Happy New Year folks! This week was the great start of a New Year. I am really excited for the New Year full of challenges and of growth. New Year’s Eve we went to the Mission President’s Counselor’s house with the other missionaries of our district. We ate too much food (that was a common theme of the week) they made food for a ton of missionaries and we ate until we were full, and then until we were sick! There were nuts, chicken, beef, fish, rice (of course), farofa, Jell-o, ice cream, oh there was so much food! And it was all REALY good. We got home, planned, and hit the mattress before 10:30 but were rudely awakened at midnight when all of the fireworks in the City went off. I was kind of upset… I just wanted to sleep but the fireworks went on for a good half hour. New Year’s Day we had a Rodizio lunch with the President Cascardi. That was the best food ever (remember the common theme of the week). There was chicken, steak, tri-tip, filet mignon, ribs, more steak, baked parmesan cheese, coke, and grilled candied pineapple (SO GOOD). Whenever I get the chance, I am going to go back there! It was the going away Lunch for the President’s son who is going to serve his mission in Japan.
We had a Bunch of challenges this week. We had transfers, and that was very stressful and difficult. But through all of these challenges I felt my personal growth and the hand of the Lord conducting everything that we did. We have been the personal travel agents for over 80 missionaries who were involved with the transfer. We had 6 missionaries going home and 23 missionaries who were arriving. There was too much to plan with too little time. 3 out of the four staff members had never participated in a transfer. It was a transfer right after a holiday, which complicated everything.
Our first challenge was when we had a companionship of missionaries who had to get to our house on Wednesday, expected to arrive at 10:00. They called at 9:50 saying that they were getting on a city bus and would quickly arrive in our hou… then their phone died. 10pm, nothing, ten-thirty, nothing, 11pm it started to pour rain and no sign of the missionaries. They had no way to communicate with us. I grabbed Elder Wilde; we grabbed our jackets and started to search for the missionaries in the rain. After looking for about 15 minutes, we decided to pray and ask the Lord to guide us to them. I decided to call the secretaries and ask them to help, but as I called, I saw that instead of calling them, I was calling the Elders with the dead phone and thought, “I don’t want to talk to them! I want to talk to the secretaries!” LOL. But the call went through. They had just put their SIM card into the phone of someone on the street hoping that someone would call them. We ran to where they were, called a taxi and got them safe and sound to our house. We were soaked from head to toe and we were so grateful that the Lord had answered our prayers.
The next day we had the new missionaries who were coming and 23 missionaries is a lot. Seven of the twenty-three were American, and three were sisters. We had a lunch with the greenies (more great food). And at night we had a dinner with the President and the missionaries who were leaving (I probably have gained about 10 pounds this week). The spiritual experiences were amazing; I was on a spiritual High and LOVED it! By Friday all of the missionaries were either home, or in their new areas.
As a reward, we all went with President Cascardi to the new DOMINOES PIZZA that opened right next to our house (okay maybe 15 pounds). We felt SO great and felt that the Lord had strengthen us to rise up and face every challenge that we had. There were so many other things that happened and so many miracles that we saw, but in the end, I learned how much the Lord has helped me do in my opinion, the most difficult challenge in my life up until now.
Have a GREAT week!