Monday, June 24, 2013

Freezing and Well Fed

It is freezing here!!  Well this past week we had a couple freezing days!!  I literally had 6 layers (shirts) on.  Plus rain on top of that, on and off.  The weird things is that it just like ¨mists¨ all day long. Sometimes it is like soft rain but tons!! Its bizarre.  No bugs so far.  I am praying i don´t find any but I am pretty sure we have a mouse in our apartment.  Our apartment is freezing when it is freezing outside and hot when it is hot outside.  Last night Hna(hermana, which is sister in spanish) Toctaquiza and I slid our beds close together and put the heater in between (I slept in my thermals, sweatshirts, pj pants, two pairs of socks, and three blankets.  haha but I finally got some sleep! We have been exhausted cuz we freeze every night and can´t sleep.  Last night was fabulous though!  So we have a heater we use when we study.  We turn it on down by our feet... it is wonderful.  My favorite part about our study is that we have little french doors/patio (it´s all off of our front room)  that lets in a ton of light (on sunny days) and you can see trees and tops of houses.   Our apartment has a kitchen, two bathrooms, study/living room, bedroom, and room with closets for clothes.  It´s pretty nice.

This week has been absolutely amazing!!  We found a new investigator (Aida and her son Matias)  They are amazing!  We taught her the first lesson and gave her the Book of Mormon.  We went back the next day to find she had already started reading it and said she felt such peace as she read it.  Ahhhh yay!  We taught her about the Holy Ghost and the Plan of Salvation.  She wasn´t able to attend church (it is so hard to get people to attend down here)  but she and her son said they would prepare to be baptized on July 13!!! What!?  No I am serious!! I have never been happier!! Oh my life it is the greatest thing in the world to see the gospel take effect in one´s life.  Oh I am falling in love with the mission.  This week the Lord helped me focus and I didn´t miss my family like at all.  I wasn´t distracted with thoughts from home or anything.  Oh, life is wonderful.  The ward (area of members that total anywhere from 100 to 200 members) is just fabulous. They feed us TONS!  I am eating a lot.  I am going to come home twice the size I was haha, nah but I eat a lot.  I am hoping to walk it all off.  We walk everywhere.  

Which reminds me, I wanted to say thank you thank you thank you for the shoes, the gloves (megan and nana), the rain coat, and everything that I came prepared with.  My feet could never be happier.  The streets are rough: literally dirt and rocks the size of your fists just spread everywhere.  It's especially bumpy when riding the bus.  Anyway the ward... I love the members.  One family we eat dinner with every Sunday... the mom reminds me of Tiff Burbidge.  Hno Pablo (her brother) drove us around the other day (we were in the bed of his truck).  I was so thankful cuz it was the FREEZING cold day and I couldn´t feel my feet or face anymore.  He came and picked us up to accompany us to our visits with invesitgators.  He also brought us this meat on a stick (azadito- which was so flippin chewy i was working one peace of meat for like 3 minutes!) with mandioca (a root like potato).  Then some members gave us these hot corn pancake fried things called Mbeyu which warmed our tummies as we drove around in the cold.  After not much success with investigators (not one was home and it was freezing) Hno Pablo treated us to Lomito Arave (burrito type things).  They are delicious.  They don´t have much sauce or salsa down here.  Mainly mayonaise and/or coleslaw.  But the Lomito Arave burritos were amazing!  I was definitely stuffed by the end of the night. haha  

Oh  the past few days have been extremely wonderful.  Hna Toctaquize and I are growing in our companionship.  I am learning how important communication is, especially when you both speak a different lanuguage. She is helping me a ton with the language because all we speak is Spanish.  I feel I am comprehending about 15-20% which is exceedingly better than a week or two ago. Ward members say I am doing exceedingly well, having only been here for 20 days which makes me happy :)  Also Hna Toctaquiza says she sees me improving every day despite the fact that those we teach never seem to understand me (which can be frustrating).  The past few days I have had a special prayer (speaking of prayer mom ;)) in mind for each day.  First was happiness, then faith, then strength, and today gratitude.  As I have focused on one thing a day I realize it is possible.  I can do this.  I am loving the work and the Lord is helping me see the joy in this work.  Here is an incredible quote our district leader shared with us this week:  ¨I cannot promise you fun. I cannot promise you peace and comfort. I cannot promise you freedom from discouragement from fear, from downright misery at times.  But I can promise you that you will grow as you have never grown in a similar period during your entire lives.  I can promise you a happiness that will be unique and wonderful and lasting.  I can promise you that you will reevaluate your lives, that you will live closer to the Lord, that prayer will become a real and wonderful experience, that you will walk with faith in the outcome of the good things you do.¨ -Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley

I know without a doubt that as we give ourselves to the Lord we find Him and he WILL make us a new self image.  Our countance will relfect the light of Christ.  May we all remember our Savior this week and what he has done for us so that we might be more willing to give our lives to him as he so willingly did for us.  Love you all so much. I apologize this letter is so long and I feel like I didn´t even get to tell ya´ll everything I wanted.  Esta bien!  Choa Choa!
Hna Owen

"We become what we want to be, by consistently being what we want to become."
                   -Richard G. Scott