Monday, January 30, 2017

I LOVE being a missionary!

Hola todos, 

Every week I get here and I don't even know what to say! How in the world am I supposed to describe all of my experiences? It really isn't possible, but I hope I can give you just a little portion of the incredible Spirit I feel in the field and the small moments that make every day worth it! 

So people have asked me what my daily life is like.... Let's start there!

6:25am
the alarm goes off. We lay there for a few minutes to wake up and then roll to our knees in bed to pray. I make my bed, change into gym shorts and t shirt, and go downstairs for workouts. We turn on music, spread out blankets on the floor, and work out. Jumping jacks, planks, sometimes I run up and down the stairs, stretching. I get creative with my workouts. I really love that time of day.

7am
Preparación. I shower, get ready, eat breakfast. Breakfast is usually bread, or yogurt with cereal mixed in, sometimes bananas if we have them. Pretty simple. 

8am
Personal Study! I wish I had four hours a day to do personal study, honestly. I love it so much. I study Preach my Gospel, the scriptures, preparing for lessons we are going to teach and thinking about scriptures and things that will help the investigators. 

9am
companionship study. We sing, read the handbook, practice lessons, confirm appointments, 

10am
12 semanas (the first 12 week study program for missionaries being trained) we watch the district or study in preach my gospel

11am
language study! Hermana Adams makes sure this hour always happens which I love! I study from my hundreds of flashcards, or read the Book of Mormon in Spanish, or study my workbook, or read the Liahona in Spanish. I love this hour. 

12am
Leave the house! We gather up everything we need, fill waterbottles, grab rain jackets, etc., kneel down to pray, and we're off! Agenda in hand, we walk the streets of Ambato, or take the buses, and go to and fro. We contact like crazy. With Hermana Adams, contacting is so much fun! Because it really is like Melanie calls it, it's just making new friends! I used to want to contact but I was so scared to do it, and now I hardly give it a second thought! Lots of times we show up to peoples houses for scheduled lessons and they arent there. Sometimes we have one of the ward missionaries with us. We talk and talk all day, usually in Spanish but we slip into English more than we should haha. But every day we pick a verb, and I help Hermana Adams learn to conjugate the verb in all the tenses and give her practice sentences. She is so sweet, and wants so bad to learn the language. At 1:30 we usually have lunch in a members house, and other than that we are working the whole time! 

9pm
We get home, exhausted. Actually I am always exhausted. Maybe that's one thing specifically you guys could help me with this week, is pray for me to have more energy! But yeah as soon as we get home we wash our hands (germophobe me) and then we get right to planning! We start with a prayer (we pray between every hour of study too) and plan appointments for the next day and backup plans, and then what we are going to teach them, and then we have to fill the area book to write about all the appointments we had that day, and we right down all the info we got contacting. We are still new so we're pretty slow, so some days it takes till 10 or 10:15 to finish. Then we scramble around getting ready for bed, and by 10:30 we are in bed praying. The instant I lay my head on my pillow I am pretty much asleep. Sometimes I have enough gumption to make myself lay on my back or at least get in a comfortable position before I fall asleep haha. I love sleep. 


So, yeah! That is my life! Day in, day out! Now here are some more specifics about my week! 

Tuesday:
A normal day of the work, with not too many lessons. My eye was super swollen for several days, no clue why, but it's fine now I think! The highlight of this day was teaching Margarita, a recent convert. She is a doctor. We tried to have her as a member present in a lesson with Tatiana, an investigator and also a doctor, but Tatiana cancelled. Figures. And none of the 4 other investigators in her area could meet with us either. By that point it was 8:30 at night, so she drove us home and we sat in her car and taught her about the temple! It was really amazing, because she didn't know much of anything about the endowment but she has a goal to go through the temple at her one year mark in June! It was a very powerful lesson! 

