So first matter of business. I'm going home. Let me explain. Before my mission... I told my family many, many times... the FIRST time I see a tarantula will be the ONLY time I see a tarantula because after that I am packing up my bags and I am HEADING HOME!!! Hahaha :) Well, it finally happened!!! (see picture below) I'll write about the story a little later in the e-mail :)
And yes, I will be coming home... but y'all will have to wait 'til November 12th for that :)
First off... God answers prayers. He sends us little miracles every day to let us know He loves us :) Last Monday, I was filling out a college application and needed President Durrant to do an endorsement on one of the applications. I knew he was leaving last Saturday and couldn't think of any way for him to do it before he left because normally you need an interview. Well... after e-mailing last Monday I got in the car and we see President Durrant come up on the Caller I.D. My heart stopped of course. I answered and he said he needed to talk to Sister Hadlock :) Right then and there he gave me my interview! I got to complete that part on the application and I got one last chance to talk to President Durrant! I truly LOVE him and his family!!!
That night we got to teach Dan and Gelin. Dan is an english investigator and we will be handing him off to the english elders soon. We found him outside in his yard and I can tell he is SO ready for the Gospel. Gelin is a cousin of Dariela. She is about to have a baby here in July and just got here from Honduras. The last time we went there she told us about how she had NEVER felt what she felt when she walked into the church. I don't remember if I told y'all about that last week or not. It was amazing :)
Tuesday we had our first coordination meeting with our new Ward Mission Leader. I am excited to work with him. He is very strong and has a lot of really good ideas that I think are going to help us grow our little humble branch :) We may not be great in number here in our small branch... but man these people have got some big hearts :)
Wednesday we had a lesson with Claudia. It was really good in some ways and really heart breaking in others. She told us all the things she loved about our faith and the people in it and then told us that she didn't have time to go to church right now. It is so hard when I see people feeling the Spirit and then choosing to walk away from it. I just want everyone to make it back one day and really enjoy the happiness that everyone can receive if they will just be obedient to what God would have them do.
On Thursday we had an INCREDIBLE lesson with Catalie. She is Dariela's cousin as well :) Honestly, she amazes me. She is only 14 but has been through SO much in her life. She just got here from Honduras and is working more hours than a full time job. She has a heart of gold. When we were talking to her on Thursday you could see the understanding coming. She loves the Gospel and I really wouldn't be surprised if she serves a mission herself one day :) I want to be friends with her for now and eternity. I can't wait to see all that God has in store for her. We shared Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-9 with her and it nearly brought her to tears. You should read it too :) Man, I love the Gospel.
So Thursday night after the lesson with Catalie... we came home SO STINKIN' HAPPY! We were cruzin' down the road and I was singing to one of my favorite missionary songs when all of the sudden out of the corner of my eye I see something black in the road start moving. Sister Allen has NO IDEA how I saw it because I was the one driving... but I guess I have eagle eyes or somethin' ;) With my jaw dropped... I shined the brights on whatever was moving... my terror became a reality. IT WAS A TARANTULA!!!!!! I thought it was .... but when I shined the lights on it and confirmed... man... me and my compa were almost dying!! Picture it. 2 sister missionaries who are both PETRIFIED of spiders. EEWW! I decided if I didn't take a picture no one would believe me... so I gathered up my courage and got out of the car and snapped a couple quick pictures. A few cars pulled up behind us on the road and I am pretty sure one of them ran over it because when we went back it was nothing but a gross smashed mess on the road. Needless to say... I almost died of a heart attack :) But no worries... I am still alive and breathing :)
Friday we got to do our usual service at Chestnut Square! I sure love that place. One day, y'all will have to come and visit :)
Saturday the Elders in our ward had another baptism that we got to go too! It's 2 sisters. They are too stinkin' cute :) When we got to the church that morning to help clean... the members were laughing because we had just rolled out of bed and came straight over because it was really early in the morning. They laughed and said it looked like I was still sleeping!
That night we had a really good lesson with Verenice's dad. It was good to teach him because we normally can't catch him home! He agreed to come to church with us on Sunday :) We also had a really good lesson with the family that the Elders referred to us. They are a family of about 8 who could all get baptized. The little girls agreed to come to church if we bought them watermelon. that night we went and bought them a watermelon! A huge one :) I told them if they didn't come to church... I would have to enjoy the whole thing alone ;)
Also, Saturday President and Sister Durrant and their family headed back to Utah. I just want to thank them for all they have done. Honestly, I will remember the things they have taught me and their example will impact me forever. They're the best of the best :) We are excited to meet President and Sister Taylor this upcoming Saturday!! :)
Yesterday we had one of our investigators come to church :) Our family didn't come... so I followed through on my promise and ate a whole lot of watermelon by myself yesterday :) Ha! Of course I'd rather have them come to church but the watermelon helped make up for us missing them at church :( Yesterday while we ate dinner with the Garcia's she told me something really awesome. I talked to her about how our investigators were struggling coming to church. She told me maybe it would help them to understand WHY we come to church.
We believe that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He came to this earth and suffered and gave His life for us so that we might be forgiven of our sins and live again one day with our families and the ones we love forever. Every week, we have the opportunity to go to church and remember that sacrifice He gave for us and show our love and gratitude for Him. It hit me hard :) I know it's simple doctrine we hear all the time... but really take a min. to think about that.
After dinner with the Garcia's we stopped by with Catalie to see how she was doing and set up another lesson. While there, they tried to feed us dinner AGAIN :) Hahah! Hispanics are very good with sharing and it is evident with the weight I have gained on my mission. But that's alright... :) I'll get it off with some nice long running! And when I get back.. some nice longs swims in the pool :)
God truly does have a sense of humor. Yesterday when we got home... my compa and I were just talking when I looked behind her and started screaming!! She jumped and looked behind her... sure enough :) ANOTHER GIANT SPIDER!!! I'm pretty sure this was the tarantula's baby coming back for revenge. Y'all can look at the picture. Needless to say, we beat it real good with the broom all while screaming and jumping all over! Honestly, if anyone else could see us they would die laughing :) I guess living in a nice pool house comes with it's set backs as well.
The two things I have really learned this week... Love people like the Savior would. No one is perfect. You're not, I'm not. But we can love them with Christ like love and we can all become better together. Second, no matter what is going on... try to be grateful through the trials and stay happy :)
I love y'all!! We will see if I make it through another week with this Spider madness! Maybe next week I'll send a picture from the inside of the tarantula. They keep getting bigger and bigger so the next one will probably just eat me :)
The church is true! Have a good week :) I love y'all!!
Love, Hermana Hadlock :) Cuidate! TE QUIERO!
The watermelon and a sunset here in Texas :)