Monday, June 25, 2012

i don't understand fishing metaphores

As promised Mum, I'll tell you a little bit about girls camp. the short story, president called me a few days before and asked if Sister Barlow and I would come speak to a stake girls camp. obviously we said yes! we drove up to Mount Lemmon, and slowly the cacti started disappearing, and there were pine trees. DO YOU KNOW HOW GOOD IT WAS TO SEE PINE TREES!?! It looked like Utah. It was 70 degrees, and pure heaven.
Mum. Dad. Next summer. plan on camping at bear lake. nuff said.
We went up and talked to them about HOW they could introduce the book of mormon to their friends, and they asked us a bunch of questions about us and the missions. Played some of the typical girls camp games and cheers. it was a joy. loved it. Plus it was fun just chillin with President and Sister Killpack all day. Got some good stories out of them :P
I'm loving this new area. It's different getting used to (even though it's about 15 minutes away.) It's more of the downtown city, actually reminds me of Salt Lake, and I have yet to see a trailor park. The members here are absolutely incredible. It's kind of blowing my mind actually. We had a carne esada (spelling?) burrito party, and they had a ping pong battle. The elders and I were going at it, and everyone was crowding around chanting "aguas. aguas. aguas!"
*Dear Dad, thank you for teaching me how to properly hold a ping pong paddle. I never thought it would be so vital in missionary work :P   *
They also just come out and tract with us, which has been super cool.
We had a lesson the other night with a man named Victor, Sister Miller had been teaching for awhile. He hasn't really been progressing, or really doing anything to be completely honest. We decided to start from the basics. Faith. We watched the Finding Faith in Christ Video, and after just taught really simply. One of the members bore one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard, and said that there is purpose in Victor being here. Victor opened up, which in itself was a miracle. He was very superficial and wouldn't open up, but he went in saying he feels like he has no faith, because he lost it all when his wife died. But he wants to find more. He then asked about Joseph Smith and the room was flooded with the spirit. I left that room with such a light feeling, and the member was in tears. When his wife saw him she was touched. She said the only other time in their whole marriage she has seen him cry was when he converted to the gospel. Even when they were sealed in the temple he didn't cry.
This branch is incredible.
Which reminds me. We are in the process of turning the branch into a ward! It's crazy train over here, but we're excited...and during all our correlation meetings with the ward mission leader we are making "battle plans" of how are going to do it. The stake president came and spoke with me, and he mentioned that. He said it's going to happen in the next year...if not sooner. Hopefully while we are here.
I personally think they are just trying to get a temple keep your ears open. If you hear any announcements about Tucson Arizona Temple....Well, you all have been warned ;)
The fireside went awesome. I loved playing for it. It's weird. I always got nervous playing at home. But I have yet to get nervous here. It's actually pretty great.
sorry for the short/spaced out email. but we are in the midst of moving from our apartment into a members it's yet again,another busy pday.
happy STRAWBERRY DAYS...greatest holiday of the year.
also. mckay ENJOY EFY...look for my friends.
and if any of you see Nathan Jensen...tell him happy birthday for me! and Becca Davis too :P
hermana aguas

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"i receive all my inspiration from Adam Sandler"

