Monday, August 29, 2016

New area again

So, I am back down in the valley.  I am in a town called Edinburg.  It is super close to McAllen, and fun thing is that I get to do exchanges in the area that I started my mission in! This means that I have been to 4/7 zones of the mission.  My new companion's name is Sister Barton.  She is from Colorado just outside of Denver and has a sister that is older and a younger brother.  Funny story about her is that when she was filling out her papers, the only person she told was her dad.  By the time she got her call, she flew home from BYU-Idaho to open it, and her mom was at first angry with her, not knowing why she was home.  When she opened her call, though, her mom was super excited for her.  I couldn't imagine filling out all my papers on my own. 

In this ward that I am in now, people actually feed us pretty much every day too! It is soooo nice! Also, something that this zone is doing is only getting referrals from members and doing A LOT of convert retention and reactivation.  Also, there is a girl who is 9 here that has been going to church with her step-dad (her mom is less active) that can potentially get baptized, so I am excited for that! 

Also turns out that Sister Barton and I are over 16 different sisters..big change from just being over 8.  That has made us super busy, but that is also super fun.  I have already done 2 exchanges.  One with Sister Jensen (I lived with her my second transfer) and 1 with Sister Williams. This is her third transfer, but she is awesome! 

One day, we showed up at our meal appointment, and a family in a ward invited their friend over! I don't know how interested he is right now, but it is awesome that a lot of them are trying to do missionary work!  

I have been reading a lot from Preach my Gospel and also the Power of Everyday missionaries about the power of missionary work and what it can do for us.  It brings so much joy and happiness when we truly forget about ourselves and help someone else out either with a small act of service, a smile, a hug, or sharing a scripture.  I invite you all to do something along that nature to someone this week. 

Something fun that Sister Barton and I did this week was we got practice singing in the choir because a member of the seventy is coming in a couple weeks for stake conference.  The songs are super hard, but hopefully I will be able to be a better singer because of it.

Love you all! Thanks for your emails and thanks for reading mine!

Sister Findlay

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

It was fun while it lasted

Dear Friends and Family,

So, I have news for you...I am leaving Sinton again...We got the transfer call last night, but we only know where people are going. I am going to be so sad to leave my pretty much sister/ best friend here, and I'm sad to leave this ward.  The members are so great!! Some Texas vocabulary since I have been here is I am fixing to be 40 (like about), Mama (pronounced like Maaamawww) and y'all.  The people in this area are mostly Texan, and they actually know that Sister Stanfill and I are from California with our "California" accents.

Unfortunately, Armando didn't get baptized yesterday as a result of his uncle's doubt that he doesn't know everything, but hopefully he will soon! At least his whole familiy was able to come to church on Sunday!

On a side note, this week, I ate Menudo...grossest soup ever filled with cow intestines and pig feet.  I don't think I did a very good job convincing the member that I liked it, but at least he won't make it again lol.  The meat is so chewy and the broth tastes like dirty dish water.

Oh, exciting news! It has been raining so much here, and I think the summer is about to end, but we will see in the new area I am going to.  Sinton is the coolest place in the mision.  so grateful I was here in the summer!

As for the pictures, one is when we cleaned out the fridge so I sat in it lol. 
Also, one is a guess of where everyone is going to go at transfers. 
One is of a really cute cafe that we ate at that made me a little homesick.  

A really cool thing I studied this week was the bible dictionary, it has a really cool definition of faith.  You should read it this week. It was part of my training in zone meeting :)

Love you,
Sister Findlay

Monday, August 15, 2016

Birthday Week

Hello Family and Friends, 

I don't have a whole lot of time, but at least I have a lot of pictures to send this week.  The one that is weird lighting is one of this really cute Tongan member. 

She and her husband actually took us out to eat the night before my birthday, and of course I got curry.  Gotta love it.  The other lady is Sister Garza.  Her husband is the one that actually introduced us to Armando (the one that is getting baptized on Sunday).

Also, my sweaty back picture is what happens ALL the time here in Texas.  At least I had a backpack to cover it up lol.  

Anyway, my birthday was so great! On the 11th, we actually had interviews with President, so that was super lucky because if that didn't happen, I wouldn't have gotten my birthday package.  Everyone kept telling me that I had sooo many packages because there were different shipments.  Anyway, I was thrilled to see Trader Joe's again...seems like forever since I have seen that.  

Anyway, on my birthday, the sisters that we live with (Sister Peyro and Sister Espitia) and my companion all tried to wake my up with "Happy Birthday." Too bad I was already awake though.

Then, we did a little surf session on the floor of the apartment. Then, we ate cake for breakfast haha.  Then, the whole district went out to lunch together, and my District Leader got me so many fruits and vegetables from Walmart and even bought a cake and put lettuce on top haha.  Then, later during the day, Sister Stanfill and I went to Denny's for my free grand slam. Such a good day! I even got a call from Sister Torres too! (The mission president's wife)

Anyway, something cool I learned in my interview from my President was that a good missionary is worthy, willing, and diligent.  He is so in tune with the Spirit.  He always knows exactly what you need to hear.

