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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Adios Chamblee


COMO ESTA???????

Monday and Tuesday were crazy saying goodbye to all the people I have come to love in Chamblee. It was heart breaking, but I know I'll see them again, maybe I'll get transferred back to Chamblee in a few months? Or I will see them after my mission :) 

It was pouring rain during goodbyes on Tuesday and I got soaked at one point after saying Adios to Ledif and her two girls. We showed up at Juana's house and she took one look at me and pointed to the bathroom. She tossed me a bathrobe and pretty much ordered me to change so she could put my soaked dress in the dryer. So for about 45 minutes I sat in a pink robe eating some snacks with my nametag attached as my dress dried :) I think my new favorite picture is the one now of my and Juana smiling for the camera in her living room with me in a robe. 

We stopped by Ninfa's house Tuesday night and I think that was the hardest goodbye. We were all good as I hugged them and no one had cried. We took a picture and I thought we would make it through without any tears. Ninfa handed me a family picture (Alexander didn't want to pose for the camera and Alejandro had been sleeping) so I could have a pic of everyone. As she handed me the photo, she expressed how grateful she was that I had taught her girls about God and who He is and how much He loves them. She started crying and it turned into all of us crying. And little Melissa started sobbing. My heart broke. I just held Melissa in a hug and assured her I would send her letters.

Wednesday. After transfers at the church in Fayetteville we headed up to Marietta, my new area. My stomach was in knots. I was scared. I didn't know anyone. I didn't know how to complete my new position as a Sister Training Leader. I felt really small. 

But that's what God does. He takes you from what you have come to know and puts you in a new situation to grow, to change. Because we are clay in His hands. Over and over again He will mold us into what we need to be. What HE needs us to be. Isaiah 64:8  "But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."

This new area. Cunningham. Wow. Can you say slightly overwhelmed? I feel like this past week I have just been asking Sis De La Rosa Frias over and over again who people are, who we just taught and who is the person we are on our way to see. She is so patient with me! 

Sister De La Rosa Frias is from the Dominican Republic! She is quite the character and super fun :) Really funny and is helping me with my spanish since she natively speaks it! We have both decided we are going to get back into shape after all this weight Georgia has so lovingly blesses us with. The Cunningham Elders gave us an ab workout sheet and ouch... my abs are out of shape. At least I have been able to run a bit more lately in the mornings, so that's helpful. 

Lessons galore these past few days! God is so good!

Missionary Leadership Council training on Friday! I think I have a better grasp on what's happening with this whole Sister Training Leader thing :)

We taught Jonathan, the 16 year old cousin of a member named Juan Carlos in the branch. It was wonderful to see his desire to learn and to understand. He feel really lost right now. Doesn't come from the best family situation. I already have so much love in my heart for him!

Lizbeth. Ricky. And Linzy. Oh dear. How can you love someone after just meeting them? I don't know. I just know I do.

Lizbeth is from Mexico and had a lot of really terrible things happen to her there, so she left her two kids there without telling anyone (to keep her kids safe) where she went and walked for five days and five nights across the border of Mexico to the United States. She was going through so many things and went to visit her aunt who is a member of the church. She is a really strong and amazing lady and was depressed and didn't know what to do because she needed to find a second job so she could have her kids come back to her. Her aunt had the missionaries come over and they gave her a blessing. In the blessing, she was blessed that she would be able to get her kids back to her and she would be able to get another job. Over the course of the next few weeks she was able to find another job and her kids are now here because by some miracle she had gotten enough money to send them here. She told the sisters last week that she wanted a change in her life and she wanted to follow Christ. Talk about a miracle :) 

When we showed up for our appointment on Saturday with her, Ricky (age 13) was outside playing soccer. It was a bit muddy and the grass was slick due to the rain we have been having, but I figured my flats would be alright. (HA) I ran over and Sister De La Rosa Frias and I went 2 on 2 against Ricky and a neighborhood kid named Marco. I haven't played in years. Oh gosh I got so dirty and my shoes came off so much. But hey, I scored a few goals :) And sidenote, don't play soccer in a skirt... 

Our appointment with Lizbeth and the kids once she got home was wonderful :) And it started raining... so we got soaked running from the park pavilion we had been teaching under to get back to the car :) Experiences :) 

Church was AWESOME! First, I got to play the piano for the congregation (it seems like I do that everywhere I go), bear my testimony/introduce myself and Lizbeth's kids CAME TO CHURCH!!! (Lizbeth was at work) And Jonathan came to church too! My heart was so happy seeing these precious children of God at church. Sis De La Rosa Frias and I taught Sunday School on the Priesthood and I accompanied the Primary Singing Time on the piano for the little kids. We also had a fun Father's Day Celebration with FOOD afterwards. That was yummy :) 

Went knocking and found some people we will hopefully be able to return and teach! One of them was Jose who was taught previously by missionaries in El Salvador!  

Taught Lizbeth and the kiddos the Plan of Salvation and that was so fun! She has the best questions :) I am slowly finding I can speak more fluently, step by step as I just think about the person I am talking to instead of the Spanish. The kids begged Lizbeth that they could be baptized and went off on how great church was :) Right before I said the closing prayer, Linzy ran over to me and whispered in my ear to pray that her mom chooses to be baptized. I laughed and included in the prayer that Lizbeth would receive strength to make the decision on baptism. According to Linzy that wasn't direct enough :) I adore them. 

"God's greatest reward goes to those who serve without expectations of reward. It goes to those who serve without fanfare; those who quietly go about seeking ways to help others; those who minister to others simply because they love God and God's children." - Dieter F Uchtdorf, May 2017 General Conference

I pray you are each doing well. That you are finding time to serve those around you and seeking to bless the less fortunate. Pay attention to the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost who will prompt you and guide you to those who need your love and help. 

Con Amor, 

Hermana Draper

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