Sunday, November 29, 2015

I never know how to start these. Haha. So much to write so little
time! It's been a good and very stressful week taking over the area.
We've been keeping real busy.
Getting a new comp is always awkward the first week- just trying to
figure each other out. My new comp is sister smith (another one.) She
and I already teach really well together, which is so nice.
So I know I'm weird, but I love tracting. We really don't do it much
at all, but I love talking to everyone and anyone. Everyone makes fun
of me and says I'd talk to a tree. But I have crazy good luck with it,
the elders in both of my areas have made me teach them my secrets.
Haha. Anyway so when sister smith got here I told her we were going to
do some tracting and she wasn't thrilled. So since then we've gotten
into over 60% of the doors. Tracting really isn't how we spend our
time, it's like a backup to a backup, but we have had lots of success
with it. There is this little apartment complex we nicknamed the city
of Enoch because everyone lets us in. We started knocking doors and we
noticed a cat following us door to door, so I had a bright idea. I
lured the cat right by the front door so when they opened the door it
ran right in! Needless to say we got into that house, taught a lesson,
and have a return appointment with the, this week. Hahah. Gotta do
what ya gotta do. Pennsylvanians and their cats..... I will NEVER
forget the smell of Pennsylvania homes.... (: Cats on cats on cats.

Anyway, Tuesday was transfer meeting. With the mission so spread
apart, everyone was at the Harrisburg chapel from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm
waiting for their new comp. So Hermana Landa, another Spanish
missionary and I decided to go OYM (open your mouth, basically street
contact) downtown Harrisburg. AH I want to serve there so bad one day,
it's like the Mexico of Pennsylvania. It's a super sketch area so we
had to take a set of elders to be our bodyguards, they just stayed in
sight behind us haha.
So at the end of the day we referred four Spanish speaking people, one
of them a minister, to the elders serving in Harrisburg. One of which
was a lady named Ilsa. Such a sweet lady. She is from Mexico City. We
saw her walking on the opposite side of the street and knew we had to
talk to her. So we speed walked on the other side of the street, then
finally crossed. We were behind her for like four blocks trying figure
out how to approach her from behind. Hahaha. Finally we just did it.
She was instantly so warm and friendly. She was quick to tell us it
was "Gracias a Él" (Because of Him) she had everything in her life.
"Gracias a Él" her family could come to the US, "Gracias a Él" she had
her life. Weirdly enough right after we had planned to show her
"Gracias a Él," by the end she was tearfully asking us to come back
and teach her.
We also met Maribel, from Puerto Rico. We first asked her if we could
share a Christmas video with her. She told us she didn't like
Christmas because her husband died last Christmas. She also shared
that her son and her brother had recently passed. We shared a bit of
the plan of salvation with her right then and there, and then we're
able to share with her that she could be with them again.
Those elders better take good care of these two.😪 Landa and I have a
scheme to get Pres to put hermanas in Harrisburg, but chances are
slim. It's a dangerous area. Four shootings in the last two weeks. I
would love to serve there though, it's Spanish heaven. And I wish so
badly we could teach our Ilsa and Maribel. Los amo.
The elders didn't quite have as much success.... Just got told of by a
sassy lady for thirty minutes (video attached.) See, that area just
needs sisters.

We also had another little miracle. We stopped to talk to three guys
sitting on their porch steps. They were all homeless. Anyway Hermana
Landa starts talking, then she starts introducing the Book of Mormon
and she's like "what... Is that a Book of Mormon?" Sitting on the
porch steps right behind them is an old worn Book of Mormon. It didn't
belong to any of them. It had apparently been there a long time.

