Wednesday, June 19, 2013

June 19, 2013 - May Valley Transfer

Hola Todos!!
How is everyone doing? Thank you all so much for the birthday packages and love. I FINALLY got them this week with transfers. So now we'll get to celebrate 2 weeks later!
This past week was crazy. Everyone was a little bit antsy about transfers, and people going home, the mission splitting (did I tell you that they're splitting the Seattle mission and creating the Federal Way mission starting July 1? well, that's happening.), our mission President is going home the end of this month, we're still anxiously awaiting visas, as you can see, a lot is going on. But, the work continues, and we're all still working hard.
This past week I had some of the most amazing experiences.
So back in my first letter, I think I talked about Bartolome. We met him my second day tracting, he was my first on-date, and the first Libro de Mormon that I ever handed out. We've been working with him constantly for the past 6 weeks, and I LOVE him so much! Since day one I've just been able to connect with him. But he's been really stubborn about the whole baptism thing. He knows the doctrine, he's had all the lessons, and he says he knows it's true and that he needs to be baptized. 3 weeks ago as I was studying about what to teach him, since he knows all of the "basics" I just kept getting this feeling that I can't leave Kent (or get my visa) until Bartolome promises to be baptized. President Larkin challenged us 2 weeks ago to find a stone and write the name of the person who was our "Ebenezer" or our miracle baptism.
 This past week we've been taking him Pero, to help finish off his last few cups of coffee (We've just been prepping him for baptism even though he said he wasn't sure). On Saturday we had a lesson, and I just told him again that he is SO ready to be baptized, and asked him to pray about June 22. He said Yes! Finally. Then out of no where he asked "So how long are you going to be able to teach me?" We looked at each other, knowing transfers were this week. We explained the situation, and he was so sad! But he promised he would pray.
Monday all of our lessons fell through, and I really felt like I wanted to go check in and see Bartolome. So we went, and he was sitting outside. Before we really said anything, he said "I've been thinking. And I know that I need to be baptized." I nodded, and then he said, with tears "Can you give me a picture of you so that when I go back to my country I can show them MY hermanitas? My angelitas that brought me back to God?" We told him that we would. Then he asked us if we knew if we were leaving. We told him we didn't know yet. He grabbed both of our hands and said with tears "I know that sometimes you have to leave, and it will be so hard for me to open up to new missionaries. They won't be MINE, you two have brought me this message in such a loving way. When you first came, you couldn't speak Spanish, and I still can't speak English, but here we are, and I've understood. I'll pray that he'll let you stay just a little bit longer." The minute he said that, I could just feel that I was probably getting transferred. But we just told him that yeah, missionaries might change, but that doesn't change that it's all true. So I told him "You have to promise me that even if we do get transferred, you will still continue en la camina ("the way" is what he always calls it)" "I promise!"
 We sang "Para Siempre Dios Este Con Vos" (God be with you till we meet again), and said See you later. It was hard, knowing that I probably wouldn't get to see his baptism, but I was grateful that I was able to work with him these last 6 weeks and see his change from this pretty prideful, a little bit hesitant man, to someone who knows and understands God's will for him, and had come to love these two young, "not-very-knowledgeable" young girls who don't know Spanish. 
So, you're probably all awaiting to hear the news about transfers.
I showed up to the stake center on Tuesday, and got my little white envelope with my new assignment. I'm serving in an area called May Valley, it's in South Bellevue. It's SO different than Kent. It's gorgeous and rain forest-y here. May Valley is a "whitewash" area, meaning there weren't missionaries here before. They handed me a completely blank area book, a box of copies of El Libro de Mormon, and gave me keys to a car (that technically my little visa-waiter self is not allowed to drive. eek) Then they said, okay, go pray, and get to work! And guess who my new companion is? Hermana COOLEY!! My companion from the MTC! We are two little greenies, 6 weeks old, training each other, and going to open a new area in this beautiful countryside! It's going to be an adventure! But I am so excited to be back with her, and even more excited to write our own story out here! We're living with a member family who got a phone call the Monday night at 10:30 to let them know we were coming. They're awesome though, and the house is cute. More news to come! The Lord knows what he's doing, and I believe in MIRACLES!
I love you all so much, I hope that this week was great! I pray for you always, thank you for the continuous outpouring of birthday love (I'll just drag it out for as long as possible, eh?).
Les Quiero, Muchisimo!
xoxoxoxo Your Hermana C

 The skies here are like a painting!!!

My new living space!

living space part two. 
Surprise! My new companion-Hermana Cooley from the MTC!

                                                               So happy to be back together again!!!!!!!!!
My hair is totally turning RED, you can't really tell in these, but it's the weirdest color!

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