Monday, November 28, 2016

One Day, Five Missionaries, and 146 Muffins

Hey everyone!!! I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving Day and you are all having an awesome time getting ready for Christmas! This has been such an amazing week here in the mission. I thought being away from home for Thanksgiving was going to be way hard but the mission makes it fun!

It all started Wednesday night, we had the bright idea that for Thanksgiving we should go around and visit all the people in our Branch Council and bring them something. Well, 146 muffins later we were ready to go. We spent that night and Thursday morning slaving away in the kitchen. Then the Elders called us and said, "What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving we don't know what to plan?" Because they are the Elders that work in our branch we made a road trip out of it by delivering all 146 muffins.

It was an awesome Thanksgiving that we spent with the Henao family. It was so great to be around such a wonderful family to celebrate. It was by far the best turkey I have ever had. Hermano Henao had been marinating it for 6 days.... It was heavenly! We went around to a lot of our ward members and shared the Christmas video with everyone and invited them to do the 25 ways in 25 days challenge. And that is what I invite all of you to do also!! It is such an awesome way to be more like Christ in simple ways!

So I need to share with you a little experience that I had this week where I kind of rethought my life a little but it was good because we all need those moments. Alright, so we have the great blessing of being fed by our members and I am very grateful for that but sometimes we get fed some weird stuff even here in California. One night we got fed Ceviche which is raw fish and shrimp soaked in vinegar. It was an interesting dinner and it took me a good 45 minutes to finish eating.

Then we went to go contact some people and it was raining and cold and it resulted in us sitting on a curb feeling like we were going to lose our cookies while hearing Mexican music in the back ground. It was one of those "What am I doing" moments. I thought about what I was doing as a missionary and I then started to smile. I realized even though I thought I was going to die, I was happy. Serving my Heavenly Father has been the best choice I have made. I have grown as a person and as a Child of God. 

My challenge to you is to have a "What Am I Doing" moment. It doesn't have to be eating raw fish and sitting in a gutter in the rain that smells like weed (in a sketchy area that day). But it is always good to take a step back and make sure we are happy and recognizing the blessing we have each and every day. Thanks for everything and I hope you have an awesome week filled with Christmas joy and snow!! Love you guys!!!

-Hermana Hadley 

146 Muffins!!!

Hermana's Making Muffins

This crazy car...

Getting ready for Christmas

Christmas in my apartment!

Had my favorite holiday drink of Egg Nog and Sprite!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

I Like to Look for Rainbows

What an amazing week!!! There have been so many miracles and blessings that have happened! Let me first start by telling you about my crazy fun adventure that happened Monday right after emailing.

So once upon a time we were taking in our groceries up to our apartment before we went to our zone activity of Sock Hockey.  I grabbed my bag and then all of a sudden I had huge pain in my finger... I then looked down and it is covered in blood. Now I don't do well with my own blood so I quickly ran up to our apartment and laid on the floor to keep myself from passing out.

My companion was looking at my finger and we found a little piece of metal in my finger and it was not coming out. We got a ton of paper towels and went to the zone activity where Elder (Doctor) Cardinal performed surgery.  My finger is doing a lot better but it was quite deep and I lost a lot of blood. But it is for sure a mission memory. 

On other news..... BRENDA GOT BAPTIZED!!! This was one of the best experiences I have ever had. It was so great to see someone take the step of baptism and the spirit was so strong! Of course everything was falling apart leading up to the baptism and confirmation, including being locked out of the church, a flat tire, and half the family telling us they were going to be 45 minutes late (including the people giving prayers and talks) but at least she got baptized and confirmed.

The adversary works so hard when you are doing something good. We ran on normal Latino time so the family got there right when everyone else did haha.  For the musical number all of the kids in this family sang "When I am Baptized" or they just like to call it the rainbow song. There were a lot of kids, a little bit of a crazy family situation. It was a very special moment for me to be able to have them sing to a piano arrangement of the song that I have always wanted to play for a baptism.

Brenda was so very happy to make this choice in her life and hopes to be sealed in the temple to her husband Edgar who has been coming back to church, and their cute little girl Mary Jane.

