Wednesday, December 28, 2016

merry christmas and a happy new year

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas spent with family and friends! It was super weird being away from home on Christmas but actually super awesome too. Just like super special. We woke up at 6:00 like children (actually just so we could have time before studies at 8) and opened all our presents and then made ourselves a yummy Christmas breakfast! It was great. Church was great and then it was like 4 hours of torture before talking with the family. It actually went by fast. We were knocking on doors before we went to skype and someone told us "No one is going to want to be bothered with a prayer on Christmas..." What? It's Christmas. It was kinda sad to see that the true meaning of Christmas was gone, but we can keep that spirit with us throughout the year.

We had a Christmas conference this week with half the mission. We aren't allowed to do it with the full mission, but I did get to see some great people that I've served around before. It was great to see everyone! We did a white elephant thing too and I actually got a cute little nativity... another sister got a toilet seat. Thanks Elders.

We just saw so many miracles this week. One of them happened on our exchange with our STL's! We went to go contact a referral and when we knocked on the door she like immediately invited us in. We were like "Um, do you know who we are?" and she was like "Yeah! I'm actually a member!" We were shocked. She has been a little less active lately and no one had left any notes on her, so she was kind of missing, but we went in and shared a quick Christmas message with her and she really has great desires to come back to church. It was awesome. She was just so sweet and knows that she needs to come back which is amazing!

The ward here spoiled us and gave us so many wonderful presents and tried to make it like home. The families we ate with on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day asked us our traditions and I said, "Oh don't worry about it, we eat Mexican food on Christmas.." They both got me tamales to take home! What? Too nice, it feels like home. We have way too much candy so maybe it's a good thing we're on bikes this week.

I was reading President Uchtdorf's Conference talk this week and just loved this part:

"That Day of Judgment will be a day of mercy and love—a day when broken hearts are healed, when tears of grief are replaced with tears of gratitude, when all will be made right.Yes, there will be deep sorrow because of sin. Yes, there will be regrets and even anguish because of our mistakes, our foolishness, and our stubbornness that caused us to miss opportunities for a much greater future.But I have confidence that we will not only be satisfied with the judgment of God; we will also be astonished and overwhelmed by His infinite grace, mercy, generosity, and love for us, His children. If our desires and works are good, if we have faith in a living God, then we can look forward to what Moroni called “the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah, the Eternal Judge.”

Everything happens for a reason and God really does have a plan for each and every one of us! I love you all and wish you a happy new year! Start it off right and remember to keep that spirit of Christmas with you all through the year!

1: Cute Polaroid me and Sister Adams took at the Christmas Conference!

2: Skype with the family!

3: Christmas Eve with Sister Tilby!

4: Sister Halversen!

5: Sister Evans again

Monday, December 19, 2016

transfer 7, christmas

First of all, I cannot believe I just typed transfer 7. Where does time go? I remember serving with an Elder my first transfer and he said he went home in January and I literally had the thought, "oh my gosh that is so far away how will I ever make it there?" and now it's that transfer. Wow.

Second of all, Wellington. What a place. My last area in Coral Reef was ghetto so being here in Wellington is completely different. The sketchist part of this area is like 10x nicer than the nicest part of my last area, so it has been quite the adjustment. We have a lot of gated communities here so knocking is interesting. We have like 300 less miles than we need so we bike. The ward is basically an Utah ward and everyone participates and functions as its supposed to, kind of like Vanderbilt Beach was. It's interesting.

My new comp is Sister Schiers. She is from a small town in Arizona and she has been out for the same amount of time as Sister Dimond. So its interesting! She went to BYU-I before her mission too! We are way up in the Jupiter zone, at the very top of the mission. Elder Souza came up here too, so he is still my zone leader... I can't escape him. The zone is super spread out and everyone is way far from each other, so a lot different from Miami. We have some great members and are going to be working really hard this transfer.

We get to have a Christmas conference tomorrow with 3 other zones in the mission so it is going to be awesome! We have to go down into Palm Beach but it'll be great. I get to see Sister Neely, who I haven't seen since I left her. I'm pretty excited for that. We live with 2 other sisters too, so it's fun!

