigator C, and about 2 weeks ago we were teaching her, and her neighbor walks in, this 12 year old girl named D. so we invite her to watch the movie with us (we were going to watch the restauration) and so she does and after we're talking about like faith or how God answers prayers and everything, and then we ask D if she wants to say the prayer. So she does and she starts crying and telling God how her brother died and she's really sad and.. I didn't really understand a whole ton cause she was crying, but afterward we hugged her and gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet and told her we would visit her sometime. Oh and we gave her a book of Mormon too. Then we got super busy and kinda forgot about her until a couple days ago, when C reminded us about her again, so we decided to be late to our appointment and go see her real quick. And when we went to her house we started talking to her and she brought us her book of Mormon, and she had been reading it religiously!! No pun intended. In 1 1/2 weeks she read all the way to Alma 20 something. And she totally understood it all!  She was telling us about Nefi and his family and Alma and the four sons of Mosiah and we were like astounded. We went over restauration with her, totally got it all. And accepted a baptismal date. And this is a big deal cause people here, they don't read. And when they do read, they don't understand. And much less kids! Actually that's not true, some of our best investigators are kids. But it was really cool. 

In other news, we got kicked out of a house for the first time this week. I don't know if it was the spirit of contention or a misunderstanding or WHAT but we were talking to this girl and her dad was there making hats and turns out he's a less active member. But he hasn't gone to church in years. Anyway so we were GOING to sing a hymn but we get to talking to this guy and we're asking him about his experience with the church and why he stopped going and he tells us that he used to leave with the missionaries to preach, but when the misionary who baptised him returned to his house, he lost all his enthusiasm. Then I don't know how it came up but he says something like " oh and we have to suffer like God suffered cause if we don't then we're saying that we're better than God!" And HT with the best intentions explains that we don't have to suffer, and that's exactly why Christ suffered, so we don't have to. But he misunderstands or something and starts yelling and so I try to calm him down and he's all "You don't understand the doctrine! you don't understand anything! You're just kids and you shouldn't be teaching the gospel! I know more than you cause I've taught with the missionaries! You're not mormons! You don't know that this is true!" and just a bunch of nasty stuff. And at first it was kinda funny cause he was like "you're not mormons!" and I was like "um last time I checked I was.. and hey, yup I have this nametag here that says I am so yeah.." but then he was like in my face and I'm not gonna lie it kinda shook me. Not my testimony or anything, just the experience. practically all of the people are super nice and accepting here, but those that aren't... well we have to try to teach them anyway and at least be loving towards them. but wow.. that was rough. So he told us to leave and not return and we shook his hand and left. His daughter was like "yeah another day, another day.." which is the nice people way of saying don't come back... but hey what're you gonna do?

OK so there's just some of my stories for the week. Hope you enjoyed them. And I'm going to be calling the house on skype at either 4 or 5 in MEXICO time. not sure what time that is there. right now its 5:06 here. so like this hour or an hour earlier. Also I invited Shelley to the house for that call, hope that's ok. if not, well kick her out but just be nicer than the guy who kicked us out of his house.. ;) 

See you all next week! 


"Allelujah and leafy mystery hose water..."

Ok well I can tell you guys the story of Fredy on mothers day when we skype. It’s a pretty intense story, but with a happy ending. 

SO yeah I told you in my email last week about the baptism. That was fun. 

Hey cool story, so last Sunday, didn't even realize it was Easter. That’s like not a thing here. Just Holy Friday. and that IS a big deal. which apparently calls for lots of beer... how ironic. But glad your Easter went well!

OK here’s the stuff that went down this week…

Well last night we had that concert thing where this family (The dad just so happens to be some counselor of Presidente Garcia [Sam’s mission president] so he was all on board with this concert missionary activity thing) came in from Merida and sang their little program and it was so pretty! It was way similar to what we did in Inspire, and they even sang one of the same songs that we sang in Inspire!! It’s called allelujah and the only words in it are allelujah so its a pretty universal song. But I cried and it was so beautiful! BUT NOBODY who we invited came... Do you know how many people we invited. Like a lot. At least 300. The only nonmenbers who came from our area were those who were invited by someone in the rama [branch]. And there were only four of them.. SO that was just a little disappointing, but hey what're you gonna do. But we're going to try again, Presidente Echeverria (the dad of the choir) said that we're going to do another concert in the chapel of sierra in June so we have to invite twice as many people this time!

Another cool story, we taught this lady who is the mom of Irvin, one of our recent converts, and before she was kinda uninterested cause Hermana dL left and she was like really attached to her, but the other day we went and she told us that she had this super cool experience with the spirit and she knows this is the true church and while she was praying she made a promise to god to come to the church with us on sunday and one day, she would definitely get baptized!! And she came to church, but she's afraid to put a definite date for baptism so we're still working on that.. Pray for her please!!!

OK so the beginning of the week, for like four days we didn't have water. Nobody on our street did. I think they were doing reparations or something. At first we were pretty worried cause how the heck are we gonna bathe and wash dishes and our clothes and everything? But luckily we found a hose in our front yard that still gives water. From where? No idea. But I'm pretty sure nobody has used this hose for quite some time because when we first turned it on the water was super dirty and full of dead bugs and stuff. And after a while it turned clear but it still had pieces of leaves or something that came out. Anyway we had to fill up buckets with the leafy mystery hose water and use that to bathe and wash dishes and stuff. HT had a pretty hard time with it and normally I would too, but I don't know.. its funny how a mission changes you (well this mission anyway, I don't know if you would run into this problem in the US) things like personal hygiene becom less and less important... haha ok well that sounded gross, but you know what I mean right?

Ok well I'm out of time now, but I love you all dearly and I'll see you soon!!