Follow by Email

Monday, December 30, 2013

Chino week....8? I don't know anymore...

You know you are a missionary when... Christmas is more inconvenient than anything else because no one wants you to go to their house and teach them on christmas.

So I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I'm starting to find there is some pretty funny stuff that goes around the mission about me. I never knew until I was companions with Hermana Stohlton. She would ask me every night during planning if we were going to eat the next day, and I would be like... "uhhh yea..."(a little confused). And then she told me that when she was on exchanges with Hermana Lopez last transfer Hermana Lopez told her that I never planned time to eat and that I would make her run all day long to buses and that she lost ten pounds when she was my companion haha. I thought that was pretty funny. It was true though, with Hermana Lopez it was always like... "well... the bus we want comes at an intersection 2 miles away in 10 minutes.... so RUUUUUNNN!!!!" and we'd be like dripping with sweat getting on the buses. And we also never had time to eat. But it wasn't just me who was like all intense or whatever, it was her too. And now at the Christmas party at the talent show I told the carrot joke, so now the entire mission knows me as the one who told an 18 minute joke about a carrot haha. I think the whole mission hates me now haha. We were supposed to keep our talents to 5 minutes..... oops ;)

Another funny thing happened this week. We help every wednesday at an adult school with their english class. Missionaries have been going every week for like 6 years helping there. And so anyways this kid, well, not kid, you know I use that term loosely, who comes every week came up to me at the end and was like "sister bardsley I have something to say to you", and I was like.... oh gosh... and he pulls out this little note that he wrote and it went something like this "sister bardsley, I know my english isn't very good and I don't know you very well, but I think you are very beautiful. So I was wondering if you would like to go out like to the movies with me". And then an elder in our district who was there kind of missed what was going on and thought he was asking to be taught or something and was like "Well sister bardsley can add you on facebook because we use facebook now as missionaries!" And I was like.... thanks elder. But I was like "yea I can add you on facebook but I only am going to talk about Jesus Christ on facebook ever. So if you try to talk to me I will only talk to you about Jesus". So then the next day we went to their like graduation ceremony thing where they have a breakfast for all the students and give them certificates and stuff and everything was all going well until we were about to leave and I looked over and noticed he had managed to sit himself right next to me. And he was like "I did a little research and I know that prehispanic cultures are very important to you so I got you this, it is a bracelet from the natives in my hometown of Jalisco". So basically, thanks to the elder telling him I have facebook, he went and facebook stalked me and determined I am a mesoamerican archaeologist. Hopefully he's not enrolled in english class in January too. I made it pretty clear I cannot date, at all, nor even get to know him beyond just in english class, that the only thing I even have a desire to do right now is talk about Jesus, but he seems to be a persistent little bugger haha. 

But yea, things are really good here in Chino, we are trying really hard to be super exactly obedient. It is amazing the difference it makes when you are exactly obedient to all your covenants. It makes the difference between a good missionary and one who has the authority of the spirit just flowing through them. We know get up at 6:25 and pray because I always fall asleep during my prayers and have another alarm at 6:30 so that I can actually get up and be awake at 6:30. The little details make all the difference. There's a reason even nonmembers recognize that they feel different around missionaries or recognize the authority, and that is because of exact obedience to covenants. It is soooo important for missionaries and nonmissionaries alike. Be exactly obedient so that you can share the gospel and other people can feel the difference everyone!

Tell Grandma THANK YOU!!!!! I haven't gotten the package yet that she sent me, but she said she put some money in my savings, to which I am extremely grateful. And thank you for the skirt and dress mom! I really like the skirt, it is like perfect. The dress unfortunately has a slit in the back that goes up too high, so I am going to have to get that sewn or something before I can wear it, but it is also really cute.

Well, see ya on Christmas. And to everyone who I won't see on Christmas, MERRY CHRISTMAS! This is a great time to share the gospel. And eat tamales. If you are mexican. Or parade around a giant statue of the virgencita, but I wouldn't recommend that one, personally. However I do love tamales. Good day,

love,
Hermana Bardsley

CHINO WEEK 7!!!!!

So things are pretty good here in Chino. Me and Hermana Stohlton are working super hard. We are dropping as fast as we are finding though. That is probably the hardest thing about missionary work, sorting through SO MANY people to find the ones who are really ready to change their lives. So we are pretty much in the process of changing our entire teaching pool.
Yesterday I had a cool experience though. We had just gone over and dropped a family, which was super sad because we knew they knew it was true and they acknowledged that the holy ghost was there in every lesson and that it couldn't be there unless the things we were saying were true, and the dad had believed the book of mormon was true. But then they freaked out I think when they started to realize that we were asking them to change and so they decided they are "a gusto en la iglesia catolica" so we could keep coming by and teaching them but they weren't going to go to church at our church ever. It's so sad how people know there's more, but they are just so scared to go out of their comfort zone that even all the blessings they know they can receive aren't worth it because they are just too scared. But yea, so we had just dropped that family and were kind of bummed and we were standing outside of that apartment complex talking about where we should go next to find a new family that is ready, when this family with like four kids walks by. And we said hi to them, and they said hi to us, but they didn't like stop to talk to us so I didn't really try to get into a real conversation. So they walked by and I kept talking to hermana stohlton. And in the back of my head as I was talking was kind of this notion that we are looking for a family to teach, and that's a family, but I kept ignoring it.
So finally it just popped into my head "you are looking for a family, and yet you just let that one walk by, what are you doing?!" And so I mumbled something like.. "Hermana Stohlton I have to go do something" and then I turned around and ran off. And by this time the family was like a block away, so I ran and chased them down and babbled something like "Hi I always introduce myself when I say hi to people but I didn't get to introduce myself to you guys so I felt bad so I had to chase you down to introduce myself, I'm sister Bardsley, could we come over to your house sometime to share a message about Jesus Christ?!" Haha. They probably thought I was a little crazy. But they said yes, and gave me their address and phone number and set up an appointment for friday. Haha. So yea. That's the first time I think that I have literally chased someone down on the street. But the spirit just like, told me to go get that family. Sometimes I think God is just up there facepalming himself, because we ask for all these things, and he gives them to us, but then we just let all these answers to our prayers walk by, literally, and figuratively. He's probably like, "STOP ASKING ME FOR THE SAME THING AGAIN, I GAVE IT TO YOU TEN TIMES, BUT YOU REFUSED IT EVERYTIME".  It's just so scary because to chase someone down on the street you have to be pretty confident that the spirit is telling you to talk to them or else it is just really embarrassing and people will think mormons are super crazy.
But yea, things are going well here. Everything in the ward and the area is picking up. And dropping all our investigators and finding better ones is just part of that.
Last night, in this neighborhood where everyone goes crazy with christmas lights, and they call Chino Lights, we made a free hot chocolate stand and sung hymns and gave people folletos. It was a ton of fun. The place is PACKED. It is crazy. people come from all over to see the Chino Lights. And everyone else has stands there selling hot chocolate, so we get way more people because it's free, and then we simultaneously convert them to the gospel you know how it goes... But yea, it was a ton of fun, and got a lot of people at least somewhat interested I'd say. We are going to do it again next week, only more organized. We are going to have a tv playing christmas movies and a whole little pavilion thing.
Thank you so much for all the christmas stuff! I haven't opened the christmas box for me yet. But all my companions really liked all the stuff you sent for them and I am enjoying the little bag of chocolate for me... :D
Keep it real, follow the promptings of the spirit, even when it looks ridiculous,
Love,
Hermana Bardsley

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Chino Week 6!!!!!!!


So, we have a new family. And they are AWESOME. Their name is the Zuniga family. It is the dad (Jose), mom (Manuela), 11 year old (Marcos), 4 year old (Jenna-leigh) and baby (Leonardo). They are just like super shy and cute but good people. We started teaching them a week and a half ago, and this lesson we taught the Book of Mormon and committed them to read the first chapter. Well, we had an appointment two days later, and we came but the wife wasn't there so we couldn't come in. So we were talking to Jose at the doorstep and we were like, "so did you get a chance to read the first chapter?" "yes", "cool! did you pray about it?" "yes, I think it's true", even cooler, "well then, how about for when we come back again you read the second chapter?" "I've already read more than that" EVEN COOLER! People are so funny, it was almost like he was embarrassed that he just kept reading and prayed and thinks it's true, but he is just so shy. So yea, they are awesome. We are super excited for them. The kids are SOOOOOO cute, and just nice and good. They live in the sketchiest part of our area. Our area is HUGE by the way, I don't know if I ever mentioned that. But we cover parts of 5 cities over here. They live over in Pomona, which is where all the race shootings have been happening. And also we were over there in their neighborhood one night and it was like 7:50 and we were talking to this lady outside and she was like "you guys have to go now, it's almost eight, at eight everyone goes inside their houses because that's when bad stuff happens. They kill people and throw them in the dumpsters right there." We were like.... "oh okay, I think we will definitely be going now in that case" haha. But, as is usually the case, that small super sketchy pocket is also where the most interested people are because they need the gospel the most, so like half our work right now is in this 2 block by 2 block super sketchy bubble in Pomona.
 
