Just when you think you´ve got everything figured out and know the best way to work in a sector, the mission throws you a curve ball and you have an unexpected transfer. Which is what happened this last week! Dad and Colton, I´m glad to hear I´m not the only one who had a crazy week. So, on Monday we got the call for cambios and I was super surprised to hear that I had cambios! I had only been in Santa Cruz for 2 transfers so a cambio was not in the game plan. But, on Tuesday, day of cambios, I got a new companion, a new sector, and a new ward! And I mean brand new, as in we´re opening a new sector in a brand new ward that was just created yesterday! So, what they did is they created a new ward from two existing wards, and now we are the missionaries who are starting the new barrio. So, my new companion is Hna. Belt, which I am so so happy about! Hna. Belt is from American Fork, Utah and has about a year in the mission. We have a lot in common and get along great. Something cool is that she is Native American from her mom´s side, from the Zuni tribe. They come from New Mexico which is where I served the first part of my mission, so that is pretty cool.
So, Tuesday after transfers we got in a taxi with all our suitcases and headed over to our new sector. Oh, our sector is called Escardó 1 (it´s pronounced escargo), in the zone Maranga (I totally jinxed myself last week when I said I should just move into the Maranga zone ha). Hna. Aguero (the hermana from Argentina that I trained!) is also in our ward, and she is training a new hermana, so I now have a ¨nieta¨ in mission terms. Whoo! Entonces, Hna. Aguero helped us get to our new room. We got all our suitcases in and Hna. Aguero said, Okay, good luck, we´ll see you! and then left. Hna. Belt and I just looked at each other and laughed at the situation. We had a brand new carpeta, with 0 registros, 0 nombres, nada. The first few days we honestly just walked around our sector, contacting in the street and writing down the names of the streets because our map didn´t have all the little street names. We didn´t even have a ward directory because we are starting a brand new ward, so one doesn´t exist yet. The first few days we just enjoyed the adventure and walked around all day joking and laughing, contacting, and drawing our map. Finally, we met up with the elders and got some registros to work with. I´m sorry, registros means... registers? (The paper where we write the information about investigators, less actives, and recent converts ha). SO, we finally had something to work with and started to visit a few investigators. This is what we have so far:
*Gabriel: Gabriel is a 15 year old who has been taking charlas from the elders for quite a long time now. We found him at home and taught him for just a few minutes, and then invited him to come to church. On Sunday he showed up in a white tie and shirt (which the elders said he´s never done before), and he was there half an hour early waiting for us to arrive! He is awesome and we´re excited to teach him more.
*Flor: Flor´s daughter Ana is a member and was baptized in Nebraska when she was a teenager. Flor loves everything about the church and considers herself a member, but says she doesn´t need baptism to be a good christian. We explained that even Christ was baptized to be our example, and when she heard that her face changed and she said, I never thought of it like that. I guess you´re right. She agreed to let us come over to the read the Book of Mormon with her, so we are going tomorrow to read with her. We´ll see what happens!
*Familia Vicuña: The Vicuña family is a very special family. They suffered an accident in their family when their 14 year old daughter was hit by a car 6 months ago. The daughter, Eliane, is doing physical therapy to recuperate her ability to walk and to talk. Right now she is in a wheelchair and can move her hands to communicate. She is the cutest girl ever, and I have never met such a humble family. They are not mad at God and know they are passing through a trial of their faith. They have come together as a family, and throughout our whole visit Eliane´s parents never left her side or stopped holding her hand. We taught them about the Atonement, and that thanks to Him, all of our suffering can be swallowed up and made better. It was a very powerful lesson and the Spirit was very strong. They promised to come to church next week as a family. We are also very excited to teach them and see them grow as a family.
All in all, this week was quite a different one. It was full of new experiences, new people, new companion, new ward, new zone, new district, new bishop... but it was also a week full of miracles. And it´s only been the first week! I know this transfer will be tough since we´re starting from scratch, but I´m excited for the challenge and know that with Heavenly Father´s help, we can do all things. It´s a new adventure and I´m ready to learn what Heavenly Father has in store for me personally.
Thanks for all your letters! And thanks for the birthday package you sent!! Hna. Belt and I have been thoroughly enjoying American candy. I also got a letter from Amy Jarman, could you tell her I will try and write them a handwritten letter today? Tell them thank you, they are the greatest!
I love you SO much! I´m glad Court made it back safe from Fiji. It sounds like she had a blast and had lots of good experiences. Welp, have a great week! Chaufa!