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! :)