Monday, December 29, 2014

Welcome to Autumn. December 29, 2014

Well, the holidays have been fun.  I am certainly not in UT.  I am sitting here in my sandals and without a jacket and there is a slight wind in the world, but it is only December because the calendar says so.  I feel like Autumn. 
Something that I have loved about this Christmas season was that we got to go caroling almost every night! haha because most people have gone home, we have just been doing what we can to talk to people.  I have really been enjoying this time, even when it's a little different and sometimes harder.  I even got a tamale Christmas this year even though I am not in a Spanish area right now.  The bishop's wife is Hispanic and we went there for Christmas eve (: Yes. It was the best!
Somebody that has been home is our Chinese friend.  His faith has been growing incredibly and he has been teaching ME so much lately! We will teach him a principle and then he will turn around and make it into a beautiful analogy.  He loves poetry and so he connects things to that a lot.  It is perfect and I learn so much from him. I am blessed to be able to talk with him. 
Heavenly Father is so good to us all!
I love repentance.  I love the fact that when we have the desire, and are willing, we can have a whole blank page.  White.  I think sometimes we don't realize how instant His forgiveness really is.  Sure, the consequence might be a moment, but I do believe the forgiveness is instant.  I love mercy.  I love my Savior's mercy.
I have been reading the talk from the last women's conference: Living the Gospel Joyful-- by President Uchtdorf.  It is uplifting. Give it a read...But I do wish to share just a small quote from that.
"He wants you to achieve your destiny--to return to your heavenly home in honor.
"I testify that the way to accomplish this is to place selfish desires and unworthy ambitions on the altar of sacrifice and service.  Trust in the saving power of Jesus Christ; keep His laws and commandments.  In other words--live the gospel joyful."
Two things stuck out to me as I read that. #1. it is possible to be ambitious (which is a good thing), but to have unworthy ambitions.  If we are truly following what the Lord would have us do, this might mean that we follow a different course than we have previously desired, in hope and in faith that it will lead us to the correct place, a better place, which God has designed and prepared for us individually.  So follow your dreams! If they are worthy of you and your godlike potential.
#2. When we give away our selfish desires, when we trust in the enabling power of the Atonement of our Lord, when we keep His commandments, when we serve, we truly DO find joy.  And we are able to live the gospel joyful.  What a concept.  You might learn this your entire life, but until you put it to the test, and do these things out of the sincere desire of your heart, you will not know what it is like to have true joy.  What if sweet really could be sweeter? 
Well, it can! And I know it. 
There is no greater joy than this.  
I love you (:

Monday, December 22, 2014

JOY. December 22, 2014

I love people (like the man next to me laughing hysterically...). (: I love them so much!!  I feel it deepen and my heart has been so full lately! I just desire everyone to feel loved and happy-- The joy of the Gospel of Christ.
We have been having a lot of fun! Our area is tough right now because we work with mainly college students and they have all flown north for the winter...we have a few investigators still here, but most of them are off! We have been "blitzing" in other sister's areas (just finding with them in their areas), caroling/ handing out cards about 'He is the Gift,' and we even have been knocking (which is something that we are the first sisters to do in this area apparently haha).  And it is so joyful! Even though it is different than usual.  I have met a lot of people over the last couple days and I have been feeling so lead by the Spirit.  I am really striving to follow exactly and to seek out that Spirit and it has brought sheer joy to my heart.  I am in love! (: My motivation is increasing and so is my tiredness haha but we go on joyfully! (: And how perfect, because that is what this season is all about: joy!  I love meeting new people and hearing their different (and sometimes crazy) stories! I love listening to them and watching their face soften and their cynicism melt away as we come to really understand their place and view of God as our Heavenly Father and what they have gone through in their life that will lead them to eventually believe in our truthful message.  I know that what President Monson said in this last conference when talking about walking AS the Savior walked is true! "Nothing else, no other choice we make, can make of us what He can." Just give it up to Him! He knows best, after all.
Ohh my favorite friend (okay, I say that about them all...) But our friend from China, he is just teaching me so much!  The other day he closed our lesson with a prayer and he said something in his prayer which touched my heart so deeply.  He said, after talking about seeing some of our friends bear testimony and be brought to tears, "I've never seen people so touched by what they have that they are brought to tears.  Most people are brought to tears because of what they have lost."  I felt a sudden wave of gratitude for what I do have and a re-commitment to myself to greater appreciate the gospel blessing I today enjoy.  

It is very different to be here in the Summer heat of December!  They have this event called Winterhaven every winter and it is a block of houses that agrees when they buy a house there to put up lights every year so they can hold this event. People go all out (: It's super fun.  We got to go the other night and there was a house that had fake snow blowing in their yard.  It brought a smile to my face (: haha I kind of thought it was funny, but I guess I'm just used to real snow...Although I hear there isn't much this year? hmm. 
Well, one tender mercy we had this last week:  we were driving to visit a less active and we took a wrong turn somewhere...somehow! And we ended up driving like an hour through Saguaro national park hahaha! Ohhh but it was beautiful! The desert has its own beauty and a new place in my heart. 
Happy CHRISTmas! Love you (:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

CHRISTmas is coming! December 16th, 2014

Whoa.  So the transfer is already over! What.  Mi compa ): she leaves
tomorrow and I had to say goodbye to my best friend! I even cried! haha I
wasn't planning on that! I only knew her for 5 weeks and I just love her so
much! We had SO much fun, the time just flew.  This next transfer will be 7
weeks because of the holidays...I am now a single sister training leader
haha well...of course I'm single (; ...but I no longer have an stl as a
comp! Just me over these sisters in the zone.  I'm not sure how that works
out! Sister Ah Sue and I gave our first training last week and that was
nerve wracking haha but I'm not sure if I'll have to do that alone now!
Hope not.  I don't know why...I normally don't get too nervous, but in
front of other missionaries and the President's wife, I just get so
nervous! ...anyways. My new compa is Sister Stewart.  At first, it was
going to be Hermana Lundquist and I was stoked! She and I were in the CCM
together! But last night they called and told me they need me to do
something else that will be better.  So I will be excited and this will be
so fun (: I love coming to love always do when you put in the
effort! (: Can't wait.

Hmm. I got to go biking again last week.  All day this time! It was
wonderful! We talked to eeeevvveryone (per usual, but it's even better on a
bike!)  And we had so much success that day because of it.  I had never
been happier to leave an exchange.

Something that is beautiful is that our investigators have been better
about sharing the gospel lately than some of us! Our fun friend from China
brought a friend to the FHE activity and also a friend to church on Sunday!
He is the best! He wrote us a poem for Christmas because he knows how much
I love them and he likes to write them, too! I want to testify that the
spirit of Christ is real.  If someone who has never known Christ can come
to know Him so well, then anyone can. And this IS real. And this is true.

Quick thought.  I saw an incredible sky the other day.  A rain storm was
just clearing and the brightest, setting sun shone through.  How
interesting, I thought, that the sun overpowered the entire sky, even
though more than half of it was gray.  It pierced through like a beacon in
the fog and I thought to myself, "no wonder the darkness cannot comprehend
the light." can't even look that amount of brightness in the
eyes...but you can face the darkness with confidence when you possess that
kind of light because it penetrates and brightens.
(sorry I always go off about light...but I love it!) Christ is the light of
the world and we are His vessels.  Let His light shine through you this


Monday, December 8, 2014

Life on the UofA December 8th, 2014

I am loving the spirit of Christ that can be felt all around (: The Christmas Devotional last night was wonderful! I was filled with a new desire to be better, and you have to love moments like that.

I went to my first Mission Leader Council...we call it MLC.  I really enjoyed that! Being with all of the other missionary leaders that I have always looked up to...I felt really inadequate.  Surely I would not be grouped with all of those wonderful missionaries.  Yet somehow I found myself in that meeting ha. Hopefully I can live up to that example that these missionaries set for me.

