Tuesday, February 28, 2017

"Going Once, Going Twice...Transferred!!!"

Hey everyone. So first off I have very little time to email today because we were able to have the wonderful opportunity to go to the LA Temple on Thursday. Because we did a temple trip we have to take that time out of our P-day so that left us with only 3 hours to try and get everything done... including packing because... I AM GETTING TRANSFERRED!!!!!

I am very sad to leave Valencia/Santa Clarita and the wonderful people that I have grown to love so much.  Many have become my second family out here on the mission and I loved spending many Holidays (Halloween-Valentine’s) with them. This is also where I had my first baptism and I personally grew so much in this area. I will always appreciate my time here.

I am happy to announce that the Lord has a sense of humor because I will now be returning back to my very first area in Reseda! I am thrilled because I was only there for the first six weeks in the mission field and I feel like I have some unfinished business there. Haha I am so excited to go back and show the people I know a little bit more Spanish! ;)

I will quickly share some highlights of this week. First the most important part was going to the LA Temple. We are able to go to the temple the month of our birthday and because it was Hermana Jensen's birthday ;) we were able to go. It was crazy trying to figure out how to get down there and back but the Byers in our branch work in the temple on Thursdays so they took us down and then the Allen family finished working at the temple and took us home and then out to dinner. That family is amazing and they always seem to be helping us out! We are so grateful for those families that helped us to be able to go and feel the Spirit of the Lord in his house!

Earlier this week we had an amazing lesson with Sammie, her boyfriend finally moved out and she told us she wants to get baptized! We had such a spiritual lesson and put her on date for the 18th.... we then got a call and we were asked to do a pass off lesson to the YSA Ward (Young Single Adult) with her because she is 20 years old. It was very sad to have to say goodbye to her because she is golden. I will still be able to go to her baptism but we know YSA is the best thing for her right now. She went yesterday and she said she really enjoyed it!

After our pass off lesson with Sammie she came with us to a combined activity for the youth where they did a Western Themed Auction and dinner. It was crazy to see how intense the auction got but it was defiantly a hoot!!! I even got to wear my cowboy boots;).

Yesterday I had a little bit of a nerve-racking experience of giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting. Now most of you know I really don't have a hard time with public speaking, but ask me to give a 20-minute talk in Spanish!!!... Ya, I got a little nervous. It went really well and I felt the love and support of Heavenly Father as I was able to get my message across the way I wanted. It was a good way to say goodbye to this awesome branch that has helped me out so much!!!

So many other amazing things happened this week that really helped strengthen my testimony as I saw the hand of the Lord in this work. Hermana Jensen and I always say... "We just work here" because this is His work, in His vineyard and we just get to be a part of it. Love you all and talk to you soon!

-Hermana Hadley

One last picture of my awesome District!

The Los Angeles Temple

Hermana Hadley at the LA Temple

Hermana Jensen and I eating Red Robin on our living room floor late one night.

The Hermana's working at the LDS Booth in the Mall.

Elder Rodriguez at the Hoedown! 
Gotta Love the Chili Peppers Apron!

YeeHaw!!! Hermana Jensen and I at the Western Auction :)

Hermana Hadley, Sammie and Hermana Jensen!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

"Baptized by Water, Fire...or Pie Filling"

Hola everybody!!! This week has been an adventure!!! Lots of amazing things are happening in our area! Our branch is amazing and has been the biggest support to our investigators. We have many coming to church which is so important and we are very happy about it. Anyways, well you know me and of course I have a few fun stories from this week!!

It was an AWESOME Valentine’s Day! It also happened to be Hermana Jensen's 20th birthday! It started off with me making her pink pancakes for breakfast and our District Leader Elder Wynne and Anderson came by and dropped off a birthday cake that was so good! Then we had weekly planning. So during that time I decided to conquer a quest.

Every year for Hermana Jensen's birthday her mom makes her a Strawberry pie... ya had I ever made a strawberry pie before, nope. To simplify the amount of work that needed to be done I bought strawberry pie filling and thought this is going to be easy. I just have to dump this into a pie crust and put whipped cream on top. It wasn't that easy.

We opened up the can which was a little sketch. The filling itself tasted so good but... the brownish strawberries they had put in it were disgusting. So we handpicked each strawberry out of the filling. It was a huge sticky mess but I was pretty impressed we were able to get all of the strawberries out of the filling and put fresh strawberries in it. I made the best strawberry pie ever;) and it turned out really good. That night we went to the Hermana's apartment for heart-shaped meatloaf with pink mashed potatoes and our strawberry pie!!! 

Thursday we went and had dinner with the Familia Bran in our branch and they taught us how to make Pupusas! Pupusas are from El Salvador and are made with thick cornmeal dough stuffed with cheese, pork and refried beans. They are cooked on a flat griddle and are not fried. They are very good and we loved them so much. They are really hard to make so we were glad we had Hermana Bran's help.

