Monday, December 28, 2009

Bernalillo, NM Transfer 3, Week 5

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week has flown by here. I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and that you're looking forward to a wonderful 2010, because the next time I write you, it will be 2010. Weird!

Monday: We had an... interesting day. We spent an hour and a half in the doctor's office for my dog bite, only to be seen by the doctor for 10 minutes and to have him tell me to wash it twice a day with soap and water and keep it bandaged with Vaseline because the neosporin I was using could cause more problems. Of course by this time, the wound was kinda closed up. At least it wasn't a completely gaping wound. Then we went and e-mailed and the internet was being stupid--I didn't think that my e-mail had sent, but it had. And then we went home and found that the washer wasn't working and the clothes were sitting in there in a puddle of water. Then we went and spent an hour and a half in the eye doctor for Sister Michel to get new contacts. And our gift for the 8th day of Christmas was hair clips.

Tuesday: We helped one of our investigators make Christmas cookies. And our gift for the 9th day of Christmas was perfume--for which I was grateful because that is one thing that I didn't bring that I've been wishing I had for the past 6 months now.

Wednesday: We woke up to snow! Boy did that make me happy! It gave me hopes for a white Christmas. We started our day out with a snowball fight as we cleaned off the car. I don't know if I've ever seen snow that wet in my life! But the snow was all pretty much gone by sundown. The gift that we received for the 10th day of Christmas was un Libro de Mormon por cada una de nosotras con el testimonio de mi familila to give to someone who is truly ready to hear the message of the Gospel. I think that we were all in agreement that it was our favorite gift. When I looked at the bruise around my dog bite, it was turning yellow... not that you all wanted to know that.

Thursday: Christmas Eve. We had District Meeting and did a white elephant gift exchange. I received toe socks, lotion, and a tie. Yes, a tie. Not that it's very useful, but the socks and lotion were nice. (It probably helps that the elder who drew my name is a little older--all the other elders gave ridiculous gifts. I really appreciated mine). I gave coal that I found at the dollar store, and a singing tie--also from the dollar store. We visited lots of people. We saw Magda for a few minutes, but she was on her way out to go call her family. We also went to see Norma to let her know that we're thinking about her and that we haven't abandoned her. And we spent some time with the Luna's and the Clays and the Edwards (both in Bernalillo ward) and the Fonseca's, our neighbors, so Sister Michel could call home. When we got home, we put on our jammies and read Luke 2 and sang a couple hymns, then opened our gifts--a tradition for Sister Cabello. Sister Cabello was VERY grateful for the gifts that my family sent her, as was Sister Michel. We were up way past our bedtime. And our gifts for the 11th day of Christmas were stockings filled with candy, raisins, 2 mandarin oranges and a pile of mold (that I think was a mandarin orange when mom put it in the box).

Friday: MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! I made breakfast cake, and boy was it heavenly :) We had no snow, but I survived. In fact, I didn't wear a coat all day long. It was gorgeous! We went back to the Luna's and had a traditional Mexican breakfast with Tamales and other food. Sister Luna had also knitted each of us 2 sombreros (but not the big straw kind you're all thinking of. They were cute warm hats!) I also got my best Christmas present ever! A call to my family!!! It was easier that I thought it would be. I'd talked to people here who wished they didn't have to call home because they were unable to focus for weeks afterward. It re-energized me and gave me a new drive to keep working hard. We had Christmas dinner with Sister Shipe, then went home and attempted to plan. When I say attempted, I mean attempted. We weren't very successful.

Saturday: The wind was very cold, which made it miserable to be out walking around. And it didn't help that I wasn't feeling super great, though I think it's probably because I messed up my sleeping schedule with Christmas and had eaten a lot of junk. I was feeling fine by Sunday morning.

Sunday: We had close to 30 people at church, which was way nice. Sister Cabello and I had been called Saturday afternoon and asked to speak in church as well because one of the talks fell through. Actually, they just asked Sister Cabello, but then Sister Michel pointed out that I hadn't had the opportunity to speak yet either, so I was roped into it and had 15 minutes Saturday night to prepare a 7 minute talk in Spanish. Yikes. We saw the Stake President and we're still waiting on news from SLC on our branch--definitely a good sign.

So there's my week in a nutshell. For those of you who are interested, my dog bite is doing better. It doesn't hurt and it's finally pretty much stopped bleeding. Yes, it took a while. As I look at it now, I realize that I probably should have gone that night to get stitches. By the time I went to the doctor last Monday it was too late. Oh well. I'll just have a cool scar to show off as a memory of my mission forever. And from talking to people, we've decided that it was likely a Rottweiler that got me. So yeah. Sister Good had a Rottweiler try to eat her. Exciting stuff.

Have a great week, and Happy New Year!

Hermana Good

Monday, December 21, 2009

Watch out for Dogs

Dear Family and Friends!

Merry Christmas! Wow. It is hard to believe how fast the past year has absolutely flown by, especially the past 6 months. Has it really been 6 months? Yep, I think so. But boy is that hard to believe. SO much has happened and so much has changed in my life.

Lance, I liked your talk! Good job. For trainer training, I basically just help Sister Michel teach Sister Cabello what she needs to know how to do. Next transfer I could be Senior Companion, but we won't find that out for a while yet. It would depend if we're getting another Spanish sister in the mission. Honestly, we don't have anyone who is progressing. Actually, we do have one with a baptismal date for January 2, but she hasn't been to church yet, so we'll have to move that. And another is progressing--she's just not ready for baptism yet. We actually just dropped a lot of people because we weren't getting anywhere. My language is coming along. I'm not doing as well and understanding everything I want to yet, but then I remember that I haven't even been speaking Spanish for 6 months yet. I have a whole year to continue improving. Most people think I'm a native speaker because of my accent and complexion. They call me "la morena con ojos claros" (the dark skinned, dark haired girl with light eyes).

Monday: P-day. We had to clean the car well for car inspections at zone conference, and spent about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes vacuuming and cleaning the windows and everything. But our car was clean for zone conference on Thursday. We also went to the dollar store and bought white-elephant gifts for the elders--something ridiculous (i.e. coal) and a singing Christmas tie. Yes, at the dollar store. We opened our gift for the first day of Christmas: a mini Christmas tree with nativity ornaments. I had been thinking that morning that if I saw a nativity set in the dollar store that I'd get it because our apartment needed a nativity. My mother must have been inspired.

Tuesday: We did lots of knocking doors. When I looked at our tracting record at the end of the night and counted the number of doors we knocked, the total came to 65. That's a lot of doors. Our gift for the second day of Christmas was a container of homemade oreo cookies. In the poem, it said something about how we were feeling beat... that was an understatement! We were exhausted! And when we thought about how long ago the cookies were made, because they had to get here and they've been sitting under our tree for almost 2 weeks, Sister Michel and I turned to each other and said "I don't even care!" And Sister Michel wants the recipe, por favor.

Wednesday: My music for zone conference finally arrived, thank goodness! I was really starting to freak out! We helped Felipe put up his Christmas lights on his house. Sister Good is the tallest of the bunch, so I was the lucky one chosen to stand on the chair and hang them on the nails on the house. Don't worry, the chair was completely stable. No broken bones. We went to Sonic for lunch because we forgot to make food and when I went to start our car, the battery was dead. The manager is in one of our wards, so he came over (along with his general manager who was also there) and helped us out. And we got chewed out for paying, too, because he likes to treat us to lunch when we're there. Later that night, we went to visit a less-active family. They have a ginormous dog. I don't like this dog during the day, and during the night it's even worse. And it was of course dark. One of the girls took the dog to the back so we could get in the house, but he got away and Sister Good was the lucky missionary at the back of the line. Needless to say, there's a nice chunk missing out of the back of my leg. They felt horrible. I immediately put peroxide on the bite to clean it out and a bandaid. We helped them put up their Christmas tree. Our gift for the 3rd day of Christmas was a Mo-Tab CD, just in time because we were starting to get sick of our other 3 Christmas CDs. I cleaned out the bite good and put some neosporin and some gauze with an elastic bandage over it. My first-aid kid that I didn't think I'd use got put to good use. And in reading the "how to treat wounds" insert, I read that you shouldn't use peroxide because it slows down the healing... oops. So I used a bottle of clean water because the water at our apartment is nasty and followed the directions and poured the water in a ziplock bag with a hole in the corner to squirt into the bite to clean it out good. That really kinda hurt.

Thursday: While the other sisters were in the shower, I sat down at my desk and "practiced" my song for zone conference. Luckily I have played the song, Paul Cardall's "Silent Night", before. And I did have time to run through it on a real piano once before Zone Conference. There was an amazing spirit at the Conference. For one of the activities, they had us write a letter to the Savior. I encourage all of you to do this sometime between now and Christmas. Just write what you want Him to know. It was an amazing activity. The whole conference had a very special Spirit. I am so grateful for this opportunity to be here. I told Sister Anderson about my bite (a nice hole in my leg and a huge bruise), and after assuring me that there have been no rabies in New Mexico in over 60 years, she told me that I took care of it properly, just to watch it for signs of infection. And as she walked away, she told me, "You must have been a tasty morsel." That made me laugh. The talent show was hilarious! I recorded most of it on my camera, and will send my chip home after Christmas. Mom, make sure you save the videos on a CD or DVD for me please! I don't want to lose them, and after you watch the videos, you'll see why. And maybe you can post me and the Anderson's talent on my blog... actually, on second thoughts... just the Andersons. Theirs was SO much better than mine. They handed out the Christmas packages. Sister Cabello didn't get anything from home, but the Anderson's daughter made sure that she had a package with gifts to open on Christmas morning. And our gift for the 4th day of Christmas was some cocoa and popcorn. Yummy!

Friday: We did our weekly planning, or attempted to. Our minds were definitely not in the right place. We all had a very hard time focusing. We were over here, then we were over there. I'm sure you can imagine. Planning Christmas morning will be a disaster, I'm sure! We also went to a rehabilitation center to visit a sister who joined the church in September. She is from Albuquerque, but since we're the sisters here, the office called and asked us to go visit her. And come to find out, the missionary who baptized her is one of our zone leaders and the rehabilitation center is in his area. We also went to help the Luna's set up for Fernanda's quincenera party. It was good to see them again! Our gift for the 5th day of Christmas was an ornament for our tree. It's a good thing we have a big tree, because those ornaments would have completely overpowered the little tree mom sent us. And craziness... judging from letters and members here with children at BYU-Idaho, I realized that I would have been packing to move home for the last time if I weren't here. Umm... I am so not ready for that, so I'm VERY glad that I'm here. Thinking of student teaching is kind of a terrifying thought, though it will be here before I know it.

Saturday: It was super warm (in the 50s)--I didn't wear a jacket all day. We had district meeting, which totally threw our brains off, and interviews with President. I always love having interviews with President Anderson! He is such an inspired man! I also showed Sister Anderson the bite on my leg, and she said that it doesn't look like it's getting infected, but to keep an eye on it. For the 6th day of Christmas, our gift was a set of Christmas kitchen towels. They're almost too cute to use, but we're using them.

Sunday: It was super nice again. I didn't even take a coat with me (but I had my warmest blazer on). The Spanish service was combined with the Bernalillo Ward for the Christmas program and the lucky sister missionaries got to translate. There were a lot of scriptures and I read most of those, and translated the last paragraph. And I was terrified to do that. Maybe I'm not so confident with my translating abilities as I thought I was. We also drove around in the dark trying to find some inactive members who might speak Spanish (judging from their names), but it was impossible to find house numbers. That is a much better day-time activity. Bernalillo is a very dark little town. Our gift for the 7th day of Christmas was a booklet by President Monson called "The Search for Jesus." It was a nice talk to read. And when I unwrapped my bite (I've been keeping neosporin and an elastic bandage on it) it was looking better and the bite site doesn't hurt, but the bruise is looking worse and does hurt. I'm taking pictures, so you'll see those when I send my memory card home.

Busy week, no? And mom, don't freak out, but I woke up this morning and my leg was really hurting. When I got out of the shower and looked at it, I wondered if it was infected. So I called Sister Anderson who sent me to the doctor. We spent 1 1/2 hours in the urgent care walk-in clinic to be seen by the doctor for 10 minutes. He looked at it and cleaned it and told me that it isn't infected, that it looks the way it does because it is healing. He told me how to keep taking care of it, and said they'll call me if anything unusual comes up in the skin culture he took. So no infection, but I'll have a pretty nasty scar when I get home.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! I love you all, and can't wait to talk to you on Friday! I'll call sometime in the early to mid-afternoon, so you better all be around because I only have 40 minutes and don't want to waste a minute waiting for anyone to get to the phone.

Love, Hermana Good

Monday, December 14, 2009

Bernalillo, NM Transfer 3, Week 3

Dear Family and Friends,

The holiday season is quickly flying by. It is hard to believe that Christmas will be here next week--especially since there is no snow on the ground, the grass is still green, and there are still some days that I only need a sweater in the middle of the day. (Yes, I'm rubbing it in to all of you who are in Idaho and are FREEZING. Mom told me that your warmest day has been 36 degrees). But really, I want it to snow. So if you all can pray that we can have a white Christmas down here in New Mexico--at least where I am, I'd appreciate it ;)

Monday: We went shopping at Walmart, and did our Christmas shopping for each other. Christmas morning will be really exciting knowing what we're getting, but that's okay. When you can't be out of sight of each other, there's only so much you can do. We pretty much chose our gifts and said "okay, I'm buying that for you." It also rained all day long--snow up higher in the mountains.

Tuesday: Sister Michel told me that I sat up in bed in the middle of the night praying for our investigators in Spanish. She found it quite entertaining. I woke up around 4:30 to hail pounding on the roof, and it was super windy all day long and cold... for here. Nice and toasty compared to what you all have been dealing with. We said goodbye to one of our investigators who left to Ecuador on Wednesday for 3 or 4 months to visit her family. Sister Michel and I think we'll probably be gone before she gets back... unless I really am the next Sister Trunnell and stay here for close to a year like the Elders are predicting. She gave us all a t-shirt so we can remember New Mexico, and it was crazy. Sister Cabello likes the cactus, and that's what was on her shirt. Sister Michel likes the kokopeli symbol and that's what was on her shirt. And I'm a fan of the Route 66, and guess what... That's what was on my shirt. (Mom, I'm sending that home in my box today because I can't use it here, so I figure I might as well just send it home.)

Wednesday: Sister Cabello told me that I sat up in bed introducing myself in Spanish. It's been an interesting couple of nights, no? We had dinner with the Bernalillo Elders. It was our turn for the message, so we gave it in Spanish (the Sister we ate dinner with is from Peru and her son is also fluent). It was good for the Elders to see what it's like for one to not understand what was going on. Elder Jorgensen (our District Leader) is really patient, and when Sister Cabello answers the phone, he speaks slower so she can understand--even more so now.

Thursday: We had District meeting. We talked about the Christlike Attributes in PMG chapter 6. After that, we had lesson after lesson fall through, and we'd quickly exhausted all of our back-up plans. But such is the life of a missionary I guess. It's just rare for the Spanish missionaries in this area.

Friday: So guess what. I woke up to find my retainers not in my mouth, but in my bed which means only one thing. I was talking in my sleep again. I don't have any witnesses of this event, but I always take my retainers out to talk because I can't talk with that much plastic in my mouth. So a question to all of you who have slept in the same room as me: Kesha, Nicole, Brittani, Shaina: Is this NORMAL for me to talk in my sleep, or is it something I've started doing recently? Shaina is probably the best one to ask because she was always up later than me, and Kesha has lived with me the longest. But if ya'll have an answer for me I'd appreciate it because I want to see if I'm just now getting weird sleeping habits or if it's something I've done for a long time and people just didn't tell me. We had our weekly planning session which went for twice as long as it was supposed to. And then we went finding in the River's Edge area. We know it's bad for Spanish people, but we feel bad for the Elders because they don't have many investigators and one of them hurt his foot and is on crutches for 2 weeks so they can't go out finding, so they're pretty much stuck inside.

Saturday: We went to Albuquerque to get our flu shots. No Swine Flu for these sisters (at least Sisters Good and Michel, because Sister Cabello had it in the MTC, and got the shot.) One of the members drove us down there. It was nice to be able to see a bit of the city. The clinic was at the convention center right in the middle of town, so we were able to see a lot of the big, downtown buildings. The weather was really nice. I was fine in just my sweater as we were out walking around during the afternoon. And that evening we went to see Magda, who was baptized a few weeks ago. She is doing so good! She has truly turned her life around and made changes for the better. It is incredible for us to see the changes she's made.

Sunday: As we were driving to Bernalillo for church, Sister Michel told Sister Cabello and I that we woke her up in the middle of the night because we were talking. She asked us what was wrong, and a few seconds later she heard snoring. And yes, the conversation was in Spanish. We had twice as many people in the Spanish Service as we did last week. Definitely a good thing! The weather was even nicer than Saturday--I only used my blazer all day long. I could get used to this :)

But it was a good week. I hope you all had a nice week as well. Good luck on finals for those of you still in school (I have no idea when BYU-Idaho or BYU get done... but it's weird to think that if I weren't here, I'd be taking my last finals ever and getting ready to move to Utah to do my student teaching. Yeah, I think I'd rather be here, because I don't think I'm ready for that yet).

President Anderson asked us all to read 3 Nephi 13: 19-34 every day between now and Christmas and think about where Christ would be during this Christmas season. It's a beautiful section of verses, and I invite you all to do the same.

Have a wonderful week! I love you!

Hermana Good

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bernalillo, NM Transfer 3, Week 2

Wow. Another week has flown by. I probably start every e-mail I send with that sentence, but it's true every week! They just fly by! Soon Christmas will be over and 2010 will be here. Which means that transfers are just around the corner again, well, in a month. I hope you are all enjoying the Christmas season. Good luck with finals to all of you in school, because I know it's finals season. It's weird not being in school and taking finals, but it's even weirder to think that if I weren't here I'd be in Rexburg taking my LAST finals and getting ready to move to do my student teaching. Yeah, I'm glad I'm here because I don't think I'm ready for that yet.

Monday: P-day. Did the usual washing of clothes and car, e-mailing, buying food. You know. The usual boring things. Actually though, that's the variation to our week. We had a lesson scheduled with one of our investigators and some members lined up to go with us that night, and he didn't show up. He was stuck in traffic (it was backed up for a couple miles because of an accident), so we rescheduled for the next night and the members said they'd come help us. Well, Tuesday night rolls around, and we hear him in his house but he doesn't answer the door or phone. We haven't been able to get a hold of him since he came to church last Sunday.

Tuesday: Our appointments fell through left and right, but as we spoke to other missionaries, it wasn't just for us. It was just a bad day. I had an incredible study in the morning... though I only read 15 minutes in the BOM and 3 sentences in Preach My Gospel. I was really struggling with homesickness last Monday and what I read in Preach My Gospel was just what I needed to hear, so I went off writing about all of the impressions I had. The weather was beautiful--during the afternoon I didn't need a coat, simply my sweater.

