Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy (late) New Year!!

Cheers to bring in  the New Year
I am extremely grateful for the fact that all the holiday shenanigans are over, especially the fireworks!! For Christmas here everyone stays up 'til midnight and there are fireworks for hours...and then every night leading up to New Year's. So Sister Cox didn't sleep too much these past 2 weeks and she is exhausted. But happy despite the heat :)
Me and Sister Moura
This last week has been the craziest!!! So after emailing last week, we went home, I packed like a madwoman because nothing was fitting in my suitcases (thanks for the Christmas packages parents) so I was getting really stressed out but in the end it all worked out. I think I was the Sister with the most stuff at transfer meeting. Oops. Thank goodness we got a ride and I didn't have to take a bus, train, and 2 subways to get to the meeting with 2 huge suitcases, 4 bags, and a box of books.  Anyway! My new companion is Sister Moura from Fortaleza, Ceara and she is also a Sister Training Leader which is great because she can show me the ropes of what I have to do now. She's really great. She's 26 and has a year and 2 months on the mission will go home in May...she doesn't like to talk about the fact that her mission is ending haha.
My new area is Jordanópolis, São Bernardo but here's the confusing part...This area's last transfer was HUGE for just one set of Sisters, so President decided to split the area. Sister Moura was already here with her companion Sister H. Souza and they separated and got new companions (Sister Sequeira and me) Now the 4 of us are working here. HOWEVER--! The house these 2 were living in is too small for all 4 of us so we're actually living in a different house with other sisters in a different area. It's 40 minutes by foot from our house to our area and forever away from our Chapel on Sunday soo we're been having a member help us at night with rides back to our house to avoid walking on a highway at night...yep we have to walk on the side of a highway to get to our area. But no worries, we're looking for a house in our area to avoid this...I feel like I'm on an episode of house hunters every single day.
We work but President also asked us to be looking for a house at the same time so we're visiting some, get the price, talk to the landlord, etc...nothing yet. We're praying to get outta here because I'm sleeping on a pull-out couch and my companion has a blow up mattress on the floor. Poor girl..not that the couch is any comfy-er...yes I know that's not a word.
This week I felt a little lost. I'm still working on finding my place in this area since I'm new here, no one knows me and everything on Sunday was different, so I was missing Utinga a ton!! But the ward is nice, just small. Also in our house I am a baby! The other companionship of sisters we live with are 35 yrs old and comp is 26 and then there's me, the baby. They don't act like anyone is different. It's funny that I'm way younger but I've been on the mission longer than the other 2 sisters.
As for Sister Leader head hurts just thinking about it. So our job is basically to help the other sisters in the mission. There's about 60 sisters on the mission like I said before and there's 8 Sister Training Leaders (STL).  Sister Moura and I are responsible for 6 companionships which is 12 missionaries. We have to go on divisions twice a week which just means we'll switch companions with another set for 24 hours twice a week just to see how they're doing, their work ethic, and just help them out with any questions, etc. Sounds easy but it is not.
We had our first division on Friday and it went really well! I liked seeing a different area and working with a new companion for a bit to see the way she teaches. I feel like I will be learning a LOT this transfer and transfers to come. I'm really grateful though because honestly as we help them we learn and grow too. It's not a matter of who has been on the mission longer or what title you have or whatever. I'm just here to help them and grow WITH them because I'm far from perfect. I'm excited.
We have been planning up a storm, calling the sisters often because many of them are new and have lots of questions, and looking for a house as well as teaching our own lessons. It's just a lot at once. But it's good, I'm liking it. I would always prefer to be busy.
 All the Sister Training Leaders...yup. I'm the only American, but it doesn't look like it!
Yesterday (Tuesday) we had a meeting with President, all the Zone Leaders and STLs to talk about the vision for the mission in 2014 (which is why my p-day changed but it's just for this week) and it's: Real and True Conversion. We've been having lots of problems with retention. People get baptized then never come again so the goal this year is to help the people we teach recognize that this is a lifelong commitment to follow Jesus Christ, not just for this month or whenever you want to go. It was a great meeting and we had taco salad for lunch with ranch dressing!! That doesn't exist here and Sister Tanner saw and laughed at how excited I was about it. It was homemade. She is amazing!!
So as 2013 ended and 2014 started I was thinking a lot in retrospect about how crazy this year has been and how fast it's gone by. This time last year I was home getting ready to go on my mission, taking online classes, waiting for my cute niece to arrive, babysitting, the usual. And it's just so cool to see how different things are now; how much I've learned and how gracious the Lord has been to me and my family this year. I can't thank Him enough. I have, in fact, started a thankful journal where each day I write something I'm thankful for and a blessing I recognized during the day. If we aren't conscious of all the Lord has given us, he won't continue to bless us. Always express gratitude. That's something my mama taught me since I was little! And it never stopped being true.
In 2013 I realized that I still can't cook, I still can't do as many pushups as I'd like, and I still talk way too much...even in Portuguese. So these are my goals for the new year. I love you all so so much. Thank you for your prayers and love! Until next week :)

Sister Cox

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