Monday, April 1, 2013

March 25, 2013 The Second Week in Puerto Rico missionary-eating dogs!

Mon. Mar 18 – P-day! We went to K-Mart and I bought a pillow, hangers, shampoo, fun study glasses, groceries... Later in the evening, Hna. Esquen and I got Choco-Nutella drinks!  SO good! That night, we ran into a couple of evil, man-eating dogs!  And then it rained... but we made it home in one piece. :) 

Many people keep their animals on the roof!

Zone Conference
Tues. Mar 19 - First Zone Meeting!! Lots of elders, and most of them are over the 1 year mark.  Everyone in Puerto Rico talks fast...and then some! AHHH!  Around 5:30pm, we met with member Hermana Wanda.  She lives in a nice neighborhood.  She has TONS of animals!  And in her backyard, she has a mini farm of turkeys, pigeons, geese, ducks, and fluffy Japanese chickens (ALL FOR EATING!!).  Before we left her house, she gave us duck eggs (for Easter)-Haha! Oh, and one of her geese snapped at my foot.  Ouch!

Wed. Mar 20 – Got dizzy during 6:30am jogging. Around 1:30pm I saw my first (live) iguana – scampering and zigzagging to avoid the cars!  SO crazy!  We taught a Puerto Rican “Santa Claus” (grey-bearded man), and later got some food at Wendy's!!!  Such a simple little comfort!  At mutual, the three young women hugged me super tight, like for over 4 minutes. (?) They did that last week, too. They are so friendly and accepting.

Thurs. Mar 21 – Today we biked for about 60 minutes to a woman’s house.  Her name is Maryann.  She and Hna Esquen talked for quite a while. Maryann gave us Do-It-Yourself paper roses. Very sweet.

Fri. Mar 22 - I enjoyed a long, winding car ride through the most luscious greenery and foresty mountains, to a new investigator's house.  For lunch, Hna Garcia took all four of us hermanas out for pizza and lasagna at a restaurant/cafe!  Later we went to “AllWays 99” and bought little floppy hats for a Relief Society Anniversary activity that night.  It was cute. 
Relief Society anniversary activity

Sat. Mar 23 - Elder Pietz from the office called me and told me my bike will cost a little more than he thought.  (I haven't yet gotten the cash from an ATM to pay for it, but will.)  He said my bike is extra special, ’cause it's actually a mountain bike!  :)  At 3pm I drove the car with the other 3 hermanas.  We followed Elder Kelly to a different chapel about 30 minutes away by freeway.  He SPED like a Puerto Rican, ZIGZAGGED like a Puerto Rican, and I have never been so scared in all my life!  We never lost sight of him (thankfully), and we arrived at the chapel (in Juncos).  It unnerved me for the rest of the day, though. One perky elderly lady we visited asked in choppy English if I was shy or scared to be here.  I started to cry.  It was embarrassing.  BUT if she hadn't asked me that question, I would've been fine. Oi. A couple hours later, Elder and Sister Tesch offered to lead us back to Caguas (since they live there anyway).  Elder Tesch drove normally and didn't go over 90mph.  I was VERY grateful! :)  
[Today was the baptismal day for one of my Primary children back home: HAPPY BAPTISM DAY, HANNAH!]

Sun. Mar 24 - Church was nice.  The Tesch's were very kind and helpful for me.  They're both very wise and experienced.  I had a good hour of free time (me and my notebooks!!!)  That evening, we visited a new investigator named Raphael.  He's VERY interested in learning more about the Gospel.  And that night, I had the best sleep since being in Puerto Rico! :)

Mon. Mar 25 - Had District meeting in the chapel at 7am. Weekly planning was confusing because I don’t understand yet who’s been taught or told about the people that need lessons, so I don't know HOW to plan and for WHOM??? ... It was a long 2.5 hours. The language barrier is so restricting! I have been faithfully using my dictionary, my ASL classifiers (miming), and using TONS of facial expressions, with as much Spanish as I know, to communicate, but I feel like I'm just using the same words in incorrect sentences, over and over and over again.  My companion doesn't correct me because she already knows what I mean (she is smart that way, and has already figured out my weird Span-glish!).  Unfortunately, I can’t “take apart” or understand her rapid speech, so I don’t think I’ve learned any new Spanish this whole week. Ahh! But, I’ve been told that I’m getting the language “in my ear” - even if I’m not understanding it, yet.  Please pray for me.  I really want to understand, teach and contribute.

I'm trying to notice daily blessings and write them in my “Blessings Book” every day.  We'll see how this new week goes. I have been blessed with many kindnesses, safety and beauty all around.

By the way, I'm typing this email at Elder and Sister Tesch's apartment because all the libraries are closed.  It's some sort of holiday today.

I am excited for the upcoming General Conference this Saturday and Sunday April 6 and 7!!!  My former choir, the BYU Women's Chorus, is singing in it!  Everybody who can, watch it online at  There will be two different sessions each day - at 10am and 2pm Mountain Standard Time (12noon and 4pm EST, etc, etc.).     

I miss everyone!  I love you!  Stay safe! 
Happy Easter this Sunday!

Love, Hermana Emily Bean

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