Wednesday: We had an incredibly productive day, teaching 13 lessons. We got home feeling like it had been unproductive, until we did our numbers. We did lots of walking too, but we need to in order to save our miles because we have limited miles to use each transfer. Besides, things in Bernalillo aren't that spread out. Most of the Spanish-speaking population is within 1 square mile or so.

Thursday: We got up and set up our Christmas tree instead of exercising. While we were decorating, we looked out the window and saw SNOW!!! I was so happy I could have cried. Seriously. And while I was in the shower, my sweet companions put angel hair on the branches to look like snow so I'd feel less homesick. The snow was all gone by noon, but it snowed just enough to make it feel like Christmas. It was a cold day. I wore long johns under my skirt, and about 3 pair of socks under my boots. As we were driving into Bernalillo after our dinner appointment, we saw that it was a mere 12 degrees outside. I don't have a clue what it was during the day, but I'm guessing not much above freezing. When we got home, the three of us talked about the blessings of our serving here. And when we got home, there was a package with some things for the 12 days of Christmas waiting for me... us! Thanks mom! My companions appreciate it very much because they know that they probably won't get much, if anything, from their families for Christmas.

Friday: We had planning, then went knocking on doors because our appointments fell through. One of the houses had a thermometer by the door and it was 32 degrees, but the wind was blowing pretty good. I just THOUGHT I was coming somewhere warm. It's just cold and snowless. But the cold did come in later than I'm used to.

Saturday: I had no time to write anything to remind me about the day, but I don't think anything really exciting happened anyway. Just another day in the life of the Bernalillo Spanish Sisters.

Sunday: We only had 11 people at church. Yep. Pretty pathetic. 3 missionaries, the pianist (who doesn't speak Spanish) 5 members who are all bi-lingual, the high counselor who conducted the meeting, and the Stake President. Ouch. Bad day for him to show up. We didn't even have any of the recent converts there, let alone investigators. But he announced that they're just waiting on the letter from the First Presidency to approve our Spanish Branch! And it should get here within the next week or so! La Rama Coronado will have leaders called and be ready to go within the next month-ish! Sister Michel and I are both praying that we'll be able to stay here another transfer so we can see it get started. What an exciting time! It was a very cold day, and we were told that there's a cold front coming in. Oh goody. Every time I think I'm cold, I tell myself that I'm an Idaho girl and can take the cold, but we'll see how long that lasts. And we're also told that this is one of the coldest winters on record. Perfect. The cold weather is following me. But I'll survive.

Well, I love you all. I appreciate your prayers and knowing that you're thinking about me. Have a wonderful Christmas season!

Hermana Good

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Great New Companion

Here we are with another week come and gone. We're into the holiday season... though to be completely honest, it doesn't feel much like the holidays. I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the snow and curling up by the fire. But I knew I'd be missing my family during this time. That's probably why it doesn't feel like the holidays. That and there's a lot of people around here without Christmas lights on... at least so far. But anyway, onto my week.

Monday: Elder and Sister Martinez delivered our new bed. Gee... they only took Sister Trunnell's bed out 3 weeks ago! We're back to very little space between the beds and praying at the foot of our beds. I made banana bread a) because we had bananas that were going bad and b) I knew that all we'd get for breakfast at the mission office was a donut and juice and that we'd all be hungry.

Tuesday: (I wish I could put Spanish expressions into typing, because I've got a word that I'd love to use here but it just wouldn't have the same effect. Okay, okay, I'll try anyway.) Eejolai! (yeah... that was bad... ee--ho--lay) What a day. My first day training. The trainer meeting was really neat. There was an elder training a Spanish-speaker for the first time, so he asked Sister Michel for some pointers, and I was able to contribute what works for the trainee--because I was there with my trainer. Our new companion, Hermana Cabello, is from Trujillo, Peru. She is the sweetest sister you can ever meet. She is going to be an amazing missionary... she IS an amazing missionary! She is a go-getter. I feel so inadequate to be training her, and feel that I have learned so much more from her than she has learned from me. As soon as we got in the car to head up to Rio Rancho, she started asking us about our investigators. It was great fun thinking in Spanish and driving in Albuquerque traffic :) We took Sister Cabello to meet President Roundsville and he told us the name of our "ramita" that is quickly on it's way to opening. Within the next 2 or 3 months, la Rama Coronado will be up and going with strong members. I only pray that I can be in this area for another transfer to see it started.

Wednesday: We went to Pena Blanca again to do finding and meet with our one investigator there, but she told us that her husband doesn't want her to meet with us anymore. And we didn't find anyone else, so we're not going to continue to go out there. Which, I suppose, is probably for the better as it's nearly 100 miles round trip. We went to visit another of our investigators in Bernalillo, and instead of the planned lesson, ended up cleaning their house. Armando's wife has cancer and is going through chemo right now, which really drains her energy. She hasn't been too open to our message, and she didn't want our help cleaning her house, but we insisted, and she is more open to the message now. She was very appreciative of our service. And I continue to be amazed by sweet Hermana Cabello and her drive to work and learn everything and be the best she can be. I have a long way to go to be as amazing as she is.

Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you all had a great day. We had district meeting and got to meet our new district leader and the other new elder in our district, Elder Jorgensen from Ogden and Elder Nash from... I have no idea. After that, we headed to our first dinner with a family in the River's Edge ward. Honestly, I left feeling homesick (I don't know why... it wasn't anything like what I'm used to... actually, that's probably why) and hungry (which was a VERY good thing.) Our second dinner was with the Luna family! I left feeling comfortably full. And our third dinner was with the Hererra family. I laughed so hard, but left a little uncomfortable in the full-ness area. Honestly, it didn't seem much like Thanksgiving. I wasn't with family, there was different food, no games, no fighting over who would turn on the Christmas lights, and weirdest of all, no snow. Okay, okay. There isn't snow in Idaho every year for Thanksgiving, but usually. And I was comfortable outside without a coat! But hey, I figured out how I can eat the same amount of food and not get sick: Just spread out the eating and eat a little bit at a time spread over 4 hours :)

Friday: We did our weekly planning in Spanish. Sister Michel and I have done it partly in Spanish, but this week it was all Spanish so Sister Cabello could understand what was going on. Our dinner appointment fed us Thanksgiving left-overs, which made me feel more at home--especially because it was more like the traditional food that I'm used to for Thanksgiving.

Saturday: We went to the baptism of a man we were teaching before the area split. It was neat to see that... and even neater to see Brother Luna dressed in white to perform the baptism. It was a little rainy and cloudy as we were out knocking doors.

Sunday: We had Relief Society and Priesthood combined with the Bernalillo ward because there was only one person who doesn't understand any English, and he sat by a brother who translated the meeting for him. And I sat by Sister Cabello and translated the meeting for her. That was a great boost in my confidence about my abilities to speak Spanish. I wouldn't feel comfortable translating church or a big meeting to a large group of people who don't know any English (because I had to say some words in English), but at least I know that I can, and that as I keep practicing, I will continue to improve my language skills and will be able to help translate toward the end of my mission and after. We also met a family who President Roundsville has been telling us that we need to meet. It's not that we didn't try... they moved and we didn't know where they moved to. They just so happen to be in our area and signed up to feed us dinner. And want to feed us one of our Christmas dinners as well.

Yep. The Hispanic people like to feed us. A lot. But the food sure is yummy!

Well, I hope you all have a great week, and that you're not freezing!

Oh yeah! Megan Meyer: My grandma told me that Linda told her that you're home. Has it really truly already been a year and a half? Welcome back to the real world. Tell me... how is it?

I love you all!

Hermana Good

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Brought into the Fold

Week 6 of the transfer has come and gone. Transfers are tomorrow morning. But that news comes later. I can hardly believe how fast time is flying by here in New Mexico. It seems like I just got here--like I just left home, yet I know that next week I'll hit my 5 month in the mission and 3 month in New Mexico mark. And not only that, but I can hardly remember what my life was like before the mission.

Monday: P-day. We spent the morning cleaning our fridge. That took us about an hour working together. There were Elders living in our apartment for who knows how long before we moved in, and it was evident. There was food in the freezer that was long-since freezer-burnt and expired. Not to mention spills of who-knows-what. But it's clean and sanitary for the next missionaries who move into our apartment so they won't be grossed out like we were.

Tuesday: I woke myself up in the middle of the night praying in Spanish. We'd been teaching a lesson and I was giving the closing prayer. I was trying to bow my head when I woke up--you try doing that when you're laying on your back dead asleep. We drove back and forth from Rio Rancho to Bernalillo about twice for appointments... or was it 3 times? I don't remember. All I know is that our appointments just didn't work in a nice order. But it was a good day and we got home absolutely exhausted!

Wednesday: We went to Pena Blanca--which is about 40 minutes north of Bernalillo via the freeway out in the middle of nowhere--to do finding. Yes, it's still in our area. Still in the Bernalillo ward. I swear, I've never heard of a ward with bigger boundaries. And the boundaries of the ward go even further than that, and up into Rio Rancho. It would take at least an hour to drive from one end of the ward to the other. Pena Blanca is a tiny town--no gas station, lots of dilapidated buildings. I'm trying to remember if I even saw a stop sign. Judging from the outside of the post office, it would fit in mom's living room. But we found a couple new investigators, so our time wasn't wasted by any means.

