Letter received 8/16/2010

OKAY. transfer day. i´ve been super nervous all week because we knew that one of us was going to leave (a missionary can´t be with her trainer more than 3 transfers, right? plus last week the assistants said something to us about our numbers and that we should know that president knew of our numbers and knew that we were among the best sister missionaries so they had to separate us) and last night i hardly slept at all. i LOVE iquique, i love my zone here, the ward, the investigators, the work, everything. neither hq nor i wanted to leave, so we were both suuuuuper nervous for the call. we woke up at 7, pattered around the house waiting, and freaked out when elder radhe called. he said we both had to listen, so we were all crowded with the phone between us, and he said "hermana coppins, you´re going to......." and then started to die laughing. "ya po! diganos donde!" translation: "alright already, tell us where!" he kept laughing for so long while we were dying, until he finally said,
"Hermana Coppins, you´re going to CALDERA, as senior companion, with Hermana Arriaga, who has three transfers in the mission, and you´re leaving TONIGHT at 10:20 pm."
oooooookay. caldera is 13 hours from iquique. hermana arriaga is from peru and came to the mission the same day as me (but since she´s latina she started the mtc a transfer after me). and leaving at 10 pm the day they announce transfers is a LITTLE cruel. buuuuuut that´s life, right? luckily i´m SUPER fast at packing so i packed up my suitcases in like 20 minutes and got ready to go to our zone activity (we just went to the beach to say goodbye and write in our libros de recuerdos [book of remembrance? don´t know how to say that in english] and take pictures), because we´re going to get home right about 6 tonight and have to leave altiro (right away) to say goodbye to members and converts and then be back home at 9 to get ready to leave for turbus. the same bus that killed me my first night in the mission. life is really crazy. but i´m kind of excited for a new adventure! the zone where i´ll be, copiapo north, is really suffering in numbers, and i feel like i´ve really really learned a lot that can help raise the zone. i don´t know if i´ve learned so much that it´s wise to make me senior companion, but the problem is that our zone leaders love us (hq and me) tooooo much and they told the assistants and president bruce that they had to make me senior companion. so next week i´ll have more information on that! apparently caldera is a tourist location and it´s pretty dead in the winter, but it´s a really pretty beach and it´s close to copiapo, where there are TREES! so that´ll be great. i´ll send pictures.
the other bad news is that we didn´t reach the celestial level this week. we needed 2 more new investigators and i promise, we did everything possible and impossible (divisions, visited the people we had on our future investigator list, knocked doors, contacted in the street, etc) but we just couldn´t find two more people who accepted return visits. but we worked a lot more with the investigators we already had this week instead of only looking for new ones, and now we have two baptismal dates and good people. i´m sure you former missionaries know that leaving an area with baptismal dates is a much better feeling than leaving an area completely dead. lynch, our area here in iquique, is super great and i know hq and her new companion will have all sorts of success.
i don´t know what else to say about this past week. being on the mission is a miracle every day and it´s really, really changing my life. we talked to a lot of people with a lot of problems this week, ranging from drug addictions to cheating spouses to complete poverty, and even though it´s REALLY sad to know that there are so many people suffering in the world, i´m super grateful that i´ve been so blessed in my life and i know it´s because of the gospel. obviously we can´t control the actions of other people, but when we are faithful to the commandments, our covenants, and when we seek and listen to the spirit, we´ll never have problems that we can´t handle. the gospel is the GREATEST blessing we can have in our lives, and the outside world is a little rough. i advise that you never go there. stick to what you´ve learned and it will ALWAYS be a blessing.
that´s all for now! i love you and i´ll write more next week from CALDERA!