Monday, May 6, 2013

2 Nephi 5:27

This week felt like a year. But that's how the first week of transfers always are. I'm still not in love with my new area, but it's growing on me. Something I really do like about Pavones though is that we get to teach lessons on temple grounds. The people in Pavones, even though most of them haven't heard of the church, recognize and are really proud of the temple. It's so beauuuutiful.
Last Tuesday all the new baby missionaries came! There were 27 that showed up to our mission - 11 hermanas and 16 elders. They all look so dang young. But then again, the hermanas are 19 instead of 21. We ended the night ringing timbres (knocking doors) in a piso close to ours. We stopped at this lady's door and after we told her who we are and what we do she said, ''You know what, I have my religion and you have yours and I respect what you're doing, but I'm really not interested.'' I was ready to leave, and I had actually turned around and started walking the other way, when Hermana Olsen asked if she had any family or friends that could use the message that we have to share. She paused for a minute and then mentioned that her daughters both could use a little help. We talked about how the youth today as a whole doesn't have any morals and they've forgotten God. I explained that that's why I'm out here doing what I'm doing. I told her that my beliefs and the way I live according to my beliefs has changed me for the better and I want others to experience the same change and happiness. Then she said, ''And how exactly have you changed?' I was really taken aback by that question. For a second I didn't know how to answer. I told her that knowing God lives, love me, and has a plan for me gives my life purpose. I told her I know that the things I do in this life matter to God and that in the hard times when I feel alone, I take comfort in the scriptures and in knowing that God is walking alongside me every step of the way. After about 5 seconds of comfortable silence, she said with tears in her eyes, ''Thank you for your beautiful thoughts. I appreciate you for doing what you do and I'll think about having my girls call you.'' Our interaction with that lady went from kind of negative and disappointing to a really spiritual experience for me, and I think for her too. I'm grateful that Hermana Olsen followed the prompting to ask her for a reference.
Wednesday we did a lot of contacting in the metro. There were previously just two hermanas in our area so they had to split the area and we're basically starting from zero which is super hard. But contacting on Wednesday was really productive. I was sitting across from this 20 something year-old guy when I noticed he kept looking at my tag. He eventually leaned over and said, ''So are you a Jehova's Witness or an Evangelist?'' I told him I was actually Mormon which led him to ask what made our religion different and what some of our basic beliefs are. We talked about everything from the Book of Mormon to the Word of Wisdom to modern-day prophets to the Godhead to the Law of Chastity to everything. It was really awesome. I got his name and number and he said he'd love to learn more. It was super cool.

We ended the day singing in Retiro Park with Hermanas Hansen and Smith. It was a really incredible experience. There were a ton of people in the park and we were very much in the world. But as soon as we started bearing our testimonies in song, we created a heavenly atmosphere. Some people seemed drawn to us - little kids especially. The Spirit was so strong and during a couple songs I was almost brought to tears. There was something so incredible about singing about the gospel truths we normally share in word. I gained a testimony of the power of uplifting music that day.
Saturday made one year since receiving my call. I can't believe it's been that long! To celebrate we went to Domino's with the other Barrio 6 missionaries and Olsen bought my pizza :)
Church was really good yesterday.  In Sacrament Meeting the three of us that are new to the ward shared our testimonies. It was so much easier than it was 3 months ago when I got here. And the ward is HUGE. So many eyeballs were staring at me.
We had an awesome lesson with Rafa afterwards. He's 17 and from Bolivia. He hasn't heard anything about our church, but wants to know more. We talked to him about our purpose as missionaries and established our expectations of eachother. He's excited to read the Book of Mormon and at the end he said a beautiful prayer. I love hearing people pray for the first time :) We ended the night again singing in the park. We met this guy from London who said he previously had negative feelings about Mormons. He told us that even though he still isn't interested in knowing more at this point, he was moved by our singing and he now things positively about who we are and what we stand for. It really meant a lot.
I didn't get to even half of what happened this week, but that's the best of what happened. Since yesterday was cinco de mayo we had a party today in Legan├ęs with like 15 of the hermanas. It was suuuper fun and Hermana Phillips made the best food ever. She's half Mexican.
Life is good. Really really good. I hope you all have a good week!
Hermana Munden

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