This was such a weird week! I'm looking back on it, puzzled, trying to figure out what even happened. Has the week even passed? It went so quickly, and not much really noteworthy happened...well, except for a few things. Mostly the week was a blur. Missionary work is like that a lot. Especially now that I think I'm all settled in to Stockton.
We had exchanges twice this week. Hermana Cardullo is a Sister Training Leader - that means she's in charge of the Sister Missionaries here in Stockton. Teaching them, making sure their needs are met, helping them be their best, etc. There are actually only 4 sisters in Stockton. They don't like sending sister missionaries to this zone, because it's slightly "ghetto", and so it's less safe. But they have to send Spanish Sisters because there's so many Spanish folks - we're needed. Likewise, they have to send sister missionaries who have been called to serve in American Sign Language! So the four of us down here are Hermana Cardullo, me, and then Sister Abbott and Sister Story, the two ASL Sisters.
We live in the same apartment complex, so we hang out a lot anyway. And then once a transfer we need to have exchanges, where we swap companions so that Hermana Cardullo can teach them and work with them. We've been needing to do them but procrastinating, so finally we just did both exchanges in one week. So I spent Tuesday with Sister Story, and Saturday with Sister Abbott.
It was fun - they're both great missionaries and fun people. And they taught me some sign language! I now know how to say, "Hi, my name is Sister Sellers" in sign language. And also the word "purple", which is now used as a "gang sign" by Sister Story and one of our investigators, JP. It was really really funny.
So that was fun to hang out with them. And then something else exciting happened...Hermana got us into a car crash!
Not a big one though. She tried to merge, didn't check her blind spot - and bam, big ole dent in the side of some poor little car, and a little dent in our front corner. We pulled over, and thanks to my experiences in East Sac I was a pro at filling out the paperwork. The folks we hit were, amazingly, a little Spanish family! They were so nice and not angry at all, mostly just miffed...they had insurance, and so did we, so it was all ok. And we got all their contact info for the insurance, so we'll drop by sometime with "we're sorry" cookies. Maybe that's how they'll find the gospel. The Lord works in mysterious ways - maybe He'll turn a crash into a baptism.
Oh, and that was Hermana Cardullo's second crash, so that means I'M driving from now on. Ha ha ha...it'll be fun...
Today and yesterday I haven't driven though, because ironically enough, I threw my back out. XD It's been such a weird week! We had service, pulling weeds and cleaning a garden for a family we started teaching. T he mom, was so sweet. She said, "You MUST be sent from God, because I have been PRAYING for this help." It was wonderful.t She is so absolutely prepared. We got to pass her off to the English missionaries since English is her first language, and she already believes the Book of Mormon is true and has a baptismal date. We're so excited for them. I'm glad I got to be a part of their story.
But yes, all the squatting and weed-pulling hurt my back and the next day I could barely move. It's better now but I still limp along like an old lady, so Hermana Cardullo is driving. By tomorrow I should be all back to normal.
So yep, that's been my fun, weird week. We've worked with a lot of people. JP, our investigator, is getting baptized this coming Wednesday, and we're so excited - and so is he! It's so great to see how far he's come. We're so unbelievably proud and happy. It's just the greatest thing in the world to see these people and to help them turn their lives towards God - and to His blessings poured out upon them.
Life is fantastic as a missionary. A chapter of the Book of Mormon I read today that I quite liked was Mosiah 5-6, which is about taking on the name of Christ and making that covenant to serve Him. The Lord really blesses us when we take His name upon us - and I feel so privileged to literally carry His name upon me, upon my missionary badge. But we can all carry His name in our hearts.
Keep working hard and doing well. The work of the Lord rolls forth! Huzzah!
Hermana Sarah Sellers
This was a busy week! It's funny how I sit down to write everything that happened this week, and often draw a blank. So much happens, that you look back, puzzled. Like, "Did that really only happen a few days ago? Nooo...really?" And yep, it really has. So sometimes my emails, or letters, have ended up being more about the second half of the week that seems more recent. XD
For instance, I almost forgot today that we had Zone Conference this week! It was Tuesday. It was President and Sister Jardine's first zone conference, and it was great. They taught a lot about gratitude and not comparing our results to the results of other missionaries - we are the ones that determine if we are successful missionaries or not, and that has nothing to do with our results but more with who we are. Who we become. It was a really good conference.
This Wednesday, then, JP got baptized! It was so great. The Spirit was strong - Brother Potter, a wonderful brother in the ward Congregation), gave the talk on baptism for him. It was a great talk - the Spirit was so strong. He talked about the story of Peter trying to walk on water to the Savior, and how we need to constantly reach out to the Savior. After his baptism, JP told us he felt like "an empty bin...but in a good way." He's kind of weird but he's awesome. XD And he wants to follow the Savior and live a good life, and that's what counts.
It was funny, because a while back, before he decided to be baptized, our friend promised him that if he got baptized she'd make potato salad for him. XD It was just a joke, but then at his baptism, she really did bring potato salad for him! It was so funny!
I have so many funny stories related to JP. After church yesterday, as we were walking out, he was hiding in the bushes and jumped out at us yelling, "YAH I'M A MORMON." Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Let's see, what else? We've kept working hard, Hermana Cardullo and I. Transfers are next week, and there's no chance I'm leaving Stockton...because Hermana Cardullo is going home. She has spent a year and a half on her mission, and thus is finishing it and returning home. It's pretty crazy for her. She can't imagine not being a missionary - and I don't blame her, I feel the same! And I'm only 5 months out. O.O Wow, 5 months already. Time flies. Hermana Cardullo is going home, and so is my first companion Hermana Naatjes. I'll miss them - everyone I know in the mission is going home, ha ha ha! X'D
It'll be interesting to see who my new companion is...I'll let you all know next Tuesday, since that's when P-day will be because of transfers.
I hope everything is going well with all of you. Life in the mission is so sweet, and so short - I hope to use this brief time in my life to its fullest! I'm going to keep working hard and doing my best. You all do the same!
Hermana Sarah Sellers