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Happy Birthday Sista Limas!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Well Herro err'body!

I dont have too much to report on this week. It has definitely been a slow week and our numbers are pretty low. SUCH A HUGE BUMMER. Ugh! My companion has been sick. Usually we're still able to go out and stuff, but she happened to totally shut down one evening, so we had to go home. Unfortunately for us, that happened to be the day we had 2 appointments with 4 of our investigators and a dinner appointment. le sigh. And our investigator with a baptism date dropped us. poopers. Sigh. but we're not going to give up on her and try to sort out her concerns. Oh satan is just the devil! Who does that? Trying to keep people away from salvation. SHEEEESH. 

Anywho, here are some GOOD things that did happen this week! hurrah :D

On Saturday we visited with a less active member who joined the church a little over a year ago. She's Puerto Rican and has an awesome accent. Anywho, the plan was just to visit her and share a thanksgiving message. But she was in the middle of putting up her "christmas tree", and we ended up talking to her sons. They had always sat in on the missionary discussions and came to church, but never got baptized. At first it didn't seem like they really wanted to talk to us...but then of course Sis Limas had to work her charm and just start asking them about them. Haha who doesn't like talking about themselves? That's how you get your in ;D anywho, before you know it, we're relating the restoration to his history class and video games. it was awesome stuff. TWO NEW INVESTIGATORS!!!! Wooo! And one even came to church on sunday! Ah! ok, so two new investigators is the standard of excellence per week for the mission...and in Paris we were lucky if we even got someone to talk to us, let alone pick up a new investigator. So picking up 4 last week and 2 week has been SOOOOO GREAT.

* We have district meetings on Friday, and my district leader elder Williams thought it would be a great idea to have each of us be in charge of conducting district meeting. Well, he got elder dearduff to conduct...and elder dearduff made me do a training. Ugh, HE WOULD pick me first to do a training. And of course, like Elder Anderson, he picked me to do the training when the zone leaders and sister training leaders were there -.-" ...but this time there was also an elderly couple too. Man, why does everyone do this to me? ANYWAY, i had to talk about finding investigators through Formers/Potentials. Ha guess what I did as an opener? I asked for two volunteers and Elder Williams and Elder Rauche volunteered themselves. I start to pull out nail polish and they were like "whaaaaaaaaaaat. no way". Hahaha. I gave them 3 minutes to try and do a french tip manicure. It was hilarious! My point was that if we rush investigators, we aren't gonna get good results. So we gotta be patient and willing to work with investigators and always go back to former investigators because maybe they weren't ready at one point, but they've been prepared over time. Anyway, it was just super funny cuz the elders were fighting over who was being painted on and who was gonna blow the nails to dry. I was super impressed i must say. It was a pretty good french tip LOL


This Friday instead of district meeting, we're going to walk in a parade and give people pass a long cards! im super excited! i've attended like 3 parades while i was in the paris area and all these church would do that, but our wouldn't. So i'm super excited to be participating in one now :D

* I got a good dose of Filipinos this week!!!! I heard there was an elder who just got to the mission field and is from the Philippines! Well, we had zone conference on Tuesday and he is in my zone!!! It was soooo funny when he asked me if i was filipino. And then we met with the filipino sister in my ward this weekend. I call her Tita Dedz. She just got here 4 months ago. I have never been so happy to hear Tagalog in my life. And this other lady in my ward...he step mom is filipino and said that she would come to our ward one time so she could make filipino food for me. GAH. I love it. 

* This coming Thursday is THANKSGIVING! Gotta do what the Americans do! Its a non-proselyting day, so we get to chill with members the whole day. I think we have like 4 dinner appointments already. Oh man, am i gonna eat like a fatty. But what else is new. LOL. Good thing it's a RULE to exercise for at least 30 mins everyday ahaha.

