April 9, 2012
Ah, so much to write this week! I hope I have enough time to fit it all in.
Let’s go ahead and start with the juiciest part: I met Elder Bednar this week! His wife is Sister Bowen’s cousin so they got him to come. I want cool connections like that. So, we had a mission conference and I was front and center. He requested to shake all of our hands. It was like an assembly line/greeting line at a wedding. A really fast one. So, we had a 3 hour conference and it was mostly question and answer. There’s officially an apostle that I am more afraid of than Holland. It was good, just, I scare easily. I think if you meet any apostle in person, you get intimidated (at least I do). But also (don’t judge me) I always thought Bednar was a little bit hard to handle, that he always hit you with religious academia/dense topics, but he was actually pretty light and funny. It was really neat to spend some time with him in a semi-intimate setting (as in, not in conference in front of thousands) and see his personality.
He told us not to write home about all the things that he said that would get put on our mothers’ email groups (eh hem) and blogs, etc., and start Mormon myths that would be spread and misinterpreted for the rest of eternity. Maybe I wasn’t even supposed to say that he said that. Ah, well. It was really great, though. It was a unique opportunity to spend so much time with an apostle of the Lord and hear him answer the questions that the missionaries had. I actually asked one question (ugh, I did not want to, but it was like in testimony meeting when the Spirit is going to drag you to the pulpit, whether you like it or not) so, that was awesome/terrifying. Don’t worry family– I will come home as fearful and afraid of people as I left. The same scared Jesslyn. Oh, that sounds weird. Hermana Poulson.
Well, the rest of the week sounds kind of less exciting compared to that. I went on exchanges in Orange and was in a trio. That was great because we could teach lessons to men without another woman. That makes life so much easier. The weather was (/has been) beautiful the last week or so and I am loving it. We spent the whole day tracting, which I have learned to actually really like, now that I am not (as) scared of Spanish.
Easter was great. We thought it was Fast Sunday, but apparently it wasn’t. We ate Mexican hot dogs for dinner, which are hot dogs wrapped in bacon and topped with fried jalapenos. You eat something new every day.
The ward Easter party was on Saturday and that was awesome. It was so much fun. I love Garden Grove Diez with my whole soul. I never know it was possible to love people or a ward this much. I want to serve an Ammon mission in Garden Grove and stay here, “yea, even all the days of my life”. We had a few investigators and less-actives come to the party. Woot woot!
We found a less-active member this week. We met him on the street and got a return appointment, thinking he was an investigator. In the appointment, we brought up baptism and he said he’d already done that. I thought he meant a Catholic baptism, which everyone has had. But then he brought out some pictures of his baptism and the missionaries who taught him in Mexico. He hadn’t been to church in 12 or so years, so it was a milagro that we found him. Divine intervention. He is super great and nice. He fed us one of the 3 dinners we ate on Saturday night. Great way to start off a fast.
We have a few great women that we are starting to work with more, now. The first is E, mother of 3 “energetic” little boys. She is really nice and is sincerely interested. I really like her. We have also been teaching the godmother of her children, P, who is living with them while her husband is in prison. She is really sweet and likes to listen to us, but I’m not sure how interested she is.
The next is O, mother of 4 sons aging from 1 to 18. Her husband left her for another woman when she was pregnant with her youngest. She can barely walk because of some injuries that resulted from her working in hard labor from a young age.
The last are 3 member girls, ages 16, 13, and 9. They are living here in America with their dad because they are citizens while the rest of their family lives in Mexico. When the oldest is 21, she can sponsor the rest of her family to come here. They have a lot of responsibilities and worries for being so young. We are trying to get the ward more involved so they can get a little bit more support. Their dad is not a member and is not really supportive of their church attendance, and is working almost constantly, so they rarely see him. They just barely found this ward when they saw one of their friends working on Personal Progress. They hadn’t known where a church was or how to get there, etc., since they moved here and were really missing it. More milagros. The Lord will put people where they need to be, when they need to be there.
Remember E that we’ve been teaching for awhile? She has disappeared from off the face of the earth. That’s about all I can say without crying.
J is getting back from Guatemala this week, and we magically got a few new English class students this week. Things are picking up here! Transfers are in a week and I am praying to stay here. There’s a good chance I will, but you never know.
Sorry this letter is so long. Love you all.