Thursday: We had our last district meeting of the transfer. The elders all like to make predictions of where everyone is going--it was predicted that I'll be the next Sister Trunnell--staying here for at least 11 months of my mission. And honestly, I would have been okay with that, but I'll go where the Lord wants me to go. I made an apple pie (don't get all excited and impressed. One of the members gave us a jar of pie filling, and we bought the crust at WalMart). We also took pictures (speaking of, my memory chip is on it's way, or will be, so you can see all of my pictures from the past little bit). We were also past our cold snap and had beautiful weather again--we were just fine without jackets again. Yes, I definitely could get used to this weather.

Friday: Happy Birthday Grandma! I hope it was a good day. We did our planning for this week--the first week of the next transfer! Also, while I was putting dates in my new planner, I realized that I'm going to hit my 6-month mark during the next transfer. What!?! This can't be happening!!! Where has the time gone? I'll spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years in my next area... wherever that is. The 13-year-old son of the family who had us for dinner invited a non-member friend. It was so neat! As we shared our message about the Book of Mormon, the son gave his friend a copy of the Book of Mormon and shared his testimony, and invited him to read it. If only they were Spanish... but then again, the Elders in that ward could use some more people to teach and heaven knows we have enough.

Saturday: We had apartment inspections. While they were there, the phone rang. It was a different ring... meaning one of 2 people: President or the Assistants. Regular transfer calls come Saturday nights. If you get a call from President Saturday morning, it means that one of you is training or getting a leadership position, though for sisters it's only news about training. I answered, and President asked me to get Sister Michel and put the phone on speaker. Well... I knew right away what that meant. We're staying together and training. Yep, that's right. I've only been out for 3 months/ 2 transfers and I'm training. Well, junior-training. I'm training to be a trainer. It's a little nerve-wracking, not gonna lie. I'm just glad that I don't have to do it by myself. I'm not that good with the language yet. Though it should greatly improve during this transfer--our new companion is from Peru learning English. Sister Michel is way excited because she thought that she'd have white companions for her whole mission... well, English speaking because my skin is darker than hers. Now I'm going to be the odd-one out language wise. But I'm excited to meet her bright and early in the morning--the training meeting is at 7:15, meaning we're leaving our apartment no later than 6:30. Anyway... back to Saturday: Magda and Emma were baptized! We were teaching Emma before the area split, and because she and Magda are both in the same ward we had a joint baptism with the Elders so the Bishopric wasn't there all day, because there was also an English baptism in that ward. It was such a neat experience. As I look back to the attitude about life and the problems that Magda had when we met her 8 short weeks ago, and look at her now, I can hardly believe the changes she has made. She is definitely one of those people who I will never forget--and one who has greatly blessed my life. I feel so blessed to be able to know her.

Sunday: We went down to Pena Blanca. One of the people we met on Wednesday really seems interested to learn more. And we knocked on some more doors. While we were driving home after our dinner appointment, it hit me. I've had 2 roommates from Peru! So if Janet and/or Maggie are reading this, or someone reading this has contact with them tell them hi for me, and let them know that my new companion is from Peru. I think that's pretty cool that I've already been partially exposed to her culture. But now I can communicate in her language!

Well, I love you all. Be excited for next week's e-mail and details about our new companion. And Thanksgiving. Pray that I don't explode with the 3 dinners we have. I'm just glad it's not 4 like we thought we were going to have. One of them didn't work out.

Hermana Good

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bernalillo, NM Transfer 2, Week 5

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week has flown by here in New Mexico. I really can't believe how fast time is going. I was laying in bed unable to sleep one night this week--no doubt because I had caffeine in my system from the Coke one of our investigators gave us earlier that day (it's rude to turn it down, especially after they've opened the can and poured it in a glass--but I don't like it) and I realized that yesterday marked 4 1/2 months in the mission. And do you know what that means? Yeah--I'm 1/4 of the way done. And I don't know if I like that. I love serving the Lord. Don't get me wrong, I miss all of you like crazy and can't wait to see you again, but I am having so many wonderful experiences here that I wouldn't be able to have if I weren't here, and I am learning so much. And as I was sitting in Stake Conference yesterday with the Luna family (they saved us seats so we could sit with them) I realized that I will miss these people here just as much as I miss all of you when I get transferred and go home. Seriously, the Luna family is my adopted family. Brother and Sister Luna have told us that we're their adopted daughters. And Lily and Fer (their daughters) are my sisters, and Alexis and Luis (Lily's sons) seriously feel like my siblings. And there are so many other people here who feel like my family, but it really isn't the same.


Monday: It was preparation day. We went to the post office to pick up a package that had my sweaters! And just in time too... it's been cold the past few days. It also had a piano book--just the one I was thinking of when I asked mom to send me one. And boy was I happy to see that! Not that I have time to play the piano, or that I'll be able to play any of the songs because I haven' t really touched a piano in so long, but it's worth a try, right? At least I'll be able to tell them that I can do a special musical number for zone conference next time they ask me.

Tuesday: Our apartment was a little chilly (but no where near what it had been before they fixed the heater) so I slept in my hoodie mom sent me Monday night. It smells like home, which made me feel a little homesick. But it was a nice smell. (side-note... today I'm wearing another one of those sweaters and it also smells like home). Funny story from while we were out tracting: We went to contact a former investigator. She invited us in and we had a nice visit, setting up an appointment for this week to return and teach them more. But before we left, we had a conversation that went something like this (if you can, translate into Spanish to get a better idea of how it went)
"Do you want a bottle of water?"
"No, we're fine thanks."
"For the walk?"
"How did you know we're walking?"
"Because your shoes are filthy!"
We accepted the water and left. As soon as we got off her porch, Sister Michel and I turned to each other and said "!Que Verguenza!" (sorry... I don't have ability to do Spanish characters--and for you who don't speak Spanish, that basically translates into "How embarrassing!") We got a good laugh out of that one... and our shoes were polished before we left our house the next morning.

Wednesday: The weather was beautiful... absolutely perfect. If the weather would stay like that for the rest of the winter, I'd be perfectly happy. We did lots of knocking on doors... but found absolutely no one who speaks Spanish. Or if we did, they slammed the door in our faces. But we remembered Alma 26:27 and kept working with smiles on our faces.

Thursday: We had District Meeting. We got information on our Christmas Calls home... Do you prefer Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? And do you want me to give you a number so you can call me, or buy a phone card so I can call you? I don't know where I'll be yet for those days or how things work, but let me know. Also at District Meeting, we'd been talking to the Spanish Elders so that naturally comes out in Spanish. Then one of the English Elders said something to me and I responded in Spanish. He just kinda stared at me until I realized what I'd done. It was actually quite funny. It was a little chilly, but every time I thought I was cold, I remembered Idaho and suddenly wasn't cold anymore. We had a meeting with the leadership of Magda's ward so we could discuss her baptism coming up this Saturday. Too bad we didn't have more baptisms in their ward when we were actually in their ward boundaries because they are amazing to work with! In every other ward, we have to do all the hard work, but this ward does everything for us! Yeah, we like that, it saved us time during our Friday planning session.

Friday: Funny story... but you really would have had to be here to get the full effect. Sister Michel and I have laughed every time we've thought about it or driven past the camels for the past 4 days now. We were on our morning walk (it's light outside when we get up now, so we can walk outside again--so much better that walking back and forth in our apartment, though I don't get as much reading in Jesus the Christ done). We were almost home when we saw Brother Komadina pulling out of the driveway in the pick-up loaded with hay for the animals. Well, one of the camels saw it too, and took off running across the pasture after the truck. This camel was outright running... and Brother Komadina kept on driving to the horses further down the road. It was SO funny! We did our weekly planning... for the LAST week of the transfer! Where in the world has the time gone? We'll get transfer calls on Saturday! I can't believe how fast it's going.

Saturday: It was a little bit colder. I was grateful I'd bought boots a couple weeks ago so I could wear socks--so much warmer. I was thinking of Britney and Jeff. One of my best friends got married... and I can't wait to see pictures! I hope the day was everything you wanted it to be. The Sister who fed us dinner fixed Hawaiian Haystacks, which I thought was funny because that's what mom usually makes when she has the missionaries over... but I'm not gonna lie. I like mom's better. Her sauce is better, and she has more stuff to put on them and make them yummier. Though they were still really good. After we went to the Saturday session of Stake Conference because Sister Michel needed to be on standby for translation. It was seriously one of the best meetings I have ever been to! There were many references to Elder Scott's talk from General Conference--which was one of my favorites. I encourage you all to go back and read it if you haven't since the Conference issue of the Ensign came out.

Sunday: We woke up to snow and wind. Gee... it looked like home. But it had stopped and was melted by the time we left at 9:00. It didn't warm up all day though. The Conference was again a good meeting. I was grateful for the opportunity to be there. So many wonderful talks were given.

Well, that pretty much sums up my week. I hope you all have a great week. Keep your eyes open next week to find out where I'm going, or if I'm staying and who my companion will be.

Hermana Good

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bernalillo, NM Transfer 2, Week 4

Family and Friends,

Yes, another week has absolutely flown by. I can't believe how fast the time is going. We're still here working hard to find people who are ready to hear this message of the Restored Gospel.

Monday: We had time to catch up on letters, so if you'd written me but hadn't heard from me in a while, you probably got a letter last week. If not, it's because I haven't received your letter :) We had an amazing lesson with Magda--I started talking and I couldn't stop, and Sister Michel told me later that she wasn't going to interrupt because that doesn't happen very often. I used words that I didn't know that I know! The gift of tongues is truly an amazing gift from our Heavenly Father.

