Monday, April 5, 2010

Cortez, CO

Well here I am in Cortez, cold but happy. But before we talk about Cortez, how about an update on my last week in Bernalillo because I forgot my notes last week. (Give me a break--things were CRAZY getting ready for transfers and whatnot)

Bernalillo, NM, Transfer 5, Week 6

Monday: It was a beautiful day. We went to the mall in Albuquerque with a member to see some new scenery. It is a huge mall. It was kinda weird to be walking around in a mall again after 9 months of having Walmart as the biggest store I'd been in.

Tuesday: It was colder and overcast. My companions told me that I woke them up during the night praying in Spanish. But what's new, right? The APs called us and asked us if we could meet up and change cars so they could get the dent that's been in our door for 3 transfers now fixed. The first thought that went through my mind was "We haven't washed the car all transfer!" Let's just say that the car was washed and vacuumed before we met up with them. I was driving one of the Chevy Malibu's, which I liked so much better than our Fusion.

Wednesday: The weather was really weird. It would POUR and then the sun would shine and it would POUR and the sun would shine. And that's how it was all day long. I was really enjoying driving the spiffy new car.

Thursday: We had our last District Meeting of the transfer. We sang in Spanish because 5 of the 9 missionaries in the District were Spanish speaking. We watched the new Joseph Smith movie, and took end of transfer photos. We walked all over Bernalillo (mostly because we were out of miles). While we were knocking doors, I saw an adorable Golden Retriever puppy about the size that I remember Bear to be.

Friday: We did planning, and there was a windstorm. Oh how the wind blew! We were glad that we were inside for most of the day.

Saturday: It was a beautiful day, and pretty good despite the fact that most of our appointments fell through. At dinner I ate a couple jalapeno peppers. That was the first time I'd been brave enough to attempt it, and I really liked it. I thought about Grandpa Good and how proud he'd be of me. And we got transfer news. I wasn't surprised at all when I was told that I'd be leaving Bernalillo and heading up to Cortez. I'd felt it all transfer. What did surprise me is that Sister Shade was heading back up here with me and Sister Michel was going back to Bernalillo. I thought for sure that I'd cry when we got transfer news and I was told that I'd be leaving because I love the people and the area so much, but I guess I'd been preparing myself all transfer I didn't shed a tear--so unusual for me.

Sunday: I hardly slept Saturday night. I laid in bed and tossed and turned, and finally around 1:00 got up and went out to start organizing my desk and whatnot so I could pack. I went to bed around 2:30 or so and woke up between 3:30 and 4 and was unable to go back to sleep. Maybe I was nervous for what laid ahead? Quien sabe. Church was HARD. I played the piano for sacrament meeting, and was able to look all of the people I have come to love so much over the past 7 months in the face, and it was really hard not to cry, but I was able to hold back the tears. Just before Church, President Frank asked me to give the Sunday School lesson as a goodbye, so I had during Sacrament Meeting to prepare. I feel like it went pretty good, and I was even able to hold back the tears during my testimony (at that point, not many people knew that I was leaving). It was after Relief Society that I completely lost it. Hermana Luna was the first to hug me, and I was a mess from then on. She was my mom away from home (and when we went to her house after church for a dinner she had she gave me a giant stuffed gorilla, Jorge, so I'd always remember them--like I could forget la familia Luna), and I have grown so close to everyone else too. It was horrible. I felt like I was saying goodbye to my family all over again. The day was spent saying goodbye to people. Oh, also, one of the sisters in the branch who has recently moved to Rio Rancho with her family is from Snake River, and we made the connection that she was really good friends with Klade in high school (Marcela Sanchez Zarala). Small world, no?

Okay. That's what you were supposed to get LAST week. On to this week.

Monday: It was p-day. Sister Shade and I spent it washing and packing and saying goodbye. Not exactly the preferred way to spend the day, but it was necessary. Now I understand why dad is so good at packing. You don't have much of a choice as a missionary when you have a lot of stuff and very limited space to put it. I had a hard time packing all my stuff when I left the MTC, and I've accumulated more since then, but I was able to fit all of my stuff PLUS Jorge the Gorilla in my 3 suitcases and backpack. And stuffing Jorge into the suitcase was no small feat, as my family will see when I send him home (and there will be pictures coming soon, so maybe mom will put that one up so you can all see how big this gorilla really is too).

