Monday, August 25, 2014

"... And we still don't know where the scorpion went, but HP is convinced that it's in her suitcase."

August 25, 2014

Soooo this week didn't go so well either, but we worked so crazy hard to get our investigators to church and have members with us in lessons. And the members are awesome and almost every single lesson we had this week, a member came with us so that was cool.

 But we had ZERO investigators in church! AGAIN. This is literally the hardest thing to get people to do here! And I guess I should have expected it cause this week was stake conference [a stake is made up of several wards in the area and conference is a few times every year] so everyone had to travel to Merida for church and we can't make people pay money to take the bus to Merida for church, but we were actually expecting 2 investigators there who didn't come... And yesterday we went by Lucy's house to see why she didn't come and turns out she really wanted to but couldn't because of another commitment she had and was trying to get out of it, but she was upset that she couldn't come. The good news is the stake conference was beautiful and awesome and we got to stay the night with some Hermanas in Merida who are super fun. But the speakers were  talking about how the members have to help the missionaries and their responsibilities and everything and it was JUST what the ward needed to hear, and that night we got to have ward council finally! So that was so good! And now the ward is excited to help out and organize activities and stuff so yay!
 Pretty sunset in Izamal

Rain in Izamal

Hermana Smith Singin' in the Rain

Fun story, Friday night we're driving home in a taxi and Elder F (the District Leader ) calls and says "Hermana Smith I have some news for you.. you have SPECIAL CHANGES and you are going to Mulsay with Hermana de Leon and you have to be in Merida tomorrow at 8.... AND by now I've learned to never trust your district leader so I was like OK Elder whatever really what do you need? And he wouldn't let it drop! He was so serious so I was like, "What the heck?"  We had to pay the taxi driver so I said  "OK I'll call you back in 5 minutes." So I told HP what EF said, and I don't know if he's joking or not, and she starts freaking out cause she thinks she'll die if I leave and she's left here with a different companion.

 Then we get in the house and I was in the bathroom and I hear HP scream. And she's like Hermana come here!!!!! So I come out and she shows me this huge black scorpion on our table. And I'm not super freaked out 'cause I've seen scorpions before, but HP hasn't and she starts hyperventilating. And I'm not gonna lie, this thing is nasty looking. But we don't know how to kill it or get rid of it cause neither one of us wants to get near it, and it's crawled on the leg of the table making it hard to get at. So I said OK I'm calling EF 'cause we have to call back anyway. So I call him (meanwhile looking up the Spanish word for scorpion) and tell him that there's one in our house. And all this time HP is crawled up in her hammock and almost crying and wants to pray so that the scorpion will die and keeps running from our room to the other room where I'm talking to EF. And then EF is like well I don't know what to do about that, but by the way I was just kidding about your special changes.. so then I give him a mouthful and HP comes running in to see what happened, and I tell her it was a joke and she gets all super mad at EF for freaking us out for nothing. Then she goes back into the room to find that the scorpion disappeared, and comes back in freaking out and standing on her chair. And so that was our stressful night. And we still don't know where the scorpion went, but HP is convinced that it's in her suitcase.

This is Norma Ricalde. We LOVE this family, they're members. She doesn't speak English but she has this bag and I thought it was so funny!

OK well I guess that's all for today. Hope next week I have better news for ya'll!


Friday, August 22, 2014

"...I vote that Moroni should be president of the United States."

August 18, 2014

Dear people.

Bad news, Izamal is officially the worst area in the mission. We are the area that has gone the longest without baptizing, and we're the ONLY area who has not baptized at all this year.... The assistants told me that yesterday... They had to drive down to Izamal to come to our church service, hold an emergency ward council (which by the way, we  NEVER have.) and he planched [there's that word again] the council. Oh they planched them good. They said : "we don't want to have to take away the missionaries from this area, they are a priviledge!" Then the Bishop got all upset and said, " Elders I am in charge of my ward council, not you guys, so I'll tell therm what to do, and also could you give the [mission] president a little message for me, the reason nothing is happening here is because our goals aren't in sync..." and a bunch of other stuff. And of course it was a little more polite, but the interesting juicy dramatic version in my head went something like that. And it was pretty tense. 

And we're STILL left without a ward council, and this is like week 4 now that we haven't had one. It's bad.  And our one progressing investigator stopped progressing because he didn't come to church.  Ugh. Everyone in the ward blames it on the fact that the people in Izamal are just by nature hard-hearted and won't accept the gospel. but I KNOW there are people here who are prepared for the gospel!  It's just been rough trying to find them,. And this week we did pretty well in having members go with us to lessons, but the people just don't want to come to church! ugh. Ok that's a little bit of my missionary anxiety for you, but hey... Igbok. [favorite Samantha saying -  "It's gonna be OK"]

In other news I'm reading right now in Alma 48ish, and I vote that Moroni should be president of the United States. He'd do way better of a job...

There's this girl we're teaching named Lucy and HP and I LOVE her! She might be our best investigator right now. Maybe...
I have pictures! But I'm way out of time so I'll have to send them next week.

Ok love you all bye!


