Monday, July 25, 2016

vamos a la playa

Que pasa? Hope that everyone had a great week and had lots of fun enjoying the summer heat that has taken over everywhere, because we sure did! This week was filled with some interesting experiences and a lot of laughs and good memories to say the least. Also, I hit my 5 month mark yesterday so what?!

First off, it's really stinking hot. Sister Neeley had a dream the other night, she said she dreamed that it was cold enough to use her cardigan outside of the church building and she woke up super happy. This, my friends, is what we call a #FloridaMissionaryProb. We dream about it being cold, it's kinda sad, but the heat means that more people are inside their homes so let's look at the positive side of things, right?! (it's still too hot). Pretty sure its the humidity that kills, because then it feels 15 degrees hotter!

Last p-day we went to the beach... well we went to the pier since we aren't allowed on the actual beach in this mission. But we got to see the beach and it was beautiful. We left sad that we couldn't go into the water because it looked amazing and it was hot (shocking I know). I will attach some pictures but they don't do it justice.

One more interesting thing that happened was yesterday. We were knocking and we got a call from the other Sisters we live with who said that our ceiling was leaking? So we ran home and there was literally yellow "water" falling from our ceiling into our closet. IT WASN'T WATER. Our room now smells awful but thank goodness they fixed the upstairs apartment and there is no longer nasty stuff falling into our room. RIP to my suitcase though... hopefully I cleaned it well enough. There will be some pictures of that too #sorryaboutit.

Finally, an update on Byron. He is still awesome and still progressing and will be baptized this Saturday! Whoop whoop, he is so awesome. We had a great Family Home Evening with the Bishop & his wife on Monday with Byron & his wife and we talked about families being eternal and the temples, and it was so spiritually uplifting. We shared testimonies about how we have been blessed by the temples in our own lives and Byron's wife, who is already a member, was just so thrilled and happy that in one year they will be going to the temple to be sealed as an eternal family to their new baby, it was perfect. We left there on cloud 9, but also racing home because it was almost 9:30 ...oops. On Friday, we had another awesome lesson about the commandments and he came to Church yesterday and we have one more lesson today and then his interview on Wednesday, but yay! It has been really hard this transfer, with all the doctors appointments and having to stay in with Sister Neeley's stomach but we are going to be able to see the fruits of our labors this Saturday!

This week I was reading in Preach My Gospel about hope, which is so important. We can't have anything really if we don't have hope. Faith starts with hope, everything starts with hope. Preach My Gospel says that hope is "patient perseverance," yeah it is. It really stood out to me and something that I definitely needed to hear and learn about this week. This whole week I have been focusing on a different Christ like attribute everyday but really hope was the one that stood out to me the most. Without it we have nothing, but with it we can have everything.

One thing that I seem to write over and over again in my journal is: "I am so happy all the time." I don't know how because its exhausting work, but just being able to be here, right now and serving the Lord. Especially this last week, when at first our success wasn't as high, but then yesterday it was just miracle after miracle after miracle. It's such a blessing! Its way more fun to be happy doing missionary work than it is to be sad!

#1: this is our closet disaster feat. Sister Rianda

#2: house selfies are fun with buckets of nasty "water"


#4: typical missionary picture at the beach

#5: we got homemade ice cream at the beach because DUH

#6: super sad I couldn't go on it though. the sun was bright and it was hot so I look super gross in this picture

Monday, July 18, 2016

trainings for days

Hello hello from week 3 in the transfer! This week was super crazy and super fun and packed with stuff.

We had zone training this week and we were able to hear some of the training that President had for us this last week. We found out that the Florida Fort Lauderdale mission is the #1 mission in the Southeast region! Obviously we all already knew that but now its official. It is super exciting to be able to see our growth as a mission and here in the FFLM we were all SO pumped to hear that news! Another thing that we were told was about those people that we teach that are then dropped because they don't progress or something like that. President Richardson said, "When we stop teaching people we don't leave them alone. We hand them back to God so that He can finish preparing them." We run into and teach a lot of people but most of the time they aren't ready so we just hand them off and let God finish preparing them. It's comforting to know that the Lord will continue working on those people that we learn to love and teach and then we just hand them off for a little time.

One quote that an Elder in my zone said was from Elder Uchtdorf a couple conferences ago. He said "LOVE is spelled T-I-M-E." We have to give time and others with see our love. We have to show our love and then others get to feel the love our Heavenly Father has for all of His children.

We also had interviews with President and it is always great to be able to be able to talk to him and see the things that he needs to tell us personally and then we get to ask him some questions too. Its super fun and the 15 minutes go by way too fast. Unfortunately, that same day Sister Neeley was sick again and then we had to stay in the whole day. This time I really died, it sucks being inside.

Byron is continuing to progress and he came to church this Sunday. We also took some of President's advice and we were able to move his date up to July 30th. Miracles all around here in Lauderhill! There are so many miracles everyday and it's amazing. One of my goals for the upcoming week is to be able to see the little miracles that happen everyday and write them down. As I have done that I have been able to see them more and more. There are so many things that Heavenly Father wants to bless us with and we can all see them if we pay close attention to them!

I love my mission (and we ARE #1), and it is so awesome to be here right now. There are a lot of crazy stuff happening right now throughout the world and it really is a blessing to be a missionary and kind of be in the world, but not really deal with all the things that are happening in it.

Sorry this is short again but we are headed to the beach. Not to touch the sand though, I promise we are being obedient. We just get to look at it and take some pictures, but its like a mini vacation and we can all imagine that we could touch the water.

Have a great week!

