Mom's note: Her P-Day was pre-empted by a mission-wide conference yestrday, so here is her letter for this week:
1) What is your new compañera like? Where is she from? How do you get along?
2) How is the new area? How are the investigators? How is the branch?
3) Are you using your language more in the new area? How is that going?
4) Did you get the box with the spring/summer things in it for you?
5) Did you get to watch conference? How was this general conference different from October? Mission field vs. MTC for conference?
1. Okay, well to be completely honest, I think I've got the coolest companion from Orem, UT of all time. No joke. It already feels like we've been together forever and we have so much fun together.
Some random fun facts:
- Her dream is to be a fighter pilot for the Navy, but since the dream took root they've retired her plane. But the dream is still strong.
- She studied Arabic in high school.
- She played rugby in college.
- She was originally called to serve in Peru, but after three months was too sick and was sent home. She was then reassigned to this mission, for which I am very grateful. She's technically been out about nine months, but only about six in this mission and so we're co-senior companions.
2. Well. The new area = the promised land. There are so many Latinos! Like, it blows my mind. I didn't realize how scarce they were in Bloomington-Normal. It's amazing here. And then we've got super solid super awesome investigators. The highlight so far is this couple, Juan and Jovita. They have to get married before they get baptized and had picked the date 20 June for their wedding but then, with next to no effort on our part, they decided to move it up about two months and they're now getting married 24 April, baptized 25 April, and confirmed 26 April. SO COOL. It was one of the greatest experiences of my entire life.
And then the branch. So I've been serving in 3 English wards for six months. Which I loved, completely, don't get me wrong. But a Spanish branch is like a dream come true! It's amazing. I'm honestly kind of surprised at how well my Spanish has stuck but I feel like I'm doing pretty good. The members are awesome, especially the Torres Family. Here's why: they have us over for dinner every Friday and feed us enough to last a week (now I understand why so many missionaries in the Spanish
program gain so much weight...) Plus, they're basically willing to drop everything to help us out. Por ejemplo, yesterday it was 8:00 at night and we didn't have a ride home. We finally called them and
explained our situation and their response was "Where are you?" Oh man. They're life savers. We got home before our pumpkin time (:
3. Definitely using the Spanish more. Because I can talk to investigators AND members in Spanish. I feel like my ability to understand has already gotten better which is sweet.
4. Yes, thanks. However, one thing I've decided to do thanks to conference is to either send stuff home or donate it to the sisters exchange so that I don't have so much stuff. So I'll probably be
sending a box home pretty soon.
5. Yes, and it was awesome! Man I love conference. Every time. I ended up just taking one question to conference and got a lot of revelation the first session, but then it was cool to keep getting promptings every now and then throughout the other sessions. We decided to watch one of the speakers in Spanish (the second Elder that gave his talk in Spanish) and I got less out of it than I hoped but still managed to catch bits and pieces. What we ended up actually doing for conference
was this: went to the Schaumburg stake center on Saturday and then to the Bloomingdale chapel on Sunday; the members showed it in Spanish at the chapel on Sunday so we were there because of our investigators that came, but us and the other hermanas went off into another room and watched it in English on the iPads.
One sad thing: of all the times for the internet to go out, it had to be during Elder Holland's talk. I think we all died a little bit every time it stopped working....so we only watched about half of the talk,
unfortunately. It also had problems during President Uchtdorf's but not as bad. haha but so now I'll have to go listen to/watch Elder Holland's talk again. haha guess there are worse things.. (:
This week really quick: has been so weird. Random crazy things have happened and it has not been a normal week (hehe see what I did there...? haha) but the best thing (other than conference) was the
mission conference yesterday. SO GOOD. It was all about Joseph Smith and the First Vision, and then about 50 missionaries shared their testimonies. So it was a fantastic spiritual meeting. And it was
pretty great to only have to drive ~30 minutes to get there, rather than 2 and a half hours...haha
Plus, I got to talk to Elder Craig (the Spanish elder that took over my old area) and, good news! Angelina and Maria are still on date for 25 April! Hopefully I'll get to go, but I'm not so sure (Hna Grant couldn't go to one of her investigator's baptisms when we were in Peoria because we were in Peoria....so I'm worried I won't be able to go because it's in Peoria) but at the very least I can Skype. (: AND! They put Mayra on date for 2 May! So cool. She's the sister of a recent convert of about a year. So I'm pretty stoked for that. Woohoo!
Well, that's about it for this week. Sorry. I just can't think of what to say. Oh! I tried elote this week. It's life changing. Find a panaderia somewhere in Utah and find elote. It was delicious....
And: one of the newest Elders (of last week's transfer) looks like half Daniel Radcliffe, half Wyatt Duclos. I'm not sure how it's possible, but it is.
Now that's it. Love you all! The Gospel's true!
- Hermana DeBuck
P.S. The title of this week's email is courtesy of an Elder from Italy.