Monday, July 22, 2013

I Love this Work

I love being a missionary. Seriously, I love it. Like I am literally living my dream life and can't stop thinking about how much I love these people and this work. I seriously can't believe it is p-day again. I told my companion that I didn't want to have a p-day because I just want to work. :) she didn't really like that idea, so here I am. But, CAN YOU SAY BUSY!? This past week has literally flown by. Time seems to be slipping through my fingers and there isn't enough time to do all the things we need to do. But can I tell you something? Training and white-washing is the best and the most fun that I have ever had on my mission. I am LOVING it. It is really hard and stressful, but God is literally carrying us and miracles are happening every single day. My companion and I are literally sweating like 102893092839081209381 gallons of sweat everyday and we have like 30948203948390842908 mosquito bites on our legs. We are like constantly itching and then laughing because our legs literally look like we have the plague!  But "vale la pena" (its all worth it). Here is to one of the best weeks that I have ever had on my mission. Literally. Thank you Heavenly Father.
So my companion and I have been super busy building member trust and building relationships with the "big wigs" like the bishop and ward missionary leader and ward missionaries and the ward council. We have been busy pulling weeds, cleaning houses and dishes and teaching a lot of family nights to help the members see us as true representatives of Jesus Christ. I love service, like more than anything else in life. There is just something about it that not only shows others how much you love them, but it also builds your relationship in a way that nothing else could. I love it. AH! But we have begun to see the results of it already! In fact, we picked up 15 referrals just this past week! No idea how that happened. But it sure makes an empty area book fill up fast. Not only are the members eagerly looking for people to share the gospel with us, but they ALL volunteer to come to lessons with us. THIS WARD IS ON FIRE!!!!! Most all of them have been baptized within the past 5 years and this ward gets about 30 baptisms a year! So everyone has "caught the wave" of missionary work and it is the coolest thing ever. They are willing to drop whatever they are doing (work included) to come out and tract with us or come to lessons with us. AMAZING!! The church should come film this ward, and show everyone how it works. It makes me so excited for when I come home to implement all I am learning about how to be a true member missionary. DEAR LOVED ONES---I LOVE YOU. BUT HELP THE MISSIONARIES!!! Pray, seek inspiration for people they can teach, go with them to lessons, DO ANYTHING! They need you. Without the members, we are nothing...because we NEED fellowship in order to build COVERTS not just baptism. :) There was my missionary soapbox. But really---stop reading this email and get to work ;).
Miracles are happening everyday.
Jacklyn! JACKLYN! JACKLYN!!!!!!!!! She is on fire. Like hotter than it is outside. (which, by the way is an astounding 112 degrees plus humidity). Our district had a baptism this week, and so we invited Jacklyn and Ricardo to come see what they will be doing. They came and they brought their ENTIRE family!! Jacklyn loved it, and told us that she can't wait to be in the font on August 10th. After the baptism we took her on a church tour with a recent convert member and her husband Ricardo and she expressed to us that she knows that this is the true church with all of her heart. The Spirit jabbed my heart like a big drink of hot chocolate. Looking at Jacklyn and her smile and just seeing her making all these up tea, giving up her Sunday work, reading and praying daily, coming to church every, it is AMAZING. She is so much happier and it has been SO fun to see her progress in these past couple of weeks. We are hoping and praying that her husband (Ricardo) who also wants to get baptized, is able to quit smoking ASAP so he too can be baptized. He is down to only 2 cigars a day, but still not enough. We are going over tonight to take his pack from him.....if he lets us. We, of course will not be smoking the cigars. But anyways Jacklyn came to church again this week! She is so solid. She is really good friends with Hermana Rojas who is another Peruvian in our ward. They hit it off really well. But the even greater thing is, is that she came to ALL THREE HOURS OF CHURCH and she loved it! In relief society the ladies went crazy! They like attacked her almost with so much love. My companion and I were literally almost crying because we have never seen anything like it. it was almost scary, but actually probably the greatest thing that ever happened. She had like 10 woman around her asking her questions for like the whole day at church! AMAZING. They also had her introduce herself in front of the whole relief society and Jackyln announced her baptism! She said "I know that this is where I belong. I have been to a lot of different churches and this is the only one that feels right." When she announced that she is going to baptized on the 10th of August the relief society really GASPED. All the oxygen in the room was taken out of the room and I am pretty sure some of the older ladies passed out because of their excitement. WHAT A GREAT DAY AT CHURCH! Not to mention all the crazy kisses I got on my cheek. My companion and I have decided that we will probably develop a bruise on our cheek from all the "besitos" we get. So much for no kissing on the the time I get home my kissing charts will have been off the charts!
