Monday, April 27, 2015

1 July 2013 Letter

Ah, I just love getting emails from you guys. It seriously makes my day! I look forward to Preparation day every week just so I can hear from you guys. Sounds like you guys have had quite a bit going on, Mom & Tina: Enjoy MOAB!! I am so happy you guys are going , but please be careful, I hear the temperatures are absolutely insane lately. It has been really hot here so If you guys go hiking or anything PLEASE be careful, and take lots of water. Let me know how it goes. 

For this week, we have been blessed to see the love from the members in our ward. After that broadcast that the church put out called "the work of salvation" everyone was willing to help feed us and drive us around. It has been such a blessing. We are doing better with our miles so we don't have to worry about that much, we went like a total of 20 miles in the last couple days--which is actually really good. Kathy Zollinger (a Ward mission leader) set up a little meeting with all the other mission leaders from our other areas and we were able to talk to all of them about what we are expecting/wanting them to do for us. They were all willing to work with us so this week was actually really busy. The funniest part about that meeting was that Reynold (the "town Drunk") followed the Zollingers into our meeting! haha he was just chilling there in his seat as we talked business, poor guy could barely sit up straight--he had been drinking. Guess that answers your question, no he did not take the deal... Bummer...

Remember how I talked about Luz? Well, we had been SO right about that feeling we had had about her, even without knowing her. Kathy Zollinger took us over the other night and we got to meet her for the first time. We fell in love with her and her family right away. Her husband's name is Jaimie and she has a daughter (Jarelly, going into 4th grade) and Brian (5 years old, going to start kindergarden). Ah that family has so much potential, we are so excited to begin teaching them, they seem like they will be receptive so we will see.

Okay, so about Jill. I don't really remember what I told you about her but we were worried because she was kind of being flaky. We had a date for her for this last saturday but after her interview with Elder Stoddard we learned that she was goign to have to meet with the mission president before she could be cleared for baptism. Apparently there were a couple things from her past that needed to be taken care of so she could be baptized. We were unable to get her an appointment before saturday so we had to postpone it until we could. Luckily, President Curtis (new mission president for Twin) sent his councilor to do the interview yesterday! It was such a tender mercy. She was able to talk to him and after President McCurty invited us in. He told us he was clearing JIll for baptism. Sister Rex, Jill, and I started crying. We could see how relieved Jill was and how grateful she had been. It was an amazing experience. We have set the date for July 20, so our plan is to keep meeting with her about every other day, or as time allows, and keep her focused on baptism. We are so excited for her. After President McCurty left we were able to talk to her and have a sort of testimony meeting. Sis. Rex and I's fears were silenced and we now know without a doubt that she is ready for baptism. We are so excited for her.

Like I said, everyone our here has been super nice to us. We have been visiting a Less Active member named Ilene, she was always so kind to talk to us and let us into her home. Last time we talked she asked me what my favorite snack was, I told her I wasn't a big fan of sweets but that I liked to eat anything that was sweet and salty mixed together. She asked for an example and so I told her green Grapes and Cheetos... I hadn't had that for a while so I don't even know why I told her that. WEll, this week when we went to go see her, guess what she had for me!? A TRAY of green grapes and cheetos. Ah it was so funny! We sat and taught her for a while as we snacked, it was such a good lesson. Later that day we went to go eat with the bishop and his family. We are getting fed SOOOO much out here. IT is seriously ridiculous, we never go hungry. AND its all really good food. Since people raise their own cattle they have fresh meat all the time. I have yet to try fresh milk but I'm sure that won't be too far down the road. I hope you guys enjoyed my "hick" stories, its really fun out here. 

One of the greatest stories from this week was the great love and support everyone has for each other. Although sometimes that makes it easier for rumors to spread and for feelings to get hurt, it doesn't stop people from helping out their neighbors. We met a young mom named Jenny. She is a member but is having quite a hard time lately. She attends the spanish ward at Raft River so we were surprised we hadn't seen her, this is why:

Not more than a month ago her husband and Reimy's brother (another woman from that ward, more about her later) went out to work in Albien. As they were coming through the canyon they realized that the brakes from the truck had failed, they had no way of stopping. Knowing they were picking up speed and were not going to be able to stop, they jumped from the truck. Reimy's brother rolled and only had a dislocated shoulder but Saul (jenny's husband) landed feet first, shattering his heels and breaking his shins in many, many places. He has been in the hospital in Salt Lake since then, he has had 6 surgeries and still has one more. He will be unable to work for about a year or more... Jenny and Saul have 4 kids, the last one is under 1 year old. Their life is really hard right now, Jenny can't work because she has kids. Well, This week we learned that Saul was coming home in about 15 days, needless to say the whole town knew within hours. Within two days we drove by their place and saw men outside. The next day (when we actually met Jenny, we had heard about her but she had been in SLC with her husband) they had a ramp in place right in front of their home. She hadn't asked, she hadn't even though about how she was going to bring her husband who will be in a wheelchair home. It was absolutely humbling. People out here look out for each other, that is something that we are often missing at home. Regardless of what it is, they WILL help, no matter what it takes. 

