Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Hola Familia!

It was so great to see you all and talk to you on Christmas! The time I had to see your smiling faces and here your voices was the highlight of my week. I hope that everyones Christmas was filled with love and happiness and that we were all able to take the time to remember the Savior and everything He has done for us.

My mom mentioned that once we hung up she would think of things she wanted to ask or to tell me, well yeah that happened with me so I started a list of everything I forgot to tell yall when we were skyping.

First, there are no addresses here. The houses dont have numbers, the streets dont have names. When we meet people on the street they will point us in the direction of their house and tell us the main building that they live by or things like that and then later we just go searching and asking people if they know this person... yeah and in our records we just draw maps... that took a little to get used to.

Second, dad I did have a story and I cant believe I forgot it, Christmas Eve we had dinner at a members house and they have a little boy named Dylan. One of the Elders was trying to get him to give him a high-five because we were about to leave... and finally he does, and as he is giving the Elder a high-five he says "Chow, nigger".... yeah... that is okay to say here, so I laughed... He is like 4 years old... it was so funny.

Third, mom I figured you would get a kick out of this one, we dont have a washer or dryer here.. we hand was delicates in a little sink we have outside our house, but our other clothes we have to take to a lady who lives down the street and pay her to clean our clothes... never in my life have I liked other people to wash my clothes... but here I have no choice.

On Friday we had an amazing lesson with a 14 year old named Jasmine. She is a Recent Convert and going less active so we went and talked to her about her baptism. The spirit was so strong and she told us about the peace that she had felt when she was baptized.. we told her about the importance of writing down her spiritual experiences to know 1st how God talks to you and 2nd so that you dont forget how you felt. I love teaching children because they are so humble and receptive to the spirit, they dont try to fight it.

Do yall remember the family that we found in Little Cesears in California? I got an email from my last companion today:
(start)
The Higueros got baptized yesterday!! Found, taught and baptized in less than a month! This family is super awesome!! And I just wanted to send a few pictures from their baptism yesterday! How was your Christmas and talking to your family?
I miss you too and am grateful you were my companion! Hna Higueros says thank you for helping her family!! I will pass the message along! Love you! And Happy New Year!!
Love, Hermana Howe :)
I love that family so much and was so thrilled to hear that the kids got baptized. I just wanted to share that with yall. The Lord definitely put us in their path. I am so thankful that I was able to find them and help teach them.

Today we deep cleaned our tiny little house... we found bugs everywhere... I have no doubt our neighbors heard my screams... but it is clean now and we went and bought a ton of fruit and vegetables and I am very happy with our living arrangement for the time being... that is until tonight when I am bound to find more bugs.. OH and I learned (okay right as I typed this I found an ant on my neck..gross)...anyways I learned our pet lizard makes noises... it sounds like a mix between a cry and a bird...yeah it freaks me out.

There isnt much else to say that I wasnt able to say on skype. Our Sunday was really great we had 2 investigators at church and it rained which I always love... we talked about the Holy Ghost and what it means to us. For me, the Holy Ghost is a guide that will confirm the things that I am doing right or help me realize the things I am doing wrong. I have learned that the Holy Ghost talks to me after I have made decisions, not before. I have the agency to make my own choices, but after they are made I always feel the confirmation or the upset feeling that helps me know what I am doing right and what I need to change.

I am so thankful for everyone of you! Thank you so much for your love and your testimonies. I feel the Saviors love every day and know how real he is and how real the Atonement is. I couldnt do this without him. I couldnt do this without all of you either. Yall are always in my prayers and in my heart. I love you all so much!

Love, Hermana Eardley
P.S. HAPPY NEW YEAR! ITS 2015!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone! I love you all so much and I hope this season is filled with love and joy back at home.

Last week was really long. Remember that 12 hour bus ride I had to take? Well, every new missionary has to go to the Immigrations center to become a legal citizen.. that is in Panama City. So Monday night we got on a bus and traveled all night then spent the entire next day in Immigrations because there were a ton of people there. It isnt an exageration. We got there at 8 am and left at 10 pm. We stayed with some sisters in the city that night because there werent any more buses running. So that next morning we got up at 630 and got on a bus and traveled all day. We got back home at 1130 pm... so there went 3 days of my life... but its okay because I have had the chance to really dive into the New Testament. I made a goal while I was in California to read the whole book before Christmas and now I am going back and really studying the Savior and his life and teachings. We have a member who was given a Bible by someone in English and he let me look at it. Whoever owned that book knows so much about the scriptures... I read their notes in Matthew and I couldnt believe the things they had pulled apart. The Savior was perfect. Everything he did and said was specifically for us. I dont remember the details, but I will try to bring my notes next time I email.

The Branch here is really small, but I learned in California how important it is to involve members in missionary work. So from the time I got here I have been trying my hardest to get the members to like me and get them excited about doing their own missionary work, and I think they are starting to. Our Bishop last week asked me to give a talk this last Sunday and I was more than willing to do that. Granted, it was my first talk in Spanish so I had to write it out, but afterward the Bishop told me how he felt the spirit and was really grateful that I was able to do that, then he asked me if I would sing a Christmas song in English at the big Christmas program they were having that night... In my head I definitely said no, but for some reason what came out of my mouth sounded more like a yes... so yesterday I sang at the Christmas program.. my singing voice is a lot better than it used to be. My companion in California taught me how to sing, but still I was nervous. Everyone said I did good though so I guess it wasnt too bad.

I was reading in the Liahona yesterday and I read an article from Elder Holland. He talked about how every missionary and prophet in the scriptures knew that their dispensation would fail. They knew it and yet they still did all they could to build the Kingdom of God because they knew that our dispensation would make it. It hit me hard to think that they are all up there, in heaven, cheering us on. Telling us that we will make it, that we will be the ones responsible to literally show the Savior his church on the Earth. It makes me think of the great confidence they have in us to do all that the Savior has asked.

For years I have been doing this thing where if I am faced with a decision or something tough is going on in my life, I will say a prayer and then I try to picture great grandma and grandpa Jones with me and what they would say, when I read that article of thought of that and how all of our ancestors are in heaven, cheering us on. It gives me great hope and strength to know that we are not alone. In 2 Kings 6 16&17 is one of my favorite lines in all the scriptures. it says Fear not, for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. All we have to do is let the Lord open our eyes to see it.

This Christmas know that each one of you are in my prayers. I pray for the Lord to be with you and for the spirit of Christmas to touch your hearts. I pray for your safety. I pray for your happiness. I pray for Him to answer your prayers. I love each one of you with all my heart and I couldnt do this without you. I pray for each one of us to remember the meaning of Christmas and to feel the Saviors love.

I love you all.
Love, Hermana Eardley

Monday, December 15, 2014

Panamaaaa!

