Monday, September 29, 2014

09.29.2014 Email

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!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

09.22.2014 Email

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.

09.15.2014 Pictures

The one and only Pedro

Cute little puppies

Family at the Fiesta

09.15.2014 Email

Hello mi hermosa familiaa (:

I will just say that it has been a very very good week, I can't believe how fast time is going!!
Except, ask me if I am still sick from last week..
YES. yes I am. But it's okay because I am getting better and that is all that counts right? All of us in our apartment are slowly recovering!

So last Monday we had family night with one of the part member families in our ward. It was so fun, we ate tacos and watched a couple of the New testament videos. My companion made cheesecake brownies which were apparently SOO good. But too bad I couldn't taste them because in case you didn't know, I have now lost all taste/ smell of ANYTHING. 
Not complaining. I love it.

We had exchanges this week with the sister training leaders, nothing too exciting except for speaking English which every once in awhile that's a pretty fun thing to do. We also found a couple Spanish speaking people. YAY!

Every Thursday we have an English class where we teach our investigators and members how to speak English. It is actually really really fun, also you learn how to speak Spanish by teaching English so it's like a win-win situation here. This week Pedro came (which by the way he is still so awesome.) We were trying to teach him how to say his name, where he is from and where he lives and stuff like that. But it is so hard to teach him anything because he gets off topic SO FAST. Somehow by asking him where he's from turned in to him talking about ginormous volcanoes in Utah... this is a daily basis sort of thing. At the end we asked Pedro to pray in English. Finally he agreed to, and this is for reals his prayer:
"Dear, Heavenly... Father..... Thank help the name of....Jesus (in Spanish accent) Christ. amen."
hahaha it was so funny I was trying so hard not to burst up LAUGHING. I died. But hey look, he can now pray in English!

So Friday there was a FIESTA!!! Because it was the Independence day of Mexico! So our branch had a cute lil party in our church. It was super fun, mostly everyone dressed up and wore cute Mexican stuff. I really bad wanted to wear my Mexican mumu dress but my companion wouldn't let me. i guess it probs wouldn't have been the best Idea anyways... There was SO MANY BURRITOS. solo burritos. They were sooo good though. I kind of felt like a for real Mexican for a night. 
After the party we went to visit a couple people. Although it was so scary walking down the streets because there were so many parties going on. I don't think I have ever felt more in Mexico before! I am serious when I say that our area is straight THE GHETTO. But it's fun. 
We were a little concerned that Pedro would be out partying with his friends because it was independence day and what not. So on our way home we walked by his house and we found him just standing outside his house by himself watering his plants. hahaha he is the cutest little Mexican man ever! He takes so much pride in his plants it's hilarious. You get him started on his plants and he will go on for HOURS about how he keeps them alive. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

09.08.2014 Pictures

Our dinner fell through so we ate at the Native New Yorker

We got SOAKED in the storm

Double Rainbow after the storm (also their fat hound dog)

09.08.2014 Email

Okay the last four days have felt like MONTHS. I thought it was going to fly by, but nope it has been so unbelievably SLOW. 

So in my last email I said how Sister Schroeder has been sick. Okay well guess who is sick now?  Our ENTIRE apartment. Every single one of us. I was completely fine and then out of nowhere I am just dying. I don't even know what it is. There are like 6 different things wrong with me! So yeah that's been fun. I'm hoping it is going to go away soon, because it would really be nice to get some sleep. 

So Thursday: THERE WAS A HABOOB. Okay actually there have been like 5 haboobs this week. Seriously what the heck?  It's scary. But anyways, this one in particular was HUGE. So we are on our way to dinner and out of nowhere it started pouring rain, and random things started falling over, stop signs, telephone poles. So we got out of the car for seriously 5 seconds to book it inside and got drenched (picture to follow). Then the power went out, so we ended up eating cold hamburgers and fries for dinner. YUM. but, it was really cool, because after there were TWO rainbows!! 

Friday: We went and got ice cream with Vanessa and her little boy. He is so freaking cute, and I just love them so much! We gave her a Book of Mormon and talked about it a little bit with her. She was so excited to go home and read it!!

Saturday: The main reason this week went by so slow. Saturdays are always SO SLOW. We did a lot of finding, and actually found some pretty dang awesome peeps to teach, so that's good. We ran into this lady who was telling us all about these aliens that lived in her house. We were pretty freaked out. 

Sunday: Everything was really good. We had a few investigators at church, even a couple that we had met the night before! So we were super excited about that. But then later, we were sitting in the principles of the gospel class then all of a sudden we realize that Marianne is not at church! So we jump up and are searching all around the church trying to find her, we try calling her cellphone, but no one answered! So we were thinking, " nuh uh. no way. You are getting baptized on Saturday you are NOT GOING TO MISS CHURCH!" So we momentarily left our other investigators and speedily drove over to her house. We knocked and knocked and knocked on the door and nobody was answering! I was seriously about to break down the door and drag her to church. So.. yeah. We still haven't been able to get a hold of her. So looks like she won't be getting baptized on Saturday after all! Darn! 

