Monday, January 27, 2014

Thirty-second Week in the Field

Hola Everyone,

I don't even know where to begin with this week! So much has happened! To start out....I'm doing a lot better!  Thanks for all the love and prayers.  I don't have headaches all the time anymore.

Unfortunately, Sister Anderson ended up going home on Wednesday morning.  I'll miss her a ton, but I'm glad that she'll finally be able to get the treatment that she needs to recover. (We didn't end up finding out what was wrong with her.)  On the upside, Hermana Shepherd and I are now covering Moorpark First Ward again!!! (in addition to the branch!)  We'll definitely be kept busy for the rest of the transfer....which is good.

With both Sister Jones and Sister Anderson going home, getting adjusted has been a little difficult, but not as much as it would have been if I hadn't already served in Moorpark First Ward. I'm so grateful that I'm feeling a lot better too so that it's possible to devote all my heart, might, mind, and strength to the work. I'm also so grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve in the ward again as well as continue in serving in the branch. This week we've been working a lot on finding a good balance in the work between the two units. It's interesting comparing different areas of the two units and which needs more help in each area. For example, the branch has a lot more investigators, but they aren't as solid as the few that the ward has and the ward has a lot more less-active work that needs to be done, but we've been able to have better contact with the less-actives in the branch. Brother Seguine, the ward mission leader in the ward, is helping us to decide what balance would be best in each area especially now with the two units.

District Meeting was really good this week. The zone leaders talked to us about what President Castro talked to them about at MLC.  I really liked the emphasis on stewardship. Sometimes I forget that the small things need to be taken care of before the bigger blessings will come. "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." (Alma 37:6-7) Hermana Shepherd and are working really hard in trying to keep the apartment cleaner overall so that we can feel the spirit even stronger throughout the week. It got a little out of hand while we were in for the past few weeks. I really like the zone goals and Elder Bostrom and Elder Bate came up with for our zone.
1. Pray for each missionary in our zone daily by name
2. Read an assigned talk on a different aspect of the Atonement each week and then prepare a five minute talk to be given at District Meeting the following week
3. Invite at least five people to be baptized each week (mostly in declaring situations)
4. Use positive affirmations throughout the day to boost our attitudes
Focusing on the Atonement this transfer will not only help me become closer to the Savior and to his work, but as I study it and apply it more, I know that our investigators will be able to feel the atoning love of Christ. Also, as we've been praying for each missionary in our zone by name, I feel like I've been able to get to know them on a more spiritual level and remember that we're all on the same side working towards the same purpose.

Yesterday was crazy, but super spiritual! I forgot how tiring six hours of church is, but also all of the blessings that come from covering two units. When I did that in Paso Robles with Hermana Romero we saw so many miracles and I know that the Lord will start manifesting His hand once again in this coming week because of our efforts to serve Him. Have I mentioned yet that I'm so excited to be back in the ward?! Plus, we have dinner every single night now :)

In the Branch's Sacrament Meeting, Hermana Shepherd and I were able to sing finally! The spirit was really strong. I love how music can invite the spirit like that in almost any setting. I've always loved music and performing, but being on my mission has helped me realize just exactly how much power it has to heal and be a conductor for the love of our Heavenly Father to His children here on earth.

The branch presidency was also reorganized yesterday. President Zeirenberg is the new branch president with Brother Castro and Brother Montoya as his couselors. They're going to do great! President Zeirenberg previously was the second counselor, so we got to know him really well and we're excited to continue working with him.

Throughout this week, we've also had the chance to visit Nancy Valladolid and Brother Levine from the English ward. They're both working on preparing to go to the temple. At first when Nancy was preparing, we think it was a little harder for her to understand since Spanish is her first language, but since we've been in the ward (and able to explain in Spanish if she doesn't understand completely) her progress has excelled and her comprehension has increased. Brother Levine is progressing nicely as well.

