Monday, February 24, 2014

The One with the Cubanos!

February 24, 2014
Our investigators with their CTR rings!
(Notice in the background, Hna Hoj giving the investigator a Book of Mormon)

This was one of those weeks where nothing in particular stood out as, like, "THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEED TO EMAIL HOME!"   It was a great week!  But, sorry if this email is a little lame.
1.  Puppies.   I spent a good deal of a few of my days with a specific few dogs, that I feel were a part of my missionary service.   Animals and children – I’m telling ya, those have been a theme of my mission. But anyway, we were tracting and we knocked on a door of this one trailer.  As we knock, we see a huge German Shepherd emerge from under a pile of garbage.  In my mind, I think: “Yupp, this is the end of my life...I am about to perish."   But, turns out it was the nicest dog known to man! We named him Lazos. He emerges and starts licking us and what not, when we hear these cries from another dog coming from the yard.  We look behind more piles of trash and find another German Shepherd chained up.  It was the skinniest dog I have EVER seen. You could see every single bone of the body of this dog.  She was just crying and crying.  I immediately start making my way through the piles of trash to this little thing (the people weren't home, btw).  Once I got close I went with caution because I didn't know if she was going to be mean or not. But finally, I get to her and she just comes and lays her head on my chest (yes, that is how big she was) and, tambien, is the nicest dog ever.  I pull out the baby food I have in my purse and start to squeeze it into my hand for her to eat. After she finishes her baby food she walks over to a little igloo kennel and starts to whimper.  I walk over . . . and discover 8 little babies. They had to have been only a few days old. It was so heart breaking. This dog was SO SKINNY, there was no way it had eaten in dayyyyys which means those babies hadn't eaten either. So to sum it up, I was heartbroken.  We went back a few days later and brought water and some homemade dog food for Mamita (that's what I named the girl GS).  We didn't touch the babies the first time b/c we were scared she might be angry, but we held them the second time around and they were so cute.  It was equally as heart breaking. We called the ASPCA to come and get them.
2.  Cubanos.  There was one day, Saturday (it is always Saturday), when all of our plans had fallen through and all of our back up plans and all of our back up back up plans, so we were standing in the road thinking, "Well, what are we going to do now?"  A few blocks away there is a little strip mall of sorts with a Panderia and a washeteria y algunas taquerias, so I was like "Let's just walk down to the Panderia and see if there is anyone we can talk to”.   We get down there and there is no one. Ha. Great.  But, there was a bench outside the washeteria  so I was like, "Let's go sit on the bench and we will figure it out from there."  We walk over and sit down and start to talk about where we could go or what we could do. It was getting dark and we were in a "part of town" (aka one block) that is a little "rougher" (Not even CLOSEEEE to Gulfbank) that we aren't supposed to be in once it gets dark, so we were trying so hard to think of places we could go. After a few minutes two men walk out of the washeteria and I thought, "That is an interesting accent.....Argentina?  No. Colombia? No.  Where are they from?"  There was even one point when I wasn't sure they were even speaking Spanish.  I leaned forward and said, "Habla Espanol?" They were like, "Duh" (that isn't actually what they said, haha).   I said:  "Where are you from?"  They replied with some city that I had never heard of.  I say:  "Okay, de cual PAIS?"  And they say, in unison, "CUBA! Somos Cubanos!"   Oh man! I was so excited! I have only known two Cubans my whole mission and they are my favorite because their Spanish is so different.. It is like trying to put a puzzle together. We start chatting and got through all the pleasantries, etc.,  etc.,  and finally got to the gospel.  A had met with missionaries, but stopped because of his wife. When I asked if they had ever heard of the Book of Mormon  A is like, "Yeah, I have one!"  Haha.  Then I started to talk to J and he goes off about polygamy and food storage.  He had a really deep positive understanding of both subjects. I offered him the Book of Mormon in my hands and he gladly accepted it and told me, without me even inviting him, that he was going to read it.  They were just up here from Miami, so I won’t be seeing them again . . . except for maybe in Heaven. :)
It was a small moment, but a testimony builder that as missionaries, sometimes our plans don't work out; but, as long as we are doing our best, Heavenly Father will place people in our path that we can share the gospel with.  It goes for members and missionaries alike--just open your mouth!
Plus, we ended the conversation with "Hey, cuando los misioneros pasan por su casa...abra la puerta, okay?"  To which they responded with:  "Claro hermanita" (World, feel free to correct that Spanish)
I love you! Bye!

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