Wednesday, February 26, 2014

1 Corinthians 11:15 February 26, 2014

"But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given
her for a covering." sooo pretty much, the Bible commends my long hair! And
that is pretty sweet.

This last week was pretty great! Despite the fact that Hermana Smyth has
been sick for mmm...probably this whole transfer.  I even got sick this
last week! Whoop.
But we are doing pretty well. We just had this deal with a young woman in
our branch that if she would memorize the young women theme, we would have
an ice cream party! (Sister Missionaries are so fun (: ) And so this, of
course, meant that we too would be memorizing it in Spanish.  It worked
out pretty well! Except for the fact that only Sister Smyth and I memorized
it!  Oh well, esta bien.  Hey! I learned another way to be more Mexican
this week! Wahoo! I am stoked.  I can now professionally make
tortillas!...Minus the professional part.  And I may have gotten a nice
burn on my thumb, but other than that, got it dowwwwn. (: Lovin' the
Mexican ways! If I am not an incredible Mexican cook by the time I enter
into anther life (or home), then I will be very disappointed in myself.  We
got to do some more service and paint this week! I don't know why these
people trust me to paint their home (; but I am getting better at it!
Other than that, just sick, sick, sick.  This also means, though, that I
had a lot more time to myself to study! Which I loved (: I do fully enjoy
those moments of study.  I have been learning so much! Just really trying
to apply myself and fully engulf myself in this great causa Celestial!  I
am quite literally thrilled and honored to be a part of this work at this
exact time.  It has been hard, even thus far, but I couldn't imagine a life
without even these small things that I have learned in these first, few
months.  Estoy muy agradecida por todo! (: And I really just look forward
to every little bit of it.  From disappointments to success.  I do feel
successful.  Because my heart is changing and I am becoming new.
I couldn't ask for anything more.  Yesterday I read this verse that really
just sort of pierced me to the center: 1Nephi 21:16 "Behold, I have graven
thee upon the palms of my hands..." That really struck me and I thought,
wow, He really has graven us in the wounds of His hands.  How could He
forget us!?  He literally felt every pain, sickness, sorrow, that anyone
would ever feel.  More importantly, He felt for US, an individual person
with a face, with a name.  He keeps us in the palms of His hands everyday.
He is so aware of us.  What a testament of love.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Refining - February 17th, 2014

My name is Hermana Hurst. And I am not a Barbie...
Okay, now that I got that out of the way... (:
What a wonderful past week I had! It's been a little bumpy lately, but my
attitude is changing; my heart is changing, and there is nothing more that
I could have asked for.  I've began what I like to call "a refining" of
myself.  I am realllly striving to attain Christ-like attributes and slowly
weed out the things inside of me that keep me from reaching my fullest
potential.  This has to be the greatest decision I have ever made.  I love
the Book of Mormon.  I have always known that it is true, but let me tell
you, it IS true!  I have never experienced such a joy, such a light from
this book.  It is like I never want to put it down.  My eyes are open, my
mind is enlightened.  The best part about it, I think, is that I feel like
it relates soo much to me even more now because I am among the Lamanites.
I feel like this is basically my road map saying "okay, if you turn here,
then you will be able to reach this person." Because these are the people
who have hardened their hearts and carry on in the false traditions of
their fathers.  But the Book of Mormon, all throughout, tells of
how Lehi's posterity will receive the gospel in the latter days. Hello (:
Wow. It is so incredible!  I just feel like I had been missing a very
important part about that book every other time I have read it before.  Now
when I testify to people, yes, I may say the same words, "I know this
book is true and you can too if you read it..." or whatever I may
say...but when I say it now, I mean it. And I mean, I reeeally mean it.
Wow.  Such things to learn!  What a progression this is.  And a refining
must take place. I think what I love the most about this all is that I am
becoming converted myself!  And I'm even learning how to humble myself
before the Lord.  Although I have a long long way to go with that, I have
experienced Milagros because of it.  #1. reason I believe that to be true
is because I can speak Spanish!  Now, don't get me wrong, I still have
miles to go, but wow.  What a vast improvement that happened when I all the
sudden decided to truly plead with my Heavenly Father for help.  He
has heard me and He has answered.  In fact, the Branch Mission Leader last
correlation asked me if I had been eating more chilis because my Spanish
had really picked up! (They always joke about how you can't be Mexican if
you can't eat their spicy peppers...which I have been doing a lot of.  I
need to toughen myself! ha ). Oh and not to mention, he thought I was doing
so well, apparently, that yesterday during sacrament meeting as the closing
announcements were being said, I got a fun surprise as this same man
announced my name for giving the closing prayer! No
warning. Surprise! Anyways, my abilitly to learn the language has truly
been a tendermercy from the Lord. And that makes so much sense! Because,
like we read in 1 Nephi 15:8, Nephi asks, "Have ye inquired of the Lord?"
And if we haven't, why not! He can't answer a question that hasn't been
asked. And He can't help us if we don't ask Him for the help. I love that!
This refining is coming slowly as I really, truly just realize that I have
so much to learn and that I cannot do it alone.  I read this the other day
and I just love it! It's D&C 50:40-41,44
"Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must
grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth."
"Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the
world, and you are of them that My Father hath given me;
"Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone
of Israel.  He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall."
And I KNOW that is true.  He that buildeth upon the rock of our Redeemer
shall never, ever fall.
I just absolutely love my little family here in my little Mexico.  What an
opportunity this is!  And hey, where else will you find that it is 90* in
February...yes, 90*...I'll cry later...haha oh man, though, I love it here!
I love my family here.
haha on a fun note (: I love being in primary!  This cute little girl
ALWAYS comes and tries to play the piano with's a hassle haha but
it works out okay!  She pretty much sits on the bench with me the whole
time...Now I know how you felt, Ma. heh heh.
Other than that, just jeepin' away in Moab!  We hit this crazy trial
yesterday on the way to a member's home (because literally, their roads are
just crazy dirt trails some places) and our car was not havin' it!  The
Elders were just laughing in their little jeep...Well, our little car did
fine (because I was driving, of course haha), but it was an adventure for
sure!  and SO. much. fun! (: The desert is sweet! Lovin' it! Livin' it! I
may regret those words in July...but we'll see!
Tenga una Buena semana! (:

