Monday, 25 November 2013

Great Week (and some bike riding ;-)

This week has been way good! Parts stunk (like waiting for 3 hours (not consecutive) for the Relief Society president who never showed, or Bishop bailing on our noche de hogar without calling or anything (and we'd traveled wayyy into the other sisters' area to get there...), but other parts were so awesomee!  

Like --

Our menosactivo, ALBERTO, coming to church and saying that he'll come back next week too!!  Successsss! - 

And, we finally got a ride for another old (former?) investigator and her husband -

2 youngish (20-year-old?) investigators came -

Andddd, a man and his WHOLE family (4 kids and him and his wife) -

We were running around like crazy, but it was awesome. We have worked soooooo hard for this so hopefully we can keep moving forward.

And today was way fun -- we ended up going to a zone activity that was at a gorgeous park. We weren't planning on staying very long so we didn't end up bringing clothes to change into, and we were the only sisters there, but Hermana Kofe talked me into volleyball and pretty soon everyone joined into our game. It was a blast, even though we were sweating like crazy in our church clothes (nast... haha!) -- and we all know that my volleyball skills are well... they're getting better.  

We're really trying to help our zone be more united, and to talk to us. (Note from sue: sounds like she an her companion are the only female missionaries in her zone) There's this awkward segregation because no one wants to cross the line of flirting, but it's dumb when we're always off to the side alone because no one will acknowledge us. Plus the elders are all like 12, soooo no worries there - haha. But it was good, and afterwards we rented bikes and rode them around the park/lake.  It was so fun, and weird to me that that's how so many missionaries get around.  weirdd
So, I was going for super hero, but ended up looking more like a cheerleader...
But it was gorgeousss day, and my bike even had a funny little basket up front!

So, we feel good!  I'm glad we got out of the house and ran around a little bit, sometimes we're just so cooped up. We're either working or sitting studying in the house. But things are good, we're gearing up to put in a second effort to work with the ward... and on the brightside, after last Sunday, they finally started to notice us and our efforts. Can't believe how fast time is passing, We're starting our last week of this transfer! And I'm quickly coming up to my first christmas away from home, and my 22nd (gross) birthday!

Love you all! Thanks for everything!


Monday, 18 November 2013

Love yer dang missionaries, folks!!

Heyy thanks for all of your emails, I was so excited to get them since we haven't had mail deliviered in like 3 weeks! Also meaning I haven't been able to send anything out sooo, I´ll basically have a buttload when the time comes (next Thursday)!

This week has been looooooooooooong ... oh, so long. We´ve been in this waiting game with moving houses and it's been killing me. The elders kept telling us - oh, for sure last weekend; oh, for sure Wed or Thurs; oh, for sure Fri... And then we finally got the call Saturday that we were good to get the keys. It was so hard trying to think about when in the world we would have time to pack, how we would get everything there, taking down bunkbeds, rescheduling appointments. A compelete mess. But after four loads in a tiny truck that absolutely robbed us price-wise, in the RAIN, and hauling it all upstairs, with the help of our angel district and zone leaders, we got it all up there to our beautiful, brand-new, squeaky clean, never-been-lived-in-by-dirty-elders-or-anyone-else-for-that-matter apartment. But after dealing with having to buy waaay more things than we had planned for (like parts to hook up the gas) and not having electricity at first, we finally got everything figured out.

And even after a nap on Sunday, we´re all still good and exhausted, and still have citas and an old apartment to clean, not to mention that tomorrow Hna Kofe and I are supposed to do intercambios with the other two girls we are over (that have been pushed back way too many times to cancel again), then interviews with the mission president on Thursday,  which moves district meeting to Fridayyy ... holy bjoly. Literally this week is a big fat mess. But we're dealing and I'm proud of us for it -- holding the other girls together through all of it and just trying to make progress a bit at a time (like getting groceries we desperately needed and copies of the keys made today!)  Little victoriessss!!!!!!!!!

But here are my thoughts for the day...
(please excuse the venting; 
I feel like this speech has been preparing itself all week - haha!)

So, you know how in conference and every broadcast ever, and basically anything else that comes out these days from the church, they are always talking about how members and missionaries need to work together?
I´m here to testify that it's true, 
and that when members don't step up and help, missionary work is like
 swimming in cement.

We´ve really been struggling with working with the members in this area and gaining their trust, but it has been soooo hard. This ward has a lot of desires, but just can't seem to make the time or put in the effort to make it happen. This ward just needs so much help. It is TINY on Sundays, but has enough members to make TWO STAKES. 

