Monday, July 27, 2015

It's been a pretty rough week....

It's been a pretty rough week. Discouraging to say the least. It started Monday night- we were at Bishop Critchlow's house for dinner and Phyllis called. I wouldn't normally answer the phone at a dinner appt but it was P, so I answered. She said she was just calling to tell us that she didn't want us coming back anymore. I hung up and my greenie comp starts saying "what'd she say what's she say!" In front of everyone. I just about started crying at the dinner table, haha. P knew it all. She knows. So that has kind of ruined my week. 
Next, Bs date has been pushed back. He was supposed to be getting baptized Saturday but he gave in and smoked. 
Then, yesterday we got a text from L saying he couldn't get baptized. There, I got all the bad news out first. Haha so

Satan- 3
Sierra- 0

Okay, now I'll explain. As well as the smoking, Wednesday we decided we would go over the baptismal interview questions with B just for preparation. Well... Had a "whoop, there it is" moment, a little unexpected problem came up with one of the questions. But it's a good thing we went over them with before, he'll have to be interviewed with the mission president now. 
L explained that he didn't agree with our belief about the cross. (By the way, he's got a big cross tattoo on his arm.) We will be explaining about why we focus more on the why of the atonement than the how of the atonement. Aka we focus on the purpose of the atonement rather than the details of the suffering. He ended up coming to the ward activity Saturday night, and seemed just fine. I think when we explain that there is nothing against actually wearing a cross, that it's more of a personal decision, and he can, he will come around. He has really opened up lately. 
All four of our investigators with their own baptismal dates got to attend a baptism for a little boy in the ward after church yesterday, which hopefully they felt the spirit. 

We're still seeing the Speeds almost every day. Since it's still more of a service thing than teaching, we've just been using our lunch hour to help them. With them, we know we have to take it slow, before we begin teaching them. This week we scrubbed down their walls, which were black and molding. Their pregnant daughter was throwing up all day from the smell. We were also digging through boxes with them looking for Jayden's government issued checks that get her free milk. They were lost in the move, so she hasn't had any for the month, and won't have any for the next three months. No luck yet. 
Kind of cute, last week I was looking in our cupboard at my growing Nutella stash... Which had grown to five jars. So I've given up eating sugar, and I remembered seeing Nutella at the Speed's house. So I sacrificed my stash to them, and they were so happy. All the kids took it right to the kitchen and ate it, Jayden covered her Nutella toast in green sprinkles and came back with her face and fingers covered. Worth the sacrifice, haha. Mom, I figured you wouldn't mind giving it up to such a worthy cause. 
In return, their dad showed us some self defense. Haha. Maybe it'll come in handy one day in the island. 
The speeds came to the ward Pioneer Day! It was pretty funny, we found someone in the ward who could drive all five of them, minus the dad. The member showed up to pick them up in a kilt and a batman shirt.... Their neighbors were laughing and taking pictures as they got in his car. First impression of the mormons, haha. They got to meet many members, some of which seemed a little wary of the unconventional family, but all in all the kids had a lot of fun, and knew other kids there. Baby steps. Haha. All the kids really like us, Jayden included. She always yells "don't go bu-bye!" when we leave💔 the 10 year old boy Aaron really loves the bible, he and his twin sister Dakota go to a baptist church. He just placed second in a competition in Boston for a bible competition. So I think I might give him a Book of Mormon soon.. 

So the PA-ramble is very real. People here CAN TALK. Sometimes we go 30 minutes without saying a word because they don't even take a breath. The record is an hour and a half of this lady straight talking. Well, I'm becoming a very good listener. 

Moving on. We met this woman Renee. She just moved here from Cranberry PA, coincidentally met the missionaries there the day she left and had a BOM. She knows nothing about the church, but also by coincidence has a nephew on a mission in Italy. She has started looking out for us. She made sure to inform us of all the crack houses in the island and printed out a map marking of all the sex offender's houses in Butler. Hahaha. 
She called us Monday, there was a shooting on our street Monday night... She was making sure we were home and okay and doors locked. She's sweet. She always makes sure to walk us to our car, across the street haha. The other day her neighbor got arrested as we were outside. Cops are everywhere in the island, and they do not enter without vests in that area. 
Oh, and I've started carrying the mace mom sent me on my keys.(: The white handbook only says no carrying knives or guns, nothing about mace. 👍

