Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Today I am feeling super lazy, which is not a good trait of a missionary I know.  So we will see how far I get through this email haha.  It might just turn into random ramblings or incoherent sentences half in English and half in Spanish. 
   This week was rough.  It was definitely a test of my faith and diligence in the Lord's work.  With Sister Noffz I was so used to her doing a lot of the planning and always knowing what we were going to do next.  Without her I have had to do everything because Sister Flores doesn't know the area too well yet.  Man, it is exhausting trying to keep an area running smoothly and making progress.  We have to deal with dozens of potentials, a handful of investigators, the rest of the people in this area, our ward members, and our ward leaders.  And there is not enough time in the week to plan everything perfectly and get things done.  Of course we always get things done, but a lot of the times we do our best and just trust in the Lord to do the rest.  I just want to help these people and especially our little ward become so much better.  And I just feel so overwhelmed and inadequate to do it all.  My biggest fear is that this area is going to crumble.  That I will be known as the missionary who did what she could but it wasn't enough. 
  Now I know that sounds completely ridiculous and selfish, and it's true.  But it is truly because I love these people and I love this area.  And I want to do everything I can for them.  Thank goodness I have an amazing companion who helps me out so much.  The Lord has called me here specifically and he loves his children in this area even more then I do.  He will always provide a way for his word to spread and for the people to be prepared.  I have already witnessed that so many times on my mission.  And I know that when we rely on the Lord and do all in our power to fulfill his work and glory then we will be helped. 
   And God has put so many great people in our path to help us.  We have an amazing Ward Mission Leader who is a miracle to us.  Brother Wait does so much for us and without him we would be completely lost.  But I also know that there are so many more people helping us then we could ever imagine.  There is a quote from Jeffrey R. Holland that I love:
 "In the Gospel of Jesus Christ you have help from both sides of the veil, and you must never forget that.  when disappointment and discouragement remember and never forget that if our eyes could be opened we would see horses and chariots of fire as far as the eye can see riding at reckless speed to come to our protection."
   I know this to be true with all of my heart.  Especially when we are involved in the Lord's work. 
    And we are making so much progress in this area!! Especially with our ward!  We told all of the Hispanic members that we were starting a Spanish branch and they were thrilled.  They all began bearing their testimonies on their faith and how they still come to church but how it is a miracle from God that they can finally hear the gospel in their language.  How sad is that.  But also what a great example of faith and strength. 
   Sister Flores and I have such big dreams for these people and for this Branch.  But anyone can have a dream.  But the minute you introduce God to your dreams and pray, your dreams turn into visions.  Everything you do on a mission has to be linked to prayer.  Or nothing would ever happen.  So in 2 weeks Sis. Flores and I are planning a giant fireside for our ward-well the Hispanics.  The theme is everyone is a pioneer.  Most of these people have traveled so far to make a better life for their families and all of them have had to be a pioneer in the gospel as well.  Treading the way alone to make a future for their posterity in God.  We are having a bunch of speakers come down from Denver and Carbondale, and then want a few of our own members to share their conversion story.  Then we will be the final speakers and talk about how all of them are pioneers in this great time when we are starting a branch.  Our goal is to set the members on fire and realize how important this is.  Because we will need the help of everyone.  So we are super stoked.
    Well, I guess I did just go on a ramble, sorry...
But the people here are great!  Yesenia is amazing and came to church with her boyfriend, daughter, and granddaughter.  She is basically already a member and I am so excited for her baptism.  My companion is amazing.  We work so well together and she is a great example for me.  I am so thankful for the relationships that I am forming on my mission, they will stay with me forever!!!  We will be starting English classes this week!  And are super excited!  Hopefully it will help us find some really great people to teach as well as help out the community. 
    Oh, and another fun note.  Everyone knows the movie 17 miracles right?  Well the main guy, Levi Savage, the man who plays him is Jason Nielson.  And him and his family are in our ward.  Actually he is the brother in law of our ward mission leader.  They moved in around January and they are such a cool family!!  I love them so much.  But anyway, Sis. Flores is obsessed with that movie and she was shocked when we went to dinner one night and it was with Levi Savage haha!!  And last night he gave a great fireside about pioneers and faith to the entire county(keep in mind, there arnt too many youth here haha)  It was a great pick me up, especially for us missionaries!  And today for pday we are getting together with the other sisters to watch the movie.  I am excited, it's been forever since I've seen anything even resembling a movie. 
