I've been teased twice about starting things with "Hola hola!" so... yeah. Hi.
We made a goal to hand out all of the Books of Mormon that we have in stock in the apartment by the time the transfer is over. It's about one everyday! Which is harder than it should be. There is a lot of talk about helping Danville really burst with the gospel and become a ward and eventually a stake, this is one way we can help. The Book of Mormon is so central to conversion, you have to read it and pray to know!! We also knocked on this door on our way home and the cutest toothless old man came to the door (it was about 8:30 pm) and we aren't sure if he said "I've been saved by Assembly of God" or "I'm satisfied with my religion." Both are reasonable options I suppose! Either way, he was not interested! I love Danville. :)
Tuesday was a day of rejoicing! We hadn't gotten any kind of a transfer call. Until about 9:20 am (ironically as Hermana Ponce and I are talking about how excited we are to be together this transfer) we get a call from one of the Assistants to the President. He asked her to pack her bags and be ready to go to the transfer meeting and to leave her bags here in Danville. It was crazy! We had small panic attacks about me being here in Danville without her and her going to Russellville and possibly being a Sister Training Leader. We calmed down and started packing. We went over to see Maria Everastico that morning at about 10 am. She is SO SO nice. I was like 85% lost though because I was worried about having to be here without H. Ponce and then I would try to focus on her Spanish but she talks really fast and uses a lot of verbs that I'm not really familiar with and then I would get really distracted thinking about how I didn't know those verbs and what I would say if I did know what she was saying then I would get lost again and have to try to figure out what she was saying then I would get distracted thinking about how she makes really good tamales and I would love to eat some of her tamales then I would remember that we were teaching a daughter of God and I needed to listen more intently and pray for the gift of tongues/interpretation of tongues then I would remember that I hadn't studied Spanish very well the past few days so I would feel unworthy of the gift of tongues all while she was apparently bearing an awesome testimony about how the Book of Mormon has all the answers she has had to her questions. Wow, right, I know. Such is the mind of a stressed out newbie missionary! All is well, though. I repented and now I'm determined to understand her better next time I go!!! :)
We got up early to get everything ready to go to transfers and head out with the Brooksby's. We talked to them a lot about their earlier years and it was fun to get to know them better! Once we got to the transfer meeting and the transfers were being announced, we found out that Sister Ponce had been assigned to be a Sister Training Leader for the Spanish speaking sisters! She would be leaving to Russellville with Hermana Lewis, and Hermana Moore would be coming to Danville with me! We had a good zone "pump-up" for English and for Spanish (also I finally saw Elder Geddes! Picture coming soon. Tell his mom hello from us!!) and we went on our way! We got some lunch and got to know our new distrct leader and new elder. We are now a District of 7!! The Brooksby's, Hermana Moore and me, and Elder Allred (district leader), Elder Foster (just a regular missionary guy), and Elder Speck (new missionary). It's pretty exciting! They are all awesome and I am excited to get to know them and work with them. We had to get all of Hermana Ponce's bags to her and get Hermana Moore's bags down to us, and we had a great evening!
|Hermanas Brooksby and Ponce|
|Family! (Tester is sort of a step, step-mom, Hudson, me, Ponce-mom, and Madden! We left a spot for Sipple)|
|SPANISH ZONE on the Arkansas side|
|Finally ran into Elder Geddes (from our Stake in Cedar Hills). Hello to Momma Geddes!|
We headed into Dardanelle for most of the day. We saw the N family and tried to see some of our other investigators down there. There is one lady, D, that was a referral from the Elders and we finally got a hold of her! She was on the pone but she is really really nice and said that we could come back "cualquiere tarde!" We went with the Brooksby's to see A G! She is a really nice less-active member who makes REALLY REALLY REALLY good chili!! She does it all from scratch and only uses a small small amount of beans :) :) :) :) :) :) :) it was even a little spicy and great. It was so fun! We helped the Brooksby's teach her a little bit and I really pray that she will start coming back to church. She is very kind and knows the church is true!
|Brooksby's got pulled over!|
|What kind of cop drives a hot rod?|
Sadly we had to miss lunch with the T's because Sister Moore isn't feeling too great! So we started our weekly planning and then headed to the Bs for FHE! They are so so cute, I love them.We got there and they gave us some tamales which were super spicy and goooood and then we talked a little bit. Their grandma, A G, is someone we are trying to keep active in the church and she is super nice too. She likes to make everyone talk in Spanish so that I can learn! It's seriously a blessing. They are the most patient with my Spanish (I think it's because they are nice but also because they know a lot of English so they can decipher what I'm trying to say, usually) they got this book out and quizzed us on colors and animal names (none of which I remember) and they were so funny. We taught the Restoration, which they already knew like the back of their hand, and then we played Restoration bingo! I won. 3 times. hahaha. :) IT'S FINE THOUGH BECAUSE I LITERALLY NEVER WON BINGO MY WHOLE LIFE AND I DIDN'T EVEN CHEAT THIS TIME. :) Also I was so grateful because I know I had the spirit with me helping me to understand them and for them to understand me. I could not have made it through that night with only my knowledge! I have to rely so much on the spirit to tell me what they are saying and to help me know what the best thing to say is. It's very real, the gift of tongues. Even though I kind of freak out sometimes when people talk really fast, I know that I am trying to learn Spanish and do my best, so the spirit can be there to help me every step of the way! I am very grateful for my call to serve Spanish speaking. In this area we get to teach both Spanish and English. It's really fun because that's seriously everyone in Danville. I have yet to meet someone that doesn't speak either Spanish or English, we have a lot of work to do!!