Wednesday:
This day was INCREDIBLE because we had a worldwide missionary training! We watched the broadcast in the stake center, my old chapel on Quis Quis, and the whole zone was there, along with Presidente Christensen and the assistants. It was absolutely incredible! They announced a change in the schedule, which means everything I told you above is going to be changing! At least the times haha. I was SO excited because with the schedule change there is the opportunity to get a whole extra hour of sleep! How cool is that ?! Pretty sad that that's what I was so excited about! But it's the truth! Haha. After the conference, Hna Adams and I went to the Center and ate lunch at Tropi Burger and after we got gelato, and then we ran back to the stake center for our interviews with President! It was an incredible interview. This month we studied 2 Nefi 11 and 31, and 3 Nefi 11, so during the interviews we discussed what I learned, and he answered a bunch of my doctrinal questions. We talked about some of the patterns I have seen in the scriptures too! I am sad he won't be here for my whole mission but I am also excited to see what changes the new president will make! 
That night we taught Tatiana, and we are just trying to get her to read the BOok of Mormon because we have taught her so many times and she just doesn't make time for it! I don't want to have to drop her! So we read 3 Nef 11 and I mentioned the scripture in the Bible where it says other sheep I have which are not of this fold, and of course when I refer to a scripture and don't know where it is she gets all excited because she wants to read it! She ran upstairs for her bible and hna Adams and I were flipping frantically through the Bible and we found it (luckily... prayers answered haha, its John 10:16 for anyone who wants to know) and she was so excited! 

Thursday:
We had a couple new investigator lessons! One of them was a woman named Gloria who does NOT want to be called Hermana, so we are trying to break that habit and only call her Hermana! But during the lesson, she asked, So why have I never heard before that there is a living prophet and 12 apostles? Well you see, that is why we are here! Far from our families, leaving everything else behind! because SO MANY don't know! I felt the Spirit testify to me in that lesson that this work is the work of God! 
Another lesson one: Fernando y Fanny. They are an older couple and live half the year in New York. and they are SO. CATHOLIC. Like during the opening prayer I gave, Fanny was whispering her Catholic prayer under her breath. They've got pictures of the Saints all over their home and they go to Mass every single week. But I cannot believe how strong the Spirit was in their home. Where everything, and I am not kidding everything, is bright orange. There was even orange carpet in the bathroom. Crazy. But I digress. Testifying of the prophet Joseph Smith and the Restauration is an incredible privilege. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God! He saw God the Father and His Son! Fernando's prayer at the end of the lesson was the sweetest thing and the Spirit brought tears to my eyes. After the lesson they gave us tea and bread, and we started freaking out a little because we weren't sure after we started drinking it that it was really herbal tea (don't worry it was haha) and they even promised to come to church not this week but this coming Sunday! It was incredible! And they set up another appt with us before we could even ask! These people are incredible. How I love missionary work! 
Well also  this day we both fell asleep on the bus from the chapel and the money collector was totally laughing at us! Another thing that happened Thursday morning in District Meeting... Brace yourselves... Hermana Beutler made us PB&J sandwiches... AND I LOVED IT. The first one i have eaten in years and years and years. Ecuador is doing weird things to my taste buds apparently! But Mom if you want to send me those little cups of GIF peanut butter I wouldn't object hahaha

Friday:
Whew sorry this is getting to be a long email and I might hot have time to reply to anyone! Im hurrying sorry people! This is what happens when I bring my journal to remind me! Okay for lunch we had tomato soup with popcorn in it and this is by far my fave soup here! You have to pop plain popcorn, not the buttery kind, and just put a little in at a time so it doesnt get all soggy before you can eat it. try it people cuz this is one thing I will actually eat when I get home! Then we met the Hermana Lideres of our zone in the chapel for divisions. I went to Hermana Wysons sector with her! Shes super awesome, is pre med at BYU, and a fantastic missionary. We had a ton of citas, super short and to the point. We taught word of wisdom and law of chastity bunches! Divisions are awesome because I get to see an experienced missionary at work and I get to be reminded of how far I have to go to teach more clearly and briefly. Also that night in the house Hna Wyson gave me gum and that was way weird to chew for the first time in so long! Oh that night investigators also gave us hot chocolate with bits of cheese in it... Ambato specialty, apparently... really weird 

