My new companion's (the APs don't like us to say "trainee") haha name is HERMANA CUESTA!!!!!
She is the bomb diggity. She is my kindred spirit. She is from Virginia (right outside DC) but born in New York and her parents are from Columbia.. you know what that means.. she's basically a native! She speaks perfect spanish... yessssss.
I adore her. She has the testimony of a spiritual giant and she has already helped me become a better missionary. We have the same goals in mind I'm so pumped for this transfer! She likes to run in the morning, is super creative and hilarious!
On her first night as a missionary.. I managed to get her into 2 almost fights.. yay.. haha FAIL. She is a go with the flow kinda lady so it's all good.
We live with the Smiths! They have 2 dogs and we LOVE dogs!!!
I am on the East Side of Tracy so I kind of already know my way around. It's been so nice to focus on people in a smaller area. BAHHH i love ittttt.
Update on Adrian our Mexican gangster:
- We had dinner scheduled with the Ward Mission Leader so we asked Hno Gonzales if it would be okay if we invited Adrian.. like why not have your investigators at your dinner appointments, right?
It was great. PAINFULLY awkward.. but great. haha I don't know what it is.. I am usually the one carrying to conversation.. trying to convince everyone that missionaries are normal people too! but unluckily we were all taking bites of food at the same time.. and then chewing.. so there were like luls in the convo and I couldn't do anything and I could get off the same talk, bite, chew pattern of everyone else.. struggles...
after dinner, we were walking Adrian back to his car and he brought his Book of Mormon drawing assignment with him.. He told us he's like secretly artsy so we committed him to draw a picture of Lehi's vision in 1 Nephi 1 of the concourses of Angels.. etc. IT'S LEGIT! I almost cried. I'm sending a picture of the picture. He gave it to us!
It doesn't stop there.
He came to church again (4th time) on yesterday and he ran out of old recippts to write on so he started taking notes/questions on his HAND hahaha and he's kind of started to leave us.. like he's all "hermanas.. I got this.." AND. He volunteered to take our really old recent convert home from church (He's 80 yrs old and in a wheel chair.) WHY IS HE NOT A MEMBER YET!?
Sunday night we had another lesson with him in a member's home. Hermano y Hermana Carreno just talked his ears off about how they joined the Church and their testimonies. Adrian had a lot of really good questions and he shared that his Mom was baptized 2 weeks ago in Fresno.. WHAT!? He said he's really noticed a change in her and that he's been talking to her about what He's learning. He asked a lot of questions about how long it ususally takes before a person is baptized.. I guess it took his mom about 3 weeks but his other friend investigated the Church for 3 years. We just explained that it's personal and he needs to pray about it.
I really have come to love him. He's very humble and patient. He's attentive and has sincere desire. I asked him what he was thinking.. a lot of times the members just chat it up and he doesn't really get to say much. I tried to explain that baptism is only half of it. He will also receive the gift of the Holy Ghost to lead and guide him throughout his whole life. He said he would get back to us this next weekend. He also wants to tour the Oakland temple with his mom and the Carrenos exchanged phone numbers with him and said to call if he ever has questions. YES MEMBERS EMBRACING HIM! We have really been working hard with that.
Also while we were talking on the way to his car last night.. I apologized that we take up so much of his weekend and he said (in spanish haha)
"Hermanas.. when I'm at church, I turn off my phone.. and I don't look at the clocks.. when I'm learning from you and from the members, I don't look at the time because time doesn't matter to me when I'm learning about God."
Que? Is he real? I feel so blessed to have the privilage of teaching him..
We gave him a little notebook, a pen, and a tie for church :) he laughed and seemed to appreciate it.
This week I have really progressed personally in the Gospel. Part of that I attribute to my new companion who has rekindled my fire. I am learning more about our Savior Jesus Christ and that he wasn't just killed by evil people.. He gave his life. willingly.
I like the lyrics to an Alex Boye song that says " put your heart on the alter, trade silver for gold."
I'm trying so hard to do just that. I'm giving it all over to Him whose work this is.
Our Zone is exploding and the work is moving forward like never before.
I love this Gospel. I know it's true.
Con todo mi corazon,