Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Other Freeport Stories

Story #1 

One of the inactive members of the branch invited us over for dinner for her husband's birthday.  The drink they gave us was carbonated and a light pink color - I just thought it was soda.  Then I tasted it and it didn't taste familiar, so I thought it was just some kind of weird soda.  Apparently my companion was trying to catch my eye across the table because she knew what it really was after just one sip, but I wasn't paying attention.  Later she looked at the bottle that the drink came from and when we left she informed me that the drink contained 0.6% alcohol!  It didn't affect me physically at all, but I felt awful for drinking it, even though I didn't know what it was.  I was/still am kind of naive, so I had no clue what alcohol tasted or smelled or looked like.  Even though it wasn't something I did intentionally, I still felt so bad for the next couple of days.

Story #2

My first Sunday in the area I was asked to bear my testimony in sacrament meeting.  Not unusual when you're a missionary.  However, it was my first time doing this sort of thing since it was my first area, and I was feeling a little worn out and discouraged that day.  So I start talking and then I start crying and after I sat down I continued crying and didn't stop for the rest of the meeting!  I don't know why I couldn't control myself.  I think it had just hit me that I was on a mission and what the heck was I doing there!  Sister Gines had 3 tissues and I used them all up before I was done.  One of the sweet little girls went and got me a cup of water and after the meeting all the hermanas surrounded me and said how glad they were that I was there and were all trying to speak English to make me feel better, etc.  It was really nice and that really started my love for that branch.  Also, that night at our dinner appointment (we went to the same house every Sunday) Hermana Nerio made the best pork chops and mashed potatoes (not an easy task when mashed potatoes aren't a part of your culture).  She told Sister Gines that she wanted to make the meal to make the new missionary (me) feel more at home.  She was such a sweet lady!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Miscellaneous/Interesting Things

The sisters we lived with were Sister Ferrin and Sister Goff.  They were English speaking and they actually lived more or less in their area (unlike us - we had to drive 20 minutes to our area every day).  We did a few fun things at night or on p-days.  Sister Goff hit her halfway mark and her mom somehow ordered pizza from a pizza place (Domino's?) that was nearby.  The pizzas were all half one topping and half something else.

Sometimes we would make breakfast together.  Sister Goff would put coffee creamer in the french toast batter and it was really good.

On New Year's Eve the missionaries had to be in their apartments by 5:30-ish.  So we had a little party with some chocolate pie I made.

Sister Goff got transferred after my first transfer and Sister Zufelt took her place.  Here she is with me and Sister Ferrin modeling some scarves my grandma made for Christmas.

There were so many cute little kids in the branch or at the homes we would visit.  It was so hard to obey the rule of not holding babies or children while I was on my mission.  So sometimes we just had to play with them or take a cute picture.

And sometimes they would just jump on my back, so I rolled with it.  (He really did just jump on my back.  I couldn't do anything I promise!)  That crazy Ronaldo.  He was hilarious.

This is some kind of weird church or something.  It was the craziest looking thing I've ever seen.  The picture really doesn't do it justice.  From what I remember there was all kinds of false doctrine written everywhere.  We knocked on the door to see what it was, but nobody opened it.

At some point in her mission, Sister Gines made friends with a lady named Cristina.  Cristina absolutely loved Sister Gines and one day she came from wherever she was from and took us out to lunch, bought us stuff at the grocery store, and then gave Sister Gines a card (which she later opened and there was money inside).  Cristina wasn't a member of the Church and didn't plan on becoming one, but she was one of the most generous people I have ever met.

Our District and Zone

Our district leader was Elder Hardy and his companion was Elder Davis.  Elder Davis was actually called as an English missionary but was switched to Spanish for a couple of transfers.  It was really hard for him because he didn't know any Spanish at all and he had kind of a hick accent, but he was super cool.  Elder Hardy was a good DL and we had a lot of fun in our district.  At one of our meetings we played Jeopardy and I ended up getting two song questions, and had to sing Book of Mormon Stories and I'm a Little Teapot (the second one without laughing - I didn't make it).

Our zone leaders were Elder Harnos and Elder Phillips.  There was one elder from my MTC district in this zone, Elder Marsh.  He's the tall one in the middle of the back row.

We had zone conference every transfer.  Usually the zones from each area of the mission (Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island) would meet together - I think there were usually about 3 zones in each area.  This picture was from my first zone conference and we actually combined with Brooklyn for this one.  All the sisters there got together for a picture.  The one on the far left is Sister Morrow, our mission president's wife.  Two of my future companions are also in this picture: Sister Allred and Sister Ivanova.