Monday, September 1, 2014

So Many Changes

I have so many things to tell, but I think it would be best to sum them all up first and then describe them later:
1. I'M TRAINING!!!!!!! (and the story of my reaction is now a misión legend)
2. I'm no longer in Oaxtepec
3. I had to say goodbye to Hermana Fernelius
4. Mission life is just spectacular
6. I'M SERVING IN ???????!!!!!!!!

Hermana Fernilius and her B-day cake
I'd love to comment on crazy awesome things that happened with our investigators this week.....but I didn't bring my agenda so I really can't remember what all went down this week other then the fact that people are awesome.  If you think I say that too much then you need to get out more and meet everyone around you.  Trust me, then you'll be saying it too! We were all about trying to get 100 lessons this week if it was even possible, but we promised not to add it up until Saturday night so it would be a surprise if we hit our goal.  Safe to say it was one of the best surprises of the night and we celebrated with funnel cake (Yes Cara Debellis, I have mastered how to make funnel cake like a boss, so I'm ready to try again with you soon ;D) and other random activities. It was also Hermana Fernelius' b-day this week and it was apparently the most celebrated b-day she's ever had.  She was psyched about all the decorations and then Hermana Flores made her a b-day cake at comida! It was all gonna be so perfect....but then I had to leave for Cuernavaca and missed the party they had planned that night with the other Viveros sister missionaries as well as Moho, and other members.  It's all good though.  It's a birthday she will never forget which makes me happy.  Plus we had cake in our fridge for the rest of the week, so you can never argue with that :)  (Actually, I found out when I weighed myself in the offices on Friday that I'm actually losing weight...I'm pretty sure that's contra to all the rules of biology, but that's fine by me)

But the story I know you are all holding out for is why I am now a legend, well you see what happen was.....Wednesday night we were about to head to bed, all happy and joyful with sugar plums in our heads, because we had not received a call from the AP's, so we thought that neither of us was going to be training or transferred.  Fact number one: never celebrate until there is for sure no chance that something can happen.  At 9:50 a random number called us, Hermana Fernelius answered and the conversation went down something like this:
"Buenas Noches"
"Can I talk to Hermana Neuberger?"
"Ummmmm sure....Comp it's for you"
Me: "Hello, who is this?"
"Hey Hermana, just wanted to let you know that you'll be training.  This is Elder Arrington."
With that I screamed, "No!", threw down the phone, burst into tears, and ran out of the room.....yeah, just a little over dramatic.  My comp ran after me and tried to calm me down as I kept crying about how unprepared I am, how I don't know Spanish well enough, how I never want to train, and other random things.  The entire time Elder Arrington was still on the phone like, um .....hello?" My comp lied to him and said I was just super excited, but he didn't buy it at all.  I had to leave Thursday night so I could be in Cuernavaca Friday morning for the trainers' meeting.  I was close to tears the entire night in Cuernavaca because I was so terrified, but the two other sisters who are also training calmed me down by simply being awesome.  We then got another call that we had to unlock the gate for one more person who was coming to be a trainer and also would be spending the night with us.  AND GUESS WHO THAT BRILLIANT RAY OF SUN WAS!?!?!?! Hermana Sturt came walking through the door and I burst into happy tears because I haven't seen her beautiful face in almost 5 months! Well the night was just smashing after that :) The meeting the next morning was amazing and I found out about my new companion and all of a sudden was just really excited, still super nervous, but super excited.  I also later found out that all the office Elders and President and Sister Kusch new all about my reaction because Elder Arrington claimed the experience was, "too golden not to share!"

Transfers are way different now because recently there have been problems with creepy men.  In the last week they had to emergency transfer 10 sister missionaries (Sturt and Chynoweth being two of them) because creepy men went looking for/and found them.  There were also a few hermanas being followed by men with yeah Mexico's great.  President asked the First Presidency to stop sending American sisters if they could and possibly sisters all together just for a little while till they figure everything out.  Anyway, therefore for these transfers everything was on lock down! Nobody knew where they were headed only when they were suppose to be at the bus station.  They also sent everyone out in shifts, instead of everybody arriving at the bus station at the same time.  No one knew who their companions were going to be either so the whole thing was super top secret, which in misión terminology means that there was a whole lot of gossiping going down.  Basically no one truly knows where any other missionary is assigned, but there are a lot of super educated guesses!!! The biggest shock was when we found out that Hermana Fernelius would not be staying in Oaxtepec! Turns out they're bringing the sister training leaders  there (the new assignment that's equal to AP for sister missionaries).  We freaked out for a solid hour over that and then drew maps of every part of our area with streets and all the houses of our MA, investigators, and members  We also wrote super detailed notes so that they would literally know everything.

Warm Goodbyes
It was super super hard to say goodbye to everyone on Sunday.  The Viveros Ward is my family. but I'll for sure be going back one day! There were a few tears, a ton of pictures, and some of the nicest comments anyone has ever said to me, and then we walked into the sunset!  Packing was a mess, you would never believe how much stuff Hermana Fernilius has, but some how we made it work.  The Flores (have i ever mentioned that she's the sister of Presidente de Hoyos...of the Seventy! Sorry it just feels like knowing someone famous) gave us a ride to the bus station.  Saying goodbye to my rock star companion was easily one of the hardest things I've ever done!!! Seriously don't know what I'm gonna do without her and hope her next area is just amazing where ever that may be! We created a list of all of our inside jokes and it hit 100.  We just kept reading it again and again and laughing our heads off.  There have been so many memories made in Oaxtepec that for me it will always be holy ground!!

View from the area
When I found out from my crazy amazing, Tabasco loving greenie companion that our area was _______ I jumped for joy.  And BTW she's really from Tabasco, MX. Ever since the first P-day I visited, I've ALWAYS wanted to serve here and it's been on my mind ever since I heard about transfers.  The best part is it touches my old area.  It's literally on a "hill" (the American equivalent of a mountain) and just super green with trees everywhere!   I really just can't express how excited I am!!!!

I guess the thing I'm most grateful for about my entire misión is the chance I have to meet so many fabulous people on a daily basis. Hermana Fernelius did some figuring and in the last 6 weeks we contacted over 700 people. It's moments of realization like that that always put a smile on my face. When people ask what my overarching goals are in life I always answer with, "I want to change somebody's life for the better and to just make a difference in the world." Now I see that that basically sums up missionary work. In an Ensign I recently read there was a story about a young man in Korea who handed a mail man a pamphlet one day really fast as they were walking by. Unknown to the missionary, five years later the man read the pamphlet and was later converted to the Gospel. In the course of 40 years, 50 members of his family were also baptized after receiving their own conversion. Wow, missionary work is truly amazing! After reading that story, I look back on the days where it felt like we accomplished nothing because all of our appointments fell but then I remember that we still talked to 20 people. Those 20 people one day might find great solace in the things and pamphlets we gave them. I'm just so very grateful for all the amazing people I've met here, for my new friends and family here in Mexico, and for this great work that I get to share with others. There is no greater impact we can have in others' lives then watching the light of the Gospel brighten it. I'm so grateful for Hermana Fernilius who made me feel like a true missionary more then I could ever express!!

My the Lord continue to brighten your lives!
Hermana Neuberger

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