Drive from Visalia to Bakersfield. Fly from Bakersfield to Phoenix. Fly from Phoenix to JFK. Fly from JFK to Santiago, Chile. Fly from Santiago to Montevideo, Uruguay. Bus from Montevideo to Mercedes. Walk from bus stop to my apartment. Over 36 hours of travel but definitely worth it because after 2 long months at home I finally made it back! As soon as we made it back to Mercedes, we dropped my suitcases off and started working! I was just a little bit tired.
Now for what you have all been waiting for: my new companion. Hermana Dixon!!!!! I knew Hermana Dixon at BYU because she lived in my apartment complex and was in my ward. I have been praying that she would be my companion, and here we are together! This is her last transfer in the mission, so we will only be together for about 4 more weeks. She is so obedient and such a hard worker. We have gotten along together SO WELL it is incredible. She is just one of the sweetest girls I have ever known and I just want to brag about her all day. She always is trying to find ways to serve me, like she makes me breakfast! I really hope one day I can be as good of a companion to someone as she is to me.
We have been working harder than I ever have before here in Mercedes. We pretty much have no current investigators, so we have been doing a ton of walking and street contacting. What we do is try to teach the message of the Restoration, starting with God loves you, in less than 5 minutes. We have truly seen miracles with this. Yesterday we were searching for a house and walking down a street when we saw a woman, so we started talking to her. We gave her the Restoration and in the middle of it, after I talked about Christs purpose here on Earth, she stopped me and said "This message is so beautiful, can I go to church with you two ladies sometime? I have so much time." THINGS LIKE THAT NEVER HAPPEN IT WAS INCREDIBLE.
This week was definitely stressful because I feel like my Spanish skills completely regressed back to what they were when I arrived to Uruguay the first time my first day here. But after that, I feel I picked up on everything really quickly. I can feel the Lord helping me every day, because I know it's as important to Him that I succeed as it is for me.
The people here have all been so kind in welcoming me back. I've definitely been able to feel their love and support, which is always nice. I feel that when I email every week from you guys as well, but it is good to feel it from them throughout the week. They have all been offereing us so much food and giving besos all around.
General Conference was this weekend! Amazing right? It is always one of my favorite weeks of the year, and I am so excited to get November's Liahona magazine so I can go back over and read all of the talks again. I watched it all in Spanish, but could feel I could understand about 95% of it.
Soo my birthday was yesterday, and I think I want to spend every birthday of my life as a missionary. Hermana Dixon did so many things for me throughout the day. We had pizza and alfajores and popcorn for lunch. I was sung happy birthday to in 3 different languages (like 20 times throughout the day haha). A cute little girl drew me a picture that said feliz cumple and I got cards from Hermana Dixon and Hermana Smith. We also saw a lot of miracles that day, so Hermana Dixon told me "Its God telling you happy birthday!" It was such a good day and I absolutely loved being able to watch conference for a lot of it.
One funny story: in the mornings, we always jump out of bed at exactly 6:30 and shout "hoy es el dia." So Friday morning the alarm went off, so I did that and then started making my bed. After a minute or so, Hermana Dixon was like "Hermana Marsh, are you okay??" So I responded I was fine. She asked "what are you doing?" So I said just getting ready for the day. She was like "Hermana, its 2:30 in the morning, go back to sleep!" It turns out that alarm was just an accident, but she turned it off and didnt tell me. So I was just making my bed in the middle of the night for no reason hahaha she thought I was insane.
Last night we had a lesson with Antonio and María Jose, the people I had my very last lesson with before I left. Antonio told me "It feels like everytime we are having problems, the Hermanas come knocking at my door. I havent seen you in 2 months, we are having some problems, and here you are." It was so cool so I told him that God sent us to them, and I really think they are going to progress. He has already committed to be baptized, and I think we are going to commit her to be baptized in the next lesson this week. They arent married and have a 6 year old son, so they will have to get married before they can be baptized, but Antonio told us that he knows its time to do what God is asking of him.
Overall this week was just incredible. I am so grateful to be back here in Uruguay with amazing people and an amazing companion and healthy and everything. I thought my first week in Uruguay before was the best week of my life, but this one has overthrown that title.
p.s. we are supposed to tell everyone no matter what do not send packages through anything other than the public mail service of your country, so USPS for America. I would highly suggest not sending any packages though because they are way too expensive. If something gets sent through Fed Ex or UPS, I will not receive it.