Earlier this week we also had a fun little experience of having to evacuate our apartment. It has been raining nonstop and when you walked outside the streets were full of water. We were in our apartment finishing our studies when all of a sudden the fire alarms started going off. At the time we were in the middle of also making cookies for our investigators so my first reaction was I burnt the cookies! But we looked at them and they were just fine.

We looked outside and ALL of the alarms were going off in the whole building. So us being missionaries, we grabbed our bags, scriptures, and the area book and got in our car. We then went to a parking lot and finished planning for the day then drove by our apartment to find out the alarms were still going off. So we called our manager and they told us that the alarm system had flooded so that is why they started to go off. There has been so much rain and I am convinced that California is falling into the ocean.

On a more spiritual side for this week, Sunday we had an amazing lesson in Relief Society about the word "Becoming".  We talked about how every moment we should be working on what we can become. My favorite area that we talked about was "Becoming His" and it hit home to me.

We have a loving Heavenly Father who loves us so much and he wants us to grow closer to him every single day. We need to try to align our will with His and put our trust in him even when times are hard. They shared the scripture D&C 78: 17-18 so I invite all of you to go look up that scripture!

Mom Note:
17 Verily, Verily, I say unto you, ye are little Children, and ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you;
18 And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.

I hope you all have such a great week! Le quiero!

-Hermana Hadley

Birthday Breakfast for Hermana Jensen!

Pink Birthday/Valentine's Pancakes!

Covered in Pie Filling

Happy 20th Birthday Strawberry Pie for Hermana Jensen!

Our Decorated Apartment

I even got Party Hats!

Hermana Johnson and I with our Pupusas!

Everyone Cooking in the Kitchen

The Hermana's with Hermana Bran

Cooking the Pupusas

We were so excited to eat them!

Monday, February 13, 2017

"Spur of the Moment Choices"

Hello all! I hope you guys are all staying afloat ;). It has been raining a ton here still but it is so exciting and we are for sure making the most of it. One of our investigators houses flooded on Saturday and we usually come home soaking wet. So that is about it for the update on the weather, now I get to tell you all the fun stuff that happened this week!

Monday after emailing we did something a little crazy... you might say it was a spur of the moment choice that we could have taken a little longer to think about. When we finish emailing we always go to the food court in the mall and meet up with other missionaries for lunch. After lunch Hermana Jensen and I, along with the other Hermanas, were walking out of the mall to our car to go make cookies.

While we were walking through the mall I looked down at the Claire's Jewelry Store and said, "I wonder how much it costs to get your ears pierced?" to which we then talked about how old we were when we got our ears pierced. We looked at Hermana Jensen... then jokingly said, "Hermana, you should get our ears pierced today." Then she said, “Sure, why not.” So a bathroom break later and pacing back and forth in front of Claire's... Hermana Jensen now has pierced ears! 

In other news we got quite a few new investigators this week. Two of them being Ebony who is 10 and Audrey who is 9, their mom is a member who is the sister of the husband of my first convert Brenda.  Yes, we are also teaching the girlfriend of the other brother. It is kind of a crazy family situation if you haven't noticed, but anyways they are on date for baptism and they are so excited! They are so cute and ready to be baptized!!

Earlier this week we had interviews with our mission president and that was very exciting as always. It is always fun to see President and Sister Henrie and we are so blessed to have them! 

I wanted to tell you about our crazy Sunday! It started off with me being very sick. I had picked up a cold because of all the rain and Sunday morning was a little rough. Well after studies and a lot of prayer I got better so fast! I had enough energy to go to all of our meetings that we had before church.

We were put in charge of singing time for the primary because it was Ward Conference so all the adults were in a different meeting. After 2 hours of kids screaming “Book of Mormon Stories” and “Once there was a Snowman” we then went to Sacrament Meeting. Yes, Sacrament Meeting is last here and our meeting block starts at 2:20.  The Church is still true ;).

As I was walking up to the Organ I was stopped by the Branch President’s wife and she told me they didn't have a musical number planned. This was a moment when I wished that I had my piano music with me but instead we did a no practice spur of the moment musical number. We sang “I Feel My Saviors Love” in Spanish with Hermana Jensen playing the piano. Also we had 4 of our investigators at church! It was a crazy, fun, busy and awesome Sabbath!!!

That is all for this week my friends! Love you all and hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day tomorrow and know I love and miss you all!!!

-Hermana Hadley

Still Singing in the Rain and Loving It!

Had to take a picture of San Fernando Mission Boulevard

Hermana Jensen re-thinking her life choices 

Hermana Jensen signing her life away :)

The Finshed Product! They look so cute!

This is the picture Hermana Jensen sent to her family and said, "Surprise! So...I did something impulsive this week."

Mom Note: We are hoping that next week is not "CTR" Tattoos for all the Hermana's