Liliana was from Colombia. She was like 4'7" or something and was a spunky little lady. The first time I talked to her was on the phone a few days after I had arrived. My companion was talking to her and I guess Liliana was having a hard time with life and was thinking about possibly ending it. All of a sudden my comp said, "My companion is going to sing you a song" and handed me the phone. We flipped open the hymn book and I sang "Lead Kindly Light". I guess it helped because she didn't follow through with her plans. She never did get baptized, at least while I was there, but I think learning about the gospel and coming to church helped her a lot, probably more than I even know.
She liked to bring us Colombian food sometimes. Oh yum.
Mayra was from Honduras. She lived and worked in a hotel. Every time we would go teach her she always wanted to make us dinner, even though she didn't have a lot. Once she splurged and we had pasta with shrimp. Another time she ordered pizza. But it was usually rice with some meaty soupy something.
She got us trouser socks for Christmas (that's what we wore a lot during the winter).
She became a friend.
She introduced one of her friends to us to teach.
And she got baptized! (See next post.) We were so happy because Freeport hadn't had a baptism for quite a while.
Maira was the daughter of a member and was about 12 years old. She was deaf and had one blue eye and one brown eye (which I always thought was really cool). She taught us some sign language, which I can't remember anymore, but it helped us communicate a little better. She could also read lips pretty well, and I think she did have a little bit of hearing. She didn't ever get baptized, at least not when I was there, but after I had been home from my mission a couple years I heard that her dad got baptized. So maybe she did too.
Veronica was the daughter of another member, also about 12 years old. I don't think she was every really too interested in the church, but she seemed to like it when we came over. We usually tried to have some kind of game prepared to help her learn what we were teaching. In the picture she's the one on the left. The girl on the right was a member that we would bring with us sometimes.
Reina was from El Salvador. We met her when our branch was having an open house for their new church building. Basically Hermana Gines and I (I mostly just followed) dragged her in from the street to come see it. Then we got her contact info and started visiting her. She was always really nice and would give us things (very Hispanic), but I don't think she was really all that interested. She was fun to get to know though. One night we helped her with her laundry so we could teach her and then she took us out for pupusas, yum!
And I can't forget the Sanchez family. We knocked on their door one night and they let us in. We ended up talking with the husband for like 2 hours (well, he did most of the talking I think), and we went back a couple of times. They loved us, and they were Seventh Day Adventists. I think the husband was pretty high up in the leadership at their church too. We went back a few times, invited them to our church - they came once - they invited us to their church - we went once (very interesting), but in the end we had to tell them that we couldn't visit anymore because they really weren't interested in what we had to say. They just liked "hanging out". They were a great family though.
Hermana Chavez was a less-active from Guatemala. She and her "husband" (I'm pretty sure they weren't really married) lived in a tiny apartment filled with cockroaches and a million other things. She was a funny lady, always wanting to give us hugs and kisses and food. She actually started coming back to church right before I got transferred, and when I told her I was leaving for another area she got all choked up and just gave me a hug because she couldn't speak.
For Christmas we gave her a beanie and she gave us thses funky purses with skanky women stitched on them.
Most Hispanics don't smile for pictures in case you're wondering why she always looks so grumpy.