Monday, March 31, 2014

Week #57 Lamanite Territory!

Hey gang!!  

Another week and another slew of miracles and adventures. I feel like time will not do me justice to try and explain, haha :) however, I`ll do the best I can! 

We have had incredible progress here in our area. When we arrived as a whitewash, we were starting from 0, so our first week was a focus of finding investigators to teach! The Lord blessed our efforts incredibly, and between all the contacting and referrals from members, we are now in a the bind of having so many people to teach, that we are running around like crazy trying to fit it all in! I love being so busy in doing good :) this weeks focus was challenging to baptism - yet again, another huge week of miracles, and there were many who accepted the invitation to change their lives through covenants of the Lord. The challenge now will be to keep everyone moving forward, but that is a challenge that I like :)

Couple funny moments of the week:

1) There is a part of our area that is pretty much slums, but we would have never had anything happen, so don't worry :) However, Hna Perez and I pinned a nickname on that side of the railroad tracks - the Lamanite territory :) Every time we cross the railroad tracks, we give each other a dramatic look and say `entering Lamanite territory `. The really funny part is that we sometimes slip and refer to this area as such when we are with a member, and they just give us weird looks, haha :)

Okay, this last week, I started telling a few good stories about our new friend Daniel and never was able to do them justice! So, I'm going to slip in a few good ones right now. To explain, Daniel. Like I explained last week, The mom is a member, but all of her children are not. the only child still living at home is called Daniel, and he is a total RIOT. its a little sad, because he was so heavily involved with drugs - a huge, huge problem here - when he was younger, that it left him mentally handicapped. Although that is the sad part, it makes for hilarious lessons. Lets have a few highlights, shall we?  

2) In our first lesson, Hna Perez asked Daniel if he would read a scripture in the Book of Mormon. He just looked at her and said `no, I cant read`. His mom just looked at him and said `what? Yes you can - and after much persuasion, Hna Perez finally just told him to do the best her could. he sighed heavily, picked up the Book of Mormon and proceeded to read the verse perfectly, haha :)  The next lesson, when we asked him if he was reading in the Book of Mormon, he proudly told us `yes, because I know how to read you know `.

3) In one moment in the lesson, I was teaching something when Daniel interrupted me and said `what? I'm sorry, but I don't understand you. why are you speaking English?` thinking it was my accent, I just laughed and said `okay, maybe Hna Perez can take it from here`. Hna Perez picked up where I had left off, and started teaching. however a few seconds later, Daniel once again said `what? I dont undersatnd English. Why are you speaking to me in English There were a few moments of paused confusion and Hna Perez said `Daniel... I am speaking in Spanish..` He just looked surprised and said `really? Wow, you should meet my friend. He always speaks to me in Spanish too! ` Haha :) After we left the lesson, we busted up laughing and Hna Perez said `look at the gift of tongues! I could speak English all along and never knew!` 

4) When we arrived at their house the other to teach them, we clapped in front of the gate, and Daniel came out decked out in ski gear. He was sporting ski pants, a huge coat, winter hat, and complete with clear construction goggles. We were a little bewildered at first, but Hna Perez covered it up by complimenting him on his hat. Later on, she started giggling, and tried to cover it up by complimenting him on the hat again when he looked at her. When she mentioned the hat the second time, he seized the hat protectively and said `fa, me quiere robar el gorrito!` thinking she was trying to steal the hat.  

Stink. Basically, a mission is a huge adventure, haha :) 

Really, I feel so blessed! I love where I am, and especially love what I am doing! (horrible typos and all - sorry about that, haha :) This last week, I was reading in Alma, and came across this: 

 35 Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all apowerball wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a cmercifulBeing, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.

If there was ever a time, ever a people who have reason to rejoice, it is us, and us alone! The endowed and empowered latter day saints of the church of God. How much i LOVE this gospel, and how strongly I know that there is no other foundation given through which was can receive peace than through these eternal truths. Read the Book of Mormon - every day! It is the protection that God has given to us as Satan has stepped up his attacks in these latter days. Just as the adversary ups his attacks, so the Lord ups our defenses, and that is why we, and only we in all the history of this world, have the Book of Mormon.  

I love you all! Always remember to pray to depend upon our father in Heaven, and know that I love you all!  

Love, Hna Lake :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Week #54 - An Egg-cellent Birthday!!!

Hey family/friends/acquaintances!!  

The best part of that greeting? The fact that I took a good minute to try and figure out how to do these slashes on the Argentine, keyboard, haha :) 

Okay, first off, y´all are da besht!! Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! It seriously made my day to open my email and see all the love from the States. Its been a good birthday :) Want to hear the run down of how my day has been so far? 

