Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014 Here comes May (:‏

Here comes May!!! Say WWWHHHAATT?!?! 

I can't believe May is almost here. One year ago, on May 15, I left for my mission. I can't believe how fast the time is passing. Even thinking about where I was last summer on my mission... I have grown SO MUCH!! To think back and realize that I couldn't understand hardly anything in Spanish, really had no idea what I was doing as a missionary, etc. it blows my mind. I have learned and grown so much. I owe it all to Heavenly Father. Every day.. every minute... He is helping me become more of the person He would have me be. 

Honestly, I think I have the memory of a 95 year old because I can't even to remember all the things that happened this last week :) There is way too much in my head right now. I will do my best!!

So Monday... I was having a bit of a rough day... and me and my compa were driving home from Wal Mart. She told me to keep going straight but wouldn't tell me where we were going... after a while she told me to take a turn and there we were at Panda Express. She knows how much I love Panda so she surprised me and took me there!!! Yeah, she's pretty much the best compa in the whole world! We had a really good lesson with Verenice and her family that night. We played the famous "tie game" for our Noche de Hogar (family home evening with them) that I will be playing with all of you when I get home :) It's so fun! 

Tuesday we had a lesson with a young guy named Pablo. He's had a rough past but has TONS of awesome questions about the Gospel. After not being able to find answers in his church.. he fell away. So hopefully we can help him to get some answers and find the faith again :) That night we had a lesson with La Familia Rocio Loya. She opened up a ton with us!! I guess she's been having troubles and her daughters left the house. It always amazes me the trials that I have seen these people here go through. It makes mine seem so little in comparison. But I know no  matter who you are and no matter the situation.. The Gospel can heal you and bless you.

Wednesday we had a pretty cool experience! I got to go on an exchange with Hermana Crosgrove. She is the sister training leader and is now in Grand Prairie, my old area. So for a day... I got to go back!!! :) I got to see Xiomara and her little girls. It was the BIGGEST miracle! They are never home during that time of day but it was the only time we had free.. so we stopped by and there they were outside! Stephanie saw me and just yelled, "HERMANA!!!!!"" She came running and her and Lizzy both jumped in my arms :) I can't lie... I shed a few tears I was so happy :) I also got to stop by Adrianna... the one who was about to get baptized and then flipped out of no where and didn't want anything to do with it. She was really nice and said the hermanas could stop by again :) We also had a huge blessing and I got to eat dinner with Hermana Buchanan. She is one of the best members I have ever seen in the whole world. We didn't have a dinner appointment so we called her and she told us to come right on over :) IT WAS SUCH A DAY of MIRACLES! 

Thursday morning we changed back! They wanted to change back in Carrollton (the sister training leaders) which was fine by me because that was my other old area! There was loads of traffic and we didn't want to waste time so we stopped at Sister Whitley's (who was really close) and did our studies for the morning. It was so good to see her again :) She truly was the biggest blessing in the beginning of my mission! That night we also had an incredible lesson with Lizeth and Agustin. We invited them to get married and they were both super excited about it!! :) So hopefully we will be planning a wedding... and a baptism here soon :) 

Friday we had another lesson with Erica from Tijuana. She accepted to be baptized and asked what she has to do to be baptized :) The Spirit was so strong!!! She is definitely prepared to accept the Gospel. I am hoping to get referrals to send to Jackson in Tijuana as well! How cool would that be?? 

Saturday was a good day :) It was Verenice's Birthday so we made her the coolest cake ever!!! It was Hermana Asay's idea :) I will send pictures! Then... we had a lesson with someone named Claudia. She is really sweet and has LOADS of questions about the church but I think she has tons of potential so we are excited to be teaching her :) She was watching Frozen and making fun of us that we couldn't watch it. :) hahaha! 6 More months! That night we did get the opportunity to watch The Joseph Smith movie with Suzeth and her family. Lizeth and Agustin loved it :) They are moving along and progressing slowly but surely :) I love them!!! 