The friends we're teaching are wonderful (:  We set a baptismal date with one of them and there are a few others praying about dates as well.  That is joy to me.  My favorite Chinese friend that we are teaching is just doing so well! He shares these "glad tidings" with his friends and family! He even made all of us missionaries in the ward (5) an authentic dinner the other day.  And we have another friend who is sharing the gospel with her friends, too!  People will ask her what ward she is in and when she tells them that she is not a member yet, they can't believe it!  (: Ohhh still softening the parents' hearts, but I know it won't be much longer now.  

The other day we were running the track at the nearby high school.  This morning was particularly dark and I felt like lead trying to run those laps...I just was not feeling it!  At first, I was fine and as time went on I just felt heavier and heavier.  Then, in my head, I said to myself, "What! You cannot stop here, you cannot slow down.  You're approaching the end of this race and, sure, you still have some time left.  But now is not the time to give in to exhaustion.  Now is the time to run!" And so I kept running.  And as I approached the end of my last lap, I ran faster, despite my tiring mind. As I crossed the finish line, I thought to myself, "See, you did it. And that's exactly what you'll keep doing throughout the rest of this mission experience." 
1 Corinthians 9:24 "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize?  So run, the ye may obtain."  The only way you will ever win is by actually moving.  (:

We had a Spanish conference on Wednesday! That was awesome.  It was just the Spanish speaking missionaries gathered together to learn what we could do to improve ourselves as Spanish speakers in the states.  It was awesome!  (:  I love speaking in Spanish...since I am in an English area, I often pray to have experiences where I can used what I am learning.  
It's great! I love it!  

Well, I hope all is well...I hope the spirit of Christ is kicking in (:
Love.  Keep shining!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Too Much Fun! December 1st, 2014

I feel like last week was a month because of all of the things that
happened haha.
We went to another funeral...Sister Ah Sue and I have had quite these
couple weeks together! I don't know why these things have been happening so
often it seems.  It was very good, though.  I am learning the difference of
what it means to have an understanding and hope in the Plan of Salvation as
opposed to not having one at all.  What a sad thing to not have that

We had a good Thanksgiving.  It started out with a little turkey bowl
between the missionaries in our zone.  That was know, I'm
not a very good catch (; We were able to go to a member of the bishopric's
home and have Thanksgiving dinner with them!  We also got to do some
service and some weekly planning haha so that was our day!  Not too bad,
not too bad.

We went to the zoo the other day to do some service! We swept and raked a
lot of like hay and dirt and stuff.  We moved things around and then we
mulched a pathway and I weeded for a couple hours.  It actually was very
satisfying to see how nice it all looked after (: Maybe working isn't so
bad after all, eh? ha and THEN we got a rhino!!! Yes, in real
life!  I was mostly terrified of it haha but it was cool!  We fed some
giraffes, too!  I left feeling kind of cool (:

Our friend from China is progressing well!  He is just way too cool!
Heavenly Father is so good to us to allow us to know him and to teach him.
We were talking about the Book of Mormon because he had some questions on
the things he's been reading and he said to us, "this all sounds so
familiar like perhaps I have heard it before."...ah! That was
incredible...If you ever want to hear someone talk with God...there is your
best opportunity.  This man just came to know of a loving Heavenly Father
and he speaks to Him in the most spirit-filled, faith-filled, loving way.
He always thanks Him for sending him, "my new friends Hurst and Ah Sue."
haha oh I love this work!
I love working on campus, too! Although that last game here the other day
sure had us running in circles trying to find alternative routes because
all of the streets were blocked off and crazy!

What a great place to be and what a great thing to be doing! (: I hope you
all continue to find the happiness of the Gospel of Christ.

Things are fun (:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Still Refining - November 24, 2014

I have been loving this experience so far on the U of A campus!  It has
been so much fun to talk to people of all sorts.  We met a guy from China.
He came with us to the institute right after meeting us and it happened to
be FHE night.  He was able to meet a lot of people and we had a lesson.  We
have met with him 2 times since then and he has come to quite a few
activities and firesides that we have had since this last week.  Oh my
goodness it is the greatest experience with him!  He comes from his
communist background and we have been teaching him about the light of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He always says things like, "I will bring these
glad tidings to my friends and family when I return home."  And after the
FHE night, when we met with him the following morning, he told us, "I
called my family last night and I told them not to worry about me because I
have found a family here." Ah! Almost every time we meet with him he has me
in tears.  He tells us about all of the sad things that happen in his home
town.  My heart breaks and I just want to cry out to them all and tell them
that they are SO loved and watched over.  I wish I could just pick them up
and carry them to safely into the arms of the Gospel and the security of
our Savior.  We actually meet quite a few Chinese people here...I have a
feeling that this spreading the good word to them here may ignite the
starting of spreading the Gospel there where it has not yet been.  The only
sad thing about that is that these people are too scared to get baptized
here because of what will happen there...We will continue to follow the
Spirit and invite them to act and to join (:

I have just been seeing miracle after miracle.  If you aren't sure that God
hears you, well...He does! Even the simplest pleadings of our hearts.  I
have been focusing on praying specifically and have been answered in that
same specific manner.  And these are the littlest things, too! Not even
giant wishes...just small requests.  For example, when we met that guy on
Monday, we wanted to give him a folleto about the Restoration...we went to
get one from our car and I wasn't seeing any!  So I just said in my heart,
"well, I'm just going to stick my hand in this box and grab one.  Let it be
the Restoration." And it was.

Oh!! I rode a bike for the first time in this mission experience!  Since I
am an STL and we have to go on exchanges every week, I get to experience
every facet of this great work! I loved riding a bike!! I was just smiling
from ear to ear and waving hello to every single person I saw. I was going
as fast as I could because I was just having so much fun! haha (and being
safe, of course) (:  They probably thought I was crazy! Some happy girl in
a skirt on a bike in the middle of Tucson traffic.  haha oh the joys! (:

As for the rest of the week...I got permission to go down to Nogales and
attend the funeral of my dear friend.  When I got there they told me they
knew I would come and so they had me lead the music and participate in 2
musical numbers haha.  I didn't even cry that much! That was a miracle.
We have been having more interesting times with some of the sisters in our
zone and so I got to be on a split or exchange with a different sisters hmm
like 4 times this last week? haha and last night Sister Ah Sue and I slept
on the floor of a sisters' apartment because...well we just needed to be
there! In Sister Passey's words: welcome to leadership, Hermana Hurst.

I just want to end by saying that I am loving the process of continuing my
personal refining.
I looked up the word 'refine' and found it to mean: To free from impurities
or waste matter; to improve, perfect; to free or become free of what is
coarse or uncouth...
How appropriate to strive to refine oneself and to become free of the
worldly impurities that pollute our daily lives.  A refinery, I also found,
is a building and equipment for refining...
Thus our refinery, or the building or equipment used to refine us, is those
well-known answers of church, scriptures, temples, and we
strive to keep the commandments and have that abiding trust in our Lord and
Savior, or in other words, hope, we will become free from the worldly
impurities that often dim our light and weaken our faith.
Always know that we can change.
"Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when
we speak of it.  It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace.  Rather
than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for
true celebration." (Elder D. Todd Christofferson)

Shine on. (:

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's getting colder me an Arizonan. November 17th, 2014

