Saturday, November 30, 2013
Happy Sabado Everybody!
This week has been quite the ride! It was hard not getting to spend Thanksgiving with my family, but I made them promise that they would eat some sort of Mexican food in ‘remembrance’ of me. And they did! I also got to spend Thanksgiving with a wonderful part-member family. This week we also went to the city! So of course, I took pictures. Enjoy!
(on the train!)
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
“When life gets too hard to stand, kneel.” –Gordon B. Hinckley
On my mission, I have come to more fully appreciate the power of prayer; especially in this past week. I’m going to be really honest here and say that a mission is NOT easy! I have had many discouraging moments, even moments when I have felt alone. But I want to let everybody know that we are NEVER alone. Our Heavenly Father is always there for us, pushing us along when we are having a hard time. There have been times so far where I have had to put my hand in the Savior’s and ask Him to help me to keep going. These moments make the moments of joy and gladness even more precious. I KNOW that prayer works. Prayer is a priceless gift we have been given from our Father in Heaven who loves us more than we could ever imagine. I found this quote from a 1993 General Conference talk called “Peace through Prayer” by Rex D. Pinegar:
Our Father in Heaven has promised us peace in times of trial and has provided a way for us to come to Him in our need. He has given us the privilege and power of prayer. He has told us to “pray always” and has promised He will pour out His Spirit upon us. (D&C 19:38.)
Thankfully, we can call upon Him anytime, anywhere. We can speak to Him in the quiet thoughts of our mind and from the deepest feelings of our heart. It has been said, “Prayer is made up of heart throbs and the righteous yearnings of the soul.”
“It is not the usual purpose of prayer to serve us like Aladdin’s lamp, to bring us ease without effort,” Elder Richard L. Evans wrote. “Prayer is not a matter of asking only. It should not be always as the beggar’s upturned hand. Often the purpose of prayer is to give us strength to do what needs to be done, wisdom to see the way to solve our own problems, and ability to do our best in our tasks.
“We need to pray … for strength to endure, for faith and fortitude to face what sometimes must be faced.” ( Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1973, p. 289.)
Happy Tuesday Everyone (:
Saturday, November 23, 2013
"Heavenly Father desires that we find true, lasting happiness. Our happiness is the design of all the blessings He gives us—gospel teachings, commandments, priesthood ordinances, family relationships, prophets, temples, the beauties of creation, and even the opportunity to experience adversity. His plan for our salvation is often called “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8). He sent His Beloved Son to carry out the Atonement so we can be happy in this life and receive a fullness of joy in the eternities." -LDS.org
(Love this guy)
I love both of these quotes! Sometimes I find that it is easier to feel sorry for ourselves and to feel sad or discouraged. Why is that? I think that it is because sometimes we allow Satan to make us feel this way. I have found, especially since I have been on my mission, that we HAVE to look to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when things get hard. We cannot do this on our own! HE WANTS US TO BE HAPPY!
I'm even learning how to be happy in the FREEZING cold! (:
And as you all may (not) know, I just celebrated my 'hump week'! I have successfully made it through half of my first transfer! I still have plenty more to go...
(Hermana Izu made me and Hermana Mortensen 'hump' cookies with flags that congratulated us on making it halfway through. For me, halfway through my first transfer, and for my companion, halfway through her mission. What a doll.)
Happy Fin De Semana Everyone (:
Friday, November 22, 2013
Happy Friday Everyone!
This week has been something special indeed. My companion and I have a new investigator who I most definitely think is a complete gem. AND, yesterday at the zone conference, I got two packages from my mommy (LOVE that woman)… and we got I-pads!!!!!!! The Chicago, Illinois mission is the ninth mission in the world to be given I-pads. We are one of the first! We have been given so many amazing tools on them to help us work more efficiently. I am so grateful that the Lord trusts his children/missionaries enough to allow us to be a part of hastening his work in these latter days. The Lord has much to do and He is allowing us to help Him. I’m grateful for the part I get to play in helping the Lord’s work move forward.
“As missionaries enter this new age where they will use computers in the work of the Lord, we invite the young and the old, the adults, the young adults, the youth, and the children everywhere to join with us in this exciting new work by becoming Facebook friends with the missionaries in your area on your own computers and sharing their gospel messages online and by becoming involved in missionary work yourselves.
