Monday, May 24, 2010

Where am I?

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, another week has passed here in Rio... nope. I'm not in Rio Rancho anymore. Another week has passed here in Cortez. Yeah, that's right. I'm in Cortez... and have been for 8 weeks. I just got so used to saying Rio Rancho that that just kinda slipped out.

Monday: We discovered why President doesn't put more than one set of sisters in an area. That was the most fun I've had on a P-day my whole mission! We couldn't do much because of Sister Cabello's foot, but we did go to the other sisters' apartment. They'd found boxes of ties that elders had left (most of them were UGLY, but some were okay) and needless to say the boxes of ties came out and our cameras and... use your imagination from there. There was lots of laughing involved and our exact words were "So THIS is why President doesn't put more than one set of Sisters in an area. After that we went and did some less-active visits.

Tuesday: Sister Cabello's foot was pretty swollen on Monday night, so we stayed in for most of the day. It made me have some sympathy for Sister Shade for when we had to stay in because I was sick. And my companion wasn't asleep most of the day so we could talk! But we did have two really good appointments that night.

Wednesday: I had no clue what day it was and was very confused all day long. We had some good appointments and less active visits.

Thursday: We had District Meeting. We're short on miles this month, so we had members drive us to our appointments all day long--which is a good thing, especially when we're visiting all the less-active members of the ward so they can have a a friend at church. I got Kesha's graduation announcement which is adorable. I want the polka-dot shirt. But the pictures in her Royal Blue get-up made me cry because it made me remember that she's living my dream and I'm not there to see it. I'm sure her concerts have been recorded so I can see then when I get home, but it won't be the same.

Friday: We had dinner with one of our investigators who will be baptized in the next couple weeks. It was fun to be able to visit with her and get to know her better. I really enjoy meals with the people we're working with (not to mention when it's with the Hispanic people like Gabby the food is SO delicious. I was reminded of why I've gained weight on the mission)

Saturday: It was horribly windy. The mountains all around Cortez disappeared. But we were out of miles and had no one to visit and Sister Cabello's foot has been fine since we stayed in on Tuesday so we went tracting for a few hours after finishing helping the other sisters get things ready for the baptism they had that afternoon and practicing the song that Sister Wilkes and I sang. If Sister Anderson finds out (which she probably will on Wednesday at Zone Conference because I'm an honest sister) I'll probably be in trouble for not getting permission, but it was Sister Cabello's idea and she said she was fine, and she was fine afterwards too! Like I mentioned, we went to a baptism. I taught this sister last transfer and set the baptismal date with her, but Sister Anderson who was just transferred BACK to Cortez after a year was way excited because she was teaching Corena a year ago and was here to see her baptized. It was wonderful to be able to be there to support her in that. 4 of her many sister missionaries were able to be at her baptism. I love seeing baptisms--it always gives me a new energy to work and be successful.

Sunday: It was super windy again. Welcome to springtime in Colorado (it's about time it gets here--it's almost June!) My allergies are horrible, but that's okay. I'll survive. Soon enough I'll probably be back down south where there's nothing green and it's blistering hot and will be wishing I was back here in Cortez, wind and all. But we went tracting for about 45 minutes again because we had a little time between dinner and our appointments. It was a good day.

So yeah. That's my week. And it's looking like it will be another great one! We've got Zone Conference (which will be bitter-sweet because it's our last with President and Sister Anderson) but that's always amazing. Have a great one all!

Love, Hermana Good

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cortez, CO Transfer 7, Week 1

Well everyone, here I am still in beautiful Colorado trying to work hard and have a great transfer. And I think it will be. With other sisters here in Cortez this transfer, we'll be able to do some fun things with them. We just came from lunch at Dairy Queen with them. They're both hilarious. Sister Anderson served here a year ago (goes home after this transfer). She was hoping that none of the members would remember her, but everyone does--some just by hearing her on the phone. She didn't want people to know that she goes home soon. And they're both trying to play it off that Sister Wilkes is brand new this transfer. They say that Sister Anderson has been out for over 9 months and Sister Wilkes for under a year. And that's all fine and dandy until the members remember Sister Anderson or ask Sister Wilkes where else she has served. They're funny.

