Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Building up Baytown

I've been transferred to Baytown, TXI love Baytown so much, I say this about 15 times a day, and it's kind of driving Hna Morales (new companion) nuts. I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. We're working on building a teaching pool, and we're really focusing on improving teaching and refining our other missionary techniques.
Baytown is predominately English speaking, Latinos are a little hard to come by so our area is HUGE. It takes us 25-30 min on a non traffic-filled day to get from one end of our area to the other. In reality, our area covers three cities: Baytown, Highlands, and pieces of Crosby. Baytown kind of follows my area pattern: I started out in Pasadena 3, went to Broadway 3, and now Baytown 3 (although it's been renamed to Texas Branch). The are is surrounded by bodies of water, and there are country roads complete with livestock! There's also a historic district here that kind of reminds me of downtown Provo, and Exxon refineries takes up a huge portion of our area. It was awe inspiring to drive down highway 330 last night, and seeing the twinkling lights admist the blackdrop of the night sky. I feel so at home in the cozy little branch here, it's the perfect fit.
Hna Ivette K. Morales is my new companion! Two latinas together again! We laugh a lot. Hna Morales just got done with training, so she's being a trooper leading out the area. She was born in Lima, Peru, but raised in Provo. She's tiny, fun-sized, and full of excitement. Hna Morales doesn't eat food with her hands, no spicy food, and eats tacos with a fork and knife.  I'm just working on helping her love Baytown as much as I do. She's kind of ready to leave the nest. :)
On Saturday, Hna Rodriguez (our WML's wife) gave Hna Morales and I a ride to Broadway for Byron's baptism! I felt so satisfied. As I sat in the baptism, I reflected on how Heavenly Father knows me so perfectly. He knows what truly makes me happy. Baptisms are wonderful, but what really, truly makes me happy is a job well done. Leaving a mark, doing my best with the talents that God has given me, leaving my area better than I found it.
I left Pecan Park in a way so that other missionaries could also have success there. I decluttered the apartment, organized all materials needed for missionary work, left the area with a color coded map, a color coded ward list (& an updated one!), a color coded area book, a FULLY updated area book, and a members area book. I have left detailed records so that missionaries in the future can be the best they can be.
Byron's baptism was, "SOLD OUT" as Hno Zamora (Broadway 3 WML) described it. Everyone who had been there for Byron's lessons was there, the Maruns, the Marroquins, the Zamoras, Felipe and his mom, Saul, Emerson, and others. Oh & Maria (our amazing investigator) was there. Maria's daughter Itzel ran up to me and said, kind of ticked-ly, "I called you and you didn't answer." It broke my heart.
How I felt that day was exactly how I felt at the fireside months ago when I saw the members of Pasadena 3. Just a full/happy heart. I would love to have 6 months here in Baytown. Six months is just the perfect amount of time, just enough to get to know the members, build a relationship, know the area, build up the area book. Just enought to leave a mark and set things up for other missionaries in the future.
My first days in Baytown were spent cleaning, color-coding, and organizing. We cleaned up about 2 yrs worth of left behind, "someone-could-maybe-use-this" crap, organized prosleyting material, color coded a map purchased from the Baytown Chamber of Commerce, and then organized and color coded the Baytown area book. We also made an Hna Morales sized copy of our area map at office depot. It now hangs produly on our wall. Our area truly reminds me of the early days of Pecan Park.
Along with the area, I'm trying my best to help Hna Morales be the BEST misionera she can be. Just like with all my other companions. P.s. Hna Arcila is now a Sister Training Leader. :) She was so happy to tell me, and she's training. I feel like such a proud mother, or older sister! Speaking of STLs, President has finally made it so that we have two in each zone. We're not companions yet, but there are two! Sis Haynie and I are Bayberty's (Baytown-Liberty zone) STLs, and we live in the same complex. So great. I just want to see how much Hna Arcila has grown. I haven't really been able to talk to her, but I will definitely get to on Thurs when we go to Beaumont for Sister's training. Hna Morales has got the "hard" stuff down: the language, ability to talk to members, participating in studies, she's got that confidence down, now it's just a matter of helping her become a powerful teacher, a consecrated missionary--a preach my gospel missionary. Hna Morales shared the following scripture with me during companionship study and said, "I feel like this is what President is doing here." D&C 84:106
106 And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.
We are seeing a lot of tender mercies in the area. Including finding Less Actives who know longer live at the location on the ward list, but happen to be hanging out there when we pass by. We also found a referral for the Spanish elders while going through the area book. These things are just signs to me that Hna Morales and I are on the right track. I just want Hna Morales to love the area as much as I do. It's my goal to get her there. RIght now she's kind of counting down the weeks. I really hopw that I'm NOT the one who will get transferred in 6 weeks. I just feel so at home here. I'm giving Baytown all that I have to give, the same I did with Pecan Park.
Te amo times a millz!
Hnita Flores

Last transfer's planner. :)
Hna Morales and I at transfer mtg!
Color coding our Hna Morales sized map of Baytown.
Byron got baptized! Hna Post, Hno Marun, Byron, and Me!
The new district! E. Rice (fresh from the MTC in Mexico), Hna Morales, Me (Mom, found that dress in our closet), and E. Owens (DL). Small districts = close-knit districts.

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