I think it would be safe to say I've had the greatest, most exhausting, craziest week thus far on the mission.
For starters, last week was basically MIRACLE week. As you know, things have been a little slow lately in Richmond. But the traveling sisters came out again to go on exchanges and we just wanted to focus all our time on finding new people to teach. Sister Thaong and I prayed to see which 2 streets we should tract before we went out. We chose Campbell Street and Stewart Street. Now generally speaking, when we tract a street, we might come out with maybe 2 or 3 who say we can come back, or maybe they give us their phone number. However, something must have been in the air because EVERY SINGLE DOOR wanted to talk to us, faithless little me...I couldn't believe it. I kept saying to Sister Wolfgram, "Umm...this isn't normal, this never happens." We kept going and people kept talking to us, inviting us back to share more, setting appointments, getting contact information, etc. Anyways, at the end of the night, the 4 of us came together to share our day's experiences. Sister Wolfgram and I ended up with 6 potential investigators after just an hour and a half of tracting. MIRACLE. But that's not all... Sister Thaong and Sister Niebergall ended up with 9 potential investigators! So together we found 15 new potentials, and almost all of them were promising. The following day we found 5 more potentials, my faith was definitely strengthened.
And it didn't stop there! At church, a member introduced their friend who decided she would like to be baptized, we've never met her before. GREAT! It was just one miracle after another. And, of course, that's just when we received transfer calls and...
Yes, I've been TRANSFERRED! I was so bummed...just when the work was exploding. Saying goodbye wasn't fun AT all. However, once I got to the transfer meeting yesterday, I found out I was getting transferred to the CITY! My dream area! I'm opening a new area in the city, right in the heart of downtown, maybe 10 minutes from the Opera House. I'm also training a brand new missionary, I pick her up tomorrow. It will be an exciting new challenge. It is COMPLETELY different than my last two areas. People are everywhere. Our apartment is in this massive building up a few stories. Right across the street is Hyde Park which would be comparable to Central Park in New York City, only smaller. Next week we are gonna take a jog the the Opera House to watch the sun rise...it's almost too good to be true! Our "chapel" is on the third floor of the building just right around the block. And we have a teaching center on the second floor, I've been told we spend most of our time there, teaching lesson after lesson. It's the highest baptizing area in the mission. We also teach an English class twice a week and apparently a lot turn up for that and many baptisms come from it.
Right now I'm just soaking it all in, there's so much to take on. It's a YSA ward, all 14 of us "city missionaries" cover the ward. There are activities almost every night and investigators are always there. It is very, very multi-cultural. I think in one day I met a Korean, Indonesian, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Thai....it's insane. I'll finally be able to use my Chinese! Also, we are in a 4 sister apartment, the only one in the mission. Sister Stevens and I are both training new sisters. Sister Stevens was in the MTC with me and we always knew we'd serve together. We're not exactly companions but we'll be living together and training together. It counts. We hope we are training Chinese speaking sisters so we can just FLOURISH in the language. But it really doesn't matter, I'm just so happy and excited.....and overwhelmed. What an adventure this is going to be.
I feel so blessed to be serving here right now, there's nowhere else I'd rather be. Just last night I walked up to a man sitting on a bench in the park and he was having a smoke and looked like he wanted to hurt me. But, I felt like I should talk to him so I introduced myself and I asked him what he was doing here (because he was from another area). He said he just came here to think....he's been going through a really hard time. I don't believe it was by chance that I felt I should go through the park and talk to him; he agreed. We had a good discussion, he said I gave him some things to think about. You never know, he might show up to church next week.
Well, things will probably be pretty hectic for the next few weeks or so, getting my new companion all settled in and learning how to be a missionary, and I'll have a lot of adjusting to do living in the city now. I couldn't even tell you which way is North or South, the whole train system is beyond me...we'll just stick to walking for now.
I love and miss you all lots! I hope you have a wonderful week, to all the mothers reading this, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!
Keep the faith, stay strong. The Lord knows you and loves you.
Our district hard at work
Elder Te Puke, he completes his mission on May 7th!
Sister Leelo, love her!
Sister Krix, she left for the Philippines on Monday