Monday, August 31, 2015

Elder Bednar!!!

This week was absolutely loco. In fact, it was so crazy that I feel like I should rewrite this line for emphasis in caps. THIS WEEK WAS ABSOLUTELY LOCO. Basically my whole life changed again. Last Monday right after we left internet to email you guys we went to the Capilla to see who has cambios. The way our zone leaders did it was each person received a little slip of paper with a scripture on it. One by one we went up to the front and read our scripture. Most of them were from DyC and said whether or not we were leaving the area. Mine said something to the effect of "you will remain" and Hermana Valbuena's said something to the effect of "you will be leaving". I couldn't even speak for an hour after to save myself from the shame of crying in front of my whole zone (again). In other words, no, Hermana Valbuena and I are not together this cambio and I am now directing the area. This is super rare because I have only been here for 6 weeks and it has been a little bit of a struggle this week. I have been stressed because I don't know the street names, the members super well, we literally spent half an hour walking around trying to find the Bishops house which I've been to a thousand times. I thought it was a little bit funny though. Right before cambios I was responding to a friend in the mission who just became zone leader and feels super inadequate.  I was telling him not to worry because the Lord qualifies us for every calling. Of course right after I was "called" to do something scary and wanted to write him and take it all back! But it really has been good for me. I read the talk titled "But if Not" (thanks mom) and it talked a lot about having faith includes having faith even when things don't go exactly as you want. I would highly reccommend it. 

My new companion is named Hermana Haro and is from Mexico F (the capital). She is super cool and a really good teacher. She only has one transfer more than me! This is pretty much unheard of because she has 3 months in the mission and I have 6 weeks. I guess the Lord really trusts us or wants a good laugh. Since we both don't know super well what we're doing, this week has been a lot of organizing and guessing and calling the zone leader for help but si o si we can do this! Every night before bed she comes and gives me a big hug. She loves treats (this is bad for both of us). She too is the oldest in her family and honestly I think we will be good friends. 

This week we had a couple of interesting experiences. One day we were teaching an older woman who was telling us about how she is really worried about her son (who is about 26). During the lesson, he came outside where we were and we started talking to him. He was all about hearing our message until we said that we were "Mormons". His whole countenance changed. He said that we need to leave his house and that he didn't want any mormons talking to his mom or anyone in his family. We politely asked if he had a bad experience with the Church in the past or if there is some reason he didn't want to listen to a message about God. He said something about how all white people are liars and that we don't believe in God. When we tried to respond he spit at us and said that he was the Devil to try to scare us off. Bueno. haha We were teaching another man about how we can find answers to questions of the soul in the scriptures, specifically the book of mormon. He started asking about Extra Terrestrial beings helping to build the pyramids and Machu Picchu. Finally, in the house of one of our investigators Ana, we had a big surprise. We came into her house and there on the kitchen table was a big dead pig. The biggest pig I have ever seen in my entire life and there were 3 people gathered around it using a hand saw to cut it up. I did my best to not freak out (you know how much I love raw meat and dead animals and the smells that are associated with them). I went around the table to greet her mom and on the bench next to her was the head of the chancho. I said "Oh my Goodness" in English and stumbled backwards almost fainting. The family/helping neighbors thought that was hilarious. I couldn't look over there for the entire lesson haha but it was pretty embarrassing. It was even more embarrassing though later that night when I was recounting the story (and acting it out of course) and completely fell on my fanny in front of the Elders while we were preparing for a ward "Noche de HOgar". IF you thought that was bad, it was even more embarrassing when I tripped in front of the entire ward while participating in one of the games. NO SHAME. hahaha I'm used to hitting my head on the roof of the bus while bajando and saying embarrassing things (for example, I was trying to say I like peanut butter and honey sandwiches and it came out as peanut butter and skin sandwiches because honey and skin sound a lot alike) Oh well, add it to the list. 

Finally, ELDER BEDNAR! I can't even begin to describe how incredible the conference was with Elder Bednar. We were 10 feet away from him (perks of being a Hermana, we get to sit up front) and for a little more than three hours he talked with us. It wasn't a prepared talk at all; he literally was asking our opinions, personal examples, and questions. From the moment we all stood as he walked in the room, I felt the Spirit more than I have ever before in my life. At the start of the conference he told us to take notes "like the small plates" about the things the Spirit says to us, not like the "large plates" which is simply a record of what he said/quotes. This was really cool because when we looked back at the end of the conference, we all had learned different things. One thing that I learned is that he is an apostle of the Lord. This sounds silly but I felt the witness of the Spirit 4 different times that I can remember testify that he is one of 13 men on the Earth that has all of the keys of the priesthood of God. And because he is a true apostle, Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and because he is a prophet, he has the power and authority of God, and because he has this priesthood, this is the true church. Of course I already knew all of these things but it was a moment of something transferring from my mind to my heart. It was incredible, and I got to talk for a couple of minutes with Ekins and Minson!! 

This week really was great. It was awful and I felt emotionally exhausted at the end of each day and like I almost can't do it, but I know that I can do it. And looking back, it wasn't too bad. :) Thanks for the pictures and thanks for your love. I can feel it bouying me up every day. I love you!

Hermana Stone
NEW COMPANION!! Hermana Haro and I

I am a giant- with Hermana Valbuena

My 1st Zone

With the Zone Leaders

With the District Leader

Las Hermanas

With the Colombians

Mi madre y madrastra (capacitadora y segundo capacitadora)

Please ignore my tired eyes and gross hair- with Hmas Ekins and Minson, 

2 Hermanas and 4 Elders all squished in the back of a cab at 4.30 in the morning on the way to hear ELDER BEDNAR!

Finally met up with hermana Kingston!

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