Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 35 - June 24, 2013


Ok I have no idea where the time is going?!  I can't believe it's the last week of June!  We've had a really great week.  We taught a ton of lessons this week!  When we counted up, we were a little shocked.  We had probably 12 more lessons then we average normally.  I guess the Lord really decided to bless us this week in the truck.  I hope he decides to do the same this week on bike week.

Thank you so much Daddy for letting me know how it will be over 100 every day!  Ahhh! I am a little worried that I might freeze this winter :)  People always used to ask me if Washington was really cold and I always used to say no, but now I might have to change my answer.  Washington just might be really cold.  I mean you know it's bad when it's 93 and you're thinking "Wow, this is nice!"  I was surprised to find how pleasant the apartment felt even though it was in the 80's.  Yep there might be something wrong with me after a summer down here.  I am still working on my tan, but I decided to send a picture to show you my progress.

Ok so last monday we had the best adventure ever!  We went to a huge dulceria and we were like kids at Christmas!  We were so excited by the rows of Mexican candy!

We bought a variety of deliciousness.  One of my personal favorites is chilibonchas.  You may recall way back when, on my first day at the mission, I had my very first one of these candies.  I couldn't finish it because it was too hot.  Well now I eat them like...candy!  They are so yummy.  If you ever are a little sleepy during personal study you just pop a chiliboncha in your mouth and it does wonders!  You are wide awake!  I think  mom might want to invest in some chilibonchas for seminary next year.  Any kids that just can't keep their eyes open, just pop one in and they will be good to go!

This past week we have been teaching the most wonderful family.  We have been over almost every day and are teaching them about the gospel.  They are so interested and really want to learn more.  We had a little scare because we found them a ride to church yesterday, but they called the ride and said they couldn't come.  We were a little bummed, but we were going to pass by later.  When we stopped by we thought we heard people inside, but no one answered and we thought they were hiding from us.  But then she called us last night at 9:20 and explained that her parents had an accident with their roof, so they had to go over and help them.  I think I was doing a little jig while talking to them on the phone because it meant that they weren't avoiding us!  We have another appointment with them tonight, so we were on cloud nine last night because they still want to learn about the gospel!

I loved the broadcast last night.  If you didn't get a chance to watch it I would highly recommend going online and watching it.  It was fun for us missionaries to be a part of the largest Zone conference ever!  We are all looking forward to the new technology and there are several rumors already floating around.  I guess we'll see what happens.  I am so grateful that we have a living prophet to guide us and we have apostles to give us direction.  I hope everyone has a great week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Klaus

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 34

Querida Familia!

Well first things first.  We survived two weeks in a row on bikes.  It was hot and hard, but we are still in one piece.  We were pretty exhausted by the end of the week, but luckily we received great news.  For whatever reason, they have decided to have us be a bike/truck area again!   Yay!  So this week we are basking in the air conditioned truck.  I feel like we had a little trial of our faith. :-) When we got into the truck this morning at around 10 it was already in the 90's!  Ahhh!  Soo hot!  So we have decided to rename El Paso, El Horno!  (The oven)  We think it is a much more appropriate name.  For example, this week we were walking in an apartment complex on Saturday and we saw some crayons that were left outside in the parking lot.  We accidentally stepped on one and it gushed out.  We were very entertained by this, probably more than we should have been, but as missionaries we are very easy to please.  Yep a little thing like melted crayons makes a 100+ degree weather enjoyable!  I don't know if crayons will do that in Washington, but if they will you should give it a try.

In other news, this week we are in "Monsoon" season in Texas...  I am not sure what they would do if they decided to move to Washington.  It is so funny that if it barely starts to sprinkle they run for cover.  People must think we are so odd because Hermana Mitchell and I both love to walk in the "rain" (cough, sprinkle).  It only lasts for about 5 minutes and then it's over.  I miss a good rainstorm.  But the one thing Texas does have are some pretty neat lightning storms.   One night it was like we were in this circle of clouds and there was lightning flashes all around us, but none over us.  So we were safe, but just got to enjoy the show!  Nature's fireworks!

One of my favorite things to happen this week was at dinner on Wednesday night.  One of our investigators, Maria, and her cousin Conchita took us to dinner.  Conchita has also just began to learn more about the church.  They took us to Golden Corral and bike week paid off big time!  Hehe we were super hungry and there was lots of yummy food.  Hermana Mitchell had never been to one before, so she had a mind-blown moment.  Well the funny thing happened when we were all eating our desserts.  The waitress came and put a cup of coffee in front of Maria.  She had been doing so well and had completely given up coffee.  My heart just sank, but we can't force anyone to do anything.  Our faces must have reflected our feelings because she looked at us and asked what's wrong.  Then she looked at the coffee and said oh no!  She said she just ordered it out of habit and then passed the cup to Conchita and said you can have it, but it will be your last!  Hermana Mitchell and I must have been grinning ear to ear.  They are about the sweetest two people on the planet.  Conchita owns the bakery, so she keeps us well stocked in all sweet things.  The took us to the bakery for dessert and now they bring us right into the back part of the bakery.  I feel like we are family!  They take good care of us.  We had a lesson later that night and our bikes were at Maria's house probably 6 -7 blocks up the hill.  They kept asking us what we wanted to do, but in the end they decided for us.  They were dropping us off at our appointment and then we were just going to walk back up and get the bikes, but as they were driving us they kept saying oh no this is much to far.. no no.  So in the end they made us promise to come out and wait for them and they would be back to drive us back to get our bikes.  We really do teach some of the most wonderful people.

