Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Nasty Sundaes (Jan 22st-28th)

Big News! Only one week until Hermana Hendricks's Birthday! Want to send her a card or package? The address for the mission home is on the left hand side of her blog page, under "Want to send Emily mail?". She will be picking up mail from the mission home on the 7th, so her birthday!

And now for this weeks email:

"So first off... we're moving!  Just to a different apartment.  They renewed the elder's lease and then closed the area, and now that our lease is up, we are moving into their apartment.  It's one bedroom instead of 2, but the closet is huge, so I won't have to use another room as my closet :). 
 
So for the time being, mail should just be sent to the mission home.  I will be getting mission home mail feb 7th and Feb 18th because of zone training and transfers.
 
This week was amazing, and I really wish I could just tell you so I didn't have to write it.  Or maybe just ship you my journal so I don't have to rewrite it all.  But i'll just do it :) So I hope you enjoy it!
 
Tuesday:
We had an amazing lesson with the R family.  It was our first official lesson with them, after the fhe last week and so we talked about the Book of Mormon and family prayer.  And we got to know them a little better.  They are such a cute family and it is wonderful to teach them.  And the members who helped us were absolutely perfect for the lesson!
 
Wednesday:
This was a day full of lessons, and trying to find people to teach.  The night before we were supposed to meet up with the elders so they could help give someone a blessing, but their schedule changed and so the blessing didn't happen.  But we swung by Wednesday to give the blessing and the husband was home, and he told us that he would really like the blessing (as opposed to his wife, who originally was receiving it).  So the elders gave him a blessing.  And we shared Ether 12:27, through Jesus Christ, weak things become strong, and testified that even through this trial is difficult, through Christ, everything will be okay.
 
Thursday:
One of our investigators is going through a rough time and her husband was in the hospital so we swung by again to see her and make sure everything was going alright.  And we made her brownies!
We also had a meeting with the Relief Society president in the ward to try and strengthen the visiting teaching because it's really lacking, unfortunately.  But we have some great ideas and we're so excited to talk to her again and get them implemented.
 
Friday:
We had an awesome lesson with a recent convert who lives in our new area.  She is so sweet and it was a great opportunity to get to know her. 
Later that night we had a good lesson with C, one of our investigators.  We read 1 Nefi (Nephi, she spelled it the spanish way) 1 with her and talked about the scriptures and what was going on.  The member who game with us bore her testimony of el Libro de Mormon and invited C to come to church.  It was a beautiful lesson to be part of.
 
Saturday:
We started off the day meeting the missionary couple in charge of housing and touring our new apartment (this is when we learned we were moving feb 1st).  And as we were in the new apartment, we found out that our member help for later couldn't make it.  So we had a lesson in which we needed help but no one was available.  But the couple, (the S's) said that they were free at 2 and would meet us at our appointment and help.
So at 2 we meet the S's and we taught A about keeping the Sabbath day holy.  And I think it was the best lesson we've ever had with him.  Friday night, a member had given us a quart ice cream and so we used it in this lesson.  We started off asking Abraham if he liked ice cream and then scooped him a bowl.  And then we asked him what he likes to do throughout the week.  And everything that was keeping the Sabbath day holy activities (like going to church, reading scriptures, spending time with family, etc.) was a good topping (candy, cookie crumbles, etc.)  and other activities (like basketball, videogames, going to the movies, etc.) was a non-ice cream topping (like hot sauce, salad dressing, spices, you get the picture).  And so we decorated A's sunday and gave it to him to eat and he didn't really look like he was going to enjoy it.  And then we likened it to the Sabbath day and how all activities are good, but only some are good on a Sundae... (get it?)  SO then all of us ate real sundays and talked about the good activities we can do on sunday.  And Elder and Sister S were so much help.  A wants to get baptized but is waiting from permission from him mom, but sister S was able to share and bear testimony that if he bears his testimony to his mother, her heart will be softened.  And then A bore his testimony to us and it was so powerful spiritually.  He is just an amazing kid and so ready, we're just waiting for the Lord's time.
 
