Monday, February 22, 2010

Bernalillo, NM, Transfer 5, Week 1

Well, the time is flying by. I am still here in Bernalillo (for which I am very grateful) and excited to keep working and helping the people here.

Monday: The Marquez' took us to Santa Fe (about 45 minutes north) to look around. There's snow on the ground up there! I haven't really seen snow in months... other than the white-out storm we had a few weeks ago, but even that was gone pretty fast. Sister Michel went around and said some more goodbyes, and then we went home and stayed up late so she could finish packing and I cleaned the apartment.

Tuesday: We got up early to head down to the mission office. We called Sister Trunnell and Sister Shade to ask Sister Trunnell a question that Sister Michel had about something she had to take or not. Sister Shade was really excited to hear from us, and Sister Trunnell thought that she was talking to Sister Cabello or Sister Michel because when she left I couldn't speak Spanish. She was quite surprised in how I have improved. After we finished our goodbyes to Sister Michel, Sister Cabello and I headed back to Bernalillo to work for a few hours before we returned to the mission office at 3:00 like we were told. Well, when we got there, we were told it would be another hour and a half before the transfer van got back, so we went into a meeting with President Cox. It was a very inspired meeting and I learned a lot. Sister Shade es bien linda (is very pretty or very nice). She is originally from Sonora, Mexico, but is now living in Utah. We returned home very exhausted after a long day of traveling, etc. I finally got a package that my family had sent me for Valentine’s Day... though sadly it had been sitting in the post office for a week because big packages don't come to the house where we live because they only have small PO boxes close by and we can only make it to the post office on P-day (or Tuesday this week because it was closed on Monday) and the bread was moldy.

Wednesday: Mom sent me the new Personal Progress book, and I want to work on it again and earn the new medallion, so I started on that. It will be way easy in the mission! We also went to New Beginnings for Bernalillo Ward with the Marquez' and poor Sister Marquez had to listen to me translate with my limited vocabulary.

Thursday: We had District Meeting and met the new Elders (we got 3 in our District). We also had dinner with the Elders, and were fed Japanese food. When we walked in I thought I smelled shrimp... but I didn't, and it was actually quite good. It was a beautiful day! Sister Shade is in love with this weather after being in Cortez where they still have snow up to their knees. I really love the weather here!

Friday: We had planning day, and spent a good long time planning so Sister Shade could get to know our investigators a little better.

Saturday: We ate breakfast with a sister who Sister Shade taught and baptized when she was here 8 months ago. And we taught some lessons and did some finding.

Sunday: It was a little colder and rainy. It was our last Sunday with Bernalillo Ward, as we are now less than one week away from la Rama Coronado starting! It was ward conference, so we stayed together with them for Relief Society, and poor Sister Marquez had to listen to my translation AGAIN! Sister Shade was translating for some other sisters. Sister Marquez told me that I did really well translating, but I know that there was a lot lost. What a blessing it will be for these people to be able to attend church in their own language and be able to completely understand everything.

I love you all, and hope you have a wonderful week!

Oh, and congratulations to Leeann and John! And anyone else I know who is engaged but hasn't told me yet (I better be getting a letter soon if that's you).

Hermana Good

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wonderful Baptism & Transfers = Tears

Well, here we are with another week and another transfer gone. I can't believe how fast time is flying by.

Monday: We had our p-day, and spent it browsing the shops in Corrales, though everything is way to expensive to think about buying anything. Sister Michel thought it was hilarious... just before we left, I saw a spider on my sweater (I don't know how it got there--I'd just pulled it out of the dryer and it had been in my closet for maybe 15 minutes) and I totally freaked out. Normally when we've seen spiders in our apartment, no matter how big, I'm fine and squash 'em. But not this time. We watched the Testaments with the Marquez family for FHE. They were very touched as they realized that they are descendants of these people it talks about in the movie.

Tuesday: We had a pretty un-eventful day. We were walking through the park on our way to our next appointment, and had a few minutes so we stopped and played on the swings and slides. I know, I know. Not very missionary-like, but it was fun. And the pictures are quite entertaining too.

