Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Let's just do that. There is SO MUCH to do here, and so many people who are actually looking for God, and want to listen, there are so many that we don't get to see them all in a week and we're trying to hard to not leave anyone behind. It's really fun, this is how I imagined the mission to be. We're being run ragged, talking to everyone, teaching lessons all day, gettig rejected and running into people who don't want to listen, but also experiencing AMAZING miracales as God leads us to those people who do want to listen....I'm tired and I feel a little fried, but it's been such a great time and I love it!! Nothing I'd rather be doing right now. <3 This is the best. The hardest and the best. 

 Trivialness, it's freezing here. Got down to 40 a couple nights ago. Yup. I never thought I'd get used to 120 weather, but then winter comes and you realize you really did adjust.

 So Bernardo had gone to the phoenix temple open house with some friends and was so impressed, he requested missionaries to come and tell him more abou it. He said he felt like a different person in there. Teaching him was the neatest thing, it all just made sense to him. He loved the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's first vision. We took him to a baptism and he loved that. The idea of a premortal life just clicked. It was so cool. Lots of amazing spiritual experiences with him.

 We're also teaching a HS junior named Lupus. Though we may have to have the SPanish sisters teach him, the rest of his family speaks mostly Spanish. (It was SO FUNNY, the Mom came in and saw we were Missionaries and started speaking Spanish....she was so surprised we didn't speak Spanish. "All the Mormons I know speak Spanish, I just thought you all knew how." haha!! Not far from the truth though.) But he really caught hold of the truth that God could forgive everything. He could be clean. He had been struggling to be a good person but was still haunted by stuff he did back when he didn't care. It was really amazing to see that hope turn on behind his eyes and that eagerness to learn more about Christ. There's really nothing like it. The Spanish sisters went to talk to his mom and said she was very similar, too. She loved what they were teaching. Moments like that make everything worth it. I'm too exhausted to function anymore, but Lupus knows God loves him and he can be forgiven.

 We met with another woman who had been listening to missionaries for 3 :p She said she believed in God but not Christ. So while trying to figure out what her problem was, it came out that she had tried to repent before and didn't feel like it had done any good. SHe couldn't believe in a perfect God, since there was evil in the world, and therefore, she couldn't believe in perfect love and therefore she couldn't be forgiven because God could get tired of her and stop caring. It was the saddest thing I've ever heard, and I felt like there was so little I could do to help her. She had decided to believe in God because she was studying philosophy, and had determined that there had to be some kind of divine organizer. But.....well, one thing that's really important is, as a missionary, I'm not here to answer questions. Techinically. I'm here to help people develop the kind of relationship with their Father that they can recieve their own answers straight from God. But I think people feel so very intelligent when they're confused. They think that it's okay to be confused because it shows how open their mind is. They don't want to have any absolute truth, they feel so wise if they can present a question no one can give them an answer to. It's really sad to be trying to offer the answers to someone who just doesn't want the answers. She told us to not come back until after the holidays because of all the busyness going on. I hope I get to see her again. 

 The world needs to know there's a Savior. :c

So we have a baptism on Saturday!!! :) Lacey is seriously the coolest person ever. She's come so far, she's quit smoking, she's changed her whole life. She's gotten so excited about the Gospel, and she's one of those people who just wants to save the whole world. She's always so busy trying to help out the people in her neighborhood or rescuing animals. She is so eager to introduce us to people. "Everyone needs God," she says. "You'll have to come with me after I'm baptized, I know where to find those people who are hurting. I know, I've been there. I know what they look like." She's eager to teach hundreds of people. :p She's so much fun!!

 I'm running low on time, BUT you're all awesome and I love you!! Thanks for your prayers and your letters, they mean a lot to me <3 I'm grateful to be out here and I'm grateful for the people and I'm grateful for the Atonement of Christ!! Being a missionary has been the best thing of my life.

 Love you all! <3

 -Sister Stratford

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