"The standard of truth has been erected. No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble and calumny may defame but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly and independent 'till the purposes of God have been accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done." -Joseph Smith

Monday, August 26, 2013

She is Putting on Her "Big Girl Pants"

So this week, looking back, seemed to last for forever. These stories I'm about to tell you seriously feel like they're a month away. BUT here we go:
I've been told by 2 people that I look French...? I'll take it, I guess, but I know that just makes Dad all warm and fuzzy inside.
We were driving to dinner on Monday and people kept cutting Hermana Bates off. Finally she explodes in a, "WHO DRIVES LIKE THIS?!?!" And I just laughed. Welcome to California, I guess. Also, I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but I can drive like a Californian now. Safely, of course.
Sadly on Tuesday we had to drop Esmiralda. She was an investigator that we were going to get baptized right before I came here but postponed. We've been trying to get in with her a lot since I've been here but she would always cancel. Tuesday was kind of the last straw. We pulled the "You have our number, call us when you want us to come over" card and left, a little steamed but still happy.
Wednesday was multi-zone. It was awesome. It gave us a bunch of new ideas on how to succeed and all that jazz. I was actually a little scared to tell President exactly what we were doing, just because I can't read him and I figured his focus would be on finding. BUT turns out we're ahead of the game because all he talked about pretty much was working with members and getting them excited about missionary work and trying to get less actives back. Boom.
We had an interesting planning session on Thursday. Long story short (and I only say that because I honestly don't remember half the stuff we talked about) but we decided that we "need to put our big girl pants on" and get over this whole we-don't-know-what-we're-doing thing and just suck it up. So we're slowly getting out of that mindset.
Oh yeah. Apparently there was supposed to be a dust storm on Thursday. There definitely wasn't. We also got a flash flood warning yesterday. Again, nothing. Such is weather in Redlands, I guess.
On Friday we went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. Hermana Bates stayed in Redlands and I went with Sister Young up to Highland. It was awesome! We started the day off by visiting a family. Pretty much everyone is new to the ward because the sisters got whitewashed in and they just realigned the new boundaries of the ward. But we went over and got to know Sister Contreras. She's sweet and has an adorable 5-month-old. It was mostly her and me talking. I don't really know if Sister Young is shy, but I did most of the talking that day. We then went and taught this lady named Diane. She had a stroke not too long ago but her and another lady, Robin who also had a stroke, are apparently inseperable. Anywho, we only taught Diane because Robin didn't want to come out, which was weird, I guess...? Anywho, we taught them the Word of Wisdom. It was great because they both smoke and there was a little incident the day before with one of their daughters yelling in during the lesson about them asking 18-year-olds for crack. Oops. Anywho, we taught the Word of Wisdom and it actually went really, really well. After, I saw a pack of cigarettes on the coffee table and was super tempted to grab them and throw them out, but I figured I didn't know them well enough and didn't want to ruin things for the other sisters. Sister Young said she was going to call them every day though. Haven't had an update yet. Next we went and saw a lady who's name was Donna Bouldin (sp?). This was fun because we walk in and Sister Young says, "Hi! We're the new sisters from your ward and we just wanted to come by and get to know you!" Donna replied with a nice, "What ward? I don't go to church anymore. Haven't since I came to California." The smile on Sister Young's face disappeared and we stood there awkwardly for a few seconds and I said, "Well, we wanted to come get to know you anyway!" So we sat down and started talking. Turns out (small world) she's from Lovell, born and raised, and her dad would herd cattle up into the mountains and would take groceries to the sheep hearders. So we talked about Lovell and Powell and Cody and Wyoming in general. She then said we could stop back whenever we wanted. Was I supposed to be in Highland that day or what? Bridge mended. We then went and saw Karena and Lisa. They're mother and daughter and they both have a condition where they slur thier words so it's kind of hard to understand. We get in there and we kind of ended up "splitting" (no worries, we were within feet of eachother). Sister Young talked with Lisa (the mom) about the scriptures and I talked with Karena about charity. It was great! THEN! We went and visited this lady named Lynn . We knocked on her door and she said we caught her at a bad time because they were getting ready for a big party the next day. RIght away I asked if they needed any help and she thinks about it for a bit then asks her daughter-in-law (and I can't remember her name because it was Swedish) but she came to the door and said that they didn't really need help and didn't want to have too many people in the kitchen. We said our goodbyes and sadly walked away. Then when we were sitting in the car, trying to figure out who we were going to visit next, we see Lynn come walking out the door and down to our car. She then tells us to come on in and we can snip string beans. So we sat and talked to these two lovely ladies and snipped 15 pounds of string beans. It was amazing. And I'm now a pro at snipping green beans.
Saturday we went and had a lesson with the Paredes family. We did the leap of faith which is where a person is blind folded, standing on a board, and holding onto the person in front of them. Two people on the side then lift of the board and the person that is supporting the blind folded person bends their knees so the blind folded person feels like they're really high in the air. We then tell them to jump. It was great! Except Kelly hurt his back a little. Oops.
 On Sunday AMBER CAME TO CHURCH!!! That's Alma's daughter, by the way. Alma unfortunately wasn't able to make it because her other daughter was sick. Sad. We also got called Jesus' spies by a little boy (Ian) who's mom (Erica) we just picked up and has a boatload of potential. So we're excited to see where that goes!