Saturday:
We traded back for divisions after a couple hours of studies. This was one of the days when every one of our citas fell. We walked and walked and walked.... and contacted 37 people.... and i had a fun experience. i had a super upset stomach all day, and around 5:00 I knew that if I didn't find a bathroom soon I was going to have a major problem... yikes. sorry if this is TMI, just knew you'd get a laugh out of it. So I had that feeling of outright panick for quite awhile. We were 15 minutes away from home by bus, and we were still trying to find people to teach but nobody answered the door or phone. Finally the last person we could try in that neighborhood was Tatiana. I was praying with all my heart that she would be home, more so I could use her bathroom than to teach her, that's how bad my panic was!!! And what do you know, God answers prayers, because she was home and I got to her bathroom JUST in time! Oh, the joys haha. And Then we had the most AMAZING lesson with her because she had been reading the Book of Mormon!!!!!!!!!! Studying it along with her Bible, we threw our plans out the window and talked about faith, and she accepted a baptismal invitation for the first time! I am so happy she is progressing! Could you guys pray for her to read every day and have the desire to come to church? It was incredible to watch the change in her as the Book of Mormon has started to become delicious to her! Ah!! So yeah every Saturday night we teach English in the chapel. Oh our chapel is right by the Hospital Regional, google it because I think of Dad every time we walk past the emergency exit and laugh about picturing him working there. This week there was a lovely trail of blood all the way from the bus stop to the triage desk (yeah its outside) and then to the ER.... so fun! 

Domingo
Yesterday highlights only cuz no time, we got to serve so much! We helped Gloria, mentioned above, peel onions for almost an hour because she was too busy working for us to teach her! And we also miraculously found a new family to teach who invited us in on the spot, and they are so prepared for the Gospel and so ready, and all 6 of them that were over the age of 8 accepted baptism, and when we left their house Hna Adams hugged me and said, "I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!!" and I feel the same way! How lucky I am to get to to talk about  Christ all day, every day! 

thank you for your prayers and emails and keep them coming! Sorry for all those to whom I didn't have time to respond this week! I love you!!!!!!!!!! 

Hermana Hasleton





waiting for the bus to start moving... we were the only ones on it and it just stopped for about 15 minutes

this place is known as Quillon Loma and it is GORGEOUS! Look how cool the clouds are in this picture! Unfortunately we probably wont be working here much anymore because its too far away, but wow, amazing, right? the houses here are SO humble. its all farmland. google it! 



so hermana wyson and hermana beutler (my friend from bio 100) showed up to get us from divisions and we were in matching outfits!!!!!! of course we had to take some awkward angle self timer pics 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Ambato Recreo

Hola familia y amigos, 

so let's see what I can remember about this week to tell you! 

Happy Birthday to my Macey Jayne! I don't actually like to know anyone's getting older, I just pretend life is the same at home as it was when I left and then I don't miss you guys! 

First of all, I LOVE my new companion and sector and house and ward! AH! Hermana Adams is the best. Seriously, I can't imagine having a better companion. She is 19, from Las Vegas, and is a music performance major at BYUI playing the cello. She has two little sisters. She is so sweet, so humble, and doesn't have a mean bone in her body. She is always happy and teaches with the Spirit. I think we're on the exact same page at all times, and it is absolutely fantastic. My Spanish  isn't going to improve too much during this transfer, because she just finished her training as well (she only has one transfer more than me) but we are helping each other! I am not worried about it, I don't really ever have times in lessons or anything where I can't say what I want to. I get to teach much more when I am with Hermana Adams than I used to. We are working hard to speak in Spanish and not in English! 

