Hello Family! I swear all of the holiday's fall on Monday so we have to wait until Tuesday to email. Yesterday was so busy though! I don't think we would have even had time to email. For our zone activity we did a BBQ at the park by our apartment and it took pretty much all day. We also had to go to the chiropractor because my hips have been hurting...and now after going to the doctor to fix them they hurt 10 times worse! I'm so sore!!. Dad did you pass your bad hips on to me? Actually, he said it's my I-tband (iliotibial band) from running. He told me to come in and use their foam roller as often as I can. Too bad I didn't pack the one that Matt gave me for Christmas!
So first of all, last week I bought myself a box of chocolates for Valentine's Day because I didn't think I'd be getting anything. I didn't think anyone would remember me on such a wanna-be holiday but I still really wanted chocolate! But then I got Mom's package of chocolate and the card and it made me SO happy!!! Thanks so much Mom and Dad :) Andrea I did get your letter and the heart from Boston. Tell him I absolutely LOVE it. It's in my journal now. I read your talk during personal study one day and I really enjoyed. It was a really good talk! And I learned a lot so thanks for sending me a copy. I also got a special delivery surprise from Matt (I'll send a picture of what he sent). However, with NO letter. I realized how awesome gifts are as a missionary but how letters are so much better. Feel free to forward that on to him somebody? (Oh, also someone tell Matt that the other Sister Billings got transferred today so hopefully there will be less confusion! haha His bishop met the other sister Billings and thought it was me). But anyway, thanks to everyone for remembering me on el dia del amor :)
We found out this morning that we get to cover another ward. I'm so excited!!! We're going to have so much more to do...I hope. Right now we teach a lot of the same people as the elders who cover Mocho Branch with us so hopefully this will help. But it's an english ward...which is fine because we'll still be involved alot with the Spanish. And hopefully, with a bigger area (we're covering the tri-valley now aka livermore, dublin, pleasanton and san ramon), we'll contact more latinos in the surrounding area.
Okay as for our investigators: we got three new awesome investigators! The first one is Luis and he tells everyone that he meets that we wants to be like the members of the church. Every time he tells us that he wants to be like us we remind him that he really wants to be more like Jesus Christ. And he gets that. But he calls us his angels. I think He'll progress really fast. He texts or calls us almost every single day to ask when he can have another lesson and he's reading the book of mormon like crazy. However, we assigned him to read Alma 32 the first time we met with him and the next time we met with him he just kept saying "Who's Alma??!" Apparently starting from the beginning of a book is the practical thing to do. Who would have known? But we learned our lesson.
Our other new investigators are Maria and Patricia. I don't have time to talk about them much but they're awesome! Blanca is still doing wonderful. I don't know how I'm going to be able to leave her so hopefully it's not anytime soon. The elders (who are teaching Blanca's son now) said that they're really surprised how much he knows about the book of mormon already. They think he was listening in a lot to our lessons with his mom. Awesome! Maybe they'll end up getting baptized together. We're still working on her husband though.
I just have to tell this funny and slightly inappropriate story real fast...we were eating dinner at a members house and they have a dog. Someone asked them (in english) "does your dog shed a lot" but to latinos "d" and "t" sound very similar so he went on to talk about how often his dog goes to the bathroom. Everyone was laughing.
Dad thanks so much for your letter! I really like hearing about your and mom's stories. Especially because you two were about my age when all of it took place so I like putting myself in your shoes. But I laughed so hard when I read the first line. Elephants??? hahaha
Last thing, a light bulb finally went on in my head about my purpose in the mocho branch. I kept getting frustrated because there are so few people willing/able to help with visits and activities etc. and how even the really active members don't see why it's important to come to church/pay tithing.I felt like the missionaries were doing everything but then I realized that I'm not here for them to help me...I'm here to help them. I guess I thought my purpose was to bring new people into the branch and the current members had the responsibilty to help us to do that. but then I realized that I'm here to help this branch. It changed my whole perspective. If onliy I had realized this 2 transfers ago!
Well we have to go but thank you so much for everything! I hope to hear from everyone soon. I didn't have time to write any letters yesterday but I will try to next week.