So this last week has basically felt like an eternity. SO MUCH HAS GONE DOWN! So here's what happened.
I got put with Hermana W in the new and HUGE area of Atoyac. We left for one evening to visit two people and then we went home. We then spent the next 2 or 3 days in the house because Hermana W is pretty bad off health-wise.
On the first day with Hermana W I received a call from the assistant to the president (kind of a big deal). "Look Hermana Matesen, you are with Hermana W for a very specific reason. You are one of the happiest and most positive missionaries we've got in this whole mission, and the president put you with Hermana W to save her from going home. You are our last hope Hermana. This girl wants to go home and we want her to stay, and it's up to you to show her how fun and spiritual and awesome the mission truly is. We know you can do it. It's a big responsibility, but the president is sure we've put her with one of the best we've got."
Talk about pressure right? I honestly did the very best I could to animate her and help her feel the need to stay, or at least to come back once they figure out her health problems. But in the end my best wasn't good enough. She went home.
We had to be at the mission offices at 6 in the morning. Before she left, our district leader gave her a pep talk through the phone. I translated the whole thing and almost couldn't finish translating because I was in tears. It was one beautiful pep talk.
He said something that's a lot prettier in Spanish, but a rough translation is this : God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. I know it was meant for Hermana W, but I felt l like it was for me.
One of the afternoons I was with Hermana W, we were waiting for a bus when 4 or 5 people from my other areas and wards [church congregations] passed by. They all greeted me with a smile and were so excited to chat and laugh. A taxi man who I taught last month drove by and waved, and I yelled at him to remember to go to church on Sunday as he sped by. I just felt peace. I felt like I belonged. The language is finally clicking. I can understand. I can converse. I can be me. I love being a missionary so dang much.
So once Hermana W went home, they sent me two new companions. BOTH GRINGAS! um what? ...and get this. One of them had 3 days on the mish. So now I'm senior companion in one of the biggest areas in the mission, that I am not familiar with AT ALL, with a newbie to train and another American. Oh dear.
I'm not loving the evil stares and having to constantly nag everyone to try and speak Spanish, but I honestly love my new comps already. They are both such awesome people and examples to me. Hermana Coles y Hermana Gallardo. Coles is from a little town in Utah, and Gallardo is from Washington.
Basically, the last few days have consisted of a lot of getting lost, searching for people in the area book, and CONTACTING. We have been contacting up a STORM. We had a lot of interesting experiences...but I think we might have found a few with potential. One of my favorites was when a drunk guy slurred out in English " I like your face." Oh Mexico. How I love you.
Sometimes it feels like a bit much to be training, being senior comp, and being in an area I don't even know, but God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. And I am honored to take on this challenge.
*our dvd player cuts of the names. came across this one and couldn't stop laughing. This is for all my other missionary buddies out there who may have put on a few pounds. Just think of it as heavenly fat....oh missionary humor.
This is Marcos. He likes to snuggle and tell me about how he is going to serve a mission some day in the United States. He likes to eat chocolate and hear about the 2000 Stripling Warriors.
And these are my new companions. I love them.
*what 6 in the morning looks like in Mexico.