So Monday and Tuesday we were in a trio with Hermana Barraclough who is in my zone, working in Latacunga. And wow, trios are so much fun! The ping pong was amazing! (That means trading off in the lessons haha) She is also so cute and fun. We were in a trio because Tuesday we went to Quito! Hermana Barraclough got her new companion there (she is training again) and Hna Adams got training as a trainer. I love traveling and I love Quito and I love Hna Christensen's food! Hna Adams and I talked the entire three hour bus ride, and the entire three hours back. I think I talked more in one day with these girls than I did in a week in my last change! 

So our sector, Recreo, is HUGE. Like 10 times the size of my last one. We take so many buses and taxis if necessary, so we go through our mission money a whole lot faster! But the fun thing about having a huge sector is I get to see so many different areas! We live in Isamba. Ficoa is a super ritzy area. We eat with a sister there on Sundays (they fed us pig skins, yuck yuck yuck haha) who makes dresses for fun. She measured me and is going to make me a couple, which is fantastic because my clothes aren't going to last for my whole mission! Quillon Loma is way up in the hills, and it is el campo, which I think translates to farmland? I will make sure to take pictures of it this week! The houses are way far apart, there are crops and cows everywhere, and the people are super poor. But it is GORGEOUS and the view of Ambato is incredible! The name Quillon is Quitchwa, which is the indigenous language. We ate with a sister there on Saturday, and lucky me, we ate cuy. They raise cuy, so apparently it's a common thing to eat it. And yep, it isn't prepared super well so it still has hair on it! Hna Adams taught me under her breath in English to peel off the skin so I didn't have to spend the rest of the day picking hair out of my teeth. Oh, the adventures! It's always something new here and I LOVE it! That sister who fed us is completely illiterate, but she listens to the Book of Mormon on tape and she is so faithful. It is incredible! 

We don't work with many less actives here. Lots more recent converts and lots more investigators! We visited a ton with members too. On Tuesday we ate with members, and the Dad of the family is from Brazil. Hands down the best food I have eaten here! They own a restaurant in Ficoa, so one day we are going to eat there! 

We visited with a sister this week to encourage her to give us references, and she told us about her son on a mission and how no matter how busy she is, she thinks of him every day. That made me cry. She talked about the example he is to his family, and the examples we are! I showed her the picture of my cousins on my agenda (I will send a pic of that in a minute) and wow, what a privilege it is to have such a support system at home! Knowing that I am an example to my siblings and cousins helps me to be as obedient as possible and work, work, work! 

One cool thing about this ward is that there are lots of YSAs getting ready to go on a mission, so they have callings as ward missionaries and take turns coming with us all day! That is super awesome when we visit with single guys, and it is so powerful to have a third testimony and a third witness of what we are saying. Also helpful to have someone who speaks Spanish with a little less of an accent and who can understand on the phone when we are struggling... yeah usually it's fine but we have our moments haha. These girls are ADORABLE. SO much fun to work with them. 

We had a lesson with a guy named Wilson who is probably 23. And he is so smart. We taught a lesson specifically about the Book of Mormon for probably the fourth time this week. (We testify of the Book of Mormon over and over and over, lesson after lesson). He had so many good questions, like why are prophets always men? and What is the purpose of the 2nd coming? I am so excited for him to progress! 

We visited with another man who we contacted in the streets when he was with his three kids. He is separated from his wife and is so, so poor, works so hard and is going to college, and also takes care of his kids. He doesn't have basic religous belief so it was cool to start from square one, our Loving Heavenly Father. And prayer. We taught him that God wants to help him and his kids to have a good future. We shared Isaiah 41 10 i think it is and the Spirit was incredibly strong. He was trying really hard not to cry. Moments like that make the hard days so worth it! 

But I have to say that the hard days have been so much less hard this week. Time has started to fly, for which I am grateful, but now also I don't want this transfer to end because I don't want to leave Hna Adams! My stomach pain is almost completely gone now, so thank you for all the prayers! They work! The bed bugs found Hna Adams this week but they've skipped me so lets pray for them to go away! My hardest thing is just feeling wiped out, completely without energy. Like I just want to take a nap for a week. But despite this, it is so worth it to just work hard and feel the Spirit and know at the end of the day that I did everything I could to help others come unto Christ! 

