Monday, September 29, 2014

Week 12: Hair, Cats, Funerals, and Chain-link Fences

I've finally, over a few weeks, figured out a few things about Brockton:
-City of Champions is it's nickname because THE Rocky Marciano came from here. Like, the famous boxer? Yep, him.
-There are literally more hair salons here than I think I have seen in my whole entire life. I'm not even kidding. I would count them, but... maybe not. 
-There are also a ridiculous amount of cats. I mean, they're everywhere. I have a funny story about a cat to tell you when I get home. I just can't do it justice over email.
-Also, funeral homes are a thing here? There's at least 3 in Brockton and they're pretty much everywhere else too. So... are there a lot of deaths here? I dunno hahaha
-Chain link fences. You just really have to experience Brockton, I think.

Let's get back to missionary work.

Lately I have felt that the language has been better, or at least I've felt better about it. It isn't necessarily easier to understand the Creole, but I can see myself improving slowly. We have elders here that we work pretty closely with who speak Haitian Creole, and I was talking to one the other day about learning the language. He said it took him 6 months to really feel like he got it--I think I'm mostly just very impatient, and that's not good but I'm working on it--and that it was still very hard. He also gave me some good advice on how to go about learning it.
All in all, I'm trying to trust in the Lord a lot more and focus on being grateful for what I do know. After all, I've only been learning/speaking Portuguese for 2 1/2 months! That's already amazing that I know as much as I do! Yesterday at church on of the stake leaders (I think) spoke, and he gave his talk in Portuguese--he must have served in Brazil. I understood 98% of what he said, so that's extremely comforting to know that I really can understand Brazilian Portuguese at least! Anyway, the Lord has blessed me so much already and I need to be patient.

And now for the work! Honestly, this week was a little low on lessons, so I'm just going to say the highlights. I need to get faster at this anyways, haha.

We think Karen doesn't like the Word of Wisdom... I guess they talked about it in Relief Society the one day she came to church, and that was before we talked about it. We're working on her still.
Also, we found out more about why chastity and Eugenia aren't good friends. Let's just say it's not pretty and we really can't say more about it. Poor thing.

We taught Jessica and Celia about modesty and chastity, and they totally ate it right up. We explained that it would be hard, but worth it. They're so good. We wanted to teach them about prophets and the Sabbath too, but only Jessica was there when we showed up for that lesson... so we read the Book of Mormon and talked about revelation! It went so well. Jessica has definitely received answers to her prayers, and it is AMAZING how prepared she is. Seriously. She didn't come to church yesterday--Celia did!--but she really wanted to and was totally ready, the ride just didn't work out, so we're going to do that better in weeks to come. Both girls are totally on track for baptism! It's so so so exciting, and they're getting excited too. :) We'll see them tonight.

Aurizanda... she's doing well, but we couldn't quite get her to say yes to a baptismal date. Obviously it's an act of faith for her to say yes before her situation is better, but she also might want to wait until next August when her sister--who's a member--will be here from the UK. So. Yep. Laura is our 100% platinum investigator, let me tell you. I am not worried about her baptismal date in the least. She reads all the time and studies very well. She even came to the Women's Broadcast on Saturday! (Which was amazing, by the way. I loved how they talked so much about temples and Pres. Uchtdorf's talk. It was perfect.) Wow. She is so faithful and so ready.

Through the rest of the week we visited some young women and other members. I really enjoy visiting the young women :) I go there pretty much every Sunday during church. My excuse is our girls are there, and it works out well--it's in English, they sometimes have food, and I love YW!

Also. Wait for it. 

Wednesday morning, I went with Sis. Lowenthal to visit one of the men they started teaching. His name is Miguel, and he's deaf. SO. (ready for this?) I'm the only missionary around here that really knows how to sign much at all, so I went with her and it was SO cool to teach him. He signs ASL and reads English a little, and with my basic knowledge of ASL, a manual we found in the church library about Church signs, and a lot of questioning and fingerspelling, I got to teach him in Sign Language!! I can't even explain how cool that was. We, Sis. Melo and I, took him as our investigator now since I am the only sister who signs, so we'll teach him every Tuesday and Wednesday morning I think. OH my goodness, it's so cool. The Lord definitely lets us use the talents we have for His purposes! He knew I had this knowledge of ASL and put me in just the right place at the right time in order to help teach Miguel--who also said there were 10 other deaf people in the area, so instant referrals, right?--learn about the gospel. I am so so so excited to keep teaching him, because I get to use ASL, but also because Miguel is awesome! Ahhhhh the church is true.

Um... the rest of the week was rather the same. It was a hard week for Sister Melo, so we did a lot of talking in order to help her. Some appointments fell through, yesterday was crazy as always, and we're just running around doing the work of salvation! You know, the usual. 

I love this work. It's hard, and I am so weak, but with the Lord I am strong. This weekend is General Conference, and I encourage ALL of you to listen with open and ready ears. Go into it with a question, and I promise it will be answered. Remember, last year, Sunday morning session, I received my answer that yes, I was supposed to go on a mission. And here I am! How crazy this past year has been. How amazing too. I've learned so much and continue to learn things I didn't even know I could learn!

I hope all of you have a fantastic General Conference week. Thank you for your letters, packages, support, love, and help. Every little bit is appreciated!! 
Just as teachers live at the school, missionaries do in fact live at the chapel.
Also, I did wear my glasses just for fun that day, so that's exciting.

Also, I burned myself this week with hot oil... whoops. It kinda looks like a creeper from minecraft I think. So yep.

You know, your average pet hens running around the yard.

Missionaries really are super heroes!

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