To start off, I have to include the fact that yesterday, Hna Ruiz, one of the Hnas from Emelia finished her mission and headed to the mission home to prepare to fly back to Colombia today. Her companion - Hna Palma, aka Jim Carey, Mexican female style - has been in a trio with Hna Conodori and me for the past few days (no really. Not kidding about the Jim Carey remark - I'm fairly sure he is the only other human on this planet with ´play dough genetics´ or better said, the ability to literally make faces that should be otherwise physically impossible. It's a talent. At times, a slightly scary talent; but a talent all the same. I´ll send a picture someday :)  

Since the hermanas de Emelia slept in our apartment last night, we had a squished night with a whole lot of elbowing and rolling over on each other since we were bunking 4 in 2 mattresses, haha :) The best part? One mattress is a whole lot lower than the other, so we all ended up falling over on the lower mattress since the bed sloped that way, haha :) It was an interesting night. I love being a missionary, sore necks and all :) 
 
So, with that little background, you´ll understand why we have been running on basically 8 hours of sleep for the last two days combined. This morning when I woke up and after exercising, I got to work and made some yummy french toast! I have made this a few times, and Hna Condoir loves, but LOVES French toast. It was more for that reason that I made it, but hey, seeing the happy face of someone who likes my cooking is enough of a birthday breakfast for me :) We then got ready for the day, and did personal/companionship studies.  I peacefully finished my language study, and knelt to pray before we could leave. As I finished my prayer and started to get up, I felt a huge blow on the back of my head. It hurt a little, but mostly startled me. I was trying to figure out what was going on when I felt something wet and cold dripping on my back. I looked down, and my name tag was covered in something suspiciously yellow and wet.  

Yep. My companion had smashed a raw egg on my head.  


Egg Head
 Sigh. 

An Egg-cellent Birthday!!!

She then proceeded to pour flour all over me while I restrained my immediate urge to kick her in the shins, haha :) I´ll admit - I was a little ticked :) However, I took a deep breath, and just silently handed her my camera to take a picture, reflecting upon the time that my Mom walked to her bathroom to find my cousins in her bathtub, playing in the bubbles made from her brand new, expensive shampoo that they had just dumped out into the water. She took a deep breath, smiled, and just said - Take a picture, it´ll be funny later :)  And what do you know ... she was right! I had her take a picture, and looking back, it´s a whole lot funnier now than it was at the moment, haha :) I then proceeded to shower and get all ready for the day - again. As I was in the shower, the zone leaders called to tell Hna Condori that I had been transferred.  

Boo.  

After 6 months here in San Nicolas Centro, I am being transferred to a new area in Rosario - I think its called Alberdi? I'm not entirely sure because I was washing raw egg out of my hair when they called, but I think that's right. And my new companion is Hna Perez - I have actually met her before. She is  tall - we have the same height - Spaniard who talks with a rocking accent. So.. I'm  pretty excited for that one. 

I´ll admit, today has been all sorts of weird feelings. I am really not looking forward to leaving San Nicolas. I have been here for so long, and worked so hard, that  I have grown to love this area in a way that only selfless service can accomplish. I feel like this place is my home. I love these members so much, and it will be tough to leave now and miss the baptisms of Jose Luis, Antonio and Walter, all of whom have baptism dates in the next month. Phooey. However, I am moving forward with faith, and trusting that the Lord has another lesson for me to learn elsewhere. I really feel like I am leaving my area better than how I found it and that is perhaps the greatest feeling for me possible. It is incredible to see the power of the Lord, and how the pure, infinite power of the Atonement has the ability to literally change an entire city. I love my mission, and I love the people and members of San Nicolas so much.  Ah... and don't even get me started on leaving Hna Condori. We have been together for 4 months now and I will miss her a ton.  

Okay. I think this may have won the award for the longest email yet! Sorry!  

Know that I love you all, and although that is the case, I love where I am :) I love where I am, and I love who I am as Hna Lake :) 

Love, Love, Love, Hna Lake :)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week #53 Greetings from the sick one!

I never know exactly what to put as a header for my emails. ¨Hey family´get a little old, right? So, we´ll just opt for the awkward option and not put a header at all :) 

This week was pretty crazy. I got sick on Monday, and literally did nothing for the whole WEEK besides sleep, blow my nose, throw up, and cough all over my companion :) However, after a few days of the humility treatment, I was back to moving. The best part was? I had the sick Jenna-voice. You know, the one? Where her voice drops two octaves and no one actually believes it is her? Yep, that one :) Now that I think about it, Mom's nickname ´Jo´ makes a lot more sense now :) When I had to talk to one of the zone leaders, he cracked up as soon as I said, "hello". Glad to know someone got a good laugh out of my dying misery :) It was really hard - knowing that we were starting to see miracles here in Centro with investigators who are progressing and being too ill to work. It was a little tough, and a huge dependence of faith for me - as is so often the case with the missionary work - I fall into the trap of trying to do it all myself - of depending too much upon my own sacrifices and work - and not depending enough on my Lord. The Lord taught me a lot of that this last week, and I was trusting and praying the whole 6 days that He would help provide. I'm excited to see who was prepared for us when we finally got out and got to work this week :)  

Couple fun facts of the week: 

1) Did I mention I was sick? Si? Oh, okay then.

2) Here, I finally tried a prickly pear! You know, from the cactus? I had no idea what it was, until I had a flash of inspiration - aka, I remember the movie Jungle Book when Baloo the bear is singing about a prickly pear - and remembered that such a fruit exists. Best part? The name in Spanish is ´tuna´. That one made me giggle :)  

And, that's it. Sorry, I'm boring this week.  

I hope that everyone made it back safely from Carissa and Masons wedding! I am thrilled to hear that so many of the Pettits, Demars, and Stewarts were together - that would have been a party :)  

Love you all! have a great week, and take some advice from the sicky - depend upon the Lord :)  

Love, Hna Lake