Friday, July 11, 2014

Earthquake, Parasites and baptisms

This week:

Subject: sickie hermana moore

HA. get ready to laugh at me. 


I have kind of mentioned the past few weeks that I have had really bad headaches and body aches and the sorts, but this week it got bad.  Especially when it was suddenly, very suddenly, accompanied by digestive problems... you get my point?  So that happened Monday after we wrote home.  Then I went home and took a nap before we went out for the night to work.  Those digestive problems returned SEVERAL times and basically I kept finding myself in dirty, dark bathrooms with no toilet seat and I was hot and cold and my head was pounding so we went home after and I took my temperature and I had a really high fever.  So I called the nurses and went to sleep.  The next day I slept in (woops!) and then my comp and I headed out on a bus to Reu to go to a doctor.   Hermana Goddard has also been feeling pretty under the weather so we went together with the nurses.  The doctor didn't really know what I had but figured I should take some exams: blood, urine, and uh... poop?  Yeah I don't want to relive/ remember / describe how awful that experience was... and I thought peeing in a cup was hard. ANYWHO we went home around 7 and I passed out.  The next day I woke up around like 11, my comp had gone out with a member and I stayed in the house with another hermana.  The nurses called me and they were like wow Hermana Moore, you ARE sick.  You've got it all!  Yep.  So I have PARASITES, kidney stones, and an...infection.   That's why I have been in so much pain for the past month!  I was so happy when they told me, partly because I finally knew the cause of all my body pains (back and hip pains apparently mean kidney stones) and partly because after almost 13 months in the mission I finally got parasites!!!!  Then after the initial excitement burned off, I crashed.  They brought me a TON of pills and I slept the rest of the day.  But I had this crazy dream when I was sleeping.  I was with mom and dad and we were back on E. Easter Place in Colorado!  We were walking down the street and all of a sudden I saw someone and I was like I have to contact them!  So I go start talking to them and they just kept looking at me super weird like they didn't understand me.  I turned around and looked at mom and dad and dad just goes, "Erica, you're not in Guatemala anymore. No one understands you!"  I had been speaking Spanish!  Dad was like "Your mission is over now!"
free t-shirt from the taylor downstairs!

Then I woke up basically screaming.  Right then and there I vowed to myself that I will NEVER have another sick day in the mission!  I don't care if I'm throwing up, no more!  I only have.... gulp.... 5 months let and I cant waste ANY time.  So thanks for that gentle reminder daddy! hahahaa.   But it got me back up and working the next day. and WOW those pills kicked in quick.  I feel so much better now and my headaches are gone!!! hallelujah. 

This week we also celebrated July 4th!  Our lunch fell through that day so we went to the nearest tienda and bought hot dogs, buns and ketchup!  We had our own little 4th of July barbeque :) and we had a little moment of silence for our great country :)  I love the USA! and Guatemala! :) It's funny we actually saw a lot of red, white and blue that day, the chapines celebrated a little bit with us :)

Let's see what else... I have the coolest investigators in the world.  We found this amazingly prepared woman, her name is Ana, like a week ago, and she is amazing.  She is reading the Book of Mormon a ton.   She's in Jacob 6 right now.... after a week!!!  Have you ever read the Book of Mormon that fast?? She always testifies to us about how much her life has transformed in this week that she's been learning with us and going to church.  Her testimony makes me want to get baptized!  Oh wait... ;)  Last night she was even testifying to her dad how he already has his answer and knows he needs to get baptized with her this Saturday.  She also invited her sister to come to church yesterday too and she came!  It's a bonus too that she thinks we are Gods gift to earth.  All she ever wants to talk about is how wonderful we are, and I'm just like alright,  I'm fine with that ;)  It has been so fun teaching her.  When we taught her the word of wisdom she was like oh but I already gave up coffee a week ago when I heard someone talking about how Mormons don't drink coffee last week.  Oh, okay thats fine!  Last night her dad said,  "So when can I start paying tithing?"  We said,  "We haven't even taught you that yet!  He said,  "Well I heard about it in church and I feel like its my duty to pay it too.  This is my church." :) Nothing makes a missionary happier  :)
I just feel so loved here, loved by the ward, my investigators, and the Lord. everything is just meshing so well and I know that the Lord has a lot planned or us this month of July! :)
Oh and of course, the earthquake this morning :)  This morning at 5:20 I was awake and just laying in bed when all of a sudden my world starts shaking.  So I sit up and I'm like PHILLIPS!  She gets up and she just goes "CALM DOWN, calm down it's gonna be okay!!!!!!" (we were both freaking out, so I think that was for the both of us!)  We get out of bed and it starts shaking even harder!  We are both like uh what do we do we are on the third floor of a cement death trap and this is just getting worse... so I'm like GET ON THE FLOOR, we have to get under something! and Hermana Phillips says, "We have to get outside.  What if the house comes DOWN!"  So I'm on the floor crawling as fast as I can outside and I just hear things falling a breaking behind me. We get to the other hermanas room and they are up and we are like WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE NOW.  So we grab the phone and run downstairs.  By the time we got to the street it had ended and there were tons of people outside.  Wow that was big!  The house is super banged up, the tile is cracked, the walls are cracked and our door is basically jammed forever now.  The only damage we had upstairs was our water dispenser fell over and a bottle of nail polish broke.  The rest was very fixable.  Oh except for my desk, one of the legs broke. The rest was just stuff on the floor; but it was pretty terrifying.  I don't know if I'll ever get used to earthquakes!  We are very taken care of don't worry. 10 seconds after it stopped our ward mission leader called, then the bishop, then the zone leaders, then like a hundred other people from the ward... we are in the tallest house in San Francisco so it is kind of risky!

