Wow! What a week! I have officially been a missionary for more than 6 months now. I now have a baby niece. Thanksgiving was this week. We had a baptism this Sunday! What a great week!
I can't believe Mia is here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so happy to read that and to see all the pictures in the e-mail. Thank you so much!!! Thanks for taking the time to type out the whole story, Sarah. I'm sorry it was so painful but I am so grateful that she is here and is healthy and Max loves her. He is smiling so huge in those photos!!! He is so big. I am so happy. Like I kind of started tearing up reading and seeing all of that. It's a little hard not being able to meet her for such a long time. Just keep sending me photos!
Brittany, have you thought about referring your friend Sierra to the missionaries? As long as her parents are okay with it, it could be really special for you two and it could unite your friendship even more. Like how cool would it be if you could have the missionaries come to the house and you get to help teach her with them. You could start being a missionary now and being a missionary is really fun!!
Doodle, I was so excited to hear that you want to go on a mission when you're bigger. It will be something that will forever bless your life! You are so great!!
Shaun, great work being a missionary and being able to see your boss be baptized! It sounds like it was such a great thing to be a part of!!!
Really quickly, as a reminder, Don R. Clarke of the 70 is coming to our mission next week and the zones in the San Fernando Valley are having a conference with him next Monday. Thus, my preparation day next week is Tuesday so don't freak out when you don't get an e-mail until then.
Thank you so much again for everything you sent! I am pretty sure all of it arrived and I love it all! I have never owned the flat boots like that before and I love walking around in them. They make me feel cool haha! I'm not a girly girl at all, so I never thought I'd say that. But you know... when you're having to wear skirts every day you have to do something crazy and fun and warm haha.
We had Thanksgiving with Alba and her husband. It was so nice!! Their oven stopped working for a little while at like noon. They just noticed it wasn't cooking so they had to restart the cooking etc. Thus, it got out late and we started the dinner late, but it was so good!! They had this banana cream pie too which was delicious. I was glad that we only had to eat one Thanksgiving meal because last minute our elders realized they forgot to tell us that Hermanita was expecting us. We were able to kindly get out of it luckily. But the next day we had to eat two thanksgiving leftover meals a few hours apart and we were so stuffed!!
The way transfers are currently is that we receive transfer calls Saturday night. They will tell you if you're going or staying and if you're going they tell you if you're going to be on car or bike. We have Sunday and a little bit of Monday to say goodbye. We have Monday to pack. Then on Tuesday we all go to a big transfer meeting in Santa Clarita and that is when we find out where we are going and who our new companion is. So on Saturday night we got the calls. I am staying (and obviously I'll still have the car... by the way, I don't know if I've ever told you, but we drive a 2012 Chevy Cruz. It is nice!). Hermana Hansen will be leaving the area and her next area will be another car area (we think president is trying to make it so eventually all the sisters will be on car but that is just a rumor right now and there still are sister bike areas).
It's crazy to hear that! I mean I knew it was going to happen, but I hate saying goodbye. I really have grown to love her. Of course she isn't perfect. I probably know of her weaknesses better than anyone else right now. But we have done so much good together. We have worked so hard. We have seen so many miracles. We have been together so long. We were so lucky to get that one extra transfer in together. We have been together nonstop for about 4 months. We have definitely become friends. We've grown into better people. I'm excited to get a new companion and to grow in more ways. It will be good. I'm excited to have a new friend and to see where she goes and write to her to see what other miracles she will see on her mission. It will be so good. She keeps telling herself that she can't cry about leaving until tonight. But I know she loves me so much. In moments in the car when we're just thinking she keeps breaking the silence and saying things like, "I have loved working with you." It is moments like that that are so dulce.
Our ward mission leader, Hermano de Leon, told us that he had a dream where I had a different companion and she was short and had dark skin and long brown hair. I'm excited to go to the transfer meeting tomorrow to see if his dream will be correct.
But I was really grateful that we got to end the three great transfers together with a beautiful baptism. Alba got baptized. Like I think I said last week, she rightfully could have been called an "eternigator." I think her husband has been going back to church for about 11 years and he's been trying to get the missionaries to teach his wife for about 10 years or more. At her baptism even in the talks, the people kept on saying things like "I never thought I'd see the day when Alba got baptized!" We weren't even sure if she would make it this Sunday. But she did stop drinking coffee completely. We had a beautiful lesson with her based on the Mormon message "You Know Enough" (http://www.lds.org/pages/
But the baptism was so beautiful. Hermana Hansen and I got to sing "Mas Cerca Dios de Ti" (Nearer My God to Thee) as a special musical number and it was so special. She was like quietly looking at the words and singing along. Her husband did the baptism. He has baptized several people before but I think it has been a while and he was a little nervous, so it took him 3 tries to get it right. I think the most beautiful part, though, was the closing hymn and the prayer. She started crying so much. It was so beautiful. We gave her hugs afterwards and she was like "I don't know why I'm crying so much." I know why. She also told us "thank you so much for everything!" She was so beautiful and happy and I was lucky to have been able to be an instrument in the Lord's hand and to have been able to play a small part in her conversion story. That is what this work is all about. It is about the one. It is so beautiful to see!!!
I'm sorry if this letter sounds a little bit scatter brained and the parts don't necessarily flow smoothly. Hope you don't mind too terribly haha!!
But have a great week! Enjoy every second of life!!
I love you and may the spirit be with you!!