Man, am I happy to write you this week! I am pleased to announce that I have been transferred to Coral Springs, Florida. And, wow, serving in the northern side of the mission is different. I’ve never felt like I’ve really been serving in the United States until now – there are white people everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Aaaaaand I’m serving in an English ward. Again. Disappointing, but I’m trying to convince Sister Jones to teach less actives and recent converts, etc. in Spanish if they speak it for practice. We’re working on it.
So, Coral Springs with Sis. Jones! She’s been out on her mission for just a transfer more than I have, but I got called to be senior comp., so that’s a little weird. She’s had a pretty rough go with her last couple of companions, so I’m determined to make this one work. And to make it fun. Because if you’re not having fun on your mission then you’re doing something wrong (the word “mission” can be substituted for any situation in life – life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured). This transfer is going to be different though. Up here is taking a little getting used to. But, I am living with Sister Bradley again, so I am thrilled for that! She got retransferred to the Spanish ward here (oddly enough, the same area in which her mission began) and is white-washing it with Sister Lake, another cool cat. We just got a new apartment up here three weeks ago, and, I tell you what, it is the ritz. No bugs, no ghetto, and also no broom (going to fix that today). We even have a little garage for our bikes!
We’re going to be having a sick baptism this Saturday for Cathia, an awesome Tahitian lady. Funny story: she was raised in the Church and supposedly got baptized, but somewhere within fifteen years of inactivity, her records got lost. She was just reactivated about a month ago and her son was baptized, but now she needs to be baptized too! We’ve been teaching her up all week and are so excited for this Saturday! She has been interviewed and is ready for the dip!
A miracle less-active family, the Moscowitz, called us asking when we could come over. Sis. Jones had never even noticed their name on the directory, and very few people in the ward knew them, but we went on over anyway. A delicious array of sandwich toppings awaited us as well as a funny little recently-retired old couple who are ready to return. They kept calling us the Elderettes. It was cute.
We gave our assistant ward mission leader a call, only to reach his voicemail (I guess some drama went down at correlation the week before I arrived and he hadn’t been responding to anyone). But let me tell you, I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed harder at anyone’s personal greeting. He’s a personal trainer, and it started off with, “Hello! You’ve reached the Master Blaster of Fatty-Flab…” I don’t remember much after that because the fit of giggles took over and made it hard to focus. It’s just so funny because he’s in his early sixties. But whenever he answers the door he’s only ever been wearing a bro-tank or shirtless. Funny guy.
We painted a mailbox for a less active, too, named Mary Lou. She’s a sweet old lady that told us we couldn’t help her unpack the boxes in her house because she wants something to do with the rest of her life. Sad. She had a lizard living in her bathtub for approx. two to three weeks. She liked having him there and wouldn’t let the other Sisters get him out for her because he kept her company, but she told us that she thought he was dying and that it was time to let him live in the world. Thinking myself a hot lizard-catcher (one of mine and Sister Endemaño’s pastimes), I confidently told her I could get him. I walked in to the bathroom to find him sitting on a large piece of bread (“I thought he would like a snack”, she told us), but that slippery lizard just kept jumping out of my hands! And then he turned around and bit me! We eventually team-worked him into a bowl and let him free, but I’m thankful to Larry for reminding me to be humble.
We learned that pelar in Spanish means “to peel” when we stumbled upon a lady from the Spanish ward in the kitchen at the church with fifty pounds of potatoes to peel and cut and cook and mash before the Relief Society activity and not a soul to help her. Good to do some service, but, man, were my hands pruney.
Last night we met Frank and Luis, two recent converts from January who are AWESOME. They’re from Peru and own a earring business – they make me want to get my ears pierced! They brought out their guitar along with their cousin, Roger, and improvised a song about us “hermanitas” sharing the good word. We also met Ariel, Frank’s brother, miraculously, and after not having any previous interest told us he wanted to join in on our lessons! Miracle transfer week is real.
Also, we caught the mom of a recent convert YSA miraculously on our way to an appointment – while driving by Sis. Jones saw her watering her lawn! We pulled over, said a prayer rapidito, and invited her to church to watch Xavier, her son, pass the Sacrament. AND SHE CAME! AND she’s finally off work for a whole week – so we get to begin teaching her as well! Miracles, miracles everywhere.
Even if there are scads of Americans here (bueno, we’re all Americans, but I’m speaking about the white ones, born and raised here), it is still a good place. It will still take a bit of acostumbrandome, but I think it will be good.
Loved Ether 6:2-3,7-8, and 11-12 this week. The Brother of Jared has got to be one of my favorite guys in the BOM, just because of his sheer faith, trust in the Lord, and work ethic. The Lord used the simple solution he had come up with (see Ether 2-3 for the full story), and make his weak stones strong and bright. Nothing could hurt them as they crossed the sea because their boats (testimonies!) were tight and strong as the furious winds constantly blew them to the promised land. Patience and faith! Sorry if this doesn’t make any sense, but my time on the computer is running out. Just read it – it’ll make sense! I love you!!
P.S. Ben Reaveley came to church…. AGAIN!