Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Semana 50!

A quick note from Em's mom:
As you can see, I've not done a very good job of keeping this blog updated. I am many weeks behind (while she still does a great job of emailing us every week)! I'm working on going back through all of her emails to begin posting and getting this blog up-to-date again, but the process may take me a while, so for now, I'm just gonna try to make sure that I post her most recent emails and keep current with them again from this point forward. Thank you for your patience with me!

Email and Photos from Emily
Sent Monday 11/21 at 11:39am:

It's so crazy that I've already had my full transfer in Providence, RI! We got t-texts on Friday that told me that I'm leaving to go back to the Spanish program in Revere, MA!

I am so excited. I'll be companions with Hermana Syndergaard, who will be in her 3rd transfer (I'm 'greenie-breaking' her!) and we were called to be STL's over the new zone that was just formed this month called the North Shore stake/zone. The zone covers areas that used to be a part of the Nashua and Cambridge zones, so I know most of the zone already, except for the 2 new areas that came from the Manchester, NH mission. Most of the zone will be Spanish-speaking missionaries and the best part of it all is that because of the new boundaries, Revere now covers all of EAST BOSTON, which was my favorite part of Cambridge when I was there! I'm going back and there are so many people that I love there that are now a part of my ward!!! I can't wait to spend my winter there back on the blue line of the T and with one of the best Spanish sisters ever (I went on exchanges with her in Revere during my last transfer in Cambridge).

At the same time, I'm sad that my time in Providence is already over. We set new baptismal dates for both Matthew and Amelia for December, and they are both still very solid. I will miss a lot of people here and I know I needed to come to Providence to have the experiences that I have had here. Heavenly Father did a lot to put me here in the English-speaking program at this time and I'm glad that he did.

One of the reasons I'm so glad that I was here at this time is that I got to watch the dedication of the Hartford, CT temple from the Warwick, RI chapel. The spirit was so strong and I felt so blessed to be a part of it. At the 12pm session, we went and heard Elder Gong, Elder Holland, and President Eyring speak. I'm glad to be a part of this temple district, just in time for the dedication, before I go back up to Massachusetts.

Con Amor,
Hermana Rubio

Hermana Rubio with Amelia
(She taught me how to break a board with my fist!)

The Rhode Island state building

My English Hermana (Sister Wyckoff) and I

Saying good-bye to Vivian

Our district family!

With the Providence, RI Spanish missionaries.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Semana 13 - Photos

(click on image above to see it larger.)

 The Boston Temple.

 Companions Hermana Rubio and
Hermana Parke at the Boston Temple.

 Last P-day with Garabed.

 A morning walk around Clocktower.

 More of a morning walk around Clocktower.

Hermanas Parke y Rubio.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Semana 13 - Emails

Hi mom and dad!

I had a good week this week and I'm writing extra early today because I'm going to breakfast with a couple members and other missionaries and have a long shopping list and probably won't be on as much as usual today. I'll make sure all the usual emails get sent out though. I'll be on again later today. I hope your week has gone well, for me this is week is one whole transfer in the field down!

I love you! Talk to you soon!
Con Amor,
Hermana Rubio

Oh, so also, this happened. I've been called to be an STL again! And I'm still a greeny! WOW really exciting and kind of terrifying. I'm in awe of it honestly. It is not normal to be called as a Sister Training Leader while you are still "training" in your first 12 weeks as a missionary in the field at all, but I feel so blessed to be so trusted by my mission president and by the Lord. I will get to work closely with President Miller and go to MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) in Boston every month. It's official with the new transfer that starts on Wednesday!
Con Amor,
Hermana Rubio

Hola! So today I figured I'd share something a little extra.
With the help of Hermana Parke, I made a list of

Funny things I've learned about New England:

-Police always call for back up, even if they are just pulling someone over.

-Dressers are actually "bureaus."

-A grocery cart is actually a "carriage."

-A water fountain is actually a "bubblah."

-R's make an "-ah" sound, and with anything that ends in an "-a", an "r" is added. Sometimes letters within the word get lost too. For example, the city of Worcester, Mass is correctly pronounced "Wuh-stah", while Nashua is pronounced "Nash-wer". There are countless examples of this throughout New England.

-If you miss a one-way turn, you have to take like 5 to make it up.

