I hardly know where to start. This week has been so strange, but so fun! I`m trying to remember all that happened to us this week.
I can finally say I`m a true missionary because 1) All my shoes have holes in them. It`s been really rainy and all the walking mixed with constant wetness has destroyed my shoes 2) I got bit by a dog. So I`m a full-fledged missionary now. The dog was a little one and it only bruised me a bit, didn`t break the skin. But it counts. Speaking of bites, the bugs here are vicious. They don`t just bite and then you itch, they bite enough to draw blood. Me and Hermana Flores were waiting for the rancherito to pass by to return to Valencia and I looked down at my hand and I was bleeding through two little bites on my hand, and then I looked at my legs and I had blood coming from a dozen or so bites! It was rather horrifying. And the bugs are tiny little things that you can barely see, but they are vicious. We were up all night scratching and trying not to scratch and right now I`m about ready to saw my legs off.
What else happened this week... We got a call from our zone leaders telling us that they had talked to the boyfriend of an old investigator in our ward and that this investigator wanted to repent of her sins and be baptized and they asked us to please find her and schedule an interview with the leader for baptism. The elder told us her name was Rosa and that she was 18 and that she was the Rosa we met with Hermana Jeronimo. So we went ot visit the 18 year old Rosa that we met with Hermana Jeronimo to schedule the entrevista, and she wasn`t friendly and we had to fight with her and persuade her for hours to come to the interview. Seriously, we worked with her hours and we couldn`t figure out why in the world the elderes wanted to talk to someone who obviously wasn`t interested. After a few hours of teaching, she finally conceded to come and talk to the elder. We walk in, and the Elder welcomes her and leads her to the interview, and then turns to us and says (basically) who the heck is that?
So we wasted a huge chunk of a day with her and I can`t really tell the story too well because the humor was in his tone of voice and the look on his face, but it was funny. We did meet the correct Rosa eventually though. We have assigned the guilt to the Elder and have chosen to blame him for the waste of time.
I finished the Book of Mormon is Spanish this week!
I don`t know if they already put the picture on facebook but I broke a chair at the bishops house yesterday at lunch...... I really love their family!
As I`m writing this right now there are three kids behind me marveling at the fact that I know how to write English haha, even though reading back it seems like I´m losing my ability to form coherent sentences in English.
We found a family! They attended church yesterday and when the Relief Society teacher put flowers on the table he asked who died. He thought we were in a funeral haha. They´re precious and have lots of questions but I like talking to them because they are one of the few families we have met that are 1) legally married and 2) happily married. There`s lots of unhappiness in the families and lots of them don`t want to work on bettering their relationships, and so I really like being in a happy home. You can feel the difference immediately.
I don`t know lots of funny things happened this week but it`s just not the same to tell the stories in writing in English.
I have tons of fun with my companion and we work hard! I love having a compañera that knows how to work hard but also knows that we are most definitely allowed to laugh and have fun. The woman talks a million miles an hour and to be honest I don`t understand half of what she says when we`re just talking normally just because she says it so fast, but I love her and we are going to work miracles here in Valencia!
We really love patacones, fried plaintain disc type thingies, but neither of us has learned how to make them, but we tried anyway. So this is a photo of Hermana Flores practicing her patacones making while practicing her smile. SHe doesn`t like smiling in fotos but I forced her to try. This is the result of her efforts.
We received permission this week to visit Buena Fe today, where Hermana Flores was before. The bishop there makes the best sorbets and hamburgers and invited us to eat with them, and I`m always down for free food so that`s where we´re heading after writing this.
These are our attempt at patacones. If we can get our hands on some good green plaintains at home these will be my entry in the next Rusty Whisk competition. I kid you not, patacones with a fried egg or a bit of queso fresco are addictive and probably the best things ever. Or avocado... It`s like a mix between McDonald's hash browns and french fries and banana chips....We´re a few hours from breaking our fast and I`m really hungry...
*The following are excerpts of Natalie's letter that the average reader may not understand as they mostly pertain to her family. But in true Natalie-fashion, they are insightful, honest and humerous so I included them in this post for your enjoyment. - Lorri (her mommy and blog administrator.)
Walter is the bishop. Oh I love them! At lunch yesterday they showed me the pictures of Noelle´s belly, they think she is just the cutest thing ever and they can`t believe how tall Eric is
Tell Lindsay I am so proud of her and that the temple is the best and that she is going to be the cutest stinkin missionary ever! I was thinking about how different our missions are going to be. I suspect that her primary focus will be helping people understand who Jesus Christ is. I can`t imagine what that`s like. Here, everyone is already catholic or evangelist or testigo de jehovah. I can`t remember how to say testigo in English but you know what I mean. Our focus here is trying to get people to leave the wicked and blind traditions of their fathers and live the law of chastity! Her mission will be fascinating.
I did not take a single foto with me this week because something decided to wage war on my face and I kid you not, the results are horrifying. The bishops wife yesterday asked me what happened, because my face before was perfect (those were her words and I`ve chosen to accept them as fact) and now... it`s not. So yeah. No fotos until world war III ends.
Okay my time is up, I was going to write more but I`ve forgotten, but I love you all! Thanks for writing me Ma and Pa, it´s always a little weird but nice to see that life continues on whether or not I`m there. Seriously. Seeing Molly all big weirded me out big time because I feel like you are all in pause. Weird.
Anyway yeah I love you, bye!