So, here I am in my second area, Stockton! And boy, is it CRAZY! Crazy in a wonderful way. Definitely different from East Sacramento.
On Wednesday, Hermana Naatjes and I went up to the office to swap companions, say hi to all the new missionaries, etc. When the little newbies came in and got their new companions, we all sang "Called to Serve" for them. Then President Jardine got up and talked a little about how companions are truly chosen for each other through revelation - and what a sacred and special calling it is to be a trainer. Hermana Naatjes started crying, and I nearly cried too. Gosh, I miss her. It really was such a wonderful experience to have her as my trainer. We're going to be best friends forever.
I got to meet my new companion though, Hermana Cardullo. She's really fun! Definitely different from Naatjes, but that makes sense, they're different people. Hermana Cardullo is very fun and energetic and vibrant. She loves everyone and talks to everyone and just makes everyone her best friend from the very start. We got talking about introverts and extroverts the other day, and as I was describing what extroverts are like, she was like, "Oh my GOSH! That is SO ME! Holy cow I understand EVERYTHING now!'
She's really great, ha ha ha! XD She's a fantastic missionary. And she makes DELICIOUS pasta. Because she's half Italian. It's cool. We're sure to do lots of great work here in Stockton. This is also her last transfer - she's an old fogey who's going home at the end of August, finishing out her mission. She's going home the same time Hermana Naatjes is. So I get to send them both home!
That'll be fun, and it's nice I'll get to see Hermana Naatjes once more before she leaves the mission.
So Hermana Naatjes and I said our tearful goodbyes (I threatened to kidnap her and take her with me to Stockton, ha ha ha) and finally we left. Cardullo and I got a ride with Sister Potter from one of the English wards in Stockton. And so here I am!
It's been an awesome week. I got to meet the investigators we have here. We've got an awesome part-member family, who are a bunch of boys and no girls so we call them "los muchachos." The two who are investigating , both have strong desires to follow the Savior and have Him in their lives. One wants to get baptized soon, but is uncertain because he has a court day tomorrow to get off of probation...he can't get baptized until he's off. He's nervous, but he's been doing really well, put his past behind him, and we have full faith that it'll go just fine. We're praying and fasting for him today too.
Stockton is interesting, because it's sort of the ghetto. There are more ghetto places in the mission, but this is the most ghetto one that they let Sister Missionaries work in. XD The bright side of that, is that there are TONS of people, and TONS of Spanish people! In East Sac, we'd spend all day tracting and not find a single person out and about to talk to, English or Spanish. Here, we walk right out the door and we can find LOTS of people! I'm amazed by it. So the work here is very strong. Lots of baptisms. I'm very excited to get to work here.
We had one cool adventure the other day. We were driving home from an appointment with los muchachos. As we were getting off the freeway, we saw a truck pulled onto the side of the road, with a woman lying underneath it, trying to get to something under the bed, it seemed. As we drove past, Hermana Cardullo said, "Aw, she looks like she needs help!"
So I said, "Let's help her!"
So Cardullo pulled over, and we hopped out and ran up the street to help her. She was road tripping up to Washington to drop her two dogs off with her mother, so that she could focus on her studies down in Arizona. But then her tire blew, and so she was having difficulty getting the spare down and then mounting it on the car. And she had run out gas too while trying to do that! So we spent the next two hours helping her get the tire down, hiking down the road to get her some gas, and putting the tire on the car. It was really hot out, but when we were done and sent her on her way, she was so grateful, and we were so flipping happy. We hiked back down the road, sweaty and dusty and exhausted, and I was singing I was so happy. It was a wonderful adventure. When we help others, the Lord truly blesses us with joy.
So it's been a crazy week here. Lots of lessons with folks, learning new things, meeting random people. The people here are wonderful. I loved the ward on Sunday too. Everyone's very nice. Hermana Cardullo is a great companion, and we're both just raring to get to work.
Some of the experiences I've had, talking with folks and teaching folks, has reminded me of a talk I love by Richard G. Scott - it's called "I Have Given You An Example", from this past April General Conference. You can find it on lds.org
. It's a wonderful talk about how we can help others come to know their Heavenly Father loves them.
So everything is going great. I love you all! Remember that the Lord loves you, and He knows the best person you can be, and He'll help you become that person.
Hurrah for Israel! All is well!
Hermana Sarah Sellers