Sunday:
We had ward conference and it was amazing.  AND C CAME TO CHURCH!  I don't know if you all can sense the excitement in this.  It was amazing.  Hna Callaway gets tapped on her shoulder after Sacrament meeting and we turn around and it's C!  how incredible is that?  And the lessons that day in church were so wonderful and spirit filled.  The stake president here is amazing.
After church we had a wonderful lesson with Al and R and they taught us the plan of salvation because they had learned it in church.  And we were able to get their address to send it to the elders who live near them to help teach.  And we put them on date for baptism!!!  It was a very exciting lesson.
And then we had a lesson with L later that night.  We shared Learning to forgive, in this month's Ensign and talked with her about repairing her relationship with her sister.  We gave her a blank card and challenged her to write her sister a note and mail it to try and rebuild their relationship.
And then an amazing lesson with N using the restoration DVD.  She is amazing and so prepared.  But everything happens in the Lord's time, and after that lesson she understands a little more about Joseph Smith.  Hopefully though, she keeps reading, because if we don't do our part and put forth the effort, God won't be as willing to answer.
 
Monday:
We had a wonderful lesson with a recent convert/part member family about family history.  We had them first start by drawing out their trees and as they did this, the mom kept texting her mother for names, and her son was really involved too.  So then we tried to set up their familysearch.org accounts!  Family history is amazing and it's great to see so many people get excited about finding their family members."

And a few pictures!
 Hermana Hendricks and Hermana Callaway stopped for Sonic and figured they'd take a picture :)
Doesn't she just look so happy?
 This is A with his Sunday Sundae, the nasty one :)
Em sent this pic with the caption "How Mexican women heat their tortillas"

Sunday, January 26, 2014

More Active Less Actives (Jan 15th-21st)

"This past week went by crazy fast and I don't quite know what to talk about.  But don't worry, I'll come up with something.

Wednesday:
Missionary work is exhausting and I was really really tired Wednesday.  I hadn't really slept well the couple nights before and so I really was running on low energy.  As we were in the car though, I remember listening to a song that came on and I heard exactly what I needed to hear; "pause to help and lift another, finding strength beyond my own."  And that has been my motto the rest of the week, finding strength beyond my own.  I'm here on the Lord's mission and not my own, his work, not mine and working off of his strength, not mine.  And I prayed Wednesday for the continued strength and for the ability to sleep because I was tired of being exhausted.

Thursday:
I swear I didn't sleep any better than the night before, but I woke up completely rejuvenated and feeling like I had so much more energy.  The Lord answers prayers!  Thursday we also had exchanges so Hna Callaway went to Horizon and Hna Oxley came here!  And that meant I lead out!  It was a great experience because we had wonderful lessons!  Just incredible.  I'd heard that exchanges bring miracles, but I didn't quite believe it.  Well it's true!  Good things happen on exchanges.

Friday:
We switched companions (back to normal) and then Hna Callaway and I studied.  We also ended up after district meeting later because President (the mission president) had come down to El Paso and was doing interviews!  I love President and Sister Miller, they are so incredible and amazing.  In my interview with President, he asked what I was studying.  And I told him how I was studying the conference talks from October using a pattern I learned in the CCM (Doctrine~ Invitation~ Promised Blessings) and how I loved this pattern because we are (as missionaries, teachers, etc.) supposed to teach by this patter.  And then president had me practice with him!  It was a little weird at first, but incredible (I think that's my word of the day...). 
Friday we also had a member, who's husband and daughter were in the hospital so we went, with the elders, to give them blessings.  I know that I'm in the right place right now as a missionary, but the hospital was amazing to be in.  It explain it a little, is it felt comfortable and like I could spend more time there.  Which was the exact opposite of everyone else who was there. 

Saturday:
We had some really weird lessons.  Just like members getting confused at which hermanas we were and just weird things being said.  We spent a lot of our Saturday helping a sister in one of the neighboring wards with her organizing and her kidney replacement application.  Well, actually Hna Callaway helped with that, while I sat in the next room organizing our new area.  Honestly it should have been me, because of my desire for a medical background, but it worked out just fine. 

