Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ignacio Merino week 7

Intercambios this week...
The mission is definitely not rainbows and butterflies, but it is such a unique and humbling experience and I am so grateful for all that I have learned! 

For the divisions, there was a catch. We´d be spending 2-8pm on Tuesday with GREENIES. Like brand new fresh off the MTC barely speak Spanish greenies. BUT, it was a super cool experience. I got to see Hermanas Richan, Sandison, and Bryce who I was instagram friends with before the mission! They are all super sweet. My hermana nueva for the day was Hna Buchanan! She´s from Wyoming and was ready and excited for her first day in the field! We had a great list of appointments lined up, and then every. single. one. fell through. I was like you are seriously kidding me. I was praying and praying that Hna Buchanan would have at least one teaching opportunity! Finally, I thought of Lucia y Carlos. They are contacts from Hna O and Hna Crowder back in June. We taught Lucia twice about a month ago but then she had her baby and was in the hospital for a long time with complications, so we had passed by several times with no success. It kind of seemed like a waste even putting them on our schedules because it was impossible to find them available in their house. But, nonetheless, Hna Buchanan and I passed by. And I am so glad we did! The Spirit definitely guided us. Lucia y Carlos were just about to MOVE HOUSES so if we hadn´t passed by, we probably would´ve lost them forever! We taught their family The Plan of Salvation and Carlos expressed his desire and search over many years to find a path and a religion for his family. Investigators of gold I tell you. They have 5 kids. Carlos lived in the US for 22 years as a manager of migrant workers, so he speaks English too! (Which was pretty ironic because Hna B´s first experience teaching in the field was to a bilingual family, haha!) They are the sweetest, and I felt the Spirit so strongly that day. I offered for Hna O and I to stop by on Thursday and help them move! So on Thursday Hna O and I spent the morning carrying mattresses and boxes, etc across this sand field to their new house, not too far away. We got to know their oldest daughters, Adela who´s almost 12 and Miracle who´s 13, really well! Then they fed us lunch and asked us to come back next week! I love them so so much and I´m so excited to continue teaching them! 

ZONE CONF THIS WEEK-- Huge changes in our mission. From now on, all the missionaries in our mission are going to TOCAR PUERTAS (knock on doors) from 6-8pm. Every day. No scheduled appointments within those hours. This is a huge change! Here´s why--
1. Hna O and I have never knocked on doors. I think that the missionaries in our area just never had the habit of doing it. I asked her my first week if that´s something we do and she said that it wasn´t effective. Turns out we were kind of mistaken. Granted, street contacting is super successful in our area. But it´s successful in terms of getting names and addresses, but not necessarily finding families and prepared individuals. Like I said last week, it was overwhelming having so many names and not knowing who to visit, as well as dealing with false directions and addresses from all parts of our area. Now, we have the opportunity to teach people on the spot because they´re in their homes, and normally families are all together between 6-8pm! We can also get to know our area better and proselyte in areas where we´ve only walked a few times. 
2. We´re realigning our focus. As missionaries, sometimes we waste our time on investigators that just aren´t progressing or less actives who refuse to come back to church for various reasons. This week we cleaned out our investigators. It was really bittersweet, especially some that we feel especially close to, but ultimately it´s for the best. We need to find those truly prepared, and sometimes that means having the courage to let people go. We can only invite others to come unto Christ, they have their agency to act! I´m so excited to find new, prepared investigators! 
3. We´´re going to ask for references between 8-930pm from members, less actives, and recent converts. This means less personal time in the evening. Previously, we could be in our rooms at 8:30 but now it´s 9:30. That means planning until 10 and with phone calls and filling out registros, we´ll have less personal time. BUT we have a lot of faith in this new schedule and we´re confident that we´ll be able to make time. But my poor journal is suffering a little :)

But we had the COOLEST experience our first night knocking on doors. I don´t have time to relate the experience, but I will next week! It was the first lesson I have been in tears and felt SO much love for a new investigator.

Random notes--
We literally had a chicken foot in our soup this week. Apparently it´s a delicacy.
Also a moto taxi we were riding got stuck in the sand and we had to push it out, haha.Desertprobs.

Gah, so much more to say but no time!

I love you all! Have a great week! Hike a mountain for me :)
Hermana Parks

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