Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 26, 2011

We have had a really great week. Probably the headlines are from Lucy and her daughter Laisha, the family that we met through their member neighbors. They are doing AMAZING. She is definitely in the running for the "Investigator with the Most Faith" award. She is excited to be baptized, and she and her daughter are both definitely on track to get interviewed this Sunday and baptized in a little less than two weeks. First time on my mission I have had an investigator get baptized on the original date that we set (usually it has to be delayed for one reason or another). From the day we met her to her baptism, it will be about four weeks! She is amazing. We gave her a giant picture of the San Diego temple to put in her house (we happened to find it in our apartment.....hanging on one of the walls haha. We figured it would be better off in her house than in a missionary apartment). . . .

We also found and taught another family yesterday. It was pretty funny. The two sisters who originally invited us were really interested in learning more, but the aunt (who goes to a Christian church) was definitely not in a receptive mood (more of an argumentative sort of state of mind). We were a little worried about how the lesson would go, but the aunt got up and left. We started teaching, and then she came back again to argue some more. After getting frustrated again, she went upstairs and then minutes later came back again. The cycle repeated itself several times before the lesson was over and she finally reluctantly consented to take a Book of Mormon and read it. It was so funny how she couldn't keep away from the lesson and how the Spirit kept dragging her back.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July 19, 2011

Yesterday we taught a first lesson to a mom who, we found out after sitting down, let us set up an appointment because she thought we were Catholic....turned out to be a pretty good lesson by the end though.

I don't even know where to start with this week. So, late last week we went to teach a recent convert, who told us that she had been talking to her neighbor Lucy, who was asking a lot of questions about our Church. Her 10-year-old daughter is really good friends with the recent convert's kids, and has been to Church before. She told us to go talk to Lucy and so we went and set up an appointment with her. We have met with her 5 or 6 times since then. She is such an amazing person. She said that she has been wanting to get closer to God lately but doesn't really consider herself part of any religion.

So, we taught her the first lesson and she said she wanted to come to Church, but that she had to work. We asked her to pray every night for the next couple days, and then on Wednesday (the next time she would see her boss) to ask for work off. She did, and even though he said he probably couldn't get her this Sunday off, that he would try. The next time we saw her, she announced happily, "I got Sunday off!" It was incredible. She definitely taught us a lesson about faith to overcome any obstacle. She loved Church, and she and her 10-year-old daughter now both have baptismal dates and are preparing to get baptized!


On Friday, we worked with the other elders and sisters in our ward to organize a Church tour so our investigators could get to know the chapel before Sunday. It was great! We invited all the members to bring friends and we brought investigators, and it was so spiritual. It really made a difference! On Sunday we had twice as many investigators at Church as we had the first four weeks of the transfer combined! It is amazing how strong the Spirit can be felt at the Church buildings. It makes such a difference for investigators to be taught in the Church building or at a member's house.


Elder Kidd and I are really working on perfecting our Spanish. We are trying hard to lose our accents and sound like Mexicans. Here is a tip: if you want to sound Mexican when you speak Spanish, whenever someone asks you "Hey, cómo estás?" (How are you?), you always answer in one of the following ways (or something similar).

- Aquí, no más. (Just here).

- Aquí, mire. (Here, look).

- Aquí, cuidando los niños (Here, taking care of my kids).

- Aquí, echando la panza (Here, getting fat.....a phrase that means that they are just resting).

- Aquí, parado (Here, standing).

- Aquí, sentadito (Here, sitting).

It seems that, in Mexico, when you ask someone how they are, they interpret that as you asking what they are doing. As we have been trying to find ways to sound more and more native (especially more and more Mexican), we have tried to implement these ideas when we talk to people on the street. When they ask us, "Cómo estás?" we try to say something like, "Aquí, proclamando el Evangelio" (Here, proclaiming the Gospel) or "Aquí, bautizando" (Here, baptizing). It's super fun.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One of the streets in San Clemente.

The streets in La Zanja, the most heavily Mexican Spanish neighborhood in Orange County. All of the streets in about 3 or 4 square miles look exactly like the ones here.

The white truck in the back is a "Lunchero." It is a Mexican business that sells snacks, fresh fruit, chile, tortillas, Mexican pastry, and even cell phone cards on the street (really convenient, and actually a lot cheaper than grocery stores).

Sign in San Juan Capistrano.