Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

 Well, this week was AWESOME!!! It was so much fun :) It was my companion, Sister Castro's 20th birthday this week and we got to celebrate it by first waking up and going into the living room to exercise and seeing balloons, streamers, and party hats everywhere.  Then, I ended up teaching everyone a lesson on how to surf.  We did that for our exercise then, she opened her presents from us.  During lunch, we ate with the other missionaries around where we live at a Mexican restaurant. 

During the day we had a double meal appointment and I had fun telling everyone it was her birthday.  When we came home, Sister Wanner (our roommate) had some brownies ready with lots of candles.  We ate that with ice cream.  Then, we took an adventure by going up to our attic, but one Sister Tupou and I had the guts to actually stay up there for a little bit.  Anyway, it was waaay fun! It is so much fun living with so many sisters.

Also, this week, I got to be in the same area that I started my mission in.  I got to see some of the members, and even got to encourage my recent convert over there to get back to church (she hasn't gone for a month and a half).  Also, I got to be companions with my MTC comp again.  We had a lot of fun!!
Also, some cool miracles happened.  Something that President Torres has advised us to do is instead of asking people if they have a minute, ask if we could say a prayer over their home to bless it.  One night, we didn't have a lot of plans set up, and we needed to contact some referrals to reach our goals.  When I looked at the referrals we had, I felt that we needed to go to this one apt complex, but we only had one referral there.  Then, I handed the sheet over to Sister Castro, and she said the same thing.  That referral is a family and they are now new investigators and then they referred us to Pino (this 21 year old girl from Mexico).  We knocked on her door, she answered, and cheered up when we said that we could bless her home.  She immediately let us in and after Sister Castro's prayer, she cried, and said that that never happens.  We were able to testify that it was the Spirit.  She wants us to come back too! 

Also, on Sunday, we had a lady that was just reactivated bring her granddaughter.  But that was really cool too because when we went over the grand-daughter (Victoria) said she didn't want to go.  Then, Sister Castro and I sang "I am a Child of God" with her Ukelele and after I asked, "Are you sure you don't want to go to church?" Then, she said, "I want to go now."  She felt the Spirit, and went!! Also, she really wants to get baptized.

Monday, October 24, 2016

"Sister Friendly"

Dearest Friends and Family,

So sorry, but I left home without my camera today.  I completely forgot it :/, but at least I can write about how my week went  This week was really sad but also very spiritual.  One of the first things we found out this week was that our really cool investigator, Nina, passed away.  She is the same age as Mom, too!! It was totally unexpected.  Nina was really sick, but I thought she would recover. My companion and I were so shocked that we couldn't even pay attention to anything that her mom told us that day.  I was fully expecting to see her there when we knocked on her apartment door because we only set the appointment up two days before.  We didn't get to go to the funeral because we went be a day late, too.  However, thanks so much to God's perfect plan of salvation, I will be able to see Nina again and will be able to be baptized for her like she wanted to do next Sunday!  I know for sure that she will be okay and she is in a better place now. 

Another thing that happened this week was that we did an exchange with some sisters that live in La Joya (really far from our area) and we were supposed to meet them at a church that was in McAllen at 5.  We got a text from them at 4:40 saying they were about to be on their way.  Then, they texted us at 5:10 saying "8 miles away." Missionaries are always late, but what really worried us is that they weren't answering their phone calls or text messages.  It was getting late and the thunder and lightning storm was coming fast.  When it became 6 o'clock, Sister Enfield and I were pretty worried about them, not knowing what happened.  After calling the district leader and zone leaders, I decided to call President.  When he answered he told us that he was in Brownsville (about an hour away) but that he would be there in 20 minutes.  He got there at around 6:30 with the assistants.  Everyone pretty much was informed by then, but at around 6:45 they showed up around the corner and turns out they lost the phone somewhere by their apartment and got really lost because the GPS wasn't updated.  That was a crazy day.  At least a very sweet member offered us a ride over to McAllen and was there to comfort us.  After, her husband surprised us by having all the missionaries over for dinner to have a little ward coordination meeting.  The Harding family is by far my favorite members.  The little kids even knew me as "Sister Friendly" the second time I visited them.

Even if we aren't finding very many prepared people, there are always the members that we can count on.  They care about us so much and I really do feel like they are my family her in Texas.  

Another thing that Sister Castro and I got to do was teach seminary.  Let me tell you the sacrifice it is to teach seminary on the mission.  It means that instead of waking up at 6:30, you have to wake up at 4:30 and do exercises barely even having time to look at the lesson plan, and then going to teach intimidating teenagers while missing out on the only day of the week that your missionary zone plays soccer.  It was hard for me to have a good attitude about that one, but our zone leaders were nice enough to let us have another soccer day on Thursday.  It all worked out! It actually was fun to teach seminary and share our testimonies with them.  I'm grateful for the opportunity, and I know that sacrifice brings blessings!

Something that I read this week was in Doctrine and Covenants section 10.  I just love it because even though Satan can do many things, the work of the Lord will never fail because God has it all under control.  I know that is true.

Love You,
Sister Findlay

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week of Spiritual Highs

Dear Friends and Family,

This week, we were blessed to have Elder Kopischke come to the mission!! We had a big mission meeting with half of the missionaries (from Harlingen, Mission, and McAllen) and then Sister Castro and I got to hear from him again the next day at the Mission Leadership Council.  It was sooo cool! He even called me out to do a little role play of setting up an exchange for the sisters.  He basically told me I was doing it all wrong and pretty much all the STLs (sister training leaders) were doing it all wrong by setting them up with the district leaders instead of the actual sisters.  It's okay now though because I am improving.  Elder Kopischke also called out our mission president, President Torres, that he needs to stop having missionaries that are about to go home as zone leaders, STLs, and assistants to the President. You know what that means?? I might just be a regular missionary again! I would probably really like that! This week there was one night where I didn't have to call any district leaders or sisters.  I FINALLY could write in my journal!!  

