I think I will start out with a great awkward missionary moment I was fortunate enough to have this week:) While in the combi (which is basically a big van that they use as a taxi) I was contacting the people I was sitting next to on the way back from zone conference. There were three people I was contacting and we had a nice conversation an I invited them to church and so on. About half way through our conversation one of the guys I was talking to told me he would like to marry me. I politely responded with a "Gracias, but I am a missionary" I then invited him to church and tried to pretend that I didn't feel extremely awkward, but I don't think I did a very good job at it. I have now resorted to only contacting women or those that are already married to avoid future proposals in the middle of half hour combi rides :)
The other awkward missionary moment I had this week took place at a family home evening with the bishop's family and the young women's president's family. They were doing a combined family home evening and we were invited to share our testimonies and help out with the lesson. When we walked in they all started telling me congratulations and wishing me a happy birthday. I tried telling them that they must have had me confused with the other missionary in our area who had a birthday that day but they didn't understand me. At the end of the lesson they all came over to me hugging me and shaking my hand and saying congratulations. After they were done the bishop's mother turned to my companion and said, "Why didn't you tell us it was her birthday, we would have made her a cake or something." My companion chuckled and said, "Because it's not her birthday." She then explained how it was the other hermana's birthday in our ward and that they must have gotten confused. It was pretty funny. They all said they took back their congratulations and asked me when my real birthday was so they could be ready for it and make me a cake.
I had another mix-up the other day on p-day when we were buying groceries. Me and my companion both needed more deodorant so we went over to the deodorant section to pick some out. When we saw the prices we realized that the men's deodorant was a lot cheaper than the women's and with a missionary budget cheaper is always better, so we each picked some out. I just grabbed the cheapest one they had and she got the more expensive one but once we got home I realized the difference. My companion had chosen the non-scented kind and mine was very much scented. Words like scented and not scented are not words I know in Spanish...but, they are words that when it comes to things like deodorant make quite the difference. I now smell like an hombre everyday, a very good smelling hombre, but an hombre just the same :)
This week I have learned a new strategy for contacting people, it's called pretending like I don't know Spanish. I have found that I can get anyone here to talk to me if I tell them I am new here and need help learning Spanish. The people here LOVE to help and to feel like they are needed. So I will usually begin a conversation with something like, "I'm new here and need help learning Spanish, can you help me by letting me practice with you?" After they agree I tell them all about our church and what we believe in and they are very nice and listen to everything I have to say. This is my way of using the fact that I am a gringo to my advantage :)
Last week on the 25th I hit 3 months in the mission. That is insane, I don't even know where the time has gone! My companion surprised me on the day of my 3 month mark by decorating my desk with a big sign and balloons and some yummy cookies. She is so sweet!
To finish off this week yesterday Mary was baptized.. Yay! It was such a great day, all three of her kids came to support her, two of which aren't members. After her baptism she was crying because she was so happy. I am so proud of her and she is going to be such an awesome member!
This gospel is such a blessing that we have in our lives! Sharing it has brought me the most happiness I have ever had. Lose yourself in service to others and you will be blessed!
Love, hermana Peine