Can I just say how much i LOVE December? Its truly the best time of this entire year you guys. Especially on a MISSION. I wish that my entire mission could just take place in December around Christmas time! It's so amazing to see how many miracles happen every single day. People's hearts are definitely softened and they have a willingness to listen! I really feel like Christ is here walking the streets with us every day. The Christmas spirit is real!
At the beginning of last week, a guy called us with FOUR referrals for us to contact. That in and of itself was a great miracle to start the week off. It is so hard for us to get referrals sometimes, so we were so excited to be able to go contact them! We were able to meet a couple of the people and they were so awesome! So i am way excited now to continue teaching them!
Not a lot really happened on Wednesday
Thursday we went on exchanges, Sister Richmond came with me and we had so much fun. Also, another huge miracle day. We only had one set lesson in the morning, who ended up dropping us when we went by. BUT later during the day we had so many finding opportunities, i swear i really have not talked to so many people in one day in my entire mission! We are able to share the 'He Is The Gift' video that the church made (which by the way if you have not seen it then you NEED to watch it. it's really good) so we shared it with TONS of people. It was really cool, because a lot of the people that we showed it to, even though they were not interested in having us come back and teach them,talked with us about Christ. I am so touched to see that they all have the same beliefs in Christ! And plus, we probably planted some really great seeds. And that's what matters!
But also we found some old investigators that we have not seen for weeks, and set up return appointments with them as well. So yeah, it was just great. One of the ladies we found is named Porfidia. We haven't taught her in almost a month, but we saw her on Thursday and she told us how excited she was to come to our church on Sunday! Mainly only because she is mad right now at the catholic church, but hey whatever it takes to get them to church right? haha
Also Thursday was a great day because it was the 1 MONTH mark until my birthday. Just to help you guys not forget :)
Friday we had weekly planning and that night there was a baptism for one of the elders investigators. His name is Ernesto and he is so cool! It was a really good baptism. Roberto came, and the entire time he was tearing up and feeling the spirit so hard, even to the point of squeezing my hand so hard i thought he was going to break it hahahha. Anyways point of the story, he came, loved it and totally wants to get baptized. He was planning out his baptism, what songs and everything. He told me that he wants me to play the piano while he sings. lol No i can't guys. You have no idea how hard it is for me NOT to laugh when he sings! I know that is horrible because he is just a cute old man singing, but really--- no way!!, that is the funny part! One time in a lesson we tried singing a song with him and it was the hardest thing both of us have ever done. We could not stop laughing! so yeah, never doing that again.
The only thing is that I am just so confused by him. He really wants to get baptized because he knows its a commandment, but he is just really struggling right now with knowing that there is only one true church. So PLEASE please please keep him in your prayers. He is the best old man ever, he just really needs some help right now.
Saturday was the WEIRDEST day of my entire life. Basically i don't think we did anything and it was a huge waste of time. We had a lot of car problems and bike problems and ended up spending over an HOUR trying to fix the hole in my bike. Oh my gosh it was pretty hilarious. Then there was this huge parade that occupied over half of the city. Clearly they did not know the difficulty that the missionaries would have by closing off EVERY street in Casa Grande. So we got stuck in this huge mess of random streets throughout our entire day. Although we did get to have a lesson with a recent convert in our ward which actually went really well. We are hoping we can go by her family tonight and have family home evening with them, they're awesome!
We also had a lesson with one of the referrals that we got. It's a girl named Julia, who was actually baptized a few years ago, and her boyfriend Jose. They are the sweetest people ever! It was a really good lesson, I love teaching them! She just won't come to church yet because she said she is not ready, whatever that means!??
Yesterday was such a great Sunday! Roberto and Porfidia and her mom came to church! Porfidia absolutely loved every single class in church, and all the woman in the branch were so nice to her. It was perfect, she asked for a Book Of Mormon because she wants to start reading it right away. Also it was fast Sunday which can be kind of scary with investigators there, but it was the BEST fast and testimony meeting I have ever attended in my life. Everyone that got up bore their testimonies on Joseph Smith restoring the church and on the Book of Mormon. It was perfect for Porfidia and exactly what Roberto needed to hear.
IT'S DECEMBER!! IT IS BASICALLY CHRISTMAS, ALREADY, RIGHT NOW!!
Holy cow! I am so excited, for reals I don't think I have ever been so excited for Christmas in my entire life. So this entire month will probably fly by!
Also, remember how I said that it was cold in Arizona, maybe just scratch that out because I guess it just decided to be cold for one week or something. The weather is so bipolar and I am so confused every day, seriously. kind of annoying but whatever.
So last Monday we tye dyed shirts with our district. We have the best district EVER.
Seriously we have so much fun together. Even when we do like nothing it is always such a great time. Anyways, i made the SICKEST tye dye shirt i have ever made in my whole life. (pictures are coming)
Wednesday morning we had our Spanish class with Hermana Crockett in our branch. She used to teach Spanish in school (and apparently we need the extra help) so she volunteered to help us learn Spanish. It is actually really nice and helpful, so i'll take it.
Thursday was Thanksgiving! We weren't allowed to go out and do ANYTHING on Thursday unless we had dinner appointments. I think before my mission I would have been so happy to sit around and do nothing, but wow I felt so unproductive the entire day, I was going CRAZY. Luckily we went with the elders to eat lunch with Roberto at his house. We wanted to take him out to eat at a restaurant, but seriously it took us three days just to convince him that he is able to be seen in public with us. hahaha so we just had a little picnic outside of his house and ate peanut butter sandwiches. It was so cute and he is so cute. Also it was nice having some extra time during the day because we made cute little turkeys and sugar cookies to take to some of our investigators, you would be so impressed with our creativity. I would totally show you a pic but i am really bad at remembering to do stuff like that so.. sorry. We made little turkeys out of paper and wrote all the things we are grateful for. For Roberto, we stuck them all over his door. It was so fun and he was SO excited to find them the next day!
