My loveliest and most beautiful family,
I HAVE ARRIVED IN YUBA CITY!!!!!!!!!! Hahaha what!?! I do not even know where to begin!!! This past week has been the CRAZIEST and an exhausting one as well. This is the most tired I have felt thus far on my mission for sure. It has been sooo crazy haha. And it doesn't help that I didn't get the greatest amount of sleep the few days leading up to my move haha. But I am here!! With my cute little greenie and we are so happy!!! Haha but before that, where to begin... Well first off, best thing EVER happened to me. So, since Hermana Piggott is training along with Hermana Richards and I and since Hermana Lee, her last companion, was heading to Hamilton City/Chicowhich is past Gridley and Trainer/Trainees don't meet up till in Antelope... She got permission to spend with Hermana Richards and I and then spend the night with us in Gridley!!!! Whaaaat!?! Could I have asked for anything better!?! Another day with Hermana Piggott in our sweet little home, Gridley!?! Haha it was the BEST!!!!!!
And since I was running around saying goodbye to Jesus, Yamara & the Elizondo's, Marcella, the Orme's, Jackie, the Hamblin's and everyone.. She got to visit with them all too!!! Hahaha we made it a surprise for everyone as well and they were all soooo happy!!! It was amazing!! I honestly got tears in my eyes every time they would see her and then we had to say goodbye again. Good thing Hermana Richards (Reechards) is staying there and so it wasn't as sad for each goodbye. I am so happy I am leaving that place in her care, couldn't trust anyone more. But it was crazy saying goodbye with Hermana Piggott there though. It felt as though we were both saying goodbye to Gridley, our special place, together. It was quite a sentimental thing to be completely honest. The hardest was when we said goodbye to Yamara though. She started crying & as I hugged her goodbye she just cried into my shoulder. It broke my heart. I know I will keep in touch with her though, probably the most because she is an amazing writer and she is just one of my best little friends. She is my angel and just ohh so sweet and special to me. But then they had another cake for me and, of course, asked me to take a bite out of it AGAIN (like when they had me do that for my Birthday) and then Esgar came up from behind me and COMPLETELY smashhhhed my face in the cake. Ohhh boy did he smash my face. I had so much frosting/cake up my nose I couldn't breeeeathe!!!!!! Hahaha and part of the frosting was red and when I lifted my face up it looked like blood and since I couldn't BREATHE they thought my nose was bleeding and I was hurt. Hahaha it was PRICELESS.
And then Antonio made us his famous, traditional chocolate milk and Yamara gave me the most precious necklace. She bought it when she got baptized and it's good with the word "faith" written out with diamonds. Sooo beautiful and special to me. I LOVE HER!!!! And THEN after I was already teary hugging my sweet little Yamara goodbye... What REALLY got me was when we were about to leave, Esgar got all serious and he said (remember Hermana Piggott was there so it meant even more), "I am not really good with speeches but I want to tell you ladies something. I want to tell you thank you for coming over to my house and helping my family so much. There was a lot of tension in our home before you girls showed up and you really have blessed our home and family. You have helped us pray together and made us all much happier. So thank you. We are really going to miss you." And he started CRYING!!!!! ESGAR!!!!! Ohhh my goodness it was the sweetest thing I had ever heard and it made ME CRY!!!!!!! I honestly already miss the Elizondo's soooo much and I cannot express how much I love them and how much they mean to me. Ohh I love them so much. It hurts my heart thinking about it. But saying goodbye to everyone else was very sad as well however, I know I will be back shortly for Any & Maria's baptism so I am trying to focus on that. I can't let myself dwell over missing everyone too much or it will distract me from my work. I can't let anything distract me. Nope. But it was still a wonderful day and I absolutely loved having my two best friends and sidekicks with me all day long. Seriously, I had Hermana Piggott and Hermana Richards with me ALL DAY LONG!!!!! The two BEST HUMANS and Hermanas I know of!!!! Ahhhhhh I cannot wait for you all to meet them. Then you will be able to get an idea of why I am so obsessed with them both.