So Sunday morning was really cool. We left the house at 8:15 to pass by the house of an investigator to take her to church, but once we got on the bus I realized I left my plaque at home. We hopped off and ran home to get it, and hopped on another bus, but by that time we didn't have time to go to her house before church and I felt super bad. So as we were getting on the bus, who did we see? THAT INVESTIGATOR! She wasn't on her way to church, unfortunately, because she had to work, but if I hadn't forgotten my plaque we would have missed her! God works in mysterious ways and He answers prayers! Also that bus ride tons of members were on the bus so the patriarch's wife insisted on paying our bus passage. These members are the best! 

Our chapel is in el centro, or downtown ambato. It's 2 floors and awesome! I am the pianist again of course, but it's a keyboard and not a real piano. Sitting on the stand and watching the chapel totally fill with people was an incredible feeling! This ward is so much bigger and so much stronger than the ward in Miraflores. 

Today we had a P-day activity with the hermanas in the zone. We went to Parque de la Familia (look it up) and played soccer and ate pizza! It was awesome! And I only got a little sunburnt. Our new Hna Leader is Hermana Beutler, who was in my freshman biology class at BYU! She goes home this transfer though. Hna Echegaray told me that our investigator Marilin finally came to church and a family night at the bishops house and she actually is going to get baptized! This is the investigator who, during our first lesson with her in my first week in the mission, I received a witness that she would get baptized. It makes me a little sad to be missing it but mostly I am SO GRATEFUL for miracles and that God is in charge and that this amazing woman finally gets to have a happy life! 

Well I can't really think of anything else to tell you! Loving my mission, every single day! Keep up the emails please, they are amazing! 

So much love, 

Hermana Hasleton




Hna Adams and I during our pday activity! That's tungurahua in the background



here is tungurahua! So pretty! its usually covered by clouds and theres not snow on it anymore but we love when we can spot it! 



this is chimborazo! lucky day when we can see both volcanoes at once!



low quality angle of my zone haha sorry, self timer for the win. sweaty pictures after soccer (ps my team won, actually no thanks to me but yeah ;) )


THE LAUNDROMAT. Watching my clothes spin around and around made me so incredibly grateful. Take a moment to appreciate your washing machines today, kids. 




Here is a video tour of bay lees apartment!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Stomping Through Puddles and Loving Every second!

Mi Querida Familia, 

Wow two months away from home! And tal vez 3 months down in my mission! Presidente said he has set my date for April instead of June but we will see, I may be changing that! So many things I want to tell you about my week! I had to wait all week to find out about cambios so youre gonna have to wait till the end of my letter ;) 

So with Hna Echegaray we prayed in English a lot to help her practice, and this is what my prayers sound like:

Please help us que podamos tener un buen dia.... 

or please help Fernanda y su familia que puedan tener.... 

aka SPANGLISH. It was so funny. 

Some random funny stuff that happened.... 

One investigator we always went to find was never home, so we stood outside her gate pounding and yelling and she never showed up, several different times. Well in the house next door there is this abuelita or little old grandma, and she is padlocked inside. So she always comes to the window and yells at us, and we talk to her for a bit and then she goes back inside yelling and shrieking.... So sad but so funny! 

This week Hna Ramona was late getting our food, so I had the privilege of watching her prepare it. She wouldnt let us help. But let's just say I am working on being less of a germophobe and not caring about the dirt and the dogs (fleas gross) and etc etc etc.  I have decided to look at it like everyone is camping and thats why they don't care if the dirt is inside! I can be clean when I come home and I will never take it for granted again! 

