Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fountainbleau Miami Week 1 (November 7, 2016)

Hola everyone!

I hope it has been another great week! My week has been great :)!

On Wednesday I said goodbye to Hermana Root, and Fort Meyers! I got to meet my new companion Hermana Whitney, and my new area of Fountainbleau South! Hermana Whitney is very sweet, she has a lot of love for the people, she is super gentle, and a great example! She's awesome! My new area is really pretty, there are tons of palm trees, and our house is right across from Florida International University. Some of the streets look like they are from another country! There is a lot of Spanish here, almost everyone speaks Spanish, you even need it to check out at the grocery store! Super cool :)! We have been on our bikes everyday, so that has been fun. It is really easy to stop and talk to people when you are biking, even if my bum is feeling a little sore!

The members from the ward have been super welcoming. There is a recent convert named Mari, she invited us over to her house for dinner on Friday, and I love her! She has a super rare disease that I can't pronounce, let alone spell, but she has a lot of pain because her muscles get really really tight? Anyways, she said that she had prayed in the morning for the strength to cook us dinner, because she hasn't been able to cook for a long time, and she really wanted to cook for us. Well, she made some delicious chicken, rice, and tostones with chocolate cake for dessert! It was really sweet of her. As soon as I walked into her house she gave me a bear hug, and her family just welcomed us right in. It was cool because at the dinner we got to teach Mari's mom, sister, and brother-in-law who aren't members. Mari was able to share a really sweet testimony with them, and even though none of them seemed very interested in learning more about the gospel, we know a seed has been planted!

Right now we are working with an investigator named Alberto. He is living with his parents, he is around 30 years old, he is separated from his wife, and because of that he can't see his son very often because he lives in Mexico with his mom. Alberto feels really lonely, and he really wants to get married. He was able to come to church on Sunday, and he really loved it! Especially the gospel principles class on eternal marriage, it was perfect! He has a baptismal date of November 19th :)! We are hoping to help him work through the Word of Wisdom, and teach him all the lessons by that point.

That's about all I have for this week. I just want to say that I know that God answers our prayers! It was pretty hard adjusting to a new area, but it is always a relief to know that I can pray whenever I need help, and that God is always there willing to help us when we need it. Espero que todos tienen una buena semana! Los quiero!
 Hermana Monson's new apartment in Fountainbleau - notice the newly required pants!  She has to wear them except to church and mission meetings.

Herman Monson's new companion - Sister Whitney - Sadie says she has a real love for the people.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Good Bye Fort Myers! (November 1, 2016)

Hola everyone!

I'm hoping you are all doing well, and that you all enjoyed Halloween :)! This week has been pretty crazy!

First of all, on Sunday the two doors on the passenger side of our car broke. They wouldn't latch closed, and so we had to tape one, and hold the other one closed as we were driving. Well, we took it into the shop on Monday, and they said it looked like someone had tried to break into our car, and that it would probably take 1-3 days to fix it. 4 days later we finally got our car back! We biked on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and part of Thursday totaling 75 miles. It was pretty exhausting, but lots of fun! We weren't able to visit very many people because it took forever to get anywhere, but we were able to talk to lots of random strangers on the streets. We were just glad that the Elders took pity on us and car-pooled so that we could drive their car to District Training on Wednesday instead of waking up early and biking for two hours to get there at 8:00 in the morning. 

Last Sunday we got a call from a woman named Carmen who told us that her sister-in-law, Elizabeth, is interested investigating the church. We went to visit Elizabeth, and she is super great! Her daughter (Vanessa) is currently living with Carmen and her husband (who is a bishop). Vanessa was baptized last weekend, and Elizabeth really felt something at the baptism. She really wants to be baptized! She can already feel the Spirit so strong that she cries during every lesson. After our first visit we committed her to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon before our next lesson. When we came back, she'd read it twice! She takes notes during our lessons, and she says the sweetest prayers. We taught her about the Word of Wisdom, and she didn't even flinch. She committed right then and there to start living it. She is hoping to be baptized on November 19th! She is so sweet, and I just love her! It is really great to be teaching someone that really wants to have the gospel in their life, and it just makes me realize how grateful I am to have it in my own life. Everyone benefits from receiving the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives, and it is great to be able to try to help people see that. 

We had a great time at the ward Halloween party on Saturday. It was really fun to hand out candy to all of the little kids, and to listen to Halloween music! Yesterday we had to come home early because of Halloween. Sister Root started packing all of her things because she already knew that she would be transferring. I had already been informed that I would be staying. Psych! We had our "transfer call" and I nearly went into shock when they told me I would be transferring to Miami! I am going to be serving in Fountain Blue Miami, and my new companion will be Sister Whitney. I will be sad to leave some of the ward members, and Elizabeth. However, I'm excited! More details to come on that next week! 

