Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Week 43: Finding Place in my Heart for a New Area/ Hermana "She-Plays the Piano"

The beginning of this week was a little rough- I had forgotten how difficult it is to get used to a new area. I often felt nervous and strange walking around in a new city and I just had to follow my compi around because I had no idea where anything was. I missed Cañuelas and the people there. The members cancelled lunch two days but all the other days I enjoyed getting to know the members here. 

We only have a few investigators here and are constantly looking for new people to teach- we are contacting a lot using El Libro de Mormon and we found a few people this week that have potential to progress. Also we walked a ton- our area is so big and I missed the bikes that we had in Cañuelas. I feel like we lose a lot of time just walking from place to place. Hermana Roman and I get along great. We taught 4 lessons this week and also did service for an afternoon cleaning and organizing the house of a lady who is investigating the church. On Friday we went to the ward Noche de Hogar (FHE) and a good 25 people came. 

Sister Roman (Ecuador) and I

It was great to play some group games and listen to the message. This ward appears pretty unified and the people are very welcoming.

All week I wasn´t sure how I felt about the area, but at church on Sunday I fell in love with the ward of San Jose. The chapel in sacrament meeting was full.  I counted 95 people and the talks were so great. I gave my testimony as a new missionary in the ward and I couldn´t believe it as I said I have "10 months in the mission"...where did the time go?! They didn't have a piano player so I played and afterward throughout church a lot of people thanked me for playing. Hermana Roman said that there are two ladies who can play a little out of a simplfied hymn book but they don´t come to church all the time so they had to sing acapella a lot. I know I always talk about the piano but I am so happy that I can serve in this way and it helped my transition into the ward. Nobody remembers my name because it is difficult for them to pronounce,  but I am known as the hermana that finally arrived who plays the piano! There were 35 women in Relief Society and it was so great to be surrounded by so many people. What a change after the small branch in Cañuelas where we had 5 or 6 hermanas in Relief Society and 25  people in attendance! I am very grateful to be here in San Jose.

Also I learned this week that an investigator in San Vicente that Hermana Abate Daga and I had taught was baptized and that her mom wants to get baptized too! And apparently the congregation in San Vicente has doubled to 65-75 people every week! I was so happy to hear about the progress of my first branch of the mission.

For the coming week we have Zone Conference on Wednesday and it´s General Conference weekend! I am so excited! Enjoy listening to the words of the prophets! :) Lots of love!

Wow what a week- Heidi Baker's funeral sounds like it was a touching experience! You are so beautiful!! I am so blessed to have you as my mom! 💟😘Thank you so much for your long messages- I love reading them! To answer your question, my Spanish is just fine! Yes, my accent is still pretty strong but people can understand me- I´ve learned to accept it and now I feel more confident than ever talking to people in the streets. I know my Spanish could be better but I struggle to study the grammar- it is so boring and I do better just listening and learning that way. I often try but end up using my language study time memorizing scriptures and reading El Libro de Mormon and looking up the words I don´t know.

Thanks for this email- haha its true that the water is terrible in Cañuelas but after a few weeks I got used to it and now the more normal water here tastes weird. Oh and I found out that our area and ward is called San Jose but we work is actually called Rafael Calzada and our address is Fournier 1536. San Jose is the area of the Elders and is a little more dangerous. 

 Area of Audrey's Apartment in San Jose

                                      Neighborhood Area (via Google Earth)

San Jose Chapel

Dad: Heidi´s testimony is amazing and it is inspiring to see Matt´s huge smile from the photo even in this hard time.

Thanks for your example of service- this week helping out with the funeral and with the temple too- amazing! As I hear about the families of my companions I am continually realizing what a great blessing it is to be a part of the McBride family. Hermana Roman is the only member of the church in her family and is one of 14 kids from different marriages but doesn't talk to her dad. She listened to the missionaries and was baptized when she was 15 years old. Her mom moved to Spain while she was on the mission and Hermana Roman won't be able to see her for a while when she gets home from her mission. Hermana Dias only has one sister and an aunt and uncle who are members. Her parents are separated and don´t have an interest in the gospel. Hermana Molinero´s parents are divorced too and are both members but are both really inactive. Her mom hasn't forgiven her as of now for her decision to stop studying and leave on the mission and they don´t talk. Their family situations are all complicated and broken.  And here I am with my parents still happily married and in the gospel and wonder what did I do to receive such an awesome family? You guys are in my prayers every night and I love you so much!

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