SO I heard from three different people now of the fiasco with the horses [while at a family reunion in Zion's horseback riding some people were hurt ] on Wednesday! Sounds crazy but glad everyone is fine! I got your package! Came sooner than I had expected, after like 3 weeks or something. I LOVED the pictures!!!!! Miranda is a freakin babe!!! (woah sorry thats totally something HP would say, she's rubbing off on me) And Also, HP fell in love with that dress you sent, she's wearing it right now haha along with my earrings and my belt. She got tired of her clothes really fast.

 Ok ya'll ready for  big news? WE POR FREAKING FIN HAVE A PROGRESSING INVESTIGATOR THIS WEEK!!! its the first one since being in Izamal... And its not who you'd expect, but we had a really cool experience with him this week.

  "Just our neighbor herding a bunch of goats into his house. It's a regular Thursday occurrence."

 SO on Friday we went to Merida (ugh we ALWAYS have to go to Merida..) for zone conference and the zone leaders planched [ as far as I can tell planchar means to scold, set straight or something close to that] us about crying repentance unto the people, and how we need to invite everyone to repent. Anyway so we got back late that same day, and we decided to go with this one guy that we had visited once like forever ago but he didn't seem to have retained anything that we said the first time, he might have been a little drunk. But we went to visit him and couldn't go into his house 'cause he was alone but we just stood outside and talked about repentance, like we had just been taught. And even though we were just standing by his gate and it was starting to rain, it was a really powerful lesson, and he told us that he really does want to change. So he promised to come to church, and then on Saturday night we texted that guy A (I think I've already talked about him, he ROCKS and is super into helping us) and asked if he could pick up the guy before church and when we got there he was THERE! and he had accepted a fecha [date] so he's officially progressing! We just have to keep up with this one.

Thanks for my package again!


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

"I'm praying so hard to have progressing investigators..."

Aug 4, 2014

Hi Mom!

Sorry this is gonna be a short letter today cause I'm way short on time but I sent a ton of pictures and they say a picture is worth a thousand words!

 P-day Mexican pizza party
 "I wonder how long this car has been here... But this is like the norm. This ivy stuff grows all over EVERYTHING"
I call this one: "Christopher Colombus searching for a new world. On top of a mayan pyramid."

"HP and I got some flowers from these adorable little twin daughters of one of our investigators. We went to Tahmek this week to see a baptism and she wanted to come with us! And she brought her daughters."

"This is the Ku Velazquez family and they rock. We eat lunch with them every single Saturday and they have the single most delicious food I've had since being here. The little kid Fernando is adorable and the oldest son rocks cause he always goes on visits with us. And he looks like Mexican Edward Cullen." 

Nope- package hasn't come yet, and I really don't think he [her mission president] even knows what day I'm coming home yet so I don't think I can ask. I just know it's in April. Its always ridiculously hot here, but like June and July are rainy seasons, so it depends if you mind getting wet or not. Branson sounds way fun, wish I could have gone!

This transfer just ended yesterday and HP and I are staying here in Izamal. (surprise surprise) I'm praying so hard to have progressing investigators cause since we've been here we've had ZERO... which is horrible. but I think things might be looking up soon.. I do love it here. Ok I'll write more next week, love you all bye!


"I call it a not-so-typical week for any other missionary, but totally normal for a missionary in Izamal.. "

July 28, 2014 

Pool parties and vacations and family reunions??  Well that sounds almost as fun as walking around all day in like 120° weather teaching the gospel. But not quite... haha no just kidding that sounds way fun!

Well me and HP are getting along well here in Izamal (it's a mall!) Haha and I have a super fun slideshow of pictures to send you guys. I call it a not-so-typical week for any other missionary, but totally normal for a missionary in Izamal.. It's fantastic.

 Climbing pyramids for exercise!!
Sam on the top!
"The baby of the gigantic lizard who lives in the side of our house. I tried to get a picture of the big one, but it hardly ever comes out."

This week.... hmmm well the BIGGEST problem is that we STILL have a destroyed chapel and nobody is coming to church...:( actually that's not true, this one lady came yesterday, but she doesn't want to get baptized and we're in the process of finding out what her deal is... nothing extraordinary really happened this week. Well actually yeah, we came to Centro on Friday morning for interviews. And they decided to schedule our interviews at 7:30 am! And that's not so bad, but when you have to take into account walking time (Like 20 minutes from our house to the bus station in Izamal, and then like 20 more minutes from the bus station in Merida to the mission offices) and then showering and getting ready time, and then we have to get to the bus station early so we can have a seat, (the bus to Merida is surprisingly and incredibly full at 5 in the morning...) and then bus ride time (1 hr 30 minutes) yeah that all adds up. SO we had to get up at like 3ish. And we were so tired, and President G [her mission president] commented to us that we looked tired, and we told him our sad tale of misery and woe. And you know what he does? He just looks at us a minute, and he says (quite sarcastically, and in English) "ohh...poor little missionaries.." Yeah, the mission president! He's not very sympathetic when it comes to, well any sort of excuse for not working harder. His answer is pretty much always "suck it up, forget your problems, and get back to work!" That's just how it is here in the mission. But that's fine with me I guess!

 "We went to the house of some investigators and they decided to introduce us to their animals. HP holding a cute little chicken."
"My turn with the little chicken. he was so fluffy!"

"And then they bring out the big guns. Its a turkey. They just kinda picked it up and shoved it in my face like "look its a turkey!!! big huh?"

Ok well that's all for this week! I'll send pictures! Love ya'll!