Sunday:
WE HAD 2 MENAS ACTIVAS FAMILIES AT CHURCH!!!!  As sacrament was starting we get a phone call from an unfamiliar number.  And while we don't normally answer calls, we went to a different room and called them back and it turns out it was Hna S asking is it was too late to come to church!  And so we waited for them out by the door and while we were waiting we met another less active family that came to church that day!  Prayers are answered!  And it was a great sacrament meeting too! 
Sunday night we received a text from a member saying she needed to see us, but we were headed to our new area and she wasn't home.  But it just happened that she was going to the same street that we were going to be on.  So we tried our first house and then visited a member who just had back surgery.  And then we went to go visit a less active member.  Well the original Hermana who texted us went with us to visit the new sister and it was amazing because they were able to connect and talk and it was great hermanamiento (fellowshipping).  And out of the lesson we asked the Hermana what she needed, and she's like, oh I just wanted to talk to you.  That's the Spirit right there, telling her to contact us, because we needed her in our lesson and we didn't even realize it.  How INCREDIBLE is that?

Monday:
And then yesterday we had an incredible lesson with N.  During the lesson we started talking about prophets and we through that we were going to lose her, because she really doesn't like the Pope and that translates into disliking anyone who might possibly seem like the Pope.  But through the spirit and just opening our mouths we were able to teach about how the prophet is different and how he truly is called of God.  I borrowed her computer, pulled up President Monson's conference address and challenged her to watch it, pray about the things he says, and pray about if he's a prophet.  She's so busy but I really hope she did it, or does it, because as much as she wants and answer, she's not going to ever get one if she doesn't do her part.  She's amazing and so prepared for this change in her life."

Em sent another video link, and this one is a favorite of mine too :) its the 2014 youth theme song:




Emily also sent some fun pictures this week :)
 This is a little girl who turned 8 and invited the hermanas to her birthday party :) Em said it was fun and the cake was good :)
Em was at a members house for dinner when the 3yr old let all the puppies out. She got to help put them all back and got to cuddle with them for a little bit :)


Busy Busy Week (Jan 7th-14th)

Sorry this is so late! I'm still working on getting into the habit of posting her emails quickly.

"Honestly I have no idea where to start.  This week has just been crazy and now as I reflect, it's crazy to think everything happened in just 7 days.
 
So last week I told y'all how my area changed.  We practically doubled in size and so we were going to use this past week to explore, except for the fact that we have so many appointments in our original area.  So it was a week of exploring, budgeting time, budgeting miles, praying or patience and just having awesome missionary experiences.
 
Monday:
Our p-day last week.  We had a productive p-day and it was really nice.  That night we had a FHE with a family.  Since it was 3 Kings day, we had rosca (the cake/bread with baby jesus in it).  And then we had member help and a lesson planned with a former investigador.  Well, he wasn't home and so we turned to the member and said, "we think we have your brother as a referral, is he home?"  She was super surprised but said yes, and we followed her to her house and had a lesson with her brother.  It was incredible!  We get in and start teaching him and tell him that we had received his name from a member of barrio 12 and he told us "Oh I already know why you're here, I told my mom to call the missionaries."  So with his information, Hna Callaway and I are just sitting then kinda shell shocked wondering what just happened... and we go on to teach about the church, and a little about the Book of Mormon.  We ask him (A) when we can come back and he says "how about tomorrow?" And of course we say yes!
 
Tuesday:
Mostly planning, since Monday was p-day.  We were planning on visiting Albert at 6:30, but we got out of dinner on time and as we were driving to his house, we swung by C's to see if she was home.  She was, we didn't have much time, but we wanted to see if she was reading the Book of Mormon.  And she said she hadn't been.  So we read it with her.  And it was incredible to see the change that happened as we read together.  It was obvious that she was feeling the Holy Ghost and the influence and power of the Book of Mormon and I am so glad that we followed the impression to stop by in the short time that had between appointments.  We haven't had a chance to meet with her yet since then, but I'm hoping she continued reading.
Because of C, we were late to see A, but we still got there!  And once again, it was an amazing lesson.  We had given A a Libro de Mormon, but were bringing him an English one because he said he'd prefer to read it in English.  But when we got to the lesson, he said he'd stick with Spanish (yay we don't need to pass him off to English).  And not only that, but he read the introduction to el Libro de Mormon 3 or 4 times so that we could understand it better.  We read through again and talked more about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ brings changes and how we will become closer to Christ through the book of Mormon. 
And then we had a lesson with a less active family and talked about goals for this year.  The Hna said that her goal this year is to start praying with her husband.  It was a really cute lesson because they haven't been active in a while, (and when we taught him goals, going back to church was not one of them) but the fact she wants to start praying is a good one.  Strength begins with prayers and we truly can strength families by praying together.
 
