Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013 New president & family, July 4th, good week

Girls Night IN - Young Women with
Sister Missionaries
A fun up-do hair-do for one of the YW

Mon. July 1:  After email last week, we stayed at Lopez's house from 1pm till 5pm!!  We did our laundry, I vacuumed our car, we ate some food, and I wrote some letters to Kristen Bean, SISTER EMMA SMITH, and the Scows. :)  We ran a couple of errands – for facial soap and food .  :)  In the evening, we had a great Girl's Night IN with young women “R” and “T” and Flor. :)  We had fun!!! 

Tues. July 2:  We had weekly planning for 2 hours.  Woot.  We taught about Patriarchal Blessings to recent converts Wanda and her daughter “S.”  I then had the opportunity to call Sis. Smartt (new mission president's wife!) about my hurting thigh.  They're from ALABAMA!  Try talking in Spanish with a Southern accent.  FUNNIEST, most awesome thing to hear ever.  Haha!! (Say this with the Southern accent: "Hola.  Como esta?  Bien?  Estoy agradecida!")  Anyway, she's so sweet and helpful!  We taught the Plan of Salvation to new investigator “G” (16 yrs old).  It was wonderful!  And she wants to be baptized Aug. 3- her birthday!!!  We then had ward meeting in the chapel, and planned for tomorrow.

Wed. July 3:  We drove to PONCE (1 hr drive) to get to know President Smartt and his family!!  :)  They're great!  President Smartt is 43 yrs old.  Sister Smartt likes to call the president "Lanny" (his full name is Philander Knox Smartt III). Haha,  They have 2 young daughters, ages 12 and 8.  President Smartt is from Burlingham, Alabama, and loves to work.  He is the primary share holder of a lot of companies (all us missionaries think he's a millionaire or something).  It's semi-intimidating.  BUT- he's nice and knows Spanish, and has the same physicality as Pres. Alvarado - Haha!  They're a very upbeat family!  WOOT!  In the evening, we met with "M-a," had choir practice, and met with a referral from the Elders, named MH.  :)  

This chicken is destined for a table
Thurs. July 4th!! - HAPPY JULY 4TH!!  I wore red and blue!  (and my skin's white, so it worked.)  We met with “N” in the morning, then visited with “C” in Anasco (she has such faith!).  We went over to Walgreens to buy some medical tape and gauze rolls after we got permission from Sis. Smartt (My thigh is so sensitive, even my clothes against it hurts! Ouch!)  Afterwards, we taught “N-a” and her teenage daughter “L.”  Around 6:45pm we met up with member Brother Montalbo, and ate at Sizzler’s!!  My first time! 
July 4 with Brother Montalbo
Woot!  It's kind of like Golden Corral.  It was nice to have a mini-celebration for July 4th!  I even heard a couple of my favorite songs in the background.  :)  I thought of Mom and Jonathan at Stadium of Fire the rest of the evening! :D  (I cried for a second missing them!)   Afterwards, we met with member Betsy, then drove to Anasco to get missionary Sis. Galvis (a sister missionary trainer who stayed with us the next day!)

Sister Galvis (in the middle) is a great missionary and trainer
Fri. July 5:  During Personal Study, I found some encouraging scriptures and prepared a visually-based lesson for “D” who wants to quit smoking!  (Thanks Elder Bean for the idea!)  We met with “M-re” after lunch, briefly met with “K” (who has a bunch of snazzy energy!), then ate food at Marta's.  Marta is a sweet, loving, kind lady (I’ve mentioned her before and you know I love her) but when I couldn't eat anymore, and there was still food in her BIG serving bowls, she began to sternly command me to eat: "COMER!  COMER!  COMER!"  Oh boyAlmost scared me!  Haha.  Anyway, we then drove to Anasco, said g'bye to (sister missionary trainer) Sister Galvis (it was fun to share the day with her!), and we got to briefly meet with “T” and “V.”  

