Hola mi Querida Familia!
I'm here, I'm Safe and I LOVE it! :) First off, let me apologize, my english is getting sloppy! I'm in that wierd transition where I can't quite speak spanish but I can't speak enligh anymore, jaja.
We flew in and spent a night at the mission home in Albuquerque and got to see the temple. I love President and Sister Miller! They are great people!!! :) Then Tuesday morning was transfers!! I met my trainer, Sister Good from Idaho Falls. She lives up to her name! :) I love her so much. I'm her first non-native spanish companion and she is a pro! :) She's hilarious and we love laughing and having adventures but know how to work. I love her. :) We were assigned to 'Pinkwash' (Which means they are sending sisters into a former 'Elder' area. And we are both being transferred to a new area together. Sister Good came from Colorado and Santa Fe.) in Socorro Texas and loaded up our gear to head south, about 5 hours south of Albuquerque, just south of El Paso, Texas.
Lets just say pinkwashing was fun. :) I have NEVER been more grossed out by an apartment. Imagine the worse and you have it. :) But we've loved the adventure. Piles of dirty dishes, laundry and mystery items. Tarantulas, cochroaches and frogs, all dead AND alive. Mold.... you name it. :) Ha. It's been fun turning it around! :)
We live in a little city called Horizon City and we LOVE IT! :) Wow it is another world down here! We are DEFINATELY the minority. EVERYONE speaks spanish. The other day when we were in walmart I counted ONE caucasion other than us and it was packed! It's helped with spanish so much! We think, eat and breathe spanish! The street signs, billboards and EVERYTHING are in spanish. I'll attatch some pictures. I feel like I'm back in Guatemala. I love it! :)
We are literally minutes away from the border. I see the city lights of Juarez, Mexico out my bedroom window every night. One day we got lost and almost ended up in Mexico jaja. :)
We cover an English branch, the "Socorro" branch (which is mostly a hispanic bilingual group) and a Spanish ward, the "Mission Trail Ward". I love the wards already! Everyone is so close and kind.
When we got here, our area book was empty, and similar to our apartment. We had piles of referrals given by the church untouched from previous missionaries, investigators lost, and converts that have gone inactive.
We started organizing and working with the Bishops in our wards to turn things around. Our first goal was to get to know ward members and strengthen the unity. And to bring back those who have gone inactive. I have never seen so many miracles work so quickly. We spent all last week visiting families and contacting referrals. This sunday, almost all of our inactive friends came to church. And we love and know our wards already. And they have given us so many referrals! There is too much work and not enough time in the day!!! I love it! How incredible! I'm so excited and honored to be part of this work. I'll tell you a quick story.
The other day we contacted the the Mora family and were trying to get them to come to church. They were amazing people and such a strength to us! Immediately after we said the closing prayer, Sister Mora gave us the name of her neighbor to contact. With no more information than she used to be friendly and isn't anymore, that she's probably going through a hard time.
We went to her trailer immediately after and were amazed at what we found. Belen German was a former strong member. But she's been gone so long she wasn't even on any records we have. Her daughter Brenda split up with her husband in California and came to live with her mom bringing her two little boys. At first they seemed busy, but we showed them genuine love and concern and I'm amazed at how things changed. They were tired, stressed, and told us more of the problems in their lives, including other children gone astray, issues in Juarez (SCARY city). You could feel their hearts aching. The spirit was so strong as we testified of the gospel. I was as bold as I have ever been and wanted with every bit of my heart to help them. I helped calm the three year old and talked with him about the gospel and the atmosphere changed. They want to do and be better. They just stressed. I know with every inch of my soul that the gospel can change us from the inside out. It can help us with every problem we face!!! I am amazed at how it changed them in one night. I invited them to come to church. And they commited, and in turn invited US over for dinner. I have never felt the spirit so strong, nor fallen in love with people instantly, in a little third world trailer on the border of Mexico.
I love this work. With all my heart I know this is where Heavenly Father wants me to be. I will work hard and give it my whole heart.
I am excited to see the progress we can make.
I love you all so much and you are in my prayers every night.
Please be strong, thank you for your letters. Nothing means more to me than that.