New Years was absolutely wonderful, Hna. Castillo and I went to spend the night with the Hermanas in Ramos Mejia, and a Peruvian hermano in their ward had prepared the HUGEST meal I've ever seen for us to eat in our apartment. We had a great time together, and then it was kind of magical to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of low thunder starting up and then growing to a roar as the fireworks went off in every direction, echoing among the sky scraper type buildings in Ramos Mejia. These people were doing fireworks in tiny narrow streets between thirty story buildings! Super crazy, but super cool to watch. New Years day was absolutely dead in San Justo, but we went to lunch with the bishop and all of his extended family to have some DELICIOUS asado, empanadas, and the Argentine works.
Then the dreaded Tuesday night came, we got the call that said Hna. Castillo would be leaving, bravely handled it for about three and a half minutes, and then burst into tears. But Wednesday we got up ready to take on the new adventures. Our investigator friend Angel, drove us in his taxi to the offices, we had the amazing transfer meeting which is always bursting with energy and nervousness, and I got my new companion, Hna. Bird! She has a lot more time than me on the mission, but we basically are sisters (in appearance as you noted Mom) and in alot of other things. She is super fun and nice, I'm really excited for this transfer. She's from Thousand Oaks, CA. It's a little bit wierd being with a North American companion, and I refuse to speak English with her when we're walking along because I'm so scared of losing my Castillano!
Hna. Castillo was called to be one of the traveling sisters, and then it just so happend that their first assigned area was San Justo! Super wierd to be there with her AND our new companions, and kind of frustrating when we were planning for the following day, and she had to act like she knew absolutely nothing about San Justo, so I was left to plan for two days and for different companionships all on my own as the three of them watched me struggle a little. But enough of complaining, it was one of the best experiences ever as I learned from one of the greatest missionaries I've ever known, Hna. Waite. I'm beyond excited to apply some of the things that she has taught me, and I'm filled with this energy and desire to bring Heavenly Father's children to Him. Hna. Bird has been in companionships where she got really accustomed to not having very much success, and it will be a great learning experience helping her realize that there is success and there are precious souls ready to receive the gospel in EVERY area.
We found a TON of wonderful people to teach this past week. The other day we were walking along and saw the most adorable little family all spiffied up waiting for the colectivo to come to go out for a day at the park. We stopped and talked to them, and as I testified to them that our message would bless their family, the little mom kind of teared up. We set up an appointment and went to visit them yesterday. And WOW, are they prepared. The dad, Jonny loves God but has stopped going to church after trying with many different Evangelical churches because he couldn't seem to find a church that was his idea of what the church of Jesus Christ should be. Both of them are really excited about their new little family, (they have one little one year old named Juaquin), and are planning to get married really soon. The mom, Jorgelina, is so sweet and kind, and they just listened to our message with shining eyes. As you can imagine, we came away from the lesson walking on air, and I know that Heavenly Father prepared them and led us to them at just that moment. We never would have found them knocking on doors because they live on the third floor of an apartment complex. Heavenly Father truly is guiding this incredible work.
Jesus is doing amazing and is getting ready to start his mission papers! Woohoo!! And Mom, you also asked about what we do in church. Funny enough, we went to help in the primary for the first time yesterday, and it was the funniest times. We were in charge of Sharing Time, and when I got up to talk about "I am a Child of God" I asked 7 year old Facundo, "So Facu, do you think us who are here right now are the only ones who are children of God? Are your friends children of God?" And he shrugged his shoulders and said in his adorable Argentine accent, "I'm pretty sure they are. But I don't know, I'll have to ask them." We all chuckled, but I was touched by the image of Facu asking his friends if they are children of God and then sharing with them the beautiful truth that YES, they are most definitely children of God. THAT is why I'm here, to help people know that and feel of His love. And I love it so much!
I love you all, and hope you have an amazing week as you start this fresh new year full of amazing blessings and opportunities that Heavenly Father has in store for us!