How are you? Wow, can you believe that tomorrow is my half way mark? Me either. I am not very excited about it, to be honest. I've been feeling a little down, because 1) I don't want to be on the downward slope, and 2) I feel like I should be a better missionary than I am, being half way out. But alas, the Lord knows my weaknesses and He still loves me. Thankfully I still have 9 more months to become the missionary the Lord wants me to be!
Thanks for the article on Peru! That is so awesome! Speaking of Peru, could you do me a favor and sign into my regular email to find me some email addresses (since we are now allowed to email anyone)? First would be Bertha's email, or course, and then if you could find Chen Chen (Sara) and Adu (Michael), that would be great! I won’t be writing them for a while, but I just figured I'd ask now so I'd have them for later. That would be super! Thank you mama!
And thank you for the pictures! Goodness, my Nieces and Nephews are so darn cute! I'm glad to hear that Grandma's party went well. I do love getting her letters every week. That is so fun that Chris sang! I hope you recorded it :) How is he doing? He seldom writes, so maybe you can update me, but maybe I should just email him. That's so fun that so much of the family has been in town and you've been able to spend a lot of time together. And that's so good that you are sharing your wonderful talent of story telling!
Anyway, I'm sure you want to hear about my week by now :) It has been pretty good! My new companion is.....(drum roll).....HERMANA BENNETT!! I wish I could send you a picture of her, because she is just darling, but alas, neither of us have our camera connector things today. She reminds me Josie a little bit though. Hermana Bennett is 19 and from Canada. She just finished her first year at BYU-Hawaii and loves to travel and explore. She is very sweet and a very good missionary, though we are still working on her Spanish (of course - seeing as she just got here). I do wish I were more disciplined at speaking Spanish though so I could help her out more. I realize that I would be much better at Spanish than I am if I were more disciplined at speaking it all the time. It's so easy getting away with speaking English though, since we are in the States and we live with the English sisters. She's helping me though, and although she doesn't speak a lot of Spanish, she does want to speak it. We are just thrilled to be together. When the new missionaries walked in at conference, I picked her out as the one I wanted, and what do you know! We were put together, ha-ha it's just dandy.
The new President (President Kendrick) is pretty great. He is leaving things mostly how President Cook had them, and just changing things here and there, but they are good changes that will be good for the mission. He has a great Texan accent, and really doesn't speak much Spanish at all (even though this is technically a Spanish-speaking Mission President Assignment and he served in Argentina) – ha-ha but that's ok, he's still great. The meeting with him was brief. We just met with him as trainers, then he met with the new missionaries, and then he put us in our assignments, and then we were off! He came to our District Meeting the next day actually and met with us individually, but nothing too exciting, just a get to know you mostly.
Hermana Bennett and I have been able to set two baptismal dates together already! But one of them has already fallen through, as he was a teenager and his mother does not approve. Oh well, he has a Libro de Mormon, and maybe he'll have a chance in the future. We will hopefully be setting one with Luis tomorrow as well, as he is as stoked about the Book of Mormon and church as you can get. We just have to talk with his girlfriend/mother of his children and get them hitched or something. It will all work out though J The Gonzalez family came to church this week, which was a miracle! Miracles always happen on Fast Sunday. It's so great. They left early, but that's ok. They came! That's the first step. Luis came and decided to stay for all 3 hours and made some new friends! Things are going well, even though it is still hard. I definitely feel a lot of pressure, being a trainer, and also trying to keep up the work in our area, as well as trying to help build up and organize and support this messy ward (that has been a huge focus lately).
Oh yes! Before I forget! Pres. and Sister Cook will be speaking in their ward this Sunday. Don't feel obligated to go, but you had asked about it so I thought I'd let you know. It is at 1pm and at the Lundstrom Park 2nd Ward, 1260 No. 1600 E. Logan, UT. Also, you can add "Carlsbad California Mission - President Cook" on Facebook if you'd like to see more pictures of the mission.
Hermana Bennett told me about this cool map where it follows the history of the Book of Mormon and shows where exactly it happened and stuff. If you see one of those at Deseret Book of something, want to send it to me? She said she saw it in the MTC Bookstore. Sounds pretty cool though!
Well mama, I am out of time! I love you lots! I know the power of the Atonement is real and if we just do our best and rely on the Lord, He will justify us.
Con muchisimo amor y cariño,