E-Mail on 1/13/14 – The work continues

In spite of my heart breaking move from Barcelona to Vic, the work is still going.  It’s sometimes awkward because I get to be the person that everyone is like “Oh… where did the other one go?  You know the one we liked…” and I’m like “Yeah sorry… she’s gone.  You’ll just have to settle for me.”  And then they’re like “….Welcome to Vic… I guess…” and then I’m like “Thanks… I love it here but I miss Barcelona…” Yeah.  That’s about how this week went.  I’m hoping that it gets better as they learn to love me and I learn to love them.  Which will happen.  I’m pretty stinkin’ lovable. 

One tender mercy (amongst the many, many tender mercies that we missionaries are blessed with literally every day) is that I’m in the same stake.  This Sunday we had Ward Conference so a bunch of leaders from the Stake came up and taught and it was super awesome.  One of my Peruvian mothers was one of those people that came up because she is the Stake Relief Society President.  She kind of threatened Hermana Findlay to take good care of me.  It was nice to have familiar faces in church on Sunday.  Nice…but also kinda sad too.  Eventually I’ll be okay with all this.  I pray for love a lot and that’s been working.

Vic is really cute and quaint.  I still have no idea where we are when we walk around (duh… it’s only been a week) but it won’t be too hard to figure out seeing as it’s not HUGE.  It’s fun to see people greet each other in the streets because most everyone knows everyone.  I love the idea of getting to know ALL the members completely.  I kind of like that type of community.  Tight.  Close.  Solid. 

The work here is a lot of fortifying the branch.  We’ve really realized that we can’t bring new people into this church if there isn’t a healthy climate for them to be in.  The stories of all the less actives are so sad and there needs to be a lot of lessons on the Atonement and forgiveness, but that’s why we’re here.  We’re here to make sure they know that we love them, God loves them, and it’s okay to come back.  It’s safe.  We’re the people in charge of convincing people that it’s safe to come back.  We are in charge of loving them like the Lord does without any judgement of any kind.  It’s an interesting balance of being stern enough because they’re members and they ought to know better and being gentle enough because they’re hurting and we don’t want to make it worse.  It’s harder than teaching new people.  However it’s just as, if not more, rewarding when a less active comes to church as an investigator.

I’ve realized that while I really don’t like street contacting, knocking doors doesn’t scare me at all.  I actually kind of like it. You hit the little “timbre” and they answer and you say “Somos las misioneras de la Iglesia de Jesucristo (de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias) y tenemos un mensaje que puede cambiar su vida acerca Jesucristo.  Tiene tiempo que podemos visitarle y compartir este mensaje?”.  Often they say no, sometimes they say come back another time, sometimes they beep you in before you say anything because they’re expecting company… It works.  You find people that way.  I don’t know why I’m so afraid of talking to people on the street though!  It’s scary just to approach them and start talking.  I’m trying to figure out the best way to do it still.  Once Hermana Findlay is talking to someone, I’m not scared anymore and I’m totally fine to jump in and chat.  It’s just that initial contact…. scary.

Hermana Findlay and I have the same level of Spanish.  I think President put us together to really get us to progress in that.  It’s kind of funny actually… we have almost the same time in the mission so we’re both used to being led.  Now we’re both trying to figure everything out.  I pull the “I’m the junior companion” card sometimes when I don’t want to decide something.  It’s kind of refreshing though to see that wow, I actually can do this… I have ideas, I can help people, I receive revelation.  It’s really fun working with Hermana Findlay.  She’s the sweetest person I know.  Plus we’re always laughing and having a good time.  We’re both goofy, easy-going, indecisive… every night we just talk and talk until bedtime.  It’s been really nice.  We’re buying a blender today.  Why?  Because we want to.  We’re just weird.  Smoothies for breakfast!!!

HEY!  I was listening to Christmas music (I told Hna. Findlay that you’d find that really funny because I’m the one who complains about Christmas music outside of December) and on the Mannheim Steamroller Extraordinare CD is a song that I’ve been hearing EVERYWHERE because it’s a Catalan song.  It’s like super classic.  I freaked out a little and said “WHAT?!  I’ve heard this song before in my life and never knew!”  It’s called “Fum Fum Fum”.  Go listen to it and know what my Christmas was like. 

I’m loving the mission.  I love it here so so much!  The people are great, the culture is great, the language is great (albeit a little tricky to speak).  I learn so much everyday and I just feel happy.  I can tell that I have changed a lot on my mission and I really hope that it stays that way.  I love it.  I would re-do this experience over and over and over if I could.  I am so very blessed to be serving the Lord.  I see so many miracles!  AH!  Missions are the best!

I love you guys, thank you for all the love and support!  Keep up the missionary work.  We really can’t do this without you all.  That’s what I’ve learned on my mission.  How to be a better member.  You gotta get involved!  It’s our job as members!  We have a beautiful message and people should know about it!  

Hasta Proxima Semana! Les quiero!

Hermana Durham

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