Hijole :) I have quite the week to tell you about :) So it never ceases to amaze me how amazing the Church is. Last Monday we were walking through Wal-Mart and a member stopped to talk to us for a sec. It's amazing how often we do run into members and how many people have heard of the Gospel. I know that truly one day the prophecy of Joseph Smith will come true... it will have sounded in every ear and every person will have had the opportunity to learn of the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That night Jose Franco came out with us to a few lessons. They weren't there so we stopped by Jeffrey and Angel. We had a really powerful lesson about the Book of Mormon. Jeffrey is really excited and has a true desire to know if it is true. He is the brother that is 18. The brother that is 15, Angel, doesn't seem to have as much interest but is going along with it because it's fun and his family is part of it I think. But we haven't lost hope on him :) He is reading the scriptures and doing lots of good things. I can see Jeffrey on a mission in just a couple years and it makes me so happy. I hope someone that I get to teach will end up serving a mission :) We have quite a few missionaries serving in our mission that are recent converts. It's amazing to see the impact they can have on people because of how well they understand them. They can say, "I've been there. I get it. I know for myself and you can too!" Jose himself is actually a convert of about 4 or 5 years and is a returned missionary of about 6 months. Him and his family help us so much with the missionary work here. Suzeth (Hermana Kirkham's first baptism) has been struggling a bit. The Jehovah's Witness have been coming by and it has been hard for her. She is only 11 but she wants to be nice to everyone and accept them. But she is strong and she knows what she believes is true so I know she'll make if out of it okay :) Tuesday was INCREDIBLE. My compa and I were praying so hard just to be guided by the Spirit and be able to do what we needed to do that day. We were walking through a trailer park and we saw a lady taking in all of her groceries. We stopped and helped her bring it all in. We shared a quick lesson with her and got a return appointment. She didn't have a lot of time because she had to take all of her clothes on a little cart to wash them at the lavandaria that was about a 45 minute walk away. She walks there with all her things... washes them and walks back. In total it takes her about an 1 and a 1/2 hours just to walk. It made me SO grateful that we have all of the things we have. Just a few minutes later we met another family outside at the next trailer and taught them the Restoration in about 5 minutes. They all said we could come back :) The next place we went we found Carmen. When we talked to her she didn't accept a return appointment but gave us her number. She started to cry and told us how beautiful what we were doing was. She said people in the world need us and promised us that God was not only going to bless us for our service but that He was watching over and protecting our families. I have never had an experience like it. I could feel the Spirit SO strong! She was crying and gave us each like 5 hugs. She told us not to ever give up and to have ANIMO!! Which is like... excitement?? It's hard to say a translation. She looked me dead in the eyes and told me "God has special things for you to do." Something close to that translated. It was incredible. Later on that day we had dinner with a member. My compa warned me before we went in not to eat a lot because they usually don't have a lot of food. These people here really are willing to give us everything they have. It never ceases to amaze me. That night we were praying about where to go and Hermana Asay had a family come to mind that she had met before I got here. We were about to go and as we were walking up to the house she told me she felt like we should go to the neighbor's first. She knew the man that lived there and he had said they worked all the time and really weren't interested. We decided to follow the prompting and knocked on the door. He answered and within 2 minutes of talking to him he was crying. He said he could feel una "alegria" or excitement that he had never felt before as he talked to us. We taught a short lesson and prayed with him. We were all just about in tears :) It was one of the times on my mission that I had felt the strongest we were EXACTLY where we needed to be in that moment. Along with the Spiritual part of the story... there was a funny part as well. There are these mosquitos here in Texas that are HHHUUUGGGEEE. I have never seen anything like it. It could eat 100 regular mosquitos for a snack. Anyhow they were flying all around while we were talking to him and out of no where I turn my head and see this lizard come out from behind the mail box on the wall and start catching them and eating them! It was so gross but so funny. I was watching it trying not to be mortified all while trying to keep the Spirit and not let the others see it. It was too funny. Remember the mice from last week?? On Tuesday night we ran and bought some mouse traps. We stuck some rolos on there and set them up in the car. We were pretty excited when we went out Wednesday morning to see if we had found anything. SURE ENOUGH!!!!! There was a little mousy in one of the traps. I'll think about sending the picture :) Mission hunt: success. Wednesday we had specialized training. It was so good :) I am always so amazed by everything President Durrant teaches us. I was so upset though. I owed Elder and Sister Larsen (the elderly missionaries) oatmeal chocolate chip cookies :) So I woke up early and made them. With all the mousy craziness we ended up forgetting them after all that... sometimes