Sometimes I think, "Wow my feet are dirty!" And then I shower and I think "Wow I have weird tan lines!" Yeah that was random, welcome to the thought process of Hermana Hasleton 

Teaching with miembro presente, we invite Hermana Dolores a ton because she is always willing. But it is always interesting because she is hilarious and just loves to talk and talk and talk. And completely take control of the lessons! It almost becomes a battle to talk first haha. She is so sweet to always help us! But with a 17 year old girl we have been teaching, I tried to tell her the story of when I read the Book of Mormon all the way through for the first time and after being interrupted three different times I gave up and just laughed. Good, good memories! 

In Consejo de Barrio aka Ward Council Hna Dolores passed around cough drops and I was laughing so hard again. Like I say, they think Hall's is candy! 


So this week began the rainy season! It rained every single day, and I absolutely loved it! The rains came down and the floods didnt come up because our entire sector is a hill so the rain just goes right downhill... When you ask someone where they live and they say "por arriba" and you don't know where arriba is, just go where the rain is coming from haha. Rain boots, tights, scarf, rain coat. Stomping through puddles and loving every second! It also got pretty cold, so I have been sleeping with my thermals under my pajamas. (looks like they came in handy after all!) 

So for my workouts I have been using my emergency water, a three liter bottle, as weights, so I felt pretty creative! I love the mission schedule, the sleep and the exercise and the personal study hour. It is a sacred time for me. I think back on my time at Liberty Square, and I realize my room and desk there were a sacred place, where I learned things I will never forget! 

My stomach pain hasn't let up much. Actually on Tuesday there were a few hours where I was in so much pain I couldn't move. Which made me feel pretty guilty for not working, and Hna Echegaray was pretty bugged too. Also after hearing about Dad having influenza and still working and going to church... yeah I felt pretty wimpy. But the mamitas were so sweet and every single one wanted to give me health advice, and they all made me chicken soup to help my stomach feel better and a couple days I didn't even have to eat rice so that was definitely a perk!  They are so sweet to care for me so much, and I can't believe how at home I feel with these families after six weeks. Pretty much the only thing that doesn't hurt my stomach is bread. So I eat lots of bread, which would be really not good, but I have lost weight being sick so I am not too worried about it right now! Another perk, haha. But I can't eat ice cream sandwiches and that is just sad! 

This week I TAUGHT A PIANO LESSON and I can't tell you how happy I was! Juan David is 12 and missionaries have taught him before and yeah teaching in Spanish is a little more difficult. I never thought I would be teaching piano on my mission! It is a good way to serve and strengthen the ward! 

One experience I had this week was planning to teach a member family. The mom is divorced and her boyfriend is currently living with her and her sons. We were trying to decide on what to teach them, and I wanted to talk about the Atonement and the Sacrament, but my companion said that she is a return missionary and she already knows about the atonement and we should teach something else. I'm sorry, but if you are living together, and you have made covenants in the temple, you do not understand the Atonement. So I kinda had to put my foot down and we taught the Atonement and it made me happy! Not that anything changed necessarily, but it's all I can do, is follow the Spirit and try my best to help these people change. 

It is really interesting at this point in my mission what I actually miss. The prophets voices, I'm not a huge fan of the voiceovers. Teaching Relief Society, I can relate to Mom missing Gospel Doctrine. Having someone to share my personal experiences with. Even though we talk about the gospel all day long and it is in every conversation, it still feels isolating to know that my most sacred personal experiences, I don't have anyone to share them with. I miss my parents for that. And the temple. I miss the temple oh so much. Going through the words in my head and trying to remember but it's hard because I don't know it in Spanish and my head doesn't like converting from Spanish for that long! Go to the temple people, don't take it for granted! 

One investigator is not married and living with her boyfriend and son, so we taught her the Law of Chastity this week and she took it SO WELL and they are planning their wedding and I left that lesson just on top of the world, because I know how much happiness following this commandment will bring them! She wants to get baptized so badly, ever since we taught her about eternal families (I may have mentioned that last week) and lessons like that make a day where every other cita fell, so so worth it! 