Monday, February 10, 2014

I Live in Moab! February 10th, 2014

Hi. This is. so. hard.
This week was probably the hardest yet. In fact, mi companera told me that it was the hardest week that she has had on her entire mission (she's been out for a year). So...yeah. Let's start at the peak of this. Hector. Our pride and joy. ): He is gone!  We felt like he wasn't progressing very well and so when we had our appointment with him, the Spirit guided us to find out the expectations and so on...we ended up dropping him that very lesson.  He didn't want to change just yet. And I say yet because I am confident that he will want to one day. That dang marijuana...("it's just herb, man. God created it and it's different because I'm a peaceful stoner). Ay. What in the world is a "peaceful stoner"?! So we basically cried all the way to our dinner appointment and when they opened the door and asked how we were, we burst into tears again.  The Elders were already at the table and pretty much done eating, so we sat down and quietly sobbed to ourselves. haha Now it's ridiculous, but then it was just how it was!  I just love Hector so much and know how much good he will bring to this Gospel once he decides that it is the way of life!  He is SO good! And that's what kills me.  I was reading in Moroni 7 and it made so much sense of our world today.  It was talking about not judging things of God to be evil and things that are not of God to be good.  And it hit me that that is literally how this earth thinks right now.  What an upside down world we live in.
So on a different note....
It finally came down to using the "can I use your bathroom?" approach. That was a fun part about this week. And right outside that house, we got to talk to 3 hombres who were very confused about God.  One of them really really was taking to the message and we are excited to see him tomorrow! Another of them didn't care at all, and the third tried to bible bash.  They're all Catholic down here, as you could imagine.  But what was sooo neat was when I showed him a scripture from the Book of Mormon that corresponds to the Bible (the "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold), he was like "well, well..Oh yeah I just have to go over here and I have to do something"  Confounded.
Hey, Ma, I eat eggplant and squash and zucchini and that stuff. Crazy, eh? haha considering I'd never even touch it back home! But, wow, food here is terrific.
Let me just finish up by saying that this week, although SO rough, turned out to be wonderful! And we knew it would (: We just had to get there.  We spent some time in because of sickness and some things we were working out and we still did SO much despite all of that. The Lord really blessed us for exercising our Faith and going on the prompting that we needed to drop Hector.  We got to talk to a lot of people and one family just let us right in there door! But my favorite part is seeing the youth really get it! And really desire to change (: My little babies are doing so well! (: I also know how to comeback at those darn marijuana fights! jajaja.
On a brighter note. I live in Moab (: didn't know that? Well, let me tell you. We travel the backroads all de time and we probably go offroading every day.  The blue skies and winding roads, with the cute little cacti in the background.  Okay, so it's not Moab...but it's home. (: And we just love kickin back to some Explosions In The Sky and some Enya after this hard week.  We even got to paint someone's kitchen for service and we made valentine's day cards with a little girl who can't afford them. So fun (: So we are happy! Despite our trials. And we are excited, despite our letdowns.  And we look up! When the adversary tries to pull us down.  And we win. Every. Day. Life in South Tucson, it is good. And I'm in love with this life I live. What a treasure (:
Let me leave you with 2 Scriptures! Some beautiful poetry from the Man himself! Lehi.
1Nephi 2:9-10
"...O that thou mightest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!"
"...O that thou mighest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!"
(And might I add, I love the use of the !)  He must feel pretty strongly about that. And so should we. Because in our upside down world, the only way to be happy, is to walk right side up.  Si, el camino es angosto y estrecho, pero es la preuba de la vida! How blessed are we (:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Semana Loca! February 3rd, 2014