Besides that, transfers were today. I'm still in Chino, but I have a new companion, her name is Hermana Stohlton, she is from Utah. I am really excited to be with her, I think it will be an awesome companionship.  She is really sweet and more quiet, but gets what needs to get done done. And that's how it was with Hermana Duran as well, which was the best combination as far as missionary work goes that I've had. Because I am not sweet, or quiet, and so with Hermana Duran it made this perfect balance. I would break their legs and she would give them a cast and some painkillers, and it just worked really really well and we taught awesomely together. So I think it will be similar with Hermana Stohlton which I am super excited for. I need someone to do the whole "be nice and loving" part haha :D.
 
Hmm, well, I don't know what else to say. Things are going well here in Chino. Miracles are happening every day. The gospel is true. Christ really did come to this earth to pay for our sins. And..... people here are really into doing extremely elaborate christmas lights. Like way over the top. Latins like to decorate. And since here in Chino isn't so poor they have enough money to buy christmas lights. But like... Too much. It like hurts your eyes. Either a house has nothing or it gives you a seizure, there's no happy medium. That's all. Have a good week. Thanks for the packages. If you see Anders Bostrom tell him that the carrot joke is famous mission-wide. There may appear on youtube one day a video of me telling it to the entire singles ward back in Los Robles some day. I'm telling it at the christmas party this friday haha :D
 
love,
Hermana Bardsley

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

THANKSGIVING IN CHINO!!!!!!



Okay, so, I may be on my mission, but that does not mean that I have learned how to eat yet. I try, really hard, I just have really bad luck.... You can probably find a picture of me tagged on facebook with a GINORMIC stain going down the skirt. My new skirt. That you just sent me. My first time wearing it haha. So here is the story. I was sitting there, talking, I hadn't even started eating, with my plate on my lap, and then I looked down and the plate had been slightly slanted and the sandwhich thing was really really greasy, so once again I had this stream of grease just running down off the plate onto my lap. I just don't know what to do with myself; I'm just a food disaster; I don't even know how it happens! And then the family put on a dvd of the "luz de las naciones" show that is like a big show they do at the conference center celebrating latin cultures. And living legends and byu folk dance in it. I don't even like watching folk dancing but that just about killed me. As missionaries say, it made me "trunky" (as in you want to pack your trunks and go home, but mainly this just made me want to pack my trunks and go to dancesport).
But besides that this week has been SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. I just love being a missionary. The message is so true. If God loved the people enough in the olden days to send prophets, OF COURSE he'd send them now because the world needs that guidance more than ever. Not only does it feel true, but it just MAKES SENSE. I think that if just about anyone who hadn't grown up in any particular religion but believed in God just sat down and thought for a good while, what theyd come up with is our church. We have prophets. God loves everyone so he taught the people not only in Jerusalem, but in other places of the world how to be close to him, thus we have the Book of Mormon, the writings of the people in the Americas about their experiences with God and waiting for the Messiah to come. To me it just seems like "WELL DUH!". God is EVERYONE's heavenly father, and as such he loves ALL of us just as much, no matter where we live, or when we live.
Oh so funny story!!! Here is why you shouldn't white lie. Okay, we never lied, but just because of the circumstances we are in a pretty funny situation. So there is this less active member named Luis who isn't doing all the right things, but LOVES the gospel and sharing it and he gave us his friend named Pedro as a referral. However he didn't want us to tell Pedro that he sent us, he just wanted us to knock the door as if we were knocking doors (probably because he doesn't want Pedro to know he is a Mormon and judge Mormons off of that since he doesn't live all the rules). So we did, only the wife answered the door. She was super nice, didn't seem super interested though, but we couldn't ask for Pedro because of the whole thing with Luis. But anyways, we were determined to contact the actual referral so we kept coming back. And everytime, she would be right by the door or outside so we never could actually contact him. Well, so we decided we would just try to teach her and her daughters since they were always there. So we did, and they loved it. But, we had still never met Pedro. We had seen him super quickly once but never met him. And then on Thanksgiving actually, we were at Luis (the less active's) house, and guess who shows up, Pedro. So Luis is like "you guys have to pretend like you don't know who he is or that you know you are teaching his family because I don't want him to know I sent you guys!" So we did, so we talked to Pedro as if we knew nothing about him and as if we didn't know his family. He knew who we were of course, and knew that we were teaching his family, but he never mentioned that because I don't think he wanted us to be teaching his family haha. So anyways, we had already told his wife that we were going to come by that Friday because she was going to be home, so we asked Pedro if we could stop by and meet his family on Friday, and he said that they were going out of town that evening as a family haha. Well, anyways, we went by on Friday to see his wife and her and some of the kids were there so we taught them, but of course we couldn't tell them that we had met her husband the day before haha. So anyways we are just in this web now. Because now one day it is going to be SOOOO AWKWARD when we are there teaching his family and he walks in!!!! We don't really know what to do about that. Super funny though. We should have just told Luis from the beginning that we have to tell them he sent us.
AND THEN, at that same lesson with Pedro and Luis, Luis left for a few minutes and came back with a goat on a leash!!!!!!!!!!!! So then we are trying to like teach a lesson and there is a goat walking around munching on the bushes (we were teaching them outside). It was probably one of the funniest most awkward lessons for just multiple reasons hahaaha.
But yea, we have still been just finding SO MANY AWESOME FAMILIES!!! The Gandara fam, (Jorge and Sonya and kids) are still super awesome, only she is too scared to even try something else, to try praying to see if what we are saying is true, because she has been so super Catholic her whole life. And he is such just a nice sweet guy, last night he was like "well, ya know really the wife controls what we do as a family and a marriage, she is the brains" which was meaning to say that even though he may believe everything we are saying, if she wants to stay super catholic they will stay super catholic as a family. I don't know that he was ever super into Catholicism in itself, and he still never fails to tell us about how awesome our religion is and how awesome he thinks we are as missionaries and how awesome his friend who converted is, but he just is SOO nice and respectful and supportive of his wife that he'd never do anything that would cause their family to be divided
, like him joining a different church. So keep praying for that!
Have a good week! The church is true!
love,  Hermana Bardsley


Monday, November 25, 2013

CHINO WEEK 4!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dearest family and amigos,
 
This week was.... AWESOME!!!! We have just been finding families to teach like NOBODYS BUSINESS! And they are all just like really good families. We are so excited.
 
So, funny story though, like half the people we bus contact who are guys actually just want to date us. Even the old men. And so there was this one old guy named Lynn, who we had seen and talked to several times on the bus and he was like really interested, he went on to the website and researched the church and he even watches music and the spoken word. He is just this sweet old guy. He is 70 by the way. And he wanted us to come teach him more, and so we were like "okay", only thing was he lives slightly out of our area. But he didn't want the elders from that area to come teach him because he hadn't met them. So what we did was we set up an appointment and just brought the elders without telling him so that he could meet them and be comfortable with them. But ANYWAYS all four of us walk into his house and he turns on this like weird music that sounded like it was supposed to be like seductive or something haha. Obviously, I asked him to turn it off so that we could have the spirit there haha. So then the lesson goes on and he keeps bringing up how most old people think they can't do all the things young people do, but he feels like he's just getting younger and younger and he's ready to start dating again. And then he said "it's interesting how when you are young, you look to the older people, but when you are old, you look to the younger people". And me and Hermana Connelly were basically sitting there trying to hold back guffaws of laughter the entire lesson. Thank goodness we had the elders there. Not that he is dangerous or anything, he really is a sweet old guy, but yea... we definitely do not, "look to the old people" in that way haha. He is actually interested in the gospel though. He was totally fine and excited about the elders stopping by and teaching him now that he has actually met them. But situations like this happen to us quite frequently haha. In East LA people used to stop me on the street to tell me I have pretty eyes just because they are blue, and they are so unused to blue eyes haha. I even got proposed to once at a bus stop in East LA hahahaha.
 
Oh, so that family, Jorge and Sonya and kids. They are just SO AWESOME. I mean right now they still think they are super catholic. But they all committed to read the restoration pamphlet and pray about it. And they actually will. Because they are just the most sincere kind people ever. And we see them like every day since they live right next to them so we remind them like every day haha. It is so funny though because Jorge basically bares his testimony of our church to every person that is around him when we are there. Yesterday we were talking to him out in the street with his cousin, so he started telling his cousin how good people mormons are and how he loves what we do so much and how his friend converted and changed his life haha. They are the best. Pray for them though because they are having trouble understanding the whole authority being restored thing.
 
The gospel blesses families. And it is the best. If there's one thing that touches peoples hearts it is a sincere testimony of how the gospel has blessed the life of my own family and how it can help theirs.
 