We have had so many great experiences this week.  We had an investigator take a whole page of notes on the reading assignment we left.  Another investigator came to church for the first time.  She said she felt so peaceful and filled with joy.  We had someone ask us for a copy of the Book of Mormon.  When we gave a lesson on the first vision to a man while his wife was in the kitchen, when she came in to join us he asked us to repeat it, so she could hear it too!  We had a less active and her daughter cry when they watched the Prophet of the Restoration video.  We visited an investigator right after their family had a fight that left people in tears, and we were able to talk and make the little girls smile.  She said we were an answer to her prayer when we showed up.  Missionary work is filled with miracles both big and small.  It is amazing to see and be a part of this great work and to watch as people change their lives.  I have been so richly blessed and I am so grateful to serve my Heavenly Father.  I love each and everyone of you!  Tenga una super buena semana!

Con Amor,
Hermana Klaus

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Week 33

Hola Familia!

So this week has been an interesting one.  We were on bikes all week in the ridiculously hot weather.  On top of bike week I was a little sick at the beginning of the week and then, because I didn't want Hermana Mitchell to feel left out and since we spend every minute of every day together, it was only natural that she was sick too.  The only thing that kept us going was the bright ray of hope that we would have the truck in a week with the wonderful invention of AC.  We had our plans Saturday night to exchange the truck back on Sunday, but the Elders just wanted to wait for the transfer call to come to finalize the exchange time.  So we waited anxiously for the transfer call to come.  The district leader called and the normal pleasantries of salutation were conducted, but really we were both trying not to yell "Well what's going to happen?!" So then he delivered the news.  Well sisters I have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is we are staying together and we are staying in 3rd ward. (sighs of relief from us) The bad news..."you are going to a full bike area!"  (Long silence)  Us: "Are you serious?!"  It then took about 3 more minutes before we actually believed the district leader that yes indeed we did just get switched to a full bike area.  Yep no more truck sharing.  I now have a very strong testimony that the Lord answers prayers.  Back in my first area when I was a young, green missionary, I once prayed that I would get sent to a bike area.  Well that prayer has now answered in a big way and I think I need to think through my requests a little more carefully next time. :)  We are now gearing up for 6 weeks in the 100+ weather on our bikes.  Mom you should send me a thermometer that I can attach to my bike, so I can keep track as I slowly cook to perfection in the El Paso Oven. :)  Hopefully we will survive and we now are free to eat as many tacos, nieve and pan dulce as we want!  Yay! We are also pretty sure that we might be the toughest, tannest, best looking missionaries (helmet hair included) in the mission by the end of this transfer! Or we might be the stinkiest!  Hehe I guess we'll see what happens.

So with being on bikes I might need to find a bike shop and have them undo whatever Walmart did when they put the bike together.  This week my chain popped off while we were riding.  I didn't crash or anything, but we got really dirty with all the grease.  We looked at the houses and then picked a nice bright house to ask if we could wash our hands.  The lady that answered was really nice.  She didn't even hesitate to let us in and later she said it's because "Mormons" have a lot of social capital in her book.  She isn't interested in religion at all but she said the LDS people she has met are some of the nicest and happiest people she knows.  It made me really happy to think of those good member examples that touched her life and as a result blessed two sister missionaries.  It really does show how people are always watching and what we say and do really does and can make a difference.

What else happened this week.  Well because it's the end of the transfer we had inspections which means we have to do a deep clean on the apartment.  So we both were cleaning the tub and there was water that wasn't draining, so I thought bummer we have a hair plug.  So I got to work trying to dislodge the plug, so the tub would drain.  The whole time Hermana Mitchell is telling me that I am brave for trying to unplug it.  Then after 5 minutes of no success I get up to try and find something else to use when all of the sudden I hear mad laughing from the bathroom and Hermana Mitchell has just realized that she plugged the tub...hence the tub was not draining!  We had a good chuckle over that and we we managed to finish cleaning without further incident.

Even apart from the craziness of being sick we still had some really great lessons this week.  One of my favorite lessons was when we were teaching two women and a third one, who walked into the room after getting her glass of water, brought a chair over so she could sit down and listen to the plan of salvation.  The other really neat experience was one of our investigators told us how she had been praying and thinking about the plan of salvation and how she thinks it's true and that it really rings true to her.  It is amazing to see people find answers to their questions through the gospel and it always touches my heart when they describe the spirit that they are feeling.  I know that it is through the spirit that we can know the truth of all things.