On Sunday Erica came to church!!! We were so happy to see her there :) Her and her boyfriend ended up coming. So hopefully we can get them married and baptized :) We had dinner with The familia Rodriguez yesterday. I want to share a few of his thoughts with y'all. They hit me really hard :) 

He was talking about the simplicity of the Gospel and the power of doing the right thing. I guess the missionary that baptized his family in Mexico didn't baptize a ton and had a REALLY HARD time with Spanish. But he baptized this man and his family. Through hermana rodriguez... him and his brothers had over 500 baptisms in Mexico. In those.. some have gone on missions and I am sure baptized their own. There were also other members of his family and his own children who served missions. There have been COUNTLESS baptisms as a result of this man's work. He never could have imagined at the time.. blows your mind right??? I may not always see the fruits of my work here immediately.. but I know if I keep working, do my best, and follow the Spirit, they will COME! :D He also talked about how if today the Saints were asked to pack up and go to Missouri in preparation for the Second coming.. he is sure 80%-90% would go. But then he said.. what about when we are asked to do the little things... like family home evening and scripture study? Are we as willing to obey? That sure hit me hard. 

Well... I love you all :) We have trials in this life... but just as God told Joseph Smith... " And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."

Heavenly Father knows what He is doing :) Trust Him. Follow Him. No matter what :) Give Him your best. CHOOSE to be happy. "Come what may... and love it" :) 

Hasta Luego, Hermana Hadlock :) 

The bugs here are HUGE!!!!! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014 Texas weather is crazy!‏

This last week was a really good one :) I hope y'all had a fantastic Easter! It was one of the best Easters I have ever had in my life. It sure was different... but I wouldn't have had it any other way. I'll give you more details in just a bit :)

It's crazy to think I am already in my 2nd week in my 2nd transfer with Hermana Asay! It seems like I just got here to McKinney and in other ways it seems like I haven't been in Grand Prairie forever!! 

Last Monday we had an incredible Family Home Evening with one of our investigator families!! We read the "Family Proclamation to the World" with them and talked about the importance of building a strong family. Then we played a game after that was such a blast! It's called the cat and the mouse and you play it with 2 ties. I will play it with you when I get home :) We were all dying laughing! Just as we were heading into the F.H.E. we realized we had forgot to bring a treat. We all know that's the most important part ;) ... so we were pretty distraught. I then looked in the car... there sat a nice plump watermelon. I LOVE watermelon. They were on sale at the store so I bought one for myself and I was SO excited to eat it. It was the 1 thing I had happened to leave in the car when we took in the groceries. My compa and I looked back and forth at each other and the watermelon. I knew what I had to do. The Loya family sure enjoyed my watermelon :) Hahaha!!! When we sacrifice... we get blessings, right?? ;) 

On Tuesday we ate dinner with a family. I don't know why... but afterwards my stomach went NUTS again! It had me doubled over. I honestly don't know what's going on.. so Brother Ragsdale... the member/retired doctor we lived with gave me a blessing and said he thinks it might be my gal bladder? We're not sure. It doesn't happen too often... but when it does it sure gets me good. Honestly though, I am fine :) I talked with Sister Durrant and I will be seeing a doctor soon just to make sure everything is good. So say a prayer they'll be able to figure it out?? 

Thursday we had a miracle. I guess the English sisters were down in Allen and they just started helping this lady with her groceries. Turns out she is a member and her husband and kids aren't and she has been wanting to come back to church. She also prefers Spanish so that's where we come in :) We had our first lesson with her this last Thursday! We watched the "Because of Him" video on you tube and talked about the real meaning of Easter. If you all haven't seen that video... you should get on you tube or and watch it right now!! It's SO GOOD :) It's only like 2 minutes long too. 

Saturday we had some really awesome things as well :) Saturday morning we were walking in the trailer park and decided to stop by Irma's house. We had only met her like 1 and set up another appointment but we just felt like we should stop by and confirm with her for the next day. We stopped by and she said that she wasn't going to be there the next day so it was good we had stopped by that day. She let us in and we talked for a few minutes. We invited her to church and in the end she told us she could never reject an invitation to come to church :) She said we could stop by the next morning and she would follow us to church! 

