Wednesday, February 19, 2014

                                                                                                       Feb. 17, 2014
Well this week felt ridiculously long.  It feels like a chore just to write about it.  But, no worries, I will push through the pain my poor fingers will have just to give you all a little peace of mind.  That I am alive and not completely frozen yet.  
    Lets see, Monday.... Well, it was pday and not too much to talk about.  But we did do some service that night at the Methodist church.  Every week they have a free dinner for people in the town and it was our church's turn to serve and help out.  It is honestly a lot of fun.  We clean, serve people, do dishes, make food, and talk to as many people as we can.  But I love helping out.  
    I also gave a training at District Meeting this week.  About Faith.  I had no idea how much faith I was lacking.  I want to do everything perfect, like speak spanish and teaching, and I feel like everything rests on my shoulders.  But I need to get over myself big time.  I need to be more humble and realize that I can not do anything without the Lord.  And as long as I am trying my best and always do what he wants, then I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do.  That is enough.  But I have a hard time trusting in the lord sometime, which is ridiculously sad....  I feel like I am always going to mess up and that my mouth won't be filled.  Even though I have witnessed it happening before.  So Faith was perfect for me to train on, because I needed the help!  Thats how you know the Lord truly knows everything and plans things out perfectly.  
    Anyway, Monday night we had exchanges again.  But this time I took over the area while Hna. Noffz went to Glenwood Springs.  Hermana Moser came here as well.  It was really good!  It gave me the chance to step up and take the lead on the work here.  Which made me realize that I truly am a good missionary and can do this work.  And this might sound terrible, but Sister Moser's spanish is not quite as good as Sister Noffz's.  So it kind of forced me to speak more and honestly, I really can speak spanish.  Together we taught the lessons and flowed really good.  Which is something Hna. Noffz and I have struggled with because I am just learning.  But this was a great learning experience, and has taught me to be such a better missionary.  Transfers are only 3 weeks away now, and everyone keeps saying that I am going to be training, which completely freaks me out!  It would be so hard but I would learn and grow so much!  I guess we will see.  I hope both Hna. Noffz and I stay one more transfer because we have some amazing people who we want to see baptized and be a part of their life.  
     This week we were finally able to get in with Daniel and Laura.  The family who has been avoiding us.  As soon as we walked in Laura ran out the door and said she had to go to Costco at that moment.  And when she came back she ignored us and just went in the back room.  We were going to come back later but ended up talking to Daniel for over an hour.  We talked about the Plan of Salvation with him and it basically goes with his beliefs exactly.  But he is stubborn and his heart is not ready to accept.  But he loves talking(arguing??) and we finally just had to invite him to pray and thats all we could do.  Then Laura came in the room and basically kicked us out.  Daniel said she had talked to her mother about the church and got yelled at and some other things happened.  Which is why she won't have anything to do with us anymore.  It is so sad because she knows the truth.  She just won't accept it.  Which we understand how hard it is with her family, but it breaks our hearts.  We care so much for them, and especially Laura, and it hurts to be treated like that from her.  After the lesson we got into the car and just cried.  
        Then last night we had a lesson with Alex.  And it was rough.  He is having such a hard time right now, but he won't open up to anyone.  But you can just see that the light has gone out of him, he doesn't have that huge smile anymore.  No one can figure it out, but we know that a lot of it probably has to do with his uncle, Juan.  Who is Myrna's husband and not a member.  Juan doesn't really like Alex and gives him a hard time.  It is so sad to watch.  Alex hasn't been praying and doesn't feel like God is helping him right now.  We don't know what to do.  We need to make sure the ward is supporting him and that he knows how much we care about him.  He is like our little brother and it is so sad to see him struggle like this.  We just went home and prayed and prayed for him.  
     Man, missionary work is hard.  And it is not fun.  It is completely worth it always of course. But not fun.  I don't like seeing people struggle and not knowing how to help them.  I can only love them and use the Spirit to guide me what to do and say.  But I am so thankful to be here and have the opportunity to know these people and be a part of their lives.  Especially the Hispanic people.  They are so special.
