Monday, December 29, 2014

2015!

Happy New Year this week everyone!

Y'all should look up the Mormon Message "Look Not Behind Thee" if you haven't seen it. One of my favorites!

Christmas wasn't anything too different or miraculous, but it was a good day! We managed to keep pretty busy despite the fact that most people don't want to spend time with the missionaries over the holidays.

Exciting story! We have a new investigator, her name is Kathy. She's a little older (maybe 60s) and was a referral from her nonmember brother who we met while he was raking leaves one day. We met with her once and got to hear her religious background. She has a super solid faith in Jesus Christ but has never been convinced of any of the churches she has attended being 100% true. On Saturday, while I was on exchanges with Sister Hobbs, we went and taught her the Restoration. The Spirit was SO strong and she even told us that she believed that Joseph Smith really did have the First Vision. She accepted a Book of Mormon and told us she would read. We see a lot of potential even though there is no baptismal date yet. Towards the end of the lesson she said, "Hey, my sister in law says people feed you? Can I make dinner for you some time next week?" So now next time we see her she's going to give us dinner too! That's always a good sign :)

We're going to have mini-mission!! As in one of the laurels from our YW is coming to live with us for a day and a half! We're picking her up in a couple hours. I'm so excited!! We invited all the laurels from both wards to think about it and let us know if they want to serve a mini mission.

Wow time flies and I'm super tired today so my brain wasn't turned on enough for me to have much to say. I'm sure I'll have lots of stories next week with our Mission Unity Day and MLC this week!

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Feliz Navidad!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!

I can't believe it's that time of year again! It seems not too long ago and I was sitting in Nogales writing my last Christmas email. But...here we are. Last phone call home of my mission! *gulp*

The whole Skype thing is we aren't supposed to use members computers BUT it would cost the church a lot of money for the missionaries to call family outside the US, which is why they get the exception. I don't know it makes sense to me though. Either way it is what it is.

I got the box from Mom and Gma. Wilhoit! Thanks so much. I will open them on Thursday!!

KIERA WHAT ARE YOU DOING? Poor kid. I can't believe she fractured her wrist. Hopefully it heals up soon. She'll find plenty of things to do in the mean time. Left or right wrist?

We had a busy busy week as always. Transfers are a little crazy and taking over an area is tough too because your companion has no idea where anything is or who anybody is. But Sis. McNally is picking it up pretty fast! 

Matt didn't make it to church this week because he got called into work, but there was one night he stayed up until 2 in the morning reading the Book of Mormon! He really likes it and is trying to get his girlfriend interested too.

We've got lessons on Christmas Eve - yay! Christmas Day we have a few lessons, breakfast, dinner, and we're looking for more people to visit. Turns out most people don't want the missionaries to come on Christmas. What the heck!? We just want to share a cool Christmas message for like 20 minutes. What better way to feel the Spirit on Christmas? But hey...that's all good. We'll find something productive to do. Y'all know me I can't sit still.

This morning we went on a hike up to a waterfall with our zone and did personal study up there. So cool! I love little pday adventures like that.

Well...I'm keeping this short so that I have stories for you on Christmas! And pictures to come next week!

Love,

Hermana Blackford

 

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Transfer Time!!

Hey y'all!

I did have transfers, and since Sister Munn is going home it's no surprise I got a new companion!! Her name is Sister McNally, and she is from Salt Lake. Been out about 8 months, and I'd never met her until about 6:50 this morning. Woot woot! I will miss Sister Munn SO much!!! She was such an incredible companion. We never fought or anything. We never even had a bad day!! All good, all the time. Now let's hope I can make it that way with Sister McNally too!

SO the catch is she is NOT a sister training leader. The STLs used to be in companionships always, but with the declining number of sisters that is no longer the case. I'm what they call a "solo STL" which means my companion isn't an STL and I will only have 2-3 companionships instead of 5-6. I'm a little nervous!

Being STL does not mean I will be English. I'll probably go be an STL in the Spanish zone after this transfer. Leadership just means it's more probable that you will be switched between languanges (for those that speak Spanish).

Miracle of the week: Matt!!

Last Sunday (as in over a week ago), we'd had an appointment in the morning with some investigators, and they totally ditched. Pretty sure that was their way of dropping us. We were bummed, but their neighbor Matt was standing outside and we talked to him for a few minutes. We set up an appointment for Wednesday to see him, and oh boy am I glad we did! We taught him the Restoration and set a baptismal date for January 10th!! We've seen him a few times since, he came to sacrament meeting (is super shy so wasn't ready to come to classes yet) and has started reading the Book of Mormon! He recently moved here from Texas and has a pretty thick accent. When we leave commitments or set return appointments he always responds, "Yes ma'am." I love it!! All from our appointment falling through. More stories on him to come.

Hey sorry to break the news...but I won't be Skyping this time. Unless your parents live outside the country, it's a phone call. 30-40 minutes and that's it. President Passey is a very by-the-books kind of guy (and I'm very grateful he is, our mission needs that), and that's what the handbook says. So...I'll call you on Christmas!

Sorry for the short email but transfer day is a little hectic.

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tucson Trip #1!!

Hey everyone!!

