EL CAMPO: AURORA!
Well its been two mondays since I've emailed so here I go!
Last days of the MTC were good, many goodbyes to some great friends!
One of our last days, we came into our classroom to find a note on the board that said: "Sister Barlow- Thanks for writing an inspiring song, 2 years. Good luck on your mission." and didn't say who it was from! But it was super super nice.
Another Elder also recognized me from youtube durring our in-field- orientation. It is like the coolest thing when that happens I'm like whaaaaw
Monday at 4:30 we left for the airport! It was so exciting.
For some reason I get song inspirations on airplanes because I started writing one there HA (a spiritual one of course) but I'm saving it for after the mish or if I have time here. For some reason I was feeling the spirit so strong on the plane! I just sat there feeling and knowing that what I was doing was right and that I wouldn't be alone. It was really cool. That day all 29 of us went to the Mission Presidents house, ate food, learned stuff, had interviews, and slept over there. It was real fun! It is super humid and h ot here haha I love it.
The next morning was TRANSFERS aka the reaping!! Ha just kidding. But I got my new companion and trainer..... Hermana Hungate!! She is super great. We are serving in the Aurora Spanish ward, covering the cities: West Chicage, Batavia, St. Charles and Geneva.That day was also sad though because I had to leave Hermana Jones :( I love her so much, I almost cried leaving her but I held it in. The first couple days were a BLUR my mind was like whaat whoo... basically I was a little bit like a deer in the headlights! I knew that obviously this mission would be different than san diego, but I guess deep down I kind of expected it to be I guess. It seemed like the Sisters there were baptizing a lot, and they were always teaching people, and also they never tracted. Now that I'm here I see that they are pretty lucky haha! My first couple days we tracted so so much, heres why: Before I came there were only 4 missionaries in our ward: Two Elders and two sisters split the ward boundaries (which is the stake boundaries). NOW there are 8 MISSIONARIES in our ward! so crazy! two pairs of elders and 2 of sisters. So, the area is now split into 4. So... that means our investigators pretty much all went to the other missionaries, and now we don't have any progressing investigators :/ but thats ok we will find some! We did find some potentials and another which we are hoping and praying will progress.
So we were trying to visit a very less active but couldn't find her, she had moved. So we decided to knock around there. Now how we knock is not just going down the line- we try our hardest to listen to the spirit to lead us and help us know which houses to knock on. I felt that we needed to go right on this one street, so we did. Another challenge we have is that we have to try our best to guess/feel which houses are hispanic! Tricky huh... So we were walking along and we stopped and I asked her what she thought. In my head I felt that we needed to go to this one house a bit down the street. She paused for a minute and pointed to the house that I was thinking of, which was cool. So at this door,I took the lead and what not (which is scary with my spanish!) But a sweet hispanic lady maybe in her 30s answered, and was very interested, and let us in, and we had a quick lesson about prayer and she prayed for/with us! It was so spiritual and shes so awesome. It was super cool how we were led there.
Also we happened to be in a certain neighborhood just walking around, and we ran into a former investigator. At first she said she had no time, didn't want to talk, blah blah blah, but my comp was a boss and helped clear up mis-conceptions and re establish our purpose, and she ended up letting us into her house, and wanted us to teach her and her daughters. We went back and had a very spiritual lesson.
Little things like that just make my life because they are for sure miracles from the Lord. Rejection after rejection can be so discouraging and hard, and finding can be difficult- So when the lord gives us tender mercies like that I am so so thankful.
I do love the mission as hard as it is. The hard moments and days pass and the good moments come to make it all worth it. I can see how this mission will be the most fulfilling thing.
This place gets more beautiful every day. The sunsets are amazing and the random cornfields are gorgeous! Also theres a giant river that I love. Tons of the houses are so charming, Its a great place
I LOVE our ward members- everyone even-, I wish they knew how much!!
Love you love you!