Well surprise surprise. After we'd already got transfer calls Monday, saying I was staying with Hermana Alcaraz in Turlock, President Palmer called us Tuesday during companionship study and told me to pack up all my belongings and head into the mission office. That means one thing. I was getting transfered. I didn't know where or with who I'd be with. So that was a hard last minute goodbye to all the missionaries in Turlock. Well I'm now in Modesto with Hermana Kyrie Carpenter. She was my sister training leader the first transfer. I was very intimidated of her but now it's great. We are a lot alike. She is from Spanish Fork and has been out 14 months. I can't wait to learn from her and experience a new branch that is almost a ward. This branch I am in is so different and so welcoming. I love them and serving them this week was incredible. They help us in the work. The branch president is Presidente Martinez and he is a convert of 3 years. He is the best. He works so hard in the branch and this branch is nearly a ward. Baptisms here are crazy.
We have an investigator named Socorro who is 58 and just so prepared. She has a baptism this Sunday and is already part of the branch. All of the members love her and have taken her in. She reads and reads all of the church manuals and Book of Mormon. She downloaded the app on her phone so she does it everywhere she goes. Gloria and Allen are both 20 years old, she is pregnant of 3 months and was baptized but is less active. We are preparing Allen to be baptized, Gloria wants to be married in the temple. Allen is being very attentive. He has a baptism date for January 16 (still in this transfer so I'd be here) and then we are hoping that means when we invite them to be married first since it is a prerequisite for baptism at this point, that we will be having a wedding before then. We believe it's possible they are very ready as well as they do not have a lot of money or any family around.
Funny story about Allen and Gloria, so we were going to have a lesson with them at the church with a member present. Well we knew that this member had to stay afterwards and Gloria and Allen don't have a car so she brought them. She couldn't stay afterwards because she was helping with the baptism there. And after wards the branch party was happening-they were already planning on going to to the lesson and the branch christmas party. But we surprised GLoria and Allen with the baptism in between. They were stuck at the church so they got to go to a baptism whether or not they liked it. Lol.
My companion is still a Sister Training leader so lots of time has been spent traveling places for meetings. That's been nice, meeting new missionaries as well as the fact that that means I am going to be going on a lot of exchanges. Since she has to exchange with all of the sisters she's over in Stockton and Lodi, I will switch too. I'll get to experience a lot of new things this transfer and can hardly wait.
We are having a Christmas devotional meeting as a whole mission the 24th of December me and Hermana Carpenter are singing in. so we'll see how that goes. This is such a great time to be here.
Thanks for all the love and support back home. I can feel it. This Christmas Season is so special. I am constantly reminded of what it means to have a savior. In my studies this past week, I came across a scripture in D&C 123:17
Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.
I love this scripture and I have thought about it a lot this week. Do all we can possibly do with cheer. You know what you need to do. It's a gospel with straightforward doctrine and simple. I hope as this new year rolls around you can reflect back and think what more you could do and if how you are going about things is cheerfully. Keep remembering that we aren't perfect but become perfected through him. I know living the gospel brings me the most happiness as well as supports me in my journey to become a better person.
I pray for you all. I really do. Loves from Modesto California.