I hope you all had a wonderful día del amor and told someone you love them! I'm really grateful that I have a mom who loves holiday decorations because our apartment looks a lot more cheery and festive now:)
So, I survived my first week in a 2-man house with no English! I've gotten too used to being with an American companion. Funny thing I did with Hna. Black before she left: we talked in Spanish but with a Southern accent. Try it, it's hilarious:) Anyways, I was nervous about the transition and terrified to be in charge of a huge area that I don't know perfectly well, but I'm actually doing well and feel a lot more settled. Things are finally starting to pull together with the members, and I can breathe now. My comp is not Mexican, oops, she's from Guatemala. Hermana De Leon has 10 months in the mission, and she started in a 2-man apartment in the number one richest area of the mission, so she's settling in well to Los Angeles. I'm her first American companion, and she doesn't know a lick of English. Our mission president really pushes for the Latinos to learn it, so we've started off with practicing the "Head, shoulders, knees, and toes" song in the street if no one's around, haha. It's really interesting getting used to different Spanish words and accents, and now that I've lived with people from El Salvador, Panama, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala, I can say they're all totally different, and they're all helping me learn more:)
Dominican fact: it is totally normal to have extra or missing fingers and toes. Kind of creepy, still not used to it.
We had a fabulous Law of Chastity lesson with Maribel and Laura, but Perla (17) wasn't there, so Maribel wants us to reteach it this week to Perla and the boyfriend we just found out she has. This week, we did a lot talking: contacting and teaching potential new investigators....but not a ton of finding. We're really looking for people who are truly ready to accept the Gospel and will be willing to take the necessary steps to baptism and onward. As a companionship, our focus is our mission theme, which is to find oro puro/pure gold and subir la montana/climb the mountain. The summit is the temple, and if we take Elder Maynes' advice from a few weeks ago and spend more time finding, we'll have greater success in bringing a larger number of people to the top.
I realized this week that what was keeping me from greater success was personal sacrifice. With that new found realization, I rededicated myself by giving more time to the Lord and trying to go the extra mile. We have seen miracles for contacting just one more building before lunch, giving 10 more minutes to proselyting time during the day. Through faith that we could find pure gold, a positive attitude, fervent prayer, and pushing a bit harder, we found 2 darling, little families. One is a young couple with a 3-year-old daughter, and the other is a single mother with 6- and 11-year-old daughters who have great questions about why there is only one God but so many churches. My testimony has been strengthened that God is a God of miracles, and if we'll give a little more of ourselves to Him, He'll meet us where we are and take us so much farther than we could ever imagine. There's a new Primary song that says, "Jesus is a God of miracles. Nothing is at all impossible to Him, but I know this: Of all His miracles, the most incredible must be the miracle that rescues me." I testify that that´s true and that His help is always there if we'll just ask for it.
Todo de mi amor,