Monday, January 25, 2016
Drug Wars pt.1 1/25/16
Sometimes it is slightly overwhelming to fit an entire weeks worth of experiences in one little email but I will do my best. This week FLEW BY and I am loving almost every minute. The only time I am not pleased is when we get dropped by 5 investigators in ONE DAY! Yes... That happened. Missionary life is a life of rejection, but I believe it is a PRIVILEGE to be rejected 100000 times for my Savior. I love Him so much, He truly gets me.
SO I went to "street school" this week! One of our DARLING members whom I absolutely adore, is a Peruvian. On Saturday she made us a traditional Peruvian meal called papa agua caina. This meal is basically lettuce, potatoes, egg, and a special Peruvian chile cheese/cream sauce... Yah! We also had boiled purple corn juice with fresh citrus, cloves, and cinnamon. It was surprisingly tasty! Of course after we finished our papa agua caina we were served a MOUNTAIN (and I kid you not... a mountain) of rice and chicken. Classic! HOWEVER, the sweet woman son ate with us and I received a full fledged education in the drug wars of Moreno Valley. WOWZERS. Apparently the black people and the Latinos are at war with each other all the time. He said that everyone is more scared of them than they are scared of the police in MoVal! People die! He also said that at night, Police literally have to patrol the streets, with a loaded gun. I was oblivious to all of this, but now the constant sirens and drug busts multiple times a day make sense. I stared at him wide eyed for about 20 minutes as he changed my perspective of my happy little MoVal. I take a lot of comfort in the fact though that God protects his missionaries. What a blessing!
One thing that is very interesting about Spanish-Land in California is the process of committing people to baptism. When you pop the question of baptism to investigators and they say yes, your first reaction is JOY right? Yes, BUT in this culture, it is very common for families to have a few layers. Typically, women marry very young or have children very young. When their first marriage doesn't work out they leave and find someone else. Because they are already married and don't want to deal with the hassle of working out a divorce, they move in with someone else and start a family with them. Interesting right? So usually we have to break it down for people and make sure that they are married and have resolved past relationship commitments. It definitely puts a huge pause on baptism for sure. GAHH..
Okay, remember Felipe? He was my second baptism here and he is an absolute DREAM! He is so excited and loves the church so much. He is 74 years old and is so full of energy. He loves to tell people about the word of wisdom and he shares his darling testimony in every possible moment. We like to bring him along as a team up and he always says the funniest things to us and to other people. Last night he told us that because he is completely bald, he needs to wear his "gurrito" or beanie all the time. Then he told us that it makes him feel like a " cholito" which is a little gangster. As we struggled to breathe from laughing so hard, the 74 year old man lovingly told us that he was our "homie". OH MY GOODNESS> I about died. Old Latino people don't really get all the American slang terms but all that coming out his mouth was a hoot and a half. I LOVE him!
PUES... This week has been a blessed one and I am learning so much every day. Repentance is such a beautiful word guys. The whole purpose of missionary work and this life is to help people be clean. Repentance through the Atonement of Christ is the means to achieve that cleanliness. WHAT A BLESSING! Remember to use that gift and continue to "turn" yourself to Christ everyday. I love you all!
Stay Safe & God Speed.
Love, Hermana Tobler