I love this gospel so much!  Hopefully I'll still be around next week after our first 2 bike weeks in a row and can tell you more about the joys of being a missionary!

Con Amor,
Hermana Klaus

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Week 32 - with Picture

Buenos Dias Familia!

Ok yep, I can't believe it's June!  I feel like I just said I can't believe it's May and now it's Junio!  All of the kids down here in El Paso are going loco with it being the last week of school.  How is Kara holding up these last few days of school?  Yep it's officially super hot down here en El Paso.  We have been very spoiled these past two weeks because we have been in the truck...the nice, air-conditioned beautiful truck.  Somewhere in those two weeks El Paso decided to go all desert on us and jump into the 100's, so now we are out of bike shape and scared for triple digits, but what is the bright spot?  That would be we can eat ice cream again.  Yay!  For our first day on bikes we had a sort of storm yesterday.  We were riding our bikes and you could see this wall of dirt blowing north so we had to brace ourselves when the wind hit us.  It wasn't horrible, but it hurts when dust gets in your eyes.  We loved when it sprinkled.  I think they would call it rain, but coming from Washington, 5 minutes of slight water dropping just doesn't count as rain.  However, it was nice to smell "rain" again.

This week was really busy and full.  We also went on exchanges this week.  It felt a little odd being back in Rio Grande for the day.  I saw some of my old investigators and there were some pretty surprised faces as they saw me at their doorstop.  I really like exchanges because you can learn so much from watching how different missionaries work.  I learned some good things and it inspired me to work harder to be a better missionary.

It wouldn't be a complete week in the mission field if I didn't have some kind of adventure.  This week is the phone book adventure.  Several times during this transfer we have needed, or it would have been nice to have, a phone book.  Then this week we saw them being delivered to different houses.  It was driving me bonkers seeing so many phone books on doorsteps or hanging on fences knowing that hardly anyone uses phone books anymore - except poor missionaries who don't have smart phones or access to google!  So then we turned it into a game for scoping out which houses looked empty or the phone book had been out for a few days so obviously the person didn't care about it.  We started planning on how we could sneak around the killer watch dogs so we could take a peek at the yellow pages!  We actually did need the yellow pages and we saw one on a fence of a senior center that was chained shut - maybe for the day or longer....anyway we borrowed the yellow pages and then put it back but I am sure to passing cars two girls wearing skirts happily looking in a phone book was quite a sight to see.  Then oh little blessings that make you so happy... we came home one night and what was sitting on our doorstep? I am sure packaged with loving care into a little blue bag just for us was our very own phone book!  We did a little jig when we back into the apartment because we were so excited to have our own phone book!  It felt like Christmas had come early.   Yep it's the little things in life. :)

So I am really happy right now because yesterday we helped make the Sunday dinner and I learned how to make tacos!  I didn't really like Taco Bell that much before, but I don't think I can ever justify eating there again.  It comes nothing close to the deliciousness of the food that I get down here.  I really enjoyed frying the tacos and one of the sisters said I was a natural Taco fryer!  Yay!  The only thing was it made the kitchen super hot!  So maybe frying tacos will have to be a winter activity, but they are so good I think I will have to persevere through the heat.

We are teaching some really wonderful people right now.  We set a baptismal date with two girls this week for the end of June.  They are both super cute and they both want to be baptized.  The younger one who is only 11 talks about how she wants to know this is Christ's true church for herself and so she reads and prays about it.  It makes me so happy to see the wisdom of an 11 year old because some of the other people we talk to don't understand that the Lord has given them the way to know whether or not our message is true.  If they know the Lord can answer prayers and they are willing to read and to ask, then we know the Lord will bless them with that confirmation through the Holy Ghost.  The other experience that just filled me with joy was when our investigator Lupe  started testifying to her cousin about the restoration.  She is working on changing her work schedule so she can come to church and as soon as she can start coming to church she wants to be baptized.  It filled me with tingles to hear her testify about prophets and the restoration knowing that just 2 months ago she was being taught those same things for the very first time.  The gospel really does change lives.

In closing we also had a zone conference this past week.  It is the Miller's last Zone Conference so it was very bitter sweet.  It will be so hard to see them go, but I know that they are leaving this mission inspired.  They talked about the glad game of Polly Anna.  Now Sister Mitchell enjoys playing the glad game as well. For those who don't know, the glad game is that no matter the situation you can always find something to be glad about.  For example, we are riding our bikes in 100+ degree weather.  Glad Game: Well at least we don't have to worry about frost bite!  The world is a much better place when we focus on the good and find things to be glad and grateful for.  The other piece of advice that I loved from the Miller's was "Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape!"  What an excellent reminder that we can always choose to act or be acted upon.  I hope everyone chooses to be a little flexible and to look for the good things in life!  Have an excellent week!

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Klaus

The Taco Master!