Monday, August 4, 2014


The cool thing about Arizona is that the super heat causes weird weather patterns like surprise thunderstorms :D In calilfornia., summers are just boring because it stays hot all got down to 83 because of the rain!!!! August is a fun time in Arizona C:

 And it poured hard, too! This area needs the rain, so it's been great!

 Sister Nelson and I are getting along wayyyy too well, haha. As in, one of us is probably going to get transferred because that's what happens when we all get along, right? lol. Transfers are next week, so the speculation has begun! :)

 I don't remember if I wrote about the challenge we gave Talie and Tammy, but they were unhealthily addicted to the internet and electronics. As in, they'd bypass food, water, drink, sleep, bathroom breaks because of the computer. Addictions aren't good. So we challenged them to stay off the computer for a week. THey wanted us to ahv to do something, too, and we were like, "well, okay, but....well, we've given up pretty much everything already." So they made us match every day. Which was reeeaaallly hard, because Sister Nelson and I have very different styles and color choices. Yesterday we looked like Halloween because we literally had nothing else. haha. But they did it! One of them slipped up one day, just because of boredom. But it's been really fun, we were talking about developing talents and skills, giving ourselves things to do, because God has given all of us gifts. Even if He hasn't given you a natural ability, you can get pretty good at basically anything you put your mind to. 

 There's a less active member who wants to be coming back to church, we've been teaching. There's spome problems at home that makes it really hard for him to come back--his wife was raised by a minister who told her horror stories about those cultish, devilish Mormons who worship Satan and are going straight to hell--but he recognizes something is missing in his life. he remembered that when he was baptized, he was given teh gift of the Holy Ghost, and he really feels it's loss.

 This is the best part about being a missionary. Being able to encouragea people, and tell them they can do it, that Christ suffered so that they CAN do it, and to talk about God and His mercy and to see their hope and faith come back. It really makes everything worth it. It was really great to talk about how God doesn't expect perfection, He's happy with progress, He's happy with effort, and we're allowed to take baby steps if that's what we need. We challeneged him to just focus on praying, and he did. You can tell when people are actually keeping their challenges, there's something different about them. He was so much happier, and he was so excited to feel the spirit again in his life. So, next step, scripture study...which is daunting in itself.

 So we told him to read Preach My Gospel. :) Everyone should read Preach My Gospel. It's the basics of the basics, it's a guidebook for bettering yourself (I'm currently wrapped up in chapter 6), it's full of scripture references and other study helps, and it's just great. He was super excited when we talked about it, and he has the Gospel Library app, and he was eager to get into it and study on the stuff he knew when he was a kid, but forgot.

 We've started stressing Preach My Gospel more. I wish I had read it more before my mission, but I think every missionary wishes that.

 The other two teenage girls (i don't remember what fake names I gave them, and I don't ahve my little list :C) will be going back home this week! We're sad that they're leaving, but we soooo excited for them to be reunited with their families! THey've missed them so much!

 Merry and her family held an AMAZING family home evening last week!!! The oldest daughter (Cari) gave an amazing lesson--we barely gave her any help, and she had to rewrite it last minute because the notebook got destroyed (happens when you have younger siblings), and it was soooo good!!! She's a natural. She wants to be a missionary, and I hope she does, because she's a good teacher. XD We're having family home evening again with them this week. I love that family, they're so awesome! haha.

 Merry and Cari got up yesterday to bear their testimonies, too!! That was way cool! It's amazing to see how far they've all come and how much they've grown! They love God and this Gospel and they see the miracles happening around them, and they're just awesome. 

 Brother Amary got up to bear his testimony, too! And his first time!!! He had made a promise to a previous sister misisonary that he would never bear his testimony, and if he did, the first time would be if she came down to visit and was there in the congregation. He was laughing to himself, thinking that would never happen, but it did--she drove all night to be here. The funny thing was, she had totally forgotten about that promise, she was just done with work on the Saturday and drove all night to be here as soon as possible, and lo and behold, it just happened to be on a fast sunday. He kept his promise, though, and it was awesome. 

 There's a field we drive by all the time, they planted wheat or corn or some other fast sprouting crop. I've had fun watching it, and I mention to my companion, "i love watching things grow. c:" And she laughs at me because she's from Idaho and I'm from California and watching fields turn from brown to green isn't a big thing to her. But I reallly do love watching things grow, whether it's wheat or corn or Merry or Brother Amary. It's just hte coolest thing. God must really have fun with it, He has the best view.

 I love this work, and while it may be harder to find those thirsty people than it was in Maricopa or Casa Grande, I love being with these people and watching Christ's Atonement work in their lives. There's absolutely nothing I'd rather be doing,this is the greatest. I'm so grateful God has allowed me to experience these things and has allowed me to do some of His work. I know He'd be just fine without me, because He's God, but I love being out here.

 I love you all! Thank you for everything, you're all amazing! C:

 -Sister Stratford

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