This week was rough.  That's all I can say to explain it.  Talk about things going wrong.  But hey, it was so great!!! (:
Let's start out with the fact that the relief society thinks I am pregnant and have 11 toes. hahahaha SO here's the story.  We were playing 2 truths and a lie.  But, of course, they speak Spanish.  So when I wrote mine, I thought, "okay what do I know in Spanish?"  (one of the first words they taught us in the MTC was pregnant.  This is because the word is embarazado and people often confuse it with embarrassed). So I thought, "okay, I'm not pregnant, that's true! I love trees. That's true, too. Hmm...I have 11 toes. That's a lie. Perfect" So I write them down thinking we were passing them around and then guessing whose they were.  But. We read them. And so when I read "No estoy embarazado" they heard "Yo estoy embarazado" One means I am pregnant and the other means I am not. They all were dying! hahaha They were so shocked and I didn't know why.  And so they figured that one of them had to be a lie so they started telling me to take off my shoes so they could see if I have 11 toes or not! Bah. It was a disaster.  It was so funny, though and it turned out okay! Now they'll just remember me forever as the blonde sister who is pregnant and has 11 toes. Perfect. I've always wanted that image. (: Oh, it was classic. I guess you could say I'm pretty tight with the relief society sisters, though.  We all have an inside joke they laugh about every time I pass them.  Some of them still tell me to show them my feet! But...I would never do that. Feet aren't cute.
Here's a little story of the Articles of Faith! So we were teaching Hector, my pride and joy (: and some Jehovah Witnesses came to the door! They started talking to us a little bit and then they got really serious and asked me what I thought would happen to the earth when it all comes to end.  I said, "We believe the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory." (A of F 11) And they we're like Oh! That makes so much sense.  haha, yes it does, Jehovahs, yes it does.
Speaking of Hector, my pride and joy, he is my pride and joy (: I'm like the proudest momma!  He is so hungry for the good news! We teach him every day.  He had a baptism date for next week but we sadly had to drop it.  Hopefully he will get on top of things and get rollin' again.  We have really had the coolest, spiritual lessons with him! He was like wow I feel so good when you guys talk to me about this stuff!  And the funniest thing to us is that he has this big group of friends.  One of them is a boy we work with often who was recently reactivated (: (another miracle!) They all hang out in the "park" and this means...they go and smoke pot.  It is so funny though, because every other time we teach Hector, one of his friends stops by! We met one named Jose and he took off right when he saw us.  We said "hey, hope we see you again sometime!" and he said "Prolly never" and we have seen him probably 4 or 5 times since! He even pretends like he's not listening and just sits on the couch.  We know he is listening and we know he has felt the spirit!! We feel that God is preparing their hearts to receive this message so that they can be one big, positive influence as a group of young men ages 14 to 18.  They are cool!  I even got to play Hector a song I wrote (ya know, the spiritual one on the guitar?).  Jose was there at this lesson.  Hermana Smyth told me that as soon as I started playing, Jose set his phone down and just watched intently.  The spirit was so strong! I hadn't played that for like 4 or 5 months! It was really neat.  hahahaha and when Hector closed our lesson with a prayer all he talked about was thanking God for me and for my voice and that I shined and he even swore in his prayer hahaha. It was just hilarious.  (:
Basically this whole week we taught the Word Of Wisdom to boys who just don't know where they're going in life.  It was so powerful.  We have had such incredible break throughs and some really sad, disappointing times, too.  I just keep feeling like this is such a great way to prepare for motherhood.  I learned how to handle a child going through the saddest, roughest thing.  And this is how: it was not with yelling, nor scolding, nor discouraging.  It was with much prayer, study, prayer, and more prayer.  And as my companion spoke, I prayed that the right words would come out. And as I spoke, I know she was doing the same for me.  And the whole time we both prayed in our hearts that this message would touch a heart.  And it did.  What a wonderful lesson!! 
Another fun fact: yesterday, during church, we had to go out and grab the children's songbook because I left it in the car and I still play the piano for primary.  We saw this group of guys so we went and talked to them.  haha you guys, we proselyted to a gang.  And supposedly the "leader" was like, "Yeah, we'll be here. Right, guys? Cuz we're a group. We'll be here." So we will be teaching them sometime this week haha. Oh life. Life is so fun (: And just so exciting.  Also, I am referred to here as the 'Pink Ninja' as assigned by my cute, little buddy MiguelAngel.  He's a 3 yr old 'Blue Ninja' and we taught him how to clean through play! It was so random but he told me he was a blue ninja and I got him to clean the whole room by seeing how fast that little ninja could go! We also saved his mom, Yellow Ninja, from all 300 snakes that apparently were in the room! And we helped Pink Ninja, Hermana Smyth, do the dishes.  I had a mommy week this week.  And I feel like that was such a blessing for me (: I love it! Ah. Good things.
The Spirit is so real.  It is so real.  And the Book of Mormon is truly the road map of our lives.  I say that with so much truth.  I mean it with everything in me. 
I love you (: