Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Transfer 3! (Feb 12th- 17th)

A Day early and a little short, but here it is!

So this email won't be as long, because we have so so much to do today.  But news wise.... Hna Callaway is headed north and I am staying here.  And the area is being split in half! (so it's going back to the size it was my first transfer).  Hna Callaway and I are still in denial that she's leaving so this fact might come really suddenly tomorrow morning.  I'm going to miss her a ton, but I am excited to meet and start teaching with a new companion!
We had a lunch with several young moms in the ward and taught about the family proclamation.  It went well and we had lots of yummy food.
We had a noche de Hogar with a less active family in the ward.  We decided to teach using the family proclamation but we needed to make it interesting for the children, so we improvised.  We got 10 cups from an Hermana in the ward (the one we ate dinner with) and on them, wrote the 9 principles mentioned in The Family.  (to my family, can you name them?  Remember Mom's fhe???)
They are la fe, la oraction, el arrepentimiento, el perdon, el respecto, el amor, la compasion, el trabajo y los actividades recreativas edificantes (faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work and wholesome recreational activities).  So we would build up a pyramid using these principles/cups and then on top we put La Familia.  We talked about how we can build up our families but what happens if we neglect a principle.  We'd then pull it out and the pyramid falls down.  So it's a great object lesson and the kids have fun knocking down the family pyramid. 
We had a member come out with us for her first time and all our appointments fell through.  So we moved our 6:30 appointment earlier and it was wonderful!  The spirit of friendship was really strong there and it was incredible.  We were late to our correlation meeting, but so were the elders and during the meeting our dinner cancelled.  But then the S called (the couple missionaries who helped us move) and they wanted to get our table and put a different one in our apartment.  We told them we were free all night because our dinner and our appointments cancelled and they declared they were taking us out to dinner.  So we went out to dinner with the S and they are INCREDIBLE.  Just simply amazing.  And during dinner, when they realized that we had a free night they asked us to help moving furniture.  And we did, and it was incredible.  Sister S decided that since we'd probably never be in downtown El Paso again, she'd drive us around to see the sites!  It's so beautiful, like Seattle, but much more Mexican. 
A couple in the ward was married Tuesday and so we helped set up the wedding reception.  So much work, but we were glad to help.  And then we had some pretty awesome lessons.
We walked for 2 hours early Saturday afternoon, trying to contact members that lived close to our apartment but also to try and find people who are interested.  We just talk to people who are out but it was a pretty cool experience.  And probably we walked 3-5 miles, which isn't that much compared to other missionaries, but we've been spoiled with the car.  But the weather was beautiful.  85 and I got a little sun :) I love the weather down here.
Oh and we also got our transfer calls this night.  I don't think I've seen either of us, move to answer the phone as quickly as we did.  But yes, Hna Callaway is leaving.  But it's time to make new best friends :)
Honestly I don't remember much of what happened yesterday.  A lot of good byes for Hna and a lot of canceled lessons.  But life is great.  Missionary work is great! I love serving the Lord and I am so excited for these next 14 months!  Can any one believe I've been out 4 months?  I can't

Hermana Hendricks and Calloway with The S missionary couple (who helped them move and took them out to dinner)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Birth Week! (Feb 5th-11th)

Yay Emily turned 20! Wait, what??? Shes not allowed to be that old!!