Sat. July 6:  I had a lot of time to prepare the many different packages I want to send to my family!  WOOT!  We then got member Flor, and tried to meet with some people, but no was home when they should've been.  :(  Sad face.  In the evening, we met with MH and answered her very intelligent questions about the gospel!  :)  

Sun. July 7:  EARLY in the morning, before Church at 9am, we raced around trying to find our investigators and bring them to church, but no one was home in Anasco, or in Mayaguez.  Sad, sad day.  BUT our 16 yr old investigator “G” came to church!!!  :)  It was awesome!  And in Relief Society, we had 36 women present!  The most we've ever had!  WOOT!  Testimony meeting was really spiritually uplifting.  6'9" basketball player Gary from Logan, UT shared a STRONG, emotionally touching testimony (translated in Spanish by Bishop Berrios).  I also shared a simple testimony- all in Spanish.  I really enjoyed this testimony meeting, also sitting next to our  investigator / young woman “G”!  :)  We had lunch some time afterwards, and then met with “N”- sharing scriptures that testify that the Lord has revealed both The Bible AND The Book of Mormon to be His word to us.  :)  She seemed to understand, but she is a little hard for me to “read.” :)  I can tell she enjoys our visits, though.
Adiana is a great return-missionary and friend.
  We then carpooled in Adiana's car!  :)  She is such a blessing in my life!  She is an especially powerful example of the type of missionary (and person)  I want to be!  :)  How grateful I am that I know her!  (She's the member that served at SLC Temple Square.)  :)  We had a great lesson with spunky-fun “A”, and then had a mini meeting/interview in the chapel with Elder Acor.  We found other coquis too!  :)  We then all drove up to the Bishop's house in Anasco and ate some pretty fattening, but tasty food.  We planned late, till 10pm.  Whoops.  

Mon. July 8:  We cleaned our house at 6:30am.  We had normal studies, and then had a 1 hour session of weekly planning.  I then prepared 2 packages that are ready to be sent home, and we are now emailing!   WOOT!  :)
Elder David Bean stands in front of a view of Mairipora, Brazil
I enjoyed seeing all of Elder David's new pictures, which he emailed today!!!  His mission in Brazil is a BIG part of my mission in Puerto Rico!  I'm grateful I can serve a mission alongside twin David, and my friends! 
And Mom sent some pictures of the 4th from home!  :)  I'm so grateful for all the love and support we have as a family!  
Firework burst over Provo, UT
I hope all of you have a wonderful week!  I'll try to find more time to write to more people!!  Keep on keeping on! :)  

Love, Sister Bean

Another rainbow over Puerto Rico (West end of the island)
Land, ocean and sky 

July 1, 2013 A Bruise, a Butterfly and some Baby Iguanas

From our outing last week!
Hola otra vez!! :)  [Hello, again!]

Tues. June 25:  After emailing, we visited Marta's mom in the hospital, then had Ward Council meeting in the chapel. (The Mission Nurse, Sister Visker flew home today!  She was a special friend to me.)

"YI" and Hna Bean  I just love this boy!
Wed. June 26:  We contacted all around Kmart and other stores for 2 hours!  A lot of random groups of punk guys gave us all sorts of fruit...?  We ate and taught a lesson at Margarita's house, and then tried to find some new investigator's addresses- no good.  :( Couldn’t find them :(  To end the day, we visited with Hna. Marta and her grandson "YI."  :) 
Wonderful Marta - I love her, too!

Thurs. June 27:  We again contacted till lunch.  We then met with a new investigator named “C” (her lower leg was amputated).  She has SO MUCH faith and such a strong testimony!  She's a joy to teach!  She enthusiastically says "Amen" to everything we say.  We then visited a less active member named “E” with joyful, wonderful, happy member Adiana!  :)  The night ended sad for me, though, cause I got discouraged about the lack of Spanish that I have.  (“E” talks 1001 miles per hour...)  BUT the work continues.