Back to Hanover. So we are back on the ups with Jeremy. It was a bit
heartbreaking though. We finally got to see him again... He was very
upset when we got there. He clearly wasn't in the mood for a lesson...
So we just tried to talk to him. Finally he just said "I just want my
old missionaries back." It felt like a stab to the heart. And so
unfair, I had only been to teach him a few times before they stopped
letting us come for a bit. All because sister smith got sick one day
and we had to reschedule. Well we stayed and talked a while with
Jeremy, then we left and I just got to the car and started crying. I
felt like the worst missionary there was. In the short time I've
gotten to know Jeremy I recognize how special he is.
So we've been working on building our relationship with him and
letting him warm up to us. Things are getting much better. We just
need to show him were his friend too.
As missionaries you kind of have this assumption that when you get to
a new area, the people's  relationships they had will just continue
where they left off with the missionary before you. Things are really
turning around with them now. Last time before we left Jeremy ran
after us and stopped us before we got in the car and gave me a big hug
and just said "thank you." We have two meal appointments on
thanksgiving, one with Jeremy and Becky and Mark. It will be the most
unconventional thanksgiving ever. Hahah.

This week we lost a member of our district, Elder Slade. He found out
he has seven kidney stones and it just couldn't be handled on the
mission. Just a few minutes after he got the call he was able to
receive a blessing by Brother Reid, we were there doing physical
therapy with him. He gave the sweetest blessing, Slade had to kneel
down close enough that Brother Reid could put his hands on his head,
but it was very humbling. Sad to see him go, he's a great missionary!

Since it's thanksgiving I thought I'd share a story about a member
were working with here. Brother R..... What a character. The first
time I met him he spent an hour telling us all the people he hated,
why, etc. And every time we would go over it would be the same thing,
he would be so worked up. This guy has enemies. He was clearly so
unhappy with all this pent up anger.
So as we've been seeing him we've been having him say thankful
prayers, and include "what is keeping me from progressing?" challenge
from the past general conference talk. His wife passed recently and
we're working with him to go to the temple to have them sealed.
This week we returned and immediately the atmosphere was 100%
different. He was calm, and happy for the first time. I had never seen
him like that. He shared that he had been doing it, and he got his
answer. He said he knows he needs to have patience, that he needs to
change. He was actually pleasant to be around! He was so much more at
peace. The power of realizing what you're thankful for!

Tonight we had our second lesson with Josephine and her beautiful
family, the ones I mentioned a few weeks back. It went so well, this
ones worth getting my hopes up for.

Hannah and Alivia.(: They are doing so great. We have had them in a
different members home for each lesson so that by the time of their
baptism they will feel completely comfortable with the ward. Their
smiles and hugs make any day. I love these girls. I am so glad I get
to be a part of their journey.

Just since Hermana Smith has been here we have been finding so many
opportunities for Spanish! It is so exciting. It feels so good to USE
what I've been working for for eight months! On Sunday we didn't have
any investigators in gospel principles (they're all kids so they go to
their own classes, hahaha.) So we noticed the Spanish speaking Hermana
in the ward that we've been working with- Delma Yolanda Rosas Flores-
came to church! So we pulled her out and taught gospel principles just
for her. We had zero preparation and I literally just picked a random
lesson to teach. 40- temples and family history. Turns out her husband
and almost all of her family has passed away but she hasn't done their
temple work because she doesn't know how and no one speaks Spanish
that can help her! So we are going to do our best. There's our little
miracle that came from church Sunday. She is amazing, she has started
coming every week even though she doesn't understand a lick of
English. She said she comes to "escuchar con su corazon." Listen with
her heart- the spirit.

As for Faye. We got some horrible news this week. We hadn't been able
to get in contact with her for a few weeks, and we got the news
yesterday that she isn't expected to live much longer. She has been
isolated because her immune system is shutting down, and had no way of
contacting us. Faye is incredible. Each lesson with her she talked
about how one day she would make it to the temple.... So patient even
when her health issues seemed impossible. The only reason she hasn't
been baptized is because she could not attend church because of
obvious health reasons. If she were to pass away... Her husband is not
likely to give consent for her temple work. I'm really at a loss what
to do. I will be fasting all week for her. I can't imagine what she is
feeling. She's finally found the truth and now she may have to wait...
a very long time.

Okay now that I just wrote a novel. Sorry.

Love you all. Happy birthday shoutout to my Aunt Cindy- your family
loves you and appreciates all the sacrifices you've made for our

Hermana Sears💜

Ps. Excited to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Never too early!

He Is The Gift (2:43)

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