Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 13, 2017

The one eyed hoarder and swamp buggy and gator nuggets

1. Espanola-- man. Well one day we were looking at our area and there's this in the middle of the woods town called Espanola. Not really a town, a few streets. Anyways get there, and it's hecka ghetto. Just dirt roads, trailers spread out in these woods, trash EVERYWHERE, just really proverty sticken community. knock on a couple doors, nothing. My shoe falls apart. We knock on this door that you know is a hoarder. But we ain't afraid ( actually have this huge phobia of being inside of a hoarders home) anyways, get through some things to get to the door, knock... someone whispers "come in" we open the door,.... African american lady with a shower cap on, bigger, dirty clothes, is sitting parallel from us sitting on the unseen couch... then suddenly jerks her head to look at us.... AND SHE HAS NO EYEBALL!!!! IT'S GONE. THERE'S JUST THIS SOCKET WITH NO EYE. I try not to scream. We introduce ourselves. She wasn't interested. That's the end of the story. 

2. Next story about Espanola ... we keep going around these trailers.. it starts to pour. See a skinny black man we just hustle to him. Say Hi!!! We are missionaries!!! He just looks at us so perplexed and just says "come" and starts walking. So we follow him. I was kinda scared I was like what the where is he taking us. But he has us go to his porch to hide from the rain. He refuses to let us know what his name is. We started to call him chief cuz he had an indian chief on his shirt.He then tells us I'll show you around to people. Pretty sure he was drunk. He was walking all squampous. Anywho so we just have this man showing us around this town, no one let's us talk to them really. We met a lil lady named big mama with her nice set of grills. He took us to the only church in town, a Baptist one, and then took us to meet the preacher.just imagine it pouring HARD, with this skinny African American man who is most likely drunk walking with 2 sister missionaries who have 0 idea what's going on in this ghetto proverty stricken town in the middle of a forest who rarely has visitors. It was the craziest experience of my life, I loved it. 

3. Another week- another update on my body.haaaaaaaa ah. This week was good till the end there- sat, sun= rough. Just extreme aches and pains I felt like an old lady. ive never prayed more fervently and felt more mixed emotions in my life. But president after zone conference (meeting with 1/2 of the missionaries) asked me to talk to him after. I was so scared I had done something wrong. But he asked me how I was doing, just checking up on me. With my health and all. And then before you know it I'm crying he's crying and we are just both crying. I just told him I felt like if I went home that means I'm giving up, I don't want to go home, I want to be here so bad!!this is one of the most important work I could ever do!! And that I had let the savior down, when he was looking at me, looking into my eyes, I felt the love of Jesus christ. I felt his very presence, he was trasmitting through my mission president. the savior of the world loves me, is proud of me, and is here for me. I know that. I received a blessing. So grateful for the priesthood. It's power is oh so real. Ever since that the adversary has been at me. Sometimes I'll just have this awful discouraging thought pop into my head. But something that I have learned this week, is that I have been able to distinguish the difference from spirit giving thoughts and Satan giving thoughts. One for my favorite chapters in the bom is Moroni 7.this is verse 13 "But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God." Soo simple, yet we tend to over complicate it.

5. I love my girl ana. She's had a real hard and complicated family. She is trying soooo hard to get it all together. Her 5 grandchildren want to get baptized-- they are our main focus right now. But last night- after having dinner, with tears in eyes and the most sincerity any human could muster, she told us how grateful she was for us, and for us serving missions. My heart was so swollen with love.i love this work. Crazy how much I used to dislike it to now how much I love every day doing this.  

6. The swamp buggy ayeeeee --- a lot of the ward is country like I mean pure country. So our good member homie bubba took us on the SWAMP BUGGY!!! This huge 15 foot ginormous machine that is like a bus with no  sides and no top--- and we just went through the swamp all day today. Holy nuts it was awesome. I even got to drive it. Just trying to get the person in front but with huge banana spiders, running over trees, ah I love the country folk. It's just growing on me, I've even beginning to talk like em

Mahalo for all the love and prayers 

1&2 good homie bubba driving the swamp buggie. Nicest redneck y'all ever meet. 3.me driving 4. Da punk elders in our ward 5. Ana and her grandbabies we gonna baptize a few weeks! 6. Weekly pic with buffles 7. We got to take Sally to do confirmations at the temple... she didn't want to get wet for baptisms ahahah 8. I tried some gator nuggets-- I didn't like em. 9. Just jokes. 