Dear family,

Okay so first off I am going to have to apologize. I can´t really upload photos because the computers have a 50% chance of destroying your sd card... also these emails won´t be as long because i only have 1 hour down here and the chances of my sentences being written correctly is slimmer because i have to use a spanish keyboard and have no idea how to do certain things.

my journey to panama was crazy. So we took the plane to Houston then to panama and when we arrived the first thing I saw once i got out of the airport was a stop sign that said ¨alto¨ then i thought ¨what did i get myself into¨. that night we stayed in a hotel which looking back i should have taken better advantage of... but the next morning we went to work out in the hotel gym... it was so hot. i was sweating like crazy. the humidity is crazy but i was expecting it to be worse. that day i took my first bus and taxi too... its crazy. and people charge more money because i am white.. dumb. you have to hold on for dear life. the roads really have no order and the drivers just drive. i was terrified. we got to the main bus station to buy bus tickets because my area is 12 hours away from the city... yeah i had to take a 12 hour bus ride. i am in a little town called Bocus del Torro.

we have a little branch.. it is super tiny. the culture is so different. my first day here i saw 3 women just openly breastfeed their child while talking to us... yeah. we walk pretty much everywhere.. the first couple of days i had cankles. i wake up every morning with 1 or 2 more bug bites on my legs... our house is litteraly as big as my bedroom back home. that isn´t a lie. my closet is the size of our bathroom and our shower consists of a bucket full of cold water and a littler bucket to scoop the water. it isn´t so bad though because it isn´t cold whether.

panama is so different than california but it is beautiful here and the people are so willing to talk to you. i don´t really like how much i stand out. i am the only white girl with red hair and green eyes... but hermana hendley my mtc comp is in my zone which is super cool. she is the only one i can talk to and understand completely what she is saying. i am starting to think spanglish.

my companion is so great. her name is hermana barraza and she is the only panamanian in the mission.. that means she doesn´t speak english. my spanish dictionary is seriously my best friend. i can tell that i frustrate her sometimes but i get frustrated too so it is alright. we make it work.

Panama is so different. i have said that a lot but it is true. i already know how much the lord is looking out for me. i am so grateful for my time in california.. if anything i learned how to be a missionary and follow the rules because they don´t follow the rules here. it is hard but i know what i need to do and i am just being responsible for myself in most situations. now that i am here i know that i am going to learn a lot. for starters one thing i have definitely learned was while i was looking at all my bug bites and swollen ankles i realized that it didn´t matter. my body was a gift and as long as i am doing the work god wont let anything hinder it. i can tell you that i know how much i need to be humbled... and without a doubt it is going to happen here.

i love you all so much and i am so grateful for everything you have done for me. you all are my greatest support and i look forward to emailing you every week. things arent as easy here. there are much more struggles and challenges that we dont have in the united states and it is sad to see how people live sometimes. must of the peole here live inside 4 walls. life isn´t easy for us and i thank god everyday for the family that i have and for everything that i hadn´t even realized he had blessed me with. his hand is in everything. i learn that more and more everyday.

i love you all. i am so blessed to have you.

Love, Hermana Eardley

Friday, December 12, 2014

Panama!

Dear families of our newest missionaries!

We welcomed 26 new missionaries to the mission yesterday morning and last night. They received training today, and are heading out to their areas. I have attached photos of the new missionaries.
We were very impressed with how dedicated and prepared this new group of missionaries is. We know that they will do a terrific job building up the kingdom of God here in Panama. We will do our best to take great care of them. We have our own missionary son who is serving in Denmark, so we know how you are feeling. If you want to follow a personal blog where I post some photos of the mission, the address is sunshineinmysoulpanamamission.blogspot.com. Please note that this is a personal blog and not an official site of the church or of the mission. I try to update it once a week with new photos. The p-day in our mission is on Mondays, so you should be getting your first email from your missionary then. If you wish to send letters or packages, the mailing address for the mission is (NOTE: this is a new change from the address is the mission booklet issued with your child's call): (Put name of missionary here)Mision Panama (very important to have Mision Panama in the address)AP 0834-02798PanamaRepublica de Panama There is no delivery of mail in Panama because there is not really an address system. Mail has to be picked up at the post office. The office elders pick up the mail and it is distributed to zone leaders, district leaders or the missionaries themselves as soon as possible. It is typical for it to take 3-6 weeks for your missionary to receive mail. Also, please make sure that Mision Panama appears in the address. This will help mail get through easier. PLEASE NOTE: It is illegal to include food or medications (including vitamins) in packages to Panama. Almost any food they desire can be found here in Panama, so consider just giving them extra money in their account to purchase food here.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Well, it finally happened

Well, it finally happened. I wasn't here in California for very long, but it was long enough that now I am terrified to leave. We have 8 Spanish sisters leaving this transfer and only 2 coming in... that means that our mission president has to close down areas for sisters... that terrifies me because we are doing a lot of work here and I don't want to leave all of the people! I love them all so much. I am especially going to miss Ana (my recent convert) and la familia Lozero. I never want to leave them I love them so much, but I have learned through all this that I am on the Lord's errand.

Heavenly Father has a plan for me. I have no idea what it is and I get frustrated sometimes wondering why He is making me jump through so many hoops, but I know that it is for my good. He is looking out for me.

So first off, remember that car accident? Yeah well a few weeks ago while the car was in the shop we met a lady named Deidre (deedra) and she works at the zoo. It is called the Living Desert. So last P-Day we called her and asked us to give us a tour. She was thrilled! And we got in for free! It was pretty cool. I took a ton of pictures and turns out our member took a video of us... don't know if you saw that, but I think it is on Facebook. She asked us about our stand on Evolution.. and Dinosaurs. We told her that we believe God created us and that we didn't evolve from monkeys... but Hermana Stuber has an interesting theory about Dinosaurs. She thinks that because God created the world from already existing matter, that it is very possible that Dinosaurs lived on a different planet and some of their remains just got put on the earth during the creation... what do you think? Also, at the zoo there is this plant that if moisture gets on it the pores open and it smells like rain... coolest plant ever. It is my new favorite. I am going to own so many of those.

On Tuesday.. and Wednesday.. IT RAINED! I was so excited! Then Wednesday President Van Cott called me and told me I got my visa.. so now it will be raining all the time!! I am so excited! me encanta!!

So I don't remember if I told y'all, but we met a man in Little Caesars and on Wednesday we took President Parks (our branch president) to go see him and his family! They are amazing. We are going to put two of their kids on a baptismal date tonight... but I won't be here... This is so bitter sweet. We also taught Ana that night. She is one of the strongest spirits I have ever met and I love her like she was one of my sisters. I can't imagine my life without her. When I had to say goodbye to her she gave me a huge hug and said, "I love you and I will miss you" and gave me her email address, then her mom gave me a place mat and said that it was for me to always remember them. I hope ya'll like Cali because in 15 months we are coming back here and visiting them.

So because I am leaving the mission.. President called us and told us we could go to the temple! So of Friday we were able to go to the Redlands Temple! It is so pretty and small and I loved it. I feel like it has been forever since I was able to go. I walked in and I just felt peace. I thought about all of you, about my mission so far, about my investigators and members here, and about panama. Sister Van Cott was able to come with us. She let us have all the time that we wanted. I Love The Temple. It is so precious to me. I hope that I will get to go to the Panama Temple as well. I just can't even describe how much better I felt. My cares just melted away for a little while.

So I don't know if you have heard about the video "He is the Gift" or "El es la Dadiva" but the church created this video for Christmas and if you haven't seen it go watch it.. right now. I love it. It is so powerful. So in our mission we are promoting it like crazy. We have pass-along cards for it and we give out 10 a day. The church bought out the top banner on YouTube for the whole month of December and a screen in Time Square, NYC until after the ball drops.... OUR CHURCH IS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!! Man we are awesome! Do you know how popular YouTube is? EVERYONE USES YOUTUBE! HOW MANY PEOPLE WATCH THE BALL DROP? HOW MANY PEOPLE LIVE IN NYC? WE ARE SO COOOOOOOLLLLL. I am so pumped. Our church is so amazing. I will never not pay my tithing. That is what I have learned. I will never not pay my tithing.

Saturday night the stake put on a Christmas concert. It was super cool (especially since we helped set it up a couple days before). It was beautiful and they did such a good job. First time in 3 months that I was in the church hearing English.. that was pretty cool. I love English.