1: District training on the 4th of July

2: Last pday, smashface all day... (it's basically just unregulated dodgeball and we walked away with a lot of bruises)

3: The Coral Springs Dunk Zone

4: Dunk Zone pt 2

Monday, July 11, 2016

being sick is not fun as a missionary

This week just flew by and we are already on week 3 of the transfer! WHAT. It has been an awesome transfer and a really great week too! Unfortunately, Sister Neeley was a little under the weather this week and the mission nurse made us stay home for 2 days. The only thing worse than being sick on your mission is having your companion be sick, because you feel 100% fine, but you can't go out. One of the trials of my patience this week was sitting down and watching every church movie that we own. But, we learned a lot of stuff about church history so I guess it was worth it in a way?

On Friday, we did sneak out of the house to go to a lesson with Byron. We had a super awesome lesson about faith and baptism and talked with him some more about baptism. We asked him if he had been thinking of a date and then he said that he had been thinking about August 6th! We committed him right there and we left super excited. It's always so thrilling when you can see someone making those steps and progressing towards baptism and coming closer to our Savior Jesus Christ. The Spirit was so strong in the lesson and he is really excited for this next step. His wife is a member and so she is even more excited because they will be able to raise their new baby in the Gospel together and have that eternal family!

Everyday we get to step out and be those representatives of Jesus Christ is a blessing and we are able to bring people the same joy we have. We were knocking in a trailer park the other day and were able to find a family of 4. We taught them a Restoration lesson and we were able to bring the Spirit into their home with them.

Being able to make someone smile and make them laugh and I have definitely seen how the Lord is with me and my companion everyday. We are able to see little miracles, that we might not even notice, everyday. The Lord is literally with us and preparing the way before us as missionaries. We can see that there are people so close to accepting the truth but they just are not 100 percent ready for it yet. But we know that the Lord is preparing them and that we are just one of those people preparing the way for them. It's something that we always have to remember and keep in mind throughout every knocking session when people are shutting the doors in our face but God is always with each and every one of us. Sometimes all we can do is plant a little seed.

Sorry this weeks email is short and sweet but when you get quarantined inside your house for 2 full days, the only exciting things that happen is that you watched a 7 hour (not straightway through promise), church movie about from the time the church started to now... theres a lot of stuff and it's a old 80s movie so we just laughed the whole time at the scenes. Note to self: never get sick on the mission. That's the lesson I learned this week!

Tenga una buena semana!

1) That awkward moment when you all walk out for the night in different BYU school shirts....we all know the one in the middle is the best one

2) we built a fort on Saturday... staying in as a missionary with ZERO forms of entertainment leads to desperate measures... like turning back into 8 year olds.



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

fourth of july

I hope that you guys had a great week and got to do lots of fun stuff for the 4th of July! We had to be in the house at 7:00 last night because of safety reasons, but we heard a lot of fireworks going off. It was sad to not be able to see any of them, but we heard a lot and the finale sounded awesome.

But, more on my companion Sister Neeley! She is from the mountains of California about 2 hours north of LA and she has been out here on the mission for about 10 months. She has served her whole mission in the Miami area so far so being up her in Lauderhill is a bit of a shock for her coming from Miami Beach. She assumes that every door we knock will be Spanish so it's kind of funny when she starts speaking Spanish and they are definitely English speakers. This area is not Miami and it is a bit of an adjustment for her, but we've had a lot of fun. It is totally weird to "take over" an area and be the only one who knows where things are, who people are, etc. It was a bit of an adjustment but it has worked out fine and I haven't felt stressed at all.

Also, her Spanish is good and so we work well together. I was worried about having 2 Americans together, after being with a native Spanish speaker for so long, but its been pretty nice so far. We are working over the area again and it is really nice to have fresh eyes on an area, with new perspectives and ideas.

We have an awesome investigator right now named Byron. He is pretty Americanized, but his wife does not speak much English and they go to our ward. She is a member but he is not and he wants to learn more. He is so sweet and wants so badly to learn more about the gospel. He came to the Elders baptism on Saturday and loved it. He felt the Spirit so strongly and loved how they explained everything and the whole feel of it. We had an awesome FHE (family home evening) with them last night about the priesthood and answered all of his questions about it. His wife is awesome and she helps us so much, because when we aren't there, she is and can answer all of his questions. They have a brand new baby boy who is about a month old and he is so precious and tiny. She tried to let me hold him yesterday, but I had to tell her that I couldn't since its against the rules as missionaries. Saddest moment ever.

On Thursday, we had to bike all day. We live about 2.5 miles outside of our area, which means we biked into the area and then had to bike the 2.5 miles back up to the church for our English class. Let's just say that every missionary in the mission was sore the next day, and really not happy with the missionaries who got into the accident that caused the all bike day hahaha.

We have a new district leader and to entice us to "gather" from everyone and ask for referrals we are currently battling it out as a district in a game called "gather or die." We all have 6 lives and if we don't ask someone for a referral we loose a life. Sister Neeley and I are going to kill it and beat everyone. Plus, our district is now a "sistrict", which means there are more sisters than Elders, 6 Sisters and 2 Elders! It's totally weird but way more fun.

This week, in the Book of Mormon I was reading in Alma about Moroni and how awesome he was at preparing his people for war. He was constantly fortifying and strengthening the armies against the Lamanites and always ready. As missionaries, and as members, we too have to constantly fortify ourselves against Satan and his influences. If we don't, he will step right on in and get us. That constant preparation will help us more than we know. So, reading the scriptures, saying our prayers and going to church, are the most basic and fundamental things we need to do to protect ourselves in this time. There are no excuses, and as missionaries we tell people that all the time. There are things that you just have to do, not only because they are commandments and God has asked us to, but because they will help us and strengthen us daily and protect us from the bad influences.

#1: Sister Neeley!
#2: Sister Rianda and I in our matching Old Navy t-shirts last night
#3: We don't mess around with Independence Day
#4-5: more fun