Wow!! Don´t even know where to start!!! WOW!
Last week... I was loving everything more and more. I was finally getting acustomed to the area... feeling like I was FINALLY finding some sense of direction, knowing the people.... and we as a companionship were finding people to teaching... and having AWESOME experiences.Like... this one man.. Jose.. we came to his casa the week before to visit his inactive sister. He answered his.... gate?... and was very VERY mean and rude. I wanted to scurry away with my tail between my legs whimpering... but Hermana Bush was so inspired and patient... and started asking him questions. He was gruff and RUDE... but Hermana Bush was truly inspired. Then... I felt inspired to bear my testimony of prophets. I thought ¨oh gosh... this is gonna be awkward with my spanish...¨-.. but as I spoke... there was such a tangible change in him... in his face. He softened... and answered my questions... and after a while... he came out from his... fence?... and we taught him the first lesson. I saw such vulnerability,kindess, and tenderness in him... and this last week, we taught him again. In moments like those... I´m glad I don´t speak perfect spanish. :)
On monday.... we had some stellar lessons...and I fell more and more in love with the people. Transfers were coming... but I was so sure that I needed to stay there... that I loved them so much that I would stay with them and watch them progress... and I was new and couldn´t speak spanish... so I´d get to stay with Hermana Bush there some more. Then... monday night, we got the call that I needed to pack my bags and leave at 7 the next morning. UGH!!!!
Yet... of course... it was all for my benefit. Of course!!! My new companera is Hermana Bautista- from the East part of El Salvador. When I first heard that... my stomach kind of knotted up... and I thought,¨ öh... poor dear... she prayed for patience, huh¨. She denies doing such a thing... but certianly she has the opportunity to learn more patience... because she speaks NO english... so our communication, unity, and ability to function as a team... depends on the Spirit... and my Spanish. Truly... we´ve both been given the gift of tongues... because she can understand me!! I have said some awkward things on accident like... I was trying to tell her the first day that ¨it´s amazing how much I love you already!!!¨ but what I said was... ¨it´s amazing that I still love you!!¨ ha... we laugh... a lot.
Hermana Bautista and I are opening this area. We know NOTHING and NO ONE. It is such a different experience trying to work though all this... organize things... and understand.... and totally in spanish. I cannot believe how well we work together. So often... I forget that she doesn´t speak a word of spanish... and I don´t realize that I´m speaking spanish!!!
The first night.. when we walked into our casa... it was like walking into Dad´s most horrific nightmare. Woah woah woah!!! I had a freak out session with bleach... and it felt good... but.... woah. I´d go into details...but I´m still trying to get over the trauma...and discussing it further would not help the progress I´ve made with this the last few days.
Um... it´s SO SO SO BEAUTIFUL here! Everyday... when we finally leave our ¨casa¨.... I have to take a moment and catch my breath! We´re like... 3 or 4 hours away from my last area in the city... and definately in the country. It´s a GORGEOUS valley called Candelaria... nestled and surrounded by green velveted mountains.... right by the border of Guatamala. I guess the mountains are still part of our area- this is known as a HUGE area for missionaries... and really difficult to get around in. Oh joy! But... the members here are SO AWESOME... and part of that is... they don´t want us out far. They are so eager to help with the work and keep us safe- their eager and sincere love is almost overwhelming sometimes. I have never been immersed with such humble, simple, kind, faithful, dilligent, and LOVING people before. The little chapel here is the smallest but the most lovely chapel I´ve ever seen. Again... it felt like home the moment I walked in. There isn´t even a piano! Well... I guess there was one before it was stolen... but there isn´t now... but they continue to sing with such gusto and sincerity... that I melt every time... and the need for technical musicality doesn´t matter when such heart is in it. My first night...this 12 year old boy came up... and with such sweet sincere eyes... asked, ¨will you please come teach my mama?¨- and my hopes of belonging and loving it here... were totally confirmed.
It´s definately different here. I can´t even begin to explain how many things are just...bizarre for me!! Yet... I´m learning that... really- I am the bizarre one. My native comps are such befuddled by ME... by... my meticulous flossing, weird exercises, what I eat, that I shave my legs, what I think is funny.... I am such a weird alien to them. I guess I am in the states too... but here... I am so peculiar. Hna B thinks I´m so tall because I don´t drink pop and drink straight milk in the mornings.... after I taught her about calcium and the process of osteoperosis. haha.. she wants me to teach her about nutrition... and how to produce more blood.... and... everything I love to talk about... but it´s a total cherade and dictionary game for me in spanish. haha
I don´t know if anyone will care about this like I do... but the geriatric population here is THE MOST PRECIOUS. Oh... something just explodes in me everytime I see them. I am so in love with this tiny tiny little 96 year old woman that squeals, ¨hermanita!!¨ every time we see her! haha.
Yesterday was stake conference... and it was so fun to pile the whole ward into a bus and drive for an hour to this HUGE and GORGEOUS stake center in Santa Ana! SO COOL! We had 6 investigadors show up and have good experiences. I guess there is a high baptism rate here... but retention is a problem. That is a fear for me. Baptism is SO important... but certainly just the first step! There are SO MANY blessings to come... and knowledge to obtain... and it breaks my heart to visit people that are refusing them because they lack the desire and don´t understand!!
Life is so humble and simple here. It is exactly what this spoiled american princess needed to experience. I am so humbled to be in the presence of such greatness here... in such pure packages. There is such a tangible difference in the homes of members here... To walk in to homes and feel the Spirit so instantly.. and then look around and see pictures of the new temple tacked into the grout between their brick walls.... knowing and feeling that the family within is so focused on the eternal riches. Truly... this is where I am supposed to be.
quick story... the other day we went to teach Diego a lesson... and we were peeling frijoles with him... when I felt something scurry by my leg. I brushed my leg.. and continued on. Then... we started teaching... and really getting into it... when I felt something scurry up my leg in my skirt. I jumped up... danced around a bit... and thought I was fine.. and felt bad for disrupting the lesson. Then... I asked Diego a question... the Spirit was there... he was pondering.... and then I felt something scurrying around in my skirt around my stomach. AHHH!!! I jumped up and sprinted to their outhouse up the hill. I threw off my skirt and shook it out... bt there was nothing. I returned and apologized and swore there was something... but probably I was crazy. So... we continued. We were about to hit a climax in the lesson... when undeniably... SOMETHING WAS IN MY SHIRT!! I jumped up AGAIN and screamed, ¨HAY ALGO!! HAY ALGO!!! ¨and ran off again... yelling to Hna Bautista, ÄYUDEME! AYUDEME!!! We ripped off my shirt in the outhouse..... and yup... there was this brilliantly bright and beautiful GECKO in my skirt. Oh gosh. Sister B screamed, I laughed, and threw it off.... and we still randomly say to each other, ¨HAY ALGO!!¨(there´s something!!!) haha... There are ALWAYS disruptions during our lessons- like any missionary will attest to. Twice in a row... it was roosters! Right when I start to tell the Joseph Smith story... a rooster would show up and start screaming SO LOUD!! haha... we are swimming in dogs, roosters, and cats here. How fun!
Ok! gotta go!
Love you all!!