Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The land of honking, vietnamese food and all things mexican- April 30

Dearest Familia y Amigos,
This last week was a really interesting week.
Here people honk at me all the time for nothing.
We ate some really great Pho on Saturday.
Our area is full of Hispanics and Mexican things :)
I would like to share a couple of things that I learned/felt.
1. P-Day last week - We decided to have a district BBQ. We met at a park. We had all the food ready. I made jalepeno popers (ummm....). And the elders brought things for Carne Asada (also delicious). Well the elders, were all are almost eagle scouts, could not get the coals to be ready to cook. So it was mostly a BBQ of waiting. We then called a member from our ward and asked if we could use their BBQ gril. Elder Rosario made most of the food. I helped. While waiting I asked everyone what was a typical day before the mission for them (because I feel like I don't know anything about anyone). I realized several things from this day. First, how important it is to give thanks when someone does something nice for you (I've realized this before :) ), like Elder Rosario. Second, that missionaries are all normal people who make mistakes (something I also knew before). Third, patience and felxiblity lead to happiness.
2. The day of rejection - We had a day just full of it. We went knocking/tracking in the late afternoon. It just seemed that even the nice people did not want to talk to us. "I'm catholic." "I work alot" ...... etc. Then at the end of the day we stopped by one of our investigator's houses. We saw Jaime. We went by just to see how his reading was going. He had not read and as we mentioned reading it with him, he began to talk. He talked to us about why he didn't think he needed the Book of Mormon. He thinks that our church is good and that it is very organized. He loves when we come by, but he just will not read the Book of Mormon. It was sad to hear this. The Book that I love so dearly, just rejected by someone who never took the time to read it. As we went home that night we were quiet. Hna. Ruiz and I talked about it. We realized that getting rejected is sad because we understand what the people will not have. I just wrote my mission president about this. I told him that it is a priviledge to get rejected. I feel like I understand a little, tinny, smidge bit more what Christ felt as he was rejected by people who did not even know what He was doing, by people who saw miracles and ultimately He was crucified. I think of when He prays with the Nephites in 3 Nefi. He prayes for those in Jerusalem, the very people that just crucifed Him. I am so glad that I know that God doesn't give up on the people we teach. Just like He says, "My arms are outstreched all the day long."
3. Lately we have had a hard time doing several things. 1. Getting people to church. 2. Getting appointments with investigators so we can invite members (which as a missionary is one of the most improtant things). 3. Getting new investigators. So the other day I prayed super hard that we could find someone when we went knocking. The second door that opened, almost immediately let us in. I asked her why she let us in and she said that she just liked us. It made me want to laugh. Hopefully we can help her come to know that these things are true. Also on Saturday we went to a return appointment with a lady we met several weeks ago. Her husband was also there. They are from El Salvador. They had so many questions. I just felt so good talking to them. They met with a Visa Elder (someone waiting on their visa for Peru). Well he got his visa and left them for us. They wanted to understand the story of Joseph Smith and I really felt that they wanted to know that it was true. I really hope that this weekend we can go back and have a super awesome lesson with them. So God answers prayers of missionaries again and again.
4. So as you know, or most of you know - I have not seen many baptisms on my mission and it just seems like other people get them so easily. Denver 4 sisters have two baptisms this transfer. Sometimes I wonder: "Why do other missionaries get them, Why not me?" or "When will I be blessed to see baptisms?" or "Do I not have enough faith?" Etc...... Yesterday as I was sitting in sacrament meeting, the speaker talked about prayer. Sometimes we ask for things that are not "just" and some things that are not in God's plans for us. I felt like this was a great talk for me. Maybe Heavenly Father doesn't want me to see lots of baptisms. Maybe I need to realize that my efforts have not been wasted. Maybe they will come my last transfer. Maybe they will not come. Maybe I need to learn patience. Maybe I need to learn that God's blessing don't always come in this life. Whatever the answer is, I feel a little bit better. God is listening to my prayers and He will answer them in the way that they need to be answered.
5. I love being a missionary so much. I am so glad that Heavenly Father allowed me to come here and try to help others. It is hard. It is a million times harder than college. I feel like so many people talk about all the huge miracles that have happened on their missions and I think the biggest and most precious things to me are: 1. Feeling the Spirit speak to me. Sometimes its words that come so clear. Other times it is feels of comfort when no one even knows that I am struggling, but Heavenly Father does. 2. Loving others. Yesterday, Hna. Ruiz wasn't feeling well and so I called Yazmin from Denver 4th. I only said her name and she said "Hermana eSpencer." She was so excited to talk to me. She wants me to meet baby Allyson, so she is coming to church here on Sunday.
I love the gospel so much. It is the best thing that we could ever have. Here is part of 2Cor. 6
 We then, as aworkers together bwith him, beseech you also that ye receive not the cgrace of God in vain.
  But in all things approving ourselves as the aministers of God, in much bpatience, in cafflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
 In stripes, in imprisonments, in atumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
 By apureness, by knowledge, by blongsuffering, by ckindness, by the Holy Ghost, by dlove unfeigned,
 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the aarmour of brighteousness on the right hand and on the left,
 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
 10 As asorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as bpoor, yet making many crich; as having nothing, and yetpossessing all things.
I feel like the last one is the mission. I feel like I sorrow, am poor and really do not have anything materially and sometimes anything to give, but I rejoice because I get to make people rich in the gospel and help them to have all things.
I love you all and will love you more if you write me - you only have 2 months left!
Hermana Spencer

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