Serving as a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint in the Texas, Fort Worth Mission

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

7/28/14 Week 20

Im MMMEEELLLLTING!!!!! Seriously, its been above 100 EVERY day this week!! And guess what?  It's the end of the month so we have 0 miles left on our car ....yep I'm turning into a very fried oompaloompa. Normally I'd be totally down with walking so much, because its fun to talk to people, but nobody is outside!   Even in their houses they won't do anything because "its too stinking hot".   We were walking through this park the other day to get to one of our citas and we finally saw someone coming our way! Hooray! So I got my card ready and everything, and went up to her and said "hi how are…"   She doesn't even stop she just says "it hawt!" and kept walking.  Yep. That's how contacting goes in July from 12-5 in Texas.

Zone Conference - I'm the one slumped over on the right

Other than the heat it was actually a very splendid week.  We had Zone Conference which is always fun, and Pres Ames talked about using our "3 light sabers", which are family history, 21 tips for better grades (it's a service were doing), and these 5 minute lessons we've developed.
When he first started talking about family history I thought "ok..doodle time." But actually (and I can't believe I'm saying this) family history is soooo cool!  The next day we went to the center with one of our less-active sisters and I was looking at my family tree.  Who knew I was Danish?!  I didn't.  And I saw like a billion pictures of all these ancient people I'm related too!  It was pretty awesome! And Lourdes was able to find her grandpa and great grandpa which was a big deal.  Moral of the story: family history isn't just for old people:)
Honing my SKILZ at Zone Conference

Sis Black leaves to go home next week:(   She is pretty much the best comp ever!  But I also am excited to have a change.  We've been comps for almost 6 months. That's a looooong time! As much as I'm gonna miss her, I think that a change will be great!

Also last week on Monday we were able to rescue the other sisters! We were coming back from the stockyards for the millionth time, and we saw their car sitting on the railroads tracks with a bunch of police cars around it.  At first I thought "oh no! Sis Tate got hit by a train!", but then I saw her get out of the car.  Apparently this guy didn't see them and he rammed them onto the tracks, and now their car is totaled!  We rescued them and they needed to go shopping at this very Mexican grocery store.  It was fun, but this is the important part...we saw this less active family there who pretty much avoids missionaries at all costs.  But a few weeks ago the mom asked me to teach her daughter piano lessons.  However, after that we could never got a hold of them, but we were able to talk to them at the store and set up a time so I could teach her piano!  Fun!  So maybe the sisters needed to crash their car, so that we would save them and take them shopping, so that we could see the Bartos family, so that we can teach her piano, so that we can save their souls!!  God works in mysterious ways:)  The church is true!

love Hermana Bonny

7/22/14 Week 19

This week was a very average week in the life of Hermana Bonny, but we did teach some pretty awesome lessons.  We have a SUPER solid baptism date (knock on wood) for august 16th! Her name is Jenny and she's only 10.  Her family has been inactive forever, but all of a sudden they showed up at church and said, "Gods been good to us I think it's times we come back".  And they would like their two kids to have the chance to be baptized!  They are awesome...except I'm pretty sure the missionaries before us were trying to buy their love, because every time we come over the first thing the kids ask is "where's our candy??"   I give them a mint or a pencil and they are usually happy:) .

We now have 4 young women investigators that we are working with.  Love it!  The Martinez family went and saw a baptism with us on Saturday and they had to baptize the kid 4 times because he was scared.  Then afterwards the dad kept making jokes about how he's is going to be just like that WHEN he gets baptized:)  "When"…yay! Their new and hopefully final date is for august 16th.  Pray that Jose is ready!

Why is everyone pointing at me???

Also, I was eating dinner with my favorite family (the Condes) and I saw a picture on their wall that looked familiar.  Afterwards I recognized it.   It was the nativity scene that my neighbor Bro McNaughton painted!  So I was able to show everyone my neighbors and my family's home teacher, who are the subjects in the painting! It was so cool!

Who wants to hear an awkward law of chastity lesson story?  Ok, so we were teaching the 10 commandments with the little hand signs to Arleta, her boyfriend, Stef and all of their little cousins.  It was going great until we got to #7 which is don't commit adultery.  Hma Black just tried to skim over that one, but then of course one of the little kids asked "What does adultery mean?"  Umm, how are we supposed to explain this to a bunch of 6 year olds without them going home to their mom and saying "Guess what the missionaries taught us today!"  So Hna black just explained it like "When there's a bunch of people at a party, always stay with your friends.  Don't ever leave and "do bad stuff" with other people".  It made sense to me, but of course all the little kids asked "do what stuff?"  Then Arleta chimed in and we were hoping we were saved, but then she says "so it's like if a boy invites just you to go with him to do something dangerous like bungee jumping, its better just to stay with your friends"   Uh......... then all of the kids "Oooh ok that makes sense" (hand slap to the forehead).  Then we had to spend like 15 minutes trying to explain that it's not against the 10 commandments to go bungee jumping with strangers.  I still don't think they get it.

