Family and Friends!
I’ve said it before, but every week in the mission leaves a billion things to report on and I will do my best to relate the best in the allotted hour I have! Please excuse the choppiness of this letter, but I will dedicate quick paragraphs to the different experiences and people I have met this week. This past Sunday was Easter and it was a very busy week for us. Sister Matheson and I decided to sing a song in church (good bait to get investigators to attend) AND I was asked to take over the Relief Society lesson for the week and we took over for basically all of the music playing and directing this Sunday… it was a sister missionary filled Easter. I absolutely loved teaching Relief Society though. My 4th semester I was called as Relief Society teacher and I was so pumped to teach to my beloved women of the Church! It was quite a different experience teaching a more matured audience though lol. I was used to 18-21 year olds; the feedback and participation this time around was extremely enlightening and so amazingly wonderful.
There is a husband and wife in the ward who have us over every Wednesday for dinner. The Wrights are such sweet people. Brother Wright is pretty normal, but Sister Wright is one of the loudest and most wonderful people I have ever met! She hugs EVERYONE at church and a Sister Wright hug is a full body hug in which you’re not sure which way your body will bend. I love her so much. Whenever Wednesday rolls around, we eat dinner and hear some cute story from their past. They are seriously the cutest couple, a little nerdy but cute… they don’t have cell phones, but they do have a full-out-half wall radio which is beeping Morse code. They installed a radio to his truck and there are these super tall antennas sticking out of his trick and some very serious hardware on top of their house. Anyway, this past Wed, I mentioned that I played the trumpet in 5th grade. Sister Wright got excited and left the room, she came back with a trumpet and her baritone and she gave it to me to play LOL 5th grade was a looooooong time ago. But she gave me the mouth piece to take home to practice this week hahaha, so if anyone wants to send me a trumpet fingering refresher you’d make a lot of people very happy.
I also do not know if I ever mentioned that we teach an English class! Twice a week, my companion, other missionaries and I teach an English class in our area. I teach the Advanced class and I am finding that I am speaking more Spanish than I am Portuguese! I am so grateful for the ease in which the basics of Portuguese stuck with me from the MTC though. Spanish is hard for me, but it’s difficult to explain. I can understand whenever anyone speaks Spanish to me just fine, but when it comes to responding back it is quite a process. I think in English, then translate to Portuguese then translate to Spanish. But I can do it… before my mission I would have been completely lost. Anyway, we teach people who speak pretty broken English and it is the neatest thing to have the opportunity to teach a language. I observe them and their learning styles and I am soooo aware that that will be me if I ever get to Brazil. I will ‘know’ the language but it will be a very broken ‘knowing’.
We met a woman last night who was my interesting contact of the week. Her name was Lori and she was pretty and petite for an older woman. She had these BIG brown eyes and a she was quite a character. We started off talking and she would open her mouth and her eyes as wide as she could and start bending at the waist in all directions while whispering to us that she preached to good news of Christ to wasps. Sister Matheson was a little weirded out (for some reason I like the strange ones). Then we mentioned mormon.org and she stood up straight and gave us her big eyes and opened mouth stare. She is a master family history buff and she started ranting and raving about familysearch.org! It was soooo cool. She has done thousands of names and she has thousands of documents.
Lastly is our investigator Geo. We took him to the Visitors Center behind the Temple in Santa Monica and it was quite an experience. As missionaries, we are fighting so hard to do everything in our power for him, but we can feel a sense of peace knowing that we are doing absolutely all we can. At the end of the day, one of the greatest gifts we have from God is our agency; the ability to make choices, and Geo must make the ultimate decision for himself. The spirit was piercing us left and right and there and we were inspired with words and led by the spirit in ways I cannot explain. Geo felt it; he was crying, we were crying, everyone was crying and I am so grateful for that witness.
Thank you for all your prayers and letters. They are appreciated deeply. OH! I was able to attend the Temple this last week as well 🙂 the Los Angeles Temple is ginormous and beautiful. I am so grateful for the temple in my life and I testify of the power the Temple holds. Eu amo voces! Tudo Bem!
Sister Whitney Dean