So how is everyone doing this week? I am doing great. This week has been wonderful and hard all at the same time.
So on Tuesday I took Hermana Cruz to the exchange chapel at 10am. It was sad saying goodbye and I was still feeling a little nervous for my new companion to show up. After she left I was assigned to two English speaking sisters for the afternoon while my companion would be coming down from Albuquerque. We visited some of their investigators so she could say goodbye because they were being transferred out of the area too. Some of them even lived on the military base here in El Paso, so that was interesting to get to visit. Then at 1pm we were back at the chapel waiting for all the missionaries to arrive. When they started arriving the two Elders who serve in my ward were like "we know who your companion is..." (They are the Zone leaders so they have the list) Of course they wouldn't tell me who she was, but I tried to get them to tell me if she was a native speaker or not. There have been other missionaries in the mission who have trained after 12 weeks, but all of the ones I know of , it was always a native speaking trainee. They wouldn't tell me if she was a native or not, but about 10 minutes later they walked back over and said all the sisters are here and then pointedly looked at me. Yep there were no native speakers. So that's the build up to my new companion. Her name is Hermana Biancardi. She is from West Linn, Oregon so we are practically neighbors. She is 22 and also has graduated from BYU, so she is not a young'un, but there were 19 year sisters who came the same day. She has taken Spanish through middle and high school and one semester in college, so at least she has a solid background. She was in intermediate Spanish in the MTC. Oh and I know the Lord answers prayers because I asked him if she wasn't a native speaker then if he would send me a piano player that would be great. Yep she's been playing for years and can play any hymn no problem, so I was off the hook! She is lots of fun and has a ton of energy and has come ready to work which is awesome. The only interesting part is that she has celiac disease so we've been having to contact all of our dinners, so she is able to eat! Sadly that means no flour tortillas, but luckily there are corn tortillas so we are still good.
Speaking about food, so I think I must be becoming Mexican because this week was the second time I've had Mole on the mission and I actually like it now. So I'm not sure if I'm more accustomed to chili in or on everything (spaghetti for example). We actually had mole 3 times this week! It's funny how we won't eat a certain type of food and then all of the sudden we will have it 3-4 times one week. At one of the dinners this week they were getting to know my new companion and were asking her about Spanish and Hermana Biancardi was talking about she just needs to practice. The sister said not to worry missionaries learn fast and then pointing at me she said "She only has a few months and now she's Mexicana!" Pretty much the best compliment on Spanish ever! I think that's a little exaggeration, but it's nice to hear that I must be making some progress! This week I've had to overcome my fear of talking Spanish on the phone. It is hard enough to understand in person, but put it on a crackily phone and it felt like an impossible task talking on the phone. It definitely pushes me to my Spanish limits, but I have managed to answer and talk on the phone even if they might have to repeat themselves occasionally. :) Hermana Cruz must have done a good job teaching me Spanish because I'm not as lost as I thought I would be and I can do hard things like talk on the phone.
So I think I have outsmarted the cockroaches...maybe. It has helped keep the number of roaches down by plugging the sinks whenever we leave the apartment. I actually haven't had to squash hardly any in the past two days, but it has become part of my nightly routine when I get back to the apartment. I check all the places they like to hide and I squish 4-5 baby ones. The only ones that still give me the willies are the big ones. If they crunch when you squish them it qualifies as a big one. So my roaches and I are just one big happy family.
So the work is moving along. Last Monday night (Hermana Cruz and my last day together) we had an exciting night. We had an investigator who has been taking the lessons for 6 months and when we talked to him last he just talked about being really confused about what he should do. We have been praying for a way to help him receive an answer and we shared a scripture and asked him to pray for an answer. On monday when he walked into the room he just looked different and happy. Then, he sat down next to his girlfriend and told us their news. He said they have decided to get married and he wants to get baptized. It was a complete 180 degree change from our last lesson and we were caught off guard. I am so happy for them and it was the perfect last lesson to our companionship. The rest of the week has been really busy as well. It's been a little overwhelming this week of all of the sudden not having an experienced missionary as a support and guide and having a new missionary to train. There are so many things that I feel like I am still learning, so it's been a little crazy, but we are working really well together. We have been focusing on finding new people to teach and we have a lot of first lessons this week, so hopefully they will want to learn more about the gospel. Missionary work is just so wonderful. Everyday we are meeting new people and I get to share my testimony of the Savior and the restored gospel. I am so blessed to be serving here in El Paso and I am excited for these next weeks with Hermana Biancardi. I know the Lord is going to bless this area with great things. Have a great week! I love you!