Well...it's been an interesting week. Where to start?
The highlight of our week was spent in the capacitaciones this week. (Note from the editor: I have no idea what capacitaciones means.) Hermana Castellanos and I learned so much from President Carter, from the post-pastores (missionaries who extended their mission and are on special assignment for a few weeks) and the assistants, as well as each of the missionary companionships we worked with. It was such a wonderful opportunity to be a part of.
As you know, all of the missionaries had a special training this week in Ramos. As HLE (Sister Training Leaders) it was our job to help train. Our assigned day was Thursday. We woke up at 4:15 and President Carter was nice enough to let us take a Remis (kind of taxi) into Ramos so that we didn't have to travel so early in the morning with public transportation. We arrived in Ramos at 7:00 and at 8:00 our first group of missionaries arrived. Throughout the day we had four groups of missionaries for two hours. The missionaries rotated through different stations for 1/2 hour each. We had a station in which we taught 16 different companionships through the day. (Hopefully that explanation makes sense).
One of the great lessons I learned was in the humility of the missionaries we worked with. We saw post-pastores who were completely willing to learn and improve, even though they don't have much time left in the mission, and even though we probably know nothing compared to them, they asked after each practice how they could improve. Unfortunately, we also saw missionaries who were closed off to advice and really didn't seem eager to learn and improve. One of the greatest goals of my mission is to develop the kind of humility that I witnessed with some missionaries and really understand how I can learn from everyone.
I also loved the opportunity to learn about teaching simply, knowing the doctrine, using inspired questions, listening to the investigator, my companion and the spirit, giving a strong commitment etc. I received so much inspiration in playing the investigator to really know how they might feel and what teaching methods really bring the power of the spirit. Practicing over and over again with the missionaries for two days was an invaluable learning experience for me.
The day before we had learned that one of our favorite families (Familia Magnu) was going to be sealed on Friday. Hermano Sebastian was baptized a year ago and now they can all be sealed. Here's the catch. Hermana Lorena (his wife) thought that they were going to the temple just for his endowment but he had secretly planned to have them sealed as a family directly afterwards. (Awww....)
Anyway, they invited us but we aren't allowed to go unless it is a convert of ours. The missionary who baptized Hermana Sebastian is still here, however, and she is allowed to go. On Thursday we got a hold of her and told her about the sealing, but unfortunately she is an HLE as well and she was supposed to be in the training on Friday. She was torn as to what to do. Hermana Castellanos and I volunteered to return to Ramos on Friday and do the training for her so she could attend the sealing.
Hermana Carter thought this was a good idea but we decided it wasn't worth the time to travel back to Lujan. We didn't have a place to stay so Hermana Carter offered for us to stay with her and the President in the mission home! So we went to dinner just the two of us with President and Hermana Carter and then stayed in their daughter's room for the night. We wore the same clothes and the same makeup and didn't brush our teeth for two days but it was totally worth it because we got to talk with President Carter and be on the inside scoop of everything and participate in the training once again. It was an awesome experience!
Because we were in the office for more time we also got to participate in a special meeting with the assistants, Hermana Carter, and some post-pastores where we discussed all the missionaries and how they did in the training and who needs to come back again etc. It was super interesting and I learned a lot.
Hermana Castellanos and I immediately began putting into practice the things we learned in our lessons on Saturday. Although we still need to improve we both noted a difference in our lessons. As we tried to discern the need of a new investigator we were able to push past the surface and really find what she needed. We were able to set a baptismal date with her after teaching the restoration. The next day when she didn't follow through with her commitment we practiced showing our devastation and then simply taught the Sabbath day in an organized manner using the lesson points taught to us by President Carter. I know we will continue to see more success as we practice these techniques.
Our great miracle this week was with an investigator Veronica. I taught her a few times with Hermana Suarez in my first few weeks here in Lujan but we didn't continue to teach her. About 2 weeks ago she stopped Hermana Castellanos and I in the street and asked when we were going to come back and teach her. At that time she was juntado (living with her boyfriend) and we taught her familias eternas and the law of chastity. We couldn't get a hold of her for a few days but finally found her with a member family. She decided that she doesn't want to marry the man she was living with and would rather eventually marry the father of her children who is a member. She is now living alone and has committed to keep the law of chastity. She immediately asked for a baptismal date and right now has a date for the 15th of this month and is progressing wonderfully! She is so excited to change her life and be an example for her children. She read all of first Nephi and is eating up every lesson. I am so excited to help her make the changes in her life to enjoy the blessings of the gospel, especially for her children.
We are still working to get our investigators to church every Sunday and improve our success. I know with hard work and faith we can have progressing investigators which will translate into baptisms and lives changed.
Is Shaylee gone? How is everyone doing? How is Koda? I'm alright about Shaylee being gone. I was busy during the week and didn't have much time to think about it but last night and today as I have had more time to think it's been a little more difficult. Thank you for the pictures. Yesterday a little boy asked me if I have dogs. I told him I have one. He asked me why I don't have two and that was kind of sad. Luckily I get to focus on other things though and am not home to feel the void.
In food news: On Tuesday we discovered a Snickers wrapper on the ground and have been in search of where to find one ever since. Nobody knows what they are! Eventually we found some friends of our investigator who gave us directions to a kiosco that sells them! We each bought one this morning, even though they cost a ton, and are going to enjoy today.
We also ordered ice cream this week! Hooray! I miss desserts and I have been enjoying a little helado (ice cream).
Also, I don't know if I've told you about a tradition in the mission called Oreo night. Each Thursday night we eat Oreos and talk and it's super fun. I didn't do it with Hermana Suarez but Hermana Castellanos and I do it each week (sometimes multiple times a week). Well, in reading Nicole's last letter I learned she had Oreo night as well on Thursday! YAY! You need to try putting the Oreo in milk and letting it soak for a minute and then eat it with a spoon. Mmmmm....
I think that's about it for this week. It's been a little crazy and rainy. I LOVE YOU TTTTTTTTTTTTHHHHHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIISSSSSSS much!
Have a wonderful week!
Love your favorite wet missionary,