Monday, August 26, 2013

Wait. Is this Little Mexico or China Town?

First thing first. Sister Hansen and I are both staying in the Westfield ward, which I'm super excited about! If I'm not going to be in Argentina, I want to be in Carmel!

So Tuesday was a little rough because we had interviews with President Cleveland but he was way behind! The assistants set up interviews starting at 8:30 but told President to be there at 10. So not only did he start late, he got far behind. Our appointment was for 11:30. We were told to come 30 minutes late. We didn't leave until 6:00.

We have 4 more Spanish investigators!!! The Hernandez's, the Fernandez's. And then a Chinese guy named Jimmy.

The Hernandez's have been taught a lot but always by English missionaries. Maybe we can make progress with them if there's that connection with the language. For not being a Spanish missionary yet, I have pretty good Spanish, just saying. We took the Garcias to a member's home to teach this week and Bernardo told them that my Spanish is really good and that they always understand what I say. When we brought Blanca a cheesecake and card, she said my letter to her in Spanish was really good. Now if only I was actually fluent...

Anyway the Fernadez's are a miracle story! We found Elvira's name in the area book (we found a lot of Spanish people and decided to try them since, well I think it's pretty obvious.)
We stopped by the address only to find she didn't live there anymore. We asked if they knew where they moved to but they had no idea. So I tried calling. Can I just say speaking Spanish over the phone is no easy task! When I can't see lips move it's very hard to understand. Elvira seemed open to studying the Bible with us but said only the Bible not any other book. I tried to explain that we study from both the Bible and the Book of Mormon but I don't know how much she understood. We finally set up a time after struggling to understand each other. Well trying to get her new address was SOO difficult. I got the numbers just fine but couldn't for the life of me understand the street name and then she gave me the zip code and I thought she was trying to give me the house number again so I was just that much more confused! So I asked her to text it to me. She never did. So this week I called again. And this time she texted the address but told us not to waste our time on her if we wanted to study a different book than the Bible. When we went to her home she told us how her husband had met Mormons before and had our book. But she never did. We were going to do a lesson on the apostasy but I forgot my Spanish Scriptures and Sister Hansen forgot the visual aid we were going to use. So we decided we'd do a get to know you deal and share our favorite scriptures. Well as we shared our scriptures on trust, Elvira opened right up to us. She told us about all the trials of her daughter and things like that. We really connected and knew she'd let us come back. Then her daughter Elisabeth got home from work. She called her into the room to meet us. Immediately, there was a connection as we shared those scriptures again. She opened up too and told us of her abusive, alcoholic father who because of God has been sober for a year and a half. And about her recent divorce and battle against cancer. And she's only 24. We told her how we had tried so many different times to find them and that we were inspired to keep trying and we were in her path for a reason. She agreed. Even though we hadn't introduced really anything of our church, Sister Hansen felt she should share a scripture in Alma. We were both kind of nervous because of how adamant Elvira had been about no other book and without even an introduction of it we were worried how it'd be received. But they loved the scripture! Elisabeth took the English copy we had and said she loved reading so she'd start reading it. We were all crying because the Spirit was so strong and we knelt down in prayer. I asked if I could say it in Spanish and so I was thinking hard about what to say and how to say it so there were some pauses. Well something pretty common with the Hispanics we're teaching is that they will whisper their own prayer at the same time as you and since that's happened a lot I didn't think anything of it. Well I was half-way through my prayer, pausing to figure out how to say the next thing and Elvira turns her whispered prayer into a loud one and finished the prayer for us. It totally caught me off guard! It was such a cool experience and they recognized us right away as disciples of Christ which helped us build a strong relationship with them. I now understand the phrase, "Mi casa es tu casa" much better. She said she knew we were away from home and that if we ever needed anything her door was open and she'd be our mom. It was such a touching experience. We have an appointment for tomorrow and I hope it goes just as well!

Now that we teach Fernandez, Hernandez and Garcia we just need Rodriguez, Ramirez and Sanchez and we'll be set!

Jimmy has kind of an interesting background too. We had high sights for teaching this week. It was a solid start to the week and we had a bunch of lessons set up- 20! which considering we only had 5 the first week here, that's quite an accomplishment! We really have done some great work here. The difference in this area in just one transfer has been amazing! And we still have so much work to do! Well I swear half those lessons canceled on us. But we still managed to pull off our weekly goal. We had about an hour left on Sunday before we had to go in and we still needed a member present lesson and an other. So we stopped by our investigator who doesn't get out much, assuming he'd be home. Because he ALWAYS is. Well he wasn't. We didn't know how we'd fit in those last 2 lessons! But we remembered that there is a part member family on the same street. We stopped by there, they invited us in and let us teach a short lesson. So with 30 minutes to go, we set off to go find a referral to fit in one more lesson. The address we had was for an apartment building but didn't say which apartment so we knocked on the doors looking for her. The only guy who opened his door was Chinese and spoke very little English. We were going to not worry about him since it was hard to talk to him but we felt like we really needed to hit our goal. So we spoke really slow and with really short words and told him about the Book of Mormon. We prayed with him and it made him tear up. I don't think he completely grasped everything we said but he definitely felt it. He wants us to come back and give him a Chinese Book of Mormon.

It's so funny to us that we live in Carmel and always find the foreigners. We were walking down the street and started to talking to a guy but he was on business from Brazil. He recognized our church as the one with the guy and the trumpet on our buildings. He said he'd be interested to talk to missionaries when he's back in Brazil so we tried to get his information to send in a referral but he was too cautious of giving out personal info. So we gave him a card and told him to look at the website in Portuguese and he could order a Book of Mormon. Well apparently he looked at it because the next day, the Carmel Elders got a referral to bring him a Book of Mormon. The Elders taught him a couple lessons and the man came to church yesterday. He committed to get baptized when he goes back to Brazil!

Well I've finished one transfer in Indy. It went by so fast! So I'm sure even if I wait for 6 months for my visa it won't feel like too long!

Mucho Amor Por Ustedes,
Hermana Pearson
The Campbell kids love us!

Sister Hansen that we visit

Some of our investigators B & B

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