Hello Friends and Family!
It's a BEAUTIFUL day in Castro Valley, California! It's unbelievable that we're coming up on the end of February already, time is flying by, especially as I'm working hard to serve those around me to the best of my ability.
So in case any of you didn't get the latest news: I've been transferred again! Transfers are craziness but they are also amazing. Sister Lau is my new companion, she entered the MTC the same week as I did, but she's been in the field a transfer longer than me. She speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English and has served her first 6 months in the Chinese program in Oakland, and as I've spent all my mission thus far bouncing around in the Spanish program, It came to both of us as a BIG SHOCK to find out we we're being paired up together and shot-gunning (which means both of us are brand-new to the area) in an English program no less! But let me tell you, even from the first day we have been seeing amazing miracles! Castro Valley is just incredible. We are the only missionaries in the Ward, which is an adjustment because BOTH of the Spanish branches I have been in before we had 6 missionaries! So the pressure's on a bit, but on the other hand I have NEVER been in an English ward that is so involved in missionary work! It is incredible. So I know that Heavenly Father is blessing us a TON to have the opportunity to serve here and He's really counting on us to make the most of the amazing love and support here. We already have a Baptism next week! Sister Ure and sister Hunsaker, the incredible missionaries whom we just replaced, were working so hard and seeing amazing miracles and I know it broke their hearts to leave, and I see why, this ward really is like a big family.
So cool story: our first day in Castro Valley we already had members signed up to feed us and we went and had dinner with the Schiller family. They are just the coooolest ever. So anyways, we get to talking and Sister Schiller mentions that she grew up in Houston Texas and learned Spanish there. So when I asked her which part of Houston she was sure that I wouldn't recognize it, but she said "Baytown" and I said WHAT?! my parents live in La Porte! and we're like, "small world!" and she asked me if I knew her Grandparents who just happen to be Herman and Arlene Berges!! and she was blown away to find out that he was my Patriarch! So yeah, the world got even smaller and it was just such a blessing to find that closeness to home even on the first day in a brand-new area. Such tender mercies. Sister Lau and I are going to continue working on our teaching skills in English and getting to know Castro Valley inside and out! I'll keep you posted on exciting mission-life! Remember to count your blessings and share with those around you just how much you love them through your words and actions!