We have been very angry with Idaho this week. It has been raining all week! In December! We are mad that there still isn't any snow, This is a joke. It was 60 degrees outside yesterday, so I don't even get to use my jacket. Hopefully it will snow in the next couple weeks.
So just something cool I was looking at this week. I kind of went down one day and broke down lesson 1 and studied just the first part. (Maybe I shouldn't do this, because it's like making my own doctrine, but I like thinking of things in a logical way.) Ok, so it says that the job of prophet is to teach the nature of god and teach the true gospel to get eternal life...that’s under the red box in 'prophets'. In 'dispensations' it says the two main distortions of apostasy are the nature of god and the gospel. The first two principles of lesson one are the two main restored "distortions" that we know of due to our modern day prophet. God is a loving father of flesh and bone who cries when we cry etc. The second heading being the gospel blesses families, hinting at the way to get eternal life, the second job of prophets. I just thought it was cool that it pointed it out that way in each section.
So last p-day was awesome. We had a member bring us to Tapatio which is a really good Mexican restaurant in town, but it's expensive so we never go there. We were getting a haircut, and the uncle of half of our branch (he lives in Utah) met us and took us out to eat. While we were there, another member dropped 60 dollars on the table to pay for us, but we gave it back since there was already somebody else paying. Although my companions weren’t very happy I gave it back, ha-ha. Members are awesome. This guy (the uncle of all the Mexicans in our ward… who are all cousins) talked about how he was the first member of his family. They all thought he was crazy, but he did it anyway. Then he moved to the US (first one to do that, too), and once there, he got them all jobs and places to live in the US. They all ended up getting baptized here. He had to wait years though; it was encouraging for Elder Senn and Elder Ireland.
Ignacia was going pretty well last week and then surprise! Her husband came back, we showed up at her house, and she was crying again on the phone with somebody yelling at her. Anyways, next day, he was up to visit "his" kids. I couldn't even look him in the eye when we met him. That cancelled a lesson and pushed back her baptism, but he is gone again after giving his kids a remote control car so they still like him. So anyways, we did teach her one lesson and did the law of chastity within it, and she is just so accepting of everything and is very honest with us, and she really likes us, which is good. This week we should finally teach her word of wisdom. As long as she isn't addicted to coffee it should be fine. But still keep praying really hard for her, tithing will be something very hard for her to do since they have practically nothing.
So we had a very weird dessert this week in a Mexican house, a cup of green jello with marshmallows, pistachios and eggnog on top, don't try it. How do they come up with these things? That night we had posole, my first time in a while. So that was a very sweaty and spicy dinner; you will have to try it sometime. We added a ton of Chile de Arbol which is really really spicy so it was a rough dinner appointment. Overall, we just wanted to go home and take a nap afterward. It was funny. We were eating, and we mentioned we eat at white people's houses sometimes, and he wasn’t very happy. He said his motto is, "Don't eat sandwiches, eat beans," very profound of him. Brother Mejia is a really nice guy. We have been working with a different Mejia family that is less active. They have just recently started to drop off. His wife is the best Mexican cook I have ever met in my life. They always feed us no matter how much we say no (it's usually like at eight at night when we see them so it's a second dinner), but it is awesome. Always homemade tortillas with everything, and it's just so good.
The Plancarte family always feeds us after lessons too. We told him no once and he got mad and said "fine, don't eat my wife's food just GO!", so now we don't say no and we just have two dinners occasionally. Brother Plancarte is a member of the church but his kids and wife are not, he was baptized after going to church twice and then never went back about two years ago. We have tried for six weeks to get them to church without success and they finally admitted it was because somebody in the branch was talking badly about their daughter so they got offended and won't go now. We are really trying to get them to go back. They are the only church headquarter referral I have ever gotten so we are working really hard with them.
This week had an unusual amount of cancelled lessons. Karyna is pretty much dropped by now; we still haven’t found her in weeks. Jesus didn't come to church, neither did Roberto. They both lied to us about it that morning. We visited Roberto and weren’t mean but were very honest with them, and I hope he comes soon. Ignacia didn’t go to church, because her husband showed up, but two other investigators that we weren’t planning on coming did come, Sister Duarte and Sister Bencoma, so at least we didn’t have zero! We taught Pablo again, and he is still convinced that Joseph Smith could be a prophet, and it's still "all good" no need for more baptism. He really doesn't get when we teach him, but he is a really nice guy and is honest with him. I think we will keep trying with him to resolve that concern.
