Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 43 Glad I'm Not an Elder ;) November 17, 2014

Monday was our last day as a zone (most of the zone got switched out including my district leader and zone leader) so we met in the morning to have a short meeting and take some pictures. We had a pretty normal P-day and at 7:00PM we headed to the stake enter for a ward FHE. We had competitions building towers out of spaghetti, a yard of string, tape and a marshmallow. We had 12 minutes to build it and whoever was able to put their marshmallow the highest on their tower won. I was put with some old ladies but we actually ended up winning! You would've thought they had won gold in the Olympics or something!
Picture of our zone before major changes 
Tuesday I officially completed 11 months in the mission! TIME FLIES! My comp. and I didn't have changes but decided to stop by to see how things went (changes are held in our church so it's just a 5 minute walk). Elder Hixon is officially my new district leader (he was in the MTC with us) and we are pretty excited about it. He's a really hard worker.

The other day one of our investigators called us to give us their email address. So, I pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and told her I was ready for her to spell it out for me. She began by describing shapes. I thought maybe she had misunderstood my question so I repeated, "Can you spell it out for me?" and she did the exact same thing. That's when I realized that she didn't know her letters by name...she knew them by shape. For example she was trying to tell me to write a "b" by telling me to draw a circle and then draw a line on the left side. Isn't that crazy?

Irma and Ramón both had their entrevistas on Wednesday and passed with flying colors!

You know what's super comforting? When you're walking through the streets of Mexico City at 8:00 at night and every old lady you see calls you over to tell you that you are for sure going to get robbed. What do you even say to that?! Ok thanks?? No worries....we haven't been assaulted...yet...;)
The dog named Guera (white girl) She's like the Mexican version of Chloe (Hailey's dog at home)
Friday was a LONG day. So a little background info: Thursday we passed for Irma and Ramón and they weren't home. So we passed later to check on them and Ramón answered the door. I asked him how he was and he seemed a little of to me. I asked if he was ready for Sunday (their baptism) and he replied, "Well I guess we'll see what happens in between now and Sunday." It freaked me out a little. We made an appointment the next day and I went home with a sort of uneasy feeling. Anyway, we met with them Friday, sat down, and Ramón pulled out some notes he had made and began asking us questions he had written down. He started asking some pretty controversial questions... He had been searching all sorts of things on the Internet with brought a ton of doubts. They went from being 100% sure to about 0% sure. Satan works so hard! I was pretty upset. After an hour and half...still no improvement. After all that work?! I was so upset that I walked to our next appointment without even saying a word. You can't even imagine the pure disappointment and frustration you feel as a missionary after something like that. We went and talked to the ward mission leader to tell him about what had happened. We taught a few more lessons and we both got the strongest impression that we should go back with Irma and Ramón and teach them the story of Peter walking on water. I called Irma to see if they were home and she informed me that Ramón had left and that he wouldn't be back until 10:30 that night. So, we decided not to go. While walking to our next appointment we once again got the strongest impression that we needed to go back to their house. So, we did. We knocked their door and Ramón answered. Turns out he had felt the need to come back from work (which he never does) . We knew that there had been a reason to go back! We went in, sang "I need thee every hour" and shared a message with them. We then added that faith requires knowledge and immediately Alma 32:21 came to mind "Faith is not a perfect knowledge of things" and that seemed to get to him. I then shared Ether 12:6 that talks about not receiving a testimony until after the trial of your faith. It seemed to work because he paused and said, "I'm losing the faith aren't I?" They both sat there sort of stunned. It's amazing how much the spirit helps you out in moments like those. After much thought they both decided that they would follow through with the baptism. It was a miracle and I left happier than ever. My comp. turned to me and jokingly said, "Why don't we just sleep over at their house? You know, to make sure nothing happens." I laughed because it actually was a pretty good suggestion. We got home absolutely exhausted but so grateful for how the day had turned out.

Saturday was another long but successful day. We headed over to a member's house and made some cool baptism programs for Sunday and after a few more visits we went to lunch. Immediately upon seeing the Elders we could tell that something was up. They told us about their very eventful morning: Apparently that morning they had gone to a house to clean it out for some new Elders that are going to come to the area. Elder G. walked into the bathroom to a toilet filled to the rim with months and months worth of old poop. The water didn't work in the toilet (most don't here) so he grabbed a bucket, filled it with water, and began pouring it down the toilet. Meanwhile, Elder H. decided to clean out the fridge and emptied 2 cartons of sour milk down the toilet as well. After emptying about 6 buckets full of water down the toilet, the problem was solved and the toilet was clean. No more than 5 minutes later came a knock at the door and the Elders opened to a not so happy family. "Our house is flooding!"....... Turns out the poop, the sour milk, the 6 buckets of water, and everything else they had flushed down the toilet had come rushing out of the drains in their house and had started to flood their house. That would explain exactly why they were just a little unhappy. So, Elder G. had to spend the next 3 hours cleaning a poop covered Mexican family's floor. And that's not even the worst part. To unclog the drain he had to stick his entire arm down a poop-filled pipe and pull out wads of toilet paper. I don't know how he did it...he's a real trooper. Elder G. left that house with poop splattered all over his white missionary shirt. The funny part of it all is that as we were recounting the story to the Lopez family, Hno. Lopez kept using the "s" word in place of "poop"...he had no idea it was a bad word. I was crying I was laughing so hard!
This week's service project...a mountain of dishes
Sunday was great. We started the day off with Stake Conference and all of our investigators showed up all by themselves. They broadcast the stake conference from the US and Elder Andersen spoke in Spanish to everyone. There was one point in his talk where he was quoiting someone and instead of saying "ohos" (eyes) he said "oyos" (holes). "She looked me straight in my holes and said..." Everyone in the congregation started laughing... Is that even allowed?! jaja Afterwards we headed to lunch and then to help Hermana Lopez make taquitos for our baptism. We then headed to the church to start to set up for the baptism. We set out chairs, tables, programs, flower arrangements, pictures of Jesus, music, etc. and waited for people to show up. Of course and by no surprise everyone showed up an hour late....but we ended up having about 50 people show up. Let me remind you that when I got here 6 months ago, only about 50 people showed up to sacrament meeting. Now, we have about 150 in sacrament meeting and 50 in a baptism! I am falling in love with this area. We're seeing miracles! And all of our investigators came to our baptism plus Irma's kids and extended family. It was awesome! What a great opportunity to share the gospel. An Hermana from the ward helped us out and picked up a picture of the temple to give them and they loved it.

Tianguis from above
I'm so happy!!! I can't even explain it! We are seeing so many miracles and we're seeing such a difference here. The mission really has changed my life in so many ways and I'm so grateful for the experiences I am having here.

Random thought: Remember the story about Moses and the staff and how if the people simply looked they would be healed? It was just too darn easy! Can you believe that some people refused to look and be healed?! They didn't believe it would do anything! But it did! Well, our day Moses isn't walking around with a serpent on a staff...BUT how many times have the prophets promised us blessings from doing even the smallest of things? Family scripture reading for example. Why don't we take 5 minutes out of our day to study the scriptures as a family or even individually? Can't you see how easy that is? But why don't we do it? Perhaps because it's just too easy? We think we don't have time? We had a long day at work and we're tired? We can come up with a million reasons why... Would we have lifted our heads and looked at the serpent on the staff in Moses' time?? We're missing out on thousands of promised blessings!

Until next you all!
Hermana Ingram
Huge carnival in our area to celebrate "Día de San Martín" a Catholic saint

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