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, moths...moths...you 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 girls...so 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 (: