Hermana Nielsen and I made a deal that if we were together again, we are speaking in spanish to each other, in the house, when we walk up, running, in the car, everywhere! So ... today I am here to say we did it for a week and we have 5 more to go! It has been kind of hard! I am really really bad at telling stories or trying to explain something. I don't think it was coincidence, however, that we were asked to translate twice this past weekend. Our skills are being put to the test, so we must be prepared!
We had few lessons with members with week but I'm happy to say all but one were with members!!!!! Yeahhhhh! And all the members seemed to be really well matched for the investigator (usually we have a good person in mind ... but they are not able to come with us). We had some awesome lessons and are excited for the people in this area!
When we went to go pick up one of the members, she insisted on feeding us (it doesn't help her food is ALWAYS really good ... I didn't care we had dinner an hour later .... same hermana that we ate with after we were already really REALLY full one night) and we had tacos with some meat that was the head and the tongue. Hermana Nielsen was hesitant to eat it. I think I forgot that they'd said that and just dove in. It was pretty good! I liked the other meat better though. Hermano was hilarious though because he kept saying "I like the ojos!!!!!!!" Oh it was funny! Horray for good Mexican food! Hermana Nielsen and I have our own ideas of selling tomales, Mexican hot dogs, and carne asada. We'll see ... if nothing else we'll have some Mexican parties. The food is to die for!
This week we came to the conclusion we need to drop one of our investigators, Fransisca, who we've been teaching for a pretty long time. We went by for an appointment one night and only her sister was home. Her sister is a member and just entered the temple a month ago. We talked to her about it and it was established she knows and has miedo to make the decision. Alicia (the sister) was asked to share her testimony in church though, so we all planned on going to church with her so we can translate for Fransisca. Sunday we show up just as the english ward is beginning. Alicia is sitting on the stand. The chapel is PACKED. The last time I was in an english ward was a little less than a year ago and wow is it different! Weird ... very weird. Fransisca was sitting in the middle row, in the middle, 3 rows from the front. We felt super strange ... no one knows sister missionaries here! We don't even eat in this stake! We kind of felt like celebrities walking in .... it's funny being a missionary in Mesa. Anyway, we sit with Fransisca and all of the 6 crazy kids! most of the time we're trying to entertain the kids. I happen to be sitting next to Fransisca so I ended up translating. I remember Dad's stories of translating and just said a prayer for help. Well, it came! Wahoo! The topic for the day was faith and hope! Good topic for someone we've been teaching for a long time who has no hope in getting baptized because she doesn't want to get marry or get rid of her boyfriend! Alicia got up and said something to the extent of, "I was asked to share my testimony on this topic. My sister is here and she is learning about the gospel. Today I want to bear my testimony to her: I know this is the truth. The Hermanas came to talk to me this week and said they are worried for you. I love you, Fransisca. I want to tell you that I know this is the way and we do not need to fear it." Fransisca couldn't even look at her sister, she was just balling. Alicia, at the pulpit, was crying. It was a really tender moment though. And to be translating this to Fransisca? No doubt, the spirit was there! We haven't found the time to talk to Fransisca about it but as of Saturday, she was telling Alicia that anything Alicia claimed to be the spirit was just coincidence.
Oh how much I've learned on my mission to know that promptings from the Spirit are not coincidence and that it is a manifestation of the love that our Heavenly Father has for each of his children. Most of the promptings received are to help someone else come closer to our Heavenly Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. Hermana Nielsen and I have been studying the spirit a lot this week and working hard to explain it so those we teach will be able to recognize it and hopefully decide to follow it more.
The Bassetts are leaving next week. In 9 days (creo?) we are meeting President and Sister Ellsworth. I cannot even begin to capture how grateful I am for the Bassetts. They were called here to Mesa, Arizona by God! They have truly blessed my life! No one else could've done this here quite like they did! It is good and bad seeing them leave. So sad because things will change, but so good because it is on the Lord's time. This Thursday we have zone conference with half our mission. Our last time with them. We then are going to the temple all together. My first zone conference in the mission was set up like this and I just remember walking into the Celestial Room and receiving a hug from Sister Bassett and feeling closer to heaven than ever before. While talking to Sister Bassett, just a few of us a few transfers ago, she commented, "I don't know how anyone that is old does this .... we're tired!" They are just amazing. In my last interview with President he just said, "there's a lot to do in this last month." PERSEVERAR HASTA EL FIN. They are amazing examples of that to me. I think I struggle in that area. I get weary and give up, whether at the end of a day or a week or a transfer.
One of the Hermanas that went home last week was Hermana Guzman. It was a bit of a shock to talk to her the day before she left, but it was for some good reasons. She didn't realize that something that happened a long time ago was still haunting her (someone offended her and it really rocked her) and so she's going home to hopefully get better, work this out, and then return. I worry for her. We had our moments of brilliance together and just became really great friends. This is a huge blow for her though, especially for these reasons. I think of others who I know who have come home early and the struggles they had. It is for the better though and I pray things only go up from here.
Ok time up. Love you all! Thanks for the many packages this week! After transfers they hold mail and when we got it .... Hermana Nielsen and I received some great amounts of love (in the forms of packages!)! You are in my prayers! Keep up the hard work! I love you!!!!
Love always, Hermana Clark