...Oh yah, and I turned 22 today! Sister Linton took me out to Red Robin on Saturday for my birthday and the waiter gave me an ice cream sundae...and sang to me LOL And today is going to be the best pday bday ever! One of our members, Sis Jamboretz, owns a boutique with all this really cute stuff. Today she's picking up an order in St Louis at the Princess Warehouse and offered to take us with her. She also said she's gonna take us up the St Louis Arch and out for lunch....ha! And she didn't even know it was my bday! I had to tell her after she told us the plans and thank her. So today is going to be uber fun! And sister linton made me chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast...hahah she is so sweet.

Anywho, that's all for this week.
Love you all and miss you tons
Mucho lovin' from Sister Limas!

Before zone conference

At Red Robin



A Really Cool Story

Monday, November 18, 2013

Yup, I've got a cool story for all of you. Problem is it's going to be LOOOONG. Can ya handle it? I will apologize before hand that I will probably go off on tangents because there is no other way I can think of explaining how awesome this week has went. Here we go:

On Thursday I had the privilege to attend a training meeting with Elder Donaldson. He was the mission president of the missionaries in District 2. He was doing a mission tour, but for some reason only part of our mission got to come listen to him. So I just felt uber lucky that the Sister Training Leaders decided they wanted to bring me along. To explain what he trained on would take forever, but let me just tell you it was an answer to my prayers! He just talked about the Atonement and ordinances and how we can't access the Atonement unless we've completed the ordinances. It was insane. So his whole training was on going back to what it's really about. Don't just ask people to attend meetings, ask people to partake of ordinances. It was crazy. I wish I could type up everything I learned, but it was just way too much. Like I had a headache my the end of the meeting. Anyway, now I will explain why his training was an answer to my prayers.
So during the days before and after transfers I was starting to self-evaluate myself pretty hard. Here I was in a new area, with new people, no progressing investigators, and with a new companion who gets sick and noxious even more times than I do. Before coming to the area my thoughts were kinda like "oh good, now I will be paired up with someone who would have been out longer than me and can teach me the SECRET to missionary work". Dont get me wrong, I've learned SO MUCH from my companions. And I'm grateful for that. And it's totally my fault for used to thinking the following. When I got out here I had this expectation of missionary work cuz of how hard-working all the missionaries seemed to be back home. And as I've been serving I felt like I was waiting for something different to happen...for something to meet my "expectation" of what missionary work was. And so I learned tons from my trainer, but when our time together was up I was still like"oh, but I still can't talk to people fearlessly, or relate random topics to the gospel". And the I ended up training and my thoughts turned to "ok, she's new, and I have to teach her everything I know". But in reality Sis Fernandez has pretty much changed my missionary life. Like Sis Ash says, "you truly lose yourself while training because you're focusing on someone else". I've learned a TON from both Sis Ash and Sis Fernandez. And so hear I am, feeling like I'm starting a brand new page in a new area and I still felt like I was waiting for something to happen. And so when I got paired up Sister Linton (who has been out 3 months longer than I have), at first I was like "Yes! She'll probably be strict with me and I'll get to know the secret to missionary work". But like my last area, we started off slow because we were both new to the area. And we have both been under the weather, so there's more down time than I'm used to. And so on Monday as I was self-evaluating myself and praying tons to Heavenly Father about what I wanted, I got this impression from Him, "Ok Sister Limas, are you going to really wait around another transfer hoping and looking forward for your next companion to teach you the "secret" to missionary work? You already know what it is. You just need to put it in your head that you can figure it out on your own as you put in the effort. And besides, like with your other two companions, you are going to learn what you didn't expect. Be real with yourself...do you think you would actually learn if I paired you up with someone super strict? No. You don't learn that way. You and I both know that." And all I could say to myself was, "He's right." WELL OF COURSE HE'S RIGHT...it's HEAVENLY FATHER I'm talking to here. Duh. And so I promised Him that I would put in 100% in this area and not wait for my companion to push me, but I would push myself and push her if needed (which is quite often considering we are both still sick).
So, what's the secret to missionary work? He's right. I already knew it cuz I've been taught it multiple times already. HARD WORK & OBEDIENCE. And I can definitely testify of that as I've seen the changes in me and in the areas throughout the pass 6 months. But it hasn't hit me as hard as it did this week.