That night we got to eat dinner at a family in our wards house. It was so great only having to eat one dinner. Although i will just say that it was the weirdest thanksgiving dinner i have ever eaten in my life? Definitely got a little homesick but not bad so it's fine. It was good, but.. yeah anyways, i survived! (also ate the best flan ever made in this world so that was good).
The lessons have been going pretty good with Roberto, we are still just working with him and preparing him for baptism! Lessons are always so hilarious with him, I really feel like we are teaching an 8 year old. the lessons get very easily distracted, but it's okay we are working on it! They're the best. Side note: He can never remember our names so he told us he is going to call me reina (queen) and hermana doty princesa. hahahah he is so great. so i guess you can just start calling me that too, might as well.
We had a really awesome lesson with this guy named Eugene and his wife and daughter. They are probably like the nicest people I have ever met. We brought hermana and hermano Mejia with us last night to teach the Book of Mormon. and guess what?? THEY ALREADY KNEW EACH OTHER. They are long lost friends from 50 years ago guys. FIFTY YEARS. It was definitely inspiration. So it was a great lesson with them. There is so much potential with that family! but also, I don't know why but this week at least once a day someone we talk to (including Eugene) will ask us if we are the mormons that have 7 wives. POR QUE!?! seriously maybe i am missing something huge in the news right now but we aren't doing that anymore right?
Ok so seriously I think this has been the fastest week of my entire mission so far. TIME IS FLYING BY. I cannot believe that it is almost December, it is unreal. But I love the winter so i am SO EXCITED.
By the way, who even knew that Arizona was cold? If you didn't know, you probably would have been like me and expected it to be 80 degrees all year round so you probably would have packed ZERO warm clothes. But hey guess what? it actually DOES get cold in Arizona.. Wait actually, IT IS FREEZING in Arizona. So the past couple weeks I have been relying on basically my only sweater I even brought on my mission. Really, it has even gotten to the point where our investigators make fun of me because of how under dressed I look. But like who even cares right? I'm surviving so thats all that really matters here.
So the main reason why this week probably went by so fast was because basically every day was a really weird out of the ordinary day.
So to begin with, last monday we went shopping and it was just great. We went to some old little boutiques downtown and went and got lunch. After Pday was over we went to eat dinner with a family in our ward that is moving. They are the best family ever and I am going to miss them so much! Especially because she always makes the best food i have ever eaten in my entire life. Definitely going to miss her cooking. Also sad that they are moving, because a lot of people in our branch have been moving or just randomly going to mexico and not coming back, so now we are going to have to start meeting in the relief society room for sacrament meeting. Which actually I am pretty excited about, I like small little branches!
Tuesday and Wednesday we had zone conference and zone meeting. They were both really really good. Meetings are the best. But they both lasted basically all day and after that we didn't have too much time to work. We have been seeing Roberto basically every day this week. He is probably the best investigator I have ever taught. Seriously, he is always just so interested in learning ALL that he possibly can about our church. We invited him to be baptized and he said yes! HE SAID YES!! He is so excited! So that is coming up in a couple weeks, i am SO happy. It has been such a great blessing to be able to teach him!
We helped the familia Seibring move Wednesday night. We were there for THREE HOURS. Solely moving food storage. Yes that is right people, food storage. they had SO MUCH food storage it is ridiculous. They really probably had enough food to feed all of Casa Grande, I have never seen so much food in my entire LIFE. My arms are just barely recovering from being so sore from lifting so many boxes!
Thursday was such an AMAZING day, we taught FIVE LESSONS! It was the best day ever! We found a couple new investigators and had a couple less active lessons, which were actually really good. And not only were we able to have a lesson with Roberto in the church that night, we had one of the best lesson I have ever taught with him! We taught the plan of salvation, and he just understands it all, it's the best!
Friday seriously not too much really happened. Friday night we went to help a less active family set up for a yard sale they were having Saturday morning. It was nice and everything, but seriously we drove 20 minutes to get there. Then when we got there, they only needed us for like 15 minutes. hahaha but hey service is service right?
Saturday morning we woke up at the crack of dawn (5:30. but it felt like it) to help our branch with ANOTHER yard sale. I guess people really love yard sales here. But this was GINORMOUS. we helped for about two hours and then had to leave and by the time we were leaving they were still setting up tables and unloading stuff. It would have been such an awesome yard sale to shop at. But yeah, early in the morning=freezing your butt off. SO hopefully we never have to do that again.
Saturday night there was a baptism for the English ward. We had to go because I had to play the piano for the musical number. Roberto wanted to go so bad even though it was in English. He said he would learn through the spirit. haha so we brought him with us! For some reason our mission president just decided to show up at this baptism so i was like freaking out because i had to play the piano and everything but don't worry i survived. Apparently Roberto started crying during the song... how freaking adorable right?
This week absolutely FLEW by. and it twas a veeerrry great week.
To start off, last pday we went bowling with some of the missionaries in our zone. In case any of you forgot, I am basically a pro bowler. Me and Hermana Doty both got first and second place.. guess you could say i taught her well.. jk--- she's better than me anyways. But we were pretty happy about it.
Quick funny story: one of the other sisters went to throw the bowling ball and somehow accidentally threw it backwards and almost took out her companion, it was hilarious.
Tuesday we had this little zone meeting thing, one of the guys from the stake came to talk to us. It was really good, he basically just trained us on how we are supposed to be working with our ward council and ward mission leader. It was much needed. The only problem is that we had just barely got a new branch mission leader and he was SUPER AWESOME. He had so much work for us to do and he was so determined to help us. But then, a week and a half after he got called as branch missionary leader he decided to go to Mexico and then decided that he was just not going to come back.. POR QUE. So we have been branch mission leader-less for the past few weeks. Hopefully that will change soon!
