La Virgen de Guadelupe‏

December 17, 2012

All of your letters this week made me smile a lot. I love my family.

Today marks the first day of my last transfer. I cannot even believe it. It will be a 7 week transfer because transfers got moved up a week for Christmas. Sister L got transferred to Anaheim 11 today, so Hna B and I are here alone. We were really sad to see her leave since she is awesome, but it will probably be nice having a twosome instead of a trio. Hna S goes home tomorrow. Transfers today were rough because I realized how limited my time is now.

I started off the week doing exchanges in Placentia. It was kind of nuts. We taught a 94 year old, almost blind woman. She was funny. Also, knocking in English is always interesting. We interrupted one guy playing the banjo in his front room. He listened to us for a moment, then came out of the house, closed to door, and stood about a foot and a half away from my face.

“Have you ever seen Jesus?”

“What?”

“Have you ever been in the physical presence of Jesus Christ?”

“Uh…no.”

“In church every week, we stand in the physical presence of Jesus Christ because the pastor is his representative here on earth. It’s exactly the same as being in the same room with Jesus. So, we don’t need Jesus, we don’t miss Jesus, because we see him every week.”

I didn’t really know what to say to that one, so he went inside, and started playing his banjo again.

The lady at the next door gave us a French history lesson, told us about how Betty White is her best friend, and then told us about her “second sight” and her enounters with the spirit world. She talked to us for 45 minutes, and we eventually just kind of had to start walking away because we couldn’t tactfully leave because she would not let us talk, but we had another appointment. It was a fun exchange. Going to English makes me have so much respect for English speaking missionaries and makes me really, really grateful to be serving in Spanish.

Wednesday, we went to some doctor’s appointments for Hna B. I don’t remember if I told you, but she really hurt her knee a few weeks ago playing soccer at a zone activity. We’re trying to figure out if she will need surgery and if it’s serious enough that she’ll have to go home for it, or if it can be done here. Poor girl. Hopefully we’ll find out this week.

Wednesday was also a great day because it was the birthday of La Virgen de Guadelupe. On Tuesday night, to start off the festivities, there was a parade down J’s street with a giant virgen statue at the front. Of course, I was on exchanges and missed it. All the fun stuff happens when I’m gone.

But, the next day, we were on the street again and a guy we’ve talked to several times invited us in for some tacos at their Virgen de Guadelupe party. At first, I told my companions we shouldn’t go (how would it look to have 3 Mormon missionaries at a Catholic  party?), but they really wanted to go. Then I thought, “I’m turning down an opportunity to go to La Virgen de Guadelupe’s birthday party?!” and so we went and had the best tacos I’ve had on my mission. They were seriously good. Everyone there were people we had talked to about 90 times so it was a little awkward (they were all trying to not make eye contact with us, lest we try to set up an appointment with them) but fun. We pretty much just got tacos and left.

Thursday we had a crazy lesson with J’s friend, J2. I can’t even write about it all here. But, it was really good and he really wants to learn from us because of all the changes he’s seen in J.

On Friday, we went with a member to teach her friends. The husband was pretty interested, but the wife is really metido en su iglesia and didn’t really want to listen to us, but we managed to set a return appointment. It’s so frustrating when a husband and wife have different levels of interest and committment.

Saturday we co-taught a lesson with the English elders that cover our area to pass a golden lady we found. She speaks Spanish, but she’s much more comfortable in English. I hate it when that happens. But it’s okay, as long as she’s meeting with some missionaries, no matter the language.

Yesterday we sang in church. The stake president asked us a couple of days ago to arrange a musical number with all the missionaries for Sunday. We sang “Silent Night” and it turned out pretty well. At night was the stake Christmas program. J brought another friend. That man knows so many people. And he shares the gospel with all of them. It’s awesome. I saw a bunch of people from my old wards and it was really sad, because that’s when it hit me that I only have a couple of weeks left.

But, I’m also glad I got to see them before I leave.

I love you a lot.

Jess

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