My new area is HUGE. not to mention I'm not doing "spanglish" work anymore, I am serving in a small branch with Sister Rex. All of our work is in Spanish and it's been hard to get used to that. I have met so many people in the past week that my brain hurts. New investigators, new people with baptismal dates, new people I know nothing about yet I'm able to love them so easily.. Missionary work is exhausting! This week alone we taught as many lessons as we taught in one whole week in Malta, but it felt completely different. I don't have that connection with the people here as I did there. The work is just different but I am learning to love it!
Working with sister Rex again has been a lot of fun. we only spent 3 short weeks together in Malta so it's been fun to catch up. The Sister Training Leader calling is one we both take seriously and know its a huge responsibility. We had a couple sisters that were already having struggles like 2 days into the transfer that we were able to talk to and help out. We will begin our exchanges this week, where we take turns spending time with the companionship over-night and we can help them on an individual basis. It's a hard job because we will be out of our area a lot. One of us will always be here but we will hardly get to meet with our investigators as a companionship. I have full faith that the Lord will not let our area suffer as we are diligent and work hard to keep both the sister's in our area and our investigators in top priority.
We had a really cool experience this week. Yesterday we had to meet with the Stake presidency at 6:00 AM. Yes, in the morning!!! bah. but we got to talk about
the missionary work in the ward and what we needed to do. We were given a list of those members who speak Spanish and we were told to visit one sister in particular. She had served her mission in Bogota, Colombia a long time ago but she had kind of stopped coming to church. We decided to visit her some time later that day and took advantage that I had a connection with her because she served there. We visited everyone we needed to and decided to go see her. The address we were given took us to a nursing home so we thought she might live there or work there because the paper said she was 56. As we looked for her in the building we realized that there was a house right next to the nursing home where one of the workers directed us there. We knocked on the door and she opened--she was on the phone and was completely caught off guard. She said she was already a member and asked who sent us there, we didn't say anything, just that we were in the neighborhood. She let us in and she immediately started showing us pictures of her mission. It was a tender mercy that I was able to remember so much from Colombia even though the last time I was there was when I was 7. We talked about all the different places she had visited and the wards she served in. I asked if she knew Edith but she didn't think she had served with her. We talked for a while and the spirit was so strong, it kept telling us to ask her what it was that had kept her from coming to church. Eventually Sister Rex found the courage to ask her why, if she had such a strong testimony and had had her mission change her life, why she stopped coming to church. She began to cry and expressed how insecure she was and how Heavenly Father had forgotten her. She has had so many trial in her life... from a horrible marriage, to a daughter with heart problems, to being forgotten by her new fiancee because he suffered a stroke and lost part of his memory so their wedding fell through... She hurt and she didn't know how to over come it. Being prompted by the spirit we told her it was time to come back. She cried and although she did not say she would come back, we knew she felt the spirit.
This was a testimony to me of the importance of understanding the atonement. We can never be too far from His love, we can never be lost in this eternal plan. He has a plan for us, one that as much as He'd love to have us all back, He can't force us to choose it. We must make the choice to live and let go, trusting that all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement.
I love this gospel, I love that every day I understand just how much Heavenly Father loves each of us. It is NEVER too late, for any of us.
A few random tid-bits. Some of the families that we have met are related to some of the investigators/members in Raft River! It was amazing and it gives me a connection to these members!
I love you all and I'm sorry I don't have much more to share, it's been such a crazy week that I don't even know how to summarize it all!