We had another lesson with Roberto and Hermana Montelongo. Remember how I said I suffered through the longest lesson of my entire life last week? Well that one does not even compare to this one! We were planning on teaching the Plan of Salvation and it actually started out to be a pretty good lesson, but it's seriously impossible to say more than 7 words without him interrupting you and going on about something else! This lesson lasted an hour and 45 minutes! yes!!! i am serious guys. It was horrible. Half way though I was just sitting there and literally just could not pay attention. And the really sad part is that out of all of that time we only taught up to the fall of Adam and Eve! Don't even ask me how this happens because I have no idea. The good thing is that he loves meeting with us though, so we will figure out a way to eventually have a normal lesson with him!
Tuesday night we met this guy named Ramon sitting outside of his house. At first he was not wanting to talk to us at all. I guess he has had missionaries in the past and it was not a good experience. But then the more we talked to him, the more he just started pouring out his feelings. It was crazy! We stood there for 40 minutes as he talked about EVERYTHING in his life (idk why people like talking to us for a long time) then said, "but I'm not an open book.." We both sat there and we were like uhhh..sure!!! it was funny. But yeah he is super awesome and actually wants us to keep coming by and talking to him!
Wednesday we went to visit la familia Habana. They are so great! For sure one of my favorite families here. She absolutely LOVES us. She is always giving us food, it's great. That night we had this guy from Salt Lake come and basically just observe us plan, then Thursday morning he came back and 'observed' us study in the morning. All four hours of study! It was the weirdest thing of my life, but he was really nice so that's good. I think it's because of this new program they are doing for missionaries learning a new language, and hermana doty is part of it.
Friday night we went to a thanksgiving dinner for our branch. It was super fun and everything was decorated so cute! There was actually a lot of people there, we almost ran out of food. Bad because we almost ran out of food, but good because yay!!! we love people!!
Saturday was such a crazy day. So funny story that you will probably laugh your head off. So we are about to go into a lesson and we are parked sitting in our car praying. Then out of literally no where something hits our car, pretty hard, our entire car shook! So we both open our eyes and we are so confused because we really both thought that another car just hit our car! Then we look and see this guy just chillin in his wheelchair! He just decided to start wheelchairing backwards for whatever reason and then smacked into our car! We both just sat there and were like uhh what the heck.. then the guy just turned around and continued on his way down the street. We seriously could not even stop laughing long enough to finish the prayer! Like that does not just happen. It was so funny.
So we had a super awesome lesson with a girl named Maricela. She is pretty young but she is married and has a little girl. She is SO nice and really loves talking to us. and the best part? SHE SPEAKS SPANISH. you may not think that is a big deal, but trust me. It is a STRUGGLE to find people who speak Spanish! So we are really excited about that.
Saturday night we went to a birthday fiesta for a little boy in the branch. IT WAS SO FUN! They literally had three pinatas and so much food! (keep in mind this little boy is turning 2). I just love Mexican fiestas because everyone is so happy all the time and the food is just so good. They had menudo, and it was hermana doty's first time trying it. hahahaha it was quite hilarious. i don't think she is a huge fan of it.
Sunday was the temple dedication! Which was so great and spiritual in every way possible! I love temple dedications. I wish we could have our investigators there, because it would be such a cool experience for them! But the whole time I was just thinking of how incredibly lucky we are to have temples here! Especially when we have a temple so close to us, i miss not going to the temple as often as I want! I definitely took that for granted before my mission. So to family at home, you better go to the temple! and you better be going TWICE, once for you and once for me! :)
Anyways, this week we have had such a great week with finding people. We haven't had a TON of lessons, but we definitely have found those people that are prepared and waiting for us! It was so cool to be able to meet so many new people who are all interested in learning more about the gospel! And by the way, hermana Doty is doing so awesome. Seriously she speaks SO MUCH Spanish, so much more than I did in the beginning of my mission!
I love having her as my companion. I can't believe how fast this transfer already seems to be going. crazy! I love the mission, I love Arizona! And I know this is truly the Lords work!!
Alright so this week has been such a great week! Hermana Greenhalgh and I had our last few days together and then she left!
Tuesday was zone meeting and of course that was just excellent. We talked a lot about following the spirit and staying in tune with the spirit. That is something that I am going to really try so hard to work on this transfer! Just recognizing the spirit and being able to follow the promptings of the spirit EVERYWHERE. So far, this transfer has been going pretty good:) We found this super awesome lady named Juanita. She lives with her boyfriend and her two kids, she is SO nice. We are really hoping she will start coming to church with us because she needs the gospel so much in her life right now. We went by to talk to her and see how everything was doing, and it was really sad, she is struggling with a lot in her life right now, I just wish we could help her more somehow! But she is really awesome.
Wednesday we had a lesson with the CUTEST old man i have ever seen in my entire life. His name is Roberto, I am not kidding you guys. Just try to imagine the epitome of cute old mexican guy and this is Roberto. He is so hilarious and SO funny! oh my gosh. I basically just laugh at everything he says because everything about him is so funny! Just the way he dresses and acts, and smiles at everything you say! He's like 5 feet tall, MAYBE. ahh!! he is adorable. We taught the restoration and basically the entire time he just kept talking about the Book of Mormon, before we even taught about the Book of Mormon! He was just dying to have one and read it! it was so awesome.