I met a guy on the bus yesterday, and after he told me he was working on becoming a professional bowler and was stung by a scorpian...he told me his dream was to do stand up comedy. He did some for me, right there on the bus. I haven't laughed that hard in awhile. Not because he was funny. But because I didn't understand ANY of it.
Anyways. HOW IS EVERYONE! How was fathers day? I hope dad got my card. If not I'm gonna have an issue with the post man.
well...time for the news. I got a call on Sunday night saying to pack my bags. I'm now senior comp and a follow up trainer in east tucson, serving in the El Dorado spanish branch. So uh...I'm the one who is supposed to know how to do everything and know spanish? shoot. But I'm excited. Hermana Miller is my comp and she's from Salt Lake.
So this week, was one of those weeks where a lot of it is "I'm gonna have to tell you this after the mission" BUT my biggest miracle of the mission happened...YESTERDAY.
Back in March, during the whole "night of the pastor" incident, President Killpack told me just to go out, work hard and find the people who ARE ready for the gospel. Sister Wheatley and I did just that, and we found a woman named Maria. It was one of the first contacts that I did completely by myself in spanish and she said to come back, but only when her hubsand isn't home, because he's not into religeon.
She and I taught her a few lessons, kind of spacey, and we weren't sure if anything was really clicking. She unloaded that she was having all these marriage problems, and that her husband drinks, and they'll probably get a divorce. Sister Wheatley left and I kept teaching her.
She's always been praying for patience, and that her family would see a "change" in her. She actually would put our pamplets around the house so her family would notice and ask. Everyonce in awhile her girls would listen in, but not really say anything. Her husband started criticizing asking why we were coming over and saying she doesn't need any of this.
She almost dropped us.
Last week (not sure If I told you this story) but we went over really late one night and she was in tears. Her husband had left and everything came out. She didn't know if he was coming back, but at the end all she said was, "I want more for my girls. I want the best. And it's through Jesus Christ that I can find that". The next day, her daughters listened in, we gave them Libros de Mormon and THEY SAID they wanted to be baptized! the thing is, you have to go to church before you can be baptized and Maria works almost every sunday. But miraculously a member offered to take the girls whenever they wanted! Maria said, "my girls might be able to go to church before I can, but even if I can't go and I have to wait to be baptized...they still can!"
 On Sunday, we were looking around and didn't see them. I was pretty bummed because I knew it was going to be an AWESOME meeting. After the sacrament Hermana Barlow said "look back" and maria was there, with her two daughers Karla and Yahaira, her two granddaughters AND her husband! As soon as sacrament meeting ended, the members just stole them from us and basically turned it into a party. It was amazing. The members did all the magic.
I went back to say goodbye to them, and the husband started to talk to me. he said, "I loved your church. I really enjoyed being there. I've never liked going to other churches because I could feel the hypocricy, but there...everyone was so nice. And unified. And they cared about us, they didn't even know us. I loved it"
he then told me everything he learned and what he loved, and he and his wife just kept smiling at each other! He then asked me about the temple, and we just started talking about all the blessings for the family. He asked me why I had to leave, and they were asking me to come back for the baptism. (this means i'm gonna have to get sneaky :P  )
It was the absolute BEST way to leave. I'm so sad I won't be with them anymore, they are the reason I didn't want to leave...but MAN....I couldn't have asked for a better family to teach or a better miracle to end on.
I'm out of time...but I love you all so much.
I'll try and send out a letter, but today is crazy and I'm not sure everything will get done. but I love love love you all!
hermana aguas
p.s. Jared...I saw 2 pak on the bus yesterday. I wanted a picture SOOOOOO bad
pps glad you loved the girls camp pics mum...i'll write more about that next week hopefully
ppps yes I still get to play in the fireside. I'm only a few minute away. just another area :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

