August 10, 2015
Hey Family and Friends!!!!
This past week has been really crazy!
I had to say goodbye to everyone in Norfolk. It was really, really sad because I've been in Norfolk for so long and I feel like I’m leaving many friends. It was especially hard to say goodbye to Martin and Lani and their family. I've grown really close to each of them. Martin had to go inside when we were leaving because he was starting to tear up a bit.
Packing up everything was a little rough because I've had everything out of my suitcases for over 7 months so putting it all back in wasn't fun. Elder Garcia and I bought some of those compressible bags that you hook it to a vacuum that sucks all the air out to compress everything down into a smaller space. Even with that, it was still a struggle to stuff all my things in my suitcases.
On Thursday, we left Norfolk for the last time and headed down to Suffolk for a mission wide conference. There were 180 missionaries in attendance. It was really cool to have everyone there in one place and it was a super powerful meeting. After the conference everyone met their new companions. My new companion is Elder Berry. He’s a great guy! He has been on his mission for 6 weeks less than me but he's 23 years old, which means I still haven't had a companion that is younger than me.
Later that day, we drove down to Greenville, North Carolina, which was about a 3-hour drive. It is actually pretty nice to be able to go to Greenville and it isn't a culture shock because I've been in fairly large cities for my entire mission. Greenville is still a decent size with about 80,000 people but there is also a lot of open country and farms. There are a lot of Hispanics living near here in trailer parks that are located in the middle of nowhere.
Friday morning Elder Berry and I went over what we were going to do in zone meeting, practiced a few things and then I had to go in and wing it during the zone meeting. It went really well but we talked for 30 minutes longer than we should have because Elder Berry and I didn't know what time we were supposed to end. Elder Berry has only been a zone leader for 6 weeks so we both are pretty new at this stuff.
Our ward here in Greenville is English speaking so this past Sunday was the first Sunday that I have heard talks in English for over a year!!! The ward is great here and all but I definitely miss the Spanish. The bishop here asked me to bear my testimony in front of the congregation. There are only 6 active Spanish members here in the English ward, so we had to translate for them for Sacrament meeting. Elder Berry and I switched off translating during Sacrament and then I sat next to one member during Priesthood and translated for him. Translating isn't that easy since you need to be talking as fast as the speaker person is talking. Since it was only my first time translating I'm sure I'll get better as time goes on. Since we don't really have many Hispanic families in our ward, that means we aren't eating rice, beans, sopas, papusas, posole etc. every night for dinner like we were in Norfolk. So far the members have feeding us pizza and noodles. I miss the Hispanic food a lot but I guess that is how it goes.
One thing that comes with being a zone leader is that P-days end at 4 p.m. instead of at 6 p.m. since we have to do some paperwork and number checking so we'll see how that goes today.
I want everyone to know that we are in Christ's church. And I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is watching out for us. Sometimes we don't see His hand in our lives but he is always there. I'm grateful that families can be together forever!
I hope everyone has a great week!
Saying Goodbye to Martin and Lani
All of the Spanish speaking Elders in my mission