Really the most important thing this week is that it is Christmas on Sunday. How wonderful is it that we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and remember all the things He did for us. I am so grateful for Him and all He did and that right now I have the chance to serve Him 24/7 without any other distractions or worries. It's just all Him, all the time. I have been working this week a lot on charity and how we can have that same love and service as He did, for those that are around us. Its wonderful to serve those around us and even if they have difficult personalities, serving others makes you feel so much better. Its unreal how that works. Christ's love is just unreal.

So my invitation this week is that you all think about what Christ has done for you and what the real meaning of the season is. There is so many things that we need to remember in our lives, but taking just a little bit of time to remember Him and all He did, is all He asks of us this season.

1: Sister Dimond and I, last night in our dope pajamas!

2: Christmas lights included of course

3: The district here in Wellington! it'll be an interesting 4 more weeks!

4: unreal Florida

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

i'm going to jupiter!

We had transfer calls last night! I am going up to the northern part of the mission to the area of Wellington in the Jupiter zone. It is English and I will be with a Sister on her 3rd transfer. It came as a bit of a shock, but I know that the Lord has a plan for me there in Wellington! This transfer is also weird and will only be 5 weeks, so anyone can make it 5 weeks right? Just follow the Lord, right? I am excited, even though it is an English area. The Lord needs me there, or as President called it "my new special assignment."

On Monday, we were teaching an investigator outside his home and there was a police helicopter that was flying around over us and the spotlight shined on us. Never had that happen before so that was pretty awesome. Apparently they were looking for some people from a recent shooting. I love this area and I am going to miss it!

Also, the Miami South Zone, killed it this transfer and won a mission wide competition! It was awesome. We are all very prideful right now but we worked really hard and it feels great honestly to beat the other 8 zones out here. Our district won an inter-zone competition so we were very prideful about that too because we are the smaller district in the zone.

On Friday night, we went to follow up with a potential and she let us in and then about 2 minutes in we realized she was totally buzzed. It took us about 15 minutes to get out of her house because she just kept talking about all these random things and we couldn't politely end the conversation. But we got out and at one point she was just staring at me for a solid 3 minutes. That's why we don't drink kids. It was also hilarious and we were trying really hard not to laugh in front of her. Poor woman.

I also went on a full day exchange up in la Pequena Havanna this last Wednesday aka Cuba. I hope I get there one day. It was fun and I didn't really have to worry about anything all day because it wasn't my area, but it was really nice to be with Sister Livengood for the day. She also served in Vanderbilt Beach, but for 4 transfers, so we talked about that a lot. I also got to see Sister Rianda, who I lived with when I was in Lauderhill. She goes home on Thursday so it was nice to see her before she leaves.

Our ward Christmas party was so cute! The decorations were crazy. I know that my Savior lives and loves me and that He loves each one of you! Remember that this Christmas season and serve those around you! go to if you need ideas of ways to serve! Watch #LightTheWorld if you haven't already! 

1: This is Tommy. He is awesome, but he stopped progressing. He called us his babies & it was super weird but he's slightly crazy. He took a selfie for us.

2: I lost what are the odds to an elder and had to eat all this sugar from the sour patch kids. It was nasty, but I did it.

3: Our little district won!

4: Miami Southpaw zone

5: This is that pride I was talking about

6: The district coming to you live from the bottom of the mission aka banishment

7: Awkward posing bc the elders are awkward

8: The district and a member named red who hates pictures, but aren't we cute.

9: This truck caught on fire right in front of us. I caught this sick picture escaping the scene

10: Look how cute the little balloon lights are!

11: Sister Oram! She is awesome and was the mastermind behind all this!

12: Hermana Herrera! She is the RS President and she is unreal. Someone marry her please.

13: Addys! She just got back from her mission and she is a real homie. Someone marry her too.

14: The Sant children and Courtney! They got us PJs for Christmas! Mine are batman. I'm really gonna miss these cute kiddos.