Okay--onto my week.

Monday: It was spent with Sister Shade packing and me cleaning the apartment and driving her around to say goodbye--the second time. We had dinner with BIshop Decker and his family and the Renteria's, a family we're teaching.

Tuesday: Transfers. I thought Sisters had a lot of stuff. Three of the Elders from up here were being transferred, and one of the companionships is on bikes so they were going down in the same truck, but they called us MOnday night to ask us to meet them to help them haul all of their stuff down to Farmington. Sister Shade and I were both like okay, whatever Elders. We'll help you rearrange all the stuff in your truck so you can fit it in there. But no. Sister Shade only had 2 suitcases. Those don't take up a lot of space. But it took us 2 trucks to haul 3 Elders and their stuff to Farmington. Okay, so there were 3 bikes, but still--even without the bikes they couldn't have gotten everything into one truck. And for the record--It took us one truck with EXTRA space to bring 3 sisters back. And then those poor other sisters--it took the 4 of us 15 minutes to fill 4 garbage bags full of junk from their apartment that the Elders left a complete disaster.

Wednesday: We went so Sister Cabello could meet some of the members and investigators. We then went tracting (which I later got in trouble for by Sister Anderson because Sister Cabello sprained her foot 2 weeks ago and has to stay off of it as much as possible, but she told me she was fine because we could have found something else to do). It was a beautiful day, much better than the yucky wind storm we had on Tuesday that I got to drive back from Farmington in.

Thursday: We had District Meeting. We've got a good district this transfer. We went so Sister Cabello could meet Bishop Decker. She'd briefly met Sister Decker Tuesday night because she helped us with a lesson, but it was nice for her to be able to spend some more time with someone from Peru. We also had a few lessons.

Friday: Weekly planning. We did a very in-depth planning session--because we're focusing on less actives this transfer as Sister Cabello can't go tracting, at least for the next few weeks. And with an area the size of ours (everything west of Hwy 491 from the New Mexico border up to the top of the mission and clear to the Utah boarder) that took some extensive planning to figure out where the people the ward has asked us to visit live and the best order to visit them so we're not having members drive us back and forth (because we don't have miles to do much on our own since we have to go back down to Farmington next week for Zone Conference)

Saturday: We spent the day visiting former investigators and less active members.

Sunday: The member of the bishopric who is conducting this month asked Sister Cabello to share her testimony in sacrament meeting, and since he didn't give her advance warning, I translated it from Spanish to English so everyone could understand. That was great fun. I'm not used to going that direction, or not doing it simultaneously. I had several members tell me how impressed they are at how well I translated and how fluent I am. They also know I translate every week in Relief Society and are so amazed that I can do it so well. What they don't know is that the poor investigators I'm translating for don't get the whole message from the lessons (or talks when I translate Sacrament meeting) and that they also didn't get all of Sister Cabello's testimony because she said to much for me to remember what she said before I nudged her to stop so I could translate. Oh well. I try, and that's what counts, right? We also did some less active visits.

So yeah. That's my week. Sorry this is later than usual getting out--we usually come to town then go back to our apartment to do everything we need to do (cleaning, laundry, letters, etc.) but are praying that we don't run out of miles and definitely don't have the miles to drive the 10 miles back to our apartment only to come back to town later. So we did everything we needed to at home then came down and will stay here until we go home tonight. What a blessing that members are willing to give us rides. *Note:volunteer to give missionaries rides. We appreciate it :)

I love you all. Have a great week.

Hermana Good

Monday, May 10, 2010

Will I be transferred or not?

Well, here we are. Another week, another transfer gone by. It is crazy how fast time flies, and each transfer seems to pass even quicker. Once I get to the point where Sister Shade is in her mission (starting her last transfer) it'll seem like it started yesterday when I'm stepping on the plane to go home.