Love you,
Sister Findlay

Monday, August 8, 2016

Aug. 8th

Dear Friends and Family,

This week was awesome!! Guess how many people we found that were interested in hearing our message, AND a return appointment! It was 16 people found in six days because one of the days, we were in McAllen for a meeting. Also, we found a family for the other sisters to teach too.  God was really on our side this week.  We will see, though, if those people are there for our return appt.  

One of those people was named Crystal.  She is married, and has 3 little kids. She said she was studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses before, but told us that she really felt the Spirit when we said the closing prayer. She just opened up so much to us.  We weren't able to see Armando this week because they went to Mexico, but he should be getting baptized this Sunday! Woo hoo!  Also, on Tuesday morning, we got a call from a person in the young single adult branch and he gave us a referral for a lady that he gave the Book of Mormon too.  She is very devoted to her church, but she let us help her clean up some stuff in the kitchen, and she said we came at just the right time.  One of the people that we found also came to church! His name is Gary Dixon, and he is a Jamaican, Rastafarian.  So cool!!  He said in the past, he hasn't liked going to church because everyone judges him for his dreadlocks, but I think he felt pretty welcomed into the ward here.  Also, a miracle happened and Jaydlyn (a recent convert's granddaughter and her Dad) came to church! Before, the Dad wouldn't ever let Jaydlyn come at all, but after Sister Stanfill, Jaydlyn, Jodi (the recent convert), and I fasted about a month ago so he could come, we saw the result. Ahh!

As far as other happenings this week, we still haven't caught the creature that is in our apartment.  We think it is a rat, but the only person that has seen it is Sister Stanfill and the way she describes it makes it seem too big to be a rat, but it keeps eating up the door leading into the pantry, and as a result, we have to put all of our food in the tiny fridge that we have.  We have about 7 traps out, but it outsmarts them!  Maybe we will just have to get up in the middle of the night or let a stray cat into our apartment or something.  I'm sick of it.  Who cares about cockroaches anymore?

Another thing is, our air conditioning has not been working for a couple days now and I wake up dripping sweat to sweat some more on our run lol.  Only in Texas.  At least it makes me really appreciate the air conditioning in other places like the library we are at right now :)

Also, this week, Sister Stanfill took me out to get pizza with her this week. It was a break well-needed after biking for miles.

Also, I got to see Sister Eggett again at our meeting in McAllen.  The meeting was awesome because we got to see how humble our mission president is.  He basically told us that he lacks some faith too, and that is why we didn't reach our goal.

The picture of me and the Acai bowl was of one of our favorite members, Sister Spencer.  She made my dream come true of eating an Acai bowl too because I have really been craving those lately.

Con amor,

Sister Findlay

Monday, August 1, 2016

9 Month Mark!

Well, this week, a lot of cool miracles happened.  We found lots of less actives that we haven't had any luck finding earlier.  I think a  lot of it had to do with our new SCHEDULE CHANGE!!! It is so exciting! Instead of having study time for 3 hours straight in the morning, and then lunch, and then going out to work, we only have study time for 2 hours (personal and comp) and then go out and find primarily less actives from 10-12 and then we come back and eat lunch and study for an hour from 12-2.  It is perfect! Nobody is ever usually home around 12-2 anyway and plus, that is pretty much the hottest time of the day.  Going out and working at 10 is so much better! I feel like President Torres will start making many more changes which will help us be better missionaries.

Speaking of being a better missionary, I read the talk called the Fourth Missionary.  It talks a lot about putting off the natural man and being a better missionary by putting you heart and mind into the work as well as your might and strength.  I think there is always more to improve on, but hopefully I will be able to do that to bless people's lives that much more.

Have I told you before how nice the people here in Texas were before? This week, even, a female pastor from a baptist church, let us in to share our message.  She said that she would pray about it too! Also, it's just amazing to me that right after we introduce ourselves, the people here will usually ask if we want a water and usually let us use their bathroom too.  It's awesome.

Also, funny thing that keeps on happening is that the Bishop's family (Hawaiian), whenever they invite us over to eat, they always have something that I have been craving.  The first time it was salmon, then mochi (Hawaiian dessert), then CURRY, and this last time we had shiuyu chicken (pronounced like Show you...dont know how to spell it haha like a gingery chicken).  But seriously, they just know me too well.  Even this last time, I told Sister Stanfill, I hope they have Shiuyu Chicken, and then we came and guess what? There it was.  Ask and ye shall receive 

Also, this week, on the way to exchange with my past trainer on the mission, we got a little lost going into Corpus Christi and before we knew it, we were crossing a bridge over the ocean haha.  I promise it was on accident.  Such a tender mercy though.  Even though the beaches here aren't like California, it was still the big, vast ocean.

Love you :)
Sister Findlay