Monday, June 11, 2012

Monday, June 6, 2012 - Food, (Not So) Glorious Food!

Hola Mi Familia! It was so good to get your weekly emails as always and of course it is constantly a strength to me! Elise, thanks for your words of wisdom! I will take them into consideration! Ha! This week was better! Well, in the food department, no so much, but we will get to that later, yeah? So exciting things happened with investigators and special missionary experiences so let's get started shall we? First, our progressing investigator Marisa! This week we watched "Finding Faith In Christ" with her and we invited 2 of her kids ages 11 and 9 to watch it with us! They really enjoyed the movie and afterward we all went to the store for our weekly groceries and had a fun time there. This was good because before her kids didn't really like us and didn't have like the church too much that one time they went. However, I think the experience with the movie and shopping opened them up to us more and we gained more trust and confidence in them. So the next night after our lesson with Hermana Marisa, when she took us home, we decided that we were going to invite them to Mutual this week to play games with us and get to know them more. We both wrote the kids handwritten notes saying how much we would like for them to come to mutual so we could get to know them better. At this time Hermana Marisa said that her kids had a present for me! This made me excited for Thursday, Mutual night! Ha! Who doesn't love presents? Well, they came to mutual! It was a lot of fun! They gave me a present: I always complain to my comp how I don't like it when the wind blows and constantly get dirt in my eyes and he is always calling me a weakling and a girl, but I take it! HA! He suggested that I buy sunglasses to keep the dirt out. Well, I didn't think I had told anyone else this, or maybe they just thought I was a cool dude, but Hermana Marisa's kids gave me Aviator style sunglasses! Ha! Isn't that great! I felt special that I gained their confidence! Maybe it is just because I'm a freak show here being tall, white, and having blue eyes...or maybe I'm just that cool...who knows....My comp tells me that he thinks I will baptize a lot of kids and teenagers in my mission because they just seem to be drawn to me and listen to me! That's kind of cool! So....anyway...we played futbol and I was pretty good at it! And basketball and Volleyball! Alex, everyone basically knows about you because I am always saying how good of a baller my brother is and how he tears up the court! Your famous...just FYI! We also that this other investigator kid and his dad come and they really enjoyed it which was awesome, but back to Marisa.... We continued to meet with her everyday because she is the most progressing and we didn't want to lose her. We taught her about tithing this week and to start off we read the scripture in Malachi which talks about the windows of heaven being opened and such. I then began the lesson with a question asking her what the word tithing meant. She knew exactly what it meant! She gave the exact answer and told us that she wanted to pay her tithing because she knew she would receive blessings! WOW! She basically taught the lesson to us! How neat is that! So she payed her tithing this week and I know she will receive great blessings for it. We also decided to do a mock baptismal interview to find out what was keeping her from getting baptized. My comp conducted the interview and I practiced the hymns for this week. After almost an hour, they came out and said that we had a firm date set for this coming Friday June 8th! So you know how in the past I've always been like "oh we will probably have a baptism this week", "I am so sure that a baptism is going to happen" and each time it doesn't? (Oh by the way Elise we extend the invitation to be baptized the very first lesson or the very first time we meet with someone. If we don't, then the people will just think that we are nice young men coming to share a scripture with them. However, when we state our purpose right off, they can know that we are there to help them have faith, repent, be baptized, and endure to the end!) Well I'm for reals this time! We are going to have a baptism this week! We have a firm date and an investigator that is so ready! She has asked that I perform the ordinance! And since we gained the trust of her kids we hope to baptize them soon too! So that's what up with her! :) This week we had the neat opportunity to go on splits with Priest from my home county The United States Of America! The zone leaders told us last Sunday that this past week 26 priests from Mesa, AZ where coming down to Penasco Thursday and Friday to see what missionary work was like. We didn't think we would be helpilng out since we were in Sonoyta, but after a big day Thursday, they called and asked if we would come and help out! I was excited and nervous! I have never been on my own with a non-native speaker and since Penasco is not our area, I'm not familiar with it, so I didn't know if I could do it. Well, there were 14 or so priests Thursday and then we came on Friday to help out with 12. There are 8 missionaries in Penasco, but 2 are sisters and naturally the priests can't go with them so we filled in. Each missionary took 2 or so priests and went out. Those missionaries that are here in Penasco went about their normal day with Priests: teaching lessons, contacting, ect. But since Penasco is not our area we don't have any investigators to teach, therefore, we had no lessons to teach so we were left to doing contacts. We had them from about 4PM till 6:45PM...almost 3 hours! It was a lot of fun actually! It was fun to be with Americans and to understand and speak more Spanish than they did. I taught them single testimony lines that they could say when it came time for them to bear their testimonies. Since they knew no Spanish of course I had to take the lead in talking to people and teaching and contacting. This a good experience I think for me-- It forced me to listen and try to understand everyone we talked to since I wasn't with a native and to initiate the contacts and talking because the other 2 didn't know Spanish. We had a good time and they each gave out copies of The Book Of Mormon with their testimonies. Afterwards their ward leaders took us out to dinner. Being from Mesa I naturally asked if they knew the name Whiting or Hobbs. Of course they did! One of the priests I had (his last name was Free) actually live acrossed the street from the Whitings before they moved to Georgia! He said he was sad to see them go, and I said I was happy to see them arrive! My 3rd set of Grandparents! So that's that! I'll attach pictures! Well now to the food part...this week was a trying week for food except for one day! This one day this sister, who is from Guadalajara like Norma, made us a good Spaghetti meal with salad and it was just like being at home and for dessert...Homemade Rice pudding! Papa would be jealous....well, it probably wasn't as good as yours Grandma, but still yummy! So that day made up for the others. The other were trying because I don't particularly like to eat what we had. First we had let me just say I don't like any kind of seafood whatsoever, but I ate it anyway like a good boy should. Next, we had Tacos de Fish! Seafood again...except this time you had to scrape the meat off the bones and put it in the tortilla yourself. Again, I plugged my nose and grinned and bore it! Well the next time just pushed me over the edge....we had MENUDO!!!! For those of you who don't know what this is, let me just tell you:....Cow intestines/Cow Stomach! YUCK!!!! What did I do, grinned and bore it of any good boy should! "Hmm...this is really delicious Hermana! Thank you so much"....NOT!!!! You will have to see if you can find pictures of it on Google or something! It looks gross! It is slimly and has these tiny tentacle looking things...NASTY!!!! Luckily I knew ahead of time that is what we were eating so I packed a few snacks know I would not get my fill at lunch! So that happened...yeah....! Well, that's about it for now! The Zone leaders left for their usually beginning of the month trip to Hermosillo so I am hoping that they will be returning with 3 packages for me and maybe some letters! I'm quite ansy! I'm loving the work and loving being a missionary! It is so great to see people's lives change through Christ! Hopefully this week will be especially good with my first baptism! Until Next week! Love and miss you all dearly! ¡Yo sé que vive mi Señor! Con Mucho Amor, Elder Joyner

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