Monday, July 25, 2016

July 25

This week was crazy busy!! Sister Stanfill and I had 3 exchanges this week and we didn't even have a car to drive about 40 miles round trip to Corpus Christi and about 30 miles round trip to meet in Sinton twice. Good thing we have awesome members! The reason why we didn't have a car is because Sister Stanfill hit a pole when we were leaving the gas station, but cool thing is, I got to exchange with Sister Rivera!!! (My MTC companion).  We had an awesome day and biked like crazy all over town.  It turns out that Sister Perez has a knee infection right now, so on doctor's orders, she can't walk around and she has to keep her leg constantly elevated.  Sister Rivera was so excited to go out to work! Also, that day, one of their investigators told us that she could tell that we are already friends and that we mesh well :)

The other exchange was with Sister Holloway, and we lived in the same apartment down in Harlingen.  Sister Holloway is a really great friend too.  

The third exchange was with Sister Peyro who lives with me.  Her and her companion have had some struggles finding anyone that will listen to them in their area, but I was able to see some things that might help them if they change it.  

Turns out that I biked everyday from Tuesday to Saturday with little meal appointments, and I was constantly hungry!  Good thing we got stuff for Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Yesterday, we went to visit Armando after he came to church, and he is our all-time best friend.  He's even learning English and sang us a song that he learned.  It was kind of a rap.  I took a video, but I can't email it because the server wont let me.  Some of the lyrics were "errybody and super freak"  hahaha i think that was the best thing that has happened on the mission.  

Every time we leave Armando's house, we are so happy!!!  A sad thing that we found out was that Armando's mom (who lives in Mexico) died on Saturdaythough.  I dont think he knows either.  Poor kid :(   

Also, a miracle that happened this week was we had 3 investigators at church :)  One of them was Jadelynn, and she is the granddaughter of a recent convert, but her dad usually doesn't let her go to church.  Last week, though, we decided to fast so that he would.  Instead, he started reading the Book of Mormon! I love fasting now :) 

A really good chapter that I read this week was Helaman 5 in the Book of Mormon.  I love how Lehi and Nephi didn't get burned from the fire because of their faith.  I know that through dilligent prayer, scripture study, and attending church, we will increase our faith.

Love You!
Sister Findlay

Monday, July 18, 2016


 Dear Family and Friends,

I have been waiting for this moment to email all of you about Armando!!  He lives in that favorite little town of mine called Odem.  Anyway, Armando was a really good member referral.  He was just adopted into his uncle's family because his mom is living in Mexico and she is dying of cancer...she only has about 10 days to live, but anyway, Armando lives with his uncle who is blind, and they all only speak Spanish! Who knew I would still be using my Spanish up here?  Anyway, the first lesson with Brother Garza (the awesome member that gave us the referral) was a little awkward just because Armando was a little shy, but the next time we went over there with Brother Garza we were all the best of friends and we even have some inside jokes now. Armando is only eleven years-old, but he is so smart and has such a sweet spirit.  The second lesson, we invited Armando to pray at the end of the lesson, and it took a while, but he finally did!! In his cute little prayer he said "estoy agradecido por el pastor Garza y por las pastores" which means "I am thankful for the pastor Garza and the sister pastors." It was soo cute and funny, and now he is comfortable praying!! He should be able to get baptized in a couple weeks, and it wasn't even us that found him.  Brother Garza did our job for us, and every time he comes to lessons with us, he brings the Spirit so strong! 

Also, a little bit more about Armando is that we got to translate for him in Primary (translation is already available in Sacrament) and he was the only kid in his class on Sunday!! After church, we got to visit them again, and Armando related the story of Captain Moroni defending his liberty between the Nephites and the Lamanites.

Another exciting thing is that now we live with a greenie!! Her name is Sister Espitia, and everyone has such a hard time pronouncing it here haha.

Oh, this week, I also sliced my finger pretty bad when I was peeling a kiwi this week, but a member was so nice! When we had dinner at her house, she even put a band-aid on for me and everything! Now it's pretty much better  :).

Also, as a result of transfers, they just switched where our district leader is.  Now he is in our ward and the zone leaders work with a tiny group of about 10 people or so.

Have a great week. 
Love Hermana Findlay

Monday, July 11, 2016

July 11

 President and Sister Torres with Sister Findlay
New Mission President
Dear family and friends,

GUESS WHAT!!! I am staying in the area of CalAllen in Corpus Christi!!! I still have the best companion ever that actually understands how much I love California.  Sister Stanfill is so awesome.  AND this is the first time I am going to have a companion for at least two transfers.  Yesterday, we even rode bikes on this really fun trail on the way to a less active's house.  Next to it, there was a field, and it was super funny because I kept screaming just because and then as a result, she freaked out, and even fell off her bike. hahaha.  We're just such great friends.

