Sunday, April 6, 2014

Now We Know I Can't Play the Organ!

March 10, 2014
Elder Rivera still has a weak/sensitive ankle from the soccer accident a couple of weeks ago. We found some crutches in our house (honestly you can find anything in these apartments! and we let him use them. They both ended up using them... It was pretty funny
Sis Gomez and Karee

 I was finally companions with Sister Gomez!!! I love her so much! She is from Argentina and was called to serve here in Portuguese (the first one actually!) She found me in he MTC and we have been friends since. This woman is amazing!

So we went on exchanges so that her companion Sister Mello could go to the temple to do baptisms with one of her converts. We did some service with the Portuguese branch and then we went to an appointment that we had. The woman that we went to go see has been going through some really hard times. The plan was to talk to her about some of the missionary experiences that she has had lately. She had one that she shared but then told us that the friend is no longer interested because of the problems that the member is currently having in her marriage. Which made things a little awkward for me. But Sister Gomez just took it and ran with it. She shared a few scriptures and then something cool happened. I saw her, this woman, differently. I started to cry because it hurt me that she was hurting. I didn't have much to say when she asked me why I was sad. I just bore a simple testimony that I knew that Heavenly Father loves her, that Jesus knows what she is going through and that she has so much potential. This sister didn't come to church on Sunday and I was really concerned about her. We called to see if she would come out with us (thinking that she just needed to get out of the house). We ended up stopping by to sing a few hymns for her. She is a really strong woman and she is going to make it through. It is really hard to watch but at the same time I just feel so much love for her.
Sister Garcia and I both agree that there is never a dull moment in the car with these two elders. They are so much fun. Elder Rivera is always coming up with some fun . get to know you game. They have also started to look for opportunities to hand out pass along cards to cars at stop signs.. Sharing the Gospel at every opportunity. I love it!
 Every other Monday night, the branch has a Branch family home evening. This Monday was one of those nights and we had a wonderful lesson about families. Then we played one of my favorite group games, "Do you love your neighbor?" It was so much fun to see everyone participating. The catch on being in the middle more than once was that you would have to do the duck dance.... I unfortunately found myself in the middle a few times. But now I know the duck dance. Slightly embarrassing, but fun.
This week we went visiting teaching with Sister Baker, the Branch President's wife. We visited with Berta, who is not actually a member of the church, but she and her family have been attending the Church for the past 9 years It was amazing to hear her story of how they just decided to go and then have been committed to going since. They haven't been baptized because they want to all get baptized at the same time and they never all seem to be on the same page at the same time, but they are very active and love to serve in the church. 

I will be honest, I am not very good at contacting people on the streets and on the buses. I can sit and talk with a random stranger, but then getting their information so we can stay in touch is always hard for me. I need to be so much better, but this week I did it and I had success. We were headed home and had just found the right bus. We got on and then found seats. I choose to sit next to a woman and started up a conversation with her. We talked about living away from our families. Raquel, is from the Dominican Republic and actually has a lot of family here with her, including her children. We had such a lovely conversation and right before her stop, I was able to get her information. We have been in touch since that day and hopefully we can find a day that she is not too busy to meet with us. 

Wednesday we had some really good plans... but you know what happens. Of course something happened and the really good plans we had didn't happen. We ended up stranded on a bus for 45 minutes and then we decided to get off and catch another bus going a different way...bad idea. The problem was that the bridge that either bus needed to cross over was partially closed. We made an activity to teach the Restoration with cups as we waited in the cold at the bus stop. I am sure the people at the bus stop thought we were crazy taping pictures to little plastic cups, but at least we are ready to teach the object lesson. We were supposed to go teach Pablo with the cups, but we had to cancel because the bus took so long.

There was another disaster yesterday with the organ. I just can't seem to get it right. It was on a setting that all I would have to do to play the song is press one key to the rhythm and the song was supposed to play. We were singing a song that is only in the Spanish Hymnal, so I am not very familiar with the tune to begin with. But then when I started to play, reading the notes of the music, I realized that the organ wasn't actually playing what I was playing. It was playing the tune 100 times slower than I was. I started hitting the key faster and faster, but the notes were still way too long. Sister Garcia kept looking back at me asking what I was doing. The congregation was completely lost. She stopped them and said that we would start over again. I stopped the song sped up the tempo and then we started again. I got off beat so they sang half the song acapella. It was so embarrassing. It was no surprise they didn't ask me to play the piano in Relief Society. 

We finally have someone that we are teaching! Yesterday we went over to a less-active family's house and we taught the restoration to the 8 year old son, Pablo. We had an illustrated copy of the Book of Mormon and we read through the Joseph Smith story with him. We talked about prophets and why we need them. We talked about how God has given us prophets since the beginning to guide the people. Pablo is super smart and really excited to start going to church. He was excited to have a Book of Mormon of his own because, " I don't have any books about this on my book shelf!" He was so excited to have the book that he said he would read until page 89 before we come back in a week. We talked to him a little about what a covenant is and tried to explain that it is a two-way promise. We decided to make him a deal. We said that we would bring him cookies if he actually did the reading that he said he would. Just like any boy he decided to see what else he could get out of our little deal. He made a list of his "weaknesses" or his favorite things and asked what he could get if he read more than 89 pages. He is really cute and we are excited to start working more with him.

I love you all!
a couple of the beautiful spanish speaking sisters in the Boston Mission

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