A fresh start!

Buenas tardes!

Thanks, Mom, for making all those arrangements for school and housing. It’s a big help to not have to worry about any of it!

I’m glad that the package made it safe and sound! Haha, I know, my tastebuds have changed a lot since the beginning of my mission, right? I remember that Padre had me try some Tabasco sauce several years ago, and I think I dished a little up on a toothpick. Haha! Even that was too hot for me–I thought I was going to die! 🙂
I’m so happy to hear that Alex is indexing!! Just a few weeks ago Hermana Hubert and I started an indexing challenge with the El Dorado youth. We were having a competition between the young men and young women to see who could index the most names in a week. Whoever lost was going to serve the others dinner! Haha! And since Cory is in chess club now, we’ll have to have a match sometime. We’ll see how good my skills still are. 🙂
Ok, now time for some updates! I need to hurry because there were so many amazing things that happened this week. We hit the ground running!
We were able to have dinner with Bishop and Sister Call this past Tuesday, the first night of the transfer. They are amazing! They have such a keen sense of humor and really are refined people. I was delighted to find out that Sister Call speaks perfect Spanish–she lived in Argentina for a few years while her father served as a mission president, and then served a mission in Spain. They were such kind, good people! Hermana Budge and I were surprised to find out later that Sister Call is actually Elder Scott’s daughter. !! What? I know. Now it makes complete sense. We’re so blessed! 🙂
I had an interesting miracle happen this week. Miracles are happening in different ways than they did in the Spanish branches. Most of the miracles that I saw there were related to finding people to teach; but here, we can’t just go contacting or knocking to find investigators. That wouldn’t be effective because we teach people who are 18-30 years old. Therefore, we work with our members to find people who’ve been prepared to receive the gospel.
Now for the miracle. 🙂 Right after I received the call about transfers, I began to think about who we needed to meet when Hermana Budge and I started our transfer. I immediately thought of the bishop and the ward mission leader — but then I had a stray thought to meet a family history consultant. At first I brushed it off, thinking it was silly, and that there certainly was someone more important to see, but it kept coming back. Heavenly Father was really trying to grab my attention because the spirit was very persistent! So, I decided to go with it. We set up an appointment with Kenzie Cluff, one of the family history consultants for the ward. She is less active and dating a non-member (they actually just got engaged!). When I heard her name, I realized that we could very well be related! My great-grandmother Lilian Cluff was the one that grew up in Colonia Garcia, Chihuahua, Mexico. When we went over to visit with her, I showed her my fan chart (thanks, Jenna, for including that in the scrapbook you made me! It has been really handy!) and, sure enough, we found a connection! We’re related through David Cluff, Sr. She has done a lot of research about the Cluff line and was able to tell me a little more about him. He, apparently, was the first convert in our family on that line and was the one who brought the family to Mexico.
That was an amazing experience for many reasons. First, family history is something very special to Kenzie, and the Lord was able to show her that He’s mindful of her by sending her a relative missionary to talk with her about it. Because she’s less active, we’re working with her now to be able to go back to the temple to do more family history work. 🙂 Secondly, Heavenly Father used me as an instrument in His hands to bless His children–and in this case, one of my distant cousins! Thirdly, when I was waiting for my mission call, one of the things I wanted was to be sent to an area where I had family connections. The Lord originally fulfilled that desire by sending me to the Gila Valley, where Lilian Cluff lived for much of her life. Now He is allowing me to finish my mission in another area where I have family ties. How beautiful is that? Our Heavenly Father is so merciful and so good and loving. He truly does want to fulfill the righteous desires of our hearts. 🙂
I love you all! I have to go now, but I promise I’ll have more next week. iCuidense!
Con amor,
Hermana Sutherland
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