Monday, May 13, 2013

Week #11 - Feliz dia de Madre!

Hola ya'll!! :) 

Another week in TN - though it seriously has flown by. Hna Smith and I laugh about how quickly/slowly this week has gone, and how freakishly weird it has been. We've pretty much been dancing back and forth between Winchester and Manchester, and things are nuts! I can never really remember how much I've updated on the whole Winchester business, so I'll recap - did Dogwood festival, got hundreds of referrals, was trying to figure out how on earth we're going to contact them all before they "go stale", asked President McKee, and was told to make Winchester a priority over Manchester. Soooo, we've been in contact with Chris Moore/Basurto fam, but have been spending all our other time up at Winchester knocking on referrals! It's been awesome! 

Actually, something that is quite the neat-o deal-io about Winchester - often times, when we got to try and contact someone that we have a referral for, they won't be home. So, we'll improvise and talk to their neighbor who's sitting on their porch (everyone chills on their porch in the South), so we'll end up talking to them and getting another referral! It's a blessing/super overwhelming - even as we contact one, we got 2 more from their neighbors! What a wonderful problem to have :) There are already 5 people who have committed to baptism on the first visit from the missionaries after Dogwood - it's amazing to see the hand of the Lord!!  

On the note of baptisms, Chris Cassidy (or Moore, as I may have called him before) is getting baptized this Saturday! It's a little hard - it's almost as if I want/expect him to understand everything perfectly before getting baptized, because I want him to stay strong in the church and really understand. Even as I start worrying about that though, I'm reminded of something my MTC teacher told me - "Do you remember when you got baptized? When you were 8, did you really understand everything about the gospel and know exactly what you were doing?" I don't know about others, but I certainly didn't :) That's slightly comforting as we're trying to prepare him as best we can for this weekend, though we try to help him as much as we can. In the end, we have to have faith in him, faith in the Lord, and the ability to recognize his own faith - he has SUCH a desire to get baptized, and started fist pumpin' when we reminded him that his baptism was less than a week away :)

On that note, it really is amazing to see how quickly you can come to love these people - I've known Chris for almost a month and a half now, and love him dearly already. I think about him and his family constantly, pray about what we can do to help them, and plead to the Lord on behalf of him and his family that they may have the faith to endure trials. Literally, everything I do on a mission centers around people that I met about 5 weeks ago - it's strange when you think of it that way, and yet feels to be the most natural and necessary thing. Especially when it comes to our little Hispanic families - those kids are so loved by Hna Smith and I, it's almost creepy :) (Not that you can guess that, based on the 5 pictures I send home each week of just those kiddos!)  

I love these people!
On that note, I just remembered - when we were at their house last week, I showed them a picture of my family. After marveling over how blonde we all were, little Adela asked who my Mom was, and all the kids tried to guess - they all guessed Eden, ha! I wasn't entirely sure how to respond to that, but it was hard to respond to anything anyway since I was giggling so hard :)  

Overall, it's been a wonderful, crazy week! Sorry I can't really include more specific details, but it's honestly because I can hardly remember what I did yesterday, let alone 7 days ago - this Winchester madness is killing memory cells, me thinks. And those were pretty scary to start out with anyway! :

HMA SMITH GOT POOPED ON BY A BIRD! Ha, it was so funny :) We were wandering down Coffee street, when some bird on a telephone wire let one go, and it dropped right between her two fingers. We got quite a laugh out of that one :) When we told our little Hispanic children, they acted like she had contracted the plague.

I love you all!! Happy late mothers day - especially to all those amazing women I have known in my life! I was thinking about it last Sunday, and trying to figure out how to express my gratitude for my Mom, Sisters, Aunts, Grandmothers, and Friends who have been such wonderful influences in my life. I had the thought come to me, and it almost made me laugh in the middle of Sacrament meeting, but it's true! Perhaps the best way I can put that into words is through this wish: I wish that I could take you everywhere with me in my mission, because I know that if I approached you with my precious investigators, you would take care of them. You would put your arm around them, even though they smell like strange mixtures of cigarette smoke and squeezy cheese - you would welcome them to the ward. For those who have served missions, they understand what that means - to love and have such confidence in how wonderful of a person you are, that we would trust you with those we love, and understand that others might have a hard time recognizing their worth. I was thinking this especially as I sat in the back pew with Sarah Moore and her son Chris, practically pulling teeth to get anyone in the ward to talk to them. How grateful I am for those woman who have provided examples of charity and love through the years - I will be grateful for that, and still strive to meet your example! :)  

Love you all! 

Hna Lake

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