Monday, November 9, 2009

strawberry fields forever...

or at least summer forever here in FL

It is odd not to start off with "another great week in Hialeah" but it has been another great week. There are a lot of things on my mind as i sit down to write, so i hope they all get out in an organized fashion. Like president said in PPI's, yes this is a very different look for me. I am now in a little place called Hollywood, right outside of Ft. lauderdale, which is funny because my area covers downtown Ft. lauderdale and the coast and the ghetto and...everything. There is so much to see. One day we got lost and then all of a sudden we were on the side of a big canal, full of these $1,000,000 yachts and penthouses/townhouses. No big deal. It was like we were in a whole new world. But because of it, there is a lot of differences too. More money equals less likelihood to listen. Some of these ghetto apartments, full of drunk latins, cost 1,000 dollars a month, and they only have one bedroom and one bath, and they are roach infested (and the roaches here are HUGEEEEEEE!!).

I am also in a three-some. i am with sister felton, a girl from las Vegas who takes the bull by the horns and does her thing. she is only a transfer ahead of me, so it is like two greenies leadng the blind. her spanish is not the greatest, which means that i a relied on for a lot of things. The second of my two companions is Sister Deloya, a sister from Temple Square. She is here for two transfers. She is originally from Mexico, which means her Spanish is good, but she teaches like a Temple Square Sister. She doesn't know how to get to the point or how to end a lesson and move on. This is mainly because she is used to giving tours and dealing with anti's. When people don't have the spirit it is impossible to teach. so you plant a seed and leave. she doesn't know how to do that and it gets frustrating for me. A three-some requires different diplomatic and leadership tactics that we all get to learn about and deal with this transfer. also, because we have so many sisters, they kinda made up an area for me and my two compaions. We split Hollywood Hills North down the middle, we took the "drier" side of the two halves, mainly because Sister Martinez, my old companion, showed me how to find in any situation, so I thought it would be nice to try that out. It has been a little rough, and soooooo different. I have learned a lot already. I am also learning how to deal with two very different companions. The Lord is truly humbling me. I just wish the humbling process was a little less painful sometimes. But, the key to getting over this is to work harder. So, that's what we do, we get out of the car and go contacting in some of the coolest places, and in some of the ghetto-est places, while being safe of course. Then we find someone completely unexpected and the mission feels like a success because i found one of God's children. like yesterday, i saw this girl that was smioking and gardening. she was acting like she was a retired old lady, but she was only 20. i was intrigued and decided to stop. That is one of the joys of being a missionary. when you see someone odd or intriguing you can go up and talk to them and see what they are like. it is harder to do thisas a regular person. anyway i went to go talk to this lady, Rachel, and found out that she has a three-year-old boy. she is about 4'10'' with died black hair and pale as can be. her son, jason is so cute. anyway, she asked if we were Jehovah's Witnesses (we get that lot).
"No, we're not."
"Good, because they don't know how to listen. they just preach and preach and then when they start condeming me, i get really annopyed, but they don't leave because they don't know how to listen."
"no, we're not Jehovah's Witnesses" we then talked to her about her life, well, she told of how she got pregnant and was always willing to find a church, but none of them stood out to her. perfect, because we've got something you might like. She speaks English, so we'll have to pass her off to the english elders (who happen to be the AP's. cool story, one of them had a dream about finding a woman named Rachel. When we told them about her, they got really excited to teach her. It is cool how things like that happen).

this apartment is very different, a lot of different personalities. The ward is also very different, and at times it feels competitive in the worst ways. I feel like the missionaries here need to become unified and all on the same page. We need to remember that we are not here to be in a popularity contest, to see how many, or which of the members are our friends. we need to include everyone and we also need to look beyond ourselves and just serve. I am still trying to figure out what kind of missionary i am, and the process of refining that is a difficult, uphill battle. It is hard to find the balance between loving and lifting someone up and standing on your soap box chastising others. so, i just sit back and think about what Jesus would do. he was so good at everything, i just wish i could be more like our Father in Heaven and remember how to love and serve.

in other words, the Lord has given me quite a few challenges this transfer and i feel slightly overwhelmed, like my talents aren't needed (which is ridiculous, i know). People look to me to see what i will do, how i will react, how i feel about things, and honestly, i am just me. i am a 23 year old girl who is trying to figure all of this stuff out too. i feel really burdened, like i am not quite up for the challenge that i face. but, that is whining. i am done now.

i know that i am blessed to be here, in the best mission in the world. i know that this is an inspired transfer. i just wish i knew what i could do to help others more effectively and how to say the words the lord would have me say. so, now that that is all said, i just want you to know that i will do my very best, and if it is not my best, i will try harder. i promised 18 months to the Lord, and if that means doing really hard, seemingly impossible things, i will do them and i will succeed.

this weekend is sister's conference. an RM sister missionary, married to Shawn Bradley of the NBA is going to speak to us. It will be really good. i'm looking forward to it. i'll tell you more about it next week.

i just thought that that was so cool to hear about kacey's tuition experience. it didn't hit me til now how blessed and grateful i really am for that. and now as i write about it i feel this overwhelming power of love from my Heavenly Father. I don't need to worry about things out of my hands, i just need to be my very best, work hard, and very best. So, He does answer prayers. And He does love me. he knows his missioaries. he knows us as a family and he wants us to return to live with him one day. let us do our very best to live worthy of that. i love you all and need you all with me for forever. let us do our very best to live worthy of the celestial kingdom together. i want to have barbeques up there because our mansions will be next door and i want to be missionaries there too. so work hard, marry good people (which the two boys have already done). i love you all soo much. i really do. mom, go to the templ this week for me. i wish i could go, i mean i am aguiring all this knowledge now, i wish i could go to the temple and learn more and receive that personal revelation. so, would yuo go for me this week? i know it will bless yur life, and i know that i will feel close to you this week. i kinda need that now. i am so weak, i just need you to go to the temple and think of me, ok?

Have a great week,
and i love love love you all,
Hermana Barros

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