Monday, August 5, 2013

yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever.

For those of you new to Hermana Em's blog, so sorry for the delay! I just finished my first year of grad school yesterday so I FINALLY have some time to catch up on blogs for both of my missionaries! Enjoy! - Hannah

Hiyaa Family!

So Sister Gardiner is my new companion and she is the funniest. SO funny. We are laughing ALL the time. She is tall and blonde and probably the most similar to me than of all my companions. She is outgoing and loud and loves people. She is not afraid to talk on the street or in lessons. She jumps right in and she is a quick learner. I LOVE her SO much! That's the thing--companions were my biggest fear before my mission. I was just so sure that I would always have a hard time but when I got set apart it said that I would have companions that are all unique with their own sets of weaknesses and strengths and that I would love them all. It could not be more true. None of my companions have been remotely similar to each other or to me but I have loved each one. Truly. I already loveeeeee Sister Gardiner so much.

She must have packed some miracles in her suitcase because the moment she got here it was a crazy awesome week. I was so surprised how busy we were. It was like Moses Lake all over again. We were running to and fro and teaching, teaching, teaching! We had 3 church tours last week! Which is crazy because we only had ONE for the whole month of July and then last week alone we had THREE! SO much happened I don't even know where to begin.

1-Joel. He is softening up the more he reads the Book of Mormon. He is still skeptical and doesn't know it is true but he has told us he feels a reassurance and peace as he reads it. Hello? Joel? That's the spirit testifying of truth! But I think he wants something more concrete. He told us how much he loves music and so the thought kept coming to me that we need to help him feel the spirit through music so we took him on a tour and then afterward we went into the chapel and read the words to "I Know that My Redeemer Lives". I knew he would love it because he loves Job and his story and then after we played the instrumental hymn, "Redeemer" (Hannah sent it to me on a CD and Sister Gardiner has it on her iPod and we've been obsessed so we knew he would love it.) We just sat in the chapel and listened. It was profoundly serene and peaceful. I felt the spirit so strongly. Then we invited Joel to pray and as we knelt we listened to the feelings in our heart. He looked right at me and said, "I know that you know your Savior. I really can see that He is the center of your belief." He didn't say much else but he still isn't ready to commit to baptism. He doesn't think he will ever change but I do. He is open and honest in his prayers and the Lord is working on him.

2-Porche. She is hot and then she is cold. She loves it and then she doesn't want to see us. She knows our church is true but she thinks all churches are true and she just wants to shop around and then decide what is best for her. It is so hard sometimes. We had been praying to know what we could do to help her and then we thought of Emily B. who is one of our recent converts. She joined last August and she is on fire. She has a POWERFUL testimony and we knew she and Porche would hit it off. But we were never really able to introduce them when we wanted to and then out of nowhere they just run into each other and become instant friends and talk for HOURS. It was just a confirmation to me that this is the Lord's work. If He wants something done He will do it! Anyway, that was a huge blessing and then the Colvers had us and Porche and Rickia over for dinner.  It was nuts. I think she was having a bad day because she just vented to us. And not happily. She just felt pushed and pulled and she says, "I am stubborn. No one can make me go to any church. I am doing this for me." It was just so much to handle and it stressed me out because it was a long discussion and we were running late and it was just not what I ever hope to happen in a lesson. But we knew we would see her the next day because we had already set up dinner with President McCombie and his family with her so I just prayed all day that we'd be able to help her feel the spirit. I've told you before that we are BFFs with President McCombie, right? We talk to him everyday. How many missionaries can say that? I feel SO blessed. I LOVE the McCombies. Like they are my favorite family ever. Anyway, I knew it would be a good lesson the moment we walked into their home. First because President McCombie built his house by himself and it is like a giant version of a Nauvoo cabin. Second because the spirit and love in their home is tangible and sweet and so, so good. Third because they have 7 amazing, sweet children who love the gospel and support and sustain their dad in his calling. Dinner was awesome. The conversation was great. We asked how the McCombies met and President even tied their love story into a gospel metaphor of how to CHOOSE churches. It was great. Then we sat in their family room and they had worn hymnals and books of mormon and i just love them so much i could talk all day about how much i love them. And the lesson was super simple and powerful. We testified of Christ and President McCombie spoke and was so BOLD and then he turned to his nine year old daughter, Hannah, and said, "Do you have anything you want to say?" And this little angel of a child with her cute, thick glasses started to tear up and she bore the most sincere and heartfelt testimony I've ever heard. It was instant spirit. She was so articulate and she honestly touched on all the things Porche needed to hear. Sister Gardiner and I were floored. Like she probably could have taught the whole lesson her spirit was so powerful. We prayed that the whole evening would touch Porche in a way to make her want to act and she DOES!

She came to church when she had already told us she would be going the the Baptist church and Rickia bore her testimony and it was just a huge miracle all around. And then later Rickia told us that she was talking casually about how she needs to meet a mormon boy so she can be sealed in the temple! OH man. I am so excited for this next week. More miracles to come.

Ahh. I know SO much more happened but I don't even know where to start. Keagan was a referral from a boy in our ward and she came on a tour and felt the spirit so strongly and she has been reading the Book of Mormon and loving it.
Also. When Sister Gardiner first got her call to Spokane Washington, English speaking, she felt really impressed that she should start learning spanish because she would need it on her mission. When I showed her my name tag that says, "Hermana" she just about died. The spirit is real! She already knows so much and so we've been doing hard core language study each day and I am SO excited. She loves it as much as I do. Huge tender mercy for me. I told President Mullen to officially change her to spanish but we'll see. It is awesome.

I am so loving my mission right now. I love the gospel and the opportunity to bear witness of my Savior. The Book of Mormon is true! It's all true. I love it.

That is all. Here are some pictures. This will probably be the funniest transfer of my mission. Even more funny than my Christmas with Sister Tippetts. yeaaahh!
Love y'all! 

Hermana Em


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