Just so you guys know, it’s getting bleeding hot down here! Seriously! Today, we went and played soccer as a zone down at the beach. And it was so humid. Just like, chokingly, inescapably hot. I remember the first time that I played soccer with Latinos, I thought that I was going to die…. but now I’ve figured a few more things out! I figured out the secret to really playing in a group is to just go for it. I’ve never really played sports or known how to play or anything like that, so it’s not like I’m any good, but I still think that it’s a lot of fun. Hermana Choque and I played in every game today! I even scored a GOAL! I think that the Elders might have let me do it though. My companion is the best and I love her so much. We get along really well. I don’t know if I told you guys but she totally played soccer like a beast back before the mission. I think she almost played professionally. She’s really talented. And also really cool.
So this week, we have had about 4 hours of proselyting time in total. We have had to spend the ENTIRE time holed up in there in the family history center. 11 am until 9 pm. We’ve been training the other companionships. Even though we’ve been walking less than ever, we are MORE TIRED THAN EVER. I have honestly never been more exhausted in my entire mission, believe it or not. When we get home, we just stumble around and fall asleep during our end-of-day prayers. But it’s been awesome. That’s how you know that you’ve been working hard. We’ve basically been visiting the classes every day and trying to pull as many people in there as we’ve been able to. In total, between Tuesday and Saturday, we had 87 visitors and we printed off or sent to the temple 91 names!!! That’s incredible for a first week! It’s been a blast! We feel really great about it and we want those numbers to keep going up. The key is getting everyone really excited. I think that it’s great how we’re focusing on youth and YSA kids at the institute because it helps change the standard definition that we have in our brains that family history is just for grandmas. It’s SO not true!! We’ve seen some really cool and spiritual moments there in the center this week with missionaries as we were training, and one Elder almost cried, the Spirit was so strong when we were teaching him about his ancestors. It just really touches your heart.
It’s been a little hard not getting to proselyte for two weeks in a row. It makes us feel really guilty about having to leave all of these people in our sector. The thing is, we really want to make our visits this week but we know that the center is going to need a lot more help. Also we have a couple of people who want us to come and visit them this week and we have no idea when we’re going to get to work in our sector… ahh!! We have 4 companionships that will be rotating under us, including mi hijita linda Hermana ZUMBA!! That means that we get to see them more. I was sad because I thought that I would never get to be in a zone with her again, but then Heavenly Father had mercy on us and let us be together again!!! Yay!
On one of the days that we were together there, there was a HUGE earthquake! Ok, not like buildings-falling-down huge but still like the biggest one that I’ve felt yet. It started out slow and we all noticed and said, ”whoa..” at the same time, and then there was a huge jolt and all of a sudden, things started shaking pretty strong. It went for a long time. Hermana Choque and I were both a little panicky. We almost ran for the door. But then it started shaking a little less and we just stayed at the computers. We definitely went real white for a little while though. Man, I’m getting scared that the Lord is preparing me for something big that’s going to happen back home with all of these little false-alerts that He’s been sending us. I hope you guys never have to feel an earthquake because it’s not exactly a carnival ride.
But the very best of everything this week was when we got to go to the temple on Wednesday with Diego (a recent convert) and Evelyn (a reactivated member) for their first time doing baptisms for the dead. I swear, getting there and back was the greatest ordeal of my entire life, and I don’t even want to relive it. The adversary sure was fighting hard—he did NOT want us to go, that’s for sure! But in the end we made it in one piece, and everything turned out ok. Diego and Evelyn LOVED it and they told us that it was the most marvelous, spiritual experience yet. Above all, it was especially wonderful because each one of us 4 (including Hermana Choque and I) were able to take the name of a family member. It was such a special day and we were so glad to be there to witness it.
You guys, I have to tell you, going to the temple for your own ancestor will be an experience ten time more incredible that just going for someone else. If you haven’t gone with a name of your own before, you’ve gotta do it!!! Before my mission, I always said, ”everything’s all done,” just like everybody else, but once you start to get the hang of FamilySearch, you realize that there’s sooooo much work to do! And it’s totally addicting!!!!
You guys are all the best. I love you so much and hope that you have a lovely week. Take care!!!!
Love, Hermana Hollberg