Monday, July 15, 2013

Maryland for a reason

COLUMBIA, Md. — It sounds like you are all doing well. I haven’t heard from my family in Ohio or Texas. My prayers are being sent to you. I know you're busy with stuff, but if you get a chance, send me a quick email or letter so I know how you are doing. Love you all soo much!

Dad, the Burns' are doing an Argentina day, huh? Lucky! Are you going to try some food? Let me know how it is. Everyone tells me it is delicious and that I am gonna be a "gordita" or fatty when I come home.  My Relief Society president keeps saying if you don’t remember any Spanish just remember "yo quiero empenadas". Made me chuckle.

Wahoooo! Yay for Sister Missionaries! Sister Christensen, Sister Thompson, Sister Newman, Hermana Newman, Sister Yates, Sister Watko and Sister Rawlings. Wahoo for the 3rd Ward! And yeah for the Elders too! :) Happy day! AND Erianne got home?!? I love that girl! Best Missionary ever! Send her my love please :) I am sure her talk was great.

Holy smokes,  does time fly. I cannot believe I am done with my first transfer already. Has it already been 6 weeks? I guess so. I dropped my companion off this afternoon at the mission office, she is heading to Argentina. Bittersweet. We were a good companionship but I am happy for her!

Good bye to Hermana Brown
I will get my new companion on Wednesday, so for now, I am with the Sister Training Leaders in an English area.

I am sure most of you know, but for those of you who don’t:  I am training this transfer. BAHHHHH! What?!? Me training, in Spanish? Ha. Wow, Heavenly Father must be testing me or something. I know I can do it, but it still scares me half to death. I haven’t even completed my full training yet. Oh well. Guess we will both finish learning together, right?

This week has been great. Pretty busy, but awesome. We had 24 lessons, which is so good for our area, AND 3 investigators at church and 15 less actives! There sure are miracles happening in Columbia 3rd Spanish Branch! Gotta love it :)  Hermana Brown was speaking on Sunday, so lucky me, I got to coordinate all the other things and make sure everyone felt welcome and had someone to sit with, etc. Not too hard, right? Well, when your stress level goes up and you are nervous, turns out that your Spanish declines! I figured it all out, but man, it was funny trying to speak and help our investigators out during sacrament meeting. Good memory, for sure.

The Sanchez Family

It's crazy to think just 6 weeks ago, Hermana Brown and I opened up this area. It’s doing pretty well right now and hopefully it keeps progressing. I am the only missionary staying in the branch. We are getting new elders and sisters in the Spanish branch, so I am the one who has been in the area the longest, which is really funny.

Our Branch President told us something really neat today. He said he has been praying for Spanish sisters for this area for a long time, and now here we are. He said that he has never seen so many people excited and coming back to church before. Sometimes we don’t see the miracles but he reminded us that just because we don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. It made me feel great and that I really am here for a reason. I know that I need to go to Argentina, but I also know people need me here in Maryland right now, so I am happy to be in this little branch!

We have had a lot of fun happy times this week, and of course, some bummer times as well. It is so hard for me to see people choose to not listen. We had to drop one investigator this week, and the Rivera Family that we have been working so hard with are on a decline right now. We are still working with them and hoping for the best, but for some reason they have stopped progressing. :( I have faith they can turn around but there is only so much we can do as missionaries, they have to use agency and choose for themselves.

The Rivera Family
 Can I just say Satan is ridiculous! He always seems to get in the way. I always know when something "randomly" goes wrong, I know who to blame. He is very sneaky. I have learned that just as real as Heavenly Father is, Satan is real, too, and he definitely is out to stop the work from progressing. But the cool thing is that he will not win, he will not conquer!

I love the happiness the Gospel brings to families. I love the light in people's eyes when we teach them lessons. This mission is changing many people’s lives, including my own. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn something new. It’s amazing what can happen when you devote your whole self to God and the Gospel. I wish I had done it more at home! Life is so much better when you have your priorities in line. :)

Soledad, their investigator
Well, family, my time is up again. I don’t know if my letters make sense or anything. Hopefully they can help someone, but if not, the most important part is I LOVE YOU! I am sooooo happy and grateful to be a missionary! I am very needed here in Maryland and I am grateful for your support.

Have an awesome week! Keep me updated. Do some missionary work.

Stay Classy ;)  Love ya!

-Hermana Newman :)

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