Things here in Chino are picking up! Tell Sister Smith, and Rigtrup, and Cossette THANK YOU for the post cards. I think I am going to write Cossette back but it may take me a whiiiiiiiile to get around to it.
 
The GOSPEL IS TRUE!!!!! Love it, live it, SHARE IT!
 
Love,
Hermana Bardsley

Sunday, November 24, 2013

CHINO WEEK TRES!


Hey guess what. WE FOUND OUR FAMILY TO TEACH!!!! And they are soooooooo awesome. There is this new rule in the mission that we have to have a quality gospel conversation with someone within ten minutes of leaving the apartment, so we have to talk to someone before we just get on our bikes to go somewhere. So one morning we walked out of the apartment and I just walked up to the first and only guy I saw outside and started talking to him. Well him and his whole family are super catholic, BUT his best friend was catholic and having a rough time in life and doing some not so good things then converted to our church and completely turned his life around and that of his whole family. So he loves mormons and missionaries and everything and KNOWS that it changes lives. So he told us that anytime we saw the big white van outside (he lives in the same apartment complex as us so it is pretty easy to check) it means they are home and that we can stop by and meet his family.
 
Well, a couple days later we did, and the family immediately just like fell in love with us. They invited us back the next day to eat tamales with them. It is a family of six, the mom and dad and then four daughters ages 21, 19, 11 and 8 and they already read the bible together as a family and pray together as a family. The favorite thing of the entire family to talk about is how awesome the dad's friend's family who is mormon is. It is like we don't even need to bring a member to our lessons because they are testifying to themselves about how awesome the gospel is. And we haven't been able to teach like a whole lesson yet, but we talked a little bit about prophets and how we have prophets today and she was like, "yeah I mean you need someone in every day and age to guide the people specifically of that age". And we were just like.............. WHERE DO PEOPLE LIKE THIS COME FROM???!!!! They are sooooooooooo AMAZING. And good people. And ready. I know when we teach the message of the restoration of prophets and that authority to do miracles and truly baptize in the name of Christ they are going to KNOW it's true. That'll happen on Thursday. We are SUUPPPEEER excited.
 
There is a lady about 10 feet away from us at the library right now, who every time I whisper something to my companion looks at us and rolls her eyes and gives us a look of death and groans haha. I think it makes her upset that we are happy and she is not. Maybe we will try to share the gospel with her haha. Some people are just so miserable. If only they knew what they were missing.
 
Well, my friends, the gospel is true. Please put fluffy socks in that package as well. My feet die every morning during studies. I love fluffy socks, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. They both make you feel warm and fuzzy. That's my message for the day.
 
Cheerio,
Hermana Bardsley

CHINO WEEK 2!!!!!!! Internet proselyting....what?!


Well, it's official, facebook has hit the Arcadia, CA, mission. Not quite sure how I feel about that. I was kind of trying to escape that for a year and a half. They are starting with the leaders. So, lucky me, my companion is a sister trainer so I have to go to the library and sit there for an hour everyday while she goes on facebook. It's so weird. But in January we are all getting ipads so everyone in the mission will be on facebook by then. Probably in the next few weeks they will let the rest of us on to clean up our facebooks and stuff to prepare. So just don't be surprised when there is evidence of me being on there. I PROMISE I'M AN OBEDIENT MISSIONARY!!!! :D
 
As for Chino this week, IT WAS AWESOME! Things are really starting to pick up. We have found some new investigators, and families too which supeeeeeeeer great. There is one family of 8 that we started teaching last night. And they are really really ready and awesome too. They are the Ramos familyIt is really just amazing how prayer works. Because since I got here pretty much the only thing we have been praying for is finding families, and now families have been the only things we have been finding really. We have also been riding the busses around and contacting like crazy. We give out a referral usually to the English elders almost everyday.  It's good fun. We are loving it. Hermana Connelly is a really good missionary and we make a really good team. It is amazing how the spirit really does just direct you. Like you just get into a house that you hadn't planned for at all and me and her are just on the exact same page and start teaching the exact same thing. IT IS CRAZY! mind blowing. I don't know how normal people get through life without the holy ghost. This gospel really is to bless people in this life as well as the next
 
Something I read this morning in preach my gospel that was a quote by Joseph Smith was that "you cannot obtain salvation without personal revelation". I thought that was pretty cool. It's so true, and it is what makes this church so different and so true. We believe in a living God who is literally guiding us today, and without whom we cannot stay on the right path.
 
Also I hit a trash can on my bike. Yep. That pretty much sums up the week. My legs are getting super buff and stuff though.
 
I'm emailing you guys today instead of yesterday because the library was closed yesterday because of Veterans day, so we get to do our emails and stuff today. And mama I looove the bacpack! It is super cute. I hope you didn't spend too much money on it, but I do like it. And as far as the scarves and stuff, I'm not really sure where they are all at, if you can't find them it's okay, I have a few and I can buy stuff down here. Somewhere there there should be a bin of all my winter stuff. Also mama, the best christmas stuff you could get me is if you get me more skirts haha. I have this problem where no matter how hard I try to be clean, SOMETHING always stains me... I don't really have enough wearable clothes to get through an entire week anymore haha. One time I was eating a cheeseburger at a restaurant and I was trying super hard to be clean, and really, I was as far as I could tell. But then I looked down and the paper in the basket that they had given me the cheeseburger in was like not pushed all the way into the basket and was angled down kind of in a funnel shape. So the whole time I had been eating nicely over the basket and my cheeseburger had been dripping grease into the basket and the paper funnelled it all right into my lap. There was literally a 6" by 6" puddle of grease on my lap when I looked down. And that's how I ruined my favorite skirt.... But it is like a curse, because always these things happen that aren't even related to necessarily ME eating messily that stain my clothes! So.... I don't know, the brand of that one was vince camuto I think, and it was that blue kind of pencil skirt made out of a stretchy material. It was one of the ones I found by googling "skirts past your knees". I remember there were lots of colors, black, blue, black and white striped, and honestly if you could find it I wouldn't mind having like all of them. Because it was really my best skirt. Perfect length, good looking, and it even was stretchy enough that it worked pretty well for biking. Oh. Also, one of these days, could you possibly send me a family picture haha? And also maybe one or two of me dancing so I can show people what I did.
 
As for Christmas stuff for other people, both hermana Lopezita (my first hermana lopez companion) and hermana Duran's moms have both sent me little stuff. Like Lopezita's mom sent me a pen from Guatemala that had cool little native weaving around it and stuff. So maybe if you sent me some little things like that for them, thatd be cool. Lopezita does a whole bunch of scrapbooking, so maybe some cool stickers or something. And Duran loves... well... poptarts haha. You don't have to get her poptarts. I just can't think of anything else that I would get her haha. But whatever you want. They are not going to be like offended if I don't give them anything, but it would be nice to. Maybe if you wrote a letter to the family of Elder Paige that'd be cool. You would probably have to call the mission office for their address, but now she is a widow who has also just lost her oldest kid, so this christmas is probably going to be pretty hard for them. I think I am going to try to do that too.
 
I am glad Terri is doing better. Tell her hello and that I am excited to see her little baby.
 
And Dad, take good care of my kitty please. Don't let her mess around too much with those racoons. She could probably take one of them, but three? I'm not sure about that.
 
Thank Grandma and grandpa and sister argyle for me! I wish I had time to write all of them thank you letters. I am still like a month behind in answering people who have written me, so hopefully one day.
 
Well,
prayer works, God loves us, and have a great week
 
Hermana Bardsley
 

Monday, November 4, 2013

CHINO WEEK 1 !!!

Well, for the rest of my days here in chino I will be known as the cow missionary I am pretty sure. Yesterday I got up to the pulpit to bear my testimony and, well, you know me, I don't always think before I talk. So I said that I was excited to be here and blah blah blah and then I was like "And! This area is really really different and special because it is the only ward in the mission that has cows! So. I am SUPER excited to be here!". And that's how my little introduction thingy ended. Well, it kind of sounded like I was calling the members of the ward cows. Everyone knew that's not what I meant, but after sacrament meeting everyone I talked to had a story about cows to tell me and laughed at me a bit. The sad thing is, it's not a language barrier, it's just a brain lack of social skills barrier haha. Nah, but I like to be known as the cow missionary! I told them all that I was going to preach to anyone who would listen to me even the cows as well haha, so they better bring me friends who are human to teach. At least now they will remember me haha!
 