Ivan always looks our for "his hermanas" still as well. He makes sure we eat, and always asks us about who we're teaching. So they've got our back. Haha

So we had many many appointments fall through this week, but it gave us the chance to meet lots of people. I told Sister Welch when winter comes and it gets cold it will be much harder to find people, so we're storing up people to teach now for the winter, hahah. 
By the way, were teaching this guy who's either killed two people or lost two people, does anyone know which side means which with teardrop tattoos??💧💧 That was this guy named Maurice, he ended up being a "golden investigator." He was awesome. 
Another we met was this cute little family. We were walking down the street, and we saw a woman crying, holding her baby, and a three or four year old boy behind her. I heard her saying to her husband "we have no where to go." 
It was so sad. I was nervous, but I stopped and asked if we could do anything to help at the risk of being told off. She said no thank you. So we kept walking. We got about two blocks down the street and I felt like we needed to go back. Sister welch thought I was crazy, but we went back. Now we would surely get yelled at. Haha. I asked if I could share a thought with them, and she said yes. She had tears running down her face now, and she told us she wanted us to come back. I'm sure glad I listened.
We also met by accident Ernesto and Nefdali, two guys from Guatemala! We walked up to talk to them, and I heard the accent, I got so excited hahah. I started speaking in Spanish and they lit up and said "ohh, you're the mormons! I have read your book but I lost it, can you get me another one?" I guess they were familiar with the church from back home. 
We taught the restoration in Spanish, well, I had to translate everything for sister welch, haha but it worked out. They both agreed to read and said they wanted to come to church when they weren't working. I even translated Sister Welch's prayer to Spanish haha. It was awesome, and so great to use my Spanish again. It's been really hard not having a Spanish comp. My language hour is not very effective on my own and I get zero practice now. President Johnson hinted in my interview this week that I'd be using it "real soon," so maybe I'll be heading out east soon where all the Spanish is at. Fingers crossed.

Anyway, amidst that it has just seemed like every appt is falling through. I swear people know it's us before they even see us at the door. Well, Sister Welch is learning about rejection, that's for sure. And I've never worked harder. We don't take lunch or dinner hours, every second is spent out. Training is going well. We get our training hour in every day.

Well, hope for a better one next week. The discouragement is real. The work is slow here. 
No plans for Pday today, the elders are doing a district pday today... They're going tanning. Hahaha we passed. 
Have a great week, love you all!
💜Hermana Sears 

Here are some pictures that sum up my week- The Speeds, Pioneer Day, and some very Pennsylvania people 

Él vive - Celebra la Pascua gracias a que Jesucristo vive

Él vive - Celebra la Pascua gracias a que Jesucristo vive Gracias a la resurrección, Jesucristo vive. Gracias a Él, tú puedes vencer el pecado y sentir dicha eterna. Averigua cómo descubrir, recibir y compartir el gozo de la resurrección en el sitio É

Monday, July 20, 2015

Pittsburgh is definitely making a city girl out of me....PA has the perfect balance of boonies/big city....

It's been a good week...


Been a while since you've heard any Spanish out of me. So there's about the equivalent of the Spanish I use on my mission.^ 
Hey so my new companion I'm training is Sister Welch. Something interesting... Her grandparents are serving in this mission! No idea how that worked out... But they're great. So I'm training the mission presidents friends daughter. No pressure. Haha. They are serving in central Pittsburgh right now and plan on taking us on many outings on pdays! 

Side note bad news. An elder was assaulted downtown Pittsburgh last week so any chances of sisters being brought back into the downtown Pittsburgh area are now gone. Elder Hunsaker got mugged and punched in the face and broke his nose. The man was caught and put into jail. President Johnson announced he would be doubling those Elders out and putting in the biggest Elder here, a 6'7 Polynesian kid hahaha. 