I spent a lot of this week packing and saying goodbye to everyone. It was super sad to leave, but I know that I am needed in Panama and I am excited to go. I can't wait to get to talk to y'all tomorrow and to skype (hopefully I don't know what resources I will have over there) in 17 days.

I love you all! Thank you for your support and your love.

Love, Hermana Eardley

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Decembuuurrrr‏

Hola familia!

So it's California, but it is still getting cold. I have had to use my companion's jacket at night when we walk around. Of course it's nothing compared to Utah, but I am sure St. George isn't that bad.

This week was super cool. We had some amazing things happen.

First off, Thanksgiving. Second holiday on the mission! It was so fun. So Wednesday we spent the whole day making little gifts for all of the members in our area... about 50. We had David Archuleta Christmas music playing and made a ton of chocolate covered pretzels and hand turkeys... They were so cute. Thursday morning we got up super early and went and volunteered at a 5K. It was weird there were so many white people! I am not used to that. We actually had so much fun! I stood on the side and handed out waters to the runners.. It was so cool to see all of the kids that were running and the old people and just everyone! Good for them. I loved doing that. Service for Thanksgiving.. I couldn't ask for more. For Thanksgiving we had 2 lunches and 1 late dinner at a member's house... I was so full. But for the dinner we went to Hermana Companur's house... she is the lady where her whole family still lives here so everyone that you know from church is there and then you realize that they are all related... it was so fun! And I learned a new tradition that I totally want to do with my family! They buy a bunch of Martinelli's (it's a brand of apple cider drinks) and after dinner they poor some for everyone and you have to go around and say what you are thankful for and then you toast and drink your apple cider... it is simple but it is so cute and I loved it so much. Don't worry dad.. I got turkey. Lots. We spent all of Thanksgiving (besides the meals) dropping of our regalitos (little gifts). It was so fun we even found a couple people who just didn't know where the church was or who had gotten lazy and we are going to be able to go visit them and get them involved with the church again. It was such a blessing to be able to go see all of the members and less actives... and we get to do it again in 3 1/2 weeks for Christmas! I am loving the holiday season on a mission... you just feel the spirit and light of Christ so strongly.

We started follow-up teaching Ana. You have to be taught all of the lessons before baptism and after baptism. It is super fun though because she knows it all. We just talk about things like the Plan of Salvation or the Restoration or the Commandments... She is so smart and thank you for your prayers on her behalf. I was able to ask her how her relationship is with her dad and she said that he wishes that he had went to her baptism and that their relationship is stronger than ever. I know that is a blessing from God. She deserves to have a happy family. Everyone does.

So one day we just thought... we should go out for lunch today. After must negotiation with our roommates we decided on Little Caesars. So we went and while we were waiting for our pizza a man came up to us and told us that he was a member and that he and his family had been less active for a long time and that he wanted to come back to church!!! It was a miracle. God put us in his path. His name is Lee and 3 of his children are over 8 and haven't been baptized.. so we are super excited to go and teach them and to reactivate this super cute little familia.

And another crazy miracle! So a few days ago we received a referral. His name is Luis. So we called him and he asked us where the church was.. we told him. Sunday he showed up to church! We were able to talk to him a bit and this is his story. He isn't a member, but 2 years ago he was in a junkyard searching for a car part and he found one of our pass-along cards just sitting in a car window. He liked the picture so he kept it and has had it with him ever since. Now, 2 years later, he pulls it out and sees the number on the back and calls it... and was referred to us. He has had it with him this whole time. We asked him why he decided to call the number after so long and he said, "I don't know. I just don't know, but I did". It was amazing. He said that we could teach him and that he has been looking for the truth for awhile. I love the way Heavenly Father works. He has just been putting people in our path.

I can't believe it is December! Time is flying by so fast. My companion goes home in February. She is almost exactly 1 year ahead of me in her mission. But that means that in 1 transfer, 7 weeks, she goes home and I am 1/3 of the way done... WHAT?? That is impossible. I am hoping that it seems longer... cause that, my friends, is ridiculous.

I have gained such a testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is literally the keystone. If it weren't for the Book of Mormon our religion would be just like everyone else's. We know the fullness of the gospel through the divinity of 1 book. I testify that it is of God.

Elder Holland could not have said it better. In his "Safety for the Soul" talk he said "For 179 years this book has been examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart like perhaps no other book in modern religious history—perhaps like no other book in any religious history. And still it stands. Failed theories about its origins have been born and parroted and have died....... In this I stand with my own great-grandfather, who said simply enough, “No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” 10
I testify that one cannot come to full faith in this latter-day work—and thereby find the fullest measure of peace and comfort in these, our times—until he or she embraces the divinity of the Book of Mormon and the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom it testifies. If anyone is foolish enough or misled enough to reject 531 pages of a heretofore unknown text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity without honestly attempting to account for the origin of those pages—especially without accounting for their powerful witness of Jesus Christ and the profound spiritual impact that witness has had on what is now tens of millions of readers—if that is the case, then such a person, elect or otherwise, has been deceived; and if he or she leaves this Church, it must be done by crawling over or under or around the Book of Mormon to make that exit. In that sense the book is what Christ Himself was said to be: “a stone of stumbling, … a rock of offence,” 11 a barrier in the path of one who wishes not to believe in this work. Witnesses, even witnesses who were for a time hostile to Joseph, testified to their death that they had seen an angel and had handled the plates. “They have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of man,” they declared. “Wherefore we know of a surety that the work is true.""

We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)

Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah.

I invite everyone of you to do as the intro to the Book of Mormon asks and find out for yourselves if the Book of Mormon is the word of God, because if it is, then The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth. Maybe you aren't okay with some of the things that we teach or some of the things that happen in the temple, but you can come to be okay with them through prayer and through the help of a loving Heavenly Father. Those things come with time and we aren't expected to have perfect testimonies from the start. I love this book. With my whole heart. And I know that it is true.

I hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you are all stoked to talk to me this Christmas. I definitely am. It is going to be so fun. I love it here and I am having so much fun! We are definitely being blessed.

We are planning on going to the zoo today, so I will let you know next week how that was.

I love you all! I hope your week is good and spirit filled!

Love, Hermana Eardley

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

So this week was super good. We are super busy and my mind is everywhere right now because Thanksgiving is this week, but I will try to give you a recap of last week.

So last P-Day after emailing we went to this place called "Great Shakes" and we had some pretty great shakes. Ha. We were able to talk to this super cute couple there about Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, they weren't Mormon but they loved what we had to say and they said that they know a lot of people from Utah as well. It was a really good conversation and I am so glad that we got to meet them. There are so many good people in this world. We were also able to run into an Australian couple on the street and they talked to us for only a minute, but I loved their accents.. so cool. Oh man I just remembered a story from that day! So funny! So Hermana Stuber was driving and in California there are those streets that are only 1 way... well there was two of them right next to eachother heading different ways (one North and one South). We turned onto the one Heading South (because that was the road that the shake place was on) and realized that we were too far down, so we told Hermana Stuber to turn down the road heading North. She did.. and we started heading down but then she was like "we're on the wrong road" and turned onto the one heading south and we were screaming and were like you can't turn right on this road!! And at the last second she was like OH MY BAD! so we had to go down that road again.. then we flipped around and started heading back and she must of been somewhere else because guess what? She did it AGAIN! Oh man by that time we were laughing so hard! It probably isn't funny written out like this, but it was funny in the moment.

So this week our bathroom light went out. And it isn't a normal light bulb.. it's a special one. So we had to shower in the dark and had to leave the door open if we wanted light for about two days. Then we said enough is enough and we went to the apartment office and asked for them to change it and she said she would have someone on it by the end of the day. Then we got home and the other sisters in our apartment had tracked one down and gave it to us! It was so sweet! but then later that night while we were all out the guy came to change the bulbs and when we got home he had taken the ones that the sisters had bought and replaced them all... Hermana Stuber was so mad.. she just said, "dang we walked all the way to Albertsons for those!" They will be blessed. The Lord honors effort.

