Awh, muchísimas gracias, Mami! Estamos muy entusiasmadas por las sorpresas. Getting letters or packages in the mail is the best. 🙂
I’m not sure what happened last week that caused my sick stomach. But I’m glad it’s over. Unfortunately ever since then I’ve been a little weary of eggs and peanut butter. The experience makes them seem not so yummy right now. Maybe in a little while my appetite for them will come back. So instead of buying peanut butter today I bought some hummus! I had been eyeing it the last couple of weeks, wanting it every week but saying no. But this week I caved in. I almost bought some dark chocolate as well, but all the packages here either contain milk or may contain traces of milk. Ugh. Oh well. At least I have my cocoa powder and can make chocolate oatmeal. I would love a bar of dark chocolate for Christmas if you can find one without milk. Don’t worry yourself about it though — I’ll survive without it.
I am trying to avoid the average weight gain of 60 pounds for this mission. Yes, it’s insane. Some of the other sisters I came with from the CCM [Mexico MTC] told me the other day that they’ve already gained weight. With all the meals we get fed — some missionaries get fed 2-3 dinners a night. And it’s impolite to say no when you come for an appointment and they offer you dinner or snacks. Hermana Martinez and I are pretty good with saying thanks but no thanks, but maybe it’s just the people in this area who are more okay with that than others. We just can’t eat three dinners a night! If that ever happens, I might just ask for a doggy bag. That way lunch is covered for the next day, I don’t get sick, and we are still accepting their offer. I like being in a walking area. Some days I wish I had a bike, but with the snow coming soon, I’ll probably wait till spring (la Primavera).
This week is transfer week, and for the past few days I’ve been worried sick about it. I love Hermana Martinez, the people in our ward, and the people we are serving here in this area. At the same time, I feel like I want to go to another area since it’s been getting a little hard finding more people to visit every day and have opportunities to teach. I think it was the “when things get hard I don’t want to do it anymore” coming out in these thoughts. And then this morning was one of the scariest days of my mission life. As we were preparing for our appointments later tonight, we received a call from President McCune. (If you get a call from the President the Monday of the week of transfers that means one of you is getting transferred.) And then it turned out that the assistant to the president had given him the wrong number and he was looking for a different set of missionaries. But since he called, he let us know that we will be staying together for the next transfer. After he said that, I let out a sigh of relief.
And then later that morning, I realized that after the next transfer in December (which will be the week before Christmas), I will have completed my training, Hermana Martinez will go home, and I’ll probably stay in this area, receive a new companion, be the one leading the work in this area (since I’ll be the most familiar with it) and could (for all I know) be called by President McCune and assigned as a trainer for a new missionary anytime beginning January. This means I might be the one who has the most Spanish knowledge. (Just thinking about that scares me half to death.) Hopefully President McCune is merciful with me. But I know he will do as he is directed by the Spirit. And I know the Lord knows my strengths, weaknesses, and potential better than I do, and He also knows what He wants me to accomplish, the lives He wants me to touch and change, and what challenges I need to help me become the missionary He knows I can be. I find that the power of the Atonement is working in my life everyday as I study His word and His gospel every day. As Elder Holland explained it, I want my investigators and less active members to pray more fervently; well, the Lord wants me to pray more fervently, seek Him more desperately, treasure up His word, and live as He lives. I can’t expect others to do anything that I am not already doing myself.
This past week was really special. I am starting to see why the Lord called me as a missionary to this mission and why He assigned me to this area. As I look back at where some of the individuals with whom we serve were in their conversion and where they are now, it amazes me how the Lord works through us and works miracles in their lives. There are people here that I feel like I’ve known before, people that I just “click with,” people I feel love for and yearn to help them. Just this past week one of the less active members we serve told us that she received the answer to her prayers, wants to receive her endowment, and wants us to be there with her. She also told us how much she loves us and looks forward to our appointments and the spirit we bring with us and leave in her home every week. Saturday we were talking with a husband who did not have any interest in being baptized, but this past week I bore witness to him of the Plan of Salvation, how I knew about his love for his family, and that he could find out for himself of the truth of these things. Ever since my first encounter with him, I felt a connection with him, and he thanked me after that lesson, saying “le quiero.” (Which is a way of saying brotherly love.) These two people are two reasons why I feel like I need to be here. And with both of these experiences (and many others), I started to cry. All I could think about was that feeling I had in the temple after I received my endowment, and that feeling I had and the special experiences I have here help me keep moving forward through those tough days.