I don't know if I will have sufficient time to write everything I want to...but I will do my best.
Ok, this last week in Iguala was so great. We sent a list around in Relief Society to see what sisters were willing to accompany us during the week and we had a bunch of sisters sign up that never have come out with us before. We were super excited. On Wednesday we did divisions and I went with one sister (Susanna) and Hna. Hernandez went with another in order to meet with more people. It was fun to be with Hna. Susanna. I have to tell you all, members in lessons are so powerful. Your testimonies help the investigators and also the missionaries. I love hearing the conversion stories of the members and it is something different than my own voice or my companions.
After our divisons were over, the sister that went with Hna. Hernandez, Hna. Eliadora, had a little more time to go out with us. I asked her about her granddaughter because I heard that she brought a friend to EFY the week before. She was like 'Oh yeah, I'll take you by her house and introduce you to her mom!' Sweet! We went by her house and the mom, Marilu, told us she didn't have much time but Hna. Eliadora was super awesome told her that we wouldn't take much of her time and was practically walking in her door haha. She agreed and we taught her and her daughter and they both accepted fecha for baptism. She also has a husband and three other kids that could be baptized, too! FAMILY!! During the lesson, though, Hna. Eliadora was super great and helped explain things from the perspective of a member. Marilu was saying that maybe she will just come to church alone because her kids are really irreverent and Hna. Eliadora was like 'My grandkids are all like that but I take them to church anyway because they need to be there! Bring your kids!!!' It was so awesome. She also offered to pass by for her and go with them to church on Sunday. Magic.
We saw many other miracles like that this week because we had members with us. We would not have been able to find certain people without them. I was so pumped and really feeling a change in the mentality in the ward about missionary work. I love Iguala so much. We really found so many awesome people this week.
And then...Friday night happened. We were heading to visit a family in the ward when we got a call from our District Leader, Elder Gonzaga. It's not unusual to get calls from him with annoucements or questions so I wasn't expecting anything more than that. He told us to put the phone on speaker and said that he was going to miss us. We ask him if he was leaving early this week (he only has like 3 weeks left in the mission) and he was like 'No, I am going to miss you two together because you have special changes!' I thought he was joking and didn't believe him but then I realized that he was serious and that I would be the one leaving. I got changed to Cuernavaca and would be with Hna. Ward from Pennsylvania. I started to cry a little thinking about all the people that I woulnd't be able to say goodbye to. This is the worst part of the mission...having to say goodbye or not being able to say goodbye to people you love so much. We also had so many investigators that were really starting to make progress and I was so sad to leave. But that's the life of a missionary. We passed by the mission leaders house to say bye and take a picture. Love this family. I look horrible in the picture because it was after a day that was really hot and I got a little sunburned but it's all good. Their son who is 9 kept running around finding things to give me so that I would remember him. He even ripped a page out of his journal to give to me. haha. I will miss that family for sure.
I went home and packed up all my stuff. I had to be at the bus station at 7 the next morning to head to Cuernavaca. Hna. Hernandez and I had our last meal together...Tacos de Barbacoa...outside the offices waiting for the other sisters to arrive. My new companion, Sister Ward got to the offices and I asked her...'So how is our new area?!?! Do we have investigators?' and she was like...'I don't know. I thought you were here before. I just came in from Chilpancingo.' Um...what?! Apparently both the sisters that were in this area were changed and we are both BRAND NEW. The sister training leaders were telling us...that we don't live in the area that we work in and that it's really far from where we live. They were trying to act positive but I could tell they were thinking 'I'm glad I'm not you...' you know what I mean?
But here started the miracles.
So we had 4 huge suitcases and we didn't know how we were going to get to the apartment. Right at the moment when we were waiting for a taxi, a member from our ward pulled up in a truck because he was going to take something from the office to another apartment of missionaries and he said that he could bring our suitcases to our house for us. Miracle #1. The sister training leaders came with us to show us where we live. As we were walking in the house they said 'there is a slight problem with your apartment...you don't have water right now.' Oh yeah...just a slight problem. No big deal. WHAT?! Apparently the water in the morning doesn't exist so we have to fill up buckets of water in the night in order to shower and clean. Also, the sisters that lived their before us were super nice and left us a mountain of dirty dishes and other lovely things. I was feeling a little...well...tired, hungry, overwhelmed and slightly annoyed. Luckily there is another pair of sisters in the ward that live really close by us and one of the sisters was actually in this area at the beginning of her mission so she knows how to get to our area and everything. Miracle #2. Also, we were eating at the same house for la comida that day and they could show us where it was. Miracle #3. ALSO, all of their appointments fell through and they had time to show us how to get to our area and introduce us to a few members that could help us. Miracle #4. After the comida, we went to met a sister that is about to leave on her mission and she knows where our investigators live and a few other people. Our investigators weren't home but we figured out where they live. They actually signed up to feed us on Sunday and the sister told us that they come to church on their own. Miracle #5. After an overwhelming day, we got back to our apartment RIGHT when it started raining. I didn't know how the keys to the door worked so we got a little soaking wet but we just laughed about it and started to plan for the next day. The Hno. brought our bags with his wife and helped us bring them up to our apartment. They told us that if we need anything, they live close and they are happy to help us. They told us we are like their kids and to not hesitate for any reason. I hadn't cried the whole day but in that moment I was so overwhelmed with so many emotions...but mostly gratitude that I started to cry a little. I gave the sister a hug and resolved in my heart to always help the missionaries when I am a normal member again.
That night we filled up buckets of water and washed the dishes and got ready for the bed. The next morning I had my first shower with a bucket and it wasn't that bad. We warmed up the water on the stove so it wasn't cold and yeah. No big deal. We were on the way to church and a member saw us and gave us a ride the rest of the way. Miracle #6. We got to the church and met some of the members and our investigators showed up! I think sacrament meeting was probably one of the best that I have had in the mission and I was really really encouraged. I bore my testimony with my companion so that everyone knew we were new and needed help! haha...After church another member gave us a ride to the food appointment so we didn't have to take the bus or pay for a taxi. Miracle #7. We got to know our investigators more. They are a family and are super great. They have come to church on their own for the last 4 weeks and are really progressing.
The last two days have felt like a week but I have really been able to see the Lord's hand in all of this. Honestly, I would have freaked out if I was in this situation 3 months ago, but I am actually excited to be totally new in the area with my companion because we can talk to EVERYONE and turn the work around here. My companion is awesome, too. Miracle #8. We have a LOT of work...mostly just getting to know our area and how to work the bus system, but I am confident that we can handle it. But...I will ask for your prayers because, well...we could use them.
Man, I can't tell you how much I love this gospel and missionary work. I finished the Book of Mormon today, after 65 days of reading 10 pages a day, and I felt sad that it ended. I LOVE that Book with all of my heart. I know that when we read it, we learn how we need to live and what we need to change in our lives to receive the blessings of the Lord. I also know that the Lord is so aware of our situations and he puts people in our paths to help us. He never gives us a commandment without preparing a way for us to achieve it. There were so many other little miracles that happened in the past few days that would seem insignificant to any other person, but to me it reaffirms that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and cares about even the little details. It's amazing, really.
If you finished reading this whole email, go reward yourself with a piece of chocolate in my honor.
I love you all. THANK YOU for the prayers and thoughts. It really means the world to me.