"Satan is a real jerk sometimes"- Elder Hanni

OH the elders. They keep me sane at times. Especially when we go get pizza and they spend $11 on photobooth pictures.
some things never change.
This week started off....rough? to say the least. We had the whole "break up talk" with a few of my favorite of the times I didn't even know it was going to happen, so I had no time to brace myself for the blow. let's just say I had a good long talk with Heavenly Father all night Monday.
And by Tuesday, every prayer was answered. We had a zone meeting and one of the Zone Leaders said exactly what I was praying/thinking/preoccupied about. We were doing just a regular training, and right out of left field he says, "I kind of feel like some of you are feeling like you're at the bottom. That things have happened and you don't really know where to go from here. that maybe your faith is being tested more than you thought. and you're just tired..." *amen*
He said a lot, and we watched a little clip...which I wrote over 2 pages of goodness, and it was everything I needed to hear. I was finally able to concentrate again, and forget about everything that was going on.
"We can overcome something even when we don't think we have an ouce of strenth left"
*sigh* the church is true.
afterwards we had a powdered sugar fight at a pizza place with the elders and the photobooth weakness set in :) Elder Hanni also told me he would provide me with a tie to burn to celebrate my 6 months! (I hit that in a couple of days....what?!)
In other news, I got a super interesting call the other day. Two of my investigators need to get married. he only speaks spanish, she only speaks english. How the relationship works? I still ask myself that daily. Well....let's just say there was an incident, we end up at their house, and for what seemed like 2 hours we played Marriage Counselors. Two twenty something year old girls who have ABSOLUTELY NO experience dealing with relationships or marriage are the people they are looking to as "guides"...and to make it even better. We were the interpreters.
sometimes I lye in bed at night and just laugh to myself about the situations we get ourselves into.
marriage counseling 2.0 also happened a day later, and while the girl was bearing her soul about a void being in her life, he says "would like a glass of koolaide?"
again, I ask
I love them though.
We're also teaching this girl, Berenice. She's a little older than Matt I think. Married and has a 12 year old son. She's the sweetest/funniest person I've met. When she prays she always forgets how to pronounce Waters (you never really use W in spanish) and so eventually I told her Waters, like Aguas. She just cracked up and said, "what were your parents thinking? Did they see the ocean and decide to name you Water?!" Once I explained it was my last name she's like, "ohhhh....that makes a lot more sense!" and then she started laughing again because a Mexican dicho "aguas" means "Watch out!".....pretty sure every person here has told me that.
never gets old.
She also calls all her friends and says "guess what? I have two little gringitas (gringos) who come visit me!"...when her friends don't believe it she's like, "no! really. One has blue eyes and blonde hair. she's a REAL GRINGA! I've never had white girls come to my house before"
She's awesome, and we're helping her get ready for baptism next month.
Oh, and then there is my sweet sweet Maria. (sorry Jared, I'm aware I'm long winded). She's really been looking for patience and faith, and the hope that this will change her life. She's been getting a lot of heat from her husband about us and she told us last night that she almost told us she didn't want to see us anymore. But then, we randomly stopped by last night and she unloaded everything. At the end she said, "I was going to tell you not to come back. But there's something more. I want my girls to have the best, and I know there's something more here. I know with this I can change. My family can change. I want this. Please...please keep coming".
It was crazy, and I've seen so many miracles with her. Her two teenage daughters are now listening, and I just adore their entire family. Especially her 4 year old grand daughter who ran into a screen door as we were testifying about keeping the Sabbath day holy. (No worries she's fine. Once I let her start braiding my hair she forgot all about her embarrassment)
And for one more good bit of goodness, I had a guard dog chase after me, but there was as fence inbetween. When I turned around and started laughing at it (taunting perhaps?) It ran over to a TRAMPOLINE and tried to jump the fence via the trampoline. Tears. Real tears came I was laughing so hard. Pretty sure it's gonna try pole vaulting next time. Just a day in the life. Door slamming, sweat dripping and dogs jumping on trampolines.
Happy Fathers day!!
love you!
give Grady kisses for me
hermana aguas

Friday, June 8, 2012

there are ninos in the calle

sooooooooooooooooooooo que paso?

Have you ever been staring at a computer screen and completely blank on everything you were going to write?
Alright, well that's me right now. All I can focus on right now is the man sitting in front of me saying in a raspy/serious voice "I smell fire. *another sniff* I SMELL FIRE".

It's okay. there is no fire around us.
sometimes i'm really concerned for the future of Arizona

onto mission news. We are starting to teach English classes! Which I am super excited about. Technically we are starting tomorrow, but we only put up four posters so far, and before we even left the first store we had people calling us saying they were SUPER interested and that they are inviting other people to go with them. PARTY IN THE CHAPEL.
but not really

Presidente Lopez (branch president) also asked me to play again either this sunday or next sunday just incase I get transferred. His daughter has a violin so we started messing around on it, and pretty soon we were teaching the elders and presidente how to play the violin. I loved it. I'm playing again on June 24th for a mission president fireside, so that will be a good change too

*the man just said, "she pulled me close......oh yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh*
I'm starting to really rethink my computer choice

Man my thoughts are all over the place right now. I blame the sun. I think it's melting my brain, and it doesn't help when you are out knocking the streets of mexico all day. good news is, we found this awesome little mexican shop which sells horchata, mexican ice cream and my favorite, agua we have a little bliss every once in awhile. 

shoot. times up. just know that it's great out here. hard. hot. sometimes slow. but worth it. I'm looking for way the spirit is leading us, and it just reminds me how much God's hand really is in EVERYTHING. Even if we don't see it for a little while.
The book of mormon is AWESOME. if you don't believe me, read it. especially when you get to third nephi. sometimes I wonder how people can't believe it. 

love you all. 
go read a conference talk and eat an otter pop.

and happy birthday Matt!

hermanita aguas