Monday, June 6, 2016

Week of miracles and rain

Dear friends and family,

I feel like I am loving the mission more and more as I learn more and more just how to forget myself and help others.  This week was a crazy busy week.  On Wednesday, we only had a little bit of time to work since we had to grocery shop and email, but at least we found a really cool girl at the grocery store here.  She said she had recognized Sister Stanfill and I from before when were here, but after that we got to help paint someone's house, and then help set up for the Young Women fundraiser.

Then, on Thursday, we had a meeting for all the sister training leaders and zone leaders on the mission (about 26) and President Maluenda stressed the importance of studying the scriptures (from all of the standard works, not just the Book of Mormon).  I already have started reading from the New Testament and have learned so much! I especially like in Matthew chapter 3 that when Jesus Christ got baptized, it really took a lot of humility since He was already perfect.  Then, I thought of how important it is to be humble to obey because if you think about it, God knows more than we ever will know.  God gives us commandments for a reason even if we can't see them or understand them right away.  

Also, at the meeting, President Maluenda paid for all of us to go to a Chinese buffet.  Those are all over South Texas! I ate at a Chinese buffet twice last week actually! It was pretty good, but I got embarrassed because I spilled something all over my white shirt, AND President was there! Hopefully it comes out in the wash haha.  After the meeting was over, President had a meeting with just the sisters and told us how important it was to look pretty haha.  It is interesting because I thought I would never get into the habit of wearing make up every day, especially on the misison.
Anyway, Friday, we helped out at the fundraiser again, and Sister Stanfill and I got to see all the members we loved.  I even got to limbo during it! That was really fun.  

Then, when Saturday, came around, Sister Stanfill were really worried that the "key indicators" would be bad for the week, since we were serving the members a lot during the week, but with a little planning, it all works out.  We got to do splits with some sisters in the ward and that helped a lot.  Then, at the end of the night, a huge miracle happened.  This was when we were at 0 new investigators for the day, and we were walking down the street and saw this group of 5 high school aged girls.  After saying "hi," they even gave us a bouquet that they had picked while walking around the neighborhood.  It was really strange seeing them outside too because almost nobody hangs out outside here. It's crazy.  Anyway, after talking to them a little more, they asked us some questions about God's plan for them and others, and all were interested in having another lesson! Some of the girls said they would come to church the next day, but they didnt come :( we were pretty sad, but hopefully they do next Sunday when we teach them more.  Hopefully their families will be interested too!

Sunday was great because it felt like I was back in my family ward! Everyone is so unbelievably welcoming and I even got to translate for one of the recent converts (my favorite member).

I am so glad to be back up here too because it rained pretty much every day and down in Harlingen it is just scorching hot ALL the time.

Anyway, love you all! Have a great week :)
Sister Findlay

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"Pack your bags!"

Dear Friends and Family,

You will never guess what happened yesterday.  So, on Monday, we all got together on P-day and our zone leaders announced where we would be going and all of that, so when they announced that my "daughter" (trainee) on the mission was going to stay in her area, we thought for sure that I would stay with her.  However, after they announced my name, they said, "Pack your bags!" and then they said, "You're going to a special meeting."  I thought at first that I would train someone else, but then talking to some elders that usually if you already have trained, you don't go to the meeting again for the same thing.  When they announced that, next thing I knew was Sister Schaffner was balling her eyes out.  Even though I'm not much of a crier, it was a sweet experience to see how much she was going to miss me. A trainer and a trainee relationship is really like a mother daughter relationship.

The next day, on Tuesday, I left early in the morning to drive to McAllen for the meeting.  We ended up having to follow the elders going to McAllen too, so there were three missionary cars following each other.  I didn't have a GPS or anything and the sister that was in the car with me didn't know any of the elder's phone numbers, so after zooming in and out of cars, we were able to catch up to the elders and arrive safely at the chapel.  Good thing they were going fast though, because we made it just in time.  During the meeting, I first found out that I was going to be a Sister Training Leader, but after than, I found out that my really good friend from the Mexico MTC was going to be my companion.  So, now, Sister Stanfill and I get to be companions and we are "white-washing" (new area with new companion) yet again.  Every time I see her, it feels like I am dreaming.  We're both so young on the mission! This morning, I was really happy on our run.  We actually keep the same pace :) It is awesome.  Also, we have a goal to run a half-marathon together after the mission.  Sister Stanfill is from Temecula, and she actually got to volunteer in the San Diego temple before her mission too.  She has 8 siblings and she is number 5.  She is the BEST! We really don't know what we are doing half the time, but we will learn.  Luckily, we have another training meeting tomorrow.  Oh! I forgot to tell you the best part.  I came back up to Corpus Christi and I am in the same ward as I was two transfers ago. Sister Stanfill was here right before me. We just have a different area this time.  This means we have the same splendid members that feed us. 

Last night, we went to the Bower's house (awesome middle-aged couple) and they couldn't believe their eyes to see us again.  We were super excited too.  I love this area, and I am so glad to be back.  It also means that we live with a member again, which means no more laundromats :) (at least for a little bit).  

The mission is making me stretch so much! Hopefully I can be a good leader by being humble and relying on the Lord.  I know He knows what's up haha.

I'm really glad that we got to play soccer before I left together as a district because we all got super close.  When there is unity in the district, everything works out :)

On Sunday, we got to teach gospel doctrine with a 5 minute warning, but it turned out to be a pretty good lesson on baptismal covenants.  I shared a sweet experience of how the gift of the Holy Ghost protected me when I needed it.  It was when I was hiking up a hill at night with a flashlight, but then my friend thought that he needed to shine the flashlight on my path, and right then, I was able to see the rattle snake that I was about to step on.  

Love you! Have an awesome week.

Con amor,
Hermana Findlay