Monday, January 30, 2017

The cake full of tears and the cinderblock foot - Jan.30, 2017

1.I hate the missionary who backed into a pole or something so they made all the rest of us missionaries suffer the consequences of having to back out our companion when backing out. Now all missionaries must suffer the shame, humiliation and pity of backing out the car especially in public. Plus i think sister Murray loves having me back her out cause she knows I hate it. She also has a cinderblock for a foot..... slamming on the breaks and pressing the gas fast... my stomach drops a lot, and people think I'm a bad driver... u should see her... hahahhaha.

2.We are teaching two sisters who are 14 and 11, and their mother who is a nonmember told us that since they looked up to us, we need to basically have a intervention with them about them lying all the time. Long story short after about an hour of talking with them  i kinda was straight up with them, one started crying, we were stressed cause we want them to get baptized but the mother has to agree so we wanted them to really  stop lying but also trying to relate it to the gospel? It was nuts.

3. Soo before my birthday for 2 nights in a row members gave us pizza. We are hashtag blessed the members feed us like 5/7 nights. But pizza kills me. See i thought i could handle the pizza, but remember gurdy (my parasite i got almost a year ago) although she dead,(i hope so at least) i sometimes get the gurdy symptoms from eating certain foods. So its 5 am on my b-day and i just felt so sick. So nauseous and awful and my belly hurting i just laid there till it was 6:30 am, and then we had weekly planning all morning. My mom gave me a package with all my favorite things (Takis, grapefruit candy, jerky) and also the ingredients to make the cake she makes for me every year. THE BEST CAKE EVER. so i am so stoked. But then as I am reminiscing all my birthdays i get so sad. My heart hurts so much for my family. So i had to make the cake before dinner- and as i am doing so i get so incredibly homesick wishing i could talk to my mom. just imagine me making my own birthday cake, as i am sobbing because i miss my mom so much. I am just SOBBING THE TEARS ARE POURING INTO THE MIXING BOWL. I AM MAKING MY 20TH BIRTHDAY CAKE WITH MY OWN TEARS. No need for 1/2 cup of milk- i got a 1/2 cup of tears. good news though- the cake turned out OK. Little dry i think the salt from my tears made the cake dry. Then we had a new investigator dump us, and we had dinner at this elderly couples house. The woman got vertigo all of a sudden and was really sick, and the man had a very hard time talking cause he had a stroke a little bit ago. Then they gave us beef and barley soup, and I just started crying again. It was the most awkward dinner ever, WITH BEEF AND BARLEY SOUP WHO EATS THAT? The tears are just uncontrollable as i am trying to eat this soup. Saddest b-day ever. Anyways Love u mom u the MVP.

4. So every Tuesday and Thursday we do service at this like resale charity store thing that sells mostly furniture, and the lady who is the manager LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE THE EVIL LADY FROM THE LITTLE RESCUERS. u know the movie where this little blonde girl gets kidnapped by a crazy lady who has alligators as pets but the girl gets saved by two mice. Yeah so the manager even talks like her, has those piercing green eyes, dresses pretty similar, even her mannerisms. Only difference - the manager lady is nice. Every time she looks at me tho i think "plz don't make me go into the well to try and get your huge crystal" cause that's what happens in the movie ya know. I spent a really long time trying to remember the name of the lady in that movie, and then i begged a member to look it up on her phone, its Medusa. If y'all were wondering.

5.Shortly after coming here i soon realized that Floridans loveeeeee to talk. I have had the most interesting conversations with a lot of them. But sometimes they talk too much, (actually most people do) and they leave you no room for you to peep in something. Im like i asked you a question so u could answer it in 2-3 sentences not give me a 15 minute monologue. We are always late to everything.Sometimes i almost lose it and am like HEY WILL YA SHUT UP FOR A SEC AND LET ME TALK ABOUT THE GOSPEL?!? But I don't cause that's not very Christlike. The lord sent me to palm coast to make me learn patience. 

6. Palm coast was made for a place for people to retire. So everyone here is OLD. no one wants to really hear about the gospel, but they love to talk cause they are lonely. Like these people are really old. I realized that the more of these old folks i interact with, the higher the probability they will die when I'm with them. I'm getting nervous I wont lie. One day I'm telling you, someone will die in my arms. Its not me talking, its science and probability. 

7. I made it a new years resolution to grow my eyebrows out. So I'm looking kinda wild. I have this theory that  your ugly missionary clothes rub onto your skin and transforms u into an uglier you. So i just have let myself go. We will see where this long road of missionary work takes me. 