But all is swell here in the mission.  I hope you are all doing wonderfully and loving your summers! :) Live life to the fullest and read the Book of Mormon daily, sound good? :)  Oh and be careful what you eat (I'm pretty sure I know exactly when I got the parasites, we ate lunch with a Hermana that had told us before that her daughters had been throwing up worms.  And three days later I contracted my very own wormies!  Wish me luck, she signed up to give us lunch again tomorrow!)
our hike to a waterfall!

love love love,

hermana moore

last week:

Subject: miracles. again! round 978364!

Haha are you getting sick of that title for my email yet?  It's the absolute truth though. I have never felt more surrounded by God´s hand. His miracles abound everywhere! 
So this week was incredible. We found out this week that Hermana Phillips and I would be together for 6 more weeks!  This will be the longest I have ever been with a companion!  If she leaves next change we will have had 4 1/2 months together. There is obviously more we need to learn from each other. haha.

So this was the last week of June, obviously, and we hadn't baptized this month.  Here in the mission we set goals for every month of how many people we will baptize.  This month we had planned to have a lot of success.  We were working with families and people that really seemed like they were progressing... buttttttttttt, there is this thing called free agency and thank goodness it exists, what without it there would be no hope, but we basically struggled a lot.  None of them came to church!  Not a single one!  All month long!  So we were frustrated and didn't know what to do.  That's when we fasted last week and we saw miracles!  This week we just sat down and we were like alright, who has attendance in church that we haven't gone with lately.... let's go.  So we went and the Lord blessed us!  Saturday we had the baptisms of Gerson and Daniel.  They are two kids who have been coming with a member, our ward mission leader, for 3 months now.  All of my time here. (funny story, they were actually the first people I met in this area. :))  So they have expressed to us the desire to be baptized but their parents are NEVER home.  It was really hard and kind of like an unfinished project that we kept going back to every week.  The zone leaders came with us on Thursday and we were like LET'S FIND THESE KIDS.  We go to their house and BAM! both parents and the whole family is there.  The zone leaders talked to the dad and he was like I don't know.... maybe..... probably not.  We asked him to talk to his wife and kids!  They want to do it!  Let them, but we will come back tomorrow.   That night the kids came to an activity at the church and Gerson comes running up to me screaming "My daddy said yes! I'm getting baptized on Saturday!!!!!" and his brother Daniel, who hasn't really expressed a huge desire to be baptized, comes running up and says, "I'm getting baptized too!!!!"  At this point I'm just crying and I felt like the dad in Pride and Prejudice when he's says, "Well if any other suitor wants to come and ask the hand of my other daughters go right ahead!"  Like seriously, anyone else wanna pop up out of the cracks and get baptized on Saturday!!! :)  Such miracles.  So they were baptized on Saturday. The whole ward was there.  They all love them.  They call them Polo´s kids, because they are always with him.  Even though they are just neighbor boys.  It was such a beautiful baptismal service.  What I see in all this is the Lord fulfilling his promise to us that if we work hard and are obedient, we will baptize every month.  Maybe not the people I thought or the 3 families I was hoping for; but the Lord ALWAYS does His part when we do ours :)
 On our way to a baptism!  How many people can you fit in a tuk tuk?