If I wasn't at the institute so much and I didn't have this uniform or
nametag, I would feel like a student in this area!  We are on campus
everyday and have to drive through the little college town todos los dias!
I feel like I'm somewhere in between Provo and Logan...But I am loving it
This is only the 2nd time I've had to move areas since I've been in the's a huuuuge adjustment! But I feel soo good about being here
and know I have a purpose being here.  My companion is incredible! I learn
so much from her daily.  Of course, to continue in my pattern, I am sending
her off to her home in Hawaii.  She has about 4 weeks left at this point
because this transfer is one week shorter due to the holidays.  We laugh
all day long and she tells me about her Hawaiian culture and teaches me
some words in Hawaiian! I love it!  I teach her some Spanish sometimes,
too.  Her name is Sister Ah Sue.
SO one of the coolest experiences I've had here so far hahaha we were
contacting on campus (my now favorite thing to do!) and we met these 2
people.  First they asked us if we wanted to join  their club haha it is
like dancing...but there was a girl and she was doing something
she called "hooping" which is dancing with a hoola hoop. And this guy and
he was dancing with these lights on a string.  It looked a lot like poi
dancing and so my companion asked him if she could show him some techniques
that they use in poi dancing (she worked at the Polynesian Cultural Center
as a dancer back home).  So anyways! I'm just sitting here talking to this
"hooper" about the institute and the gospel and my companion is teaching
this guy how to poi! It was so fun! (: I love campus contacting! haha
always soo interesting.
We have been so tired lately because just day one and I learn what it
really means to be a sister training leader...working things out amongst
the sisters.  We have spent a good amount of time with a set of sisters
daily, since I've gotten into this area, trying to help them figure some
things out.  It has been a little crazy, but I absolutely love the
opportunity I have been given to truly learn what it means to selflessly
serve.  I always hear people talking about turning outward and thinking of
others first and I do try to do that! I do...but I feel like I really have
such an opportunity to really learn what it means to do that and to just
serve with love.  It's incredible because as we've spent this time with
them this last week, I really do feel an outpouring of love for these
sisters whom I am just now getting to know.
We got to go to the Temple dedication for the Phoenix temple ayer! That was
neat (: Also, yesterday I learned that my sweet friend, Hermanita Nobel,
passed away.  That was really hard for me to hear.  I left her exactly a
week ago, the last time I spoke to her.  We cried together as we said our
goodbyes and she told me that soon she would be watching over me...I didn't
realize that it would be a week to the day she said those words to me.  But
I'm feeling a lot happier now because she is much happier, too (:
Other than that....we met with an investigator who told us that her culture
believes they turn into saguaros when they die.  We told her about God's
plan for us and asked her how she felt and then she told us..."well, I was
actually looking forward to becoming a saguaro."
...Despite what you may think, God's plan is truly for all of us! (: And it
is that brightness of hope the Savior provides that will allow us to endure
this journey here in life.
Keep shining (: the sun can only warm you so much this time of year (;

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Changes! November 11, 2014

Well let's see...what has happened in the last 2 weeks...
So Here's a good list:
-my companion dyed my hair orange and I looked like a tiger! (yes, it is normal now)
-We had a regional Arizona conference that was incredible!!
-I had the opportunity to do a musical number with an elder in my district 3 different times.
-We moved another family out (I am so prepared for later days haha)
-I said goodbye to my best friends...
-I cried....and cried again.........
And now I am sitting in the institute!  Hello, YSA 3rd ward....yep. I live on campus.  
This is quite the change for me, really! I just spent 7 1/2 months speaking Spanish on the border of Mexico and President has just sent me to an English area to work with all of the people my age...hahaha I don't even know how to talk to people my age anymore! This should be interesting.  I am also what they call a "Sister training leader" now...This just means that I get to go on exchanges with all of the sisters in our zone, probably once a week.  I also will have to give trainings at zone meetings...and so this is just a whole new world for me!  I can honestly say that I am sooo nervous and very excited at the same time.  Also, my heart is broken...and I am so sad to have left my home of 5 transfers...but I know that God knows what I need better than I do.  And I know that He leads us in the right direction.  And I would just like to end by saying--trust God.  Let Him direct your paths! He knows you better than you ever could and when you follow Him and choose the right, you will always have the things that you need (: 
Keep shining! Love.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Clearly I Have Something To Learn...October 27, 2014

So the saddest thing happened the other day!  Our progressing investigators texted us and said, "Sorry we are on our way to be with our family in California.  Sorry we didn't get the chance to say goodbye." And so they moved suddenly and didn't even tell us until they were on their way!! It was literally like an over-night decision, I guess. but wow. I just about cried. I'll just pray the missionaries there find them!  We sent their info....
Other than that! There were 2 missionary farewells yesterday.  I sat next to a young woman deciding herself if a mission is for her...It was an emotional event! haha I had my farewell last year today! Crazy.  I can't believe it....Anyways, I got the chance to talk with this girl, as I did the day she decided she would serve a mission, again.  She is having doubts and questions and it was really nice to get to share with her every reason why she should (: Sure, my opinion may be bias...but this is really one of the greatest opportunities!! (:
I'm very grateful for my time in the mission.  I love these people SO much.  I often wonder where I would be or who I would be if I wasn't here...I can't imagine and I know that this is the only place I could grow the way I hopefully am to prepare for my future.  
We have been having a lot of member enthusiasm lately and they have been bringing us their friends to teach! (:  (okay, I make that sound like it's a lot...really, it's only 2 or 3...but that is phenomenal!) The Lord has really been blessing us so greatly.  Hopefully I can live up to His standards of excellence and continue to change, or in other words, repent, and better myself!
Oh! Also, we had a zone conference on Thursday. I love learning from other missionaries, it is the best!  We got to watch Meet the Mormons AND get flu shots...yes... haha but that show is, wow, sooo good! If you haven't seen it, see it! And invite your friends (:
Keep shining that tangible, warm light of Christ (: Love.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hello October 20th, 2014

My parents are the greatest parents in the world and I am so grateful for
all that they have taught me! I love them so much! I just needed to say
I don't have much time (:
But I just love how Heavenly Father does so much to let me know He loves
me! Every every way.  I hope you all make time to recognize His
hand in your lives daily.
We had an incredible miracle the other day and we had a referral who had
previously received a priesthood blessing.  When we taught him, he knew he
felt the power of God and he and his girlfriend accepted baptismal dates so
readily! It was beautiful! I felt SO much that was I was telling them is
the truth and will help them.  I love those moments.

We had a funny moment where we ran into a member's father who only speaks
French.  I didn't realize that at first and when I finally did I instantly
thought, "Oh! he doesn't understand me, I will just speak in Spanish
obviously!" hahaha and then I remembered that French is not Spanish at
all...I felt so helpless haha it was funny.

Just want to end with this little poem I wrote the other day. (It's like a
A-A-B-C-C-B rhyme scheme you know?? So yeah. It's a little different
style...Make sure you read it with the correct flow ha.

I've wandered many days
Throughout this dreary place
Where only darkness seemed to light the way.
But I've known that God exists.
It's a feeling I can't dismiss.
And someone down the road taught me to pray.
So I decided to ask God,
Just like the Bible had taught,
To find some direction for what's to come.
And on that forest ground,
Light shone all around.
As I saw the Father and the Son.
They told me truth would be restored.
It was the sound of the sweetest chord.
And I knew, for once, I'd be able to see.
From that day on into the nights,
My mind was filled with light;
That restoration restored me.

JS-H 1:13
"At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness
and confusion, or else I must...ask God." (James 1:5).

Love you!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Last Weeeeeek. October 14th, 2014

I don't have much time today...but we had a great week! (: 
One of our cute investigators, Ashly, bore her testimony Sunday.  That was fun to see! She is 10 and we all fasted that her mom would give her permission to be baptized because so far she doesn't want her to.  Every time we go over to her house, though, Ashly asks if we can run through the baptismal interview questions because she wants to make sure she knows all of the answers and can understand them...even though she knows them so well! I love her so much!  

We got to go to a youth activity on Wednesday and be kind of the "spokesmen" for it.  It was on modesty and Hermana Dominguez and I were the hosts and the elders were the "celebrities" that answered the questions about their opinions on modesty.  It was really fun and very powerful. 
Hmm...I got sick the other day while on an exchange and spent it doing...nothing too fun haha. It was an alright day. But I love getting to know the sisters I am around!
I locked the keys in our truck the other day...that was fun!  Always an adventure when you have me around, eh?  
We also went to the zoo yesterday for p-day! And mostly everything else wasn't open because of Columbus day (like the computer lab)...I don't know why? What do you do when you celebrate Columbus day? No disrespect...just wondering? Do you sing some songs or something? Slide show presentation?  Anyways...Have a beautiful week!! (: 
Always shine the light of Christ. 
Oh and hey! I learned a neat quote"  If you justify your sins, Christ can't. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

This Week...October 6th, 2014

Well this last week was wonderful (: As they all are...
We had a really neat experience where we found someone who was so ready to
hear our message!  It was this man walking up to his apartment and I had
the feeling to talk to him...but he was so far away!  So I didn't think I
would catch him in time.  I had the feeling again, just talk to him!  And
so I ran into the parking lot and yelled up, "Hey, would you like to hear a
message about Jesus Christ?!" And he said, "Yes, actually." He came back
down his stairs and we had a lesson there on the sidewalk.  It was
incredible.  He talked a lot about one of his friends who had been such an
incredible example to him and how he is also a member.  That just showed me
how much people really do watch you and your example and how by simply
being that example, you could help someone become more open to accepting
the Gospel later on in life.  (: It's not even awkward sharing it either, I
promise (: haha
One of my greatest examples here is my dear friend Hermana Nobel.  I think
I have mentioned her before, but she has cancer and we sing hymns with her
every week after church.  She is always so positive and bright.  Her
testimony shines through her eyes (:  Recently I found out that she has
been give about 6 more months to live...I was heartbroken when I found out,
but of course, I know she will be somewhere much more peaceful and so I am
happy for her.  Even with this knowledge she has, she still strives to be
as positive as can be and she keeps her testimony burning every day.  She
always tells us how grateful she is for our God and our Savior and I just
love her so much!