I'm training an English comp. which means goodbye Spanish. She's awesome! Training is a little harder than I thought it would be. When you're getting trained you kind of look to your trainer like okay, what now? And now I'm the one looked to. So it's good for me, I'll learn a lot. It brings me back to my first few weeks here and all the awkward encounters, hahah. I've learned quickly just to sit back and listen. It  just takes practice and she'll get it. 
The best oops moment this week was when I decided to break her in the right way by taking her to the infamous island ,hahah. It was Friday night so everyone was out on their porches. She  realized quickly we are the only white people, and two white "church girls" walking down the street stick out quite a bit. Anyway so we had an appointment with this guy Gerard. He's classic Butler. Dreads. Shirtless. Cigarette. So we're teaching the restoration and we start talking about how the gospel blesses families and she asks 

"So, do you have a family? Do you know who your mom and dad are?" 

Hahaha. Oops. We met  five new people that night anyway, so we're starting off on a good foot. One came up to us and asked what church we're from, always cool when they approach you ,haha. Makes our job easy. 
Another we met told us he actually used to go with his mom to our church when he was 14, 14 years ago. Excited to see where those go. 

We also stumbled upon what must have been a foster home, there were eight or nine kids out front and all came to listen as we taught. I couldn't help but smile, they were so cute, and the woman living there invited us back. 

I am so happy for Lamonte, he's doing so well. He's been coming to church every week, and we just got him signed up for seminary! Their family is getting growing at church, one day they'll all be there together. His sisters Shana and Tiara were just baptized and have since gone to the temple, palmyra, youth conference, girls camp, etc. It's so awesome to see them do so well. Their mom Theresa expressed to us for the first time she would like to come. As for their dad, still not sitting in but always says hello. One at a time, haha.

Bill's date is still set for August 1, but he is still working on quitting. So it may be pushed back. 

As for Phyllis... Disappointing news. We stopped by to see her last week to read and see how she liked church and first thing she said was "I don't know if I want to be a Mormon anymore." She had been reading through the articles of faith and came across number 2. She said the Catholic Church believes different, and also said she does not believe in baptism by immersion. She was also disappointed how in sacrament meeting they didn't talk about God, they talked about the revolutionary war (for the Fourth of July.) I too was disappointed on the day she came that was the topic. The bishop works at the VA hospital and has a lot of respect for veterans. But it was an unfortunate day for Phyllis to be there. She had a number of other questions. Any attempt to answer them only made her defensive, so I stopped. I asked if she knew the Book of Mormon was true. She said yes. I asked if she knew everything we have taught is true. She said yes. I told her she can't give up yet, that I know she she has a testimony and I know that she knows this church is true. And that she has felt the spirit confirm that. She agreed to finish the Book of Mormon and pray about her specific questions. We will see her Tuesday. I do not want to lose Phyllis! 

We have been helping the Speed family unpack still, we spend our lunch hour over there. Still no water. The house is worse than any house I've ever seen on "Hoarders." I can't believe they're living there. They are such a cool family though. We spent some time helping their 10 year old son arrange his "room," the attic with no lights/ AC, roof falling apart. But they all just seemed happy to have somewhere to be. Their kids are so cute, I will make sure to get a picture with them. I'm thinking of heading over there a few hours today, so maybe today. 
They have been so grateful for our help. Their dad is quite the guy. He's Italian, Ex military/ fireman. Although my guess is the mafia, hahah. He has severe PTSD. Works in witness protection and is also the personal security guard for the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team now. He said he's going to arrange a tour of the new unopened Penguins arena for us! 

Another random thought this week- last night we were able to go to a fireside in Pittsburgh where the bishop of their ward, Chris Hoke, the former Steeler's player spoke. He's an awesome guy. Anyway sister Raphaela, a member in the ward (who sent you a picture) took us down and was telling us about when she left her little island in Micronesia to come to the US. She said 

"I think I was sent here because God knew I loved my family more than anything he wanted me to learn." 
She's amazing, she's a convert of a few years and she comes out with us all the time. 

Anyway, it's been a good week. We're spending the rest of our day today at the Speed's helping them move, so I'll talk to yinz later! I'll send a picture with them later. 
Love you all

💜Hermana Sears

Monday, July 13, 2015

This week I just feel very grateful. I have been given so much.....

To my family and friends💜 

First- I love you all. All your letters and emails and support mean the world, even a hello makes my day out here. Please forgive my slacking in responses. I struggle to find any time at all to write back! Please be patient, and thank you!