Wednesday:
We had an economia activity Wednesday morning (um... it's a relief society activity, I don't know what it'd be in English...).  And we invited all of our investigadores, all of our menos activos and none of them showed up.  Well, hna and I were already there so we stayed and learned a lesson on goals and then learned how to make really cool jellos (I will send you the pictures with more details).  Basically though it's clear jello with a jello flower on the inside.  It was so much fun, but really a bummer that we couldn't get anyone there.
Later that day we were trying to contact other referrals and so we stopped by this house.  And met the family just as they were running out of the house to go to the hospital.  So while we didn't really have the chance to talk to them, we were able to say a prayer with them before they left.
And then we explored our new area-Vista del Sol.  And we found a less active young adult.  We thought we were only going to have a 15 minute lesson with her, but she talked to us for close to an hour.  It was crazy, but she's really sweet!  And she's excited to finally have sister missionaries.
 
Thursday:
Thursday we received a call from the mission office, that they needed baptism records from a couple recent converts.  We were really really shocked about getting this call, because they should have been turned in a while ago, and because they other elders had left (home) or had been transferred (up north).  So that was a fun experience to try and figure out, and I believe we're still trying to get everything sorted out today.  Lessons Thursday were good though.
 
Friday:
District training in the morning.  Spent the afternoon driving around the Vista del Sol area, trying to figure out where people lived and who was active/inactive.  W
Then we had another lesson with A and his girlfriend R.  And they are just INCRECIBLE!  We started the lesson off asking if A had read and he then explained to us the whole section in the beginning of the el Libro de Mormon, about the testimony of Joseph Smith.  He taught us what happened, and then he explained to us what happened, as we sat there and listened with probably the biggest, goofiest smiles on our faces.  We then taught the beginning of the first lesson (the restoration) because it was R's first lesson.  And about halfway through, they asked us what "laws of the church" they needed to follow to be baptized.  And then we talked about the baptismal interview, the word of wisdom, the law of chastity, the law of tithing and following the laws of the land.  And their response was incredible.  They sat there listening and afterwards said "well, those make sense.  They're not that difficult to do."  Something every missionary wants to hear, it was incredible. 
 
Saturday:
We had an awesome lesson with one of our recent converts using President Uchtdorf's first presidency message from this month's Ensign.  It's called "The Best time to Plant a Tree" and I recommend that everyone reads it. 
 
Sunday:
We had appointments Sunday night that fell through and so we went around trying to contact formers and less actives.  Probably the best experience we had that night was running into Ch, a less active teen.  We went to see his mom (and the rest of the family), but he answered the door and then spent 2 hours talking to us.  It was amazing.  Part of our purpose as missionaries is to be interested not interesting and this clearly came into affect that night.  We were able to invite him back to church, help him feel comfortable talking to us, but also we found out one possible reason on why the family stopped coming to church.  It was awesome and a trust testament to why we, as people- not just missionaries, just sometimes need to listen.
 
Monday:
Yesterday was planning again (can you believe that?  The week went by so fast!)  Our dinner was with Hna G and it was interesting.  We ended up being late to our next appointment, but it was an experience that was important to me.  I had received the feeling to ask her about her family history work throughout dinner, but kept pushing it back.  Then as we were about to end, she had a phone call, her friend showed up and we didn't quite know what to do.  So we stayed and talked to her friend, about her genealogy (she's from barrio 12) and when Hna got off the phone, she brought her family photo album over and started sharing it with me.  That's when I realized I actually had to ask her about her family history.  And she shared that she hadn't really been good about doing it.  But when I told her that she could now save pictures onto familysearch.org she got really excited and now, at some point in time, Hna Callaway and I will be helping with her family history.  Luckily for us, the family history center has a scanner :)
And Monday night we also had a noche de hogar (fhe :)). We had received a call earlier in the day inviting us to it, because it was a member family who was inviting one of our referrals.  So we rearranged our schedule to go and we showed up and they announced that we were going to eat dinner and then have a lesson.  I think I was more full last night than I was on Christmas or Thanksgiving... it was painfully full too.  And then after we ate, we were informed that the Hermanas will now be giving us a lesson.  Uh?  Really? Luckily, we had through about the possibility that we would be giving the lesson and had briefly planned a lesson on goals.  So it actually went really well."

