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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