Wow. What a week! I feel like it has been so long since I emailed last because so much has happened.. First things first, I spend the majority of this week serving in the Spanish areas of San Clemente with Hermana Garcia. It's was so mind blowing to see the stark contrast between the people that we meet with on a regular basis as a English Sister in comparison to the Spanish areas. What is even crazier is that we still serving in the same city! Haha! The Spanish missionaries weren't exaggerating when they said explained the area as "Little Mexico." There literally is Spanish Music being blasted from every old radio, yummy mexican food smells, and people walking door to door selling churros, tamales, and other specialities. Everyone is on the streets playing soccer and spending time together! It was an entirely different world then the busy lives of normal Orange County-iers!
As we walked the streets, we were able to talk to so many people and have such amazing spiritual experiences as we bore our simple testimonies of our Savior, his restored gospel and of the Book of Mormon in Spanish. My Spanish was pretty rusty, but through a lot of heartfelt prayer and studying a lot of it was able to come back.
There were so many special moments, but I thought that this week I'd just focus on two.
1. One thing that they don't really teach you in school is how to properly pray in Spanish (Big shocker there right? Haha). Anyways, Hermana and I had practiced multiple times throughout our idioma/ language study time. It was thankfully able to pick it up pretty quickly, and was able to use in throughout our lessons during the day. That night we went to teach one of their investigators (Agripino) at a park. They have been teaching him for 6 months now and have had no success with prayer, especially with the missionaries. Hermana Garcia had explained to him that I had just "learned" how to pray that day. As I prayed, words came to my mouth that I don't even remember learning. It was so amazing to be able to be a instrument in the hand of the Lord in praying for things for Agripino that I didn't even know that he needed. At the end of the lesson, we as Agripino if he would be willing to pray. He offered a very beautiful, heartfelt prayer thanking the Lord for all that he had been given. After he closed, he expressed sincere gratitude for my willingness to pray with him even though I had just learned that day. He said that it was because of my "bravery" that he knew that he could do it. It was so special.
2. Another special moment was when we were teaching S and C. They are super special investigators who are so ready for the gospel! They are such a super awesome family who speak in "Spanglish." We were teaching the the first lesson, and were talking about how God is our loving Heavenly Father. After talking for just a little bit, I felt such an overwhelming need to bare my testimony in English. I thought I was crazy. We were speaking to them from the beginning in Spanish and I didn't even know if they knew English, how was I supposed to bear my testimony of God's love in English? Terrified, I started sharing my thoughts and feelings on God Love for her addressing all of her concerns and statements she had mentioned before (in Spanish might I add). I'm pretty sure they were "gobbsmacked" (Shocked in Austrialian) that I could understand what they were saying! S started crying and thanked me in English (I had no idea that they even knew English) saying that what I shared was exactly what she needed to hear.
I absolutely love being a missionary. I have been so blessed with so many experience both in English and in Spanish. I'm so very grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it can bless ALL of God's Children regardless of their culture, race, income, ect.
Life is so good.