So we had an awesome p-day.  So awesome (and so long ago...)  I don't really remember it.  But I do remember some other things.  Dinner was with a really sweet young family.  We ate with the mom and the kids and then tried to teach a Family Home Evening.  We taught about building our house upon the rock instead of the sand so that we will be strong when the storms of life come can be firm on our rock of Christ.  We taught the 3 year old the Wiseman and the Foolishman song, but he was more interested in the cookies we brought.  We then had a lesson planned that was cancelled right after dinner. And then we decided to go visit a family that we hadn't seen in a while.  So, with our member help, we visited this family and had a great lesson.  The family is going through a rough time, and so we were able to testify how faith in Christ will help, and how the gospel helps too.
Well, the night before we found out that the family we visited, their son was turning 15 and the mom wanted to get him a cake, but was strapped for cash.  So the day after, we ran to the store, pick up ingredients and made a beautiful boxed cake with 15 candles, which we later anonymously dropped off at their house.  We'll find out tonight how that all went.
We also had amazing lessons with everyone else.  One lesson was with E and we finished teaching her the Plan of Salvation.  In the pervious lessons we had taught preearth life, and our purpose on this life, so we reviewed those and focused on life after death.  She was so touched by everything we taught that we accepted baptism!  We are so excited to work with her and prepare her!
We spent the afternoon cleaning our old apartment so that they mission could close it.  And then we spent the night visiting people in the area, trying to contact members and figure out which ones are active (and then build relationships with them) and then find the ones who are less active and try and help them back to church.
I guess this day was my birthday ;).  So it was pretty much a normal missionary day, mixed in with birthday stuff.  Hna Callaway made me cinnamon rolls and so I ate those and opened presents.  And then we had zone training with all the other missionaries in the stake.  It was a really good training and we all learned a lot.  The zone leaders focused on apathy and how we, ourselves can recover from apathy but also how we can help the members recover from missionary work apathy.  They also showed this really cool video about how we need to have faith in Christ (
After zone training, Hna and I went to Sonic (on the advice of Mary) and then we met a member and went teaching.  We were able to meet one of our referrals, but he didn't have time for a lesson and then we were able to teach a less active sister, and one of our recent convert sisters.
Dinner was with an amazing family in the ward!  We actually had the day open on our dinner calendar and Hna Callaway called this sister and asked if she wanted to feed us.  And then she told her it was my birthday so I then had to choose what we ate.  We had mole and tortilla soup and it was so good!  And then they gave a cake and presents... it was SO SWEET.  They are beyond wonderful, and such an awesome family!  And then we finished the night with a couple lessons.
And I think the best part of the day was that it was between 60 and 70+ all day!  BEST BIRTHDAY WEATHER EVER!!
There was a ward activity Saturday but due to a lack of communication few people knew about it.  So we spent the day calling people, inviting people and hoping people would show up.  Well, we get to the movie night and there are probably 20 people there total.  4 missionaries, 4 investigators, and then everyone else.  But yes, the investigators were ours!  E came with her kids and her friend Es and the spirit was so strong there.  We watched 17 Miracles and through we had technical problems, and a lack of member problems, it was still a very sweet ward activity.  And the movie was perfect!  After the movie we showed the family the chapel and as we walked in E said she felt the spirit! Such an amazing night!
Normal missionary life.  We had church, packed our lunch and then ate on the way to our lesson.  We had a good lesson with A and his girlfriend and then kinda passed them off to the Elders they live near.  It was an interesting situation because they wanted to live in one area, go to church in another area and then be taught by us.  So, we taught them this week, but really really encouraged them to stick with the elders in their area.  Our other appointments cancelled and so we drove to a park and studied in the car.  It was another beautiful day, according to the thermometer we were averaging 75 to 80+ degrees.  I love El Paso!
And now that leaves us about yesterday... um, it was interested :)  We met L for lunch (she's the one who fed us on my b-day) and she took us out.  She's a recent convert and moving soon, so we are trying to get all the lessons in we can.  But we went to tacos and then had really really good stuffed churros.  Mexican food is just so much better when it's really Mexican food.  And then that night for dinner we had another birthday cake.  The member who went visiting with us on Friday is the one who fed all of us last night and she was really sweet and got a cake for me.  So I actually celebrated my birthday twice!
Thank you all for your love and support!  Amidst all craziness of missionary work, I am reminded often of the hand of the Lord in our lives.  We live crazy lives, everyone does, but everything that happens, happens for a very specific reason.  As I've been serving I have heard some of the saddest stories and my eyes have been open to very sad circumstances, but throughout it all, it is amazing to see the faith of these tender Saints as they strive to live in a manner to always have God in their lives.  As a daughter of God, and as one of his missionaries, I know that he is my Father in Heaven and that as the hard things in life come, I can and will receive comfort through turning to Christ.  I love this work and I love being able to help people understand this knowledge for themselves.  Have an amazing week!

and some pictures!!

Moving Week! (Jan 28th-4th)

Sorry this is so behind again! Never the less, here it is!

