Another week has gone by, and I can't believe that next week May will be halfway through!
We are cruisin' in Etobicoke South, which is so much fun. We are working really hard, and seeing some great miracles. We hit standards for the third week in a row, and it is certainly envigorating. Too bad the Arksey-Hutchings duo (Arksey really wants Starksy & Hutch to stick, but I don't think it will) will be split up in two weeks! But we've been doing our best to make sure we leave a legacy in Etobicoke as the first sister missionaries here.
So a little bit ago I was asked whether we exercise in the morning... of course I do, because I'm an obedient missionary. Usually that consists of a lot of sit ups, push ups, and leg lifts. We couldn't quite decide if it was safe enough to leave our apartment before it got light in the morning, so until recently we've just exercised in our apartment. However this week, I was a SUPER obedient missionary, if we're speaking in terms of exercise. We had to pick up the nasty baptismal clothes to be washed before the baptism this coming week, and drop them off at our Ward Mission Leader's apartment. When we got to his building we knew what the door looked like and the last two numbers of the apartment, but we couldn't remember which floor it was on (which were the first two numbers of his address). We didn't have the actual apartment number on us, so with arms full of baptismal clothes, we hopped into the elevator and pushed every single button (except into the 20s, because we thought the apartment was for sure on a lower floor than the 20th). I was the appointed runner and Arksey was the elevator door-holder: so on each floor the elevator stopped and I ran sprints to the door "_ _ 09" to try to see if the actual door looked like Brother Cruz's door or not. Then I ran back to the elevator before the door closed. It was exhausting, and I was absolutely sore the next day. Yeah, clearly I'm in shape; so you can all be proud of me for that one. But we ended up giving up on our unsuccessful plan at 1909 (the 19th floor), when the Elders in our ward called us back and told us Brother Cruz lived on 2109. Blast, we were so close! That was seriously the best night's sleep I've had my whole mission so far.
This week I had an interesting experience on account of Sister Arksey's new leadership position (she's one of the new "Sister Training Leaders") and a fancy meeting she had to go to on Wednesday. Because of the meeting, I went on an exchange all day! The exchange meant that I got to spend the day working with a different missionary. Sister Hall (who had been out on her mission for three weeks) became my new companion, and she got to come to serve in Etobicoke South with me. We had a car for the day, and I got to drive (which was extremely refreshing. It was interesting getting used to kilometers as opposed to miles per hour, but I adjusted quickly...). We had much in common, including our taste in music. We talked about Mumford & Sons, Coldplay, Adele, Imagine Dragons etc. all lunch long. It was fantastic. We did some work down on the lakeshore and in the more downtown areas as well, because she doesn't serve in the city. It was so fun! I loved it. Apparently once the Sister Training Leaders start their actual callings next transfer, we'll be going on a lot more exchanges and such. So that should be interesting...
Orlando was not able to get baptized this week, which was unfortunate, but he's on board to be baptized next week! I really hope that he's able to do so. We're trying to get his family to support him and to come, since that's kind of the struggle at this time. He has such an incredible desire to follow Christ and to be baptized, I hope that he will be able to do so without restraint from external pressure and such.
I am realizing very fast out here that I cannot really claim an individual part of the success and conversion that I am witnessing in the lives of those I teach. This is the Lord's work, it is done in His way and in His time. All that we do as missionaries is pray that He will guide us where He wants us, and get to work every day. As we do that, we are seeing miracles take place that I don't even feel worthy to witness. It is a tremendous blessing to be a missionary. It is fantastic to be in the city of Toronto. I promise that I'm staying safe (it seems like the warmer weather makes people nicer and less shifty, by the way), and that I am doing all I can to not waste the Lord's precious time.
P.S. The photos are of me sporting my new maxi skirt that I probably wear every day. That t-shirt I also wear every day. It's both embarassing and not embarrasing at the same time, because I'm a missionary. But some people think I'm a hippy too, which is a fun misconception. The couple with me in the photos are Abram and Tamra Lospe. They are incredible. They just got sealed in the temple last weekend! They come out teaching with us several times a week, and give us a ton of rides. We love them.