Fri. June 28:  After studies, we went contacting, and while going down a hill, I hit a speed bump too quickly.  Well, I pitched forward, the bike wheel HIT my inner right thigh hard, and then my beloved, thick, heavy Mountain Bike fell on top of me as I hit the loose, HARD gravel road. :(  Pretty bad accident.  First bike fall (on a mission, and as an adult).  The Lord blesses his children, though, because the person whose house I fell in front of, came rushing up to me, hoisted me up, sat me down, gave me juice, and got out her first aid.  I cried ‘cause it hurt, and I was scared and… ya know.  BUT she made me feel better because she cleaned my knee (which is cut and scraped up) and stuff.  Titi is her name. :D  I was able to walk back home, and have some minutes to rest on my bed. I looked at family photos, listened to some special recordings from home, and felt better.  After lunch, we visited with Ana (a recent convert), “W” (an investigator), and Betsy (a member). We went contacting between visits.  This time I was understanding and speaking more Spanish!  It comes and goes.  But the day ended fairly well!  :)  My legs just hurt a lot.

BIG bruise!  Haha
Sat. June 29:  I woke up and looked down to see a GINORMOUS bruise on my thigh (and it's been growing and darkening ever since)!  Yippee.  I'm slightly worried about it- half my leg is black and blue.  
Moth / Butterfly thingy!
We tried to visit “S” or “R” but they weren't there.  A moth or butterfly thing was there instead.  Ha. :)  We visited with recent convert WR, and she told me some crazy techniques on how to heal my bruise!  (Use a comb on it??)  We then visited with “D” and her 2 girls. :)  These girls (ages 9 and 10) really, really like me.  And I adore them too! :)  The lesson was good- and “D” wants to quit her 20 years smoking habit. :)  WOOT!  (I wanna try Elder David's cigarette idea, taping scripture references onto the cigarettes and stuff.)  Haha.  We then ate some delicious rice and beans and meat at Ana's house (recent convert).

Sun. June 30:  Church classes were combined both hours - all on missionary work!  We are strengthening the members so they feel more comfortable/confident contributing to the work.  We met with new investigator AF (she's got a cute 6 yr old boy named “L” and she reminds me of Hna. Thomas from the CCM!)  She speaks English and Spanish, so I knew that the lesson went well. Haha :)  It’s nice to understand more.  She's wants us to come back again next Sunday!  We enjoy each other’s friendship. :)

Ruth the bishop's dau-in-law gives me some more wound care for the knee.
We then drove to Cabo Rojo and visited with Maritza and Irving (their twins “N” and “C” didn't have time to hear our message).  Elders Deaver and Blake in Cabo Rojo also showed up, and we had a nice time talking about the gospel! :)  We then went to the bishop’s to eat and talk about missionary work. :)  
Pres. Smartt arrived today.  He now holds the keys to missionary work here (because he was set apart and given those rights or keys by proper priesthood authority).  So, Pres. Alvarado is now released, and no longer has his mission president keys. :(  After about 3pm, the two of them had an hour-long meeting in the president’s office in the mission home, and that was that.  Fare thee well President Alvarado!  Thank you for helping me transition to being a missionary, and WELCOME Pres. Smartt!  :)

Our district July 1, 2013
Mon. the 1st of JULY!!  We got up at 5am to clean our house and car.  :)  We had District meeting at 7am.  We then did our car reports afterwards, and raced over to email! :) 
Future plans: We hope to go to the zoo today (the ONLY zoo in Puerto Rico) with the Elders and recent convert Cristian!
We're going to see our new Mission President Tuesday or later this week!
On July 4th an eldery member named Brother Montalbo is going to take Sister Flores and me to Sizzler's for a July 4 celebration/dinner! No one celebrates July 4th like Utah (Haha), but I'm grateful for his kindness.
I also have lots of letters I need to write (like, 3 weeks worth)!  Thank you to everyone for your love, prayers, and support!

This month of June was crazy!  Sister Flores had dengue fever for 2 weeks, I fell off my bike, we don't have a Mission Nurse anymore, but we got a new Mission President!  WOW!  Let's see what happens in July!  We have transfers about the 17th!  :) 

Until next time:  I LOVE YOU!! :)  Hermana Emily Bean

These boys had baby iguanas - I held one just after this picture!