Monday, August 19, 2013

She's Safe and Happy

Oh yeah. That picture is me on Michigan St. Out here in Redlands a lot of the streets are named after states so Hermana Bates and I have made it our mission to take a picture with all thes states we've lived in. So far, we have Michigan, but we know where Iowa, Idaho, and Indiana are so I'm covered. They don't have a Queretaro street...
(Saturday about 4 oclock in the afternoon a nice lady from the Redlands Community Hospital called. She asked if I was Lydia. I said no this was her mom and she then asked if you were doing ok after your visit to the emergency room on Thursday. I explained that I was in Iowa and you were serving a mission for our church in CA. I asked if it was due to your shot. She didn't have a chart to know and she didn't mean to make me nervous, couldn't be that bad cause you were discharged!!!!! We are all waiting to find out all the details!)

So first off. I sent you a little letter explaining the emergency room. Basically I was directed there to get my shot and then they couldn't give it to me because, well, it's an emergency room and they don't carry it. So I'm all out of ideas for that darn shot.

Some essentials I need for my box, please: cold cream, astringent, and contact solution. You're dah best.

SO my week. First off, you should be very proud of me. Hermana Bates and I went to Goodwill and bought tennis rackets so we can play in the morning. And I found a thuper cute skirt. I will also be sending a package home, hopefully next week, of all the clothes I don't want right now but would like for after the mission when I can really start wearing layers again :).

On Tuesday we had a lesson with our investigator Sonia. She's super ready to be baptized, there's just one problem. Her husband, Fransisco, is extremely comfortable in his Catholic beliefs and doesn't want to get baptized and Sonia doesn't want her family split. BUT we talked to her about the Restoration and she loved it. We talked about the Book of Mormon and just how important it was and the Spirit was super strong. There were parts in the lesson though, that we felt like we may of overloaded her... but the Spirit was there nontheless. And then she gave us a tour of her house. She's great.

Wednesday started off interesting. We went to contact a referral given to us by the English elders. When we got there, the mom and aunt were the only ones home but they wanted the harvest blessing so we did it anyway. I decided to do it and about 30 seconds in, the mom, Maria, gets up and says she'll be right back. Then she comes in and starts talking about the evil spirits that are in her son's girlfriend's room because she believes in Buddha and has pictures of ugly monkeys on her wall that she worships... if you have a confused look on your face, which I imagine you do, imagine hearing all of that in Spanish. Needless to say, we were a little shocked. Hermana Bates decided to agree to whatever it was she was saying about praying away the evil spirits so then after the blessing, we went into the room and she (Hermana Bates) said a prayer. Then we got out of there as soon as we could. It was a fun experience that I'd rather not relive.

So remember that lesson I was telling you about with how we're planning on kicking our branch into gear with missionary work? We finally planned the whole thing out and started giving it on Thursday. The whole idea is missionary work and charity and if we have charity, then we want to serve everyone, not just our friends or the nonmembers but the members too (and that's when we would talk about the people that are less active) and we would leave them with the commitment to go and visit someone who is less active and let them know we miss them. It was great. We gave our first lesson on Thursday to Hermana Calderon. She got really excited and said that if we ever need someone to come out with us, we could call her. So that was exciting!