    Which is another problem we are encountering.  The ward here in Eagle(which is a white ward with a few hispanic members) seems to forget that we have Hispanic members.  And these amazing people are being ignored by the majority of the members.  We brought the suggestion up to have 1 hymn in spanish during sacrament and other small things like that to help the unity here, but were shut down.  We were shocked to find a lot of prejudices in our way.  It broke our hearts and made us completely furious at the same time.  People are people whether they speak english or not.  It make me realize how much I love these people and how much I love the culture.  They are completely humble and don't expect anything from life.  They love God so much and always work to be better.  I am so blessed to be called to serve with these people specifically.  
   Anyway, enough with the negative.  We have also seen so many little miracles every single day!  I can see the hand of God in every little thing we do.  It is my favorite part about being a missionary.  We used to teach an amazing woman named Atosha, but we were told that she moved to Mexico for 6 months.  Then we stopped by her house and there she was!  What?!  We were so excited to see her.  One day she is going to be baptized, hopefully while we are here.  Then Karina, the 16 year old girl who I adore, is progressing.  She told us that she kneeled down and prayed to God one day to know the truth.  But while she was getting to the part about what happened, her mom interrupted and she stopped talking!  Ahhhh, I could have died.  To the mom's credit, she had no idea what Karina was saying because she does not speak english at all.  But we will ask her tonight and see what happened.  I only pray that she has truly received an answer and knows that truth.  
   Then Yesenia is great!  She loves the members of the ward and they include her so much even though she can't come to church yet.  I guess the other day she was at Sister Mendoza's house studying the scriptures and we had no idea!  After next week she will be able to come to church and prepare for her baptism on the 22nd of March!  I hope I am here!
    This area is so hard to get Hispanics to church.  Because all of them work at the ski resorts and the busiest days are always Sunday.  It has been hard, but when they do come, it is the best feeling in the world.  
     But a lot is happening here and I am so excited for the upcoming weeks!  The amazing things that I have seen happen make everything else worth it.  I love my mission and I love the people.  I know that this work is the best thing that I could be doing in my life right now.  I am turning into the person that God wants me to be.  I know this church is true, without a doubt in my mind.  I love everyone so much back home and am so thankful for the support that I have.  Thanks for everything!  Yo quiero compartir mi testimonial en espanol!  Por que puedo ahora!  Pero yo se que la iglesia is verdadera con todo de mi corazon.  y tenemos el evangelio de Jesucristo.  Estoy muy agradacida por el conocimiento que tengo y por la felizidad.  Y yo tengo un gran testimonial sobre oracion.  Por que mi mision es dificil.  pero puedo hablar con mi Padre Celestial cada dia y cada momento.  Y yo puedo recibir la fuerza y el consuelo que necesito.  Podemos recibir ayuda de El siempre.  
(That was probably entirely wrong, because it is a lot harder to type in spanish!  So be easy on me)
   Hermana Adair

Thursday, February 13, 2014

February 3, 2014

(Letter from last week)
Well I survived my first transfers!!!  I am staying here in Eagle Valley with Hna. Noffz for at least another six weeks!  Yay!  I never realized how stressful transfers were, but they are not fun haha.
But I am so happy to stay here and help the area more and more.  I would have cried to leave the people here after only six weeks. 
    This week wasn't too exciting.  A lot of hard work, a few tears, some amazingly happy moments, and a lot of growing experiences.  This week was also my first exhange.  So I was able to go to Glenwood Springs for a day and a half and be companions with Hermana Moser.  She was in the MTC with Hna. Noffz and is really great.  I learned a lot from her and she helped me realize that I truly am doing a great job here.  She also lives with the English sisters in Glenwood, so it was fun to spend the night there and talk with everyone. 
