Wednesday I was transferred to Orem Aspen — I was crying as I was leaving the area I’ve been for six months because I was leaving so many people I have grown to love, but I had hope and trust in the Lord that He would keep walking by my side. He knows where I need to be to help His children come into Him. And yes, my area is another walking/biking area! 🙂 I like being in a walking area — we meet and talk with a lot of people in our travels from one place to the next. And yes, my new companion is Hermana Bonilla. And she is the cutest thing ever! She is from Honduras and has had a hard past, but she loves the Lord and loves to work hard! She also only speaks Spanish (She’s learning English while here on the mission.), so I’m grateful for my companions who were so willing to speak Spanish with me and lovingly correct me when needed to be so I could learn. And now I feel more comfortable speaking Spanish all the time.
This week has been a busy one. Wednesday we cleaned up and organized our kitchen/refrigerator and served at the temple. (And we got locked out of the chapel that night after our shift — and all of our belonging were inside. But thankfully there was a man closing up everything who let us in to retrieve our stuff.) Thursday morning we deep-cleaned the bathroom and organized our bedroom. (Thanks mom for teaching me the importance of keeping a clean, organized house — it really affects the spirit and our ability to focus.) That afternoon was the first time I rode a bike, and as I was trying to dismount, my skirt got caught and I fell over and scraped my hand and elbow on the pavement. Good thing I had Neosporin antibiotic cream with pain relief — that helped me.
Thursday afternoon and evening and Saturday morning and afternoon we also served in the temple. When we started weekly planning on Friday, Hermana Bonilla started asking me questions about different principles and missionary policies, and we turned to and read different parts of Preach My Gospel to help her understand the principles and policies and answer her questions. She told me that she had a hard time with her last companion and was grateful to have me with her now, and that I was an answer to her prayers. As we talked, I felt that we should study Preach My Gospel together and do role plays for 30 minutes every day during companionship study. Our goals for the week include: 1) cleaning up and updating the area book and 2) getting to know the people.
Yesterday afternoon we had a reunion with our WML (ward mission leader), which lasted for over 3 hours. We went through and discussed all of the names in our area book with him and his wife, discussing needs of God’s children and coordinating efforts to reach out and help each one. Members are so vital in this work. Full-time missionaries are full-time teachers, and members are full-time finders and inviters.
My Sundays are now busy. We wake up at 5:00am so we can get ready and do personal study before our meetings that start at 7:30am, with ward council afterwards and church at 11am and our ward missionary meeting afterwards at 2:00pm.
Yes, we are now working 5 of the 6 days a week the Payson Temple Open House is open (working from either 7:30am-3:00pm or from 2:30pm-9:30pm). It’s tiring waking up earlier or returning home late, but it is such a wonderful experience testifying of the Jesus Christ, eternal families, and temple covenants and ordinances.
Today at the temple open house we were in the reception tent talking with the families there, and one older man came up to me and thanked me for all the work I am doing as a missionary. He started to cry and expressed to me how he and his wife have now served five missions together. He knows the dedication it takes to be engaged in this work. Other families have expressed the soft feelings of the spirit as they have walked through the temple — it feels like home for them. And truly it is.