On Tuesday I woke up just super pumped for the day, especially after having that conversation with Heavenly Father. We drove out to Granite City and planned on tracting. It was SUPER cold and the moment we got out of the car Sister Linton was like "uhhh I hate tracting". Tracting isn't my most favourite thing to do either, and it was super cold, and Sister Linton was still sick that morning....you don't even know how tempted I was to just say 'ok, let's go back in the car and try to find some less-actives/formers'. But a promise is a promise, so we pushed through. AND IT WAS GREAT! The one side of the street was totally hilarious because of the different ways they rejected/avoided us. But on the other side of the street we got to talk to pretty much everyone. We ended up having one invite us back, AND of course it would be the last door we knocked on where we found a lady who invited us in and said she was looking for a church...doesn't wanna join the Mormon church, but she's willing to listen. It's a start :)
That evening we had a lesson with Manuel and his family (the man I talked about last week). To my surprise I was not nervous at all for this lesson. Like I haven't taught the restoration in forever, let alone remembered the points in "How to Begin Teaching"....but the Spirit was there and we got through it. The miracle? We picked up 3 new investigators that night! Manuel, his wife Elanore, and his brother's girlfriend, Andrea. It was a really good lesson and I was so so SO grateful the Spirit was helping me with inspired questions. Whewww. BUT still, when we got home I self-evaluated again and I'm like What is missing?! Today was wonderful, we put in the hard work, we have potentials AND new investigators...why do I still feel like there's something missing?...like I could have done something more in the lesson...i just didn't know what. I think I've just been getting really antzy about 'teaching people, not lessons'. Like I've been wanting to master that since I was in the MTC, and I guess that's where my "what's missing?!" comes in. I felt like we TRIED to teach them and not the lesson, but i still felt like there was probably a better way to try and actually get it done.
And so that lovely day on Thursday as Elder Donaldson was speaking....he talked about going back to basics. He told us that the number of baptisms we get will be in the quality of our teaching. So that's what he did. He taught us how to teach and how to build investigators faith through the book of mormon, prayer, and church attendance. Like he dissected it and taught it hard-core. It was INSANE. He taught us how to have lessons and gave us tips on EVERYTHINGGG. So crazy. The whole time me and the sisters I was sitting with were like :O *jaw drop*!
Now here's the cool part. I had a huge headache after the meeting. I was expecting to go back to Sister Linton and have her know what we were going to be teaching Edna that night. I come back and find out that all her and Sister Trop were able to do was fix the tire on the car and stay in the house because she wasn't feeling well again. So I'm like what are we teaching Edna? She says Restoration. Now here's a little fact about Sister Limas...I hate re-teaching lessons other missionaries have already taught. But I didn't say that of course. I just let her know of what Elder Donaldson taught us about how to use the pamphlets for teaching. So we get to Edna's house and the spirit was totally like "use the pamphlet, use the pamphlet!" And at first I was totally avoiding it! I was asking Edna questions to see what the sisters had taught her and if she had any questions and I even almost turned to Sis Linton and said maybe we should teach the plan of salvation. But nothing was working and so I finally gave in and asked Edna to take out the restoration pamphlet. She said she had read through all the pamphlets already and I just had to suck it up and do what the Spirit was saying. that took a lot out of me. I told her we were just going to go over it in a different way. Instead of reading we were just going to discuss the photos. Oh my goodness...i can't even explain how AMAZING that lesson went. The Spirit was truly guiding that lessons. I was so scared to try Elder Donaldson's way of doing it cuz i hadn't practiced! i totally stunk at it during role-play in the training...and here I was about to attempt to do it with an investigator? The room was filled with the Spirit. Sister Linton knew EXACTLY what was going on, and we had no problem teaching in unity even though we didn't have a mapped out plan before hand. It wasn't us teaching her. The way that Elder Donaldson told us to use the pamphlets was to get them to teach themselves. Let them talk about what they see, and not about what we know. The Spirit testifies as they learn on their own. Edna said that even though she's been taught it before, she now saw it in a different light. After Edna said the prayer she was crying and she said she knew God was in that room with her. AND SHE SAID SHE'D PRAY ABOUT BAPTISM!!! Say whaaaaat!?!?!?!