-Hazard lights are your official park-anywhere-lights, and you can seriously park anywhere you want to, including the middle of the road.

-The freeways are all 55mph but everyone still drive 70-80mph.

-In Boston the breakdown lane is actually an additional lane everyone feels comfortable using.

-"Apple juice" is actually fresh, cold apple cider and it is fantastic.

-Maple syrup is real and I'll never be able to eat it normally again.

-Tank of live lobsters at the grocery store is normal and refilled daily.

-"Misting" is when you can't see it raining, but you go outside and you get covered in water somehow.

-The actual name of the New England Patriots football team is "the Pats."

-All street names are reused in nearby cities and some are named after nearby cities so you always have to double check what you plug into the GPS.

-Everyone has a GPS, they are not optional.

-There is a Dunkin' Donuts at least every half mile.

-Gas is always about $1.75, and never goes over $2 unless you're buying diesel (yes Jose Jr, diesel is more expensive here).

-There are little graveyards and cemeteries (there is a difference) everywhere you go with old creepy headstones like in movies.

-AND FINALLY, the correct way to tell someone you aren't interested is "Nah, I'm all set." Really? "Oh shoaw."

:) Anyway, as for the week...

Martes 3/1
Today we visited Lucy, did Family history with Jennifer, heart attacked Sister Daniel's door, and taught a lesson to Victor. Victor seemed better in tune with the spirit. I'm grateful to have been born to good parents, faithful in the gospel. Most people in the world are not given that, but where much is given, much is required.

Miércoles 3/2
Today we stopped by a lot of different people and were running all day.

Jueves 3/3
We visited Gene and Tracy again, back at the hospital. We left them with a Book of Mormon and it turns out that Gene has read it before! They really brought up our spirits, and we hope we brought up theirs. We had a really pivotal lesson with Omar and Omarise about feeling the spirit and how not living the Word of Wisdom can hinder the spirit. We put into practice what we learned at Return and Report and I was able to invite Omar to close the lesson with a prayer and to ask for help to go to church and follow the Word of Wisdom and repent. It was such a beautiful prayer even though I didn't understand all of it. I felt so comforted knowing that Omar was truly exercising faith and truly demonstrating his willingness to change his life and to follow Christ. We also had a good lesson with Victor and correlated with the Ward mission leader, Brother Brady. We started reading Jesus the Christ in the car and it has made a HUGE difference in our day we hope to continue reading it and to finish it together.

Viernes 3/4
Today we had a great zone meeting and were fed by Raquel. The biggest thing of the day was that we got T-texts (transfer notifications) and my trainer and I are staying together in Nashua, and...We were called to be STLs! I am shocked and a bit nervous, and I marvel at the trust my mission president and my Heavenly Father must have in me to extend this calling while I'm still a greeny. Regardless, I'm so excited to be able to serve in the position!

Sabado 3/5
So for today I have a story that starts on Monday. On P-day we went to the grocery store and these two Hispanic guys parked next to us. One got out of the car and we made awkward I contact so I smiled at him and he smiled back. In the store we ran into them and talked (they only spoke Spanish) and we got their number and set up a time to teach them (Jorge and David)! Fast forward to today and as Hermana Parke and I planned, we knew that we couldn't go into the lesson without another woman in the apartment, so we NEEDED to find someone. We called everyone possible on our list and prayed. We probably called about 20 different people and everyone either couldn't come or didn't answer. We finally decided to start calling people from the Merrimack ward that we had on record as speaking Spanish, even though we didn't personally know any of them. Once again no one was answering, and then we called the Deckers. The husband answered, and we told him who we were and asked if his wife spoke Spanish and if she would want to come out with us. He was unusually excited and she was open to it. Our prayer was answered. Turned out, she was not actually a member of the church, but she was very knowledgeable about the Bible and had so much love for Christ and respect for her husband's church. In the lesson we taught the restoration to Jorge, and she even bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon! It was truly a miracle that we marveled at for the rest of the day.

Domingo 3/6
After the great strides we made with investigators only one investigator (Teresa, who we didn't meet with this week because she works so much) was able to come to church. It was a little rough, but we were grateful Teresa could at least be there and we are excited for the progress she is making. We stopped by a few people and asked for referrals. For dinner we made a frozen lasagna and salad and parmesan cheese bread. We don't usually go without a member feeding us, especially on Sunday, but it was nice after a hard day. We want to make cookies and bring them out to all the old Veterans that stand out in the cold to smoke outside Clocktower. We started waving to them as we drive by and now they wave first and are always happy to see us.

