I am so glad this week is over, not because it was particularly bad or anything, but because the first week of every transfer is always awkward, stressful, and challenging. Monday was busy with cleaning, organizing, rearranging, and helping Hermana Stepp get settled in. We had to say goodbye to Hermana Burgos, who got transfered to Oviedo in the north, and that was really sad. She's incredible and was there for me last transfer when I needed cheering up.
Hermana Stepp is very sweet. Every morning she makes my bed for me while I'm in the bathroom brushing my teeth, and on days when I don't have time, she surprises me with an omlet. We've been out the exact same time, except I have more time in the field. She visawaited in the Idaho Pocatello Mission until she came here in March which is cool because she knows some of the elders from my MTC district!
The highlights from Tuesday are seeing Mari and José, two new investigators, and Hermana Stepp finding me. While we were sitting on the temple steps waiting for an appointment to show up, someone came up from behind me and covered my eyes. I turned around and it was Mari from Leganés! I was so happy to see her and she said Evelyn talks about me all the time. Mari has a calling and José had just had his interview to receive the Melchizedec (not sure if that's how you spell it, I've been spelling it in Spanish for awhile...) priesthood. It's so awesome to hear how well their family is progressing. Later that evening we had a lesson with Marco and Iván. I had called Marco's home phone to remind him about the lesson, but Iván answered so I just invited him to come as well! They both showed up and we had a really good lesson.
At some point during the day we were contacting in the metro. We were in the same metro car, but in different spots so that we could be more efficient contacting, but I told Hermana Stepp that we were going to get off in Estrella. Well the Estrella stop came up and I got off, but I noticed as I was walking out, that she wasn't getting off too. I watched the metro go by and didn't see her anywhere! I've made it 9 months without being separated from my companion so I was a little nervous. I went up the stairs and out of the metro station and just hoped and prayed that she'd somehow find me. Not even ten minutes later I saw her coming out of the station. The Spirit had led her back to me :)
Wednesday I hit 9 months! It should be my halfway mark, but since I'm only serving 17 months and 1 week, my halfway mark was last month. I come home 8 months from tomorrow. During personal study, Hermana Hansen and Hermana Smith came in with French toast and sang ''Feliz Cumplemes'' to us. They're pretty dang cute. The rest of the day was good. We had a lesson with Oscar and then did some contacting in the park. My favorite African David bought us some strawberry popsicles for our cumplemes and then we ended the night at the chapel for an activity.
Thursday I woke up sick (I've never been as sick as I have these last 9 months I've been on my mission), but Hermana Smith drugged me up and took care of me. After studies, weekly planning, and mediodia, we had a lesson with Hortensia. And it went greeeeaaaaat because she told us that things with her daughter are improving! She said her daughter bought her a pair of shoes, wrote her a sweet poem, and has been helping out around the house. It's amazing what multiple people praying for one purpose can do. After Hortensia, we had a lesson with Marco and then he ended up coming to Noche de Hogar. Hermana Stepp gave the spiritual thought, and then we taught them all how to play hangman. It was pretty fun. After the Noche de Hogar, Elder Pizarro and Elder Castaldi gave me a blessing. I'm so grateful to be serve with elders who are worthy of and honor their priesthood.
Friday morning we had a lesson with Eloy. We stressed the importance of faith as a principle of action and that faith leads us to make changes, sacrifices, and goals that bring us closer to God. We recommitted him to being baptized on July 6th and he knows that if he wants to make that happen, he needs to start making church on Sundays a priority. That afternoon we had a lesson with Antony. He's 20, so we brought along Arturo and Bianca who are his age and who knew him before when the elders were teaching him. We were going to watch a movie, but his laptop wouldn't accept the DVD, so we each shared with him our favorite scripture and testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. The other appointments we had that day failed us, but at 8 we went to meet this girl Raysa. Her dad had been taught by the elders like 6 months ago, but she'd never listened very much. It was awesome meeting her and we're seeing her again on Tuesday.
Saturday morning we had English class. We taught them some tongue twisters. My favorite was when we did ''fuzzy wuzzy was a bear, fuzzy wuzzy had no hair, fuzzy wuzzy wasn't very fuzzy was he'' because this guy Carlos turned it into a rap and it was hilaaaarious. Then I picked up my package from the B8 hermanas! I love mail sooooooo much. And I just considered that my 9 month package. It was a very nice surprise. Thank you! We got a call from Sergio and he goes, ''Hey hermanas, what time is your lesson with Eliesque?'' I told him it was at 5 and he said, ''Okay, I'll meet you at the church at 5 then. See you later!'' Sergio is the man. I told him a week ago that we had a lesson with this dude, and then he just called and said he wanted to come! I love that guy. Eliesque ended up failing us, but it was super nice of Sergio to offer to come!
Yesterday was good. Oscar and Eloy both came to church! The ward has been 150% better about talking to our investigators when we bring them to church and I'm really happy about it. I took a bomb nap during mediodia and then we had a lesson with Vic. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and then she brought up baptism. I told her that her Heavenly Father has a ton of blessings prepared for her, and a lot of those will only come from being baptized in the true church of Jesus Christ. We invited her to pray about it because really it's between her and God and we don't want to make her do anything. Hermana Stepp made a good point that it's our responsibility as missionaries to make sure she knows the truth and help her understand it and that the way she'll know what's the right thing for her to do is to pray. We only see her once a week so I'm hoping after a week of praying about it, she'll feel more sure of what she needs to do.
I'm happy. I love being a missionary. I like it so much. It is the hardest thing I've ever done and I've felt frustrated/discouraged/sad/angry/homesick and like I wanted to give up and times, but I wouldn't trade the last 9 months for anything.