Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013 Feliz Navidad and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!‏

Can't believe all of you will be celebrating the new year tomorrow :) I will be out trying to teach some people until approximately 9:30 at night :) And ya know what??? I would rather be anywhere else!!! My compa lost her planner yesterday and I forgot mine at the house when we came to e-mail so I am going to do my best to remember what happened this past week. Christmas already seems like a month ago. I can't believe how fast time passes!! It was so good to get to talk to y'all on Christmas :) Everyone still looks good!!! :D It all sort of feels like a dream. It sure was good to see your face and hear your voice though :) My first time in just about 8 months! I'll get to see you again in 4 1/2 months on Mother's Day! It'll be here before you can blink. I hear there's TONS of snow in Utah. Not a flake here. There has actually been a few days here lately when we just about hit 60 :) It's not too bad being in Texas through the Winter if you're willing to go through a few random ice storms ;) Alright... So Christmas Eve and Christmas were SO GREAT!!! On Christmas Eve The Buchanan's invited us over to dinner with a lady from their work that isn't a member and didn't have anyone to spend the holidays with. We were expecting five of us. Me and my comp, the couple, and this lady. When we get to the house there are tons of cars. Turns out it was ALL of the Buchanan family, all of the wife's family, and 2 people from work that didn't have anyone to spend the holidays with. Not to mention some people from our ward!!! Talk about intimidating :) We had a whole Christmas lesson planned out. We didn't get to do the whole thing but we shared about a 10 min. message. IT WAS SO GOOD!! The Spirit was there so strong. I honestly couldn't have been more proud of our members :) The dinner was delicious!! Ah man, it was seriously a MIRACLE! After that we headed over with the Chequer family. When we got there Madelay told us she had cooked us dinner :) It was so cute of her! She's only 20 and she said it was the first one she has ever cooked. There was some potatoes and gravy and I was like hmm :) Haven't eaten that for a while... this should be good!! Took a big ole bite and it turns out it was PEANUT BUTTER on mash potatoes!! :) Hahaha, I guess that's something they do in Ecuador?? We got them a few simple presents and they were so excited. They really don't have much at all. Christmas Day was honestly one of the best if not the best I have ever had. Christmas morning we woke up and made some hot chocolate :) Then we watched The Lamb of God. Afterwards, we opened presents. I got to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone that sent me cards and packages!! I've never felt so loved in my life ;) I honestly could never say thanks enough :) Then we got ready and went to District meeting. We did something like a white elephant there and had an amazing testimony meeting. IT WAS SO GOOD! I love being a missionary. Afterwards the biggest miracle happened... our recent convert Alma invited us over to her daughters house for dinner. We have been wanting to meet her daughter forever!! Well, once again... we are expecting a few people. HA! There ended up being about 40 people there. All of them (I am pretty sure) were non-members! We asked Alma if she told them we were coming.. she said yes but by how everyone reacted I don't think she had :) Everyone kept giving us the weirdest looks but they were all super nice even if they were a bit uncomfortable. We didn't get to share a message but spent the time talking with all the people and explaining what we do :) Dinner on Christmas with 40 non-members??? DONE and DONE! It was so incredible :) After that we headed to nothing else but another Christmas Dinner. HA! I have never been SO stuffed in my life. It was with our Ward mission leader. He is an awesome guy and actually just completed 1 year of being a member this last 15th of December!! Can you believe it?? After that we headed back to the Buchanan's where I got to call home :) How bitter sweet it was! Mostly sweet though. When we got done calling home it was dark and cold outside and we were wondering what would be the best way to contact a bunch of people all at once. I had the bright idea of the movie theatre :) Hahah!! Well, it worked out! We ended up contacting over 60 people in just a short amount of time. I even got to contact the guy in the booth :) I told him how awesome he was for working on Christmas. He was super nice and hopefully he gets baptized ;) That was it for Christmas. Honestly, one of the best in my life! Can you believe it that next year I'll be home for Christmas?!? Where does time go? To be honest I don't really remember what happened the rest of the week... We took Alma to a lesson with us :) It was her first time being out with the missionaries since her baptism. I think it got her super excited because the next day she wanted us to go over and visit her neighbor :) So last night we went and had a lesson with her neighbor! When they offered us coffee she said oh no! We don't drink coffee! It was too cute :) Also we met this really awesome girl named Alex. She has tattoos and piercings all over and has had a pretty rough life. We talked to her for a good half hour in her drive way. We are excited to go back and talk to her again and hope that we will be able to help her turn her life around :) Well, I love and miss you all!!! Also, HAPPY BIRHTDAY MOM!! I hope y'all have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! You're all in my prayers :)
