Lemme tell ya. When your companion has a birthday, it may as well be your own birthday. This week Hermana Newman got lots and lots of birthday packages, and every single one of them had some sort of candy in it. Combined with the box of candy I had from last week, our companionship has enough sugar to last til through the millenium. Not anticipating so many boxes of sweets, Hermana Haywood and I planned a surprise with a sister in the ward who was going to feed us that night. She made a huge chocolate checkerboard cake, and sent us home with everything we didn’t eat. I think it’s safe to say we’ll all be on a diet….after we finish the cakes of course.
Another exciting event this week was the discovery that my camera can be used as binoculars! Genius! You see, while on a mission, especially a foreign language stateside mission, you tend to spend a lot of time searching for people to teach. There are, of course, certain skills to be acquired in this line of work. One of those, is the art of detective work. Or, as my companion puts it, playing hide and stalk. When looking for potential investigators, one puts a lot of stock into patterns, stereotypes, generalities, and such. So, when one notices something that most Hispanic houses have in common, say Dish 500s, one starts assuming that having a Dish 500 means a Hispanic lives there. And assuming that one wants to come in contact with as many Hispanics as possible, one would start paying special attention to these Dish 500s. So, that’s what we do. We’ve actually become more or less experts at finding them, which leads us to our discovery that a camera can double as binoculars. Comes in pretty handy.
Because we’ve been spending so much time finding people to teach, we haven’t been able to have quite as many lessons this last week. Rather, because we haven’t been having as many lessons, we’ve been spending a lot of time searching out people to teach. But it’s been pretty successful so far, and we’ve had a pretty great week. There were rocky moments like any week, but the good by far outweighs the bad, and we’re still going strong. We showed up to one lesson to find our investigators packing everything up. We were confused and asked what was going on, and one of them, Noe, told us that they had just been told they were going back to Mexico this week. We were really surprised because we thought their visas were good for another month, but apparently they don’t really make the decisions about when they get to go where, so they were given less than a week’s notice to leave. They were really sad and we were too, but we’re confident there’s a reason for everything, so it will all work out in the end. We wrote our testimonies in Books of Mormon to bring with them to Mexico as a little parting gift, but hopefully we’ll be able to see them again someday.
On the other end of the spectrum, there were 4 other investigators we had been teaching before, but a couple weeks ago they told us they didn’t want to meet with us anymore and that they were comfortable with where they were at. So we decided to give them space for a while and let them miss the Spirit we brought with us. It must’ve worked, because yesterday they all called us and asked to meet with us again because they missed listening about our message. So we’ll hopefully be meeting with them this week and they’ll be ready to keep their committments!
I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be serving in this area. These people are great. There are always ups and downs, and as one of our investigators explains it, “la vida es como un avion,” but it’s well worth it and there’s always something greater to gain than you’re giving up. I love you all and hope you have a blessed week!