Tuesday, August 23, 2011

el fin de la temporada!

Email sent 15 August 2011

Finally the summer is coming to an end!  Ya!  That means soon we will be out of the hottest part of the year.  But more importantly, as summer ends and the kids here go back to school, all of the work on the island slows down.  This is when people will be able to get sunday's off and be able to come to church!  Yay!  That is the biggest thing holding this area back, and it is a built in part of the culture of port isabel...work on sundays cuz that's when the world vacations.  Ugh.  Just keep the sabath day holy people.   But ya we are excited for people to be able to come to church in the upcoming weeks.
Also we've been lucky here in port isabel.  The rest of the mission has been REALLY hot these past few days.  Sister Trayner even sent out a high heat index warning telling everyone to take frequent breaks in the shade or AC and drink lots of water and wear lots of sunscrean.  But here in Port isabel I guess we've been a few degrees lower than everywhere else and we ahve a really nice ocean breeze so it feels a lot cooler to me than my previous areas.  I think God knew that I needed to be in a cooler place during the summer. I'm not a fan of the heat.  haha
Update on D..., my investigator in Raymondville.  He has recieved approval, but has a bit of cold feet apparently at the moment.  That makes me really sad, I want to be there and just tell him what's what.  But I know that Sister Salan and Sister Ruano will help him to remember the great importance of this step of baptism.   He will follow through.  I know he will.  And I think I will get to go to his baptism when it doesn't happen.  As long as it's not at the same time as one of my baptisms here.
This week we had a couple of lessons that were really amazing to see the spirit work on people.  We found this one lady last week and had set an appointment to come back.  We came by but we were late and she wasn't home, but I guess God knew we needed to be late cuz she pulled up as we were leaving.  So we caught her and she invited us in.  It all started as we were standing in her living room.  She told us straight up that she would listen to what we have to say, but that she was not looking for a church, she doesn't really have a religion and doesn't want one at all.  She said she didn't want to waste our time and wouldn't come to church or change.  This was all before we had really said anything.  But then she said she would give us some time.  She asked us what we teach.  and then invited us to sit down.  So we sat down at her kitchen table in her disorderly little house with kids running around back and forth.  There we began to explain to her that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and that God has sent us to help her and her family return to him.  We began to talk and ask her some more questions about her background.  She told us she was a Jehova's Witness, and that her husband is catholic.  She wants the family united so she goes to churhc with him sometimes but doesn't believe the catholic chruch at all.  She said she doesn't "feel it" in either of the churches.  She has questions and neither of the churches can answer them.  We began to teach simply of the book of mormon and of the spirit.  JWs don't believe in the spirit.  But somewhere deep inside of her she is seeking to feel the spirit testify of truth.  That's why she doesn't "feel it" at those chruches, cuz they are not true.  As soon as we found her need, to understand the spirit and his role in conversion and truth, her demeanor softened.  She began to open her heart.  She became interested in learning more.  She said, "I would really like you to come back and talk to me more about these things."  It is amazing to me how the spirit can testify of truth and change people's hearts.  When we teach truth or even state truth the spirit testifies.  That is something you can do in normal life as well, not just as missionaries.  When you can state a truth of the gospel the spirit will testify and people will recognize it as something familiar and good.  Their desire to learn more will increase.
Another funny thing that happened this week:  this member Brother Alvarado is a really smart guy.  During our lessons though I think he was paying attention more to the way we speak spanish than what we were saying.  After the lesson he says to me, "You think in spanish right?"  I told him yes.  He said, "ya you can tell that you don't have to translate it in your head as you go along, like your companion, you just understand it.  Also, you speak like a mexican...but you have a bit of a different accent, I can't figure out what it is.  You kinda sound like someone from Vera cruz."  People from different parts of mexico speak with different accents or changes in tone and stuff.  I just laughed.  I told him that maybe I speak kind of guatemalan cuz I had a guatemalan companion for about 5 months.  I'm glad I finally learned how to understand this language.  My poor companion is still in the not-understanding state.  She works so hard though, she will be fluent in no time.
Well sounds like your trip was really fun and now you have nothing to do.  :(  You can write me letters!  hah
I love you all lots.
Hermana Petersen

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