So I thought I would start out this weeks email by stating the motto me and Hermana Juliana came up with this week, which is that "Things either make for a good experience or a good story." So far I think this has been the case for oh I don't know...probably about 99% of my great mission stories so far;) With that being said, last Monday we got ourselves way in over our heads! We were doing our weekly p-day shopping for groceries. Since it was the first of the month we were doing what we call our stock up trip where we buy a lot to stock up for the month so we don't have to buy as much the following weeks. So we paid for all of our things and then headed to the front of the store to put our cart back. Once we got to the front doors we realized that it was raining outside, not super hard though, it looked like it was just starting. We also realized the amount of groceries we had bought that we were going to have to carry home. So we had a decision to make, we could either take one of the tri-cycle taxis home or we could carry our things home to save money. We decided we would carry our things home to save money. We decided we would just carry everything home because we are all about saving a little extra money. So we parked the cart and began to load ourselves with groceries, including a carton of 30 eggs, a 16 pack of rolls of toilet paper, a loaf of bread, 7 heavy bags of groceries and an umbrella. Once we had everything in our arms we looked at each other, turned to look at the rain and then looked back at each other again. "How many blocks is it from here to our house exactly?" I asked Hermana Juliana. "Oh about 18 blocks," she replied. We both laughed knowing perfectly well that what we were about to attempt was crazy, but despite the fact we said, "Well o.k. then, here we go!" So we set off to head for our house, and...as you can probably imagine we had several difficulties along the way. We stopped about 6 or 7 different times to arrange food that was falling and re-arrange our things so we could keep everything in one piece. The farther we walked the more it began to rain so we adjusted once again to arrange our things so I could hold an umbrella with the rest of the juggling act. After we had gotten a little over half way there the inevitable happened and one of the bags broke dropping cartons of juice and milk all over the road. By this time the cereal box was also disintegrated as was every other box of food we had bought. As we looked at the broken bag and the disintegrated box of cereal we both just laughed and said, "Well, it was a good try:)" We then stopped the very next tricycle taxi that came by and loaded up all our groceries finally accepting defeat. We ended up paying the same price for the taxi as we would have if we had just taken it from the store, BUT then we wouldn't have a great story. We also made sure to take a picture when we got there so we would forever have the memory, but the picture doesn't quite do it justice (there were a couple bags we couldn't get in the shot):)
It's amazing the things that you learn on the mission. There are some things I would never would have thought I would be learning as a missionary for example this past week my companion has been teaching me what alcohol smells like. Now I know what that sounds like so before anyone goes making any assumptions keep reading and I will explain. My companion lived in Ecuador for a year before her mission and has also spent some time in Europe, so she is familiar with what alcohol smells like. I on the other hand am not and in our area we come in contact with quite a few drunk people (don't worry mom, they are harmless.) But I am never sure if they are drunk or if they just have an interesting personality, so my companion is teaching me to look for the smell and that way I can know. The other day I had quite the opportunity to figure out what it smells like. We had just gotten into the combi to take us back from where we were to Cacahoatan. Me and my companion crammed in the back seat between two other people who were already there. After about 5 min in the combi the gentleman who was squished up next to me turned and started a conversation. At first I was excited because that doesn't usually happen and I have to start the conversation first but then I soon realized that my friendly neighbor I was talking to was very drunk. He was nice as can be but didn't make a whole lot of sense. Every time we would stop talking he would tap me on the arm and say, "I hope I'm not bothering you, I just want someone to talk to." So we continued to talk for the rest of the 45 minute combi ride and I told him all about the church even though he was probably too drunk to understand me! I also gave him a pamphlet on the word of wisdom that he will hopefully read. Once the combi ride had ended he left and I got out and took a big breath of fresh air. I think I now have a pretty good idea what alcohol smells like!
I also had the privilege of listening to general conference this week...Yay! I loved it :) We watched it at the chapel in Spanish and I tried my hardest to understand everything though I did get some of what was said, to be honest I probably got the most out of the hymns that were sung because they were in English. But that's o.k. I still felt the spirit and learned a lot:)
On Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity of listening to the afternoon session in English! It was awesome. One of the families in the ward is from the U.S and they speak English so they invited us over to their house to listen to it in English with them. I loved it! My favorite talk was the one by David A. Bednar about why we do missionary work. It was such a great reminder that if one truly is converted and feels the love of Christ we will desire to share it with others.
The church is true. I know it with all my heart. Go out and share the gospel and you will be blessed! Our testimonies are not only shown in words but also in our actions. Have a great week!
Love, Hermana Peine