Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014: First Week in Tampa!

Wow, so much has happened since last week, I don't even know where to begin. I apologize in advance, this might get kind of long.
So, I'm in Tampa! We got here on Tuesday and then did some training that evening and all day Wednesday. We stayed in a nice hotel and they took us to Golden Corral for dinner. Our mission president said that he likes us to do strenuous exercise, and he means it. The 2 mornings we were in the hotel we got up at 6 to exercise and it was intense. We were also in the parking lot doing push-ups and everything, so my hands and knees were all cut up and bruised. I don't even remember exactly what we did, just that there was a lot of running and it was painful and I'm finally not sore from it anymore.
So then on Thursday we got our trainers and went to our areas and went to work! I really miss everyone from the MTC, but my new companion is wonderful. Her name is Sister Rowland, and she's only been out here about 5 months, so one transfer after she got trained herself. But she's a great trainer and I think she knows a lot (maybe just compared to me, who knows nothing). My area is Tampa 4th ward, but it's not in the city at all, I guess it's like a suburb. There's another set of sisters in the ward (which I think is really weird, but the mission president doesn't like putting elders and sisters in the same ward, I guess they've had some trouble with that in the past). The other sisters are great, and they have the northern part of the ward boundaries and we have the south. Ours is the poorer part, but that's okay because it means people are a lot more humble. Although it also means that A LOT of them don't speak English.
We have a lot of great investigators and recent converts that we've been working with, as well as some less-actives. 3 of them have baptism dates set and I'm so excited! We also had a confirmation yesterday.
We found a new investigator yesterday named Rene and he's AMAZING!! It was great because the day before was really hard, we only taught like one or two lessons, and then we were just walking and biking around all day trying to find people, but no one is outside because it's so hot! And we're not allowed to knock on doors. So anyway, Rene was a media referral, which means he requested a Book of Mormon or something online. So we went over there and he's been SO prepared by the Lord, it's incredible. After we talked to him for awhile, he said he thinks this is what God wants for him, he just needs to think and pray about it a little. We're going to commit him to be baptized tonight, I'm so excited!
I'm out of time, I'll have to post the rest next week. But I'm doing great! Missionary work is HARD. I heard that a lot, but I had no idea until I came here. But it's also so rewarding. I love it here, I love love love the people, and I love being a missionary!

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