From Deep in the Heart of Texas- Hermana Jenny Hadlock

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23, 2013 FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!!!!! :D‏

OH MAN!! :)
I am so stinkin' excited for Christmas in the field!!! My first and only Christmas as a full-time missionary :) I am going to enjoy every minute of it!! "Come what may and love it". This week was a really good one. I am convinced that after some of the hardest times is when the best of times come. It is a trial of our faith... After the rain comes the rainbow. The sun will always shine again :) Monday we got to go have a recent convert lesson. Hermana McDonald had a baptism with them. It was a little boy whose name is Eric. He is 9. It turns out the family got sealed I think it 2008 but after that they went in-active. So he was never baptized. They are such an incredible family! We watched Joy to the World with them and then we went around the room and every one of us told why we love our Savior Jesus Christ. By the end most of us were crying. One of the little girls said how happy she was that they had been sealed. It was honestly one of the times in my mission that I have felt the Spirit the strongest. It was truly incredible :) It's so fun as a missionary to go around and teach people about "the reason of the season" our Savior and His birth. Tuesday was so awesome!!! So anyone who knows me knows how much I love old people :) I don't know why but I really do love them SO much. We met the cutest little old grandpa named Santiago and then he told us we should go and talk to his neighbor. We are pretty sure his wife passed away and he is alone. He doesn't speak Spanish so we had to give him as a referral but not before I got a picture with him :) His name is Lother. He is seriously the sweetest/cutest little old grandpa in the world. When I saw what hat he was wearing I couldn't help but ask him if I could take a picture with him :) Take a look! I'll attach the picture :) Wednesday was INCREDIBLE!!! We had a specialized training for our mission and it was seriously a blast and I learned so much! I'm convinced my mission president, President Durrant, is the best one out there. Not to mention a former BYU basketball legend ;) GO COUGARS! :D We got there early so that we could play sports. President will always let us come an hour before the meeting starts (so we had to wake up at like 5:00) and we got there around 7:00. We got to play with the other missionaries until the meeting started. It was too crazy because Hermana LeBaron and Elder Joel Gardner were there. Both kids from my high school! We are still representing the Ville all the way out here in the heart of Texas :) It was fun to see all of my old compas and play some sports! Then we started the training. I have got to say one of the things we always learn is how importance obedience is. One elder, Elder Sears, that actually served 17/24 months of his mission in Honduras told a really interesting story. He said there was an Elder in his mission who wasn't the most obedient and didn't really give it all of his "heart, might, mind, and strength." Nevertheless, this missionary had something like over 100 baptisms in during his service. Can you imagine?!? Wow. Anyhow, during one of his last interviews the mission president asked him how he felt about his service over the last 2 years. This Elder began to cry. Even though he had baptized so many he knew he hadn't given it his all and wasn't happy. That sure hit me hard. My mission president also loves singing! So during this we had a competition of who could re-write the words to deep in the heart of texas to "in our hearts forever" We got in our Texas gear and I had on my Texas T-shirt and sleeping shorts. It was so fun!!! My district won and got the prize :) Sometimes I wish I could record those meetings and send them home to you. I always learn SO much. He also had us prepare lunch, a 5$ gift, and a paper we wrote on how to be a successful missionary. We ended up putting them in a line and we all got somebody else's. He then taught us a lesson that whatever we are doing this season we should be preparing it for others and thinking of what we can give instead of what we receive. He said he hoped we prepared a better lunch for the missionary who would receive it than we normally prepared. It was sure good! I also got to sing :) The assistants called my compa and asked her if she would do a musical number so we ended up doing The First Noel. It was one of the songs I sang as a Madrigal and it sure made me happy :)  Thursday we got to meet an awesome family. Their names are Irene y Omar Rodriguez. They were a referral from the Elders. They are super Catholic but they love Jesus. I guess the mom spent like 3 hours reading the Bible with her two little boys one night just explaining things to them. They seem really sweet! They are convinced we are not going to change them at all but said they are willing to listen to us because they feel like they need to have open hearts. They said shutting the door on us would be like shutting the door on Christ. We're really excited to see what comes out of it :) They seem like a really sweet family. We are still working with La Familia Segovia and Chequer. The Chequer family hasn't been coming to church the last while and that makes me sad but hopefully we can get them coming back. :/ They have all been reading in the Book of Mormon though and praying to see if it is true!! I sure love them :) The Segovia's have the cutest