Well, transfers have come and gone and I find myself not in Miami like I was so desperately hoping...but back up in the Stuart zone, in the lovely land of Wellington, FL. Wellington is a "village" (aka ritzy town) east of West Palm Beach. It's predominantly white, the ward is mostly made up of young Utah couples, and there are neighborhoods here with some of the BIGGEST houses I have ever seen. Aka, it's quite a bit different from my last area in Ft. Laud. I am whitewashing the area with Sister Johnson (who you'll probably recognize from a handful of my pictures back when I was in Nova. She lived in the apt. with me for a transfer).
I've learned a lot this week about truly submitting my will to the Lord's. Well, to be honest, that seemed to be the theme of my last 2 transfers as well...apparently, this is something that God REALLY wants me to get better at!
When I found out that the Wellington area was getting whitewashed, I had a feeling that that was where I would be going. And I'll be honest, I was NOT too thrilled about it. I wanted to go south soo badly....I've wanted to serve in Miami my whole mission! So when it was announced that I was going up to Wellington I was a little bit...resistant. Especially since I had just opened an area and the prospect of whitewashing again seemed a bit overwhelming.
However, luckily I had a revelatory experience over the next couple days as I realized how SELFISH I was being! I did not come here on a mission to see Miami or to do what I wanted to do. I am here as a representative of Jesus Christ, to serve the way that HE wants me to serve. And as such, I should be so excited to go wherever He sends me and serve with whomever He puts me with because He knows exactly what I need! He also knows exactly where the people are that I'm supposed to find. Why on earth would I ever want to do this work MY way when I could do it HIS way?
As I reflected on this, I became a lot more excited to be up in Stuart again. Even though I miss the wildness and spice of Ft. Laud, I know that this is exactly where I'm supposed to be and that Sister Johnson is exactly who I am supposed to be with. I know for a fact that Heavenly Father planned this transfer out a LONG time ago, and that He has been preparing very specific families here that He has sent us to find. I know this because months ago (I think it was October) I had a cool moment of inspiration. I was standing in the mission office, looking at the transfer board. I didn't know who hardly any of the missionaries were, but I saw Sister Johnson's picture on the board and just had a very strong impression that we would be companions one day. Well, that day has come! And because I received that impression from the Spirit so long ago, I truly know that this transfer is very inspired and that it was probably something I planned out even before I came to this Earth.
I also felt very strongly coming into this transfer that I was supposed to find and baptize a family over the next 6 weeks. This was confirmed to me in our district training, when our district leader said that he felt very inspired to set a goal for each companionship to baptize a family. I am so excited, because I truly know that God has prepared a very specific family for me & Sister Johnson to find! I can't wait to meet them. One of my mission goals has been to baptize a whole family--mom, dad, and kids--and I am so happy about the prospect of doing just that. :)
I also know this transfer is going to help me really humble myself and seek God's will. I know the only way to find this family is to ask Him where they are and be willing to go wherever it is that He wants me to go, even if it's a "rich" neighborhood that I would normally stay away from.
Today in my studies, I felt inspired to study the story of Jonah and to compare it with Ammon's experience in Alma 26. Both of these men were called of God to preach the word, both had much success with calling people to repentance, but both of them had such different experiences because of their attitudes towards the work. I made a list of attributes that I admired in Ammon that were lacking in Jonah because I truly have the desire to be an AMMON-style missionary, to put my whole heart into this work and just love every second of it! Jonah was called to Nineveh and he ran to Tarshish. I was called to Wellington and even though at first I would have much preferred to run back to Ft. Laud, like Ammon I am here and ready to be the means to bring many souls unto repentance!
Right now we're mostly working on finding people to teach. We have some pretty cool people so far. The first thing I did when I got to the area was FIND THE GHETTO. Most of the area is pretty rich, but we have 2 streets of ghetto here. Luckily, I was on an exchange in this area about 2 weeks ago so I was a little bit familiar with it. So you know how I always talked about my last area in Ft. Laud being ghetto? I realized that it's really more of a "swag" ghetto there. People are pretty chill. The ghetto here is the real deal, aka scary "people die here" ghetto. We walked into a situation on Saturday night involving a gun, a drug deal, and a BYU shirt. Definitely and interesting story, but definitely no bueno. Anyways, we worked the main ghetto street this last week but we both feel like it's not really where God wants us to be, so we're going to start working in some other places we've found. One of those places includes us having an appt. to visit a family later this week who lives in Hogwarts. Seriously. Their house is approximately the size of Hogwarts and looks just like it. Yup, no more Deepside for me! There's also quite a bit of Spanish here, so I'm excited about the prospect of using mi espanol a lot more often. I ordered a Spanish namebadge for the office, so now I can pretend like I'm a Spanish hermana :)
I had this really amazing experience from my last week in Ft. Laud that I wanted to write about, but I guess it will have to wait. This email's already kind of long and I've gotta peace. Gonna go grocery shopping in the Village of Wellington. haha. :)