They Were Understanding Me!

31 May
Well, it’s finally summer here in the city! Well, the weather can’t really seem to make up its mind, to be honest. One day it’s rainy and the next day is swelteringly hot. For example, yesterday was pretty hot and then at night it started POURING! So Sister Taylor and I threw on some shorts and went and played in the rain for a few minutes (this was at the end of our day). It was so fun! But the hot is coming back, I just know it. I’m getting a little bit nervous to be out in the sun all day every day, but hopefully I’ll get a nice farmer’s tan. But yeah, the hot is going to be a struggle. W’ll see how it goes :)
So this week we had some cool experiences. The bishop of the ward here is just AMAZING! He came out with us to go visit one family and we ended up visiting with three different families! He’s such a good example of really taking care of others and loving them. He always remembers little details about people and he is just great. Our whole ward is great. We had arranged for a young mom and her 9 year old daughter, Gezebel to come with us to one of our lessons. When we got there, nobody answered the door :( But then cute little Gezebel looks up at me with these adorable eyes and goes, “Do we get to knock some doors now?” It was a very humbling experience, and reminded me that I should always have that kind of an attitude.
Another cool thing– we were walking around by the edge of Central Park, looking for people to talk to, when we came across a few benches full of old, Latino men. Usually when there’s a large group of men like that, they’ll do cat calls and it’s uncomfortable and we just keep walking. But one of the men just said, in English, “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?” And that’s all it took. We started talking to him, and then his friend that was next to him hopped in on the conversation. After about an hour, we had talked to 4 or 5 of them, and set up appointments either for us to meet with them or gotten their information to give to other missionaries, depending on where they lived. It was so cool! The best part of all was that Sister Taylor and I were having separate conversations with some of these men, which meant that I had to carry on a convo in Spanish completely on my own- and I did it! It was nuts. I was speaking, semi-fluently, and they were understanding me! It was amazing. The Spanish really is coming more and more quickly.
And then to top it all off, we finally set a baptism date with this cute 11 year-old girl, Yahaira. The missionaries have been teaching her for quite a while, but her mom wanted to wait until she was older for her to decide if she wanted to get baptized. Her birthday is this month, so we were finally able to set a date! We’ve got it planned for the 24th of June. I’m so excited! :)
A quick funny story: We went to meet with this 91  year old woman that our bishop had randomlly met and set up an appointment for us (I know, how awesome right? He really is a gem.) She was on her way out, but before she left, I went to go use her bathroom…. which meant getting around her dog. Let me tell you about this dog. He was a tiny little thing, but he had a smoker’s cough that scared the life out of me, and he was not too keen on me getting to the bathroom. So there we are, me, this hunched-over 91 year old Latin woman with crazy frizzy gray hair, and the dog, Sparky. Or Esparky, as she called him. I try to squeeze in the door, past the lady and her Bronx cart, past the crazy wheezing dog, and Sister Taylor’s in the background cracking up. The lady’s hopping to and fro, swatting at the dog, saying, “Esparky! Esparky, no!” Then turning to Sister Taylor, “He’s twelve years old!” then back to the dog, “Esparky! Esparky!” It was crazy. Dogs on the mission…. let’s just say they’re tricky. We meet some really nice ones that will come up to us and be super great, and then other ones that start yapping like crazy when we knock on the door or come in. The reallly tricky ones are the ones that look nice but then try to bite you when you try to pet them. Yeah, that was fun. But they’re a really good conversation starter! We’ll be walking on the street, I’ll compliment someone’s dog, and then BOOM! The conversation’s started. I really do love dogs, and so it’s great that that love of dogs can work for me out here :)
So I learned a pretty great lesson this week. Or rather, it came up while we were having our weekly District Meeting. I’d kind of been struggling with how to find the right balance with emotions in regards to attachment to investigators. What I mean is, I’d find myself getting really attached to someone and then they turn out not to be interested or just don’t progress or whatever. And it’s a huge let-down! Like my heart hurts just a little when it happens. So I’d been struggling to figure out if I should try to care about them less or wait to form that attachment or what. But then in District Meeting, it came to me: Disappointment is different than discouragement. Of course I’m going to be disappointed when things don’t work out the way I want them to. That’s life. And forming those attachments with people still means something to me, even if it turns out sadly. But I don’t have to let that disapointment discourage me in what I’m doing. Disappointment doesn’t have to lead to discouragement. Hopefully I can start applying that more in my life. :)
I love you all and hope everything’s going well! Thank you for all of your prayers and support.
Hermana Rogers

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