Top City and Balconies – March 24, 2014

 I LOVE TOPEKA! This is going to be such a great area to work in. The Branch President is awesome. He’s so excited about missionary work and talks about his mission all the time. He’s pretty young…actually I’m not sure how old he is, but he seems pretty young! It’s been a little weird opening up this area because when we first got here we didn’t have a map, car, ward list, area book, food, or correct phone numbers for a lot of people. Basically opening Andover all over again…minus the Harrisons, who were the biggest assets ever! …And in spanish…Good news is we did have a phone! That was a plus. And walmart is right next to our apartment, so we’re set! This is a big area and a car is extremely helpful. Hopefully we can get our bikes soon and drive our bikes to the other side of town and ride them around talking to people. I love that in the summer! I don’t really love that in the winter… I’d prefer a car. But in the summer it’s the best and summer is gradually approaching!

My faith in the gift of tongues is increasing daily! I am AMAZED how much more I understand…and it seems like just in the last few days too. I was so afraid I would get here and not be able to do anything because my spanish still isn’t very good and we’d now be in a spanish branch so I wouldn’t have the english cushion to fall back on when I needed it. The amazing thing is 1. there are still a lot of english speakers, but 2. I understood (almost) everything in ward council on Sunday! Also, my companion is really excited about learning spanish and is improving very rapidly, so we practice a lot. We actually practice more than I’ve practiced with my other companions. I have quite a bit of faith that my spanish is going to improve a lot in the next few transfers. 
I looked at my classes and registration again today and honestly every time I look at it I just get exasperated and quickly switch tabs because I’m not ready to be done. Good thing I still have a few transfers! I can’t really imagine being finished and not wearing a nametag everyday. I am grateful for transfers. I was ready to start from scratch again and open an area. I like that 🙂 So here we are! 
Guess what! My apartment has a balcony! I’ve always wanted one and we didn’t even choose the apartment! This place is meant for me! It feels a little like a combination of Wichita and Liberal, so if it does end up being my last area, I can see why. Alright, let me go ahead and sum up the week.
Said goodbye to my friends in Liberal on Monday/Tuesday and finished packing. We also taught some lessons. (of course)
Wednesday we were on the bus and traveling from 7 am to 5 pm that night. There was also another bus at 8, which because we’re sister leaders we had to be there as well. One of the poor sisters lost her luggage because greyhound didn’t even load it on the bus, but they brought it up on the next bus from Wichita so we picked it up for her the next morning. My two big suitcases weighed 47 lbs and…ahem…69 lbs. I know, right? I was in Liberal way too long for the scale to handle. So I’ll have to downsize a bit before I come home. The next day Sister Macovichuk and I met with the zone leaders to talk about “zone stuff” and our companions did some other studies. Later we had dinner with our branch president y los elderes and then went to the church where the Colly Creek relief society was having an activity. We are kiiiindof double covering, but mostly just for food haha. Originally I thought we were going to double cover, but then we got here and we are just spanish. Right now I feel it is a blessing because we are brand new to the area and the branch could use a lot of attention. But it’s also really small and will have a tough time providing food for us all the time. So because there are a lot of sisters from Colly Creek who wanted to feed us, we’re blessed to have a dinner at least 4 or 5 times a week right now. 
Friday Sis. Macovichuk and I did some sister leader stuff and we met some of the members in the branch, Saturday we found our first new investigator and went to a fiesta where we met quite a few less active members, and the Sunday we contacted a referral and are now teaching a family! Que magnifico! 
This area has a ton of potential and I really feel blessed to be here. We’re the only spanish speaking sisters in the zone, so we’ll have a lot of work to do here. Thanks for all of your prayers and support! 
Hermana McKay

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