Yep, so this week has been a week of changes, that's for sure. It seems like forever since I last wrote you guys. Well let's see. Monday morning I spent a good chunk of the time packing. Monday evening as well. Tuesday bright and early we went to Tuman to drop off my suitcases, and then it was off to Piura! I got to sit with Hna Lopez, and we spent 3 hours talking about our lives in this past cambio, and how much I was going to miss her. She said she was so proud of me-her "daughter." It was so good to just have that time to talk to her. I needed it, before saying goodbye to her...for...I don't know when I'm gonna go to Guatemala to see her, or when she's gonna come to the states. It'll happen sometime in our lives. I'm just not sure when. Anywho, Tuesday afternoon we went to a training for trainers. And then Wednesday morning we got our companions! My companion is Hna Machuca. She's from Paraguay, and she's great! She got to meet Hna Lopez too, which made me happy. Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Hna Lopez's companion, because she's another North American who is playing the same game that I did (arrive in your mission alone, and meet Pres Chipman, Hna Chipman, and Hna Lopez at the airport). I guess she did such a great job training North Americans that Pres decided to have her do it one last time. Shortly after we got our companions, I said goodbye to her. And I cried. But I know I'll see her again. Sometime. For now, I'll just keep writing to her and praying for her :)
Hna Machuca is really good too. I'm really blessed to have her as my companion. She really motivates me to give my best of myself (not that I wasn't before, but I think I'm pushing myself to be better now). We're not supposed to call our companions our "hijitas" (little daughters), but I really do feel a great love for her, like she is my daughter. I want for nothing more than for her to succeed as a missionary, and I can only imagine that this is somewhat similar to the love the parents feel for their children. They want them to be better than they were, which is exactly what I want for her.
Our area, Tuman, is more like Monsefu than La Cria. But it's got it's own quirks too. We live above our pension which is also a bakery. The first night, I woke up at 4 in the morning to the smell of bread. Well, I've definitely woken up to much worse :) Our room is small, but it's my room, which means I automatically love it. The ward here is really supportive. So far we haven't had to knock many doors-all of our investigators at this point are references. It's great! I have a feeling that I am really going to like working in this ward. We have several investigators that the elders left us-one named Mariela. We went to visit her this week. She's had a kind of rough life, and she really is looking for the truth. The elders have invited her to be baptized, but she wanted to think more about it. In our lesson with her, we talked about the importance of the Holy Ghost in our lives, and how we can have the gift of the Holy Ghost after baptism. I could feel the Spirit really strongly-it was amazing. She said she was going to pray to see if this baptism is what she needed. She came to church yesterday too, and we have an FHE in her house tonight. It'll be so good! We have other investigators too that the elders left us. ALmost of of them need some help-have challenges or whatnot. But I know with help, and if we work hard with them, they too will come to recognize the blessings of membership in the Gospel.
Today we also said goodbye to Pres and Hna Chipman. Hna Chipman told me how grateful she was that I was here, on a mission, and that I was a kindred spirit :) Anne of Green Gables? She told me that she would never forget playing with me, and the miracle that I made in the lives of 2 other hermanas (my companions-Hna Cruz and Hna Chamorro). I told her that I just loved them. Nothing else. And she told me that because of that, I was going to have a great life. That I was going to have an exceptionally happy family. Yeah, we'll have our struggles, but I'll just "love them out of it" in her words :) She told me she had no doubt that was true. I trust her :) She really is amazing. Her and Pres Chipman are just wonderful. I'm so glad that I'll be able to have contact with them when I get back-I think they'll get back just a few months after me. I'm so grateful to have been able to have had this time with them. And I know our new president will be just as good too. His name is Pres Risso (I think that's how it's spelled). He's from Uruguay. We'll get to meet him on Saturday. I'll let you know how that goes. :)
Hm...I'm still not sure of the other address yet. I imagine I'll probably have an address ready for you next week. Are you still gonna send contact solution? Because that's what I want...among other things. It sounds like you guys had a fun week! I forget sometimes that you guys are in summer (it still feels like summer here-I don't think it's going to get cold). Yeah, when is the cabin again? I want to know too. Sometime in July. I can't believe that Emily is going to girls camp! I remember my first year at girls camp-Emily couldn't even say my name then! I was still "baga." (Where did she get that? I don't know...) And good luck Laura with your senior pics-I wish I could be there to help you, but know that you are absolutely beautiful, just the way you are!
Well, my family, I'll keep working hard, and you guys keep working hard. Okay? Okay. Know that I love you so so so much, and that I'm thinking of you. I know that this Gospel is true, and that it changes the lives of people. Isn't it amazing?!
I love you!