I have survived my first transfer in the mission field! Woohoo! I am junior companion to the amazing Hna. Hildenbrand serving in la Rama de Lynn (Lynn branch) located in a building that we share with Comcast...haha! Our area covers (as far as I know...there could be more) Lynn, Salem, Swampscott, Peabody, Marblehead, and a couple small cities. But apparently we focus most of our work in Salem and Lynn. Pretty much all of our scheduled appointments this last weekend canceled - we even had three dinners that all canceled. I hope it's not something to do with me :)
The actual day of transfers (last Thursday) was a little crazy. We zipped off to transfer meeting in Belmont and had a really spirit-packed meeting of missionaries (including Hna. Jardine…who left the next day) bearing their testimonies. Poor Sister Jardine was SO sad to leave! I am going to miss her a whole lot. I had been really stressed about what it would be like to be in a new companionship, but honestly, I absolutely LOVE it! I hope Sister Hales feels the same way with Sister Nagliati. They announce who the senior companions and drivers are in the transfer meeting - Sister Hildenbrand is both in our companionship because she knows the terrain a little better than I - she opened the area with Sister Jardine last transfer. So, after a little bit stressful drive (Sister Hildenbrand's first in 5 months) back to Revere to pick up all my stuff (I have way more than I should already...I need to start downsizing) we were on our way.
Our first day as companions we planned for the next week and had two appointments cancel. Luckily, the elders in our branch (Elder Phillips - district leader and Elder Swasey - been out for one transfer) were thinking about us. They had met a woman in a building of an inactive member and she was really interested but the Elders couldn't go in because they didn't have a man with them. So, they set it up for us to go back in a couple hours. It was an AWESOME lesson with Lxxxxx from the DR (Sister Hildenbrand informed me that pretty much all the Hispanic people in this area are from the Dominican Republic - I get to learn cool slang words like Wa-wa [bus - probably won't find that one in the dictionary] and how to speak really fast! Woohoo!) The spirit was really strong in the lesson and we taught about prayer and the Book of Mormon. She committed to read and pray and come to church! (which, she didn't...but she was willing so that's something).
Friday and Saturday we spent doing some good finding. We got a ton of referrals for the Lynnfield English ward elders and a couple return appointments for ourselves. I'm really excited to call back one woman we met in Salem walking down the street. She seemed genuinely interested and offered us her information so we could get in touch with her.
I can't remember any of the other things I was going to tell you all...
Oh yeah! My first Sunday in the branch was AWESOME!! We started off with a bang because Hna. Hildenbrand and I were teaching a member missionary lesson in Relief Society. I know my mom can attest to the way I get SUPER nervous when I have to teach classes. I've had experience in Relief Society before. But...shockingly enough...I didn't get nervous at all! It was in Spanish too! I felt so calm all week as we were preparing and even on Sunday. The branch is super kind and welcoming and I already feel like I have some good friends. Also, the ward mission leader, Hno. Parades, is pretty much the coolest guy around. He's probably in his seventies and is SO involved in the missionary work. We had a meeting with him and the Elders on Saturday and he's always giving us updates. Also, he leads the music in sacrament meeting and I'm pretty sure he is the loudest, and most dramatic, operatic-tenor-like conductor I have had in the church. He's so awesome! I want to be like him someday. He knows all the members and loves them so much! He is always hugging everyone (except us...rules and all that) and really loves the Gospel. Sometimes he likes talking a little too much, but he has a really great heart.
I really love being companions with Sister Hildenbrand. I feel like even though we're both really new at this whole mission thing, we're really trying to follow the Spirit and I just feel so happy! Life is so great!!
Well, speaking of the best companion ever, Hermana Hildenbrand and are going to Boston! She hasn't been yet (well, she has...but only to go with Hna. Jardine to go to the doctor's office). We're not exactly sure what we're going to do yet, but it's gonna be fun :)