September 15, 2014
First, I love you all. Just thought I'd say that. Second, Happy Monday! Third...highlights. Yeah, excellent segue way....
A new thing that we are doing as a zone is reciting the missionary purpose in English, which, fíjese (note, ed.), I had down before I came (fist pump!) So that's great news for me, but my companion still needs to learn. So one day we were walking and working on it and, as we sometimes do, we arrived at an investigator's house. But they weren't there. And we were tired. So my companion did this …
… and then began to say "Invite others to come unto Christ...." like she was telling the nonexistent investigator what to do. I laughed and laughed and laughed, because then she saw a cat inside and said "¡Ay gato! Invite others..." If no one else thinks this is funny it might be evidence that my brain is slowly but surely cooking inside my head.
-I've been told that when you are learning a language you can tell you're getting the hang of it when you start dreaming in that language. Well I did that. But the funny thing is that since I (obviously) miss my family and I dream about them, in this dream, my 7-year-old sister, Grace, was speaking Spanish. Can I tell you how weird it was to "hear" her little voice say "Entonces" (then, ed.)?
-One thing I love about serving in Mexico is that nobody else has my last name. In some ways it's hard because people forget it or can’t pronounce it correctly. But then there are other times when people say things like "Anderson: now that is a really strong name. That is a name with power." I'd never hear things like that in the US!
-Missionary work is exploding here (my ward seems to have missed the memo though, grr). Last week at Stake Conference they said that we have 28 full-time missionaries in our stake. Oh, and also we have only five wards. There are some wards with four pairs of missionaries. Really busy and really successful missionaries. What the crazy?! And guess who gets to be a part of it!
-So, I'm still far from perfect (really far) and I still have the tendency to do things I shouldn't, like think not-nice things about people who annoy me. Well, the other day I was doing that, thinking bad about someone, and all of the sudden my head REALLY started to hurt because I had been so distracted by doing something that I shouldn't that I ran into the metal doorjamb of the shorter-than-average doorway I was walking through. And I still have a sore spot on my head. My companion laughed really hard at me (once she found out I was okay) and every time I whine about it she laughs again and says "Well, that's what happens when you think bad about Maria!"
-There's a sister in the ward, Hermana Velarde, who is like my Mexican grandmother. She is all love and helps us and takes care of us like we were hers. She is an incredible blessing. But, she is also still an old woman and they do funny things. Like today, when she showed us her favorite perfume and let us smell it, and when, like good missionaries and adopted granddaughters we told her that it smelled really good, she said, "OK come here" and started putting it on us. Behind both ears, under the collar bone, and our armpits. So all day I have smelled like an old woman. Yay. Good thing I already have a boyfriend ;)
-About the title: I don’t know what it is, but this week everyone has wanted to know our real names. It's normal for people to ask, but there were seriously like five or six different people this week. One investigator said "WHAT! That's not fair! You know my real name!" Another decided that she was going to try to guess our names. For me she tried Margarita, Luz Maria, Rebecca, and Carlota. And for my companion, Susana. We still keep laughing.
Also, I found this familiar gem downtown today:
Somehow, I don't think it's actually part of the franchise....though I could be wrong.
OK, apart from the highlights there is something else I wanted to share. Missions are the best of the best, with experiences that sometimes just leave you dumbfounded, as in, how can I be a part of all this wonderfulness and wow everything is so beautiful and this life is the best I can't stop smiling.
But other times there are experiences that are just so sad you don't know how you can keep going. You want to sit and cry and ask God how it could happen and why it has to be. You trust that He has all power and knows what's best, but you hurt because others are hurting and because you can't make it stop. More than ever I am grateful for the all-reaching power of the Atonement, that somehow Christ paid for all our sins so we can repent, and felt all of our pains so that He could know how to make us feel better (see Alma 7:11-13). It's not an easy thing to be here, and I am tested and tried every hour, but there are so many beautiful moments. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Until next week!