A lot of the hispanic workers out here have come to work days after they have crossed the border. They are often dehydrated and have hitched a ride all the way down from mexico. A family next to Jenny's house just moved in. They don't know english, don't know how to drive and have no way of going into town to purchase food---they dont even have money! That same day, more members from the spanish ward that live near by took them to town and bought them groceries. They got them a job at the Grush Dairy and are teaching them how to drive... I am humbled by their love and compassion. 

I don't know if I have talked about the Gomez family. They are a family that live 10 miles from Luz and we visited them last week for a few minutes. The moment we walked out we KNEW we were supposed to teach this family. The kids are amazing! ONe of the kids is getting ready to head off to college and is so receptive. They only have their mom and she works from 3 am to 1 and then from 4 to 6 milking and feeding the cows of one of the dairies. Most of the hispanic families out here are really poor but boy do they make do. They are definitely the happiest out of everyone in the area. Those Gomez kids love and respect their mom, and you can tell she's a good mom, they wouldn't be that way without her. We were able to come back and teach them the first lesson last night. We promised to bring some B.O.m for the rest of the family. The oldest has attended seminary so he already has a copy. We taught the mom (who is SUPER catholic) how to pray the way we pray and we ALMOST got her to say the closing prayer. Her brother came in and was teasing her (he has also been investigating the church) so she got shy and didn't pray. But she said she would next time. We are so excited. 

OKay, I want to talk about Reimy and her family. She is from mexico but she is married to an American guy, their last name is Spears. I will be sending some pictures home so I hope you guys can see okay. They live in a huge house, and they have A TON of property. behind their work shop they have a greenhouse that they built. Mom and Tia Liliana would DIE if they saw it, especially Tia. They have a giant fish tank right in the middle full of baby Tilapia fish and a couple other fish. that tank is connected to like 12 boxes (trays) where tomatoes, beans, celery, cilantro, and other things are growing. Basically this is how it works, the fish poop in the tank, that water is used to fertilize the plants in the surrounding trays! GENIUS! Seriously. The tomato plant is HUGE. They gave us some tomatoes to eat right off the vine, I have never eaten such sweet and juicy tomatoes in my life. They also had a Pomegranate tree in the corner, I just laughed cause I knew Nat would go crazy over it! that's just their greenhouse. About 2 miles down the road they have a garden. I'm not talking a flower garden, I'm talking ROW AFTER ROW of veggies of every kind. watermelon, corn, potatoes, zucchini, radishes, beets, on and on and on. Apparently it's really hard to grow watermelon out here and Bro. Spears is known for his miraculous watermelons, they grow 3-4 times the size of regular watermelons. And what does this family do with all their produce? OH you know, they GIVE IT AWAY. They keep enough to last them for the winter and the rest they give away to people in the ward who are in need first and then to the rest. The heart of people out here.... Oh, and I forgot to mention, Bro. Spears is probably in his late 30's early 40's, this man is going to die sooner than a regular man. He has a disease that they call out here something like "stone face" I;m not really quite sure but his blood doesn't carry enough oxygen to his extremities, the skin on his face and hands is pulled so tight its almost painful to look at. One of his fingers is literally dying as it's attached because oxygen and blood can't get to it. This man risks his life EVERY DAY in order to not only feed and sustain his family, but feed those who are in need. If you can't tell, I am humbled everytime I meet someone out here.... There are no words to express the feelings felt as I hear the stories of the people in my area.

I hope you guys have enjoyed this letter, I certainly love talking to you guys and letting you know what I'm up to. Please be safe this fourth of July and don't forget that Agency and freedom was fought for us since before the creation of man. Agency is a gift that we can access only through our Savior. The moment we give in to Satan's influence we CHOSE to give up our agency, so be careful. Cling to what you know is true. I love this gospel and I have loved every moment of being out here. I can't wait to see what miracles this week brings.


Hermana Calero 

P.S. We had to give a talk yesterday in the Malta 2nd ward about Missionary work and agency. Giving talks as a missionary is SO much different. Please thank Bishop Turley for giving me so many chances to give talks, it helped so much. I wasn't even nervous! Bro. Rawhide (yes his name is rawhide) was laughing so hard during my talk, apparently I'm quite the comedic genius out here... haha. 

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