I write to you from the cool, air-conditioned cyber cafe in Loma Linda, my new area! The weirdest part? Loma Linda 1 is in the same district as Monte Fresco. When I heard where I was going in the change meeting, I was totally shocked! It´s a little odd, but I´m loving this area. Here´s why:
-Hermana Gladiz is our lunch cita. She´s famous mission-wide for her super delicious food and her love for the missionaries. In fact, I had been to her house twice before when I was in Monte Fresco for special P-day lunches and such because her food is so good. Anyway, this wonderful woman lives across the street from us, and we always have lunch and often stop by to pick up ¨dinner¨ and say goodnight before returning to our house for the night. It´s like living across the street from your grandma! The last norteamericana in this area gained 15 pounds in her four and a half months here. Bring it on!
-My new companion is Hermana Estrada. She has almost 16 months in the mission and is super experienced at teaching, contacting, etc. I can learn a lot from her! She is from Guatemala and studied mechanical engineering before her mission. It´s a little tough because she and her last companion, Hermana Oldroyd, were best friends, so I feel a little awkward trying to fill the space. I´m trying to get used to talking more as we walk between citas to gain that friendship and companionship unity we need to help keep her trunkiness away.
-This area has SO MANY houses to contact! Hermana Aquian always told me that Monte Fresco was a hard area because of all the casas fachentas (rich neighborhoods) that make it hard to contact, but I was okay with it because I didn´t know anything different. Wow, my eyes have been opened! There are houses and people and parks... so many people to tell about the gospel! Definitely a lot of work to do in this area.
-I get to see Mama Aquian at district meeting every Friday!
-We pay Hermana Gladiz to wash our clothes in her washing machine, so no more waking up at 5:30 to scrub my clothes in the pila outside! Woohoo! Confession: I actually kind of miss it. Relaxing, time to think. ;)
-It´s still relatively cool compared to other areas, and the hills to climb are smaller than in Monte Fresco. Hence, from the monte (mountain) to the loma (hill).
-We have a ton of recent converts in this area, and they´ve all been really welcoming. Have I ever said how much I love that I give hugs and cheek kisses to tons of people that I´ve never met every day? Really, Nicaraguans are great!
Anyway, I´m happy and adjusting to all the changes. Oh, and before I left Monte Fresco, guess what? Jazmine accepted a baptism date! Ah, it was such a happy moment. And Hermano Elmer said a really sweet prayer to ¨bless the hermana who leaves from this area that she will know she has done her work here.¨ That prayer was exactly what I needed to hear. And Hermano Leslie made the most adorable sad face when we told him we had transfers. He also said a super sweet prayer, as always, that made me tear up a little bit.
Ah, I should upload some photos and sign out. But if you´re looking for a short and powerful chapter of the Book of Mormon to read, I suggest Mormon 7. Poor Moroni was left all alone to watch the destruction of his people, yet he always wrote his testimony and proclaimed the simple truths of the gospel with the knowledge that his words would help those who live in our day. He testifies powerfully of the atonement, the scriptures, and the doctrine of Jesus Christ. I love the Book of Mormon! And I love the simplicity of the gospel. Don´t forget that to KNOW the gospel is not enough... LIVE it!
Love you all a lot!
-Hermana Ali Hansen
1) The bathroom in my new house. Nice little half wall and no door for privacy. But hey, I can flush my toilet paper in this area, so I´m certainly not complaining!
2) Hermana Aquian with her two hijas!