So the most important thing I found out this week (for those who only read the first few lines) is we got transfer calls Saturday night and I'm training! I am pretty surprised.. I just finished my own training that same day. I still feel pretty green myself. But I'm excited. I head down to Pittsburgh early Tuesday morning for training and I'll get my new greenie comp then! While I'm really nervous to be training so soon, I think it will be good for me. Whip myself in shape and keep that greenie fire going haha. Pressure's on! (Prayers would be very much appreciated.) This also means I'll be in Butler for another two transfers, which I am very happy about. Butler is the place to be. I am getting very nervous to see who my next comp will be.. I said this before.. But I don't think I could possibly have three good companions in a row. I am going to miss Sister Davis so much! You kind of get close to someone when you live with them for 12 weeks solid! Haha. She has been so great, I couldn't have chosen a better trainer. Just when I thought I was getting comfortable, haha. She's heading up to Lancaster, where they actually teach in Spanish, ONLY in Spanish! (Goals) In honor of our last week together we had a sleepover on our roof Saturday night, felt a whole lot like we were camping, and no one rolled off the roof ,so it was a success. 
I am debating finding a new apt now that I know I'm sticking around. This place is horrid. So many bugs.... Yeah it's definitely not The Village. Haha. But moving takes a lot of time... And work. 

On to this week.

So this week we had the opportunity to help a family move.. We were walking down the street and I saw a moving truck out front so we knocked on the door to ask if they needed help. They were reluctant to make two young girls in dresses help, but the help was needed. The dad was doing ALL he moving for a household of seven kids on his own. And with one hand, the other was reconstructed and could not be used. So we showed up the next day in service clothes. 
The conditions of this house were horrible.. Unlivable really. And to see their 1 year old laying in the midst of everything, in a shirt that was barely holding together, little feet blackened and beat up, crying was so heartbreaking. And the new house.... Was no house at all. There were holes in the floor you could see through to the level below, and the ceiling was falling apart. No water. I felt absolutely horrible that their one year old, little Jayden would be living there. I had been sick to my stomach about it all week. In fact, one day I was praying for their family, especially Jayden. I stood up and the phone rang. It was a member we had just visited the night before, Brother Beers. We had  told them about moving them that day. He said he wanted to anonymously "help the family out that is down on their luck."
Something else really bothered me. As we helped move that day, I met their 15 year old daughter who is about to have a baby. I overheard her boyfriend ask his friend "How do I be a father?" And the answer he got was "pay the child support on time." Unfortunately for many people here that's what being a father means. 

Now that I've depressed you all, I'll move on to happier news. 

Lamonte is getting baptized! He has really come so far. Anyway I am so happy for the entire Hoy family. And by the way, you'll see his name in the NFL one day. Mark my words, hahah. Their dad still will not sit in on lessons.. But sometimes you can see him listening around the corner. He knows this is what his family needs, but it will bring a lot of change on his part. He and their mom are not married. His heart will be softened one day. 

We have started teaching a guy named Jonathon. Good things will come with him. He was involved in a car accident when he was young and has some severe spinal injuries. More to come with him later. 

Unfortunately we are at a standstill with Ivan. It is so frustrating when you know their intentions are good, but they just don't understand. It's frustrating as the teacher. Normally we would have "dropped" someone like Ivan, who is not progressing by now. But we've been hanging on hoping something would click. Sunday night he texted us. He knew Sister Davis is leaving- so without a license or a ride, he had ridden a bike in the pouring rain to get ingredients for dinner for us. Haha, that's just the kind of person he is. 
At this point we have taught him everything there is to teach, we have explained that. So all we could do was leave him with our testimonies. It's so hard when you want someone to see it so badly. But he is just not ready. 

Phyllis continues to be amazing. This week we had been challenging her to pray about modern revelation and the modern day prophet. One afternoon she called us. She said- "I was praying and I felt moved to read in Matthew about false prophets. (At this point Sister Davis and I thought we were losing her, haha) I read about how false prophets live 'lives of iniquity' and for money, and I know that Thomas S Monson is a true prophet." 
We were able to watch President Packer's funeral with her Friday, and we got to introduce her to the twelve. She attended church with us Sunday, all three hours. What a lady! 