Wednesday: We got a phone call from a member who has a temporary job driving trucks to see if I had anything I wanted to send home, because he had a route taking him up north. (Whoever picked up the package, muchas gracias!) I was hoping I'd be able to send it with someone to save me some money :) We went down to Albuquerque to visit a sister who is in the hospital. And we had the English class. That will probably be a big help for me with my Spanish abilities.

Thursday: We had Week 6 District Meeting. Wow. I can't believe how fast the time is flying. There was a cold wind blowing--I felt like I was back in Rexburg. We visited one of our investigators, and she taught us how to make tortillas. And we went to a Provident Living presentation with Sister Marquez for the RS activity. If you're interested to start food storage, or to change your system, check out the blog at The system she has down is incredible! I was very interested to watch it.

Friday; We planned for next transfer. How crazy is that! We made the baptismal programs for the Marquez family. We love Sister Witkowski in the Bernalilo ward who always does the programs for us and personalizes them. They turned out beautifully. And we gave the last pre-baptismal lesson to the Marquez family.

Saturday: We went and made gorditas with another investigator. Then we went to the baptism of the Marquez family. We don't know how it happened, but we had a clothing mishap. When we got the clothing, we made sure that we had the correct sizes for everyone (they were at the church for the English class) and put them all together. But when we got to the church, we had 2 child sizes and 1 adult size. We were freaking out wondering what we were going to do when sister Cabello looked down at her clothes and realized that she was wearing a white skirt and blouse, and I had on a white undershirt, so the missionaries saved their baptism by letting Sister Marquez wear their clothes. Sister Cabello wore Sister Marquez' dress during the baptism, and her wet skirt home. That night we got home and received transfer news. There were lots of tears shed. Sister Michel and i cried as we were told that she was being transferred to Cortez with Sister Trunnell, and Sister Shade is coming here (we've got to go get her in like an hour from the mission office).

Sunday: Sister Michel started her goodbyes to the people she has come to love so much. It broke my heart as I watched her say goodbye to them, and I cried every time she cried. We've had almost 6 months together, and have grown so close. And in church, we both cried as they made the official announcement of the Rama Coronado to begin on February 28. It was Sister Michel's idea to start the Spanish service, and she won't be here to see the start of it, though she realizes that it is her time to go and hat there are lives she can bless up in Cortez.

And also, other exciting news that we received on Saturday morning (I wasn't going to say anything, but mom e-mailed me about it too, so I figure it's okay to say). Effective 1 July, 2010, the mission New Mexico Albuquerque will be splitting into New Mexico Albuquerque and New Mexico Farmington. So I could finish my mission in a different mission. How exciting that things are growing so fast that it is necessary to split the mission!

I love you all. Take Care.

Hermana Good

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Bernalillo, NM Transfer 4, Week 5

Dear Family and Friends,

Well... this will be a good test as to how good my memory is... I left my paper with all of my notes in the apartment.

Monday: We spent a good portion of our p-day cleaning the apartment because we were told that inspections this transfer would be a little more in-depth since it's the first of the year (though when we had the inspection, it wasn't any different than normal). We also took down our Christmas tree. We went and found the water buffalo and took pictures with them as well as the horses, llamas, and el pacas (that I didn't know lived on our property--that was the first I'd seen them.) And we had a lesson with the Marquez family that evening.

Tuesday: We were invited to go to one of the Indian pueblos by a member of one of the wards for a celebration they had. That was really neat to see! Having gone to the Coronado monument a few weeks ago gave me somewhat of a better understanding of what was going on, because we couldn't ask questions while we were there. It was a really neat cultural experience.

Wednesday: We had a white-out snowstorm! I haven't seen one of those in a long time. Needless to say, I was glad that the tires on our car are fairly new and that I know how to drive in snow, or I would have been really nervous. A good 2 inches were on the ground in Bernalillo (a huge change from the day before when we were out walking with nothing but sweaters).

