Monday, December 9, 2013

It's a Small World After All

Hey Family!

Guess WHAT!!!!!!?????? I have many cool things to share with you today. Big changes....prepare to be amazed...drumroll please........

Yes, I was transferred on Thursday. I am now in Jaro 1st Ward, area B. My new companion is Sister Marchant. She's from WEST JORDAN. She went to WJHS (graduated 2010). She went to USU, and lived in Bridgerland--right behind where I lived for a whole year! She was even in the play Aida that I was in the orchestra pit for in 2009. We have many friends and acquaintances in common from high school and college. We've been crossing paths all our lives, and it took us getting called to a mission halfway around the world to finally meet. I have decided that the Lord reeeeaally wants us to be friends, so now he is sticking us together 24/7 for at least a few months. :) Isn't that the most exciting thing you ever heard? I love it. And, she is the BEST!!! I love her to death already. 

I also received a call to serve as a Sister Training Leader (STL). It was actually kind of funny how transfers happened because, from the intel I had gathered I was headed to Kalibo (up north) until about 10 minutes before transfer meeting, when President Aquino pulled me out and extended a call to be a Sister Training Leader, and I had to move my luggage to a different room so it could get to Iloilo North Zone instead of Kalibo Zone. It is interesting to me that I am an STL because I am younger (in age and in the mission) than all of the Sisters I am serving. It will be a fantastic opportunity to uplift and learn from the other sisters in our Zone. What does a Sister Training Leader do? I will attend Mission Leaders Conference (MLC) on Wednesday, give a training at our Zone Training Meeting the following Tuesday, and most importantly go on exchanges with the other sisters in our Zone to see how they are doing, how their work is going, and uplift them. 

Jaro (pronounced Haro) is even more urban than Oton was. I am sure Mom is laughing at me because I told her I wanted to go to a more bukid (mountainy/green) area (Kalibo, Roxas, Antique, or Guimaras)--but nope, this is even more city. It is kind of richer too. On some things, I think the Lord thinks it is funny to give me exactly the opposite of what I was hoping for, but on other things He definitely grants my righteous desires. Like becoming STL. I was hoping and praying for the opportunity to get to know and be able to serve my sisters here in Iloilo Mission. Yay! That is certainly not the first time I have seen God's hand work in my life in a very unexpected way. And I am so grateful that I know He has an amazing plan for my mission and for my life. 

The work is pretty good here. It is a fairly large area, and we are really trying to find the elect that God has prepared for us. Not just the ones who will let us talk to them, but the ones who are ready to act on our message and change their lives because of the gospel. We have a bunch of investigators from a part-member family who will hopefully be baptized in January. We are focusing on Charity, who is 11 years old. She is very bright and she prays very sincerely about the things we teach her. I am looking forward to searching out the less actives in our area too, hopefully I can apply some of the things I learned about less actives that I learned in Oton. 

One funny experience we had this week was on Saturday night we went to teach an investigator family, and their uncle was there. He is a traveling missionary from the Universal Mission (which I am pretty sure he like founded himself or something) and he was practically trying to convert us. He told us all about his Near Death Experience (NDE--his acronym, not mine) and how they are basically trying to take every religious group and mash them into one big, happy melting pot. So that was interesting. He was fluent in English and was telling us how he wrote a book about his "NDE" and just basically convincing us to let him be a guest speaker at our church. Hmm. It is funny how off-putting it is to have someone speak to us in English when we are out proselyting. Just, please,  speak Ilonggo like everyone else. haha.

Also, our balay is the cutest little place I ever saw. It is like a little condo, and it is fairly new, and cute and colorful. 2 stories and very tiny, but I love it. I can definitely live here for a little bit. 

Anyway, that's all about transfers, folks. I love you all and I hope you are striving to strengthen your testimonies of Christ each day. Have a wonderful day and week. Pray for missionary experiences. Peace, Love, and Adobo. 

Love, Sister Winward 

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