Monday, January 30, 2017

1/31/17 - Fishing with Jose

hello friends and family!

transfers are here and I am staying for 6 more weeks :) I am getting a new companion though! Her name is Hna. Hafoka and she is from Tonga! I have been on exchanges with her and she is the nicest! I am excited to finish my mission with her, she has been on the mission for a little more than a year so hopefully we will kill it. im so excited for Hna. McAdams too, she is going to a HUGE ward in Richmond with Hna. Flores, one of my favorite people here. good things are coming!

this week started off with something awesome. Last sunday, a member invited Jose to go fishing with him and the elders. So we stopped by, they were fishing right by our apartment complex! It was so good to see Jose really enjoy his time with strong members of the church!!

on Tuesday, we had exchanges and I went downtown again. But my companion there was super sick so we didn't work a ton, but that night we went to English class and their very first student showed up! He was from Sierra Leon, a marathon runner and his country is sponsoring him to be here. We talked a lot about running and how I look like a hippo when I run....haha. He thought that was pretty funny...AFTER he learned what the word hippo was...

We had a world-wide missionary broadcast on Wednesday and it was amazing! There are a lot of changes in all missions now but they are such good changes. We are working on not caring so much about the numbers and more about the people, our mission is VERY number-oriented and it was something really hard for me when I got here..these people are PEOPLE! not numbers. hopefully things will start to get better! also in the broadcast, there were sooooo many things in there that applied exactly to Jose. it was amazing and I know Heavenly Father listens to our prayers.

We met one of the coolest ladies this week. She has 3 children, two went on missions and she has been a member all her life. But somehow they all stopped going to church and she doesn't know why. She said lately she has felt empty, there is more contention in her home and she doesn't feel like she has a strong relationship with her Heavenly Father. She said something that broke my heart/hit me. She said "If I were to die tomorrow, I just....I don't think I would be prepared. I'm not ready" with tears in her eyes. It was the saddest thing but we are so ready to help her and her family. She wants us to come over a certain amount of times per month and things...she has it all planned out. They are the nicest people and I know Heavenly Father is on their side.

we had a sweet moment with Hna. Solis this week too. we went over to help her organize this huge cabinet full of dishes-it was a disaster..haha. But we helped her and after that, we were talking about how transfers were soon. She started to explain to us that she has never been so close to missionaries, except for her own missionaries that taught/baptized her (7 years ago). She has never felt so loved and has never trusted missionaries so much! She said that she really looks at us like her daughters and she wants the best for us. We all just started to cry and hug each other. I know I was sent to this area to meet her, I really needed her here with me right now. I need her support, love and comfort food...haha. I love her and I never wanna leave her!

As for Jose's baptism this weekend, it probably won't happen. He has had AWESOME lessons this week because we have brought really good members to help him. But he just still hasn't received his answer that it is all true. He couldn't go to church yesterday because he wasn't feeling good and had to go to the doctor. But please pray for him that he can get baptized soon!!

We have been doing service at this place called Catholic Charities! It is a place where anyone can come who lost a spouse, family member, job, anyone that is struggling and they can come and do soo many things! There is an art studio, a gym, cafeteria, library, lounge, big rooms for zumba/parties, etc. everything you can think of! and it is all free. so we have been volunteering there and I have LOVED it. I love service opportunities where you can interact with people and hear their stories. So this week we helped these two older ladies apply for devices to help them write! they don't know how to write their name! I loved every minute because my lady was African-American and she called me "sugar" every 5 seconds and gave me her best recipes. She was so thankful because she didn't know how to work a computer either! hahaha. always feels good to help people.

yesterday we said all the goodbyes for Hna. McAdams, it was sad with lots of tears. we were talking about how it is a foreshadow for me soon:( I never want to leave these people. When Jose was fishing, I grabbed a pole and started fishing right next to him. We talked about so many things and I could really tell his opinion about a lot of things had changed. When we met this guy, he didn't even believe God existed because of all of his sicknesses, but now, he goes to church every Sunday and has so much faith in Jesus Christ. He was telling me about his family and what he used to do as a dad to help his kids with things. Now he is actually a grandpa and he said he can't wait for them to grow up so he can teach them those things. I have grown to love this guy.

love you all! have an amazing week! don't forget to wake up and go right onto your knees to thank Heavenly Father for a new day (something that I am working on too)

Hermana Garner

I held a baby... she climbed on me and she was adorable
English class graduated!!!
fishing with my bud, Jose.
me and grandma.
we saw this on the way to service...HA!
exchanges. my eye infection was on point and she had a nasty cold. it also started pouring rain....go exchanges!

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