   I love my mission so much, even in the really tough weeks.  .I try to imagine my life if I didn't go on a mission and I can't.  I know without a doubt that this is where I am supposed to be.  And that I needed to be here to become the person that I am going to have to be in the future.  Sorry this seemed like such a long and whiney letter!!  I didn't mean it, my fingers just started typing and I couldn't stop!!!  But I have such a strong testimony of this gospel and know it is the true way to happiness.
Thanks for everything and I love everyone back home!
   Sister Adair

Monday, March 17, 2014

March 17th, 2014

Well, as you know, this week I had transfers.  It was very fun to get together with all of the missionaries in Rifle and wait for the rest to come from Denver.  And I got to see Sister McRae again!  Man, I miss that girl, we have a lot of fun together.  We joke that one day we will be companions again and on that day the world better watch out jaja!! 
   So transfers, Sister Noffz got transferred to Grand Junction, where she will be serving as a Sister Leader Trainer.  Things in Eagle will be really different without her, and I will miss her like crazy, but we both know this is for the best.  We knew each other so well that we couldn't really learn anything else if we had stayed together another transfer.  But my new companion is Sister Flores, and she is amazing!!  She is basically model gorgeous but also so real and hilarious, we are a lot alike.  She is from D.C. but her mom is from El Salvador and her dad from Ecuador, so she knows perfect Spanish.  Which is great for me.  But she says that my Spanish is actually amazing for only 4 months and that I speak tons better then any of her other companions haha  Lets see if I ever believe her.  But she is honestly the kindest person I think I've ever met.  She has been out on her mission 6 months and knows how to work really hard.  I am learning tons from her every single day. 
    And we work really good together, especially in lessons.  We actually have flow when before there was none.  One of us usually doesn't talk more then the other, it's pretty even.  But this week was soooo long.  We have been dropped like crazy and needed to find more people to teach.  So this week we OYM every single person and knocked on a ton of doors.  Now I actually enjoy walking up and talking to people, even in Spanish.  Before it was just a hassle and I had to force myself to do it.  Now we have so many potentials and this next week we have tons of lessons set up!  We are excited!!  But also my poor companion came from the Denver area, which is the promised land in mission terms haha.  It is really different for her to be here and actually have to work to find people to teach. 
    We have had some great lessons this week.  Israel and Fanny are some people on date and they are progressing a little more every lesson.  They truly want to learn and know the truth.  Everything makes sense to them in their head and they want to make sure that it is right in their heart as well. 
    Then Yesenia is as amazing as always.  She loves everything and came to church this week with her boyfriend :)  The entire ward loves her and takes her under their wings, it is super cute to watch.  Even the English members make an effort to talk to her, which is saying a lot for this ward.  And we talked about temples this week and her new goal is to go to the temple!!  We have already made plans to go to the temple with her right after our missions!  But she wants to go 2 weeks after her baptism and do baptisms for the dead.  We want to plan a temple trip with the Hispanic members in a few weeks to get her to go.  And we are going to change Yesenia's date for baptism.  She wants her daughter and family to be there so it will most likely be on the 5th of April, which is conference.  That seems so far aways but she is strong and it will be good.  We want to get everyone together to watch conference, have a ton of food, baptize yesenia between sessions, and just have fun.  It could honestly be the best day of my life haha.
     Now I have a few funny things to tell you.  First, all missionaries hug.  I think of that scene from Tommy Boy, "brothers gotta hug," But with Sister Missionaries instead.  At first it was weird, but now my first instinct is to go up and hug someone.  Bet no one thought that would ever happen....  But with Hispanics it goes even farther.  You have to hug but also have a very dramatic kiss on the cheek.  So I have got in the habit of doing that as well, and it freaks out the white people when we do it hahahaha. 
      And Hispanics have a super hard time saying my name.  So my name is completely different in Spanish, and I love it!!  It sounds so cool and pretty.  Hermana A-dy-ir.  Or something like se. 
    And we are starting our Spanish Branch!!!!  The members are so excited even though the bishop is not too happy about it.  Actually he really doesn't like us anymore...pero, esta bien.  We are doing the Lord's work and know that this is what the Lord wants for these people.  Hopefully everything will be set up for the 3rd week in April.  Fingers crossed and lots of prayers said. 
    Well this week was good.  Transfers were exactly what I needed to step up and work harder.  It was good to take the leading position and push myself to do better then I have ever done before.   Muchas gracias por sus oraciones siempre y por su Apollo!!! Les quiero mucho!