On Wednesday we had a wonderfully spiritual Zone Conference with President Van Cott (our mission president) and we talked about conversion and the Book of Mormon. We were able to share our favorite conversion stories and talk about the steps that the people and the missionaries went through. My favorite conversion story is the one of King Lamoni's father in Alma chapters 20 and 22. I love how his first interest in the Gospel is sparked by how much Ammon loves the people and how he SERVES the people. And then later once Aaron is let out of prison he can go in and teach the king because Ammon had softened his heart. The scriptures are so powerful. They teach you everything. We also did a fun role-play where we chose to be one of our parents (except make them non-members) and just go around and run into each other and try to learn all we could about that person. It was so fun. It made our street contacts so much easier.

We also did exchanges this week. I stayed in my area and Hermana Granado was my companion for the day. She reminds me of Jessica Fowler. THEY ARE TWINS. It is so weird but I love her she is so cute. We had a lot of fun and were able to catch up and the theme of conversations this week has kind of been about the Second Coming. I used to think it is going to be a few hundred years from now, but there was a prophesy given by the prophet in the early 1900's and he said that some of the people at that time would be alive for the Second Coming... we did the math. If someone was just born on that day and lived to be 100 years old, the Second Coming would be in 2030. And we actually have a girl out here whose Patriarchal Blessing tells her that she will be alive for the Second Coming.. so I am guessing it is close. I hope I am alive... that would be so cool.

This week we had to teach Gospel Principles class at church and we will probably have to continue teaching it for a bit. The teacher for that class moved and President Parks (our branch president) told us to pray about who should be the new teacher and get back to him, but until then we are the new teachers... yeah I don't mind. It is fun to teach the class but I never know what people say to me... that is why we have companions. She answers the questions most of the time. I just keep it simple and testify. That is the basis of what I know how to do in Spanish. I can't say English prayers anymore and it is so much easier to give my testimony in Spanish than English. I love Spanish. It is so much easier than English.

Well, it's Thanksgiving this week. So I was thinking about what I could say to everyone and I came across this scripture:
1 Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you
You are all so special to me. I truly can't imagine my life without every single one of you. For me this Thanksgiving is so special because I have the opportunity to touch lives here in California. We will be passing out notes and little door messages this Thanksgiving to all of our members and inactives. I am so excited the best days are the ones when we do service because you can feel the love of Christ and you get to share it with everyone you come in contact with. I love teaching lessons and watching as people come to know Christ and understand His gospel, but there is something about service that just gives you a taste of what Christ did while He was here. He taught many things, but mostly He served the people. I love service. Especially when you know that the people you are serving feel the spirit and the pure love of Christ.

I am so thankful to be here in this area and to have the opportunity to brighten lives during these holiday seasons. There is nothing I love more that seeing someone smile and I am so glad that we are able to share the light of Christ during these winter months... even though it isn't winter here.

I am so thankful for you all and for the love and support that you have given me. I truly thank my God upon every remembrance of you. I hope that your Thanksgiving is full of love.

Hermana Eardley
© 2014 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hola familia! Como estan?

Last week we went to the Dino Museum for a P-Day adventure. It was so much fun.. there really wasn't anything there... just a bunch of fake dinosaurs.. but we took a lot of pictures and just made it really fun. It was out of our area so we had to have a member drive us, and she took pictures too and posted them on Facebook.. I am tagged in them I know, so if you want to look they are there.

So I have a story, and it is a good one, but before I tell it, just know that as a companionship everything we do we do together... that includes taking responsibility for our mistakes..
Okay, now that you are slightly interested, here is my story:

One lovely Tuesday night (the day before exchanges so Hermana Magnusson was still my companion) we went to the church and the Branch threw my companion a farewell party. BUT! There was no ice cream.. and everyone wanted some ice cream. SO President Parks gave us his debit card and told us to go buy some ice cream.. he also gave us his PIN. It was a big moment, he is so rich. So we drive to Albertsons and bought everyone Klondike bars... it was like 40 dollars worth of ice cream... he had told us to go all out... so we did. Then as we were purchasing this super expensive ice cream Hermana Magnusson says, "no! let me put in the pin.. it's a pride thing" So, I let her put in the pin. Then we happily got back into the car and started heading back to the church. Then Hermana Magnusson starts talking about how she is going to set up one of the Elders who just went home with one of her friends.. she got so excited she missed the road we were supposed to take. So she quick turned into the closest parking lot right next to the road. She wanted to find an outlet so we could get on the right road. I pointed and told her, "you can turn right there" then she said, "but it says right turn only" then I said, remembering all of the times my parents had done this and even once my father saying exactly these words, "those signs are just for traffic control".... Yeah I said that... get your laughs out now because here comes the best part... don't worry mom... she said, "you're right my parents do that all the time too" and she pulled up to the street. There was a break in the cars so we headed out into the street turning left... The median was invisible until about 1/2 a second before we hit it. Then we went flying. It was really a Hot Rod moment... super fun. We caught air, and a lot of it. BUT! We ended up on the side of the road we wanted to be on. We pulled over to look at the car. We lost a hub cap (like it's gone we went back to look for it and couldn't find it), bent three rims (popping two tires) and put a crack straight through the middle of our sensor. Of course, we weren't very observant at first. One tire was so obviously popped, but the rest we couldn't see, so we said a prayer and headed back to the church. We made it fine and finished our party and everyone loved the ice cream. There were left overs so we put them in the freezer to pick up Sunday after church. Then after we had to put our spare on the car... got that done and headed out. As we were heading back home we felt something funny and we heard something funny so we pulled over to re-check the car and sure enough, the other tire was popped. We didn't have another spare so we made some calls and that night we did planning in the car waiting for the Elders to come and bring us another spare. We got home at 10:30... so late. Since then we have been into PepBoys twice, and we have to take it to a body shop as well, BUT THE WORST PART!! Sunday we went to grab the ice cream... and someone had stolen it. That is what we get I guess. Anyways, like I said earlier, mom, don't worry. We are fine. I feel awful that they have to spend so much money to fix it, but we are fine.

This week was so crazy! So we had transfers and this is how it all laid out: Me and my new companion Hermana Howe live with Hermana Stuber and someone else. Her companion doesn't fly in until tonight... so for the last week we have been a trio. Covering two very large areas. It was so hectic. Our miles for this week have flown out the window and we still have to drive all the way up to Redlands tomorrow in order to pick up her new companion. (That is a lie, while I was typing our President called us and told us he was bringing her down tonight... good thing we cleaned the apartment today) Craziness but hey, we are flexible. We only saw about 20 of our people this week and 20 of Hermana Stuber's people.. but once we are back in our area we should be able to get a lot more done.

We had a baptism on Sunday! Her name is Ana Melendez and she is the sweetest 13 year old. She has been wanting to be baptized since she turned 8 (her mom is a member) but her dad wouldn't give his permission because he wanted her to stay Catholic. As missionaries we need written permission from both parents to baptize someone over 8 and under 18... so she has been taught by the missionaries for years, but no one could baptize her. I get here and start teaching her and I love her so much! So finally me and my companion said enough is enough, and we got her baptized. Keep praying for her and her family. It was so infuriating that her dad didn't come to her baptism. I never realized how lucky I was that my dad was worthy to baptize me. During her baptism it just hit me and I started crying because, Dad, thank you so much for being worthy to baptize me, you will never know how precious that is to me.