Monday, July 1, 2013

June 24, 2013 Singing, teaching, touring and farewell

SOOOO much happened this week!  I will be as brief as I possibly can - don't have a lot of time …SO here we go…!

Mon. June 17:  After email, we did a couple errands (food, Walgreens) and then had a group FHE with Rose and Talia!  :) 
Family Home Evening group

This is a COQUI sitting on my missionary name tag!
Tues. June 18:  Got more bloods tests done for my companion Hna Flores.  Met with “B.”  Taught the Plan of Salvation to “S,” a newer investigator!!  Ward members Hna. Amaraliz and Edmary took us to Pizza Hut because today was Sis. Flores's 24th bday!!  There was a crab under our car.  As we were trying to slowly drive away, it ran in front of the car tire.  NO!!! :(   I think it was suicide…and we tried so hard to not run over it!  BUT we stopped by the chapel and I got to HOLD AND PLAY WITH A COQUI!  I saw it, and touched it!  WOW!  My tourist-goal came true already.  Perfecto!   After planning, I gave Sis. Flores a present and card. :)
Close up of the cute little coqui!

Choir rehearsal
Wed. June 19:  We went contacting in the hardcore RAIN!  We then visited with “M-ta.”  :)  We had a long visit with here.  That evening, we had our first official Choir practice!  We're singing Joseph's Smith's First Prayer Saturday for a stake talent show.  WOOT!  It was great to direct the choir and create an arrangement!  I'm also singing a solo called "The Maker's Touch." :)

Thur. June 20:  After studies, we drove up our neighborhood hill to find out about what looked like a SERIOUS fire that was there.  Turns out, a happy family was just burning tons of trash.  They, in return, gave us mangos (freakishly shook a tree to get the mangos down haha!) and let us see their new pitbull puppies.  haha We then gave them some information about the gospel and left. :)  We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ to “L”, and also taught her granddaughter, also named “L!”  It was a great visit!  We then met with “AR” about the Word of Wisdom, and then with Marta.  We talked about charity. :)

Fri. June 21:  After studies, we met with “H” and her mom.   We had a crazy turkey stalk us during the lesson.  (The turkey gobbled when I gobbled.  Yup - !  I'm a professional gobbler.) 
This is the stalking turkey.  Gobble!
Afterwards, we met with “D,” and she wants to stop smoking!!!  We're so excited for her!  She's really making great changes for herself!  As we were then driving to Cabo Rojo, I saw a woman in bright blue, sitting on the curb of a bar, and I felt that I should stop driving, and talk to her.  It was a wonderful experience and we have her info, and a visit set with her sister too! :)  In Cabo Rojo, we saw 8 people in one family baptized!!  And then contacted a reference from the Elders, to visit a woman who just lost her mom to cancer 2 months ago.  It was a very sad experience for “E” to lose her mom like that.  I am so grateful we know God’s plan for us, and can bear testimony that “E” will see her mom again.

Sat. June 22:  We RACED over to Marta's house, cause her elderly mom had to go to the Intensive Care center.  Marta was feeling extremely sad and called us to come over there immediately.  We comforted her and shared some scriptures and our testimonies of encouragement and about the gospel. :)  We then drove to Anasco for some contacting.  We ate pasta at a member's house.  We then raced over to the chapel in Mayaguez for our Stake Talent Show. 
Pink power rangers Haha!
After running through our song a couple times and setting up my karaoke song from my iPod, the activity began.  I sang first, then I directed the choir (who sang great and followed me perfectly!)  The rest of the night, I sat with “D” and her 2 girls (daughter and cousin I think).  We were all wearing PINK! :)  Haha!  There was lots of food (of course -This is PR!).  Afterwards, SO many members talked to me!  We then met with “T” and her boyfriend. :)  The night ended kinda scary when we heard 3 gunshots go off 2 apartments down.  “T” and her wonderful neighbor escorted us back to our car.  WHEW!