Wow. So conference was incredible! I hope that you all had the opportunity
to listen and hear what the prophets and apostles have to say to us...or in
other words, what the Savior would have us know in this day and age.  How
inspired they are!  I had never felt so enveloped in the Spirit as I did as
I sat and listened to their words.  They were so comforting, uplifting,
inspiring, and heart-changing.  I hope that we will all apply their
counsels and become better (: Become who Heavenly Father has created us to

I hope that you all have a beautiful week (: I love you!
Keep shining!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Learning God's Will. September 30th, 2014

Oh my goodness! (: I am staying in Rio Rico again! Con mi Hermana (: I
will go on 71/2 months here.  That's incredible. I am SO blessed. I didn't
feel like it is my time to go yet.
So I just want you all to know that I got to go bowling last week.  I love
bowling.  It has been so long!! I'll have to get practicing up again if I
ever want to play against the Sister Al again (: I love my bowling days
with the Lil sis...anyways.... (:
I got to go on an exchange last week to my last area! Wow. What a
blessing.  I guess there are some perks to staying in the same stake for
your entire mission.  It was way too bitter sweet.  It was incredibly
joyful to see a few people I love so much and it was completely
heartbreaking to see the conditions that some of them are in now.  I
couldn't help but cry when I saw some people I love so much making wrong
decisions.  Can't we all just understand that we have SO much to live for?!
We have SO much purpose and we ARE loved.  I just hope well all know that.
We did have a miracle there, though.  I was with a sister who came in with
my companion (so very new to the mission) and wow did she teach me
wonderful things.  Like how I should turn to the Lord so much more often
than I do!!
So here was our miracle.  We had felt the need to see Isaac.  He was a boy
I was able to visit a lot in that area.  When we went to his house, he
wasn't there.  We didn't really know what to do because we both felt like
we should be there! So as we were walking down the driveway, my comp for
the day says to me, "let's kneel right here and ask where to find him." So
we did. Right there in his driveway.  We got up and got back in the car and
started to drive kind of slowly.  He always had a tendency of popping out
of no where while we were out and about because he walks around a lot.  We
weren't seeing him anywhere, though.  We decided we would go to the park
because a lot of guys hang out there at night.  (Let's be honest, it's not
the best place to be at that hour, but we had to try to find him!) So we
did.  We went there and there were so many guys there hanging around
playing basketball and skateboarding and...doing lots of other things.  We
said a prayer before we got out of the car and I offered this one.  I
decided to ask specifically that if it was God's will for us to find him,
that he would walk straight to us amongst all the others in the crowds.  We
got out of the car and walked around each section of the park.  After 10
minutes or so, we decided he wasn't there and started heading back to the
car.  When we were almost to the car, we saw a figure walking straight
towards us.  It was Isaac! God answers specific prayers.

We have been able to find, teach and invite a lot of people lately (: it
has been beautiful! I am so grateful my Father allowed me to stay at least
one more transfer here in this area! (: I know it will be full of
The Women's Conference was also such a blessing to attend! We even had some
investigators come with us (: The blessing of a modern day prophet is
real.  The things they tell us will help us if we listen!  It is that
simple.  God knows what we need better than we do because He created
everything!  We are so blessed to know these things especially in these
dark days...Find that light that Christ has to offer and then shine on. (:
I want to end with an incredible insight from Elder David A. Bednar 'That
We Might Not Shrink' that I was able to read recently and it helped me
better understand God's will vs. my own.  (Something I'm working on) and
it's a little long, sorry haha.

"Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in moving mountains—if
moving mountains accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His
will. Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in healing the
sick, deaf, or lame—if such healing accomplishes God’s purposes and is in
accordance with His will. Thus, even with strong faith, many mountains will
not be moved. And not all of the sick and infirm will be healed. If all
opposition were curtailed, if all maladies were removed, then the primary
purposes of the Father’s plan would be frustrated.

Many of the lessons we are to learn in mortality can only be received
through the things we experience and sometimes suffer. And God expects and
trusts us to face temporary mortal adversity with His help so we can learn
what we need to learn and ultimately become what we are to become in
I know our Father knows us best.  I love you!
Also, primary programs might just be a liiiiitle better in Spanish (;

Monday, September 22, 2014

I Know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God!! September 22, 2014

So, yes, the rain that blew in off the coast lasted all the hours of the
day.  I did thoroughly enjoy that to the fullest (: I think my hair soaked
and re-dried like 3 or 4 times that day.  Good thing I never do it anyways
(; haha
We were headed to see a new investigator for the first time the other day.
We met up at a member's home so that he could come and follow us to her
house.  Right when we pulled into his driveway, all of the sudden my
companera says, "uh, there's a spider" and I'm thinkin yeah that's cool
haha you'll live...and I looked over to see this giant monster dash into
our AC vent!! It was there the entire day and we were too scared to even
open the vent! It decided to come out on our way to our dinner appointment
and on MY side of the car! Right above the steering wheel!! I pulled right
over to the side of the road and jumped out of the car haha it was so
dramatic.  But Wow. It was scary.  We made the elders drive all the way up
to look for it and eventually they found it later that night...we just made
them drive our truck during that time so that it wouldn't get us (: haha
Also, I ate cow tongue yesterday. I think knowing what it was first kinda
tripped me up because I couldn't get past what it was to enjoy it haha.

Well, lately I have just been feeling such an appreciation for the Prophet
Joseph Smith.  He endured an incredible load so that we all could have and
enjoy the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel!  It pains my heart to think
of the persecution...and then I think of all of the other prophets of old
who went through so much as well...even our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I think about the thought of anything happening to my family...I couldn't
bear to stand even the thought!  I would take anything I could for them.
So...I guess that is how Jesus Christ felt when He literally DID take it
all for His family.  My love and appreciation grows daily....I love my
Savior and His mercy.

Shine on!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Incredible Week September 15th, 2014

So I feel like I have so much to say...and I usually even have a little
notebook to remind me of what happened the last week...but right now I
can't even think! haha
Basically, we had some incredible lessons this week! And incredible
meetings/ trainings...all week long!  And I learned a lot!  I can't wait to
change to restart (:
Repentance is such a gift!  We get to turn a new page and become new again
any time that we have the desire and humility to change (or in other words,
We got to go to the temple on Thursday.  I do love it there.  I learn
something new every time and it fills my soul (:  It always reminds me of
the importance of family! And I just love my family sooo much!!!  I also
love my family here and I am getting more and more nervous about what will
happen at the end of this transfer.  I had a little moment yesterday during
primary.  A sister asked us to fill in for her and so we were sitting in
the primary room during singing time and the spirit was beautiful (: Then
the sister leading the music talked about how that day would be one of her
last with the kids and she started crying...well, you know me!  I started
crying too, realizing that I may be in similar shoes as she is in.  I had
to leave the room! And I just couldn't stop haha I love these people SO
much!!! We have been having a lot of investigators coming to church and
less actives and things are just really so positive and wonderful here (:
It is such a blessing.
I also got to sing in sacrament yesterday.  That was fun I guess.
Also, we went on a hike earlier this morning...haha wow.  So two things: 1.
I am out of shape (:  (no comments, please hahaha). 2. This is AZ.....there
is not much more than pokeys and thorns and cacti and creepy bugs!  It was
an interesting trip.  I also fell and caught myself in a patch of poison
ivy! My hand puffed up and it sure did not feel great (: but all was well!
And all is well! And the view was beautiful and it was a great exercise!
Anyways (: God loves us! So much!  He even provides clouds to cover the
heat of the sun in these hot days.  I know that the Spirit is our teacher
and if we pay close attention, he will help us to become!
(I'm probably forgetting many things...??)
Love! (:
Shine on.

