Hola familia y amigos,
This week has been absolutely AMAZING. Maybe the best week of my mission. I have felt guidance every step of the way as I train a new Hermana and take care of everything else.
First off, my companion Hermana Seastrand is from Holiday UT and she is just started her 3rd transfer in the mission. Her Spanish is pretty good for only having 2 transfers, but she definitely is still learning. Mija (my daughter) is Hermana Manner. She is from Rexburg Idaho and was visa-waiting in the Provo mission so she actually has 4 weeks in the mission and a few days here. She came in on Thursday.
So far things are going really well. We have been very busy. Monday and Tuesday me and Hermana Seastrand planned on how we wanted to train and got the piso ready for a third member. We only had 2 beds! On tuesday we found out that she wasn´t coming until thursday and that Hermana Seastrand is not co-training with me. I am the only trainer. But she helps me in a lot of ways, so I don´t feel alone. Sometimes it is hard though, because I feel like I still need to help her improve and there are things that I only can do...
We get along really well. They are both really wonderful Hermanas. Hna. Seastrand is almost 22 and Hna. Manner is 19. Vallecas is a great area, and we have a lot of people to visit. We have 2 baptisms on Saturday. It is a grandmother and her 3 grandchildren, but the elders team teach with us and so they are having 2 baptisms and we are having 2 baptisms. One thing the Lord has really blessed me with is a big and always expanding heart. I miss the friends I made in Barrio 6, but I fall in love so easily with the people here!
We are also working with Justino. He has had a baptism date 2 times, knows everything, but just doesn´t feel ready to be baptized. We met with him twice this week and tried to help him understand that he is ready, but he just doesn´t feel it. So we are going to go through the lessons with him again, and keep him coming to church and just be pacient. We cannot force him if he does not feel ready. We keep praying for him. and I think he will be ready soon. Mostly he wants to go to church more.
Hernan is a recent convert who is very shy and struggling. It is hard to help him because I understand him the best, but he doesn´t know me so he doesn´t want to open up to me. I am trying to gain his trust, and he is starting to open up.
Montes is from Senagal and he has a baptism date because he prayed and got an answer, but he is moving and progressing slowly so we will probably have to change it. He doesn´t speak the best spanish so it is kind of hard to teach him.
The ward is a little smaller, but still a good size. We teach piano (mostly hermana Seastrand) and english classes on wednesdsays and we have ward Noche De Hogar [Family Home Evening] wednesday nights.
This week has been a little stressful, because I have started training, and there are advantages and disadvantages of training someone that is not brand new. Good is that she knows some spanish, and she can participate a bit more. The hard part is that I don´t know exactly how to finish her training. She has almost a transfer in the Provo mission and so technically she would finish training this transfer, but she only had 4 weeks of training and so I don´t know how to catch up the last 8 weeks of training in 5 weeks. But I asked President what he wants me to do.
It has also been a hard week, because when transfers took place, I became the only Hermana Leader in the zone. The Ayudantes (APs) said they were going to change the zone or call another Hermana in my zone to do all the intercambios [exchanges] with me. I never heard back from them, and so I was stressed that I was going to be alone in the zone to do all the intercambios by myself. Finally I called the ayudantes this morning and they told me who the other Hermana Leader is. So we didn´t do anything with that this week. Next week I will probably start doing the intercambios. I hope so, there are a lot of Hermanas in our zone. If we are going to do intercambios with all of them, we need to get started!
Okay, as crazy as this week was, it was also SO INCREDIBLE. God is guiding me and using me to be His representative. I HAVE THE GIFT OF TONGUES. My Spanish has improved and I can understand and communicate like never before. Not perfectly, but beyond sufficient to talk with the people and help them resolve their doubts. Scriptures that I want to share come to my mind and the words to say and everything that goes into a good lesson just comes together.
I have also been guided as I train Hermana Manner and help Hermana Seastrand. Thoughts of things I can do to stretch them or include them in a lesson come so readily. Also, God has given me peace to lead. I have had to do many things this week out of my comfort zone. We had to go to a part of Spain about 40 minutes by metro that I had never been to and find the place where Hermana Manner could get her monthly metro pass. We went and got there a little early and everything worked out really well.
Today we also had to get legal in Vallecas. Whenever you move you have to get registered in the new city. It is kind of annoying and I was a little worried about understanding all the legal things that we have to have, but we just needed to fill out the paperwork and have identification. And I understood every word the lady spoke to me.
My faith has grown so much this week. I think to myself, if God can help me teach a lesson, call random people, understand Spanish, have the confidence to travel unknown parts of Spain, and help 2 young hermanas, what else am I capable with through His help? Why can´t I set my limits higher, why can´t He help me do more?