Tuesday: We spoke all Spanish, all day--except for maybe 2 hours. My head felt like it was going to explode by the end of the day, but I felt very accomplished. We were absolutely exhausted by the end of the day, and I collapsed into bed and fell right to sleep. The weather was BEAUTIFUL! I took a jacket with me, but it stayed in the car all day long. Yeah, I could get used to this. They tell me that the cold-front that came through a while back is unusual, and some of the members have been blaming me for bringing it from Idaho. Oops. My bad ;)

Wednesday: We had absolutely no success, but it was a very humbling experience for Sister Michel and I who are so used to having at least some success throughout the day. We had lots of doors slammed in our faces. But we didn't let it get to us, because we knew we were just that much closer to finding people who are ready to hear the beautiful message of the Gospel. And I'm not gonna lie--I bet all you people in Idaho wish you were here, because I know that by now you all have snow on the ground and it's here to stay until Spring. I'm still able to go without a jacket at least until it gets dark, sometimes all day.

Thursday: We had District Meeting. We talked about overcoming the "fear of man" and opening our mouths to talk to people. Yeah... about that. Sister Good has a hard time opening her mouth when people speak Spanish because she has a tendency to not understand everything and get lost in the conversation. Needless to say, I have a new resolve to open my mouth and speak more--especially to Spanish-speakers. The Bernalillo ward invited us to their Relief Society Holiday Dinner. (They also asked Sister Michel to translate because they invited the Spanish Sisters as well) They had traditional Mexican foods--tamales, posole (sp?), rice, beans, pastel de tres leches. Boy was it yummy! And even better, we had 2 of our investigators and 3 less active sisters there!

Friday: We had our weekly planning session. We took a break in the middle to go to a baptismal interview for Magda. Then we went back home and finished planning. We had a couple of appointments that evening. Our dinner appointment fed us fish. When I called to confirm Thursday night, she asked if there was anything we didn't eat, and I thought about saying fish remembering the bad experience I had with shrimp a few weeks ago, but I figured that the chances of being fed fish were small. But no, we got there and she said, "I hope you're okay with fish." But ya know, it wasn't horrible. It wasn't super tasty, but it wasn't horrible. It was probably better than the cooked spinach she fed us. Okay, enough complaining. I really am grateful that we are being fed... though we went to an appointment right after that and got fed again. But I feel bad. The Elders have seen our dinner calendar. Apparently we had 5 people sign us up for Thanksgiving dinner, or try to, and they don't have anyone yet. And we may not even be here at Thanksgiving! Transfers are 2 days before. So anyway, if you're reading this and have a chance to sign up to feed missionaries, please do, because I feel bad when I find out that they aren't eating and we're eating enough for us and them.

Saturday: It was another long day of knocking doors with no success. All of our appointments except one fell through. We're trying to get more miles so we can go out to Pena Blanca to work, because we're running into a lot of dead-ends down in Bernalillo and we've been told that there's a lot of Spanish speakers out there. It's just a really long drive--Sister Michel says about 45 minutes, so I'm guessing close to 100 miles round trip. We called the Assistants last night, and hopefully we'll find out today if we can get more miles or not.

Sunday: The Bernalillo ward had their Primary Program, so we had sacrament meeting combined with them. It was so fun to see that! Magda really enjoyed herself. They had a sister in the ward translating for the Spanish-speakers, but for fun, I sat there and translated to see how much I could do. And ya know what? I was able to say a lot more of the things in Spanish than I thought I'd be able to. That was a confidence booster!

Umm... yeah. So that's been my week. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers and letters. I appreciate knowing that you're thinking about me. I love you all!

Hermana Good

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bernalillo, NM Transfer 2, Week 3

Dear Family and Friends,

Another week and another month have flown by. I am once again sitting here in the library in Rio Rancho. It was been quite the week with lots of exciting things happening. I can hardly believe that I have been here for 2 months now. I've been on my mission for 4 months. It was one year ago today that I told people that I was coming on a mission--I'm sure you all remember that well. Very well. I've been reflecting on that a lot the past couple of days. How grateful I am for the experience I had that prompted me to serve a mission. These past four months have been such a blessing in my life, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. No, they haven't been the easiest. There have been times when I've wanted to give up. But as I think about the ways I have grown over the past few months, I realize that there isn't anything else that I'd rather have in my life.

Onto my week:

Monday: We drove all over. We went down to Bernalillo to have a part replaced on our car that they finally got in that we've been waiting for for about 3 weeks from the time before that they had the oil changed and the service shop didn't put one of the hoses back on right and it fell down against one of the belts and wore away. Then we headed over to Albuquerque to get new tires put on the car to fix my boo-boo from Saturday night. Then we went down to the post office in Corralles to pick up a package from my family. Then we headed to the far edge of Rio Rancho for all of our appointments. All that and we were only 17 miles over for the day:)

Tuesday: It was cold--inside and out. I wrote last week about how the heater in our apartment didn't work. We were wrapped up in blankets and coats and gloves and had as many blankets as we could on our beds. And it wasn't any warmer outside. Actually, it felt warmer outside. That night we went to the trunk or treat for the Star Heights ward. We had some investigators attend with us, and they had a dinner after wards. We pretty much froze, but that's okay. I'm a tough girl from Idaho, right? (haha--I've felt colder than Sister Michel) And oh yeah... another exciting point. We were going to an appointment after the trunk or treat and I went to turn on my blinker, and accidentally hit my high beams. And it just so happens that a cop was coming the opposite direction. Yep, last week Sister Good blew a tire, this week she got pulled over. But just to make sure everything is okay. Nothing bad happened--just that I almost had a heart attack. At least I know that the cops are doing their job.

Wednesday: We woke up to see SNOW in the mountains. And I'm not that far from the mountains. I just thought I was coming to a warmer climate. They called us from the office to say it was snowing in Albuquerque (remember, I'm only 15 miles from the mission home--and that's not as the crow flies) and that they were bringing us sweaters and more blankets since our heater wasn't working. Well, not too long after the Martinezes come with our sweaters and blankets, along comes Hermano Fonseca with a new thermostat for our apartment. When we walked in for lunch an hour after we left, it had warmed up a lovely 6 degrees. While we were eating, we got a call from Elder Frey with some sad news. Our area has been split again. They have taken Star Heights from our area and given that to the Elders as well. Yes, we lost the Lunas. We lost Norma and her family. We lost the Yeomans. We were quite distraught, but we know we're leaving them in good hands with the Elders. And we realize that it's for the best, and as we think about it, we realize that most of the people we had in Star Heights will probably progress better with the Elders than they did with us. It was a sad night when we went over to the Luna's to say goodbye... though if I'm still here in January-ish when the branch gets started I'll get to see them every Sunday :) Sister Luna has been my adoptive mom for the past 2 months, and Lily and her boys and Fer are like my brothers and sisters. Seriously. I felt like I was leaving my family again.

Thursday: Our apartment is nice and toasty. We woke up to 80 degrees. Actually, that's getting a little TOO warm... but we can't figure out how to turn the darn thermostat off. We've flipped the switch to off and turned it clear down to 50 degrees, and that thing is still blowing out hot air. We had district meeting. It looked like a nice day when we left, so we had our blazers and took a light jacket, just in case. Well, we were walking to an appointment, and Idaho found me. Yep, snow. Lots of it. And of course our jackets were in the car. And the snow stuck. Yep, it was cold. I felt just like I was at home. I decided that I really needed to buy some boots... which I did today. Now my feet won't freeze, because I can wear multiple pairs of socks underneath, and I can wear long johns under my skirts. Yep, Sister Good finally has a brain... I think. Wait, maybe not. Who knows ;)

Friday: We had another successful planning day. We went with the Elders to the Yeomans so we could say goodbye and introduce them. They were sad, but we think it will be good for them to have the Elders. Sister Michel and I really feel like we were preparing people for Baptism, but that Heavenly Father was saving them for the Elders. Now we can place our full focus in Bernalillo, where there is SO much potential, we just haven't had the time to go find it (and also Rivers Edge, if the Elders find anyone to give us a referral). We got a phone call from the Elders that Emma, one of the girls we were teaching and passed over to them at transfers, has a baptismal date! We were so excited! We called out of our area to talk to her and congratulate her. She is so excited, and so ready! Neither of her parents are members. She is living with her mom's sister and her family--and they are members. Actually, Emma's mom passed away when she was a baby, so this is such a wonderful blessing for her, to be baptized herself and then to be able to go do the work for her mom. We're excited to be able to go to that baptism.

Saturday: Today marks 2 months in New Mexico. Seriously? Already? All of our appointments fell through. We did lots of door knocking in Bernalillo. We're trying to find people who are ready to hear the wonderful message of the Restored Gospel. We had to be in our apartment by 7:00 because of Halloween, but were given an assignment to study. We had to think of the "questions of the soul" we have been asked and find answers to them in the Book of Mormon. It was a very enlightening study. When we walked in, we were greeted by a blast of hot air. Yep, the temperature is still climbing. It was a very toasty 90 degrees. We opened a window and the screen door and turned on a fan to try to cool things off, and it had dropped a few degrees when we went to bed 3 hours later. Let's just say that my blankets are not being used right now.

