6 January 2014
Transfers Transfers Transfers.... well this night is one of the most stressful days on the mission (besides Sundays and baptisms of course!). Hermana Aagard had really just been trying to live up the last moments that one of us was to have in Alcobendas / San Sebastián, and we actually started packing and getting a bit organized so that whichever one of us left would just be ready to go! It was all so bittersweet, and I felt like I was probably the one that would be leaving, which is sad because we have a baptism for Augostina next week. So when we have transfers, we call our district leader at nine o clock on the dot (I had been feeling physically a bit ill for a couple of days out of anticipation of everything, haha). So we call him and he says that.... DRUMROLLLL please...Hermana Aagard and I are staying here together in Sanse! We had to ask him 5 more times to tell us the truth because we did not believe him. Yes, I do assure you that I am telling the truth. I am pretty sure we have set a mission record for the most consecutive transfers ever spent with the same companion!!! By the end of this transfer we will have spent 4 transfers together, about equal to 6 months! WOW! hehe, at first we didn't even seem happy, just too in shock and we didn't believe it. We had to keep assuring each other that we were happy to be here together for another transfer! 10,000 emotions were going through my mind, mostly fear and worry that I would just get to comfortable with the same companion, same area, same routine. BUT we woke up the next morning, just really excited to still be here! We also talked to Hermana Jackson, the mission president´s wife, and she asked if we were okay with transfers. We said of course!! She said she was really pushing for us to be together again... and that there is no point in fixing what isn't broken, hahah.
Overall, especially the Sunday after we found out transfers, I feel so grateful to still be here with Hermana Aagard in this area! I sure do love each of the ward members, and we have such obedient and hard-working elders in our area! One of the Assistants to the President, elder Argyle went home this last transfer, along with two other elders, and that it was hard to have so many changes. Changes have always been hard for me. but I know they keep us on our toes working hard!! So it will be great to get to know the new Assistant Elder Merriman (from Colorado!) and some new sisters that are moving here! I love this area! I am so grateful for change although it can be hard!!!
We are moving furniture around in our piso [apartment] just to have a little bit of change because we feel like SOMETHING needs to change. heehhe.
So this coming Saturday is Augostina´s baptism!!! We met here the beginning of last transfer, and she was just so prepared from the beginning. She is the most energetic 67 year old woman I have ever met! Still working and babysitting 4 grandchildren at a time. We go into the lessons, and really by the end she is the one that teaches us all we need to know. haha. we taught her the Word of Wisdom and she told us that she had drank beer and coffee once in her life and from there she knew it was wrong, never did it again, and has never done anything else contrary to it. We asked her what goals she has for 2014, and she answers (in her cute, Dominican Republic Spanish, where she adds an "s" onto everything and drops her "d"s ) "MIS BAUTISMOS, CLARO". haha which means "My baptisms, of course". She came to Pablo´s baptism and loved it, and is talking praying about friends to share the gospel with, and invites all the ward members to her baptism. She is just friends with everyone! A cute little, go with the flow, leaf in the wind :) I sure love her. She cried the other day talking to us about how we have changed her life, and filled the hole that she had felt before that no other church could fill. I LOVE THIS WOMAN!!! We have been blessed to see miracles here. Before, I didn't know that the Lord could work miracles through us, but as a missionary and have come to learn that is not only possible, but we can EXPECT miracles when we act on what little faith we may have. This woman is a miracle that I will never forget.
Also, Pablo! Pablo Pablo Pablo.... This man comes to church after long night shifts of work, shows up at church 25 minutes early, and asks us deep doctrinal questions after reading the Book of Mormon and bible all night at church. WOW! hehe. I love studying his questions. He already brings extra food for the needy at church, and candy for the primary. He calls Hermana Aagard and I his "niñas", or his daughters, and is so grateful to have this worldwide family here now, since he is divorced and his daughters live in Chile. I feel so grateful to see some of these "little miracles" and little "fruits of our labors" here! These people (including ward members) have changed my life, and there is nothing more satisfying or testimony building than seeing people accept the happiness that the gospel brings to them and become strong, faithful members (and hopefully leaders and future family generations!) in the church.
Mervin also baptized one of the converts at the baptism two weeks ago! Not sure if I told you! And we are working with a couple from El Salvador who came to church last week and loved it, named Alba and Walter. Please pray for each of these people. I hope to tell you more about them soon. A year ago, this ward was about 50-ish people, and now it has grown to 130 people some weeks and we are in the works for a new chapel!!!
Well, my time is up! as usual, I wish I could tell you every little detail but that's all for this week! Also, anyone who sends me letters... coolest stamp contest! I am collecting all of the stamps I have been sent and would appreciate some unique ones! And a HUUUGE thank you for all of the packages and letters and kind thought from the ward and family and friends. I feel so loved!!!
Have a great week! Pictures to come next week!!!
Love, Hermana Emily Mather