Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ambulance, Police, and Fireworks

Written by Sister Justyce Oliphant, serving in the Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, speaking Spanish.

Yep, this week has been a fun one!

So last Monday night I received a priesthood blessing because I was really sad, couldn't focus in our lessons, and kept bursting into tears. It really bothered me because, out here on the mission, I don´t cry!! But a nice member of our bishopric gave me a blessing and, even though I did not understand anything, I could feel the power of the priesthood helping me. My companion told me that I was promised that as long as I am faithful and obedient, I will have an amazing experience out here on my mission, and will find happiness and success. I really felt so wonderful after that, and this week was so much smoother and went by so fast!!

We were a little discouraged because none of our investigators were progressing or keeping their commitments. Hermana Pérez and I prayed Saturday night and Sunday morning that we would be able to help our investigators, and also be able to find new people to teach. Sunday morning one investigator was going to come to church with us, but when we got to her house she said she didn't want to go. We walked away really discouraged and sad. We got to the end of the street and were waiting for the bus when she came running up to us and told us to wait for her!! The Spirit definitely heard our cry for help and touched her heart! Then when we got to church, another investigator was there with her children!! And when we were singing the sacrament hymn, the family (we are working with) walked in!! Miracles do happen!!! I can testify that I have already seen so many!!

At our missionary work training meeting last night with our mission president and Elder Reyes of the Seventy, I was able to understand most of what was said!! It made me so incredibly happy!! Another miracle! And then, after the meeting, there was a devotional, but because we didn't have investigators with us, we could not stay so we went to get a taxi and some Elders waited in the rain and let us wait inside. It was so nice of them because I didn´t bring a jacket and it was so cold and pouring rain!!

I thought that we were going to our apartment to teach "mama" (she treats us like her children, but she really is our apartment land lady) who lives down stairs, but we got out of the taxi in a different neighborhood. I was confused, but then a lady started calling to us asking if we were Christians! She was really freaking out and saying something about her son. We went with her to her house and inside was her son and her friend (a lady). Her son was bleeding from both wrists and there was bloody tissues on the floor from trying to stop the bleeding (her son is 25). He was completely drunk and had been hurting himself. We sang a hymn, and he kept trying to grab my hand, put his arm around me, and blowing me kisses.

Finally we got him to sit in a chair across from us and Hermana Perez started talking to him about how much he is loved and really trying to get his mother to stop freaking out. Then he went crazy...not violent, but shaking, and I am not sure what happened. I'm sure he had way too much to drink, and who knows if he had drugs in him or not... but it was really scary. He passed out and we got him to the couch. Long story short, we had to find someone who had a phone we could use (we asked an investigator who lived close by) and we called the ambulance. They came and we left the house and stood in the rain with his mother because she was making the situation worse with her freaking out. We helped her calm down, and the end of the story is that the police ended up needing to be called, but we have curfew and had to leave before the police came. It was definitely something that I will always remember because of how intense it was!

The smell of alcohol is everywhere here. I am used to it. That and the other..bad...smells that I smell every day! It took me forever to get used to it, but I am finally over how ... hmm... different, it smells here.

Oh, I permed my hair today...

The 12th was a holiday, I think about Mother Mary? But there were so many parades, fireworks, partying and dancing. We just worked as normal! There are fireworks that go off about every day. At first it scared me because I always thought that it was gunshots!! But no, it's just fireworks! They aren't the pretty ones though, just the booming ones. You know, the ones that are small bursts of light and really loud? Yep, those ones!

And the food! I can't be picky, so when people ask what I like, I just say anything because everything is so different here. But I do love tamales and tortillas. I eat way too much bread too. I'm probably going to come home looking like a marshmallow, haha! Oh! Marshmallows are called "bon bons"!

Well, I don´t have any more time. Sorry there is a lack of pictures. I can´t seem to figure out how to get them uploaded, sadly...

I love you all!!

Hermana Oliphant

Sister Oliphant Arrives in Mexico

Merry Christmas from Southern Mexico!