Nov 28, 2011

Hola otra vez!!



"No! You're supposed to say hola"


You fans of kid history might get it.

Thanksgiving was definitely different from what I am used to. My companion and I got to take a short trip to Chelsea for lunch with a member family around 1:00. The Saenz family attracted many visitors with lots of little kids running around so it kind of felt like having Thanksgiving with our family. In that way it was definitely great. It was really funny to watch the Elders crane to see the football game going on in the next room. The company was good - Hermano Perez from the Lynn Branch was there because he's good friends with la familia Saenz and he is probably one of the coolest people ever! He's pretty old but he's just so loving and sincere and he loves doing missionary work. I could learn a lot from him I think.

Then we had some time to plan (we have our weekly planning on Thursday afternoons and that worked out perfectly because we're not allowed to go tracting on Thanksgiving - and Christmas I imagine but I don't know about that yet). So we got in our planning and headed off to our dinner appointment with an investigator and her cute family.

As much fun as visiting with these families was, I REALLY missed the food from our traditional thanksgiving feasts. At lunch we got some really strange lasagna, rice, green beans, salad, and some strange mixture of turkey and potatoes in some unappetizing-looking green sauce. Also, they dished us up a TON of food! Meal appointments here are sometimes hard that way. Most of the time the food is pretty good but the proportions are just always too big it seems.

At our second dinner we got some super dry turkey, cold mashed potatoes, more rice, and tamales. Dad says this is pretty traditional around the holidays...which I'm not really looking forward to because they're just not my very favorite. I do appreciate that they were made with love though :) It's been really good for me to be forced to get out of my food comfort.

While we are on the subject of food, last night we got fed en casa de la familia Parras. We got these incredible sandwiches! They had bought some thin sandwhich bread that was magnificent and then breaded and cooked some vile (I have no idea how to spell that...) The sandwich had guacamole, a little mayo, onions, tomatoes and this meat stuff and was just the best thing I have ever tasted! Hermano Parras said that it's a food that's pretty popular in Mexico City at street vendors. I'm pretty sure that's where he is from.

I love being a missionary. Sometimes I get really tired of my companion and feel like just resting for a day, but this work really is so rewarding. We get to have meaningful conversations with people every day because we're just "friendly reasonable people" and aren't afraid of talking about the gospel. I can feel my confidence growing a little bit as far as the whole language thing goes but it's still hard. It's really hard because I just know that my companion could say anything I would want to say much better and with more meaning and so I generally still stay pretty quiet during lessons, but at church this last Sunday I felt so successful that I could have several interchanges with members while my companion was busy talking to someone nearby. It felt so good!! It helps that our ward is SUPER awesome and they're all really understanding about the language barrier.

Best experience this week: we had lunch on Saturday (It's funny how just about everything I have to say revolves around for thought...haha) with Hermana Rodriguez - a super strong member of the ward. She has tried a few times to come to a lesson with an investigator that has just kind of fallen through last minute both times. But these couple of times that she's come with us we've gotten to talk to her and get to know her a little bit. We went and had a delicious lunch (if you must know -- porkchop with some delicious tomato sauce, rice, beans, salad, and a slice of pumpkin pie for dessert) and got Hermana Rodriguez talking about the gospel. She could seriously talk about it all day! She has such an incredible unshakable testimony! I kept thinking that she would make a fantastic missionary - she four children all grown living in El Salvador and is just here on her own living in a building of retired people overlooking Everett. So, I mentioned, half jokingly, that she should switch me places and she could be Hermana Hales' companion and teach me the short lesson we had prepared. She totally spilled the beans that she's working on her mission papers!!! She doesn't want the ward members here to know because she wants to have her call in her hands first, but I just got so excited for her! It reminded me of how exciting it was to get a mission a call and how much more exciting the real thing is. I sincerely hope that things work out for her so she can go.

Well, I really should go! I still have to write my mission president and we need to get back home so we can eat and go do some real mission work.

I love you! The Lord loves you even more!! This is the PERFECT time of year to share that love with EVERYONE!!!

Best Wishes!!
Hermana Palmer

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