Besides today being birthday, Thursday is one year in the mission. I was set apart a year ago today!!!!! WOW Strange to think that was the last time I saw you all! Feels like AGES ago! Oh much I love each of you so much more than when I left though! And my Savior! Oh how grateful I am for this time in the Lord's service! Things are happening that I know are preparing me for next week as well as things in the next couple years.
Oh where do I start? Hermana Mazariegos! Oh I just love her! She works hard, is an amazing teacher, always aware of people needs and trying to meet them, and is so excited to be a missionary! This area has lots of investigators and is .... about 3 1/2 times the size of my other area. HUGE for me ... tiny compared to any other mission. The branch is awesome (I already knew that though)! We also had consejo con la presidencia de la estaca. I even was able to see the stake president from the Hermosa Vista stake and thank him for all he does! Oh how I love that stake and that rama .... but I am so excited to be here!
Hablamos en espanol ... todo el tiempo! Yesterday we did some hablando though and decided all prayers in the house will be in english. Lunch time will also only be in english. Hermana Mazariegos said her first prayer and I wanted to cry. It made me think of my days in the MTC and in the beginning of the mission when you just don't know how to say anything. All you really know how to say is "bless my family" "thank you for this day" "please help us find people". It makes pray so simple, so humble, OH! It is fun to be able to help each other though because we both are learning and have a long way to go! She told me she feels comfortable practicing english with me. That is wonderful because I know how scary it is to have a companion who has no confidence in you. Not. cool. I know we have been put together for a reason.
This is kind of strange, but I have decided that I have a birthday wish. [I don't know if I've EVER had a birthday wish .... maybe since every year asking for a CD player and ipod ... and thanks to Abby's trash were received] Hermana Mazariegos is from Guatemala and her parents are not members. She grew up though, with her grandparents, who are members, while her parents are living here in the states. Where do they live? STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT. My birthday wish is that you, Mom and Dad, can meet them. They know english and I don't know how much time they have there .... but yeah. It was crazy last week to see a letter on our pingpong table with an address in Stamford, Connecticut! Yikes I've been in that area a number of times!!!!! Their names are Angel y Carmen Mazariegos.
Besides having lots of work here and having to figure out how to deal with so many investigators (deal with ... that's the wrong word .... love and care and help them progress is what I'm trying to say ... prepare them for baptism) we have about 6 sets of missionaries in our area. A couple times a week they (all Elders, I believe?) like to play soccer. So we've been playing soccer at 6am! This morning we played and when we walked in the door they all yelled "Feliz Cumpleanos"!!! Haha And they came bearing gifts! Macaroni and Cheese, Phase 10, checkers, a little Christmas story leg-lamp ... thing, golf ball, cookies for everyone! Classic mission gifts - food and games and stuff from the apartment! Boy was I wrong thinking no one knew it was my birthday! We came home and the Crandell's had breakfast for us! They are off to work early in the morning so they didn't have tons of time but they are such a great couple! Sister Crandall just turned the big 50 this week so they had lots of birthday stuff that was fun to have for a last minute birthday they found out about last night!
I saw Hermana Nielsen for about 2 seconds ... twice on Sunday. I just love that girl! And I love Hermana Ghan! And all my companions! Man I didn't think I could love so many "Hermanas" ..... I suddenly have more than just 2 sisters. And I love Hermana Mazariegos! What a blessing to serve the Lord for a year and a half and be able to serve with so many leaders in the church and teach! I absolutely LOVED studying this week. I think part of it was because I was studying for new people. My testimony is growing of having specific questions, needs, and finding answers in the BoM and words of living prophets in general conference! I have seen it just happy though and it is increible!
I think that's all for this week! I love each of you! Fun to get a letter from you each and more this past week. Spencer ... good luck in Tokyo! And Abby ... like I told Mackenzie, I've been listening to music in Portuguese. :) Thanks for the birthday wishes!
Love you love you lots! Hermana Clark