Big happenings this week. I can't even wait to tell you all about it! On Wednesday night, we received a transfer text from the Zone Leader, Elder Asi, but it was a joke because he just listed everyone in the district. Real funny. So then Sister Aurelio and I called him to check who was REALLY going to be transferred, and he said I was. He is such a joker, I almost couldn't believe him. But it was the truth. Awwww maaaannnnn! Just when things were on fire in Leganes! Six of our investigators are set to be baptized in June. I kind of felt like a kid eating a delicious piece of chocolate cake, only to have it taken away after the first few bites. But it is okay, because I know Heavenly Father needs me here in SAN JOSE!
At least I had one night's warning though (unlike Sister Marchant, haha), so I packed up and Sister Aurelio and I took a taxi to Arevalo. I was transferred to San Jose area A, in the beautiful province of Antique! (ant-EE-kay) Yes! I'm out of the city and into the bukid! Going from Iloilo to San Jose kind of feels like going from Salt Lake to Logan. San Jose is still urban, but it has great beaches (our whole area is basically on the beach) and is closer to the mountains. It is a lot more green than the city. And the air is clean, right off the ocean! There aren't jeepneys, unless you need to travel a long distance. We get around on big white tricycles. Elder Ortiz, the new Zone Leader, and I had to take a 2 hour, twisting and turning bus ride through the mountains to arrive here from Arevalo.
My companion is Sister Viliami. She is a Tongan sister from Hamilton, New Zealand. I am so excited to work with her. She has great insights and she is ready to work hard. I know I will learn a lot from her. She is very different than my last two companions. She told me that I am an answer to her prayers. She knows the Lord sent me here to push and stretch her. She is a great missionary. She really cares. And she has amazing potential. We will be very good for each other, I can already tell.
San Jose is a branch (in a District, not a Stake), there are 8 missionaries assigned here--the ZLs, the STLs, us, and a set of couple missionaries, Elder and Sister Sessions. (I haven't met them yet because they travel all around Antique to help.) Oh yeah, and I am released as an STL. Hallelujah. :) I am so grateful for all I learned about leadership, and I know it is now time for other sisters to learn those lessons too. And what do we do when we learn something? APPLY IT.
I know Heavenly Father needs me here...in this area, in this branch, in this zone. The first night I arrived, the sisters all opened up to me that there have been big problems with disobedience in the zone for the last few transfers. As an apartment, we are all committed to obedience. Heavenly Father sent me here for a reason. He needs me to be an instrument of change. Which I know is going to push me a lot. Excellent obedience will lead to the miracles this branch and zone need to see. When He calls, I am ready. Challenge accepted!
Christine is our investigator with a baptismal goal date for the end of June. She came to church for the first time yesterday. She is 17. Her family are all "Bible Believers" which is just a kind of baptist. She is the youngest of 13 siblings. I am excited about her. I am also excited about the Branch Missionaries here. They are very involved in the work as well. I miss Leganes Ward, but San Jose Branch will be great as well.
I love you all so much. I read a great chapter about the Atonement this morning, Isaiah 53. Give it a read this week. :) Thank you for your love and prayers. Always trust in the Lord and His plan for you. Andam pirmi!
Love, Sister Winward
Sister Cassie Winward