Monday, September 8, 2014

It's Candy Corn Season (: September 8th, 2014

So I feel like the mission is really preparing me to move around some day.  I have moved people out and in to houses so many times in this area!  But you know, we enjoy it (: 
Things have been going really well here! My companion and I have a lot of fun!  It's hilarious because we are so much alike that we never stop talking and so haha we had to make a goal this week to not talk so much when we're planning and stuff so that we can actually get it done in a timely manner.  
We had four less-active families come to church yesterday and it was quite the miracle (: Some we haven't seen in months and months! I know that the Gospel is the only way to be happy in life...when you get to that point of realization, how could you not come back!? 
We have some incredible friends that we're visiting lately.  I know that they have been prepared by the Lord to meet us and that they will be baptized one day!  
Also, I have gotten quite good at making chocoflan (; heh I love to hear people call me a guerita (white girl) and then try it, because they are always so surprised.  It has gotten us some return appointments, indeed. 
I read this scripture the other day, 3 Nephi 12:45
"That ye may be the children of your Father who is in heaven; for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good."
Isn't that so beautiful?! Whether we are good or evil, God loves all of His children and so He allows the sun to rise on all of them.  The scriptures really are full of plain and beautiful truths. 
Have a beautiful week!
Shine on (: 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

There is No Finish Line September 2, 2014

I feel like I have been learning SO much lately!  Every day is a new
lesson...good and bad.  But I really feel the need to improve and better
myself so I have appreciated it.  We had Elder Malm of the 70 at our half
zone conference last week.  It was incredible.  A new perspective.  I feel
as though there is a new wave of excitement and effort that has been
implemented in the mission.  A new sense of positivity.  Which, on that
note, may I just admit...I feel as though I may have been missing the mark
all along.  I do think I am a positive person at most times...but there is
a whole new level that I seemed to have just caught on to and it has been
changing me.  I hope that I am still in the process of changing...
Really, there is so much truth to the well-known statement of, "if you
think  you can, you can."  It all starts with yourself.  Your inner
thoughts and desires.  Anyways. I am just excited to change (:
Also! We got to share a thought in young womens on Sunday.  I love the
young women so much!!!  They inspire me and I was so grateful to be there
with them.  We are all God's children with individual worth and divine
qualities.  I learn that more and more every day.
So I have been loving the work lately!  We seem to be doing quite well, my
companion and I!  We are striving to really be so so focused on all the
little things and to follow the Spirit as closely as we can.  It has been
changing our efforts.  It is fun to help someone learn the routes of the
field! Even though it is hard.
I just wanted to tell this quote from Elder Malm that he said at our
"you are you.  You have always been you.  Learn to get along with you."  I
just loved that! We need to love ourselves because we always have been and
always will be ourselves.  What a great reason to always be yourself! (as
my sister once told me (: )
He also went on to ask us where negative things come from.  The answer of
course, being the adversary.  Then he talked about how when we talk
negatively about others, we are serving satan.  We cannot feel the Spirit,
nor serve God, when we are serving Satan.  All negativity comes from the
I know that this work is so important.  The Prophets have told us that this
is the time that the Lord said He would hasten His work.  And we need to
keep up with Him (:
I am so grateful that I can repent daily and improve daily. And so can
you!  I love our Savior's mercy.  Shine on.

Monday, August 25, 2014

It is SO beautiful here (: August 25th, 2014

Well, things have been just wonderful here (:
Found a giant scorpion last night, but don't worry! He's under a cup...and we will probably never touch it because we're too scared.  BUT, we caught him and miracles happen and God knows us (: 
Good lines from my favorite family, the famous 5 year old Thomas, "Helloooo beautiful!" I love that I'm still his favorite haha his little brother Joseph has taking a liking to me lately as well.  He is 2.  He came up to me while we were at dinner at their house and just smiled at me with his arms up, waiting for me to pick him up.  I said, "I am so sorry, but I can't pick you up.'' and he told me, "That's okay! Then I will just climb your ladder!"  and he grabbed my arm and started trying to climb up me. haha I love children (: 
Oh! I also got this fun comment this week when someone was trying to explain how happy I am. "You know, I could just picture you as a garden gnome...not that you're ugly or gnomish...but you know?" haha I don't know that I really caught on to what was being said.  But I enjoy variety in my days. 
I have been learning so much lately!! Having the be the one to show someone else the ropes for their first time is kind of intimidating.  I am always being watched and so I decided that that is why I was called to this calling!  I need to learn to be as gooooood as I can be and I always need to make sure that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for me and I have learned so much thus far.  I know that I will continue to learn so much and I am so grateful for that!  (: I know that if you apply unto the Spirit, you will receive His presence and He will guide you!  He will even comfort you when you have a creepy man that lives by your mailbox who takes pictures of you when you drive past his house/walk near his house...(He hides behind the wall with  his little flip phone and snaps pictures!)...haha One stocker per area?  Is that even allowed?  Don't worry, though.  We try to be as safe as possible! 
One thought that I had this week was how cool it is that we get to be in Families on earth! (: I love the fact that these ties and relationships extend beyond the grave.  D&C 130:2 "And that same sociality will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy." 
I love that!  Our relationships will be glorified.  What a better reason to treat each other as the celestial beings we are destined to become (: 
I know that we can be changed through the Gospel of Christ--Through Christ and His Atonement.  

Love you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Transfer & Training August 19th, 2014

Well! First of all, today is the start of our new transfer (:
Hermana Jenkins is off and I will miss her so much!  But I get the opportunity to train a new missionary this transfer.  Her name is Hermana Dominguez and I am so excited! I can already tell that I am going to learn so much from her! She seems so good and so ready to serve and I love that!  It's a little motivator for me to keep pushing foward STRONG! Lovin' it, lovin' it.  We are going to have so much fun this transfer!  It already started out with a downpour so lovely, we looked like we just got out of the shower.  Not a bad start. 
Hermana Jenkins and I had a little insight in one of our companion studies this last week and I wanted to share it!  We were talking about Adam and Eve and cosas asi.  We noticed how that when Satan tempted Adam, he didn't give in.  But, as we all know, when he tempted Eve, she did.  We decided that that is how most things will be in life! Satan will tempt us when we are alone.  We wondered if they would have ever taken the fruit if satan would have approached them while they were together.  Instead he approached them individually and because of that, the fall resulted.  I wonder if we as families would make better decisions if we first talked them out with our family members?  If we are to stick together as a family, we will always be stronger than if we are alone.  Like one of this year's primary song says: "God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be."  We are all in our unit of family to be together!  We are in it to grow and to better each other; also to lift each other and strengthen one another.  What a blessing it is!  I wouldn't think that anything would break a family if they were to be together in spirit and mind.  It is when we separate ourselves from family that we get into trouble.  AND that is why it is so important to create an environment where the Spirit can dwell.  If we do so, we will always have something to fall back on no matter where life takes us.  Family prayer is important.  Family home evening is important.  Reading the scriptures as a family is important.  These things strengthen and bind us as families. (and I get off my soap box here...)
Well. All I can say is that I love it here! As always.  I love what I do and I love who I serve. It's almost like this is all I know now haha it's all I know how to do and I feel like I've been doing it my whole life.  I also love how my world is bigger  here.  I still miss my mountains, but my sky extends from one end to the other in this world.  (: 
I just want to end with 2 quotes!  they are really good (: Okay?
"Every challenge you face, every hard thing you confront, every bad thing that happens to you, every unfairness, every conflict, every sadness, tragedy, every disappointment and heartache, every temptation and every opposition happens for one purpose only: to give you opportunity to respond by applying in  your life the teachings of Jesus.  As you do so, you are changed to become more like Him."
I just love that! (: Look forward with hopeful eyes because it will all be worth it in the end.
"There are two ways of evolving: deliberately and accidentally.  You can either decide who you want to become and deliberately work toward that end, or you can just go with the flow and become whatever life makes of you.  In that event, you will become whatever the fickle circumstances and forces of life and society will make of you; whatever is currently considered to be popular or in; whatever is easiest.  But, whatever you become accidentally, it will not be nearly the full measure of your potential.  You will become someone, somewhere in the middle."
(I may have shared that before?) these are both from Lawrence E. Corbridge.
I love these thoughts!  In the end, it really just comes down to following God's plan for us and trusting in Him only.


