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

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!

So, yeah, I love my mission. I only have 2 1/2 weeks left in the MTC. I don't know spanish, I am not great at teaching, but I am so excited. I am just trying my hardest and then relying on the Lord. Wow I feel the spirit so strong. I was recently made district leader so I am like the 'mother' of my district. It's my job to keep them in line and have weekly interviews and get all their mail. I love it. I love the responsibility. Yesterday I had to sit down with some and talk about Companion splits because it was starting to be an issue, but I love it. I have meetings all day on Sundays and I just love it. I have a few stories.
First, this week on Tuesday me and my companion boarded the bus to go to main campus for a devotional. There weren't any double seats left so I had to sit next to an Elder. I was fine with it, like yeah okay whatever, but the second I sat down he turned to look out the window and didn't say a word to me the whole time. A.W.K.W.A.R.D. Seriously do all men just freak out or was it just him? I couldn't believe it. Oh well.
Second, during our districts Sunday walk we went to the "tree of life" have I told you about that? anyways there were 3 girls there and one was wearing short shorts... it was me and my companion with a bunch of elders from my district and I just felt so awkward. Like, we should leave you Elders shouldn't be here... wow it was weird.
Another thing, in testimony meeting one of the sisters from our district got up there and in spanish said "Jesus is my man" and then she freaked and said "I mean my brother" It was so funny. Oh man I love spanish more and more everyday.
I have been keeping a journal that I write in at night for fun stories and just about the day, but I went to the book store and got a journal for devotionals and a journal for scripture study as well and I couldn't wait because I will be able to share funny stories and amazing scriptures and things I learn from devotionals or Sundays. I am so excited. Also, this week I studied a lot about why we say "in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen" when we end our prayers or testimonies. Please read John 14. It is amazing. But I am so excited to get to share everything I learn! It will be amazing.
My spanish is coming along well and just a warning this whole english thing is going to stop when I get to Panama. Spanish is way too much fun.
Also, I have pictures, but the computers here are weird and tempermental so it is hard to upload them. I am trying though. They will have to be in a different email.
I love you all so much and I can't wait to see you again! The Lord's work is hastening and I am so priviledged to be part of it. I love you.
Love, Hermana Eardley

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2nd P-Day 9/4/14

Dear Family,
I brought my journal today so I wouldn't forget to tell you anything.
This week was wonderful. Hermano Olsen has been teaching us and he has such a passion for the gospel. It's contagious. Also, this week we were able to teach eachother the Restoration so I was able to use spanglish and the lesson went so good because I wasn't worried about the language. Spanish is hard. At one point Hermano Olsen walked in and I was teaching and we got to the First Vision and after it he said pause, looked straight into my soul, and said, "I want you to reach up to heaven and grab that one inspired question. I don't know what it is, but take your time thinking about it. Just grab it from heaven." My face was like "okay sure let me think" but my thoughts were "this is crazy. nothing is coming to me. the silence is awkward. he is staring at me. I need to think of something to say. my mind is blank. wow this is so uncomfortable." and it went on and on for a minute, but then I just let my mind be blank and the craziest thing happened... I thought of a question. Wow the spirit was strong in that lesson. The Restoration is by far my favorite subject to talk about.
Last Sunday was wonderful, but I am super stoked for this Sunday because it is testimony meeting! Oh I can't wait! Everyday is the same, they just merge into one. My days go Sunday, Thursday, Sunday, Thursday... It is wonderful. I swear yesterday was Sunday.
The last couple of days I have been sick. Me and Hermana Bean (another sister in my district and my apartment were both really sick on Tuesday so we stayed in the apartment all day. I hated every second of it. I felt awful and the only thing we could do was practice spanish and we just kept laughing at everything. It was like a coping mechanism or something. Anyways, that night we still felt gross but we decided to go to the devotional. We didn't want to miss it. Best decision. It was amazing. It was a member of the 70 who taught and he spoke about our investigators and how we need to love them like they were our own. Because they are. And he spoke about how we need to make sure that they have a friend and make it to the temple; not just baptize them and forget about them. Wow was it amazing. On Wednesday we were still sick but decided we couldn't do Tuesday again. So we tredged along and it turned out to be the best day I have had at the MTC yet. Yesterday. It was so amazing. Class just comforted me and reminded me of why I was out here and showed me that I could do anything (we studied 1 Nephi 1 the entire class period). I highly recommend reading it and after every scripture just record your thoughts. It is amazing how much you can learn from that one chapter.
Also D&C 18 is amazing to study for answers to questions too.
I miss you all, but this is where I am supposed to be. I know it.
Another funny story we watched the Testaments Sunday night and there were Elders in front of us, but everytime the couple would kiss it was like we were in middle school and everyone freaked out... I get it, but still. There were 3 Elders in front of us and everytime the couple kissed (twice) the 2 elders on the sides would hurry and cover the middle elders eyes. Wow it was funny. The lines in that movie are so cheezy but if you think about it they are amazing and hilarious. Just go watch it. You will understand.
To Mom, I love you you are the best! I miss hanging out with you and sharing stories. I know that you are a daughter of God and that you are so loved by him. I have felt his love for you.
To Dad, Wow it's crazy how much I miss you! I think about you constantly. One rule here is we can't dance in public (not professional) and everytime I think of that I just wish I was back in the kitchen... watching you 'dance' around. Funny, right?
To Steph, sweetheart you have a testimony of this gospel and I know you are going to do amazing things in your life. You are such an amazing person and I know that there is nothing you can't do. Never forget you are invincible. I think in Matthew 5 (16&17?) it says ye are the light of the world. read verses 14 through 17. It applies to you.
To Brit, You have such a strong spirit. I miss you terribly and I wish I could hang out with you. (you're my favorite;)) haha :) You can touch so many lives and you are so smart. Use it. You have amazing gifts and I am begging you to share them with everyone you meet.
To everyone else, I love you all! You are in my prayers.. and to the grandpas out there please stop getting old and going to the hospital. It would give me peace of mind. Thanks:) To my cousins, you are all the best. I couldn't have asked for better. Please keep saying your prayers. And be kind to one another. I can't wait to see you all again (everyone).
Thank You for the support!

Love, Hermana Eardley
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