Friday, September 21, 2012

Letter #3

My Dear Family!

First of all, please tell the man from Swiss Days thank you from me for his generosity. (One of the vendors who parked in our yard made a generous donation to Christina's mission) It really means so much to me, and I know the Lord will bless him for being an answer to prayer. The Lord loves His missionaries, and He answers their prayers-- and I pray for us as a family a lot.

It's transfer week at the CCM and my district is the only one here until tomorrow morning. That means it's only me, Hermana Harris, and Elders Pyper and Francis. Everyone else has left for their respective missions. Hermana Harris and I are remaining companions though, at least for the time being. We walked into class this morning and our teacher, Hermana Arcos, looked at us thoughtfully. She said, "Yo pienso ustedes estan listos tener las compaƱeras latinas. Yo voy hablar con Hermana Openshaw." or something like that-- my Spanish grammar is still pretty terrible. Normally, English-speaking missionaries don´t get Latin companions until week 6. It´s the beginning of week 4, so I´m a little nervous.

In other news, Hermana Harris and I got to babysit 9 hispanic kids today. It was pretty awesome. They´re the children of two of the teachers here who are leaving. The staff here had a farewell lunch today for them and their families, and afterward they all wanted to go to the temple, so Hermana Openshaw (la esposa del Presidente) volunteered us as babysitters. It's P-day, and it's transfer week, so we didn´t really have anything else to do. The elders are taking their shift with the kids now. Speaking of which, I should probably make sure everyone´s still alive down there... I´m sure they´re fine :)

As far as Spanish goes, I´m getting pretty good at speaking it-- it´s being able to understand the natives when they speak that´s challenging. Nigh impossible. I can catch a few words and usually the gist of what´s said, but I mostly smile and nod a lot. Today at the temple, the veil workers forgot we speak English and they didn´t have the cards for us. The hermana helping me was mumbling so badly, and she would just say entire sentances, even when I showed I was struggling repeating two words in a row. Then she´d get mad at me :(

I´m still trying to figure out how to email pictures on these computers. It might take a while, so I apologize. The elders don´t know either.

We´re getting all new carpet in the building, and we´re also switching rooms. One more reason to pack light. You never stay in the same place for more than 3 weeks.

I´m so glad I have the companion I have. She´s really patient and we are able to communicate about things that bother us. I guess we´re both just really focused on a common goal that everything else seems to fall away. 

My teacher, Hermana Arcos is amazing. She has an awe-inspiring amount of faith. In Estudio Asesorado yesterday, she gave me so many helpful suggestions on how to make my personal study more effective. Now I read the scriptures completely differently. I´ve started a notebook that I´m calling the "Field Guide." In all my scripture study I look for something that is an answer to a question one of my "investigators" or any future investigator might have, write the reference and the impression. Missionary work is kind of like combat medicine. In D&C it counsels us not to plan beforehand what ye shall say, but instead to listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, and it shall be given thee in the very moment what ye shall say. A combat medic doesn´t plan beforehand exactly what stitches they are going to sew up and ignore the ones they didn´t plan for. Instead they are prepared for anything. Hopefully that´s what this new way of scripture study will do for me.

If you remember, could you please pray for a woman named Gladis? Hermana Harris and I contacted her on the street during our first Proselitismo last Saturday and we can´t get her out of our minds. I don´t know if we´ll be the ones to visit her next, but I really felt that she is ready to hear the gospel. She explained to us that she thinks it´s good to have Christ in your life, but she feels like every church is the same, and they all teach the same thing. My companion recited the first vision and we taught about Joseph Smith, then I bore my testimony that it was true and about how important it is for me to be sealed to my family and to be with you forever. She looked at me like she knew that I knew it. It was a little scary to suddenly realize what kind of situation the Lord has put me it-- I am a teacher. I've never really talked to someone who hadn't heard it all already. Anyway, please pray for her, and whatever missionaries will teach her.

I love you so much, and I pray for you all the time.

Hermana Phillips

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