This week was full of changes. My beautiful, wonderful companion, hermana, and friend Hermana Lambert flew home last Thursday to have surgery on her wrist. It was a very weird, sad moment to stand by with President Stutznegger that morning in the airport as we watched her walk away :( I learned so many things from her and am forever grateful for the time we spent together as companions. She is an incredible person and I can't thank her enough. Shout out to Hermana Lamby! Love you!
So now I am still in my same area with Hermana Martinez, who trained Hermana Erin Jones, and she is stellar. We called her the night before to tell her that she would be my companion and needed to pack everything up. She is 25 years old, has 15 months in the mission, and is from Chihuahua, Chihuahua, México. She pronounces her "ch" like "sh" so she says things like "osho" instead of "ocho" and "buenas noshes" instead of "buenas noches." It's fun :) On Friday and Saturday I had the agenda nice and full with lots of appointments and plans and what do you know, NONE of them were home. So we spent two very hot, very long days walking around contacting and trying to find other people to visit. We experienced a few miracles along the way though. One was that, after being companions for 4 hours, a man approached us in the street and asked if we were missionaries. He explained to us that he just got back from Canada a week ago (he had been living there for 10 years) and that he was receiving the lessons from a few sister missionaries up there. He also told us that he had been reading the Book of Mormon and he wants to be baptized. His name is M.A. and after meeting with him on Saturday, we put a fecha for 16 de Julio :) (set a baptism date for July 16). Also, our casa de oración will be starting in two weeks! A very special experience yesterday -- we went with the Bishop, one of his counselors, Ward Mission Leader, an Hermano from the stake, and the Elders to the home of La Familia S and talked with them about starting Church services there. They said that they had faith in the Lord and his Church leaders and humbly said yes. Afterwards, each of them received Priesthood blessings, including their 4 year old grandson who lives with them because his mom was killed when he was a baby. It was a beautiful experience and we are very excited to start our own little ramita, or Branch, up here on the hill. It will be called La Rama Tlalpizahuac (not sure if I spelled that right :). Also, on Sunday we ended up visiting a less active, part-member family because the other appointment fell through and the dad, who is not a member, wants to be baptized :) So, as it turns out, the Lord had better plans in mind for us. Totally worth tromping around in the mud and rain! We have found a few less active families this last week who have family members that need to be baptized. Another miracle -- we went with O and B’s family Friday night (a family that we are teaching) and had planned to teach about el dia de reposo -- the Sabbath Day -- but when we came in and learned that J, O's dad, was once again in the hospital, we immediately knew that we needed to change lesson plans real quick. So, we just kind of went for it and said what came to mind. At the end of the lesson, I felt prompted to promise them that if they came to Church, the Lord would bless them for their dedication and effort and that J would be able to bear the afflictions he has right now. Up to this point they had not been to Church yet. Yesterday morning we passed by for them in the combi (taxi) of one of the Church members and there they were, ready to go to church :) I was beyond excited. We will visit about a baptismal date with them again this week. One last miracle -- another appointment fell through but both Hermana Martinez and I felt impressed to visit another woman we are teaching. When we got there we found her very worried because her daughter had gone to the movies with a friend the day before and still had not come back. We were able to let her use our phone to try calling her, sang her a hymn, and offered a prayer. There wasn't much else we could really do to help her but I am grateful that we were guided to visit her. I am continually amazed by the guidance that the Lord provides in our lives if we just listen and respond.
Well, I think that is all for now. Yes Mom I am using bug spray -- it smells like bananas -- and Hermana Stutznegger will be taking us to buy dress pants (allowed by new missionary clothing guidelines to reduce risk of mosquito contact and Zika virus). I really like my apartment, especially now that we have killed all of the worms and cockroaches ;) Love you all so very much! Happy week!
Love Hermana Jones
Our last hoorah with Hermana Lambert, eating tortas de tamal, or basically a tamale sandwich, together. So delicious.
My new wonderful companion, Hermana Martinez.
This is a pic from part of my new area.
Another pic from my new area.
And another...It is not all concrete :)
I found this sweet Batman mask in a member's home. I couldn't resist :)