But yea, Chino is pretty cool. Definitely the most organized ward I've been in thus far on my mission. It feels like an English ward. The members are awesome. They all participate in ward functions and everything. Like there is a family history class every Wednesday and this ward is just pumping out names to the temple. I talked to one lady yesterday who has 27 names she needs to send in to the temple. It's soooooo cool to have members who are actually excited about the gospel and especially about temple work. That really is the most important service we can do. And it is also one of the reasons this church is SO true. No other church even claims to have anything like it. It is so beautiful how we can perform these saving ordenances for everyone who ever lived so that they also have the chance to accept the gospel. And it is even more beautiful how we can seal families together for all eternity, because heaven just wouldn't be heaven if I couldn't steal my old daddy-os tea bottle every day of it haha. So yea, I am super excited to work with that and use that excitement our ward has about it to share the gospel with other people.
 
My companion is Hermana Connelly. She is pretty cool. She is a sister trainer. So was Hermana Duran. And now Hermana Lopez is. I think President is trying to keep an eye on me or something. He always has to put me with the sister trainers to make sure I don't run off and do something crazy. Like just ride busses all day or something.
 
As far as investigators and stuff go here in Chino... well... we aren't really teaching anyone at the moment. This area is just starting to pull itself out of a rough patch. But everything's turning around. We are finding people, and lots of them, good families too. We are going to baptize a family in December. I'm not sure who yet... but it's going to happen. Pray for that. All the missionaries here are really really good obedient missionaries who just needed a little jolt of energy to turn things around. I think President kind of thinks of me as a little energizer bunny battery. He just sticks me anywhere that needs a jolt of energy. I kind of have a lot of energy, did you ever notice? This morning I did half of companionship study upsidedown in a headstand on the couch. Yea...
 
Also, it's getting really cold some days. Chino is also the only place in the mission where it snows I hear. And since I just got here I am probably going to be here over the whole winter.  I might need you to send me the rest of my scarves and my gloves and stuff and maybe my nice looking long coat. Not sure about the coat, so hold off on that, but I am pretty sure about the scarves and gloves. Either that or I will probably just buy some here.
 
Well, The church is true, missionary work is awesome, chino is awesome, life is good, I still love the mission. It is crazy I have been out 5 months almost. Doesn't feel like it. It's so weird to think that fall semester at BYU is already starting to come to a close. Weird.
 
Love
Hermana Bardsley
 
P.S. Tell Shayne I am sending her a letter for her birthday. Not exactly sure when it'll get there.
 
P.P.S. I have this gigantic mound of chocolate on my desk and I am downing it at an alarming rate. It is the best thing ever. Thanks again to you my mama and to Jesse for contributing to the fund.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Oct 21st and Oct 28th


Oct 21st

Well. This week was pretty crazy. We were evacuated from our apartment for a day and a half because of a giant gas leak. Yea we it was pretty funny because we were carrying all our laundry and groceries back and then they wouldn't let us into our street. SO we were homeless for a bit. The elders bikes also got stolen from the bike rack on our car during that time. And then my wallet was stolen/lost. It's been a little crazy haha. BUT. The good news is.... THE GOSPEL IS TRUE!!!! I don't know, none of this stuff really concerns us too much because we are just so happy sharing the gospel!

ALSO!! we gave someone a baptismal date. He is a husband of a member, and he knows the church is true, so he has been hiding from the missionaries since she got baptized because he knew that he would get baptized if he didn't haha. He is awesome though, he has seen how it has changed his family for the better.  But yea when we came along we told the family we weren't going to teach them unless we could come at a time when everyone is home and we could teach everyone. So that's what we did, and now he is going to get baptized! With his daughter who is 8 :) it is going to be super cute. haha so yea that was cool!  His name is Douglas, and his daughter is Kimberly.

Also we are teaching an argentinean family... and it is the funniest thing of my life. The mom is SO stereotypically Argentine. She hates the son's girlfriend and so the whole time she is just like "No se que hizo para merecer ese pecado en su vida" (I don't know what he did to deserve this sin in his life) "Siempre esta con esa fea" (He is always with that ugly girl)  and then one time he said "yo" instead of the argentine "jo" and she was like "MIRA!! ESA FEA ESTA QUITANDO SU ARGENTINO! ES JO! NO YO!!! JO!!!!!!!!" She says all this in front of her son. I'm pretty sure she is just teasing him because even he is just sitting there laughing the things she says are so ridiculous. He like sits there and nods his head and mouths to us not to take her seriously. But yea we were just sitting there dying of laughter. But the son, Lucas, is super awesome. He sincerely has the desire to learn, and the spirit was super strong during the first lesson. He accepted a baptismal invite at the end of the first lesson. The mom is interested too but she pretends not to be, she goes into the kitchen as if shes not listening but then she will yell a comment in when she has something to say haha. Argentines are funny. I think if I had gone to Argentina on my mission I wouldn't been able to get anything done because I would have been laughing the whole time. 


Oct 28th

Well, what can I say, I knew I was going to be transferred because last week I completely lost my shame. The moment I started killing cockroaches with my fists I knew I had to go. But East LA will always have my heart. I am now in Chino. Which happens to be as different from East LA as is possible. And on the complete opposite corner of the mission. It is quiet and rich and there are even horses and cows out here. There are no busses and we are right by the mountains. It's weird, I've become so accustomed to the hustle and bustle and sirens and meth labs of East LA, but it is going to be AWESOME here. I am super excited to learn a completely different style of missionary work. But it will be weird for a while.
My last week in Bel 2 though was everything I could have hoped for. We finally had a lesson with Oscar, and he shared with us how he knows this is all true, and he has prayed and received the answer that he needs to get baptized. He talked about how the gospel has changed his life, how it filled a hole he didn't realize he had, and all the miracles he has seen and felt because of it. I often felt like Oscar was my purpose being in that area, and I always said, "If I could just stay long enough to be sure that Oscar will get baptized I will be happy". And well, that happened. So I kind of felt like everything came full circle this last week. Other things too. But guys, the gospel is SO true, it fills all those holes in peoples hearts. Jesus Christ payed for every hole whether it is from a sin or not, he payed for it so that he could know how to help all of us in our times of need. It gives them hope and happiness that they never knew existed. You see those holes, like with Oscar, get filled with light instead
Dad, I am super excited you are a ward missionary! You will be an AMAZING ward missionary! You will have to keep me posted about that. Missionary work is the most rewarding thing ever.
But yea, besides that THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYBODY!!!! MOM THANKS FOR ALL THE CHOCOLATE!!!! I THINK I AM SET FOR A GOOD COUPLE WEEKS NOW!!!! AND JESSE SENT ME CHOCOLATE TOO!!!!! I was just in a state of everlasting joy today at the mission office when I opened those two packages. And thank you to michelle and Joshy too!!! I am going to answer everybody but since I got transferred today and am figuring all that out it will probably be a couple weeks. But yea, I am going to keep my email short today unless I have extra time after emailing the mission president then I might send another.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is real and true. Keep up the awesome work!
love,
Hermana Bardsley




Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bel 2, Week 4!!!!


Well hello everyone! This week was a little bit somber. We went to two memorial services. One for a sister in our ward who unexpectedly passed away, she was only about 50 and has a 17 year old daughter. She LOVED missionaries. Every time we would go over she would send us home with like a box of cereal, gallon of milk, things of yogurt, bananas, water and other things haha. She was awesome, well, still is. The other was for the missionary who passed away, Elder Page. He had only been in the field for a month, and was from the first batch who came from the Mexico MTC. His dad had just died three years ago. Apparently, he came to the mission and told president and his trainer that he was here to teach people about the plan of salvation because that was what he had a super strong testimony of. Everyone says that he would bring everyone to tears bearing his testimony of the plan of salvation. What has amazed me through both these experiences more are the families of these people. The husband and daughter of Hermana Reynoso were at church on Sunday, smiling, and the mom of Elder Page was more concerned about his companion, Elder Ostler than anything. 

The gospel is so true. To normal people, losing a husband and a son within a couple years would destroy them and their hope, but the knowledge of being able to live with our families for eternity and the comfort that the holy ghost brings to people in need is truly incredible. This church is SO true. If only EVERYBODY knew it so that they could also have the same peace through hard things. And it's not just peace because we convince ourselves that we can be with our families again so it's okay, it is REAL peace and knowledge that God sends to people who truly ask God for that comfort. 

OH SO GUESS WHAT??!! We had interviews with president this last week and GUESS WHAT HAPPENED?? I walked into my interview, and president was like "sister, do you really need your car?" and I was like "NOPE!" And so now we don't have to use our car AT ALL!!! We didn't even say anything to him. What an inspired man ;). We will be careful, don't worry. We aren't going to use our bikes much anyways because we like just walking and talking to people.

But yea, besides that we kind of like... dropped all our investigators this week because they didn't want to progress.... So....... YEA!!! Back to finding people :D. Me and Hermana Lopez are both kind of blunt. If someone is refusing to progress we just drop them right away.  But yea! there's just really no point in holding onto investigators like that, a lot of people just do because it is hard to find new investigators. I should start learning some chinese so I can have more conversations with all the chinese people here.  Our bus conversations are oftentimes pretty funny, but they are just happy we are giving them something in their language because we have chinese pamphlets and pass along cards and so they read it haha.

I anxiously await the chocolate. This morning I had a chocolate fit. Just ask my companion. I went around the house complaining about everything. Like, UGGGG I don't want to sweep the floor, I just want to eat chocolate. And then UGGG I don't want to do my laundry, I just want to eat chocolate. But I don't have any. So then when I went shopping today like everything I bought was chocolate oriented, cocoa puffs, nuttella etc...

And we just got our bikes yesterday!!! Be excited for next week. We are gonna take some super sick modeling poses with our bikes whipping our hair around with some gatorade and stuff. It's going to be legit.

Keep it real, the church is true, tell everyone you know about it.

Love,
Hermana Bardsley

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

BEL 2 WEEK 3!!!!!!???


Well. Let me see. I have a ton of things to say. Only I am so tired I don't think I am going to say too much. Our pday got moved to Tuesday this week so that we could go to the temple this morning. So we did. And it was pretty awesome. The Los Angeles temple is GIGANTIC. Someone said it is the biggest temple. I'm not sure if that's true but it was pretty big. It was HUGE. And it was one of the ones where you move from room to room to room so that was really cool. 

Anyways, BE MEMBER MISSIONARIES!!!!! yeah. I loved how like every talk talked about that. This IS the hastening of the work and all of us missionaries can't do it without the members. This gospel is SO TRUE and makes people SO HAPPY you just have to share it with EVERYONE!

Oh and by the way, the made a rule specifically for me and Hermana Lopez that all sisters in this area HAVE to use their car after 5pm. We were the only ones who weren't. So we know the rule was just for us haha. Which is funny. Sad, because riding the bus all day long was the best but whatever. But cool story about before they made that rule. One night we were riding the bus talking to people like usual and there were these people who kept looking at us funny. And well, when we got off the bus Hermana Lopez were like "hermana, those people were taking pictures of us on their phone. And I was like.... "uhhh..... that can't be good". And then then next day we were at the church and this lady came up to me and gave me a huge hug and was like "congratulations!! good job!!" and me and hermana Lopez were like.... huh? Then she pulled out her phone and showed us all these pictures of us bus contacting haha. So it was her and her husband watching being undercover members on the bus taking pictures of us. So yea I'll forward those pictures to you guys because she sent them to us haha.

Best moment of the week though was that we rekindled with Oscar!!! He had told us before not to knock on his door because the people he lives with hate mormons. But we hadn't been able to contact him in 2 months so finally I was like, that's it, we are knocking on Oscar's door. And we found him and it turned out he had lost his old phone, didn't have anyone's number and had been trying to find a way to contact us again. And then without us even telling him to come he came to conference the next day. We were there and then we just saw Oscar already there and we had no idea he was coming. He is such a good kid. 

But yea, this week was really awesome. We have a ton of awesome new investigors. Conference was really really awesome. I just kind of want to pass out because we got up at 5 to take the bus 2.5 hours to the temple. So we did 5 hours of bus riding today and we just got back like an hour ago and we still have to do our laundry and stuff. Cheers. Oh yea my bike is like aqua blue to answer your question. But I still don't have it yet, I think it's now at the mission office.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bel 2 Week 2!!!!!!!!! !!!


Hey guess what we had today??! MILANESA DAY! It was fantastic. We made Milanesa and spanish rice and stuff. I don't know if I ever mentioned this, but we live across the apartment complex from 4 elders. So yea we had a big milanesa party today!It is extremely ridiculous and they distract us a ton but it is also keeps things from getting too depressing, theres always a free comedy show. They knock on our door every morning at 6:30 so that we can lead group exercise/yoga. 

As for this week... lets see... I ORDERED MY BIKE!! AND GUESS WHAT?? IT IS MY FAVORITE COLOR! I also only have $10 in my personal account now because of it. I am also getting really tan from all the walking now that we no longer have a car.

So remember how I told you in the beginning of the mission my mission president compared me to a puppy and said to just put a leash on me but don't kill my energy haha? So me and Hermana Lopez together are like two puppies with no leash. Since we are in East LA and it is "dangerous", technically we have a car to use after 5pm. And I think when they told us that they were expecting that we would just want to use it after 5pm so they didn't tell us directly we had to. So we don't. At all. hehe. WE BUS EVERYWHERE!!!!!! And it is great because even though our area for Bel 2 is safe and asian people everywhere, for the singles ward we can go anywhere in the stake. So we go to like downtown LA and stuff on bus. Someday soon our mission president is going to realize we are doing that and tell us we have to use the car, but until he tells us... haha. I mean those are the people who need the gospel the most! So we aren't going to drive over there and miss talking to them... pish posh. 

We are having a ton of fun. We have a new tactic for Los Robles. We just tell them that if they bring investigators to a dinner with us we will bring chocolate cake! And HEY! It's working. We had an awesome lesson with one of members and two of her friends this week and we are going to teach the friends again. We are trying to work a lot more with Los Robles now because we kind of ignored it before, so we are starting at the bottom and just visiting members and gaining their trust and stuff so that they'll give us referrals because really that is the only way to work in a YSA ward. So it is taking some time to pick up, but it is getting there.

But hey my recent convert Gabby is doing AWESOME! It is amazing how the gift of the holy ghost really like... gives people the holy ghost! She says that now in all the classes she actually understands them and remembers them whereas before her baptism she didn't. She wants to get her patriarchal blessing too! 

But hey guess what? THE CHURCH IS TRUE! It's awesome. And sharing it is the best thing ever. It makes people so happy. And then it makes us even more happy. It's truly just... the way to be happy. So share the gospel so that e'erybody can have the atonement in their lives! 

Here's one more cool story. We bussed up somewhere for an appointment this week and then the family wasn't home, so we were like "well lets find out why we are supposed to be in this neighborhood." So we just started knocking doors. And like the tenth door we knocked on someone yelled from inside the house "WHO IS IT?" To which we replied "missionaries for the church of jesus christ of latter day saints". And she was like "I'm not interested." "wait... did you say latter day saints? I'm on your family history website right now! I love doing family history and your website has the best resources out of any and it's free!" And it so happens that we are teaching a class on family history this week but neither me or Hna. Lopez know how to use the program so we were like "uhh... do you think we could come in and could you teach us how to do that?" And so we did. So we went in and she taught us how to use the site and we are going to go back to teach her why we do family history. It was funny and fun haha. that's all. :D

Tell Teri Congrats!! The baby is super cute!! Can't wait to meet him! 

Hermana Bardsley

Monday, September 23, 2013

BEL 2 WEEK 1!!!!!!!!!


Okay so........ we have done A LOT of bus riding this week!!!!!! It has been fun. One time we were the only ones standing so we just stood at the front of the bus and taught to the entire bus haha! They all quieted down once we started talking to the guy at the front so we just directed ourselves to the entire bus haha! IT WAS AWESOME! :D We got a good referral out of it for the elders that wants to get baptized now!

Umm... well... besides that we are walking a lot! like 8 miles a day probably because we don't have bikes yet. Uh yea, we are having a lot of fun! Don't have too many investigators yet in this area but we are getting referrals every time we ride. Just for people not in our area. Haha. But, yea, we did a whole bunch of finding this week so we are going to have a ton of awesome appointments next week! We are having a ton of fun we do not even notice that we don't have investigators because we are talking to so many people haha! 

cheers

Hermana Bardsley

Sunday, September 22, 2013

BELVEDERE 2!!!!! :D :D! /Montebello week 12


So... EVERYTHING GOT CHANGED. Montebello was dissolved and gobbled up by two other wards. And I am... OPENING AN AREA WITH A NEW COMPANION!!! Yep. And it is all chinese people. But we are going to baptize every Mexican in the area. We are part of the Bel 2 ward in the north area, that's the only part of bel 2 where they want sisters because I guess the rest is dangerous, we still have Los Robles as well. But our area is safer than montebello, bummer I know, it's all rich asian people. I don't think president realizes how safe it is in this new area because he gave us a car to use at night, but like we are not going to use it because we don't think we need it. But it is kind of cool because I am the only white sister in East LA! And my companion has only been out 4 weeks longer than me and we are opening an area. She is AWESOME!!! Her name is Hermana Lopez, but a different hermana lopez than the one who was already my companion. I am so excited. We spent one day together once on an exchange and it was the BEST. SHE LOVES CONTACTING TOO!!! She talks to more people than me on the streets and stuff! IT IS GOING TO BE SO AWESOME!! And she loves taking the buses too! We are super excited. We have one investigator that someone passed off to us but besides that we are pretty much starting from scratch! 

Hey but guess what is cool?! Miguel didn't actually live in my area before, but now Miguel is ACTUALLY in my area so I can teach him!!! 