she sent the link to a video she said y'all should watch:

and some pictures:

 The Jello flower she made with the relief society
The baby Jesus from the Rosca cake

Monday, January 6, 2014

First Week of a New Year (January 1-6)

We got a bit of an unexpected email from Emily today! Her normal P-day isTtuesday, but because they have transfers this week, P-day was switched to Monday. Here is her letter:

So I'm writing on a Monday instead of Tuesday because it is TRANSFER WEEK!  But other exciting news, I am not getting transferred and therefore, I am staying in EL PASO for another 6 weeks (at least... I'm hoping more, because I've heard the farther north you go, the harder it is, and the less Spanish you'll use... so I'll stay in Texico as long as the Lord will keep me here)
 
So exciting things from this week....Well, let's start with New Year's eve
 
Tuesday (New Year's Eve)
What a great time to make goals.  Actually, I'm still working on that little detail of the new year, but it's coming along.  Here is a video we've been showing all week for the New Year (http://www.mormonchannel.org/mormon-channel-daily/385?v=910930409001).  It gives me goose bumps every time I watch it and I've seen it probably 4 times in the last 3 days.  So watch it and learn.  This year is going to be a great year.  For me I'll have a full year on a mission (which is super exciting) and it's a year to grow. And for everyone else (not on a mission) it's still a great time to grow.  I love in the video how it talks about each day is the first day of the rest of our life!
 
We had another p-day without the car but it was really productive.  And we only had one appointment that night, because we used the time for planning, because of appointments we had Monday during planning. 
 
Wednesday (2014!!)
Amazing as being in 2014 is, it was kind of anti-climatic.  We went to bed at 10:30 the night before, work up at 6:30 the next day and went to do missionary work.  We went and served a member in another ward, and then cancelled our other appointment because Hermana Callaway was sick and the lady in charge of medical stuff down in El Paso told her to go the ER, but then Sister Miller, told her to wait.  SO we went to the ER and then waited for a ride to dinner.  At dinner Hermana received a blessing from the Elders and then we went to go teach lessons that night.  The members that helped us were amazing!  Hermana C has helped us before, but Wednesday we had her and her husband helping and it was awesome!  He served his mission in DC and has been home for about 10 years, but he is still an amazing missionary.  It created a desire in me to still be an awesome missionary 10 years after I come home, but also to go out with the missionaries and help teach with them.  One of our lessons was with a couple teenage girls who when we talked about goals, said they didn't have any.  And no motivation to do anything.  SO that was an interesting lesson.
 
Thursday:
We had an amazing church tour Thursday!  Our investigador has had several baptism dates, but won't come to church, because he says he has to get things in order.  So we thought that if he had a tour of the church first, and we talked more specifically about what happens at church, he'd come.  The tour was amazing, the spirit was strong and I know that he felt it.  But he still didn't come to church.  Such is the life of a missionary.
We also had an awesome lesson with Hermana H, a less active/recently moved into the ward sister.  Her son is in jail and she has been trying to find someone from the church to go visit him and help him, and she's been trying to find someway to get him a Book of Mormon.  But the last time she brought one, they wouldn't let her give it to him.  But we called and found out that if the book went directly from a company to the jail, they would accept it and give it to him.  And so we ordered one off of store.lds.org and sent it to him.  We also set Hermana up on familysearch.org and told her to play around with it and we'd help the next time we came back.
We get to our next appointment and the parents weren't home.  The kids are like "oh yeah, our brother had an appendicitis and is in the Hospital."  And we're shocked because it's the first we've heard about it.  Luckily the hospital was located in the area of some of the Elders in our ward (Las Tierras) and so we asked them to call if they weren't in a lesson.  Less than a minute later, Las Tierras calls and we relay the information and ask them to visit if they already didn't have appointments.  And after I said that, Elder Richards told me that, not only had all their appointments cancelled, but they had been praying about what they should do when we called.  That right there is the power of inspiration and how we are doing the Lord's work and not ours.  The elders went to the hospital to visit the S family and to see how Ca was doing and they get there and nobody is at the front desk to help them find the room.  And the kids back home weren't helpful because they didn't remember the number.  But somehow (I haven't asked yet) they figured out the room number and were able to give Ca a blessing.  We still haven't had a chance to visit with the family yet, but it was a relief to know that the elders could help us and that it was the plan all along.
 
