Well another transfer has come and gone (way too quickly)! I’m staying here in the Rio Grande ward and my new companion will be Hermana Garcia! She is awesome and I’m so pumped! She’s been serving in the Valle del Norte branch (my first area) since I left it, and we’ll be the sister training leaders that get to do exchanges with the hermanas in Valle del Norte this transfer! It’ll be great!
In other news: I’M A GRANDMA!!!! My "daughter" (the hermana I trained) got a training call and is going to be a "mom" which officially makes me a grandma!!!! WOOOO!!!
Hermana Thompson is headed home this week. She has been one incredible missionary and we are all so sad to see such a spiritual giant leave the mission. I’ve learned SO much from her. It was like getting trained all over again! I’m really going to miss her, but I know she’s going to do great things at home and that she’ll be able to touch so many lives there too. The only redeeming part about this is that when a missionary goes home it’s mission lingo to say that they’re "dying" and Hermana Thompson just so happens to be dying on Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Haha 🙂
This past week I got a phone call from an old companion in El Paso. I was confused by why she would be calling and so shocked when she told me that she just wanted to let me know that she was at a baptismal service for Julio. I cried and danced around and honestly cannot remember the last time I’ve ever been that happy.
We started teaching Julio back at the beginning of the summer and he has been one of my all time favorite people that I’ve met out here. One of the hardest parts about leaving Montwood was leaving him and his girlfriend, Idarly. She’s a member of the church and one of the best people I know. Idarly introduced Julio to us and was a huge help in all of the lessons. She was the real missionary in all of it. When I left, Julio had come to the point where he knew everything he needed to know to be baptized, he had received answers to his prayers and he wanted to be baptized. All he had to do was just decide for himself when he felt right about going for it.
I’m so happy and so thankful to have had the opportunity to get to know Julio and Idarly, and to have gotten to play a small part in such an exciting time of their lives. He is so changed. He wasn’t ever a bad guy or a sad person– he was a awesome from the start, but it was really cool to see the light in him get brighter and brighter. He is on a good path, one that brings lasting peace and real happiness.
I’m back in Albuquerque and loving it! The last few weeks have been so good and have gone by way too fast. I love this new area and my companion is one of the best missionaries I’ve ever seen in action. I’m learning a ton from her and just trying to do my best to keep up!
This past week we had an awesome lesson with a new investigator named Luis. My companion, Hermana Thompson, was his translator at a city service project we volunteered at a little while ago and we ran into him again last Monday while we were emailing. No coincidences, this guy was so ready to take the discussions and a divine hand was at work to make sure it happened.
Luis is very smart and had great insights. He was so touched by the message of the Restoration. He was amazed to learn that Priesthood authority had been brought back and he loved that it was Peter, James and John who had come to ordain Joseph Smith. He was so excited to have his own copy of the Book of Mormon. He told us that when he had woken up that morning he had felt a very strong spiritual impression to "bundle up." I can’t translate what he said with all of the eloquence he used, but basically he expressed that he felt like the Book of Mormon would give him a way to protect himself from the harsh winds of life. He’s pretty much the coolest. He prayed at the end of the lesson and afterwards we paused for a moment to talk about what he was feeling. We had been speaking in Spanish the whole time, but right then he looked around at all of us and said in broken English, "I feel like, how you say, joy. Yes, soft joy.’" I think that might just be the very best way to describe what there is to gain from a knowledge of restored truth: soft joy.