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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chino week 13!!!!!!!!!!

Hm. Well, I don't know what to say about this week. It was a very interesting one for reasons I can't really disclose. And I don't really know too much else to say because those reasons pretty much occupied our entire week. All I'm going to say about that is that sometimes I think it is crazy what the church trusts 20 year old kids with because, well, literally, we are entrusted with people's salvation. BUT. There are some stories I can tell.
Aurora, for one, is doing AWESOME. She told us on Saturday that she wants to get baptized. She came to church the next day. Pretty much, she is really really progressing towards her baptismal date on March 2. Now we have to start teaching all the stuff that will require her to change, like Word of Wisdom and stuff so hopefully she is strong enough to make those changes! I think she will be. She even asked for a Book of Mormon to give to her boyfriend. That's always a good sign.
So funny story, me and hermana stohlton have been singing for people quite a bit lately. But here's the thing, as many of you know.... not very many latins are very musical at all. To the point, where to some of them if you sing different parts, like alto and soprano, they just think that one of you is reallly really bad at singing because you are singing different tunes. So we sang "Abide with me tis eventide" for one of our neighbor families. And we were definitely on tune, because we could hear that our notes were harmonizing, and we had sung it to many other people and it had been super good and spiritual. But the whole family just started dying of laughter. And they all blamed it on the little girl Gabriela. They were like "Gabi! You are so rude. We just started laughing because she was laughing". It was pretty funny. They are like straight from Mexico, so they like REALLY don't have any Classical music training, so it just sounded like we really sucked to them! haha. I guess that's the risk you run when you sing to latins.
And Angel is doing well. He just is having a hard time getting Sundays off. But we gave him a tour this last week and it was super awesome. He stayed in the chapel and prayed afterwards and we left him alone in there and he came out just like feeling awesome. He just needs to have the faith to leap into the dark and stop working on Sundays.
I got to eat Persian food! This persian street contact invited us over for dinner. So we got the English elders and went and ate and then taught the restoration. It was fantastic. I love persian food. I love tacos too, a lot, but it was nice to eat something a little different.
Well, I hope everything is well back home! My kitty is still going strong?! Has she brought you any presents lately? I guess it's still winter over there. Over here it's been like in the 80s. It's crazy. There was a month where it was pretty cold, in like November. And that's when I had you send me all that winter stuff. And then it heated back up and has been really quite hot since. Which is bad everyone says because it means they are going to be in super drought this summer.
Well, the gospel is true. Jesus Christ suffered for our sins so as to know how to take the load off of us. Have a good week.
your favoritest child,
hermana bardsley

Friday, January 24, 2014

Chino, still here.

Well, it's a good thing I like Chino. Because I am now beginning my third transfer here. Me and Hermana Stohlton are still together. which is AWESOME. BUT ENOUGH OF THE BORING TALK. Some cool stuff happened this week.

So since I came here to Arcadia, I have had the dream of meeting someone who had a tree of life dream. AND GUESS WHAT?! Yep. It happened. We were in our favorite borracho neighborhood talking to one of them and his wife just in passing. The wife's name is Carolina, and we have taught her a couple times with her husband, and they love us, but they were never really showing any signs of progressing, and especially she didn't really want anything to do with The Book of Mormon or anything that's not in the bible. So we were talking to Carolina and I was saying how sometimes I fall asleep when I am praying, and so she started talking about cool spiritual dreams she has had. Something about a sheep, I don't remember. But something, I guess the spirit, just said to me "ask her if she's had a dream about a tree". And so out of nowhere I was just like, "Have you ever had a dream about a tree?". And she got SUPER excited, and started to tell us about this dream she had where this big beautiful tree just was like full of love, like it was the best feeling ever, and that the dream had impacted her so much that she had drawn a picture of it which she keeps in her bible. And we were just like, "well, we'd like to show you about someone else who also had a very similar dream about a tree, in the Book of Mormon". And now she is reading the Book of Mormon. Pretty dang cool. I can check that off my box of things to do in my mission.

Another cool thing. We are teaching this other lady named Aurora. I may have told you guys a bit about her before, I don't remember. But she can barely read. She never went to school and the little reading that she can do, she taught herself how. So anyways, we taught her about the Book of Mormon, and committed her to read one verse everyday. That was Saturday. On Thursday we came back and she had read 12 chapters. She says that for some reason, when she reads the Book of Mormon, she can read! And so she LOVES the Book of Mormon, because it is pretty much the only thing she can read. She reads it everywhere, on the bus, at home, at work. We explained to her, of course, that that is the spirit. And that that is her proof that it is true. It is also cool because she works at this restaurant called Straw Hat Pizza. And it is owned by a member. And he says that he has just seen this tremendous difference in her. Like she just has this glow of happiness now. We noticed that too, even before she had told us she read, but it's just amazing that it is like ACTUALLY a notable difference that other people are noticing.

That member is SUPER cool by the way. Not only because he gives us free pizza. But he also makes a habit of actually doing the research to debunk every single anti mormon theory. We once just sat down for like an hour with him at his restaurant and he debunked for us every theory we didn't know how to debunk. His name is Eric Morrison if you guys ever need any debunking help. He is my friend on facebook, and he and his wife love us so I'm sure they would be perfectly fine with you guys adding him.

