Monday, April 30, 2012

Big Changes!

So... I have lots of news this week.  I got transfered!  I
don't know if I'm happy or sad.  I love Richmond so much and I love Hermana
Camarillo too.  I don't want to leave the area or my companion.  BUT, I am
also really excited for what's coming next.  I'm going to *SAN FRANCISCO!*
Like the city itself!  So crazy.  I was kind of thinking I'd get
transferred, but I didn't think I'd be going there.  It will definitely be
a very different experience than I've had here in Richmond.  My new
companion's name is Sister Perez.  I don't know her at all, just that she's
from LA and has been out one transfer less than me.  So that makes me the
senior companion and the driver again.  Hopefully I'll be ok driving in San

This transfer change comes at an interesting time for me.  It was difficult
to say goodbye to the ward on Sunday.  There are so many people here that
have become so important to me over the past 5 months or so.  The members
here are amazing and I'm sure there's no other ward like them out there.
They have such a strong desire to share the gospel and help with missionary
efforts.  Their testimonies are so strong and they try so hard to
strengthen each other.  Almost the entire ward is composed of converts,
many of them having been baptized within the past 5 years.  They're
wonderful and I've learned so much from them.  The hardest goodbye was with
Jonathan and Brian, the two little boys that got baptized.  I was surprised
at how hard it was to say goodbye to them.  I hope they and their mom stay
strong in the church.  I love them so much!  I haven't said goodbye to the
Aviles yet, or to any of our investigators.  I know that will be hard too,
but it's all part of the experience.

So one of our investigators is getting baptized next week!  I'll be able to
go to the baptism even though I'm getting transferred.  He'll be baptized
on May 6th.  I've loved this short experience with [J] because I've been
able to see the power of repentance.  When somebody really wants to change,
they can, no matter how many walls they've put up in the past.  Our
Heavenly Father knows us and loves us enough to let us make choices, and he
pours out the blessings when we choose what's right.  When I extended the
baptismal date to [J] and he accepted, the Spirit was incredibly strong.
I had been nervous about extending a date that was so close, but I felt
like I should, and Hna Camarillo agreed.  The Spirit confirmed that that
was the right date as soon as we began testifying to him of the power of
covenants--both the ones that he'll make on May 6th and the ones he will
make in the temple with his wife and children one year from that date.

[Jo], the other investigator I wrote about last week, is also doing
really well.  He's reading the Book of Mormon like crazy.  When we asked
him how he felt about the Book of Mormon, he said, "Well, I can see that
the Book of Mormon and the Bible both teach us the same things about faith
and repentance, and baptism."  I LOVE moments in which our investigators
teach US the principles of the gospel.  He understands!  That kind of clear
understanding only comes through the Spirit.  [Jo] is incredibly
prepared and has a wonderful ability to understand the principles of the
gospel through the scriptures.  It's powerful to see him changing as he
learns.  His barrier is that his family is strongly involved in a Christian
church and don't agree with him meeting with us.  We actually talked to his
dad this week.  He kept trying to fight Sister Camarillo, but she did a
great job and testified of the truth.  He walked away and stopped trying to
fight us.  [Jo] is going to face a lot of opposition from his family,
which is something I can't relate to.  I'm praying so hard for this boy.
He has so much potential and his faith is growing so quickly.  I hope he'll
be able to rely on the Atonement and the faith that he's gained to be able
to make the decision that is right for him.  It's so hard to leave [Jo]
behind!  Every time we talk to him I can just feel how special he is to
his Heavenly Father. I would love to keep teaching him.  But hopefully I
will get to see him at his baptism someday.

Other things from this week: I found a white hair on my head this week!  A
WHITE HAIR.  That's not okay.  But if I start getting grey hairs maybe
people will believe me when I tell them that I'm not 16.  :P  Also, we did
an awesome service project with Mormon Helping Hands.  We got to build
trellises for beans to grow on.  My companion used a drill for the first
time in her life!  I was so proud!  We also did a lady's lawn.  It was
crazy.  The grass was literally 2 feet tall.  So much fun!  We

We love doing yard work because it makes us feel "normal" for an hour at a

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