Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009 -- Two Parts

My letter today comes in two parts.

Part one: responding to Mom's letters . . . .

* * *

Thank you so much for the oranges. Usually, packages are delivered whenever the zone leaders have a chance to go to the office, and then see us, usually in a zone conference. But last Saturday, they called me and told me to go to the office and pick up my package because it had oranges in it. (I'm not sure how they knew.) They were delicious! I miss the juicy, sweet, huge, beautifully-colored Redlands navels. The oranges here are good, but they just can't compare.

* * *

Today was our heroes testimony meeting. It was wonderful. There are three departing missionaries who are special heroes for me, Elder Alcayde, my current zone leader, Elder Christiansen, an assistant and an incredible example, and my tutor, Elder Gonzalez.

Funny you should ask about Cinco de Mayo. I didn't notice a single person doing anything special that day. It seems it is not as big here as it is in the United States.

We are no longer wearing face masks (thank goodness), but we continue to be especially careful with our health.

* * *

To answer your question, sometimes I dream in Spanish, but usually in English. My companion said that I talk in my sleep and usually it is in English, which means I still haven't completely mastered Spanish.

* * *

Part two – What happened this week.

The leaders and missionaries in our ward have been planning a ward missionary activity in the ranchito for a long time. We finally were able to do it this last Saturday. Friday, we knocked on every door in the colony and invited everyone to come. Saturday, the ward hired a bus on which eight missionaries and the leaders of every organization headed to the ranchito. We set up tables for every organization, representing their purpose and showing how they help their members. Then we showed a short video. Then the people went to the missionary table, where we offered to teach them more. The tour finished with refreshments.

At first, no one showed up. We missionaries decided to go and invite everyone again, which we did, but it didn't help. Then we asked the members who live in the colony to go invite their friends, which they did, but still nobody came. But just when we were starting to lose hope, a few children showed up. Then a woman. Then a family. Little by little, people came. And they showed interest. In fact, we found 18 people or families to visit.

We were going to keep going until 8:00, but at 7:30 it started to rain. Hard. In fact, it was a miracle that it hadn't rained before. The whole week they had been forecasting rain for Saturday. But, thinking of an experience that President Monson shared this last conference, I prayed hard that the Lord would delay the rain. As our Bishop said, first we planted the seed, then the Lord sent the rain to help it grow.

Sunday, the bishop hired the bus again to bring the ranchito people to church. Unfortunatley, the only nonmember people who came from the colony were two little girls. But the activity was still a success. We found people who, even if they haven't yet come to church, are willing to listen to us, and who will progress. It was also a success because it strengthened our ward unity as well as the testimonies of our converts who live in the colony.

This Monday is transfers. I hope they don't move me, but I think it is time. I'll tell you what happens.

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