This was possibly one of the best and one of the saddest weeks of my mission yet. I'll start with the sad so we can get that out of the way and talk about happy things....I got transferred! I kinda knew it was coming, but I LOVE Deming so much. I will be missing out on some awesome things happening down there, but Hna. Ellis will take good care of it for sure! It's just sad because the people there are just amazing. And as the elders said, our family is broken up! But hey,I have no regrets about Deming and I'm happy to leave it the way I did.
Now I'm back in the Gila Valley!! Kinda crazy because now I'll spend at least 2/3-3/4 of my mission not in Tucson...still haven't been called there yet haha. This time though I've been called to be in FOUR English wards in Central and Pima. I'm sad to be out of Spanish for a little while, but having so many people will keep me more than busy. My companion's name is Sister Harrington - I went on exchanges with her about 6 weeks ago too!
Alright now to why this was pretty much the best week ever!!
First of all, on Tuesday I came on exchanges here in the Valley - in Thatcher - and was on a bike all day! I didn't even die. And I got to do cross fit for the first time ever. I LOVE it. Now I'm in the Valley so I get to do it 3 times a week.#getfit Anyway exchanges were fun and the sister I was with is from Vancouver, WA. We couldn't figure out if we know any of the same people though.
Skipping to Thursday...so Hermana Ellis somehow got up early without waking me up and made me breakfast! She changed the alarm to 6:30 instead of 6:15 and when I woke up she was like "Happy birthday Hermana! I made you breakfast in bed!!" and then flipped on the light and there was hot biscuits and gravy all ready. She's the best! Then we did the normal morning stuff and baked the cake Mom sent me to bring it to district meeting. We had a great meeting, ate cake, and then went out to lunch at the Patio, a place we'd been wanting to go for weeks. Great burgers, not-so-great fries, but totally worth it. Next, we headed down to Columbus with the elders to blitz their area (and to see the border). That was also super fun to head down there. We'd been wanting to go ever since we got to Deming. We then came back to Deming, knocked a few doors in our area, and then headed to dinner. The member knew it was my birthday, so there we had cake #2 of the day! THEN we went for cake #3 out at the Quintanas because they invited us out to celebrate. It was a lot of cake...and all of it chocolate. Then we went to our usual Thursday night volleyball, which is always fun and the youth are great about bringing nonmember friends. As we left and were heading out to our car, the elders from our branch were like "Sister Blackford stop!" and so I did and Elder Dayley was like "Okay now turn around and walk backwards toward me." I turned around but didn't want to back up towards their truck because I had no idea what was going on and for whatever reason my reaction was to think they were going to throw water balloons at me! Haha totally something they would do (cough cough, Elder Williamson) but anyway after a minute of freaking out I finally walked backwards and when they let me turn around, the two of them were sitting in the back of their truck and Elder Williamson had his guitar (he's super talented at playing guitar) and they played and sang for me! Haha they rewrote a song to make it all about my birthday. It was super sweet! Totally made my day. They both have great voices too so it was actually really good. Then, Elder Merritt let me take the leftover cake from the day that no one wanted and I caked him in the face! I've ALWAYS wanted to do that to someone. It was fun!
Alright so continuing on....Friday we did more service - yardwork otra vez. Saturday night the calls came about transfers, and Hermana Ellis and I had a little plan to end the transfers in a fun way. We bought about 500 styrofoam cups earlier in the week and while the elders were at church in Columbus, we used our lunch hour to fill them with water and cover the floor by the entrances to their apartment - on the inside! So when they got home they would open the door and couldn't walk in without having to either soak the floor or dump out all the water. It was pretty funny. They got us back though and taped cups with eggs in them between our screen door and regular door so when we opened it some of the eggs fell and made a mess on the ground.
Now for real missionary things. Saying goodbye to everyone was SO hard! But it's really cool to see how things have changed. We visited the Renteria family (they're just awesome) and got to hear Hermano's conversion story this week which was incredible and inspiring. We got to keep teaching Dalia and her two boys too. They seriously already seem like members. I love them so much and am sure I'll see some baptism photos from them sometime next month(:
We didn't get to bike a ton because we were all over the place trying to visit people, but we had a cool miracle yesterday! So a few weeks back I remembered this particular house I had visited on exchanges like 6 months ago and for some reason felt that we should go visit it. When we went, we met Hector and chatted with him. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a card with our number in case he had any questions. He didn't seem really interested so we never really thought about it again. Well, yesterday he got in touch with us and wanted to meet. He came to the church and we had a lesson outside. He'd found our card and wanted to talk about what happens after this life because his 8 year old son passed away last week. Hermana Ellis and I were so grateful to be able to explain about thte Plan of Salvation to him. As we drove away from the lesson I remembered how we'd met him (we couldn't remember at first) and when we realized it was at that house we were like "Woah! Talk about a unique prompting!" It's a good thing we followed it. The sisters will be meeting with him again tomorrow, and I'm excited to hear how this turns out.
Well, this is a super long one and now I'm out of time, but thanks to everyone for all the birthday wishes! I'll respond to all y'all next week. I also sent pictures so Mom can put them on the blog(:
Elders, Quintanas, Hermanas
Renteria Families, Elders and Hermanas