Thursday we went to Tempe for transfer meeting and I GOT MY NEW COMPANION. She is so cute, her name is Hermana Doty. We already get along so well! I was really worried that she was kind of going to come in to the field and not want to work hard or do anything. But she is the total opposite! We have so much fun together it's awesome. We taught our very first lesson as soon as we got back home with this lady named Porfidia. It went really well, it was our first lesson with her as well, and she is really interested in learning more about the church! Then we went to Eloy and visited some less actives. So there is this less active lady named Rosa who is SO NICE and she is dying to make us food sometime. We had dinner planned with hermana bautista that night, but I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to stop by Rosa's house right before dinner and see if we can come by next week to eat dinner with her. Well apparently she was already planning on feeding us that day.. I have no idea where she even got that idea! So i felt so bad not saying yes to her food because she had prepared an entire meal for us! So I was like okay yeah sure, we only have a few minutes though! So we hurried and ate all this food that she had given us in order to be on time to our actual dinner. Then when we get to hermana bautistas house for dinner she has a huge plate of food for us sitting on the table. and when i say huge people i mean HUGE. (lasagna, mashed potatoes, rice, salad, garlic bread, donuts) I DIED. I felt so bad for Hermana Doty. hahaha oh my gosh, Like hey welcome to the mission field, here's two huge dinners for you! It was really funny but also really terrible. i don't think i have ever been so full in my entire life.
Friday we had weekly planning and.. i can't really remember what else happened.
Saturday we had an awesome lesson with Roberto! We had hermana Montelongo come with us to the lesson and it was AWESOME. They got a long so well, and he loves her! The only problem is that the lesson literally took over an hour... an HOUR people. He loves to talk, and she loves to talk and holy crap, we could not leave! But we brought a Book of Mormon with us and he was SO EXCITED to start reading it! he told us that he really wants to be a member of our church. he is the BEST.
So Sunday hermana Montelongo gave him a ride to church, the second he walked in the doors he just has this HUMONGOUS smile on his face and won't stop talking about how happy he is to be at church and how beautiful the church is, haha, he stayed for all three hours and loved all of it! The best part though: So we are sitting next to him in sacrament and the whole time he is just nodding and smiling to EVERYTHING that is being said. Then the sacrament gets passed around and as the bread comes to us he looks around a little confused of what is going on and then out of nowhere he pulls out a dollar bill and throws it on the tray of bread! It was SO FUNNY. Seriously I am sitting here literally laughing right now as I am typing this. We were both trying so hard to describe to him what to do and that he didn't have to pay money, but we were trying so hard not to laugh at him! Definitely the highlight of my week.
THEN, because last week was stake conference, this week was fast Sunday. So in sacrament meeting people are getting up and bearing their testimonies. My companion got up, then i got up, and then when I sat back down he is like, can I go up there? and i said, uhh yeah if you want! So HE GETS UP TO BEAR HIS TESTIMONY. His first time at church! he basically just talks about how happy he is to be here and learn more about God! Then this is seriously how he ends his testimony:
"so thank you, thank you. Thank you God!... ok" then walks back. hahahhaa I love him so much! He is the funniest person ever. We have another lesson with him on Tuesday with hermana montelongo and I am so excited! He is so great.
Well anyways, everything is going really good here and I am loving Arizona! It actually is starting to feel SO GOOD outside. I hope all is well!
I guess you could say i am the happiest person alive right now.
Like October it was 90's and I am dying of heat basically every day and then all of a sudden it turned November and it is COOL. It feels so good outside I seriously just want to stay outside all day everyday.
(Also just a little side note to my email last week. mainly for my madre. DO NOT FREAK OUT. I am safe and I am okay and nothing is even going to happen. that's all)
So this was the last week of this transfer and it FLEW by. Thursday we got to go to the Phoenix Temple open house, and oh my goodness. It was GORGEOUS. I seriously love going to temples because they are all so pretty and you really feel so close to heaven inside them! It is so cool that all these people who are nonmembers have the opportunity to go inside the temple and have that personal experience and learn just a little bit more about our church. Even in open houses before they are dedicated, the second you walk in you just feel so much peace and the spirit is just SO strong.Then you have to leave and go back to your normal lives and do all the normal things you do in your life. Thankfully I am a missionary and I still experience AMAZING spiritual moments everyday.
Friday was HALLOWEEN. Okay so let me just say, basically I have looked forward to Halloween for the past two months.. then it came and happened and it is now over and really all I did was stay in our house and eat a TON of candy. Guys, I am serious! you would not even believe me if I told you how many bags of chocolate people gave us. Literally at least 7. SEVEN!!
It's definitely safe to say we are all well on our way to early diabetes.
So besides Halloween and having to stay inside our house basically all night, nothing too excited has happened!
Saturday morning we woke up at 5AM again to go help our branch with the yard sale. I think this weekend was the last time. Thank goodness!!
Then this weekend was Stake Conference and it was like the best stake conference I have been to! Usually I hate stake conference because you just have to sit there for two hours and then your butt goes numb and you are hungry so your stomach is growling and basically everyone in the entire stake can hear it.. but, that is not what this one was! It was really cool, they had it broadcasted from Salt Lake but yet it was still specifically for the state of Arizona. I really learned so much from the people who spoke. It was amazing, I feel like everybody was speaking specifically to me!
Okay real fast funny story about this week. So all the time when we are walking there are these annoying little chihuahua dogs that run after you and chase you. I think Arizona has the corner on the chihuahua market, everyone has them!!!! So sometimes I will turn around and act like I am about to chase them and then they will run away all scared. Works like a dime. So anyways, the other night we are walking by this house and literally like 5 chihuahuas run out in the street and start chasing us. But us, being the grown adults that we are, just keeping walking and trying to ignore them. But they continue chasing us and biting our legs! (which seriously hurts) so I kind of do the whole turn around like I am going to chase them, but it didn't work with these dogs! It just made them more mad! So then my companion is like, okay I got this. So out of nowhere she turns around and starts chasing them and GROWLING at them. I am just dying laughing in the street because this is hilarious. Then all of a sudden we look and realize that this entire time this little Mexican family is just chillin in their yard watching us. THE ENTIRE TIME. It was the funniest thing ever.
So anyways, last night we got transfer calls!! WAHOO! Transfer calls are the best!
Not really, so glad that is over. They were supposed to come at like 9:30 but then that didn't happen so they just decided to call at 11 o'clock at night. which is fine I mean who needs sleep anyways right?
