Well familia y amigos, this is going to be a whirlwind because we've got to get moving if we want to go to a museum today. We're heading down to Boston to visit the Isabella Gardner Art Museum! Woohoo!! We figured out a way to get cheaper passes so even though we can't go spend all day there, it's worth the cheaper ticket to get to go for a few hours. We're sooooo excited!
Yesterday at church was CRAZY!! I found out when I got to the Lynn Branch that we were going to be speaking yesterday, but I certainly haven't had much time before this last week to prepare it. So, as Hna. Hildenbrand and I were preparing talks last week we assumed the Elders in the branch would be speaking as well. That is what Hna. H communicated to me and that's what she understood from Presidente Fuentes. So...on Saturday we thought we ought to just doublecheck so we asked the Elders if they were speaking and they told us they were not. We quickly called Presidente Fuentes to find out who else would be talking...but it turns out that we were the only ones scheduled...
We got off the phone with Presidente and my brain just about exploded - I didn't think I could give a full blown sacrament meeting talk in Spanish. Turns out, that the Lord prepares whom he calls. It's such a blessing that the Spirit was with us because we filled up the time and actually did an okay job. How crazy is that?! My talk ended up being about 20 minutes and the only parts I read were the scriptures and quotes I used and a few bullet points I wrote down. For me, that's huge! It's huge in English let along in Spanish. I know it wasn't perfect Spanish, but it was super rewarding to realize that with my Heavenly Father's help I can do really hard, seemingly impossible, things.
Spending so much time working on our talks this week we didn't really have much time to put into the primary lesson that we were also asked to give when we went to the Primary President's house for dinner on Thursday. We know how important it is to support the leaders in the branch and they don't usually ask us to do things like that so we certainly had to say yes. We taught the 8-11 year olds about the story of Sherem the anti-christ in Jacob 7. There were 10 of them crammed into an itty bitty classroom! It's really great that the branch has been growing even since I've gotten here, but it made for a rough class. We were relating the story to the importance of testimonies and things we can do to help build our testimonies. I think most of them got the gist of it - it was just a little bit hard for me because I did NOT feel prepared enough to really know how to present the story in a way that they could all relate so I don't really blame them for being so off-task. We'll try better next time I suppose :)
One of our investigators showed up to Sacrament meeting yesterday! We had no idea she was coming and she got there a little late and had to leave after sacrament was over but she came! It was really exciting for us! We also had a lesson with her last night and found out that she's actually been reading the Book of Mormon and her friend came over so we got to teach her friend part of the first lesson. Not only was Bienela (our investigator) super attentive, but she was actually helping us teach it and was right on target with everything she was saying. She's been taught all of the lessons a few times and apparently the information is sticking. How exciting for her!
I feel like we've been having really great success with trying to improve our relationships with the members in the branch here. It really is starting to feel like we have our own little family in the branch. Now we're just working on helping the members understand their responsibility in missionary work. That's one thing I've learned SO much about by being on a mission - I've realized how fundemental missionary work is for every member to participate in. When we're not being open and inviting about our religion, we're denying people the opportunity to receive blessings. They still have the option to choose if they want to accept what we tell them, but they will never know if we are never open about it. This is something I am going to remember for my whole life.
The weather has been a little crazier than usual - we had a super rainy day and then an INCREDIBLY windy day! It just so happened to be the day that we were trying to take pictures with the Elders in our branch so we can make a card for all the members (it's a secret - don't tell! jaja!). So we went up to this cool tower called "High Rock Tower" that overlooks Lynn and you can see the city from it. There was even a guy hanging around that was super nice and took the pictures but they turned out really bad because it was SO windy! We ended up taking some other ones on a member's doorstep last night that I think we're actually going to use.
Anyway - this has just been kind of a word splatter. I hope it all makes sense and that you are all doing well and that you're happy. I love you all!!
Con tanto carino!!