Letter 16 – What People Say to Missionaries

Date: November 08, 2012
Area: Tracy, California
Companion: Hermana/Sister Randall

 Buenas Tardes!

         Hello family! This week has flown by, as the weeks are starting to do now. I am in my 2nd transfer in the field as of last week! How cool! Still with Hermana Randall of course because I am being trained, and we are doing really well. Added some new investigators
this week, trying to get some to commit to baptism, teaching lots of lessons (and member present lessons! The members here are so amazing and wonderful, as I’ve mentioned before). It was a good week. We are now  teaching an investigator named Fidel, the husband of a less active member named Adalena. Oh my gosh he is the funniest old man I have ever met. He gave me my first kiss on the mission!!!! Kiss on the cheek, that
is. This is DEFINITELY not allowed but I didn’t really have control over the situation…. he just shook my hand and gave me a kiss on the cheek and I was like what?! Hermana Randall and I were laughing so hard when we walked away. Sometimes these situations cannot be avoided. He is so sweet and always goes in for a hug when we see him but we just shove our hands in front of him so we can give him a handshake. Haha. Adalena
is one of the sweetest women I have met, an “angel” as one of the ward members put it. So we are trying to get her and Fidel to come to church. Fidel is what we call a bromisto or a jokester. It’s always funny whenever we go over.

           I thought in this email I would let everyone know what lots of  people say to us in daily conversation as missionaries or during lessons. Sometimes it is funny. For example: A lot of people are hostile toward us at first. We say, “We are representatives of Jesus Christ
here to share a message with you…” and they say after 3 minutes, “wait, what church do you represent?” We say of course, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Oh, we thought you were Jehovah’s Witnesses.” And then typically there are very nice to us. Haha! I guess as sisters we look a lot like Jehovah’s witnesses. Even Jehovah’s
Witnesses think we are Jehovah’s witnesses! That has happened at least 3 times. It’s funny. I am learning a lot about different kinds of Christian churches on my mission….there are a lot here. You would think my knowledge of Hinduism or Judaism or Islam would come in handy here….. not really. Haha. Another thing we hear a lot is “oh yeah your
church is the true church! ….just like all the churches. They are all of God.” RIGHT after we teach the first lesson. Haha. Or, “I don’t need to go to church, God is always with me.” Or the ever popular: “We already have a Bible. That is the only word of God. You should read it. You don’t need another book.” We say, well yes, we do read the Bible actually and believe it to be the word of God but typically they don’t believe us for whatever reason. We had a very interesting discussion about it with a woman named Gloria, a very strong Christian woman. She was friendly but wouldn’t listen to us about the Book of Mormon. Finally as the conversation was winding down, I shared a scripture from Alma 32:21 and bore my testimony on faith. She said wow that is a very nice scripture, where is it? I said…….the Book of Mormon. Haha I don’t think she was very happy with that BUT she could feel the spirit.      Another popular: “I have already been baptized, I don’t need to be
baptized again.” This
one is tricky because you don’t want to discredit someone else’s baptism that may have been important to them. Usually we just give our testimony about the authority of God, aka the Priesthood. It is interesting because people who are ready to hear the gospel WILL hear the gospel and understand it, like Fluvio. Others, no matter how
logically or spiritually or clearly you explain it, will not listen and just aren’t ready. They will not even understand what you have just said or why it is important, even though we JUST explained it. It’s really interesting. So one of our goals this transfer is to find the people who
are READY to hear the gospel. Because they are here! We just need to find them. That is what we are going to do.
     Another funny thing that happened this week: Hermana Randall and I were planning and scheduled our appointments from the hours of 1pm to 8pm. We had one apt every hour. We looked at our schedule and said ok that looks good! Then she said…..that looks like a lot of appointments. And I said yeah. I wonder why? We forgot to plan dinner!
For some reason it was really funny to us. We put dinner as a backup plan. Hahaha! Well, we were laughing really hard about it. We forgot to schedule dinner and put it as a backup plan. Who needs food? We have work to do! I can feel that lame missionary sense of humor settling in….maybe that is a good thing.

      Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for you letters! I loved the article about the increase in missionary applications………..471% THAT is crazy. It will truly be a new era in missionary work. Hna Randall said that I will probably either train more than one sister at a time or
train 2-3 times during my mission, that would be INSANE! I need to step it up and be prepared! I feel so blessed to be doing the work at this time. The work is moving forward. Oh and Dad! I forgot to thank you for  the article you sent me, it was really awesome. I liked what you said in it, it seemed very fair and gave a positive outlook on the Church. Way
to go. I wrote all the kids back this week, let me know when you all get those letters. Mom thanks for sending music to me! I really appreciate it and I’ll let you know when I get it.
      Les quiero muchisimo! Have a great week and remember every member a missionary!!!!!! Missionary work would not get done without members, let me tell you. I feel so blessed to be here even when it’s exhausting and tiresome. The Lord blesses us more than we can imagine and I know He lives and is the head of this work. That is the only reason it is moving forward, actually. I have a testimony of this Gospel and how it can
change hearts and change families. Oh! I almost forgot to mention! Maria Infante, who got baptized a few weeks ago, went to the (Oakland) temple with the youth on Saturday! She LOVED it. There is such a change in her countenance, it’s incredible. Hermana Infante bore her testimony  yesterday and Maria was crying, it was sweet. She has that light in her
face. AH! It’s so incredible. The Gospel works miracles. Ok love you all so much! Talk to you next week.
con amor,
Hermana White/Aud.

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