Later that night we had a ward activity. It was such a blast!!! We had Verenice and her family there. I ended up playing tag with the 2 little boys and my compa and Suzeth. It was pretty funny! The one is like 6 and he was just making faces at me and yelling "You can't catch me!!" Hahah... too funny. We were on the play ground and I could hardly resist playing just like all the other kids. I guess there still is a 5 year old inside of this 20 year old body :) They did an Easter egg hunt for the kids and they LOVED it! It was really good for our ward to have an activity. It made the investigators feel comfortable and the ward get closer together. My compa and are convinced ward activities are a way to help in conversion :)

The Easter miracle.... We stopped by 3 different houses that morning for all of our investigators that said they would come to church. After the first 2.. No one had been awake. We were getting pretty sad :( Then we came around the corner and there stood Irma!! It was 8:45 in the morning and there she was in her church dress ready to go! She was cleaning her windows with Windex and told me her car had to look good for her to go to church :) It was too cute and truly a miracle!!! I'll send a picture of her :) 

Easter was incredible. It hit me stronger than ever that the Resurrection is real. This last Saturday I had one of my friends pass away. Between that and the loved ones I have lost and all the others in the world Easter really does have a special meaning. I am a witness that Christ lives. HE LIVES. He loves you and is your very best friend, Savior, and Brother. 

I love you all :) Have the best week ever!!! Until next week, Hermana JennAy Hadlock! :) 

My compa killed this spider for me and it SPLATTERED LIKE A FOOT!!!!!!!! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014 A new transfer :)‏

Buenas tardes!! (:

So my e-mail this week won't be too long. Today I had to take a lot of my time taking care of some applications for different schools that were due. It absolutely BLOWS MY MIND that I am having to think about different college applications. Even though I did everything I could to take care of it before my mission... there were still some things I had to take care of now. As of last Saturday (my Brother David's Birthday... HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAVID!!!) I officially have less than 7 months. That means I am in the 6 month and something countdown. As of tomorrow, I officially have 11 months on my mission!!  AAAHH!!! No worries, I am not trunky. It just baffles me! I don't know how... but I learn to love my mission more every single day.

This last Saturday we also got transfer calls. Hermana Asay and I were a little nervous... but then we didn't get a call :) So we are staying together for one more!!!!! SCORE!! :D She is so awesome. This last week we were able to work really hard and ended up having 20 lessons with members present and 33 lessons in total. That is BY FAR the highest amount of lessons I have ever taught in my whole mission in a week. We were praying and working so hard!!! The best  part is... it wasn't us. We decided we feel like Ammon :) We will not boast of ourselves but we will boast of our God. He truly loves us and answers prayers!!!

The familia Loya is doing soo good. They have a baptismal date for May 10th. Keep them in your prayers that they will be able to come to church and feel ready for their baptisms :) Their names are Lucy, Verenice, Angel, y Abraham. 3 of the 4 could be baptized.. not including the dad. We haven't been able to teach him much at all because he works so much. We are hoping to change that :)

On Tuesday I went on intercambios. That's where the sister training leader comes and Hermana Asay went to Dallas to work with the other one. We ended up having a really successful exchange and it was fun to be with Hermana Enriquez because she is a native Hispanic and is also a convert. So it was fun to hear her stories and work with her :) 

Wednesday morning, April 9th, I got to go back with Hermana Asay :) I was sure happy to see her! It's always so weird being away from your compa. It makes you so much happier to see them again after being apart! I know it probably sounds weird... but it's a missionary thing ;) You get really used to having someone there when they are by your side 24/7. It was a real good day :) 

Friday was pretty fun! I met a girl named Erica that is from Tijuana. I guess she lived right where Jackson is serving his mission and then lived in San Diego, CA?? I think. So I will be trying to get referrals for down there in Tijuana! I guess most of her family still lives there. Small world, huh??

That night we also had an amazing lesson with Lizeth and Agustin. They are really starting to open up and get more comfortable with the members :) They are progressing slowly but surely... :) she is the sister of Hermana Kirkham's first baptism, Suzeth. So it's neat we have gotten to teach the same family :) 

