Monday, January 26, 2015

26 Jan 2015 e-mail from Mount Pleasant, Iowa

I have been adjusting really fast to the transfer to Mount Pleasant.  Because I served close by in Burlington for 6 months, I knew names of people in Mount Pleasant being taught and members names and stories through the other missionaries which makes it a lot easier to connect with people.  Members in Mount Pleasant will also start talking about members, active and less active, down in Burlington that I worked with or tried to help.  Sparks good conversations and I really have a connection with people here even though I can't speak Spanish. 

There are only 6 people or so in the Branch that speak Spanish.  One of them walks past me multiple times during church just to say, "Tejas!" because it's the only word that they know about me.  It cracks me up every time.  I have been trying to learn some Spanish words and phrases from my companion. 

Really surprised about some information that I learned about from Hermana Loureiro soon after I got here.  There was a less active family out in the country between Burlington and Mount Pleasant that me and Sister Woodbury were trying to teach last year.  All their children were baptized (also boys receiving the priesthood) in November of last year.  I had no idea that had happened.  It was all because me and Sister Woodbury made contact with them and helped them transfer their records over to Mount Pleasant to start working with the missionaries over there because the church building was closer to their house.  Makes you feel like a successful tool in the Lord's hands when people end up being baptized, after the fact, even by the little things you did.  That blew my mind.

On Saturday we drove to Nauvoo for our Zone Training Meeting.  last year the Nauvoo zone was three times the size it is now.  Lots of missionary areas had been closed because too many missionaries were going home and not enough coming out.  The wave is going down.  The meeting was good, but we had to leave early to get back to Mount Pleasant to go to a Branch "International dinner" activity for free dinner.  That was a really busy, stressful day at the end of which I remembered that I had a relief society lesson to teach solo the next morning.  Hermana Loureiro cannot help with teaching lessons in church if there is someone there that needs her to translate it into Spanish.  Good thing I enjoy teaching and I am half decent at it.

We found a new investigator yesterday after church.  He use to have a girlfriend who was learning from the missionaries and then she moved to Utah.  He was involved at her baptism and had learned quite a bit of doctrine.  He even had read more than half of the Book of Mormon.  He is really smart and very delicate and sweet and receptive to the Spirit more than anyone I have ever seen lately on my mission.  He is also very Christ-like and knows how to turn the other cheek and love people no matter what.
His life and story was definitely an inspiring one.  He accepted an invitation to be baptized and we are both excited to be able to teach him more and see how the Spirit and the Restored Gospel will help him to grow into his best self.

Last week we had dinner at the Argueta's house and I received my "baptism by frijoles" (beans).  This week we went back there again after church and had my "sacramental frijoles."  You can only be baptized once. I really love the members here and they are loving, fun and kind.  It is a great branch to serve in and I am grateful that I am here.  It's a privilege.  

Sister Chelsie Robertson

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