Friday:
We had zone training and it was really good!  And then we had cleaning checks.  And we passed!
Dinner was with the G family, and then afterwards Hermana and Hermano helped us with our lessons.  We had a lesson with a new person named F, and the beginning of the lesson was kind of scary because Hno and F got into a really animated discussion about physical evidences of the Book of Mormon.  And then the lesson calmed down, we were able to share a scripture and then Hno. and Hna. were able to share their experience in joining the Church and other spiritual experiences they had.  Unfortunately we missed our following appointment, but the appointment with F was really good.
 
Saturday:
I biked for the first time Saturday.  And I learned several things 1) it's really hard to get on a bike that's too big (even if it's just slightly too big), 2) it's really hard to get off a bike that's too big, 3) I need to find a bike that actually fits me and then my taller companion can ride the one I had since the elders took back their bikes.
We also received transfer calls Saturday night!  We are both staying in the area and in El Paso, BUT they are closing down an area next to ours (most likely because of lack of Spanish missionaries coming in this transfer).  So our ward goes from 3 companionships to 2 and our area practically doubles... Eeek.  So exciting, but so much work to do!  And the good news is that we will be puro carro (pure car), meaning we don't have to share anymore, but since are area is so big and we don't want to use our miles, we probably will still be walking/biking some days (or partial days).  So it's sad to see the elders go, but it's super exciting for us!  And it's a big change....
 
Sunday:
We started church at 9.  And we had another lesson with the teenage girls (from Wednesday).  And they were able to think of goals!  And so we talked about goals and how we can achieve them and I shared this quote from Elder Ballard, that everyone can use and apply in their lives.
 "I am so thoroughly convinced that if we don't set goals in our life and learn how to master the techniques of living to reach our goals, we can reach a ripe old age and look back on our life only to see we reached but a small potential.  When one learns to master the principles of setting a goal, he will then be able to make a great difference in the results he attains in this life."
Goals are wonderful.  And that is why I am still working on figuring out what goals I want for this year, this transfer, the rest of my mission and then eventually the rest of my life. 
 
One of my goals right now is to study the General Conference talks.  I have been able to study them one at a time, usually taking a day or two (using 30 minutes of personal study) and it is amazing how much I can apply them to life!  As a missionary, but also just as a normal person.  They are so amazing!  I've been studying the October conference, but am looking forward to studying last April's before April 2014 conference happens. 

And a picture! Its the gift the elder gave her over christmas (see previous post)


Happy New Year from El Paso! (December 25th-31st)

Sorry this is so late, Winter Break got crazy and I forgot to update Emily's blog! Her is her last letter:

This past week has been interesting and a real test of my patience.  The car was still in the shop and we had communication problems with the ward mission leader, but as the new year is starting tomorrow, things will continue to work out.  A lesson learned over and over in the mission is that things always happen for a reason.  Always.  We just need to have faith that we are following God's plan and that we are doing everything we should be doing for everything else to work out.
 
Tuesday:
So car was in the shop and so we needed to depend on other sister missionaries to help us get around.  And so it was a good day, but really unproductive and so we don't really want to do that again (though we are today... elders have our car...).  Christmas eve was spent with a family in the ward and it was really nice.
 
Wednesday:
Christmas!  It was great being able to talk to you guys!  Have talking we went to the C family for dinner and we had a great time.  At one point in time the part of the family was watching a football game(?) and the rest were talking and the missionaries were all kinda bored, but then someone came over and brought a game.  And told us we were playing Apples to Apples.  And so we couldn't really come up with a reason not to and played.  And it was a lot of fun).  And after the C's we went to the V house and had another dinner, but also a really good conversation on how as missionaries we probably won't see the fruits of our labor but we still need to focus on the work and trust in God's plan for us.  The V were the first family I ate with when I came out into the field and it was a great comparison to see how much I'd grown in 1 month just in my ability to communicate and understand.  Oh and this morning we had a gift exchange with the elders in the ward.  Elder B gave me Smalls altoids, Simply orange juice and Great brand cereal, because by small and simple things, great things come to pass (Alma 37:6) and then he gave me a missionary planner that he had decorated to match the theme.  It was really creative :)  I have pictures.
 
