The double dose email was nice this week. I was sad to hear about Brian's stroke and a whole week late... but I'll keep him in my prayers and I'm glad that he is recovering well. Happy Birthday to a whole slew of people last week (Nancy, Matt, Michael, Jacob, Brian, Bryan, and Andrew) and to Brookie Gardner Keith on the 18th. I don't know why her birthday is cemented into my mind but I always remember it, so happy birthday Brookie. I'm glad to hear that things are going well in young women's mom, and that the girls are getting involved in activities. I wish we could find a way to do some really great activities with the youth here. It's just so hard to get people to actually come. They are starting to get people organized and trained to do a session of EFY here in 2012. They have done it for two years now in Guatemala and they are expanding the program. It seems to be just as powerful and impacting on the youth here as it is there. Truly an inspired program. The church is really growing here. Sometimes the progress seems slow, but I know that nothing can stop this work, and those who get involved will have their lives changed forever.
This week was a little strange. Okay, a lot strange. We had changes on Wednesday and .... drum roll, please... I'm still in Ciudad Jardin! Wow, five months and going on six. Hna. Arredonde called me and told me that the bishop of my ward called Presidente and asked him please not to change me. So Hna. Cano and I are still truckin' along. I really thought that I would be going but I am happy to be here with the members and converts and investigators that I know and love. The weird part of the week has been looking for a new house practically all day every day and not being able to visit. I can comiserate with Gaye and Lary a little bit I think. We were looking for a house because they decided to put two Elders in the area as well. The other weird thing was that the responsability to divide the area, find a house for the Elders and find people to be their permanent food appointments fell on me. We started searching on Tuesday of last week and when the Elders came on Wednesday, they still didn't have anywhere to live, or beds or desks or anything really. And it seems that no body was really that concerned except me. And I was told to find them a house. And to find it now. So we hardly got to visit our investigators and recient converts this week.
But yesterday was a good day. I'm having a lot of fun directing the ward choir here and teaching the few members that come (about 15) to sing the parts. We are working on a few Christmas songs and I want to put on a nice Christmas program, something that they have never done in the ward. They aren't wonderful singers and no one reads music (except for the piano player that we have, yay Rodolfo!) but when they start to get it and I can hear them really trying to sing their respective parts, I makes me so excited and happy. Our little choir is really coming along.
After dinner yesterday, Jennyfer Medina accompanied us on a few visits. We went to teach Iliana and Juan and it just so happened that Juans sister and Mom were visiting again (I think I told you about an incident that happened at their house last time the sister and mom were there, with the guys throwing rocks and the brawl?) Anyway, the experience was nice because as Hna. Cano was saying the opening prayer, a question came to my mind to ask them about prayer. Then Hna. Cano started the lesson. I wasn't sure what she was going to teach because we are really focusing on asking inspired questions and then dicerning their needs to teach the right gospel principle that will touch their hearts. She talked for a minute and then asked them a question, if they could spend five minutes with Jesus and ask him anything they wanted, what would it be. After they answered she started talking about prayer. It was just what the Spirit had put into my mind to teach them as well.
Then we found a new family that seems really positive named Aldo y Karla and their three little kids. They had a lot of questions right there in the street in front of their house and we taught them about keeping the sabbath day holy and the book of mormon, but we didn't have any copies of the Book of Mormon with us so we are going to stop by tonight to give them one. I really think that they can progress and get baptized. We just have to persuade them to come to church. Karla sells food and Saturdays and Sundays are the best selling days. And Aldo doesn't have work right now... Their situation is tough, and all too common, but I think that if we can help them have some spiritual experiences, especially with the Book of Mormon, then they will come to church next week.
We had a bit of an interesting experience with a man missing a few fingers, and although I want to tell you about it, I think I'll have save it for when I get back so that Mom doesn't worry. Don't worry Mama! We're fine and all is well. But remind me when you see me to tell you about "sin dedos".
Well, truly being a missionary is the best thing in the world - there's nothing like teaching latinos to sing.
Love, Hna. Crosland