This week's email will be shorter because I had to send a bunch of people pictures! Here it goes! So we have a wonderful family that we meet with at least 2 times a week. Their name is the familia Pineda. They moved here from Mexico about 3 months ago because it isn't safe there anymore. The mom has always been a member but the dad and daughter got baptized a little under a year ago. Ever since their baptism they have LOVED the missionaries. I've never met someone who does so much. The best part is that the dad looks like dad and the little girl looks like Natasha! (: I told them that next time I'm going to bring my picture book with me so they can see you guys. Every time we teach them the spirit is always so strong in the room it's wonderful. Their testimonies and faith are so strong it amazes me and makes me want to have stronger faith each day. We love the Familia Pineda!
Another great experience we had this week was with a woman named Grizelda. Once she told her husband she wanted to get baptized in our church they started having marriage issues because he doesn't want anything to do with religion. I believe it was Monday or Tuesday this week where we met her for dinner at McAlesters Deli for our dinner appointment (yum yum). Before we met with her and during companionship study that morning I felt impressed to share a scripture with her. During dinner her personality was little bit more somber and sad than usual. After she read 3 Nephi 13: 32-34 she was in tears. In Spanish I told her that I know God loves her and that we love her too. The scripture ended up being exactly what she needed to hear! Wow... how the Lord was directing us during companion study!
So this week was a little different and a bit of a struggle. The last 4 nights in a row all of our appointments cancelled after dinner so we were left with nothing. We parked the car and I said a specific prayer to be able to find someone to teach. We got nothing after an hour of looking through the area book, I thought about going to these smaller houses to tract. By this time it was 8:10, freezing cold, deep snow, and blizarding. Before we got out of the car we said a prayer again saying that we wanted to teach someone before we went home. We go out, walked up and down the street, and ended up knocking on 2 doors. After no one answered the first house we tried the second one. A younger African American woman came to the door with her cute little daughter. She let us in and we shared our purpose of missionary work, talked about the first lesson (God loves everyone and blesses families), and bore a short testimony. The lady told us that she was looking for a religion and was open to try ours. We left our number on the back of the restoration pamphlet and left with smiles on our faces. WOW... this was definitely a faith trying experience for the both of us. It's so incredibly hard to have faith at 9pm, when it's blizzarding outside and all of your appointments fall through. I thought I knew what faith was until I came out here! A mission is definitely going to help me grow my faith and confidence in Christ.
On another note: HAPPY NEWS. The Denver temple is out of our mission but our zone goes every 3rd Saturday of each month. (Happy dance so stoked). Right now it has been closed for cleaning but will open back up this month! Can't wait to go!
Saturday was great! We had a training meeting with President Mendenhall and his sweet wife. This meeting was with the 7 new missionaries that came in this transfer and their trainers. We separated from our comps and then had a meeting with the pres. we discussed several different things. The president's wife shared her testimony on how much they love us and if we ever need anything they are only a phone call away. I love them so much! Such wonderful, down to earth people. They called us the magnificent 7 because it was the craziest transfer they ever had with us 3 missionaries from mexico going dark after we left the CCM. haha
Later after the mtg and lunch with a less active we had zone blitz. We split from our comp's and went out with an English missionary don't to coefax (the getto part of Aruroa) and started talking to people! I went with Sister Packer who is a STL sister training leader (I love her) and we talked to several people at bus stops. When we came across this one Hispanic man it was all me. In my broken Spanish I told him who we were and asked him some questions. On our walk back to the car an undercover cop pulled next to us and said, "excuse me ladies but what are you doing down here?" Sister packer piped up and said, "Were talking about Christ!" He said ok, just wanted to warn you this isn't the safest place to be. What a wonderful and courage building experience for me. It takes so much courage to go up to someone and to ask them what faith means to them? or do you believe in Jesus? I learned a lot Saturday and can't wait for the next zone blitz!
So Denver is REALLY diverse btw.. Interesting fact. I'm working on setting and keeping goals better. During district mtg we talked about weekly planning and discussed the difference between a goal and a vision. Great reminder to actually do the things you put on your goal list! So this week I had an epiphany... while we were driving to a dinner appointment I remembered how our pres. told us that Spanish missionaries will always have cars because their area is a lot larger than English missionaries. (which is so true btw) It dawned on me that one of the reasons I was called Spanish speaking in the states was because the Lord was looking out for me so I wouldn't have to walk everywhere (: ahhh how wonderful is that thought! So freaky thing... Natasha remember how you said someone asked you if your dad was Mexican a long time ago in school? Well I keep seeing A LOT of resemblances in you, dad, and Truman. haha You have some twins out here with the darker features. Sorry mom, you and I can't quite pass with the light hair and eyes lol
Fun thing: when members give us money to eat out for dinner it's great because your able to sing along to real music. Up Town Funk by Bruno marz made my day this past week. I love being Spanish speaking because I've gotten to try so many different foods! I love Honduras foods the best! Guatemala and Peruvian food is delishios as well. Mexico is the only country that makes really spicy foods. I always come away feeling like I burned a hole in my stomach after I eat with this one member, Karen because she LOVES her jalapenos and peppers!
So during church yesterday while we were greeting the members before it started I got a.."so how long have you been in the mission field?" I told this member that is was my 2nd week. He looks at me and then says,"wow your greener than an avocado!" He was talking in Spanish of course so I looked at my comp like did I really just hear that right? lol The members in the Denver 3rd ward are so friendly and funny. I also got called Indiana Jones by a member after I had told him where I was from haha From now on I'm from Oregon only.
Yesterday on our way home from church I saw this sign in front of a Baptist church: Don't give up, Moses, was a basket case. Thought you guys would get a kick out of it like I did. The last funny thing that happened this week was during a lesson with these 3 kids were teaching, one of them said, "Doesn't the word of wisdom mean you are really wise and have a lot of wisdom?" We both died laughing haha The same three kids are very rambuskious and have a hard time listening, but I love them to death! Since it was Anthony's bday yesterday we got a few treats from our scarce pantry shelf and put together a bday present for him. I was hoping that was strengthen our relationship with them. Anthony is 12 and he told us that before he moved to CO the missionaries were teaching them but pressured him into getting baptized so he didn't want to have them come over any more. Well something changed his mind and now he loves having us come over and I can see the light in him and his faith. It amazes me and he's only 12. My goal is to start teaching their family and get the 3kids baptized for sure before my 2 transfers in this area ends.
So overall this week had it's ups and downs but the spiritual experiences always make this great work worth it! Hopefully my companion and I can get better soon because we are both really sick. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!