Nothing in these prophetic calls to action has changed. The greatest responsibility any of us has, no matter our calling or station in the Church, is to preach the gospel. This is as true today as it was in Joseph Smith’s day or in any other dispensation of time.
Ask a full-time missionary here today what their mission purpose is, and I am confident that each would answer emphatically: “My purpose is to ‘invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end’ ”
Surely there could not be a more exciting time to be involved in the Lord’s work. In a world where we can so easily share our testimonies, the kingdom of God will surely spread, like the stone in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, until it fills the whole world.”
-Elder L. Tom Perry
I know that this is the Lord’s work! And I am so excited to be a part of it!
On a side note, I got to see my lovely hermanas from Mexico; Hermana Hatch, and of course, Hermana Hammond!
Me, Hermana Hatch, and Hermana Hammond
(Shout-out to Hermana Hammond's mom! Thanks for reading my blog! (: )
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Come what may and LOVE IT
Yesterday was PRETTY Interesting! Most of our appointments fell through, and the others we just ended up having to reschedule. Our mission president called and told us that he just realized how bad the train must be at night. And after both of us emailing him that in our weekly letters to him, he told us that we can have nap times during the day if we need to! SCORE. I am so happy. We usually don't have any time to take naps, but when we do, imma crawl and bed and power nap like a two year old! Now, for my tragic story. Hermana Mortensen and I got to the apartment to drop stuff off, and I found a little pigeon that was hurt! It's wing was broken or something! And it was windy and cold outside, and she wouldn't let me pick it up and take it inside. She also wouldn't take us to an animal hospital to save it! When we came back outside, she let me pray for it. (: It's gone now, so I hope it made it back to it's little pigeon family! PRAYER WORKS!!!! I have faith. (:
HAVE A FANTASTIC WEDNESDAY!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
"When the pathway of life takes a cruel turn, there is the temptation to ask the question “Why me?” At times there appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel, no sunrise to end the night’s darkness. We feel encompassed by the disappointment of shattered dreams and the despair of vanished hopes. We join in uttering the biblical plea, “Is there no balm in Gilead?” We feel abandoned, heartbroken, alone. We are inclined to view our own personal misfortunes through the distorted prism of pessimism. We become impatient for a solution to our problems, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of patience is required.
Whenever we are inclined to feel burdened down with the blows of life, let us remember that others have passed the same way, have endured, and then have overcome.
From the bed of pain, from the pillow wet with tears, we are lifted heavenward by that divine assurance and precious promise: “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” Such comfort is priceless.
Our Heavenly Father … knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass."
-President Thomas S. Monson
As we find ourselves going through hard times and wishing that there was relief, remember that God loves more than we could ever imagine. Remember that we are His children, and through trials, if we let Him, He will shape us into what He knows we can become. We can reach our divine potential through facing trials with humility and love for the Savior. I know that my Savior lives, and that He died for me and for ALL of His children. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church here on the earth today. I am grateful for a living prophet who guides the church through Jesus Christ and our dear Heavenly Father. I hope that we can all remember that others have gone through the same things as us, and "have endured, and then have overcome". Let us all endure well so that we may overcome with a stronger testimony and a more pure love for Christ.
Have a wonderful Tuesday!
Monday, November 18, 2013
Guess what? I'm still alive! The weather has most definitely been nasty lately. It hasn't been the best, that's for sure. The winds have been the worst part. Mixed with the rain, it's not the most fun to walk in. But we haven't been stuck in a tornado yet. THANK GOODNESS. I'm okay though! We just try to find apartment building to tract in so that we are out of the weather. It is really nice today though! A little windy but sunny!
