I love Buena Vista. Where do I even start... OK, so I got started on the bus, and we arrived and went straight to work visiting potentials from the area book. I don’t even think we unpacked until the third day in the morning, we were so excited. So, we immediately got in touch with our wml, Brother Morales. He is the best wml I have ever met in my LIFE. He has spent, I would guess, 15 hours with us in the past week. He works full time and has a family; I don't know how he does it. Right off the bat he drove us around to show us where our top five potentials and baptismal dates were (there were three when we came in the area; they will get baptized this weekend). He also spends almost as much time helping the sisters out in the north half of the ward. AND he even helps fellowship a couple investigator friends in another neighboring Spanish ward. We were talking to the sisters on Sunday about how we were living off of tortillas and peanut butter since we left all our food in our last house and just had a enough to get a couple things. He overheard and brought us like six grocery bags of food the next day; he is the best…very, very dedicated and excited about missionary work. We report back to him every night about what we have done, so he knows who not to visit, because we already have and what to report in meetings on Sundays. I'll admit, he does take over lessons, but that's fine with me if he helps us out that much.
So our three top investigators are Eustolia and her two kids. They are solid. The sisters had been teaching them for two weeks already when we got there, and they are all set for baptism. One of the sisters we white washed out went to the north half of the ward and still keeps in touch and calls us a lot about her and other investigators. We opened a couple cans of worms in our first ward council by accident and made a couple people get riled up. The first one was asking about a boundary that we thought was incorrect and that some of the investigators should actually be going to another ward. A couple people got really mad and started arguing about where the boundary is. I guess it's been an issue before and some people really want that street to be in our ward. So we are just going to avoid that topic for now. And also we were assigned half the time to eat in the Spanish ward and half the time in the English stake. For me, I don't want to eat in the English stake; my focus is on Spanish and going to other members’ houses for an hour doesn't make sense. I would rather eat a protein bar and be out working for an extra hour. So we said that's what we were doing to the ward council since that would open up other opportunities for us to eat with Hispanic less actives and get to know other members that might want the missionaries in their home. We had talked to wml and the branch president before, and they thought it sounded great, but a couple women got really heated and said we need to be serving the English members, too, and how it would cause members to be uncomfortable and have to feed us more often when they don't have enough (even though we specifically said they don't need to fill the dinners or even feed us, we just wanted to get into the Hispanic members’ houses to talk about missionary work; the point isn’t to get us food, it's to help the members be missionaries, which is why it makes so little sense to me for English members to be feeding us.) Anyway, half the ward council was on our side and the other half against us. SO anyway we eat half the days in the Spanish branch with members, and the other half we are just eating quickly at home and getting out to work. I would imagine after I leave, Elder Larsen will try to get dinners set up everyday, but my time is limited. I can sit around in the evening and eat with white people once I get home, ha-ha.
So other than that the first few meetings went well. We already have a good relationship with the branch president; he has given us a few referrals and is excited to have elders and sisters both in the branch. We spoke in sacrament meeting (just a two minute testimony), so people would recognize us. We have taught several lessons and knocked a lot of doors. In the first couple days, we set up about 15 lessons, most of which fell through, but that is to be expected. Just weeding through until we get to the people that are prepared. The hardest thing is knowing where to start. The area book app wasn't done right, so we have like 120 progressing investigators which is hard to be able to narrow down on especially since most of those people were only taught one time in the past six months and then never dropped. So that will take a couple weeks to get sorted out organizing ourselves and getting the area book updated.
We picked up two other baptismal dates off of referrals, and one of them, we have to pass off to the ysa missionaries since he is in his 20's. Dang…oh well, he will still get baptized.
Riding bikes has been fun. Elder Salazar picks us up at 5:30 for the gym every morning, so I still get to work out!! This Thursday we have a mission wide Spanish training, and I am giving a training as part of it. I planned it out yesterday but still can't really decide. I am training on creating success in Spanish areas. I know that sounds broad, but basically it’s about overcoming circumstances. The training will be in Spanish, so that is fun. We have our first DM this Wednesday. It will be my first DM I give in all Spanish, so that will be interesting. There is only one Hispanic in our whole district; the rest are gringos. It'll be tough, but we just need to encourage everyone to speak Spanish.
I think that's all for now...working hard and loving it.
Hope all is well at home..love you all!
PS My protein powder came right after I left. and I called someone and had them bring it up to me…so I did get it. Thank you!
Important question: does it cook any of the vitamins out when you cook spinach? What I'm saying is, if I cooked some everyday is that not as healthy as eating it raw?
Also my throat has been hurting the past few days and I have no other sickness symptoms; it just hurts to swallow. What could that be? By the way things are amazing!