I finally got to meet Alfonso this week, a less active member. He has the strongest testimony a person can have- he is a convert of 8 years, but hasn't been to church in 5. Get this- the reason he doesn't come to church? Because he cries when he feels the spirit. And "no grown black man should cry." But he said every time he walks in the meeting he cries like a baby. He told us about how much the gospel has changed his life. "I'm not the same OG I used to be." Hahah. He really has such a firm testimony, it was hard to believe he had not been in five years. He needs to meet the Bishop. Bishop Critchlow cries every time he speaks- every time. He's just an all and all good person. Maybe we'll have to introduce them. Haha. 

It's been a decent week. Keeping very busy. If there is anything anyone would like to know about let me know.(: 

We're currently spending our Pday downtown Pittsburgh. This place is WOW. Pictures don't do it justice, I love the city!! We've just been wandering all day.. PPG building... Market square... Oakland.... Cathedral of learning (AKA hogwarts)... Etc. pictures to come tomorrow! I love this place. Feels like I'm in NYC. But better. We're heading to the overlook of Pittsburgh with the Oakland Elders here very soon, so I'm waiting to send pictures(: 

This week I just feel very grateful. I have been given so much. I have a loving supportive family and friends, and though it is filled with bugs, I have an apartment with a roof over my head and a warm bed to sleep in. And though I literally live off of cereal, (and what mom sends in packages) I have food to eat. #blessed. Where much is given much is required. 

"Find someone who is having a hard time … and do something for them." -President Thomas S. Monson

Like Brother Beers, you may be the answer to one, or many prayers
And if you didn't know, the church is true.

I may have time to write y'all back this week. 
Much love! 
Hermana Sears💜

Monday, July 6, 2015

I love being a missionary, and I love the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ...

Hey hey.

I'll try to keep it short this week. 

So I never got to write about last Monday at the Point! There were about 20 missionaries there, only that elite were invited. Jk. But it was fun. We played ultimate frisbee. The Point is something else. From the Point Fountain you can see the bridges, Carnegie Science, Heinz stadium, PNC Park, and the city. Pictures do not do it justice, it's beautiful! We wandered downtown, Pittsburgh is definitely making a city girl out of me. PA has the perfect balance of boonies/ big city. Quite a contrast from all the winding green back roads to the cities. Anyway, downtown Pittsburgh is unreal. 😍 
Unfortunately Saturday night, the fourth was pretty depressing haha. We climbed out in attempt to see the fireworks- in for our 9:00 curfew, but they were blocked. But we got to listen to them..  Haha. Mission probs. 
The Pirates game was so fun! The Relief Society President, Sister Cook, who you apparently heard from, happens to be a die-hard Pirates fan. She's got season tickets and goes with her brother to every game. By the way, she said she would take me again with all the family when you guys come pick me up!😉 Maybe you should plan it when the Tigers are playing @ pnc to make it interesting. She informed me that Miggy's out for the season? Anyway, it was an efficient game, more of a pitchers game. Only lasted a few hours. But Pirates won V the Indians. Go Bucs! 
So when we first made plans to go she had arranged for her brother to drive separate, he's pretty anti anything to do with mormons, haha. So we were surprised when she showed up to pick us up with him. Anyway, he seemed very nice and even bought our dinner at the park and said we could go with them again. 
Yesterday in Relief Society she shared that after we were dropped off he said how he felt something different around us. Apparently she had been very worried and praying all week that it would go okay, haha. Maybe they were both worried we were going to sit and read the Book of Mormon with him the whole game hahah. He noted our "sweet innocence," which I know was not us at all. That's the spirit talking.(: While he swore he would never let his daughters do what we're doing in Butler- he said "If they came to my door, I would let them in, but I wouldn't listen." Haha. Sister Cook was very grateful he felt what he had never let her share with him. 
If any one is ever struggling with the sabbath day, think of sister cook, the ultimate fan, who stayed home from the opportunity to meet the entire team at batting practice because it was on a Sunday. That's commitment, haha. 

You guys are probably sick of hearing about the same gators, but here's what's goin on this week.

Katie's is always a humbling opportunity. Everyone here lives off of welfare, food stamps, and/or disability. It's especially sad to see such young ones come in.. I make sure to sneak them an extra cookie or two. Everyone knows our name there now, and while we have many "friends," the people at Katie's are always standing within 10 feet as our body guards. It's cute, haha they don't realize this is every day for us. 
Anyway, serving there definitely makes me count my blessings. It's so sad.