Missionaries and members on Sunday June 23
Sun. the 23
:  Church was lovely, and I sat by 3 young Primary girls: “N,” “M” and “P.” :)  They drew me pictures. :)   Sis. Flores and I packed our stuff after church, and at 2pm, drove to the office in Bayamon!  We were the first to arrive!  At 6pm, ALL us missionaries in Puerto Rico watched the Worldwide Leadership training!  In Spanish translation.  Woot.  haha! :) I understood half-ish of what was said.  I also saw some familiar faces - John W and a couple of fellow Women's Chorus ladies (from my BYU days)!   I looked for my brother Jonathan who sang in the HUGE choir of around 2,000 (1,100 missionaries from the Provo MTC and about 900 local members), and my mom (who was there), but the camera did not show them.  I also received some letters- one from Sister Emma Marie Smith (shes’s on a mission in  )!!! And the other from Kristen Bean!  WOOT!  After the broadcast and meeting with Pres. Alvarado, Hna. Flores and I stayed over with the sisters in Bayamon.

Mon. June 24:
  Got up at 4:30am.  Drove through RAIN, FLOODS, and WIND to get to a chapel in a nearby city.  ALL us missionaries had our studies, and then everyone carpooled up to Old San Juan!  For the majority of the morning, we got to look around the El Morro!!!  The most famous site in Puerto Rico!! 

On the trolley car on our way to El Morrow
Hna Bean in a turret of the old castle

Beautiful view from the castle wall
Back at the chapel, we all lined up and shook hands (exchanged our last comments) to Sister and President Alvarado.  They then shared their testimonies, and we sang "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." It was spiritual, and sad.  Their family waved goodbye and exited out of the chapel.  That was our last time seeing the Alvarados. :(   On the way back to the Bayamon apartment with another pair of sisters, our car was making BAD noises. We pulled over on a deadly highway, waited for the Elders to come, and rip off a rubber backing that was against our tire.  It was stressful!  But we soon got on our way!  Whew!  After we sisters split to our separate cars again, Sister Flores and I got lost trying to find the number 2 that would lead us to Mayaguez.  (I don't like feeling lost. haha) .  AND it was after dark.  Everything looks stranger at night.  Eventually, we figured out we were right by the office in Bayamon.  I had a feeling to go there and receive a blessing of comfort, even though it was almost 8pm.  To my amazement, the Whitakers were there, and after being comforted by Sister Whitaker, Elder Whitaker gave me a blessing. :)  He said that I would be able to drive to Mayaguez (a 2+ hour drive) safely.  After goodbyes, Sister Flores and I filled up our car with gas, and at 8:30pm started our drive back to Mayaguez.  I felt half asleep at times, but my eyes remained open.  Our car was guided, and yes we did make it safely to Mayaguez by about 10:30pm (VERY late considering mission hours).  We were so grateful for our safety!  I then called the Mission Nurse, Sister Visker and wished her well for her trip to Lehi, Utah, the next morning.  We're gonna be in touch every now and then.  :)  Around 11pm, I had the strength and energy (and the will), to read my Patriarchal Blessing – as this is the anniversary of when I received it. :)  WHAT A DAY THIS WAS!  WOW!!!  Wonderful.

Tues. June 25:  We had our normal studies and weekly planning.  We then had lunch and now we're emailing at the University.  :)  Life is good, life is about to change AGAIN (with the change in mission president), and I certainly am hoping I can change well with the change. :)  I hope all is well with you!  I love you all, and keep you in my prayers!  Till next week!  Love, Sister Bean

More views of our day at the castilla, Old Puerto Rico, etc.:

Famous street of typical pastel houses
La Perla - a dangerous crime area.  Scary!
Second generation of missionaries!
Our mothers both served in France Paris.  

I got a picture with Hermana Page!  Her mother, Soeur Lund, and my mother, Soeur Kirkwood, were
sister missionaries in the France Paris mission!!

They were junior companions to Soeur Wright (our good friend Anne Wright Adams) - my mom when she was in Orleans with Soeur Wright, and Hna Page's mom when she was in Bordeaux with Soeur Wright!  How COOL is that?!?! :)