Seriously couldn't have asked for better companions. They are THE BEST!!! But so anyways..finally came where we found out who our new companions were!!!! Big announcement... my new companion is Hermana Hughes!! Hermana Hughes is 19 and from a tiny small town in the middle of Illinois. She went to BYU for a year, just barely in the fall of 2013, crazy... and she is super cute!! I would have to say she is different from my last three companions but she is sooo so sweet and we are going to be an awesome duo together. She definitely has the "greenie fire" in her and is constantly excited about being here and doing The Lord's work. She really gets excited over ever little thing haha I love it!! It keeps me smiling and laughing as well. The whole Hispanic culture, language, and overall mission life is all completely new to her so it's fun seeing her experience it all for the first time and begin to embrace it. Haha it has been a crazyyyy ride thus far though. For example, Yuba City is HUGE!!!! Compared to little Griddles, this place is massive!!!! Hahaha I have no idea where I am or where I am going most the time and yeah, it is quite an adventure. We have lots of fun with it and we are always discovering new places and what not. Oh, and we got a new car! Nobody cares. We got a brand new 2014 Toyota Corolla. When I got it it only had 22 miles on it! Haha I have never driven a car that brand new in my life!! And then they stocked us up with a new phone, our apartment has all the goods Hermana Richards and I got, including again, brand new cloud mattresses which I am very happy about haha and yeahh we are so spoiled. It is ridiculous. President Weston kept joking with me at the Trainer meeting that my convertible was waiting out front and that it was like Christmas morning haha. Oh I love him more than I can express. We really are so blessed though.
Oh! And so my new address is....
1152 Franklin Avenue, Apartment #17, Yuba City,
... As you can see we live in an apartment, which is very nice and I like it a lot! We're very lucky! It's right in the middle of the city too so we're close to many things. Also, "Los Campos" ... "The Camps" is right down the street from us too which we had in Gridley, which is government housing, and full of Hispanics.. Somewhat like a mini Mexico.. So I am super excited about that. We have already been over there a bunch. But yeah!! It is soo so different but I am super excited to be here!! I have moments where I miss Gridley and the people there a lot, but the more I get to know the area and people here, I am more and more excited for the change and adventure I have ahead. It is pretty different being a Trainer though. A whole lot different actually. It's crazy having a companion know a good amount less of Spanish than me haha and having to translate everything during lessons or when we talk with people. She speaks great and knows a whole lot more than when I came to the field, poor Hermana Piggott haha, but I still have to take the lead which is a thrill.
My testimony of the gift of tongues and the Holy Ghost has already been strengthened a ton might I add haha. I really do love training though and I am happy every time Hermana Hughes asks me for advice or I can help her in some way. I truly do hope I can be a really good example to her on how missionary's and missionary work should be. Haha sometimes I feel like I am a stickler because I want us to be exactly obedient and diligent in every way but she wants to be the same way so it works. I already know we are going to have great success together and see many miracles!! As for our work here thus far... We have some new investigators that live in our area that have been passed off to us from the Hermanas so that's good. One is named Lorena and actually Hermana Richards and I taught her in Gridley because she is cousins with our investigator Margarito's wife, and she cried during our lesson but lives here in Yuba so we passed her off to the sisters here and now I get to teach her again! So I am super excited about that. Then we have more investigators we have to still visit and then a big list of potentials, formers and less-actives. I am so excited to finally be able to meet all of them and get things really going!! I have taken Hermana Hughes tracting already a few times too, because I am a believer in it and before we had any names it really was our only option... But the other Hermanas and Elders in our branch never have time to tract because they are so busy and the members in the branch told me the work is going crazy here so I am sooo excited to get in the groove of things and start seeing miracles happen!!! I cannot wait!
