Monday, March 23, 2015

First Week in the Redlands California Mission

Hola Familia:                                                                                                  March 23, 2015

It is so weird typing on a keyboard that doesn't have accents and nyays.......hopefully my spelling will greatly improve....but I doubt it. I have officially gone on strike with apostrophes. They were too hard to find on the Mexican keyboards.....but the CCM has changed me when it comes to correct grammar

So my first area is...............DRUM ROLL..............Rialto. I love it here! I was so excited to go to a place that is basically a smaller, safer version of Mexico! It has been an interesting first week. Kind of feels like the first day in the CCM. It's like drinking out of a fire get a little water, but it mostly just hurts your face. There has been a lot of meeting and smiling and nodding..... especially when people speak Spanish, because I have come to the great realization that at the CCM they enunciate and slow down. 

My First Companion....Sister Jimenez 
My companion is Hermana Jimenez....she is from New Jersey....and yes people, she is fluent. This is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because she can make me fluent. She also can correct me when I say something in lessons that is false doctrine, and she can translate for me when I have NO CLUE what's happening. Curse---it's a little intimidating to have someone that is bilingual with you. And she speaks English really well.....and she naturally just speaks English all the time. So it's really easy to speak in English......EVERYONE and their dog speaks English it makes me worried that I won't be able to learn the language. But, I know I will! 

Just arrived in California.
This is Sister & President Van Cott.

My goal for this transfer------fluent and well as 4 baptisms. 

Speaking of baptisms.... meet my investigators.
We don't have too many...but hey more opportunities for finding!!!! 

We have Crystal-- English Speaking, and we are still not sure if she will continue taking the lessons...she is mentally handicapped....but mostly still there. But, when we teach her it's really hard for her to understand.

The Ocampo's---they are on date for baptism in April. They have 4 kids and they are ADORABLE!!!!!!!!! Mario, Jose, Cesar, and Jonny! Only 3 of them are getting baptized, but I am WAY psyched! They are such great kids! 

Karen and Lupis---DEFINITELY fluent in Spanish.....and they are talkers....the worst part is that they talk over each other....which is  really hard for someone who has a hard time understanding anyway. Whenever we come out from their lessons I always feel really bad about myself....but oh well. 
 Oh....the Ocampo boys are English speaking as well..... which doesn't make me as stressed for their lessons. 

We taught a lot of Less Active Member Lessons and Active Member lessons this week. We only have 1 ward here....and we only get like a third of the members. So, Hermana Jimenez has been helping me get to know them all. 

One of my very favorites is Hortencia! She is so awesome! She is paralyzed and always in a lot of pain. She is taking the Temple class lessons, and hopefully will get to take out her endowments soon! 

As far as Spanish is concerned....I need to do a lot more work! I have made all these goals to only speak Spanish...but it is SO SO SO easy to speak in English. But, mark my words....I will be fluent or at least close to in 5 weeks!!!!!!!!! They say my accent is pretty I just need the words to go with it. 

This is Sister Sanford, a fellow missionary from South Jordan.
One of my favorite lessons we taught this week was with Hortencia....she is going through a hard time right now and we shared with her the 'Refiners Fire' Mormon message. Afterwards I shared with her (and two other neighbor girls that were there) the story of the Currant Bush. I bore my testimony about how God knows us, and he knows what he wants us to be! Of course this was all in it was nice to be able to express myself freely. 

Usually everyone here just speaks English, but in their houses they assume you are fluent. When they ask about my Spanish I tell them 'un pocito' (or a little) and then they try to speak in English....but I tell them to speak in Spanish and that I will try to get as much as I can! 


Funniest moment---Wish I had a picture of it, but as missionaries we are supposed to have the companion back us out of the parking spots...and I have a really hard time remembering to do that (I can't drive here yet, because I am a trainee). So Hermana Jimenez put a sign on the Dashboard that says, in really big letters, BACK ME. 

Loving Moment--- (I will come up with a better name later) A sister in the ward was in charge of feeding us on Thursday, but she texted and said she had a busy day and would just drop it off. She called us later and said her son had been in an accident at school and was at the hospital; she apologized and said she was coming later to bring us food. We met her at our house and she was so apologetic and started crying. It was a testament to me that these people are quite possibly the sweetest, most humble people I have ever been around. They truly have big hearts and serving is their second nature. We consoled her for a little bit (well I did because Hermana Jimenez doesn't know what to do when people cry---she keeps saying that). Such a SWEET lady! I love these people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tender Mercy--- This is more of a compilation of many tender mercies....most having to do with Spanish....since that seems to be my weak point. I kind of always feel down about the language....but He knows when to give me confidence-building experiences. When we met with Hortencia, I said the closing prayer in Spanish because they wanted to hear me. They kept raving on and on about my accent and how I was going to be just fine! Then on Sunday we had some other sisters come over (one of them was Sister West---FROM THE MTC!!!! We were so excited to see someone familiar) and we role played the Restoration lesson. Sister Jimenez was smiling the whole way through; she told me later it was because she didn't know I knew that much Spanish :) It made me feel better. 
My new home...
Our front door.

Spiritual Moment--- One of those other sisters that came over on Sunday was Hermana Stuber...from Bountiful (look her up, she gets home in 3 months ish. She says she knew a Cameron Wright). She shared a really cool scripture with Sister West (her companion) and me about the Gift of Tongues. It's in Moses 6:31-36. It's about Enoch and his ability to speak well. But, it was a good reminder to me that the Lord doesn't care if we are eloquent in what we say. When we follow the spirit and open our mouths, it doesn't matter if everything comes out jumbled, because what we say will touch their hearts and will be what they need to hear. It really helped. 

Painful moment--- We went to Hermano Toris' house for Saturday night dinner. It was an awesome meal....but he told me if I wanted to be fluent, he could give me a dulce that would make me fluent. I came back to my plate and he had put a Habanero pepper on my plate......anything THAT orange should not be eaten. I knew it would be hot....but I decided I wanted a little. He cut me and Hermana Jimenez little pieces. I think they were too small and so it was fine. But, to prove his point he gave us bigger slices....of course I had to take the one with all the seeds! It entered my mouth and without touching any surface made my whole mouth catch fire INSTANTLY!!!!!!! I was crying within 7 seconds....when I swallowed it burned all the way down.....and didn't go away for about 3 hours. Needless to was a rough night :) But, hey....I am fluent (just kidding....but I would eat a whole one of those a day if it made me fluent). 

I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! They are so so so so so awesome!!!!!!!! Thank you for your great letters. and thank you for the Greenie Package!!!....and my bedding of course :) it was like Christmas!!! I love you!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Wright

Oh, PS.  Sunday was good....I was supposed to get up and bear my testimony but the bishop forgot I guess. But don't worry! Viernes es Noche de Hogar, y yo will have the opportunity to say a little bit of the lesson....WHOO HOOO!!!!!!!
Love you!
Thank you for your prayers!!!!

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