So I am officially in Madison, Wisconsin and I have absolutely LOVED every second of it so far! Let me start off by telling you a little bit about this area. It is very similar to West Allis in some ways, and very different in other ways.
First of all, there is a TON going on here. We have been crazy busy and I absolutely love it. We have a lot of pretty neat investigators that we are working with. The ward is so super awesome. So many of them are missionary minded and drop what they are doing to help us out so it is the biggest blessing. Sounds like you know that the Durtshi's are in this ward! They are so awesome! He is in the bishopric and she is the Relief Society president. I am super excited to get to work with them some more.
There is also a Thurston family in this ward! It is one of Norm Thurston's sons that just moved out here with his wife to go to graduate school at UW. So I've got family here which is pretty cool. Plus Sis. Thurston is the coolest. She is a return missionary and she drives us around pretty much everyday and comes to lessons and stuff. So that has been AWESOME. The ward here is actually half Spanish. So at church on Sunday they say one of the sacrament prayers in English and the other in Spanish. And there are four sets of missionaries in the ward. FOUR! 2 sets of Spanish missionaries and a set of English elders and then us. So that is pretty crazy. But the ward takes very good care of us.
We are pretty much in the heart of Madison. So we are on the University of Wisconsin campus a lot. Like right now I am e-mailing from a library on campus. Everyone here is super duper liberal. Even more so than West Allis. So that has been a little different too. The buses here are WAY better than Milwaukee. They get us pretty much every where you need to go and they have these transfer points where lots of buses meet at so that you can switch buses there if you need to. So the buses here really aren't that bad.
My new companion's name is Sister McKenzie Brewster and she is the bomb.com. She is seriously the cutest. She is 20 years old, from Phoenix, Arizona and has been on her mission for about 15 months so she is winding down. In fact we think that I might even be her last companion. She goes home in December. I just asked her what else I should tell you guys about her and she said to tell you that she is smoking hot. So yeah, we get along pretty well. :)
As for the week- it has been crazy!
Tuesday was full of a lot of goodbyes and it was really hard. In the morning I got to see Sarah and we ate lunch together and watched the Testaments. It was hard to say bye to her because I am going to miss her, but I do feel so confident that she is going to stay active in the gospel. So that made it a little easier. I spent the rest of the day finishing packing up and saying goodbye to some of my favorite families. At the end of the night, Sis. Stewart drove us home and saying bye to her was pretty rough too.
|I am really going to miss being so close to the senior office missionaries.|
|Saying goodbye to Sarah and Elizabeth :(|
|Oh and this is a mammoth tooth... haha|
Wednesday was transfer day! We got up in the morning and headed over to the church around 9. We met with a bunch of other missionaries there who were either being transferred or waiting for their new companions to come. What they do is have everyone meet together in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin, and they disperse back out to the different zones that they need to go to. It was fun because on the ride of up Oshkosh, I got to sit with Sister Osmond! #tendermercy I got to Madison probably around 2 and met Sister Brewster! We hit it off pretty fast. I absolutely love that girl. It's been a pretty smooth companion-wise transitioning so I am very grateful for that. Especially because it was so hard to leave West Allis. So I am grateful for Sister Brewster.
When I got here, I didn't even have time to unpack! We got right to work! It was great! We had some appointments with less active members. But I was grateful for that because immediately I got to get to know some of the people that we are working with. Then on Wednesday nights we help the Spanish elders teach an English class so that was pretty fun. And then a bunch of the Spanish members and less actives stay afterward to play indoor soccer. I really wish I had paid a little more attention in Spanish class in high school. If you know me, you know that the only thing that I remember is "Yo tengo queso en mi pantelones" and that doesn't get me very far. But hopefully I will be able to learn some more Spanish while I am here!
Thursday we had a really long weekly planning so that Sis. Brewster could tell me all about all the people that we are working with. Like I said before, we are working with a lot of people! So I was glad to get to know them a little bit better. Then we got to go over to the Durtshi's house and take one of our investigators to a card-making class that Sis. Durtshi teaches. It was really awesome and you will probably be getting some really cute cards in the mail sometime soon.
On Friday's here in Madison, we go to a food pantry called St. Vincent's to volunteer in the morning. It is super fun! I am excited to get to start doing that some more. Later we had a lesson with an investigator. We got to teach him the Restoration and it was mine and Sis. Brewster's first time teaching the Restoration together. I thought it went pretty well! I will let you know more about how he is doing next week. We also got to go and visit a recent convert that lives in an assisted living center. She was having a really bad day so we took her down to the activity room and I played the piano for her and we sang some songs. She loved it and lots of the other residents there came and joined in! It was awesome and the Spirit was really strong. Hopefully we will be able to start teaching some of those people soon.
Saturday morning we had our missionary correlation meeting with our brand new ward mission leader. His name is Brother Delorey and he is so awesome! I can tell that is going to do a lot for us so I am excited for that. Then we had a ward soccer tournament! It was awesome. Because the ward is half Spanish, there are a lot of people that like to play soccer. I actually played really well at the tournament and scored 2 goals- one off of a header. So now all the little Spanish children think I am pretty cool. haha. We had a few other appointments that day and on the way home at the end of the night we were walking through this park and met this guy. He has a really cute little family that he loves so much so we taught him a little bit about the plan of salvation and he got really excited! So we will be meeting with him and his family this week.
Sunday was awesome. I got to meet a lot more of the members in the ward! This ward is pretty much a young married couples ward. Lots of the members are recently married and going to school at UW. So that has been fun. They are all really cool. After church, we got to have a lesson with our investigator. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and how we can be sealed as families forever. She loved it!
Monday we had a crazy cool lesson with another investigator. She is going to school at UW right now. We had a really awesome lesson with her about Alma 32 and how faith leads to action. And then we commited her to be baptized on October 4! It was one of the coolest lessons that I have had on my mission so far! The night before we were planning on teaching her the Plan of Salvation, but when we were praying about it in the morning we really felt like we needed to just talk to her about baptism. That lesson was totally 100% by the Spirit. And now she has a baptismal date that she is working towards. It is so awesome!
So basically we have been crazy busy! We are usually frantically running around from appointment to appointment and trying to catch buses. I have been completely and utterly exhausted everyday since I have been here and I LOVE IT! I wouldn't have it any other way. I miss West Allis everyday, but I am so grateful to be in Madison and I know that this is where the Lord needs me right now. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. Hope you all have a great week!! Love you!