And last night we went to ward counsel and I seriously almost ripped my hair out, it was so frustrating listening to them talk about the menos activos, saying terrible things about how it's their own problem if they were offended, and that they want to focus on the people who 'had potential to come back'. (this coming from mouths of people who've done the offending) 

I finally couldn't keep quiet, I was so frustrated. My WHOLE mission has been working with menos activos. Literally the whole thing, and it looks like things are going to keep up that way. And I LOVE them sooo much, and it made me so frustrated because ALL of them have the potential to come back!  I´ve seen so many miracles working with them, and who are we to judge who is and is not ready to come back without giving it the time and effort that THEY deserve.

I finally told the members of ward council that, honestly, it didn't matter why they stopped coming to church; what matters is that WE are doing what we can to help them come back. They have all made covenants with their Heavenly Father, and if we can't do our part to take care of the sheep that we´ve been given, how can we expect to be trusted with new baptisms?

I´m not sure if i stepped on anyone's toes, but I tried to say it as respectfully as I could.  It just stunk.

Afterwards we went and met with one of our menos activos who we absolutely love. He´s 22 & one of the most genuine and funny, but incredibly shy person we've met. He is so weighed down with the mistakes he's made in the past, and it's hard to see because of his huge potential. He wants to come back, but it is just so scary for him, and honestly, I´m scared for him too. I´m worried about what some ward members will do and say, and I hate that -- I hate thinking like that, like if I was in his shoes I don't know that I could do it.

We just have to remember that judging others in a negative way and gossiping is soooo harmful. It doesn't have a place in this church. Seriously watching him cry last night as we talked about his potential, and how we were willing to do everything in our power to help him just broke my heart. Seriously it hurts, and I want the joy he felt after his baptism to come back to him. He told us not to take his issues on us, but we told him that we are a TEAM. He doesn't have to do it all alone, and we know it won't be easy but we also know that as far as it is possible, we will be with him every step of the way, so long as he keeps up with his side of the deal as well.

So thats my rant -- I love this area sooo much, I really, REALLY do. It has so much potential, and I just don't feel ready to move yet. Something's gotta give. And I super don't want you to think badly of this ward, because honestly it's a hole that we all can so easily fall into. Just remember that missionaries move on, and if we, as ward members, don't do our part, new converts and those with testimonies not as strong as ours will fall away.

So love your dang missionaries!!
(And when they move, give them some dang help, so that they don't have to take it out of the Lord's time, kayy?  haha  You ARE their families, you're all they've got for this year-and-a-half, and they need you.)
Love them and they´ll love you, and the work will explode! the end that's what it's all about right?

Monday, 4 November 2013

A Day in the Life

"The heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes, 
but with those who recognized that they were off course, 
and who corrected their way to get back into the light of gospel truth."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Missionary work is crazy.  We knock doors; we set appointments; we teach; we teach; we teach; we invite people to pray; we set return appointments; we decide who is, and is not, progressing and leave the ones who aren't; appointments fall through; we set back-up plans; we set baptism dates with people;  and then we start the whole process again the next day.  It's a crazy, never ending cycle.  People come and go. Some make it into your heart, and it hurts to leave them, and others leave you.  Some feel they already know enough, others don't even recognize the faith they have. It can feel overwhelming sometimes, but the times we make a connection make it all worth it.

Sterlyn is a menos activo we're working with.  
She is the best, no matter what kind of day I'm having
 she makes me crack up :-)

And local members are a HUGE help, when they're willing to teach with us, or share experiences, or call our investigators, or pick them up on Sunday mornings. That is HUGE.  I feel like I'm going to need a year-and-a-half-long nap after this!

District Picturee!

A few random things...

I was actually COLD this morning when it was cloudy and raining; I think I'm adjusting to the weather.

A little study in Karma:  We were teaching a woman and she made a comment about my skin, so we asked her if she had any suggestions (because people here seem to always have crazy suggestions/cures; last week a lady told us that egg yolks make your hair curly!), and to our surprise she said, 'yes, go to the dermatologist."  Rude, but also weirdly normal - haha!  But karma stepped in and at the end of our lesson, the wooden chair she was sitting on broke (the 2 front legs just slid out forward), and she slid right onto her bum on the ground!  It was SO FUNNY, and luckily she wasn't hurt, and she & her sisters were cracking up with us -- so awesome :-)

Love you guys tons!  I can feel changes coming in this new area; and so excited for the energy Hna Kofe brings to our companionship.  She is so fun and my lifesaver sometimes!  We've started taking a picture a day, and let me tell you, they are ridiculous!

"Always pray to have eyes that see the best in people,
 a heart that forgives the worst,
 a mind that forgets the bad
 and a soul that never loses faith in God."

love, Hna Coe

P.S. This is why I love my crocs! 
(I NEVER thought those words would come out of my mouth!)