Monthly Archives: July 2014

E-Mail on 7/28/14 – Still Touching Heaven

BASICALLY, IT’S BEEN A SUPER GREAT AND WONDERFUL WEEK!  We had a 10 day streak of finding news and at the end of the last 14 days we have 14 new investigators.  There are a lot of really promising people and I’m quite ecstatic about the prospects here!  Some of the news aren’t as promising but at least we’re planting seeds here.

Alex is one of our promising news.  He doesn’t have a strong belief in God but he came to church!  He’s 21 and he’s shown up to everything we’ve invited him to.  He’s a genuine gentleman, showing concern for us (by renting a bike so we could get home in time… we can’t use bikes… generous thought) and for the other members.  Great kid!  Except for the part where he called me “mala leche”.  Then another member called me that too… shoot.  I have some attitude adjusting to do I guess.

It’s still really hot.  And apparently so are we because we are getting stopped in the streets more and more often.  HA!  It’s fun to tell them we’re missionaries and so… yeah… that’s all we’re here to do.  Sorry boys, gotta get baptized first.  Well… actually gotta listen to the lessons first.  Then baptism.

We had interviews on Wednesday where I asked President Pace how I could stay focused for the last stretch of my mission.  We came to this conclusion:  All ya’ll need to stop reminding me!  I told him that it was hard for me to get myself focused in the beginning of my mission, so I don’t want to lose focus at the end too.  That’s not fair to the Lord.  So… here is the last I’m saying about my time here.  Final Interviews: January 19th.  Dinner and Testimony Meeting: January 20th.  Free to Be Picked Up: January 21st.  Got it?  You know my areas, you know where I will want to visit and whatever… just work it out without me now.  Email the Paces.  I officially resign from any home talk and I will NOT respond to it!  Ahh… that feels so much better, doesn’t it?

Thursday we went to Barcelona.  What?!  Yeah.  I needed to renew my DNI and Hermana Masters needed to get hers so now we are more official and what not.  I still need to go back but for now I’m in the system.  It’s always good to be legal.

Life is good.  This last week was so full of miracles.  We had 13 lessons with a member present (totally helps to have really wonderful members!) and we had 6 investigators in church, and we found 6 new people this last week.  We are very happy.  Prayers have been answered and the work is moving forward like a steam engine!  It’s actually faster than that.  The Lord has better technology.

Being a missionary is about the best thing ever.  I feel so unbelievably blessed and I really just don’t think I deserve all these miracles, but I’m not complaining!

I’m attaching a picture of Emilio, an investigator of the Elders.  He invited us over to eat the other day and he made tons of really great food.  Then he showed us his peanut bocadillo.  It was a joke and everything but I decided to take a picture.  He’s so cute.  He’s the investigator I chased around in the sacrament room to sit closer.  We’re friends.  He thinks I’m mala leche too.  And then another lizard picture, because well… why not?  And here are the Elders filling up our water jugs because they broke them.  Punishment.

Have a great week!  I love you all!

Hermana Mala Leche Durham
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E-Mail on 7/21/14 – From the Depths of Hell to the Heights of Heaven

We had a nice chat, Hermana Masters and I, where we discussed the ups and downs of missionary work and how you feel all sorts of emotions in the spectrum that makes up the human capacity to feel. It can basically be summed up as:

“We experience the lowest part of hell and the highest points of heaven.”          -Taylor Masters

So last week was a pretty low week, but this week we’re touching the sky.  It’s been a week full of miracles!  One of the problems of last week has been resolved and we’re back on track, making progress.  Another problem is slowly working itself out and so we should see great things come of that.

Plus we found a new investigator EVERY. SINGLE. DAY this week!  WOOOOOOO!  We ended with 8.  I don’t know how it happened but on Tuesday I had joked with Hermana Masters and said “Wow, we’ve found a new person every day this week”, seeing as it had been two days and we’d done that before.  So we set the goal to get one the next day and we found 2 when we were knocking doors near the church.  It was actually the FIRST door we knocked and they invited us to come back and accepted to read the Book of Mormon.  So then…naturally we had to keep up our 3 day streak.  Found a new one Thursday.  Friday.  Saturday it looked really slim up until we contacted a man in the park.  Sunday it looked even MORE slim until the member we were eating with said “I want to take you to meet my friend.  Let´s go!”.  Boom.  It was amazing!