Tuesday: Oh what a struggle to fit all of our luggage in the car. We'd called the Elders and put them on standby--just in case. But after lots of cramming and stuffing and praying, we did it. Poor Sister Cabello in the backseat had about half a seat to sit in. Good thing it's not very far to ABQ. (I've got a picture of her stuffed in the backseat with the suitcases too, pobrecita). When we got to the mission office, we were looking for Sister Trunnell (she trained both Sister Shade and I) but we found out that she'd been really late the night before and instead of getting to Rio Rancho like she was supposed to she spent the night in Bloomfield and had to drive down that morning. But we got to see her for a minute before she left--we had to wait for her to get there with our truck. Yep, that's right dad. I'm driving a Chevy Colorado Pickup. I know you're jealous. We were also supposed to follow the caravan of missionaries heading north, but they couldn't wait for Sister Trunnell to get there, because there's a tight schedule on transfer day, so I got a map and we headed up with another companionship of Sisters who were waiting for Elder and Sister Martinez to get there with things they needed to take up to Bloomfield. They followed us up, so we weren't completely alone. We also took some things up that didn't make it on the transfer van and met up with the Elders in Farmington--and got lost trying to find the church. There was lots of middle-of-nowhere-ness on the drive, but it was pretty. Alright--here we go. I'm sure you're all asking "What's it like in Cortez?" Well here you go. It reminds me a lot of Idaho, actually. And there's still snow on the ground, but it's not as cold as I was expecting it to be--thank goodness! We live in an adorable apartment above the garage of some members (I'll take and send pictures after we clean, because the other sisters left a disaster that we now get to take care of). Their dog is HILARIOUS! I'm going to have to get video of Roxy. She's a Boxer, and SO playful. It makes me laugh to watch her play. We went and met some recent converts who made me feel welcome.

Wednesday: We were both really sore from lugging our suitcases down the stairs in Corrales, stuffing them into the car, pulling them out of the car, loading the truck, sitting for 6 hours, unloading the truck, and lugging them back up the stairs to our new apartment. I spent the day meeting people and learning my way around Cortez. It is really weird teaching in English. And it was COLD! I wore my coat for the first time in weeks! I feel really good here in this area. I know it's where I need to be.

Thursday: We woke up to blowing snow. I pulled out a scarf and gloves. We had district meeting, then we went and did service for a less active sister in the 4th ward (because the Elders can't go in alone) who is pretty much bed ridden from an injury she got at work a while back. It was my 9 month mark in the mission, and we went to Dairy Queen for lunch/ dinner because we'd forgotten our lunch and didn't have a dinner appointment. The snow was blowing off and on all day long, which made me a little nervous driving because I'm not familiar with the area at all. But we survived.

Friday: We had weekly planning. It took us a long time, because although Sister Shade isn't new here, she's new here because she's been down in Rio Rancho for the past 6 weeks. She doesn't know what's going on with the investigators. On the way home I almost hit a skunk and a deer. I don't know which would have been the lesser of the 2 evils... luckily I avoided both.

Saturday: Happy Birthday hermanita! I hope you had a fabulous day! General conference was really good, at least what I was able to understand of it. We were watching in Spanish. It was definitely better than October when I couldn't understand a thing and just cried out of frustration. All of my notes are in Spanish--which means I need to translate them before District Meeting on Thursday and Zone Conference on Tuesday. Between sessions, we went to lunch with Gabby, one of our investigators. And it was a beautiful day.

Sunday: Yet another amazing day of General Conference--though my brain was totally and completely 100% FRIED by the time it got over. I was having a really hard time focusing by the end (mom, if you'd send me a copy of the Ensign when it comes out that would be great, because we only get it in Spanish). It was a beautiful day.

So yeah. That's my past 2 weeks. They've been pretty good. I really am grateful to be here and for the opportunity I have to meet more people and help more people. Take care!

Love Hermana Good

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