Not a whole lot of new people this week, we ran out of referrals from members/ old investigators to visit and kind of hit a wall last week. Now we are doing lots of tracting, because we kind of ran out of things to do during the day. Tracting is SOOO unproductive here, we have done it several hours this week and not found one Hispanic just a lot of retired members and anti-Mormons, and we are really unsure what to do at this point. We want snow then we can start giving people service during the day; at least for now we are kind of stuck.
Maria and Rosa are getting baptized this Saturday if all goes well. They are the ones in Grace that were taught by the English missionaries, but then those missionaries got in trouble for watching movies with them, and they gave them to us. So we really didn't teach them anything. We met with them last week after a huge struggle to get them to set a time, and it was the most frustrating lesson of my life. They are 17 and 14 year olds, and they are the most flirtatious girls I have ever met, but more of like how middle school student acts. It took an hour to get them to decide who would give their prayers/talk/baptism just, because they wouldn't stop laughing and asking things like "am I allowed to laugh? Is it scary? Will I drown? You're going to be there right? Can I not invite ANYONE? What do I wear? Do I get to keep the jumpsuit? Will you cry? Will I cry? Do I get presents?" It was so hard, I was about to flip the whole time. You wouldn't believe how much they lost it when we told them to bring white underwear. I don't think they every stopped laughing or looked me straight in the eye the whole time. We talked to their bishop, and if there is anything else they need taken care of before then he will just talk to them, because he is well aware that they aren't capable of talking to boys without bursting out in laughter. So I know I should be excited about it, but we have never taught them anything. None of us are doing anything in the program. We are just there to make sure the paper gets signed. I will be relieved once it’s all over they really just needed Sister Missionaries to teach them.
So you know that YouTube video Grandpa Gene sends out of the Christmas light show that goes along with the music? It's a song and the lights flash on and off in sync with the beat, well that house is in Preston! So that was kind of cool. We were driving and noticed a house that was flashing tons of different color lights, and then we rolled down the window and heard the music. So that’s kind of cool. There is more here in Preston than you would think.
Keep Ignacia in your prayers, we really want things to go well with her. Pray really, really hard! And pray we will find new people too. That’s been the challenge the past couple weeks. We do a lot of driving and not a lot of talking to people and it just feels unproductive.
Love you all, Merry Christmas! The branch sings a little bit louder during Christmas time so it’s a tiny, tiny bit less like me and Elder Ireland are just singing a duet, ha-ha. Take care,
OH! Best part, new ward mission leader is brother Silva, he is the best. He went on splits with us more than anyone else in the ward so hopefully he will help us. His son (18) also goes on splits with us occasionally so they are the two most supportive member presents in the ward, and now they can work with us a little more. We still haven’t talked to him since he got called, he wasn’t in church that day, but we will let you know. Maybe we will start having correlations now, ha-ha.
PS Something that has really stressed me out..what do I do for my family for christmas? I have no idea. We don't have a ton of time really, and if I buy something it will just be you buying it. I don't really know what to do.
I read your letter. I didn't go through the box though, don't worry I just figured their would be an explanation inside. I'm lucky I have a mom like you. I don't think there is anyone else in the world who has a mom that busy that would still go through that much trouble to give me a good Christmas. I don't know about skype yet; we will find out in mission conference this Thursday. I would imagine. I think probably skype. Elder Ireland’s mtc is from Preston. We will probably skype in his house.
|Mexico Meets America|
I don't know why I am sending a picture of this but it was just a good day of lunch. Elder Ireland’s signature move was the tapatio-jam-sausage-bacon-egg-chorizo biscuit sandwich. I just combined them all in tortilla. We were very grateful to the Weaver family (and la tienda patino for providing the chorizo, hot sauce, and tortillas). We told some Mexicans we made chorizo with eggs, and it made them gag. I guess we did it wrong.