We got to spend some time in the infamous "Island," where no one dares to enter, haha. It's the ghetto of Butler. Makes me laugh because it's not much different from the rest of Butler. Also happens to be my favorite place to go. Sometimes you gotta dig a little deeper, they need the gospel too, hahah. And thanks to mom for sending the mace.(: lol. 

We haven't seen Thomas again yet but we do wave when he passes us on the street in the community service van haha. So no real update there. 

You know how nervous we were to teach Bill the Word of Wisdom- worrying that would make or break his decision. So we saw him again Wednesday. He told us that 
1- the following Monday after we taught the Word of wisdom, his work implemented a non-smoking policy! 
2- every time he has tried to smoke, the taste is "revolting." He has gone from 60/ day to none. 
Quite the miracle! We set his baptismal date back to August 1 to work out smoking and drinking, but I am confident he will make it. Lots of fasting and prayers his way. 
He got a priesthood blessing on Sunday. We were not there to see it, but he called us after church to tell us he felt "a warm feeling that came over me and so much happiness." 
Priesthood power.👍

Phyllis is great as always. She prayed for us for the first time we've been seeing her this week, twice! We have invited her every time but she would always say "no thank you." Her prayer was so sweet. She began "Heavenly Father," a very Mormon thing to say, hahah. She thanked Heavenly Father for "sending these good women to her to teach her about the scriptures," (Yes, she referred to the Book of Mormon as scripture.) and to socialize a little bit." Hahaha. She always busts up laughing in her prayers, she cracks herself up, haha. She is quite the lady, and she's made good friends with the nice ladies in the ward here. 
"Every new convert in the church needs three things- responsibility, a friend, and nourishment by the good word of God." Gordon B Hinkley(: 

We got to see Brother Z (the excommunicated member) again Friday night. I don't remember how much I've told you about him, but he has served many callings in the church, including the Bishopric for many many years. He knows his stuff. And every time we have gone over there he really teaches us, haha. Well this week we brought Brother Firouzi with us, the ward mission leader and old friend of Brother Z. 
As we sat and talked, I felt should ask a bold question haha. I asked what's keeping him. And that its time for him to come back. 
He told us he story, tears in his eyes- about how 10 years ago when he was excommunicated. He told us they explained as they did it, it was "out of love" to "help him get back on the right path." 
He told us- since the day that happened, 10 years ago, us, the missionaries were the first people to knock on his door. Not a single phone call, not a visit, nothing for 10 years. And he asked "and you want to tell me that was out of love?" 
He told us he missed having the Holy Ghost. It was so present, and we all recognized that. He said "I know it's time. I need to be baptized again." 

Later that night I was thinking about his story, I was astonished that no one had reached out to him for 10 years.. But I realized people must have been worried to offend, to approach such a sensitive subject. Yet by choosing rather to do nothing, it was what kept him all these years. The fear of offending him had kept people from making sure he felt loved. 
Many times I have seen with the less active members we see here all many people are waiting for is someone to tell them that they are missed. That they are loved and appreciated I'm he ward. That someone cares if they make it on Sundays. 
I will no longer hesitate to be that person. 

There is a difference between being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ and being converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We need both. 
It is possible to be active in the church and "less active" in the gospel. 

    "Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed.
      By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants?"
 -Donald L. Hallstrom

In Brother Z's case, he was very much converted to the gospel, but missing the conversion to the church. In many other cases, people may be very active in the church- showing up every Sunday, checking their callings off the list, and calling themselves converted. 
Sometimes the word "gospel" and "church" are used interchangeably, but they are not. We need them both. 

Okay, I'll get off my soap box. Yup, I'm becoming a missionary. 

Woops, I said is would be short. 
I think that's all. 

Transfers are coming soon- July 14. I'm certain I'll be sticking around in Butler. I don't want to leave, that's for sure. 
I love being a missionary, and I love the gospel and the church of Jesus Christ.
I am trying to be a better missionary, a better teacher, a better person everyday.  Mostly I am trying to be more patient- especially with myself. Maybe one day. Haha 

The church is true!
Hermana Sears 

Sunday, July 5, 2015

 Yesterday on the way to an appointment I came around a corner and almost hit a cow!  It had escaped somehow and I got out and herded it back into the fence.....

