Sunday, April 28, 2013

April 8, 2013 Handcarts and General Conference

Alrighty- Catching up from last weekend to now! :)  Here we go!!!

Sat. March 30 – We missionaries drove up the winding mountain to the Aguas Buenas Camp.  We split into separate groups: my member companion was Minerva, the bishop's wife.  We took 3 chairs out by a tree and waited for a participating, nonmember youth to join us for a lesson on the Restoration.  Minerva speaks English, so I knew that for this lesson, I could freely say and express anything!  There would be no restrictions.  And there weren't!  We got a 16 yr old named Julio. The lesson with him was the most spiritually connecting experience I have ever had.  I asked questions, I waited, I bore my testimony, with Minerva translating the majority of the time (sentence by sentence).  Julio wants to find the truth, and at the end of our lesson, he said his first prayer!  We were all so happy. :) 
The rest of the day was regular- we drove to appointments and hoped the people would be there.  At 8pm Hna Esquen and I finished our fast with one of our investigators.  She's decided to not drink coffee anymore! :)

Sun. March 31 -  Elder Kelly confirmed the newly-baptized girl in sacrament mtg.  After church we had lunch at Hna. Garcia's and then packed our carry-ons - ’cause that night, we spent the night out of town. We went to the Guayabo chapel, and had a wonderful conference with President and every missionary in Puerto Rico!  Night-time, we all followed President to where we would sleep. It was a long, fun, procession line of blinking lights.  :)

Mon. April 1 -  We were up by 4:20am, Pres had us follow him up to the Aguas Buenas Camp.  (I followed directly behind him!)  We were dressed in Gym clothes because:
6am- Elder Tesch talked about the pioneers.
7am- Two volunteer Elders pulled handcarts up a very steep hill.
8am- Pres. Alvarado had us do a Women's pull with the Elders watching on the sides; Pres. had me sit in the handcart along with others. I wanted to help push so badly...
9am- We all had a talk and testimony mtg.  I shared a short testimony.  We had more meetings, group circulations, etc.
1pm -  I got MAIL! THANK YOU to Mom, Elder Andrew W, Miriam and Melissa!  We had choir practice (some of us are performing the 2 middle weekends of April around Puerto Rico).
4pm- Pizza with the President!
9pm- I finally got to email from the Tesch's apartment. :)

Tues. April 2 - It was a really chill day.  Weekly Planning was very relaxed, and we did our monthly car report... We met with Raphael, Zaida, and Lydia for the evening.  We got a HUGE banana from Lydia!!

Wed. April 3  - Hna Sullivan's companion was having some physical pains, so we dropped her off at a member's house for a day of rest/recuperation.  We taught a couple of people, although most of the day was spent trying to contact people: driving around and making phone calls.  I was in the chapel that night when a member's daughter (Jaz) finished her final missionary interview and release!!  She returned home today (around 5pm) from her mission in New York!  It was weird to see Jaz and her mom hug.  So many mixed emotions of wanting that moment, but with the correct feeling... Ya know?? I MISS YOU MOM!!!

Thurs. April 4  - Not many people were home today... We taught Lydia and Raphael and had Taco Bell before planning time.

Fri. April 5  - We used our bikes a little in the morning.  I saw the Space Station fly by later that evening, and we got our required ten lessons with members present for the week- which meant we could watch ALL OF GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!

Sat. April 6 - I've never loved General Conference so much in my life.  I truly appreciate it, and wish we had one every month.  WOW!  Between sessions, we had lunch at the bishop's.  The afternoon session featured the  BYU CHOIRS (I was a member of Women’s Chorus last Fall semester)!!  I saw Katie, and Olivia –but I didn't see Miriam. :(  I also saw other familiar faces!  It was wonderful!!

General Conference April 2013!

A great weekend filled with counsel from Church leaders.
 Sun. April 7   - Once again, General Conference was incredible!  Between sessions we had lunch at the Tesch's apt. and after the last session, we had dinner at Hna. Garcia's. Hna Garcia takes good care of us.  :)

Mon. April 8  - Hna. Sullivan and I rode in Sis. Alvarado's van to Ponce for a long and vigorous choir practice.  We're learning fast songs in Spanish and African. Our first performance is this Friday!  :) 

Whew... I miss you all so much!  A mission is such a big change in life.  I count my blessings every day, and think of loved ones all the time!  I'm grateful for Elder David and his encouraging words to his older twin sister. :)  I'm so grateful for Mom's continuous focus for my help and care as I struggle through these first few months.  I'm very grateful for the wonderful supportive letters and emails I receive each week from friends and family. :)  It refuels me each week to keep going.  I shall try another week to do my best and see where I will be stretched to.  :)  I LOVE YOU!!!
Love, Hermana Bean

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