This week in one sentence: I'm still adjusting to lots of changes, but trying to stay positive!
Awesome things that happened: A few people really complimented me on my Spanish this week. I even told one member that I was from Mexico and she believed me!!! I guess my Spanish is improving! I've been working on my accent.
There is a set of English Sisters that live in the complex right across from us, so one night we knocked on their door and we walked down to the lake near our apartment to watch all the fireflies.
Not so Awesome things: President and Sister Riggs are gone :( I learned sooooo much from them! Literally, if someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up, I'm going to answer that I want to be President Riggs.
Hispanic Program Fact(s) of the week: (All these things have become normal to me, but I realized some of you might not have known what my life is like here in the Hispanic program, so maybe this will help.) 1) Hispanics love carbs, literally they will serve you rice pasta and potatoes all in the same meal. 2) Hispanics do not change their fire alarm batteries. That high pitched beep is just always constantly there. (I have loads more, but I need to save them for next week.)
(Some) People I met:
President and Sister Huntsman) We met them this week and they seem super sweet, they know nothing of how the Riggs used to run the mission so there will probably be lots of things that they do differently. They are cute, and I guess someone from my ward was in the MTC the same time as them, so they told the Huntsmans to look for me and they actually remembered!
The Morales Family) I have heard so much about the Morales family from Hna Riddle, they are pretty funny. They are from Guatemala, but they speak a lot of English. Our car is actually names after the mom (Vilma Morales).
Obispo Sandoval) He is such a cute Bishop! They are from Mexico, and he always has his hair spiked up everywhere with a big smile on his face. We ate with him and his family on the 4th of July.
Something I learned this week: I learned if you are starting to get comfortable and think like everything is going pretty great for you, watch out, because that means the Lord has other plans, haha. I read the talk from last conference called If You Will Be Responsible or something like that, and it talks a lot about accepting the will of the Lord without complaint or anything like it. I need to work of that. God has a plan for us, a perfect plan. So if we accept his will for us (even if we don't like it) we can become who he wants us to become, and help the people he knows only we can help.
Well, I learned through short email conversations with Ashley that this is now her first rough period of the mission. Thus far, she has had a great time, and great companions, but with her moved to a new area and a new companion that she doesn't have a lot in common with (although she is very nice), Ashley is "struggling" a bit. I tried to encourage her to embrace the changes and be a leader and make the struggles "fun!" Missionary work is hard and not necessarily "fun," but I think maybe Ashley has had some "fun" and she feels it's not so fun right now and feels "restrained" and "not herself." I think this will be a great learning period for her and hope she learns to accept changes, work on focusing on the true purpose of the mission, and hopefully has some success.
Ashley has been out 6 months now (1/3 done with her mission) and she feels it has gone fast, with the exception of this past week. In this change period and rough spot, she feel the last week dragged on. Hermana Brown has only one transfer left after this one before she returns home, so it is very possible that she and Ashley could be together for the next 11 weeks! I hope Ashley figures out how to make the next weeks productive and not feel so sorry for herself, or it will be a long transfer or two.
Ashley did not get to see any fireworks on the 4th of July since they had to stay in her area, and she said the trees are too tall to see anything (true!), but she and Hna Brown got to have lunch with the Bishop's family.
Ashley likes the more city feel of Reston. Her last area was much more rural and Ashley likes that there are more building around and more of a city feel. She also likes the little lake that is near their apartment and likes the lightning bugs! (I loved them too as a kid.)
I didn't get any photos of Ashley this week, only a panorama of a view she likes and a photo of her district's "patriotic" red, white and blue cars. Ashley's car is the white one and "she" is named after one of the investigators--Vilma! (I guess its a thing to name your car) I will post ALL TWO of her photos and one older one so we at least get to see her cute face!
One last piece of trivia--Ashley is now in the Spring Lake Spanish Ward, which is in the Oakton, Virginia Stake. Another ward in her Stake is the Herndon Ward which my dad (Ashley's Grandpa Horne) was the Bishop of many years ago. Small world! Until next week...