Hoy 3/7
A couple members took the Elders, Hermana Parke, and I to Parker's Maple Barn for breakfast and IT WAS AMAZING. We got a lot of things done today that we needed to do to get ready for this week and the new transfer. Sister Cruz is "dying" (finishing her mission) so starting Wednesday we will have a trio with Sister Jones until her new greeny comes in next week.

Hasta la proxima semana!
Con Amor,
Hermana Rubio

Monday, February 29, 2016

Semana 12 - Email

Hola amigos y mi familia,

Martes 2/23
The highlight of the day was that Omari's father, Omar, accepted baptism and their set date together is now March 17th! In the evening we had a hard time because Victor, who is so ready for the gospel and has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, suddenly didn't have a desire to fast with us to confirm a baptismal date. We are hopeful to be able to continue to work with him and it will be okay.

Miercoles 2/24
Today we were sad about Victor, but we worked through the day and we felt better and kept working. During morning studies I said a little prayer that I'd find something to help me feel better and I flipped randomly to Alma 26:31, and it was the perfect scripture! It was a nice little tender mercy and answer to my little prayer that I found it, especially because it wasn't even highlighted.

Jueves 2/25
Today most of our appointments canceled, but we were able to visit people, do service for Lucy, and teach a lesson to one of the Elders' investigators, Justin (the Elders were at Mission Leadership Conference (MLC) for the day). We had a great dinner with the Gonzales family and we shared about the importance of family history work and temple work. I am really grateful for my trainer and all the love she has for me. She's given me phone duty to make most of the Spanish phone calls (which is really hard), but she pushes me just enough that I can surprise myself and improve everyday.

Viernes 2/26
Today we went to "Return and Report", a meeting for all the brand new missionaries (greenies) to receive a special training. I learned new things about how to extend commitments with more power and to better understand our purpose of teaching repentance and baptizing converts. We also were surprised with a temple trip! It was my first time going to the Boston temple, and it was BEAUTIFUL. It was definitely my favorite trip.

Sabado 2/27
Today we visited Shannon and her family. They are english speaking investigators that live in Peterborough, so we don't get to visit them much. Their children were the sweetest and so happy and well-behaved and they had a wonderful spirit in their home. I am so grateful and excited for them to continue to meet with the elders and receive the restored gospel. The drive out there was absolutely beautiful and I really just felt in love with my mission area.

Domingo 2/28
Today was a wonderful Sabbath. We had a mission-wide fast for our investigators and family members of missionaries with health issues. I was able to understand almost everything in Spanish at church! We also made new monthly goals and I am excited to get more prepared for the week tomorrow.

Hoy 2/29
Today we got a lot of cleaning and errands done and we visited a member named Garabed. He went with us to get pizza for lunch at this little place on main street that he says has been there since the 60's. It was supposed to be just like NY pizza, and it was really the best I've had!

I look forward to this next week. Thank you for all the love and support every week!
Con Amor,
Hermana Rubio

NOTE from Mom:  She sent me NO PHOTOS to share this week :( 
I don't know if she just ran out of computer time to send them to me, 
or if she has slowed at taking them. I'm hoping to get a lot more pics next week!

I did get this very sweet and unexpected Email
from Hermana Rubio's companion though:

Dear Sister Rubio,
Thank you for the sweet card that you sent for Valentine's day. It was so cute. Thank you for sending your amazing daughter on a mission (I know it is a hard thing to do), but she is changing lives out here. She may not notice it, but she has had such a wonderful impact on Nashua. Thank you for raising such a wonderful young woman. She is obedient, faithful, and diligent. I imagine she learned it from the example of her parents.
Thank you again for the lovely card!
Hermana Parke

Monday, February 22, 2016

Semana 11 - Photos (and another Email!)

 Comida Dominicana!! (Dominican food!)

Hermana Rubio sent the following Email (along with the last two photos above) to her parents and grandparents only. The subject of the Email was this:

Family History Work is Missionary Work!