That's about all that has happened the last few days. Yesterday I actually bore my testimony in sacrament meeting. I started talking about temples and eternal families and started crying because I love my family so much. Oh my gosh, but it was so embarrassing. I feel bad for everyone that was listening. I can just imagine what it sounds like trying to listen to some white girl speak Spanish and cry at the same time.
Tonight we are having a family night with a part member family in our ward. I am super excited, it should be really good. 

09.03.2014 Pictures


Mission Tour. Do you see how big the salad is?!

09.03.2014 Email

Holy Crap. I seriously did not think this day would ever come! So we didn't email on Monday because today we went to the temple!! It was so cool and so fun and I am so glad that we got to go! One of the members here gave us a ride to Mesa, we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning in order to meet and drive up there. So yeah i guess you could say I am totally dead right now. But it was definitely worth it. I wish we could go to the temple every week! But of course not, because that would just be too great!
This week has been a SUPER AWESOME week of being a missionary though, wow. We have met so many new people!! (Of course some really random and interesting people thrown in there too.) 
One of the nights we went out to this little (basically ghost town) called Standfield. We were trying to find a couple less actives and old investigators that lived there. But in the mean time got eaten alive by mosquitoes. We didn't have much success finding people and it's probably because people looked out their windows and saw two girls dressed in skirts dancing and jumping around smacking themselves- and occasionally each other. I swear to you I have never had so many mosquito bites on my body before! That night when we got home we counted, and i literally have 34 bites on my legs. My companion has like 50. It's horrible! So now as we walk around it probably looks like we have some disease growing on our legs!

We had some MAJOR miracles this week! Pedro is still continuing to come to church ever Sunday, and we've had some super awesome lessons with him! AND he is getting baptized on the 20th of September!! I am so freaking excited and happy for him! It basically took all that i had to contain myself and not jump up out of my chair to hug him! He is doing so good though, and he is really excited to get baptized!
So we spent basically all of last week trying to find this girl named Vanessa. She told us we could come back last Monday, but then when we went back she wasn't there, which was a huge bummer! Then right as soon as we were about to stop going by, we finally were able to see her and have a quick lesson with her. She is so cute! She is our age and she has a little boy, apparently her husband is in jail. She is so excited to be meeting with us! We went back the next day and taught the restoration. It was really one of the BEST lessons I have ever taught!! The spirit was so strong and at the end, she accepted to get baptized on the 19th of September! I have not ever met anyone more prepared than she is, she told us she already believes it all because it all makes sense! So yeah, pretty stoked about that. We are going to get ice cream with her this Friday!

Our other investigator we have on date is Marianne, she is super awesome too, we FINALLY got her to come to church this week, which that alone was a miracle! I can't even tell you how hard we have been trying to get her to come to church the past three weeks. Something always goes wrong, Satan is definitely trying hard to not let her date go through. But she is so awesome, she can do it! She is getting baptized next week!
Also, monumental moment for me: i had the great opportunity to have my FIRST real conversation with a Jehovah's Witness. Just kidding it was not a great opportunity, I almost punched him in the face. We were talking to this guy in his yard and then his neighbor comes over and he's like asking us all these questions about us as missionaries and where we learned Spanish and such. Then out of nowhere he whips out that he's a Jehovah's Witness. My first instinct was actually to run. But then we were just trying to talk to this guy we were originally talking with. And he just kept throwing all these scriptures at us and completely bible bashing us. 
Ugh. It was so frustrating. Then after a couple minutes when he realized we weren't going to sit there and argue with him, he got up and went back inside his house. But good news-- his neighbor is interested and invited us back! wahoo!

This Monday because we didn't have P-day, it was the weirdest day of my life! First thing in the morning i went on mini exchanges with the English sisters because one of them is sick. So i got to go teach a couple lessons with them in English. Weird, but super fun. Then we did service for a couple in our ward for a couple hours, they gave us cinnamon rolls after so of course it was all worth it. 
Last Wednesday we had a mission tour. Elder Schwitzer came to talk to us, it was really cool! (I probably completely spelled his name wrong, ) Then our mission President talked to us for a little while too, which of course was a super great experience! Then this week we had zone meeting. I have learned so much from these two meetings! I am so grateful that we have opportunities like these to go and be trained on how to be better missionaries! i am definitely applying everything from these meetings into my teaching!   
Something I have definitely learned this week is to have PATIENCE. i don't think I ever even knew what patience meant before my mission. But I just know that Heavenly Father loves all of us so much and that he is going to bless us whenever we are keeping the commandments and doing what we should be doing. Sometimes we don't see these blessing come right away, but I promise that they do come!! Just remember that we can find happiness no matter what the circumstances are! Okay i love you all so much! Thanks for all the emails and love :)

 Also, shout out to Brynn this week for being in Tempe!!! Too bad I'm not in Tempe anymore or I would have totally snuck in to see you:)