Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No word yet on my visa!

Hola Familia!

This week has been awesome! Last week after I emailed we went to the lighthouse at Windpoint. I love lighthouses and it was beautiful weather that day. We ended up walking along the beach again today because it's just so pretty.
Last week after we emailed we went up to the lighthouse. I love lighthouses. Here are some of the pictures.

No word yet on my visa! I am happy to be in Racine though. I am so grateful I got to serve here before I went to Peru. I love the people in this area so much and I can't imagine not having been able to be with them. We also found out that an apostle is coming to this mission on June 15th! I don't know if I will be here that long but if I am that will be neat.
  This week I have had moments where I have gone through real culture shock. It's just so diverse here and I love it. Every house we go into is different. For example, we visited an older member of the ward named Sister Umhoefer. She was originally from England. We walked into her home and she said "Oh you are just in time for tea, if we were in England it would be customary for me to offer you tea and biscuits."(In a very thick English accent) So she served us herbal tea on a real tea set and biscuits. I felt like I was in England in her home. That same day we went to dinner at the Schapp's home. They are a part member family and we are teaching the husband. She is from the south and has a deep southern accent and fed us some of the best southern BBQ I have ever tasted. When I go over there I feel like I am in the south. Sulema and Josie's family are Mexican and from Texas. When we go over there we speak some Spanish with them and I feel like we aren't in Wisconsin either. Then I come home to Brother and Sister Briggs who have a sure fire Wisconsin accent. I can pick out who is really from Wisconsin pretty easily now if I listen to them talk long enough. It's really neat.
We found palm trees. It's like I'm in Peru? Just kidding.
There is some really neat history here too. We visited a girl named Jennie this week who is about my age. She is living with her boyfriends family in a home that is really old but it has been kept up really well. We were looking for a computer in her house to show her a talk on lds.org and I was admiring the detail in the home. I told her how neat I thought it was and she told us that it used to be a morgue many years ago and that it is supposedly haunted but she doesn't believe it. She also said that this home has secret doors for rooms that hid slaves as part of the underground railroad. We got to see them and that was really cool.

Brother Perkins (the tall, black man who is engaged to Sulema's sister) surprised all of us and said the opening prayer for one of our lessons this week. He hardly ever says anything but Sulema asked him if he wanted to pray and he very slowly agreed. We went over how to pray with him and he said a really simple but powerful prayer. There is nothing quite as sweet as listening to someone pray for the first time. It's just so innocent. He also agreed to have a lesson with us this next week which was huge.
Today we went and walked along the lake! It was really fun.
My companions and I are getting to the point where we read each other well and lessons are getting better. Sister Boone is the master of analogies. She has an analogy for everything and can relate anything to the gospel which helps a lot when we are teaching Josie especially. Sister Caceres has what I refer to as a Spirit meter. I can look at her in a lesson and she will nod her head just slightly and I can sense from her how things are going in a lesson. From her eyes I have enough to know where we need to go next. She is really good at picking out exactly how they are feeling from what we are saying and measuring any influx of the Spirit. I hope that some of their gifts rub off on me while I am with them.
Another one of our investigators that we are teaching is named Kira. She is 23 years old and has three little girls ages 3, 2, and 1. They are so very cute but so busy so we always try to teach her during nap time. She is preparing to be baptized not this week but the week after which is really exciting for our area after not having one for so long. The first time we visited her I thought I was going to die from smoke inhalation in about ten minutes. It is a small home, she lives with three friends who all smoke and buy her cigarettes. But as we sat on the floor and taught her I was so impressed with her faith. When I got here she was having a really difficult time not smoking. I promised her that God would help her stop smoking. And this week she hasn't smoked at all and reported that she hasn't really wanted one either. She moved her baptism date up because it wasn't coming soon enough and is sharing the gospel with everyone she knows. 
Missing lifeguard season

She has really struggled with money lately especially this week. She didn't have enough to buy diapers but her ex husband finally gave her enough for diapers. Kira called us last night and told us that she had seen a girl about our age on the side of the road holding a sign saying that she was broke. She said she felt love for the girl and gave her the three last dollars that she had. There have been moments in my life where I realize what the gospel is all about. Last night was one of those moments. Kira showed me what was really meant by  Mosiah 18:9 "Yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life." It was cool to look back and see that the woman you were teaching has now become such an example to you. I hope I can develop her compassion and love someday.
The message I am teaching is true. It is real. I know that it is. Real miracles are happening everyday.
Con amor,
Hermana Rhoten

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