After we left her house we were all so shocked. Sis Spencer (the member we took with us) hugged me and started crying and thanked me for teaching it in a way to help her understand because in the other lessons she just wasn't getting it. Now here's another fact about Sister Limas: I admire people who can recognize the Spirit and teach with it confidently. And when I compliment people all they say is "it's the spirit". And in my head i'm just like "take the compliment, dang it. I want to be that in tuned with the spirit". And after Sis Spencer thanked me, all I COULD say back was "it's the Spirit". It truly was. And it was then that I understood. It just clicked into my head. I had no talent or ability in being able to relay that lesson to her. What I felt was me literally being a vessel carrying the Spirit and the Lord literally using me as a tool to teach His child. I am capable of doing nothing without the Lord's help. Ah, being on the mission truly is a humbling experience. To know that you seriously can't do any of this work unless you're relying on the Lord and working on being in-tuned with the Spirit. It's a humbling experience, yet a sensational one as well...because there's nothing like being able to be that close with a member of the Godhead. Ah, I love it!
Anyway, now that you've heard my speal on amazing miracles here are some more tender mercies:
* We made cookies for our neighbours and attached a note with a mormon.orgcard and a quote from pres monson to give each of them. We knocked on their doors and introduced ourselves...THEY ARE ALL COLLEGE STUDENTS! how awesome is that? Its awesome because we were able to relate to most of them (aside from the fact that most of them live with a significant other bahaha). Anywho, there were 3 doors where we talked to people for quite a bit. Hailey is an English major like me! And Chase is work with photography like me! And the other door we went to ...they were playing beer pong when we walked in...AWKS. Lol but it was great! They were the ones we talked to the most and most interested in what we were doing. Aha i love meeting new people.
* During district meeting one of the STLs asked Sis Linton and I to do a roleplay on the spot. I HATE being put on the spot. But we tuned in with the spirit quicker than i expected and it was just awesome. And i didn't cry when i bore my testimony!!! Now THAT's a miracle ahaha. Also, Elder Raushce is in my district! Hooray for MTC friends and Canadians :D
* We got to attend a baptism of someone Sister Linton was teaching in her last area. So we travelled to Webster Groves. What's so "tender mercy"-like about that? Well,
a) driving by the city always reminds me of home :) St Louis is exactly like down town Toronto. 
b) I got to see Sis Sheppard!!! I didn't train her, but she was one of the sisters being trained in my last district so she's pretty much my "foster-child". and of course I jumped on her when I saw here. (see, still same old Ariana). 
c) I got to meet 2 Canadian elders!!! Elder Beaumier is from Calgary, Alberta and he knows Elder Hall and Elder Doummachel (who both served in the Don Mills ward!) Hurrah! And Elder Rassmussen is from Edmonton, Alberta and his family is moving to Toronto! I was no help in letting him know what ward they were moving to. Where is Oakville again? haha i dont remember.