Sad news: My companion is leaving!! We don't know where she is going yet or who her new companion will be yet, but we find that out on Thursday!
So guess who is staying! ME. and also guess who is training! ME.
ahh I am SO EXCITED. This is going to be a blast! We're gonna have so much fun.
For real, I am really excited for this next transfer! I get to stay here in Casa Grande another transfer and work with all the amazing people that are here, AND i am excited that I get to train! I am a little bit nervous though, but like I know that it is just Satan that puts those thoughts into my head! This will be a very good transfer, and i can already tell that I am going to learn sooo much.
Well family, thank you so much for the great Halloween packages! You guys are the BEST. I hope you all had a great Halloween! Mortensen's-- you are amazing!!
Okay wow i don't even know how to start this email this week.
To summarize my feelings right now, this is how I feel: AMFJKUDHBEODJ (but in a good way)
THIS HAS BEEN THEE CRAZIEST WEEK EVER.
hahaha for realsI I feel like I am living in a movie right now and it is pretty awesome.
So to start with, This is the LAST week of transfers, don't know where the time has gone, but it has definitely gone. But every once in awhile change is good, so I'm excited for that.
The not so good part about this week is that we got dropped by 4 investigators this week. WHY????
All of our lessons with Jesus and Maria have been going pretty good. So this week we were about to have a SUPER awesome lesson and invite them to be baptized. As we show up, she invites us in and then before we can say anything she just hands us the Book of Mormons back and says that they have read them and they don't need them anymore.
DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE BASICALLY HANDING US YOUR SALVATION?? Ugh. people!!!!!! Turns out she is a Jehovah Witness, like how did you forget to tell us that 4 weeks ago? This information would have been helpful a little earlier on!! Then we have Jose, who's wife saw his Book of Mormon we gave him and now we can't go back anymore or she'll kick him out..
Anyways, we have been trying to find this guy named Gerardo lately, but every time we go over he is never there. Then the other day his son answered the door and now he is TOTALLY interested in our message. We taught the restoration and he loved it! he told us he wants to learn more AND eventually be baptized. So i am super excited to continue teaching him!
This week we went by a part member family in our ward and hermana taught us how to make Arroz con leche! it is the best thing in this entire world. So now I am going to be making it like probably everyday.
Also, one night we were walking and this cute little kitten kept following us everywhere we went. for literally like 45 minutes. So we named her popito, oh my gosh she was the cutest thing ever. But we ended up losing her, i think a dog may have got her.. Sad right?
This week we went on exchanges. I went to the English sisters area with sister Schroeder. I LOVE her, we seriously have so much fun together. Also, I always like exchanges, but this one was an especially good one. I just learned SO MUCH this time, so it was much needed.
Friday morning we woke up at 5AM to help with a "Yard Sale" for a missionary in our branch. We helped set up for a couple hours in the morning, then went to weekly planning. (also, i got a SICK rope)
okay but GUESS WHAT HAPPENED???
Thursday night our church got broken into and COMPLETELY trashed. We went over Friday to look at it and there were a bunch of windows that were broken and one of the doors was completely shattered. It is really so sad, like why is it even fun to break in and vandalize places? Apparently all they were looking for was money, because only the bishops offices were broken into. I guess they took cement shingles from the roof and busted all the handles to get in. BUT all they took was our branch presidents 100 dollar phone cord. like, ALL THAT FOR A PHONE CORD?
Anyways, so the point of my title is because me and Hermana Greenhalgh put our smart minds together and we totally basically figured out who it was that broke in. So long story short, they came to church and we were able to secretively get their finger prints and talk about why one of them had huge gashes on his hands. AND NOW, we have to meet with the police and give them information. Oh my gosh. this is so cool. Like i feel like I am CSI.
This week absolutely FLEW by. Seriously, can't even believe it. We are already in the 4th week of this transfers which means that there are only TWO WEEKS LEFT. I think this may be one of the fastest transfers so far.
Also, it's October. I know it has been October for awhile, but I just love October, and I love fall. It definitely does not feel like fall, but i'm just trying to convince myself that it does so that I can love it.
But, the best part about October? CARVING PUMPKINS. which we did last week. It was a blast. Of course, everybody did something really cute and creative but I am not creative at all, so I just did a normal face. But i think it was cute so I don't even care what anyone else says. We set them outside on our deck to decorate and be all cute so that everyone can see them, but we probably should have waited a little bit longer because now they are already dying. Maybe we will just have to carve some more. We all saved the seeds and had a huge cook off to see who could cook the best pumpkin seeds. (we obviously won by far).
This past week has been a really good, full of spiritual moments!
On Saturday the elders in the Spanish branch had a baptism for a girl named Jasmine. She is so cute, and it was honestly one of the best baptisms that I have ever been to. The spirit was SO strong.
Saturday Hermana Greenhalgh and I found out that we had to speak in sacrament meeting on Sunday. We were kind of freaking out because we had only a day to prepare. But everything turned out really good. I talked about President Uchtdorfs talk in the last general conference about receiving a testimony of truth and light. It was really fun, and I actually really enjoyed it. And i don't even know why I was scared, because there is about 30 people there every week.. (but that is about to change!) Then that night we had another Mission President's Devotional. We went with the elders and a couple of their investigators and we took a recent convert, Noe with us. We were supposed to have one of our investigators named Shaley meet us there, but she ended up not being able to come! We were really sad. But overall It was a really really good devotional. It was by far the best one I have ever gone to. I say that every time I go to one, but really, they just keep getting better and better! Also, after it was over we were about to leave and guess who was there. BLANCA AND ALEX, and their cute little familia :) It was the best surprise of my life. So we talked with them for a little bit and it was an awesome little family reunion we had.