Produce to the People is always our favorite . Over 550 people waited in line this week .  Lots of people in need.

" I guess he really loves me this week...."

Hey fam.

K first of all I gotta say.... Obama is the devil(((((: k that's all. Don't edit that one out mom.(: 

This week was kind of tough. But it was good. We definitely kept busy.... Saturday we had 9 set appointments six hours.... Killin it here in Butler. Haha. 
So we got to see Thomas at Produce to People on Tuesday. We aren't really sure about him anymore. But Brother Matson, the guy in our ward who teaches in the prisons will be overseeing that now, or he will be passed on the the Elders.
Brother Matson is so awesome. He is the greatest resource, he knows everyone we're teaching ,haha. Because he does AA meeting and recovery programs and what not he just got a called to begin a church sponsored addiction recovery program in Butler. There is more than definitely a need for it here. 
Anyway, Produce to People is always our favorite. Over 550 people waited in line this week.. Lots of people here in need. 
Katie's was just as full this week. Over 200 people came. We meet many homeless people on the streets. Most are not so kind. Haha. 
Phyllis is doing great. We're still going over and reading with her. She is so in tune. None of the members here believe we are teaching a Roman Catholic woman haha, people are very... Stuck in their ways here. She told us "she's not sure if she wants to be a Latter Day Saint yet, but she's reading and studying to find out." 
Bill... Bill... Really struggling with the word of wisdom. We had to push his baptismal date back. He smokes and drinks heavily, especially since his wife's passing. Pray for him! 
We now have five spanish investigators, unheard of in this area. Cuahutemoc, the first guy we met, brings guys he works with when we meet him and we help them with their English. Yesterday we taught the Restoration. Woooow I love teaching in Spanish. 
By the way, when I say having Spanish investigators in this area is unheard of, I mean there has not been a single one since 2006. And now Sister Davis and I have 5. #blessed. Haha, it really is amazing. Our  hard work is paying off. 
We've been seeing Ivan a lot. He feeds us all the time, haha. Mas español. Puerto Rican Spanish is a little different, but I'm learning. We want Ivan to "see it" so bad- to read the Book of Mormon. He would love it. But he doesn't get it. You can only teach the restoration so many times... 

Some interesting things of the week... There was a tornado that touched down a couple miles from us Saturday. We get tornado and flash flood warnings almost daily! It has rained every single day for two months. And this is summer? 
Yesterday on the way to an appt I came around a corner and almost hit a cow! It had escaped somehow so I got our and herded it back into the fence hahah. Typical PA. 
I got the okay to drive finally! The roads here are so fun. All the roads we take are back roads, PA does not have flat road anywhere, oh and no cops either hahah. Jk mom. 

Anyway no time today. I'm actually doing something for the first time on a pday haha. We're meeting s bunch of missionaries down at The Point to play ultimate frisbee and wandering the strip district and whatever else downtown Pittsburgh. 
So guess what I'm doing on the 4th? A die-hard Pirates fan member in our ward got us tickets to the game and decked us out in pirates gear hahaha. We're so excited! (We got permission to exchange pdays) 
Go pirates!! 

Have you been hearing about Sabbath Day observance at home as much as we have here? The Quorum of the Twelve has issued emergency instructions to teach this. There must be something going on. 
I wish I would have been better about keeping the Sabbath at home. I see how important it is. (I guess I've learned a thing or two on my mission haha.) Though hiking on Sunday's was always my guilty pleasure.. I will give it up haha. 

One last experience of the week. An appointment fell through so I suggested we see a less active woman who lived nearby. When we got there she had fallen and had been stuck for hours without help. (She's an older lady.) We tried to help her again and again but she could not move. Finally I told her "I know i can't give you a priesthood blessing, but can I say a prayer with you?" I did, and she stood up immediately. Lucky to be there! 

That's all for this week. 
Came across this scripture after a particular day full of anti encounters and unfriendly people.

“He that will not bear chastisement is not worthy of my kingdom. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.”

I guess he really loves me this week! 

"It's true isn't it? Then what else matters? The cause in which we are laboring is true." - Neil L Anderson. 

The church is true. 
Hermana Sears💜