Wow, it has been quite the week! It might as well have been a year, I feel like that's how much my life has changed. It sounds like you had a great B-Day Dad. That's neat you went for a drive, it sounded beautiful! And snow too, wow! There's just something about being up in the quiet, still woods. There's a peace there that you can't find many other places, plus it's good to have time together! I think a drive up the mountain might be the first thing I want to do when I get home. I really appreciated your thoughts about conversion Dad. It reminded me of Elder Bednar's talk this last conference. It's so true. A testimony is a crucial step, but just isn't enough in today's world. You said something in your email I loved: "Teach and invite with the expectation that the Lord's Spirit will work together with your witnesses to move the hearts of those who are prepared to receive the good news of the gospel." As a missionary, I think it's crucial to have that expectation and faith that it can and will happen. That the Lord's Spirit will work with me to bring people to the Lord.
Guess what I found out the other day....I have now lost and kept off 23 pounds! Cool, right? It's slow, but I'm kinda ok with that because that also means it's a real change in my body. However… my new companion's eating habits are totally different that what I've been trying to have, and she's not super excited to be working out in the morning, so please say a little extra prayer for me to help me stay disciplined. I refuse to go back, but I just don't want to stay stagnant, I want it to keep coming off!
We had our ward Halloween party the other night. It was combined with the English ward. It went pretty well, and it was actually kind of cool when we went outside for the trunk or treat!! I couldn't believe it! Everyone kept saying I should've brought a jacket, but oh, the coolness just felt so good!
Another change in the mission that happened - President reorganized the zones in the mission, and we now have an all Spanish zone! I was so excited that it's finally time! It doesn't mean that all the spanish missionaries in our mission are in my zone, but a lot of them are. So I am now in the New Orleans Spanish zone, and the New Orleans English zone is separate. This means that I can become more immersed because all our texts, meetings, everything are in Spanish! I was in a Spanish district, but I now have Spanish ZL's. Anyway, it's pretty exciting. Because they opened a new area for the ZL's, there are now 14 missionaries in my ward. My ward that barely has attendance to count as a ward and not a branch. It's insane. You should see our coordination meeting, there's barely enough seats in the high council room where we meet.
I spoke in Sacrament yesterday. Yes, in Spanish! I realized that my Spanish must be improving because I couldn't have done that 12 weeks ago. :) I spoke about the love of God, and how when we understand the first and great commandment, it becomes natural to follow the 2nd commandment to love each other and have that love of God for others. Hopefully it made sense and they could understand me. :)
This week for me has been kind of a rough one. Remember how I said I had an ear infection, and I was going to get an antibiotic? Well, after talking to our missionary doctor about the degree of the symptoms I was having, Sister Wall asked me to go to the doctor. But then I was called up to Baton Rouge for transfers. I didn't realize how bad it was but when I got there Sister Wall gave me a hug, and she felt how hot my head was, especially the right ear. I actually had a fever from it. Craziness. Anyway, they sent me to a doctor and sure enough it was pretty bad, the doctor couldn't see my ear drum. They prescribed me antibiotics and ear drops, and actually gave me a shot of antibiotics and steroids and had me come back two days later. The pain was so bad that I felt like I couldn't think, it felt like I, literally, had a knife in my ear. I didn't know what to do though because with a new trainee, it's not like you can't not work! But that's what happened. President called to see what had happened and he just had me go to bed. So this week, I feel like I wasn't even a missionary, haha. Ok, I was human :) Still annoying. To make a really long story short, I've also lost hearing out of that ear too. ... Today the pain is better, and I'm hoping a few days more and my hearing will come back because it's really unnerving to be half deaf. My ear drum never did burst, so that's dandy :) ... Wednesday night my new ZL's came over and gave me a blessing. I asked them to in Spanish, and that was a really neat experience. What an amazing language. And it allowed to me really feel the Spirit. Welp, I wanted to tell you about that, but I don't seem to know how to give the short stories of stuff, so now you know all of it. I figure you'd rather know anyway.
It's just been a rough start with a new companion. And it was kind of hard to go through this week with someone I didn't know. I really really miss Hna Ward. We were only together a transfer but we were so close, and we did WORK together! With everything, it was hard to have the energy to look outside myself to serve Hna. Blauer. I found little ways, but I'm looking forward to a new and normal week where we can work together and build some unity. And it is going to take work because we are night and day different, but she's really nice and everything though. ... I just know I have a big purpose with her. The other two Spanish sisters that came out either already know spanish, or were in the advanced classes at the MTC, and they were put with trainers who are either fluent, or close. So… it's interesting how it all works. I'm still struggling quite a bit with the language, and I'm training one who needs a lot of help in the Spanish department.... I think the main reason I'm in a little funk is because we didn't teach any investigators last week. Awful. Some of the appointments we had fell through, and the others we had we had to cancel the night I was at the doctor. But Mom, we did start the Study Scriptures class Wednesday night (Hna Ward was so sad she missed it by a day!). We had one person come. I wasn't shocked, but we expect quite a few more this Wednesday!
I love you all,