First I’ll let you know about my new companion...
Her name is Hermana Barnes. She is from Nashville, TN and has been out for 7 months as of a few days ago. She came in in the same group as Hermana Hardy. She is so great! So a few random things about her that I've learned... she loves to play sports a lot. She had been in gymnastics from the age of 5-8 and from 8-12 or so she was doing it competitively until she broke both of her ankles (she's better now though!). But after that she didn't really want to go back and the next year she grew 4 inches haha! But yeah, she took up volleyball instead after that. But because of her injury and others in her family, she's been around physical therapists for a while and she had decided that is what she wants to do with her life. She is 20 years old and she is so amazing!!! She is very different from Hermana Vila, but I love her so much already! She is such a hard worker and she jumped right in with helping figure out the area and with helping the hermanas. She is so proactive and takes her fair share and has great ideas and is so easy to get along with! It is possible that I'll be with her for these last two transfers of my mission and I consider myself super lucky because I can tell already she is going to be amazing friend and support for me. She has that calming nature about her that you just know she will always be on your side and she cares so much about me. I couldn't be happier to be working with her!
We've been thinking of what we can use for our companionship statement, and what we've got is "As righteous daughters of God, we are meant to shine. As we radiate in deep love and lose ourselves, we will strive to liberate the light in others."
I love that because it is like the quote from Nelson Mandela, I believe. When we have true faith and trust in God, there is no reason to have insecurities. Only be believing!
The area is doing well. I'm not sure if I mentioned it last week or not, but absolutely all of our work went to the new area that was created in our ward (we are now at 5 companionships in this ward). We had one investigator left and in the meeting we had with him the first few days, we realized that he has reached an age where he doesn't actually comprehend anything we were telling him, so we dropped him and from then started at blank slate, ground zero. We, therefore, have had tons of finding time.
We have the goal of 25 new investigators and 100 Books of Mormon by the end of the transfer and we are well on the way to achieving those. This week we passed out 20 Books of Mormon and got 4 new investigators. There was one day that we passed out 10 Books of Mormon! The crazy part is that 2 of those were to atheists. It is so cool working with a goal like that because it changes how we testify about everything and it changes how you study. There is a promise in Preach My Gospel that if we pray for and work to know how to use the Book of Mormon more effectively in our work we will be enlightened in how to use it. For instance, it has changed how I study in that I'm looking for what ways I can testify. As one example, when I was a new missionary, I remember this one experience when someone answered the door and said "I'm an atheist" and we said something like "Oh, okay, thanks, bye." But now I'm searching for how I can testify about the Book of Mormon in a way that would make it real and relevant to them. For instance, using the Alma 22 and how the king came to know there was a god or Alma 36 and explaining how a belief in Jesus Christ can help them. I look at situations that happen every day where I maybe am a little more insecure (like the other day I ran into the first Muslim I've met on the mission and I wasn't sure how to testify to them). But yeah! I love it and the cool part is that I am realizing that I think it is a gift of the spirit to be able to testify in such a way that you create desires in others. And that is what I've realized is happening where people are asking us if we can give them a Book of Mormon. It is so great!!
The funny part is that since the last MLC/ZTM (mission leadership counsel/zone training meeting) everyone in the mission is trying to give away more Books of Mormon and it is getting to the point where the office is actually on back order of them and we may not be receiving more until next month. Haha! So we may have to consciously try to slow down so that we don't run out before we can get some more.
Anyway, that is probably the big stuff that is happening this week. We will have some pretty cool things this transfer like some of the 70s coming (I think 2 different times) and general conference, and things like that. Because of it all, with scheduling, we had to do some weird things like put some exchanges back to back. So that will be kind of crazy, but I'm sure it'll work out.
Anyway, I love you all and I love to hear from you on how you're doing!
Tenga el espiritu consigo para siempre!