This week, we also got to teach this super cool family that lives in Odem. I don't remember if I have talked about it before, but it's a little hick town that only has 2500 people.  But anyway, this family that we taught has four girls (just like mine) and they actually live with their mom and dad.  That rarely happens here.  She absolutely loved the new pamphlet that we have on the family and the temples.  Her name is Jessica and Xaviel is the dad.  Destini, Amaris, Jaisley, and Jayla are the kids.  Also, this other family that we taught lives right next door to two really cool member families.  One of them just got baptized in April.  They couldn't make it to church yesterday, but hopefully they will this Sunday! What I love about this area is that people are actually pretty knowledgeable.  Down by Mexico, a lot of people are just loopy and don't know what you are talking about.  Yeah, the people are more prideful here in this area, but a lot of them are respectable too.  Does that make sense?

Also, another exciting thing happened is that we reactivated a guy (meaning he went to church three times in a row) who lives in Odem.  He is so funny!! Now, we can teach his brother too!  I can't wait to be in an area for two transfers and actually see people progressing as we teach them.  

Love Sister Findlay

Thursday, July 7, 2016

July 6

There was no time for a weekly update, but we were able to chat a little.

Yay! Finally we get to hear from you. I was thinking about calling the mission office to make sure you were okay. haha.

Sister Findlay
 Yay! You are on! I don't have tons of time, but I read all my emails.  Just know that I am okay.  Just been a crazy week because we couldn't email on the 4th and then we had a big meeting in McAllen yesterday (happens every month with all the zone leaders and the STLs).  The new mission president is great.  We are going to baptize so many people by focusing on families.  Also, we moved! I love the new apt.  I feel pretty spoiled with new carpet, a fireplace, and 2 bathrooms for four companionships. I probably should get going.  Love you so much!

email to sister(Carissa)
Love you! Don't have much time, but I had a really fun 4th with facials and massages with the other sisters.  Also, I got so full from all the food we got during the day.  

June 27

Where did June go?? 

This week was pretty good! We have been working with lots of less actives and trying to get them to come to church.  There are about 15 families that are less actives with 2 that are active in a particular area. The reason being is because they used to have a branch that met really close to them, but for some reason, it was shut down.  Anyway, we have been working a lot in Odem, and this little town is full of miracles!  Odem is my favorite just because everyone knows each other, and one of my favorite members live there.  Well, turns out this week that Brother Garza knew of a less active family that recently had a grandson move in with them because his mom is in really bad health as a result of cancer.  This grandson is from Mexico, so we get to teach him all in Spanish, and he said he wants to get baptized!!! Brother Garza made it so easy too because he taught a lot of the lesson. Hopefully they will be able to come to church next Sunday because this week they went down to Mexico.  It happens all the time...

Also, this week, we were finally able to see the Trevino family.  They are recent converts that haven't answered our phone calls or anything for a long while, but after stopping by there twice in one day, we saw them outside, and Sister Stanfill was a little scared to go talk to them, so I went right ahead.  The next day they didn't come to church still because at the catholic church, they had a service in memory of her dad.  However, after, she said that they could feel the difference between our church and the catholic one.  No matter how much you explain sometimes to people that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been restored, they think they are so wise, and don't even hear us out.  I really do know though, that the same church that Jesus Christ established is the same one today--that it has been restored.  

We found out some pretty big news this week that we are moving to a different apartment complex.  We are going to move on Thursday! Sister Tavares is so sad! We even heard her crying on the phone talking to the senior missionary that told her the news.  I had no idea how much of a toll it would take on her, but at least we can still visit her after we move out.

Another big change is that our new mission president, President Torres is arriving tonight! It is sad to say goodbye to President Maluenda, but I am excited to welcome them in.

Something fun that Sister Stanfill and I did this week was last night, we put on some facials and then we went to the other sister's room and just talked.  Sister Stanfill and I have an awesome relationship. I think I treat her more like my sister than anything else.  We are able to be so open with each other and we always just have a great time.
One is of a cool lizard I found,
 Me and Sister Montuy (the one I had an exchange with)
 Sister Stanfill and I with her trainer (just visiting the mission)
Huge cockroach I found (biggest one yet)
My hair in a braid (done by Sister Montuy) with pretty flowers we found

Enjoy! Please send me some emails/letters people! You can send mail to 200 W. La Vista Dr, McAllen, TX 78501.