I also want to include some of her letter to Scott and I - I think it had some fun details.  I love the story with the chicken in the back of the truck, and I can't believe she has to wear pants!  It is so great to share her mission with her through emails and letters.  I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for Sadie in Miami!!

This week was honestly so crazy. We had to bike everyday, and it was fun, to some extent. We were both ready to be done by the time our car was fixed, but luckily the weather has been perfect! 

I finally had my interview with President Richardson this week on Wednesday. I love President and Sister Richardson, they are awesome! Sister Richardson is really sweet, and she is always so concerned about us. President Richardson is still somewhat intimidating, but he is amazing. He talked to me about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and how we can utilize it each and every day to become better. It was something that I needed to hear. I keep demanding perfection of myself, but then I'm overwhelmed with trying to be a perfect missionary, speaking perfect Spanish. So it was a good reminder that we are meant to make mistakes! He also told me during the interview that I would be staying in Rio Vista and taking over the area, that's why it was such a shock to me to find out that I'm transferring. I guess he changed his mind? Right after the transfer call I was feeling really nervous. I really didn't want to transfer, and I didn't want a new companion. However, the more I think about it, the more excited I get. It will be fun to get to know a bunch of new missionaries, to serve in Miami, and to have another companion. I'm still feeling pretty nervous, but we have transfer tomorrow, so hopefully I will be feeling a little calmer by the end of the week! I hear that Miami might as well be Cuba, my area is Spanish speaking and biking. Woot woot! Sister Root is going to an English area that is really close to where she served before Rio Vista, she is excited. 

I forgot to mention in my group email that we have an investigator, named Miguel, that invited us to his daughter's birthday party. He made us his "specialty tacos", and oh my goodness. They were SO GOOD! He took a soft shell tortilla, spread the best guacamole I have ever tasted on it, and wrapped that around a hard shell chicken taco. Oh me word. Also, he cooked breakfast for us when we went to see him yesterday, and he made crepes. One had cheese, bacon, eggs, and the like. So good. The other had strawberries, bananas, nutella, and sweetened condensed milk. We need to make that a thing! Nutella with sweetened condensed milk, so yummy! 

Also, funny story. On Sunday, we were supposed to have a meal appointment with a member that lives WAY out in the boonies. They called us last minute and said they wouldn't be home, but that they would leave the food outside in the back of their pick-up truck, so we could come pick it up. Sundays are always pretty busy and long, so by the time we got to their house we were both really hungry. We looked in the back of the pick-up truck, and just started laughing. This member had left us a rotisserie chicken. That's it. It was just sitting in a little plastic container, like you would buy from the store. No utensils. No napkins. No drinks. Nothing else. We didn't have anywhere else to eat it, so we sat down on this members driveway, prayed that they wouldn't be home anytime soon, and ate this rotisserie chiken like barbarians with our bare hands! All the while fending off the neighbors dog who kept trying to steal our dinner! Luckily the street in front of their house wasn't very busy or lots of people might have gotten the wrong idea about the Mormon Missionaries! It was so funny.

I will be sad to leave Elizabeth, it is really unexpected that they are having us both transfer because we finally have some investigators that are progressing, butt, we can't really do anything, so oh well. 

Also, another thing I forgot to mention in my group email. This week we found out that it is no longer a suggestion for the sisters in our mission to wear skirts. WE HAVE TO WEAR PANTS! What? It is so crazy! They said that the Church could get sued if one of us goes home, not knowing that we have zika, gets pregnant, and then has a baby with birth defects. Supposedly zika is only in your system for about 8 weeks, but they just want to play it safe. Anyways, Hermana Root and I will be spending the rest of today scouring Florida for dress pants that meet all of their requirements. You know the old lady dress pants that come just to your ankles and have a crease down the front and the sides? Yep. That is pretty much what I will be wearing from now on. Poor Sister Root, she is 6 ft. tall, not really sure how she is going to find pants that long. They still want to us wear skirts to church, and meetings, and things like that. However, we have to bring a skirt with us so that we can change because we have to wear pants at all other hours of the day! It is going to be SO HOT in the summer, but for now it will be perfect. Apparently we are the only mission in the US where the sisters wear pants, because there are a bunch of active cases of zika in Miami, which is wear I'm headed, so anyways.......They are giving us $150 to buy dress pants, so hopefully I can find a couple of pairs for that much?