Later that night we went back to my old area because one of my companions had a baptism of someone she had taught. It was so great to see some of the old missionaries I had worked with and my last companion. My old ward was having their Thanksgiving dinner.  I was so grateful to be able to see a lot of them and say hello. 

Whoever said California was warm lied! It is warm sometimes and it has been raining a ton which is my favorite, but at night when we are walking around in skirts, not as fun. I will get used to it, I hope, and right when I do it will get warm again.

I really am loving it here and I love growing in my own testimony as I help others grow in theirs. I hope you all have an amazing Thanksgiving and remember all of the blessings that Heavenly Father gives us every single day! Also just a reminder, the Christmas church video will be coming out on Friday! We are very excited for Christmas over here, we have been listening to the same Christmas CD for a month now. Have an amazing Thanksgiving everyone!!! 

-Hermana Hadley

Brenda's Baptism with my companions 
Hermana Johnson and Hermana Beidler

"Doctor" Elder Cardinal from Canada

I hurt my finger :(

Zone Activity "Sock Hocky or Broom Hockey"

Monday, November 14, 2016

Wedding Bells and a Wolf

This week has been CRAZY!!!! So many exciting things have happened and I am so excited to share them with you guys! I just wanted to testify really fast of the power of the Atonement, I have seen it work through me and also through my investigators every single day! 

Let me just go through what happened this week, Monday we went as a zone and we went bowling which was so fun! There was no one in the bowling alley except one random old guy and then all of a sudden 20 missionaries come in, it was pretty funny. I didn't do that bad too. I got second place!

This week we did a ton of service and one of them was at this animal park where we raked up dry dead grass and if any of you know me you know that was.... well not a good thing because I just happen to be allergic to the outside. So I stood at the top of the hill and supervised, more like I stood at the top trying to breath and see through my swollen eyes, good times.

Wednesday was an awesome day! Brenda our investigator GOT MARRIED!!!!! We are so happy for her and she is so excited to get baptized this Saturday. She is married to a less active member who has now been starting to come to church with her and their cute little girl Mary Jane. This is a huge step for Brenda and her family and we are very blessed to be a part of helping her change her life. SO BLESSED!

Friday we did some more service for a lady who has a farm. Some of the zone came and we washed her horses and played with goats. It was fun and don't worry I loaded up on my allergy medication so I survived.

It was just a week full of animals because yesterday we were knocking doors and this guy opened his door and said, “Do you want to see a wolf?” ummmm I was pretty skeptical when this random guy started to close his gate and go get his pet wolf. I was convinced this was how my life was going to end, being attacked by a wolf in this random sketchy town called Val Verde in the middle of the mountains with no service. (Don't worry mom it is totally safe) so I pet a wolf and also got pictures. 

This week has been filled with some fun little adventures and some awesome spiritual experiences. I love the life of a missionary! Shout out to PARKER my little brother for turning 16 this week and being ordained as a Priest! I love you bud and I am so proud of you!

Also it was Stanford Day this week so I naturally I had to make a German Chocolate cake to celebrate Stanford Day and Parker's birthday. The Elders were very happy about that!

Anyways I hope you all have an amazing fantastic week and here are some pictures to make up for not having any last week! Le Quiero! 

-Hermana Hadley

Note from Mom:  Stanford Day is a made up Holiday by our adopted neighborhood children that has been celebrated for the past 5 years. It is on Stanford's half birthday (November 9th) each year and it is celebrated by dressing like Stanford, doing your hair like Stanford, watching Stanford's favorite shows and eating Stanford's favorite cake. The days events end with smashing a pinata in Lynette's house filled with surprise items from cooked hotdogs to glitter in years past.

The Service Project while I was "Supervising"

The cake was so good!!

The horse I cleaned, we were good friends.

Elder Myers got attacked by the goats.

The Wolf!

Some cool old cars we found.

The one tree that looks like Fall and Hermana Johnson!!! :)

Note from Mom: 
We received this surprise picture of McKay at FHE last night 
with the Henao Familia!  She loves this family!