Monday, February 23, 2015

I Can Make Tamales!

Hello Family!

This has been a great week. Awesome things are happening in our area. Here we go!

FHE on Monday night was awesome. We played a really fun game and had the lesson by Linda! I was so happy watching Linda teach. I felt like a proud parent....until she called on me. Seriously though, I was so proud of her! I really like how our FHE coordinator (Michael) is asking a lot of our recent converts to teach. It really helps them! I also met a really awesome person! His name is John and he speaks almost twenty languages! He works for Google and he is helping them make Google Translate better. He and I spoke French for a while. He isn't a member of the Branch (he is a member of the Church), but he sometimes comes to Institute. He offered to help us out if we need any translation help. We may ask him to come to Michelle's lesson so they can both geek out about languages. I mean, I can only geek with her on French. He can geek out with her on EVERYTHING else. Seriously though, it made my night. I don't have much of a chance to use my French here. 

On Tuesday, we had service at Veggilution and then Institute lunch. Institute lunch is when the support specialist (Sister Fitzpatrick, or Sister Fitz for short) makes lunch and anyone who wants to come can eat. We met a guy there named Nate who is looking into taking an Institute class. He also seems interested in meeting with us! Keep your fingers crossed! :) We then helped Sister Fitz clean up. We also met with Christina (a less active) and had a lesson with her. She has a lot of questions and we took one of her questions and made a lesson out of it. It was a really great lesson. That night, we had dinner with the Merkleys. They live up on the top of a mountain. Every time we drive up there I get car sick! It was a really fun dinner. They are members of another ward, but Brother Merkley is the High Councilman over the Branch so he likes to feed us and the elders to talk about the Branch. It was great. We also taught Hana (a less active). 

Wednesday was not a good day for Sister Chu Shing. First off, she woke up not feeling well, then her companion (*cough cough*)accidentally fed her peanuts (she is allergic to peanuts) so she was really sick, then (at Institute dinner) she bit open a sore in her mouth and was bleeding for a couple of hours! Poor thing! Wednesday morning was also district meeting and then we helped the Laytons prepare for the big dinner. We had some extra time before dinner, so we went on visits. Meaning, we went through the list of people in the Branch and went looking for those who haven't been coming. When we were in the Berryessa area we found an investigator! He lives next door to the people were looking for! We gave him to the Berryessa elders to teach. :D For Institute dinner, we were celebrating Chinese New Year and decorated the room with Chinese lanterns and fans. We also had really yummy Chinese food. Chinese New Year is a big deal here in San Jose! Institute dinner was great, other than Sister Chu Shing getting hurt. Mercifully, none of our people we wanted to teach showed up so we were able to go home and she could go to bed. 

Thursday was a good day. We had lunch with Brother Sydall again (this is going to be a weekly thing). He took us to a nice restaurant (along with a female coworker) and we had a fun time. He was really happy that I finished all my food (he is Samoan and that is a big deal) and he picked on Sister Chu Shing for not finishing hers. We were so full! I have made a note in my planner to not eat breakfast when we eat with him!!!! We then went and visited Manny (a less active) and taught him. He and Christina promised to come to Church on Sunday. Later that night, we met with Nathan and had a good lesson with him. We think we are beginning to understand what it is that he really needs. We also had dinner with the Chandlers. They love feeding the missionaries and we had so much fun. We then had a lesson with Colin. We have been doing Preach My Gospel with him and we are on Chapter Six: Christlike Attributes. It was great. 

Fridays are pretty slow here. That is when we do a lot of planning and service. We did, however, get to go to a Branch Activity. The Rogers (President Rogers and his wife) had a farewell dinner for the Laytons (they leave next week, 4 March) and they invited the whole branch to come (without telling the Laytons that everyone was coming). It was so much fun! There was a waffle bar and we all just ate and talked. They also have a giant chess set and I went against Guy (a member of the branch). He creamed me. It was fun though. We then met up with the Spanish sisters because we were going to do an exchange. So, I was with Hermana Reyes and spent the night at their apartment. 

Saturday was an interesting day. I spent all of it in the Spanish program and a decent part of it on a bike. :D First, after studies, we went to Zone Service. We then went to lunch before going to serve a woman named Lorena. She was feeding us that night and needed help making the tomales. So, I learned how to put tomales together! We did that for a while and then went and got our bikes so that we could go visit some other people. We saw Leonardo and Aristeo and taught them about the Plan of Salvation (I listened. The only english speaker we had planned that day cancelled!). We also tried to go see a recent convert named Bety, but she wasn't home, so we saw Hermano Sanchez and his wife. We then went and saw Hermana Blancarte and taught her the Plan of Salvation too. Before the lesson with Hermana Blancarte, Hermana Reyes needed to use the restroom, and left me alone with Hermana Blancarte and her husband. Thankfully, they both knew that I speak very little spanish! I tried to start a conversation and they were really nice about it. But, man, that was stressful!!!! I felt so useless. I speak very little Spanish T^T We then went to dinner with Lorena, which was fun., Spanish dinners. You have to eat everything on your plate and take multiple servings so that you don't offend them. So many tomales... It was really good though! After that, we exchanged back. It was a lot of fun, even if I don't speak Spanish and I was sore the next day from the bike! :D 

Later that night, I found out that while I was gone, Sister Chu Shing and Hermana Dominguez set a baptismal date! Another set of sisters gave us one of their investigators because he is YSA age and they set a baptismal date with him! His name is Daniel and he will be baptized on March 21st! I am so excited to meet him this week and teach him! :D

Sunday was great. The Laytons spoke in Sacrament meeting to say goodbye to the Branch. It was so nice. President Hoggan (stake president) was there too. Brother Smalls (Alisa's grandpa) was there too because he is in the Stake Young Mens presidency. He is so awesome! After Church, we met with Linda and talked about temples. The Branch had a temple trip the previous day and she went (proud parent moment again)! We also met with Hana again. I worry about her. We then had dinner with Christina. It was so fun. We then saw Colin and continued teaching him about Christlike Attributes. It has been fun teaching him about that. It makes me take a look and see what I want to work on. 
New Pamphlet and Book of Mormon in French!!

I'd send a funny story, but I think all of Saturday was funny. I mean, poor little me sitting there trying to figure out what everyone is saying! Thank goodness for French, or I would have missed a lot more than I did! XD

Today has been a good day so far. We did our laundry and grocery shopping. Now we just have some letters to write and then the Zone Activity. We are going to go play pukana on campus and see if we can attract any potential investigators! Pukana is a game from Sister Chu Shing's home. Basically, it is like the game signs mixed with the haka. The point is to try to intimidate the person going after you. So fun!!!! I hope it works :D

Love you so much!


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