Here are my thoughts, comments, and adventures from this week:
(Sorry that they are all crazy and not organized)
SO. Fun story. Hermana Mortenson and I taped a quarter to the train tracks next to our apartment because we heard that that can derail a train. So logically, we did it. And we waited... (: And it didn't derail the train, but now we have a sweet looking smushed quarter. (:
Hermana Mortensen was on splits with the other hermana at a dinner appointment, and she ended up letting one of the members daughters who is about 19 (who supposedly works in a hair salon but only washes hair....) to cut her hair! And guess what? She. Jacked. It. Up. It was bad. So we used the dollar store scissors that we bought to fix it. She let me cut her hair!!! And I actually fixed it!!!!!! I'm a woman of many talents. (:
So since our apartment isn't a richie rich place, we get bugs right? YEAH. So I have no problem killing them or taking them outside. However. My companion is horribly terrified of bugs... of all kinds... including lady bugs.... mhm. Lady bugs. But the other night, there was a HA-UGE centipede monster of sorts that was on the bathroom door. I was sitting in bed writing in my journal at night, when I hear her scream super loud from the shower. I thought that Frank had broken in there or something!!!!!! Turns out that she had just seen this nasty little thing. You would think that she was going to die or something. Then there was two. Because one wasn't good enough. So I had to kill both bugs to keep my companion from having a heart attack.
I have come to the conclusion that white people are mean. Just mean. Straight up. They are nasty little people. I like Mexicans better. When we contact people at their doors, at least the Mexicans give us fake names and tell us to come back (not really meaning it). But the white people are just nasty and rude. What kind of monsters are we?!?!?! Good thing I'm not white. (:
Story of the Week:
My companion and I had to walk to and from the public library for online proselyting time. We share a car with the hermanas right next to our area, and that day they just so happened to have it. The walk to the library was super cold and EXTREMELY windy. Needless to say, neither of us could feel our faces by the time we got there. I had some training to do online, and I finished it right before the hour was up. We thought about staying for another half and hour if possible to finish with my training, but decided to just start walking back.
We had just got down the street from the library when we noticed two guys walking towards us. I am going to be honest. I was judgmental at first. One of the men had on a huge set of headphones around his neck, and the other was dressed in such a way that you could almost describe him as 'toned down goth'. As we got closer, I started to walk in such a way that I would not pass by them too close. Before I knew what was happening, we were talking to them. "Hey! You guys are sisters, right?"
My companion answered no. That we weren't. (Funny story... everybody asks us if we are REAL sisters, as in related). But he knew better! "Yeah. Yeah you are! I know who you guys are! I'm a member!" Now this is the 'toned down goth' guy that is speaking. I was shocked..... I couldn't help but feel bad about judging him just seconds before. I thought to myself, "Wow. He IS a son of God. Why wouldn't he be a member?". From then on started a great experience that taught me a lot.
The two men told us that they were in the Circus for Barnum and Bailey! They were in town for a few weeks here in Chicago (we drive by their mile and a half train every day). They both work in concessions for now, but Jonathan (the member), and his friend both wanted to be part of the act someday. One a clown, and the other a unicyclist. I was so dang excited to be talking to people who live on a train and are part of a circus. I seriously felt like I was five years old. Jonathan then explained to us though, that he knew that they had run into us for a reason! He said that he had wanted to take another road to get to where they were going, but decided to take the one where we ended up meeting. He said that he had been telling his friend all day that he wanted to find our church and go. They had that Sunday off, which was rare, and he wanted to go to church since he hadn't been in such a long time. He also said that he wanted his friend to come with him, which we of course ended up convincing him to do. His friend explained that he had been searching for a religion that made him feel at home. I testified that I knew that our church gave that to people here on this earth. So he committed to go! Sadly, they both spoke English, so we had to give their number to the English sisters who are in our area. We made sure that they got a ride from their little train car (SO COOL) to the church that Sunday. And guess what? THEY WENT!!!
I'm so grateful for the little opportunities that I am given as a missionary to be a tool in the Lord's hands in not only helping to uplift and answer others' hopes and prayers, but to also plant those little seeds that if nourished, can grow into great testimonies of our Lord Jesus Christ!
