Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bless My Heart

Hi, Family!

Thank goodness I have more time today! Last week was really stressful and I'm so sorry I didn't get to send all the emails that I wanted. Crazy times. But this week is back to normal which is a relief.

This week has been without a doubt the craziest week of my mission. I know I probably say this like every week, but yesterday I decided that I was going to tell President Bonham that I need to go to a service mission or something. Because everyone is like "The mission is like a roller coaster but you love it!" The mission is like a rollercoaster and you don't have a seatbelt! Gah! I'll tell you the crazy story of yesterday and then end with the good. Okay?

So we have this former investigator who is like "I don't want to stop being a Catholic but I like talking with you." Which is just a waste of time. But we accidentally called him the other night and he was like "Why haven't you come over? I will come to church!" So randomly he and his family came to church. They left after the first hour, but that was cool. He wants to come again. Who knows.

Bonus crazy story: There were not one, not two, but THREE cop cars in our parking lot the other day. We watched a guy get arrested. The cops let him smoke a cigarette with his hands cuffed. Pretty funny. We told our district leaders so we might move apartments sometime. 

Great story:
I hesitate to tell this because then you will ask about them and I'll be so sad to say if they are dropped. But I pray that doesn't happen! A couple weeks ago we knocked on a door because there was a sign outside the apartment that said "se habla espanol" (there was an apartment in the building for rent). So we met Ricardo. He LOVED eternal families so he had us come back when his wife was there. We met her and set up a return appointment, but she wasn't there. That happens a lot to us. So we were sad, but went on. The next week she texts us (that NEVER happens) and sets up another appointment! We went over and they had cleaned their whole apartment and were waiting for us! Ricardo had talked to a mormon he works with and had heard about all the humanitarian work we do and about the Book of Mormon. So we taught them the Restoration and they LOVED it. Loved it. They loved the Book of Mormon, too. It was like a picture-perfect lesson. The lesson you always picture missionaries having. The spirit was there and there weren't distractions and the investigators were interested. And then a couple days later we text Daniela (the wife) and she says "I am LOVING the Book of Mormon!" What?!?! And she's a Catholic who goes to mass every Sunday. It was so cool! We had a Plan of Salvation activity on Saturday. We did a walk-through. Prison, paradise, judgement, and the 3 kingdoms. And Daniela and Ricardo came! With their son! And they brought Daniela's sister! What?!?!?!?!?!! The Celestial Kingdom room felt like the celestial room in the temple. We decorated all in white and had white christmas lights all over. I wish I took a picture! Daniela said she teared up and wants to be there with her family!!!!!!! I love them so. much. On Wednesday Daniela is teaching us to make enchiladas and I am so excited! Please please please please pleaseeeeee pray for them because they have SO much potential!

So yesterday was rough. There are definitely highlights in a week, but you have to work through a LOT of muck and rejection to get there. So yeah. I pretty much was done yesterday. I simply did not have enough faith. Who knows what this week is going to hold. I felt like that pioneer who said "I can only pull my handcart to that hill and then I must sit down and die." Then he did all he could and pulled to the hill... and then angels pushed him up the hill. And then he had to keep pulling until the next hill. Constantly. Yesterday was my "sit down and die" day. But missionaries don't stop moving! We went out and did the work. And EVERYONE we tried to see was home! And they all let us in! What?! We taught 2 lessons and met with some other investigators. So please pray for Sandra and Kevin and Martin and Rosa and Juan. They need to start keeping their commitments! Also McDonalds needs to let Sandra come to church Sunday morning. And she has to make the sacrifice. AND: I lost one of my really nice gloves a couple of weeks ago. I was so sad about it. The cherry on top of yesterday: Rosa was like "Is this your glove? We found it in our driveway." TENDER MERCY. There were definitely angels pushing me. I can't tell you that I'm going to be totally happy or not want to give up again. But my faith is increasing little by little.

What kind of shift  in you priorities have you noticed? 
Instead of asking how I can make the time pass, we try to make the time be effective.

How has your heart been molded recently?
I think my story of yesterday is the best example of that. When they say do all you can and leave the rest to the Lord, they mean do ALL you can. 

What is one of the toughest challenges you have been through on your mission so far and what have you learned from it?
I think my own discouragement. I get so sad. Not because we haven't had baptisms, but because I still get scared to talk to people and it makes me so sad that people hate us without even knowing us. And it makes me sad to see investigators who don't even try. Who don't want this. I'm still learning from this challenge. But basically, the Spirit is the teacher and I have to do all I can to invite Him. I just have to bear testimony and explain the importance of this message. Sincere people will read and pray when they truly want to know.

Anyway, I love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Hermana Pellegrini


 Also. The weird pyramid is in this cemetery we visited. Super cool.
Guess what restaurant is coming to the mall?! Cafe Rio!!!!! What are the odds?!?!?!??! 

ALOOOOOOOOHA!

Okay so I guess I will start with what happened yesterday. Haha I feel like Jared: I have to pull out my planner to see what happened this week. All of the days blur together!

