Monday, December 18, 2017

"It's the Final Countdown!"

Hey everyone!!!!! I have news... as always... drum roll please...

Hna. Dunn and I are going to stay in Reseda, finish our missions together, and travel home together!!!!!!! She was my very first companion, we were travel companions to Mexico City, and companions in the MTC.  Reseda was my first area in the mission field, so this transfer is very sentimental. The ward was very, very excited to hear the news! This is the first of many is kind of bitter sweet as I am now officially starting my last transfer as a full-time missionary! Some days it is so weird because it feels like it has only been a few months, and other days it feels like I have been a missionary for about 5 years! I am really trying to sprint to the finish!!! 

Now on to what has happened this last week. It has been a little nuts, the last few weeks we have not been able to find anyone to teach. It has been so hard and the investigators that we had were too busy to meet with us. We have been working so, so hard trying to find people to teach. Every day we prayed to be able to find someone new, but we weren't finding anyone. Wednesday, we went out and we were knocking doors and guess how many new investigators we found.... 6!!!!!!!!! We found 6 new investigators! We were so happy that we finally found more people to teach!

Thursday of this week, we were able to go to the LA Temple for Christmas! Our mission attends the temple twice a year, once at Christmas and once during the Summer. It was so special and something I was really looking forward too! I was able to see Hna. Starke!!!!! We were so happy to see each other, I miss that girl a ton! The temple was so beautiful and amazing.

The LA Temple is one of the biggest temples and can fit a lot of people. I have never seen it more than half way full, but on Thursday it was AMAZING!!!!! We had half of our mission and also half of the Bakersfield Mission there, and we FILLED almost every seat! Hna. Starke and I looked around the room at how many missionaries were there in the session, and we got a little emotional as we looked at each other and said, "Look, we are a part of God’s Army!" It was a very tender moment I will always remember!

Yesterday, I was able to play a musical number in church, I played “Silent Night” and the song really touched me while I was playing it. I have been playing the piano for 16 years and I have never gotten emotional while performing, but this one hit me a little differently than normal.

My mission has taught me to have a greater love for my Savior. As I teach other people about Him and about His Atonement, I feel so happy and blessed. I felt joy as I was thinking of the words to “Silent Night” and how special that night truly was. 

I won’t be emailing next week because Christmas is on a Monday, so I will email again after the New Year! But I would still love to hear from all of you, and I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and remember our Savior during this special time of year. #LighttheWorld

-Hermana Hadley 

Merry Christmas from Cali!

We are Dreaming of a White Christmas?

Last Monday we all had lunch with Hna. Mexicano at Salsa and Beer!!!

My Favorite People!!! <3
(Hermana Hadley, Hermana Starke and Hermana Dunn)

Mom Note: These three cute Hermanas were in a Trio companionship together in the Mexico City MTC and all go home on the same day! I LOVE this picture and the memories it represents!

Hermana Dunn and I at the LA Temple

Elder Blanchard trying to be a photographer. :)

Elder Stoltz, Hna. Starke and me just having fun, haha! I miss them, they are my buddies!

I had to say a very hard goodbye yesterday! Hna. Johnson is going home! She has been with me since the beginning and I always knew I was going home right after her!  So sad to see her go, but I will see her in 6 weeks!!!

Our Christmas Tree we made....we are very proud! :)

Our Christmas Decorations!!!

Monday, December 11, 2017

"Latino Choirs"

Hey everyone! I hope everything is going great back home! I don't have too much to update you on this week, but it was still an awesome week! We helped with 2 baptisms for some Elders and we visited sooooooo many people this week! No one was home because everyone ran away. Why did they run away? Because my mission caught on fire again this week! This is the 5th fire since I have been here and this one has been the worst. The wind has been terrible, the ash in the air has been bad and no one can breathe. So that is why everyone ran away and quite a few people got evacuated including our missionaries! 

In other news, we went to serve at "Operation Gratitude", this week and it as so fun!!!! There were so many missionaries there and so many people! That day we put together the 2 Millionth Care Package to send to the troops! They had a whole ceremony and recognized the Church and CASF Missionaries for our service. We also put together packages for the first responders and fire fighters that have been coming to California to help with the fires. It was great to see so many of the missionaries and also help out and serve! 

The other exciting thing that happened this week was that we had our Stake Christmas Concert! This is when everyone in the Spanish Stake comes together and each ward sings a Christmas Hymn. I had been helping my ward practice a little and it was very interesting as the lady directing the choir just told everyone to sing "en su propia voz" or in English sing in your own voice... so everyone was singing a different note, that is why it was interesting. It was so great to see all of my friends from the Spanish YSA Branch because they also performed at the Concert and they sounded beautiful.

The last 10 minutes of our practice, we found out the missionaries also had to put together a musical number! We were running around trying to find a piano and we quickly put together a medley of “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. It turned out pretty nice, I just ended up making stuff up on the piano and we sounded awesome!

I love being a missionary because you get to have so many amazing memorable experiences! Hope everyone has a great week!

Love ya,
-Hermana Hadley 

Our car is covered in ash all the time and so are we.  :(

This is a really nice older man that wanted to take us to dinner! He used to be an investigator, but he says he loves the missionaries so he likes to feed us, haha. It was a very awesome dinner!

Hna. Dunn and I made a gingerbread house...the snowman and gingerbread man have name tags. HaHa!

Our little missionaries <3

Operation Gratitude

The 2 Millionth Care Package!!!

Given to our Church, Mission and the CASF Missionaries! They recognized us for our urgency, focus and hard work! We were happy and honored! :)

All the many, many people at Operation Gratitude

CASF Missionaries Serving at Operation Gratitude

Guess who I found... Sister Garfield!!! She is from my Stake back home and we use to be in the same ward before boundary changes. So excited to finally see her!!! <3

All of my friends from the Spanish YSA Branch at the Stake Christmas Choir Concert!