Today was busy and I don't know if our numbers for the day reflect the hard work we got done. We did a lot of service for members and investigators. So many people we encounter have such unique and difficult circumstances. I feel like my eyes have been opened to the real world and real financial, physical, and emotional struggles people and families experience. I could write essays about each person and their incredible stories. I feel so grateful for my upbringing, that even though it wasn't always perfect, I was given innumerable blessings and an amazing family. The gospel of Jesus Christ makes a real difference in our lives.
Today was an abnormal mission day. My companion was up all night with the flu, so we postponed our appointments for tomorrow and didn't leave Clocktower. I did a lot of studying, made meals, and in the evening Hermana Parke and I talked and got to know each other better. It was a weird day, but I was given the opportunity to do service for my companion.
Today was very productive, but I had my turn of being sick with the flu. We visited with the new mission leader for the Nashua Spanish group, Sister Candelario. We also cooked with Margarita. Margarita is a less-active member, and her son Omar and granddaughter Omari are two of our investigators. We weren't teaching a lesson, just building a stronger connection with Margarita so that she would feel more comfortable going to church. She made us amazing Dominican food, but I was feeling so sick and couldn't eat, and Margarita would not take no for an answer, so I hid in the bathroom for a few minutes to buy some time and we took the food home with us (a few days later I ate it and it was great). After that, we brought the Bishop's daughter to a lesson with an investigator, Daniel. Daniel is from Mexico and Hermana Parke and her last companion contacted him from one of the little Mexican markets close to Clocktower. He brought his cousin, Freddy, to the lesson, so we gained my first new investigator! Neither of them speak english, so at the end the Bishop's daughter gave her testimony in english and Hermana Parke translated. Even though our member present doesn't speak spanish, she was able to carry along enough that her testimony was exactly what the lesson needed and brought a strong spirit. During the lesson I forgot I was feeling so sick. We ended the evening with a great lesson with another investigator, Victor.
Today we had my first zone meeting, and I was asked to play piano for it. The meeting was fun, and it was neat to see what great missionaries I have the privilege of working with. It snowed really hard, so after we got back to Clocktower, we got "red-dotted" (meaning we aren't allowed to drive) until later that evening. That evening we dropped off a Liahona to an investigator, Teresa.
We had so much planned for today, so even though some of our appointments fell through we had a full day. We visited and helped a few less-active members throughout the day. In the evening we had dinner with the Sanchez family (members, not our Sanchez investigators) and they fed us miso soup and Vietnamese spring rolls!! It really reminded me of home and I was so grateful for it and for the opportunity to eat something different. We shared a message and left for another lesson with Victor. Victor travels back and forth between Mexico and the US and has been investigating for almost a year. He has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon. I extended my first invitation in Spanish, inviting him again to be baptized and to go to church...kind of, lol. The words were right, but because in Spanish the difference between "Will you...?" and "You will..." is your tone of voice when you start the sentence as well as end it (that's why the question marks are in the beginning and end). Victor nodded but seemed a bit confused so we elaborated and and asked again if he'd go to church. I realized that I had actually told him "You will be baptized" and "You will go to church" and after the lesson it was very funny. That night Hermana Parke and I laughed about it and she said "Sister, we do not command others to come unto Christ." I had commanded him to be baptized and he was cool with it, lol. Fun story to tell of my first baptismal invitation, and my companion gave me nothing but love and praise, where I could have been more embarrassed by my mistake.
Today so much happened that I don't really know how to go about explaining it all. I'll just share one experience. In the evening we taught another lesson to Victor, but we didn't know we would meet with him until the night before and he's had all of the lessons so we had nothing really planned going into it other than asking what he needs and following the spirit. As we talked to him at the start, I low-key looked though PME (Predicad mi Evangelio, Preach My Gospel) and LDM (Libro De Mormon, The Book of Mormon) and couldn't find anything. When the time came that he asked for tonight's message, Hermana looked at me and without thinking I opened up into one of my tabs to Moroni Ch. 6 and it was EXACTLY what we needed to teach and discuss. Many times I need to follow the spirit not through what I feel, but through just knowing what to do and doing it - actions and clarity. I'm so grateful to be learning so much how to discern what I am supposed to do.
Happy Chinese New Year! One of the members made a big Chinese New Year meal for all of us missionaries with dumplings, chinese candies, money envelopes with $2 bills, decorations, homemade dragons for us to keep, etc. I'm so grateful to have such amazing and supportive members in our ward. I feel like I've written so much, but I left out so much, and it's only my first full week or two in the field. This mission is the craziest and hardest and best thing I've ever done.
1 Clocktower Place #128
Nashua, New Hampshire