Monday, July 14, 2014

Dear Familia! (7/13)

  Who would have thought that I would come on my mission to New Zealand and have to teach in Spanish? I never saw it coming. I probably should have taken Spanish in school but I didn't and now I am regretting it. Anyways there is this wonderful family in our area from Colombia that was baptized back in April. It is a Mom and her three kids and they are refugees living here to build a better life for themselves. The story of how the elders found them is remarkable but I unfortunately don't have time to write it all out. Anyways they are so special. Sister Clarke and her last companion were the ones that we able to teach the family and prepare them for baptism and so we now visit them to continue teaching them and strengthening their testimonies. It is so much fun! I love this little family. The oldest is a girl and she is nine then a boy and he is eight and then the youngest child just turned one and he is the cutest child I have met in New Zealand. I love going over and teaching this family. Sometimes when we need to have  formal lesson we invite a translator to help out but most of the time we visit them and make do with sign language and acting things out and Sister Clarke and I are doing our best to learn a bit of Spanish so we can talk to her. It's pretty hilarious and I would say that we communicate pretty well this way. I still should have learned Spanish though. It would make things so much easier. Oh well life goes on. Saturday we went to visit the spanish familia as we call them and Sister Sanchez taught us how to make empanadas and they were delicious. It was so much fun to learn more about her culture and background. I believe it helped us understand her better and we were able to pear into her life and understand better what makes her who she is. Sister Clarke and I had so much fun. I will attach some pictures that we took that night. It was great. 

  I am again having the time of my life in this area and in the VC. I am loving every minute of serving here. I love love love Sister Clarke, and I love the Hawkins (visitors center directors), and I love the ward we are in. I have met so many great people who have come into the VC and we have the opportunity to teach them over the phone and prepare them to meet with the local missionaries. I love it because we are teaching ALL THE TIME! Well a few weeks ago I wrote about a man who came in with his friend and we taught him the lesson about the Plan of Salvation and he said he already believed everything we were saying. Anyway we haven't been able to get in contact with him the past few weeks and we were worried about how he was doing. But he came in on Saturday and we were on shift so we got to teach him again. He is meeting with the local elders and he already has such a good grasp of the gospel. It was the coolest thing. He is preparing to be baptized and I couldn't be more excited. Throughout the second time we were teaching him he kept mentioning that he considered us his first missionaries and that we were the ones that really made him want to learn more. Missionary work is hard especially at the VC sometimes because you wonder if you really are making a difference but it's moments like this that make it all worth it. 

  Well that is all I have to say for this week. I am still happy as ever and I am so blessed to be able to stay out here. I know that the only way I have the ability to work through my challenges is because of all of your love, prayers, and support. I can't thank you all enough. I love you and miss you! 

Sister Simkins

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