little girl named Dayana who is 11 and Mitchell who is 4. He is SO crazy :) We stopped by their house on Sunday to see if they were coming to church. The grandpa was there from Mexico and he was like why not?! :) So he came and brought Dayana and Mitchel. Mitchel DID NOT want to go into primary so we sat in the hall and made snow flakes, colored pictures, and watched Mr. Krueger's Christmas. It made for a good time :) We were SO happy to see them at church!!! Oh yeah... Tuesday a miracle totally happened. Hermana McDonald texted me and asked me if I could bring her brown coat to the training. She couldn't find it and figured she had left it. I couldn't find it anywhere. I was at service that day and before I even knew what was coming out of my mouth asked Jose if he had seen a brown coat... he went to the back and said is this it?? Sure enough, there it was!!! Couldn't believe it :) Turns out when we went there to pass out Turkeys thanksgiving I had left it there. I had NO idea!! God knows how much I lose things and is ALWAYS looking out for me :) One last thing... last Sunday when I was still feeling kinda down this lady stops us after church and says SISTERS! :) We started talking to her and she said she had served in Switzerland. People there weren't very open to religion at all. When I asked her what her best advice was... she told me she looked for a miracle in every single day :) She was standing there with a 3 month old in her arms and another little kid. I realized before I knew it I would be off my mission and standing in her shoes. It really hit me that I need to take in every second and love it as is :) So there's my challenge to you!! Look with your heart and find a miracle in every single day :) Stop and take a few minutes to be quiet this Christmas and think of why you love your Savior, Jesus Christ :) I know that He lives. I love Him. I LOVE YOU!!!!! :D FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
-Hermana Jenny Hadlock

Also we had super crazy rain this week!!! Check it out :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013 7 months on the mission!!! :D‏

Buenos dias!!!!
How in the world are you?? :) I can't believe it... as of yesterday I hit 7 months on the mission!! In some ways it feels like an eternity, like I've been a missionary for all my life :) In others, it feels like it was just yesterday I was in the MTC. Time is so weird here on the mission! Well... let me think of what happened this week. Every time there is a change like a transfer or a new companion it always takes a bit to get used to and so it's hard to remember what happened all week. All the days just sort of blend together as one. Last Monday Hermana McDonald and I enjoyed our last bit of time together and she stopped by to say "see you later" (not goodbye because we will all see each other again) to some of our families :) We had a last super powerful lesson together about the Book of Mormon. Man, we were good teachers together there at the end :) We knocked peoples' socks off :) The next day we got her ready and we headed out to transfers in Dallas. We were listening to a CD she wrote on the way and both crying. It was bitter sweet :) It was funny because during the first part of the transfer it wasn't like we were fighting or anything but it just didn't click super fast. After talking and working everything out we ended up having one of the best friendships that I have had on my mission. It was amazing!! Well, we got to transfers and I got my new compa :) Her name is Hermana Moore!!!! When Hermana Kirkham and I were in the MTC we made a decision that whoever our companion was we were going to love them. So whenever I get a new companion I just decide that I love them and that is that :) Hermana Moore is awesome! She is by far the shortest companion I have had. I think she is the same height as Jyllian. Haha, I love it!  Tuesday we taught a few families and just tried to get her un-packed when we got home and get everything settled. Wednesday we had our district meeting and it was really good. There are some really awesome missionaries in my new district and I am so excited because Hermana Kirkham (my MTC compa) is back in my district!!!! We also found an amazing lady that I am so excited to teach. Her name is Eva Luz :) When we met her it was actually quite hilarious because she was in the middle of the road with her granddaughter. It was like a circle and there were no cars and no one was home so no worries, it was safe. Anyhow, we decided to pull over the car and talk to her. I don't know that I have ever talked to someone so friendly. She immediately accepted us back! We ended up having to change the appointment but we are meeting with her this week and she seems like she will be really awesome so we will be praying hard that it goes well. Wednesday night was sort of tough because we had to drop a family that we have been teaching for a while. They won't keep any commitments and aren't progressing at all. The dad has been a member since he was young but the mom is super catholic. We are hoping if we give them a little break it will help jump start them and make them want to progress. But we are going to have to leave them for a few weeks :( It was la familia Martinez. President Durrant has asked us to try and make 24 contacts every day. Hermana Moore and I really wanted to make it and it was getting late so we decided to go to the grocery stores and just contact everyone. We ended up having a really good experience :) Although most people were in a rush... we met one couple that seemed really nice and I'm