Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May 21, 2014

Hi everyone!

It's been good to talk to you all off and on throughout the past week and keep up with the latest happenings of the family. This week has been fast and furious although this morning has been quiet and a bit lazy. Your dad isn't feeling so hot because he caught a cold so he's resting and I'm puttering around the apt. doing homey tasks. 

I did a lot of food prep last week for the Monday afternoon lunch to kick off the zone conference here in Vigo. Pres. and sister Jackson came along with the two APs for the bi-annual zone conference. Ours was the first in the mission but they go on from here for the next week to all the zones in the mission and hold a conference. I made several dozen cookies and baked and shredded chicken for enchiladas for 30 people. After shopping and cooking it turned out to be more work than it sounds like, but the lunch went off well, everything tasted good and the missionaries got enough to eat so I call it a success. The elders and hermanas helped set up tables etc. Sunday night to avoid a last minute rushon Monday morning. The hermanas came over the next morning and help roll enchiladas and cut up veggies for green salad and they and the elders were invaluable helping us pull everything off in time. All the missionaries started arriving about 11:30 am and we were eating by 1pm so it worked out well. Then everyone took the bus to Biona a lovely beach town near Vigo and spent the afternoon (P-Day) there.

Tuesday morning we assembled at the church at 9 am to study before the meeting started at 9:30. It's kind of the thing in this mission to arrive early for meetings to study and be prepared spiritually for the meetings. The meeting lasted until 2 pm (I know but it went surprisingly fast) with a brief 15 minute brake at noon. Then we all had Dominoe's Pizza for lunch. Sister Jackson had make some chocolate chip cookies for dessert. It was good to eat a home baked cookie that I hadn't had to make.

The meeting was so wonderfully inspiring. I think everyone felt so uplifted and ready to go forward and work with more love and dedication in our callings as missionaries. President Jackson talked about having faith that the Lord has people prepared for us here in the Santiago district. He emphasized the need to listen to the spirit and be humble so that we can be guided to those we can teach. The zone leaders talked about being willing to serve those around us and how that helps build relationships that can lead to people willing to listen to the gospel message. The APs talked about the importance of loving those we work with and having a deep love for the Savior that induces us to give all that we have to our work here in the mission. Sister Jackson talked about teaching by  asking open ended questions and really listening to better understand the person being taught. So much more was said that just lifted my heart and helped give me ideas how to be a better missionary and work more effectively. 

Last Saturday night was the ward talent show that turned out to be a fun night full of wonderful talent. The JAS sang "Besame Mucho" and the crowd went wild and by the end people were singing along with the performers. Larry was great on the guitar accompanying and singing along. I watched and cheered from the sidelines. The primary kids did a cute chicken dance dressed up as chickens in yellow garbage bags. The YM YW did an awesome synchronized dance. There were a couple of readings. Some singing, piano numbers and a darling older lady danced and sang a flamenco style song. She was the hit of the night. She did a couple of encores. 

Sunday we went to the branch in Lugo two hours north of here to just get to know the members. There are three JAS in the branch but two young men JAS age are being taught by the missionaries. The branch is small (about 15 at sacrament meeting) and it's a struggle but no complaining from the members. There were four of us in RS. We are going back up this Saturday to the baptism of one of the young men mentioned above.

We had a JAS activity yesterday evening at 7pm, after zone conference. It was a birthday party for Jessica, one of our JAS and elder Mcallister. We had a game night at the church. We rigged up a pingpong table and that was a hit and we also played Dominoes and Uno. Jessica's family came, mom, grandma, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, and a cousin so it was an interesting mix of people but we had fun.  I made a cake and finger sandwiches and we had chips, drinks and Jessica's boyfriend brought another delicious cake. We didn't finish until after 10 so it was a long day.

The African gentleman I have been helping the sisters teach is not answering their phone calls. They think he's upset with them because they were late to meet him one night for a lesson. He is usually at least an hour late every time I've met with him and them but this one night he arrived on time and they were 20 minutes late. I hope they can make peace with him and we can start teaching him again. 

The elders met a lady in the street and talked to her about the gospel and she agreed to let them come to her home and teach her. When they went and taught her a lesson they found out she was already a member. She came to church the next Sunday but not after that. They went by her house and her husband was there with her and he isn't a member but was willing to listen to their message. Saturday they both came to english class so we are all very encourage by that. We'll see. We are mainly involved because of english class. We have offered to have dinners here in our piso if the elders or hermanas think it will be helpful to an investigator.  We are having a dinner here on Sunday for a recent convert and her friend that has been coming to church with her. The friend is a strong Catholic but likes coming to our branch because we "know" each other and are like family. She says when she goes to mass she rarely knows anyone there. 

Guess I'll say good bye for now. You all take care. We love you all so much.

Mom and Dad

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