Saturday was an eventful day... It was pretty normal and then we went to dinner. After dinner... I GOT SSOOOOO SICK!!!!!!!! I was in so much pain. I don't know why because my compa was fine so I don't think it was the food. Who knows what happened??? Anyhow... I made Hermana Asay drive and was not doing so hot. We went to pick up Areli to come to lessons with us.. (she is getting ready to head on a mission) and I ended up staying there at her house. I laid down in her bed and in just a bit was out cold for about an hour and a half. When I woke up I was still sick but it wasn't near as terrible as it was before. I took some medicine the members gave me and by the end of the night was doing okay :) It was SO WEIRD to just lay down for a bit. Definitely haven't done that for a while... like a year :) Hahah. No worries though. I have been just fine since! But I may be somewhat lactose intolerant?? Who knows what's going on. Anyhow, it's all good :) 

Sunday Hermano Franco (who is an R.M.) went out with us for a while and we were able to teach a lot of lessons! When I get home.. I want to work with the missionaries all the time :) We were able to hit our goal of 20 lessons with members present! I love being a missionary. It is so hard but so worth it. I learn more EVERY SINGLE DAY. More like every minute. You never know what's going to happen next. Much like life :) So just put it in the Lord's hands and it will all be okay :) I love each and every one of you!! Thanks for your prayers. Thanks for your support. I feel it. 

It truly is a privilege to share my testimony of Christ EVERY DAY. "Share your testimony always... use words sometimes." 

Hasta Luego -Hermana Hadlock (: 

This is when we went on our exchange. Also, a squirrel :) President Durrant LOVES squirrels. I'll explain that one day :) 

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014 I'm on a conference high (:‏

Howdy, howdy, howdy!! (:

So my brother-in-law Eric told me that conference weekend for the missionaries is like super bowl weekend :) I gotta say, it's so true! Mostly. There's just one thing I disagree with... IT'S EVEN BETTER!!!!!!! I honestly don't know why I didn't like conference when I was a youngin'. It is one of the best things ever. I learned SO MUCH!!

I have an exciting week to tell you about. It was one of the most successful weeks I have ever had in numbers. It's funny though... I didn't change how hard I was working. Things just seemed to work out. It just proved to me that the miracles come after the trial of our faith. Our first weeks together, Hermana Asay and I were working so hard. It was a tough couple of weeks. We only found about 7 new investigators the first 2 weeks. This last week... we found 24!! A little bit of a difference, aye?? The thing is... I know it was a blessing and truly miracle after miracle from God. He loves us SO much. By showing Him we were willing to work even when the numbers weren't where we wanted them... He blessed us with miracles after the trial because He knew we would follow Him no matter what. 

Monday we had a few good lessons and visited some of the people that needed some help in our ward. I just have to add something quick... DO YOUR VISITING/HOME TEACHING :) There are so many blessings waiting for you if you will do it. Show the people you love them and you will grow so much in return. Anyhow, it was a really good day. I was really tired and because of that started to get frustrated and irritated about some things that were dumb and not important. The thought came to my head... "When you're struggling... serve." So I decided to do that. Instead of thinking in myself, I tried to focus on others. It worked :) I was happier by the end of the night. 

Tuesday we had a lesson with THE CUTEST FAMILY. We met a lady named Josefina a little while back. A member had come to a lesson with us that didn't end up being there. He was a champ and knocked doors with us for a bit even though it was freezing. Through this, we found Josefina. We went back to share more with her and when we got there her and her son were sitting together trying to figure out his math homework. I am a nerd and love math so I asked if I could help. The mom said yes!! Because it was in English she couldn't really understand it. I about died laughing when the little boy looked at me and said.."Pero, esta en ingles" (But it's in English) He didn't think I spoke English. I laughed and said no worries. I speak English better than Spanish :) A few minutes into helping him I noticed he wasn't answering the questions as well and was holding his nose. I couldn't figure out what he was doing until he finally said, "Uh... can I please run blow my nose real fast??" His nose had been running and he had gotten boogers on his hand but was too embarrassed to say anything so he was just sitting like that for 2 or 3 minutes. IT WAS SO CUTE!!! I sure love that little guy :) When we went back the other day he said, "I have good news." "I got 100% on my math test!" He was so excited :) So stinkin' cute. 