We ate cake made with coffee.  Super sinners.  The look on Alicia’s face was priceless when her friend offered us this cake and said it had coffee in it.  Alicia blessed the food so that we wouldn’t suffer damage and looked pretty apologetic for getting us in there.  But whatever!  New investigator!  We’ll cross the Word of Wisdom lesson bridge when we get there.  Hopefully God forgives us.  We’ll have to practice turning down food.

We’re praying super hard to have the uncle of Gianella and Helen show up.  I talked with him on the phone (that was super surreal…

“Hey I’m the uncle in California, who’s this?”

“Hermana Durham”

“Oh Durham? That’s a pretty well known name in Utah.”

“Yeah… I guess so…”

“What part of Utah are you from?”

“Salt Lake.”

“Oh so like Holladay or…”

“Yeah… Holladay… How did you know?”

… Super weird… Plus I was talking to someone who was in the US).  He told me that we was trying to get here…but still had no idea when.  BAH!  These poor girls have been waiting forever.  Todavía están esperando… wah wah wah.

Super great week.  We have interviews coming up, which I love.  I’m stoked!  We have a lot of great potential baptisms in the works and we’re excited to be working hard.  To make it an interesting week we’re celebrating Christmas in July.  We pulled out the Christmas tree and everything.  I know.  Who is this Jordan and what did she do with the one who hates early Christmas celebrations?  I don’t know… I just can’t explain it.

Have a wonderful week, do wonderful things, meet wonderful people and share this wonderful gospel.  People need it!  Les quiero a monton!  Espero que tengan una buena semana!

Hermana Durham

E-Mail on 7/14/14 – High Expectations for a Bunch a Kids

I’m going to be Frank…. because being Hermana Durham is super hard right now.

It’s been a rough week, not going to lie.  I can’t, I’m a missionary.  I guess the good news would be that we are on a new week.  New week, new start, right?  So we can just forget the last week and get to work.  In theory.  So, sorry… this email is going to be short because I just don’t want to get into the hard stuff.

Luz got baptized!!!  Yay!  That was really quite beautiful and amazing and wonderful!  It was stressful at first but really great.  Rewind a second.  A little boy in the ward, David, got baptized earlier in the day.  I was asked to speak about baptism THAT DAY!  It’s a good thing that’s a pretty great topic to talk about though.  Right after that the father of this boy, Pablo, drove us to his office so we could print programs for the baptism because it being a Saturday afternoon, nothing was open.  Super super super thoughtful, super super super nice!  It took us longer than we would have liked but we got them done and we zipped back to the church to get Luz dressed up in the dress that Hna. Alicia so kindly fit to her that day.  Seriously it was a day full of miracles and life saving in the part of the members!

So we rushed to get Luz dressed. She stripped for us in the bathroom… probably the highlight of my mission.  Especially because when she kicked off her pants her daughter got mad and said she was going to get them dirty.  Her daughter is 19.  Practically like a mom.  We were DYING!  She’s just so funny.  Hermana Masters and I each gave the talks, seeing as Luz asked us to, then we sang (with the Elders) himno 81 Pensaste orar, which in English is……. Oh! “Did You Think to Pray”.  Then Luz got baptized which was beautiful!  She got into the font and just looked all around at the people and her family and everyone.  She was like a kid in a candy shop!  When she came out she said it was “Maravillosa!” over and over again.  We went back and Luz bore her testimony, then Alicia did.  It was a lovely service, probably the best I’ve helped put together.  The pretty church helps.  Everyone told us it was super great, very well done.  Yes!  Win!