excited to meet with them again this week. Then, a miracle happened. We decided to contact one more guy that had his hood opened and looked like he was having trouble with his car. We walked up and asked if we could help. We offered to jump his car and Hermana Moore pulled the car around. He hooked up all the cables and then tried it. His car started right up!! :) He said, "Wow, I guess God really does answer prayers." He had a big grin on his face and was SO grateful that we had helped him. He didn't speak Spanish sadly so we sent him as a referral to the English missionaries. Hopefully he will be able to accept the Gospel. I want to share my testimony with you that God really does answer prayers. Not one goes unheard. Sometimes we think He doesn't answer... but sometimes the answer is no. Or, we need to keep looking and searching :) I promise you and testify to you that He WILL answer and hear every prayer that you offer with sincerity. Remember the lady that thought we were her daughters playing a prank on her that told us to go away and then felt really embarrassed? We went back to her this week and she ended up answering and telling us not to come back... but for real this time. She said it was causing too many problems. It made me so sad because I knew how much the Gospel could bless her in her life. Even though we all have problems I know that our load will be lighter and our lives full of more joy when we have the Gospel :) No matter how hard it is... stay close to your Savior and to the Gospel! Friday was a good one :) We got to go over to Alma's. She is our recent convert. We ended up helping her rake leaves in her front yard!! It was a blast! Hermana Moore and I raked them into a huge pile and before we put them in bags we hurry and took pictures in them :) We also got the information of her brother so hopefully we can get the missionaries over to him soon! Hermana Sanchez (the one who we ate Thanksgiving with) is still progressing! She still has a hard time understanding the authority and why we need to be baptized again but she loves reading the Book of Mormon. Keep her in your prayers that she'll be able to have the Spirit teach her and find clarity in our message :) I really feel like she is ready to accept the Gospel and her family as well!! Saturday night we had the Christmas party. It was really fun :) We were kind bummer because none of our investigators showed up. I'm not sure why but it was a really rough day for some reason. We had a bunch of lessons but just about every one of them fell through. We had la familia Checker that night and so I had been looking forward to that! When we got there the dad wasn't there like normal. I guess he had work or something like that. I guess it made all of the rest of them talk a lot more because he wasn't there. We found out they hadn't understood as much as we thought they had been understanding because the dad had been helping them. They didn't come to church either on Sunday so we were super sad about that :( So it turns out that we probably won't be having a "White Christmas" this year. Anyhow, we set up lessons with the daughters one on one during the week so that should help them to progress more along with the dad and hopefully they can be baptized sometime in January! :) For some reason Saturday it all kind of hit me and I was really down for a bit. I just started to cry and I couldn't understand why so many of the people we have been teaching and were progressing really well had fallen through. I felt sort of hopeless. Then I was reading in the Book of Mormon and I found my answer :) It is in Alma 17:28-29.
 "28 Now the servants of the king began to murmur, saying: Now the king will slay us, as he has our brethren because their flocks were scattered by thewickedness of these men. And they began to weep exceedingly, saying: Behold, our flocks are scattered already.
 29 Now they wept because of the fear of being slain. Now when Ammon saw this his heart was swollen within him with joy; for, said he, will show forth mypower unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me, in restoring these flocks unto the king, that may win the hearts of these my fellow-servants, that may lead them to abelieve in my words."
This hit me really strong! I realized that I had 2 options... I could be the servants or I could be a stud like Ammon :) Things are always going to go wrong in life and almost always things don't go exactly as we had planned them... but there is always hope!! :) If we are doing what we are supposed to and trying our very hardest to let the Spirit guide us we will be okay. We will be more than okay :) If we hand our mediocre goods over to the hands of God he will return them as extraordinary :) Even though it has still been hard I have decided that it doesn't matter how many people drop us or what happens... if they do it just means that God probably has something better in mind for us right now. So I am going to do my best to put my faith in Him and see what comes of it :) It sure was good to go to church yesterday. Hermana Buchannon ended up asking us to help her teach her class. It was the 16 year old Sunday school. It was on what else but missionary work!!! We had a lot of fun with them and helped them to know how they could share the Gospel with their friends and help us in the work. It blows my mind... feels like I was in their seats just yesterday and here I am 20 and a good chunk done of a mission. Time flies!! Don't blink. We also made cards with them to give to friends who aren't members or families we haven't seen at church in a while.
