So transfer news came out last week and I will officially be finishing my mission in El Paso, TX! I’m now in a trio with Hermana Wallis and Hermana Simpson! They are both great and this first week together has been a blast 🙂
I’m already missing Hermana Duran like crazy. That was a hard goodbye. Our time together was way too short but I’m so thankful for all that I was able to learn from her while we were companions. She’s is incredibly hardworking and I know she’s going to go on to do great things. She impacted me for the better and I know she’ll continue to make a positive difference in many others’ lives. I couldn’t be more proud of mija.
Attached are a few pics at White Sands Missile Range with my old zone, a few goodbye pics with some of my favorite people in Las Cruces and a pic of the new Rio Grande Mesa dream team at a service project we went to this week (our ward is SO pumped to have 5 missionaries haha).
This past Saturday my friend Maria got baptized! I got to be one of many missionaries involved in teaching her and her family while I served up in Albuquerque. They are such good people and I’ve missed them a ton! Hermana Garcia and Hermana Jackson have been taking care of them since I left and this morning they sent this sweet picture my way 🙂 (I guess the paper she’s holding is a shout out to me and says "Hermana Metcalf" haha)
SO proud of her!!! Getting to be a missionary is the best 🙂
Rachel, a little 10 year old girl that we’ve been teaching, got baptized on Saturday! She and her family are the best. They’ve recently begun to come back to church and Rachel’s baptism was a really special experience for them all. It was beautiful and I was thankful to get to be a part of it 🙂
So this past Saturday evening pretty much everything that Hermana Duran and I had planned fell through (that happens from time to time). We’d tried every back up plan to no avail and weren’t too sure what else to do. I remembered the name of a lady that we had been told might be interested, so we put her address into the GPS and headed that way. Even with the GPS I wasn’t super confident that we’d be able to find the house in the dark, but we gave it a shot.
Clearly marked house numbers in that particular neighborhood aren’t really a thing so we counted and then walked up to the house that we thought might be the one we were looking for. A man named Diego answered. He had no idea who the lady we were looking for was or where she might live, but he was friendly and chatted with us for a bit. We asked if we could sing him a song and he invited us in to introduce us to his wife and have us sing to the both of them. We sang "I am a Child of God" and then talked about what they were feeling. They liked the peace that was there in their home.
We learned that Diego was big on books and had accumulated a pretty impressive library over his lifetime. We asked if he’d ever read the account of when Christ came to the Americas. That spiked his interest. We gave a brief explanation to what the Book of Mormon is and how it could help them to continue to have peace in their home. He was excited to add a copy of it to his collection and we set up a time to come back and read it together.
God has a plan. He works in the details of our lives and guides our everyday. He speaks to us through the scriptures saying, "this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." He’s actively working for our benefit and welfare. When things may not go our way and we may feel unsure of what to make of what seems like a broken situation, we can trust that there are still great things in store. We just have to do the things that are within our power to do and then leave the rest of Him.
Things here in Las Cruces have started off great! My companion, Hermana Duran, is the best. Like I mentioned a little while back she’s from the Dominican Republic and still learning English, so we help each other out a lot when it comes to learning the others’ language. You wouldn’t ever guess that she’s just started her mission with all the wisdom she’s already got stored up. She’s a great teacher and a sweet friend. I’m looking forward to all that our time together will have in store.
We had a great experience yesterday. It was the monthly fast Sunday, so we took the opportunity to fast to find new people to teach. We were fasting both for our companionship and for our zone because as a companionship we inherited the people that the previous missionaries in the area had been teaching, but since arriving here in Las Cruces we still had yet to find anybody new to teach. Also, as a zone we had set the goal to collectively find 20 new individuals to teach this week. We know there are people out there searching for exactly what we have to offer and that God will lead us to those that He is preparing to receive this message of hope.
After church we got out to work. We went to try by a former investigator, and as we got out of our car there was a man parked not too far off fixing his own car. I thought about going and talking to him, but we weren’t in the nicest of neighborhoods and he looked tough and tatted and made me nervous. So instead we went straight to the door of the former investigator. She wasn’t home and I was feeling bad for not talking to the first person we saw, so we talked to everyone else we could catch around the complex. Not much more came out of that than a few polite no thank you’s. We headed back to where we had parked and I noticed that same man was still out fixing his car a little ways off. It was starting to get dark by then and he still made me nervous, so we got into our car and started on to the next plan. As we were driving, I recalled a man we had met that very morning in church. He too was a little rough around the edges, but went out of his way to catch us, shake our hands and thank us for what we were doing as missionaries. He told us that two "angels" just like ourselves had changed his life. A few years back he had been out fixing his car and saw these two nicely dressed girls walking in his neighborhood. They caught his attention because they seemed so out of place and he was actually convinced that they just might have been angels. He told us that they easily could’ve walked right past him, but they didn’t. They stopped and talked to him and because of that he came to know his Savior and was able to change his life entirely. He told us not to ever let fear trump faith, that if we ever felt like we needed to talk to someone, we should step out in faith and do it. With his words ringing loudly in my mind I hit the brakes and put the car in park right where we were. Hermana Duran looked at me confused and I told her we needed to talk to that man we had walked past, and then I hopped out of the car and walked back to him. He was just headed into his house, so I called out to him and we started up a conversation. His name was Freddy and despite tough appearances, we quickly learned what a good person he was. Hermana Duran and I told him of his Savior’s love and it touched his heart. He told us he had been going through a tough divorce and that it was really good to meet people like us because he had been trying to accept Christ into his life and make a new start. He was so humble and good hearted. We talked more about what we do as missionaries and how the whole reason we’re out here is to help people get closer to Christ. He liked the sound of that, so we set up a time to come back and left him with a prayer.
From there we went to try by a media referral that hadn’t been home the last 3 times we had knocked on her door. We were about ready to give up on trying by her, but we felt like that’s where we needed to be so we went. This time she was there and she quickly invited us into her home. She told us that her name was Wendy and that her mom had been meeting with missionaries down in Juarez. Her mom had told her good things about her experience and so Wendy was interested in learning more for herself. We told her how important she is to her Father in Heaven and she began to cry, telling us that she’d had a rough day and had been asking God to let her know He was listening and there. We told her that it was no coincidence that we had found her right then and that our words were an answer directly from Him. We set up a time to come back and left her with a prayer.
There is a God. He is the Father of our spirits and he loves us very much. He places us in each others’ paths. He wants us to help each other make it back home to Him. If we’re willing and prepared to listen, He’ll let us know where we need to be and what we need to say.
This past Friday the funeral services were held for our prophet, Thomas S. Monson. He has served as president of the church for half of my life and has been in a position of leadership for as far back as I can remember. I love him and I know I’m not alone in saying that he will be very missed.
One of my favorite Thomas S. Monson sayings is "we can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails." This week that thought has become all the more relevant to my own life as I received news from my mission president that I will be leaving the Rio Grande area to open a new area and train an incoming missionary. Getting blown around a lot is just a part of mission experience. I’m sad to go, but excited for a new adventure. It is a very bittersweet feeling.
Something that put a smile on my face and will hopefully do the same for you is this link to a clip of President Monson’s famous ear wiggle:
This morning the new First Presidency was officially announced. Russell M. Nelson has been called as the 17th Prophet and President of the church, and President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring will serve as his counselors. To learn more about this, here’s another link: