Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Transferred to Russellville - Staying with Hermana Moore!

We started to say goodbye to the people of Danville because TRANSFERS.
Good-bye Lois Lane

Saying good-bye to Leann
Bad packing job and too much stuff.
Good-bye Nix Family!

A generally stressful day of saying goodbye and trying to pack. I will miss my people in Danville! They were so great to me. The Torgerson's had one last dinner with us! I will always love Danville!
Saying bye to Torgerson's! (Eric, Genevieve, sister T, and brother T was
teaching with the Elders)

TRANSFERS. The weirdest transfer meeting - holy cow. 9/10 of the Hermanas got transferred somewhere new! That's crazy! They also opened up a new area for Hermanas in Memphis. Sister Moore and I are in Russellville! It's crazy because she has been here her whole mission except for that one transfer with me in Danville. I think she will go back to Danville some day. But I am so grateful to be here with her because she knows the area and people really well. It is so nice. There are a few people and things she doesn't know so we are trying to figure stuff out there. But all is well here! I love it!
First teeth brushing in Russellville. :)

On our way home from the meeting I read this 2015 Devotional called "Like a Watered Garden" that I highly suggest you all go read. It's sooo great. I like this quote "Daily decisions make tiny, almost imperceptible differences in the roots of our faith, the effect of which becomes foundational."

Crazy thing though is that President Wakolo received training and there will now no longer be transfer meetings in any mission anywhere! It may not seem like a big deal but it is!! It's kind of cool because we now have the technology to do it electronically. Also it will be crazy to try to find rides to where we need to go and especially when there are transfers from state-to-state. It is inspired though! It is cool to think about how much more proselyting time we will have as a missionary force when all these missionaries around the world have like 4ish more hours of time to teach. All of that added up=productive work! Elder Oaks (I think. I actually forgot who it is now) is the new head of the missionary department and he has this new focus of "teach repentance, baptize converts," NOT the other way around! Of course! It doesn't really change anything but it is a great reminder because we often are like "Oh, well they will learn that after they are baptized" which is true, there are a lot of things that you don't know before you are baptized. But repentance (not only of major transgressions, but also to repent and change and start keeping the commandments consistently) is something that needs to be learned before baptism in order to maintain conversion and happiness. :)
My new desk.

No bed frame because they cleaned everything out due to bed bugs.

The stairs of doom.

Nativity cling

Study area

There are flocks of birds everywhere. Mom, it reminds me of you.

RUSSELLVILLE IS SO BIG AHHH. I am lost like 85% of the time because I am used to the two or three streets in Danville! We had fun getting to see everyone here and meeting new people! We met the bishop of the English ward, Bishop Stokes, and his family. They are awesome and very active and involved and I love them. I met Presidente Hernandez of the Spansih Branch and he too is really active and involved! He is very humble and on top of things. His wife is hilarious too. My favorite thing was that we went to meet Hermana Veronica who is the Relief Society President, I think, and she is so funny! We went to go say hello and start getting names of people we need to focus on and get caught up with the spanish activities. We had just eaten lunch-bad idea-and as soon as we sat down she offered us a key lime cupcake, which was delicious. Then we were talking about food and she offered us some lunch but we told her we were fine. As we kept talking about food she just said something like "okay, I'll warm this up for you and you can try some." So she did, it was the most heavenly noddle slop stuff with spicy salsa verde! I was in heaven. But it was so funny because they love to feed us all the time. I love the branch! I am also understanding Spanish a little bit better. I'm getting there! It's really hard to understand the men and sometimes they like to talk really fast just because they tink it's funny that we can't understand them! Usually we are with the ladies and they are easier to understand until they are all together talking reallly fast and ahhhh it's so fast. But seriously the gift of tongues is really really real.

SURPRISE! IT'S ALLERGY SEASON. Hahaha it was so funny today. We were talking to people and my eyes would just start watering like crazy and I got really weird looks because it was always at weird, non-spiritual parts of the converstaion. Anyway I finally decided to pray-duh-and ask for help with my allergies because I was sneezing and crying and runny nosing and sniffing all over the place. Once I did it took about three or four minutes and it was gone. God is so watchful over me!! I still have to take two allergy pills and a decongestant everyday everyday everyday.

There were a lot of little tender mercies that happened where God put people in our path that we weren't expecting. My favorite was there is this referral from the Elders that we checked on, and she was not interested at all. Before we knocked on her door though, we talked to this lady who was letting her cat out. We were just chatting and asking her about church and she said she had been a member for a few years but isn't very active. After we talked to her and gave her the Christmas card we looked it up and she is a less-active member! Of our church! Haha We weren't sure if she meant she had been a member for some years from our church or a different one. But man, that was a cool one. It's all in the Lord's timing! That was cool I think mostly because at the transfer meeting we watched a video about referrals. They are to be treated as sacred, especially  those from headquarters. But they really focused on knocking areas around the referred area. The Lord works in mysterious ways and often times he will put you in a place where one or more people are ready. So, like this referral, she was not ready but that less-active lady needed to be found or else we would probably not have ever visited her!
Lunch with Grace and Sister W.

We had such a busy day on Saturday! We had lunch with Grace who is a recent convert and her mom, Sister Warrendorf. They are so so sweet! Then we got Quiznos and Froyo. Good stuff. They shared some realy cool stories. They do a lot of temple trips so it was cool to hear their stories. :) We had my first correlation meeting in Spanish ... I am actually surprised at how much I understood. But after a while it gets really tiring to translate in my head what everyone is saying. But it was fun to be with everyone and talk in Spanish! I love the Branch. And Presidente Hernandez has great ideas. Same with Hermana Barrera and Hna. Roque. Afterwards, we had sports night. Lol. Yeah. I did sports night. It was missionaries - in this case there were three because one was sick or something - against 5 or 6 members of the Branch who really really really really love soccer!! Finally Presidente Hernandez joined us and then at the end one of their sons joined our team too, so we did better. But really it was just Sister Moore and Elder Moore (oh yeah we have Elder Moore, Elder Moore, Hermana Moore, and Hermana Mac. It's hilarious.) against everyone else. I kind of helped by just running around and getting in the way of the other team. I think I scored one goal on Hermana Barrera though, so, yay! Haha it was really fun though. We also went teaching with Hermana Barrera which was so fun. She brings a great spirit and testimony - and knowledge of Spanish - to the lessons. We taught this lady about the Plan of Salvation and she seemed to be really interested and sincerely asked questions and is going to pray about it. I love the Plan of Salvation because it is so comforting, but also because the Bible and the Book of Mormon testify of it so well. It's just so cool to have this knowledge!

My first Sunday was un poquito loco because we cover the Spanish and English and they were combined for Christmas. We had choir practice in the morning, then a great sacrament meeting with lots of songs and a lovely solo by Sister Fox. After, we ran around after trying to get evryone to class and make sure everyone was settled. It's crazy, but it's kind of fun. I had my first clase del nuevo testamento en solo espanol! We also got to see one of the recent converts get the Priesthood and be ordained as a Deacon, and we went to Spanish Relief Society. After church, we passed out flyers to all the hispanic people we knew of for our party on the 24th. It was good to get out and walk around. We did our best to follow the Spirit as we walked around the neighborhoods. We left a lot of pass along cards and met a nice lady who we will go back to see and she gave us a referral to her neighbor!
Caroling is a blast!

I love the Hermanas!

Caroling Video:

It's a cool area, people are generally pretty friendly. We went to the rest home and visited the sweetest ladies ever, then headed up for dinner! We had a dinner with the Fox's. They are members of a lot of years and they love focusing on Christ more at Christmas. After dinner we went caroling with the Hermanas in the Relief Society! They are so so so hilarious. Oh heavens, they talk so fast together. It was so funny to sit in the back and listen to these five ladies make jokes in Spanish and stuff. I love them a lot! Sister Moore always says they are like our crazy aunts - it's true! We sang Jesus en Pesebre (Away in a Manger) like six or seven times. I was so exhausted by the end, but it was so worth it. I love to sing about Christ, especially in Spanish

Hermana Macfarlane

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