Well Howdy Ya'll!
This week we have had some great country experiences. I am fixing to tell ya'll some great stories. Huntsville is so wonderful, and we honestly are experiencing everything at once. I LOVE IT HERE! Where to begin, where to begin...we have seen so many great miracles this past week, and even if they are small, they are collectively growing. The tender mercies of the Lord are everywhere!
Here are some miracles in the Spanish department.
So here in Huntsville, there are not as many people that speak Spanish (especially in comparison to my last area). We are trying to receive revelation for how we should best balance the work in this area, and have been praying for more opportunities to speak Spanish. We are going to be starting English classes, so that will be really good! But here are those miracles. We were out in the country and stopped at a little store to use the bathroom. While I was waiting my turn, I noticed that there were two people speaking Spanish to each other behind the meat counter. So I'm standing there, thinking of how I can start a conversation with them and see displayed on a wall a whole bunch of Mexican herbs that I had no idea how to use. So I grabbed one that I didn't recognize and walked up to her and said "Tengo una pregunta...." and then asked her about what it was used for. Then we had a great conversation that turned into us talking about church and she told me that she had a brother who was a member of our church that was less-active. She gave us his phone number, so we are going to contact him! We helped them understand an urgent letter from the government as well. haha so random. But they also let us leave pass along cards on their counter for customers to take!
We also met a member that moved into our ward this week, and her first language is Spanish! So we can talk to her in Spanish too!
We found a trailer park of all people that speak Spanish!
One of the part member families that we visit has a caretaker that just came back from Peru, and we are going to work on family history with her, in Spanish!
Then we just had a miracle sitting here in the library while emailing! We're sitting here at the computers and hear a voice saying "one, two, three..." "What is that?" and we realize that there is a girl sitting behind us, learning English! So we talked to her and found out that she is from Mexico. She is interested in coming to our English classes too, so we got her phone number to contact her! It is really amazing how the Lord has been blessing us. We have struggled for a little while to try to balance all of the work out, but it has been such a marvelous experience! I used to be contacting, only looking for the people that speak Spanish to talk to--how ignorant I was! All of these people are children of God and all of them deserve the chance to accept the gospel. Just because I was called to serve my mission speaking Spanish, doesn't mean that I can't help those who don't speak Spanish along the way! Huntsville has really helped me in that regard as I am going out of my comfort zone to talk to everyone that I possibly can. I'm still working on it, still trying to figure out how to begin the most awkward conversations of my life, but hey, I'm just embracing being awkward. That's the only way to do it!
Miracles from the English/YSA from this week have been really great as well. One of my personal favorites is about Mommalesa. So we have a list of members in the ward who don't want home or visiting teachers, so we've decided to have the missionaries try it out and see if we can get in with any of them. So we tried to visit a woman who was on the list, but she wasn't home when we knocked on her door. Then on the way back from another appointment we drove past her house again and Hermana Loo said "There's a light on! Let's go try again." So we pull over and go knock on the door. (Which by the way, when we knocked on the door the biggest dog I have ever seen in my life comes up to the door and starts barking at us. Literally Sandlot status here. Later we found out that he weighs 200 pounds!) haha sorry just a sidenote. Thank goodness we tried again though. No one came to the door, but about a minute later a lady comes walking around from the back and we began to talk to her and she was the lady we were looking for! She said "I don't usually open the door, but I saw you two standing out here with your big, beautiful smiles and for some reason I decided to open up." Then she invited us to come in and visit with her, and wow did we have an amazing experience. We just began to talk, to get to know one another, we were laughing and smiling, it was so great! Then in the middle of the conversation she stops and said "I'm sorry, I just have to say it...I love you two! I've been avoiding and dreading this moment for years now, but I am so glad that you two stopped by. You are welcome here anytime!" Such a miracle! She had been avoiding missionaries and members from the church for so long, and then she just decided to open the door and we had such a great experience! It was amazing how she opened up to us. She said that she was telling us things that she hadn't even told her father. The Spirit there was so strong, and the love of God was present. That was one of the moments on my mission where I saw her potential just shining through, I just knew that she has such divine potential. I think in that moment I was able to see her the way God was seeing her. I don't know what the difference was, but something just clicked that night. It went from her hesitantly opening the door to talk to us, to her escorting us back to her car with a flashlight and firearm and inviting us over again. haha I love her so much! Her name is Annalesa, but we call her Mommalesa. haha She is so sweet! She sees her husband only 30 days or so out of the year, so I can't even imagine how lonely it must be at times. So that was such a cool miracle! I am so excited to keep visiting her!
And with YSA we are still working up on campus, planting seeds to get ready to harvest the fruit. I get to go on exchanges to Texas A&M tomorrow, so that will be exciting too! We're trying to work more closely with them to see their ideas and apply them here. And then Matt is getting baptized on Saturday! We are so excited for him! And he is seriously sooooo excited! He is so happy! It is the most incredible thing to see the light, joy, and happiness of the gospel of Jesus Christ come over someone. We had an amazing lesson with him last night, and I asked him "How did you come to know that these things were true?" He said that when he was learning about it that he just knew it was right. He felt that it was right. It's like he already knew it (and he did!). He said the only way he can describe it is the way the guy described it in the mormon message "The Hope of God's Light." The guy in the video said, "I felt something I had never felt in my life, something 20 times stronger than any drug I had ever taken. It was as if someone were hugging me, as if someone were telling me I was home, that these people were good, and that I needed to be with them, that God was there, and that He knew me by name at that He loved me." Matt said that if he could describe it, it would be like that. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is amazing and we are so lucky to have it! If we could help others recognize that, then we are fulfilling our purpose here on earth.
We got a rare cold front! We could actually wear scarves!
So yes, life is good. I love being a missionary! I honestly cannot say that enough. I don't ever want to stop! How did I get so lucky to be a part of the Lord's work? I AM SO HAPPY.
Love you all!
1. In the country feeding the horses some hay
2. Scarf weather! Loved that cold front. Love the country too!