So I'm out in the real world again . . . and it's hard :) We got to the field on Wednesday and I found out who my companion is and where I'm serving! I'm serving with a cute little girl named Hermana Adorable. I'm not even joking. She's only been out for two transfers (12 weeks) but she is a really good trainer! She's from Texas (her family is from the Phillipines) and she's like 5' 2''. She's fluent in Spanish, she only spent 3 weeks in the MTC. So she talks a lot, not gonna lie. I really didn't expect this to be that hard. It's hard to follow conversations and I really can't say what I want to say in this language. I keep thinking to myself, "Man, I'd be a way better English missionary . . ." But I know that the language will come . . . eventually. Elder Brown from the MTC is still in my district, so we get to be lost during the district meetings which are entirely in Spanish.
So the first day after we found out our companions and area, we went to Temple Square and did street contacting. It was way hot and there really weren't a lot of people in our assigned area. So we kind of just stole another companionship's area :) We found a few people to talk to, but it's hard to really get across to people in this area. They are either really strong in the church, less-active, or they think that the church is a cult. It's great.
After that we went to our apartment and I found out that . . . I'm on a bike!!! I know how much you're laughing right now, dad. Laugh it up. So I got to re-learn how to ride a bike because I haven't ridden one since I was 12. I have battle wounds, believe me. We went to a few appointments (Hermana Adorable had little hope in my bike riding skills, she told me that the third day when I finally got the hang of it again) and I was so lost during all of the lessons. The next day was the roughest. Every one of our appointments fell through because the people "forgot." So we were exhausted at the end of the day and I can't really remember anything too outstanding that happened that day.
The next day we had our district meeting and planning. We started proselyting at 4 that afternoon and we made it a goal to talk to everyone. It was kind of rough talking to everyone the first day because Hermana Adorable just does everything so fast. She's definitely a go-getter and she zooms from one appointment to the next. But on Friday . . . a miracle happened! My bike tire went flat because I ran over a thorn! I swear, I didn't do it on purpose. But as a result, we talked to a ton more people. It's so easy to do when you're on foot!! It was awesome. We ran into a man on the corner of a street and he started talking to us about his mother who had died (he was crying, it broke my heart) and he said the missionaries were meeting with him. So we invited him to continue meeting with the missionaries since they hadn't come by in a few months. We were walking to an appointment when some man yelled at us from across the street, telling us to wait for him. He came over, his name is Antonio, and he was like, "The missionaries haven't visited me in forever!" He said he had read the Book of Mormon, he was ready to be baptized, and he had prayed about all of this. We started asking him the baptismal interview questions and we got to the word of wisdom. He said he drinks every once in a while . . . and then Hermana Adorable asked if he was drunk. He was like, "well, maybe one or two . . ." Yes. He was very drunk. It was funny because I was like, "Finally! People are coming to us because they know they need the gospel in their lives!" But no. He was just drunk. So we got his information and passed him on to the Spanish elders.
We were supposed to have a baptism yesterday, but that fell through. We tried to call her (Alexa) every hour for the last 4 days, but she isn't answering. We were supposed to have a lesson with her on Saturday at her aunt's house, but she didn't show up. We were walking back from that appointment that fell through and we just didn't know what to do. All of a sudden, Hermana Adorable told me to talk to a man that was crossing the street. So I went up to him and talked to him. We were about to ask him to be baptized, but he is just a less-active member. We invited him to come to church and asked him who he would take to church. He said he had a friend, but he was a "lost case." He was working at the shop across the street, so we went to go see him. His name is Luis and he is so ready to be baptized! He had been taking the lessons for 7 years and he knows that it's all true! We asked him all of the interview questions, and he passed them all! Except for the fact that he needs a divorce from his first wife and he needs to get married to the woman he's living with right now. So we just have to sort those issues out and then he'll be ready!!
We have a baptism on Sunday, her name is Gabby. She's out of our area, so it's hard to contact her. But we met with her yesterday and she's still set on getting baptized in a week!
We met with a man who fell off his baptism date because of drinking problems. His name is Marcelino and it was sad meeting with him. We went to his apartment and he was drinking when we came up. He threw the drink away and we walked with him to the church. We talked to him about his addiction and invited him to break this addiction. It's just so hard because he has had this addiction for 40 years. He doesn't have a good relationship with his kids, he's so lonely here, and he says that his only happiness is in drinking. It broke my heart, but he needs to change. He made it 7 days without drinking a few weeks ago, so we told him that he needs to try again.
This week has been great once I look back on the miracles we've seen. It's so hard, but it's so worth it. My new address is:
3195 South 300 East #1
South Salt Lake City, UT 84115
I love you all and I hope you have a great week!! Pray for my investigators and my bike riding skills!!
Hermana Jenny Bragg