I hope that someone got the reference in the subject title. Please tell me people still know what Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century was.
Anyways...I know my mom is eagerly waiting to find out which part of Florida I am in now..... drum roll....
I jumped from the top of the mission down to the heart of the mission! I am now smack-dab in the middle of Fort Lauderdale and I am serving in the Nova Young Single Adult Branch!!! I am SO excited to be here. I was thrilled to find out I was going to YSA. That was one of my "mission ambitions"...I really hoped I'd get to serve in YSA while I was here. Basically, what this means is the people I work with are all unmarried people between the ages of 18-30! So excited about it. I am serving with Sister Holyan, who is Navajo and is from Arizona.
Our area actually covers the whole stake, so we do a lot of driving because our area is huge. We cover the cities of Ft. Lauderdale, Plantation, Hollywood, Davie, Lauderhill, and all the other little ones in between. I absolutely LOVE the area here. It is SO different from Stuart. I wish I could describe it in a way that you could picture it. For example, the other night my new comp Sister Holyan asked where I wanted to eat. She said our options were KFC (fried chicken), Popeyes (fried chicken), and Church's (fried chicken). I was like, "Well...fried chicken it is then." And she said, "Girl, you in the hood now!" Also the way she described the area was by telling me that the only pictures she sends home are pictures of zone activities with other missionaries because if she sent home pictures of the houses she teaches in or the area itself her mom would be on the next flight out here to take her home. In my few days here we've prayed with a drunk guy, been catcalled at, seen some punk kid grab a girl in a headlock and pull out her weave, bought honeydew from an old man on the side of the road, been kissed on the cheek by said melon man (ugh), eaten legit Jamaican food, heard a lot of swear words, and seen approximately 5 white people. I love it so much.
I wanted to try and describe dinner at Church's (a chicken restaraunt), aka the most ghetto experience of my life. I really wanted to just record it so you could truly experience it. But alas, words will have to do.
So we go to this little restaurant on Saturday night and it is packed with people. The lines are so long and we quickly find out why...the restaurant is out of biscuits! Man, you would have thought the world was ending the way these people were acting. People were getting maaad about getting their biscuits. Anyways, we eventually got our food and sit down to eat it. I'm about to take a bit of food and a huge drop of water comes down on me...the ceiling is dripping on us! Then some random little girl with a sticker on her forehead came and sat by us. Some guy went into the woman's restroom. Then an old man came and sat down by us to eat. Just everything about it was soo random and ghetto (including the food! not that good!) and I was just grinning the whole time. I seriously wish you could have been there to see it.
Even though I am in love with the area, it's no easy task taking Sister Johnson's spot (she was the sister here before me). She was here for 7-8 months and so everyone knew her really well and loved her, especially Sister Holyan. The first few days were actually kind of hard because Sister H just really wanted Sister J to still be here. The branch members have all been really welcoming to me but I can tell just how much they miss Sister J. Hopefully they will all grow to love me just as much as they loved her.
Oh my gosh, sorry this email is forever long. But I just have so much to write about! I wanted to write about a miracle that happened on Tuesday night, my last night up in Port St. Lucie!
One of the members in a different ward had given us a referral on Sunday of someone who had just moved into our area. She had been really unsure about sending missionaries to this woman Britain's home, but when she found out that I was in the area she decided to trust us with the referral (I know the member's daughter from school.). She told the elders in her ward about how she really just felt like it was divine timing and that I was sent there at this time so that I could teach Britain. When I heard that, I kind of thought that maybe I'd be staying in the area. But when I found out I was getting transferred, I knew we had to at least go and find Britain before I left. Maybe I wasn't supposed to be the one who stayed to teach her, but at least I knew I needed to find her. So Tuesday night, we went to her street. We weren't exactly sure if we should just do a regular harvest approach or actually let her know we were sent...the member wasn't too sure how Britain would react if she knew we'd been sent to visit her. I'd been praying a lot to know what to do and was hoping the spirit would help guide us. Well, we show up to her street and I asked Sis Sheffield to pull out the post-it where I'd written down Britain's address. Sis. Sheffield just looked at me and said, "Um...I left it at home..." Oh no! We were on this really long street and we definitely didn't have time to knock the whole thing before our next appointment, and we had no idea which house Britain lived in. I said, "Okay sister, we better offer up some serious prayers right now." I prayed one of the hardest prayers that I've prayed on my mission asking Heavenly Father to please guide us to Britain's house. I told him that even if every other person no the street slammed their doors in our faces, it would be okay as long as we found her. So we get out of the car and start walking down the street. We passed a couple houses because I wasn't really feeling like they were the ones, and we walked up to the first house that we decided to try. We knock on the door and this woman answers, and the second she opened the door I just knew it was her. We started to intro ourselves and she was like, "Hi, I'm Britain." It was so incredible! She was happy to see us and invited us to come back a few days later since she had company over at the moment. I walked away from the house and was just crying because the experience was so amazing. It was so awesome to see how Heavenly Father truly led us to her....it was the very first house we knocked on! It was one of the most powerful experiences of my mission and I am so glad that Sis. Sheffield left her address at home because we had the opportunity to truly just rely on the Lord. This truly is His work!
Well, I am excited for this transfer and the miracles we will see in Nova. I am really trying to work hard on losing myself in the work and on having enough faith to overcome doubts or fears so that I can allow miracles to happen. We had a miracle baptism this last weekend and I've set a goal for us to baptize every single week of the transfer. I know it can happen! Sis H is very down-to-business and we are going to do good work here.
Love you all!