Con amor,
   Hermana Adair

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014
Well, this was the last week of transfers.  Wow, time flies by so fast!  First, I just need to say, I am not a greenie anymore haha!  My training is completely done and I am ready to go out and take over this mission!  Haha but don't worry, I never acted like a greenie.  Everyone always thinks i've been on my mission way longer, even Pres. Murdock.
   Anyway, transfers are on Tuesday.......drum roll please..........And I am staying in Eagle!   Yay!  But Hna. Noffz is getting transfered:(.  Actually she got called to be a Sister Leader Trainer, which there are like only 8 in the entire mission.  She is such a great missionary and I have been very lucky to be trained by her.  But honestly, I am going to miss her so much!  We feel just like Sisters and our relationship is so easy and we work really good together.  But the Lord knows what is best for both of us.  But it feels like Eagle is our area.  We built it up from nothing and cleaned up the huge mess that was here.  We have gained back to trust of the ward, have changed the lives of a lot of people, and have worked hard every single day.  We are proud of this little valley.  But of course, none of that would have happened without the help of the Lord.  We saw miracles everysingle day because of him.
   While I am excited to be staying in Eagle the thought also makes my head hurt.  The past 2 weeks we have been dropped like crazy and our teaching pool is very small.  Plus, we are trying to start our Spanish Branch but are basically hitting our head against the wall with our ward.  So to sum it up, there is a lot of work to be done here.  A lot.  And I will have to be the leader and find out a way to get it done.  I am excited for the challenge, but it is going to be hard.  I will have to work harder then I have ever worked before. 
    I am not sure I really want a new companion....but I am excited to see who she is.  You should all make guesses about what she looks like haha.
    We have a few new investigators this week, which is great.  2 are completely amazing and are ready for baptism.  They came to church yesterday and already agreed to be baptized!!! Yay, I am praying so hard that everything works out with them.  It is a dad, Israel, and his daughter Fanny who is 20.  she completely adores Hna. Noffz and I and was so sad when she found out that Hna. Noffz was leaving. 
   We still have Yesenia.  She is incredible.  There isn't another word for it.  Her testimony is so strong and she is great friends with a lot of the members.  I can not wait for her baptism.  But she also got some really bad news last week about her health.  It turns out that she has thyroid cancer.  We were so devestated for her but will be here for support.  And now she has the ward and all of the members to help her through.  I wish that everyone could meet her, she is amazing and so strong. 
    These 4 months have been such a huge time of growth for me.  I have learned so much about the gospel, life, and especially myself.  I have never felt more weak and impowered at the same time.  Every day I realize that I am nothing, and that in everything God is my strength.  I have had to change a lot of things about myself, but I am only becoming a better daughter of God.  Slowly but surely I am becoming a worthy instrument in his hands. 
    Yes, every day is like a battle.  With the work, the people here, and the voices inside my head.  But I have learned to pray.  To truly pray, with real intent and a sincere heart.  Like it like about  in moroni 10.
Prayer Oneof the greatest gifts that we have been given.  How amazing is it that a being so great as God begs us to talk to him every single day.  I have a huge testimony of prayer.  Prayer brings miracles.  And the power of our prayers depends solely on us. 
   I love my mission so much!  I love the people and I love the Lord's work!  It is almost sad to think that after this next transfer I will be a third done with my misison.  Where did the time go?  And it is only going to go by faster and faster.  But I am so thankful for all of the support that I have back home.  And for the help of everyone to get me here.  Les Quiro Mucho!
Con Amor,
Hermana Adair

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

March 3, 2014

This week was a montana rosa! (rollercoaster in spanish, but missing the accents haha) 
   On Monday we had a Zone p-day and it was such a blast!  We hiked up to hanging Lake and it was so gorgeous.  It felt great to just get outside and be active.   Both Sis. Noffz and I were in heaven!  But there was also a lot of snow on the trail, and you basically have to climp a cliff.  So imagine a cliff covered in snow and ice, and the snow is so deep that only 6 inches of the handrails are showing.  Going up was easy, but coming down was a different story.  We all had to slide down the cliff because it was impossible to walk back down with out breaking your neck.  And all of the Elders had to crouch and make sure that we didn't fly over the edge when we slid.  Sister Noffz almost went over, but she was able to grap the hand rail and grasp on until we could pull her back on the trail.  My heart almost stopped haha.  But after the terrifying part, it was a blast.  Just like bobsledding haha!  Who needs the Olympics when you can have it in the middle of nowhere in Colorado haha!  I will try and send pics from other people once they send them to me!  It was so fun! 
