am loving our little Branch here in S. It is about 50 members
and most of them are recent converts. They are super united and very
loving...but sometimes they do some pretty interesting things. For
example, this Sunday, in sacrament meeting, I kept hearing the chirping
of a baby bird. My distracted mind just thought that maybe there was a
nest outside the window...I found out this wasn't true when the chirping
followed us to Relief Society. A woman in the Presidency stood up and
was holding her jacket in a weird way as she started talking to us...I
then realized she was trying to hide a baby bird...for all three hours
during church. For some reason, I had the mental image of Jeanette
Hixson directing Relief Society while hiding a baby bird in her jacket
and it cracked me up.
The people in my new area are generally
more humble and don't use as many excuses as the people of L.
("I want to here your message but...the door is locked from the inside
so I can't open it..."). The first weeks of my mission, people would
talk fast Spanish in front of me so I couldn't understand. But now that I
can understand Spanish, they speak Catchicel here! (I'm not quite sure
how to spell that.) (Internet says the language is called Kaqchikel or
Cakchiquel). I am learning a little bit of the language but so far I
only know how to make small talk and to say "hurry" and "dead" haha.
The work is a little bit slower here, we had a pretty rough weekend. I
was a little homesick on the 4th of July, but I was able to celebrate by
wearing my Captain America shirt and making hash browns from a box. The
day I came to this area, we challenged a man to get baptized and we
have been preparing him for this last weekend. He has been taking
lessons for a while but had a long business trip so we picked up his
lessons when he returned (the day I came here). Everything was going
smooth until an hour before his baptism on Saturday, when it fell
through. He had been keeping all of his commitments for four months but
the night before his baptism, things changed. It is extremely difficult
to see a grown-man so devastated as he was on Saturday, and he hasn't
been in his house or answered his phone since then. It's okay to be sad,
but not discouraged on the mission so we are trying our best to find
him and help him again.
Besides working with him, we are
working with quite a few other people here but the Law of Chastity is a
huge problem. A lot of people have testimonies of the gospel of Jesus
Christ but are living with someone that they aren't married to.
Coordinating marriages isn't too hard but divorces are more complicated
and a lot of people were once married and just stopped living with each
other and started living with someone else.
problems, we are happy working here. The people have so little,
materialistically, but they have much more happiness than most of the
people I know in the states. I love the people here and am so grateful
that I can be here to serve them. The church is true, there is power in
the Atonement and there is hope in this message. Hermana Hansen