Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Baptisms on Easter day in Galveston

I hope everyone had a great Easter!   Our side of the area is mostly college students because we are by UTMB (university of texas medical)  I think one of the members overheard me say to my companion right after Relief Society "No one signed up to feed us "in reference to the calendar.  She was about to invite us but we ran off to do something, later she came back to us and asked if we had any dinner plans.  For easter this nice family made red mashed potatoes, green beans, french bread, pork chops, and white cake with coconut chocolate frosting.  Yesterday we baptized a members 4 children. Yay for Baptism!!! 

At the baptismal service I had to give a last minute talk on "The Holy Ghost." Because the person assigned didn't come back into town for the Easter holiday like he had planned.  I was so happy to give the talk that I told them "I would be doing a happy dance right now if missionaries were allowed to dance."  I felt so happy and felt this amazing joy, not because I got a baptism but because THEY were getting baptized.  I told them "this is the beginning of your happily ever after"  Soon after the thought came into mind "And where are all your investigators?  How many came to church?  Who do you have to see today?  Who has a baptismal date? who is progressing? You have so much work to do!"  We had 5 investigators at church, 4 of which got baptized.
We have been fasting sugar to show the Lord our sacrifice for receiving baptisms and it worked!  Easter candy felt like a bucket of frosting, quite sickening and not as enjoyable as I hoped.  So in a way that is a blessing, not desiring, granulated sugar, corn syrup, bees wax, and the huge list of crazy ingredients I can't even pronounce that is in candy.  I hear "blue bell" ice cream is amazing and huge in TX so we will eat that today and then begin another sugar fast. 
I eat healthy.  I make breakfast 6 days out of the week. I love to cook!  And I hate washing dishes.  The dish washer is not very good so we wash dishes all by hand.  But my favorite breakfast to make is smoothies, I make those like 4 times out the week and all sugar free!
This week in District meeting my khuu and I gave a training on "Relying on the Spirit"  It took longer to prepare than I would of liked.  Primarily because our lesson planning for the day was affected.  And the night before she said she didn't feel like we taught in Unity, so we made a goal to lesson plan every day to decrease the result of that.  And then it didn't happen.  I feel like I get stressed very easily and worry a lot.  I am not sure if that is normal.   A mission is stressful, no matter what language I speak.  My companion says I worry too much and over think a lot.
I am glad this mission doesn't have "house money" which a companion has to budget and document and request a reimbursement for things such as:
All travel expenses
water bill
electrical bill
office supplies
cleaning supplies (laundry soap, 409 etc)
kitchen tools
- basically anything you need as a missionary to fulfill the 'work'
The missionary saving fund (MSF) included items such as food, product for self, like soap, and anything not listed above but here there is no housing fund or need to keep track of the numbers or calculate . We just use MSF for everything!!   No reimbursement, just a set amount I have to figure out to finance. This requires the need for budgeting which I have limited experience with in my life!  All house utility and rent bills are paid for, but EVERYTHING else you have to manage to pay out of MSF which is a very small amount of money, less than I had in Thailand actually.  And as you know Thailand costs are a fraction of what they are here.  So I now have to budget my money.  This is very stressful.  Any tips?
There are a lot more "key indicators" here too.  Like a number of people you have to talk to per day, which is 10, a total of 70 a week.  which is called "OYM= 70 per missionary per week" OYM= open your mouth.  I talked to (OYM’d) 70 people in 2 days.  And man, that was intense!  I wish I had more time to write in my journal.  People aren't very nice like even before you start speaking "I'm not interested in what you have to say" and many similar responses "I have already accepted Jesus as my Savior" "Why are you telling me that,  I already know that"  From the 70 people I talked to only 5 of them chose to have us contact them again later. Plus those 5 are not in my area, yeah, none of them will be taught by me and my companion.  How do you keep a smiling face and positive attitude and outlook when this happens?
This week we had a total of 24 lessons, and at one point we had 18 people with a baptismal date.  Most days it's like "We have so much to do and no time to do it all" then others are like "shoot, what do we need to do, no members can come teach with us, we can't get a hold of anyone to teach, we are out of phone minutes.  All of our teaching records need to be updated; but what can we do right now?"  I am not very good at prioritizing and worry ahead of time a lot.

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