Hey everyone! So, this is it! This is the end of this crazy, amazing adventure. I don't even really know how to write this email! But I will try haha!
This week Jorge Castaneda got baptized!!!!! It was one of the most amazing things that has happened on my mission. We found a teaching record for Jorge that went all the way back to 2011.... can you believe it! When Jorge got baptized the whole Relief Society Room was FULL!!!!! We ran out of chairs, people were standing and crammed in the hallway, and I was sharing a piano bench with Elder Garcia and Elder Horrocks! Jorge’s wife and his 13-year-old son gave amazing talks. They are so happy that after so many years of being taught the Gospel, their husband and father is now a member of the Church. I accompanied Hermana Starke as she sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" in Spanish. There were many, many tears from everyone.
After Jorge got baptized, Hermana Dunn and I did the Missionary Minute where we played a game of telephone to explain the apostasy of Christ's Church. It was so great, and everyone loved it! It was a blessing that he also was able to be confirmed that same day.
Usually converts are confirmed in church the next day, but it was going to be Regional Stake Conference and regular Sacrament Meeting was not going to be held. We were very nervous that the baptism was going to happen the following week and Hermana Starke, Dunn and I were all going home and would miss it. We met together with the Bishop and Jorge’s family on Tuesday, thankfully it all worked out so that the baptism and confirmation could happen together on Saturday so that we could all be there! Such a great blessing for us missionaries!!!
After, we went over to a member’s house for a little celebration dinner. Words cannot explain how amazing this experience was! After it had ended I was talking to Hermana Starke and Dunn and we all looked at each other and Hermana Starke said, "Well, we can all go home now, that was the best hour of our missions!" Seriously, this was icing on the cake, with a cherry on top and sprinkles!
The rest of this week has been nuts! It has consisted of:
-Mini Golf for our last Zone Activity
-Book of Mormon Experiment X2
-Having our "Funerals"
-Final Interview with President
-Eating, eating, and more eating
-Popping 21 bags of popcorn for a Noche de Hogar with the whole ward where we watched the Restoration
-Departing Temple Trip
-Road Trips to Sylmar to ship our bikes home
-Hna. Dunn breaking the zipper on her suitcase and sewing it with dental floss (don’t worry... it will make it)
And many, many goodbyes. Oh, and we planned and did a baptism...... seriously the craziest week of my life.
I am so beyond grateful for this opportunity I have had to serve my Heavenly Father full time for 18 months. It has seriously been the hardest thing I've ever LOVED to do! I am sad to be leaving but I am looking forward to what comes next!
I know with my whole heart that this Church is true! I am so blessed to have this Gospel in my life. I know that we have a Savior who loves us. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and by reading it we can know the fullness of the Gospel. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Thank you for all of the love and support that I have felt from all of you!
“Called to Know the Richness of His Blessings!”
Castaneda Family with the Hermanas ;)
Jorge's wife and son are already members, and his son is so excited
to pass the sacrament with his father.
Hermana Hadley, Jorge Castaneda, Hermana Dunn
Last Zone Activity of Mini Golf!
More Mini Golf
We made 2 totes full of Popcorn for Noche De Hogar
The last smoothie of many at the Escobar's!
Finally, my turn to have my Funeral :(
"Bitter Sweet" Hermana Hadley and Hermana Dunn out to eat with Pres. and Hermana Vasquez from the San Fernando Spanish YSA Branch. A hard goodbye. :(
Departing Temple Trip!
Mom note: This is a picture that every Mom of a CASF missionary watches for every six weeks on Facebook. You see past companions and dear friends go home and watch with anticipation knowing that some day your missionary will be in this picture right before they come home. Friday was my day to get the Departing Temple Trip Picture!
All of us Sisters going home!!!
Mom Note: What a Powerhouse!!! I LOVE every one of these missionaries and have followed many of their journeys since Day #1! Hermana Hadley has been companions or shared an apartment with everyone of these Amazing Women! Well Done Thou Good And Faithful Servants!!! <3
The Trio Companionship from Mexico City MTC, now Forever Friends <3
We all went in a 12 passenger van named, "Big Bertha"
Last time seeing Elder Martin...see you at home!
(Wardies in the same mission, Elder Martin comes home in June)
Road Trip to go ship bikes home!
Sunday Night, our last night in Reseda :(
Crepes with Lorena and Rafael!
An awesome way to end the mission for both of us!
Such a blessing on Sunday as we were able to say goodbye at the Regional Stake Conference to all of our Spanish Missionaries and Spanish Members through our missions!
The Vasquez Family <3
The Castaneda Family at Regional Stake Conference the day after his baptism.
Goodbye to some of my Spanish YSA friends Nathalie and Kaylee <3
Saying Goodbye to sweet Abby Chancavac! I Love Her!
I'm going to miss these Sunsets