On Sunday....are you ready for this? We picked up another new investigator AND SET A BAPTISM DATE!!!! Holy moly, I was off my seat. Guadalupe Hayes has been taught by the missionaries for TWO YEARS. But with the past couple of sisters she told them she didn't want to talk to them anymore. She called us up earlier this week CRYING saying that she was being ignorant. We got to her place and she said she wants to be baptized. OH MAN. So the next two weeks we are re-teaching everythingggg. And she loves singing. So on Sunday we ended our lesson with a hymn...and thus far Sister Linton and I have planned to end each lesson by singing a hymn for her. (PS her neighbours are devil worshippers.....CREEPY stuff!)
* I just LOVE sister Linton! We had comp inventory and when we were discussing the strength in our companionship and I just went off on how impressed I was with her and that when we teach we are so unified! Like, we just became companions and we just know. Oh thank goodness for the Holy Ghost! Haha. Like she is so good at being bold when needs be. Like she'll be so sick and weary when we're at home, but the moment we're in a lesson she's like BAM. Hahaha its awesome! And I've been working uber uber hard on learning to listen with love and i find that when her strength and my new strength come together its like JACKPOT! Its amazing.
Seriously, missionary work isn't a puzzle. You work hard, be obedient, be worthy of the Spirit, and listen with love....and you just know what to do. I am SO grateful for how wonderful this week has been. I am so extremely grateful how gracious Heavenly Father has been in allowing me to be part of this work. It truly is a marvelous work and a wonder. It's definitely a wonder to me to see all these miracles happen, let alone being privileged to take a small part in it. I hope I didn't bore you all with my story. I'm not even going to get a chance to re-read it cuz I don't have time haha. But I did pray last night and this morning that the Spirit would help me haul it all out of me XD.
I love you all loads and miss you tons. 
And as much as I do miss and love you all, I love being out here and being a part of this.
Thanks so much for all your support.
Mucho lovin' from yo' Sister Limas :)
 Sister Fisher and I after the training with Elder Donaldson. She's so fun and I just love her. 


Sister Linton and I :) we crochet blankets before going to bed XD



Sister Limas, reporting from Glen Carbon, Illinois!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hola Familia! This is Sister Limas reporting from Glen Carbon, Illinois!

So leaving Paris...that was uber hard. Sunday and Monday, there were tears from others which left me absolutely heartbroken. It was all just so weird to be leaving. I guess it hadn't completely kicked in because I wasn't bawling. Ha, but the bawling eventually came. We had our last district meeting on Tuesday and i was just crying all over the place! Not just me, but most of our district too. Oh, I hate goodbyes! They are so hard! Our whole district was getting split, I was leaving my first area, I was getting seperated from Sister Fernandez, I was leaving my Paris family....agh. There was just a lot to cry about.

