Well today I'm majorly bummin. Transfer calls came Saturday night, and I left Leganés this morning. It's been way harder than I thought it would be. Leganés was my fourth area, so I've been transfered before, but for some reason I've been extra sad. Part of being a missionary is learning to give your heart, and all of it, to the people you serve and serve with. I truly love Leganés. The ward was my family, the investigators were constantly on my mind and in my prayers, and my companion became one of my biggest role models. But Rosi taught me a powerful lesson Saturday night. This work is not mine. It's not even President Jackson's. It is the work of the Lord, and everything is in his hands. I've done what I was sent to do and learned what I needed to learn in Leganés, and now I'm needed somewhere else. As hard as that is for me to accept, I'm trying to be positive.
So today is my first day in Pavones. I'll be serving in Barrio 6 and my new companion is Hermana Olsen (who I lived with for 6 weeks in Leganés and who was my companion for a week). It's rainy and cold and miserable (probably because Leganés is mourning my loss), but the view from our bedroom window is the temple, which leads me to believe everything will be okay. I hear the ward is great and we meet in the stake center which is on temple square, so I get a legit chapel with pews and carpet and everything for the next six weeks. I'm pumped about that. And there's 8 missionaries in the ward. EIGHT. That's super nuts.
Anyhow, allow me to fill in the gaps between last Monday and the night I fell into depression... My intercambio with Hermana Marshall was complete bliss. We were companions for just a night at the very beginning of last transfer when she came back from the islands and she scared the crap out of me. She goes home tomorrow, so she was super old in the mission, really beautiful, and incredibly intimidating. So since that first night six weeks ago, I've kind of avoided talking to her and being her friend because she scared me. And what a shame! I loooooove this girl! She's incredible. We spent 45 minutes on the bus back from Toledo getting to know eachother and telling stories and talking about pretty much everything. Monday night we had English classes and Noche de Hogar. Eduardo brought Evelyn so now we're up to four people. Woo-hoo!
Tuesday morning Hermana Marshall made me french toast. She's the sweetest. Then we had a lesson with Andrea. We had the lesson at Efigenia's house - she's this woman who got baptized in November, but had been going to the ward in Fuenlabrada until just a few weeks ago when she moved to Getafe. Sometimes lessons with members there is kind of awkward, but the lesson we had with Andrea and Efigenia was so good. Efigenia jumped in and shared her testimony and experiences where they fit perfectly. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and tried to base it off the scripture that says our bodies are temples because Andrea has a tongue ring and we didn't know how to go about telling her to take it out. After we talked about the Word of Wisdom and she agreed to live it, we read the section in the strength of the youth pamphlet about modesty. We asked her if she was willing to be modest in all things and take care of and protect the body Heavenly Father has given her. She said yes, but nothing about her tongue ring. When we got outside, however, she told us she was going home right then and that she was going to take it out. She said it wasn't a problem and she wouldn't even miss it. I got a little tear-eyed because I was so impressed at her willingness to obey the commandments of God, even the tiniest ones regarding piercings. Andrea is incredible and I want to be more like her.
In the renfe station on the way home from the lesson this African man stopped us. At first I was kind of annoyed because I saw that our train was coming and I didn't want to miss it, but after talking to him I knew that the Lord had put him in our path. He was so happy to see us. He got baptized 6 years ago but hadn't been to church in a very long time and wanted to come back. We gave him directions to the chapel, took down his number, and headed out. President Monson has said, ''There are no coincidences. Look always for the hand of the Lord.''
Wednesday morning we had zone training meeting and I got Hermana Blodgett back. I was happy to see her, but so grateful for my intercambio with Hermana Marshall. At ZTM I had a good chat with President and then we had to take off because I had an appointment in Aluche to get my residency stuff going.
Thursday morning Andrea had her baptismal interview. Everything went swimmingly and on our walk back she yelled ''Goooooodbyeeee!'' in English out the window. Do you see why my heart hurts so much to leave these people? Thursday night we went to Lorena and Rubén's for dinner and she made us arepas. Nommmmm. The neighbors came over and Rubén began to explain perfectly to him who we were and what we did. I love that dude.
Like usual, we spent Friday night with Carmen and her hijas. They always cook for us, so we told them we wanted to make something American for them. We made Sloppy Joes. Haha and they loved them! We played cards had the best time.
Saturday was Andrea's baptism! She looked soo prettty. On our walk to the chapel she told us that she'd been to a lot of churches, but that she knew this one was true because of the way she feels. She now recognizes that ''feeling'' as the Spirit. There was an activity in Segovia so not many members showed up, but there were like 10 missionaries there! We took a bunch of pictures and it was a really good day. That night we went to Rosi's and ate with her and her family and while we were there we got the transfer call. Rosi and her husband both said some really nice stuff about me and reassured me that I'd be happy and well taken care of in Barrio 6. I was a child and cried. But it's okay because Rosi did too. Haha I love that woman her family so much it hurts.
Sunday morning was Ward Conference and Andrea's confirmation! Bishop spoke and so did our Stake President and we had 144 members there. That's the most there's been since I'd been there! In Relief Society, the Stake Relief Society Presidency asked me to share my testimony on my experience with seeing and helping people change as a missionary. I cried. Again. Afterwards I said goodbye to everyone and there were more tears. Paola cried while she was hugging me and told me not to forget about her. I'm gonna miss everyone so much. Hermana Piedade and Hermana Miron who both started their missions in Leganés also finished there, so I'm hoping I follow tradition.
I love being a missionary - the hard parts too. I've never been a fan of change, but it's part of life, and the mission. There's someone here waiting for me. And there's something I'm supposed to learn from Hermana Olsen. I take comfort in knowing that the Lord knows what's going on. I'll probably be happier next week when we talk, but right now I'm praying for positivity.
I hope everyone is happy back home! Thanks for the letter Mom! I know email is so much easier, but mail is the number one thing that cheers me up here. Haha and good job Had speaking in church. Send me a copy of your talk pretty please. And Conner, hooray for your Patriarchal blessing! I read mine at least once a week and I'm super excited for you to get yours. Tom, thanks for taking care of Josie. I miss her a lot. Haha and if you wanted to send me some more peanut butter, I'd be eternally grateful. I've run out :(
I love you allllllll!
P.S. Here is my new address for the next six weeks:
Hermana Paige Munden
Calle Valdebernando 10, 3C