Livin’ La Vida Loca

February 14, 2012

That is the theme of my life. Insanity. This mission stuff is fun. And crazy. And hard. And awesome. Here is a list of all the craziness that happened this week:

• One of our investigators (who had a baptismal date for Sunday) is married!!! Turns out though, that it is to a man in Honduras and she has been married to him for the last 25 years. She’s still not married to her “spouse.” There is a member in the ward though, that knows how to get a quick and free divorce (benefits of taking members to lessons) so she is working on changing her situation soon. She is so ready for baptism. She got into a car accident this week and said it was God telling her to get baptized. Not exactly how I would think she’d get an answer, but we’ll take it. She is wonderful and we are hoping she can get her stuff worked out soon.
• A lady came up to us while we were doing email last week and asked us if we were Mormons and if we could teach her. That was pretty great. She is just barely out of our area though, so we had to pass her to the elders. We love people coming up to us, ready to be taught and baptized.
• We got a visa elder and had an emergency transfer this week so our district just got some unexpected but very much needed new blood. So, we are really excited. I now have 2 of my MTC brothers in my district. We are great. Garden Grove is coming back!
• In a lesson with E and her husband, Hermana R (who has been reading too much of the Old Testament lately) told them that the Bible says they can kill their rebellious son (the convict). We love preaching the gospel. It’s not always the right stuff, but we love preaching it.
• At the end of that lesson, the husband grabbed my stomach and said, “Tu pancita!” which is being interpreted, “Your little belly!” The other day, E grabbed my arms and said “Gordita!” I’m not sure what messages these people are trying to send to us, but maybe I need to reevaluate my diet of frozen yogurt (we went 4 times this week) and flour tortillas.
• One time getting frozen yogurt, a guy started talking to me and said, “I am really boring when it comes to choosing frozen yogurt. I like to save all the excitement for the way I live my life.” He went on to invite me to play tennis with him, asked if I had a Facebook he could add me with, and said we should meet for a frozen yogurt date sometime. Apparently I need to work a little harder on frumpifying my sister missionary image. Or just need to eat more gorda-ifying foods.
• C, who we usually teach in English because of her children, asked me if I thought Spanish was too good for me because I don’t speak it much around her. I think she meant to say I think I am too good for Spanish. But really, Spanish is too good for me. I’ll never live up to it.
• We went to Crystal Cathedral last P-Day. That was an adventure if I ever had one. We got a ton of free postcards though. Also, some 4 year old kid was standing next to a pond that had a statue of Jesus walking on the water and he squatted down and said, “Come to Papa!!” It was about the funniest thing I have ever seen.
• The ward music director is incredibly scary. The other day, she wanted us to play a song for Relief Society, one that had 4 flats and is only in Spanish, so neither of us knows it. She didn’t really ask us to, just told us in passing before church started. So, in RS, we decided to sneak out to take the dinner calendar to Primary right as she got up to lead the practice hymn. Unfortunately, we were just a bit too late and we were literally running out the door as she got up. She yelled at us to stop and we were caught in the act of running away from her. The whole RS started to laugh. Afterwards, they all told us to never try to run away from her. It would never work. She also gave us a piece of her mind after church too. It was mostly funny because we couldn’t even hide that we were trying to run away. Spanish wards are super low key though, and all was forgiven.
• We subbed for the Vietnamese elders and taught their English class this week. Best. Day. Ever. I think everyone should have the opportunity to teach Vietnamese people English. The elders have permission to split up for class so I was teaching alone and it was weird not being with Sister R. We also got one of the elders’ investigators to come. He has been learning Vietnamese by talking to the people at the gas station near his house. He came and practiced with him and they loved it. Now we just need to get him baptized. He is a Mexican Jew with a Mormon family and he speaks Vietnamese. These are the people we spend our time with.
• It seems like every house we went to this week had a pooping dog. Not an enjoyable theme. One got it on my bag. Extra not fun (don’t worry: we did an emergency load of laundry that day).
• I fell asleep in a lesson this week. That’s just sad. I also might have fallen asleep at church. How are missionaries supposed to stay conscious all the time? It’s hard.
• Did you see that Book of Mormon exhibit in SLC in the Ensign last month? We are thinking of recreating that for a ward activity. If anyone that lives near there wants to go and write me about it, that would be great. We need more information and ideas!
• There is a member who calls us different slang words all the time. The word of the week this week was “Chipilona.” That means a spoiled little Daddy’s girl. Mostly, he just calls Sister R that. But, then he adopted her because he felt bad that the C’s adopted me, but not her.
• We started a Book of Lists this week that we write in the car. It is the best idea ever. And, it is starting to turn into prophesy because we made our dream district and low and behold, emergency transfers came and brought with it several of the people on our list.
• The choir director asked us to help her with choir. Spanish ward choirs are an interesting phenomenon. She also asked me if I would do a soprano solo for one of the songs. Heaven help us all.
• A few cultural notes on Garden Grove/California:
Garden Grove probably makes a large portion of its money from donut stores. Santa Ana is all automotive shops. I like serving in the Donut shop part of the ward better.
• Drivers here think that there is a law that you have to keep your blinker on for at least 10 minutes after changing lanes.

Okay, was that a sufficiently long email? Sorry it wasn’t entertainingly organized. I just wanted you to see how ridiculous my life is here. I love it. I love this mission stuff.

I want you to all know that I know that this church is true. It was restored by a loving Heavenly Father through His chosen prophet, Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is true and through reading it, we can come closer to our Savior Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. We have a prophet on the earth today who leads and guides us through revelation from God. I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve and help others come unto Christ. I hope that the lightness of my emails doesn’t detract from the importance of this work or how highly I regard it. The opportunity to serve my God through a mission is one of the best blessings in my life. I love you all!

Con amor,

Hermana Poulson!

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