    We also tracted into a family last week that is less active.  Actually it is a really funny story.  We do this thing called prayer approach.  Where we offer to leave a blessing over their house and then afterwards talk about the spirit that they are feeling and are usually able to get a return appointment.  It works really good and I love doing it.  Anyway, we did it with this family and are talking to them and ask if we can come over one day and share our message.  They said yes.  Then we ask what religion they were, and they were like, "somos mormones"(we are mormon).  What!?  Our mouths dropped open and we were like, we're mormons!  They know the whole time who we were and we had no idea that they were lds.  haha it was hilarious and we all just laughed about it. 
    But it was a huge blessing that we met this family, los sanchez.  They have lived in Gypsum for a year and have not been to church ever since they moved.  But they want to go to the temple as a family and want us to help them get there.  They are amazing and I feel so comfortable with them, and they are all so patient with my spanish.  Everyone loves helping me learn new words haha.  But I am so excited for them and the opportunity to help them go to the temple!  It would be amazing to go through with them one day!
     Now i am back to this past week.  And what a week it was.  Alex got the priesthood 2 sundays ago, and I forgot to mention it!!!  It has been incredible to see this kid grow up and gain such a strong testimony!  He is turning into a great man.  We were able to be there when he was given the priesthood and what a cool thing it is.  The priesthood really is such an amazing power and is one of the greatest gifts that God has given us.  Now Alex is excited to serve a mission and wants to go to London or Rio haha!!  Actually, anywhere but Mexico! 
     Hna. Noffz has a pretty bad back, she used to be a gymnast so most of it is from past injuries and just a lot of stress on her body.  So we went to the chiropractor here in Eagle hoping to make things a little easier for her.  Because it is hard to walk around and work all day when your back and shoulder are on fire!  She has to ice almost every morning or evening, i feel so bad!  Anyway, seeing her there made me want to go so bad haha!  I always loved going to the chiropractor.  But it was just a little weird to see her craddled in a grown man's arms as he tried popping her back haha.
     Work wise, this week was rough.  For 2 days straight we has no lessons, no referrals, no contacts, nada.  It was not fun.  We would just resort to walking up and down streets, mostly trailer parks actually, and knocking.  Which is not fun, especially in the freezing cold.  But we both knew that we just had to keep going and keep working.  God was telling us to go just a little further and be patient.  Well we did.  Everytime we work so hard and don't see immediate blessings, we always see huge blessings a little farther down the road. 
    We were in this small trailer park in Eagle and suddenly both of us had a strong prompting to go to this yellow trailer right now.  They automatically let us in, carmen and Alonzo, and it turns out that they were both taught by missionaries before.  Not only that, but they both have a testimony of the church and want to be baptized!?  Crazy huh.  Both of them were just leaving for work, so if we were 2 minutes later we would have missed them completely.  Hopefully everything goes well with them.  But we are pretty sure that we will have to deal with a Word of Wisdom problem, and possibly a chastity problem (fingers crossed that we are wrong).  So those will be exciting to deal with. 
     Afterwards we wanted to go knock a different trailer park.  But both of us all of a sudden felt like we shouldn't knock right now.  We both said that and thought it was so weird.  Why wouldn't the Lord want us to work and try to find more people.  But being the obedient missionaries that we are, we listened to the spirit.  And thank goodness we did.  We ended up stopping at a gas station to fill up and met this man named Jaime.  And it turns out that he had been taught by missionaries before and had so many questions.  We stood out in the cold for over 30 minutes talking to him!  It was great.  The Lord just keeps throwing people who are already prepared at us, all we need to do is stand there and open our hands.  It is amazing to be a missionary and witness the miracles that happen every single day. 
