Monday, June 10, 2013

May 6, 2013 Second week in Mayaguez

Here is my second week in Mayaguez with Hermana Flores! :)  Enjoy!!

Mon. April 29:  We did our laundry at the Lopez's house, and during that time, I wrote some letters. :)  We also went to Kmart to get some food for the week.  We met with a couple of people in the evening, and I got to share more about the lesson, and symbols of scriptures etc.. :)  I'm getting more and more into the conversation/discussion!  I still need my comp to give me the "Look" so I know to say something- but sometimes, on occasion, I can jump in naturally! :)  Perhaps this means I'm understanding more bits and pieces???

Tues. April 30:  We did Weekly Planning (planning on finding more investigators), and then we had lunch at Wanda's house.  After other lessons, we met with a football-type man who used to come to church, but has become inactive. Since sister missionaries never enter a house with just a single man (any age) there, we couldn't enter his apartment, so we had a lesson sitting awkwardly at his doorstep. :) haha.  That evening we had a meeting at the capilla (chapel) for Ward Mission Council.  MAN it's a council!  There were like 15 people there!  It was good, and before we started, Bishop wanted to give all the new missionaries blessings.  So, I got my first Spanish blessing. :)  It was special.  And I did understand a couple things. :)  I'm grateful for that.
Hermana Flores

Wed. May 1st!!!:  It's MAY!  We prepared and mailed our monthly car and miles report to the mission office, and then went to a nearby park to study.  Then we met with a spunky woman who is a recent convert and has become inactive.  "H" said she didn't need to go to church- that she was fine.  And that she can still feel the spirit even if not keeping all the commandments (such as the Word of Wisdom - a code of health that member’s commit to observe prior to their baptism).  Hmm.  Well, we talked and shared scriptures and personal testimonies, and during our good long visit, she had some tears, and said that actually she'd like to come back to church!  It was a very spiritual experience. :)  Before we left, she gave us juice. (Her refrigerator is in her bedroom!  That's how small her house is.  But she makes the most of it!)  :)
Later that evening, we met with Betsey, a great, wonderful motherly-type member.  She's from New York, and has a Brooklyn type accent- even when she speaks Spanish!! :)  She told us her conversion story- it's pretty complex!  I shared with her my family photo album, and briefly explained the eternal and huge blessings that came when my mom and her family joined the church.  :)  So thanks Grandma, Aunt Kim, Uncle Mark and Mom! :) 

Thur. May 2:  Happy Birthday Rosa Laureano (my friend and teacher from the Dominican Republic)!!!  Hermana Flores and I had regular studies the majority of the morning, and at lunch time, I got kinda sad about home again.  I've had a crying moment, missing home each day, always around lunch time.... but I get over it enough to focus on the lessons and stay dry-eyed.  But goodness, it's hard.  :)  Around 5pm we followed a member up into the twisty, narrow mountains!!  GAH!  There's barely room for one vehicle on the road, let alone 2 cars!!!  We had a great first lesson with an older man (by the name of Tomas).  Then, we drove back down the mountain, and had a lesson with a 15 yr old investigator T., and her member friend F, and their moms/other family members.  T likes to teach me words, like colors and body parts.  Haha She's pretty awesome, and reminds me A LOT of Rachel Arteta.  :)  At 7:30pm we drove to the capilla for an ward activity with 25+ people. :)  We had a lot of refreshments afterwards (including hot chocolate... WHY??), and there was one woman who kept putting food in my hands.  At one point, I stood outside the door to avoid her  - haha!  Puerto Ricans love to feed us!  :) 