ANYWAY,
at transfer meeting I looked for Sister Anderson and Sister Calton because those were the sisters Sister Linton and I were white-washing out. Sister Anderson came out 4 weeks after I did, and she trained Sister Calton the same time I trained Sister Fernandez. I just love them both (not that I've known them for that long haha transfer meeting was the most I've ever talked to the two). But they just said GREAT things about their area...great ward, awesome members, great mission leader. Whew! So I was super excited to get to our apartment. Well, I now live in a 2-story apartment. It's 2 floors, but I dont think it's bigger than the "mansion" i had in Paris :P but its great. Its also great exercise going up and down the stairs XD We made cookies last night and we are going to deliver them to our neighbours so we can try to get to know them better. The past few days have been extremely slow and I was definitely feeling the pressure over the weekend. And the members talk a lot about Anderson and Calton because they were both greenies in Glen Carbon (kinda my situation in Paris...so I totes understand). Saturday was just super frustrating. We had a plan...but it was terrible!! LOL (yes, i'm laughing now, but i was just so frustrated on saturday). We planned to ride bikes over to a less active family who had one of our investigators living with them. BAD IDEA. My bike was still in St Louis so we used the bikes in the apartment. Mine was waaaay to small so it was difficult to pump up the hill, AND the brakes were broken! OKAY, good thing I didn't die going down all those hills! We get to the place (and here I am used to less-actives being super nice and wanting to talk to us) and the less-active didnt want to let us in, was stand-offish and said he didn't believe in God. AND our investigator wasn't even at home. Ou, I was not happy with that bike ride with no result from it. So we get home and my body is sore from the peddaling. We ended up taking the car to all our other appointments....and STILL no one was home -.-" A member offered to come meet us at Collinsville so she could introduce us to a recent convert...but then her van wouldn't start so we were there standing in the cold, dark CVS parking lot jump-starting her car for 20 minutes. Her van finally works and we drive over to Gino's (the recent convert) and Sis Clements (the member driving) says, "oh bytheway, this isn't a good neighboudhood. It's really sketchy and you have to be careful". Did I mention I'm in the same district as the East St. Louis elders? (Haha AJ and Ana Scheiner gave me pink pepper spray to carry in my purse for safety lol). So we get out of the van, and walk down the sketchy street, and this man goes "hey who are you?!" Ohhhh man. I was so nervous, thank GOODNESS sis clements was with us. The man stopped us cuz he thought we were up to no good (lol WHAT?!) and he didnt want us stealing his car (ooookay). BUT THEN, we started talking to him (Manuel is his name) and he was telling us how he wants to change his life, and that he's 40 with a wife and kid and he should be fixing himself up. OH. MY. GOODNESS! It was so awesome! We invited him to come to chuch, gave him a book of mormon, and set up another appointment! We are going to see him tomorrow evening and apparently he is inviting all his friends to come here the message :D WHAT. A. MIRACLE. Btws, Gino wasn't even home after we talked to Manuel. Go figure. But it was such a great experience. Heavenly Father really is aware of all His children, and miracles can be found even in the sketchiest parts of town :) And that experience truly was a gift from Heavenly Father because the whole day I was like "Heavenly Father what is happening? Why aren't we getting anywhere?" And then He blessed us with Manuel. Sister Clememnts took us out for dinner afterwards, and I had a bad migrane and was on the verge of throwing up the whole time we were in the restaurant. (But see, Heavenly Father has a sense of humour and totally works miracles because I was feeling crummy all day and He only let it subside when we talked to Manuel. He really does provide the strength, and I can attest to that over and over again) And so when we finally get home, my companion commands me to put on the PJs and go strait to bed. I wake up the next morning, my head still buzzing because all night I was trying to figure out the work in my sleep. Oh goodness. But when I said my morning prayers I received comforting peace. At first I was all "Heavenly Father wha do we do?! We still havent met a ton of members, we dont knw who our investigators are, and they aren't even solid. I have nooo idea where to start with this area! And Heavenly Father was like, "calm down Sister Limas. You know what to do. You and Sister Ash white-washed Paris. Remember how slow you two first stared off? And how's the succss in that area now? You know exactly what to do". So I bonked myself in my head and said DUH, thanked Heavenly Father, and discussed the plans with Sister Linton. So now we have an idea of what to work with and came up wih some finding ideas (baking cookies for our neighbours; offering to rake everyone's lawns; etc). WHEW :)

And I have also started studying chapter 1 in Preach My Gospel again. Its just funny to see the notes I have in that section from right before I came out and then the notes I have in there now. A lot of the time I feel like I'm not learning as much as I should or if I'm even changing. And then I see something I wrote from the past and compare it to what I know now. I definitely have learned and definitely have grown. Its funny cuz as a missionary I have lots of moments like that. Where I feel like i'm not getting anywhere. But Heavenly Father has been gracious each and every time and reminds me how far I've come. I will quote Dustin Farris on this one: "When I go home I'll still be [Ariana]. Just a better one." I'm still me. Same quirks, weirdities, and all. But when I'm done, I'll be a better version of me, and still just starting the growth process :)

Now let me tell you about the members. They were all super welcoming. Sister Clements is the mission mom. She drives the missionaries everywhere, and she's just so cool to be around. James Cathey, one of the recent converts, is a JOKER! He pulls pranks on everybody and gives everyone nicknames (mine is Limp. I dont see where that came from). Anyway, the previous sisters and sister clements have already warned us abou James' pranks, so when we go over to his house i'm just like "meh". But then he lets his flipping bird out of its cage and i start freaking out like mad. And i didn't mean to! i tried to contain it all in, but everytime that bird flapped it's wings, I "eeked" and threw my head into my companion's lap. James was laughing so hard because none of his pranks were working, but his dumb bird was totally getting to me. Bishop Rawson is super nice. He's been the Bishop since February (i think) and he is totally focused on the missionay work in the branch. they have a really good team of ward missionaries. Everyone was just super friendly. The Hawks (kinda like the Randolphs in Paris. There are so many of them!), were uber nice to us too. And their kids are adorbs. Oh and get this....THERE IS A FILIPINO IN MY WARD!!!!! Oh my goodness, let me tellllll you, I have never been so excited to see a Filipino in my life!!!! Do you know how bad I crave Filipino food? Members in Paris were kind enough to make me lumpia and adobo. But here there was an actual filipino standing right in front of me. Hallelujah.

