There are trees everywhere!! And the brightest, sparkling stars at night. Oh, how I have missed that! Sometimes...well mostly everytime...I just stare out the window while we're driving (since we spend half of our day driving) and I just smile to myself (: Mm. I am in love. So imagine this: a lot of the roads are like driving up the pass (both ways haha), but skinnier and steeper! Random houses along the mountain tops. Wow, it is so wonderful! We even get to drive a truck!! Finally! wahooo!
We live in a member's home, The Allens. Our little home is next to theirs and it's a studio, so that's something to get used to. Oh, and this is my favorite part of this story...I found a cute little scorpion in the shower the other day. Welcome to AZ.
We are in a Spanish and English ward! First change right there...the Spanish have a WARD! And we even meet in an actual church building with a stand and benches for seats! No more folding chairs! (: I even was privileged to say the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting! I don't know why that makes me so nervous...I think it was mostly because I am so used to praying in Spanish, since that's all I ever do, that praying in English is so hard!
So last Pday we walked down the little strip mall right next to the border. That was awesome! Except for I got another Barbie comment! What in the world haha I am not a barbie, people. What a funny place. I loved being there, though! It is practically Mexico. It reminds me a lot of Mexico City, actually! Just 100 times less crowded and maybe a little cleaner. Maybe.
The members here are very kind (: I feel like I already am close to some of them! This one lady in our ward and I connected through our love for poetry! she started showing me all of her poems! Kinda neat. We stopped in at a member's home on Friday and she invited us right in and right into her family dinner! I felt a little out of place at first, but it was realllly great! We had a literal, traditional Passover dinner! We read how it went and we had all of the things and stuff. Super neat! (not real wine, though ha). Aw (: and then Easter. This little 5 year old boy came up to me with his sweet voice (: "did you know you are one of the Savior's servants?" I said, "yes! Did you know that you are, too?" and he said, "No, I'm 5. Did you know that I love you?" haha he was so sweet! I just love this life here. We even got 3 Easter baskets (: yippee!
So something that I have been learning a lot out here is what truly defines a good missionary. I used to think that they were perfect...until I got out here and realized that I am still just me (: but what I am learning as I go is that, well, that doesn't change. I am still me and these missionaries around me are still themselves. Yes, we are hopefully being refined as we go, but the things that make us us are still the same! There is no magical change. And so, I decided that the underlying thing that sets us apart from our same old self and a good missionary is love. It is the love of Christ. As we master that and let it refine us, we truly are changed. The best missionaries know where their heart is, their mind follows and their strength and effort are in the work of the Lord. They are not perfect in every aspect, but they sure try! I surely hope that I am becoming the person that the Lord intended me to be! Even through my little quirks and things.
I am so grateful for the Gospel of Christ and for His love and Atoning sacrifice that allows me to change everyday. I know that He is the life and the way. Be of good cheer! He has overcome the world. (John 16:33) I just want to end with una poema. This is something I wrote as I realized a little bit more how personal the Savior's Atonement is to me.
They would pierce His mighty hands.
He would loose death's great bands.
He cried out into the dark.
He felt the pleadings of my heart.
And yet, for Him,
I cannot repay the price.
But still, for me,
He comes with mercy in His eyes.
Though I do not fully perceive,
I know of truth, it was for me.