Monday, April 14, 2014

Hola familia y amigos!! I feel like I just barely wrote!

The time goes by so fast on the mission. I had an awesome week though!! I really love it here.

I'm going to use some of my email to reply to Emily Cabbage's questions from a few weeks ago. Sorry it took me so long to reply. Email time goes by quick! But I was happy to hear from you and hope you and your family are doing well. Have you moved to Spokane already?
First was about the families we teach here. We teach the coolest people. Really. We have some awesome investigators and less active people we get to serve and work with everyday. Story time. Last week we contacted a family on the street who has a taco stand we pass several times a day. Not like a normal taco stand... like tacos de nasty stand. Its called carnitas here. But the meat is like all swirly like intestines or there's the flat flubbery stuff and other random chunks. Its smells too. They were so so nice and agreed to meet with us again and hear about our message. We passed by again and Alfonso wanted us to try one of his tacos. We were terrified. But luckily we had just eaten so we didn't have to make up an excuse that time. We kept avoiding it all last week til Tuesday after our district meeting we were walking back and he called us over and we couldn't ignore it. My companion confessed that she was vegetarian and then they asked me. Well I couldn't lie so I said no and agreed to try one. They are honestly some of the sweetest people ever so I felt bad making up excuses. His face lit up and smiled big. How many do you want? Three.. four? Oh... One... two.. is good. He pulled out the swirly flubbery nasty meat stuff and chopped it up with a huge knife and slid it onto a couple tortillas. Then they throw on some onions and lettuce salsa and lime and handed it over. I added extra lime hoping to drown out the texture and smell. At first it really wasn't that bad. Then the meat started falling out and my stomach started churning. I choked it down with a smile and as he was helping another customer (yep people buy them) I snuck the fallen meat in the trash bag. I was SO proud of myself and handed him the empty plate so relieved. And then! He put on another one. My heart broke. My companion saved me by saying we had to hurry to an appointment. I asked to take it on a paper plate so I could eat it on the way. Phew. We went back to the house and took some pictures then threw it away :) Later when we described it to the Elders they said they were pretty sure it was brains. But they were proud and bought me a mango :)
I could taste the taco the whole day no matter what else I ate to cover it up. It was so gross and my appetite was gone. Later that night we had our first lesson with their whole family. Alfonso, his wife, Myriam and their two boys. Alfonso began describing his love for God and the Savior and how their family prays together every night. I couldn't help but smile. This was the family we had been praying to find. I must have been smiling pretty big cuz he stopped and told everyone to look at me.

 He referred back to the first day we contacted them in the street. My comp was talking with his mother and he started going off about his whole life story and his faith. I was trying hard to listen but my Spanish skills are still in the works so mostly just smiling and nodding. Out of no where he asked. How do you feel? I paniced a little bit cuz I had no idea what was going on. I was like uhh right now? or about the gospel message we share? He replied. No. How do you feel all the time? Yes. I can answer that! I then bore my testimony to him of the Savior Jesus Christ and of the hope and joy that comes through living His gospel. And that I wanted to share that joy with the whole world. He didn't really say anything back so I wasn't sure if he had understood my broken Spanish. My comp was done talking so we left. 

Back to the lesson. He began to share with his family what I shared with him that day. How hope and joy can come through the Savior. He told my companion and I that our hearts were clean and pure and he could feel it from the beginning. He told me that when I told him I wanted to share the joy of the gospel with the whole world there was a light around me and he decided that he needed this joy in his life. My companion and I smiled. They were prepared to hear our message. I had never been so touched and suddenly that brain taco didn't taste so bad anymore. 

We had their trust and were ready to share :) They accepted our message and now we are just trying to get them to quit working on Sunday so they can go to church and get baptized.

I'm getting low on time but another cool family we found this week asked for us as we passed by their shoe store. Lots of families here live together. Like Grandma and Grandpa with their kids and grand kids all in one house. It's pretty fun :) The grandpa, Roberto, is pretty deaf so he is hard to teach. And his wife, Ana Maria, is half paralyzed so she can't communicate very well and can't write either. But she can hear and understands us very well. Yesterday we taught her the Restoration and she began to cry when we shared the first vision. She is so kind and an inspiration to me. 

The other questions were about the food.... 
The ice cream here is way good!! We eat tortillas with EVERY meal. But they are way good too. We get lots of cactus and beans and chicken. Usually fruit for dessert or rice yogurt stuff. Lots of soups. Lime and salsa with everything! I really like the food here :) 

Children here...
Since lots of families live together the kids get to play with their cousins lots :) They do a lot of things like we do in the US. The other day a little girl was watching Enchanted just in Spanish. The children in are ward are adorable and love the missionaries! Yesterday we had a testimony meeting and I was shocked how many children got up to bare their testimony here. There was a line on the stand. It was really cool. 

Well I better get going! Hope everything is going well at home! Love you and talk to you next week! 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Rhoten 2

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