Monday, August 11, 2014

The Closest to Christ I Have Ever Felt. August 4th, 2014

So you know those bugs that you see in the bug exhibit at the Zoo? The ones that are pinned to the wall and you always think to yourself, "I never want to see anything like that in my LIFE!" ?? And you might even wonder why there are on this earth in the first place...yeah. Those live here.  Okay, call me dramatic (I probably am (: haha) but I'm not even kidding! The biggest things you've ever seen in!...Covered in mosquito bites, sure, but this week was incredible! Just. I feel so blessed to even be here.  I don't know what I did to deserve this golden experience. But I am forever grateful (:
I think that one of the funnest things that happened this week was as we were leaving our dinner appointment.  We walked out of the house and up to the truck, my companion was behind and ready to back me out of this really long, steep driveway...and BAM, just out of nowhere, not even a hint of warning, these big raindrops instantly soak us to the bone.  It was phenomenal!  I couldn't even help but smile.  I love the rain! And I love the rain in Rio Rico, AZ.  
Hmm, I just want to share this little piece of gold with you that I learned from good ole' President Killpack in the day.  He said this, "Be a Hell Shaker!"  Be someone that when you wake up and your feet hit the ground, satan trembles at the knowledge of your arising.  What a concept!  I love that.  It really just puts it into perspective of how we should be in this life haha we are fighting this war every day but we literally are given the power to not only fight it, but to win it!  We have every advantage to do so as well because we are endowed with power on high!  We fight for the cause of Zion and so the Lord is ALWAYS on our side as we are standing with Him.  Just like it tells us in Jacob 5, we are working in this vineyard, but the Lord literally works with us.  SO, my invitation to you this week, be a Hell shaker!  Go out and shake the foundations that crumble under righteous feet.  We are built upon a rock!

I want to share with you probably the most spiritual experience I have had the entire time that I have been out here.  I haven't seen Christ here in person, but I have seen Him because I experienced this.  
There is a woman in our ward whose husband had a tumor in his brain.  He went in to surgery and came out worse than he went in.  Everyone seemed to love this man sooo much because of the person he is.  I only met this couple once.  They went in to surgery and a life of a couple months in a hospital the second week after I came into this area.  I didn't know them at all.  But the light in their eyes was something I will never forget.  They shone with so much righteousness and I knew they were wonderful people! After everything I had heard about them, I knew they were.  A couple days ago, and after a long battle of hardships, this man passed away.  The ward, and even the Spanish ward, was absolutely devastated!  We heard about it all day long throughout our church meetings.  Then we went to Hermana Noble's home after church, as we always do, to sing hymns with her.  When we got there, there was an unexpected woman in the room talking with Hermana Noble.  She had glowing eyes that I recognized, but I didn't know her name.  She spoke with the Hermana for a moment and then left to the store to go pick up some food for her.  After she left, Hermana Noble said,"That was my Hermanita Gonzales." The same lady whose husband had just passed away 2 days before.  Hermana Noble has very bad cancer and she lays in bed almost all the days long.  Sister Gonzales had come to visit her and had just left to buy her some food so that she could make it through the week.  When I realized who it was that had just left, the Spirit filled my heart.  Hermana Noble didn't feel like singing that day.  She cried and told us how sad she is that her friend passed away and what a good person he was.  We ended up still being there by the time Sister Gonzales arrived again.  She came in, hugged Hermana Noble and told her that she had to leave.  She slipped a good amount of money into her hand and told her that that was to hold her over until she returned again.  She then consoled Hermana Noble for a moment as she expressed how much she missed Sister Noble's husband.  She said goodbye and left, without a tear in her eye.  I had just witnessed a woman of Christ.  The Spirit filled the room and we all cried together.  I could not believe what I had just seen!  This woman who just lost her husband had driven all the way down from Phoenix (where her husband passed away) to serve another widowed woman whom you knew she loves with all her heart and then told her that she'd be back soon to see her again.  Wow. I am a new person. 
Service is love.  Love is Christ.  We are His hands and feet.  Don't forget that.
Shine on!

I Love This Life. August 11th, 2014

I feel like I have so much to say this week that I almost have no idea what to say!  Everything has been going so well and we have been so busy that I don't even have time to breathe haha in a good way of course! (: I love it here! I love the people SO much! I love this work and I love this gospel! 
If you're ever wondering how to get through a trial in life, think back to the night the Savior suffered just for YOU. Pray to know what He did to get through your trial.  You will be guided and you will be comforted. (:
President Uchtdorf said, "Never surrender.  Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.  Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Isreal, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart."
You are doing alright! (: The Atonement makes up for our little weaknesses that we all have.  And as we use it, they become our strengths.  Reach out to people! LOVE them.  We're all the same on the inside: searching for hope; seeking acceptance.  Just love.
All that matters is what God thinks of us.  If we're doing our best to please Him and keep our covenants.  And if we do so, we will be able to rejoice!  Because we are on the path to Salvation. 
D&C 25:13
"Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made." 
If we are doing that, we are always in the right!
Best line of the week....(background story: we knocked on a families house and they opened the door right as a trantula went into their house and we saw it just too late! haha) "El Diablo esta entrando!" (the devil is coming inside!) hahaha watch out for those spiders.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Raaaaiiiiin. (: July 28th, 2014

Well, I just want to let you know that I have officially succeeded at a
"Mexican-approved" Chocoflan.  I know, you should be so proud. (: I hope I
learn much more about the cooking here because it is phenomenal!
Wow. This week was just incredible! Let me tell you. Incredible!
It started out last p-day doing service at a member's home.  We helped add
a little more to the adobe house they're making as a family!  It was
wonderful.  We were covered in mud and just had a great time.  They live in
Pategonia which is beautiful and about an hour away from our area.  The
drive took us through some red rock and trees and wow.  I was just beaming
from ear to ear!
Also!  I had a lovely surprise and ate a fly in my drink at dinner that
night...and then I had cookies with grasshoppers in them later on! Ew. haha
just adventures (:
Awww and one of our favorite families (well, I say that about all of them
haha) but one of them called us the other day and asked us to come over.
We were a little worried because that doesn't happen very often where
someone says: Sisters, can you come over tonight? So we went over a little
nervous.  When we got there, they had a lovely cake they had made, a little
birthday banner, and a little present for each of us because they were so
sad they missed our birthdays last week.  How sweet is that?! People are so
wonderful (: I love them!
We also had a miracle the other day!  It was getting darker outside and
part of our area is full of winding roads.  We were going along and all of
the sudden this huge frog jumped out in front of us.  Now, of course I am
not about to hit a frog! No one else was on the road and so I slowed down
and swerved a little.  Not a minute later, a huge, black cow walks out into
the road and we have just enough time to hit the breaks (that obviously
would have caused more damage than the frog...). But it was so cool! We
felt so protected.  If I hadn't of slowed down for that frog, we would have
hit the cow.  You could barely see it in the dark night.  So that was
really neat!
Now, the best part of our week!!!
Church was over yesterday, and we were hungry as usual.  We were heading
back with our lovely sack lunch of chips and salsa when the elders told us
that we needed to leave right now and head down to Western Avenue to help
with all of the flood damage that happened because of the CRAZY storms we
had this week.  (one was so scary I literally prayed myself to sleep the
way I did when I was 5...). We didn't have any service clothes with us, of
course, and so the elders who lived in that area grabbed us some of
theirs.  Unfortunately, I had to keep the shoes I was wearing on because I
had no other option for shoes...they were sandals.  haha I was practically
barefoot the whole time.  We went from house to house...trailer to trailer,
shoveling piles and pounds of mud out of peoples yards.  We were there in
the heat for hours!  It was incredible.  I had never felt so exhausted and
so happy in my life!  It was a beautiful opportunity to serve and although
it was very physically trying for me, I loved every minute of it! The
people were so grateful.  One lady we spent most of our time with was just
bawling.  She was so touched by our offering to help her.  We spent a good
2 hours or more in just her front yard.  She happened to be on the corner
of the street and she just got nailed!  We drove past houses that had lakes
in their backyards!  Crazy.  But it was a wonderful missionary
opportunity!  They all asked as we went along, "What church are you all
from?" "Where is it at and what time does it start?" I even made a friend
(: Edgardo!  He kept me going along.  "Keep going, Hurst!" haha I really
hope they will all remember this experience and seek out the church.  It
was even neat because Telemundo came,  Spanish news channel, and
interviewed Obispo Astrain and filmed us sweating away hahaha.  Good times!
Good bonding times, too! (:
What I learned this week: Service truly is love!!
Also, I want a cow, some chickens, and some good working boots one day so
that I can do some hard work! (:

