August 24, 2015 {Week 10}: OLA

I feel like the only stuff that happened this week was on Saturday and Sunday.  Vamos a ver entonces.

We did service on Saturday and helped a sister(same sister we helped move last week) put down a “floor” in her sister’s room. It was a roll out linoleum kind of thing that we cut with a kitchen knife haha.  The cool part though is that the house has 4 dogs, 4 cats, a CAPUCHIN MONKEY and a COATI MUNDI!
I got to pet the coati mundi, but only her tail because she bites.  Made another dog friend at this house too.  She also invited us back for a lesson.  She shared with us two very special stories, one about a lost preganancy and the other about her husband’s death.  He had cancer, but she said that he died from malpractice although I could be mistaken. [I suppose a discussion about medical malpractice with beginner Spanish skills is kind of difficult :)] Anyway, although she is a member she doesn’t remember a whole bunch about the Plan of Salvation but she did say that she KNOWS, she can be with her husband again after this life.  I love when investigators know truths without any teaching. It’s because almas, souls, crave and recognize truths. Sometimes they just need to be remembered by our minds.
All of our investigators failed us this week.  So we have no investigators.  One, se llama Hermana Betty, was going to be great!  She is married, has 3 kids, and really loves to read, so we shared a part of the Plan of Salvation with her about families.  But when we went back for a second lesson her 3 year old daughter was talking to her in the door way, but she wouldn’t come out.  Eventually an older lady who lives in the same compound said she wasn’t home.  This happened twice.  So I guess what happened is that her friend talked to her about the Church, said something untrue and mean I’m sure, and now she won’t invite us back!  It’s so sad, the church is full of happiness and light and is centered on Christ so why do people not at least want to hear what the missionaries have to say?
We have another old investigator who has a very strong testimony in the Bible, loves the missionaries, and has a testimony of Joseph Smith, and said that the Book of Mormon is easier to read and understand than the Bible but SHE WON’T PRAY ABOUT IT!  If you don’t pray how do you expect to receive an answer from Heavenly Father?  She just says shes not worried about it, so she won’t include the Book of Mormon in her daily prayers.  Just do it.  Its simple.  Obedience is an act of faith.  Just do it. Nike.
Beautiful weather this week in Santa Cruz.  Hermana Huerta prepared a surprise food for me.  It was cow lung.  Yeah… Basically it was kind of ewwie to look at(it had like veins like big holes that sort of thing), had little flavor and was chewie.  My deal is, why eat it if it has no flavor??  Other than that it wasn’t a huge deal.  Don’t want to eat it again though.
They also eat pigskin here.  I ate fried tofu!  Tasted like pork(“taste good like tomato juice heeheehee”)!  I have a recipe for salteñas, but it’s not in English right now!  So til next week.
Another investigator is SO READY FOR BAPTISM, but she has a couple of questions about President Monson, so we gave her 2 different copies of the Liahona issues for General Conference.  Once she settles this we are going to ask her again to be baptized, but she won’t attend church.  We plan to pick her up and then at the last minute she texts saying she doesn’t have time.  And we have others we are teaching who don’t like to attend church either.  We need to stress the importance of church attendance with them this week.  It’s OLA, orar(pray), leer(read the scriptures), y asistir(attend church).  With these 3 things you can gain a testimony, feel the Spirit, and come closer to the Father and to the Savior.
We have a Family Home Evening tonight with some younger familes in our ward.  One family is struggling a little bit and needs to refocus on the temple goal and the role of families. The other family has a goal to be married in the temple and are taking temple prep and now the gospel principles class and focusing on really understanding The Family: A Proclamation to the World, and then a third family are just wonderful people!  oh! Actually Hermana Nicole from last week and her husband.  It hit me how youngggg these people are.  I met the parents of one of these husbands and I for real though it was his older brother, his dad is only in his 40s!  But the 2 younger couples who haven’t been married in the temple are literally my age.  18 to 20 years old.  Its scary a little bit that we are the same age, but in 2 very different points in our lives.  I hope that we can help them through continued lessons about the family.  It’s funny because they are having the typical teenager relationship problems we’ve all dealt with, except they are married and have a daughter.
It hit me that this isn’t a game.  Missionary work isn’t wandering around in a foreign country learning a new language and cultre.  This is eternal salvation.  This is a real serious thing that we young people have been called to do.  I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  I have been called to do a great and marvelous work for the lives of the people here.  And I have to work to achieve it and have the courage to share the message of the Gospel with people.  It’s hard and scary, but I just need to act.
oh! I am also starting English classes next week!  Yeah!  The ward is very excited for me to get organized and get started, but I pretty much have no idea what I’m doing yeahhhh.  President Zambrano says to just follow the Spirit and read the part about language learning in Predicad Mi Evangelio(Preach My Gospel) and get down to business, so that’s the plan.
We had a zone meeting this week and my first transfer too!  With Hermana Castrillo de Honduras, this is her last transfer and she speaks really good English(she studied beforehand though too).  Here is my take away from my short 24 hrs with her.  “Algunas veces las cosas que cuentan no cuentan y las cosas que no cuentan realmente cuentan.”  Sometimes the things that count don’t count, and the things that don’t count in reality count.  This is very true I have come to realize.
Hermana Shirley also has us on a diet now.  3 days lite, AKA no carbs, and 3 normal days.  I need to eat less ice cream… and buy a yoga mat…  we are planning on running a little bit this week, but Hermana Huerta’s back hurts a lot and we just have to be careful.  oh! And we need a new house(bawl), because it’s expensive for the mission.  Which is too bad because I LOVE our house!  And the member from Spain that we live with.  I’ll keep y’all updated.
Hope all is well state side!  OLA!  Pray, read, attend.
Much love!
Hna E Butikofer

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