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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