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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chino week 21!

Whew. Well this week has been crazy. I am exhausted. Today was our
temple day which means we had to get up super early to go to the first
session. That's also why my pday [preparation day] is today instead of yesterday.  We got to go to the Redlands
temple since we are all the way out in chino which was super
beautiful. I think that may be my favorite temple I've been to. It is
small, but gorgeous.

So other news for this week, Saturday night at like 10pm I got a phone
call from missionaries in Pasadena saying that my old investigator
macaira, from montebello, was going to get baptized the next day and
that the only people who she had requested to be at her baptism were
me and hermana Duran. She actually wanted hermana Duran to baptize her
but unfortunately they had to tell macaira that hermana Duran couldn't
do that haha. So i had to find a way to the other side of the mission
to be there. Somehow we found a way there. A very kind member gave us
a ride an hour away. The baptism was very nice. Her whole family was
there and macaira looked super happy. It is nice to know that even
though she didn't get baptized while we were teaching her, that us
teaching her did make a difference.

Then at the baptism hermana Duran told me that our recent convert from
montebello, gabi, is about to pass away and that she had been telling
the missionaries over there now that she just wants to see me and
hermana Duran before she passes away. Which is super sad. So now today
after I finish emailing we got special permission from the mission
president to make the long journey from chino to east Los Angeles to
go see gabi. The good news is, the plan of salvation is real. And this
lady who has been suffering from cancer for a while now, will be able
to live again with a perfect body, free from all those pains.

Oh! And aurora finally got confirmed! It was really funny because
after she got the Holy Ghost it was like she had an instant confidence
boost. In Sunday school she was like yelling out comments without
raising her hand and arguing with people, and me and hermana Stohlton
were just like "oh my... Who did we baptize.." She's not normally like
that she was just on this like super confidence boost it was funny

Aside from that, everything's good. The church is true. Christ payed,
died, and was resurrected so that every single one of us could live
again and become perfectly clean in order to live in the presence of
The Lord.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Chino week a million!

No way to wake you up like an earthquake! I keep trying to find ways
to wake myself up better and it looks like god answered my prayers! I
could dramatize the story and make it sound like I almost died but....
To be honest though I don't even think it would have woken me up had I
not already been awake. Our first alarm had just gone off at 6:25 and
then about a minute later our beds shook for about 5 seconds and I
said to hermana Stohlton, "did your bed shake too?" To which she
replied, "yes" and I said, "huh, I think that was an earthquake" and
then I went back to sleep for the three remaining minutes till my
alarm went off again.

And to answer your question mom, yes, me and hermana Stohlton have
been together forever. There is a reason though. The reason is that
this church teaches us how to be together forever. Just kidding. The
reason is we are the first missionaries who have baptized or even
really found new people to teach in this area of chino for the last
year and a half. Which I mean it's nice that president thinks we are
doing a good job and all, but yea, we have been in the same spot
together for a really long time haha. But we work well together so
it's all good!

But this week was pretty good! I don't know if you remember manny, who
we taught like two months ago and then dropped. But anyways we had the
feeling like we should go by, and so we did, and he was just like MIND
BLOWN that we came by on that day because he had just like almost died
and and had just got back from the hospital and stuff. This guy is
hilarious. I don't even know how to describe him. We have definitely
missed teaching him. One time when we invited him to be baptized
before when we were teaching him he told us "I don't know if I feel
like getting wet right now, but maybe i'll catch you all at the next
dip" haha. So anyways now he is reading the Book of Mormon and really
studying it and doing these things he never did the first time we
taught him. So hopefully we really will catch him at the next dip

But yea, aurora is still not confirmed, but she wants to be. And on
her thing when she went to the hospital she told us that she put that
she is a Mormon! She is back home now, but still not doing so well.
Pray pray pray. She doesn't even really remember her baptism because
she was so sick. Poor thing.

It's seriously like as we become better missionaries and are given
more tools to succeed the devil is unleashed more and more. The things
that happen to stop people from being members of this church are
ridiculous. It's a good thing we are on the winning team, but MY
GOODNESS the hastening of the work is happening on both the good side
and the bad side. We just have to always make sure we are doing those
small and simple things, reading the scriptures, praying, going to
church and the temple, and we will be victorious, and you know me, I
like to win.

Hermana Bardsley

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Chino week.... 19. Wow.

So yea...... I hit my 9 month mark on Wednesday! That is pretty cray
cray! Whew. I'm over the hill. And I've spent pretty much all that
time right here in chino.

So this week we had some pretty exciting/terrifying things happened.
The most exciting of which I am about to recount. Hermana Stohlton and
I were walking along the sidewalk on a fresh Sunday evening. There was
a slight breeze blowing that was ruffling the fronds of the palm
trees. We were busy chatting about our past lives as normal people
when suddenly a large hawk swooped down and landed on the street lamp as
we were approaching. It stared at us with its penetrating eyes,
considering whether or not we were a threat. It looked around,
scouring the surroundings in search of a small rodent. It was in
attack stance with its neck outstretched and it's wings held tight to
its body, ready to dive. Well, little did we know, it had a different
sort of attack in mind. We had kept walking but still had our eyes
fixed on the hawk as we admired its power. Just as we approached the
street light the hawk did something unexpected. First, it lifted its
tail. Then, as if in slow motion, something began to fall from the
sky. We stood there, staring towards the heavens in disbelief, and
then finally our brains clicked into gear. Just in the knick of time
we jumped out of the way as a ginormous blob of bird poop splattered
the cement exactly where we had stood just moments before. Some people
say birds have no rectal control. But I disagree. Having lived through
a very close encounter, I know that they not only have rectal control,
but are expert mathematicians. Able to take into account all
variables. The speed of our walk and the speed that it's turd would
fall at in order to create a perfect weapon of attack. We are lucky we
made it out alive.