Thursday:
Still no car.  And our early afternoon appointments cancelled and so we walked around trying to find new people to talk to.  Dinner this night was with a less active family and they took us to a Chinese buffet.  So much food!  But it was a really good time/lesson with them because we learned so much about who they are and their family.  And in talking about goals for the new year, we learned that Hermana actually  wants to come to church again.  We always thought the push was from Hermano, so it's good to see that both have somewhat of a little desire to return. 
 
Friday:
Still no car.  And every Friday we have district meeting at the chapel really close to our house.  So, after asking other sisters for a ride and not being able to find one, we just decided to walk.  We get to the chapel and find out, just as we get there that because of a funeral, they changed district meetings to the stake center, which is close, but not walking distance.  So we're stuck at our chapel with no way to get to the stake center.  And as we're on the phone with the zone leaders, the district leader and other sister missionaries trying to figure out how to get to district meeting.  And into the parking lot drives Hermana Va, the funeral was being held for her mother in law.  And when she sees how we're stuck, she tells us to get in the car and drives us to the stake center.  We have angels in our ward, and she is one of them.  As she drove us she says she wants to go out with us again and to let us know when we need help.  She's an angel.
We as missionaries are also really good ears.  Several appointments we had, we just went over and listened to people and tried to help them feel better.  That's one thing we've found is that even if people don't want to learn more about the Church, people really just like talking to use and telling us all they're problems because we're willing to listen.
We got the car back after dinner and I also got a bike today.  It was an old elder's bike and it's slightly smaller than the other ones, but am still looking for a bike that really fits. 
 
Saturday:
We had the car until about 6 because the elders had a baptism and needed it.  But the help of members is incredible.  Our ward covers a really big area and should really be split but we're waiting on members to pay tithing, and to reactive a lot of people.  (they need a new ward building so they need tithing to pay for it...).  We had members help us with an appointment, that fell through, so we decided to go check on a family that we haven't seen in a while.  J and Ve let us in and we had a 2 hour lesson.  Mostly it was the members talking, but it was really good because the family invited us back Sunday.
 
Sunday:
We walked to church because we had no car again.  Luckily, church was held in the normal place (no sudden changes ;)).  After church, the car was returned to us and we went about our usual day.  Except it was an "end of the rope" kind of a day.  Appointments cancelled while we were at church, no one was home, etc.  After dinner we set out again and as we were driving to the area of our 7:30 appointment, Hna Callaways says "we could try the Cr family..."  and I'm like "where do they live?"  "the opposite direction... we can try them some other time"  and as she said that, I did a U-turn and we went to go visit the Cr family.  They were home!  We had a short lesson with the mom, and she invited us over for next Monday to teach another lesson.  She says they want to come back to church and that it will be better in the near year.  It was really the spirit telling us to go because this is the family that various church leaders have requested we visit, but we have the hardest time getting a hold of them. 
After this we were driving to our 7:30 appointment and she cancels.  So we have nothing to do until our 8 appointment (J and Ve).  But we decided to find people to talk to them and it's amazing!  So we swung by A's house and try and give her a lesson, but she only has time for a short one, so we're left with more time.  And then we decided to check on investigadores and formers we haven't seen recently.  As we walk to T's apartment, we see her running out of the house because of an argument with her mother.  We were able to talk to her, share a scripture, pray, cheer her up and when we left, she felt calm enough to go back inside! It was amazing.  Then we had a lesson with a former investigator named Am, who just happened to be home.  And we set up another appointment with her this week!
And then the lesson with J and Ve went fantastic.  I'll be honest, I thought they were going to flake and not be there, but clearly I need to trust in the Lord more, because they were home and we had a most wonderful lesson!  They are waiting on an answer on what church is the one for their family to go.  They like the Mormon church but are waiting on their answer.  And we're willing to waiting with them and help them learn to search and recognize answers.  Things happen in God's time, not ours. 
 
Monday:
Yesterday was planning, but we had a great lunch with a member from the English ward, who wants us to teach her caretaker.  She was another lady who just needed someone to listen to her, and we listened :).  And we're headed back to help her prepare for her primary lesson this week, because she had a stroke and has problems reading, and so we're going to help her read the lesson so she can prepare.
 
And today is p-day!  We don't have the car again, so we're tagging along with the other sisters... Hopefully it will go better than last week.  Love you all and I hope you have a wonderful new year!!  Pictures will come next week, I forgot my card reader today...