Sunday, September 28, 2014

goodbye carson :(

This is our neighborhood! We have all the friends here! I am so sad to be leaving, and on such short notice! I am freaking out right now. I am excited and sad and mostly freaking out because I have to pack everything today and leave tomorrow. Oh my gooooooooooodness.

that one time I got mid-cycle transferred to Hollywood

THE CRAZIEST THING JUST HAPPENED. While I was writing this, we got a phone call from one of the Assistants to the President, AND I AM GETTING MID-CYCLE TRANSFERRED TO HOLLYWOOD.

WHAT IS THIS EVEN. So tomorrow I'll be serving in Hollywood.. just btw... hahaha.. my life is the strangest..

It's been an amazing week for me personally. I am starting to LIKE my mission.. not just love, hate it, but actually like/enjoy every day. I feel really happy. For a few months before coming on my mission I got really depressed. It was really hard, and depression took a lot from me. I was feeling better before I left, but I don't know that I was happy. I feel happy now. Without a doubt happy. It is such a contrast to what the last year was for me, and I am super, unbelievably grateful every day to feel this way.

Hermana DuPaix and I are seeing a lot of success in our area. I'm not sure exactly why, but we have been working super mega hard and trying to really rely on the Lord every day. We have seen so many amazing things happen since we've started working together here in Carson.

One of our investigators is getting baptized this Sunday! I can't name names, but I wish I could because she is AMAZING. She has had a lot of difficulties in her life, but it doesn't matter to her. She sees the goodness and happiness in everything. She has a ailment that hardens her bones. She sometimes struggles to do menial tasks like tying her shoe. I can't imagine how frustrating that would be, but she never gets frustrated. She thanks us every time we see her. Every time we come over she says "Seesters!" in her cute Spanish accent. [For the record she actually has solid English skills, and that's from only learning it on the street.] Two days ago she told us about how much happier and better she has been since we met her. She says she used to be depressed and sometimes couldn't even get out of bed, but now she loves to be outside and talk to people and she just feels so much happier. I am so absolutely beyond excited for her.

I have been on my mission for casi 3 months, and I have changed SO much. It's crazy. I cannot imagine how much I will have learned and grown in 18 months of this.

oh btw I am being affected by the mid-cycle transfer.. I did nothing to cause it.. I am an obedient missionary :p

Hermana DuPaix found a snail

and was super excited about it

like super excited

Friday, September 26, 2014

that one name tag

Once upon a time my name was hard to pronounce in Spanish


I ordered a name badge with an accent over the "o" in Heron to make it easier.


I received a name badge with a n(n with a squiggle on top)... which made my name go from hard to pronounce in Spanish to impossible to pronounce in Spanish.


These are things that only happen to me :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

2nd transfer: Harbor 3rd

Hermana DuPaix (my new companion)
...and our bikes

Hermana DuPaix and I aren't the best picture-takers (unheard of, I know), but here is a photo of our first day together!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Magnifying Glasses, and The District 3

I'm in a new area with a new Sister, and we are finishing each other's training.

Let's just say we would not be prime candidates to be on the District 3... we kind of mess up.. like.. all the time..


At transfer meeting, we were trying to figure out how to fit all of the suitcases and bikes of new missionaries into two little cars. Sister DuPaix, my new companion, said about that situation: " I don't how it'll work, but I know it'll work."

That is exactly how I feel about this transfer: "I don't know how it's going to work, but I know it will work."

This week we didn't have a whole lot of set appointments, so we worked really hard and talking to lots and lots of people and trying to get new investigators. So far it's working! This coming week we have a fairly full schedule, and I think it'll just get better each week. I'm excited.


Can I tell a story that's partly mine, mostly my trainer's, but that I love all the same?
This story is why I am still here on my mission right now:

The missionaries met a woman, an older woman with a sad heart. When they met her she was in the midst of depression that was physically and spiritually notable.

Her son had died last year, and she hadn't been the same since then.

The missionaries began teaching her, and she listened. They taught her about the Book of Mormon, and they invited her to read it.

The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It is the writings of prophets who lived in the Americas in ancient times. It is another book of scripture which works hand-in-hand with the Bible.

She said she couldn't read well, because she had terrible eyesight. The missionaries promised her that if she read the Book of Mormon every day for a week, her heart would begin to heal.

She believed them, and with the assistance of a magnifying glass, she read the Book of Mormon every day. This is the point when I met this woman. I did not believe the other Sister when she told me how this woman used to be. The woman I met was smiling, welcoming and warm.

That experience is the first time I saw, first hand, outside of my own life, how the word of God touches and changes lives.

Hermana Diaz's sister sent her a GPS. We are sending her an epic thank you letter. Here are the photos of her thank you letter adventures. :)

The Most Important thing I learned in the MTC

This post is dedicated to Lindsay and Ashley, who send me the coolest and funniest and best GIFs:

First day in the MTC:

You get that flashly red dot on your name badge and you're a real missionary.

...and then...

The first time they tell you not to flirt:
[OKAY! I can do that!]

The sixth time they tell you not to flirt:

The tenth time they tell you not to flirt:

The twentieth time they tell you not to flirt:

BUT DON'T WORRY, MOM. I have not flirted and now this is how I associate with the opposite sex:


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Salvation Never Was Easy - August 11, 2014 email

On my mission, we have to write a short talk for EVERY meeting (one to two times a week), and then one person is randomly chosen to give their talk.

For Zone Training Meeting, we were given the topic "Motivation Through the Love of Christ".

The morning of the meeting, I wrote a talk with lots of words straight from my heart. I have been struggling on my mission, and I have been completely relying on the Lord to get through my difficult moments.

When I said my personal prayer to close studies, I literally said to Heavenly Father: "I don't like speaking, but these words matter to me and I am ready to share them." 

I told nobody I said that prayer, not even my companion. Two people out of thirty were chosen to speak. Guess who was one of them?

Here is my talk:

While I was in the MTC, I had an especially hard day. I was having a lot of doubts. I wondered if I should even be on a mission. I was having a little bit of a pity party.

I prayed, and the next day my prayer was answered.

In class we watched a talk by Elder Eyering. In it he says that missionaries will always ask their mission presidents: "Why is this so HARD? Why won't more people listen to me? Why am I not seeing more success?"

Elder Eyering says simply: "Salvation never was easy." He begins describing some of the Savior's GREAT sacrifices for us.

Jesus Christ suffered every temptation. He suffered physical, mental, emotional and spiritual anguish for our -- for MY sins. He wore his crown of thorns with more honor and purpose than any ruler had ever worn their crowns of gold.

What the Savior did for me was HARD, and He deserved none of it.

Elder Eyering teaches us that when we are in our most difficult moments on our missions, we are working shoulder-to-shoulder with our Savior, Jesus Christ, for the Salvation of souls.

Matthew 18:11 simplifies the Savior's purpose, and our purpose as missionaries:

"For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost."

Jesus Christ loves each and every one of us. He loves each and every single person we come in contact with each day.

We are doing our best to be instruments in His hands, so that those who are "lost" may be "save[d]".

On the short while I have been on my mission, I am learning the hard way that "salvation never was easy".

But during my HARDest moments of struggling is when I can begin to understand maybe .015% of the sacrifices Jesus Christ made for me, and those are the moments that my appreciation and love for Him deepen the most.

I know that I am here for a reason. I know that it is HARD work, but it is worth it. Not only is it worth it, but it is some of the most important work I will ever do on earth. I'm grateful for my HARDships that have made me lean on my Savior, and deepened my love for Him.

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