September 9, 2013 – San Mateo e hija

Dear The Fam,

First things first, we had emergency cambios on Thursday. Which was really really really really sad on one hand because they told us at 10:30 in the MORNING that we had to be at the mission home that afternoon at 1:30, so I literally only had a couple hours to pack my bags and say goodbye to everyone and cry my little eyes out. So I{m not in Salcaja anymore and I{m not with Hermana Mejia anymore, which was ALSO sad because we only got to have 3 weeks together. (And Gilmar was baptized on Saturday but I couldn{t go, super tristeeeee.) So now I{m in San Mateo, in la zona La Esperanza, with Hermana Hamblin, who has only been in the mission field for 3 weeks, but she{s super great. It appears that her trainer wasn{t really training her or following the rules, so that{s why we had cambios, so now I{ll be finishing up her training. Mi segunda hija! And you know what{s REALLY crazy? Hermana Hamblin read my blog before she entered the CCM. She said she read like all my entries and saw all my photos, and she thought I would be taller. (We{re actually the same height, i.e. normal height in the states, but gigantic here.) So now I{m with a gringa, so we stick out EVEN more. But the nice part is we{ve had pancakes and french toast and all this american food, and we{ve gone running in the mornings! It{s such a different experience to have a norte compañera. Really the only hard part is that since she{s only been in the mission a short time her Spanish is still developing, so we should probably stop speaking ingl{es so much. (but her spanish is actually really really really good for being so young in the mission.) Oh, also she just turned 19 a few months ago. I{m so oooooooooold.

San Mateo is a super great area. Man I love working with the members!!! This past sunday we passed around a ¨go out with the sisters!¨ calendar in church and actually several people signed up!!! The members here are just excellent.
 
Speaking of weird occurences in the Xela mission, I met Elder Stephens a while ago. I was like ¨hey……..we have the same apellido¨ and that was about it. But he seems like a nice elder.
Man, I love how everybody tells me to stay dry. Don{t worry, I won{t. Ever.

My vote for the blog idea = nooooooo. Just emails for me, folks.

Rach, your math skills are lacking. I WISH I could be home by May 10 to help out and everything, but I{ll be coming home like the first week of September. Still don{t know what I{m going to do about that and school… eh, I{ll worry about that later (never).

Papa, I love what you said about how sometimes as member missionaries we don{t even realize that we{re actually helping with the work. Everyone I{ve found who has entered into the church and been baptized has previously had a lot of contact with different members. As missionaries we don{t just find people who have never heard of the church and teach them and they get baptized — usually people are being prepared a long time before the even meet the missionaries, by talking with members or reading book reviews or what have you.

Hombre, mama, I totally keep forgetting to tell you happy (late) birthday! Happy late birthday.ImageImage

Anything else? I think that{s about it. I love you all a huge amount. It{s weird not being in Salcaja, and I miss all of the people over there that I just fell in love with, but I{m excited to get to know everybody here. We{re going to work so hard. You know why? Because this is the Lord{s work and we{re the obreros in the viña. 

Love,

Hermana Stephens

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