Tuesday we also had an awesome lesson with the Familia Loya with Berenice. We played a game to decide who would say the prayer. Every person goes around and has to say a metal. The first person that can't think of a metal has to say the prayer. The game is really a trick.. because when someone says gold... they "Oro" Which in spanish means "I pray". They were all laughing and thought it was super funny :) 

Wednesday was all over the place. First of all, Happy Birthday to my papa!! We did service at Chestnut square. It's the antique place I told you about. It was SO humid that day and we were hauling stuff so we got real wet and sweaty. We found some new investigators and they seem to be some good people. It was a tough day as well because Hermana Asay's grandma passed away. She got the chance to talk with her family so that was good :) 

Thursday was so crazy! During planning we noticed that the cleaning ladies had come to the Ragsdale's house. They are Hispanic and we have been wanting to give them a Finding Faith in Christ DVD. When we saw they were leaving we ran outside and pretended like we were getting something out of our car. We gave them the DVD and they said the Elders were actually already visiting them in their area :) So that was pretty neat. We tried to not act awkward and so we got in the car and drove around the block to make it look like we hadn't just come out to stalk them, hahah. That night we went to teach Lizeth. We had planned it out real well and brought a member so we were excited. When we got there... she said that she had to leave so we couldn't have the lesson. But that changed :) Earlier that day... there had been a tornado warning. I guess it was real because the second she opened the door to leave a TON of rain and hail started coming down and there was LOADS of wind. I just looked at her and started laughing and said, "Well, I guess God wants you to hear this lesson :) " For good reason as well. At the end of the lesson she started to cry and said, "Hermanas, I want to KNOW. I really want to know if this is the true church. But I know I need to act to receive an answer. I know I have to do my part so God can do His." It was so powerful!!  After that we headed home. It was a little scary to drive in the storm but we made it home safe alright. Later we got a text saying to take cover so we stayed in for the rest of the night. No tornadoes ended up touching down where we were but MAN.. I don't know that I've ever seen a storm like that before in my life. No worries, we were safe and all was well :)

Friday.. it was another day of adventures. I don't know that we ever have a day without something crazy happening. Ismarai came out with us to some appointments and we also had a lesson with a referral from a member! Member referrals are THE BEST! It worked out real well and we are excited to see what happens. That night we went over to one of the families we are teaching. We found out the little girl had lice and had had it for about a month or something like that. First, we were so grateful we hadn't gotten it yet because we'd been there a lot without knowing. She didn't have anyone to help her or the stuff to take care of it so we took some time to help her out. We are hoping that they will be gone soon! It's so hard to see some of the trials these families go through. It makes me so humble and makes me so grateful for what I have. 

Saturday was a day of miracles :) A girl named Arely came out with us. She is 19 and getting ready to go on a mission herself. She's our good luck charm ;) Nah, I know it's blessings. Anyhow, that night we went to another member referral. We walked in and it was a family of about 8 people!!!! WE LOVE FAMILIES!! The mom called them all in and all the kids sat down to listen to us and one little girl was even asking a ton of questions and willing to say the prayer. They are so golden :) They are La Familia Pichardo. Please, PLEASE keep them in your prayers :) I am SO excited to work with them!! 

Both Saturday and Sunday I loved, loved, LOVED General Conference. I learned so many good things for both me and my investigators. If you didn't get the chance to watch it... watch it. If you watched it, go back and study it when it comes out :) A few of my favorite quotes...
I loved Elder Holland's talk so much. "Take Heart. Be strong. Live the Gospel. Defend your faith!" Also, "Obedience brings blessings" from Elder Scott. Truly if you want to know the key to happiness... obedience and a grateful heart will get you there :) One of my favorite talks was by Elder Anderson I believe?? It talked about the tree. The more we go through, the stronger we will be :) The wind and trials can bend us... but they can't break us if we will build our foundation on Christ. I love my Savior. I know He lives. In the words of President Monson..."May we ever be found doing the work of the Lord." 

P.s. My mission president, President Durrant, got called to be part of the Sunday School Presidency with Elder Callister!!!!!! YAAAHHOO!! :) Next conference, I'll get to see him up there. A big congrats to him :)

I LOVE Y'ALL SO MUCH!!! Cuidate :) -tu favorita, La Hermana "Hot Dog" (some people call me hot dog because they can't say my name) 

This is where I am living :) and look at the name of the house... 
I sent it to dad!! I was dying laughing!!! 

A sunrise. 

  Me and my compa :)

Conference day! And Arely :) The girl who came out with us!