Buenos Tardes Familia - or maybe I should just say amigos because my family might be too busy with fair this week to actually read my letter! :D hehe
Ok so wow what a week! I don't think time has ever gone so quickly on the mission before. And I can't believe that this week I hit my 9 months mark! Crazy! They are really going to keep us busy with this whole sister training leader thing. This past week we had one exchange and then we went up to Albuquerque on Wednesday and Thursday for Mission Leadership Council. The exchange was my first one with an English speaking sister. Sister Chatwin came to Rio Grande. It was a really good exchange, but it was interesting because I was the only one who spoke Spanish. We had a good laugh when we saw an apartment complex that had a sign that said "Biggest Apartments! Biggest Deals!" and then I added "And biggest Cockroaches!" Which reminds me that those stinky roaches still live in the Rio Grande apartment, and let me tell you that Hermana Fallentine does not like roaches! I've heard a few good squeals from her when she sees one on the counter.
On Wednesday around 3 we headed up to Albuquerque. The drive was good. The funniest thing was probably the rain. It was the weirdest looking rain. It kept hitting the windshield and floating up. I don't really know how to describe it - just that it was weird and entertaining on the drive. We of course got lost in Albuquerque. 2 of the sisters had served there before, but we still got lost. The funniest part was we were looking for a street named Martin Luther King drive and it wouldn't show up on the GPS, so we just got off the freeway to head back toward the area that we thought it was in. Then Sister Silva said oh wait it found it, so we start following the directions for several minutes when up ahead I see the freeway we just got off. At about that same time Hermana Biancardi says the destination is 200 miles away! Well we stopped again and after a few phone calls we finally found the apartment we were staying at that night. Then in the morning we got lost again on the way to the mission home. One of the sisters thought the elders said 9th street, but he really said Knight street. Hijole! But we finally did make it. It was neat to see Hermana Cruz again. It's the first time I've seen her since we split down here. I can't believe this is her last transfer! The meeting was all about how we can be better missionaries and then help those missionaries under our stewardship. President and Sister Miller are so funny. I love them! After the meeting we drove back to El Paso, with one stop in Hatch (a tiny little cow town) that has an awesome BBQ place called Sparky's. I ate my first green chili burger and it was delicious. It was funny to remember reading about New Mexico food and thinking it was so weird that they put chili on their burgers and yet now I love it. I also got some good pictures with some of the weird statues around the restaurant.
The next day we had zone training. The Elders had us do a training and it went really well. Hermana Fallentine and I even got a fist bump from the zone leaders. Two highlights from that meeting... First was the joke the zone leaders played on the zone. They had a big official looking box and said we are going to be passing out something from the apple store. There is one per companionship. I was watching some of the missionaries faces - it was pretty comical. Then out of the box they started throwing green apples (one for each companionship)! Good one elders. The other one was the joke we played on the Elders. About two months ago the Zone Leaders showed up to zone training with these mugs that said world's greatest ZL's. Now they bring them to every meeting and they always fill up the cups with their water bottles. Well not to be out done. Hermana Fallentine and I made mugs in pretty pink sparkle letters that said "World's Greatest STL'Z" Then when the zone leaders left for break we went and sat up in their chairs and instead of water we poured poweraid in our water bottles. It was awesome! The entire zone was laughing and the zone leaders just kept shaking their heads. It was so funny! 10 points to the sisters! Good times as a missionary.
In other exciting news, Maria one of my investigators in Barrio 3 is getting baptized this Saturday. I am so excited for her and I wish I could be there. Maybe I can find an investigator to take to the baptism so I can go too. Either way I am so happy for her. She is amazing and wonderful and this is going to bless her life.
If you remember the miracle story I shared last week with the woman and her daughter, so we went back yesterday for our first lesson. It was an amazing lesson. The spirit was so strong. Carmen (the mother) cried when she heard the first vision. We all agreed that this was a miracle. The whole family has agreed to be baptized on September 9! At the end of the lesson Sergio, the dad, gave the prayer without even hesitating even though he had never done that before. The spirit was so strong the entire time and after the prayer we just sort of sat on the floor and just took in those warm feelings that come from the spirit. This family is so special and we are so blessed for the chance to get to teach them.
Well good luck at fair Kara! I know you'll do great because you're great! I miss you all! I'm sending lots of happy thoughts and prayers your way!