We got to volunteer at the Braille Institute again this week and I was able to finish painting by birdhouse that I made! I love it so much it is so cute. I love serving the people there. They are so fun.

Last Friday we were able to go to a Branch Family Home Evening and it was so fun! We got to play a game called fruit basket and I couldn't believe how long it had been since I got to play a game... wow it was so so much fun!

This week has been so much fun! I am loving it here and I love the people here. I also have a deep respect for the Spanish culture and the language as well. My new companion isn't fluent like Hermana Magnusson was, so I have a feeling we are going to be learning a lot of Spanish these next 4 weeks... I can feel it in my bones.

The Spirit is so strong right now. I feel it all the time and I come home mentally, physically, and spiritually exhausted which is good because then I know I am working hard. We are doing a lot of work here in this area and I can see the hand of the Lord in everything we do. There is no place I would rather be and I am just so excited to be here and to have this opportunity. I love my mission. Thank you so much for all of your support.. It means the world to me!

Love Hermana Eardley

P.S. I got a possible update on my visa... sort of. My mission President from Panama emailed me and said welcome to the mission and told me to be prepared because the mission is awesome... they haven't told me anything yet, but maybe they know something that I don't. Who knows.

from left to right: Hermana Stuber, me, and my new companion Hermana Howe

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nov 10th more pictures

So this week is transfers... we got the call this morning and Hermana Magnusson is headed out to Fontana and I am staying here in Palm Desert and I am getting a new trainer named Hermana Howe. I don't know her, but we are crossing our fingers that she is cool. I could use some prayers.

So I learned last week that the library has these really cool things called books where you can learn ANYTHING. Ha we were cleaning in the childrens section WWAAYY in the back corner and found these SUPER COOL books about how things are made and science projects and all this science stuff... yeah I don't need to go to school, I could learn everything at the library.

So this week was good, but hard at the same time, but definitely good. First, with Ana we finally got her dad to give vocal consent, but he hasn't given written consent... but we decided that as long as it wasn't going to break up the family, we were going to get her baptized. SO she is going to be getting baptized this Sunday!!! I am SOSOSOSO excited for her! I will send pictures.. this is a big deal.

The rest of our investigators are taking their time progressing. They are progressing, they read and pray, but getting them to church is a real struggle. We have 3 on a baptismal date right now, but I don't know if they will be ready by then or not.. It is just a matter of helping them learn about the gospel and inviting them to come unto Christ. They decide how much they progress. We are trying so hard to help them out and we know we will get them there, it's just a matter of time.

Not that much happened this week... okay that's a lie. So much happened this week, but nothing super cool or note-worthy.. well okay, so we went on exchanges this week so I had an English sister come into our area with me... It was so much fun. Granted, I was the only one out of the two of us who knew even a little Spanish, so that was hard when talking to people on the street or in lessons with our investigators, but her and I clicked so well. Like I love her. She was so cool, but she is English and I am Spanish... so it could never really work out for us...

I have focused a lot this week on prayer. Making sure that I am relying on the Lord in everything that I am doing and focusing on telling him everything that happened during the day and what I want to happen for the next day.. Letting him know how I felt during lessons and what I need his help on and how grateful I am for all the help that he has given me. Prayers last forever. But they are detailed and I can see the difference it makes in my day. I make it a point to look for those miracles that he gives me each day and I know that he answers my prayers because I see his hand in everything I do.

This last week has been difficult, but I made it through! Thank you for everything and for the package (sue:)) and mom thank you for the letter and candy... I assumed last week when you said you sent me some candy that it would be in a little box or something... but, no. It was in an envelope... hey I am not complaining, I love chocolate letters. Mom, thanks:) it was a good story for my journal.

Oh and tell Stephanie that my companion is teaching me how to sing.. we can totally start a band when I come home!! Bucket List Check!

I love you all so much! Your letters and prayers mean the world to me. I love it here and I truly feel like I am so blessed to be in this area and meet these people. I know I am here for a reason and as soon as I have done what the Lord wants me to do (which will be when I am so reluctant to leave) he will send me to Panama. I got a notice today about my visa, I haven't gotten it yet, but they said that they are still trying to get it so at least they haven't forgotten about me. I am surely on the Lord's errand and His time as well, but that is what I promised Him. That for 18 months I would leave everything and do what he needed me to in order to bring people back to him. I also know that I have grown so much and I am going to continue to grow and be made stronger through living the way he has asked me to. I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father and I know that they have a great plan for me.

I am so blessed to have every single one of you in my life. Thank you for all you have done for me and tell grandpa HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! and tell grandma CONGRATS!!!! That is so cool. Keeping being great. Y'all are so awesome. I am truly one of the most blessed people on this earth to have y'all in my life. I can't wait to talk to everyone next week! Also, in 5 weeks I get to Skype for Christmas!! Everyone be ready:) I know it is on Christmas Day, but I don't know what time yet. I love y'all so much and I can't wait to talk to everyone. Have a great week!

Love, Hermana Eardley
© 2014 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)


Monday, November 3, 2014

Hola Familia!

How are y'all doing? I hope everything is good.

This week I got to watch the Testaments. One of our recent converts hadn't seen it so we watched it with them, in Spanish. I love that movie so much and there are some super funny and cheesy parts, but it was different in Spanish... I didn't understand what they were saying most of the time and the funniest part wasn't even supposed to be funny. It was the part where they are accusing Jesus and asking him if he is the Son of God and he just says "I am". That is like a super serious part in English, but in Spanish... Oh my goodness it was awful... I didn't understand any of the words and then all of the sudden it was an old spanish man's voice and it just says "Yo Soy" and I just started laughing SO HARD. Everyone, it wasn't a funny part to the people who know Spanish... wow that was embarrassing.

We have had some really cool experiences this last week... We met two men on the street and started talking to them (just as friends not about the gospel) and they warmed up to us super fast and started telling us about how their lives haven't been that great and they just had a sister die and all these things and we were able to share with them the Plan of Salvation and they don't live in our area, but they asked us to send them some missionaries which was so cool!

We also had an amazing lesson with Octavio. I don't know if I told you about him, but we found him while looking for his roommate and he is so amazing! (We met his roommate outside the house one night while we were walking around and he was SO drunk but he invited us back) When we first met him he just started talking to us and telling us a bunch of stuff and we didn't really know how we felt about him, but we went back again looking for his roommate and the roommate wasn't there but Octavio was again. That time he asked us to teach him something.. and we were like.. uhh okay. He asked us how to pray (as I am typing this I swear I have already told y'all, but better safe then sorry I guess). We gave him a Restoration pamphlet and he read it.. like all of it, and when we came back he had questions! Like good questions about Joseph Smith. So we brought a member to our next lesson and it started off scatterbrained but ended on a really good note and then we invited him to come to church (that lesson was Saturday night) and he said sure why not so we had a member pick him up and he CAME TO CHURCH!! It was so cool and not only that, but him and President Parks (our branch president) got along so well.. they are going to be best friends. And everyone else loved him and they just clicked with him so well and he loved church and asked us for a Libro de Mormon and we gave him one and he said he was going to read it so I am so excited to see how much he read... Oh my goodness he is just SO AWESOME!!! We have him on date for November 22 so hopefully I get to stay in this area another transfer so we can continue to teach him.

We have also been teaching a cute girl named Ana. She loves the church. She is already a member she just hasn't been baptized yet and we had her on date for next Sunday but her dad said no. He is Catholic and she was already baptized as a baby into the Catholic church and because she isn't 18 we need the written permission of both of her parents in order to baptize her... so hopefully he will let her in the future or if not she can be baptized when she turns 18.. it's just sad. She even knows all 10 Commandments! I didn't even know all 10 until like a week ago. Go ahead, without looking name off all 10 Commandments right now. I dare you. She wants it so bad and she knows it is true, but she is over 8 and under 18 so there isn't anything we can do.

