Thursday, October 13, 2011

continually amazed at the giving nature of the Spanish people

I'm being transferred to Vacaville. Hermana Anderson will be my companion. It’s about 1 1/2-hour drive. I'm excited even though it's raining! We are meeting at the Stake Center here at 12:45 (in 1 1/2 hr). I believe it's just a Spanish group, not even a branch in Vacaville. I’m not sure though. From the looks of it we cover a big city. The entire city of Vacaville. It’s going to be fun!

I met Hermana Anderson Saturday at a Relief Society Conference in Vacaville. Saturday was amazing! I don't know if I’ll have enough time to explain the whole day! The conference was amazing because Julie B. Beck came!!! [General Relief Society President] President Bunker gave us permission to go if we found a ride. So we rode with Sister Bunker! And afterward "President treated us to lunch" :), there were eight of us. It was so fun. But the conference was amazing! I have a few pages of notes. She talked about Daughters in My Kingdom and how it's our Title of Liberty for the Relief Society. She also let some sisters ask questions and then she answered them in her talk. She also knows Spanish and Italian. Pretty cool! One of the sister missionaries described her as the Elder Holland of the sisters. She’s bold and straightforward. She’s also funny, her husband is too. It was an amazing conference.

I also saw the Garrett’s!!!!! And Hermana Clayton. Hermana Clayton is not in my Zone but we'll be closer than before! It was so very good to see her. I almost ran across the room to hug her. I had to control myself and not shout her name in the chapel.

We had our last district meeting on Tuesday. We had a great district! We took pictures after and there are some very funny ones! We had a crazy group of elders! But they're great!!

I also went on another exchange. This time I was in Windsor with Hermana Robinson. She came out with me. We had a good day. We found a few people and had a couple doors closed in our faces as we were tracting! It was hard not to laugh out loud when it happened. There were some houses that we walked away laughing but trying to stay composed and dignified. As missionaries we do some pretty awkward things. Like asking random people how their faith in Christ had helped them. We also do some weird things. Like go over to people’s houses for dinners every night. Who else does that?! Where else in the world would people be fed every night by people they hardly know? I guess wherever missionaries are is where it happens but it doesn't happen in any other group or corporation that I know of. I guess the life of a missionary is just awkward and weird.

I hope Dad feels better soon. I’m excited to hear about G's eagle project. What else have you been doing? A night with the Witham’s sounds great!
I attached a photo of me and Sister Garrett. It’s not the best but it's of the two of us. I wish I could go apple picking! That sounds so fun! Our p-days usually consist of errands and writing letters. I’m not sure what I’ll do in Vacaville but I hope it’s fun!

Yesterday all the members said their goodbyes. It was kind of surreal because I’ve seen so many missionaries do the same at home. And now that I’m in that place it was very strange. It’s a mix of emotion. I’ll miss the members and those we teach but I’m looking forward to getting to know new people and loving them, too. One member who is amazing and has the biggest heart, she's very giving and loves without thought; she said she had something for me in her car. I thought maybe something small or just a note. Nope, she had me go through two boxes of bags and pick one. I quickly brought the choice down to two but couldn't decide. I asked for an opinion and decided on one. Then with preamble she just put the other one on my arm. I tried to give it back but she wouldn't have it. I’m continually amazed at the giving nature of the Spanish people. They give so freely and willingly. I’m trying to better develop that talent. [And yes, Dad, I have two more bags. I’m still the bag lady :)]

Have a great week and reach new heights.
I love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, you all forever and always,
Hermana Stephenson

Over and out!

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