Read about my experiences serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tampa, Florida
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Happy 7 month mesaversary!! And to celebrate, I was transferred to the Beneva Branch in Sarasota, Florida last thursday. My hypothesis came true! Me and Hermana Paulsen (my mtc companion) just did a swap and I went to her area with her old companion and she is now in Bradenton with Hermana Gibson. Going from Bradenton to Sarasota is like going from Temecula to Murietta, its really cool because now me and Hermana Paulsen know all the members in the Cortez and Beneva Branch so we are all able to work together really well. So my companion now is Hermana Mathis. Shes from Utah and is a hair stylist and has only one transfer left of her mission!! Soooooo for me this means that I have to learn the members, investigators and area here really well and really fast because I will probably be taking it over in 6 weeks. And I will probably be training again too since there's nobody else who could replace her! Im not really looking forward to killing off another missionary but Im glad that I at least get 6 weeks with Hermana Mathis- we get along really well and have been having so much fun. I love Sarasota!! It is definitely a lot nicer than Bradenton. There is still a lot of spanish in Sarasota but there's not nearly as many spanish neighborhoods around as there were in my last area. But there is a lot more diversity. In Bradenton, it is pretty much purely mexicans but in Sarasota almost everyone I meet is from somewhere different! I met Nicaraguans and Peruvians for the first time on my mission the other day! And there are a lot more people from Cuba here... they have the best spanish. Just kidding it is like 10 times harder to understand than any other spanish because they speak at 100 mph and leave off half of every word. Its great. I love the branch here, the members are seriously from all over - Argentina, Cuba, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Puerto Rico, Mexico, El Salvador- you name it. I have to tell you, learning the area and the names of all the members here has been sooo much easier here than it was when I got to Bradenton because I actually know spanish! My spanish improved a lot last transfer- Ive gotten a lot of compliments on it from the members since being here. So thats been a big confidence booster. Its a lot better than when I got to Bradenton, just starting my mission and the members would just look at me as I tried to introduce myself and think "is it just me or is this strange creature trying to communicate with me? Ill just nod my head and smile and act like Im understanding.. yeah yeah Ill do that." So aside from there being a lot of hispanic diversity in Sarasota, there is also a big amish community that we live by. So its pretty funny when we go out riding our bikes in our dresses and skirts and wait at the stop lights with a bunch of other people riding bikes in dresses and skirts. Except they've got these pretty cool bonnets so we feel a little left out. We're not quite at that level yet but maybe one day we will be worthy enough to achieve the status of the bonnet wearers. So really if you don't ride a bike in ridiculous clothing in Sarasota- YOU are the weird one. Plot twist. So that's been a nice change. So also the other thing about Sarasota is.... that we literally have one investigator haha. Who is on parole. They had 3 baptisms the week before I got here, which is great, but the only problem with that is that we have a nice fresh area book now haha which actually is probably a good thing because now I will know everyone we are teaching thats for sure! So we have been doing a lot of finding, which is new for me because we could just walk into a hispanic neighborhood in Bradenton and teach like 5 lessons! But anyways, so far I love it here in Sarasota and I'm really excited for the transfer that lies ahead here!! Hope everyone has a great week!!
Cool story really quick. This is Eugene and he is 91 years old! This is the man that hermana Paulsen and I found on exchanges that one day last transfer, pushing himself in his wheelchair down the street. I pushed him back to his apartment and we taught him, and it turns out he already believed in the book of mormon and was an old member of the rLDS church. Well the sisters kept teaching him and I actually taught him again on the other exchange I went on to sarasota. He received and answer that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was the only church with Gods authority on the earth today and at 91 years old, was baptized last saturday and was confirmed and received the priesthood on Sunday. He is so awesome. and now I get to keep teaching him! So that was definitely a miracle. If you ever think you are too old to do something or that its too late.... just think of Eugene.