We also got to do service at the library this week and clean all of the childrens books since it is flue season.. it was great. I love childrens books.. they are my favorite. We just kept reading each other cute stories while cleaning books.. it is so relaxing.

Also, twice now President Parks has taken us and the Elders out to eat. The first time was Wednesday night. He took us to this place called "Richies" and I had ribs and it was so good and President Parks loves to talk.. he could talk for days and he loves us (his misioneros in the branch) so he spoils us a bit. But that time was super good. The second time was today.. like just barely. We were supposed to go to the temple today to clean it, but they called and cancelled so President took us out to lunch and Wow it was so good (that is when I started writing your letter mom) we even god blackberry pie and let me tell you it was so funny, like I said, he can talk for days. So while he was talking me and my companion pulled out some paper and started writing letters because P-Day time is precious and he didn't notice for like 15 minutes that we weren't even involved in his conversation.. It was great.

We also got to volunteer at the Braille Institute again this week. We ended up having to be the teachers because the actual teacher had car problems and wasn't going to be able to make it, but it was so fun and everyone was able to just get going on their projects and no one needed a ton of help so I sat down and made a cute small little bird house.. then once we got home I realized that if I get transferred next week I won't be able to get it back or even paint it... so I have been saying a lot of prayers saying Heavenly Father please let me stay here so I can keep teaching these people and loving these members and helping find people here and so that I can keep my birdhouse. yep...

Also, I had my first real Holiday on the mission! Halloween was so awesome! A member took us out to dinner and I had a super delicious burger and a shake.. so good and then we went to the stake's halloween trunk or treat and got to see the members and the kids dressed up ( my favorite was the ghost busters boys) then we went home and did weekly planning.. It was so fun. We just planned and ate candy. Holidays are different here, like they are fun and stuff, and it's great to get to do stuff for it, but it is also just a normal day. We had to be in by 6 that night for safety reasons, but it was like.. we are stuck in the house.. what do we do for 3 hours..?? So we weekly planned. It was great.

Oh my goodness there are so many things to share and not enough time!!!!

We knocked on a door of a referral and turns out it was the wrong address but the guy just started looking for religion (his name is Byron) and so we had a lesson with him right there about the Book of Mormon and it was super awesome!! He is a really good Potential.

Last story, so we have this less active family and they wont let us in their door, so we made them a little notita and gave it to them and they loved it so much they showed us all of their cats. They didn't let us in the door, but they brought each one out one by one and told us about every cat. They have 7. It was insane. I couldn't even believe it was actually happening.

I have learned a lot this week. I learned the importance of getting to know people so that you can actually apply the gospel to their lives. The gospel can help everyone and it applies to everyone because Heavenly Father made it for us. It was designed for us. I have gained such a strong testimony of that this week.

I hope everyone is doing good! I love you all and I love your letters and emails! I hope you have a good week!

Love,
Hermana Eardley
© 2014 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Week 4... Halloween ooooooOOOOooooo‏

Hola Familia!

Como estan? Quiero hablar con ustedes todo del tiemplo pero no puedo. Entonces! Write me:)

There are some great scripture jokes I found: In 1 corinthians 6:19 he says "what?" Like I imagine him saying it like "seriously? you didn't know this" oh man.. too funny.
Also in Alma 26:25 is a great joke because it is after Ammon has cut off all the arms of the lamanites by the water and then they are about to go to war and this is what he says.. Oh man I will find more. People in the scriptures are so sassy and sarcastic.. It is just the greatest.

Seriously this week was so great!

Monday we went to the store and got some chocolate oreos and made some chocolate milk and soaked the oreos in the milk... Yeah it was the highlight of my day. BUT the real highlight was we got one of our recent convert families interested in family history work. And I talked to a man who lives in a blue house. The whole house is blue. It isn't even a real house he lives in a trailer park.. EVERYTHING WAS BLUE. It was so funny, but I just told him wow I love your blue house... I have decided that I love the creativity of it.. that way I am not lying.

Tuesday was super cool! So we went to this potential investigator's house and he wasn't home, but his friend Octavio was and he was just super happy and pulled up some chairs for us and asked us to teach him something. We didn't really know what was happening or what to talk about but we just said "Can we start with a prayer?" and he asked us how to pray and said he had looked up YouTube videos on how to pray and we just looked at eachother and was like.. yeah, we can teach you how to pray. So we ended up teaching him a great lesson on prayer and then we invited him to be baptized and he said yes.. so yeah.. Tuesday was pretty cool.

Wednesday was interesting too.. we were doing service at the library and a man pointed to us and said, "you are who I want to talk to wait right there!" and we were just like.. okay. So he came up to us and asked what religion we were and we told him and he said, "now I am an atheist, but I study religion. Do you have a pamphlet or something that has your beliefs on it that I could have?" We were like.. um YES. So we gave him our information and he kept talking to us and giving us some advice about life.. Oh Craig. His name was Craig. Oh Craig he was so funny and talked to us about what we wanted to do with our lives and about music and about how to pick a husband.. Oh man. He was a cool guy. But I hadn't ever met an atheist who studies religion... I have a feeling he isn't an atheist... he just thinks he is.
Also, that night (my companion likes to do jinxes..) I got jinxed. Now.. I can be stubborn at times, so she didn't realize what she had done. But she can be stubborn too, so let me tell you how this played out: "You're going to have to talk during the lesson" "...*head shake*..." (and it came to pass that Hermana Eardley got her companion to compromise) So I was free to talk only during lessons and planning (if I spoke I would have to make her breakfast (I was going to anyways, but I didn't want to lose the game.)) Anyways so the night went on, never did I speak unless aloud to according to the rules we had set. But we were walking home and to my absolute horror we saw a slugbug car. I started running and she started chasing me but I had to use the bathroom so bad and so I just fell to the ground and was like "just take it, don't give up, she will stop eventually" and she did.. that was painful. but we got into the house and I went into the bathroom and she followed me and then started tickling me.. She just said "whose going to win? Your mouth or your bladder" BUT we tripped over the rug and she fell into the shower and broke the shower! I took a second to look but she was distracted so I took off and ran to the other bathroom. I ended up winning the game and making her breakfast and now our shower door is broken.. so it was a pretty great game of jinx if you ask me.. never again.

Thursday was so much fun! We got to volunteer at the Braille Institute! I absolutely love it there I wish there was one in St. George. That night we went on exchanges and I was left in charge of my area with an English speaking sister.. It was great. On Friday we got to exchange back and I just love my companion. Also I am in love with this CD! The band is BYU Vocal Point and the Album is Lead Thou Me On. I just absolutely love it. It is on my list of things to get when I come home because I just want to listen to it all the time.

Saturday was the highlight of the week. Are you ready? WE HAD A STAKE FIESTA!! It was so much fun oh my goodness everyone It was Authentic Mexican Fiesta material. Wow it was so great we got to talk to so many people and found some potential investigators and had real Mexican food and the was an actual Mariachi Band there and I got to wear a sombrero.. I tell you it was so so prime. Like legit. I can't even describe to you how great it was. I will send pictures and I took a video but I don't know if I can send it we will see.

Sunday was good. We talked to people and I met a very old nice little lady. She was cute.

