The new Spanish Elders are actually really nice. Their names are Elder Lima and Elder Fernandez. We had a really awesome district meeting on Friday where we talked about specific people we are teaching and how we can best help them to learn and grow. A lot of the time in meetings we talk about things in general, like things we need to improve on as missionaries. I really liked this shift into talking just about investigators. One thing Sister Purcell, our STL (Sister Training Leader), said during an exchange once is that the gospel is general. The scriptures are general. Preach my Gospel is general. These things don't become specific until we apply them to real people in real situations. That thought has really stuck with me. It's just so true. The scriptures are incredibly general because that's what they're meant to be, general enough that they can literally apply to everyone. It's not until we really take that extra step and apply them to ourselves and our lives that we really gain a testimony of their value.
We did a lot of service this week. There's a woman in the English ward who was in a really bad accident and is extremely crippled. She can barely walk. She's super incredibly nice and hilarious and has all these cute little adopted Asian kids. She also has extreme asthma so the smell of any and all cleaning products makes it so she can't breathe. It's because of all these reasons that her house just doesn't get clean. Every couple of weeks we go over for a few hours and just clean. On Friday, it took me four hours just to do all the dishes in her kitchen. But honestly, it isn't even a burden. I seriously enjoy doing it. I just think about how badly she wishes she could do these things, how badly she wishes her body was able to stand there for four hours and do dishes and, because of that, I am grateful that mine can. Heavenly Father has given each of us advantages in this life and we need to use those advantages in the service of others. I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve her and her family.
I spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday. I wrote down about a page, word for word, what I wanted to say and then just gave up trying to plan so specifically. I thought I'd get up there and talk for two minutes and blank out but I ended up talking for about 15 minutes. I wish I could give you a synopsis of what I said but I honestly cannot remember (which I've found is generally what happens when you're really following the Spirit). I was just thinking back to my first week here when I spoke and how much easier it has become now. My Spanish is really going well; I'm speaking more fluently and easily which is awesome.
There's this one house in Cornelius that has seriously haunted me since the first time we drove past it. The very first time I just thought "we need to go there" but just never did because...well, I don't know why! I honestly can't think of any reason why I ignored that impression. I remember one time we drove by and there were all these kids playing outside in the sprinkler and again, like every other time, I felt like we needed to go and I ignored the thought. Finally, on Saturday, we were biking past and all the kids were outside. The mom was outside pulling weeds and ONCE AGAIN we just rode on past. We rode a few houses down from them and my mind was just going and going and it felt like their faces were just burned in my mind. Before I even realized it, my bike was stopped and I was turning around. We ended up having a great conversation with this awesome lady Margarita. I'm hopeful we'll get to see them again.
You are walking with Ellen?! That's awesome. Tell them how much I miss them!! Tell Zandra to write me a letter.
So, when are you guys going to go to the temple to do some sealings? The challenge was for you to do it it May and it's almost July! You really need to get on that, they are very anxious to have that work done. I know because they keep bugging me about it. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about them.
These last couple of weeks have been stressful and I am just now starting to feel as if everything is getting back under control. Don't take stress as a sign that I am not happy; I am. It's like that talk from Elder Bednar; it was the load that made the truck move.
As far as contacts, don't worry about it. Our Stake President here is an eye doctor so I'm just going to order it from him.
I have to go now. Have a great week! I love you!
P.S. Here's a pic from when Hans took us to dinner. Yum!
Note from Mom: I also received an email today from a complete stranger in Oregon who happened upon Hayley, her companion and two other Sister Missionaries at the Tillamook Cheese Factory and took this picture. So grateful for her kindness. Tillamook is known for their amazing cheese, yogurt and, of course, ice cream!
Here is the talk by Elder David A. Bednar that Hayley referred to in her email. Such a great talk!