Sunday, March 3, 2013

NEWSFLASH: I'm a Spanish Speaking Misionera.

You know how sometimes the Lord tries to send you a message through a number of hints, sometimes not so discreet, but it takes you a couple of times to get it? That happened this week, I had a big, "aha" moment. Hint: It has to do with the title of this blog. While I was being trained, my trainer would always tell us, "You teach a person in English for as long as you can, and if they really can't understand Spanish, then you pass them off."
   This weekend, someone we handed off to the English Elders was baptized, and we also set a baptismal date, had an investigator come to church only to hand them off to the English Elders again. Hna Tonga and I were really talking about this week how sometimes language wards are used more as a way to stick with the "culture" of that language. I grew up in an English ward and I can honestly say that I understood the gospel so much more because I was taught it in my native language. I was able to feel the spirit stronger than I probably would have if my parents had taken us to a Spanish ward, because here's the thing, while I can speak in Spanish, until recently, I normally think in English. There have been a number of events that led Hna Tonga and I to our newest resolution. We are no longer going to teach lessons in English (there are of course a few excpetions to this rule). The following are these events explained in greater detail.
Reasons why Hna Flores & Hna Tonga are going to be teaching only in Spanish
  1. A couple of weeks ago I had to translate the temple president's wife's talk, and headphones were passed out to the congregation. There were only a handful of people actually using headphones, and I thought "Is this translation really necessary?"
  2. Hna Ramirez (a really faithful active member of our ward, her and her kids' families makeup a good chunk of our ward) told us that her and her family are considering moving to the English ward, because really her grandkids are not understanding anything being said at church, so it's hindering their gospel progression rather than helping...
  3. Juaqin accepted a baptismal date, and came to church, but decided he wants to try out an english ward. & how can we blame him, we taught him in English.
  4. The investigator we passed on to the English Elders (his aunt is a less active of our ward) got baptized on Saturday!
  5. Yesterday we met with the Christensen's, a family from one of the English wards and Bro Christensen shared with us that one time he was in a mtg with Elder L. Tom Perry who said something to the extent of, "The reason we have language wards is so that people can be taught the gospel in their own language, but we are all to be of the culture of God."
  6. Two English speaking only members of our ward have gone completely inactive. Granted there are other reasons for this, but really, one of them didn't understand a thing, and had to ask people to translate for her....
& there you have it.
Really quickly, I just wanted to share a little miracle story. Saturday morning, our planned appointment fell through and so we went and stopped by to visit Hna Lopez, an inactive member of our ward who we've been recently really working with. The first time I met Hna Lopez with my old companions, I brought up the question of church attention, and she got SUPER defensive, so much so that for a while I didn't want to go back. She had expressed that she felt no need to go to church.
As I said, we've been working with her on that. Well, on Saturday Hna Tonga and I decided quickly before entering her home that we'd teach the Plan of Salvation. As I said the opening prayer for the lesson I had the distinct clear impression that I should pray for us all to prepare to take the sacrament. When this thought came into my head, I fought it because I kept thinking back to my first encounter with her. It was when I realized that I was being fearful however, that I went ahead and prayed for it. As soon as I was done praying I had another distinct impression that we should read 3 Nephi 18 with Hna Lopez. (3 Nephi 18 talks about Christ instituting the Sacrament in the Americas) We read the verses speaking about the Sacrament and it changed everything. Hna Lopez opened up, we explained clearly what the Sacrament was, and what it wasn't. Explaining especially that the sacrament is not for perfect people, that there is a reason we take it weekly. And at the end we comitted her to 1) prepare herself to come to sacrament mtg and 2) to come to church. & she did both!
I was so happy to see her at Church, the best kind of joy swirled in my heart. & really, Hna Lopez I know was changed just from coming that one time. :]
This weekend we find out what's happening to our companionship, who's staying, who's going. We just got an email from President Crawford that 23 new missionaries are coming this transfer with only 6 leaving. & he's asked us to keep our area books up to date pretending that we are getting flushed out of the area. There are a lot of areas that are being split, a lot of new areas being opened for missionary work, and we have all been asked to find rides to transfer mtg, meaning, that really President is expecting huge changes, and a huge turnout.
Exciting Exciting!
What an exciting time to be a missionary! :]
Con Amor,
Hna Flores
Hna Arcila (Her cousin was in my freshman ward hall at BYU!), Me, Hna Tonga
La Famila Carrasco (Hna's cooking reminds me of my mama's!) We taught her daughter in law (pictured) but had to pass her off to the zone leaders. We love her!
                                           Zone Pday at Strawberry Park in the pouring rain!

The wild cats of Pasadena love me.
Planner for the transfer. :)


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