15: We love our pajamas! Sister Dimond's are emojis.

16: Our zone leaders slacking off... just kidding. A part member family invited us all over to watch "Meet the Mormons." It's on Netflix, check it out. The last story will make you cry.

17: We went and saw Dorothy last night. She is doing better and starting treatment this week. It's breast cancer that has spread to her liver. It was amazing to be able to say goodbye to her. we also cried like babies I look gross but I'm so happy to see her.

18: Sunset picture! It's been a while.

19: Comps for life. End of story. I'm gonna miss my hija, but she's gonna kill it with her new comp! It's a sister I lived with my 2nd transfer, Sister Hernandez!

Here's the link to #LightTheWorld if you have not seen it.

Monday, December 5, 2016

transfer 6, week 6

It's December already?! All I want for Christmas is to know why time flies so dang fast! It's too quick, and it doesn't help that it was super hot and humid this week. It was 89 degrees one day. That's disgusting. I just want a little bit of cold! So we keep our house freezing so it feels like winter.

This week was awesome! We started out a little bit slow but, we ended up hitting our goals! We had a blitz in our area, and our whole district came and helped us knock an area. It was interesting! The Elders found someone named Akaimah. We have zero idea why people in Florida have the weirdest names but we love it. There are at least 5 times a day where we just look at each other in awe of these names. But it makes for more interesting stories! Another big thing down here is replacing the "st" in words for "sk". Examples in words such as "skrenth" or my favorite "skruggle". It is highly entertaining. We have started a list of words that make no sense.

Besides that interesting fact about my fave area, we were able to teach a lot of people and see some great miracles! We showed a lot of people the new #LightTheWorld video. I'm pretty sure I could tell you exactly what was going on in the video without watching it just by the music at this point. My favorite part is when they show Christ as a child teaching in the temple and then it transitions to Him teaching as an adult in the temple. It's so cool. The Spirit just hits so strong at that point everytime for me. I love it. Probably the best video they have.

Yesterday was also the Christmas Devotional by the First Presidency. It was super great. All about serving others and the way to keep that Christmas spirit year round. My favorite quotes:
"There would be no Christmas, had there been no Easter." If Christ had not risen, there would be no importance to celebrating His birth. The culminating act of His life was when He rose from that tomb and made it all possible for us to all rise again as well. He lived, and He died, and He still lives for us. There is no way we could understand His mercy for us. We would never be able to understand it all, but its all there for us to use! So we gotta use it!

President Eyring talked a lot about how we can have that charity year round. We need to study the Savior and follow His example. It is through Him that we can serve those around us all year. Not just at Christmas, when everyone seems to be a bit happier. We have the Lord and that is all that matters.

During the devotional, we were all in the chapel as a zone watching it and when one of the speakers mentioned that Christmas was in 3 weeks, we all gasped and then freaked out because that means 3 weeks until we get to talk to our families! It was funny to see all our reactions to hearing that. Also when the person who closed the prayer said "we also pray for our other angels, who we call missionaries..." we all had tears in our eyes. It's weird to think that all over the world there are members, other missionaries and friends just praying for your success and safety. It kind of hit us all last night as he said those words. The Spirit there was great. It's great to be a missionary right now in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission!

I hope you all have a great week and remember the meaning of Christmas this season!
Also transfers are this next week so look for that email next Tuesday! I'll probably be moving to a new area so we are just waiting to see where. It's so nerve wracking waiting to see!

1: Matching Christmas socks and our motto "work hard, stay humble"

2: Came out of a lesson and this cat was just chillin' on our car. caught a picture right as he jumped off.

3: Ghetto ice cream trucks run Miami. This one isn't even the worst one. Most of them are in old like moving trucks, it's awesome. Also it gives us knocking music that echoes in my mind every night as I try to fall asleep.

4: Proof that it was 89 degrees at 6:40pm

5: This house went way out for Christmas. You can't even see it all in this picture. There is a rotating star hanging from a tree as well as a full size Nativity on the roof. This is not a joke. They do not mess around here.