Words can't express how grateful I am to be able to work with Ezra Ramirez again! He's such a cute little boy that has such a desire to follow the example of Jesus Christ. The only stumbling block in his progession is his less-active family. I love them so much, but they don't have the necessary fire in them to support Ezra. We're working on trying to get them more fellowship in the ward and hopefully reteach them the lessons. We're also hoping to get Ezra baptized this transfer, but we'll see how his family is moving along.

I absolutely love it here in Moorpark!!  There are so many blessings and miracles that we see everyday and I'm grateful to be a part of that.

Thanks for all the love and support!

Con amor,

Hermana Halliday

Monday, January 20, 2014

Thirty-first Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!

We didn't really get to go out that much again this week, but I'm starting to feel better overall. The past few days I was really tired and stressed, but that's probably because of everything else going on around me in Moorpark with the other sisters getting sick. Today is a lot better though! I woke up and I was still a little weak, but I didn't have any headaches. I'm really glad that I'm recovering. It's been really sad staying in the apartment and seeing Sister Anderson and occasionally Sister Jones suffering and not being able to do much about it. I'm really excited to start feeling better again and help out where I can. 

These past few days, I've been starting to get depressed because there's hardly any work being done in Moorpark. Sister Anderson and Hermana Shepherd both asked me if I was thinking about going home (they told me I looked horrible), but I look worse than I feel. I can feel my body fighting whatever I have. I've also had a lot of time to think about why I'm in the field and even more specifically in Moorpark. I'm so thrilled that I get to stay here for now five transfers, but I feel like hardly anyone stays in one place for that long. I've decided that the Lord needed me here to help out in Moorpark 1st Ward along with the Branch. With first Sister Appel getting sick and going home and now Sister Anderson going through the same thing, I feel like I've been able to help out so much because I spent three months in that ward. I'm really grateful for this opportunity to help out. This week we're going to hit the ground running.

Yesterday, Sister Jones (Moorpark 2nd Ward), had to go home because of health issues...please pray for her.  Because she went home, Sister Morrison (comps with Sister Anderson in Moorpark 1st) is now companions with Sister Mapa in Moorpark 2nd.  Sister Anderson is now in a tri-panionship with Hermana Shepherd and I for now.  She's probably going to go home this week though too because of illness, so Hermana Shepherd and I will probably end up serving in the branch as well as Moorpark 1st Ward.  Although I'm really sad and upset to see them go, I'm really excited to be able to work with Moorpark 1st again.  

Pablo is doing so great. He's such a sweet and caring old man. Every time we visit him, I can feel his testimony getting stronger and stronger as he's preparing to go to the temple. I've been able to see him get happier and happier over the past six months of working with him. This gospel has truly blessed his life more than anything else has. 

We had Stake Conference this weekend and it was amazing. At the adult session, the Stake Presidency spoke, but during the general Sunday session, we watched a broadcast from Salt Lake City.  The stake presidency and others focused a lot on how the youth can get more involved with hastening the work of salvation. It's so exciting to see the youth of today getting more and more focused and excited in preparing to serve missions and bring others unto Christ. They're such an example to me. I absolutely loved the talk that President Eyring gave too about how to invite family members to come closer unto Christ as well. Even though I don't really have any family that's inactive or not members, it inspired me to reach out to really those I love outside my family even more. They practically are like family and it would be really sad to not have them see the blessings in their life that they can have that we, as members of the church, do. 

I felt like this week I learned a lot about patience in afflictions and trials. I was reading an article in the January 2013 Ensign entitled "Thy Will Be Done." It talked about a young man that was suffering from cancer and the first verse of Doctrine and Covenants 121 popped into his head followed by verses 7-9. It was really inspiring to me how he dealt with his trial even though he ended up passing away. I've had the chance this week (in addition to last week) to study Doctrine and Covenants 121-123 again. They've been such a strength to me and, even though I don't have cancer or am dying, I had the impression that everything would be okay and that the Lord was watching out for me. I know that I have so much more to do here in Moorpark and during the rest of my mission that the Lord will help me through it. 