Con amor,
Hermana Findlay

June 20

Dear Friends and Family,

This week was so awesome! You might be shocked to see in my pictures that I was with my "step mom" on the mission. 
 The reason I call her my step mom is because she finished up training me.  Now I am her leader. Crazy right?  Anyway, it was a blast! She covers a little Spanish branch here in Corpus.  Who knew that there were people that speak Spanish up here in the "Great White North" as what the missionaries call it up here.  Anyway, we got to start our day helping out the 2nd counselor in the branch and his wife move stuff out for a garage sale.  Sister Davis wanted to do the garage sale to raise up some funds for physical therapy due to the pain caused from her recent strokes, then we came back later because he made us lunch and we helped clean up.  That day, there was a super cool miracle! We found some lady that has gone to church for 30 something years, but has never been baptized.  Hopefully the elders will be able to find some success since she speaks English.  Then, we ate, yet again for a Father's Day celebration.  I swear I still haven't gained any weight.  That is a miracle in and of itself.  Featured in the picture is the braids that Sister Villatoro did.  I even kept them in the next day for church.

Also, random thing that happened this week was some members of my ward went to the Carlsbad stake center and saw my missionary plaque.  I guess the member posted it on facebook and another member showed me it while we were helping her make some crafts for girl's camp.  

Also, I got to use the Bishop's lawnmower this week to mow their grass. Super fun! That is what I love about this ward.  They are so willing to let us help with anything--whether it be reactivating people in the ward or helping with yard work or helping pregnant moms clean their houses.  Service is so great!  There is no other substitute.

Earlier in the week, Sister Stanfill and I got to have an exchange with the STLTs (Sister Training Leader Trainers) is what they are called.  They only had a few hours to work with us in CalAllen, but it was awesome.  I was with Sister Moore, and we got to do an exchange together when I was a greenie too, and she says that she can see the difference.  I guess now I seem more comfortable talking to random people.  That is definitely good since we do it everyday.  

Some really cool scriptures that I found this week were in Mosiah 4: 11-16.  I found them when I was reading a talk from President Eyring called Service and Eternal Life.  That is what it is about, and through service, we will be able to be happy!

Love you!

June 13

Jun 13th
Time flew by so fast this week.  Someone told me that it really does flow by once you are a leader, and it is so true! We are always so busy either doing exchanges or talking with the district leaders in ways we can help or whatever it may be.  

This week, we had two different exchanges.  One with the Annaville sisters and one with sisters that live in Beeville (they live about an hour or so away).  It was pretty scary not really knowing how to get to our halfway meeting spot, but I think now I can manage my way around Cinton, Corpus, McAllen, a little of Mission, and Harlingen.  All I need is Brownsville and Laredo! Crazy! It's really fun driving on the 75 mph freeways too!  Anyway, the first exchange I was on was with Sister Peyro in my old area of Annaville!  She has really curly hair and she is from California too! A fun thing we did together was make up stories to describe a place. For example, I had Kauai, so I said, "I first started my journey in KANSAS and brought ONE pineapple and FIVE bananas.  Then after walking a little, we found ONE arangatang that stole THREE of the bananas."  Stuff like that.  The vowels are numbered 1-5 and the consonants are just starting with the letter.   Then, on Saturday, I was with Sister Tupou from California too! She is Tongan, and it was so funny because every person that we talked with she said, "I love you!" No matter what.  It was pretty embarrassing, but pretty funny too :).  

Also, this week, we had a big zone conference.  It was the last time that we are going to see President Maluenda, so that is pretty sad, but at least we got to hug him again! :) We were there at the church for a long time though! The meeting lasted from 8:30 in the morning to 5 PM.  It was pretty cool to hear President and Sister Maluenda's dying testimony.  The biggest thing I learned though was that so many things on the mission do prepare you for the rest of your life.  For example, before the mission, I thought I was always busy, but now I am learning to be more efficient.  Like for example, now I can wash a car in 10-15 minutes and shower in less than 5 minutes.  Something else that I really liked about the week was that Sister Stanfill and I just worked so hard! We had so many appointments set and so many service opportunities or whatever it may be.  We only got one dinner appointment, but that couldn't get us down! I think for the first time this week I couldn't finish all that they offered me.  One thing that they gave us was like a sugar free chocolate and avocado moose thing.  So nasty! Haha.  All the missionaries were there too, and we all were trying to pass it off to the next one.  I don't think they noticed though, which is good.

A couple miracles this week that happened were that we were finally able to have a lesson with a recent convert family.  We have had a really hard time contacting them, but turns out that they are just feeling sick.  Also, whenever their niece comes over she goes to church, so we are trying to get her baptized but it is a little hard right now to get her mom's permission.  Hopefully she will have a change of heart.  Also, another miracle is that we keep seeing these returned missionaries that have a job of going door to door selling pest control.  They always give us super good referrals! It's awesome! :)

Oh! I almost forgot! Last P-day I got to play a real tennis match with a pretty good high school player.  It was so fun! I still got it too and won 3-0 :)

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week.  Love you!

Sister Findlay

 I was so shocked to find a big, fancy house like that here in Texas, but I am in a pretty rich area of the mission, so that was a cool find.