Oh, so cool story from this week, there was this potential investigator on a sheet who yesterday on our last day in Montebello I was like, "hey, we should go visit this lady". Her progress record said that she watches the missionary training movies "The District" on byutv or online or something but she is a pastor for her church. I had gone to see her once and she was really really cool and said that just the day before she had gotten out her book of mormon the other missionaries had given her and wanted to read it. Her husband is also a pastor though and so she said she would ask him if she could take the lessons from us and if so call us. Well she never called, but yesterday we went over and it turns out her husband is out in michigan right now. So she let us in and she told us how she had told her husband she wants to go to the Mormon church one day instead of her but he had forbidden her. But she has been reading the Book of Mormon and told us that she wants to be a Mormon, only she doesn't know what to do because her and her husband are are copastors in their church and he won't let her. She wants to have us come teach a lesson to all of the youth from her church haha! THIS LADY IS SO AWESOME! The book of mormon changes hearts. So yea, she's not our investigator anymore, but isn't that pretty cool?! It's like the stories you always read in the church news about the pastors who convert from other faiths and stuff. 

Oh AND THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE!!!!!! THE SUN CHIPS ARE THE BEST!! I EAT THEM EVERYDAY! Seriouusly, I love sun chips, that was great. And mom, when did you get so sappy?! Where even did you find all these sappy sticky notes and stuff? I had a dream last night that you guys went so broke you didn't know how you were going to pay your tithing and I was like, "MOM, THEN WHY DID YOU SPEND ALL THIS MONEY ON SAPPY STICKY NOTES?! TITHING IS MORE IMPORTANT!!!! I CAN USE REGULAR StiCKY NOTES ITS OKAY! STOP WITH THE SAPPINESS!" hahahaha, literally, that was my dream, it was pretty funny. I do like the sticky notes, though I have no idea where you found all that stuff. Hey, but why no chocolate? I've been out of chocolate since before my birthday :(. Just, ya know, Christmas or whenever you send me a package send me lots of chocolate.

Yea well I think thats about all! Thanks for everything! Keep it real! Oh and can you ask Sydnee Stevenson what her address is? I found something I NEED to send her. :D

Monday, September 9, 2013

MONTEBELLO WEEK 11!!!! SO CRAY CRAY!

Hey everybody out there!

But yea, the mission is awesome! Honestly, it has been the happiest 3 months of my life. The life stories of some of these people are so so sad. People who saw their parents got shot in front of them, or were abandoned by their parents and so on and so on. And that is why sharing the gospel with these people is THE BEST. It is such a huge difference from what they are normally feeling. This gospel is SO true. It brings more peace than ANYTHING else. It is awesome. People think our church is like power hungry or something and just wants to baptize everyone or prove everyone else in the world that they are wrong, but that is not it at all. We do what we do so that EVERYONE has the chance to be the most happy they will ever be. It is such a blessing to have.

So, this week was CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!! So Gabby originally had the date for yesterday, but we were like, "we haven't even taught the word of wisdom or tithing yet so I don't know if this is going to work out". So we went over there wednesday and she said to us "I don't think I'm ready to get baptized yet", and we were like "yea, we kind of agree, there are still some things you need to be living before you can get baptized". And then we taught the word of wisdom and she was like "well I don't do any of that even drinking coffee or tea". So then I was like.... well then.... you are ready to get baptized... And we talked about it and she said she would pray about it for when we were next going to see her on Saturday. Well, we talked to her Friday evening on the phone and she said that she wasn't going to get baptized on Sunday. But then Saturday night at like 7 we went over there and we brought her best friend whose a member, and we weren't planning on pushing her because she has cancer and is sick a lot of the time. But we got there and we just asked her why she doesn't want to get baptized yet, and then her friend took over the lesson and just was like "Gabby, you are ready, come on, what are you waiting for. There's never going to be a time when you feel completely well to do this". So then Gabby decided to get baptized the next day! So we were just in a panic trying to prepare everything for a baptism the next morning. And she didn't want anyone there, not even her friends from the ward besides her one best friend, so we had to keep it secret from the whole ward, besides the bishopric of course. It was pretty funny. It was just Gabby, her friend, hna. duran, me, the district leader who were the witnesses, the zone leaders who baptized her, and a member of the bishopric who had to be there to preside. She specifically told us to find someone she doesn't know to baptize her because she didn't want anyone she knew there. But, nonetheless, it was a very very good experience. The spirit was super strong, and she said she felt a ton of peace afterwards and she cried after because we all wrote our testimonies on pieces of paper and gave them to her. It was the best surprise baptism EVER!!!

Oh, so, this is sad, but this is my last week in montebello. I can say for sure because the montebello ward is not going to exist after this week. It is getting dissolved. We did our best to save it, but our best wasn't good enough. The people here are awesome, there are just not enough of them. So probably what will happen is if I stay here I will be over the Belvedere 2 ward, which would be AWESOME because it's even more ghetto over there! We would be the first sisters in the area. We tell our mission president every time we see him that we want to be the sisters to open all the, slightly more dangerous you could say, areas. So, hopefully, I stay here in this area and go to Bel 2 :). 

So Kevin, Arath's brother, will probably get baptized this next week! Pray for it. He knows he is ready and knows the church is true and wants to get married in the temple but he is so scared to get baptized for some reason. Even he doesn't know why. So pray that he gets over that fear! We just went over and were like "so we think you need to get baptized next week, so who do you want to baptize you and want songs do you want to sing and etc?" And it worked, he got kind of excited about it, even though we gave him a date a week a way that we hadn't given him before haha. But yea, he's still scared, but at the end of the lesson he prayed for God to take away his fear it was awesome. 

That's all! Well, there was a lot more, but those were the best moments. Have a great week! It's cooling down a little bit here which is nice because it means maybe we won't have to leave our window open at night soon and we won't have to deal with the lovely smell of our meth lab waking us up :D.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Montebello WEEK 10!!!!

So in case you were wondering, in Los Angeles when you are called to serve a mission you are part time missionary the other part crime scene investigator. It's pretty cool I guess. It's just a little hard without use of the internet. So I have a question, probably for dad, what does a meth lab smell like? Yea, I think we have one down the alley from us. No big deal. We usually sleep with the window open and the fan blowing in from the window since we don't have air conditioning, but sometimes right around three in the morning this scent comes in that is worse than anything else you have ever smelled in your life, so bad it wakes us up and we can't go back to sleep until we've closed the window and the scent goes away. But yea, nasty scent that only comes right in the middle of the night, I said to myself, "what could this be?" and that was my conclusion, but I don't know what a meth lab smells like so I can't say for sure.

Maybe that is why the cockroaches are so crazy here, they're on meth haha. I once saw a cockroach crawling around in the microwave while it was on. On that day I surrendered to the will of the cockroaches and knew there was nothing I could do to stop them if they can survive inside a microwave that's on. We basically feel like we are in an action movie out here in East L.A. You probably already know this about me...... but... I love the excitement. So glad I didn't get called to some safe little country town :D

But ANYWAYS BACK TO THE STUFF THAT MATTERS!!!! THIS WEEK WAS AWESOME!!!!! First off..... our mission is going to be the pilot mission for ALL THE NEW STUFF!!! So, within the next two weeks, they are getting rid of ALL the cars in the mission. And then probably in October or November we are all getting ipads. But yea, NO MORE CARS!!! I'm SO HAPPY!!! I LOVE RIDING THE BUS! [from Marie's mom:  Marie HATES busses.  This has been a conversation in our house MANY times.  I guess that has changed!]  You get to talk to so many cool people. Me and my companion had already started riding the bus every now and again because we heard rumors this was coming. Oh, this also means... I need a bike. President told us all that if we don't have a bike here we should email our parents this week and tell them to buy us one and have it sent here. Soooooooo yea. I have the money, but I don't really have time to go buy a bike. So mom, you have access to my bank account right? Just buy me a bike and then take the amount of money that it cost from my account and put it in yours. Preferably one of the ones that doesn't have that top bar, I think they are called cruiser bikes, because with that top bar it is really hard to get on and off with a skirt on. We have ridden the elders bikes a couple times and we always end up flashing everyone because of that bar haha. 

SO LETS TALK ABOUT BUSSES!!!!!!! This week was Hermana Durans birthday, and on her birthday we decided to ride the bus for the first time because we had time to get lost. So we got on the bus and got totally lost accidentally and got off right before we left the mission. So we are somewhere we have absolutely no idea where is at this bus stop... AND GUESS WHO WAS THERE??!!!!! MIGUEL!!! Well, he had been avoiding us for like 2 weeks now. And so, we came up to him and we were like "what are the chances that we would both be at this random bus stop in the middle of nowhere? I guess this is a sign that you should keep reading the book of mormon". Haha. It was awesome. He just kind of changed the subject but it probably got him to read some more. I love busses, we talked to SO MANY COOL PEOPLE. So much better than sitting in a car not talking to anyone.