Anyways, that was my week. Numbers have been small, but they don't really mean anything. We have done some great missionary work this week and I loved every part of it. Tonight we get to watch the Testaments with the Jimenez family.. I am so excited. Me encanta ese pelicula!
I love you all so much and I am sad I missed the deer hunt, but I am out here and this is the best place for me by far. I am learning so much everyday and it isn't easy, but already I know without a doubt that I wouldn't trade this for anything. You all mean the world to me and you are all in my prayers! Thank you so much for your letters and emails! They make my week so much better!
I have learned that there is no such thing as praying too often. Even if it is just to say hi. I love my Heavenly Father so much and I love that I can talk to him whenever.. It makes it easier to not be able to talk to y'all whenever. I love you all so much!

Love, Hermana Eardley
© 2014 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)


Monday, October 20, 2014

One Month

What? Yeah. I have been in the field for a month. It is getting real.
This last week was awesome! On Tuesday we got icecream which, let's be honest, is a big deal. I also got to meet our branch president and he is so super cool. We stopped by the church on Tuesday as well and one of the boys came with flowers for one of the girls because she hadn't been feeling well.. it was so so embarrassing but so funny (and sweet, let's not forget how nice that was).

On Wednesday we got Ana on date for baptism! It was great she is the cutest 13 year old, but her dad is Catholic and we found out yesterday he won't give his consent so.. we can't baptize her. Ugh people frustrate me.

Thursday there were so many things that happened. We had Elder Evans come and talk to us. It was so good and I got so much out of it, but he talked for literally 6 hours. I am not joking. We had an hour of lunch, but we were there from 8AM to 3PM. Craziness. Then, after that whole day of spritual upliftness, we had splits. I will be honest, I don't like splits, but my companion is the Sister Training Leader so I have to go on splits once every single week. anyways my new companion for the next 24 hours ended up being a clone of Jessica Fowler. What? No joke. Same personality, same looks, it was pure insanity. and while we were walking we saw a swarm of cats. It was creapy. Like there were at least 15 cats just sitting on a patch of dirt by the road... yeah I know. Me and my (original)(actual) companion also fasted that day for Ana which was good. Also, that night after I lesson I made the mistake of complementing a lady's collection cabinet and she just started giving me these random glass things that I have no idea what to do with. She gave me one and it was so big and she wouldn't let me give it back so I tried to ask if I could trade for a smaller one and so I picked out a smaller one and she was like oh no keep them both. This was all in spanish. I could not get my point across. So I was just like wow I am digging myself a huge hole. So we got out of there before she could give me anything else so now a have this candle in a teacup and a big fat statuette of this asian dude in a basket.. I have no idea what I am going to do with them. I need to learn better spanish. Or if anything I should have remember how to say no thank you. No, gracias. Seriously, how hard would that have been?

On Friday, remember how I said we were fasting for one of our investigators? Yeah so on friday we decided to break our fast by going to chipotle. My companion ran into a lady that was in front of us in line and we started talking to her and she showed us pictures of her family and everything, then ordered her food and left. We ordered our food and went to pay and the lady was like to woman in front of you wanted to use her change to pay for your food. She seriously paid for more than half. Like 10 dollars. It was just the nicest thing. Also, I got to sleep in my own bed that night.. yeah it was a good day.

Saturday was cool. We went to a members BBQ and they had invited some non-member friends. I started talking to one lady named Petra about her family and then I mentioned that we have a family history center in our church and that she could use it to look up her family tree and stuff. She got so excited and we actually scheduled an appointment with her tonight. I am so excited.

One last thing, Sunday, we ran into a lady from Iran and she speaks Arabic and she wrote my name in Arabic for me in my planner.. yeah, that was super cool..

Well, that is all I can think of, but I just want to assure you that I am having so much fun and that I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Honestly the people here are amazing and I get to share the gospel everyday, all day. I am having some wonderful experiences and my testimony grows stronger all the time. I feel like I am better missionary everyday and less and less of a burden to my companion. I love it here and I know I was sent to California for a reason. There is so much love here and I am so glad to be a part of it.
I hope that everyone is doing good! I pray for each one of you specifically and I promise it takes me a good 10 minutes to finally get to go to bed. I love you all and I miss you terribly.

Love, Hermana Eardley

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Hola Familia!
Okay, so I am finally starting to get the hang of things. I no longer feel like such a burden to my companion because I sort of know what I am doing. I am also trying really hard to learn Spanish. We have gotten pretty creative. My companion has me translate songs that we listen to in the car. It helps a lot with grammar, but I am starting to dislike music. It is so hard. and frustrating. but also good. It really does help. My companion is really great. She corrects me when I say something wrong and she lets me struggle, but during lessons she will help out when I don't know how to say something. Our investigators love to hear me speak. Probably because I say things like a child would say them. They always ask me to say the prayer too. Oh well, it is good practice and at least they focus on my words.
Before I forget there is a drink called a "horchata". It is so so so good. Wow if you can find it you should try it. Also, the movie "Meet the Mormons" came out last Friday and Saturday. I don't know if it was in Utah or not, but I would assume so and I hope y'all got a chance to see it. It was so good! Wow the spirit was so strong. We told all of our investigators about it.
We have this investigator named Fulhencio. He is the happiest person I have ever met. And he is so ready for the Gospel, but his wife is strict Catholic and he doesn't want to create any problems in their relationship. It is so frustrating. I just want him to be baptized so bad. We have another investigator named Ricardo who had a baptismal date, but he fell off the wagon on the Word of Wisdom so we have to recommit him, but really it is about helping him realize how much we care about him.
Also, this last week we were on splits and I really had to use the restroom, so we stopped at a DelTaco place and on our way in a man who was obviously on his work break said hello and we said hello and then he said "you look really happy" and we just looked at eachother and was like, we will come talk to you in a minute. Ha so that is what we did and he is Christian, but not practicing. I ended up teaching half of the Restoration right there on the street.. it was pretty cool.
Yesterday we went bowling during P-Day.. yeah it was pretty great. I will send pictures. I know what you will think, but I promise, those were our actual scores. We really are that bad at bowling.
I am having a blast out here and we are working hard. There is so much to do here and it really takes a lot of endurance for sure. I hope y'all are doing great and that everything is going good back at home!
I love you all so much!
Love, Hermana Eardley

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dear family!
This week was so fun. Okay so missionary work is a lot different than I expected it to be, but in a good way. We get to teach a lot of lessons and talk to a lot of people, but we work a lot with the members. My days are pretty great I have more time to get ready and studies are focused on actual people and it really is a lot of fun.
My companions name is Hermana Magnusson, she is super fun and really nice. We have a lot of fun together and we haven't had any problems as a companionship. She is my trainer so obviously she will help me and correct me in things but I don't mind because I need to learn how to do things. She really is nice though I love her to death. We live in a nice little apartment with 2 other sisters and both of them are super fun as well. Because we have to do training we don't actually leave the apartment till 1:00 pm. But that includes meals, studies, and training and getting ready. Then we go out and get to work with teaching appointments and talking to EVERYONE. It is a lot of fun. Really, it comes down to planning. We plan every minute of our day and then make a backup plan for every minute of our day. It really makes all of the difference.
My companion is one of the Sister Training Leaders so my 2nd day in the field she had a meeting and I had to go on splits... so I got to spend a day in English land which was wonderful and I got to teach an 8yr old named Ana who is getting baptized next week. She is adorable. I have taught a wide variety of people all ages, each one special and unique.
I don't actually think I am learning more Spanish. Everyone here is fluent so they seriously talk English all of the time except during lessons... it is ridiculous. I was so excited to be forced to learn.. but no. They talk just like me except for when it really matters. It is whatever. I just have started trying to think in Spanish so hopefully that helps me learn a little too.
I had my first encounter with opposition yesterday. We knocked on a door of a potential investigator and this man answered and he was so interested in what we had to say, until he learned that we had a Book of Mormon than he started talking about how it was the devils work and written by man and things got a little heated, but we bore our testimony and told him the only way to know for himself was to read it and ask God. He took our challenge so we will see how it goes. I have learned as a missionary we have that power to do and say things in the name of Jesus Christ. So we make promises all the time like you will know, God will tell you, you will feel peace.. just a ton of promises. Then when we get home we kneel down and pray to God that he will honor our words. That really motivates everything you do--being worthy to ask for God's help-- because without it we couldn't be doing this on our own.
I know God is with us in this work. I can see it how the spirit will touch so many different people.
I miss ya'll so much! How is everyone doing? Are my grandfathers staying out of the hospital? You need to tell them to start getting younger rather than older.. How is everyone else doing? I got to talk to Sue and the boys before I headed out. Grandma didn't answer her phone... that was disappointing. I hope everyone else is doing good!
I sent a ton of pictures and put captions on them so I hope you get them all. Sorry there were so many but I told you the computers at the MTC were really bad at loading pictures so I just couldn't send them.. but now you should be getting regular pictures sent which is great because then you won't forget what I look like...
I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week. I promise I am doing good out here and I love it more and more everyday! Tell everyone that I love them and that I hope to hear from them soon!
With all my love,
Hermana Eardley