And Angel is doing awesome. He is going to come to church this Sunday. We are super excited.
The Book of Mormon is the key to everything my friends. Did you know that the average college graduate who converts only has read 8 pages of the Book of Mormon before getting baptized? No wonder so many people go less active. Read the Book of Mormon, and get other people to read the Book of Mormon. It is the best tool we have to one, come closer to our savior, and also to have people know beyond a doubt that this is the Savior's church. 

Well, have a grand week,
Hermana Bardsley

Thursday, January 16, 2014

CHINO WEEK 11!!!!!!!

Well, sickness struck again, that is why I didn't email you guys yesterday. My poor companion was throwing up all day long, so we didn't leave the house at all. She's feeling much better now though, thankfully.
But, besides that, this week was MINDBLOWING! So, in case anyone who reads this is a return missionary of within the last five years, I will tell you guys who we met this week. Well, there are these movies they make us watch as missionaries called "The District". And anyways, I think about 5 years ago "The District 2" came out, which is much much better than the first one. And well, as missionaries since these are really, the only movies we can watch everyone quotes them, constantly, and its really funny just because... well... we have nothing else to laugh at. But there is this one movie where it shows the mission president training missionaries, and he says a ton of really, quite funny things in this movie. For those of you who know the district, he's the "Stop, too quick, go to heaven!" guy. And guess what, that mission president, president Donaldson, now is one of the high up missionary training people. So he's the one who like came up with the new teaching method and everything and they do a ton of research on how to make missionary work more efficient and stuff. WELL. HE CAME. and gave us an 8 hour seminar on how to teach. IT WAS MINDBLOWING. Basically, we have to change everything about the way we do everything. But it is super cool. He says that missions that have started doing these things have doubled or even tripled in some cases their baptisms.

So COOL STORY FROM THIS WEEK. There is this guy named Angel who we met on the street about a month ago. He had given us his address and phone number and we had tried stopping by and calling a couple times but we hadn't been able to find him. So finally last week we called and got ahold of him and set up an appointment for the next day. So we got there and sat down and he was like "So I already told my family I am going to be a Mormon, and they were like 'WHAAAAAT??!!!' And I was like 'yep, I've decided the mormons have the peace I am looking for". And we were just like.... "well, we want you to at least pray about it first.... and ask God...but... (I got out the phone and looked at the calendar) how about you get baptized on February 16th?" haha, and he said yea! And here is the coolest part of the story. He is gay. Completely and totally. There is no way he will ever be attracted to a woman, ever. But he was just like "I know that God doesn't want me to act on that, and I know that you guys have the peace I have looked for for my whole life because I feel it every time I'm around missionaries" and so he was already ready to sacrifice that for the rest of his life to be able to have that relationship with God. It was crazy. This was our first lesson with him. What a cool guy. We were just blown away. What FAITH. To know that you will have to sacrifice such a huge part of your natural self for the rest of your life, but to know that God will reward you for doing that. I honestly just admire him so much. He will be rewarded so much more than he's giving up.

But yea, Chino rocks. The Church is true. I love being a missionary. Christ is our Savior. Have a good week. Don't get the stomach flu.