We have already visited some members, potentials and less-actives though and everyone seems sooo great so far. The members in this branch really are awesome and we have had lots of fun with them thus far. Ohhh I have so much I could say but no time to. I have to write President in a minute before my time is up too. But things are great!!! It has been a long week but I am super excited to see what this next week brings!! Also, Easter was amazing!!!! Sounds like Easter was amazing at home as well!! Mom!!! Thank you so much for sending me that darling video of Ben!!! I was beaming watching it just barely and I loved it soo much. Tell him and his cute girlfriend hello for me!!! I wish she would have been on the video as well haha. But I am sure Easter was incredible at home!! Easter here was amazing as well. For personal study yesterday I read Elder Christofferson's talk given just this General Conference on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and then I read the story of His resurrection in the Bible. Then in church we talked all about Christ, Hermana Briggs spoke, Hermana Rodriguez-Toledo sang "Asombro me da" ... "I stand all amazed" and it was soo beautiful and it was all just so wonderful. Then after church we met with President Weston for a little, he was in Yuba City and that of course was the best Easter surprise because I admire, respect, idolize and love that man more than I can say... And Sister Weston was here as well. And then we had dinner at the Relief Society President's home, love that family already, we chatted with her son Valentine forever... He's awesome, and then we tried to contact lots of potentials, set up some appointments and then we found some less-actives or more like the whole family is active but the dad because he has work everyand has for 5 years.... But they have 4 girls and we shared a wonderful Easter message with them and it was the best!!! The spirit was soo strong, I understood all of the Spanish perfectly and cleared than I ever have before (the Holy Ghost and The Lord have been helping me a great amount lately... I am so thankful) and the whole family was just all smiles and the cutest thing ever! Their last name is Vega and I love them so much!!
Also, after we read in the Bible and watched the Bible videos that went along with them and then the new one, "Because of Him" (if you are yet to see it, look it up online right now on LDS.org and watch it!! It's amazing and I hear they are making it a commercial??) everyone bore their testimony of the Resurrection and of Jesus Christ and it was so incredible!!! The dad was so spiritual too and afterwards he said he really wants to make it so he can come to church every week. He came yesterday and he said he has missed it so much. So I hope he does. Awesome family. Awesome people here. I cannot wait!!!! Also, my new Sister Training Leader is Sister Hanninen from Finland and she is sooo darling I can't even stand it. So I can't wait to go on exchanges with her. Oh! Which reminds me. The week before I got here I got an Easter package in the mail from the Shafers!!! All the way from Stuttgart, Germany!!! It was the best surprise!!! It was full of German chocolate and goods too and the cutest letters from Bettina, I was so happy!!! We have the most darling, loving and best relatives!!!!!! I love it. And I got your package too mama!!! You are the best!!!!!!!!!! But okay, I can't remember what else I wanted to say and I have to go. I will tell more next week!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!!
Con mucho amor y un gran abrazo,
Oh and FUNNIEST fact. When I first met my ward mission leaders wife, she asked me if I was a native! Hahahahaha I am still dying over that. I couldn't be more of a gringo or American and I am blonde. So classic. I love it.
AND I was able to see, visit and chat with Sister Parry (Ariel Parry) since she had just come in as a greenie and it was sooo fun!!!! She looked sooo beautiful and couldn't be more darling so I loved it. She is now serving in Roseville too (actually gets to go to the mission name.... so cool haha) and her companion is Sister Moulton!!! Who was in my first district in the field!!! I love it!!!! But yeah she is soooo cute and I will have to send pictures later. No time right now. But I am the happiest!!!!!
Oh, and the name of our Spanish Branch is "Tierra Buena" ... "Good Land" ... I love it!!! This land is the best and one that is hastening in the Lord's work... I love it!!!!
Also, we already had a lesson with this guy who honestly argued against EVERYTHING we taught and said. Haha it was a great first lesson for Hermana Hughes. Ohhh man it was too crazy. I wish I could tell more but I am out of time. He honestly was the person though where I could have said the sky was blue and he would argue with me that it was green. Too good!! Okay... ¡ADIOS!