So crazy-busy week because of moving.  Every spare time or cancelled appointment was spent packing.  So we felt like we didn't get very missionary stuff in (like lessons) but we still had a pretty productive week!
For p-day we met up with some other sisters and checked out a touristy Mexican store called El Paso Connection.  It's very texasy and western and Mexican.  And just awesome.  So some pictures are from that.  (Staci and Grandpa would have really really liked it!)
Our lesson this night cancelled and so all we had after p-day was helping a member in the ward with her family history work.  We get to the stake family history center and they're doing a training and weren't really willing to let us help a member, but they found her a computer and we started looking for family.  Mexican families are so complicated.  First you have the two last names and then there's just the lack of records from Mexico.  As people index records, more are becoming available, but for now we just have to wait.  And so we spent about and hour and half helping this Hermana with her family history and we were getting nowhere.  She barely had names or dates because her mother had passed away, and her grandparents had passed away in a fire at a young age, along with all records.  So we felt we were at a dead end and it was getting close to closing time.  And then I felt like I need to search through records using her mother's name... AND WE FOUND HER!  And it was amazing.  I turned to Hermana G and said "Hermana, I found your mother!"  And then she kissed me and about cried.  And I about cried too.  So we have another place to start and the Hna renewed her desire to do family history!
So we spent a lot of Wednesday packing.  And then we just ran late the rest of the day (because we waited on a member to pick us up).  So we were soo late to dinner (an HOUR!)  But the family was really understanding, and then we had an amazing lesson with them about diezmo (tithing) and helped them make tithing jars.  And then after dinner, our member cancelled and the other family wasn't answering the phone, so we changed plans and stopped by to see a couple girls we haven't seen in a while, and we had a really good lesson on the 2014 mutual theme, Come unto Christ (Venid a Cristo). 
We spent some time Thursday visiting the half of our area that we had been neglecting.  And we met some ward members and scheduled appointments when we could come back and see how they're doing.  And we helped another Hermana with her family history.  Same story- we're stuck at a dead end because of lack of information and records.  And the Hermana is the only member in her family and she called her other family members but they weren't really willing to share any information.  So we just helped her as best as we could.  And then helped her download the indexing program so that she could index at home.  (Sunday she informed me that something happened and she has no idea how to fix it.  And she doesn't understand why she can index at the family history center but has all these problems at home, so we need to swing by sometime this week and help her figure things out).
So every month we are allotted a certain amount of miles to go with the car.  This month we were frustrated because they doubled are area, cut our miles (only by 50, but still) and so we budgeted our miles really well.  Well, it turns out we budgeted them too well... Friday came (the last day of the month) and we were 100 miles under... and terrified that if we didn't use them, they'd take them away (thinking we didn't need them)... so we drove around a lot... and were still 70 under (oh, well...).  But apparently our whole district was under.  We also had barbacoa for dinner Friday night.  We were eating with a recent convert family from the ward and so we ate and had a lesson.  Here's the thing about barbacoa: according to the dictionary and to TexMex it means barbequed.  To real Mexicans it means shredded tongue, lips or cheeks of a cow.  Guess which one it was... :)  It was really good, especially if you don't think about what you're eating, because it looks like shredded beef.  But yes, we ate barbacoa in tacitos (little tacos) with onions and chile. 
We moved this day!  The missionary couple that was moving us told us to be ready at 8:30, so at 8 we were ready.  And then as we waited for the couple to show up, the 6 elders from our district showed up.  We were moved out of the apartment in 30-45 minutes.  Moved into our new apartment in about the same time and then as we moved in, we realized that the electricity had not yet been turned back on.  So all the perishable food went back to the old apartment, along with our mattresses.  And after moving, we unpacked in the new apartment, packed an overnight bag and then moved back to the apartment with the electricity.   
 And then we had lessons.  We had a really good lesson with C (the one who came to church last week).  She helps people plan funerals and prepare for funerals, so it was a perfect transition to the plan de Salvacion and our purpose on earth, and what happened before this life and life after.
Because of this, we needed to be done for the day at 5, with dinner at 4.  So instead of studies after church we did them after dinner and we ate in our apartment (the members dropped off the food).  But sunday we hit every area in our overall area trying to contact ward members and former investigadores.  So it was a crazy crazy driving day. 
And the picture is from Sunday- we couldn't watch the superbowl but that doesn't mean we didn't celebrate :) 
We had dinner with Hermana G again (the one we helped with family history Tuesday) and she told us that she went to Juarez Saturday trying to contact cousins and aunts to get more information about her family so that she can continue working on her family history!  How great is that?  It's incredible!!!!  It's the spirit of Elijah:
 5 ¶Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
 6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Family History is amazing!

But yes, Monday we also officially moved into our apartment.  The area was closed the beginning of January and so the apartment was empty after being used by elders.  And then a couple elders needed a temporary place to stay and so they lived in the empty apartment.  And then they thought that they were going to officially close it, so they had those elders deep clean the apartment so they could drop the lease, but it turns out we needed to move it, so the apartment was super clean! (and that's also why the electricity had been turned off).

And of course, some pictures :)
Hermana Hendricks and Hermana Calloway
In El Paso Connection :)

 At El Paso Connection
One last little email excerpt: "a can of jalapeno peppers.  My goal is to one day work my way up to the pepper.  So far, I can eat the carrots :)  I told this goal to a member who was helping us, and when we had dinner with her the next day, she brought out the can and told me to try the carrots.  They're spicy too, but not jalapeno stage yet!"