Our less active that we have been teaching has been coming to church and is so much more receptive to our visits. She is 22 and is so, so sweet. But this week we found out why she decided to ultimately come back to church. She is pregnant. I left that house at the point of tears, so so sad for her. Glad that this trial has turned her back to God but so sad that she can't finish college and this child will grow up in that circumstance. Sad that she will have to face the judgments of ward members. Sad that the rest of her life will be defined by one bad choice. Or several little bad choices that led to breaking commandments of God. People. Just keep the commandments. They are not to keep you from having fun and they are not to restrict your life. They are for your protection and your happiness. I am getting really good at sharing DyC 130:20-21 and Mosiah 2:41 because we teach it over and over again. OBEDIENCE brings HAPPINESS and that is all. 

Okay so now I can tell you about cambios! We were waiting for it alllll weeeeek. We had no food, because Hna Echegaray didn't want to buy food because she was so certain that she was leaving. She wrote all her letters to the members on Tuesday while I was sick. And I was sure all week that I was staying, cause I only have one cambio in the field. Sunday there was so much tension waiting for that phone call. And when it came, we literally didn't believe our district leader. We thought he was joking. Hermana Echegaray is still in Ambato Miraflores for her fourth cambio. And I am also still in Ambato. But I am in Barrio Recreo with Hermana Adams! AH! I AM SO EXCITED! She has been in my zone this whole time and she just finished her training last week! If I could describe her in one word it would be sweet! She is literally adorable! She is from Las Vegas and goes to BYU-I. I am so incredibly excited for this cambio and today has already been the best day ever! I love Ambato and though it was hard to leave all those members in my ward and my investigators, that is mission life. For p-day today we went with a couple other hermanas to centro or downtown Ambato and we got ice cream and went shopping! So nice to have a bit of American culture back haha. I love these girls with all my heart and I am so excited to learn and grow in this new sector! 

Well, that is my week! Tomorrow we go to Quito again for training as a trainer for Hna Adams. Can't wait to get to know my new sector and ward and investigators and companion! 


Love you guys! Keep up the emails! 

Love,
Hna Hasleton


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

In the homesickness clear :)



This week FLEW by! Hallelujah! Definitely a mix of traveling to Quito, a better attitude, and working super duper hard!
Tuesday night we traveled to Quito and spend all day Wednesday with President and my group! Verificaccion, and it was seriously so much fun. There are a few other sisters and a whole ton of elders in my group. It was awesome to hear how everyone was adjusting and it made me feel so much better about my Spanish again haha. Also I just LOVE Hermana Christensens food! Nobody in Ecuador bakes, if they have an oven they use it to store dishes, so yeah baked food is the best!
One thing I learned at verificacion: President told a story about President Eyring. 
He was with President Christensen and wanted to pray in Spanish, and after every single sentence he would hit President Christensen and say, "Was that correct?" It reminded me of the story President Miller told in Stake Conference, about when Pres. Eyring prayed to see all the faults in the family history program, and after the prayer, he looked at president Miller and said, "Always seek correction." That is one of my mottos of my mission right now and I loved that this story affirms that President Eyring lives what he teaches! 

