Well, have you all been dying in suspense?! Ha ha...my new companion is .........Hermana (Sister) Salinas! That's right! My little, adorable, and sassy Mexican from Oaxaca Mexico!!! She is a whole 5 feet tall and 26 years old! Yay! I am not alone! Ha ha....she has been out on her mission for 15 months and goes home a transfer after me. She is incredible and has been a light to me throughout my entire mission. Always smiling and always full of love! She about died when they made the announcement at transfer meeting. She has been Spanish speaking her whole mission and was just coming back from 3 months full-proselyting on bike! She had no idea what would happen. She said she has been praying from the beginning of her mission to be able to go English speaking! Now...in her last 2 transfers the Lord is answering her prayers! When President Clayton had me stand at the meeting as he said, "Sister Riggs, your new companion will be Sister Salinas." Boy do I wish you could have seen the look on her face...it was like winning a pageant ha ha. Shock and a look of, "Come again? Did I hear that right?" And then she ran to me and hugged me and said "Heavenly Father LOVES ME!" Ha ha! She kept saying "What the heck! Is this real?!" She told me of all the English sisters to be companions with she was glad it was me and that's what she would have picked. Tugged on my little heart strings. I told my mission President I didn't know how to TEACH English! Ha ha...my own language! She is so great and I have already learned so much from her about teaching simply. I tend to use a lot of words sometimes and since she doesn't know a lot of the English quite yet, she testifies so beautifully and with so much love. She is also bold and I love it! Sometimes I am the only one saying, "Hey you need to do something about this and change.." and it makes me feel like the bad guy...but she is that way too...but just because of her great love and adorableness...you just can't fight her on it. You have to accept it! = ) There are some language barriers and cultural differences I am learning and working through...but we will get the hang of it. I know I will learn lots from her...including how to make real guacamole! She is resilient. She worked so hard to get here that she honestly loves every second and doesn't let anything get her down. I am excited to work with her. We are the most random companionship but I know Heavenly Father knows what He's doing = ). She says I am the American version of her! ha ha....oh, funny story...we were doing our first language study and I was helping her with pronunciations and she was trying to say "literal." She said it like liter....leeter...so I was trying to help her say it the lazy American way...with the t not so enunciated and said it's like "lidderal" and I was saying it really slowly and she watched my mouth closely and looked at me so confused and said, "What the heck?" Oh I died laughing...and the slower I said it the more it sounded like "little roll" ha ha. Then in our prayer she asked for "the gift of thongs" and I whispered "tongues...tongues" and we laughed. This is going to be a funny transfer!
|Farwell Sister Patterson!|
|Hello Sister Salinas!|
So my time is almost up but I just wanted to share of the amazing day we had yesterday. We had a full day in our area and taught 7 lessons back to back from 11am-7pm! 4 of those were investigator lessons and they all had a different member there teaching with us! We added 3 new investigators and taught 2 recent converts and a member. Whew! What a day! I have been fasting and praying for those 5 baptisms I am hoping for before I leave and the Lord is bringing people to us! Last Wednesday we added Tyler and he accepted a date to be baptized on November 16th! He is so solid. The Arabic Elders met him on prep day in the grocery store and he was heckling them. They reacted with kindness and that made him feel bad so he talked to them. He got a Book of Mormon and started reading. He is already done with Alma! He comes from a very sad and terrible background. He lives alone right now and moved away from his family when he was 16. He came to CA because he said it was the one place he felt free...like you could do whatever and no one would judge. He is changing rapidly! He calls us with excitement about verses he finds...and he wants be baptized. He is overcoming so many things...since he has started reading, he has not had thoughts or temptations dealing with homosexuality, AND he has been able to quit smoking...something he has done since he was 13 and he smoked a pack a day usually. Yesterday in our lesson, he shattered his $150 smoking pipe that he used to smoke weed. He said it felt liberating! We can't believe this young man's heart. He has loved coming to the activities and meeting our amazing branch. He said for the first time in his life, he feels like he has genuine friends and people who care....not just people who want to use him. A member texted us this week and encouraged us to keep doing what we are doing because we are preaching some serious medicine...and that is so clear. Those Heavenly Father has been bringing to us are in need of much physical and emotional healing. What a trust He has given us!
Well, last night our branch had a talent show and....I mustered up the courage to sing "Girl in 14G"....I was sinceriously nervous because I have not used my operatic or belting techniques pretty much in 16 months...I even felt like I didn't know how to act on stage either...it was so weird....BUT after a quick run through and a few vocalizes in the car, I went for it....it was much more work than usual but OH MY GOOFY GUMMIES I MISS THAT!!!!! I was relishing in holding out the long notes and when I got off stage I told my companion, "Hang on! I just gotta freak out for a second! And I wiggled and danced and jumped for a second...then I had to breathe and keep from singing! I could have hit the roof!" Seriously....it is just in my blood and it was so fun to take 4 minutes and share that talent with the branch and sing with everything I had! A member recorded it so here it is! I hope you like it! Don't judge...again, it has been 16 months!
I also wanted to include this amazing talk that Scott Sadlier gave in our branch a few weeks ago. He had an amazing experience sheep herding for a summer and learned much about the Savior...it changed my life and I wanted it to change yours!
Some fun pictures bowling! = )