Thursday: I had my worst nightmare in terms of food. Don't get me wrong--I really appreciate when people feed us. It saves us a lot of time and money. And I'm really not a very picky eater--there's really only 2 things I won't eat: sea food and Chinese food. Well, some of our investigators invited us for lunch and fed us fish. It wasn't very fishy fish, but it was fish and I really had to talk myself into it not tasting horrible. Then we got to dinner. I saw what they were preparing and about died: rice patties, egg rolls, meatballs, oriental salad dressing. Oh boy. Here we go again. And then we sat down to eat and were told that the egg rolls had shrimp inside, and the meatballs were made of ground pork and shrimp. But I ate it and didn't complain. And I thanked them for dinner.

Friday: We had our planning session. As we were driving down to Bernalillo for our appointment, our tire pressure warning light came on. Oh brother. I pulled over as soon as I could and found that we had a flat tire, and could hear the air rushing out of it. We must have run over a nail or something. We called the driving coordinator, and the elders to let them know we had a flat and that I wasn't entirely sure how to change it. But since I watched the elders change our tire when we blew the tire a few months ago, I was able to figure out how to get the hubcap off, and the bolts, and jack up the car, and get the tire off. And we were getting ready to put the spare on when a couple guys who were filling up with gas (we were at a gas station) came over and offered to help. But I was very proud of myself. After our last incident with a tire, I said that I was going to have to have Dad teach me how to change a tire when I get home, but now I think I'll be okay. And take a wild guess what we had for dinner again. Yep, Chinese food. Take-out from a gourmet Chinese restaurant in Albuquerque. My companions were both in heaven, I struggled to eat it because it was more chinese-y than the night before. At least there wasn't anything fishy about this meal.

Saturday: The Marquez' had their baptismal interviews and we are set and ready to go for this coming Saturday! They are definitely ready. Leonardo has also decided that he wants to wait until he learns more, but it won’t be long. We were talking to the Deacon’s Quorum advisor and he told us that Leo was asking where he could get a full set of scriptures. He’s got his Book of Mormon, but he wants everything so he can learn. It is a little disappointing that the whole family isn't being baptized together, but we realize that it will mean so much more for the other children if they make the decision on their own. The three who are being baptized have strong testimonies, and the other 3 children are also gaining their own testimonies, little by little. And then we knew that there was no way we could make it to Bernalillo to meet with anyone before we'd have to head back up to Rio Rancho (especially since we were driving on the spare tire) and we'd been told that there was a chance of a bad storm over the weekend, we went and got the tire fixed. For dinner we had good old Mexican food--that I can handle. In fact, I can handle it hotter than either one of my companions. The sister fixed chiles raienos (I'm almost positive I spelled that wrong--wait, I'm more than almost positive--I'm completely positive), and the 3 of us split one and it was too hot for both of my companions, but for me wasn't hot at all.

Sunday: Fast and Testimony meeting. The Spanish Service is growing little by little--which is exciting because we are now less than 3 weeks away from our branch (and one week away from transfers ). I always love hearing the testimonies of the members. Before church, we went to visit a less active family who lives close to the church. It was cloudy, but we decided to save miles and walk. It was raining before we left their house and by the time we got to the church 15 minutes later, we were pretty wet. But at least it wasn't pouring like it did during church.

We are also very excited about the Rama Coronado that will be starting in just a few more weeks! We ate dinner with President Roundsville last night and he told us that a letter explaining all of the details will be read in sacrament meeting next week. This is going to be such a great blessing for all of the people aqui who have been attending church but not fully understanding what is being said, or for those people who will be baptized. What an exciting time for me to be serving here in this mission, and in this area!

Well... for not having my notes, this is a pretty detailed description of the week. I probably forgot something I wanted to say, but whatever. You can all at least get an idea of what happened this week. Just a heads up--next Monday is a holiday, so there will be no e-mail on Monday. And if there's no e-mail on Tuesday either it's because I got transferred, and you should all cry for me because we'll be SO close to having our branch start. Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Good

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bernalillo, NM Transfer 4, Week 4

Wow. Another MONTH has quickly flown by and I am at 7 months in the mission. This is so crazy to think how fast the time is flying by, but what a blessing it is to be here.

Monday: It was p-day. We kinda took it easy as we all had letters to write. We did make pizza for lunch using things we found in our cupboard (we don't want to know how long they'd been in there as missionaries have lived in our apartment forever, but it tasted good and we're all still alive, so I think it was okay.) We had FHE with the Marquez family and watched On the Way Home. The Spirit was really strong, especially as Brother and Sister Marquez testified to their children that this was something they wanted for their family (they'd seen it a few weeks ago and wanted their children to see it too).