Tuesday: P-day because of the temple trip on Monday. I took advantage of that and rested because I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep the night before the trip to Albuquerque because we had to leave insanely early.

Wednesday: We did a lot of knocking doors without any success. Well, we found a lot of referrals for the elders. We were in a trailer park where we can usually find a lot of Spanish Speakers... and found not a one.

Thursday: We had District Meeting and took pictures. I'm not going to lie: I'm not going to miss any one of the 3 elders who are being transferred. We got lost out on the county roads and put probably 10-15 unnecessary miles on our truck. We visited several less actives. And I got a letter from Brittani with news about her mission call! Yay for Spanish Speaking Sisters!

Friday: We had weekly planning. Because we both had a strong feeling that we were going to be transferred, we did really good preparation for the new missionaries who would be transferred into our area. We went and did some service for a less active sister. And then we went to the 2nd ward talent show/ pot luck dinner with one of our investigators to translate. Each organization had been asked to prepare a talent because not many people were signing up. The ward mission leader delegated to the missionaries and the senior companion delegated to the junior companion (aka Sister Good) So I pulled out one of my piano books, decided to play Called to Serve, and slaughtered it. No one noticed... or at least said anything, but when I listened to the recording later, it was horrible. But I did my part.

Saturday: We did some more less active visits and knocking doors. And then when we got home we sat and waited for our District Leader to call us with transfer news. And waited. And waited. Finally at 10:30 we called him to ask if he'd heard anything yet (because there was one transfer before I got here that no one--not even the APs- knew anything before midnight) When he answered, the first thing he said was "I just realized that I forgot to call you" meaning that when he saw our number on the caller ID. Sister Shade is going back to Rio Rancho with Sister Michel and will be on a bicycle (and they're trading areas with the elders so they have a smaller area to work in) and I am staying right where I am and Sister Cabello is coming up here with me. That kinda came as a shock because we were both so convinced that we were leaving. But that's okay. I love Cortez. And Bishop Decker's wife is SO excited to meet Sister Cabello because she is also from Peru.

Sunday: We went around so Sister Shade could say goodbye to a few people. One of our investigators was having a party that she invited us to so we went there for a while, then had dinner with Bishop Decker and his family, his brother and his family, his parents, and grandma. Can I just say that I love the whole Decker family? They are so welcoming and helped us feel so much at home. But the absolute best part of the day was the fact that I got to call home. 40 minutes is much too short to talk, but it was so good to hear everyone. It sure did help to lift my spirits.

So yeah. Today we're just going and saying goodbye to a few more people, dropping some of Sister Shade's things off at the Decker's for Sister Decker to take up to Utah here in a few weeks, washing the truck, packing her stuff, and cleaning the apartment. And tomorrow morning we'll head for Farmington so she can catch the transfer van back to New Mexico and so I can pick up Sister Cabello, and Sister Anderson and her trainee who will also be coming up to Cortez (yay for more sisters in the district!)

I love you all. Have a fabulous week!

Hermana Good

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Attending the Temple = A Great Week

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been the best week I've had in a long time. I've got lots of exciting things to talk about.

Monday: We had p-day and then that night had FHE and dinner with the Bishop and his family and his brother's family and one of our investigator families. It was great. I love how supportive the members all are here.

Tuesday: Our truck had been yelling at us telling us it needed an oil change for a couple days, so we went in and got that done. (The sisters hadn't taken it in when they got the notice 5,000 miles before). We also got new tires to replace the ones that were bald. Then we went to district meeting and interviews with President Anderson. I always love interviews with him, and am sad that I've only got one more before he's done on June 30. But I'm sure that my new mission president, whichever one it will be, will be just as wonderful. And referring to the new mission president, I'm almost 100% positive it will be President Miller of the NM Albuquerque Mission because President told us that he'll most likely pull us down south so all 4 Spanish sisters are in the same mission when the split takes place so we don't have the same companion until one goes home. We're just not sure if that will happen next week or next transfer.