    This week we focused a lot on Karina.  Monday night she expressed some doubts about getting baptized and felt that she wasn't ready.  We were expecting this, everyone gets nervous before baptism, especially a 16 yr old girl.  so we spent a lot of time making her feel good, including her in yw's, and we even heart attacked her door.  Everything was going to be fine.  Then Thursday came.  Karina had her baptismal interview on Thursday and almost didn't show up.  We hunted her down and she forgot to tell us that she was going to be late.  Great.  Her interview lasted over 40 minutes, which was the first sign that things might not be okay. 
   It turns out that Karina has a lot of doubts and does not agree with some of the church standards.  And she told us about a lot more other things that I will not go into detail about.  But they are pretty serious.  When she told us all of this she started crying.  She didn't tell us before becfause she did not want to disapoint us because she truly does care about us.  Anyway, to sum everything up, Karina is not getting baptized.  She doesn't see the need of God in her life and thinks she is okay where she is. 
     Wow, that was not easy to hear.  I mean, you have all read my emails and know how excited I was for her and how much I cared for her.  It hurt so much and both the hearts of Sis. Noffz and I were completely broken.  We love this girl so much and she made the choice to go down a path that will only lead her to more pain and lonliness in the future.  But the hardest part is that I am a missionary.  I can not council her or help her in her life.  I can try and teach her the gospel and help her with church things, but that is it.  I cannot do anything else and it leaves me feeling completely helpless.  I will stay in touch with her though and hopefully, now that we planted a seed of faith in her, that she can turn to us for help later. 
    Yes, not a fun few days.  BUT, we still have Yesenia, who is completely amazing!  She is going to be baptized on the 22nd of March and she cannot wait.  Her testimony is so strong and she loves this church and already knows and loves a lot of the members.  And she came to church with us this Sunday because now she has work off.  This sunday was stake conference and it was so good!  All about Hastening the Work.  Sis. Noffz had to translate for twho hours for Yesenia but she did great, and Yesenia loved coming to church.  Just talking to her always makes us feel so much better.  And she loves us so much.  She is a woman who I will be in touch with for the rest of mly life. 
    Tomorrow Yesenia is going to Denver to have some health test done.  She has a lot of problems with her Thyroid and more then likely has cancer or a tumor.  Not fun at all.  But she is praying and fasting(yes, she fasts and loves it!)  And then on Tuesday she is taking her citizenship test in Denver as well!  We are excited for her and hope that everything goes good!
   And Yesenia cut our hair the other day.  And she gave me bangs.  Haha they're actually not too bad but I will have to send a picture. 
    Transfers are next week and we are freaking out wondering what is going to happen.  There is so many exciting things happening here and neither of us want to leave!  Plus, we both seem to work great together and have become really great friends.  It will be sad to leave.  But I have trust in the Lord and his plan.  Whatever happens and wherever I am called to serve will be exactly where I am meant to be. 
   I love you all!  Thanks for everything!  Have a great week!
   Hermana Adair
February 24, 2014

Well, this week was even longer then all of the others put together.  Last Monday for p-day a women in my ward, we call her grandma Bair, she did my hair.  She is 92 years old and fingerwaved my hair.   It looked so cool!  Just like in the old 50's movies, or Hna. Noffz said it looked like from the move "The Notebook."  But she had not done fingerwaving in over 50 years, and it was really cool to have it done.  We want to buy the clips and learn to do it ourselves.
    Tuesday we were trying to contact a referral and knocked on a door when they let us in immediately.  The woman's name was Veronica and we just began talking to her and talking about the gospel.  Then all of a sudden she is in tears and crying.  She told us about her mother dying and how things are hard for her and she has been praying to God for help.  She said that we were an answer to here prayers and came straight from God.  She has the sweetest spirit and seems to accept and want everything that we have taught her about the plan of salvation so far.  We are exctied to teach her more, and just hope her husband is on board.  He very bluntly told us he was Catholic but respect what we do.  Vamos a ver.  (we will see)
   Then we had a lesson with Yesenia that was almost 2 hours long.  She is so ready to be baptized.  And she asked us how we know she is ready.  She wants this so bad and can't wait to come to church next sunday.  fingers crossed.  But she is completely special and has a lot of love for us.  I really want to stay in touch with her.