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Your Missionary has arrived in Redlands, CA

Your missionary arrived safely yesterday at Ontario Airport. The missionaries were greeted by President & Sister Van Cott. After all the luggage was collected the missionaries were taken to the Mission Home where lunch was served; that was followed by individual interviews with President Van Cott and training on Mission policies and procedures during the afternoon. Today they meet their new companions and receive additional training. In the afternoon they will be off to their new assigned areas. They are all well and enthusiastic about serving in this wonderful part of the Lord’s vineyard. A short note from your missionary is attached to this email. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Last P-day in the MTC

Hola Familia!
So there is so much to say and so little time. I will try to get this all done. First and Foremost I should have said this earlier, but Panama changed their visa requirements so I had to redo my FBI clearance my first week here, anyways I don't have my visa yet so I am getting reassigned to Redlands, California until I get my visa... that's cool.
This Tuesday night M. Russell Ballard spoke to us. He was adorable! He just got up there and said that he hadn't prepared a talk, but he just wanted to talk to us like he was our grandpa.. precious, right? He talked about how the gospel is all about families and to never forget we are servants of the Lord and then he talked about how we need to remember who we are reporting to and how we have the responsibility to direct peoples lives for the rest of all eternity then about how we need to stay close to our families and let them be on our mission with us. How we need to share experiences and let them know about what is happening. Than about the worth of one soul and how precious each person is. Then he likened the Atonement to a big umbrella of love which was super cute. Then he told us to not let 1 person pass us without saying something to them. Then he talked about prayer, how it is a gift from God and how it is sacred and we need to commit our love to the Lord. Then he talked about how we need to interview ourselves and make sure we are doing everything we can to build the kingdom of God. Find spiritual exhilaration. Do the best you can. Make sure you can say in your prayers "I did the very best I could today". Being a missionary will never end. Once a missionary always a missionary (if you do it right). Then for his closing remarks he said that he can bear solid witness that we are carrying the kingdom of God off on our shoulders. The whole talk was amazing. He was so precious.
One story. A couple days ago I was at dinner with Hermana Erickson and we started laughing so hard and looking back it wasn't even that funny. She saw blood on her ankle and realized her scab had peeled off and said "I must have crossed my ankles too hard". I don't know why, but it was hilarious. Also, that same lunch period I accidently drank an Elders milk without realizing it... I had water, he was across the table from me and I was dazed and grabed his cup instead of mine and I didn't even realize it was milk until he said something... it was super awkward and I got him a new drink.
This last week didn't have many highlights, but the ones it had were awesome. I don't know what else to say. I am having such an amazing time and I am sad but really excited to leave and get out there and actually teach people. This gospel has taken over my heart. I don't know how else to explain it. I just love it so much and even though once a week I get to focus on y'all and everything at home, I still am thinking about the gospel. It is amazing.
I love you all so much! I hope school is going well and that y'all are getting along and trying hard to learn new things. Work hard and play hard. I hope you all have an amazing week and I will be emailing you again next week from Redlands, California... 2 missions... because I am that cool.
Love you! Every single one of you! I hope everyone else in the family is doing well. I haven't heard from them but let them know how much I love them! Oh and tell grandma too that I loved her letter she sent me as well.
Love, Hermana Eardley
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Sunday, September 21, 2014

9/18/14
I get my travel plans tomorrow! Wow the time has flown I am already down to 17 months... WHAT? This week was amazing! Elder Richard G. Scott spoke at our Tuesday devotional! Okay, first, let me just say that I know I am supposed to be at Provo. Everything that has happened here I just know that the Lord had his hand in me going to Provo instead of Mexico. So back to the devotional! Yes Elder Scott spoke about prayer and yes it was amazing and I learned a lot, but another important thing is I am now famous. I sing in the choir for our Tuesday devotionals (it's combined with the entire provo MTC so like 1,000 missionaries. anyways I was in the front row, we sang Be Still My Soul and it was broadcasted to every MTC in the world. Yeah, I am famous. Wicked right? I thought so.
Spanish is great! My companion says I am talking in my sleep in spanish now... so yeah that is cool. I can't wait for y'all to hear that!
This week was great, like overall great. Nothing crazy significant happened (besides Tuesday night of course).. My zone is amazing we are all really great friends. We all play kickball together. (Kickball and volleyball are the only 2 sports you can play with Elders and Sisters together). So yeah, we play kickball... one time I was running bases and it was close to me getting out and I just thought no way so I ran straight for the base and ran right into an Elder... yeah awkward.. but I was safe so that is cool. This morning we all got up and went and had a big volleyball ternament.. It was so much fun and I am so great at sports.. Not joking. It's like it happened over night. I am a boss.
I have 3 investigators right now and they are amazing and a struggle all at the same time. One of them is so ready for the gospel and you know she knows it is true, but she is struggling with the rest of her family being catholic. Another investigator wants to be baptized but he won't agree to it because he is afraid he doesn't have enough faith. and the third is just starting to open up to us but she is really tough to teach. I am having a blast and I love studying this gospel. Everyday I find something new. I don't think I will ever know enough.
I have one week left and than Panama! wow how great is that? I can't wait to get to talk to you all at the airport! Hear your voices! wow it will be great! Time passes by so fast here it really does go from Sunday to P-Day and everything inbetween is just a blur of gospel and lessons and spanish.
Another cool thing is in our district we have an hermana who is from Hawaii and she taught us how to Hula dance. Like legit. what you see at loo-ows... haha no way could I spell that. So yeah, that is cool. Also, Hermana Kofe got shin splints a couple days ago so they tied bags of water to her leg.. the bag started leaking so she got a bucket to put her foot in.. then she had to go to the bathroom... So that last picture is how that turned out.. :)
In case anyone would care to read it my new favorite chapter is John 15. I was reading in it yesterday and I had the coolest revelation. Like, my mind exploded. In verses 13 and 14.. read it. It says "greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Than he says "ye are my friends if ye do whatsoever I command you". Think about it. He ALREADY layed down his life. But he says ye are only my friends if you keep my commandments... think of the trust the savior must have in us. He already gave us the gift without knowing whether or not we would follow his terms... wow. I just can't even imagine the love and trust he has in us.
I love you all and I can't wait to get to talk to you. I hope you all have an amazing week and please have the cousins send me letters! I miss them so much!