We also had dinner at our branch president's house on Thursday. Aparently they have coyotes out there that eat chihuahuas... Muahahaha. I don't like chihuahuas. But we make jokes now about whenever we go to the Cueva's we need to bring one as a sacrifice.

Friday was great. We were going strong with The Big One (that's what we call our lesson about missionary work) and we went and visited a member that hasn't been to church in 5 years. Her name is Alma. We took a different approach (obviously) as far as the visiting less actives. It was more along the lines of the fact that sometimes we may not have a specific calling, but that means our calling is to help support others in theirs and that we all have different things that are needed in the church and how much we needed her back in church. She unfortunately didn't come to church on Sunday, BUT when we went and visited her yesterday after church, she said that she made arrangements for next week with her husband so that she and her daughter could have the car so they could go to church. So she's at least on the path of coming back! Oh yes. Hermana Bates had a freaking epic fall too. We were getting into the car and as we were stepping off the curb, she suddenly disappeared. As I ran around the car laughing to see if she was okay, she was on all fours, laughing as well so I didn't feel as bad, and groping for the keys that flew under the car next to ours. It was an interesting situation. She ended up scraping up her knee pretty bad and her foot/ankle got pretty swollen. But we both laugh about it now.

On Friday we had three lessons. One with Olga, who's an investigator who's an interesting character. We gave her the Restoration lesson and she seemed super excited about it. We'll see where that goes. I can't really read her. She's a little out there and speaks in Spanglish and gets off subject a lot so this whole thing will be really interesting. We also had two lessons with members and we gave them The Big One. They're now excited about missionary work (we think) and ready to start helping so everything is moving along.

I also started keeping a little notebook about what blessings I had during the day. I'm not keeping up with it as much as I'd like, but I'll repent and try again.

The last thing is on Sunday in Relief Society, Hermana Wollor (I'm guessing another missionary) tried to tell everyone that a family moved. She said "movieron" instead of (I think) "mudaron... mudieron...modieron...modaron?" I didn't really hear what it was supposed to be but I know there's a D in there somewhere and I don't have my Spanish English dictionary...and as tempting as it is to look it up on Google, that is not a church approved site for missionaries.... BUT anyway, she said, "movieron" and everyone thought she said, "murieron"... so according to half of the Relief Society, that family died. Oops. That mistake was corrected right away, There's also a lady in our branch that served her mission in Spain, she's been in our branch since it started and has about 5 callings. But anyway, she reminds me of Charlotte Meyer. She's great, and really fun to watch be the Primary chorister (which is one of her many callings). She's great!

One more thing... we were walking back to the car on Sunday and Hermana Santiago stops and says, "What's that smell... it smells like a dude." (and it was just us sisters) I asked for clarification if it was in a good way or bad. She said good and I said it was probably me. To sooth her confused look I said, "I wear men's antipersperant because I sweated a lot in the desert and it works really well." She then proceeded to laugh at me. Good times :).

We're going to the temple on September 4th! Mine and Hermana Bate's 5 month birthday is on the 27th, which is a little crazy, and we have multizone conference on Wednesday. We shall see how that all goes. WOOT!!!