I think a big part of why this week was so much better is because I was a lot more patient and am learning to get over it, get over it, get over it. I used to think I was a patient person. I know I have improved quite a bit over the past couple years, but I have learned that I still have a very long way to go. But looking on the bright side, this time with this companion will teach me to be a better spouse, teacher, mother, friend, etc etc etc. I am learning to take whatever setback WITHOUT frustration. You can't deny the link between patience and charity. "The Lord seeth fit to chasten His people; yea, He trieth their patience and their faith." Hna Echegaray may get transferred this week, but if not... "Oh, I know what this is, Lord! An opportunity for me to grow!" I am learning to let it go when I KNOW I am right and she knows I'm right but she STILL makes up reasons for why she's right. Someone's gotta let go of their pride, and it's not going to be her so it has to be me. It's easier when it's something like directions, and which route is shorter, but it's harder when it has to do with lessons because I feel like other people's salvation is at stake. That's why I repeat D&C 3 to myself and the advice of President Butler. God is not frustrated, so you shouldn't be either. All is well.
This week also flew by because I am getting so much better at leaving everything at home. Meaning, I am a worrier and a planner, so I have had a hard time to stop thinking about you guys. But here's what Im trying to do: leave my family at home and the future in God's hands. My whole life is my mission, and that is all. That doesn't give anybody permission to stop emailing me, though! So yeah, love you guys, but I'm really just trying not to think about you! That was hard on Syd's birthday! But other than Macey's birthday soon, we're over the big holidays and birthdays and my first change is almost over so I think I'm in the homesickness clear now!
Um fast Sunday without gum is actually no fun. But I LOVE church! And we had two investigators come to church!!!!!!!!!!!! Their both underage and came without their moms so their baptismal date fell anyway, thats okay, I am still excited! Oh how I wish I could give these members a day in the Alpine 10th ward! But we had closer to 50 people at church this week, it was a party! I found out that if we are late to church (because we were collecting investigators, not because we were sleeping, don't get any ideas okay?) then the ward sings a capella because nobody else plays piano! Kinda funny because theyre also all tone deaf except the bishop's family and like one other haha. So great.

So this week I had a good talk with the Hermana Leaders and found out that some of the stuff that's been going on is so against the rules. So this week I put my foot down and that's hard to do when the rules apply to my district leader too and he isn't enforcing or following them, but my loyalty is to the Lord first. I feel so much better about life. And have learned to direct my questions about rules to the leaders, because if my companion doesn't know she just makes stuff up haha. Like I found out that if we are ready for bed before 10:30 we can go to bed before 10:30! She told me it was against the rules because she didnt know haha. So now I am so excited and we went to bed at 9:45 one night and it was the best!
One day we had fish for lunch and my hands smelled like fish alllll day. Don't know why that random detail was important haha but there ya go.
This week I had one day where we returned home and I was completely and totally exhausted! That night I went to bed happy, knowing I deserved my pillow! My physical health has been okay, not super. It was pretty cold this week, but I think one day was because I had a fever. I am being super careful so my plantar fasciitis doesn't come back. Also I'm having some pretty bad stomach pain, but we're just gonna pray it passes fast.
Saturday we had 6 citas and left 3 Books of Mormon! Wow! We only get 5 per cambio to give out so it was a big big day. Let's hope these people actually progress now haha.
Sunday, we visited a sister that was super sick, and called the bishop and he came with his mother-in-law, and gave her a blessing. I love the bishop of this ward. He reminds me so much of Dad, with his demeanor and worry and love for his flock. This sister's life is so hard. She is illiterate, and I can't imagine living in a world without being able to read. Then the bishop came with us to an investigators house, she's a new investigator and has so many issues you can't even imagine. As we sat in her house and she poured out all of her problems, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. How in the world were we supposed to help her? The bishop gave her a blessing too, and he dedicated her home. I left so grateful for an Infinte Atonement, knowing that if this sister has the faith, that Christ can take away all of her illness and pains of a mind burdened by past sins and choices.

The bishop commented to us later that he could not believe the darkness he felt in that home when we walked in. I've noticed a bit that something felt off in that home, and it's worse when her husband is there, but not that significantly. I wondered why I didn't notice that it was that bad. And The Spirit reminded me that I am constantly surrounded by angels, protecting me and shielding me spiritually and physically. I am safe. That also keeps me calm when we are walking in the streets and I don't feel super safe. I know if I use my common sense but most of all listen to the Spirit, I will always be protected. 

Also a question, what are your thoughts on angels? Specifically, Are the spirits of those who have yet to come to earth interacting with those who have already lived? A question I don't have time to research, so mom and dad if you could help me out with that I would greatly appreciate it!
So, that was my week! I hope all is well at home and you're surviving the puppy and the freezing cold! Next week starts cambio 2... wow!
So much love,
Hermana Hasleton





today for pday as a zone we went to the mall and went bowling!!! Love alllll these girls so much!