Wednesday: We went down to Albuquerque so we could go through the temple with one of Sister Shade's converts, Gloria Perez. Sister Trunnell also flew down so she could be there. It was so great to see everyone again. There were several people from the Bernalillo ward there to support her. As soon as we turned onto the street the temple is on, I was filled with the Spirit. I have missed that feeling in the 8 months that I haven't been to the temple. The session was in Spanish, which was pretty cool. I was able to understand pretty much everything). But, while we were sitting in the foyer waiting for Gloria to talk to the matron, a brother walked past who looked SO familiar. As I thought about it, I realized that it was Mike, my old roommate Magaly's husband. I stopped him and when he saw me, his eyes lit up as he recognized me. He and Maggie were there to do sealings, but he went and found her, and I was able to talk to her for a few minutes. Oh what a wonderful blessing to be able to see an old friend and get a big hug. And how weird to be called Kira for the first time in 10 months. It was great, though. When I lived with her, I always wished that I could talk to her in Spanish (she's from Peru for those who don't know), and I was finally able to. Good thing, because you can say more faster in Spanish than you can in English :). When we got to Sister Michel and Cabello's apartment, the Marquez's were there waiting for us to see us. I was pretty excited about that too. Sister Marquez told me, "We escaped so we could see you." We got pictures with them. And then we sisters stayed up late talking, of course. And then when I tried to go to sleep, I was on a really uncomfortable couch that sinks in the middle and it was SO hot in the apartment (I'm certainly not used to that. Our above the garage apartment in Cortez is still pretty cold and we pile the blankets on and still use the heat). It was fun to see them again.

Thursday: It was gorgeous in Albuquerque when we left. But once we hit about Shiprock... not even... more like Bloomfield, the wind picked up. The temperature dropped 15 degrees in the hour or so between Shiprock and Cortez. And when we got back to Cortez, it was snowing! It was gorgeous when we left, so of course we didn't have coats with us. We were so tired and were dragging our feet to get to our appointments. But we went with smiles on our faces and a happy attitude. But when we got home that night, we crashed into bed.

Friday: We did weekly planning for the last week of the transfer. It was raining and snowing off and on all day long. We started to wonder if Spring will ever come to Cortez. People tell us that this has been the worst, longest winter in a long time.

Saturday: Happy 10 months to Sister Good. Gee whiz, it's hard to believe how fast the time is flying. It sure doesn't seem like it's been that long. We had a good day with lots of good lessons.

Sunday: It was, once again, cold and snowy. The brother who normally translates in Sacrament Meeting wasn't there, and Sister Shade did it last time, so it was my turn to translate. It was fine. It was fast and testimony meeting, and while there were a few words I didn't know, people were talking slow enough that I didn't really have any problems... at least not until the closing prayer. They'd asked me to give the closing prayer and I had to do it in English, and I was having a really hard time not saying it in Spanish because I was thinking in Spanish. We had a fireside that night by Chris Heimerdinger. It was pretty good. Yes, my family, I got to meet him. I even translated his testimony in Sacrament meeting.

Monday: We left bright and early to head back down to Albuquerque for the mission temple day. And when I say bright and early, I mean dark and early. We left our apartment at 5:00 because we had to be to the temple by 10:15, it's a 20 minute drive to get to the members who took us down, and about 5 hours to the Temple from Cortez. It was so great though. We had a wonderful time visiting with Brother and Sister Quick and getting to know them better. The temple session was amazing! I haven't felt the Spirit stronger in the temple than on missionary day. I highly recommend it. After the session, the Quicks took us to Cracker Barrel to eat, and we headed back to Cortez, pulling into town about 9:15. It was a long day, and we saw the sun rise and set. We were very tired, and had no problem going to sleep last night at all. Getting out of bed today was another story...

But yes, it was a very good week. Definitely the best in a long time... other than the snow. It's May for heaven's sake! But I'll survive. From what it sounds like I'll soon be roasting somewhere in New Mexico and wishing I was back here where it's cooler.

I love you all. Keep an eye out next week for transfer news. And to my family, I'll talk to you on SUNDAY!

Hermana Good