|Sisters Houghton, LeBaron, ?, & Smaellie|
Hello dear world!
Sorry to have confused some of you last week - I found out I was leaving West Palm on Monday night, but I didn't find out where I was going until Wednesday morning during transfers. Are you ready to know where I am right now?? Drumroll... Hialeah East! aka Cuba lite.
My lovely new companion is Sister LeBaron, who has been out for two transfers. She is from Roosevelt UT and is great. I have already learned so much from her. She is a very positive and grateful person, and has a laugh that makes people feel like what they just said was hilarious. We get along very well and really mesh. We are united and we are going to do a lot this transfer! We live with two other sisters who work in the area next to ours, also Spanish. Their names are Sister Fletcher and Sister Hansen, they've both been out three transfers, and they are wonderful. They're shorter than I am, but both of them have size 10 feet - and Sister Hansen has my crocs in black :)
Hialeah is awesome. It is basically all Spanish - most of the kids here speak English, but everyone speaks Spanish, so it's a safe bet to just start any conversation in Spanish. The majority of the people here are Cubans, but there are also Hondurans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans, etc. I've said this before, but I really love Cubans. They are great! In general they are very hard-working and kind. Unfortunately this means that many of our investigators are working 24/7, but they are worth any hardship in getting ahold of them.
There are more Spanish signs and stores here than in West Palm, and my favorite store is the Dollar Star. It is ghetto and I love it. We get cereal and granola bars and random other things for ridiculously low prices. I got a family-sized box of Honey Bunches of Oats for $1.59. Yes it expired in March but hey...
Okay, so on to the missionary side of things (aka the BEST side of things!) Work here is super fast-paced. We have a large teaching pool and are doing our best to keep it that way.
We have an investigator named R who is a truth-seeker. So he's been looking into different churches, and has many many questions. We've had a couple of cool experiences with him. He had a bunch of Jehovah's Witness pamphlets in his BoM and I just said: "Can I take those?" Then held them up and said, "These will not bring you salvation. You don't need them. They are wrong." And stashed them in my bag. He was dumbfounded for a minute but then accepted it :) Then at another lesson he told us who he thought God was to us - a universal, uncaring kind of being who had all power. We told him that God is our Father and loves us, and then got into another part of the lesson. At the end of the lesson he was talking about his ideas and told us about how God was our Father and that was why this and this made sense. It was so cool! I've seen that happen before too, where they just seem to integrate that eternal truth as soon as you tell it to them. When we teach true fundamental doctrine we're not really giving them anything new - we're uncovering what they already knew inside. And the fact that God is our father and loves us is as fundamental as it gets.
|The ward building in Hialeah|
We had a great experience our first day together, on Wednesday. We were coming back to the car from an appointment and both felt that we needed to knock on a door. Nobody answered the first or second knock, but we tried one more time. A woman came to the door, having just woken up. We left a powerful spiritual blessing with her. And then she asked us how we knew to come to her house. We were able to tell her that God sent us directly to her door. Then we weren't able to get in contact with her for three days (she's a real estate agent and has an irregular schedule), and weren't expecting to see her again. We called her 20 minutes before church on Sunday on a whim and woke her up. Then she walked into Sacrament meeting. We still haven't taught her a lesson, but this whole experience has really built my testimony that God has prepared people, and that even when we might give up hope in somebody, He never forgets them, and will make sure that the people He wants baptized will get there.
I am so grateful to be serving a mission right now. I love you all a lot!!