Sunday, February 21, 2016

9-21-15
First full week in el campo!

Hola! I hope you are all doing so well! I had a really great first full week here and I'm excited for all of the rest that I have ahead of me. 

This week we did a LOOOOT of contacting. Me and my sweet companion are trying to beat our own records for how many people we contact in a day. Our record now is 35 (the mission goal is 20 a day) so... that's going pretty awesome. ;) 
My companion's the bomb! I'm helping her to speak English (although she is already AWESOME at it) and she's helping me to learn Spanish. For a test in English she's taking tomorrow, she has to name all 50 states in the U.S.. So, using a t-shirt I brought that has a map of the U.S. on it, I drew her a map of our beautiful country and then I just keep tracing that drawing so she can keep practicing filling out the map. She has them all down now, but as you can tell, we are not the kind of people to settle for the lowest standard. So she timed me as I filled out one of the maps and after doing so in 2 minutes and 50 seconds, she has to try and beat my score by the time of her test tomorrow. And she is doing AWESOME. She is at 3:15, so only 25 seconds to go to tie with me! Which is incredible, because at the beginning of this week, she started at over 10 minutes, and not even finishing. As I said, she's really awesome. 

For contacting (running down people on the street) we're a great team because she doesn't like initiating the conversation, but I do. So I will get the conversation going, but then I have NO IDEA what people are saying to me. So then she usually takes over. I am getting better though. Little by little cada día. 

This week I asked Luz if she would commit to baptism, and she ACCEPTED! Her family is amazing! We love them all SOOO much! We go and teach them frequently, and you can just feel their love for us with every interaction. This week, my and my companion wanted to do something for this sweet family, so we (Hna. Del Rosario who it turns out is AMAZING at making hot chocolate!) made them some hot chocolate and bought them an assortment of pastries. They were so grateful, and apparently, as only Luz whispered to my companion, they had run out of gas that night. So they didn't have anything warm in their house at all. And then we showed up with Hot Chocolate! It was so amazing because for acts of kindness, the mission usually just does flowers or something and we wanted to try something different, and it was pretty perfect. God is aware of His children. 

I visited this sweet less-active family this week consisting of a mom who is probably in her late 40's and her sweet young son, Brandon, who is 10. They were so kind and I really loved visiting them. We helped them to clean their house which is about 10 by 10 by 10 feet with a metal panel stuffed with newspaper to cover holes as a roof. They were so sweet, and I love them so much. At the end of the lesson, the boy noticed my Mexican flag pin on my bag. He asked me to wait and ran to his things hanging from the bunk-bed that he and his mom both use. He found was he was looking for, came back, and handed me this beautiful Mexican flag, telling me it was for me, because he wanted me to have a bigger one. I was so touched. They have next to nothing. I'm not even sure they have a bathroom. And all he thought about was of what he could give me. He is a perfect example of humility for me. I gave him my pin in return, which he was so surprised and grateful for. and then we left and I wept. I cannot help but have moments like that touch my heart deeply. What a wonderful example of charity from such a sweet, innocent, and humble person. I love these people. Some of Luz's family was asking me about my house in the U.S. and what it looks like. They thought that having and a basement were such amazing things, I didn't really have the heart to tell them that my house also has a second floor. and carpet. We are so blessed, and these sweet people, who are so less well-off are some of the most thoughtful, caring, welcoming people. Every day excpet Monday we have a meal at a member's house. They are so giving. And they are so sweet in being patient with me and my lack of Spanish. I want to be more like these people. 

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week. I love you all dearly,

Hermana Larsen

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