Hi Mom & Dad!
It’s been a pretty good week. We did a lot of service this week for a lot of different people and we also had a lot of different appointments. It's been interesting learning how to do a lot of different things. One of the Recent Converts of the Ward is a horse trainer, so we went over to help her fix some flooring on Thursday. So, not only did I learn how to lay flooring, but we also got to work with her horses, which was amazing. We also built some fences and de-pooped baby cows and I don’t think there will ever be another situation where we are called to dig a hole for a dead dog. I love doing service because I feel like I’m actually doing something worthwhile, and its fun. I am learning so much about farm life, it’s crazy.
We are going to do some district stuff today for P-day. One of the Spanish sisters goes home next Tuesday, so we are going to go bowling or something. Not quite sure :)
Most of the people here are very conservative, but it is a mix. This is a very rural town. Guns and cows and guns and horses and more guns...
Sunday's are actually our busiest days. We tend to have a lot of regular appointments on those days, the only downside is that people insist on feeding us at like 3, which means we can’t have lunch and then can’t eat again until 9 when we go home.
It’s been a crazy week here in Belen, but that’s a good thing, because it just means the week goes by fast. I can’t believe that this is already the last week of my first transfer. Since I’m being trained, I probably won’t be moved this transfer. President Miller said he was going to try and keep trainers and trainees together for the full 12 weeks of training which means all the missionaries should be staying in Belen. I hope we all do, because that would mean that we all would be together for Christmas, which would be awesome. I really love my District.
We also got a new investigator this week. Apparently he used to play for the Miami Dolphins. When we told the Elders they didn't believe us, and we couldn't go in by ourselves, so they come with us to our lessons. And they confirmed it, and one of the Elders even recognized his name. We still aren't entirely sure why he is living in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. But in any case, he is extremely interested in the gospel. He has said several times that God wants him to come back, that’s why he sent two girls to his door, because God knows his weakness. And when we were teaching the Book of Mormon, Sister Smith was trying to get another guy in the room to take a copy and the guy we are teaching comes forward and was like "I want one!!!" And he has actually been reading it, which is exciting.
Our other investigator, the one with the baptismal date had to be taught the law of chastity this week. That was awkward. So he has to get married or move out. We hope that this won’t scare him off. He was super solid, so we don’t think it will, but his girlfriend might be a different story. She doesn’t want to learn about the gospel. Our only hope is that she wants the lessons for her boyfriend. She thinks it would be good for him.
It’s interesting that the girlfriends of people we are teaching are against getting married. Isn't that weird? And we have several families in the same situation where the woman won’t get married, even though they have been together for years and have kids and the man wants to get married... it’s very strange.
I'm so glad that you are doing stuff with the Haskells!!! That's so exciting for a missionary to hear. One of the girls we are working with is a recent convert who is inactive. We are trying to get her back to church, but she said she doesn’t feel welcomed and feels like all the women do is gossip about her. It’s frustrating. I wish there was more that we could do, but really there is only so much that we, as missionaries, can do to help.
We have been asked to teach the lessons to the members when we go to dinner appointments. Last night we were at one of the Stake Presidency Councilors homes and we got to teach the first lesson. It was actually really fun and it was good practice. I was happy that I got to teach about Joseph Smith, which is one of my favorite parts of all the lessons.
If there is something that I have learned in the past couple of weeks it is that Member Missionary work is one of the only effective ways to do missionary work. Of all the people who remain active after baptism, most of them are member friends or family. While tracting sometimes works somewhat, its sooooo much easier for the missionaries if that person has a friend in the ward who invites and introduces them and welcomes them.
I got to share Joseph smith's first vision this week too. That was great as well. But it is true that when you share it, it is always interrupted by something. Multiple people told me that, but this week I experienced it for the first time. It’s true, it is always interrupted. Always.
I'm so grateful for your support and prayers and love! Thank you!