So once a month there is this thing called Cottage Meeting. We get to take investigators and recent converts to the mission president's house and people tell their stories and apparently it's super great. The catch is you HAVE to take an investigator to go. And you can't drive your mission vehicle there. And I really, really wanted to go. I haven't been yet. We have one investigator (his name is Kevin and he is 16 and pretty cool) who wanted an experience like that, so we wanted to take him. But that fell through and we were so sad about it! And it was raining and foggy and we weren't really discouraged, but we were pretty sad. Because we really prayed for the chance to go. But I'll be honest: Part of the reason we wanted to go is because it is a nice way to spend Sunday night, you get cookies, and you get to talk with other missionaries. Those are selfish reasons, but it's the truth. Anyway, we went to our back-up plan. A potential. We didn't even know their name! It just said 'unknown' on our list. So we knock on the door and he is like "Come in!" and then they pulled out chairs for us and we all sat down. People: this like NEVER happens. Anyway it was Hugo and Hugo Jr.. Turns out they have talked with Jehovah's Witnesses and that's why they let us in-- I think they thought we were JWs. But we aren't! And we taught them the first lesson and it was great! We had a week goal of 4 new investigators and we only had 2 at 5 pm last night. We got Hugo and Hugo and we made our goal! And we taught a lesson! After that we went and confirmed an appointment, made another appointment, and taught another great lesson with Bendito (which you know as Taco Guy). Well, he refuses to pray with us. We'll get there. He feels shame and so he doesn't feel like he's worthy. So we went over how God is our LOVING Heavenly Father and how it is the devil that teaches us not to pray, but to no avail. We'll keep praying for him and working on it. Let's be honest, he thinks were awesome. The problem is that his brother doesn't like us so we have to teach him on his porch instead of in his house. He always feels so bad about it, but we really don't mind! We're warmed by the Spirit and the rain isn't bad. phew. That was a trailing story and parrafo, so sorry about that!

Other best thing of the week: Music. THANK YOU for the cd's at Christmas! They have kept us from going crazy. At lunch I decorate beautiful CD cases for all of them. I pretend to be artsy. Ha. Anyway, sometimes just hearing the Tabernacle Choir and EFY stuff wears on your ears. Through a long chain of events that took like 1.5 months, I got my hands on a USB that includes the album by the Lower Lights. They are SO FANTASTIC. I love indie-folk, right? They are folk style hymns. I almost cried when I heard it. Plus the USB also has BYU devotionals and General Conferences! Best day ever!

So we really struggle getting member-present lessons. We're working on it, though. That's our big goal for the week. But last week we invited an 18 year old to come out with us. Her name is Samady. She did SO great! Her testimony was so fresh and interesting and heartfelt and it was just what our investigator needed to hear. He even promised to come to church! He didn't actually come, but we're half way there. His name is Martin and he is wary of false prophets, so please pray for him. Anyway, Samady was great! So I guess when Hermana W entered the field, Samady wasn't interested in missionary work, didn't want to go on a mission, and didn't want to go to BYU. But  now she is finishing her application to BYU and preparing to serve a mission! I am SO excited for her! She's super great and we plan to take her out with us a lot.

Our district has been doing cena de fe. We only eat a little tiny dinner and then we go out with faith that we'll find a potential or investigator or someone to feed us. Because food is really unifying, you know? So before last week we got a drink de fe, a snack de fe, and bread de fe. This week we got our cena de fe! We were so excited! And then we got un postre de fe! We've worked our way through an entire meal! We think it's great every single time.

Okay one more story I can think of: Once a week we have a district blitz. We all go work in one area of the district. This week it was in Lynnwood which is like 20+minutes away. We had a lesson at 6 and we were supposed to be in Lynnwood at6:30. We lacked faith, and we both thought this lesson was going to fall through. Our intro lesson with this lady, Amelia, was SUPER rough. So we thought she wasn't going to let us in again. And then we got there and she DID! And we had a good lesson! It was just a testament to me that we should never limit God's power. We can't assume the worst or lower our expectations. Lessons fall through a lot, but we always should plan like this investigator is going to be fantastic. We should always be excited because we are teaching a child of God ever single time!

Oh funny thing: Hermana W and I found that the yellow pages in the phone book is super funny. I think what happened is not enough people bought ad space, so the phone book was just like "Let's put in little random bits to fill the space!" Some of the boxes have proverbs, some have tips like "How to avoid poison", and some talk about things like umpire school. We think it is hilarious. If you write me letters I will mail some to you so you can see what I'm talking about.

1. How's the daily exercising coming? Does it feel like it is giving you the energy you need to make it through the day?
Jillian Michaels. She's a killer. Oh man. But it's really good! We feel really obedient and energized when we exercise. And we're getting stronger!

2. What are some things you have done to grow closer to your companion spiritually? 
We have companion study every day and we share what we've learned. Plus we have our miracle journal together! That keeps us really grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. We've been working on switching off in our lessons, which keeps us focused and in tune. We get along really well!

3. What would you like us to do here to better help you this week?
Hmmm. Okay here is one: Try not to have lazy time! I know, I was the WORST at that when I was at home. I cannot tell you how many hours I wasted sleeping or watching Netflix. Write a list of little things you've always wanted to learn or to do. Like morse code or something. Like memorizing a scripture or cleaning out the tupperware. You feel a lot more fulfilled when you fall asleep at night if you make every minute count!

I love you all so much! Sigue adelante! Keep moving forward!

Love
Hermana Pellegrini