Hi! So I survived my first cambio! And it was great!
I was paying attention today to the difference between today and when I first arrived to the mission 6 weeks ago. And let me tell you, my Spanish is not perfect but it is miraculously better. And I am happier and I have more energy and I feel more comfortable here. But I am still super animo to do this work! And that part hopefully will never change!
We already found out about our cambios (changes) and as it turns out I'm staying in the same area with the same companion for the next six weeks, but that is so ok! That means I will get to finish my training with my first trainer (and they tell me it's super confusing to train with two different people because everyone's style is so different) and that we will be here to see one of our families get married and baptized this week! And we spent five hours getting that wedding officialized, so I would be a little put out if we weren't here to see it go through.
Side note: everyone take a minute to be grateful that it is so easy to get married in the United States because in Honduras it is nothing short of a pain in the neck! We had to get everyone's credentials in to one office and pay off their unpaid taxes, and then turn in their records of marital status (you need an official document stating that you are single) to a different office, but the assistants brough us the record of someone else, so we had to wait for them to bring the right one, and then we had to go get their birth certificates printed from an office on the other side of the city (which is a requirement not listed in the official list of requirements distributed by the municipality) and on top of that the wedding costs $500. But maybe they should institute this system of marriage laws in Las Vegas. It might help.
Anyway, we've been working hard and loving it!we had splits with the Sister Leader Trainers, and usually the junior companion goes to San Pedro with the senior SLT, because we go to their turf to learn. But (and I'm not supposed to know this but I do) Hermana Escalante requested that I could stay here because she wanted me to gain confidence in the area. So I was pretty stressed and pretty nervous about manuvering the buses and neighborhoods with a SLT monitoring my every move. But Hermana Agilar (the SLT) is really great and we had a great day of teaching! And she thinks I'm doing a really good job! She said from my teaching, if she didn't know I was new, she would assume that I'd been here at least a year! Parents, you get a special note of gratitude here, because you two made sure I came very well prepared with the information and the Spirit to serve.
We didn't have any baptisms this week, but we are seeing definite progress in the majority of our investigators and we found twelve wonderful new people to teach this week! One of them came to church with usand, against her wishes, her dog came with her--right into the chapel! People kept shooing him out, but he kept sneaking back in. Eventually he just layed down at her feet and everyone left him alone. We think she felt pretty uncomfortable but it was pretty funny. We just need to make sure he doesn't come next week.
I'm growing a pretty strong testimony of the power of prayer. We don't just see answers to our prayers, we see miracles. Every day! That's amazing! And I feel like this isn't just some special privilage granted to a missionary--this is just the first time in my life that I have known with absolute certainty that I am living in a manner and having the proper amount of faith that I can have confidence that God will answer my prayers. And He does! So this isn't just something for the next 15 months--the Lord is teaching me how to pray for the rest of my life. (Annie, I'm beginning to understand that uncanny ability you have to make everything turn out how you want it to. Well prayed, sister. Well prayed)
Also, I can bear an absolute testimony that the Gospel brings happiness into people's lives. And there is a huge difference between someone living the gospel and someone who isn't. It might be in gifts of happiness and peace, it might be gifts that are more temporal, but always the presence of the Spirit makes a profound difference in someone's life. I know that every good thing in my life comes from this Gospel, and that every bad thing comes from choosing to walk in a path that is not the Lord's. That pretty good motivation to be obedient, right? It is for me.
I haven't gotten any mail yet (hint hint, to use Hermana Hickman's phrase) so I think I'll include my address one more time, just in case I messed it up last time:
Hermana Emily Pickett
Mision Honduras San Pedro Sula Oeste
12 Calle, Ave. Circunvalación
S.O. Edificio Yudé Canahuati
3er. Nivel Oficina #4
San Pedro Sula, Cortés, Honduras, C.A.
Hermana Emily Pickett
Mision Honduras San Pedro Sula Oeste
Apartado Postal 1956
San Pedro Sula, Cortés, Honduras C.A.
I love you guys and miss all of you a lot! Like really a lot! But I know that you guys are getting the blessings for my service because, as I said, the Lord is giving me a new understanding about the power of prayer and I am praying for you! Also, family, from the way that transfers have been worked for this Christmas and the last Christmas and the general rule to try and get missionaries home to their families for Christmas, I am 99.9% sure I will see all of you for family Christmas 2014! How sweet is that!
Speaking of which, if you want to include me in the sibling gift exchange this year, I'm pretty sure I can participate. Just give me a three week heads up! I'd have to send something on the lighter side of gifts, but it would be Hondurañean and epic!
The Church is true. Please stick to it! I love you!