Anyhow that's my not-too-spiritual story for the week! The church is true!!

Love hna bonny

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

7/14/14 Week 18

Fort Worth Zone
Well this week was pretty average…as average as missions get.  Actually, there really is no such thing as an average day here!  I'm just going to tell y'all a cool story since I have no time!

So once upon a time Hma Black and I received a referral from the Elders! (gasp!) So we drove to da hood (that's the section of our area where we live) and knocked on the house.  We were supposed to be contacting a Jose, but instead his sister answered the door. She said he wasn't home, but she let us right in! Then we started talking and telling her about what we do as missionaries.  I noticed that her face was looking a little strained, but I thought maybe it was because she was just working so hard to force her smile, because really she just wanted us to leave.  But then as we kept talking I noticed her lip start to shake, and then she just burst into tears.  At  first we didn't really know what to do...but then Hna black asked the perfect question! She said "Is this something you have been waiting for?"  Then Maria nodded.  She started telling about how she knows this isn't a coincidence and she wants to hear our message because she knows it will help her life and all this SUPER amazing stuff!!  I thought stuff like that only happened on The District!  But no! The Lord really does prepare people and then leads you right to them:)

I love the mission!  Sorry I don't have more time! Love you all!

Love Hna Bonny!

7/7/14 Week 17

This week was transfers!  Drum new companion is.........still Sister Black!! Woot woot!  yayayay!!  I get to kill my mom! (don't worry it's just missionary language for " I'm the last companion my trainer will have").   So that was the excitement of this morning.  But then nothing changed so it wasn't really that exciting... but that's totally great with me!   Hna Black and I work soooo good together ...and it's a plus that she can handle my weirdness and not-showering...:) 

Anyways,  I can't really remember any of the specifics of this week other than that we found 2 awesome new families!  The moms are both named Suzy and they live in the same apt complex.  The Martinez family didn't get baptized this week, but they now have come to church the past 3 weeks in a row, they have all told us that they know this gospel is true, and they are living the commandment, but for some reason they just are afraid to get baptized.  But don't worry we will get them… more like the Lord will!

The 4th of July for us looked like it would be the most boring and un-special day ever.  But guess what?  We made it fun.  For all of you who are missionaries, you are probably very familiar with the part in the white hand book where it says "weekends and holidays are great times to find people at home. take advantage of this time" or something like that.  LIES!  We knocked on like 7 bazillion doors and everyone was either gone, or about to leave to some fiesta.   Exhausting and awful, and I think I started to melt.  But then that night, after planning, we got some chocolate milk, went out on our balcony (which is conveniently looking over the whole city of Fort Worth),  turned on our favorite country EFY songs and watched all the fireworks from the whole city!  There were like 6 different shows going on!  It was really memorable and I have no idea why because honestly the day was horrible!  I think it just goes to show that even when you literally have nothing but chocolate milk, music, and the spirit you can make anything fun:)

This is such a valuable thing I think I've learned out here so far, and I'm pretty sure all my fellow missionaries will agree with me.  I'm much stronger than I thought I was and I think my attitude has really changed.  No more Ms. Grumpy Pants when things don't go my way.  I know a mission really is the best thing I could be doing in my life because (among other things) I've learned who to rely on and what really matters:)

The church is true! 

Love Hermana bonny

Sunday, July 6, 2014

6/30/14 Week 16

AHHHHHH!!!  This was THE CRAZIEST week of my entire life!  Right now I seriously feel like the only thing that is holding my body together is my clothes!  That's a kind of morbid image, but you get what I mean.  I'M EXHAUSTED!  But when you are a missionary, that's a good sign:) 

 So to start off Hermana Black and I had the honors of being the first Sister/Spanish exchange that President Ames and his wife has ever gone on.  Yippee!  Talk about nerve-wracking.  We went to teach la familia Martinez who had a baptism date for June 28th but it wasn't looking good so we decided to pray for a miracle...and then guess what?!  We got an exchange with our Mission President!  I'd definitely count that as an answer to our prayers
President and Sister Ames- Selfie

. We go in and start our lesson, and it starts off good, but then we read a scripture about "bearing one another's burdens" and the mom bursts into tears.  She just cries and cries. It was a little awkward after a while, but then through her tears she chokes out that we brought up the reason why she hasn't talked to her husband about baptism yet.  She feels like a burden to him, because she's sick all the time (she has diabetes or some other systemic disease), and then President and Sister Ames saved the day!   He gave her a blessing and told her that God will give her the strength she needs to talk to him, and he knows he will support her and follow her example, and all these other really cool and inspired things.  We told her his words because we were translating…also nerve wracking!  You could almost see the Spirit in the room.  I don't even know how to describe it.  All I know is, its moments like that that makes everything we do here worth it.  