8. One  night a member asked us to help this lady in a nursing home. She had too much stuff it became a fire hazard. I am scared of nursing homes, i cant explain why, i had never been in one till now. So we walk in, i all of a sudden feel like i am in a horror film? Just a hospital where people cant leave. Anyways we go to help this lady, but she wont get rid of her things- like dirty water bottles and finished puzzles. She had an overwhelming amount of things piled all over.So we are arguing with her, all the while this frail woman in a hospital bed named Beatrice is just talking to me, but i cant understand her. She starts getting mad at me but all I hear is mumbo. Then someone in the hall is yelling HELP HELP HELP! Over and over. Then a nurse comes in for Beatrice, blocks the view with a curtain, then i smell the most horrible smell i have ever smelled. I start to get nauseous... i keep hearing HELP HELP HELP in the background all the while the lady is handing me finished puzzles to carry. Then the curtain is gone, Beatrice is angry saying "I DON'T LIKE YOU"  and now there's blood all over the ground. All of a sudden i get so dizzy.... just holding my breath... I've never prayed so hard to get out of somewhere... finally we are leaving. I'm horrified, everything in that memory is a blur. Long story short I'm now still scared of nursing homes. 

9. I have however never learned so much, although we hardly meet any new people, i have found joy in just helping others. I know a lot of the times people are uninterested in our message, but i can still help and serve them. Even if its just a listening ear. My favorite time of the day is now actually personal study, i love the scriptures oh how I love them! I am doing a lot better, however it comes in waves. Some days i feel the spirit so strongly, and other times I think about that maybe drinking that swamp water will allow me to come home early. (its a joke relax) I/m just saying that I get discouraged and sad. But i have learned that instead of asking why is god doing this to me, you can ask, well what does he want me to learn? I have enough faith in Christ to only take one step forward, but then once i do that, i can take another with his help... and so on.i can do it little by little. President Monson  said life by the yard is hard, but by the inch its a cinch! 
Have a good week y'all! Thank u for all the birthday wishes, each and every one made it alot easier being away from you all! Be good! Alma 37:36-37 

1. Me bein queen 
2. My good 4 year old friend Leah, her mom got baptized about a month ago. 

Life is cray cray Jesus is the way way - Jan.23, 2017

Wowwweee idk how i am going to try and fit 2 weeks worth of info in an email, but ill try and just tell ya the important stuff

1. The last week at the MTC- so great. I love my district. Quotes from them to me - "you hate the show friends cause you don't have any"  " you would make a great witch"
Also elder Barry THREW MY BACKPACK AT MY FACE- causing a severe blood blister on my lip how does that even happen?!?it even started to bleed and he told me he hopes I bleed out. Also realized and finally came to terms with me being an angry mean and impatient human being. Didn't get exercise one day- so I threw a tantrum and ran up 120 flights of stairs. I gave elder Barry some deodorant in front of everyone as a joke, turned out to be one of the meanest crimes I've ever committed.sometimes cry cause i still feel so bad. All the girls in my zone were scared of me too. Plus I didn't cry when I said goodbye to my district... all the girls were... I know secretly inside they are convinced I really am heartless. But I really do miss them all so much.

2. Flight to Florida- saw my homie Saul Santos, it was so good to see him. A man handed me 20 dollars and told me good luck, breakfast is on me. The man I sat next to, I tried to talk to him about the gospel, he wasn't havin it so he got 2 bloody marys, and I took two melatonin so I was asleep the whole time. Florida is warm, but not how i expected. Its not that humid. My companion is sister Murray, shes from Ogden, is a mix between Junie B Jones, Pippi Longstocking and Brooke Johnson. Is really peaceful and quiet, she is just so calm. She makes me super relaxed. I can literally feel the missionary awkwardness coming on me, I'm scared.we are in palm coast, Florida. By the ocean but i haven't even seen the ocean.its just this small swampy town that makes you feel like your going camping all the time. There's all kinds of different churches, one on every corner. Its not a question of if people are religious,  trust me everyone is here. the air just smells damp and swampy, a lot of times it smells like somethings dying.

3. We teaching lessons, tracking all that jazz. The first guy i talked to was a recent convert who is like the Puerto Rican drake, wuzzzz like " aye ya greenie gimme  yo opinion, so like it aint cool that joseph smith had multiple wives n all that, explain dat to me." So that was my first interaction with someone. He was just messing tho, but i was still sweating buckets. We have just gotten right into it.  Tracking, teaching all that missionary stuff.  It's stressful. And I'm not very good at it. You never know who is behind that door,  scary ladies with no teeth who smell like smoke,  excommunicated Mormons who are now jehovahs witnesses, Baptists who say they are about to diarrhea just so they won't talk to you anymore,  Latin semi truck drivers who hate church, I could go on.

4. This work isn't glamorous. You wear ugly shoes,ride ugly bikes and wear ugly helmets, your feet are forever stinky, and talk to people on the street that makes them feel uncomfortable. Its exhausting and hard. The days are long. I am always tired.the spirit drains you emotionally,physically and spiritually. I do not feel like i am fit to be a missionary, and every day ask god why he wants me here.  I never get enough rest, i have been convinced i am going to die of exhaustion or i have cancer that's causing all this tiredness. I'm more tired than everyone else too. I always fall asleep during personal study. I prayed one morning saying "God i am going to die before my 18 months are up. Please help me." Then during companion study we sang a song with the lines "and should we die before our journeys through, happy day all is well. We then are free from toil and sorrow." I then knew that god has a sense of humor... i was like well... sick... i guess if i die i will be free from all the hardships of missionary work.... thanks....

5. We taught this member the restoration and my companion was sitting across from her, and her dog sitting directly across from me. I kid you not this dog had his paws crossed, and was just STARING AT ME! He was like even squinting at me like he was trying to read me. I got really nervous for some reason and hardly said anything because i got so freaked out from a dog.that somehow made me feel judged... I GOT NERVOUS TALKING TO A DOG
6. My 20th birthday is this Friday, the 27th please send Takis or anything to lift up my spirits. 33 Wellwood lane unit A, Palm Coast, Florida 32137 

7. The 100 yard jog- every morning we walk around the block and then jog about 100 yards but im just so tired that that's all I have motivation to do.  Plus I just really want to gain a lot of weight. Ha KIDDING 

8. We met this one dude name katajsh who is this black 20 year old who was just about to start his job at Wendy's,  definitely high on some grass but we taught him the restoration.  And he gave the best closing prayer I have ever heard.  "OH GOD plez bless Dez fine women on spreadin the word.  OH GOD plez bless them from the crowds of their heads to the soles of their feet.  OH GOD if we had 10000 tongues we couldn't give thee enough thanks.  OH GOD plez bless this world...  OH GOD " and  hahaha he was so into it and motivational I was trying so hard not to laugh.  

9.  Blanche Borris.  She is a 95 year old Jewish woman from New York who has no children (she told us her husband had a lack of swimmers they got fried from an electric fence)  no family and lives all alone,  and we do service for her.  She's my best friend. As we were racking her leaves up,  I nonchalantly told her my birthday is next week.  SO BLANCHE THREW ME A SUPRISE BDAY PARTY.! we had applesauce,  I blew out some candles,  and talked about her 95th birthday where she had belly dancers at her party with her pastor and RABBI.CAN U IMAGINE?!   She gave me her favorite pen and some handkerchiefs!  love her. Best birthday party ever.  

10.  I will admit I am struggling . this is the hardest thing I have ever done.  Longest month of my whole life. Every day I wake up and want to go home. I never had a desire to serve a mission,  I thought that would change as soon as I got out here.  But it hasn't. And I feel so guilty I feel this way, but it's true.  All I know is that I was prompted by God to go on a mission so I took a leap of faith.  I have to exercise that faith every single hour/day I am here.  I fasted this Sunday to find out why I am here,  why he sent me to Florida,  why in Palm Coast. Of all places.  And after reading the book of Mormon,  all I know is that I have to trust him.  The thought of doing this for a year and a half makes me terrified, hopeless,  and afraid.  But I can't think that way,  I just take it hour by hour,  day by day. I cant do a mission on my own, but I can do it with the lords help.  I feel his presence most strongly when I am thinking of others,  it makes it so much easier to continue.  That is what has motivated me.  I know the book of Mormon is true.  I know that Christ is my savior.  And with just that little amount of knowledge I know that can be a missionary.  

Love you all,  thank you for your prayers.!! Miss you all so so much. Being away makes me realize all the wonderful people in my life. 
Sister Herrod 
1. Me asleep during personal study 

2. Blowing out candles with Blanche  

3. Saul and I 

4.  District in MTC  
5. Last photo of me in Provo 

6. My companion sis. Murray