Sunday: November 1. Four months ago I said goodbye to my family for 18 months. One year ago I decided to come on a mission. What changes I've felt in my life in those times. Sister Michel and I forgot that it was daylight savings... at least it was fall back and not spring forward, right? Our alarms (cell phone and my clock) went off at 6, and I laid in bed for a few minutes then rolled onto the floor to pray. When I got up from my prayer, I looked at the phone because it was the closer of the two, and it was only 5:13. I was very confused. I looked at my clock and it was 6:13. Yes, VERY confused. Then I remembered. Daylight Savings. Sister Michel and I could have gotten up and done a little bit of study before church, but no. We both stayed in bed until the real 6:00, though neither of us went back to sleep. I think I was too hot to sleep, despite the fact that we'd left the door and window open all night. When we left our apartment to head down to church, I REALLY felt like I was in Idaho. I had to scrape the windows on the car. Seriously, I thought I was coming somewhere warm for my mission! The Idaho weather is following me! At our dinner appointment, we had a lesson with the members about the Book of Mormon, and the Brother went into his office and brought out his 1970 edition of the 1830 Book of Mormon. It was so neat to see that and to be able to hold it in my hands. I was able to feel the power of the Book of Mormon. After that, we headed up to Star Heights one last time so we could say goodbye to Norma and her family and to introduce them to the Elders.

All in all, it was a good week. Very productive, very busy. I am very much enjoying my time here in New Mexico and feel so blessed to be able to be here.

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!

Oh... and Katey... Congratulations!!! You should have seen my face when I read your letter this morning. But I'm really happy for you :) More details coming in a letter, hopefully today.

Hermana Good


Kira sent a letter with the following inside and asked that I post it on her blog. This is a result of a wonderful zone conference they had on the Book of Mormon.

“After our Zone Conference on the Book of Mormon, I want to write my testimony of the Book of Mormon and send it to all of you.

Oh how I love the Book of Mormon. I have such a strong testimony of its truthfulness. Every time I pick up the Book of Mormon to read, I learn something new. There are so many wonderful truths included in its pages. The Book of Mormon truly does testify of our Savior. As I have read the Book of Mormon, I have been able to feel the love that my Savior has for me. I can feel the healing power of the Atonement as I read stories of people in the Book of Mormon who applied the atonement in their lives. My faith has been strengthened as I have read the stories in the Book of Mormon about the great faith those people had, and the ways they strengthened their faith. There is so much to learn and apply to our lives today. There are many wonderful role-models for us to follow. Lately I have been paying particular attention to the missionary examples in the Book of Mormon—from Nephi to Moroni. There are so many wonderful examples of things I want to apply into my teaching. I have felt an added power—an increased intensity the past few days as Sis. Michel and I have testified of and taught about the Book of Mormon. As we have done this, our teaching has become powerful—the Spirit has testified to our investigators of the power of the Book of Mormon. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It is a true record. There is power in the pages. I know that everyone who reads it can be strengthened. The hardest of hearts can be softened. Unwavering testimonies can be built. I have seen the power of the Book of Mormon change peoples’ lives over the past 2 months. For that matter, it has changed MY life. Just one year ago I wasn’t going to come on a mission, but my Heavenly Father spoke to me as I read the Book of Mormon, and I felt that I needed to come on a mission. For the past year as I have read and studied the Book of Mormon, I have found many applications to my own life. I have had prayers answered. I have had questions answered. I have been able to gain a stronger testimony of the Gospel. My testimony of the Savior has been deepened. I can better understand the teachings of the Gospel. Oh how I love the Book of Mormon and the power and message it contains. This book has changed my life.

At Zone Conference, President Anderson invited us to do a special study of the Book of Mormon, and I am extending that same invitation to each of you.

Take a clean copy of the Book of Mormon ($2.50 at the distribution center and I believe BYU-I Bookstore). Have 2 colors, and with one, mark every reference to the Savior. With the other color, mark the doctrines and principles of the Gospel. I have begun doing this, and it truly is an enlightening experience. It is so neat to see the many, many references to our Savior, and to see the basic doctrines of our Gospel. I know that as you do this, your testimony of the Book of Mormon will be strengthened.

I would also love to hear the experiences you have while doing this. And as President Packer said, “A testimony is found in the bearing of it.” Share your testimony of the Book of Mormon in testimony meeting, with your family, write them down and send them to me—in Spanish if you know it. I know that as you do this, your life will be greatly blessed.

Happy studies!

Hermana Good”

Monday, October 26, 2009

"If ye shall bring save it be 'two' souls"

Dear Family and Friends,

What a week this has been! In a very good way. It has definitely been the best week of my mission so far. Okay, okay, so there definitely were some rocky points, but I've worked through them and all is well. Don't worry, nothing major. Read on.

Monday: P-day. We had time to write letters. And take pictures with our camels. Well, they're not OUR camels, but they live at the same place we do.

Tuesday: We had Zone Conference. It started out bright and early with car inspections. I should have learned how to check out all the stuff under the hood before I left. I felt kinda dumb... I didn't even know how to OPEN the hood once I popped it from inside the car. But don't worry, the Elders took care of us, and I should know how to do it 5 weeks from now when the next Zone Conference rolls around. Zone Conference was so AMAZING! It was all about the Book of Mormon and the power it contains. It was such a spiritually uplifting experience. I went home and spent a good part of my personal study time for the next 3 days writing my testimony, along with a challenge President Anderson gave us that came from... Elder... I don't remember. One of the members of the Quorum of 12 Apostles. I'm sending that in my written letter and want mom to post it, because I know the power that someone's testimony can have on others. And I would love to hear everyone's testimonies about the Book of Mormon as well. They announced at Zone Conference that region-wide missionaries aren't supposed to shake hands anymore until flu season is over in February or March. That is NOT as easy as it sounds. Sister Michel and I go nowhere without our hand sanitizer. We have it in the car. We have it in our bags. We have it in the house. Yep, it's pretty much everywhere. It also started pouring rain, right about the time the Conference ended. Perfect for tracting. Let's just say that the black shoes I polished that morning were brown by the time I got home.

Wednesday: It was cold and rainy. We knocked doors for about 3 hours, and found no one who speaks Spanish. Well, we knocked on one door where the parents speak Spanish, but they weren't home. We've been trying to meet them, but have had no luck.

Thursday: Ah yes. One of the rocky points I was talking about. We left our apartment to head to our first appointment down in Bernalillo, got down the stairs when Sister Good realized that she'd forgotten something. Something VERY important. Any ideas? Nope, it wasn't my scriptures. I had both sets of scriptures. Yes, it was the keys. And they were locked in the apartment. I'm happy to say, our apartment is very secure. No reason to worry there. Well, unless you have Hermano "Ladron" (crook) Fonseca around. He was able to break in for us. He broke a knife in the process, but we got our keys. And we've figured out a way to have our apartment locked, but not at the same time. I'd tell you, but that would ruin the secret of it. Tenia MUCHO frio en nuestro apartmento. (That means it's REALLY cold in our apartment). The heat doesn't work. I have about 4 blankets piled on me. But mom, would you (along with those other sweaters I requested) send me a hoodie and my long johns (if you can find them)? It would make study time and sleepy time much more comfortable. Gracias! I know I'm asking for a lot, but honestly, I didn't expect it to get this cold! We're lucky if our apartment hits 64 during the day, and it drops to around 60 at night. We had dinner with the Sigriss family (why is this important? Read on.) Brother Sigriss used to work for Brother Passino and they say hi. How are the Passino's doing, anyway? Tell them hi for me too!

Friday: We had our weekly planning session. And speaking of cold, you should have seen me. I was wearing a coat, gloves, and a blanket. It was quite the sight. Oh, and don't forget fuzzy socks. Those go on the second I walk in the door at night, come off for a shower in the morning, and go right back on until we leave. But we had a great planning session, very effective. President Anderson called and wanted to do our transferly interviews that night, so we re-arranged our schedule and went to see President and Sister Anderson. President is such an inspired man. He's taking very good care of me here in New Mexico. After that, we rushed over to the Luna's for one last lesson with Lily and Alexis before their BAPTISM on Saturday! There was a great spirit, and they were so ready.

Saturday: We had district meeting, because President had scheduled to do our interviews Saturday morning (he just didn't have time for all of us because he had to be to Santa Fe earlier than he'd planned). We talked about how to resolve problems using the Book of Mormon, and gave each other suggestions on how we can help investigators. It was very enlightening. And even better, Sister Michel and I had some bananas that were going a little brown, and with the recipe that came in the mail this week, what did I make? BANANA BREAD! You all have NO idea how good it was for me to be in a kitchen actually baking something. Despite the fact that it was before 6:30 in the morning, it totally and completely made my day. I miss cooking so bad! We knocked doors down in Bernalillo, and had quite a bit of success. We almost finished the street we've been working on for like 5 weeks now. We plan to have it done this week. After that, we headed back to Rio Rancho. We stopped at Wal-mart really fast to find a birthday present for Luis, Lily's son. They don't have a lot of money, and we had something for both Lily and Alexis, so we got him an inexpensive pair of pants. I wouldn't include this, but it's another one of those rocky points. I bent over to look at the size on the bottom rack and the top rack got in the way of my head. When I stood up I whacked my head really hard. No worries, no blood, just a monster headache, stars, and a goose egg on the back of my head. Yep, leave it to Sister Good. The baptism was so amazing. Seeing that made all of my trials and struggles worth it. Lily and Alexis were so ready, and are going to be such strong members of the church. Their testimonies are so strong. They have been through a lot. The Spirit was so strong. After the baptism, Sister Luna invited everyone back to their house for food, which, as always, was delicious. Now for the biggest rocky point of the week. We were leaving the Luna's to head home for curfew. I was making a left-hand turn (mom, stop freaking out, I'm FINE) at the light and my back tire hit the cement curb/median and blew. Yep, I popped a tire on a car paid for with tithing money. And yes, I felt horrible. Other than that, I'm great. Of course, I haven't changed a tire in like 6 years, and then only because I had to in order to pass Driver's Ed. I had no clue where to begin. Okay, I knew we had to clean out our trunk because we'd need the spare tire and jack out, but beyond that I was clueless. Not to mention it was pitch black. We called Elder Frey who had been at the baptism, and he and Elder Halpin came and rescued us. They had the flat off and the spare on in about 10 minutes. Their biggest concern was that we were both okay. Of course we were, just shaken up a bit. We also called Elders Boden and Hullinger, the Zone Leaders to let them know we were all going to be late because of a little mis-hap. Elder Boden was so worried about us, making sure that we were okay. He called later to make sure we made it home safely. Have I mentioned that I love the Elders in this mission? They're great! By the time we got home, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry, so I did both.