We had pretty much the best Sunday ever because not only did the Martinez family come to church (including the dad) but so did four other investigators!  We had 7 people at church which apparently is pretty rare! It was awesome, except one of the girls that came was a 14 year old who  needed entertainment like every second of church...ugg.  I have no idea how you put up with us Mom.  I'm definitely bringing her a snack bag with a coloring book next week!  

Four of our investigators are YW which is so fun!  We get to go with them to all of the activities.  Mom I wish I would've listened to you and paid more attention to the girls in YWs who didn't have many friends.   The girls are 13, 13, 14 and 15.  I remember how self conscious I was at that age.  If the girls in our ward would just be cool and talk to these new girls they could make such a difference.  I know they  would want to come so much more.  But now it's getting to a point where they just like coming because they get to hang out with us...that won't be very good in a few months.  But I do love being with them too!  I feel like I can relate to the YW so much better.  Other than that we have a lot of newer investigators who are progressing super awesomely!  I want to avoid the appearance of bragging…but this week we were among the mission leaders as far as our work stats go; contacts, discussion, etc!  That's crazy!  I'm getting so spoiled here I'm scared for transfers because I don't want to leave and I don't want Hermana Black to leave.

It's so SOOOO  HOT here!  It's usually about 95 and everyone says its gets a lot worse.  I'm scared but I guess I did ask for it!   We have practically no miles left on our car because it's the end of the month, so we will be using our bikes a lot for the next few days.  And we apparently live in the 2nd most ghetto apartments in the whole mission!...??

If I tried to write out all of the things that happened this week, this email would be way too long and I would have no time to write any individual letters.  But pretty much this area just exploded this week with so much AMAZING potential and so many prepared people.  The lord is blessing me out here so much I feel like I don't deserve this great of a mission. but I'll take it:)   The church is so true.  I literally watched lives and hearts change before my eyes this week.   I don't think anything or one could do that if they didn't have help from our Heavenly Father. 

Love Hermana bonny

6/23/14 Week 15

Well this week was pretty darn eventful!  Get ready!   On Monday we got a call from our Zone Leaders, and we all have interviews with President Ames next week, but then they told us that after our interviews President said that he really wants to see the Martinez family! Ahh! So what does that mean for us?  … Yep I'm going to be teaching a lesson with PRESIDENT AMES!!!  AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!  Nerviosa.....but also un poco excited!   Well actually a lot excited, because this family was supposed to be getting baptized this Saturday, but after a rather disappointing lesson with them, the dad told us that he feels like he got an answer to his prayers and that he feels like he needs to wait.  (Hand slap to the forehead)  That wasn't the "answer" we hoped he would get!   We can only teach him on the weekends when he's home, so he is way behind everyone else.  The rest of the family is so ready to get baptized but don't want to without him.  I think that President coming to visit them is maybe the miracle they need.   But I still am probably going to pee my skirt......

The Water close as I come to swimming
Also this week I had my first exchange with our sister training leaders where I was the one in charge.  This was also more than slightly nerve wracking!  It's like having a sleepover and then spending the whole day with your boss.  So I was in charge of planning out the whole day;  who to see, what to teach, backups, directions, phone numbers, commitments, dinner, everything!  I'm just a little greenie! I'm not used to that kind of responsibility! A few months ago I couldn't even remember to close my drawers and know I have to remember all that?!  Whoever says missionary work is easy is either a liar or hasn't been on one! But alas, I think I pulled it off:)  I only got lost twice...hehe

Then this Saturday we had our Casa Abierta (open house).  It was this huge activity that we've been planning for months now, where all the missionaries assigned to our ward invited our investigators to the church to play games and get to know the members. Then we split into 3 groups had a church tour.  We took them around to all the different classes and had speakers in each class explain what we do in ym/yw's, priesthood, relief society, and primary, and then we all met back in the chapel and the Bishop spoke about the sacrament.  HUGE SUCCESS!  No joke! I was kind of preparing myself for the worst, but we had at least 30 investigators there!  Work pays off:)

Although I am doing great, of course it's not perfect all of the time.  I go through so many ups and downs everyday it's crazy!  But my downs are usually based around the same basic things.  The first, and probably the most common, IM EXHAUSTED.   This is hard work!  Sometimes I would give anything in the world to just have 2 hours where I could just sit down on a couch and vegetate and watch a missionary chick flick.  The only time I'm free from stress is when I'm sleeping…and even then it always goes  way too fast.

