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.