First of all, Thanx to you ALL for all the family news, baby talk, and good laughs and smiles!! It means the world to hear how the family is doing.
... Well, Thought I'd tell you about a little service I did the other day. One night we were walking home at night, showing a member, Eliza, where our new house was. On the way we passed by a big group of guys sanding around (something) at the corner of some random church. We stopped because there were a couple investigators we knew and chatted with them. I asked what was going on, what everyone was staring at, adn I pushed through the crowd to see a guy sittin' on the curb holding a poorly wrapped hand, with blood all over the place... ?"Oh, ..." I said, "that sucks" Apperantly he got his finger cut off (likely "someone" else did it) and had been drugged up for teh pain. All the people just stood there... I thought, well, isn't anyone gonna do anything about it? but fortunatly some help was on the way. I had happened to have a handful of white Life Saver mints (;D) and handed a couple to Chris (an awesome guy who lived in Florida most his life but can't go back to the states for hte next 3-4 years for...legal reasons, but begged us for a book of Mormon in English and loves the meetings at church. He's determined to come every Sunday, as long as he doesn't work. He has a good heart. =) But anyway, I pushed through the crowd again with a Life Saver intended for this guy missing his finger. I bent down next to him, opened the wrapper (cuz he obviously wasn't going to do it...) and put it up to his mouth. (in Spanish, er ...Dominican) "Here, take it, it's really good. There from the States!" (which automatically makes them outstanding) ;D But since he was kind of drugged, he slowly nudged my hand away and smeared blood down my arm. I kindly put it up to his teeth again and assured him that it's pretty tastey. He stared at me for a moment and his buddies started eggin him on "abre la boooocaaa, open your moooouth!" Then the whole crowd grew louder with a big swelling "woooOOOOAH" Then the guy smiled and without a word accepted the mint. The crowd cheered! I clapped excitedly and lightly patted him on the head. I looked at the blood on my arm and laughed, wiping it on in inside of my dark skirt as we walked towards home. At least someone was trying to brighten his spirits... =) So, a message to all: take some time each day to brighten someones day... it will leave you both with a lasting smile!
So far training has gone really well. At the end of the day we are VERY tired, and that's a sign we're working hard. It's all worth it! Hna Carlsen is very sweet, she is so excited to be here and get right into the grit and grime (sometimes literally speaking) of the work here. She has such a great love for the people and really enjoys meeting our investigators. She is doing really well with her spanish and is progressing rapidly. We have lots of fun talking and laughing and getting to know eachother. (recently we've been laughing and laughing over a certain amusing calander... don't ask) She feels ready to help me teach soon. Things are goin' great!
We are slowly settling into the house. Finally got bars over the windows so we could have some privacy from the street... The landlord just took off to New York to work some more. I might see him if I stay for the next 2-3 months, which is likely... who knows. but anyways.
And for those who don't get my e-mails can still check the blog that Mel set up for my. Thanx! it looks great!! http://juliesmission.blogspot
..This internet cafe is freezing...brrr... I can't imagine what it might be like there. it's been so long. eep!
Thank you all for your prayers, things are really looking up. but the work goes on and P-day is, well, over.
Hna Julie Benson