The second,  to be honest is probably related to jealousy.  I didn't really imagine that on my mission this could be an issue.  But sometimes when I read the emails from my friends who are serving in all these exotic, faraway lands, and I just feel a little stuck in the bad part of town.   Also since there are four sets of missionaries in our ward, I have felt like there is a constant competition of who the members like best.  That game isn't really fun for newbies who can't speak the language.

Sister Black and I have been getting along better than ever! Not gonna lie, in the beginning we didn't click quite this well because she was a lot more shy and quiet, but now I think my weirdness has broken her out of her shell and we've been having so much fun together!

Yesterday, coolest story!  We had a lesson with our investigator Alba and her 3 girls, (they are kind of like Cinderella and the step's funny).  We started  teaching lesson 1, but then an awesome thing happened.  We got to the part about baptism and how all of your sins can be washed away and ALL 3 of them, before we even invited them, asked us if they could be baptized!   Whaaa! I almost didn't even know what to say! ....umm..OF COURSE!  And this gets even crazier because the mom has been investigating for like 4 years, and she finally said that she wants to find out for real this time if the church is true. So she's going to start attending Mutual and church with her daughters! I. love. my. mission. THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE! 
Love Hermana bunny (that's what everyone calls me here cuz they can't say bonny..haha)

6/9/14 Week 13

I know I probably sound like a broken record now but I LOVE MY MISSION!!  This week was seriously awesome! I think all of your prayers have been working because I feel like my Spanish is finally clicking!  Hermana Black and I pretty much taught equal this week which hasn't even come close to happening up until now:)  I'm just going to tell you a few of the highlights...

1.  We went to teach our normal lesson with the Martinez family, and we were teaching about eternal families, then all of a sudden the 17 year old daughter who got baptized in march just started tearing up.  I was a little nervous because I hoped I hadn't  offend her or anything, but I asked her what was wrong and through her tears she choked out "Nothing is wrong.  I just think you guys are so amazing.  You leave your families for a year and a half so that other people can live with theirs forever. It just blows me away."  Then she just completely broke down in tears.  No joke. That right there made all the stress, frustration, and gross back sweat worth it!  

2.  We now have an investigator who is 90 years old.  I hope she doesn't die before we can help her get baptized!

3.  Not sure if this counts as a "highlight", but we rode our bikes for the first time...ha.  Dad remember how big of a turd I always was when you wanted to ride bikes to Coldstone for family night?  But I never would because I didn't want to look stupid, especially wearing a helmet?  You would be so proud of me now.  We had quite the adventure!  There's this gang in the hood now that calls us the "Girl Scouts".  I feel like it would be fun to actually bring them cookies sometime:)
4.  I'm sort of living a novella (aka Mexican soap opera) right now.  It's pretty intense!  I'll make a super long story into a super short one...  We have 2 less actives that both had lame excuses for not coming to church, and we just found out its because they both used to be friends but then 5 years ago something HUGE  happened between them.  So now they both are afraid to come to church because they are afraid of seeing each other.  And apparently the whole ward has taken sides and takes it out on their kids....ya, I thought I would miss watching my stupid drama shows, but no, I get to live it!   But what was the scandal between Veronica and Lucy?  Was Hermana Gonzalez involved?  And who will come out on top?  Find out next week as the saga continues!
5.  We went to an awesome fireside with President Ames yesterday.  While I was there, I saw Blaine! ..or I should say Elder McMurray!  It was sooo awesome to see him!  We weren't even that great of friends in school, but I really can't even explain how happy I was to see him!  He even teared up a little!  Seeing each other was probably just a sweet reminder of home. Anyway he says hi to all o' y'all!  We took Arleta and Stephaney and her date.  And I watched the slow-mo hand hold happen during the whole fireside!  They sat with their hands touching for the most of the fireside, then he finally got up the courage during the last 5 minutes to take her hand!  Oh young love:)   

I think that is about it!   We gave a card to a guy who said, and I quote "Wow I've been searching for God for a long time now.  You couldn't have come at a better moment".   SO COOL! 

love Hermana Bonny