Monday, March 20, 2017

ML6 Episode 1: We Hit a Puppy (March 20, 2017)

Pues, this week has been exciting.
Monday after breakfast and emailing we played volleyball and wrote in transfer journals. We said goodbye to Sister Hopkins around 3 and there were many tears shed by the other sisters. That night we had Family Home Evening, my last one, where I played "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" one last time and then recorded it one actual last time. Then Luke Nelson asked me to play the intro to a Greenday song (it's okay! I didn't listen to the song and my part was like one measure) so that he could record it for his audition. It was really fun to play again. I had one last hurrah with soccer and it was a fantastic game. Everyone was really on their game and we had a blast.

Tuesday we went to the foodbank and left with 15 dozen eggs. 15 dozen. It was a lot of eggs. So, we stopped by Elder Peterson and Nielsen's apartment to give them 5 dozen eggs and 6 jugs of orange juice that we weren't going to drink. His face. Was so. Happy. Then we ate a dozen eggs hardboiled) and packed a little before dropping off 5 more dozen eggs at the zone leaders house. So many eggs. Then we packed some more. We had a couple of appointments, stopped by some people to say goodbye and set up appointments, and I gave Salvador a rock to put on his pillow so that he would remember to say his prayers.

Wednesday - transfers. First off, service at the thriftstore for the last time. We ate at TimeOut as a district and then we rushed off to another service for a really sweet less active member our age where we helped clean up her yard. Then we headed out to Soap Lake to say goodbye to Zacarias and Bertha - LA and Investigator. They are my favorite. Zacarias loves to talk so much and him and I get along well because mostly we just make fun of each other in Spanish. Bertha is tiny, sweet, spunky, and wears the pants in the relationship even if Zacarias is in denial about it. She's the reason he's even going to church - she won't take no for an answer. And she's not even a member yet!! She had made us stir-fry which was delicious - she always has some kind of food for us when we go over, and then when we said goodbye she said - "Don't forget about us!" I love the people there so much. I wasn't there long, but I will never forget them. It was bittersweet because with Luis and Silvia's baptism coming up I will get to see them soon anyway but it's still a little bit sad to say goodbye so soon.
Then transfers. Here's where I explain the title. I meet my companion, get super excited about the new zone because I know almost everyone already, and as we drive away towards our apartment suddenly a puppy runs out in front of our tire. Within the first 20 minutes of me meeting my companion, she hits a puppy. And laughs. Not maniacally. More like nervously/panicky/I-don't-know-what-to-do-y. Honestly, I'm grateful she didn't cry. All the same. We eat dinner and then stop by a potential and then unpack and get to know each other where we find out that we're almost the same person, just at different stages of the mission life.

Thursday a member of the branch passed away and so after planning, we help make funeral plans. That night we had coordination where we rocked the boat and started throwing out some ideas to fix member trust and to get the Spanish work going. Basically, we cover an English ward and a Spanish branch. And it is a beautifully clean slate because we have 2 investigator families. So finding is going to be a thing for a while and I am so excited!!

Friday we had zone conference with Elder Uceda. I went into this transfer really wanting to learn humility. That is my goal. And let me tell you, this conference literally flipped a switch. I don't have the time to write everything I learned, there was so much, but essentially he told us - and I quote - "I invite you to repent." And needless to say, I'm learning on how to do that a lot more now. He basically took a humility stick and beat us black and blue lovingly with it. And I am really grateful that he did so in the first week of transfers because now I can apply all that I learned to the next 5 weeks.

Saturday we had a stellar day. We began with a service where we picked up trash from all along the beach. We found lots of dead things, carp, catfish and crawdads and I may or may not now have a fish spine. On Friday I accumulated a snake skin from a part member family. Basically, I'm having fun with bones and skins and teeth and I have a small collection now. Toward the end of service I got a call from the Branch President and was asked to play the violin in church on Sunday and then at the funeral next Saturday. Of course I said yes and THEN I actually thought about how we were going to do that. Long story short, I dragged the district into it and we did Nearer My God To Thee in Spanish. The Lord most certainly qualifies those He calls.

We are working on figuring out how to work this area, it's large and finding Spanish speakers are like finding needles in a haystack. But we did a lot of really wonderful things this day and we're beginning to get our feet under us. We have been planning so that every half hour we are using a different finding activity so that we can begin to figure out the area and explore lots of regions.

Sunday we went to 5 hours of church. First the English ward where I gave the closing prayer so that everyone could see my new face and we had 3 investigators come to church! :) Sean, Nicole and James. They are wonderful and have a baptismal date of April 15th. :) They loved church a lot as well, especially Nicole and it's her first time coming since she was like 8 and only Sean's second time. Then we headed to the branch where I translated  - the way it works is depending on what language the speaker is giving their talk in, I translate to the other language. The majority of the congregation can speak both but there are a handful of English only members and a handful of Spanish only members. So if the talk is in English, I translate it to Spanish and vice versa. It was pretty intense but wow the gift of interpretation is real. Then we "performed" for lack of a better term. After church we had a district council where we became ML6 because the 6 of us Spanish missionaries cover the entire population 22,089 town of Moses Lake. And we have some ideas on how to make this town catch on fire. Fun Fact: My nickname is Abuelita Baird. Because I am the oldest missionary in our district. It's ___________.
Then I had the opportunity to shop for violins. Just kidding. President Jones has two violins and they are BEAUTIFUL. One is a Stradivarius copy with steel strings and it has the most beautiful tone I have ever heard. The other is much newer but it reminds me of mine. Needless to say I was in heaven, playing these two violins so that I could pick one for the funeral. I decided on practicing on the new one and playing the Stradivarius at the actual funeral. I love music. Thanks mom and dad for making me stick with it.

Anyway. Wow. Word vomit. That's okay though. This week was busy. And it hasn't even been a full week in Moses yet. Here's to a fantastic transfer!

Sister Jaycie Baird
Washington Yakima Mission

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