Well, things here are great! Even though it was a rougher week, I know I am growing and progressing because of it. I sure love you and can't believe that Christmas is just 9 days away!!!!!! Even though the Holiday season is sort of crazy don't forget to take time out to smile, relax, and enjoy time with the family :) More than anything... take a few minutes to think about Jesus Christ, your Savior :) He loves you more than you can comprehend. He is there with you more than you know... walking with us shoulder to shoulder. Take the challenge from Elder Ballard at conference and reach out to 1 person between now and Christmas!! :) Love you. Hope you have an amazing week!
Love always, Hermana Hadlock

This is from the day we got kicked out of the outlets for singing :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013 Iced over! :D‏

Buenas tardes!
I have lots of things to tell you this week :) But first off... how's the weather there?? It has been real cold here!!! I'll get to that story in a minute though :) So.. Monday night we went to visit one of our referrals. Her name is Sylvia. I guess someone had asked if she could receive a blessing because she has some type of really bad skin cancer. She has been going through a lot lately and we hadn't been able to catch her at home to finally meet her. Monday night though we finally caught her at home! She opened the door and let us right in without a second thought :) She told us her whole story and started to cry and said she was so glad that we had come. We told her we will bring someone with us to give her a blessing when we come again. When we were about to leave she told us that she had some empanadas she wanted to share with us! I was so happy when she said this because earlier I had told my compa how bad I wanted an empanada. How crazy is that? :) She also gave us this really yummy cactus fruit that I think is named tuna. It's in Spanish so it sounds different but it sure is good. David and Lili had given me some once and so it made me think of them!! Sylvia said that her daughter had really been struggling and asked us to pray for her and thought that maybe we could talk to her. I am really excited to see what will happen with her! Tuesday was a good one. We started out with zone meeting! Our zone leaders are super awesome and they decorated the gym all Christmasy. Hermana McDonald and her sister had a really awesome idea about a mission bucket list. She shared the idea with me and it started to go around the mission. At Zone meeting we got to give a training on it and it was really good! We talked about how we are no different than Moroni or Alma and Amulek in the scriptures. There's things on the bucket list singing in a lavandaria, contacting a police officer, having five families at church... etc. So it's pretty fun :) I have loved my time with Hermana McDonald. There have been rough patches just like there is with everything but we have seen so many miracles together and been through so much. That night we had a lesson with Hermana Sanchez. We really felt impressed to share the Joseph Smith movie with them and we weren't sure why because we had already taught the first lesson. Nevertheless, we trusted in it and went along with it. When we got there we put it in and because we had to go into the living room where the dvd player was the husband ended up joining us for the lesson instead of watching tv. Right when we started the mom and dad of Hermana Sanchez showed up too so the mom got to watch it with us! By the end they all said they would be baptized they said they just needed to learn more about everything but they really liked what they had seen. It was really good :) We also had a lesson that night with our recent convert as our ward mission leader's house but he didn't show up for a long time. Even though we didn't get to teach him the lesson we had planned it all worked out because I got to know my Ward mission leader a little better. Wednesday morning we had service at the Co-Op. It's a food bank where we do service. Jose, who runs it told us he wanted to take us to lunch for our birthdays.  He is very strong Baptist and isn't really too fond of the Book of Mormon or our religion but he thinks all of us missionaries who do service there are nice and we're friends so we figured it would be a good opportunity. That night we ended up getting to go to his house and share a message about the Book of Mormon with him and his wife Maria :) She is the nicest in the whole world!!! She had bought hot chocolate (Mexican style) and cookies (from the Mexican cookie store) all for us because she knew we were coming that night. When we started teaching about the Book of Mormon Jose left the room and that made us really sad... but we found out he was listening because when we said certain things he would yell from the other room! Haha. I just hope that he got something out of our message from the other room :) We gave them each a Book of Mormon with our testimonies written in it. We invited them to pray about it and ask. I really believe that one day they will come around :) They also bought scarves for both my compa and I. It was so sweet of them!!! Thursday night was a bit of a rougher day and we didn't find many people home. People are more accepting talking about Jesus Christ and Christmas at this time of the year... the problem is that it gets dark so much earlier and it's cold. So there aren't people outside like there is during the rest of the times of the year so it has actually been a bit harder with the work lately. Pero, no importa!! We will keep working hard and giving it our all :) We are still