Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 12, 2014 Austin, Minnesota -- Cinco de Mayo Party

our ward cinco de mayo party
homemade pinata. filled with vegetables and peanut butter packets. not candy. our ward has a lot of food allergies. (:     When it was broken open, and the kids saw what was inside, some of them were not too happy, ha ha!
 sister trickler and callister
 hermana soto dancing (: she sings amazingly to! 
the horchata we were bringing to the cinco de mayo party from one of our investigators. all buckled up and ready to go! haha our investigators had a good laugh at that
an actual icecream truck!

Feliz dia de Madres!
  So the Austin ward just had their Cinco de Mayo party, and it was a hit! We had home made pinatas filled with vegetables and peanut butter packets, a mariachi band comprised of the high school music teacher and students. Authentic Mexican food provided by our Hispanic ward members and investigators- Pazole and Horchata! and the not so Authentic Mexican food provided by the ward members- American style burritos, and ice cream and brownies! The mix of two cultures was so much fun! The decorations set off the mood with hanging lanterns, colorful paper flowers hung on the walls, green white and yellow streamers lined the ceiling, the smell of Spanish rice and the beautiful voice of Enrique Iglesias booming through the giant speakers in the church gym united our ward with the Hispanic culture for the night. 

We finally got to hear Hermana Soto's (one of our members) beautiful voice as she sang a solo of a Spanish love song for the ward, and we also got to see her awesome dance skillz that competed with Napoleon Dynamites pretty awesome moves. It made our wildest dreams come true. 

We also had Lorenzo come with us, our Pentecostal friend from Guatamala who is learning more about the church. The ward members got to know and love him the way we do and I think Lorenzos got a new friend group! (: One thing Lorenzo really wants are good influences and good friends, and because he came, he got to meet a lot of great new people who want the same thing! It's really cool to see the growth that's taking place.

We really love the Austin area for the fact that here are people here who really need to hear the gospel. This is a town that needs time, effort, patience and diligence though. Austin has churches on every corner (literally) and just about everyone already has a religion that they swear to stick by. We've come to see with the families we're teaching right now, that once you break through the firmly set religion barrier they put up, you come to find they have a lot of questions,
misconceptions, and misunderstandings. Our brothers and sisters here in Austin want the gospel. This town is built around religion. This poses as both a blessing and a challenge. The Lord has brought us here to guide those who have religion already in their lives to see that there is truth in what they seek. 

The members who already know a little bit of Spanish have really started to fellowship the investigators we have brought and we've seen the excitement they are starting to have for Spanish work. Yesterday, two of our members actually wanted to come in and join our Spanish gospel doctrine class with us! And even though they only spoke a little Spanish, you could see the spark they had for wanting to be more involved. And I saw that they started to make really good connections with our Hispanic member families in the class!
There are many different goals as missionaries. The main goal is to bring everyone closer to Christ. One of the ways we come closer to Christ is by coming closer to each other, by seeing and understanding who our brothers and sisters are and really truly loving them. Because we are all a family, we have a divine duty of making sure everyone has the opportunity of receiving all of the blessings our Father in Heaven has given us which some of those blessings are peace, love, comfort, and confidence. Or, in point, Joy. And what greater joy can there be than knowing that we are part of the eternal family of Heavenly Father! 
I love you all and I hope with all of my heart that you find the excitement and joy of helping those around you to understand their divine potential and feel the love of being part of our family! there is no greater joy than this! 
Love you! Love Hermana Ficklin

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