Emma was transferred to a new area and new companion! She is excited for new adventures and getting out of her comfort zone. Her new apartment has a washer and dryer which she is thrilled about, as she has been washing her clothes by hand until now. She loved her last area Lomas Verdes with all her heart and the people became family- but she is always up to push and stretch herself. Though change is hard for her, she is always up to a challenge. Thanks again for caring about Emma and your prayers for the missionaries mean so much.
So HEY from PALMAS! It's not TOO TOO far from Lomas Verdes, and my companion is pretty new in the mission too. She's named Hermana Bravo, and she's from Guatemala. Her accent is pretty different from Hermana Salinas and Hermana Mercado, both from north Mexico, but I'm getting used to it! Part of my area is like Santa Cruz, and the other part is city-city. I was expecting "deep pueblo" this time around, so I was surprised. What's funny is we live right by the offices of the mission and our district consists of President Whitehead's secretaries! My ward is supposed to be super super awesome, and Hermana Whitehead comes with us every Sunday apparently. Hermana Bravo and I are really excited to get working, she's had lots of success here in the last 12 weeks, and is going to start showing me around later today. Super sad leaving Lomas Verdes, which truly became my home in the 4 1/2 months I was there. We visited everyone yesterday, and I left letters for all the families that I love so so much. I was SERIOUSLY SO BLESSED to have been "born" in Lomas Verdes. The sweetest people in the world, and made me feel at home even before I could speak to slash understand them. Also, we baptized Enrique yesterday! He has completely changed since I first knew him. He went from someone who wanted to challenge EVERYTHING to someone who's willing to obey, wants to become immersed completely in the church, and smiles all the time! Definitely saw about 5 definite miracles throughout the course of his conversion. And Dominica...breaks my heart a little bit, but at the same time I know one of the things the mission teaches you is patience and being okay with the Lord's timing. Dominica wants to be baptized. I know it, she knows it. Her dad knows it too. We taught her twice this week in a park because he heard her say that baptism was a possibility and decided he won't tolerate us in his house anymore. She said it's destroying her family. She said if she gets baptized, she won't be able to continue coming to church because her dad won't let her leave and she doesn't want to completely go against his wishes. She's lived with her parents 27 years, and I can understand that it's scary. What's good is that she understands that once she's baptized, she is committed to trying her best to obey every commandment. She has the desire to be a GOOD member, not a one-Sunday thing. I was sad that she wasn't baptized yesterday, but I feel at peace knowing that she WILL be baptized. She said so herself, that once things are a bit better with her family, once she can figure something out, she will.Change is hard, but it's necessary to learn and progress. I left behind people who I'm sure are going to get baptized with Hermana Mercado in this next six weeks - the dad of a formerly less-active family, Carlos (of the OTHER anti-Mormon family) - and others who were just starting to progress. But I'm so grateful that I was able to be a part of these peoples' lives for a bit. To hear Jose bless the sacrament yesterday, to hear Maria talk about how she's now grateful for her health trials because they make her stronger, there is truly nothing better. Jessica is getting a calling and becoming stronger and stronger, Luz is visibly happier every time I see her, Mario has been doing lots of missionary work, working with us to contact people. I even have been talking to a guy from Chicago, who lives near Enrique and came to church yesterday. He asked question after question after question and it was pretty fun to speak to him in English a bit! All in all, sad, but I need to move on and focus completely on helping the people of Palmas. I love the mission, I love you all! Have a great week!
|Enrique's Baptism- such a happy day!|
|Emma's new companion, Hermana Bravo, from Guatemala- for the first time in her life she feels a little tall!|
|Favorite Family in Lomas Verdes|
|Lomas Verdes Hermanas|
|Lomas Verdes Zone|
|Emma has sure loved Sister Mercado!|
|She seems to be a lot colder than I thought she would be- she is always wearing her raincoat.|