Some points that I really liked of what else Elder Kopischke said is that he simply told us to all relax!! He basically was like God will take care of it--just have the faith!! I really like that because especially this transfer I have just been stressing out so much.  Another thing he said is that we all need to become one with Jesus Christ.  It talks about it in John 17: 20-24.  Then he talked about how all the priesthood ordinances in the Church are so that we can become one with Christ.

Honestly, I just love meetings so much.  Partly because of the free food we get haha, but also because they just motivate me to be better and you can feel the Spirit soo strong!

It has really been a good week! I went on an exchange with Sister Wanner and Sister Sanchez.  Sister Wanner had only 7 days in the mission, but was great! I had fun being with YSA again for the day.  Also, when Sister Sanchez came with me in my area, she was just soo jealous of this great area.  I really love it.  The members are soo great!

Oh!!! I almost forgot to tell you about our adventure last Monday!! We got a call saying that we should get an oil change, so we took it in, and we didn't have anything to do during the meantime, so we decided to walk to HEB (a great grocery store in Texas).  Also, it got it's name from Howard E. Butt or something HAHAHA. We thought it was just a couple blocks down, but it ended up being about a mile away.  We had SOO much fun though! It was fun to just have time to spare.  We even got two samples of sushi and switched our tags in hopes they wouldn't recognize us hahaha.

Love you,
Sister Findlay

Monday, October 10, 2016

Cultural diversity!

Dear Family and Friends,

I now have a companion originally from the Dominican Republic named Sister Castro!!! She is so cool!! We are constantly laughing and she is teaching me the Dominican way of saying, "Ehhh, bueno, ya tu sabes," and a cool song to make it rain.  She is literally so funny and can relate to the sisters so easily.  I am so happy!  We are going to speak in Spanish at least one entire day every week. Now I have had conversations in Spanish with people from Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Colombia, Spain, Peru, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and some others that I cant remember right now.

Also, it is really fun in our house now because there are six instead of four, and now we have someone from Haiti (Sister Cademis), someone from Tonga (Sister Tupou), and my companion.  It is awesome.  Sister Cademis has only lived in the US for 2 years and she is fluent in English, Creole, French, and is learning Spanish. That is who I went on an exchange this week.  See pictures!

This week, it was pretty hard to actually get a lot of things done because I got sick one day and had to stay in, and then we had transfers before that and then meetings every day as well. It was a little hard, but it is alright.  I love the members here! I got to introduce Sister Castro to several of them.  Also, one day, we went and visited Sister Hernandez, and she has been on my mind a lot lately, so when we came she said it was the perfect time. We shared with her Alma 36:36-37.  It was super great! Those are some really cool scriptures :)

Also, we had our monthly leadership meeting with President this week, and a cool thing that he wants us to start doing is to not even say, "How are you?" But to say right away that we are representatives of Jesus Christ and bear testimony to people right away.  It helps us so much to use our time more effective and find more!

Love You,
Sister Findlay

Monday, October 3, 2016

Best Week Ever Until.....

Well this week, I felt like it was the best week ever until Sunday rolled around.  We were preparing for a baptism, but it turns out that Alex never showed up to church. Satan can really get a hold on us if we let him.  

On the other hand, we found some really cool people who came to church this week! Their names are Nina and Javi!  On Monday, we showed up at our meal appt. with the Rawlings family (he is in the stake presidency) and taught the Restoration, and invited Javi to be baptized.  He is really excited for that! We thought he was going to be in a different area, but then it turns out that he stays with his step-dad about 3X each week, so we can still teach him! Yay!! He even played volleyball with us this week at 6:30 in the morning!! That was pretty fun.

Also, Nina is a super cool, spunky lady we met.  She was taught from previous missionaries, and has about 20 cats in her apartment.  Her personality is kind of like Sister McGrath's (shout-out) haha.  That's why I love teaching her so much! She asks so many questions too! Also, she loved conference!

Also, this week, we played soccer one morning, and I scored a goal by dribbling it down the whole field and scored with my left foot! I am so glad we play soccer here.  Also, later in the week, we played basketball.  Sooo fun! 

So, transfers are happening tomorrow...again.  We found out that Sister Barton is leaving, but I am staying.  Also, there will be 6 sisters living in our house now, so that will be fun.  Also, me and my new companion will now be STL's for over 22 sisters!! Crazy! Hopefully my new companion can run so I can run all the stress away! I don't know how I will handle that one, but God's got it under control lol. 

Oh!! Exciting news is that I went to Chuck'E'Cheeses for the first time in my life!! The pizza was sooo good. I don't know what everyone was talking about.  That was pretty funny because it was a member's birthday party, but they said their co-workers would be there and we could talk to them.  They were VERY stand-offish, and it was hard to get them to even look at us.  Oh well, at least we got to go.

Also, conference was so good!! I think I would agree with my dad about Eyring's talk on gratitude being my favorite. "He expressed the benefits of being grateful on Sunday. Keeping the Sabbath day holy would bring so much joy and happiness that one couldn't contain it all." Apply those messages this week! 

Have a great week! Love you all!
Hermana Findlay