I'm also grateful for the circus. Mostly for the elephants. I love elephants. (:
Thursday, November 14, 2013
REAL TALK. It's only 3:30 right now and it has already been a SUPER rough day. And not for the reasons you would think. This morning during studies, my companion ended up having to make me stand up while I read my scriptures because I kept falling asleep. However, I almost feel over after falling asleep while standing up. I ended up really waking up right before we left the apartment. We then went to a less active's house for lunch. Which was delicious. She's from El Salvador, but we just ended up eating meat, spaghetti, and broccoli (which I was more than okay with). She was WAY impressed with my Spanish (mmmhhhhmmm (: ). And then she commented on how my eyes were pointed at the ends. She said that in a certain part of Mexico, the people there have the same eyes. My companion ended up convincing her for a second that I really was from Mexico. (because I'm so brown). So after I told her that I wasn't really Mexican, she became convinced that I am Asian. At this point I'm just going to let her believe whatever she wants to believe! I've been asked if I'm Asian more than once. That wasn't the bad part. The bad part was that she had her heat on which made it nice and cozy in there. We were sitting on her couch teaching her a lesson, and for a few seconds, I contemplated in my mind the consequences of falling asleep. Or even laying down.... BUT. I didn't. Because that would have been bad. And I'm a good missionary!
We then went to meet another less active who has had troubles with past missionaries. We are trying to build trust with her again. We went over, not expecting to eat. But guess what? We ate. She made us a dish called Mole......
I. Do. Not. Like. Mole.
It was so hard for me to eat it. I had just eaten, and she gave me so much! (Do NOT think that I am complaining about being fed, because it is a HUGE blessing). However, my stomach has not adjusted to be able to eat all of the food that the Hispanics want to feed us. It was so hard to eat it because I was full. And on top of that.... it was disgusting. My companion however loves Mole and didn't have one problem eating ALL of it. I was convinced that there was no way that I could finish it. (the Spanish culture is one where you pretty much have to eat everything that they put in front of you. If you don't.... well... then you're pretty much shunned). My companion and I went back into the living room to get our scriptures, and she pretty much told me I didn't have a choice. That I was to eat it all... Nope. Yeah. That's exactly what she said. I nearly started crying. BUT I DID IT!!! I FINISHED IT ALL! I am so proud of myself. And the lady who did this to me is still way adorable and I love her.
And last night, the other hermanas and us went on splits for a dinner appointment. I ended up tracting with the other hermana. And guess what? I got my companion and I TWO new potential new investigators. I am so dang proud of myself. I can't wait to teach these people! I LOVE THE GOSPEL!
Now... The spiritual thought for the day. (:
"In the sight of the Lord, it is not so much what we have done or where we have been, but much more where we are willing to go." "Look ahead and believe" -Elder Edward Dube
THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
MY ADVENTURES THIS WEEK:
So you don't have to worry about Frank (our creepy neighbor) anymore. He's pretty much a cool guy. We don't talk to him... really at all... but we're not completely weirded out by him anymore. Elder and Sister C are a Senior missionary couple who work in the mission office. President was busy so he sent them out to check the apartment and Frank and stuff. Elder C checked everything out. He said it seemed fine. We are getting new and better locks put on the doors this week though. But he pretty much used his priesthood power in a prayer to bless our apartment with safety for us. It was pretty awesome. And then they took us out to eat... that was pretty good too. (: I've been sleeping with a crowbar too... so no need to worry. I've got it ALL under control. (:
Our Sacrament meeting is pretty dang loud. It drives me crazy. But I don't really understand what everybody is saying anyways... so it's not THAT bad. (: But this last Sunday I think that I ran a red light... so I might end up having to pay 50 bucks for that. Yeaaaahhhh....
I'm pretty much planning on getting fat though. I'm pretty sure that whenever the Spanish people look at me, they see and obese white girl. Because EVERY TIME I am fed, they put enough food on my plate to feed a third world country. The other day when I was on exchanges in the city, I was fed so much that I had to pray that: A). I wouldn't throw up in front of them, and B). that my stomach would expand enough to allow all of that food in so they wouldn't hate me. TRUE STORY. It was pretty traumatic. I ended up not being able to swallow any more. My body wouldn't let me!!! So I had to chug soda with every mouthful just to get it down. (Mexicans don't believe in water. all they drink is soda).Oh. And we just so happen to live right across the road from this really good mexican taqueria. Their tamales are flickin delicious. So don't be surprised if your daughter comes home 50 pounds heavier. But remember... It's not my fault. The Mexicans made me do it.
