The weather is great and I am so excited for my new area(s). News came Saturday morning that I would be transferred to Las Cruces, so much of my weekend was spent saying goodbye to everyone in Belen, which was way harder then I had expected. Part of why it was so difficult was that our truck was in the shop all week so travel was much slower on foot, but also I had grown so close to the people here. I knew that saying goodbye was not going to be easy but I hadn't expected it to be quite as hard as it was. I fell in love with Belen! So many miracles, memories, and friends were made in the past 4 1/2 months that I am sure to never forget, and am already excited to travel back through after my mission has ended. It was amazing to see another area known for slow missionary work to become the golden standard for everyone else to strive for, including myself now.
Even though Belen will be missed I know they will continue strong with great missionaries and a solid ward, and now I have a great new journey to start down south (pretty close to the border). We are working in the Rio Grand family ward as well as the Aggies University ward (Yep, back on campus, lol). My new companion is Elder Yardley and we talked a lot yesterday about what we want this transfer and have already begun working towards our goals. In just one evening we have already seen some great changes! The missionaries here had not been invited to any ward councils, were not involved in many ward activities, and no missionary correlation has taken place. The efforts of the missionaries have apparently been focused on tracting which, as usual, has yielded very little success and built nominal member trust.
We decided to start off on the right foot and right away set up meetings with the bishops and Ward Mission Leaders from each of the wards. Last night we met with most of them and have already been 'shocked' with progress. We are now invited to ward council, asked to speak on Sunday, asked to attend ward activities, and we are in the process of setting up missionary correlation. I am not sure if the success will be as rapid as in past areas but I have a really good feeling about the work here and am really impressed with how fast the bishops accepted us. I am seeing more and more how the Lord is preparing me for each new area I am sent to and am excited for what I will learn here as well as how many people we will be able to bring closer to Christ through the restored Gospel. I am definitely learning fast, not always easy, that this really is the Lords work and all we have to do is follow his prompting on how to do it.
Its warm (almost hot), both wards seem great already, my companion is amazing, and I know I am where I need to be! I love this :-)