And also, we have this girl Myrna, and teaching her has been an interesting experience. She is awesome. But the thing is she never goes to our ward, she drives two and a half hours and goes to her parents house most weekends and goes to church there. But everyone was telling us she couldn't be baptized into our ward unless she had been going to our ward, but this girl REALLY wants to get baptized. And so she told the other day that this Saturday the 7th, her dad is coming down here to baptize her and she is getting baptized no matter what. And we were like "okay. that sounds great to us! We are not going to stop you!" haha. It was awesome. So we told the zone leaders that if they want to they can stop her but we aren't going to stop her just because she doesn't attend our ward. So yea, she is getting baptized this Saturday! She is so funny. Everytime we teach her something and she has a doubt about it she gives us this look as if she is being defiant and says "well I don't know about this, I am going to have to pray about this girls" and we are like "Thank you, finally an investigator who prays about it!" Haha. She is the best. 

We also have another lady getting baptized this week named Gabby. She has cancer and that has pushed her to really investigate these things I guess. And she is really awesome, she's the kind of person who doesn't need to know everything but in general it all feels good so she accepts it and wanted to get baptized after her first lesson. 

And I am starting the dance class this Wednesday! I am excited, we are inviting all our investigators who have girls and all of the young women too!.

But anyways, IT HAS BEEN AN AWESOME WEEK!!!!! Me and Hermana Duran are super excited to change to buses! DOWN WITH THE CARS! And I guess ipads will be cool too ;). 

Also could you give me Shayne's address?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

MONTEBELLO WEEK 9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So.... guess what.... THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!! It is amazing how much God helps you when you are doing the right things. Like this week, like basically EVERYONE cancelled their appointments. But, like, since the church is true we didn't get downhearted, it is their choice to not accept it, their loss not ours. We carry the best news ever so there's never any reason to be downhearted as long as you are working your hardest! And because we were determined to keep working we had a ton of other really cool experiences that only happened because people cancelled their appointments. Like we were out street contacting one night because our appointment cancelled and we came across some Jehova's witnesses and talked to them for like 40 minutes. And they told us to come back and talk to them whenever. A lot of the talk was them just talking at us, but as soon as we just bore our testimonies it shut them up and they started listening to us. Testimonies are powerful things. It is the fastest way to bring the spirit always. And what I've seen is that even though it can be scary to do, bearing a sincere testimony is almost always respected by other people even if they don't jump up and get baptized right away. Also on a tangent, I really like Jehova's Witnesses, I don't know why they have a bad reputation. Also on another tangent, we had to leave their house because their was a police search going on in the neighborhood with like ten cop cars all with their lights off, but like they would put their spotlights on anyone who they saw. It was scary. But, I like to live on the wildside, wouldn't have it any other way. Sometimes we hear gunshots haha.

Here is a cute story. We have one investigator named Hercilia who has been investigating the church forever but she is really old and really really poor and so she cannot usually make it to church because no buses go by the church from where she lives and she does not have any other means of transportation. Well we had been trying to find her a ride, but since not very many people around here actually have cars it has been hard. So, yesterday, we told her we would walk with her to church. So we got to her house at 8am and departed. Well, she is a cute old lady who can barely walk, she has to use a walker, but she did it. It took us 40 minutes to walk there, but we told her the story about the salt lake city temple stone cutter who walked 20 miles with one leg to get to salt lake to continue his calling as a mason on the temple every week. Well, Hercilia loved church, and afterwards it was hot and we knew she was probably really exhausted and so we were like "we have to find her a ride home". So we did, but then when we told Hercilia, she said that she didn't want a ride home, that she wanted to walk. So we walked the 40 minutes back with her. I think the stone cutter story inspired her. It was so cute. I love stubborn old people.

And yea we are still teaching Arath's brother Kevin! He is awesome. He is just a little scared to make big commitments. But he loves going to church now. He says he gets his clothes ready the night before and gets up early. So right now we are just working on making him want the blessings of baptism and having the holy ghost a little more. Hopefully he can get do it soon so that he can baptize his mom. And their mom is the one working on the divorce. We think it will all work out, she is worried that if she just gets married it will affect her papers when she tries to become a citizen, so we are waiting a little bit to try to figure that out. 

Also, I AM TEACHING A DANCE CLASS!!!! It is starting next week on September 4th. We will see if this actually works, but president keeps telling me to do it, so we will give it a try and see if it is actually a good way to get investigators with kids to the church.

We found some really cool new investigators this week because of all our spare time! So this next week is going to be AWESOME!!!!!!! EVERY WEEK IS AWESOME HERE ON THE MISSION!!!!!!!! GO BE AWESOME MEMBER MISSIONARIES!!! Members who are excited about missionary work are seriously THE BEST HELP TO MISSIONARIES THAT THERE POSSIBLY IS. Keep it Real!

Love you guys!

Hermana Bardsley

Montebello Week 8!!!!


HEY EVERYBODY!!!!! 

So... I'm getting to the point where... I don't remember what I did in the week?? I think it was really good! Our numbers say it was pretty successful but I don't really remember what we did.... let me think. 

First off, everybody out there who reads this should remember what the real point of our church is. Yea we talk about Joseph Smith and all that, but the reason we do is so that we can learn how to be EVEN CLOSER to Christ. And I just want y'all to know that through this church and the teachings it has one can come to understand what Christ did for each of us and become closer to him and have greater joy than with ANY OTHER CHURCH OR ANYTHING AT ALL IN THE WORLD!!! It is crazy. And I know it to be true, I see it change people all the time out here. Never forget what our church is really about. 

OH!! So Maria del Carmen? The one who has been waiting for a divorce in Mexico forever? Well we have been talking to everyone, President Becerra, lawyers, the whole deal about her marriage certificate. And well this week we had a nice get together with President Becerra and we were talking to him about it and he was like, "you know what? I don't think this marriage certificate is valid. The only thing that can happen if we just marry her now is if her ex husband comes up to the states to contest the new marriage which he can't do since he's illegal, so go ahead and tell her to just get married." So, yesterday, we gave her and her husband the news and invited her to get baptized, finally. She was just in shock. She is so excited. She is the best most faithful member of our ward and she is not even a member. So we are in the process of arranging a marriage! We are all so excited. 

OH AND HERE'S ANOTHER MIRACLE!!! This girl, Myrna, who has been taught FOREVER, like 2 years, we gave a baptismal date to a month ago and she accepted, but she still had major doubts about Joseph Smith and authority. And we would always address her doubts, but she'd always come up with more. She said she had been praying about all of them but hadn't gotten an answer. And this week, she texted us saying she wants to push back her baptismal date. So we were kind of worried, like, what in the world did this girl come up with this time. So we prepared for like 3 days for this lesson with her, prepared for everything, we even had President Becerra roleplay with us about her. And then we get there and she is like "So... I want to move my baptismal date to September 7th" and we were just sitting there like.... .... ... And then she was like "because I have a wedding on the date you gave me, but I've been thinking about it, and I really believe Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I really want to get baptized into this church if you will let me". And we were just like, floored, I don't know what made her get over her doubts, but we had this whole lesson planned and then we were just like.... "huh... this is unexpectedly amazing. What do we teach now.." It was AWESOME!! I guess it is just a testimony that if someone really is reading and praying even if it takes time, God will ALWAYS give them an answer that they can recognize. As LONG as they put their part in. 

September's going to be an awesome month. We already have 5 baptismal dates. It is so crazy how God prepares people, and how the spirit teaches them things we don't even teach. 

Love,
Hermana Bardsley

Monday, August 12, 2013

MONTEBELLO WEEK 7!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So, first of all, THANKS FOR THE BIRTHDAY PACKAGE!!!!!!! It was awesome. I wear the shirt every moment that I am not in proselyting clothes. In fact I am wearing it right now because we are playing volleyball in a few minutes. I told my companion all about Living on One and how cool this shirt is because we are supporting Rosa's weaving business in Guatemala so she can go to school and be a nurse. And the book was great! Haha. It was like, exactly me. Hiking, climbing trees, even eating vegetables. Princesses so do wear hiking  boots. Oh and being able to see everyone's birthday facebook messages to me just now was also really great, especially Alberta. I miss that girl. 

Second of all... TELL SOPHAMALOUGHA TO HAVE THE MOST SPLENDIFOROUS BIRTHDAY EVER TOMORROW!!!!! And Ashley Bliss too!!!! I will send you many cockroaches on this very special day. Believe me, I have many to send. Our apartment is infested.

This week was a little bit slower, still AWESOME. However, we are discovering that my companion is probably celiac. So we spent a large portion of the week in our apartment with her stomach in incredible amounts of pain. She stopped eating gluten on Saturday evening and has been perfectly fine since, so we think that's what it is. But anywys, she got to hear lots of my incredibly awesome life stories while she was dying on her bed!!!!! I mean, can it get any greater than that? The pain was definitely worth the stories I'd say. So basically, this was probably her best week yet in the mission. But on that note I would just like to say that the priesthood is awesome. She got a priesthood blessing and, man everytime someone gets one of those you just KNOW that it is God talking and not these 18 year old elders. Our church is the ONLY church that has that power and authority and it is just AMAZING and such a blessing!!! 

