Tuesday, December 3, 2013

El Paso Texas!!!

We have officially heard from Hermana Hendricks! She is safe and happy (and we are much happier now that we know where she is and that shes safe and fed! :)) Here is her much awaited letter (Its a little long cause its been over a week!):

"Hey family!  Life is great right now.  I'm really enjoying life down south in Texas.
My current address is
(Email Kristin Fletcher-Hendricks at kfletch62@comcast.net to get Em's address :))
This address is good until Dec 31, and then mail should be sent to the mission home because transfers are the following week.  SO since this week has been so crazy, I don't really quite know where to start, and I'm going to try and tell you everything....
Monday
We left the MTC at 3.  So way too early in the morning.  The airport wasn't really a problem, except the card machines weren't working and we had to pay for luggage in cash... which I was lacking.  So one of the elders covered me (and I paid him back later).  My flight was good too.  On the way from Mexico I sat next to a lady who works for the church in the genealogy department.  It was really cool because she is like the head person and was down in south America and mexico checking out the genealogy centers.  We talked the whole ride about the different programs in the church and how things work in the more impoverished countries (like in south America and Africa) and it was super neat.  
We had a 3 hour layover in Dallas and luckily our flight wasn't cancelled.  We were checking (in between flights) and one of the airport attendants asked us if our flight had been cancelled.  When we said no, he said that God must be on our side.  We (5 missionaries from Mexico) just smiled and agreed. 
We get into Albuquerque and President and Sister Miller met us at the airport.  We gathered everything we needed into a separate bag and then I drove with them to the Mission home.  There we had a late lunch, started training, had interviews and then had dinner.  I had the opportunity to go out contacting with some local sister missionaries and we shared information about an upcoming Christmas program (it sounded similar to our Nativities).  Then after dinner we had the chance to learn more about President and his wife, and we had a testimony meeting with all the new incoming missionaries (6 from Mexico, 4 other sisters and then a bunch of elders).  All the sister missionaries spent the night at the mission home.
Tuesday:
We woke up and went to the first transfer meeting.  Everyone there knew my trainer because I was the only Hermana to come in to the mission and so everyone was telling me how great a trainer I would have and how much I would love her.  And then one of the sisters let it slip that I was headed south... so I sat through the first transfer meeting knowing that I would be getting in a car and headed south.
And that's what happened.  The next transfer meeting was in Las Cruces or 3 hours south of Albuquerque so we drove there.  And there I heard again how amazing my trainer was, and that's when an Hermana slipped and told me her name....
And then after Las Cruces we got in the car again and drove to El Paso, for the last transfer meeting.  And finally I met my trainer, Hermana Callaway.  She's from Las Vegas and she's been in the same ward/area since she came out so about 4 months.  AND we just so happened to meet over facebook before she came out on her mission.  So such a small world :) After the transfer meeting we went back to the apartment, and started training.  And then at 6 we went out and started teaching. 
A little about my area:
Our Spanish barrio (ward) covers a huge area.  There are 7 missionaries in the ward.  Us two, a companionship of elders and then another trio of elders.  The ward is divided into 3 areas, so we're not tracting into the same people, though in our area we do share it with 2 sets of missionaries from English wards (2 to be exact).
We teach in English, Spanish and Spanglish.  Basically the rule of thumb is that if they would be comfortable attending  church in Spanish, we teach them.  And then we teach them in whatever language they prefer.  But the Spanglish is amazing.  Languages change mid sentence, like this example. "Here give the baby the blanket because hace frio."  Yeah, it's normal.  :) 
We have amazing members here.  They are so willing to feed us, drive us and and go out with us.  We are fed every night by members and practically every lesson we have members with us.  It truly is a great blessing.  And depending on what language the member speaks, that can affect the language of the lesson too. 
Wednesday:
We spent a lot of the day inside because it was weekly planning (normally on Mondays).  So we planned for the next 10 days and then we taught lessons.  The lessons we taught were mostly on gratitude because of Thanksgiving the next day. 
Thanksgiving:
We ate with a family in the ward.  In fact, all 7 of us missionaries ate there, so we were well taken care of.  Afterwards we tried to visit some people but the lessons fell through so we went back to the apartment, I unpacked and then we went and visited and new member family, who fed us again.  So don't worry about me not getting fed.  I don't think I'll ever run into that problem in this ward.
Friday:
District meetings in the morning.  Lessons in the after noon.
Saturday:
Lessons in the afternoon.  Because I'm brand new in the mission, we're on training schedule so that means we spend an extra hour in the morning going over stuff so we really don't leave our apartment until 1.  But even with heading out late, we're still getting a lot done.
Sunday:
Church in Spanish!  It was great.  And then afterwards we taught more lessons and talked to more people.
Monday (12/2/13):
Weekly planning again.  So we didn't get out of the apartment until 4.  And then for an hour, since our lesson cancelled, we drove around with the member helping us trying to contact former investigadores.  Dinner was good (the family fed all 7 of us, through we're not always together for meals) and then we went out with a young single adult member in the ward.  We visited a recent member family and taught them about family night and how to have one.  And then we went to visit a new investigador that we met last week.  Most of the lesson was answering her questions about missions and missionaries, but then we started to teach her about the Book of Mormon and the church.  Throughout the lesson she seemed really distant and closed, but when our member bore her testimony about everything that was being said, our investigador felt the Spirit and began to cry.  It was a very spiritually power experience.  There is really no way to describe it expect that when you see an investigador feel the spirit, there is nothing you want more for them than to continue feeling it.  And the love you have for them just explodes!  SO that was last night and it was crazy wonderful.
Our area, and the area south of ours are in a car-share, so every other week we have the car, and the other week the bikes.  Well, my companion doesn't drive (she doesn't have a license) and since I'm new I didn't have permission to drive.  But Friday I was given permission to drive and much to the disappointment of the elders, they have to give us back the car today."



As you can see, Emily is learning lots and becoming a great missionary :) She loves it!


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