Much love,
Hermana Myers

Monday, August 12, 2013

Redlands Week 1

First off. New address:
(please contact me to get the street address, for safety reasons I'd rather not have it out on the internet.  This would be her exact address.  The one on the right still works, it just goes through the office first.  They don't read it they forward it.)
Redlands, CA 92373
Second. I would love that scarf. But just one for now. I've never had that kind of scarf so I need to experiment with one before I get more. What colors are there?(I sent her a picture of a scarf how to from JoAnns)
Third: We will work on the doctor thing this week. (Not too bad, only two months late)
Fourth: No, the temple is not in our area. We just split Redlands and we're on the other side of it. We cover half of Redlands, a part of San Bernadino and all of Loma Linda. We're in the Lugonia branch in the building on Pioneer. That's all I know about our area so far.
Fifth: I can't really tell yet if our branch is bigger here because we have a lot of less actives and not everyone that is active was there on Sunday. Yes, Hermana Bates has been here since she's been in the field. I don't think people here really make trips to Nauvoo.
Now. Buisness from Palm Desert (so from Monday to Wednesday)
These days were great. On Tuesday I packed and we went and played Life with Elders Christensen, Sloan, Woolf and Harp. Then went to B Dubs with the whole zone. That was awesome. Then Hermana Fogg and I went and visited people I wanted to say goodbye to (so the Sanchez's, Manuela and Fabian, and President Parks) at the church when they were having activities... and Manuela and Fabian's house. It was actually really funny because Manuela didn't think I was actually getting transfered because "we weren't taking it seriously". Our response to that was, "Manuela, when do we take anything outside of the Gospel seriously?" We then went to the church to say bye to the Sanchez's and that was fun/sad. I didn't really realize just how close I was to that family until I left. Hermana Sanchez was telling me that I was special and that they all felt closer to me than they had to a missionary in a long time. It made my heart all warm and fuzzy inside.(I think Chloe will be one of those missionaries that may not add up statisticly on paper as a missionary that moves and shakes up an area, but I know she will bring people unto Christ in more introspective ways. I am so grateful the Lord uses us and the gifts He gives us individually to accomplish His work.  We all need to obediently follow his commandments but we don't have to bring others to Christ in the same ways as some else.
Hermana Fogg and I also took epic desert mission pictures. (See attached)
Wednesday, the big exciting news we found out is that I'm not actually training. Holla.
Redlands time:
So our teaching pool, with the splitting of the areas, is a lot smaller now. BUT that's okay because we've decided to take a different look on missionary work and instead of focusing on trying to convert non members, we need to unify the branch because if they aren't unified, the people we help bring into the church won't want to stay. Plus, like I said before, we have a lot of less actives so if we can't even keep the members we have now, why should we be bringing in more, just so they can fall out of activity? SO. Yeah. That's our focus right now. Of course we're still trying to find people and all that, we do have four or five investigators, but our area goal for this transfer is to try to unify everyone. So this will be a lot of fun. I'm thuper excited!

Now, on Thursday, we met Olga...or Cecilia... or Maria... We're not really sure because she kept changing it...? But she was great. She's a little bit crazy... but she's great :).  I also got bit by a dog for the first time. Now all I need is to be on a bike and I will  be considered a real missionary. Just kidding. I have no clue. We also saw a chicken cross the road (ba dum chh). We also ate at a member's house on Thurday that had the biggest, meanest rooster I have ever seen. Needless to say, I avoided going out into the back yard... but I'm pretty sure it was watching me eat through the glass door.(for those who don't know we lived on a farm when Hermana Myers was younger in IN and there was a bantam rooster who would chase her all the time.)
On Friday we tried finding people. There was this one house that we could not figure out where in the world it was. It took us a good 20 minutes plus about 10 u-turns but we found it! Then no one was home... so that was a little sad... BUT we will try again another day and it won't take as long to find it.
I think that's it...
Oh yeah. Sadly, I haven't had a whole lot of extra time/energy to read Jesus the Christ. I have read a few chapters but I have a feeling I'm going to have to read it a few times before I can tell you anything that I learned. I read it and it's super interesting... and then I stop and it all goes away. So... yeah.
Kay, love you bye
Hermana Myers

I only got one package from Sandi. I am getting stuff from the office though

Monday, August 5, 2013

She Moved and She"ll be Moving

I, Hermana Myers, will be transfered to Redlands! And I'm training with Hermana Bates (the same Hermana Bates from the MTC). Small world, eh? Also, will someone please tell Miss Melissa Borrowman (former roommate) that I will be in her old stomping grounds? Or give me her email? Or something...
Yeah. Our entire zone got split up, right down every companionship. Sad.
This week was a little crazy. We moved apartments, then moved a family... so we had a grand total of two lessons. Woot! It was fun though! I'm super excited to go to Redlands! No more desert for now! I can wear cardigans and blazers and scarves! I so excited! And to be training not alone will be great! It'll be interesting to see who I train this time. Sorry. All I can think about right now is transfers. I hope next week will be full of fun and exciting facts about my new area. Also, your daughter is no longer a greenie. I have reached two of the three required "milestones" that is missionary work 1) train (check) 2) move out of first area (check) 3) be out for 6 months... not check. But apparently you only need two of the three. I win. I out greenied Hermana Fogg. Muahahaha.
Well, love you all!
Hermana Myers