Monday, October 12, 2009

Buenos Dias!

Buenos dias! Oh man, my first transfers are already this week! But they haven't sent out the transfer fax yet so...yeah, I don't know. I think it's pretty safe to assume that I'll still be in Paterson, it's Hermana Bushman we aren't quite sure about. Oh well, I guess you will find out next week. But anyway, we were talking in zone meeting last week about avoiding the "6th week slump" of transfers and just pushing through as if you're both staying for the next one so we did/are. And we had an awesome week! Lots of new investigators and the highest number of member presents Hermana Bushman said she's ever had in her mission! Woohoo! Oh, and we started a spotlight thing in Relief Society, which I am in charge of, and let me just say it is wild. The ladies just crack up when I'm up there because I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm just trying to get a whole bunch of little old Latin ladies excited about winning a candy bar. Haha, yeah, I'll let you picture that as you wish. :)

Maria Del Valle completely rocks my world. She has succeeded in reactivating her husband (who hasn't gone to church since he was probably 9 or 10 and hasn't ever sat in on a missionary lesson for the last 6 years with Maria). We did an FHE with them this last Monday night and it was the first time he joined us and it was amazing. Then they had us back over a couple days later and he has just completely opened up! I love it! Our goal here is to complete these part-member families and Maria's example to Danny made all the difference with that. They are so cool! You can just see the light of the gospel shining through their faces now and I love it. It is amazing what this gospel can do for people.

Saturday night was the long-anticipated "Noche de las Razas," where all the members in the 3 branches here got together and had this massive activity celebrating the different countries everybody is from. They were so hardcore in preparing for it. We could not get a single woman to come out with us on visits Saturday because they were all like, "Oh sorry hermanitas, we are cooking for the activity tonight!" And when we went by their houses, sure enough they had basically started the party early with all the Columbians and Ecuadorians and Dominicans cooking and practicing dances and songs to share. It was amazing. The activity had more food than you have ever seen in your life! Then of course every time I walked past the Columbian table, Selena's mom was like, "Hermanita, Hermanita, you need to eat more food! Try some of my rice!" and I would have another heaping plate of food thrown in front of me. But it was good so whatever. :) I think the Mexican table was my favorite though, with the tacos, taquitos, and tamales and horchata. Oh, and the American table had little pb&j sandwiches. Haha, it was just so fun. They were all so proud of their culture and so accepting of the others as well. I wish I had had time to make some roast beef and yorkshire pudding or something.

So this week I have been reading more in the Book of Mormon to complete it by Christmas and I am in the beginning of Alma reading about Alma and Amulek and all that they did to support each other as companions. It is an amazing story. I also love the story of Ammon, which I read this morning. One of my MTC comps compared me to being a type of missionary like Ammon...a little more laidback and just serving people by example until they start asking questions. But as I read this morning, I realized just how much I am not like Ammon but how much I really want to be like him. He was so selfless and giving in his service and had such faith that the Lord would deliver him if he just showed his love to the people. I love that.

Oh, and I also noticed a verse in Alma 1 (towards the end of the chapter) where it talks about Nehor dying the "ignominious death." If anyone would like to give me their insight on that, it would be greatly appreciated. Haha :)

Anyway, that's about it for today. Prep-days are wild. We went and played dodgeball with the elders this morning for exercise and might be playing water balloon volleyball with them this afternoon but it's a little cold so...we'll see about that one. Ok, just know that I am safe and doing well. The Lord is looking out for me and I can see that every day. He knows me and is aware of what I need. Thanks for your love and prayers. I can definitely feel the strength from them. I miss you tons but I love you more!

Hermana Jackson

And here are some pics: 740 - Columbians (basically half our branch), 741 - Dominicans, and 752- some Peruvian kids doing a traditional dance

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