are praying that La Familia Checker can be baptized on Christmas!!! So keep them in your prayers please :) They are the most amazing family. We went over there last night because Arelis (who is now 13) had her birthday yesterday! We felt bad we didn't have time to make her anything or buy anything so we made her a little card. When we asked what she had done for her birthday she pointed to the cake on the table... It was just a tiny little cake in a tin container. It really humbled Hermana McDonald and I to realize that they truly have so little... Nevertheless, they are incredible :) I wonder if they missionaries that taught the dad just about 30 years ago in Ecuador would've ever thought he would be meeting with missionaries again here. YOUR WORK IS NEVER WASTED!!! Even if you don't see immediate results. Now to Friday... CRAZIEST THING!!! So remember the humidity factor here in Texas?? It doesn't snow normal here. It was sort of raining/snowing/misting all night long. With freezing temperatures this is never good. When we got outside Friday morning everything... EVERTYHING was covered in a think layer of ICE!!! Our car door was frozen shut. Everything was frozen. The other thing was that the side walks were ice skating rinks. Not even joking :) When we were heading out we got a text from our zone leaders that said all the missionaries were to stay inside that day. No one was to leave. We were shocked but we could honestly see why!!! I will send pictures. It was honestly the craziest thing ever!!!!!! My shoes must have had a little more grip or something because I could keep my balance at least somewhat well but my companion nearly fell a million times... she looked like a baby giraffe on ice :) AHAHAH!!!! Honestly, I couldn't breathe because I was laughing so hard. Well... with all day inside I decided I finally had time to clean!!!! I think missionaries have been living in that apartment since '09. I even found teaching records from Hermana Schulte (I went to school with her two little brothers in T-ville) here in my area book. Anyhow... it really needed cleaning. So I cleaned for 8 1/2 hrs straight!!! Our apartment has never been so clean and organized :) Hermana McDonald was able to catch up in her journal and she wrote 41 pages in her big journal. What a day :) I ended by writing Christmas cards and writing in my journal as well :) When we got up Saturday it had melted a bit and then re-frozen. We got a text saying that we were not allowed to use our cars that day. We had a project we needed to get done at the church so we headed out... on foot :) OH MAN!!!!!! Funniest experience of my life! Seriously when I say baby giraffe on ice I mean it. Her shoes had no grip and she was ALL over the place :) She was holding onto me the whole time. She was convinced that her shoes are made specifically for sledding :) We were standing at the stop light waiting to cross and she starts singing... preach the gospel!!! Preach the preach the gospel and she's dancing all over the place. I am quite certain every pair of eyes at that stop light were on us :) I was honestly DYING laughing!!! We had 3 different cars roll down their windows and say something. One yelled.."Cuidado!" Which is careful in Spanish :) Ah seriously.. it was straight ICE! I've never seen anything like it. Needless to say we were sliding rather than walking and a 15 min took 45 min with us linked arm in arm nearly the whole time :) We couldn't stop laughing! We finally made it back to our apt. and seeing how no one wanted to drive us and we couldn't walk we ended up staying inside again that night. We watched some missionary movies and did some more journal writing. It made for a low week of lessons but as least we made it through alive :) OORAH! Saturday night we got the call... the transfer call. When we looked down to see President Durrant calling we both got a little nervous and then picked up the phone :) It was President and Sister Durrant asking my companion to be the new sister training leader!!! So now she is going to be companions with Hermana Ostler, my old companion, who was made sister training leader as well. We were excited for her but super sad!!! This meant two things... 1. She would be leaving Grand Prairie. 2. That I would be taking over the area!!! This stressed me out a whole bunch last time but it all worked out in the end so this time I just decided to have faith and it will all work out :) I am super sad she is going because I have loved my time with her. Nevertheless, I am going to love my new companion!! Her name is Hermana Moore. She is actually from Rexburg, ID so that'll be fun to talk with her about good ole Rexburg :) Sure miss that place ;) -18 winters! Ha, thought I'd be getting away from that here but I guess not. Also, Hermana Kirkham from the MTC is coming to take her place so I will be in the same district as her again and get to see her every week!! :) WWWWWHHOOOO!!! I'm super excited about that :) Yesterday, lots of church services were canceled but our bishop decided to hold sacrament. We only had about 20 people there but it sure was an incredible Spirit. We had a really good lesson with Alma, our recent convert last night. We went and said bye to a lot of people and there was a lot of crying. Hermana McDonald has been here for 5 transfers so people sure are going to miss her! Hermana Martinez (same member that had us over for Thanksgiving) fed us yesterday and it was pretty delicious :) Well... even after transfer calls and a few days of ice skating all is well here in good 'ole Texas!!! :) I sure love you all and hope you have a great week! You're in my prayers.