    Now Wednesday was the hard day for us.  We got dropped by our investigator Gabrial who had a date for baptism and we were so excited for him.   We went by that night and his wife opened the door and let us in.  But we could tell that she wasn't happy.  Gabrial had told her about the baptism and it was not okay with her.  Her entire family is catholic, baptized and married in that church, and her kids were raised in the catholic church.  She did not like how we were trying to get her husband to be baptized.  The whole time she was talking Gabrial could not look at us.  He knows everything is true and he wants it.  But he does not want to break up his family at the moment.  Which we understand completely.  It is just so sad.  We will keep praying for them and hope that the wife softens her heart so Gabrial can get baptized and they can be sealed as a family.  One day.
    Thursday was zone training; which lasted until almost 8 at night.  It was kind of ridiculous.  But it was also good.  We had a lot of trainings that helped me learn how I can be a better missionary and things I can do differently.  Trainings are always a boost for me, a little motivitaion.   And while the trainings were going on President Murdock and Sister Murdock were doing interviews.  We are supposed to get interviewed by them every other transfer.  They are awesome mission presidents!  REally, I love them.  They are really personable and easy to talk to.  But my interviews were good.  They gave a lot of good advice and I feel very comfortable with them. 
    And a miracle happened for Hna. Noffz and I.  Our stake president approached us and talked to us about starting our own spanish Sacrament Meeting!  Yay!!  This is going to be amazing for the members and for the investigators we want to bring to church.  I guess that our area is the most successful in the entire stake right now.  Which is pretty cool because our stake is the biggest stake in the country.  I don't know exactly what we're doing that is so good, but something must be working.  We are so thankful for this and for our stake president for seeing our needs and wanting to help.  We have been trying so hard to make a difference for the people here.  And our prayers are being answered! 
   This Sunday I was asked to give a talk in church.  With about an hour of preparation time.   It was definitely not the funnest thing that I have had to do, but I also know that I am a missionary now.  And this kind of stuff happens a lot.  But it went decent.  Not great, but not terrible.  I just walked up and started talking, pulled out a few scriptures, and bore my testimony.  Just like what I do everyday as a missionary haha.
   Alex is doing a lot better and we are so happy for him.  We are staring to teach him in spanglish lessons.  He knows english really good but not as much of the gospel terms.  So at church he gets a little confused.  This will help him learn a lot better.  And the situation with his uncle is imporoving.  Juan wants to get him a job so he can stay busy but also have some money.  I guess we will see how it all turns out. 
    And now on to Karina.  Have I mentioned how awesome she is and how much I love her?  If not, then I have to let you know how completely amazing she is!  This week we taught her The Law of Chastity and the Word of Wisdom.  And she completely understands and accepts everything.  Her sister had 2 kids in high school and she knows that she wants to live her life diferently.  She wants to be an example for her 2 nieces.  And this is how great she is; we saw her last night again and asked her how keeping the word of wisdom was.  And she was worried that we saw her brothers soda cup and thought it was hers.  She wanted us to know that she was keeping it completely.  But I guess we confused things for her becasue she thought that she couldn't drink any soda!  So she hasn't had any soda all week long.  No worries, we cleared things up for her and said that soda she can choose to drink.
    Then last night we talked about prophets.  She is amazed that we have a prophet living today and can't wait to listen to him. Oh and she came to church and completely loved it again.  The girls and the entire ward are really taking her in and making her feel good.  Karina is actually so excited for her baptism.  Her baptism will be March 8th at 9 in the morning!  Can you believe that?  A teenager excited to get baptized early saturday morning.  There is a big youth stake activity that mrning at 10:45.  So all of the youth are going to go to her baptism and then afterwards go to the activity with Karina.  It is perfect. 
    I wish that everyone could meet her because she is really so special.  I can't explain it, but there is just something different about her that is so good.  So pure and wanting to do good in the world. 
     This week was long, and missionary work is exhausting.  But the rewards of a mission are far too high for it to be easy.  And rewards are always worth it.  To see Karina's eyes light up as she feels the spirit, to see Alex's smile every day, and to be able to try my best to help these people is an amazing feeling.  I love it.
     Thanks for all of the love, support, and prayers that I have back home.  It means the world and makes such a huge difference.  I love everyone so much! 
Les Quiero!
-Hermana Adair