Well, that is my way of saying that nothing terribly exciting happened
this week. We dropped a lot of people. Aurora didn't get the Holy
Ghost because she got so sick she has been in the hospital like this
whole last week. So pray for her so she can make it to church this
next week and get it.

Oh and more transfers came and went and I am still in chino with
hermana Stohlton. Yep! Things are good. The gospel is true.

Hermana Bardsley

Chino week 16 from Hna Stohltons perspective

Well, here it is. Sorry again I am too lazy to personally write anything out to you guys today. I will write grandma a get well soon card though.

Subject: Alive!
Hola familia,

First things first. Aurora did make it to the waters of baptism!
However it was quite the crazy ride trying to get her there. So to
begin,last week it rained all week. So every day we were riding our
bikes in the rain. We waited for her at the Starbucks every day to
ensure that she did not buy any coffee. Then we would walk over to her
work to read with her before she started work.
Of course last week she was sick, fighting withdrawls, and barely got
any sleep because work was super busy. She told us that we were
killing her! Some of the withdrawals are so bad that all she could
smell and taste in her mouth for a couple of days straight was
cigarette smoke flavor.

Then the devil wasn't only working on her, but every other possible
source that could help her make it to her baptism. First of all
Hermana Bardsley fell off her bike and twisted her ankle kind of
badly. But if this is to be a gymnastics meet, she would have still
competed on it she said. She did not appreciate my wise Dr. Council I
was giving her. Then later that day we were driving and a car decided
it wasn't going to stop, after pulling out of the driveway and almost
plowed us, but thanks to my agile driving skills and reaction time I
was able to dodge it. 

Then on Saturday night we try to make the programs for her baptism,
but of course the printer was out of ink. And at last-second she
decided she wanted to invite the whole entire ward to her baptism and
not have it be a private one anymore. So it was kind of important that
we had programs.
But thankfully are made it to church for sacrament meeting but have to
go home after because she was coughing really badly. And we had
arranged a ride for her, but of course a couple of hours later the
person called back saying they had the stomach flu so wasn't able to
take her anymore. But thankfully we found someone else.

So for the baptism, for some reason we decided it would be a great
idea for us to sing a musical number.
So we had picked the hymn, How Great Thou Art to sing to her. But
Sunday morning as we were practicing it we decided it was better just
to change the hymn to Abide With Me tis Eventide, since it was easier
and we had practiced that hymn many times before and even performed it
for a few of our investigators. And we felt much more confident about
that hymn.
So, fast forward a few hours. Right before we go to the church to fill
up the baptismal font, we were able to make programs at a members
house. They turned out really nice. And then we made it to the church
in one piece. We put the elders in charge of filling up the font,
while we went and looked for a tv and made copies of the program for
everyone. We originally had planned to hook our iPads up to the TV and
show a few videos but of course there had to be technical problems. So
we went with our backup plan by showing finding faith in Christ.

Then Aurora finally arrived so we showed her to the bathroom and she
was able to get changed and be ready. She was so nervous though that
she was sweating. She said she felt her heart was about to jump out.
Then we took pictures and waited a few more minutes for the baptismal
service to begin. It finally started and as Vanessa Morrison was
giving her talk, Aurora started crying. The spirit was very strong. It
was a very precious sight to see. Then I dreaded the moment that the
talk finished, because that meant it was time for us to sing. And we
had planned to sing it a cappella so that way we could have different
parts. I sang soprano and hna. Bardsley sang alto. Hna. Bardsley
picked out the starting notes on the piano and we started to sing. But
for some reason it sounded like we were really off from each other,
although I don't think we really were, we were just nervous to sing.
So we stopped after the first line and decided to start over because
it sounded wrong. hermana Bardsley picked out the notes again. And we
tried to sing it again but my voice kept cutting out, then at that
point I had lost it completely and went into my nervous laughter. And
I was just laughing hysterically and trying to whisper to hermana
Bardsley that I couldn't do this anymore. She gave me a confused look
and asked what I wanted to do then. And meanwhile this is happening
the ward is watching us. I knew Eric could play the piano so I was
trying to suggest that he play for us. And we asked him to play for
us. But for of course we forgot to bring hymn books, and so we were
stuck using our iPads. And it just so happened that my iPad was having
technical difficulties and half the screen went blank and I couldn't
see the words. So we had to share hermana Bardsley's iPad which had
logged out at that point. So we had to pause the song again and log it
it back on. To my relief we barely managed to make it through the song

After our musical number, it was time for Aurora to be baptized. She
made it into the water just fine, apparently the water was cold
because it took her forever to get in. And she kept making noises as
if the water was cold. Her boss Eric was the one who baptized her.
Thankfully it only took one try! Then to everyone's shock, she must of
been so happy, because she turned and faced everyone and gave an
impromtu testimony that lasted about 20 seconds long. Then the rest
from there is history.

All I can say is Hna. Bardsley and I no longer have to desire to show
off our musical talents anymore. And thanks to everyone, and the
spirit that Aurora was baptized! The other good news of the week is
that Juan Gonzalez made it to church! And he loved it! I know that
this is the true church and I love you all!
Love, Hermana Stohlton