    I don't know if anyone looked at the snow here in Eagle Colorado, but we have gotten so much!  About 30 inches, we literally have a mountain in front of our house.  Thursday night was so bad, and it was not fun to drive through.  We had to cancel our appointment with Yessenia because she lives in Dotsero, which is a few miles down the canyon.  And there was no way we were going to make it there alive.  It did not stop snowing for 2 days straight.  And in this little town, the roads do not get ploughed!  Well they do a little bit, but I don't think it counts when there is still almost a foot of snow on the roads at all times.  On Friday our mission president called and said we weren't allowed to go out that day.  Which was good because Sister Lister, the woman we live with, had already said that.  And I am pretty sure she would have walked through the snow all the way to Denver and gave our president a piece of her mind if he wanted us to go out.  So we planned for a few hours on Friday, shoveled a lot of snow(but I won't let Hna. Noffz shovel because of her back) and we were so bored.  As a missionary all you want to do is work!  We were going crazy!!! But it was a good time to get closer as friends.  Hna. Noffz honestly feels like a sister to me, and sometimes she reminds me a lot of Madee.  Just with a little less attitude :)  So we have a lot of fun together.  Actually I have been really lucky with both of the comps that i've had.  I just hope the pattern continues for the next 15 months!
    For anyone who knows anything about missions, they will know that it can be really hard to get people to church at times.  Especially here with the hispanics.  But this sunday we had the Sanchez family come!!  Yay!  Hopefully the realize what they're missing in their lives and want to come back!  And Carinna, a 16 year old girl we are teaching, also came! 
   I need to tell you about Carinna!  She is completely amazing!!  We have been teaching her for a few weeks and all of our lessons are great.  We actually teach her in English because she understands better, and then when her mom is there, we teach in spanish.  She has so many questions about so many things.  Her family is technically catholic but she honestly has no foundation about God or religion.  She wants to know so badly about "where we came from,"  "Why are we here,"  and "where are we going."  The questions of the soul.  How sad is it to be a young girl and not have any idea why you are here.  And to think that life is just something to get through.  But she is so sweet and soaking up everything that we tell her.  And she is fascinated by the things we tell her about Joseph Smith and the BOM.  She told us it's like magic, she wants to believe and she thinks it is incredible, but it is also hard to believe.  So we have talked about faith and how we can recieve answers from God.  And she told us she didn't think she could find enough faith to get an aswer.  She said it so sincerely and sadly that my heart broke just a tiny bit.  But being awesome as I am, I pulled our a few scriptures about faith and how as long as we just have a desire to believe, then God will see the intentions of our heart and will give us an answer.  This gave her a lot of comfort and I know she is determined to get an answer. 
    We had a lesson with her Saturday night that was the best lesson i have ever been in.  We brought a YW with us who actually knows Carinna, so it was perfect.  But Carinna has committed to baptism on the 8th of March!  And her mom said that she would support her daughter with her decision, which is a miracle in itself!!  She came to church yesterday and had the best time.  It was testimony meeting, which can always be scary for missionaries who bring investigators, but besides a few words about the Broncos, it was perfect!  Literally!  Every testimony had something that was perfect for Carinna, and she was so focused the entire time!  And the spirit was so strong, it was the best testimony meeting I have ever been to!  The closing hymn was "I know that my redeemer lives" and Carinna could not stop looking at the words and soaking it in.  The song touched her so much and after sacrament she said"wow, this church is really like a family isn't it"  Yes!  The Young Women completely took her under their arms and already have her excited to go to young womens!  She really is going to be baptized.  And because of this gospel her life is going to be so much better!  I already love her so much and she is the cutest thing!  I can't wait for her life and the things she is going to do.
    So while this week was a lot of work, and I am pretty sure that I will only have stumps for feet when I get home, I wouldn't trade it for anything else.  We have had so many miracles happen for us and God has blessed us so much.  It is such a huge priviledge to be here and to be a part of the lives of some incredible people.  Yes a mission is hard, harder then I ever thought it would be.  But it is so worth it.  I have honestly never been happier. 
   Sorry this letter is HUGE!!!  I guess it just makes up for no letter last week!  But I have a huge testimony of this gospel and of the happiness that it brings into the lives of others.  I have seen people change completely and have witnessed more miracles then I can count.  I love you all and appreciate beyond words the prayers that are being said for me and all of the missionaries in the world.  Thanks for everything. 
Love, Hermana Adair