So  yes, those are the adventures of the Glen Carbon sisters. Sister Linton is great. She actuall cooks meals for lunch. I feel so spoiled. And our humour the same. I couldn't talk about Ella with any of my companions, but I just had to bring it up and Sister Linton starts laughing and I'm like "score!" Hahaha. And she's teaching me how to crochet blankets! Fun stuff. Glen Carbon reminds me a lot of home. It's still not Toronto, but hey, there are actually more stop lights, and strip malls. Finally. And when we're driving down hills, we can see the ach on the horizon...just like at home with the CN Tower :)


To end this off, I just want to put down the lyrics of a song that popped into my head during personal study today. I was reading in Mosiah 5.
"Have you received His image in your countenance?
Does the light of Christ shine in your eyes?
Will you know Him when He comes again because you shall be like Him?
When He sees you will the Father know His child
By His everlasting image in your eyes?"

Keep your covenants and strive to do what Jesus would. By the little steps and choices we take each and every day, we either get closer or further away from becoming like our Saviour. It's all up to you. So be good, be happy, and press forward y'all!

I hope you all have a fab week!
Hopefully this week doesn’t kill me ;)

Mucho Lovin' from Sister Limas

Me and Paris' awesome branch mission leader Bro Randolph! 

Ana and AJ Scheiner


My lovely district :)



Au Revoir Paris

Monday, November 4, 2013

Ack, it's a bittersweet feeling.

Yup, we got transfer calls on Saturday night. Sister Fernandez is staying in Paris and Sister Felt is coming to be her companion. I am going to Glen Carbon, Illinois and white-washing the area with Sister Linton. Glen Carbon is outside of St Louis, so I'll be closer to the temple :) 

Not really sure what to think since we knew it was coming. I'm super sad to be leaving Sister Fernandez, leaving the Paris Branch, and leaving our mission mansion! But I guess it's time to move on. As sad as I am, I am also WAY EXCITED to be going to a new area! It's pretty much opposite of what I'm used to....I'm going to be in a ward (not quite sure what that feels like anymore :P) and there will be another pair of sisters in the ward with us (the Sister Training Leaders). It's all new fun and adventures to come. Saying goodbye is the hardest. Oh man. I'll attach photos of some of the people that have become my family the past 6 months (so now you'll know who these people are that I keep talking about! :D) Shout outs to the Delps, Farris', Benders, Fullers, Randolphs, Ritcheys, Fords, Larges, Straits, Lewis', Hayes, Williams, Hoovers, Rigdons, Wells, Mays, Tomasinos, Townsleys, Compassionate Food Pantry friends, workers at Tuscany's,....the list could go on, honestly. It's just been a great 6 months. 

To the people of the Paris branch/area: thank you for making the first 6 months of my mission a blast. I love you all with all my heart and am so grateful I can call you all family. 

