July 8, 2013
So, as you all know, transfer calls were this week. Saturday morning was the longest morning of my life. Transfer calls can be as early as 7:30 or (as we found out) as late as noon! The night before I had serious butterflies. Would I have to leave? Would Hermana Larsen have to leave? Would I have to train? Would I have to be here by myself training ALONE?! We had been making guesses all week as to what would happen. I honestly had no idea!! So, we get a text early Saturday saying that transfer calls would be made during companionship study. Okay, so 9-10 am, that’s not too long to wait… During studies my mind kept wandering and that phone kept drawing my attention. We made it through personal study and companionship study and…nothing. At around 11 we get a text from the Zone Leaders saying they wouldn’t announce anything til noon. Are you kidding? PLEASE….ELDER MACK!!! We go about our lunch, trying to stay as calm as possible when 11:30 the phone rings. It’s not Elder Mack…it’s President Cusick.
We run upstairs to the only place in the apartment where we get service and answer. “Hi President…” After making sure we’re both there and ready, he tells us, “Sisters. You’re both staying together. [insert huge sigh of relief] But, you’re going to be TRAINING a new sister.”
So there it is. We’re having a baby! A new little baby girl. We’re gonna be mammas! And we can already feel her kicking! [Freaky? Sorry. But it’s real life. We felt her spirit with us that whole day and we love her already.]
But, what a blessing that we’re both staying in this area because neither of us felt like we were ready to go. We’re glad Heavenly Father felt the same way. We’re going to need some extra blessings though because training is a lot of responsibility, but we know we can do it! We’ve got one amazing transfer ahead of us. We can’t wait.
Back to President Cusick. We met him and his family on Thursday! They are just the cutest. And wow this mission is in for a shock…but in an amazing way. President Cusick is a very different personality than President Summerhays was, but I know that he is called of God and his method of running the mission is just what the mission needs to handle all the change that is soon to occur!
He shared a prophecy from Spencer W. Kimball about missionary work in the South [you talked about this one all the time Mamma] and about how the South will baptize hundreds of thousands because the people here already have such a strong faith in God and will begin to realize that their church is going astray so they will search for the truth. Hi. We have that truth. That meeting just gave us the motivation to “restart” our missions with this new transfer and work even harder than before.
It’s never ceases to amaze me at how much the Lord blesses us, especially at those times when we feel like we can’t go another step…but keep walking anyways. We saw that this week. This transfer is different because we’ve been finding and teaching families. Solid families that are so ready to hear this gospel. And that’s what this gospel is really focused on: FAMILIES. We have a couple families that we feel so attached to already.
April and her family is one of them. April is Agustine’s mother. She has been through a lot in her life, but has been a faithful mother through it all. She has 5 children between a few different husbands but those children are all cared for and loved. She is currently living in a tiny trailer with all 5 of those kids. She is one of our favorite people to teach. She loves to think out loud and make her own connections. She relates the struggles she faces as a mother to the way Heavenly Father feels about us. And those kids [Javi, Augi, Juaquin, Jose, and Adriana] all LOVE us. We go inside that little trailer with a lesson prepared and candy on hand and, without fail, it’s pandemonium every time. We get tackled with hugs from Adriana and Jose, the kids are poking and teasing each other, April is trying to learn and discipline all at the same time…But the Spirit is there. And nobody leaves. Because they all feel it. They feel the difference that we bring into the house. And it’s amazing to feel that with them!
Santos and Ilodia are another amazing, beautiful family! Andddd they’re Noe’s aunt and uncle! They are very Catholic, but we’ve had several lessons with them and they love it all. Because, as Santos said, “I’m learning so much and I never knew these things before.” One of my favorite lessons with them happened after our long day at our Meet the President meeting. We always feel so exhausted after long drives and we didn’t get the chance to do our language study that morning. We went in feeling like we should just reschedule the lesson for another day so we could do our language study and get some rest. [That was Satan.] When we got in there, Santos’ son, Santos Jr… invited us right in and got us waters. [Instead of Coke, thank goodness] We talked to him for a little bit before Santos Sr. and Ilodia came out and learned more about his story. He said he wanted to go into the Marines after high school because he didn’t like where his life had been going and wanted something that would shape his life up and get him on the right direction. Oh Santos. We have just the thing for you. [MISSIONMISSIONMISSION] We ended up teaching the Plan of Salvation to the entire family that night…in full-on Spanish…drawing on this little whiteboard they had so perfectly placed in their living room. It couldn’t have gone better. The Spirit was absolutely tangible, and they all agreed to keep reading the Book of Mormon and learning more. They are such a strong family and they should probably be Mormon.
Sunday was a testament to me that no effort is wasted. Although Nancy was the only real investigator that we had at church, we had a surprise that was just as good as any baptism. 30 seconds before the meeting was about to start, we see Brother Smith…a man who has been inactive for 10 years…walking through the doorway. And, here’s the kicker: without his wife. Sister Smith comes as much as she can, but I have never seen Brother Smith in sacrament before. We have been working with that couple especially to start reading the Book of Mormon together over the last couple weeks. And, it’s paid off. He walked in looking happier, more energetic, more “light” than I have ever seen him before. When I asked where Sister Smith was, he replied, “Oh she was feeling a little sick this morning and felt like she couldn’t go. But I still wanted to come!” WOW. Nancy was able to come too, with her 3 little angels. We spent all 3 hours trying to keep them busy (being a mom is exhausting during church) and we were afraid it was too hectic for Nancy to get anything out of it. But, at the end when we hesitantly asked, “So what did you think?” She said, “It was really amazing. I can’t wait for next week.” We can’t wait for you either Nancy darling. I LOVE that family!!!
Tomorrow we’re heading up to Tampa to get our trainee. And we’re so excited. New transfer, new companion, new mission president, new families, new energy to keep working hard!!
Love you all so much!!