Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Caramel and cough drops

Sara is teaching M to play a childs game. LOOK at these joyful faces

Hello everyone! So a couple weeks ago was Hermana Larson's birthday and she loves caramel so I had planned to make the Hansen style rolly-ups (crepes) and include some with nutella and banana and others with caramel. I had seen caramel at one of the little tiendas up in San Juan so my companions and I passed by a few and asked if they had caramel. They all said they didn't have any but they offered me cough drops in place of caramel...After the third store owner tried to convince me to buy cough drops, I said, "No, I want to buy caramel. These cough drops are like medicine when people have colds." The man then roared in laughter and said, "These aren't medicine! They are mint flavored!" Haha it just makes me laugh because everyone here eats cough drops like they are jolly ranchers.
Yesterday for our P-Day, we played futbol with the Hernandez family and I understand even better why Latinos have a stereotype for being champs at soccer-they got SO competitive and the adults would push their little kids out of the way to get the ball. We played on a dirt field with two goals lacking nets and a plastic little ball but it was one of the most fun games I have ever played!
I am feeling my mission changing me a lot these past few weeks. Last week was a little rough with investigators and recent converts denying spiritual answers that they have already received. My heart literally ached for them. I have cried few times in my mission but for the first time, I truly felt like Nephi in the last chapter when he said he prays for the people in the day and his eyes weep at night. I wasn't discouraged, it was a feeling that I haven't quite felt before. But it was a feeling that inspired me to look harder for ways to improve to help the people more. It was a feeling of charity, maybe just a glimpse of it but I am trying my best to keep developing it.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to have our two planned baptisms this Sunday but we did have miracles happen on Sunday. Claudia, an investigator we first met in July was finally able to attend church! I had thought of stopping our visits for a while since she lives with her boss and she doesn't have permission to go to church, but I had the feeling that we needed to keep having patience and have continued visits with her. And after having two special fasts with her, she was able to attend this Sunday. She had saved money for weeks to pay as a fast offering and had it tucked in to her Bible. She had tears in her eyes and she told us how much she had loved the service, I am so grateful we were able to keep visiting her. Also, Juan was preparing to be baptized on Sunday but told us he had to go to the capital to meet with a lawyer because he was having legal problems with his finca. We explained how if he put God first, everything would work out, but he was still set on missing church to go to the capital. On Sunday morning, we passed by to pick up a family of recent converts and he was outside of his house, waiting to leave for church. He simply told us, "I am putting God first...and then I will go to the capital after church." He attended church and then in the tarde, we passed by his house and to our surprise, he was there! He called us over and excitedly told us, "I have decided not to go to the capital...I am not worried about my finca right now because I have a better lawyer" (he told us while pointing up) "And I am spending my afternoon reading the Book of Mormon. I feel so happy." It was truly a miracle to see him and Claudia both put Heavenly Father first, it's crazy how much pure happiness I feel when I see the faith of others working. I love being a missionary.

p.s. To answer a question that I have received from more than ten different people...yes, there are iguanas here but not hippos here haha. I have seen about four wild iguanas, and aparently there are North Americans that are hiding a pet lion and monkey living in San Juan haha.

M's dog posing in front of her home.

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