With the Balle family (on his 72nd B-day)
Fri. May 3:  We contacted for a good long while, in the hot blistering sun.  I had the opportunity to scare 30+ pigeons – heehee! – so I did!  :)  We had lunch at Wanda's again, and showed her a couple video clips from the Family Home Evening DVD (Noche de Hogar.)  Her cat slept on my stomach during the meeting.  Haha.  It seemed that everyone wasn't home or something the majority of the evening, We stopped at Coldstone for 5 minutes, and I got a Strawberry Smoothie with gummy bears in it.  (HOW I miss Jamba Juice!  haha).  We then visited the Balle family!  Today was his 72nd birthday!  They're members and are so sweet and polite!  We sang Happy Birthday and then sang Feliz Cumpleanos!  I gotta learn that song!!  Afterwards, our District Leader, Elder Acor, called and told us to dash home and pack for the night and tomorrow morning, for a sudden conference in Aquadilla (20 mins. Away from Mayaguez)!  So we packed, and drove to the sister missionaries in that area, and slept there for the night.  I was exhausted, and had a DEEEEP sleep that night.  Loved it!!

Sat May 4:  We had our conference with President Alvarado in the Aquadilla chapel.  It was mostly a powerpoint/discussion on how to plan and use time more wisely.  After the conference, I got mail!  Thank you Mom for the FANTASTIC CD, and the wonderful little Temple Calendar!!  I had an interview with President before leaving Aquadilla.  He asked how my twin brother is doing- and said they're opening 2 new missions in Brazil!!  David, did you know that??  :)  We then had a very spiritually uplifting talk, and he said some powerful things to me that I needed to hear.  He told me, "It's okay to cry, longing for home.  You have a soft heart, of love and care. And Jesus wept. It's okay to cry sometimes.  It's Christ-like to cry for others." :)  So, now I don't feel bad for being homesick.  It's just my time getting through the hard stuff. :)  So, life is okay. :)  And I'm feeling better, little by little. :)  We drove back to Mayaguez and had a great lunch at the Bishop's house.  We then drove up the terrifying mountain to visit with the Tomas family again.  :)  A few hours later, we saw and heard a very crazy loco guy screaming (in Spanish), "I am god!  Stop what you're doing and worship me!!"  It was interesting, and a bit alarming!  I think someone called the police Haha.  We then met with a couple other people (including 2 twin girls that like David's picture!  Haha!).

Sun. May 5:  CINCO de MAYO!  Testimony Meeting was nice!  The members in Mayaguez are so faithful and strong. :)  After church, we had a Ward Mission Meeting: us, the Elders, and Hermano Rosario (who speaks English too.)  He had Elder Acor and me do a lesson/get-to-know role play IN ENGLISH!  I felt a lot of relief go off my shoulders as I freely and happily did the role play.  :)  It was the best!  And afterwards, Bro. Rosario told me, that he received an answer to a personal question that he had about his life, while I was talking to him. :)  THAT'S what I want to do for the people of Puerto Rico- ! So, I just GOTTA learn Spanish.  That's what I'm lacking the most, and it is very difficult.  :)  Sis. Flores and I had lunch at the Bishop's again (he gave us a hot dog, hamburger, fries, juice, and a milkshake!!!  TOO MUCH!)  Later that evening as we were contacting, a creepy guy started to hit on me and was like, holding my hand too long, wouldn't let go, kept staring at my eyes without blinking... yeah.  The Elders can visit him... We're not.  :)  And at the end of the evening we met with Marta and her family (including a cute 8 yr old boy who was doing random tricks to show off! haha)!

Mon. May 6:  We woke up at 4:15am to clean the house and wash the car.  6:40am we drove to the Cabo Rojo chapel and had a District Meeting about monthly planning (a new system they're trying out.)  From 10am -12:30pm, we did laundry at the Lopez's house, and during that time, I wrote 5 and 1/2 letters to family/friends. :)  My hand hurts, but I'm SOO happy about that!  And well... that's about it!  Later today we're hoping to buy some much needed groceries, and do our weekly planning!  :)  Life is hard, but good and I'm trying and trying each day! 
I love you all!  Thank you for your prayers, love and support!  I'm grateful for this experience!  I can feel myself being stretched! 

 Love you!  Have a fantastic week!

Love, Hermana Emily Bean

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