February 2011-August 2012

12 July 2011

July 12, 2011

So sorry I didn't get to write yesterday! It was transfers, and I moved! Not gonna lie, it was completely unexpected, and therefore slightly devastating, but I'm taking it like a champ, if I do say so myself. Turns out there is a sister who has been having a rough time here so my amazing Hna. Garcia has been given the special assignment of taking care of her and helping change this girl's life/mission... It has been an incredible privilege for me to work with and learn from Hermana Garcia and I hope that we'll get another chance before she goes home in November, but if not then I'll at least always know that God loved me enough to bless my life with her, even for a short time! And my district... it was hard to leave Elder Camacho and Elder 'Otuafi also... not going to lie there either. They have become like my brothers, just like all my elders in the MTC. We made a great team but now it's time to make new friends and love and teach and serve people and missionaries in another part of the Lord's vineyard!

So guess where I am? Yeah... you'll never guess. So I'll just tell you: Sylmar/Pacoima, which is basically the ghetto of San Fernando. The situation here is entirely different in every aspect of living. We live in one room of an apartment with a member family living in the other. Cockroaches. Pollution. City. Mexican gangs. Requirement to carry pepper spray wherever we go. Entirely Latino. Established Spanish ward in an established Spanish stake. Yeah, REALLY different. haha But in time I'm sure I'l come to love it for what it is just like I have everywhere else I lived. I'm grateful for my experiences in the Middle East and Mississippi especially right now, because it's kind of a good mix between the two. And my companion? Her name is Hermana Williams and she is from Portland, Oregon. She is 6 ft tall. So that takes me back to the good old days of walking with Eryn in downtown Indianapolis! So far I think she's a lot like me, so this kind of seems like Heavenly Father's way of teaching me what it is like for others to live with me... I'm sure it's bound to be a delightful, eye-opening, humbling experience for me and I hope I can learn as much as possible from her! Also, she's only been out one transfer longer than I have, she's only served here, and her trainer left today... so I am her first real change in the mission field so far. But for me, she is my 3rd companion and this is my 2nd area in just 3 transfers... I think I'm one of the newest missionaries with that many changes already in the whole mission. Do you think maybe God is teaching me how to deal with change? hahaha... My move here to San Fernando is my 24th move in the last 5 years... I think I'm starting to get the hang of it. Here's what I know so far:

God ALWAYS knows what is best for me. God has a plan for me. God is going to use me WHEREVER I am if I am willing. I can learn to love and serve wherever I go. Growing pains are good for the soul. There is someone HERE that I am meant to teach and love, and there's something that I'm meant to LEARN here, too!

So it was really hard to leave... but I'm ready to dig in and get to work here in Sylmar! I'm ready to love and serve and testify of Jesus Christ to my brothers and sisters here in this area. And now I have the opportunity to get to know so many other members, investigators, and missionaries here in the San Fernando Valley!

So here's my new address:
10943 Laurel Canyon Blvd. #B5
San Fernando, CA 91340

I love you all and hope things are going well for you there! Godspeed!

Hermana Blackburn

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