Well, first week in Cicero has been fairly uneventful. I've been sick, so a lot of this week has been spent moving in, and recuperating. Cicero is definitely much different than Aurora! Basically we are in the city. And I am now for the very first time in my life, a minority. The population is about 80% hispanic. Its pretty sweet. And driving is something else too, luckily I'm a boss, so there was no problem adjusting. Speaking of driving though, when I got transferred here the area also got a new car! And Hermana Veliz can't drive, so I am now driving a brand new 2012 Subaru Legacy. Yeahhhh buddy. Its awesome. I'm in love. It makes up for the super ghetto apartment we're living in. Yikes.
As for teaching. . . , coming into the area they didn't have a big teaching pool, they are only teaching like one person. . . So I've been trying to build that up. Its definitely a different experience being transferred here than it was being transferred to Aurora. My new companion doesn't really know whats going on in the area either, so its almost like whitewashing it. Pretty stressful. . . But I've been going through the area book, and found some old investigators that have interest in being taught again. We did have a pretty cool experience with that though. To tell the story I need to back up a few months. . . Back in like November we went on exchanges with the Westchester Hermanas, and I came over to Cicero with Hermana Haws. While I was here we had an appointment with a girl named Jenny, who had had cancer in her knees when she was younger and the missionaries had come by and gave her a blessing and taught her a little bit, but she hadn't been taught in a long time since then. So we went by and met with Jenny, and Jenny is now completely healed from her cancer, and is looking for something for her and her little boy. She went to a Christian church for a while but they offended her and told her the reason she had cancer was because God was punishing her and if she ever fell away he would punish her son too. . . So she left. We had a really really good lesson with her. And then I went back to Aurora, right? Well after that the hermanas here started teaching her more and set a date for her to be baptized, but then they lost contact with her. So my first day in the area I wanted to go and see if we could find her. We just stopped by the house, and her mom, Maria let us in. Turns out that Maria's brother and sister in law had just gotten here from Mexico, and they are members! They are Hermano y Hermana Ortiz. So they let us in and we start chatting. Turns out that that morning Hermana Ortiz had prayed that they could somehow find a way to make it to the church this Sunday, and find a way to help them get work. And then we knocked on their door, knowing where the chapel is and knowing lots of people that can hopefully help them find work! While we are there Jenny shows up. It turns out that she doesn't actually live there anymore, but we got her phone number and said we'd be in contact. Since then we have started teaching Maria, and we picked Jenny back up last night, and they are all going to come to church this Sunday! Jenny says the reason she didn't end up getting baptized before is because things got hectic with her moving out, but now that things are settled she definitely wants to pick back up. And now they have the support of Hermano y Hermana Ortiz living with them, and I honestly feel like the timing is perfect for this family right now.
I have a lot of hope for this area. I'm planning on working my freaking butt off to get it up and going, I want to get a big teaching pool, get more progressing investigators, and get them baptized! When I met the bishop and his wife, he told me that this area hasn't seen a lot of success for a while, but he can tell when a missionary is a missionary that wants to work hard, and he thinks we'll see some baptisms soon with me here. I hope he's right, and that I can actually see success without Hermana Maughan.
Yeah, a Mexico vacations sounds SWEET for as soon as I get home. Hope you plan some time in there that I can visit some people. . . :P Guanajuato? Puebla? But whatever you've got planned I'm sure will be awesome. I can't believe that we are already planning a trip for when I come home. I can't believe that I'm at half way. . . that is sososososo bizarre. yuck.
Good news for Aurora though!! Irma got Sundays off to come to church! She came last week! And Luis has two little brothers, and he told says they want to be baptized! YAY!!! You don't understand how big of miracles both of those are. Just trust me. Legit miracles. Like parting the red sea caliber.
Anyway, here are some more pictures from saying good bye, and arriving in Cicero.
Irma y Monico
Maria Guzman y sus nietos, Ryan, Angela, y Caitlin. They are Cruz's kids!
Nury y la familia Solana
Jenny, Hermana Ortiz, Hermana Veliz, y yo
Hermano y Hermana Ortiz, Hermana Veliz y yo
I love you all! Hope everything is going well, and you start seeing spring soon!