I feel like it's been forever!!!! How is everyone and everything??
Well, I'm in my first area of my mission!!! CRAZY! I am currently in Napa, California and I LOVE IT!!!!!! There is an Argentine lady in our Spanish branch and she said Napa is exactly like Mendoza! So that's great because I love it here and I don't ever want to leave!
Napa is beautiful! I've never seen so much green in my life! I am in a trio! With Sister Chavez, from Mexico, and Sister Wise, from Indiana. Sister Chavez has been out for about 8 months, and Sister Wise has been out for 6 weeks! They are both training me. And they are amazing! I learn so much from each of them every day and we are already best friends! Whenever we get a door shut in our face, Sister Chavez says "I am a happy and energetic woman!" And we all stay happy. :) She's the best.
The first night I got here we stayed the night in a hotel and had an orientation devotional where we met our trainers and headed off for the day. Our mission goal is "to be the most obedient mission in the world!" And we have a goal to get 101 baptisms as a mission in the month of July! I love this mission because we have so many goals! And we pray for each other and help each other get excited to reach those goals! It's so fun! My companions are the Sister Training Leaders in our Zone, so I am dragged to a lot of meetings, but it's great because I get to learn so much about the organization of the mission and see our great leaders in action! The leaders in our zone and district and mission are amazing! I love them! And I feel so lucky to be called to this mission! It's the best!
And the people here are so prepared and so ready to hear the gospel! There are a lot of Mexican people here so a lot of Spanish to be spoken :) But my first lesson here was actually in English! Lucky me! ha! We had our first lesson with Betty on Wednesday night! She is in her 20's and speaks better English than Spanish. My companions met her through her daughter because she would follow them around on the street and ask for stickers! Cutest little girl ever! Betty lives with her husband and her daughter and they are the cutest little family and are ready for the gospel! In the first lesson, I invited Betty to be baptized and she said yeah, she thinks she is ready! WOAH! hah! My first day! And it is definitely thanks to the Lord, because I was so scared! haha! Betty is so prepared! So we are teaching her and helping her to prepare to be baptized on the 22nd of June! Woohoo!! Please pray for her!!
We also teach a lot of Mexican grandpas and they are the cutest people on the face of the earth! I love them! After every lesson we teach I get in the car and say "I love them!" The people here are so easy to love and they are so humble and loving! People always invite you back and offer you food and water, but the problem we have been having with people is commitment. The funny phrases we here are: "Will you come to church?" "Oh, if God want's me to.." Well of course he does!!! Or my personal favorite: "Can we set up a time where we can come back and teach you more about our message?" "Of course! But I don't want to set a time because what if I'm not here..?" So, we have set a lot of return appointments, but the chance of them going through is always sketchy. haha. But they really are great people!
Another one of our investigators, who has a baptismal date on June 1st, is Jesus Medina. I haven't met him yet, but from what we've been talking about and what I've heard and seen about him, he needs a lot of prayers! Please pray for Jesus Medina! He is so great! And I already love him even though I never met him! ha!
Something I love about being a missionary is all the people you get to meet! We meet so many new people everyday! And people are so great! And funny! Yesterday we were talking to a guy about prophets and he said, who is your prophet, how will I know if he's a real prophet? So we pulled out a picture of him and he said "I know that guy! He sells cars on TV!" hahaha! Not quite..
Our branch is amazing! There are two sets of Elders and us in our branch! And we eat all together at members houses every night! The members are amazing! The Perez family is always willing to help us with our missionary work and invites us over to dinner all the time! Every time we need a member to go to our lessons with us, Hermano Perez is the first to volunteer. They are the greatest family!
I am learning so much every day! Some days I get home and say "I learned too much today, what am I supposed to do with all of this?" But it's great! I am so happy! And my companions are helping me to be the most obedient that I can be! They are such great examples!
It is great to be a missionary and feel the love that God has for every one of His children! I feel it every time I talk to people! No matter how many doors we get shut in our faces, how many rejections we get, how many plastic bags with copies of the Book of Mormon are left on people's doorsteps, the Lord still loves those people. And everytime we get a rejection, I think of that and everything is okay. The Lord loves them, it's just not their time. The people that are prepared are out there and we just need to find them. I just need to do my part and be obedient so I can be ready when we do find them. And the Lord loves me! There truly are miracles everyday on the mission and I love to see them and be a part of them. The mission is hard. But I am a happy and energetic woman and the Lord loves His people! And that makes everything great. :) This is the best thing I've ever done in my life!
I love you all and I hope everything is well!!
Ps. My address is 1260 Trower Ave. Napa, CA 94558
I love letters!!!