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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 9, 2013 - Gilroy

Dear Family,
Wow what an exciting/stressful week. I don't remember when I said this but I do remember telling someone (I think it was Mom) that my mission wasn't the hardest thing I've ever done. Well my perspective on that COMPLETELY changed after this week. Well actually last week. Becacuse yesterday and today were so awesome. I can't believe I was in Livermore last week because now it seems like so long ago. But Monday night I visited all the families/investigators that I've grown closest to. It was the hardest to say bye to Blanca. She wrote a really nice letter in my journal  and told me that I would forever be God's angel sent to her. Sister Wallace said that Blanca is doing fine but they're struggling with money and she didn't go to church (general conference) last Sunday for the first time since we started teaching her. I hope it was just a one time thing. She was really close to Elder Perez too and he left as well so I hope she stays strong with the other missionaries.
Tuesday morning I found out that I was going to the Morgan Hill Zone. We are living in Gilroy and we cover the Gavilan Spanish branch as well as the Del Rey Park English ward. The new missionaries don't come in until Thursday so for two days I was companions with 2 other sisters who were scheduled to train- Sister Lindsey (spanish) and Sister Yunack. Sister Yunack is the sweetest person I have EVER met. She's from an island called vanuatu (her house is on an island called espiritu santo which means holy ghost in spanish!!!) near fiji and her native language is bishlama. She's been out for 8 months and her english is nearly perfect. I was so amazed! I can only imagine how much better my spanish would be if I were living in an all spanish speaking country. We stayed in Hollister for two days but had to drive back and forth to gilroy (about 30 min) for some of my meetings with the bishopric, wml's other missionaries etc. Crazy two days
Thursday morning we all headed to the mission office to meet our trainees. I was talking to the assistants right before the meeting and they said that one of the new missionaries was a native spanish speaker and I said "I want her!" And I got her :) Her name is Sister Garcia-Gomez and she is from Veracruz Mexico but she spent a lot of her life in San Diego. She speaks fluent English as well but we try to only speak spanish together. She's 20 years old so she's one of the new wave of younger missionaries. She's awesome! She LOVES shopping so we spent just about all of our first p-day going to the outlets. She also loves running :) We're gonna get along great!
We are currnetly living in one of the elder old apartments. It's disgusting might I add. We've already thrown away more than six garbage bags of their old stuff. The elders that were living there are currently sleeping on the zone leaders couch. Por guys. President found a new apartment for us but it won't be available for about another month. But I think it's in the same apartment complex so we won't have to move very far. It's a nicer complex than my last apartment and the gym is a lot better so I'm happy to stay!
I don't know how but somehow we got so lucky to use the assistants car until they get some more. It's a ford fusion and way nicer than anything I've ever driven before. My companion doesn't drive so it made me nervous at first to be the one responsible for it. But now I love it!
So as for our first week in Gilroy....I knew white washing an area would be hard. Especially with a trainee. But I didn't know it would be THIS hard. I really think that it'll get easier though. I already know this week won't be like last week because we've gotten to know a few members and we have a lot of set appointments coming up. The members have been really nice and have already called and scheduled dinners for us. Most of them are excited to have sister least that's what they tell us :) We've found about 4 investigators what we're going to start teaching plus we inherited some from the Elders.  Speaking of members: we had dinner last night with some of the english members and they gave me a huge bag of gluten free goodies. It was SO nice. And she made a gluten free meal :) (Her husband has celiacs). I like nice people.
I like Gilroy. It's apparently famous for Garlic? It's a really cute small town with lots of fields and farm and orchards. President bought us some bikes (pink with baskets!) that we started riding today. The weather has been a lot nicer. Livermore would get pretty hot but it's just perfectly warm here. The morgan hill zone is HUGE compared to my Livermore zone. We played volleyball yesterday for p-day and had almost four teams! One of the elders ran for uvu last year so we had a good time talking about our former track lives.
We watched half of general conference in english and the other half in spanish. I don't know who said it but one of the speakers talked about how families would always move into a stake and immediately ask which ward was "the best" instead of learning which ward needed a good family or support in some other way. That changed my attitude completely about coming here to gilroy. I need to ask where am I needed to help and strengthen an area instead of wanting to go wherever is going to be the most fun or have the most baptisms etc. I know there is some reason why I have been sent to white wash this area and I may not every find out why! But I'm glad I'm here and I really love my new companion.
Dad, where did you send my taxes? Mission office or my livermore address? I'll keep an eye out for them. Thank you SOOOO much for doing my taxes by the way. I think this will be the first year that doing my taxes won't result in my crying. Also, thanks for your email. I really appreciated all of it but especially what you said about perfectionism....something I need to remember. I'm glad you and the vitrano's got to attend general conference together. And I might steal that bead object lesson for one of ours! My journal is still in Livermore for some people to sign. I bought a journal just for testimonies and contact information. I think my old companion has it right now.
Mom, can you pretty please send my dakine backpack? The black and pink one? To my new address I think would be best. Also, will you include some filler pages for the journal that Andrea got me. I still have quite a few left but I'll run out within a couple months. That way you won't have to send another package again. And thank you for your Easter package last week. I really liked the poem you included. I need reminders like that everynow and then. I didn't have any time to write letters on Monday but I wanted you to know that I am grateful for your letters!
Here is my new address:
 8200 Kern Ave Apt J104
Gilroy, CA  95020
Speaking of addresses...I can't get a library card until I have proof of residency. For example.... a letter addressed to me with a Gilroy address. SOOOO if someone wants to send me a letter this week that would be even more greatly appreciated than normal! That way I won't have to pay for the internet next week. THanks in advance whoever you are! Also, I will be emailing on Tuesdays or maybe even Wednesdays from now on because the Library is closed on Mondays. I don't know why....
Well I hope everyone is doing well and I can't wait to hear from  you again! Love you LOTS!
Love, Hermana Billings

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