Also, real fast funny thing that happened this week. Oh my gosh, I don't know if you will think this is funny, but we were literally DYING laughing. So the other day we were driving in the car and we were just driving past all these huge fields of cotton and just farm land. So my companion says, "wow, why don't we just go teach all these cows." and then without even thinking I was like, "oh yeah, i think that would be a great addition to our 'steak'..." hahahah oh my gosh i am just so funny! I am sure you all miss my super funny sense of humor!!!!
I hope all is going just fantastic for you all. (I can't put ya'll anymore cause my companion will kill me)
Anyways this week has been pretty crazy. So last Monday was great of course. We had a zone activity in the church, we made breakfast and played chair soccer and gator ball. It was so fun, wow!!! I miss soccer so bad. Later we were washing our car and I accidentally sprayed my companion with the hose. I swear I seriously did not mean to, I just totally underestimated the force that came out of it. It got blue soap all over her arms and her face and a little on her shirt. I felt so bad, but oh my gosh it was hilarious.
This week we had we had Zone Meeting AND interviews! I love interviews. My President is the BEST. We had an awesome training, then we got to watch Meet The Mormons!! If you haven't seen it, you should definitely go see it. But be careful because the end is a real tear jerker.
Also, this week we had our FIRST skype lesson. It was so fun! Remember that guy from the ice cream truck? His name is Phillip and he is so cool. We have been talking to him a little bit on facebook, then we actually skyped him this week and taught a lesson. MY FIRST SKYPE LESSON WHOO! (we took a pic to document it.) The only sad thing about Phillip is that he actually lives in the Elder's area so we are going to end up having to give him over to them, which is so not ideal.
Thursday we were in Eloy all day and basically had no success. We were able to have a couple lessons with some less actives which is good, but we could not find ANY of our investigators. Serious, this has been our problem this entire week. NONE of our investigators have been home and almost all of our planned lessons have fallen through! Everybody just needs to STOP GOING TO MEXICO. It's a real problem, people will just drop off the face of the earth for weeks.
Friday we had weekly planning, then had ANOTHER SKYPE LESSON! With this kid named David. The cool part is that he lives in Atlanta, Georgia and he wants to keep having lessons with us! The only problem is that we don't know if he is more interested in actually learning about the church or just talking to us.. but we will find that out real soon. cool potential investigator!
Saturday was a busy busy day. We went to two baptisms, in the morning there was one for a little boy in our ward, then there was another one that afternoon for one of the other elder's investigators. We got to go because I played the piano and my companion sang a musical number. It was so fun I love baptisms so much.
Sunday also was a crazy day. So Friday night me and Hermana Greenhalgh decided that we wanted to use teeth whitening strips (thanks to an awesome package from my family) so we put them on and then realized that they were two hour ones and we had like 30 minutes before we had to be in bed. So Hermana Greenhalgh is like "oh no its okay, the elders sleep with teeth whitening strips on all the time" (how would she know this???) . At first I was like no way, that is so dangerous, but then of course she convinced me.. although I will say that I woke up two hours later and took them off! But my companion on the other hand... slept with them on all night. Well, when she woke up she realized that she had SWALLOWED ONE OF THEM, she could feel it in her throat. So i am like fa-reaking out and telling her that we need to go to the hospital ASAP, but of course she doesn't want to make a big deal about it so she goes all day with this teeth whitening strip in her throat! Finally Saturday night we call the mission president's wife and she tells us to go to the hospital. Still my companion refuses to go so we go to sleep that night and neither of us can sleep all night. So we wake up in the morning and finally we decide to go. So we end up in the emergency room for 5 HOURS Sunday morning. They had to stick this camera thing down her throat, take an X ray, and give her this IV to open her throat up. Finally we were able to leave and barely make it to church on time! So yeah, we were there all morning with nothing to do, just sitting there! I think I have now seen every single Bible video ever made. But i love them so it's fine.
Anyways, so everything else is going just great and neither of us are dead/dying. Now we just know in case you were ever wondering, No, you should not sleep with teeth whitening strips on.
I feel SO blessed and SO loved from all ya'll. So thanks for the letters and emails. I have the best family ever, no doubt:)
So Monday was a great pday, we played ping pong with the other elders in our apartment. It was really great and, wow! I forgot how good I was at ping pong, haha jk.. but no really. I love ping pong.
That night we had a lesson with this guy named Jose. He is so funny and just laughs at all of his own jokes. The first time we met him we thought he was probably drunk, but I think that is his personality, he LOVES us.
Tuesday was district meeting. Our district is the best district EVER! Our district leader has been out for one transfer less than us and he is training a new missionary. Then the other companionship is an elder that just finished his training and is second half training. So yeah, Me and Hermana Greenhalgh are the oldest in our district.. say whaat??? It's crazy, I think we are the youngest district out of every mission. But we had our entire district meeting in Spanish which was really fun! Then we had some super great lessons with some super great peeps. Also got a referral from one of our investigators which was a MIRACLE.
Wednesday we found a former investigator. (kind of on accident, but that always happens to us) She is really nice, she talks so extremely quiet i don't even know what she says half the time. But her husband loves us, he had a stroke, and so he can't talk very well or move very much. He talks Spanish and English.. i don't know if he realizes he is speaking both at the same time or not.. but it's really funny.
Thursday, we were a trio for a day with Hermana Rawlings, she is Sister Schroeders new companion. We went to Eloy and hunted down all of the less actives that live out there. Well tried to anyways. WHY DOES NOBODY COME TO CHURCH. We actually found this lady named Rosa who is really nice. She has been to the temple and everything but then just stopped coming to church because it is too far away. sheesh mujer!
