Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Valencia family, saying goodbye!
Hola Familia!!
4/21/14 Monday:

Today was the crazy pre-transfer P-Day. We spent the morning getting haircuts and cleaning, then all day with the zone playing whiffle ball, soccer, and football - so much fun. We went to Buffet City with Hermano Baquerizo
(their ward mission leader) and his family, then we had a great night visiting and saying goodbye to the Garcias, Jiminiez, Bronson, Eggers, and Valencias. We got home and continued packing and getting ready for transfers!  Also, I got my Easter Basket package!  Thank you so much! The food was amazing and the shirt and ties were perfect. I needed another long-sleeved shirt and those ties are super fresh, thank you!!
Familia Baquerizo :) outisde of a Chinese buffet
The Bronson family, they're way cool!
4/22/14 Tuesday:

Transfer day! It's crazy that I'm already leaving Hunter West, this is the first time I haven't stayed in an area for a while. 1 transfer and done
! (transfer days come every 6 weeks but they can stay in one area for several transfer periods, in his first two areas he was there 4-5 months!) But I'm really excited to be serving as a zone leader with Elder Biggs over in Granger North. Transfer meeting was awesome, I got to see so many people I haven't seen in a while, like Elder Moleli and Rosdahl. Pres. Swain has titled this transfer the Transfer of Faith and wants us to all work really hard to grow in faith and see the results. We then went over to my new place.  We live upstairs at the Kitchen family's home. We have our own little kitchen and washer and dryer and such, and it's a nice place! The Kitchens are super nice too, so we go downstairs and hang out with them some. Our apartment upstairs was a wreck when we got here, but after a few hours of cleaning it’s looking good! I'm excited to be here! I'll be in the San Marcos branch (a Spanish-speaking congregation), by the way. At night we went on visits...and we actually went on splits (a split is where the companionship splits up and each one goes out with a member of their branch), which was hilarious because I didn't know anyone we were teaching...or the member that I went out with, but things went well and we got a few solid visits in!

The New Apartment

4/23/14 Wednesday:

Solid day today! It was a great 1st day in the area. We got up, worked out, did studies, then ate lunch and headed over to the stake center. As a ZL
(Zone Leader), we do weekly trainings for the District Leaders in our zone (Elders Burgin and McNeil). So we prepared a training and did that with them. Afterwards, we did some area book updating and then had a great lesson with Hermana Tierrablanca. She's an investigator and she now has a baptismal date for mid-May. We're super excited about that! Then, we had a fun dinner with the Torres family, visited a few people, and then the Assistants to President, Elders Russell and Isabell, came over and we started exchanges (exchanges are where the companionship splits up and each one goes out with a missionary from another companionship) with them. I went with Elder Russell into their area. It was pretty cool, they're the only elders in the whole mission with a car, so I get to see what that's like. Unfortunately I won't be allowed to drive haha, but that's okay!

4/24/14 Thursday:

Today was an awesome day. I had a blast on exchanges with Elder Russell. One thing is for sure, the assistants
(assistants to the mission president) definitely stay busy! We got up, worked out, and then had really good morning studies. Then we headed over to the Peachwood building because Elder Russell had some reports and forms to fill out and baptismal records to update/drop off. We went and taught Chad (the Assistants cover a YSA (young single adult) area), then we went to La Fontana for lunch. I got a chimichanga that was pretty good! Then, we drove around and visited a few of the weekly planning sessions and helped people with iPad difficulties and questions. We had a few more lessons, then grabbed dinner with their Bishop and it was great. We evaluated the exchange afterwards and Elder Russell gave me tons of helpful tips for becoming a Zone Leader, he's a great guy! Then we un-exchanged (rejoined their original companions) and it was time for sleep!

4/25/14 Friday:
Good day today! I didn't have to prepare a district meeting, so we went over to Elder McNeil's (one of the district leaders in his zone) and just participated in his, and he did a great job. Then, we had our weekly planning (since ZL's visit everyone during Thursday weekly planning, we do ours on Friday). Afterwards, we had dinner, then our nightly plans started canceling so we knew The Lord intended for us to see different people that night. We found a few new people and met some people we haven't seen in a while, and it was a good night!

