How has everyone been? I hope that you are all doing well and are over being sick. So for transfers...I am staying in El Paso and I am staying with Hermana Cruz! So we are happy. From what I hear we are one of the few companionships staying together. There are big changes happening all over the mission. For one they are creating two new zones this transfer! It's in preparation for all of the new missionaries that will be coming in these next few months. We are supposed to go from about 160 to over 230 missionaries in our mission in these next months! So it's a very exciting time to be a missionary.
So the hike last Monday was a lot of fun. It took us about an hour and half to hike up to the mammoth. It really does look like a mammoth! I am going to try and send a picture so you can see. Most of the Elders in our Zone went, so we had a decent sized group. The views were really pretty as we were hiking. We hiked along this trail that follows the ridge of the mountain and so we had a great view of El Paso and the desert. We all made it to the top and then some Elders had to hurry back down so they could make it on time to their dinner appointment. Hermana Cruz and I didn't have a dinner appointment, so we had enough time to get back to our apartment and get ready for the evening.
The next day we had exchanges! I went up and spent 24 hours with Hermana Allen in Las Cruzes. The very first thing we tried to do was track down a former investigator. We ended up parking the car and walking around some dirt roads (this town Vado is small enough that it doesn't have a map). We couldn't find the house, so we got back in the car and were trying to find a place to turn around when we accidentally stumbled upon the road we were looking for. The people weren't there, but now Hermana Allen and her companion know where they live and can try another day. Then went to visit a less active family. At this point we probably could have used a truck because it was all dirt roads and there were some pretty nice sized "little car eating" potholes. There were even some dogs just running around the streets and Hermana Allen said sometimes it almost feels as if we were in Mexico. It was very different from my area. We did find the family and we had a short lesson. What was funny is that Hermana Bills (Hermana Allen's companion) and I apparently look a lot a like, so people in both our areas didn't even realize we were different for the first 5 minutes or so of our lessons. It was funny to see their expressions when they realized that I wasn't Hermana Bills or I am sure it was the same for my investigators down here when they realized Sister Bills wasn't me! The best part about exchanges is getting to see how another missionary does things. We all use Preach my Gospel and our purpose is the same, but we also all have our own styles of teaching as well. So all in all exchanges were very productive and I learned a lot.
So update on the food. I never realized that I would really like chili. Now a meal doesn't seem complete unless we have a nice burn to go with it. The one food that I did not expect to eat, but do is hotdogs. I have lived in America most of my life, but until this week I have never before eaten a chili dog with mustard. I feel like I have now completed some sort of American tradition. Actually I had two chili dogs! I probably would have been good with one chili dog, but we hardly ever make our own plates. We also eat a lot of cake. I had tres leches this week and it was yummy, but the Elders once again tried to convince me that the three milks were cat, dog and and turtle. Locos!
We are teaching lots of lessons during the week. We found 3 new investigators this week. We actually found them accidentally because we had a referral from a ward member that a friend lived in this apartment complex. When we tried to find the friend she didn't live there and this family didn't know her, but they did invite us to come back. We did and we taught about Joseph Smith and the restoration. They said that they felt very peaceful when we taught about the first vision. We have another lesson with them this week, so we will see what will happen there. The investigator that I talked to when Hermana Cruz was getting ready to back up is doing well. This week we had a lesson fall through, so we decided to try and visit her. We knocked on the door and no one answered so we started to walk away. Just as we rounded the corner the door opened but we couldn't get back in time, so we ended up knocking again. She let us inside and we had another powerful lesson with her. One thing she did say during the lesson was that right before we came she had been praying to God that she could feel peace. She then said that she feels peace every time we come to her house and teach her. She is really interested in the Book of Mormon and that it is another testament of Jesus Christ. She has a lot of questions and I know that the Book of Mormon has the answers to so many of these questions. What a blessing it is to have another record of the teachings of Jesus Christ that can help us understand clearer the teachings of the Bible.
We also attended a baptism this week. This little boy is 8 years old, so he isn't a convert, but the Bishop asked us if we would teach him a few lessons to help him prepare for his baptism. The family asked me to give the opening prayer, so I was able to be a part of his special day. It turned out really nice and you can really feel what a special spirit is at a baptism. When you feel it you know that Heavenly Father is pleased with the decision of one of his children to follow the example of his Son by being baptized.
So that was my week. Tomorrow starts my second transfer. This transfer is the short 5 week transfer, so it's going to feel like we blink and all those new sisters are going to be arriving in our mission. I still have lots learn, but everyday I feel a little more comfortable and I understand a little bit better. I love all of you! Thank you for all your support! Take care and have a great week!