Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What do you bring in your pocket to church?

I 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.

Despite these 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

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