Love. Shine on (:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Thank you!! Everyone for the Birthday wishes (: July 21, 2014

Hey so last week, we went to the "mines."  That was terrifying! And also so cool! Basically, it had the smallest entrance that you had to army crawl into and then it opened up.  I will have to send pictures next week.  I was terrified to go inside, but it was my comps birthday and so I had to haha and it was cool! I don't think I will ever do that again.  I'm too claustrophobic.  Anyways...
We had an incredible week.  I swear I've never been so tired in my life!  I haven't seen rain for probably close to a week and I think that's because I've been bragging about how nice it's been here lately.  I am reprimanded.  The heat reminded me that it is still existing, but we press on! 
I think that I have helped 4 families move out since the time I've been in Rio Rico.  I know I will do so more, too!  I am just being prepared, right?  It's all about the learning!  Like, for example, this morning!  When our washing machine started flooding into our downstairs bathroom.  I laughed!  Maybe not the best response, but I just love learning how to handle these situations.  Or when we find out we're on the completely opposite end of where we're supposed to be because I know I knew how to get there..."I promise!" haha you just have to laugh sometimes, right?  Because some things, you just can't control!  Just keep on rollin' with it (: what a fun life.
My birthday was fun!  To be honest, it didn't feel like any other day.  But we did have some very kind people make me dinner and some cup cakes!  The sweetest little girl, Leneah, comes up to me when we walk through the front door, "Umm, Hermana Hurst, I made you something!"  It was a diaper box that said 'I love you' and had a picture of 'us' drawn on it.  It had all of these cute, random things inside and it just brought a tear to my eye. haha call me sensitive.  It touched my heart that this sweet little 6 year old girl spent the time to make my birthday special.  And in that moment, it was.  I love these families.  They are an extension of my own wonderful family whom I love.   I am very grateful for all the love I received, all the cards I got for my birthday! Thank you all (:
I just want to end by saying that there is absolutely nothing sweeter than seeing a family come back to church!  The joy that fills your heart (: I may have not seen anyone progress to baptism yet...YET...but I have seen beautiful souls return to the covenants that they have made.  I am grateful for this opportunity I have to be here and to serve here and to love here.
I want to leave with an awesome poem...or quote...that my comp has above her desk.  It goes like this:
" People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered,
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives,
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight, 
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous,
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten,

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough, 
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between YOU and GOD.
It was never between you and them anyway."
Love it!!!
Love you!
Shine on (:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Scorpions, Cockroaches & Moths Oh my! July 14, 2014

So we are only a week into this transfer and it already feels like a month has gone by!  Except for the fact that it was just a breeze...what is this concept of time?  It's so strange!  We had just the craziest week.  It really was so good, though!  We had to move into the stinky elders' apartment and that was just a lovely experience!  Scorpions, cockroaches, know, the usual.  It is so big, though!  I haven't been in a home with stairs for almost my whole time out here.  It even has TWO bathrooms! Can you believe it!?  It's a little run-down, but it is just so spacious!  We even have a balcony overlooking our incredible view of the valley.  Lightening storms are incredible, by the way.  I don't think I've ever experienced one quite like we do here....Anyways, so we luckily got to do a good cleaning this morning of our apartment and we are ready to roll.  I just feel ready to take this on like a new beginning!  We now have the elders area and we have been sooo blessed because of it!  We have been finding a lot of new people to teach and we have been finding a lot of less active members.  Wow. Can I just say that I love this work so much?! There is nothing more uplifting or fulfilling than experiencing these things.  This week has been so full of the spirit and so guided! 
For example, the other day we decided to go to a referral's home that we had just gotten at our dinner appointment.  Nothing else we tried had worked out and we weren't really planning on going there right away, but we did.  They opened the door and were very hesitant to let us in.  After we talked for a moment about how their new born baby is sick, they let us in so that we could leave them with a prayer.  The spirit was SO strong and we were able to teach for a moment.  They told us that we can come back and we are so excited!  They are actually our neighbors as it turns out!  
Basically, I just love it all.  I am just so blessed and so lucky! I love my new companion.  We are kind of different as far as interests go, but I feel like our personalities are the same!  Her birthday is even today!  And since mine is Friday, it's just the party week! haha What fun! (: I love it here! I love this area. I LOVE these people. I love the rain and the moon and the trees.  I am not a huge fan of all the scary bugs I have been seeing lately or all of the bug bites I have acquired, but I am in love.  (: haha Oh! And we even are right next to a high school so we go running on the track every morning.  That is a blessing! I haven't been able to really get into big work outs in our small apartments.  It has been nice! And since it rains every single day, we usually wake up to cloudy skies that just set the perfect weather for a morning run! So wonderful (:
All I can say is that I am just really feliz.  Really content.  If the worst thing that happened this week was having two dinner appointments in one night (which I could barely finish the first...) then I think I'm doing alright. (: The gospel is SO true.  If you don't know that, find out! Seriously.  Just learning and living and loving here! (: 
Love you all! Keep shining! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hello Monsoons! (: July 8th, 2014

This last week was pretty much a breeze and at the same time I think it lasted about a year.  I'll start off by saying that I acquired some candy corn this last Tuesday and so that was a blessing (: haha I think it got me through it all!  Although, my week was incredible! Just very stressful at the same time. I feel like I learned SO much this last week! Ah, I just love this life so much.  It's getting harder to see people go, though, because I know a lot of them now!  I say goodbye to my companion Hermana Solomon today...she's off to Idaho! AND what do you know! I get to see my next companion off, too! Hermana Jenkins (also Idaho).  I haven't met her yet because she's coming from New Mexico.  She's pretty and seems like she's happy a lot, so that's good! haha. I think I'm learning how to be tough right now!  Seeing my companion go home and having another come in who will go home at the end of the transfer, it's a challenge! It hasn't got me thinking about home a lot or wanting to go home, but it's kind of hard to hear the talk around me all the time, "oh, you get to go see your family! You must be so excited"... etc. 
Hmm...just a lot of scorpions and cockroaches and snakes...and road runners and javelina... I also saw THE scariest moth everrrrr. It was awful! And I will never live that down haha some of the members know my weakness now!  

