Well, yesterday I spent a good amount of time thinking about what I would write in this lovely email and then writing down a nice little list...my fried brain cannot seem to recall much and I have already lost the list so this will be interesting...here goes though.
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!! I am VERY grateful for all of you!!! Including (but not limited to): Mom, Dad, Al, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends (there are way too many to name!)
I am grateful for delicious food - I was very worried that I would be fed all sorts of gross foods but I am happy to report that of the many dinners I've been to so far (usually we get fed just about once a day by members) I've only had to choke down a couple things. The people in the ward are all from Guatamala or El Salvador and a few from the Dominican Republic and other places. Mostly they all feed us rice and some type of meat or veggies. My VERY favorite so far was at Hermana Palacio's apartment. She cooked us white rice, some sort of meat wrapped up in bacon, a boiled potato, steamed frozen veggies and an egg. Doesn't sound that exciting but she is an INCREDIBLE cook and it was the most delicious thing I've ever had!! I don't know what she did to it. It makes no sense to me. Also, on the topic of food - if you can find Abuelita's hot cocoa (in the latin food section at the grocery store) GET IT!! It is AMAZING!!!
I'm grateful for all of the interesting people here that make life so interesting - we were looking for a former investigator on some random street in Everett and decided to tract around the house. Nobody was really interested but we met some of the nicest people and were able to clear up a lot of mis-information about the church. This one woman, probably in her 60's, answered the door with three of those big dry comb curlers in her hair and talked to us for a good five minutes and then invited us in for juice! We weren't really that thirsty but we figured it was a good opportunity to keep the conversation going so we accepted. We got some yummy grape juice and got to listen to her talk about her life and her experiences - she had lived on the same street her entire life! She grew up in the house right next door to where she and her husband live now. She was super sweet and loving. I want to be more like that - just willing to give of my time to people.
I am grateful for nature - being here in Boston there isn't a whole lot of nature to be found, but where it is found, it is beautiful! We were strolling down the street on our way to the car to get to an appointment when we decide to stop this guy and talk to him. He was such an interesting person and really liked what we had to say about making Jesus Christ the center of our lives. We gave him our information and he called us less than 3 hours later asking us where we could meet to talk some more. We made an appointment to meet him at a Dunkin Donuts the next day. We met there and he said it was too hot in the store so we should go to the beach, a nice public place. We were honestly a little nervous but it turned out to be the most AMAZING experience EVER!! We were just sitting there on the beach, looking out at the misty beautiful afternoon over the ocean and talking about God. This man had had some really interesting experiences. He grew up in Egypt and became an Athiest upon moving here to Massachusetts. Then he realized how much pain he was in spiritually and decided to open up. He has had some incredible experiences from meditating and the more he described it the more it seemed to me like people are just trying to create spiritual experiences the best way they know how. It was so interesting to hear all his stories and to share our beliefs. I hope something comes of all this.
I am grateful for the knowledge I have - we may have broken up a wedding!! We were teaching this super sweet young woman in her mid 20's who is going to school, working as a nanny, and getting ready to get hitched. I realized she was engaged, but I didn't realize that the wedding was scheduled for the Friday after we had our first lesson with her. She talked about how she had found out that her fiancee didn't really have any drive to be religious whatsoever! She started noticing how critical he was being of her and she didn't like it. We sympathized with her but we couldn't really counsel her to do anything. We had another appointment the next Monday where she told us that she didn't get married and that she's moving out! What?! I don't know how much of it is our fault but I'm actually super happy for her. She's havin a bit of a rough time right now, but I think she knows that there's someone better out there for her. Yay!! She took a trip to NYC this week with her friend from Mexico so we will actually get to meet with her in a couple days. We committed her to be baptized last time and she said she needed a week or so to think about it...I will catch you up next week.
I am grateful for a lot of things...like good shoes, chocolate (every once in a while...), fleece tights, a car, the Scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon, but I am discovering lots of hidden treasures in the Bible lately too), internet and email so I can email my family and so they can email me, times when I can understand more than 30% of the Spanish going on, the chance to hear people's testimonies, the Holy Ghost, Turkey (I don't actually know how much traditional Thanksgiving food we'll get on Thursday - we have two meal appointments. One with a member family and one with a part member family. I'm excited to see what comes of that), new experiences, and peanut butter. Also, I am grateful for anyone who actually reads all of this. It's a lot :)
We all have a lot to be thankful for - if we try hard we can even find reasons to be grateful for our adversities and the trials we go through.
I have some exciting news - I found out that I can totally email whoever I want! So, I would be super happy to hear from anyone who thinks zipping off an email would be easier than a handwritten letter. Please email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I love you all!!! Que tengan un buen semana!!
Katie (Hermana Palmer)