What a week we have had! Marilena resurfaced which was so exciting!! We had tried calling her a lot last Monday and Tuesday and finally on Tuesday night she picked up her phone. I was so shocked, I didn’t even know what to say! She had been out in the countryside with her family unexpectedly and cell phone service is a little shady out there. She was so sorry that she wasn’t able to come to church and we picked right up again with lessons, meeting with her almost every day. We are preparing her to be baptized on April 12 now and we are so excited for it!
We also had a really cool experience this week with one of our potentials, Manda. We were going through, calling all the people we had contacted and Manda finally answered the phone (she never had before any other time we called). She told us that she didn’t want our book anymore, she is Orthodox and plans on staying that way, and she wanted to give us back the Book of Mormon. We set up to come by later in the afternoon to pick it up. When we got to her apartment, she opened the door and asked us if she could actually keep the book! She hadn’t read it until after getting off the phone with us and then liked it so much that she wanted to keep it! She kept mentioning how it was SO interesting and set up to meet with us this upcoming week. It was a real testimony-builder to me of the power of the Book of Mormon. It can soften a no into a yes like nothing else can!
Last P-Day, we celebrated Ginas birthday! Her birthday was Tuesday but she came over to the church on Monday and we just hung out for a couple hours. Sora Ruiz and I made cornbread (life is hard when you don’t have too many ingredients at your immediate disposal) and the elders made a chocolate frosting. Turns out cornbread and chocolate really isnt too bad! In Mexico, its a tradition to push the birthday persons face in the cake while chanting ”MORDIDA!!! MORDIDA!!!” so obviously we did that with Gina. And of course after that, Gina gave me a big kiss on the cheek so I got chocolate all over my face as well. After that, we went all together to the house of a man that the elders had contacted to sing to his wife who is very ill. It was such a spiritual experience, all 5 of us gathered together with this woman who is hurting so much — we shared a scripture from Alma about the Atonement and how Christ knows all of our pains and weaknesses and that through Him we can be comforted. We left her with a prayer and we hope that we were able to brighten her day and lift her spirits at least a little bit.
Me and Gina!
We had the weirdest day contacting one day where we somehow managed to meet every old man in Alexandria — including a 91-year-old man who insisted on picking us flowers from his garden, even though I am positive that we were much more able-bodied to do that. But we thanked him profusely for his kindness and have kept the flowers in our kitchen ever since. All of Alexandria is blooming now — all the trees have blossomed and remind me of the purple tree we used to have in our front yard; all the flowers are coming out, including a MILLION daffodils, my favorite! It has been so fun to see the transformation take place and now with daylight savings time, we are able to stay out later as well!
Spring has sprung!
We are making plans to be moving apartments coming up soon — into a building with lights, locks, and nice tenents — and will probably be signing on the apartment this afternoon after we see it one last time. It is much bigger, much safer, and closer to the Centru area of town which is a better location in general. When we move, the elders will move into the apartment where we currently are, and hopefully all of our apartment woes will be over!
This past Saturday was our last English class and TRANSFER BOARDS! We found out that Sora Ruiz and I are staying together and Elder Duker will be leaving us for Constanța, right on the Black Sea. In his place, Elder Pischke will be working with Elder Heyrend who is going into his last transfer on the mission. I have only met Elder Heyrend maybe once or twice before at transfers, but he seems like a great kid and we are so excited to work with him! It will be an interesting mix — Elder Heyrend will be in his last transfer, Elder Pischke will be in his penultimate transfer (Ive always wanted to use that word in conversation!), and then Sora Ruiz and I are so much younger in the mission comparatively (me going into my fifth transfer and Sora Ruiz in her second). But it will be great and we are so excited! Also, this means that Sora and I will get to travel together to Budapest this transfer at some point to finally get all of her visa things settled! BUDAPEST OR BUST!
I love and miss you all so much. I think about you daily and hope that things are going well! I love hearing the updates about everything that is going on — even though many times I feel like I’m in Narnia and life stops in the outside world when I’m here in the wardrobe. Know that I love you and think of you often and tell everyone about how great you all are!
Love you always,