So this week was probably one of the craziest of my mission yet - and it wasn't even because it was busy lesson wise. Here's the lay out of my week:

Monday: P-day! Woohoo. We didn't really do anything, just kinda chilled.

Tuesday: MLC! That means we were up early and headed into to Tucson. It was super awesome and I definitely will love that part of being an hermana capacitacidora! I got to see some of my mission buddies and....drum roll please...SISTER SUTHERLAND!!! There was happy dancing and hugging going on for a solid 5 minutes. I hadn't seen her in around 8 months. BUT then, after MLC, I went with her, and her companion Hermana Gregory, in a trio! It was so fun to talk all day in Spanish and teach in Spanish and be with Mexicans again! I felt so at home(: And they are both awesome hermanas so it was just all around good. We laughed so hard and talked nonstop.  (:

Wednesday: First thing in the morning was ultimate frisbee with some of the elders for our morning workout, then Spanish Conference! All the Spanish missionaries came to Tucson and we had a language and culture training day! It was so fun. I definitely realized my Spanish is not as good as it was while I was in Deming, but that's okay! It will get better...eventually. I did have somebody the other day ask me if I was a native speaker! #almostmexican

That afternoon I met up with Sister Munn again (she stayed with some other sisters) and we drove back to Saint David, grabbed some food, taught a couple lessons, and the drove out to Tombstone to meet the Sierra Vista sisters. I went to Sierra Vista, which means I spent all of 3 hours in my area from Tuesday until Friday!

Thursday: Sierra Vista with Sis. Walter! She is AWESOME. She's a newer missionary, but she is incredible. We had so much fun together and I always enjoy seeing other areas in the mission to get new ideas for my own. And we had a cool experience tracting where I talked to this black lady who was putting her screaming baby into a car and she was totally cool with the sisters going by the next day! That never seems to happen. I really think people are nicer because Christmas is coming.

Friday: Planning. Which means staying in for a few extra hours, which means I get a little hyper and easily distracted. But it's important.

Saturday: Tri-ward Christmas nativity! We were there for like 5.5 hours talking to people. Not as successful with the turnout as hoped for, but it was a great program and the Spirit was really strong! I was also kinda sick that day which made it tough, but that's alright. I'm all better now anyway.

Sunday: The usual church (minus the morning meetings), and we had a few less actives and an investigator come. We also got to teach Young Womens because it was on the hastening of the work. I loved it. Classic youth at first where you ask a question and everyone stares blankly back at you, but eventually they got talking and we had a great discussion.
Whew! That was like a marathon. I was (am?) super exhausted but that's all good.

This is Sister Munn's last week! We're ready to tear it up. We booked ourselves solid and are ready to run her into the ground before she goes home.

And yes that means emailing on Tuesday next week.

Love y'all!

Hermana Blackford

 

Monday, December 1, 2014

December = Christmas is Coming!

Hey!!

So this week was a weird week with the holiday and lots of people not wanting to meet and/or being out of town, but we were still super busy.

On Thanksgiving morning we went to go help a less active guy (his wife is pretty active but he basically never comes and we met with him Tuesday - the first time he met with the missionaries in like years) move tarps and pick up pecans after they shook the trees!! It was so fun. We are always asking to do service and most people won't let us, so it was nice that we finally got to do some! Plus...guess who came to church!!! That's right. He came. Coincidence? Nope. Service softens hearts!!

We had the Didions at the Merrills for like a week (Sis. Didion is their daughter) and it was SO FUN! It was like having little cousins around! Slightly loud/distracting during study time, but we loved it. They have 5 kids - a couple teenagers, a couple kinda in the middle, and the littlest was 2. Needless to say it was endless entertainment for us. Breakfast, lunch, and when we got home at night we always chatted with them.

Tuesday was INSANE. WE had appointments scheduled super tight all day, and by the time we got home we just crashed. It was awesome though!

Cool little miracle: so last p-day we were out shopping and a member texts and says her friend (who she's been working with for some time) wants to takes the lessons! That was one of our Tuesday lessons. Her name is Vikki, and to say the least, she is a GEM! Unfortunately lives outside our wards' boundaries, so this week we are passing her off to the other sisters. But here's the catch! The reason that Vikki agreed to take the lessons? We had met Vikki 2 weeks before while out to lunch after district meeting! We'd had a good chat with her. And so the member was like, "Well...now that you know the sisters would you like to meet with them?" And she said yes(: It was perfect!

Thanksgiving was good! Only 3 lunches/dinners...thankfully! Nothing too exciting or new on the food front. Just traditional white, American Thanksgiving!

This week we have a CRAZY schedule. Tomorrow is MLC so we'll drive up to Tucson first thing in the morning. After MLC I'm going to be in a temporary trio with Hna. Sutherland and her companion for the rest of the day while Sis. Munn goes with another companionship of English sisters because Wednesday we have a Spanish conference! After that I'll meet up with Sis. Munn, we'll go to a couple appointments in Saint David, and then go meet the Sierra Vista sisters because all day Thursday I'll be on exchanges out there! So I won't see too much of Saint David this week :(

Anyway, the clock is ticking amigos and I have to go, but I love and miss you!

Hermana Blackford