Alright... here it is folks. 

On transfer Saturday if you get a call from President in the morning it means that he is extending to you a leadership position. So basically, everyone wakes up really nervous on Saturday mornings. This transfer there is only one new Spanish speaking sister coming in and we have 2 sets of STL's (Sister Training Leaders) for Spanish, two of them are pretty new, so we were only expecting three Spanish sisters to get calls on Saturday morning. One to be a trainer, and two to be STL's. I knew I wasn't going to get a call, but Hermana Castrillon was freaking out. She said she just wanted to be a "normal" missionary for awhile (I'm sure training me took a lot out of her ;) ). Hermana Castrillon has spent her whole mission in the De Anza ward. She's been out for 8 1/2 months. So, that's pretty crazy. We knew she was going to leave, but we didn't know where! Anyway, long story short... We didn't get a call on Saturday morning. WHEW! Then it was a lonnnng day of waiting to figure out where we were going or if we were staying and who our new companions were going to be. Lots of predictions flying around. Finally at like 9:15 pm we heard from our District Leader, Elder Romero. He told us that they were going to open up a new area in our ward, so now there were going to be 4 sets of missionaries in De Anza. 3 sets of Hermanas and 1 set of Elders. Which sounds like a ton, and it is. This ward has so much potential! We have around 20 investigators at church every week, just in our ward! The work is progressing, especially here. Okay, so they told us Hermana Santoyo and Nelson were going to be the STL's in De Anza and work in Rubidoux, where Santoyo was before. Hermana Bjork was staying too and going to get a new companion (she was being trained by Hermana Santoyo before), Hermana Carolson, and they were to open up the new area, Norco. And that he, Elder Romero, and his companion, Elder Sy, were staying in the La Sierra area... THEN... he said "Hermana Rutherford, you're staying in Mira Loma, and your companion is going to be... HERMANA CASTRILLON" (okay, that's not a direct quote because he said it in Spanish, but that's the best that I can do). This is CRAZY! Usually people don't stay with their trainers after their first 12 weeks, for one, and for two, this is going to be 10 months in the same ward for mi companera. Holy cow! This is unheard of. President called us last night, and told Hermana Castrillon that she is setting a record by staying in the same area for so long. He assured her though, that she hasn't been forgotten about, and that we are staying together because he knows we have a lot to do this transfer!! I can't wait to figure out what that is. I love Hermana Castrillon so much, she is such an amazing example to me and I learn so much from her every single day. I'm sure that there are big things awaiting us this transfer as we put our trust in The Lord and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I'll let you all know how it goes :) 

Apart from getting to stay with my Mom for another transfer, this week should have been awful. I was feeling sick all week. Hermana Castrillon wasn't able to sleep. We were dreading transfers because we thought that she was going to have to leave all of our investigators. Everyone cancelled on us. Maria and George, who were supposed to be married this weekend to be baptized next weekend, apparently don't want to be married anymore and he is not going to be able to come to church for the next 2 years due to community service. Man, it was rough. But there are rainbows after rain! I know that our rainbow is coming up, but even through all the rain, I can still feel my Saviors love. There is a talk called "Missionary Work and the Atonement" by Elder Jeffery R. Holland that I absolutely adore. This is one of my favorite quotes from it: "I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are the Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?". Missionary work isn't easy. It requires a lot more than I can give on my own. But because Christ suffered through all and descended below all, we can keep pressing forward. It was never easy for Jesus Christ, and it won't be easy for us. But salvation is not a cheap experience. It is something to work for, to fight for, to dedicate your life to. I love this work, and I wouldn't change it for anything. I wouldn't even make it easier.

I read another talk this morning by Elder Jorg Klebingat called "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence". It's from the last general conference, I would recommend that all of you read it and I'll attach a link to it below! He opens with this question: "on a scale of 1-10 how would you rate your spiritual confidence before God?", then goes on to give 6 suggestions that, if followed, will allow us to increase our spiritual confidence. Here are his 6 suggestions: 
1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being.
2. Take responsibility for your own physical well-being.
3. Embrace voluntary, whole-hearted obedience as part of your life.
4. Become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly.
5. Become really, really good at forgiving.
6. Accept trails, setbacks, and "surprises" as part of your mortal existence. 

Then at the end of the talk, there is a quote that really brought me comfort, especially regarding this week. Elder Klebingat is quoting Glenn L. Pace's talk "Crying With the Saints" when he says, "often trails and tribulations are allowed to come into [your life] because of what [you] are doing right". Sometimes God gives us trials, even when we are doing all we should, just to make sure we can keep on doing it! And as we pass through those trials, even greater blessings await. I've seen that as this week things were hard, but we never gave up. We kept on trying, we did all we could, and then we were blessed with one more transfer to keep on doing it. 

I love you all so much, I love this work. I know I say that every week, but every week it's more and more true. Read your scriptures. Say your prayers. Go to church. You will be blessed and, as long as these things are done with sincerity in your hearts, you will receive a testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Con Amor, 
Hermana Rutherford