Friday, September 11, 2009

First week here = hot hot hot!


We are, once again, at a stand still. i have yet to receive mail from any of you all. how sad sad sad. but, that is how it goes. i am so busy here. the mornings go so slow and then the nights fly by. this is my new email address. here is my day, kinda.
i wake up at 6:30, which is not anything new, except it feels like 4:30 Utah time and then i find myself very tired. we then go run around our block, which is fun because it feels like running in a sauna. but i am so tired so i don't feel anything. we just run for twenty minutes then i do a ten minute yoga session.that's my favorite part because it keeps me awake. then we get ready and start personal study by 8. we live in a two level condo with three bathrooms and two bedrooms. we put all of the beds in one room to make one giant bed, which sounds interesting and not like something i would like, but it is pretty ok and fun. then at the end of the night, the four of us hermanas all go around the room saying te quiero porque...but that is bedtime, and i was talking about getting ready. i try to eat breakfast during personal study because it keeps me up. but if i can't then i walk around and up and down the stairs and all around the house and i do laps and it is so much fun trying to not fall asleep. by the time that hour is up, i have fallen asleep at least once and i have gotten a solid five minute nap in.

then we do comp study which is good because we go through the things that we need to focus on so that we can help our investigators. this ward is hopping. there are six missionaries in this one ward that covers a lot of ground. at first when i heard that there was going to be six of us i shuddered, but now i am glad because one set of missionaries could not do it all. last week we extended 11 baptisimal dates, got 13 new investigators, and taught a total of 19 lessons. that is a lot of teaching considering we only teach, really, in the afternoon and evening. it is hard though because we contact so many people who give us their information and we can't see them because we have others we have to see first. priorities, priorities.

you should see me now. i actually go up and talk to people about the church. i try to listen to what i feel, act on the thoughts that i have and then move forward, instead of worrying about every little detail.our goal for this week is for me to feel slightly comfortable on the phone in spanish, which is a very divvicult task because latinos/as speak soooooo fast and very unclear. we also are going to go through all of our floaters, those we have contacted but haven't taught yet, and weed them out and try to find the escogidos. my companion and i have started extending baptisimal commitments in the first lesson. i know ths sounds crazy, but people accept them, plus then they know that that is the point of our message. this is not an idley sitting by church, ni we have to act and that means you can't just have the missionaries over, feel good for the rewst of the day and then go back to doing thigs the way you want to. sorry, but it doesn't work that way. christ didn't teach that way, neither do we. and the cool part is, the spirit tells us to do these things and people, if their hearts are softened, are willintg and ready to accept the dates we extend. then comes the hard part because sometimes they just want to be baptized but not to change. i.e., the santos family. this family is a clown car family. everytime we go there about three new faces show up. they all shout and yell at everyone to come in, they gather aaround us and wait to be taught. the questions they ask are sincere and pure. the trouble is, they don't want to change. plus there is an older brother who is VERY baptist and he kinda poisins their minds with his (i learned it in prison) bible talk. the other day, we went through the baptisimal questions and when we got to Joseph Smith we pulled a picture out for the young kids. well, he couldn't handle the idea of the thrinity being three seperate beings. by the end i just wanted to ask, is it at all possible to even consider that what we are telling you is right? but my companion turned to one of the younger siblings and asked her how she felt. she felt good. the brother wanted to then bible bash. oh, the spirit is going to leave, i thought. but then, we told them that we didn't not come to argue, but to invite and that the only way to know it is true is to pray to find out. he then told us that he prays everynight. and wanted to turn that into an argument.

i was very annoyed, but they all agreed to go to church, we even got members to get them rides. but, they didn't show up. i am ready to give up on them. well, to be quite frank (which is a very popular saying for some of the really religious people here in this community) i wanted to give up on them from day one, but i couldn't do it. now i am really ready to give up on them. i am not some travelling preacher who goes around making people feel good. NO. i am here to invite you to come to Christ and to learn of him and eventually return to live with him. the only way to do that is through baptism and the other covenants that are offered through the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints.

ok, positive story time. there is this sweet little family named the rivas. the wife, noemi is a sweet little thing with so much faith. her husband believes, but he has a hard time giving up the drink. they have three little boys, lester, 8, jarek, 4, and jimmy (the devil child)2. they are so sweet and the spirit is always present when we teach them. this last time, however, noemi broke out in sobs. jimmy, her husband, was passed out on the couch because he had been drinking and she had to leave the kids with him in his drunken stuppor. she put on a happy face, but when we asked her to pray she shook her head no, a big first, and started to cry. no one said anything, except little jimmy, who was trying to shove a fourth peice of gum into his mouth and jarek who was telling him to stop. we then taught her the first lesson, with the focus being on joseph smith. we had the boys help us out, hold pictures, and draw in our agendas, just so that noemi could feel the spirit. when we were finished, we asked her if she believed that joseph smith saw God the father and Jesus Christ. she nodded, and then whispered yes, with a smile one her face. we asked her how she knew it or why she knew it? and she said, i don't know, but it is true. Ding ding ding. yes, it is right, yes it is not logical to most, but yes, it is true. she is planning on being baptized, with lester, in two weeks. we were hoping to get jimmy to come along too, but we'll just have to wait and see.

there are so many cool stories. there are so many interesting people. cubans...they are so fun. you don't know a cuban by looking at them because they are all different, black with blue eyes, my kinda white with black eyes, chinos who only speak spanish (we are teaching a chino-cubano family now) and everything else. the people are so fun and funny and willing to listen to the truth. i am blessed to be here now. Hialeah is the best. President said that if he ever had a daughter who served a mission he would want her to be trined by my trainer and sent to Hialeah. he then said that he doesn't say that to everyone. it is a good place. about a half hour from miami, hot and humid with sporatic rain/lightning and thunder storms. (PS, there is lightning everynight and it lights up the whole sky and i love it!

ok, i gotta go.
love you all.
this church is true and i get to be a missionary now in the greatest mission in all of the world!
be good
share the gospel

hermana barros
p.s. everyone loves my last name because i am a white girl with a latin name and everyone has to ask where i am from. people always ask me if they've seen me before. i mean EVERYONE. my first day here three people asked me about it. then, just right now, someone asked me if i was so and so. NO, i am not. i have never been here before. the funny thing is, when i tell people this they don't believe me, but then, without fail, someone else walks up to me and asks if they know me.
i have decided i was student body president in the spirit world and that is why evryone knows me.
so, vote for me, because you already know me.

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