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:
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

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


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


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 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


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