This is Hermano Polo, our new ward mission leader.  He has brought these kids to church every Sunday for 3 months and they finally got baptized!  He cried as he baptized them.  Everyone in the ward was so happy.  They have the nickname of "Polos kids" because they are always with him.  They are his neighbors and he has shown them that there is so much more that their lives can become in the church!  Gerson and Daniel!

When we were with the zone leaders we went to visit one of our investigators that we just found a week and a half ago.  We were just going to teach her a normal lesson and I remembered, oh yeah we challenged her to pray, I'll ask her if she thinks she has received an answer.   So I ask and she's says well yeah I think I did.  I had a dream!  Oh here we go with another dream... happens a lot here.  She said, "I had a dream that I was at a waterfall with my cousins."  (in my mind I was quick to judge- repent ye Erica!- ugh IRRELEVANT!)   But we just listened more.  She was quiet for a second and then looks up at us and said,  "I was getting baptized".  I was dumbfounded!  My mouth just dropped open and well what do we do now?  It's so rare that people here feel they have an answer after just one prayer!  So the zone leaders interviewed on the spot and she is preparing to get baptized this next week!!!! ANOTHER miracle.  People that are so ready that are just popping out of the seams. :)  The Lord is always preparing people, we just have to be ready and He will lead us to them!

This is Hermana Miriam and her daughter.  Miriam has cataracts and is blind but she comes to church walking and blind every Sunday and comes to every activity led by her son Hugo.  Hugo received the priesthood this past Sunday and passed the sacrament for the first time.  She is preparing to go to the temple.  She lives in a wooden shack but she LOVES the Lord.  When her son prayed last week he asked for the ability to serve a mission in 6 years.  There are some FAITHFUL saints here.  I love this picture because her daughter really will be the one leading the way for her because she is blind.  It's so symbolic.  I love them so much. 
This week we had a big scare.  Our ward, and every ward, had a problem with judging people and gossiping; but this week it hurt someone a lot.  There is a member here who actually isn't even a member yet.  He is patiently waiting for his divorce to go through; but he is the most active member of our ward, and he isn't even baptized yet.  He is incredible and like my father here.  Anyway this week some tensions were raised about an asunto in the ward.  He felt that something unjust was happening and stormed out vowing to never return!  When someone told us about this we all, the 4 hermanas, just started crying.  How can something so stupid ruin one of the greatest testimonies I've ever met!  We said a prayer together and really felt that we should just go to his house.  We had a picture that another hermana, the one who first taught him, had sent us to help him stay on the right track and say hi, so we brought that over in hopes that it would soften his heart.  We came over and he looked so miserable! He asked us why we came and we handed him the picture.  He sat down and just began to bawl.  We each told him how much he had changed our lives and cried together.  He told us that he was going to come back to church, although just minutes earlier he had decided to never return.  He is so strong and I know that this is just Satan attacking him because he is so close to finalizing his divorce and being able to be baptized.   Just to all of you reading, don't be the cause of something like this.  Don't gossip.  Just don't do it.  Focus on why we go to church, TO SERVE.  That's my only plea to all of you.  Make it better where you are by your example. :)
This week Rolando got kicked out of his house! ;(  The woman who was renting it to him told us, he has till Sunday to leave because she had another family that will be living there. What????!!!  And the rent he payed???  Didn't matter, he had to be out.  We were super mad, then decided to make some phone calls.  In NO TIME our amazing ward had him moved out of his wooden shack with no plumbing and no electrcity and moved in to his new house, in the biggest neighborhood in San Francisco.  Seriously he moved into the equivalent of a Beverly Hills mansion in San Fran.   A member has this house that they aren't living in and said he can stay there and take care of it until we find a permanent solution.  I'm not kidding the house is BEAUITFUL.  It's huge and I want it!  Hahaha.  It's incredible to see how a man who was homeless just 3 months ago now lives in a 2 story house in Altos de San Francisco.  The Lord blesses the faithful!!!!!!! :)

And I'm out of time!  Haha I love you all so much.  This week was nuts and this next week will be crazier!  I love my job and I love all of you :) 

love love love, 
hermana moore

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