I got emergency transfers again! And I finally left Durango! I took a really nice bus this morning to Torreòn, Coahuila. I enjoyed it, and I rode in style, with my "Pillow Tie" on, inflated, and put under my chin, resting for the 4 hour bus ride to Torreòn. After all that, I took a taxi, and then another bus to my area. My new area is called Matamoros (which literally translates to "Moor Killers"). There's a little history here, as the city was founded by people who hunted the Moors (some group of people) around here in Mexico. It's the 2nd or 3rd largest area in the entire mission, and it's just off the edge of Torreòn. It looks like if we work hard, we're gonna baptize a ton. Elder Pinedas (my comp) says that the church attendance here is like 200! He already has like 5 months in this area, so I'm pretty sure that when the normal transfers happen in 2 weeks, he's gonna be leaving. He's cool, and so far it seems like we're gonna get along great here. He was the companion of Elder Lòpez after he trained me (and so Elder Lòpez has been here too).
I don't know a ton about the area other than that. The weather is about the same here as in Durango, but just a little drier and less green trees and plants (more cactus, sagebrush and dirt). It only really gets cold at night and in the morning. The house is awesome. We have 2 bedrooms: one for when it's hot and another for when it's cold haha. And it's fairly big, with a backyard and everything. I feel like I'm going to love this area.
Well, I left a ton of potential there in Jardines. I got there with literally nothing as far as work goes. No baptismal dates, no investigators, no progressing less-actives, no confidence from the members, literally nothing. I left with 1 baptism, 5 set and sure baptismal dates, a ton of investigators, a few reactivated families, and the members' trust. It was crazy hard, but I feel like I definitely left the area better off than when I found it.
We had a few funny experiences last week in Jardines. And a bit of apostasy mixed in. We're were in a lesson with a sister (member) who started to tell about a parable of Jesus Christ that was way different than the way I had learned it. In Spanish, she told the Parable of Jesus's 10 girlfriends .....and I about had a heart attack in the moment. Then we had to explain and clarify to the investigator that that's not exactly how it goes, and that they were the virgins with the candles and that the groom wasn't Jesus Christ, and that it was a parable (not a real story). It gets a little crazy when the members open their mouths and just let it all come out.
I feel a little bitter-sweet leaving Jardines and Durango. There are a lot of members there who loved me, and it's hard leaving them. The Smith family gave me a belt buckle with a huge and real scorpion (alacràn) captured inside. Sister Tapia gave me a piggy bank full of candy with a hand-written letter inside telling me how much she loves me and that she is going to visit me after the mission. Most of the rest still didn't know I had left, as we found out late last night and my bus left in the morning. I didn't have any time to say good-bye.
I don't know how I keep losing weight, as I eat a ton. I almost have my six pack! I give it another month or so at this rate.
Well, that's all I've got for this week. Take care of yourselves and pray for my success! My goal is to baptize at least 6 in February and another 9 in March. We'll see what happens. Until next week!
- Elder Tyler Riggs