|Eating brie cheese. :) :)|
We headed into Dardanelle again! The Brooksby's are amazing. They drove us over there and went teaching with us, and we went with them. We would not be able to see half the people we do without them! It's very nice. Anyway, we went to the N's first. We are teaching Z right now! She is 9 years old, preparing for baptism. Her parents recently got baptized this summer and they have Z the 9 year old and A, who is 8. We are trying to help them all understand baptism as much as we can! It's really fun. Z and A have the sweetest spirits! They are incredibly smart and loving and hilarious little kids. I love them a lot! And their parents have done a great job at teaching them, especially the Bible! Holy cow they know so much. They are a very special family!!
Then we went to see R. She is an older lady who is really very spiritual and faithful. Last time we were with her, I played the piano for her. We actually got to teach her a little bit more. We talked a lot about how this is the true church. She said she believes that there isn't one true or perfect church, because the people are imperfect. We asked what she thinks would make a perfect church, and she said it would be if the people are perfect or something. It was really cool for me to testify to her that this is the true and perfect church because it is head by Jesus Christ. The organization is perfect and the gospel is perfect because it is run by someone who is perfect, not by man. Yes, the people who minister and preside in the church are imperfect, but, isn't that why we need it?? If we could all be perfect, we wouldn't need a church! But, we are given a perfect gospel and a perfect example, and we can follow that example and doctrine to return to our Heavenly Father and have eternal happiness-now and forever! I really do love this church and I know that it is the only correct church. There are so many very good good people in this world that aren't members of this church (yet) but are faithful and doing righteous things. There are more people like R! She understands that the church is true, and I believe she has the faith necessary to do what is right. Though I have guesses, I don't know for sure what is holding her, and so many others, back. But I do know with faith in Christ, they-and we-will be so much better once the Atonement is used consistently in our lives. She is such a special lady, and we all love her very much. I am excited for the day she uses the faith she has and enters into the waters of baptism!
We stopped by D and A's and talked with them briefly. They are so awesome! They are pretty cool young people who are very faithful and want to have a happy righteous home in which they raise their children. I pray that will happen for them too! We shared 2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. They loved the idea that we do all things relating to Christ so that we may raise our children righteously as well! I love this verse too. It explains the church very well. We do all things in Christ's name, rejoicing in Him, so that our families may be secured and understand where to go to repent of their sins, so that we may all be together again in heaven. Please pray that they will accept the gospel into their home! They need it and they are ready. :)
|She knew her momma would love this.|
Yayayay Sundays!! Sundays are like uber stressful but also really great because it's SUNDAY! Hahaha we had a great branch council meeting, we talked a lot about the area of Danville growing and growing and growing! It is not quite growing as rapidly as it should but it is definitely getting there! It was mentioned that Danville issort of bubbling and bubbling with the gospel and will eventually pop! Pretty soon I suppose. Presdient Hall said there are enough people in our Branch boundaries to fill 5 stakes-"We have not done enough until we have reached at least 5 stakes!" And even then, the work and the gospel will continue onward until every person has had a chance to hear and accept the gospel! There is much work to be done!! The Danville branch slowly but surely growing, and could possibly become a ward within the next few years. Again, please pray for the Danville branch and area! We are working hard and the members and leaders are as well.
We had a regular day at church. Sister Moore had to translate some talks about veterans and war and such. High five, amirite?! She did well, I believe. Her Spanish is really quite good, so I hope she was able to communicate everything clearly! We had a great gospel principles class on temples and family history, and a great relief society lesson on preparedness! We have really awesome teachers and leaders here. They are very smart! After the block we had R's baptism! He is the newest member of the Danville branch! Sister T gave a great talk about baptism and taking it into your heart and remembering how you have been washed clean, and then keeping that covenant every week with sacrament. He was baptized, shared a great testimony, and Elder Allred talked about feeling the Holy Ghost and how he will be able to have the great feelings of the Holy Ghost at any time if he remains worthy. It is really such a cool blessing that we sort of take for granted, I think I am grateful for my understanding thus far of the Holy Ghost and the role he plays in our lives and in our conversion, but only if we let him! I liked the verse he shared about the good feelings of the Holy Ghost:
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
The Holy Ghost is all good feelings! I have been talking a lot about the Holy Ghost lately in emails and also in my life here in general! I really love it and I need it! Always! I am not a great teacher, I need the spirit to teach for me. And I need the spirit of confirmation and for those feelings of joy, peace, love, faith, temperance, etc. It is such a good and important gift!
I am so grateful to be here as a missionary serving in the Danville area! It is truly a blessing. Please keep these people in your prayers and remember to pray for the missionaries too! We have a mission goal of 100 baptisms this month. We need your prayers. :)