Sunday: Lily and Alexis were confirmed. They attend their local ward instead of the Spanish service because it's about 25 minutes closer to their house, so we headed over there. It was such a special experience, and their blessings were super special as well. We were also able to witness Brother Luna blessing the sacrament for the first time. He did it in Spanish. It was so neat to be able to see that. When we got to the service, we found out that 2 of our recent converts, Felipe and Jose, also had firsts. Felipe blessed the sacrament and Jose, who just received the Priesthood, passed it. I wish I could have seen that, but I'll be there next week. We only had the one week in Star Heights ward to see Brother Luna. Another neat thing, we were getting Sister Luna's record number for Lily's baptismal record, and the first 3 numbers of her record aren't "000" like everyone else's that Bishop Caldwell has seen. Nope, Sister Luna's number starts with "001." That is really significant for the growth of the Church. Exciting, no?

Anyway, That's been my week. Eventful, huh? Yeah, I thought so. Our car has 4 new tires now (we went and had them replaced this morning down in Albuquerque. They needed replaced after this transfer.) And I'm happy as can be. The bump on the back of my head is going down too.

I love you all, and look forward to your letters!

Love, Hermana Good

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rio Rancho, NM Transfer 2, Week 1

Can you believe that another week has already flown by here in New Mexico? I sure can't. I'm already back at the library typing another e-mail about another busy and successful week.

Tuesday: We were in Albuquerque for a good portion of the morning and had to do our grocery shopping and e-mailing when we got back to good old Rio Rancho. But even still, we only had half of a day to work and were extremely productive. We taught a lot of lessons and had a strong Spirit. And Sister Michel and I were able to easily adjust to teaching with just the 2 of us. We have great unity--which is a must :)

Wednesday: We met with the Spanish Elders that President brought in this transfer to help us be able to do more work and have more time for the people we did have. Elder Gonzalez and Elder Paulsen are very good, hard-working Elders. Sister Michel and I are very impressed with the work they are doing. The investigators we turned over to them are in very good hands. And even better than that, we had time for finding--something we haven't been able to do in weeks because we were so busy teaching lessons to our progressing investigators.

Thursday: We had a lot of time for finding. We focused our day in Bernalillo. There is so much potential for Spanish in Bernalillo, we just haven't been able to spend very much time down there because most of our investigators were up in the Stake (plus it's a 20 mile drive to Bernalillo and back, and we just didn't have the miles to spend a lot of time down there and up in the stake which is another 20 or 30 miles up and back). We were very productive and successful and came home tired and happy.

Friday: Sister Michel and I had a super productive planning day. We actually finished everything we were supposed to according to the guidelines in Preach My Gospel (up until then we'd only gotten about 1/2 way through during the planning session and spent the nights finishing--so not worth our time.) We even had time to cook dinner, since our dinner appointment canceled on us because there are people with the flu in their home. The Relief Society had an activity on decorating cakes that one of our less-active sisters taught (Sister Michel translated). She decorates cakes for Sam's Club, so we learned how to frost the cakes, how to do the boarders, how to do balloons, how to do baby booties, and how to do roses. If only I can remember when I get home... After that we drove across town for Lily and Alexis' baptismal interviews. They are good to go for Saturday. I am so excited. They are so ready, and their testimonies are bien fuerte. Alexis is one of the most amazing kids that I know. He's 11, turning 12 in January. He's just... I don't even know how to describe him. But I look up to him so much. And Lily too. She has been through so much in her life and has made a lot of sacrifices to make it to baptism. Saturday will be a very special day for their family. When Elder Frey got to the chapel to do the interviews, he gave me a package and a couple letters. He'd been to the mission office and brought them back. Mom, Sister Michel says "Thank you Mama Good" for the treats. And I was so glad to get that pillow for my back. Sitting in the car is so much more comfortable now. I also had a letter from Sister Sorensen--who is doing great in case anyone reading this is wondering. And Britney, I got your wedding announcement. You and Jeff are so cute together! I'm going to try to write you back today, but no promises because time is so limited and I respond in first come, first serve order (except family. They're always first). I wish I could be there for your wedding, but I'll be thinking about you. And I expect to be able to see lots of pictures.

Saturday: We spent some time contacting former investigators. We had a bunch of lessons. We also had a lesson with Norma and her whole family. We started out just teaching her, but now we're teaching the whole family, which is so great. It's a total of 7 people. They asked us some amazing questions, and are all progressing wonderfully. I love the Spirit we can feel during their lessons.

Sunday: We went to church, obviously. The turn out was a little smaller, but not bad. One of the sisters in the service invited us and the Spanish elders over for a late lunch/ early dinner which we gratefully accepted as our dinner appointment fell through, and I don't think the elders have had dinner all week because the brother who is in charge of dinners has been out of town for the past week and a half. After that, we went to contact more formers and a couple referrals from the English Elders. All in all, it was a successful day. We were able to easily complete our Sunday accounting and planning because of our productive planning session on Friday. We got done and Sister Michel and I looked at each other and said "are we really done? We can't be done yet." But we were. That left us a lot of time for writing in our journals and getting things organized for today. Blessings come from doing what you're supposed to, when you're supposed to.

Well, I hope all is well with everyone. I am still doing great. And boy do I love the weather here! It's still warm enough that I don't need a jacket yet. The leaves on the trees are changing color, but there's still some green. And it's nice enough outside to actually be able to enjoy the fall colors. Hope you all have fun with your snow and cold :) And I hope you all stay healthy as well.

Love, Hermana Good

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Still in Rio Rancho

Well my dear family and friends, another week has rapidly flown by here in Rio Rancho... along with my first transfer. What?! I am already done with my first transfer? Yep... more info on that coming later. Here's the excitement regarding this past week.

Monday: Preparation day, so we e-mailed and wrote letters and did our grocery shopping. We had an FHE with Magda and the Roundsville's (they are such amazing members. President Roundsville is the stake president so he's super busy, and they left early Tuesday morning for Disneyland, yet they were still willing to do this for us.)

Tuesday: It was one of those days where SO much happened... but it's mostly personal things with our investigators so I can't share details, but oh what a day. We were all exhausted by the end of the night. We had a lot of interesting lessons and... I don't know. It was interesting. But we did have 2 great lessons with Emma and Norma to end the night, so that was good.

Wednesday: We were in much better Spirits than we were on Tuesday. When we went to Magda's, she taught us how to use "dry brush" to paint a design on a lampshade. It was really cool! She is such an amazing lady. We went to the Luna's and Sister Luna gave us all a necklace. We also went to meet a recent convert family that President Roundsville has been telling us that we had to go meet. They are so funny! Too bad they're not in our area anymore--again, more on that later. We were having such a good time with them, and they insisted that we sit down and eat with them even though we didn't have time. We completely lost track of time and were late to our appointment with Norma. Oops! Not a good time to do that right before her baptism. But we made it there, just 30 minutes after we were supposed to be there. Her sister-in-law, who we are also teaching, makes jewelry and also gave us all something. I chose a necklace and earrings that are so cute!

Thursday: We had the last district meeting of the transfer. There are some good Elders in our district. 2 of them were transferred out of the area. I have made some good friends here. It was yet another interesting day that I can't really talk about. It's just been one of those weeks. We also found out that Lily and Alexis are postponing their baptism until the 24th because of the flu. But they will be so much better prepared, so it is really a blessing in disguise. They are going to be such amazing members someday!

Friday: Umm... let's just say that you can ask me about it when I get home. It was a wild planning day and we spent a good portion of the morning on the phone with the zone leaders... well, zone leader because the other one was with the Assistants training to be an AP, and he was on the phone with the APs to get our questions answered, and... yeah. We left our house in time for our 5:00 dinner appointment. Yep, that's right. Almost 6 hours planning, and it was the least productive planning day in terms of scheduling. I mean, here we are at Tuesday and Sister Michel and I are still clueless as to what our numbers are for the week! But really, it was a good day.

Saturday: We had lots of good lessons and worked hard. We stayed very busy. We also got transfer news Saturday night. You might have already guessed... I'm staying right where I am with Sister Michel. Sister Trunnell is headed up to Cortez, Colorado as I type this. But our area has been split, so we've only got 3 wards and 2/5 of Rio Rancho plus Bernalillo instead of everything. A set of Spanish Elders came in this morning. But really, it wasn't much of a surprise. Sister Trunnell has been here for 11 months... and this is still her first area. And there's only one other area for Spanish sisters, and the other sister up in Cortez is from Mexico and can't drive (nor can Sister Michel) so Sister Trunnell and I have to be with the 2 of them because our areas are too big to bike or walk.

Sunday: We again worked hard and made lots of visits as Sister Trunnell had to say her goodbyes. This was the first time she's had to say goodbye. She has before, but she's always been back for the appointments the next week. Not this week though. I wonder if it's hit her yet that she's actually leaving. Gee, by this time, she might be almost up there. At the very least to the point where she's meeting her new companion, who she actually trained here in this area a few months ago.

Monday: We didn't get much of a preparation day, but that's okay. Sister Trunnell said some more goodbyes. We tried to e-mail, but the library was closed. Then we headed down to Albuquerque to help with the training for the 3 new sisters who arrived. We took them out knocking on doors. This was a good experience for me because I'm still not very comfortable doing this because we don't have time in our area. But I had to step up and be the example. And ya know what? I did okay. Of course, all the contacts were in English which helped. But I'm going to have to start stepping up a lot more now speaking in lessons and when we do have time to go finding because there's only 2 of us. And I'm sorry Mom, but you won't get a hand written letter from me this week. We spent a good portion of our day in Albuquerque and had no time to write letters. We didn't even have time to buy food! But don't worry. We did that this morning. We were up really late, and by really late I mean 1:00. Sure 4 months ago 1:00 am was nothing for me, but that was difficult. I've gotten so used to getting about 8 hours of sleep, and we had to get up earlier this morning so we could load the car and be on our way to Albuquerque by 7:30.

Tuesday: I got to drive in Albuquerque rush hour traffic. Oh boy was that fun! It took us about 40 minutes to travel the 15 miles from our apartment to the mission office. I don't like traffic. I've gotten used to Rio Rancho, and even the outskirts of Albuquerque and the roads may have more traffic than I'm used to in Idaho, but yikes! I did not enjoy the drive this morning at all! We spent some time orienting the new Spanish Elders to their area book and gave them a brief over view of the investigators they'll be taking over. We headed back to Rio Rancho about 10:30 and made the drive in 20 minutes. Granted we didn't go clear back to our apartment, but we went a comparable distance to get to Walmart for food. It's weird just being the 2 of us now. We don't know what to think yet. I'll let you know next week.

Have a fantastic week! I love you all!

Hermana Good

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rio Rancho, NM Transfer 1, Week 5

Hello once again everyone!

Yep, that really does say week FIVE! Can you believe it? In another week I'll know where I'm going for the next transfer, or if I'm staying here. If the area is being split and we're losing all of our investigators or not. If I'm staying on one side of the area or moving to the other. It will be exciting to see what happens... though it will be sad to have all of our investigators passed onto a set of Elders. But, I know that the Lord knows what He's doing and trust Him completely.

It was a crazy week. Like really crazy. Read on.

Monday: P-day, but we didn't have a whole lot of time for letters, so if you've written me lately don't be offended if I don't write back quickly. Time as a missionary is very limited, especially with as large of an area and as many investigators as we have.

Tuesday: We taught a ton of lessons. We had to say goodbye to one of our investigators who moved to Georgia. That was sad. I didn't like that one bit. I am so not looking forward to the day when I find out that I'm leaving the area and have to tell everyone goodbye.

Wednesday: We taught a lesson to Magda, the woman I wrote about last week whose husband had been investigating the church a while back and we found her when we went to contact him and found out that he was dead. Anyway, we had an amazing lesson with her. She told us that she had been praying for someone to come help her to know what her purpose in life is, and just days later 3 "angels" walked up her driveway. In her prayer, she said that she has been hungering for the Lord in her life. It was so sweet. She is such an amazing lady. I feel so blessed to be able to know her. She told us that she grew up in Venezuela not far from a Mormon church and always saw the Elders, but never learned anything about the church. Her sister is also a member. She was so open and accepting to the message that we shared with her. We went down to Bernalillo for the day and, because it was super windy, got absolutely plastered with sand. I was very grateful that I don't have hard contacts any more--my eyes hurt bad enough as it was! I had sand everywhere when I got into my pajamas that night. But my day got even crazier when we went to the Luna's for our appointment with Lily and Alexis that night. She told us that she wanted to move her baptismal date up from the 24th to the 10th. Yep, 2 weeks. We had 2 days to arrange her interview... well, less, because we had to have it on Friday. And we taught a REALLY abbreviated version of all of the lessons. We've got to finish those this week... and have a long way to go. For those who know what I'm talking about, we still have lesson 3 and most of lesson 4 to do by Saturday. And we have to make it not boring for 11 year old Alexis. Yep, it's great fun. I actually got an idea of how to teach the Law of Chastity during Conference yesterday. We'll let you know how that pans out, but it's using the story of the Anti-Nefi-Lehitas burying their weapons of war.

Thursday: It was just a weird day. I was still thinking it was Tuesday all day long. Oh, and guess what! I hit my 3 month mark. That was kind of a weird realization. I am 1/6 of the way done with my mission. That really isn't a very big fraction in the long scheme of things. I can't believe how fast time is flying. We had another lesson with Lily and Alexis. They are both amazing. They are doing the things they need to do in order to be prepared for their baptisms next weekend... er... this weekend. Yep. 5 days. Wow.

Friday: We had weekly planning. That is always a process, and throw planning a baptism in there and it gets even crazier. But it was enjoyable. We also had the baptismal interviews. Elder Frey, our District Leader, did the interview for Alexis (he prefers English, but we had a Spanish-Speaking DL come up from Albuquerque for Lily). After the interview, Elder Frey asked Alexis if he has a tie. When Alexis said no, Elder Frey took his own tie off and gave it to him. That was so neat to see. We left the church after their interviews on a spiritual high. We went to see Magda and had another amazing lesson. She accepted to be baptized later this month as well!

Saturday: So I had a crazy dream Friday night. Actually, it was more half-conscious than anything because I clearly remember my actions. Yes, actions. I was roasting hot in the middle of the night, which is saying something because we don't have any heat in our house and it was FREEZING when we went to bed. I had a dream that Magda was in our apartment, in Sister Trunnell's bed. She was cold, so I told her that I was fine and she could have one of my blankets. I clearly remember taking the blanket off of my bed and putting it on top of "Magda." I also took my socks off and went right back to sleep. I woke up, who knows how much later around 2:00 am freezing. I wonder why, then look over at Sister Trunnell and everything comes back to me. I take my blanket back and find my socks and curl up in a nice little ball and fall right back asleep. It was quite funny, and Sister Trunnell got a big kick out of it when I told her when we got up. Mind you, it wasn't a lot of work to put my blanket on top of her or take it back because there's only about 12 inches, if that between each of our beds. It's quite cramped with all 3 of us, but we love it! I loved General Conference, as usual. I'll admit, I wasn't exactly looking forward to it, but that's because I remembered very clearly the RS broadcast and not being able to understand anything and I was dreading 8 more hours of that. But we had English translation headphones in the Spanish translation room. Great, huh? But I understood everything! And still heard it in Spanish. We had Lily come to all 4 sessions, Magda came to 2, and Manuel, Alexis, and Norma all came to one session. It was so neat, because the things that they needed to hear were the things that were really stressed during the sessions they attended. Oh how I have a testimony of the Leaders of the Church.

Sunday: The Hot Air Balloon Festival is going on right now, and their course took them right over our house Sunday morning. It was so neat to see all the many--hundreds--of colorful balloons floating over our house. Don't worry, I took lots of pictures. You just can't see them... yet. I'll get some sent home in the next few weeks for mom to post. That was fun to see. It really freaked one of the horses out though. Most of them were perfectly content eating and had no clue what was going on, but this one horse was pacing back and forth and snorting and it was quite obvious that he was terrified. We did our personal study and attended another 4 wonderful hours of general conference. The talks were all so amazing, and I can't wait to read them. Mom, in regards to my request last week for an Ensign ASAP, still please send me one because we only get one copy for the 3 of us, and the last one we got was a Spanish Liahona which completely defeats the purpose.

Now, going back to what I said on Friday about Elder Frey, I really look up to the Elders in this mission. Most of the Elders I have met seem older than me, though I know that most of them really aren't. They are so much more mature than other boys their age who don't serve missions. It is really an impressive thing to see. Now, mind you I'm not trying to talk bad about boys ages, oh 18-22. I'm just saying that one changes a TON while they are out here serving the Lord. I'm not the same person I was 3 months ago either. I've noticed a change in myself. I am definitely learning to rely on the Lord a lot more in everything that I'm doing. I wouldn't trade this experience for ANYTHING--despite all of the tears that I have shed for one reason or another. I am really learning to apply the Atonement in my life. I had a good application on that this week as I was feeling so extremely homesick and alone last weekend during the Relief Society Broadcast, not being able to understand anything. My two amazing companions helped me realize that if I apply the Atonement of our Savior in my life, things will be so much easier. And I have noticed a definite difference in my life this week. A good difference. Not that I don't still miss my family and friends, because I do. But it doesn't hurt like it has. I have realized that I am not here for me. I'm here for people like Lily and Alexis, and Magda, and Norma, and Emma, and all of our other many investigators. I am here for my Savior. This isn't my time. It is the Lord's time, and I feel so blessed to even be able to be here. Think about it, a year ago, I wasn't planning on being here. I was planning on being in Rexburg right now. I'd be done with the first month of my last semester. Wow. That's a weird thought. I was planning on graduating in April. But the Lord had other plans for me, and I'm glad He did, because I am seeing so many wonderful blessings in my life because of the service which I am giving to the people here.

Well, I'm almost out of time. I hope you all have a wonderful week. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and support. I love all of you!

Alma 24

Hermana Good

Oh yeah! HAHAHA about the 35 degrees and SNOW! Our leaves are just starting to change and it's a wonderful 70 or so outside! I LOVE the weather here!