I hope everyone is doing well! I am having the time of my life :)
Malorie´s district left early this morning so now we are the oldest in the CCM. The branch president gave me the calling of music leader for the CCM so I get to plan all the musical numbers and figure out who is playing the piano at all of our meetings. I'm way excited!
Last Thursday we had an amazing fireside! All in spanish of course, but I actually understood quite a bit. My district also got to sing the EFY medly for the musical number. The latinos here LOVE music so much! They always sing at the top of their lungs no matter how out of tune it might be. The speaker talked about our Mission Call letters and how each one is nearly identical, and yet so "Intimately and impressively personal" (D&C 15 heading). I am continually amazed by the work that I get to be a part of. How us 18 and 19 year olds are entrusted with such a precious duty to serve God´s precious children. I heard a quote the other day: "Some people carry the gospel on their back like a burden, rather than in their heart like a song". To me, it definitely feels like a song of joy.
We got to go proselyting again on Saturday! Definitely my favorite thing. We learn so much in just a few hours.
This time around, my companion and I were left to figure out the spanish thing on our own. We did have one of the CCM teachers with us that didn't speak any english at all, but she stayed with the other two hermanas and we went ahead. We started ringing those intercom things (everyone's house is gated off) which was the worst. We wouldn't even get done saying "la iglesia de JesuCristo de los santos..." and they would hang up. We got pretty clever and started saying other things, but its hard enough to hear someone through an intercom let alone understand spanish.
We never got too discouraged - we were much too excited just to be outside the CCM walls and in the city. Our teacher told us later something like (in spanish), "If it were easy, you wouldn't be so incredibly happy when someone actually listens to what you have to say". Its so true. So here are the great experiences we had after our trial of knocking doors:
I talked to a young woman sitting on the curb and gave her a Book of Mormon after bearing a really sincere testimony. She refused the first time, but something kept pushing me to bear my testimony and give her the book. She eventually took it :) Sadly, we don't get to see the results of any of work here since we will be leaving in two weeks, but it is still so worth it to have a part in planting seeds.
A really great moment was when we talked to a lady on her roof. For some reason we couldn't understand, she just really did not want to come down from her roof! So we yelled from the street up at her and committed her to go to church. She was pretty interested. :) It was a great way to get the attention of everyone on the street - we got to yell at the top of our lungs "Somos missioneras por la iglesia de Jesucristo de los santos de los ultimos dias!" :)
We talked to a few others out on the street, and actually met quite a few members. One member asked for one of our pamphlets and then handed it to the guy painting his courtyard. We had way more success just talking to people outside.
Our last two contacts were the best by far. (Only after a long day of work do we get the blessings). We started up a conversation with one man in the park, and found out that he was Atheist. A super interesting conversation for sure! We actually gave him a Book of Mormon and told him he could find out for himself and he promised to try it out.
Walking away from that and wondering where to go next, we ran into a miracle. A man was walking towards us down the sidewalk and saw a book of Mormon in my hand. He pointed to it and said, "what's that? Can you teach me?" The sweetest words! We walked over to his house and started talking to him. He was seriously the sweetest kindest, most excited and eager man I have ever met. I have no idea where he found such an earnest desire to learn, it was incredible. He just absorbed everything we said and understood it all instantly. He had us call the other hermanas over because he wanted to meet all of us, and our teacher was able to do a better job at explaining the fine details and finding a time for the missionaries to come back and such. He had all five of us, one by one tell him what we thought of the church. One of our sisters is a convert of two years and as she explained her conversion story, he just hung on her every word and the whole time he was just hugging the Book of Mormon we gave him. It was such a sweet moment! He was so sad when we had to go, and he actually took a picture of all of us and wrote our names down. I wish I could see how things go for him! What a miracle!
I love this work so much already! I have grown to love the Book of Mormon so much - it is incredible once you start looking for answers to questions you hear from investigators, every single verse has an answer to someone's question. It is such a powerful book! I wish I could tell you all the things I'm learning but it’s just too much and there's never enough time to even learn it all!
I love you all!! Good luck in all you do! Remember that God loves you so much!
love, Hermana Black