Hola familia!
The past few weeks seem to have a common theme every day of the importance of doing family history and I realized something important. I remember after being set apart to be a missionary, thinking that he must've forgotten to bless me with the gift of tongues, since I'm learning a language. In the MTC, Hermana Jensen said that maybe I didn't need it. This week made me remember that I have been blessed with the spirit of Elijah, and I know that through THAT gift, I've been given so much help in learning Spanish. Family history work really is so important, and I've been filling out my "My Family" booklet and inviting lots of our members and investigators do the same.

To help me finish it, could each of you write and send stories and/or memories of each of your parents and grandparents? Thank you so much and I'm excited to read! Les quiero!

Con Amor,
Hermana Rubio

NOTE from Mom:  Needless to say, reading what she wrote about her Dad and I had me in tears! Being able to read her own words describing what she thinks of us, her parents, means so much to me! Thank you sweet daughter :)

(click on the photo to see it large enough to read).

Semana 11 - Email

Buenos días!

Martes 2/16
We visited some people, one of which is a member named Lucy. She's a single mother with two sons that have psychological struggles, but she is so strong even though she deals with so much. We went over planning to organize a couple of her rooms and she was feeling really stressed and achy and down. After some time of talking to her, she decided to instead dress us up in some of her beautiful traditional clothing and we took pictures together and she danced for us. Later that evening we stopped by again and she was in MUCH better spirits and I was so glad to be able to see what a real difference our visit had made for her. Later she told the elders how much she appreciated us coming over and bringing a happy spirit to her. Service comes in different forms.

Miércoles 2/17 
(I could write my whole email on this day and Saturday)
Today was an adventure. We fasted for a baptismal date for Victor, and our fast seemed to bless us in other unexpected ways. In the middle of our morning studies we got a visit from the carpet cleaning person, and he had so much to say about religion and what we were doing as missionaries. We were really kind with him, and told him some of our beliefs that could comfort him in his existential concerns. Then he dumped the gross dirty carpet water into one of our sinks and a toilet, and the toilet for some reason got clogged and overflowed my companion's bathroom with the dirty water. He apologized all over the place and cleaned it up for us. He noted how calm and nice we were and said that the worst thing about us missionaries is that you never get to see them again. We lightly said he could go to church and see them all the time and he laughed. It was an interesting and unexpected lesson. In the evening we went to Margarita's with the Portuguese elders so that they could move furniture that she bought and we could translate. We got two new investigators (the people she bought furniture from), and I listened to a lot of Portuguese and learned a few things. I felt more comfortable with Spanish by the end of the night also.

Jueves 2/18
Victor accepted fasting with us about being baptized on March 23rd!

Viernes 2/19
In the morning we had a fantastic district meeting and I went on exchanges for the first time with Sister Cruz, an STL for our zone. She is from Brazil, so her first language is Portuguese and she learned English on the mission, and can speak a lot of Spanish. This is her last transfer, so she has about 20 days left on her mission. In the evening we contacted someone named Ava Molina, had a nice little lesson with her, and she became a new investigator!

Sabado 2/20
I wrote about 3 pages in my journal about this day. So much happened, but the most important thing is that Omari accepted to be baptized. We were just going to share a little message, but Hermana Parke said that during the closing prayer she felt that we needed to teach lesson 3 and extend a baptismal date to Omari right there. She looked at me after the prayer and lightly kicked me under the table and turned to Omari telling her (in english) that we love her and we, as missionaries have a purpose in visiting and teaching her and her dad. She kicked me again and I knew that meant she wanted me to teach lesson 3 by explaining our purpose and extending a baptismal date. We hadn't yet discussed a date, so my trainer was really putting a lot of trust in me. In about 2 minutes I was able to teach and extend her the invitation to be baptized on March 19th. She accepted! Later Hermana said that she was relieved because that was the same date she had in mind and was grateful we followed the spirit.

Domingo 2/21
Omari was able to come to church!

Hoy 2/22
We're reading out loud as much as we can out of el Libro de Mormón en Spanish during our p-day that we don't spend emailing or getting milk.

This week I feel like I'm truly pushing forward with the work and I am very excited about everything in store for this area in the next few months!

Con Amor,
Hermana Rubio

Monday, February 15, 2016

Semana 10 - Photos

 Valentine's gifts left anonymously on their doorstep!

 Someone love us!! Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Eve selfie.

(For my sister Isabelle) #MERICA #NH #LiveFreeOrDie