So we got the transfer email on saturday night and we were totally shocked to see that both hermana phillips and I are being transferred. I couldn't believe that when I saw it, especially because our area is doing so well. For example in the past month we have found 24 investigators, and even had 7 at church on Sunday! We have been working really well with the members and have built really strong relationships and trust with them. My automatic feeling when we found out we were going was one of dread, because I just love these people and this area so much that the last thing I want to happen is for the work here to slow down. But after praying a lot, Heavenly Father reminded me that this isn't my work nor my mission, it is His. Things might not go according to my plan, but they also do according to His. And His is just a little bit more perfect than mine. Okay maybe a lot more perfect than mine. We came to the realization as well that we are teaching a lot of men right now, and they will probably be able to progress a lot better with the elders that will be coming in. I think that was the main factor in the revelation that president received about our area. A little miracle that happened this week was that we met every single one of our proselyting goals this week (goals for lessons taught, people at church, progressing investigators, new investigators found, etc.) . I can't even remember the last time that has happened to me. We always pray to know what goal to set and then try our best to achieve it during the week but a lot of times it doesn't happen. But this week, I think Heavenly Father knew we would be a little down knowing this would be our last week here and wanted to let us know He was proud of the work we had done so he helped us to reach every single one.Sunday was rough saying goodbye to all the members. Everyone was devastated that they were taking us away. Our branch president, his wife, branch mission leader and his family and a few others even started tearing up when they were talking to us. I might have shed a few too hahah. Ima bebe. Branch council was also slightly panicking during our meeting because they realized that they won't have anyone to play the piano now that I am leaving! Ahh man I love the beneva branch so much. It's definitely hard to go. The assistants already called and told us that hermana phillips will be going to cortez (IM SO PUMPED ABOUT THIS SHE IS GOING TO MY OLD AREA) to be with hermana jahnel and hermana bryan (who hermana gibson was training). I am so grateful for these past 3 transfers I've had with hermana phillips and for having the priviledge to be her trainer. I have learned so many things from her, a lot more than Im sure she has learned from me. We have a lot of great memories together here in Beneva, and I have to say it is kind of nice that we are going out together. Im excited to hear about her progress and success in Bradenton. Me and hermana gibson will be going up to transfer meeting together on wednesday to find out where we will be going. We are the only two hermanas being transferred so I am really anxious to know if we will both be going english, or will be opening a new area together. Two elders were just taken out of the tampa 5th ward which is the only spanish ward in the mission and Im hoping I go there! but ive been praying to have the mindset that it doesn't matter to me where I go or what language, because wherever I do it is where Im needed.
- A few updates on the most golden investigators we have been teaching here before I leave, so that you guys will know who Im talking about when I share the news when they get baptized. There is Omar- whos girlfriend is a member in mexico and was an online referral from her. When we started teaching him, he had no faith, had never prayed, and had never even seen a bible. Since then, he has been praying and reading in the book of mormon every day- little bits and pieces between his two jobs he has as a cook. He stopped drinking coffee and smoking within a week after learning the word of wisdom and said he has never felt better in his life. He did a full 24 hour fast with us last week to be able to get work off for sundays, and wouldn't break it until it had been exactly 24 hours, and that was while he was at his job all day working with food! And guess what? He got work off for Sunday yesterday!! But ofcourse, right when we are about to take a big step satan is always right there. His alarm didnt go off and he slept in until 130 and was even late to his second job!! ahh that was frusterating. But he is determined to be there next week. He even picked his own baptismal date of August 22 and he's working on earning enough money to go back to mexico to marry his girlfriend, so they can get married in the temple one day. Im excited to hear how he continues to progress
-there is also Waldo. He is a man who just moved here from Cuba two months ago that I stopped and talked to while we were on bikes about a week and a half ago. He loves to study history and already knew quite a bit about the history of the church. He came to church the day after we street contacted him without teaching him anything, which like hardly ever happens. And of course it was the sunday that we had a big meeting and talked about all the same sex marriage legislation and it got kind of heated haha. So we were worried but we taught him quite a bit last week and he came to church again! He has a lot of potential. It was really cool, the day we taught him about the book of mormon I had just finished it again in spanish that morning and prayed about it so I was able to share my newly strengthened testimony with him of it. He calls me Vietnam for some reason because apparently when I first introduced myself as hermana baugh on the street, he thinks my name sounds like Vietnam. hahah Ill miss him and all my cubans here.
-ah man there are so many more that i've never even told you about. one more is marta, a friend of celfia (one of my recent converts) that she brought to church on sunday. She just moved here from mexico and she absolutely loved church, we taught her later that day with celfia about the book of mormon and she loved it and us and was so sad that we wouldnt be able to keep teaching her!
--man theres so much more I wanted to write about. I love this work so much I could talk about all the miracles I see every day for ages. I hope everyone has a good week, please pray that the work and the people here in sarasota can continue to progress.
love hermana va