I am now experiencing the joys of the desert.  Wow, I love monsoons!  I has rained every day since the 3rd and I just hope it keeps coming.  It really cools everything down.  I am surely blessed.  Heavenly Father knows me so well!  He had to push me first, but He knew that I'd eventually get it.  It was just heat, heat, heat, deathly heat, and then!  Relief (: Beautiful rain. Beautiful skies.  Oh, I am in love (: It really just dresses up this valley.  GREEN.
I met my new mission president on the 4th of July.  President Passey.  He seems pretty cool!  There will be changes, but that's just natural.  I am not worried one bit!  How cool that I am supposed to be here for the experience of 2 mission presidents.  This life is neat (: Heavenly Father is just so good to us!  Do you realize that?...I surely hope so (:
Oh! Speaking of 4th of July. It was fine (: We sat on the roof and watched the fireworks at the golf course next to our house because we had to be in by 8.  Sometimes we just act like little we had a good time.  Taking pictures...eating candy corn. I love candy corn.
So the other day in church, I was just minding my own business and I was suddenly approached by a member of the Bishopric. ( how do you spell that!?)
He said hey Hermana, the pianist isn't here and the meeting's starting.  Would you play for us?  My loving companion smiled and said yes she will...and I was sold.  Firstly, it's been a long time since I've tried to play a hymn.  Secondly, I never was flawless at that when I tried it before!  It was a good experience.  Sure prayed a lot!  I knew the first hymn, the second, they got a lovely right-handed rendition of Asombro Me Da (I can't remember what that is in English?...Oh! I stand all amazed). Yeah.  But it's okay!  Because you can just get away with stuff like that in the Spanish wards.  They are too kind (:
So yeah.. Oh! And the stress of the week: area expansion. Again!  They dropped an elders area and gave it to us sisters.  They also told me half way through the day that I would need to pack up because I guess we're moving into the elders old apartment at least until the lease is up.  haha.  Oh the joys!  I have been so nervous through all of these changes coming up, but I feel a sense of excitement!  I know that Heavenly Father will only put me where He needs me, where I'm supposed to be.  And that is something I have a knowledge of!  I was reading in Matthew 4: 19-22 about how Jesus saw the brothers (later the Apostles) on the ship and called them and said, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men."  Well, I know that that same call has been extended to me.  (Every one of us, really).  And after that it says that they left their nets and straightway followed Him.  It made me think...would I just pick up and leave what I was doing to follow Him?
That is the question of life!  I would hope that we all would have faith in our Savior enough to just pick up and follow Him.  I'm just going to keep trying!!!
Keep shining (:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Be Not Wise In Thine Own Eyes (Proverbs 3:7)--Love that! June 30th, 2014

You know, I always look back on a week and remember that there was a day or
two that I didn't think I would get through...and then all of the sudden
I'm beginning a new week again and I can only remember the positive things
about it. (: I guess that's a blessing.
This last week was pretty great! I don't have much to say about it except
that I learned a lot about myself, the Gospel, and the work!  I am just
completely loving it all!  Sure, it's rough.  But it is just...nothing
compares to it.  People feed us every night.  A ward member gave me some
sweet new Toms (: and we accidentally ended up at a surprise party because
we stopped to visit someone right before it started (: it was so fun!
Oh...and huge, flying cockroaches...those are disgusting.  Stay clear, my
friends.  Stay clear. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that every night
I do a thorough check of my bed and under my bed.  Then I pray that nothing
will crawl on me in my sleep because I just can't stand the thought of
that! haha it's because we just see some creepy things, okay? (:
But really, wow.  I just love this.  I love this calling.  I love this
Gospel.  I love this feeling!!
Yesterday in church, we talked about the meticulous construction of a
temple; how precise and careful they are with every detail.  The Bishop
said that temples are built to last into the Millennium. He then compared
that to our homes.  How we need to build them so carefully, as advised in
D&C 88:11-120, with prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, and order.
Only a home (family) built on the foundation of the Gospel will last into
the Millennium.  Wow, I loved that thought!  The family is the most
important social unit.  We need to really treat it as such and do all we
can to build our homes into holy places.  ALSO, the Temple is bien
importante!! It is a refuge from the world where we learn and grow and feel
of God's presence. (: It has everything to do with families and happiness.
I am so grateful for the temple. AND my family! (:  I can't help but think
about and prepare for my future family while being out here.  I learn so
much every day about what contributes to a happy, loving family.  I can
tell you, without a doubt, that the foundation of success and
happiness--like it says in the Family Proclamation-- is the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. (:

I just want to end with a quote from Bishop Dille:
"Life is a current and it's going to take you somewhere.  If you don't want
to go there, paddle! (steer your way out) and teach your kids to, too."
I just loved that!!

Que tengan una linda semana (:
Shine on!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Hot. June 23, 2014

I guess that this week started off a little rocky... The district isn't in high spirits and the heat has been a drag.  It literally just sucks the life out of me!  I suppose this is where it starts and I am just having to learn to get used to it.  But it's okay!  One of the cute ladies that we see was really concerned for me and how I looked haha so she told me all about how to take care of myself.  I am being watched over by many people.  It will be okay (:
We had our last Zone Conference with President Killpack this last Wednesday.  He and Sister Killpack leave the 30th.  What a change!  I get almost exactly half with each president.  
Our conference was incredible.  Well, really, my whole week was!  It was so spiritually filling and uplifting.  I have to be honest.  I had a little breakdown when I ran into Sister Killpack during our little "break" between the conference.  She said, "Sister Hurst,  how are you doing!?" and I just told her that I was fine...she said, "Well that's not like you at all, what's going on?" and then I just let it out.  There has been negativity going around and it was bringing me down. I don't do well with that at all.  Life is supposed to be happy (: And we can choose for it to be happy!  But I had no idea what to do in this situation.  But what she said to me really lifted me.  She said, "Sister Hurst, you are a lot like me.  We don't do well with negative situations.  But sometimes there isn't much we can do to change other people.  Just keep being yourself, keep being positive, and never apologize for who you are!"  I just loved that (: It was the perfect thing to hear because I think I was trying to apologize for being myself...I didn't want to get in the way or be a burden.  Some people, they think it's annoying how happy I am.  But hey! It's just how it's going to be.  Because that's who I am, and I like being me. (: And so I guess I want to pass that thought along...never apologize for being who you are.  Someone needs your light, the light that only you have.  My wise sister said to me before, "If I've always existed, then I've always been me! What a great reason to always be true to yourself."  Yes, change and better yourself in any way you feel the need to; we can always improve (: But also know that who you are is a gift.  God made you that way because He knew that only you could touch the heart of someone else.  Be aware of those things you have inside of you.  The little sparks that create your light...and then SHINE! (:
Another thing that really touched me this week was the fact that I am not in the alone.  The other day I kept happening upon scripture after scripture that said "I am with you"..."you cannot see me, but I am in your midst." I think I was being told something.  There is no way I could do this alone and I am very much aware that I don't.  None of us do.  We are very much watched over and guided along.  As we live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not only is He still watching us, but He is able to guide us perfectly to those places that will shape us, those experiences that will grow us, and we will become exactly who we are supposed to be.  Why in the world would we not follow Him who knows us best?!  And He is SO full of mercy.  Listen, you do NOT have to be perfect or even feel "worthy" to try to come back to Christ.  We come unto Christ to be perfected...we are not perfect and then go to Christ.  The very reason He came to the earth was to make a way that we could be perfected.  He loves us in our broken state and if that wasn't the case, and we were all perfect, He wouldn't have needed to come down.  You have Never gone too far to come back to Christ.  It is not the distance that we are from Him, but it is the direction.  It is that simple.  Just turn around!  Go the right way and He will run to you and meet you half way; it's what the Atonement does.  You do your very best and the Atonement makes up for the rest.  It makes up for our inadequacies.  
And, as we've all heard before I'm sure, if you're doing better today than you were yesterday, that's enough!  And if your even better tomorrow than you were today, that's enough, too!  Just try (: He loves us! 
As for some fun things that happened this week:  We had dinner with our Bishop again.  His little boy, Thomas, was again present and full of life! haha Right when I get there, "I'm going to call you Jim because I can never remember your name!" haha "Thomas, who would you like to say the prayer?"..."The pretty girl!" pointing at me. haha I do love being loved by a 5 year old.  He walked past me really fast during dinner and whispered, "I love you." and just kept walking.  What a joy (: His older sister, Kayla (16), who I just love, said this to me also, she said, "I have something to tell you....You are the reason I want to serve a mission!"  Oh my goodness (: That just filled my soul with joy!  I felt like I was in the right place at the right time.  That right there was reason enough for me to be here.  (:
Lastly I would like to leave you with a quote from my Mission President, President Killpack, and a little piece of advice!
Quote: "Justification is the grease on the bobsled to Hell."
Advice: Don't brush your teeth after you just ate something doesn't feel too good.
Love! (:
Shine on.