My companion is doing wonderfully as usual and she is such an inspiration to me.  She loves the work and, although she's going a little stir crazy (me too), we're excited to get back out and working.  

Thanks for all the love and support!  I can feel your prayers helping me get better.  

Con amor, 

Hermana Halliday

 Me mocking a ballerina bush outside the grocery store.

 The district after our first post-transfer district meeting.

The Hermanas in my district.  Same as last transfer!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Thirtieth Week in the Field

Hola Everyone!!

So....I'll just start out by telling everyone that I'M STAYING!!!! This'll be five transfers here in the wonderful Moorpark!! AND...I'm staying with Hermana Shepherd still!  I get to be the first companion that she's had for two transfers too!!

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be able to be here another transfer. I feel like I've grown so much from the people here and the experiences that I've had. I'm also so grateful for the chance that I have to be with Hermana Shepherd again. She's taught me so much about patience and what it means to be fully committed. This transfer, we're going to see so many miracles here in Moorpark! I just know it!

This week wasn't really anything too spectacular, but at the same time I feel like I've grown so much. I still don't feel well, but I can tell that Heavenly Father is trying to help me get better and give me this challenge to learn something at the same time. Earlier this week, my grandparents (Hobbs') sent me the article from the January Ensign entitled "Enduring Well." It was just what I needed this week. I was starting to get really down on myself and discouraged that I couldn't be helping these people here more and I could tell that my companion was practically going crazy from being in the apartment for so long. I know that they were prompted by the spirit to send me it. It talks a lot about when Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail and when he received the revelations in Doctrine and Covenants 121-123. These are probably my favorite sections in the entire D&C so when I was reading more about the meaning behind them, it comforted me so much. I know that every trial we're given, whether it be big or small is there to help us grow. I'm so grateful for trials and everything I've learned. 

The only downer to it is that I still don't feel well and that Hermana Shepherd has to stay in a lot because of me. I can tell that she's struggling a little from having to stay inside. Fortunately, she's been able to go out with Sister Heslop on occasion and Sister Moure last night. She has such a strong desire to go out and work and serve the people here in Moorpark. She still misses Santa Paula, but Moorpark is finally starting to grow on her. I hope that this transfer, I'll be able to help her fall in love with it like I have. I just feel bad because there's nothing I can do to help her get more exposure to the people here until I get better. 

Pablo is doing so great! He had the anniversary of his wife dying this week, but other than that, he's doing so great! He was depressed a little last week, but this week, he's been a lot happier. He has so much faith and is such a strong example to the branch. I love him so much!!

We've been unable to have to much physical contact with our investigators, but we've tried calling and texting them. Many of them aren't answering us, but we're not going to give up! Hopefully, this week, I'll start feeling better so that we can get out and see them. 

So, Sister Castro told me to go to urgent care yesterday because the headaches were still really bad.  The doctor told me that I just had bad tension headaches.  He prescribed me to take extra strength Ibuprofen and Tylenol switched back and forth.  He also told me to message my neck at night and wear better shoes instead of my flats.  It's weird though because I don't do enough walking in my flats to have caused these headaches.  I just hope that everything will clear up and I can get back to work soon.  I'm going crazy staying in the apartment.  It helps though, that Sister Anderson is sick too, so we have each other!  We've had quite a few adventures while our companions have been out on exchanges.  I absolutely love her and she cracks me up!

District Meeting this week was really good as well.  I ended up giving the talk on what it means to be a successful missionary.  I had a feeling that I was going to give it too.  It went really well!  As I was talking about it, it was a reminder to me of everything that I've learned while out on the mission thus far.

Yesterday, at church, Hermana Shepherd and I didn't end up singing because our branch president forgot.  At first we/I was really bummed (my companion was excited), but now that we're going to stay together, it'll happened at some point this transfer!! I'm pumped!!

Thanks for all the love and support from everyone!  Hopefully, I'll have more to say this coming week cuz we'll be out and about!  Love you all!!

Con amor, 

Hermana Halliday
More of me being sick.

 More sickness in our area...

 My Companion, Hermana Shepherd