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, I will show forth mypower unto these my fellow-servants, or the power which is in me, in restoring these flocks unto the king, that I may win the hearts of these my fellow-servants, that I 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 :)