White-wash: a mission term I'll explain later on. But let's just say it's a little more complicated than your average Tom Sawyer's picket fence.
This week felt like goodbye. The incredible story arch of our two transfers together came to a close in a matter of days; loose ends were tied up in a nice little bow, we saw tender mercies and little miracles, and just felt at peace in the assurance that Hermana Wiseman was leaving, but that a new adventure would begin and everything would be alright.
This week I had an incredible intercambio [exchange] with the only Hermana taller than me in the mission (dear sweet Hermana Fenn), and I felt like I really helped her. This week we also went contacting in a rainstorm and had a lot of little miracles... also got soaked. We ran into Abraham (just as lost and prideful as ever, but at least now we know we've done our part), and other great stuff too.
Transfers are a bit of an obsession for missionaries. We like to predict what will happen and are usually pretty accurate. About half-way through the week our piso [apartment] came to the conclusion that I would train the new Hermana coming in as Hermana Wiseman leaves this transfer. It just seemed to make sense.
So although we were nervous (as always) the Saturday night of transfer calls, we rested pretty sure in what would surely come. It wasn't even that much of a surprise when we got a call from President Dayton and he asked to talk to me.
He asked how I was doing. He said how much he trusted me, and how he thought I was the only Hermana strong enough for this assignment.
And then he asked me to go to Bilbao, and whitewash the area.
Whitewash: to start afresh. Usually you only take one missionary out of an area at a time, so that the other one can show them the area, the ward, and preserve the unity. Whitewash happens when two new missionaries go into an area they don't know, people they don't know, a WARD they don't know, and they do their best.
Whitewashing is hard.
And it's the only thing I thought I couldn't do on the mission, what with my somewhat introverted tendencies and talent for getting myself lost.
A couple of people told me it's because God really trusts me. I think he just wants to move me out of my comfort zone and teach me to trust in Him more. Because it's a situation tin which I can't trust in my own strength.
|Our goofy combined district in the one-and-only District Meeting|
So it turns out that all those goodbyes were for me.
And I was blessed with an incredible Monday, saying goodbye, and knowing that the people here I've come to love will be well looked after, and that I've actually done more good here than I realized.
Our Monday morning cita [appointment] with Willy was one of the most spiritual lessons I've ever been in and made a spiritual connection I'd never thought of before and he cried as he bore testimony in front of us and his wife. I felt my heart burn as he said he knew it was true and knew that time was short (even if he thinks he needs a little bit more to be truly repentant) and said he wanted my email so he could send me a photo of his baptism. Edi called that night to say goodbye and wish me the best. He has a fecha [baptismal date] for the 29th, and it's the real deal.
The members here are incredible. Norma is the best human being on the planet, Miriam is my stylish Spanish mother, Lilium is a sweet friend, Jesus is an on-task older brother, Enrique is a dedicated and dry-humor ridden Spaniard, and I'll miss them all a lot. And I was able to say goodbye to all of them.
I'll miss the Hermanas, we've really become like sisters. I'll miss our District. I'll miss Hermana Wiseman like crazy.
|Enrique and his fiance, Hermana Wiseman and I|
I'll always have fond memories of Barcelona. All that I was able to do and see and learn here.
But the winds are changing, and Summer's over. And though I never expected it, I guess it's time for me to go.
33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. [Emphasis added by Alayna.]
A new address and many more adventures to follow.
Until next week,