We are getting Ipads in two weeks!!! P.S: we get to take them home with us after our mission. SCORE.
So remember how I said that I went on exchanges into the city? Well folks, I did. And it was awesome. I street contacted for my first time and then by the end of the day, I pretty much got them like, a billion new potential new investigators. We also taught the Restoration in Spanish, and I actually talked... like the whole time. I'm pretty much a pro now. But one lesson we went to, Hermana S (the one who lives there: she is an STL and goes home in January) told me that they were investigators and they were old. So we go in there and we're all talking and saying all of the nicey nice things that we say, and they ask me to say the prayer. So I do. (I give some pretty nice prayers in Spanish). HOWEVER. After I was done saying the prayer, he turned to his wife and asked her.... GET THIS... if I was even speaking in Spanish?!?!?!?!?!?! I almost died. And every other time I spoke, he would turn to his wife and ask her what I said.... WE WERE SPEAKING THE SAME KIND OF ESPANOL!!! So he obviously didn't like that I was white. Jokes on him. I'm actually black.
So I'm pretty much not sleeping very well at night on account of trains running by our house every ten minutes. 24 hours of the day. They like to honk their horns REAL loud. And sometimes for an obnoxious amount of time. So today I am planning on getting a natural sleep aid and let nature do it's thing on me so I can be nice during the day. (: Moral of the story: don't buy an apartment next to the train tracks or you won't sleep... EVER.)
My companion and I went knocking the other night... and if I may say so myself... It is dang hilarious when people look through their windows to see who it is, and when they see that it's us, they get this horrified panicked look on their faces... and never come to the door. (: It's the same way when we are walking down the street. People coming towards us look like they are desperately praying that we wont talk to them. Sometimes I laugh out loud about it.... it's something I'm working on. Oh yeah. Apparently there are a butt ton of Jehova's Witnesses out here too. They are out on Saturdays, and we've run into them a few times while walking. It's pretty durn hilarious. They DONT like us. We call them "jay-dubs". They can pretty much smell us from a mile away.
We come to the local library every day to do Facebook and then on p-days to email. Every day there is this cute old homeless man that is here. He gets on the computers sometimes, but he usually just finds a book to put on his lap and he sleeps in a chair. I think he mostly just likes being warm and having the chance to sleep. But one day he was sleeping... and I felt like I should do something nice for him. I didn't know what to do! So I decided that I would give him some dinero. (That might be against the rules...oops!) So I wrote 'May God bless you! Have a great day!' on a pass along card (which inconveniently was in Spanish) and put them next to him. I never saw him wake up and get it, but I hope he got himself something real nice with the money I gave him. (Don't worry. I only gave him five dollars).
And last but not least... There is an hermana in our ward.Her name is Hermana C. I met her the first week. She had just gotten back from visiting her family in Ecuador. She was baptized there by her brother right before she came back! She is super awesome. She speaks perfect english (convenient). We made an appointment with her. We went and visited with her the first time and it was awesome! She honestly didn't really know anything about the church. She had so many questions for us! It was amazing. We ended up answering a bunch of questions. Her faith in what we told her was really inspiring to me. She just left last night to go to boot camp. She is going to be in the Navy! She is 30 years old and a complete boss. She was really nervous about it, so we had her get a priesthood blessing on Sunday. It was only the second one she had ever had. It was pretty special. But we went and visited her yesterday before she left to get pictures and stuff. Her mom was there! (it's her mom's house, but we hadn't met her the last time). Her and her mom asked more questions about the church and what we do as missionaries. We left a card with our names and number on it with her and told her that we were more than willing to help her out with anything she needed. That night around 8, we got a call from Hermana C... She was on her way to the hotel she had to stay at before checking in to boot camp. She was with her mom. She told us that her mom was wondering if we could come over on Saturday and help her get rid of some clothes that they would be getting rid of because she would be gone for a long time, or donate them to investigators, missionaries, or people in the ward who needed it. I almost peed my pants. WE'RE IN! We pretty much are going to baptize her. (:
Hola! My name is Hermana Pearson and I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I am Mormon! "I know it. I live it. I love it." I have started this blog to share some of my letters home and my missionary experiences with family and friends! I hope you all enjoy!