Monday, June 17, 2013

"We would love for you to join us for church on Sunday" ...."But I'm black" ....."So?"

Dear Mom and Dad,
    I'm, hoping my father's day card arrived in time, if not, it should be there soon. I asked the Relief Society when father's day was and they said the 23rd, I even had my companion double check because her Spanish is better than mine.
    I was a bit worried about searching for investigators on father's day. The white handbook says that holidays are one of the best days to proselyte, and I trust in what is says, but I was a bit worried because people here don't really like to be bothered. Well, people in many cities don't like to be bothered, but in New York especially, so I was a bit hesitant to knock doors. But, we did, and it was wonderful. There weren't too many people celebrating father's day, actually, there were quite a few people on the street. We found a dad and his son squirting each other with water guns on the street. We commented that it looked like fun, and then handed us his squirt gun, and the comment "looks can get you just about anything". We didn't stay too long. I wished him a happy father's stay and we started walking away. He called after us "I'm a single father" and "You're beautiful." We quickly said thank you for the compliment and kept walking.
     I worked on being extra fearless this week. It's a bit scary walking up to people and just talking (I don't know why, I did it ALL the time before my mission). But, I've been working on talking to more people. I've met a few great people and I few not so great people. Some respond with "I don't speak English".... I either try to talk to them in Spanish or grab my companion and let her talk. Some people I talk to have also turned into, um, interesting experiences. Nothing bad ever happens, but I stopped and talk to someone on the street this week. I was exited because he seemed excited to have met us and wanted to hear more about our message. He wasn't creepy or anything, he was just really big. He had 2 sons and lived with his mom. He talked kind of slow though. He told us after a few minutes that he was interested in what we had to saw but that he was on angel dust and wasn't really in the best state to talk to us. It was so frustrating. I felt that I had really made an effort this week and in the end, the only person I felt wanted to hear what I had to say was on narcotics. I was safe though and I continue to be fearless and recognize situations that I should probably stay away from much better.
     Our ward had ward conference on Sunday. The ward chorister (spelling?) asked us to sing in the choir. The song was really pretty and easy to learn (I don't remember what it was called though...it was all in Spanish). They asked me to play the piano thought because the ward pianist hadn't shown up yet. I managed to figure it out pretty well and was surprised at how well I was playing for not having practiced or accompanied a choir before. Our ward pianist showed up soon though. She didn't know we were singing for father's day, or having choir practice. Our ward pianist is Chinese, she doesn't speak any Spanish, her husband is fluent though (which is why a Chinese woman is in a Spanish Ward). She is also the only person in the ward who can play the piano. Apparently the choir director had told her about Sunday's practice in Spanish, forgetting that our pianist doesn't speak the language of the ward. Luckily, everything worked out in the end and we sounded beautiful.
     New York is an adventure. I have no idea when I'm leaving. I don't ever hear about my visa status. Before I left the MTC church travel emailed each of us and said we would be on reassignment until at least the end of the transfer, so if I'm leaving the country, it should come just like any other transfer call. Thanks for answering my question Dad, that did help alot. I'm glad you had a wonderful meeting-free Sunday with Mom. That's one of the perks of being the Stake President, you can cancel meetings!. Mom, that's wonderful that there are more people working in the office. I laughed though that they were all women.... It's great to hear about the younger elders having their turn to change the mission statistics as they join the ranks of Helaman's ever increasing army.
    I love you both!   and my siblings and though cheering for me from home. Thank you for your prayers.
Love always.
Sister Hoggan

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