Tuesday: We walked all over because we were kinda close on our miles, and it was cold and the wind was blowing. And I think it was raining, but I don't remember. Maybe that was another day during the week. Quien sabe. None of our appointments were home, which is always frustrating, but part of life as a missionary.

Wednesday: Magda invited the 5 of us missionaries over for a barbeque... though she fixed enough food to feed at least a dozen people and she kept telling us to eat more. We used the excuse that it wasn't completely done and put it back on the grill to avoid having to eat more than one piece. Then we went to help the Luna family who are moving into a house around the corner from their apartment. Then we went to dinner and had a roast and potatoes. Ugh. More red meat was exactly what I didn't want to see after the BBQ. Then we had another lesson with the Marquez' and Lunas. It was great to have their help to share their testimonies about what the Gospel has done for them, as they have been members for about 6 months (though Manuel was there too, and he was only baptized 2 months ago). The Spirit was really strong once again.

Thursday: It was cold and snowy. Actually, it was more of a sleety-drizzle. Hardly enough to get you wet, but yet Sister Cabello was going crazy that I wasn't using my umbrella and kept trying to hold hers over the both of us. I had it in my bag, it just wasn't wet enough for me to hassle with the umbrella. She said that if it rains where she's from, you don't go outside. For me, if it's not pouring, you don't really use an umbrella. Her reactions to the weather kinda make me laugh... especially her reactions to snow, because before the mission she'd never seen snow. For me, it's really weird NOT to see snow this time of year.

Friday: Planning day. We spent a good chunk of the time cleaning up our area book, because we needed to get it organized and figure out which of the former investigators we should go contact, then we headed down to Bernalillo to contact them. We had another really good lesson with the Marquez family. I am super surprised at some of the answers the youngest two kids give. I know that I couldn't have given answers like those when I was their age, and I grew up in the Church! The oldest 2 daughters, ages 13 and 14 still don't say much, and they along with their 12 year old brother want to wait for a while to be baptized so they can continue to learn more, but they have also talked about the changes they have seen in their family and have said that they do want to be baptized in the future. And we really feel that it won't be too long after their parents.

Saturday: We went with Sister Marquez and 10 year old Ruth to the baptism of a couple in the Bernalillo Ward so they could see what it was like before their own baptism in 2 weeks. It was a wonderful experience for them! While Bishop Swartz was welcoming them into the ward, he also spoke to Sister Marquez (via translation by Sister Michel) that her family are also some of the elect and that they are excited to have them in the ward. Sister Marquez was impressed that he would speak to her and let her know that they are excited to have them in the ward. They have had nothing but good experiences with members of the Church, and they aren't afraid to share the Gospel with their family and friends, even if it may mean that they may lose some of their friends or that their family members may not want anything to do with them because they know it is true. I continue to be amazed at the changes they are making in their lives. They look happier. When we woke up Saturday morning and looked out the window, and even when we left our apartment, it looked like it was going to be another cold day so I put on a sweater and my boots. But no. By 11:30 when we got the the Marquez' so we could go to the baptism, I was absolutely roasting! Temps were in the 50s--a 20 degree difference from the day before. (Hey mom, here's an idea: how about on Saturday or Sunday you look on and send me a weather report for the following week so I can dress appropriately and not freeze or roast to death--not knowing the weather is kinda annoying, and not being able to look at any kind of news doesn't help that matter. Por favor!)

Sunday: We forgot one of our reports that we have to turn into the ward, so after trying to contact one of our appointments and finding them not at home, we headed back home to get it. We had church and dinner, and another lesson with the Marquez family. Again, I was amazed at the responses of their kids. And we got home and all started wondering where in the world January went! It disappeared!

I love this work, and consider it such a blessing for me to be here. It's not always easy, but I am learning and growing so much more than I could have ever dreamed of growing if I weren't here doing what I know my Heavenly Father wants me to do.

I hope you all have a great week!

Love you all!

Hermana Good