But here is something that was super awesome!! We have this investigator named Macaira, I don't know if I have talked about her before, but she has just been a constant one who's progressing and doing great, coming to church, reading and so on. But, she has a hard time getting things when we just teach it to her, and this week we were going to teach the plan of salvation, so we were like... hmmm.... how could we make HER be more involved in the lesson in a way that she'd get it. So what we decided to do was act out the counsel in heaven without saying that we were going to. So after the opening prayer, Hermana Duran was like "I have a plan for all of you guys, I want you guys to be able to progress and be like me, only to do that you have to get bodies and go down to earth and if you do that you will be unclean and nothing unclean can come back to live with me, so what should we do?"

So we talked about it for a little bit with Macaira, and then I was satan, so then I was like "well, I have an idea..." And we brought a girl with us to the lesson who played the part of Christ. And it was great because Macaira's five year old daughter was there too so at the end I got her to agree to my plan even though macaira chose Christ's plan to illustrate what happened and stuff. It was super cool. At first Macaira was super confused, naturally, but then it really got her involved and I think she really understood by the end what the purpose of Christ is and how we need Christ to be able to return to live with God. Because previously she didn't really understand why a mediator was important or why bad things happen to good people. It was a lot of fun, and really awesome. 

But yea! Everything here is going great! Now that we have Hermana Duran all healthy again! We have 2 pretty sure baptisms at the end of the month, hopefully 3, though we are still working on him. MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERYDAY!!!! KEEP UP THE MISSIONARY WORK MAMA!!!!!! :) Oh can you send me some family pictures? I don't have any... and everyone keeps asking to see family pictures. Oh, and some pictures of how beautiful and awesome washington is? I keep telling people about it, but I want to SHOW them that it's the BEST PLACE EVER!!! 

Con Amor,
-Hermana Bardsley

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Montebello Week 6! DATS WHATS UP!!


Okay, so I safely survived my first transfer and am still here in Montebello!!! WHOOOO HOOOO. The only change is we lost Hermana Lopez, so now we are just two, which means we are no longer invisible. Because in a threesome you can go anywhere and teach anyone, but now we actually have to be careful about that. 

First off, I am of the opinion that epilepsy must be something in the genetics of Lehi's descendents. I am at that part in the book of mormon where like EVERYONE is feels the spirit by going into a coma for a while. And then they always pop right up like daisies and start preaching. It is great and kind of hilarious. 

But anyways... this last week... was........... MIND BLOWING! MY BRAIN JUST ABOUT EXPLODED BECAUSE OF ALL THE MIRACLES. So, let me just say that fasting ROCKS. We fasted three times this week just kind of by chance because it was just when all these different causes we were part of decided to fast. But man, the miracles just never stopped the entire week. For our mission we have standards of excellence, which are like supposed to be our ultimate goal of what to achieve with how many lessons to teach with members present, how many people to have at sacrament meeting, and so on. Well, we met every single standard of excellence and exceeded many. It was insane. All these things just kept happening that were like crazy.

So, first off, let me talk about Oscar. The miracle boy. So we hadn't seen him in two weeks because every time we tried to contact him he said he was busy or working or something. So this week we were like, "okay, we know this kid is going to get baptized eventually, but we are going to drop him for now and make him want what we have". So we did, and we told him we were going to stop trying to contact him. Well, yesterday out of nowhere we got a call from him asking if we could meet right then, and so we didn't eat dinner and ran out of the house and met with him. He then told us how these last two weeks everyone had started making fun of him for meeting with us. He had his book of mormon with him at work one day and now like no one there likes him and they all make fun of him, and the people he lives with hate him now for meeting with us. So anyways, he stopped reading it, and then everything in his life started going down hill, like REALLY downhill. I can't tell details but his life basically sucked for the last two weeks. And then yesterday he said he came home from work and he tried to sleep, but he couldn't, so he tried to watch tv, but he couldn't, and so he finally picked up the Book of Mormon and he just sat there and read like almost all of 1st Nephi in one sitting. And he said that when he did so he just felt like all his problems disappeared and he just felt so free. And then he called us. And he read the story of Lehis dream in there somewhere and he was saying how it was just like that, all the people were laughing at him and trying to stop him from getting to the fruit and he listened to them for a while, but now he has realized that it doesn't matter what the people laughing think. This kid is amazing. By the end of the lesson he himself came to the conclusion that he wants to prepare to get baptized. This kid has great things in store for him. Satan is trying hard to stop him from achieving them.

There's also Miguel. This guy is my favorite. He lives right by the church. The third day of my mission we were sitting in our car and I saw him from like a block away watching us, so I was like "lets go talk to that guy out there". And so we did, and that first time we talked to him he wouldn't let us talk at all, he was kind of drunk and he just wanted to tell us all these bad things he had heard about our church. But, since he lives right by the church, everytime we would walk by and he'd be outside we would talk to him. Pretty soon we were leaving him with pamphlets. But he still didn't want to be actually taught. But even though he would pretend not to have read at first when we'd see him, it would come out while we were talking to him that he did read the pamphlets. So then, just on his own, we had never given him a Word of Wisdom pamphlet, he stopped drinking. It's so crazy how the spirit teaches people! And then we gave him a book of mormon. And he's reading it! But here's the best part, on Saturday, we finally got to teach him! And it went awesome. He said he would get baptized if he gets an answer that this is true. I love that guy. He's so funny. He always pretends like he's not interested but secretly he is so interested. One time earlier on I even asked him if he had prayed about one of the pamphlets like we had told him to and he said "no". And then I said to him that I know the reason he didn't was because he knew that if he did he would know it's true and he totally admitted it! Hahah. 

Well ANYWAYS!!! I don't have much time, we have to go change our laundry. There were so many other just CRAZY miracles that happened this week. The church is true! Fasting works!! Always work hard and God will bless you! I'm glad you guys had fun at the family reunion! 

I am anxiously awaiting being able to open my package. It's sitting there in my living room kind of killing me. [It's a birthday package that her mother told her she couldn't open until the 8th.]

-Hermana Bardsley

MONTEBELLO WEEK 5!!!!!!!!

First off, did you guys remember to celebrate my cat's birthday? It
was the 24th, I forgot to remind you guys last week. Please give her
some tuna and sing "What Child is This" to her.

So MAN CAN I just tell you guys how many miracles we see?? You just
have to have faith that they will happen, and they start happening
everywhere. One of the coolest things is when the spirit teaches
people and they say something that they haven't even been taught yet,
and it is like WOW, there is NO WAY you could have known that except
by the spirit telling you. My companions are so awesome. Hermana Lopez
has the strongest testimony of the Book of Mormon and Christ coming to
the Americas. She says she can feel that it was her ancestors that he
visited. Those Mayans, they have a special kind of connection with
their ancestors that I don't really feel as a white person haha. But
yea! The book of mormon is SO TRUE guys. Christ REALLY did visit the
people in the Americas and he really did die for EVERYONE in the
world's pains, sicknesses, and sins.

Also, at some point sort of soon could you guys print out and send me
a chart of "port de bras", I think that is how it is spelled. It is
the arm positions for ballet. I might get to teach a dance class!! It
was our mission president's idea. We had our interviews and the first
thing he said to me was how he had this idea that I could teach a
dance class for girls and have other missionaries talk to the parents
as a finding investigators activity. HOW COOL WOULD THAT
BE???!!!!!!!!!!! I dream about dancing almost every night, and my
kitty cat. I often wake up and am in a weird position because I think
she is sleeping in the middle of my bed and then she is not there.

OH SO HERE IS AN AWESOME STORY!!!!!! We are teaching this young girl,
Rachel, who is 8, and she has been ready to get baptized for a while,
but the dad is this very inactive guy who doesn't always bring her to
church and so she hasn't been able to. But he loves his daughter so
much and does want her to get baptized. I think I told you about them.
But anyways this last week he committed to do what he needs to do to
be able to baptize her on Aug. 25th!!!!!!! Which is SUPER exciting. He
has had some word of wisdom problems but he committed to live the word
of wisdom. Aug 25th is going to be the best day EVER!!!!! We have two
baptisms scheduled for that day.

Oh for all you Argentines/wanna be Argentines, the only Argentine I
have met down here is crazy. Actually. haha. He was baptized as a kid
and so he desperately wants to get ex-communicated so that he can take
the discussions and get rebaptized. Only an Argentine. I guess maybe
we should explain to him what the sacrament is haha.

Well, I'm still loving it out here! Have fun at the family reunion.
And at girls camp. Don't forget to give my cat tuna.