4/26/14 Saturday:

Today was a cold, rainy, but good day. We had the normal morning, then went over to the stake center for Choir Practice. The Mission President Devotional is in our stake this month, so during practice, Elder Biggs and I were responsible for doing a training for all the missionaries that didn't want to sing but whose companion did. We did a training from 10:30 to 12:30 on effective role-play for lesson planning, then we came back home and got some lunch. We spent the afternoon contacting people and inviting them to the branch Pascua (Easter) activity, and that's what we did at night! We had a few investigators and less actives there, and they showed the Because of Him videos (the link is: . Then we came home, planned, and went to bed.

4/27/14 Sunday:

Today was one of those busy Sundays! We got up, studied for a few hours, then we had a meeting with  the Stake President at 10:15 (to get assignments to speak in Stake Conference next weekend), branch  council
from 10:45 to 11:45, we went and picked a few investigators up and had church from 1 to 4, then we had a missionary correlation meeting from 4 to 5, then we set up the devotional from 5 to 6:30, then the devotional from 7 to 8, then we cleaned up and came home. It was non-stop action, but I got to meet a ton of the branch members and everyone seems really nice and I'm excited to be here. Then we collected zone numbers, called them in to the AP's, and it's time for sleep! I'm loving the new area, I think it's going to be great!

So my new area is awesome, we've already put 3 people with baptismal dates since I got here. The new apartment needed some cleaning but we've got it looking nice!!!!  Elder Biggs is doing super well, we're pumped to be back together. 

I just moved 4 miles east!  And I go to the San Marcos branch (local Spanish-speaking congregation), we meet at 1 o’clock (boo) (he would rather start church earlier – like 9:00 am). But it seems great! The branch president is not Hispanic...but he's a professional translator so his Spanish is just fine! Everyone here has been in awe over my Spanish, they all tell me I sound native, so I guess it's getting better! I told a few people I was from Mexico and they flat out believed me haha :); there's a colony of people in Guadalajara that look like me apparently, that's what everyone tells me! And I do have a Mexican accent too, it just happened serving with 2 Mexican companions!

And being a ZL is awesome, I'm going to learn so much and get to serve so many missionaries, so I'm excited. We definitely stay a lot busier! As a zone leader, I do the same things as a district leader, except instead of focusing on individual companionships in one district, I focus on the district leaders of multiple districts, and then we're in charge of the individual companionships to an extent too. We work pretty closely with the Assistants and Pres. Swain (the mission president), and it’s a lot of responsibility for us, but we get to learn and work with a ton of missionaries so I love it!

Hey, we've got to run! I love you so much though, and I can't wait to email with you next week!

Y'all are the best! I love you so much!

Sis. Kitchen, our landlady
(teaching Elder Biggs how to get stains out of white shirts!)

(From his email with his Aunt Tammy)

Hey Tia Tammy!

I just got called to serve as a Zone Leader in the Granger B Zone, Granger North Stake! I'm a little bit nervous and excited, but probably more excited than nervous. We've got really solid people here to help me figure things out, I'm serving with Elder Biggs again so that's awesome!

So as far as my daily schedule goes, it doesn't change too much. During district events (training meetings, weekly planning, etc.) we go and visit all of the districts in our zone, and then we do our weekly planning on a different day. And we have to do several exchanges and other training meetings throughout the week. 

And I did get transferred. I'll definitely miss Dude (the “house dog” at his last location), but It's a good area so that's good :)

I'm definitely thankful for warmer weather, I don't think I'm much of a fan of the cold!

We're still biking in this area, the only missionaries in the mission with a car are the assistants (assistants to the mission president), and there's only 1 car, 2 assistants, so it's biking time for us!

New word of the week: bakan. It's a Chilean slang word for something that's really cool. In my opinion, the scriptures are really cool. I've come to love them so much and I learn every time I read and study them. 

It's crazy that in like 5-6 weeks I won't be a teenager anymore, I don't know how to feel about that haha. 

I love you Aunt Tammy, hope everyone is doing well!!



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