Some things I've learned from this area/transfer/my companion:
- Service! - Hey, if they don't know you care, then why should they care about what we say?
- Cool it. - I'm out in the country, hellllloooo. Haha, I've definitely learned to slow it down a bit and just soak all the simple things in. 
- Love Love LOVE - if there's one thing I learned much about this transfer, it's to love with my whole heart. No way am I perfect with any of the Christ-like attributes I'm studying about, but if there's one I always go back to reading, it's about charity and love. That's always what it gets down to, and there is always room for improvement. Charity pretty much solves everything. Just love everything and everybody!
- The Atonement - don't really know how to put in words what I've learned about the Atonement...i don't have the time to copy my whole study notebook into this email:P But everyday I just learn something new about the Atonement and what grace, mercy, justice, love, and hope actually mean. Its amazing. And it definitely changes you. I've gained such a huge appreciation and love for my Saviour and what He's made possible for all of Heavenly Father's children. It sounds cliche and its something we all hear and say a lot...but really and truly, the Saviour did what no one else could do. If I were to sum up what I've learned from Sister Fernandez, and from what I've learned in my personal study, and just through the experiences I've had the past 6 months if would be this: When Christ saw His seed (us) as He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, He saw all our mistakes, weaknesses, imperfections, trials, jealousies, and heartaches. Why He suffered for us when He saw all that will always baffle our minds. But when He saw His seed, He also saw our joys, our happiness, our hopes and dreams. He saw our potential. And THAT'S why He died for us. Not just because we needed to be saved from sin, but because He saw us at our most happiest moments and knew what we could be when we wanted to try and be better. His motivation to carry the cross was seeing US, His brothers and sisters, be the happiest we can be. Those changes we make to become happy, and take the step closer to reaching our Heavenly Father, are only possible through the Atonement. It's the Saviour who gives us hope of that reunion. It's the Saviour who gives us a reason to take one more step and try harder. 

Other miracles and tender mercies and fun tiingz:
* Nancy, Riley, and Makayla all got confirmed on Sunday! WOO!

* The whole 6 months I have been out here, we've been trying to contact Josh and Amanda Furry (former investigators). I have been to their door multiple times with no answer. We've been doing our Harvesting Questions with our members and if there was one name that kept being brought up, it was the Furry's. So on Sundaywe went to their house again (mind you, this was the 2nd time this week were going there). And what happened? A MIRACLE. THEY OPENED THE DOOR! We talked, the Spirit blessed us with inspired questions (my favourite :D), and we were able to set up a return appointment with them! WOO! 2 new investigators! And I'm not even bummed or jealous that I don't get to be a part of teaching them. Im just glad i FINALLY got to meet them before leaving. YAY!

*  I got to try buffalo sausage, deer goulash, and squirrel meat this week. Right after biscuits and gravy, it's the newest and "weirdest" thing I've ever eaten. But let's get this strait...everything I've eaten here has been pretty good. I just tell the missionaries all the time they are lucky they aren't being fed by my family....because we feed the missionaries BALUTTT ;) Doesn't get weirder and ickier than that ahahaha

* Halloween night rules were to have our car parked at the apartment by 6pm, and to stay there unless a member wanted to pick us up for a dinner at their place. Ha, well Sister Fernandez and I had a blast being us. I just got my dress-up love rubbing off on her XD

* So Janet Carrington takes us to Tuscany's for one last meal together. I have been to Tuscany's so many times with so many different people...the waiters and owner there pretty much know who we are. So the waiters are allowed to give free desserts to their favourite customers, right? Well Jose (who wasn't serving us that day) came and gave us cake! But it was tres leche MOCHA cake. So I'm sitting there telling Heavenly Father "okay, that was a nice blessing. But we can't eat it. But I know You will bless us with something else". A few minutes later, Lindy, another waiter, bring out more cake...this time CHOCOLATE! We just started laughing sooo hard. He says "but Rocky told me to get them cake!" And Jose says "but I already got them cake!" bahaha it was too funny. Turns out Sister Fernandez had an argument with Heavenly Father in her head because she really wanted to eat that mocha cake. I didn't knwo it was one of her favourites! It was just too funny. I didn't expect that blessing to come that fast and in the same form :P oh the tender mercies.

Anyway, I'll finish up because I've been at it for the last hour.
PS I haven't opened any of the other emails in my inbox...so forgive me. I'll get back to you next week. 
Have a great week!
Love you all!

Mucho Lovin' from Sister Limas!

With Janet Carrington and the people at Tuscany's: Rocky, Lindy, and Jose


Bro & Sis Farris and Dilon & Liam Bender (missing Ashley Bender)


Bro & Sis Delp and my "cabbage patch kids" :) Bently, Elliana, Emmalin, and Orson


"For every rain drop that hits your tag, its 10 mins in the gym for your husband". LET IT RAAAAIN


Sister Fernandez and I on Halloween XD we gotta deal with what we've got




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