Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 21 Hallelujah! June 9, 2014

First haircut on my mission.....and yes, that is a man :)

This week has been great! We've been finding a lot of new people recently who are pretty interested in our message.

Isabel and Samuel are an older couple that live in one of the most dangerous areas in my area (we are recommended not to walk down their street at all). So, when we teach them we usually try and dress in our simplest clothes and make sure to take all of our jewelry off...we've been fine so far so I guess it's working. The first time we taught them we taught the restoration and I started talking about prophets and how we have a prophet today named Thomas S. Monson when Samuel stood up, walked across the room, and brought back with him a book. He sat down, opened the book, and turning to his wife began listing off the prophets in the Bible. He finished listing them off and said, "But they're all dead! But listen....they might be dead but we have a living prophet today..." Then he very slowly and intensely said, "Thomas....S......Monson..." It was actually pretty funny and totally made our week.
In front of my new apartment
Sunday, an 18 year old boy named Martin showed up to church, dressed in rags, saying that he wanted to see what it was like. He stayed for all three hours and we set up an appointment with him for that night. Later that night, he showed up to our lesson dressed in a tuxedo! In my mind I was thinking, "He might as well get baptized tomorrow!" We finished the lesson and asked him when we could teach him again only to be told that he wanted absolutely nothing to do with the church, that he was catholic, and that he wasn't about to change. I was shocked... This Sunday we were sitting in sacrament meeting and guess who showed up? Martin. He stayed for all three hours and after church he came up to talk to us. In just a week he had read half of the book of Mormon and said something I never expected him to say: "I know that this is the true church. What do I need to do to be baptized?" I could barely speak I was so surprised!
For the first time on my mission I actually have hot water!
I think we might've found our 'Familia de Oro'...knock on wood! We've been trying to get a hold of them for 2 weeks and finally got to teach them. We got talking and I felt prompted to bring up eternal families. The whole family started crying..and the spirit was SO strong in that room. They couldn't come to church this week but said that they will come the next week as a family. I'm really crossing my fingers on this one!

I had to give another talk this week! Every time I come into a new area I get asked to give a talk...apparently they like to pick on the tall Americana! I'm not going to lie though...I am starting to actually like giving talks...but don't get any ideas back at home ;)

The other day we were walking in the streets when we passed a very sad looking man. He got our attention and we went over to talk to him. He asked us if we preached the word of God and when we said yes his face lit up and he told us he had a few friends down the road that would love to listen to us. We agreed and cautiously followed him. I never thought I would be able to say that I have stood in front of 30 old Mexican men and preached the word of God...but now I can cross that one off the list. As I was talking to them all, I looked up and saw a sign that read: Alcoholics Anonymous. Definitely a first....what an experience...I felt like I was in a movie or something because every time I paused a "Hallelujah!!!" would leave the crowd. Hilarious!

Our goal every day is to contact at least 15 people in the streets. We contact all kinds of people...families, teenagers, drunks, name it. Yesterday I saw an older lady (probably in her 70's) and decided to talk to her. As I got done introducing myself and presenting the Book of Mormon my companion began to talk. She finished and the lady grabbed my comp by both of her shoulders, started shaking her back and forth, and yelled, "I don't speak your language!!!!" She turned around and slowly walked away. We got a big kick out of it!

We had a super awesome Family Home Evening the other night. We had planned it for a family of 5 but when we showed up they had invited 4 other families. We all squeezed into a 10x10' room and watched the restoration video, played a few games, and finished with hotcakes topped with Lechera. What a blast! And the best part is is that they haven't been to church in 6 months but came this week!

My first Sunday here we only had about 30 people attend church. I talked to one of the active members and he told me that that was normal but that 2 years ago they had an average of 150 members in the church every Sunday. There is a mountain of less actives in this area and it has been a goal of mine to get them to church. This Sunday we had almost 70 people in the church and the members couldn't believe it...we are seeing milagros!

That's all for this week! ¡Les extraño muchísimo!

Hermana Ingram 
My bed is the one on the right

Our family room/study area

The kitchen: I feel like I've moved from Motel 6 to the Marriott or something

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