Anyways are you ready for my super sketchy mafia story that turned into a woman and girl who are going to be baptized on the 24th of August?
So Hermano Tapia is our ward mission leader and he is literally the greatest thing that ever happened to missionary work. If a member can't go with us to a lesson he is hounding them and makes them find someone else to go with us. He lives in this super rich apartment complex and knows how to work the system. This apartment complex is also filled with Hispanics. One night we wanted to meet with him and discuss areas to tract and to involve members in the ward. So we were to meet with him around eight and he took us to this bar in a far, dark corner. It seriously probably looked like we were working for the mafia because it was dark and we had a map and were talking about specific names. But, Hermano Tapia is a champion---we got a lot of ground work laid. Then there was an Hispanic lady in the lobby and Hermano. Tapia said..."hey! go teach her." So I walked over to start teaching Jill, who is from Columbia. She was literally prepared carefully by the Lord. We sat down and started to teach the first discussion. She loved it. She said---this makes sense! and she accepted to be baptized. But literally right as we were discussing baptism the power went out and we were sitting right next to the elevators. People were trapped in the elevators! But, we continued to teach (we didn't know what else to oops, but we had no other option). Long story short....Jill invited us back and she will be getting baptized on the 24th of August with her girl named Maria! AMAZING! I am so excited for her. Who knew the power of power-outages and sketchy bars???
As for tracting goes....
It is still my favorite part about missionary work. Lets talk about some of this week's highlights:
We knocked on this woman's door and she answered the door covered in nothing but a towel and we taught her the first lesson and invited her to baptism. She said that she would have to get dressed first....hahaha. I did not think that was that funny. but she did. Ah, man.
We were walking down the street and there was this woman carrying like 50 groceries who was Hispanic. This equaled the perfect opportunity for service, right? WRONG. She saw us see her and started walking faster. So I ran. Yes, I ran to catch her and asked if I could carry her groceries. She looked at me and said NO! So then I just walked by her (we were hitting a light jog at this point) and taught her about Jesus Christ. She finally softened, but then told us she was a Jehovah's witness and doesn't want anything to do with us. Ah, man.
We knocked on this one man's door and he yelled through the door "Quien es?" (who is it?) and we told him. Then we heard him lock the door and then he complained that he couldn't open his door. When I told him that I could help him open his door, we heard the dead bolt go on, and he said he just said it is impossible to get out. When I offered to call the police to help him get out of his apartment, he rejected and told us to go to a different door. When we went to the back of the house....there was no other door. Ah, man.
We tried the "singing door approach" to spice things up this week. If people wouldn't let us in the door. We sang "I am a child of God" to them in Spanish. Almost 100% of the time, they would then let us in and we were able to teach them. AMAZING. The power of music is so real and both my companion and I love to sing, so we have had a total blast. There was one lady who was really hesitant about letting us teach her and then we sang. She said "Get in here girls!" My companion and I just smiled at her and jumped into the restoration.
The Lord has helped us immensely. Actually, He has done it all. None of this was me or my companion. We are just wanting to work and work hard. The new motto for life has come up, because I am sure not perfect, even though I try really hard. As a missionary it is easy to get down on yourself (just like in life) and sometimes things don't go as planned. But I have learned instead of getting down on yourself it is better to face life with the attitude of: "Everyday in every way, I am getting a little bit better and stronger." And although we are going to slip up and make mistakes, I think all the Lord really wants of us is that we are constantly progressing and becoming the people and GODS we are meant to be.
Thank you so much for all the love and support you send to me via email, letters, cards, packages and prayers. They are the best thing in the world! May God bless you and I hope you never forget who you are and what a great purpose you have on this earth.

I love you more than anything in the world. xoxox
Your biggest fan,
Hermana Weenig

The bishop's daughter and her garden. We helped her weed for like 2 hrs! Her name is Cecilia! I love her
My twin! This man also has a "gimper" pinky like I do! He is an investigator, but insists that he and I are twins because of our deformed pinkies.

Yes, that is a birthday cake for a girl that turned 15 in our ward. For Hispanics, the 15th birthday is a bigger deal than marriage.
Desk of destiny.
Love my companion :)

                       White washing is a journey. Here is the map, now we have to find.

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