Love always, Hermana Hadlock :)

Oh yeah... as far as calling on Christmas :) I should either be skyping or calling on face time!! :) Hopefully one of the two. So I will try and let you know next week :) can't wait!!! :)
And funniest thing ever.. this morning... I had mice poop in my breakfast! Then I took a drink of milk and it was rotten. Sometimes in life.. you can laugh or cry... :) So choose to laugh!!! :D

The ice storm!!! :) This was my compa trying to cross the street :)

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013 There is reason to give thanks... (:‏

Every week I am never ceased to be amazed as I sit down to right an e-mail about the past week... there's honestly NO WAY I could ever include it all!!! But here goes nothin' :) So last Monday was awesome! We ended up going to contact at the outlets here. There is a big place with them and we decided it would be a good way to contact a lot of people pretty fast! We loved it. We even had a few lessons right there in the outlets. It's amazing how many times we pray with people right there in the middle of the outlets and their faces just light up :) I can't tell you how many people have walked away from us teary eyed or with a smile because of the prayer and message we have just shared with them. At first on my mission it was hard for me to do things like that but it gets easier and easier. If you think I wasn't shy before my mission... just wait 'til I get home ;) Plus most of the time it's in Spanish so most of the people around have not a clue what is going on. Haha! Tuesday was a bit of a tougher day. Sometimes I get frustrated or down... but I know that tomorrow is a new day. The mission is definitely not without it's challenges but the blessings out weigh the decifios. (Difficult times.. hard things. Ha! The Spanish word comes first to my mind a lot of times now. ) Wednesday was crazy!! We had an amazing lesson with this lady we are teaching named Hermana Sanchez. She is honestly the most humble sweetest lady I know. Hermana Vargas from our ward came and it was such a good lesson. She used to be Catholic and so she helped Hermana Sanchez understand a little bit more about why our church was different. It helps a lot when they have someone who has been in their shoes talk to them about it. Instead of 2 bolillas (bolillas are white girls... the literal translation is like white bread. Too funny :) ) But anyways... it was an amazing lesson! At the end we were asking her when we could come back and I said Jueves o viernes... then realized Thursday was Thanksgiving so I just said oh not that day maybe the next?? Then she said we could come back Friday but also invited us TO EAT WITH THEM ON THANKSGIVING!!! Hermana McDonald and I were SO happy! :) I'll tell you more about Thanksgiving in a sec. After that we had la familia Martinez. Hermana McD said she wanted to go back to the apt. and grab a Thanksgiving activity for them the next day. We never go back to the apt. early but we decided we could run back and pick that up. When we walked in we could hear water... we both looked at each other and both said did you leave something on??? Then we walked into our kitchen and the whole thing was flooded!! There was water filling up both the sinks and counters and all over the floor. We couldn't believe it!! But the fossit wasn't on so we couldn't figure out where the water was coming from. The dishwasher was full as well but nothing was on... so we called the emergency handy men of the apt. and thank goodness they're Hispanics and we're good friends because he called us right back and said, "Hermanas! What's going on??" He showed up and cleaned all the water up with a shop vac. I guess the water line had gotten clogged and the people upstairs were using their water and because we share pipes living in apts. the water had come back up through all of our stuff! Anyways.. we got it all cleaned up and they got it fixed and there wasn't any damage done but it sure did make for a crazy night :) Nevertheless, all is well!! Moving onto Dia de Accion de GRACIAS! Aka, Thanksgiving!! One of our favorite ward members invited us over for dinner. When we got there we were so surprised!! There was A HUGE turkey on the table and Mexican style stuffing and corn and gravy and of course... pumpkin pie! We had it all :) It was honestly so delicious!!! Then she surprised us with 2 gift bags. She bought us a scarf each for our birthdays :) I don't know why we didn't take pictures... I don't know what we were thinking... but it sure was delicious! :D Then we went out knocking. We were asked to knock doors for a bit that day to find families to share the Gospel with :) We talked with a lot of people, some willing to listen and others not but it turned out good! After that we were so excited because we got to go to Hermana Sanchez's. When we got there they opened up the door and we saw SO MANY people! ALL of her family was there except for 1 sister that still lives in Mexico. There was honestly like 30 or 40 adults there let a lone kids and such! We were in heaven. I have never seen so much COMIDA/FOOD in my