Monday, March 2, 2015

"Hi" from Harrisonburg :)

Querida Familia,

     This past week has probably been one of the most stressful of my mission! There were a billion changes here (and a few surprises), Millie entered the MTC, I'm starting my last transfer, and my back pain is getting really bad--my arms and legs occasionally go numb in different spots now :P

     BUT, I've also seen a bajillion (that's more than a billion, btw) blessings too. And now that transfer week is over, I feel a little more settled down:)

     On Tuesday, Hermana McRae and I were out working while our former roommates were at transfer meeting sending us updates. We found out that even though Broadway was closed for Sisters, President Wilson decided to send another set of Hermanas!! It was a huge surprise, but it also meant we had to prepare a make-shift apartment space for them with the other Hermanas. The AP forgot to tell us and apparently forgot to tell one of the Hermanas that she was being transferred. They didn't arrive here until Tuesday at 9:45 PM! The Elders, fortunately, drive a jeep so they helped us move a mattress from our apartment to the other Hermanas' apartment. 

     6 new missionaries joined us! 2 YSA Sisters, who are our roommates, and then 4 Hermanas. One of my roommates is Sister Greer who's from Sheridan, Wyoming! She said she's heard of the famous Sister Crandall of the SDRC Mission, and she also knew an RM I dated who served in her YSA Ward...weird;) haha. So we spent some time on Tuesday helping everyone move luggage and get settled. We're really excited to still have 6 Sisters to work with!

     We also did 2 blitzes this week for the 2 new Hermanas. Our whole district knocked in their areas and we got over 40 referrals for them! I just feel bad for our district leader, Elder Steiner, who's now in charge of 6 Hermanas and no Elders. (There are other Spanish Elders in our zone, but they serve in Waynesboro and are in a different district.)

     We saw a HUGE miracle this past week! We went to a not-so-Hispanic neighborhood to find a former investigators. We got there right when the school bus did, which is a great opportunity to find out if Hispanics live there. We saw one teen who looked Hispanic and contacted him. His name was Guillermo and he said he lived with his mom and step-dad, both Puertoriquenos and that we could visit them any weeknight after 6.

     Later that night, our district leader called to say that they had found a less-active who's records aren't in the branch. He's living with his auntie and uncle, but said that his family (mostly all members) lived on Merlin's Way, but he couldn't remember the house number. That was where we had met Guillermo! We told him we'd met a Puertorican named Guillermo, and he said that was a match! He said that they had a younger unbaptized brother. 

     So on Monday night we went to try and contact the family. We knew they were members, but they didn't know that we knew that they were members;) The Mom opened the door and immediately invited us in. And she fed us dinner! She told us that she was a member. (We pretended to be surprised.) Guillermo came down too and chatted with us. They stopped attending church when he was young, so he didn't even remember being baptized. She told us basically their whole life's story and invited us to come back.

     We were able to see them again last night and the entire family is interested in coming back to church! And the mom wants her youngest son to get baptized! The Dad isn't a member, but said he knows his family should be going to church. We are just so excited for them!!!:) It was a huge miracle for us!

     Speaking of was canceled again on Sunday for the third week in a row! The weather wasn't even bad. It was about 35 degrees all day. It wasn't sunny, but nothing really fell out of the sky. Just a little bit of rain in the morning. Apparently there was supposed to be a huge ice storm. Today it's 45-50 degrees which is a huge blessing! I was getting fed up with 10 degree weather;) Anyway, I was pretty frustrated about the church cancellation for nothing, but it turned out to be a blessing because we were able to visit with a few less active families. The 2nd Ward still had their regular services in the afternoon (just the 1st Ward and the Branch cancelled) so we were able to attend their sacrament meeting.

     We told Ana that the regular services were cancelled but we were having sacrament meeting at 3. We didn't tell her it was in English...but she came:) And I got to translate it for her! I thought it would be super hard, but I think I prefer translating from English to Spanish than from Spanish to English. When I was in Henrico, I would translate every third Sunday, and it was hard because while I was translating, I would miss things they said. It was easier from English to Spanish because I could easily understand everything the speaker was saying and I only had to pay a little bit of attention to them and could focus more on translating. So that was a cool gift-of-tongues experience:) I also learned how to say surf - "surfear" and cheerleader - "porrista." 

     Ana is still doing really well...haha:) She's in Alma now. She's doing everything right and is completely ready, just won't accept a date. So we'll keep working with her:)

     We don't know what happened with Odalis. She was so pumped, accepted a date, and was keeping all of her commitments. And then she stopped answering calls/texts and won't answer her door. When we knocked there on Thursday, she turned the light off and didn't answer. We have no idea what happened and it's causing me a lot of stress! But I don't want to let my disappointment weaken my faith and I feel blessed to know that there are prepared people willing to accept dates! Hopefully the next one will follow through:)

     Well I love you all a whole bunch and hope you have a great week! I can't wait to hear from my cute favorite little sister Crandall Shimai. Welcome to the field <3 :)

     And happy birthday shout out to my only brother (in-law) (who is also my favorite) Robert! I don't know how old you are, but I'm sure it's a nice age to be:) I hope you have a great day!

I love you all lots,  Hermanita Crandall

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