Monday, October 1, 2012

10 Things that make me INCREDIBLY happy: Pasadena North edition
1. Humidity. 
I love not having to put lotion on my face every second of every day.
2. Mitt Romney supporters. 
My companions and I were prayed for on the corner of Crawford street by a sweet Christian Couple and they told us how we need to tell EVERYONE to vote for Mitt Romney.
3. Las Fuentes taqueria & refresqueria. 
They make food almost exactly the way Mom cooks food. It feels like I'm still at home.
4. Hispanic children. 
They love me. I love them. I received two stickers this week from our friend "Jasmine" one that says, "You're #1" the other says, "Great idea!"
5. My name is the easiest out of my companions to remember. 
YESSSS! However, this may mean that I'll be asked to do a lot more things in church.
6. Red-White-and-Blue Texas sunrises.
 It looks like a giant American Flag is waving across the skies in the morning.
7. Biking in the rain. 
Except when you fall and scrape your leg and arm. (see below)
8. How fast chisme travels. 
I fell. off my bike. The same day that I came down with a cold. I thought no one had seen. Wrong! Turns out an investigator (someone the missionaries are teaching) 
saw and word traveled to the Elders in a city over 30 min away. As Daniela would say, that's cray-cray.
9. Barbecue and Peach cobbler. 
After district meeting last Friday we stopped at a little place voted to have the best barbecue in Pasadena. 
It was such a small little place but it was delicious. I'm craving one of their pulled pork sandwiches right now.
10. Los Miembros. 
So many of them have experienced struggles most of us only hear about on the news. That is real life here in Texas. everyday. Most of the members in our ward our low low income high poverty and it breaks my heart to hear about the struggles they go through. Immigration is a huge issue out here with families torn apart my deportation and people traumatized from crossing the border. 

   Surprise! I've been assigned to Pasadena, TX. It is nothing like it's namesake in California. It's a mix between West Valley City-Compton-and-Huntington Park. So basically, I'm serving at home! Even before I had left on the mission, I knew I wanted to serve in Pasadena. Not because of the name, actually mostly because I read a story in Vogue about Marlen Esparza. The first female boxer from the US to compete in the Olympics. I'm in her hometown! Reading about her story just got me super excited about my mission, and I'm hoping maybe someday we'll come across some of her family members here and teach them about the gospel? Maybe?
   I love my Mission President. President Crawford and his wife are so excellent. I wanted to cry as soon as we saw them waiting for us by baggage claim at the airport. I got to spend my first night at the mission home and had orientation, a lovely Barbecue lunch with Tex-Mex dinner, and had interviews so President could get to know us a little better. There were 16 of us traveling to the mission home, 7 hermanas, and 9 elders. Apparently, it's the biggest group the mission has seen. & President Crawford told us that the Church is working really hard to build up the number of missionaries in our mission. I'm in a trio! President let me in on a little fun fact that they've never had a trio where one trainer is training two fresh new missionaries, but because I already knew Spanish, I came a little bit earlier than the mission was expecting. But, luckily since I knew Spanish President said he felt great about putting me in this said trio. 
   My trainer is Hermana Maughan from Provo, UT. Love her. She's a seasoned missionary and gets home in December! Some of my favorite Hermana Maughan manerisms is that she's sassy and talks with her hands. She makes this little grabbing motion every time she is making an important but sarcastic point. It's great. She also loves to add the suffix "ter" to a lot of adjectives like, "chillster" or just adds, "ster" to the end of everyone's last name. Including herself, which ends up being, "Maughnster" pronounced "Mon-ster." It's great. My other companion is Hermana Canova from Salt Lake City. She totally sounds like Hannah Montana. no joke. I finally had the guts to confess that to her yesterday. She's tall 5'10 tall and is so funny. She gets delirious once it hits 10 o'clock at night to where she laughs at EVERYTHING. It's funny to watch. I've been helping Hermana Canova with her pronunciation. She has this tendency to read Spanish and pause every three words and make it sound as if she's asking a question. But, we're working on it. I told her to just pretend in Spanish that everything is one big long word. It's worked!
   Missionary work is kind of nothing like they taught us in the MTC. We spend a lot more time finding than actually teaching. So far I'm the winner for picking "Golden" streets. I've chosen two so far, Mattye Mae and Harrhop (my spelling could be off on that one). We've found three people on these two streets that we're really excited to teach. Victoria, and then Emma & Jaime (names of these people have been changed). Victoria was so excited to meet with us and told us that she had been waiting for people to knock on her door and thought that maybe people had avoided her door because it wasn't well lit at night. She's a sweet woman from Mexico with twins and she asked us to come teach her the very next day. She poured out her heart to us and told us some of the many challenges she's had in her life. We taught her about the power of prayer and at the end she offered up one of the sweetest, most sincere prayers I have ever heard. Just thinking about it makes my heart swell.
  My time is up for this week. But, I love you all. & I am SO excited to be here in the Lone Star State serving with my gente!
With Love, 
Hermana Flores

p.s. Um, did Tia Maria really give the opening prayer for the General Relief Society Broadcast or was that just a trick of my eyes? K. Just checking.
p.p.s Here's my new address!

Hermana Lauren Marie Flores
1000 E Curtis Dr. #119
Pasadena, TX 77502


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