Hermana Bardsley

CHINO WEEK 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OKay..... so everything like EXPLODED this week. I don't even know how, or why. But we are exhausted. It is like we have worked so hard for so long in this area and been really obedient and all the blessings of that came THIS WEEK. It has been insane. We literally did not physically have enough time to teach all the people who wanted to be taught or we needed to teach. We are now having to drop investigators just because they are not progressing as much as other investigators and we physically don't have time to teach them. But it's just weird because we didn't do anything different it seems like this week that would have given us so many blessings. It is just like literally people are walking into us who want to be taught.
One guy, Manny, contacted us at a bus stop, came to a tour that night and accepted a baptismal invite. Stayed for ward volleyball, came to church the next morning, told us that he wants us to come over two or three times a week to teach him, nearly fainted after he said a prayer because he felt the spirit so strong. We were just like.... WHERE DO INVESTIGATORS LIKE THIS COME FROM??!!! And then in gospel principles we were teaching the lesson and it was on eternal families, and we asked something about what our purpose is here on earth and he raised his hand and was like "well we came to this earth so that we could get physical bodies so that we can be tested because our flesh is weak, and so that we could have to learn and progress through those tests to become more like God". We, and everyone else in the class, almost broke out in a fit of laughter because his answer was SO doctrinally spot on, and yet he had never been to one of our churches before or been taught by missionaries. The elders mouthed to us "where did you find this guy?!" and we were like "the street" haha. I don't know how. He is the funniest guy and SO cool.
My poor companion though, she got the flu like Wednesday night, and then Thursday through Saturday we had lessons scheduled all day every day. She was like dripping snot every where we went and just feeling awful but we just literally did not even have the time to stop to let her sleep. So then when Sunday came we both just like crashed. Sunday after Church we came home and she pretty much slept for the rest of the day. The poor thing. I'm listening to her cough even as I type this email. But then in the evening we went out and she was like "I think we should go to the neighboor of Hna. Montes de Oca". Who we had met but never taught and they hadn't been interested in being taught, but we went over there, and coincidentally hna montes de Oca was at their house when we knocked, and we went in and taught the restoration and won their hearts and got 4 new investigators. Basically, the moral of the story is, my companion, Hna. Stohlton is pretty cool. She's been sick pretty much the entire transfer though.
Oh, so another cool thing that would only happen on a mission. That one really dangerous neighborhood I once mentioned over in Pomona. So everyone in that neighborhood is a borracho "drunk" of some sort. There are the borrachos, the super borrachos, and then the people who stopped drinking because they used to be so borracho that they almost died and stopped. But anyways, we are teaching the borracho of all borrachos in the neighborhood. And so everyone loves us. The whole neighborhood comes up to us and wants to tell us how they support what we are doing and through Jesus Christ they believe that even Juan (that's his name) can quit. It is pretty funny. We are like public heros in the neighborhood for trying to sober up Juan. Haven't had much success yet, but I've never had an entire neighborhood who just LOVES the missionaries so much. And so we are like kind of teaching this entire neighborhood of borrachos. And we just go in like "okay, where's your beer, we are throwing this away right now. You over there, put down that bottle and say a prayer" and everyone respects us haha. It is a heartbreaking place though, because alcohol has ruined pretty much all of their lives. And they all want to quit but theyve all been drinking since they were like 5 years old and literally have to be drinking at every moment of the day or their body shuts down. One time we were teaching Juan and he was just shaking uncontrollably because his body needed alchohol but he knew he couldn't drink any while we were there (until we said the opening prayer, then he stopped shaking. Funny, how that works.) I just wonder what they think, two 20 year old white girls walking in there and telling the to sober up and throwing away their beer haha. Basically, the word of wisdom is true. Modern day prophets do recieve revelation from God. And to not drink alchohol was one of those revelations.
Well, anyways, keep up the good work
Hermana Bardsley

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Chino week 9!!!!!!!

Well, I just talked to you guys a couple days ago. Not too much has happened since then. I did get a letter from sophamalough and that was pretty exciting. AND we have officially finished off the giant pile of tamales that were in our fridge from christmas. And Jesse will find this exciting. We just had a family move in right next door to us that is from Pakistan and they are Islamic and speak Urduu (I don't know if I spelled that right). But yea they are super cool.
Oh and the Elders had a baptism yesterday. Only it felt more like both of our baptism because he kind of became all of our investigator. He is the coolest guy ever. His name is Ruben Torrado. He is from Cuba, and just came here two years ago. Since he came here he has been trying different religions and church hopping and none of them could answer all of his questions satisfactorily. About four weeks ago he contacted the elders on the street, and told them to teach him. And I think they have taught him every single day since. And he literally does EVERYTHING with us it is soooo cool. If we go caroling to less active families, he comes. If we as the missionaries have a free hot chocolate stand and sing to people passing by on the street, he comes. He literally spends 24/7 with the missionaries. Yesterday after he got baptized he bore his testimony and just said like "from day one everything they said just MADE SENSE. It was the whole picture, where we came from, why we are here on earth, and where we are going. And aside from that, I just feel undescribably amazing right now after getting baptized". He is such a cool guy. Wouldn't surprise me if he is a general authority one day. And that's just it, to those who will open their ears and listen, the gospel DOES MAKE SENSE. It is amazing just, how much sense it really makes.
We lived with God, the father of our spirits, before. He is our dad, and wanted us to be like Him. We had to be thrust into the unknown, imperfection and temptation, to learn and grow. God knew we would make mistakes so he provided a someone to pay for those so that we could overcome them. Mercy satisfies the demands of justice. And we will be given the exact reward we earned. So simple. It still amazes me that no other religion has come up with it in it's entirety, they have parts, but really the full thing is the only thing that makes sense.
Well, that's all for now folks. 
Hermana Bardsley

Also you can include this in my blog, this was in my letter to president, I know you already heard the story on Christmas, but it's a good story so I'd want people who read my blog to hear it.
We had a cool experience on Christmas day teaching a family. We taught them for the first time and taught the restoration. At the end we did the whole "if God was here and you could ask him one thing..." thing, and he said he would ask something about prophets, I don't remember the exact question. And so then we invited the wife in who hadn't wanted to participate in the lesson, but we figured at least for the closing prayer she'd come. So she did and then we all folded our arms and bowed our heads and........ expected him to start praying. But he didn't say anything. And so we looked up to see what was wrong and we realized he was praying in his head because he had his eyes closed super hard as if concentrated. So we closed our eyes again and just waited to see what was going to happen. Well, after about 30 seconds or so, the spirit just like flooded the room, we knew he had asked his question, even though he hadn't said a single thing out loud. And finally when we all opened our eyes the wife was teary eyed and they both said they felt a ton of peace. It was just crazy, because he hadn't said anything at all out loud, and yet she was crying, even though she hadn't even participated in the lesson either; it was one of the most powerful praying at the end of a lesson experiences I've had.