life!!!!! It honestly looked like we had just walked into a golden corral Mexican style :) They had tamales, barbacoa, strawberries and crème, and just about every other thing you could think of... They even had turkey!!! We talked to a lot of the family and ate such good food :) I wish I could go back there right now because I was so full from Hermana Martinez's that I barely ate a plate... so I didn't get to try a lot of it but man it was sure delicious :) I did miss home but there isn't anywhere else I would rather be and God blessed us SO much that we could have 2 Thanksgiving dinners!!! :D We got to talk to a lot of the family and they even handed us the phone of the sister that lives in Mexico so we talked to her for a bit!! Hahah. We didn't really have the opportunity to share a message sadly but we did get the info of some of them and sent it to the other missionaries :) We asked Hermana Sanchez if we could get their info later and she said yes :) Honestly, it was so good. Both places even packaged up some food and sent it home with us!!! It couldn't have been a better day :) I hope you had an AMAZING THANKSGIVING as well! Friday was a funny one... we are running low on miles for our car. Every month we get a certain amount and this month because we had to take Hermana McDaniel for the emergency transfer we were running really low. So we had to walk a night. I know.. most missionaries in the world would laugh at that because we are so spoiled with our car! Anyways, it was a cold night and Hermana McDonald and I were both super tired by the time we got home but it all worked out and we met some really awesome people! There's one girl named Maria in particular I have a really good feeling about so we'll see how it works out :) Saturday we got to go and visit La familia Checker. They are doing SO good! Everytime we go over the dad basically teaches us. He has so much wisdom. The two daughters are my favorites! 1is named Madeline but she says it like Madelay :) I love it. She is 20. The other is Arelis and she is 13. We are teaching their cousin Steven as well who just turned 22 yesterday. If I want my Spanish to sound like anyone's it is theirs! They have the coolest accent from Ecuador. It sounds so pretty. I can basically understand everything in the language now and pretty much speak my mind on anything I want to say. Sometimes I struggle with a word here or there but it really is amazing. I know God has blessed me so much. Yesterday Steven and Madelay came to church!! We were so excited! I guess their Grandma is Mormon and Madelay was almost baptized in Ecuador before they left. They all still have a date for the 25th of December. A White Christmas :) So we will keep praying for them and working with them!! There's a wrap up of the week :) I also just want to say 2 things. Actually 3. 1. Go out with the missionaries! Lessons with members help us more than you can imagine. If you don't know the missionaries in your ward... get to know them! Don't worry. It's not scary... they'll help you with whatever they would like you to share :) 2. I have seen SO many blessings from serving a mission. They are countless. Not only in my own life and in the life of all the Texans here with me... :) but in the lives of my family and loved ones. I am amazed every week when I hear from you and hear of all the many blessings you are receiving :) Take the invitation from conference and invite one person to church before the end of the year!! WE need your help :) The Lord needs your help. 3. Thank you. Honestly, thank you. I can never express how grateful I am for all the love and support I receive from you every week. Your stories make me laugh :) Keep up the good work!!! TE QUIERO!!!
HOW IN THE WORLD COULD I FORGET?!? Funniest thing happened. So Hermana McD and I decided to go back to the outlets on black Friday. Our plan was to be like "the prophets of old." You ask exactly what that means.. so did I :) Our plan was to go and sing hymns and Christmas carols in Spanish. Then we were going to stand on a bench and bear our testimonies and pass out cards. Such a good plan right?? I wasn't nervous until we got there and there was not a single space left to park because so many cars were there... then I got REAL nervous. We found a spot and walked in and started to sing :) We were getting braver and braver and when we were just about to start the 4th song our joke before hand about police kicking us out became a reality. Two of them came walking up to us and pretty nicely said that we could not sing there and that we would have to stop or get escorted out. We chose the second. Nah ;) We were sad but we stopped singing... it was sad because he told us we couldn't do it because not everyone believed in Christmas and God and such. It made us sad :( But I invite you all to remember Christ during this time of the year especially :) And hey... we tried :) It was pretty fun!
Well, I LOVE YOU!!! Thank you :)
Con gusto, Hermana Hadlock
This is a picture of the night we walked and the scarf she gave me :) Also.. this is Hermana Picaso who we ate dinner with yesterday! :)