Friday we had weekly planning and then went to In N Out with the other sisters. After we had a really good lesson with Margarita. We brought one of our members with us and they ended up already knowing each other from years before. It was great! Actually side note: everybody knows this lady because her and her husband have a barber shop and her husband is like secretly famous. They are in our ward and EVERYBODY loves them. His name is Frank Mejia. go look him up on the internet or something because apparently he has been in a bunch of movies. I guess a couple weeks ago he went to Frank Sinatra's birthday party hahahah idk something like that.) Anyways, Margarita is awesome. She loves talking with us and learning more about our church. We gave her the Book of Mormon and the next time we went over she said she had read to chapter 13 in 1 Nephi! That does not just happen. The only thing is that she is really hung up on prophets, so yeah we are hoping we can get over that real fast!
We had a really good lesson that night with a Hermano Favela in our ward. We have been going by to see his friend and his wife every friday night and having lessons with them. They are really nice! At first they we super stand-offish, but they are actually starting to open up to us more now.
Saturday, CONFERENCE. Oh my gosh. Can I just say that I absolutely love General Conference? I LOVE IT. I can't even express in words how amazing it is. We went to the church to watch it and the first session was for some reason in sign language. So we had some guy occupying 1/3 of the screen signing while there was a little screen in the back with the person actually speaking. I am sorry but it was so hard to concentrate and stay focused. But good news, I know a lot of sign language now!
But really, all the sessions were so great. I learned SO MUCH. Seriously, so many of my questions were answered and I just felt the spirit so strong! The last session on Sunday margarita showed up! We were so excited that she actually came. And Elder Bednars talk was PERFECTO for her! I think she really enjoyed it, we haven't seen her since, but I am excited to talk to her and see what she thought about it.
Anyways, listening to Conference this week has been such a BLESSING. I really know that we are so blessed and it is such a privilege to be able to listen to the Prophet of our church speak to us. And all of his apostles as well. I know that for me, i really received so many answers to my prayers and I was able to receive so much revelation for me and for my investigators. I have felt the spirit and Heavenly Father's love for me so strong the last few days, it has been such a great experience.
I love General Conference. I love President Monson. I love this church and I LOVE being a missionary. Even though it is not all easy.. it is SO worth it.
So I would say that if you didn't have a chance to watch all of the sessions of conference, go back and watch them ALL!
I hope you all have a very wonderful week. Love you!
So this week flew by and to be honest I have like literally nothing to write about.. so we'll see how this goes.
Oh wait, good news this week! It is FINALLY starting to cool down and I am so close to being able to wear sweaters. It has been in the 90's this entire week and it is just amazing :) (i feel so cool saying that)
Sister Westfall went home last week, so we were in a trio for a few days with her companion Sister Schroeder. It was really fun and also so nice because we could go everywhere and do anything with her.
On Thursday we went to transfer meeting in Tempe. They changed everything so now transfers are completely different, I guess we go find our name on a paper and then that's how we know our new companion.. idk I didn't get a new companion, but weird. Also, we have added 4 new zones to our mission. SWEET.
Before the meeting I was standing outside with Hermana Greenhalgh and guess who came to the meeting. ALEX!! i know right? Oh my gosh I almost tackled him when I saw him because I was just so excited. It was the best surprise ever. I got to talk to him for a little bit, then he called Blanca so I could talk to her on the phone. I was so happy! They said they are going to come take us out to lunch sometime. So I am definitely looking forward to that!
The last few days we have had a lot of really good lessons. We have met SO MANY new people this week, which is really awesome. We have decided that this transfer we are just going to really focus on finding new people and helping those investigators that are super solid, just continue to progress. I'm excited, we are already off to a pretty good start, so it should be an exciting transfer.
Saturday night we got to watch the Women's Broadcast. I am so happy that we have the opportunity to be able to have meetings like this. I learned so much! President Uchtdorf's talk was so amazing, it really got me thinking about some really awesome things. I love it.
Yesterday our branch met with the English ward for sacrament meeting because they had a primary program. I LOVE PRIMARY PROGRAMS. It was the cutest thing ever, little kids are just so cute.
Okay funny story, so we met this really awesome guy named Roberto the other day. He is this cute little old Mexican guy that lives by himself. So we had a little lesson with him outside of his house the other day. We were going to show the video "Because of Him" to him. Okay well, if you have seen this video you know that there is no one talking, you just have to read the words, it turns out he does not know how to read. So I'm like oh, that's okay i can just read it to you as the words pop up. So the video starts playing and I start saying the words as they come up and everything is going all good. Then all of a sudden the words come faster and they are like legit sentences. So i'm trying so hard to read these words in Spanish, but I can't because I don't even know half of these words! So my companion is dying laughing and I of course can not stop laughing either. So i'm like struggling to read while I am trying my hardest ever not to laugh. It was so difficult. Then out of nowhere this huge dust storm comes in, so we basically end up having to book it to the car and try not to die. It was a crazy way to end our lesson that was not really going anywhere anyway!
We have been having quite a few lessons with Maria and Lupe, that couple that got money from the church. They didn't come to church this week, but they seem to be doing really good. We usually have lessons outside of their house because they are too embarrassed to let us inside. But the last couple lessons we have gone at night so they let us inside. Seeing the inside of their house was a HUGE eye opener. I am so grateful for everything that I have, it just made me realize how much I have been blessed with my whole life. This family really needs a lot of help, and I wish i could help them with money and everything they need. But out of everything, what they REALLY need is the gospel in their life, and that, i can help them with! I am so glad that I am able to be here and have this opportunity to share it with them. That is the best thing about being a missionary, being able to help people!!
This week was PACKED with exciting/ ridiculous crazy things. There have been a lot of meetings and I have felt the spirit so much and received so much revelation, it is fantastic.
Okay wow! like where do I even start? So first off, this week is transfers. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. really?? I can't believe it. We were supposed to get transfer calls last night, but there was a Mission Presidents Fireside and it went late and everybody got home late, including our president.. So calls didn't come until this morning. I died. Seriously I have this weird problem where I get so nervous about transfer calls every time, where I literally make myself sick. So yesterday was not a good day. I was so sick and worried to my stomach ALL day. But hey, me and Hermana Greenhalgh are staying together! whoop whoop.
