Monday, October 27, 2014

Mud, Fish, Oreos, and a whole lot a teachin'

Happy Halloween Texas Baptist Style!
Well folks, this week has been FULL of incredible miracles! I know that a large part of that is due to the fast that we had, fasting is so powerful!! So this is another one of those weeks where I'm going to have to go day by day just to let you know how great it was!

Monday-- we had 2 AWESOME lessons with YSA's, we have extended the baptismal invitation to both, and they are in the process of praying to know for themselves that the gospel is true.

Tuesday--Seriously one of the best nights of my mission! It was stellar! So last week Matt told us of a friend he met at work who is interested in learning more about the church. He set up a lesson for us and we met with his friend T this day. We shared the message of the Restoration and answered a lot of his questions--it was such a good lesson, the Spirit was so strong! He kept saying how he wondered why he never knew any of this before. He told us that 3 years ago a missionary knocked on his door and gave him a Book of Mormon. All he said was "You're going to need this one day." T then talked about how he has moved many different times, but for some reason he has always brought the Book of Mormon with him. He said "I know exactly where it is right now, it's sitting in my kitchen drawer, but I've never opened it up." Well, now he needs it! He is so excited to learn and he says he just wants to keep learning more and more and he doesn't ever want it to end. He said he had been saying little prayers throughout the whole lesson and that something we said always answered the questions he had. He knows something is different, and he knows that it is good. We found out later that night that he had read the chapter we had assigned him in the first 10 minutes after the lesson. He is eager and searching for answers! SUCH A MIRACLE!! Then we had the most amazing lesson with G. We had Matt come talk to her since he went through a lot of the same opposition that she has right now. We could have said the exact same words that Matt said, but it wouldn't have meant nearly as much to her as it did coming from him. You could tell that she had a lot more confidence by the end of it. SUCH A GOOD DAY!

Wednesday--First off, campus was on fire this day. There were so many people that were interested! It was like the first day all over again. Then we had a lesson with T again on the Plan of Salvation, yet again another amazing lesson! We invited him to be baptized and he said "I would give anything for that opportunity. I'd get baptized tomorrow if I could, but I'm not ready for that yet." So that is awesome progress! He is currently praying to know when the Lord feels he will be ready. Keep him in your prayers!

Thursday--We learned how to make homemade gorditas with Hermana Rodriguez! They were delicious! (It's basically like a tortilla stuffed with meat or cheese or both.) Get excited to try them when I come home! :) Then we had 3 back to back lessons at the Institute. One was on family history--we found a girl's great great grandparents in the first 5 minutes we were searching! So awesome! One was on the Book of Mormon, and then the third lesson was on the Restoration and we got a new investigator! Yay!! That is the best!
                                       Cooking up some gorditas

Friday--We are starting English classes this week and went around town to put up some flyers and invite people to come. We hit up all the "Hispanic hot spots" and had some pretty great experiences doing that. 2 people were blown away by the fact that Spanish came out of my mouth. They were like "Habla espanol?! Pero usted es una gringa! (o una bolilla)" haha I was dying, I just looked at them like, well..yeah! Duh! haha it was so funny. Then we talked to some borrachos at the sketchiest gas station ever. But, it was a great experience! (as of today we have already had about 6 or 7 people call us for more information on the classes!!!)
                                  Ready to help with the Mud Run

Saturday--We started off the day with volunteering for a mud run and it was so successful! We have service shirts that we're supposed to wear--they are bright yellow and hard to miss to say the least. So Hermana Loo and I basically got put in charge of starting the race! We made announcements before each heat and started them all too. Because we were in matching shirts everyone thought we were in charge I guess. So we had tons of people coming up to us and asking us questions about the race and also just about who we were (because they saw the name tags) So we were definitely seen! Then later that day, we got a little bit lost out in the country...the GPS took us to the wrong place and there was no cell phone service at all. We were a bit frustrated because we had just wasted a ton of miles and we couldn't call anyone to get the right directions. However, God knows how to get us out of frustration--He makes us laugh. So there we were, on a road, LITERALLY IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE when a man on an ATV drives up in front of our car waving a bright orange flag, signaling for us to stop. Then we see a huge sea of people coming up the road on horses and sitting on patios being pulled by trucks. Hermana Loo and I look at each other and are just like "What in the world is going on!? So we were stuck there just watching everyone pass by. There was just a huge crowd of people riding on their horses and drinking beer, listening to terrible music, basically just partying down this street in the middle of nowhere. What in the world, right?! We were laughing so hard, and I filmed it all as discreetly as I could. Then after it all happened, a few miles down the road we got our answer as we passed the marquee in front of a Baptist Church: "Tailgate Extravaganza." Only in Texas.
Then we went to our first ever fish fry! We fried fish, onions, bananas, oreos...haha all of it. It was pretty fun.
                                     Catching fish for the fish fry
Sunday--Church again was great as always! Then for dinner I tried venison for the first time ever! It was soooo delicious! And then here is another AMAZING miracle!!!!! We have been trying to contact all of the Spanish members of the ward and we were able to visit the A family yesterday for the first time and get to know them. They are a family of 4 and the father is the only member of the church. The 2 kids are 11 and 3. As we began to talk with them, we realized that the rest of his family really have no religious background. As we were talking with them, the Spirit was so strong, and they all want to take the lessons and learn more! We had set up a time to come visit them the week before and when we called to verify the appointment he said "Yeah, we're looking forward to it!" We found out that his wife had been talking to him to find out more about what what we believed in and even asked him to drive past the church to show her where it was at! We gave them each their own copy of the Book of Mormon (and the kids version for the little boy) and talked to them about what the Book of Mormon is. We didn't have time to teach the whole restoration lesson, so we will next week. They are so prepared and want to learn more! The little girl, C was already reading through the Book of Mormon while we were talking. :) The mom even expressed to us that her daughter wants to be baptized and then said "I do too for that matter." She turned to her daughter and said, "We can do it together!" The moment she said that the Spirit filled the room and we know that they felt it too. We came out of that lesson full of gratitude to the Lord for His hand in this work and guiding us to this family that has never been visited by the missionaries. He truly is guiding this work! 
                                         First time for a fried Oreo!
So, if you can't tell yet, being a missionary is the best thing in the world. You have the opportunity to experience a lot of firsts--some that are great, some not so great, some that just make you laugh, but all that make you better. What a blessing it is to be a missionary! I hope that by me sharing the miracles I have seen with you, that it inspires you to make those miracles in your own lives! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!
Con muchisimo amor,
Hermana Hoj

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