Monday, May 18, 2009

Hi, my name is Hermana Berta

Hey!

Wow here we are again! Ok so first off: Mom, thank you SOOOO much for the package! Oh gosh, I felt like it was Christmas morning. You sent me SO many shirts, I couldn't believe it...you are WAY way way too nice and I love you so much. I love the shirts, the EARRINGS (cute!), the socks, ahh...they are are wonderful.

Anyways, this was a great week. We set our goals SUPER high and exceeded all of them...except all of the ones that have connections to the investigators coming to church. :( As usual, no one came to church which is super hard because we do absolutely everything that we can to get them to come: visit them before, call them, set up rides for ALL of them, etc. Yet when the moment of truth comes, all sorts of things happen. It's a wee-bit disappointing (ok, it's bit bit disappointing), but we're changing our game plan this week and next week will be different.

So random funny stories. Apparently my last name is really hard for people to say here. It just doesn't flow naturally for Spanish speakers. I say my name and then the people look at my name tag and say, "Oh, Hermana Berta." Haha, I laughed the first time that happened, but it's definitely happened A LOT of other times. So I just smile and say, "Si, Hermana Berta." Close enough...But we're teaching a guy who looks like Orlando Bloom. The resemblance is so much that it's a bit freaky, but it's all good.

So people have SO many dogs here. I would say that every house has at least 3 dogs. And lots of them are scary guard dogs. And dogs run all over the place in the streets. One time we were walking down a road and this big dog came up to the fence where we were by and started barking at us. Then a little Chihuahua came out and started barking at us. THEN, here's the most random part of all, a rooster came out following the dogs (and us) and started cock-a-doodle-dooing at us. It was the funniest thing I think I've ever seen! Haha. Sort of like in Babe when Ferdinand the Duck, thinks he's a rooster; except this was a rooster that thought it was a guard dog. (Oh and by the way, everyone here has chickens and roosters).

They had a big mother's day fiesta at the church of Friday, we went because we had some investigators who were supposed to come...but they didn't. But it was super fun because they had a 10 man mariachi band come and play. It was INTENSE and the lady who was the lead singer. Wow, did she have a set of pipes. There was a ridiculous amount of food (as usual): it started off with cheese and crackers, then vegetables, then all sorts of Mexican drinks (I'd say at least 8 different types), then these awesome beans, then carne and rice, homemade tortillas. We didn't even get to eat the carne, rice, and all the other stuff that followed (because there definitely was WAY more food after that), but we left after 45 minutes because our investigators didn't show.

So yeah, we are working super hard. And kids LOVE us. On no matter what street or neighborhood we're in, all the kids run up to us (usually wanting stickers). But one day we were walking on Prosperidad and there was this huge birthday party with probably a lot of the kids from the neighborhood. We started walking by and then Andy (one of the kids of a former investigator that we had dropped the week earlier) RAN out of the party up to us and gave us a HUGE hug! IT was SO cute because normally he was always in the other room doing stuff (he's 5) and we don't think he ever really knew who we are. But it was so cute that he did actually remember us. Then within 5 seconds of him coming up to us, about 12 (no joke) other kids ran up to us and started hugging us. AH, it was so cute. They were all kids that we knew: we either were teaching their family, taught their family, had contacted their family, etc. Kids are so cute. It's really sad because I think children are definitely more in tune to the Spirit and can sense that there's something different about us. But the parents...not so much. So it's really sad when we see all these kids and they love us so much, but their parents aren't progressing. But anyway, it's fun being a missionary in situations like these because you feel like a little celebrity. Haha.

Anyways, thank you so much for the awesome package and letters. You are WAY too nice. I'm trying to work my hardest and some days are really hard, but in those days that's when I need to turn totally to the Lord and plead for his help. Actually, I need to do that every day. Even when the times are good. But I love being a missionary, it's nothing like I imagined and it's stretching me so much. Change and growth is really uncomfortable. But faith motivates us to do something uncomfortable. Fear motivates us to go back to things that are comfortable. I've really learned that faith is so important in this work. It's frustrating because my faith isn't where I want it to be. But I need to be humble and trust in the Lord. At my interview with President Miller he told me an interesting story and then said, "I have a feeling that you are like that. You don't like getting help from anyone." Wow, I felt an electric jolt go through me. How could he know that? Because it's so true. I don't like going to others for help. I can do it my own. But I'm learning every single day that that's not true: I need my companion, I need the Spirit, I need the Lord. I want to do it alone, but I can't and changing that part of my attitude has been hard. But, I'm doing my best and seeing the positive results.

Hope you are all well! I love you so much!
--Hermana Burt

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