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We’re hoping the uncle of Gianella and Helen show up this week so that they can get baptized this week.  Ugh.  That’s the ONLY road block on this one!!!!  Frustrations abound, don’t they?  But it’s okay.  He’ll come, they’ll get baptized.  It’ll be okay.

Walking to and from the church has been a real adventure.  It’s amazing how much time it eats out of our schedule.  We had no lessons yesterday for example because we had to be at consejo de barrio (ward council) and then…yeah it just was fun.  It’s a long walk.  My hips are paying for it, I think.  I feel like an old lady with all my aches and pains!

I’m reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish, right?  I’m in Ether 9!  So close, so close!  I only have 2 weeks (less…) to finish but I think I can do it!

And well, that’s all folks.  The ward is slowly learning that we ain’t perfect, that we’re children… so yeah…. that’s all on that subject.  It will get better.  We just need time.  Thankfully we have so many incredible members here that help balance out the stressful ones.

I’m happy, I’m healthy, I use sunscreen (don’t worry!) and I am reading and praying and going to church.  Life is good.  Keep on sharing!  I love you all!

Hermana Durham

E-Mail on 7/7/14 – “It´s a blessing but it came in a bad way.” “Oh…so like a baby.”

We have really funny conversations sometimes.  This girl (Hermana Masters) kills me, she’s so funny.  It’s nice to be able to laugh on your mission because sometimes the mission is very hard and you need people who are fun to help you stay normal.

Last Monday I got my haircut for the last time on my mission.  My hair is officially even!  WOO!  I was going to get it cut at this one place (Elder Burnett was getting is haircut and so we were just hanging around) but then after the guy asked how old I was and if I’d marry him we decided it wasn’t a good idea.  It would have been okay if the Elders could have stayed to protect us but they couldn’t so they suggested we leave.  I found a very nice place where a very nice woman cut my hair instead.  Livin’ on the edge!

Oh you can just never escape the drama.  It’s always there.  We’re having some great ward drama with people claiming that people are racist, investigators refusing to listen to anything anymore because of members… we’re just having fun here.  It’ll all be better soon, I think.  We fasted for the ward.

The new church opened up!  It’s a 35 minute walk from our piso in the blazing sun (there is almost no shade) but it’s beautiful! We had a full house on Sunday and people just love the building. It’s gorgeous.  We’re going to see how it goes this week as we all try and adjust our schedules to the extra travel time involved here.

This week we are planning on having Luz, Gianella and Helen baptized.  We’re going to just try as hard as possible for them all to have beautiful services and to be prepared and happy.  The new font helps a lot.

To celebrate the 4th of July we sent our British missionary a scripture.  1 Nephi 13:16-19.  I’m funny.  BOOM!  Scripture-ed!  Today we’re going to an American style diner to eat for lunch.  That will be how we celebrate… super fun, I know.  We’re not allowed to do fireworks.  Mission rules for the lose! (No just kidding.  I love the rules a lot.  We’re blessed with those!)

Elvis got baptized!  He’s an investigator of the Elders.  He’s been investigating for like a year or more and he just out of the blue called the Elders and said it was time for him to be baptized.  But they kept it a secret.  No one was allowed to know WHO was getting baptized.  He just wanted people to come on the fact that there would be a baptism.  Pretty cool, if you ask me!  We found out Friday night and then every one else found out at the baptism.  The best reaction was his girlfriend, Mirela.  She’s a recent convert.  When she saw him in white… wow.  Priceless!  It was a beautiful day.  I love baptisms!

At the baptism I chased another investigator of the Elders, Emilio, around the chapel to get him to sit closer.  He’s a grumpy old man and so he needs to be pushed a little.  I told President, he said it was okay.  I am a really weird missionary, I think.  I mean it WORKED so that’s good right?  He sat in the third row and then I got him to sit closer in Sacrament meeting yesterday.

So yeah… that was the week.  It’s really a long walk to the church when you’re fasting and the sun is burning you.  But otherwise it’s totally manageable.

I love you all!  Do good things!  Be good people!  Have hope and faith and charity!  MUAH!

Hermana Durham