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Monday, July 20, 2015

I got to go to EFY too!!

Hey family!!

I know I always say that I´ll have more time to write next week, and maybe some day I actually will have more time. Today were transfers and even though neither my companion nor I were transferred we were waiting in the bus station for three hours for a sister who was supposedly going to arrive in Torreón to pick up her new companion who just arrived from the MTC when we were finally informed that she´s not going to arrive until tomorrow. So now we´re running around trying to get everything done before P-day ends. But it´s all good :)

So, to answer your questions Dad the photo you sent me of the house (on Google Earth) is the part where the land lady lives. We live in the part that´s covered by the tree in the photo. It´s a small house, but it´s cute and in a really safe area. We do live close to a college, but the college campuses here aren´t open to the public like they are in the US, so we can´t go in and contact. But in the evenings we usually go there to contact the people who go running around the campus, and that´s been a good way to contact a lot of people. I don´t really know what you want to know about the area, but one thing that´s really different from my other area is that there aren´t many people in the streets, so it´s harder to contact. And it´s super hot. I think we´ve been over 100 degrees every day here.

So the highlight of our week this week was getting to participate in the local session of EFY. EFY here is different than it is in the US- it´s put on by the local stakes, and the session that we attended was held by the three stakes here in Torreón: Torreón México, Torreón Reforma, and Torreón Jardín (the stake I´m serving in). When the assistants called and told us that we were going to participate last Monday they didn´t really give us much detail about what we were going to do (because I don´t think they really knew either) but it ended up being a bigger group of youth than I expected. We did a special activity where the youth divided into YW/YM and my companion and Hermana Ramos, the mission president´s wife, and I worked with the YW while Presidente and the assistants worked with the YM. Hermana Ramos gave a talk on how the YW can make the choice to serve a mission and then asked Hna Hernandez and I to share our experiences of how we decided to go on a mission and our testimonies of the work. After that we did an activity with the YW where they divided into companionships and we helped them to prepare a small lesson on one of the commandments from PMG chapter 4, and then they taught it to each other. My companion and I also did a practice for them with Hermana Ramos as our investigator, and afterward we talked about how they felt and what they learned, etc. It was a really neat experience, and there was one young woman there who isn´t a member of the Church and decided that she wanted to meet with the elders to be baptized. We took her address and sent her referral to the offices and told the secretary to send it ASAP, and found out yesterday that the elders have already been to see her and she attended Church yesterday! All investigators have to attend Church 5 times before they can be baptized, and she said in EFY that she wanted to be baptized in 5 weeks, so she´s off to a good start! I was so, so grateful for the chance to go and participate in EFY. I absolutely love talking to the youth about missionary work. I had forgotten what it feels like to be at EFY, but the Spirit was super strong. At the end of the activity Presidente Ramos spoke about how the best way to prepare for a mission is by maintaining your virtue, and after he finished they asked all of the youth to stand up who were committed to prepare themselves to go on a mission, and almost every youth stood! Yesterday a couple from our ward was telling us how their 17 year old daughter loved the activity and is super excited now to go on a mission. It was so cool to be with them. We´re going to help out with another stake YW activity this Friday, so I´ll have to let you know how it goes next week :)

Well, this week is going to be super crazy. On Wednesday we have a Zone Conference, on Friday the stake activity, and on Saturday the special conference for the sister missionaries (to answer your question Mom, no, I´ve never served in Gomez or Lerdo. They are part of the state of Durango, but they´re a lot closer to Torreón, which is in the state of Coahuila. I´ve only been in Torreón, Coahuila, and Durango, Durango). So we are going to be running around like crazy this week, but I love this opportunity to serve. I love you all so much, and thank you so, so much for all of the emails!! I wish I had more time to write, but I´m excited to read them all later :)

Love,

Hermana Southard