I have the worst memory in the world :) I ended up getting to give a talk on the Spirit during the specialized training. I never thought I would see the day when I could get in front of that many people and give a whole talk in Spanish. Miracles happen :) hahah. That night we were asked to teach mutual to the young men. One of them told us he wasn't sure if he wanted to serve a mission and asked how he could receive an answer. We got to help him understand and excite them all about missionary work :) It was a pretty fun experience. We challenged them all to share the Gospel with someone in the next week! Thursday we taught La Familia Ajuero. Their little boy is kinda crazy :) So this time I brought candy in my bag to distract him with. IT WORKED!! I'm going to have to start putting treats in my bag more often :) Hahah. Friday we got to do service at Chestnut Square. We worked in the DeLaney house. We were packaging stuff up because they are going to turn it into a bed and breakfast. It's going to be awesome :) One day I want to come back and stay in it. It's just the old homes of McKinney. Antique stuff is always fun to me. I guess they do weddings there and everything in the little old white chapel. I'll try to send pictures next week :) We had dinner with our Branch President that night. It was really good. He is in his late 20's I believe and he has already been branch president for about 5 years. Him and his wife met at BYU-Idaho. It's crazy to think where I will be in 5 years from now. I still can't really comprehend it's been about 2 years since I graduated. WOAH! Where does time go?? So I am trying to enjoy every moment I have on my mission. Saturday we had another really awesome day. It just seems like we have been seeing miracle after miracle after miracle. It shows the blessings that come after the trial of our faith :) We met a lady named Veronica. We were driving past a house and Hermana Asay said, "I remember that house from an exchange I came on here once. We should go." We went and sure enough. This lady had been talking about us the DAY BEFORE and had been wondering how to get in contact with us again. It was an answer to her prayer that we showed up. So amazing :) She has a really rough situation with health problems and her husband passing away and all sorts of things. It feels so good to be the answer to someone's prayer. We met another man who told us his brother was a member. He asked us if we had a Book of Mormon he could have :) Ha! We worked something out ;) as you can imagine. In that same housing we met a lady who was a member that is less-active and it turns out her brother even served a mission. So we have been finding people right and left. I know God answers prayers :) I thank y'all for praying for me. I have been seeing the results :) I can feel your prayers. That night we ate with La Familia Garcia. You are not going to believe what happened. They set out stuff for tacos. I LOVE tacos so I was super excited :) They said it was barbacoa meet. Then I heard someone say "lengua". Lengua means tongue. Yup. You got it. The meat was tongue. My stomach sure took a leap. I hadn't eaten any yet... but they were all watching. I was pretending that I didn't want to eat it because the sauce was too hot. But I eventually figured why not?? :) I know. Don't know what I was thinking. So I ate tongue. It wasn't anything at all like you would thing. I couldn't take to much though so I didn't really chew and just swallowed. Oh missions :) You get some pretty crazy experiences!! That day was pretty cold. The cold here in Texas is a lot different. It's a wet cold that cuts you to the bones. But I stayed warm :) No worries! We stopped by to see Suzeth that night. We sang with her a few hymns. It's one of her favorite things and sure brings the Spirit. I love to sing! Sunday we didn't end up having anyone at church :( We will get them next week! We found another really cute mom yesterday named Lordez when we were out knocking! Our prayers really are being answered. We also met this guy named Anthony. He was just walking down the street and I had the strongest feeling to turn around. We headed back and gave him a card. I can't tell you how many times we have done things like that :) Even if it's not convenient... if you get a prompting... follow it!! That night we had another miracle/super funny story. We tried Alejandra.. she wasn't there so we tried another lady that lived close. She let us in and seems to have a ton of interest in the church and actually knows Hermana Franco. Hermana Franco has actually invited her to church a lot before. She loved the message we shared and said she will come to church and see how it is :) At the end of the lesson she gave us a drink. I didn't think anything of it and started drinking it. I realized my companion wasn't drinking it. It just tasted like some type of juice but I couldn't quite figure out what??? After finishing the glass I looked at the Hermana and told her it was good and asked what it was?? She then proceeded to pull out the container which read " Lipton Iced Tea" I about DIED!!!!! My compa and I had just broke the Word of Wisdom. We obviously didn't know so we just started to laugh when we realized what had happened! We told our leaders and they just laughed and said we were fine and not to again :) Never have had iced tea 'til I was a missionary. Ah, too funny :) Well, I love you all!!! Have the best week ever and keep up the good work. Life is hard sometimes... but so worth it! Find a miracle in every day. Be obedient to the commandments. The Lord will bless you if you do :)
Hasta Luego- Hermana Hadlock :)
Here's the mouse.
Remember Joel Gardner?? He went to my school.
I saw him at the training!
I also said goodbye to Hermana LeBAron and Hermana Ostler that day :(