So this week we went and visited a less active in our branch. She is super nice, but she just has a lot of doubts about the church. A LOT. I think her husband has been showing her some anti stuff, which is really sad. So we mostly just tried to answer some of her questions. RIDICULOUS questions, I swear, seriously these are questions that I have never even thought about before. Even though it was basically us just getting bombarded with questions, it was a really cool spiritual experience. As we walked out of that lesson we both just looked at each other and we were like... what the heck just happened? We were able to talk to her and help resolve her concerns and I seriously don't even know how we did it. I know I answered her questions, but I don't even know what I said! Words just came out of my mouth!! Super awesome.
That same night we drove by this old guy's house that we had referred to the English elders in our area literally the night before. Well, there was a firetruck, cop car AND an ambulance. then we see that he is IN the ambulance. what would you think happened? obviously he DIED! Right? That's what we thought. So we call the elders and leave a message and we're like, hey elders so.. we just want to let you know that that referral we gave you, well.. he died. Even though we were really sad, we were laughing really hard because it was just so funny. How many missionaries refer someone and then they die, Right? Well we happen to drive by again a little later that night and we see him sitting in his wheelchair smoking his cigarette. We are like WHAT THE HECK?!? HE IS ALIVE. So we call the elders back and we're like... so he's actually not dead, he's still alive. It was so funny hahaha oh my GOODNESS. Wish ya could've been there.
Wednesday night we had correlation and while we were at the church this older couple comes in and asks the branch president for money to help pay their bills. This seriously happens all the time, then they say they will come to church and they never actually do. But they said they were really interested, so we showed them around the church and set up a time to go back and visit them. They are actually really really nice. well the lady, the man is a little grouchy. But good news, THEY CAME TO CHURCH on sunday! Everybody was actually really surprised. but they came, and they also brought their 9 year old granddaughter who is SUPER interested in coming to church!
This week with Pedro we actually decided to take him off date. Which is a bummer because he is so awesome. we just didn't feel like he was really prepared yet. But he still wants to meet with us and he still comes to church and stuff, so that's good!
Friday our mission president called our entire mission together and we had this little conference thing. He basically just addressed a lot of problems that we were having in the mission, but it was super good. I definitely learned a lot. Saturday morning we drove to Tempe again because we got to listen to Elder D. Todd Christofferson. It was so cool! The second he walked in the whole room was just so filled with the spirit! And before it started we all got to go up and shake his hand. It was SO cool. AAh my whole entire day was just awesome because of that. I learned so much from him!! I took some really awesome notes and I am so excited to be able to look back on them for the rest of my mission!
On Sunday we got to drive up AGAIN to Tempe for the Mission Presidents Devotional. which yeah that was really cool. I was really hoping I would see Blanca and Alex there because she said they were going! But we left and I couldn't find them.. by the time we got home it was almost 10 o'clock and we left our car in the church parking lot. As we went to get in our car we realized that somebody drew ALL over the back of our car in PERMANENT MARKER. How Rude Right?? oh my gosh who would do something like that? Like for reals DO YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE? So we spent the next basically hour trying to scrub it off with magic erasers.. have any ideas for how to get permanent marker off a car? let me know!
So yesterday morning we are in the middle of eating lunch and we realize we have a text from the Elders that says, PEC at noon. it's 11.53. So we are like OH CRAP. We frantically run around the house grabbing random things. I start shoving the rest of my food in my mouth/ grabbing boxes of any food I can find and we run out the door to make it on time. We speed over to the church and get there only a few minutes late. And our branch president is like, You know this is PEC right? And we're like, oh yeah we barely made it! Then he just sits there for a second and I'm like... I have no idea what PEC stands for. and so we find out it stands for priesthood something something.. ARE YOU SERIOUS??? we rushed over and we didn't even need to be there! Also I accidentally got a speeding violation because I drove too fast..
So we had three investigators in Relief Society yesterday. It was a really interesting lesson... to be honest i don't even have any idea what the lady was talking about. And then half way through she starts talking about how her and her husband went to a Jehovah Witness church and everybody was so involved and paying attention and then she says how the Jehovahs are SO MUCH better than our church! right? Then other women start arguing and being like, uh no that is not right and stuff. Oh heck. I just sat there and I was like.. this is not happening right now.
But yes it did happen.
Also another funny story that happened yesterday. We just got to dinner and my companion needed to wash her hands. So she goes to use the kitchen sink and as soon as she turns it on something is broken on the sink so the water shoots straight out. Well guess who was standing directly in the line of fire. ME. I just sat there so confused and so helpless as to what was going on as this fountain of water sprays me right in my face. My companion was to busy laughing that she couldn't figure out how to turn it off for like a good 5 SECONDS. It was really hilarious, but yeah. I was soaked.
We have been doing a lot of biking/ walking lately just because it is easier and we don't have very many miles left on our car. (which by the way, holy crap September where have you gone?) I really like walking and riding bikes, even though we are in a pretty scary part of Casa Grande. The other night we walked by this house and this big black lady comes out and starts yelling at us. (i seriously think she had good intentions) she starts getting all mad at us because she's worried that we are going to get killed or something. She starts naming off like all of these crimes that have happened and stuff and she says how we need to go by pepper spray or like a gun. hahaha it was really funny. But yeah, she was saying how it is way to dangerous for us to be walking by ourselves at night. At first I was starting to get a little creeped out with everything she was saying. But then as we walked away I had the best feeling come over me. And I just knew that the Lord is seriously protecting us every single day, everywhere we go. I know that we are never alone. NEVER. And I just felt so much peace and so much comfort! I have seriously seen so many blessing from this transfer it is crazy. I know we still need to be careful everywhere we go, but Heavenly Father blesses us and watches out for us every day! it's wonderful. This church is so true. Heavenly Father really is here for all of us. Missionary work is awesome.